I got another year older. So naturally, I went to Puerto Rico

Dorado Beach Ritz Carlton

DSCN0135

I spent all last week in paradise and if I close my eyes (or look at my pics), I feel like I’m still there.

Iman and I went to Puerto Rico for 7 nights and 8 days, and it was absolutely heavenly. We drank a lot of pina coladas, laid out by the beach, went ziplining, hiked in a Rainforest, went snorkeling, and did a whole bunch of other cool things. Did I mention we laid by the beach and drank a lot of pina coladas?

It was without a doubt, one of my favorite vacations ever. But before I go further, I’d like to reassure you that I do NOT have Zika. At least I’m pretty sure I don’t.

Anyway!

The hotel

We stayed at the Ritz Carlton in Dorado Beach, which was honestly THE nicest resort I’ve ever stayed at. The resort houses three sit-down restaurants, all of which have way better-than-average food. We did find, however, that a little further away yet still on the resort property, are two additional restaurants by the golf course. I’m not sure why they aren’t listed on their website, but they were still pretty tasty, nonetheless.

The resort itself is absolutely GORGEOUS. The trees, the plants, the little critters that scurry around as you walk by (i.e. lizards and frogs) all solidify the feeling of being in the tropics. And the rooms! We stayed in a suite right on the water that even had a small infinity pool on the back terrace.

Swoon!

Dorado Beach Ritz Carlton

Dorado Beach Ritz Carlton

Dorado Beach Ritz Carlton

Dorado Beach Ritz Carlton

Dorado Beach Ritz Carlton

Dorado Beach Ritz Carlton

Dorado Beach Ritz Carlton

Dorado Beach Ritz Carlton

Dorado Beach Ritz Carlton

Dorado Beach Ritz Carlton

Dorado Beach Ritz Carlton

Dorado Beach Ritz Carlton

The Activities

One of my absolute favorite things we did while in Puerto Rico, was go zip lining in Toro Verde. The day before we went, I did a little research on it and discovered that The “El Monstruo” is a new zip line that beat the Guiness Book of World Records for the longest and tallest zip line in the world. It sounds pretty intimidating and their website seems scary, but it was actually one of the coolest experiences of my life. From the minute you start zipping, you feel like you’re flying and the views are just spectacular.

The best part? Every time someone zips El Monstruo, they donate money to the Ricky Martin Foundation (yes, that Ricky Martin), which helps fight against human trafficking in Puerto Rico.

Toro Verde

Toro Verde

Toro Verde

Toro Verde

And if you follow me on Snapchat, you were probably annoyed at all my Snaps, so here they are again:

I would 100% go back to Puerto Rico, especially back to this resort.

And now I’ll end this post with a photo of me standing on the beach, looking off into the distance.

Dorado Beach Ritz Carlton

Even though it’s tough to be a Bears fan…

BEars

I haven’t always loved football. In fact, my ex-husband would tell you that I used to loathe it and complain every Sunday when football was inevitably present on our TV screen all day. He would also tell you that after I started getting into it, I still didn’t fully understand the game. In fact, one day he missed a play after leaving the room for a few minutes and when he asked me what had happened, I replied with, “One of our guys just ran a lot of yards.” Sigh.

I’ve always been somewhat of a tomboy but football had just never really been my thing. But after a few years of watching every single Bears game, getting into Fantasy Football, and going to my first game in Green Bay, I now absolutely LOVE it.

Yesterday I got to tag along with Iman and a coworker at a pre-Draft event at Soldier Field for businesses looking to purchase a suite for the season. As soon as we got there, we were escorted onto the field, through the big blow-up Bear where the players walk through on gameday, and into the Bears locker room.


Bears Locker Room

Bears Locker Room

Bears Locker Room

Bears Locker Room

Bears Locker Room

I also met some players past and present but I’m not going to subject you to those pics due to a ridiculously bad hair day (me, not them).

Oh yeah, and my favorite part of the locker room:

Bears Locker Room

Bienvenido a Miami

Hotel Faena

Hotel Faena

Hotel Faena

Hotel Faena View

Hotel Faena Pool

Hotel Faena Mammoth

(After reading the title of this post, you probably now have the Will Smith song in your head and for that, I am sorry).

Last weekend, Iman and I went to Miami to “test out resorts” for an upcoming retreat Iman’s work is hosting for their clients. It’s a dirty job, but someone has to do it, right?

We flew out on Friday, stayed at The 1 Hotel Friday night, and then hightailed it over to The Faena Hotel on Saturday. The 1 Hotel was incredibly nice and trendy (definitely a place to see and be seen), but The Faena Hotel gave us the best hotel experience we’ve ever had.

We stayed in an Oceanview suite and from the minute we stepped foot into the hotel until the minute we left, we were treated like royalty. Iman had meetings all day on Saturday, so I opted to hang out at the beach and get a tan in late January (because who doesn’t want to be tan in January?). As soon as I walked out to the hotel’s private beach area, I was immediately greeted by hotel staff and set up with a lawn chair, sunscreen (“Would you care for SPF 15 or 30, Miss?”), aloe vera gel, and a lunch and cocktail menu. I ordered the lobster quesadilla, an After Sunset cocktail, and settled into my home for the afternoon.

Let me tell you – anything I could have possibly dreamed about wanting, the hotel staff was on it. “Would you like the sand washed off of your feet, Miss?” “I noticed you wiping off your sunglasses. Would you like some sunglasses cleaner?” “Would you care for a mango shot?” YES. YES. And YES.

I texted Iman an “omg you wouldn’t believe the service I’m getting out here,” texted a photo of my sandy feet to my girlfriend Ali (she has a sand fetish, don’t ask), and took as many Snapchat photos and videos as possible.


Mango shot


On Sunday, we headed over to the Wynwood Arts District, something we had always heard about but had never been to. There’s tons of art galleries, shops, restaurants, and what’s known as the biggest open-air street-art area in the world. I thought the street art in Austin, Texas was cool (and it is), but this is the coolest.

Here are some of my faves:

Wynwood Street Art

Wynwood Street Art

Wynwood Street Art

Wynwood Street Art

Wynwood Street Art

Wynwood Street Art

Wynwood Street Art

Wynwood Street Art

Wynwood Street Art

Now I’m back in Chicago, but definitely dreaming of Miami. <3

So I watched The Bachelor last night…

Bachelor Ben

I wish I could say that my roommate made me watch it, or that I was so engrossed with what I was doing on my laptop that I didn’t notice it was on in the background. But unfortunately, I will publicly shame myself and tell you that my roommate recorded it on our DVR and then I went and VOLUNTARILY WATCHED IT.

Anyway, now that that’s out of the way, I have a re-cap for you, in case you haven’t seen it. Because it is, after all, entertaining if nothing else.

Vegas, baby, Vegas

The girls go to Las Vegas with Ben, which is obviously the most romantic city in the entire world.

As Ben says, “It’s a place that people do find love.”

This makes me wonder if Ben has ever actually been to Las Vegas. I know a lot of people get married in Vegas, but they don’t typically find love there (No, that stripper from the Rhino is not in love with you). They typically find love elsewhere and then go there to seal the deal. I mean, what’s next, Amsterdam?

But alas, the ever-romantic bachelor and his leading ladies head to Vegas for this episode.

Show…me…your…talent!!

The girls are told that they are to perform in a talent show in front of a live Vegas audience. Sounds like tons of fun, right? Not scary or mortifying AT ALL.

I always like to think of what I would do if I was on the show, competing with 25 other women and pining over one man’s love. I mean, I definitely wouldn’t be on the show under those circumstances, but I like to pretend sometimes. So if I were one of these lucky ladies who was just told that we are going to be performing a “talent” in front of a live audience, what would my talent be? I honestly have no idea, but here are my options:

  • I can touch my tongue to my nose, and I have double-jointed fingers, so maybe I could stand up on stage and just showcase that weirdness.
  • I can pitch! I used to play softball in high school and I’m pretty sure I could throw a few good pitches again (never mind how long ago that was)
  • Dress up like a Vegas showgirl, jump out of a cake, and then strut around awkwardly on the stage.

Unfortunately, Olivia totally stole my idea on that last one so I would have been screwed had I done that too. Phew!

So after this little clip, Olivia then freaks out and acts all insecure and psycho on Ben, because she thinks her performance was a total flop and now he must think she isn’t “marriage material.”

Personally, I didn’t mind her performance. I thought it was pretty funny and it showed a lot of confidence that she could go up there and make fun of herself. I totally would have done something similar and added a few “you know you want this” looks and shakes. She should have just joined in on the laughter and not regretted a minute of it. Who cares how stupid you look? Must I remind you that you are one of 25 women on a television show competing in a talent show for one guy’s affection?

Ben “fake” marries the virgin so he can….?

Oh come on, tell me you didn’t think that as you were watching this. Ben does everything he can to make Becca, the one girl on the show who is saving herself for marriage, feel like she’s getting married – he has her dress up in a wedding dress, show up at a wedding venue to officiate marriages with him, and then he later says his “vows” to her.

Smooth, Ben. Smooth.

The L word

Nothing like putting the L word on the table way, way too soon. Here we go with Olivia again. In addition to her freaking out over her stupid performance that was meant to be funny and was funny, Olivia then throws the love bomb out there. She said she is falling in love with Ben, which makes me think homegirl has never been in love before and might never be, after this episode.

YOU DO NOT LOVE HIM. There. Moving on.

(Not) Twinning

So there’s a set of twins on the show (because why wouldn’t you want to go for the same guy as your twin sister?), and thankfully, Ben lets one of them go in this episode. I have no idea how he chose between the two, but I suspect it was an “eenie meenie miney moe” type of situation.

“Dating twins has been difficult,” Ben says. (Hear that, men of the world??)

One of the weirdest things about this episode is that one twin threw the other twin under the bus, saying things to Ben like, “I feel like I’m having a stronger connection than what she’s having,” and telling the camera, “I really need Hailey to go home so I can focus on my relationship with Ben.”

AND THEN BEN SENDS HAILEY HOME.

I wonder what the twins’ night was like last night as they watched the episode together.

Don’t worry, twin who didn’t get chosen. You’re actually in the better position here.

Spoiler Alert: At the rose ceremony, Ben tries to build up suspense by calling Olivia’s name last, which she takes as a “save the best for last” gesture that only she understands. The two girls who go home are unemployed Rachel (I’m not being mean; that’s what it says under her name on the show), and Amber, who immediately takes her heels off because the pain of wearing heels is so not worth it anymore if you’re sent home.

Both girls of course bawl their eyes out because they will of course never find true love again.

The End.

That time I did the BluePrint Cleanse

BluePrint Cleanse


So I never really told anyone this, but a few months ago, I decided to start a cleanse. I realize this little fact might make me “that” person – That person who thinks they’re fat, or that person who tries ridiculous new wave things, or that person who just has to jump on the latest trend. But I was just trying to get healthy and thought that if I lost a couple pounds in the process, so be it.

After a little online research, I decided to go with the 3-day Foundation Cleanse from BluePrint.

And then I decided I would document the experience, which I’ve kept hidden in the rarely-used Notes section of my iPhone…until now.

Day One

1:29 PM

I started my Cleanse this morning and of course I didn’t read the pamphlet that clearly says you should drink some warm water first before jumping in, so I just jumped right in with Juice #1 (no consequences from the lack of warm water – yet). It was a green juice stocked full of healthy these-dont-belong-together-in-juice ingredients such as Romaine, Celery and Kale. It wasn’t too bad though, just tasted healthy (ie: not the greatest).

I took Juice #2 after I got to work, around 10 AM. The taste in this one was definitely better – more of an Apple type juice. I can deal with that.

I went for a long walk at lunch time and when I got back, I was starving and I could feel a headache forming, so I just finished Juice #3, another Green juice. My head is currently pounding, but I’m hoping the Ibuprofen I just took will kick in soon. (Note: Taking Ibuprofen is considered “cheating” but my head really hurts so I’ll consider myself a cheater).

I miss solid food already and I’m only halfway into Day 1. I mean, I DID just tell someone that I was a self-proclaimed foodie the other day so maybe that’s why.

5:32 PM

I got caught up in meetings at work and wasn’t able to sneak another juice in so as a result, I have 3 more I need to drink before 8:30 (they say to drink your last juice about two hours prior to going to bed). I just started drinking Juice #4, which is a Spicy Lemonade (throw some vodka in there and it would be amazing). My head still hurts, but everything I’m reading says to try and get past that initial headache so that’s my plan.

8:45 PM

Just started my last juice of the day, which tastes more like a dessert than a juice. Yummy.

My head is still pounding, but I’m hoping I’ll be over it when I wake up.

Day Two

10:32 AM

My headache was gone when I woke up this morning, and I weighed myself and I’m down 4 pounds from yesterday. 4 pounds! I know it’s mostly (probably all) water weight but it’s already making me feel skinny. The juices for today are the same as the ones from yesterday, which will also be the same ones for tomorrow. I’m pretty sick of the green juices already, since every other juice is the dreaded green one. Don’t get me wrong, it doesn’t taste bad, but I’m really starting to miss the taste of food.

1:22 PM

My headache is back and back with a vengeance. It’s hard to concentrate and I’m getting crabby. I’m “cheating” with a couple more Ibuprofens.

5:45 PM

Just got home from work and I don’t have the energy to work out, which is really annoying to me. I just texted my mom that I feel like I could kill a small child for a green bean.

6:10 PM

This sucks.

7:22 PM

  

Welp, that was that. I caved and ordered a cheeseburger.

Regrets? None.

In all seriousness though, if I were to ever do a cleanse again, or if anyone ever asked me to recommend a cleanse, I would definitely tell them to try BluePrint – the juices are overall pretty tasty (especially that dessert one) and the reviews for the cleanse itself are good too.