new year, new me

Ahhh, new year, new you.

I’m so familiar with both my optimistic and sarcastic thoughts on this phrase.

While I love a fresh start, I’m a little weary of change these days. (See update on previous year.) A new baby, a new home, a promotion…while I’m grateful and excited for all that happened in 2018, I’m also looking forward to finding my groove with these great changes in 2019.

That said, I did think of something broad I’d like to work on: Improving my health and my family’s health.

Now, for me, I don’t mean run to the gym and work out religiously in January and then fall off the wagon. Yes, I want to make better food decisions. Move my body and way more often. But it’s not just for me anymore. I want to take care of my physical body so that I can live a long life with my family. If that doesn’t motivate me, I’m not quite sure what will. I mean, look at this guy.

My girl has (another) cold, so she wasn’t feeling celebratory last night, but I still love her so and want to see her grow. (Shout out to my sis for bringing over the NYE goodies!)

But health is about so much more than the physical. I’m talking mental, emotional, and spiritual health, too. I want to make time to slow down and read a book instead of being hypnotized by an Instagram video on icing a cake. I want to call my 97-year-old Grammy and go see her when I can because she’s funny and wise and I love her so much. I want to go on dates regularly with my husband instead of twice a year. I want to have a hobby again. I want to plan a vacation. I want to live in the present instead of being sad about the past or anxious about the future.

And I want to blog again.

Last year was about the big things…this year is about self improvement, challenging myself to be my best, while slowing down to enjoy life. Taking care of myself and my family is number one.

Happy New Year to all!


It’s Never Too Late for Reflections & Resolutions 

2015. The highs were high, and the lows were pretty low, but it was a transformative year. The best part? We have a happy, healthy 6-month-old baby girl.

Of course, it’s not all sunshine and roses. We lost three grandparents this year and many loved ones, which is always hard, but this year was especially rough. Ellie is named in honor of one of her passed great grandmothers, so, in a way, a piece of her will always live on.

It was a great year at work–I’ve learned more this year than I have in awhile about management, team building, and how to learn from my mistakes. I traveled to Nice and Barcelona, too, which has been such a highlight of my career. I cannot tell you what that trip meant to me, and to share it with my colleagues and “Ellie” (at 14 weeks) is something I’ll never forget. 

I also learned a lot this year personally, too. A short list of things I want to keep building on in 2016 includes:

  • Make time for my spouse. Especially when I have a million things to do and our baby to care for, it’s easy to forget about the one you care about so much. And always appreciate your partner for helping. I don’t do that enough. (Thanks, boo!)
  • Make time for me. I get by with a little help from my friends…and family. It’s amazing what spending time with people you love can do for you mind and your heart. Or taking some time to be alone. Wandering the aisles of Target solo can be quite therapeutic, haha.
  • Don’t get stuck in a digital daze. I am on my phone way too much. My goal is to be present in lives of my family. That means putting down my phone a little more in 2016.
  • Be a healthy role model. It’s time to lose the baby weight. I wasn’t one of the lucky women whose baby weight melts away when they breastfeed. So it’s time to get my act together for myself and my family. I joined Weight Watchers again. This means I’ll be healthier and more creative with my food…with an indulgence here and there. 😉 
  • Sleep more. This is a no brainer, and probably goes with the bullet on being healthy, but I’m sleep deprived!
  • Achieve what I want. Instead of talking the talk, I need to walk the walk more. This is something I struggle with a lot. I’m the queen of excuses. Time to start doing and being more. Hopefully that means more posts on this blog, and more exciting developments to come!

Thanks to all who were a part of my 2015. Wishing you and your loved ones a happy and healthy new year! 


Week #44 – Spotlight: Primal Oceans Salt Cave

So, I’ve been pretty excited to share this experience with you. I thought this might post would be a typical spa day, but it was far from it.

Lindsey and I talked about going to a salt cave for months, so when the LivingSocial deal for Primal Oceans Salt Cave in La Grange became available, we jumped at the chance. For $33, you could get an aquamassage and salt cave experience (what Lindsey purchased) or for $35, you could get an ionic detox footbath and salt cave experience (what I purchased).

For more details on the treatments I received, let me paraphrase from their website:

IONIC FOOT BATHS: Benefits of the detox foot baths are endless: enhancing the immune system, speeding up recovery time from injury, relieving arthritic pain; improving sleep patterns, etc.

SALT CAVE: The large amount of pure Himalayan salt used in the cave creates a microclimate, which mimics that of underground natural salt caves.

What’s the deal with the Himalayan salt, you ask? Well, for someone riddled with health problems, let me share a few of the benefits:

  • Contains 84 essential minerals that benefit the body
  • Aids in proper metabolic functioning
  • Creates an electrolyte balance
  • Beneficial for upper respiratory issues (allergies, sinuses)
  • Positive effects on forms of dermatitis (eczema)

So, we arrived at Primal Oceans (very easy train ride from downtown, and walking distance from the station), and Karen was extremely kind and helpful, and the spa was immaculately clean. We got a tour of the facilities, and then it was time for our separate treatments. Mine was a little longer, so I started first.

I sat in a relaxing lounger in a small room by myself. Karen told me to keep my feet in the small tub, as she poured in a small scoop of salt, and put the “ion machine” in the tub. I love science, so I was pretty pumped about this. What happens is, the machine emits positive and negative ions that react to your body. Toxins are released through the pores in your feet, and the result is seen in the water, from urine yellow to poo brown (sorry, best analogies here). I sat there, peacefully, with the lights turned low, a blanket on, and my feet soaking in the tub.

The anticipation of seeing the water change was killing me. So I looked down. Within minutes, the water turned yellow. I panicked. What the heck is going on? I know I’m pretty unhealthy, but it changed in minutes? The investigative reporter (and ignorant idiot) in me googled the treatment and there were a lot of words like “hoax,” “scam,” and the like. I didn’t believe it (I still don’t, by the way), and put my phone away. No matter what you believe, it’s nice to dedicate some time to relaxation.

But then the water kept changing, darker and darker. Until at the very end, it was brown water with sludge in it. WHAT WAS IN THE WATER?!? I was nervous and intrigued and confused, but it was fun, nonetheless. Lindsey joined me after her treatment (hers was ike a human carwash!), and we decided that we should have both done the foot bath to perform an experiment. Would the water have come out the same for both of us? It’s a mystery.

After my feet were clean, we put on some white socks and headed into the salt cave. The cave was cool, dark, and quiet, filled with anti-gravity chairs and a chest of cozy blankets (they have to keep the temperature down for the salt). Lindsey and I were the only ones in the salt cave session, which gave us free reign to chat and gossip all we wanted.

Once the doors were closed, an introduction came over the speakers to relax, as the room became darker and stars appeared on the ceiling. Lindsey and I laid back in our chairs, snuggling warm blankets, and putting our hands in the salt “sand” that covers the cave floor. I must admit, that 45 minutes went by pretty quickly. At the end of the session, we were rested and rejuvenated.

We bundled back up in our boots and coats, and headed to the little gift shop in the lobby of the spa. We both purchased some mementos from our time at Primal Oceans; I opted for a small bottle of bath salt.

Let me be honest, it’s hard to know if these treatments will have long-standing effects. But what I do know is that the experience was extremely fun and unique, the service was wonderful, and if another deal came about, Lindsey and I might have to go back for our ionic detox foot bath experiment!

Primal Oceans Salt Cave
La Grange, IL