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The 52 Week Savings Challenge for 2018

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If you could accomplish anything in 2018, what would be? For most of us our answer might involve money in some way. From having less debt, to making more money, having more saved, budget better, whatever it might be. Money is a huge focus for many of us. There never seems to be enough to go around and when it rains, it pours – am I right? This year, I want to help you save more money for those rainy days or for those days where you just want to have a little fun. 

Last year, I introduced the 52 Week Savings Challenge and it was a huge hit. Our family really benefited from taking simple steps to put more money into savings. So, I wanted to start 2018 off with a bang and bring back the 52 week savings challenge.

Now remember this savings challenge is above and beyond what you’re currently budgeting for. This money either needs to come from your grocery budget, your eating out category or a combination of any budget categories. We don’t want to take away from what you’re currently putting aside for your emergency fund or your debt payments.

Last year when we decided to do this challenge, we looked at our budget and realized it wouldn’t hurt to have an extra $1,300 in the bank by the end of the year.

We created an easy-to-follow 52 Week Savings Challenge. It’s easy to follow and you can really tackle it any way you want.

Here’s the gist of the savings challenge:

Start off with saving $1 the first week, then add $1 every week to you new goal. Here’s what it looks like for the whole year:

week 1 – $1, total of $1
week 2 – $2, total of $3
week 3 – $3, total of $6


week 52 – $52, total of $1,378

52 week savings challenge image

I created an easy PDF for you to download to keep track. You can download this free printable here.

Here’s another way to tackle this 52 week savings challenge:

You can start with week 52 and work your way backwards. That way you’re starting with savings $52, $51, $50 and so on then when it’s closer to the holidays your savings would be less than $10 a week. It’s up to you.

Just decide which way is best for your family and get started.

What are you going to do with this extra savings at the end of the year? It’s going to be good to use towards Christmas gifts or you can add it to your emergency fund or even debt! Whatever you want to do with it, it’s up to you!

Just think, $1,378 can be yours by saving a few dollars each month for the next 12 months. So easy!

Need More Help?

If you’re looking for a great tool to help keep your family on budget, then check out out my budget spreadsheet.  Each month is laid out right in front of you where you can keep track of what you budget and what you actually spend. Now you’ll know in real time how you’re doing each month.

Recap of 2017 Goals

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Each year, I like to dust off my goals from the beginning of the previous year and see just how I did. 

I recently shared what my goals are for 2018 and am really excited about them.  As I get older (and wiser), my goals have shifted. I no longer carry about the tiny details as much and like to focus more on the bigger pictures.  What goals will help me achieve my overall success and what does that success look like? To me it’s all about my family and providing for them.  So that’s what helps shape my goals.  

I also don’t like calling them resolutions because to me a resolution is something you want to stop.  A goal is more positive and it’s about expansion.  So that’s why I call them goals instead of resolutions.

Let’s take a look at last year’s goals to see just how I measured up.  

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As you can see my goals were a little broader than they have been in the past, which means success is open to interpretation.  And I love that.

I achieved 7 out of 8 of my goals in 2017.  That’s a pretty good passing rate (if I do say so).  

What are your goals for 2018? Think bigger, but more manageable.  What will make you happier and your family happier.  That’s the goals you need to strive for and work towards. Also, that one goal I didn’t achieve – I shifted to 2018.  Nothing wrong with not reaching every goal.  Sometimes you have to realize that the sacrifices you would have to make to meet everything, may not be worth it.  So you shift, you rearrange your goals so that they fit better with what you have going on.  You’re not a failure for doing that – your a realist who knows the value of your time, sanity and family is much more important.

 

Make sure to take a look at 2014’s goals, 2015’s goals and 2016’s goals, too.

2018 Goals for the New Year

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I’ll be the first to admit I will probably date a few documents with 2017 for the next few weeks until I can get the hang of it. No matter how many times I repeat to myself “2018, 2018, 2018” I still end up dating with the wrong year. This will go on for most of January, which it does every year. At this point, I’ve just accepted it. 

This time of year J and I sit down for our quarterly planning meeting to plan the next few months in advance. Planning the next three months out is one of the biggest YES things we’ve ever done. We don’t plan out each day in detail, but we make sure to plan out any out of town trips we need to make to visit family, birthday gifts we need to buy, any bigger purchases that are coming up (like car maintenance, home repairs, etc.).  This planning helps us make sure our budget is right and makes sure that we’re on the same page. 

So before you get too much further into 2018 (I know, today is only day one), make sure to sit down with your significant other and have a calendar in front of you. We use our Google calendar to organize our entire lives. We each have our own calendar and then we have a joint one that we can both see. Whenever I have an out of town conference or he has a late class then we can put it on our joint calendar so we both know about it. I don’t necessarily put my doctor appointments and client appointments on our joint calendar because they don’t affect him. 

This planning also works great for when we’re out with family and friends. If we want to schedule a dinner out or a weekend visit, then we just look at the joint calendar. If that day or time is open then go ahead and schedule. It’s an unwritten rule in our house that when it comes to family and friends, we like to do whatever we can to be there. So if there isn’t anything scheduled, then mark it down. Whatever is on the calendar is something we’ve committed to and that means a lot to us.

After we have our planning meeting, we also like to talk about goals for the new year.  What do you like most about a new year? I love the idea of new beginnings, which means new goals and new successes. For me, I love creating action steps to help reach our goals. Now J has his goals, I have my goals and then we have family goals.  We like to think of our family goals as the driving force behind our decisions. 

This year our word is simplicity. What can we do in our day-to-day lives that can help simplify everything? For us, it means saying no to more and saying yes to what we actually want to do.  It also means making sure our budget tracking is easy to maintain and encourages us to stay on top of it.  That’s why we created the easiest budget template because we wanted something easy.  We wanted something that didn’t take hours to fill out each month and something that told us exactly how we were doing with our money.

I won’t share J’s goals with you because he didn’t sign up to be a blogger like I did.  But I will show you my personal goals and some of our family goals.  It’s funny that some of mine and J’s goals and our family’s goals are pretty much the same.  I think that’s the price you pay when you become a parent – you’re sole focus is the family.

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As you can see most of my ‘personal’ goals involve my family. The ones that are left involve my blog or my day job as a financial specialist.  To me – building those goals will help me reach our family goals because we will be able to provide more for our son.

What are your goals for the upcoming year? Try to keep them short, sweet and to the point. Don’t put too many details in your annual goals because then it makes it harder to achieve.  What we like to do is take our bigger goals and then break them down into smaller ones.  That way we can focus on one thing at a time and measure our success.  If you’re curious, you can check out last year’s here.

 

  

Creating New Christmas Traditions

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I remember special moments from Christmas that my family did every year. My parents were amazing at making Christmas so magical for my sister and I. 

My Mom gave us pajamas each Christmas Eve to wear opening gifts on Christmas morning. I’m pretty sure I still have a lot of those pajamas in my drawers (well at least the ones that still fit! HA!).  

I love being able to make new traditions with J and our little boy. It’s a hard balance trying to keep traditions alive from when I was a little girl and from J’s family. And yet, we want to create our own traditions that are special to us. 

Since our little guy is only 20 months old, now is the perfect time to introduce them to him.

Here are some great Christmas traditions we love:

Singing Christmas songs around the house. I was not born with any musical talent, so we usually keep our Christmas singing to the house and car where no one else can hear us. But our son loves music. He loves dancing, clapping and even jumping to it. So we like to keep music playing around the house since he loves it so much. This time of year is perfect for us to keep our Alexa turned on to some holiday stations.

Looking at Christmas lights around town. There are a few subdivisions in our town that always go above for Christmas. Plus, there is a park near J’s family that you can drive through and they decorate for Christmas with lights, different scenes and even has music playing on a local radio station. We usually pile in the car, turn on some Christmas music and drive around.

PJs on Christmas Eve. Right now, my Mom actually still gets matching Christmas pajamas for everyone in the family. We head over to my Grandma’s house on Christmas Eve and then my Mom lets us open one gift early – surprise! It’s our PJs. 

Decorating cookies together. Even at 20 months having our little boy help in the kitchen is great. He makes a lot of messes, but he loves every second of it. 

Watching Christmas movies together. Every Thanksgiving day we watch Miracle on 34th Street to kick off the Christmas season.  Afterwards we make sure to include some of our other favorites. Now that our little boy is old enough to watch TV, but gets bored watching our movies we make sure to include some animated ones for him, too.

What are some of your favorite Christmas traditions to do with your family?

5 Frugal Holiday Tips | Help You Save The Most Money This Christmas

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I’m coming at you today with my top five frugal holiday tips to save you the most money this season.  I know this time of year can be hard.  Like, really, really hard. We have our normal, every day lives to manage and now we have to make sure we buy gifts for a lot of people, host dinners and attend parties.  Not to mention if you have school-aged kids the Christmas programs you have to help with.  This time of year can be stressful.  

To help you out, I’m sharing these top frugal holiday tips so that you don’t have to stress about money.  

You can watch the 5 Frugal Holiday Tips video online or down below:

The first tip is to create a Christmas Budget.  You can read this post from earlier in the week where I shared just how we create our budget, what we track and where we get an idea of how much to spend on every person in our lives.

Your second tip to saving money is DIY. I know this one might seem a little hard, especially if your pressed for time but you can easily find a simple project that takes hardly any time and costs hardly anything.  For me, I love the idea of making something for someone I love over buying a gift.  It seems so much more personal and shows just how much I care.

Here are a few DIY ideas:

  • ornaments
  • wreath
  • oven mitts
  • framed photo

A third frugal holiday tip is to host a potluck instead of exchanging gifts.  Let’s be honest, gift buying can get overwhelming and expensive. So get together with friends or neighbors and suggest a potluck instead of a gift exchange.  Have everyone bring a dish and then just spend time together.  I’m sure having a few hours laughing over a meal would mean more than a gift that will end up collecting dust.

The fourth tips is all about shopping smart.  You can find amazing deals online by using coupon codes and promotional discounts.  Always search on Google for a coupon code before checking out to make sure you’re getting the lowest price.  Another great way to shop smart is by going to the Dollar Tree, Big Lots and other discount stores.  If you’re willing to go earlier in the holiday season you can find some great items for a fraction of the cost as other retailers.

My final tip for racking up those holiday savings is host a cookie party. Invite a few friends over and each of you bake 1-2 cookie recipes, but make sure your batches are big enough to share.  Then at the end of the day you have about 6 different recipes you can split between you to pass out as gifts. 

Birthday Freebies

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Last year for my birthday I put together a giant list of freebies you can get on your birthday.  Who doesn’t love free stuff?  I had a list of free food, discounts, and reward points.  I thought it was time to update my list and make it a bit more complete this year.  Nothing says birthday like free gifts! 

Here’s my best tip for handling your reward programs and freebies.  

If you don’t want a ton of junk emails through out the year then go ahead and create a separate email account specifically for freebies.  I have a separate email that I check once a week or so that I use for store rewards programs.  That way your regular inbox isn’t overcrowded with emails and you can keep everything in the same spot.  

Alright, now onto the list of free stuff!  

Food Birthday Freebies

Applebees – Free dessert.
Arby’s – Free 12oz. milkshake with any purchase.
Auntie Anne’s Pretzels – Free pretzel (that’s what I received last birthday.)  They also send monthly coupons all year long if you sign up for their newsletter.
Baskin Robbins – Free 2.5 oz scoop of ice cream on your birthday plus other promotions when you join the Baskin Robbins Birthday Club.
Bob Evans – Free dessert and/or free kid’s meal.
Boston Market – Free kid’s meal coupon for kids under 12.
Buffalo Wild Wings – You either get a free dessert straight up or with a $5 purchase, depending on your location.
Burger King – Free kid’s meal to all kids club members.
Chevy’s – Free dessert.
Chick-fil-A – Free meal, good for two months!
Country Buffet – Join the Mega Bar Meal club and get a free meal on your birthday AND a free meal just for signing up!
Country Kitchen – As long as you have valid ID, you get a free dinner entree up to $8 in value.
Cracker Barrel – Come in on your birthday and you will get a free dessert.
Culver’s – Free sundae.
Dairy Queen – Free BOGO ice cream coupon via e-mail.
Denny’s – Free original Grand Slam breakfast, but only on your birthday!
Dunkin Donuts – Free Coffee!
Dutch Bros. Coffee – Stop in on your birthday and get a free coffee as your birthday freebie.
Einstein Bros Bagels – Free bagel and shmear
Famous Dave’s Barbeque – Free birthday surprise and free kids lil’ wilbur meal.
Fazoli’s – Join their eFamily and get a coupon for a free dessert.
Firehouse Subs – Sign up and get an email for a free sub.
Great American Cookies – Free cookie!
Hard Rock Cafe – Free dessert.
Hometown Buffet – Join the Mega Bar Meal club and get a free meal on your birthday AND a free meal just for signing up!
Hooters – 10 free hot wings.
Houlihan’s – Free coupon for an entree during your next visit up to a week after your birthday.
HuHot Mongolian Grill – Free dessert and free kid’s smores
IHOP – Come on into IHOP and get a free meal (a sundae at some locations) on your birthday. (May not be available in all areas.)
Jack in the Box – They have a printable coupon for a free dessert valid only on your birthday.
Krispy Kreme – Free half dozen glazed donuts and a coffee mug with either coffee or soda in it! You might want to sign up ahead of time (only at participating locations).
Logan’s Roadhouse – Join their Nut Club and get a coupon for a free slice of cheesecake.
Lone Star Steakhouse –Free Appetizer!
Maggie Moo’s –Free Birthday Surprise!
Marble Slab Creamery – Kids can join the Marble Slab Kids Club and get a free ice cream cone on their birthday up to age 12.
McAlister’s Deli – Free birthday surprise.
Mimis Cafe – Free entree with purchase.
Moe’s Southwest Grill –Free Entree! and Free Kid’s Birthday Meal!
Noodles & Company – Free meal coupon for your birthday when you signup for their newsletter.
Old Chicago Free Pizza!
Old Country Buffet – Join the Mega Bar Meal club and get a free meal on your birthday AND a free meal just for signing up!
Old Spaghetti Factory – Free Kid’s Birthday Meal!
Old Spaghetti Warehouse – Join the Warehouse Club and get a coupon for a free meal on your birthday.
Olive Garden – Free birthday surprise.
Orange Julius – Free birthday drink.
Outback – Get a free dessert.
P.F. Chang’s – Free cake or cheesecake via their e-mail list.
Papa Murphy’s – Sign up for their e-club and get a coupon for a free cookie dough on your birthday.
Qdoba Mexican Grill – Free burrito on your birthday, as well as free chips n’ salsa just for joining up.
Quizno’s – Join their mailing list and get a free cookie on your birthday. You’ll also get a coupon for a free Sammie when you sign up.
Red Lobster – Join the Overboard Club and they will email you a surprise for your birthday.
Red Robin – Free Gourmet Burger if you pick up a Red Royalty Card at your local restaurant and then register it online. You also get a dessert when you say it’s your birthday in the restaurant!
Starbucks – If you have a gift card to their store, register it and receive a free coffee on your birthday. If you shop there often, it might be worth buying a gift card just to get the free coffee!
Steak ‘n Shake – Free steak burger with cheese and fries.
Texas Roadhouse – They send a coupon for one free appetizer or sidekick of ribs.
Waffle House – Join their Regulars Club and get a special coupon.
Wendy’s – Free kids meal for the little ones and a free frosty for us adults.
Zio’s Italian – Come in and get a free dessert on your birthday.

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Retail Birthday Freebies

Ace Hardware – signup and receive $5 off on your birthday.
CVS – If you have an Extra Care Card, register it online and get $3 ECB on your birthday.
Disney – sign up for Disney Rewards and get a credit for a free DVD.
DSW Shoes – $5.00 On Your Birthday.
Famous Footwear – Free Birthday Surprise.
Hallmark – 20% off coupon for one item and a free card.
Helzberg Diamonds
 – Sign up for free email updates and receive a coupon for free pearl earrings for your birthday.
Journeys Kidz – 15% off gift card for your child’s birthday.
Kmart – Children get $5.00 Birthday Bucks, a birthday crown, happy birthday certificate, and birthday Fun Pack with surprise goodies!
Missouri Lottery – Free-play ticket.
Old Navy – Get a coupon on your birthday.
Proctor & Gamble – A batch of BOGO coupons for various products.
Sephora – Sign up as a Beauty Insider and get a free gift from Sephora on your birthday.
Swagbucks – 50 free Swagbucks
The Children’s Place – Register for their Birthday Club and receive 15% off on yours and your child’s birthday + coupons during your birthday week.
Toys R Us – Sign up ahead of time and once your child’s birthday rolls around, they’ll get a personalized letter in the mail. Plus, bring your child into any Toys R Us and they’ll get a hat & balloon before having their birthday announced over the loudspeaker. You’ll also get a $3 gift card in mail.

Ulta Beauty – Free Birthday Surprise!
Walmart PictureMe Studio – Free Birthday Portrait Collage!
World Market – Free Birthday Gift!

Bonus Tip – Sign up early

Now if you know you’re going to be going to a specific restaurant or store on or around your birthday, then try to join the rewards program before going.  I recommend joining about 2-3 weeks before your birthday.  That way your information has time to be processed in their system and you can get an email with your coupon.  Most stores have caught on to people signing up just for the instant coupon, so now they wait a day or two to send an email with the discount.  If you sign up early then you can ensure time to receive the goods.

How To Recover From Your Kid’s First Birthday Party

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Well we survived.  Baby Boy’s first birthday and party was a huge success.  We went with the Gone Fishing theme and had so much yummy food. Now that it’s over I feel like I need an extra day just to recover.  I spent months planning this party and then just like that it was over.

A great thing that worked out for us was having his party on Saturday.  That way anyone who was traveling from out of town could come for just the day.  The party started in the early afternoon so most of our out-of-town travelers came down that morning and we able to be home by 7 or 8 that same night.  We also wanted our guests to be able to have a day off before going back to work.  I like having parties on Saturdays.  Usually J and I are the ones having to travel to see friends or family and being home late Saturday or early Sunday morning is the best.  Then I feel like I have a full day to get things done around the house.

We also planned a Saturday party so we could have a full day to get the house back to normal and take lots of naps.  Genius!

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Here’s what we did to recover FAST from our Baby Boy’s birthday party:

Cleaned up first thing.  As soon as the party was over we started cleaning.  Threw away trash, put dishes in the dishwasher and put away and left over food.  I didn’t want to procrastinate and then be left with dirty plates and trash laying around.  It may not be a perfect clean up, but try to get the bulk of it before going to bed.

Deep clean the next morning.  I woke up early and finished cleaning the house.  I swept, cleaned the floors and hauled back the tables we borrowed.  If you need extra hands then I would recommend taking your little guy to his grandparents’ for a few hours to give you an opportunity to clean.  

Find a place for all of the new stuff.  I had a feeling that his first birthday was going to be bad (as in a lot of stuff).  But I had no idea.  

TIP:  Hide a few new toys in a closet and then in a couple months when all of their toys have lost their excitement, then pull out a hidden toy.  

Nap time.  Naps are important for your little one and the day after his party might be pretty hard.  So make sure you build an extra nap time in your day. 

I’ll be sharing how I threw his party on a budget and what tricks I used to save money… and what I splurged on later this week. 

Why I’m Against Receiving Lines At Weddings

Why I didn't do a receiving line at our

Have you ever been to a date to a wedding where you didn’t know the bridal party?  Then have to stand through the awkward receiving line, contemplating what to say, should you hug them, shake their hand, or just do nothing?  I have.  It was uncomfortable.

I went to a wedding years ago with a receiving line immediately following the ceremony.  I instantly started searching for an escape route so I could fake needing to use the bathroom just to avoid the receiving line.  Unfortunately the only way to get out of the chapel was to go through the receiving line.  I was someone’s date.  I didn’t know the bride or groom and I had never met anyone in their wedding party. To say it was uncomfortable would be an understatement.  I was miserable.  Awkward.

Let’s be honest, the bride and groom have way too much on their mind to even try to remember some random girl’s name.  So my date was trying to be nice and he introduced me… they didn’t care, I didn’t care and it was one of those moments that seemed to last forever.  Then I had to meet all of the bridesmaids, groomsmen and family.  I survived, but barely.  I swore when the day came for me to get married that I would skip the receiving line.

There were only a few wedding traditions that J and I rebelled against.  Honestly I like traditions and wanted to follow as many as we could, even if it meant having to shuffle plans around.  J and I talked about everything we wanted our wedding to be about and that’s what we worked for.  It was a fun day with our families and friends.  We spent the evening laughing, dancing and singing along to our favorite songs.  We even had our share of the unexpected, like when a homeless man tried to steal and then sell my wedding planner’s phone or when a family friend stole my entrance after the gates were closed.  It was funny and made the day even more special, in my opinion.

We tried hard to follow as many traditions as we could, like….

We didn’t see each other before I walked down the isle.  I wore something new, something old, something borrowed and something blue.  We shared our first dance.  We did the garter and bouquet toss.

There were a few things that we didn’t follow tradition on….

We didn’t have a ring bearer or flower girl.  We didn’t walk down the aisle to the traditional wedding march.  And the one tradition that I was dead set on not doing was a receiving line.

Traditionally it was a time for the bride and groom to thank everyone that came to the wedding.  With changing times, there are so many other ways to do that.  At our wedding we had a short thank you note printed and placed at each table setting.  J and I also went around to every table right after dinner was served to say something to each person.  Doing it while everyone was eating was a perfect time.  Everyone was in their seats, music wasn’t too loud and because everyone was eating it was pretty quite in the room so we weren’t shouting.  We also divided and conquered.  We tried to hit every table, but we split it up and started on opposite ends of the room to make sure at least one of us went to all of the tables.

It was perfect.

Now when I go to a wedding and they have a receiving line, I secretly cringe.  I flashback to that awkward moment years ago, my palms start getting sweaty and my mouth goes dry.

Not every tradition is perfect for each couple.  You have to pick and choose what’s important to you as a couple.  What traditions were/are important to you?

 

Chicago Part 2

Last week I started sharing J and I’s trip to Chicago.  I mainly talked about the Goose Island Brewery tour J had one through work.  It was such a neat experience to see the inside of a brewery, especially one that has such creativity!

We ended up staying until Sunday morning.  So we spent all of Saturday exploring Chicago.  I hadn’t been in over 10 years and J had never been to Chicago so we wanted to do as much as we could.

We woke up about 9am, which felt great!  It was so nice to not wake up to three dogs wrestling on top of you or barking to get their breakfast.  So nice!  We searched for a good place to eat and came across DMK Burger Bar, which had appeared on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.  J loves that show and he always wanted to go a place that had been featured on there.  So we headed out the door for lunch.

DMK Burger Bar

This place was amazing.  J and I are still talking about how good the burgers were.  I got the number 1, which featured bacon, char-broiled onions, and BBQ sauce… my mouth is watering just thinking about it.  J ordered a simple cheeseburger – nothing fancy.  We also added an order of cheese fries to the mix.  The order was huge!  We split the fries and didn’t even tough half of them!  I was actually only able to eat half my burger – it was massive!

Afterwards we walked for a few blocks before getting a cab back to the hotel.  Someone… (cough, J cough) didn’t grab his jacket.  It was about 50 all day, so it was a little chilly for us.  We then walked to the Navy Pier to explore some more.  It was about a 30 minute walk to the pier, but totally worth it.  It was neat to walk along city streets.  Plus, we probably got there faster walker than driving.  Traffic in Chicago is crazy compared to what we’re used to!

Chicago Recap (1)

Navy Pier was fun!  I talked J into doing a caricature with me.  He wasn’t too pleased and didn’t smile at all!  So the drawing is pretty funny.  After the pier, we walked to Millennium Park to see the bean.  He wasn’t all too impressed with having to walk another 30 minutes to see a metal sculpture, but I loved it.  I took a ton of pictures and was smiling from ear to ear the whole time.

Afterwards, we decided to head to Willis Tower.  So he mapped it and walked a little over 40 minutes to get there.  We may have taken a wrong turn thanks to my directions, so J took over.  It went a lot smoother when he took over that job!

Chicago Recap (1)

 

Willis Tower was so neat.  I had never been there before and had no idea what to expect.  It was pretty cloudy that day so we walked in and the workers kept saying there was zero visibility from the top.  We both looked at each other and decided it would be worth to still go up.  The line was nothing – literally nothing!  We walked right through and had no problems!   I would give up some visibility to not have to fight crowds any day!

Afterwards we mapped to go back to the hotel and learned we wandered about 3 hours away.  Oops!  So we grabbed a cab instead of walking.

We then searched and found a local pizza place that had decent online reviews.  It was less than a 10 minute walk from our hotel, which was perfect.  It was called Pizanos.  We had original deep dish pizza and a few beers before calling it a night.

I loved Chicago!  I think J had a great time, too.  We can’t wait to go back!

My Favorite Greek Salad Dressing Recipe

Greek Salad Dressing Recipe

While living in St. Louis I had the chance to go to some amazing restaurants for one of my jobs.  We hosted seminars a few times a month and for coming to hear my boss speak, we provided you a tasty meal.  After the seminar was given, questions were answered and dinners were served, we would sneak away to eat our own dinner.  Usually it would be after 8pm before even getting a chance to order.  I would be starving and so excited about something new to try.  One thing I always got was a Greek salad.  I just loved them!  I devoured it every time it was placed in front of me.  I of course would order steak, sea bass or some other delectable entree to go with it.

Ever since moving home, there as been one thing missing – Greek salads.  There just isn’t a good place around here that serves a Greek salad.  So I’ve had to make due.  With a few trial and errors, I’ve finally pinpointed the best tasting Greek Salad recipe.  …and the good part!? It’s not that bad for you!

Greek Salad Dressing Recipe

Here’s what you need for homemade Greek salad dressing recipe:

1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoon Oregano

Greek Salad Dressing Recipe

Mix the ingredients together and voila!  Serve on top a bed of lettuce and other toppings.  I like my Greek salads with a little bit of Feta cheese, tomatoes and artichoke hearts on top of Romaine lettuce.  When I made this I was out of pretty much everything except lettuce and cheese.  So my salad is a little blah, but the flavor of the dressing totally makes up for it!

Greek Salad Dressing Recipe

It makes about 5-6 servings.  You can store in an airtight container on the counter or in the cabinet for a few days.

41 calories / 0 carbs / 4g fat / 0 protein per serving