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Traveling to Chi – Town

by Meghann on August 12, 2010

Welcome to CHICAGO!!! ๐Ÿ™‚

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I’ve never been to Chicago before!

I love experiencing new cities and am so thankful to have a job that allows me to travel and do just that.

Be sure to check out my Travel Page for a full recap of all my fun travels since I started this blog two years ago.

My favorite blogable destination so far? I have to say both of my trips to San Francisco this past year. Once in November for the Foodbuzz Festival and the second this past April with Derek. I can’t wait to go back back again this coming November.

Anyone else planning on attending the Foodbuzz Festival again this year? I am!!

Anyways… my morning began bright and early per usual. My flight didn’t depart until 8:15 so I just kept my alarm set just as I would any other day and had no problem waking up and heading out the door.

MAJOR THANKS to Katy (<– hyperlinked without the ‘the’ this time ๐Ÿ˜‰ ) and her wonderful husband Adam for picking me up on their way and giving me a lift to the airport. I owe you two big time. Menchis? ๐Ÿ˜‰

Usually when I travel I have a bad habit of lugging WAY too much crap through the airport. Even after checking a bag I tend to end up with a collection of carry on bags that looks like this.

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(photo taken from my return trip from San Francisco last November. Yes, I had already checked a bag and Yes, I managed to sweet talk my way into bringing a zillion bags on board)

The overload of carry ons usually results in a sore back and a cranky Meghann – bad combination!

After eyeing a friend’s tiny rolly bag – and listening to her rave about it – I decided to purchase one of my own last night from Kohls.

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My new bag is really a briefcase with wheels – I LOVE it!

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I was able to squeeze all the necessities in and had room to spare!

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My favorite part is the little pocket for my laptop.

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AND it fit under the seat in front me without any problems. There was even enough room for my camera bag too!!

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I only wish I had invested in one of these bags months ago. It truly will makes my life as a traveling blogger a million times easier. ๐Ÿ™‚

Breakfast this morning was packed last night and meant to be enjoyed on the plane. However, my stomach had other plans and I dug in almost as soon as I got to the airport.

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This old yogurt container was perfect for packing my breakfast. It held all my breakfast components and I was able to discard it after I finished. A reusable container that I didn’t have to worry about lugging around tupperware the rest of my trip? Sweet!

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I had purchased this individual packet of Justin’s Chocolate Hazelnut Butter weeks ago and had been saving it for this very occasion!

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The chocolate hazelnut butter was rich, thick, and mousse like. It reminded me of chocolate frosting – only 10 times better.

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The chocolate hazelnut butter was added to a mix of cereal and then topped with fresh strawberries.

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Mmmmm……

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So good ๐Ÿ™‚

I was a busy bee working on the plane and the flight flew by!

Right before landing I had one of these Heart Thrive cookies.

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Getting to the airport was a cinch thanks to Savvy Julie.

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HELLO CHICAGO!!

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Something to check out…

I’m quoted in last night’s DailySpark blogpost – Confession: I Gain a Few Pounds Every Summer. I like the topic because it’s so true! Most women’s magazines I read discuss ‘winter weight gain,’ but honestly it’s the summer when I tend to move up on the scale.

As I mentioned in the article there are a few reasons I see behind this.

  1. Traveling/ Vacations – Since April I have traveled seven times and had the ‘vacation’ mindset each time. Oh trust me, I have no regrets – I ate good and loved it! But, traveling that much messes with my body and I’ve come to accept that.
  2. Too hot to exercise outside – And I just don’t mean exercise in a traditional sense, even just walking around the block is a struggle in this heat. Derek and I went to the farmer’s market the other week to get some fresh air and barely lasted 20 minutes before calling it a day and spending the rest of the day on the couch.
  3. Race season is over – With nothing to train for in the summer I take a break from hard training, which isn’t that big of a deal except I continue to fuel as if I’m still training – oops!
  4. Fun Food Festivals – really I should have said holidays, summer barbeques, and parties.
  5. Ice Cream – During the summer ice cream and frozen yogurt become a daily requirement.

But, all those reasons? I’m ok with it because I know as soon as Fall comes my weight tends to even out again. I see this happen every year. With the fall comes cooler weather, racing season, and fall. Fall also means wearing jeans and the inspiration to wear them comfortably again.

Do you see a seasonal pattern in the scale or how your clothes fit during the year?

Whoa – that was a long post!

I’m off to meet the gang for lunch and then it’s time for swag bag stuffing!

Bye Bye!

1 Jessica August 12, 2010 at 2:30 pm

I seriously LOVE Chicago. I would totally live there.

2 Dori August 12, 2010 at 2:32 pm

LOVE Justin’s Chocolate Hazelnut Butter. I can’t buy it because I eat it all at once. Have fun in Chicago!

3 hundredtenpounds August 12, 2010 at 2:32 pm

I LOVE Chicago! I almost moved there.

I tend to gain more in the summer too. I drink more beer, eat out more often and indulge.

4 Beth August 12, 2010 at 2:33 pm

WELCOME TO CHICAGO!!! I hope you love it. Excited to meet you tomorrow!

5 Beth August 12, 2010 at 2:35 pm

I am so excited to come to Chicago tomorrow – I have never been there before!!

6 lauren August 12, 2010 at 2:35 pm

I put off getting a rolling suitcase forever, but it makes such a difference!

And also, I gain weight during the summer too! I find it’s easier to work out in the winter because I don’t have a lot going on, but in the summer I am busy.

7 Tina August 12, 2010 at 2:36 pm

I’m one to normally gain over winter, but I can see why its hard in the summer too.

You look so happy!

8 Samantha Angela @ Bikini Birthday August 12, 2010 at 2:37 pm

I always gain weight over the summer. Mainly because of vacationing. And all the delicious pies I like to bake with in season fruit!

9 Kelly August 12, 2010 at 2:39 pm

I hope I get the chance to go to Chicago one day! I’ve always wanted to!

10 Cate August 12, 2010 at 2:40 pm

Chicago is so awesome! My plan is to move there some day. That hazelnut butter looks delicious as well, might need to go find that.
Enjoy your time in Chicago. I can’t wait to read about the summit!

11 Sarah August 12, 2010 at 2:40 pm

cute bag! i too have a ton of vera that i travel with… but it’s just not comfortable for long airport walks. maybe i’ll have to invest!

12 Jenna August 12, 2010 at 2:42 pm

Ohh, I <3 Chicago. You're going to love it!

My weight gain is in the winter here in the North. It is too cold to exercise outside and all you crave is comforting and hearty meals.

13 Brooke August 12, 2010 at 2:45 pm

are you seriously talking about gaining weight??? You are sooo skinny. I find that offensive.

14 Pearl Lee August 12, 2010 at 2:48 pm

I hope you have a fantastic time in Chicago!

15 Sana August 12, 2010 at 2:50 pm

My rolling suitcase broke on the way back frm Europe. I don’t trust anything with wheels!

16 thedailyoatmeal August 12, 2010 at 3:00 pm

I also tend to gain a few pounds in the summer– though I am more active outside, I am taking advantage of more things like concerts, festivals, and travel. I find that when the weight comes from these things, it’s fairly easy to commit getting back to a more comfortable norm– and its usually all within our “happy” range anyway!

Welcome to Chi-Town; I hope you love the beautiful city as much as I do ๐Ÿ™‚

17 badesjarlais August 12, 2010 at 3:11 pm

I think I relate to everything in your blog post! I, too, fell in love with San Francisco a few years back when my best friend and I escaped there during our snowy midwest winter. It was one of the most fun places I’ve visited in a long time. We talk about going back all the time.

I also love your bag from Kohls! I may have to invest in one myself!

I discovered Justin’s Chocolate Almond butter about a month ago and am hooked. It reminds me of Nutella, which is one of the best things in the world. I bet a Justin’s Chocolate Almond Butter panini would be fantastic…

And I’m with you on the summer weight gain. Though I do love the abundance of summer produce!

Have a great time at HLS!

18 Amanda August 12, 2010 at 3:17 pm

I love Justin’s Maple Almond Butta! Justin’s has the best ‘stuff’!!

19 Sarah August 12, 2010 at 3:23 pm

I FOR SURE gain weight in the winter. The rest of the year is spent loosing weight & then maintaining. Spring is get-back-in-shape season, Summer is race & get ready for marathon season, then Fall is marathon & recover season. Winter is snow-filled, dark, unhappy, weight-gain season. I don’t ski, so pretty much any exercise I want has to be stationary & indoors at the gym ๐Ÿ™ which is not-so-fun. Plus, it’s dark all the time- except of coarse when I’m at work.

20 Hallie August 12, 2010 at 3:30 pm

I totally gain weight in the summer and lose in the fall/winter. I think it’s partly due to extra celebrations and such in the late spring and early summer, plus I think that come holiday time, I’m so worried about overdoing it on Christmas cookies that I compensate naturally with extra workouts and healthier (non-holiday) meals. BUT, I’m getting married next summer, so it CAN’T happen to me next year! I totally thought about that when we picked our date but I figured I’ll just have to be extra mindful next year.

21 newleafeats August 12, 2010 at 3:35 pm

I would 100% go to the Food Buzz festival if I had an inexpensive way of getting there. A flight from Lubbock to San Fransisco is expensive no matter how you dice it!

I don’t know when I gain/lose weight. I don’t have an even track record.

High school (2002-2006): ~140 lbs
Summer, 2006: 142, then 146, then 138.
Sep 2006-May, 2008: Gain 20 lbs first semester. ~155
Summer, 2008: gained 20 lbs, ~175 (was taking classes and working for next-to-nothing. with gas at $4/gal, I had to choose between nutritious food and gas. Gas always won)
Fall, 2008 (last semester of college): Graduated in December at 180 lbs
Jan 2009 – May 2009: Lost 10 lbs. ~170
Summer 2009: maintained 170
September 2009: Gained 6 lbs (Zumba classes ended for the year and there was a rise in baked goods in the house)
Began Weight Watchers in October, 2009.

It’s been extremely difficult to lose weight this summer, but that’s my own fault. I host dinners at my house every weekend and I tend to go overboard with my eating, since I don’t immediately put the food away after serving, like I do every other day of the week.

22 Heather August 12, 2010 at 3:40 pm

Have so much fun this weekend! Was just in Chicago last weekend, would have been fun to extend the trip and stay for this one too.

I totally want to go to the FoodBuzz Festival this year, been meaning to get to San Fran anyway. Have never been, but I’ve always wanted to check it out.

As for seasonal weight gain I think I gain more in winter…sometimes in summer I don’t have that big of an appetite because of how hot it is so I find I eat less.

23 Amy @ Second City Randomness August 12, 2010 at 4:02 pm

Welcome to the city! I can’t wait to meet everyone tomorrow! ๐Ÿ™‚ I hope you guys get a minute from preparing for the weekend to enjoy yourselves tonight…

And I think I gain weight in the dead of winter and summer. It’s spring and fall where I’m in tip top shape usually… because of the very reasons you listed!

24 Beer and Burrito Body August 12, 2010 at 4:39 pm

I’m the opposite. Summer is good to me. I get outside more, take up water-sports, and tend to be too busy for boredom snacking. Plus swimsuit season is always good incentive (jeans stretch.)

Fall brings football, football brings beer, and then there’s Thanksgiving and Christmas – two very food focused holidays, mmm . . .

25 runningwithsass August 12, 2010 at 4:53 pm

glad you made it, have a great time!

26 It All Changes August 12, 2010 at 4:56 pm

Summer is the worst for me too. In the winter I’m super busy with work I don’t have all the extra time to snack and I make sure to schedule in exercise since it is so important. In the summer I just want to hang around with Hunni and enjoy the weather and treats while they last.

27 Emily August 12, 2010 at 4:59 pm

I tend to lose weight in the summer and gain in the winter, mainly because I can’t run outside when there’s snow on the ground. Also I don’t have much of an appetite when it’s hot outside.

28 Sarah August 12, 2010 at 5:00 pm

LOL we have similar packing styles ๐Ÿ™‚ I need to bring three options for every occasion. Just in case! Oh, and the matching Vera Bradley, love that. Mine don’t match but I love them anyway.

How I wish I could have attended the Healthy Living Summit! Maybe next year. How do you pick the locations?

I plan on being at the Foodbuzz Festival again this year. I’ll be 38 weeks pregnant, but if I can possibly swing it I’m going. I just might need an escape plan in case I need to get to the hospital… Could make for an interesting story!

Have a wonderful time in Chicago~

29 Joan August 12, 2010 at 5:09 pm

Im a little confused. I have been reading your blog for a few months now and really don’t see much of a change in your activity or food levels. You say you dont exercise outside but then you run 15 miles outside. You are also clearly training for something – the chicago marathon. Also, what exactly do you define as “hard training”? You still seem to do quite a few double workouts – running and yoga or the back2back spin/power classes. You run intensely. Really, what else could you be doing?

30 amica82 August 12, 2010 at 5:33 pm

A rolling travel bag is SUCH a great idea! What brand of camera bag do you have? I love that it serves as a purse and a camera bag. I need something like that.

31 Nancy @ The Wife of a Dairyman August 12, 2010 at 5:37 pm

I’m traveling for the first time in a while in two weeks {to Chicago)} and I love that carry-on bag….I may have to purchase one myself, especially considering it has a pocket for a laptop! Thanks!
I will be going to the Foodbuzz convention in November this year…..it’s my first and I can’t wait to attend:)

32 Lisa @ bakebikeblog August 12, 2010 at 6:11 pm

ooooh that little roller bag is wonderful! And how gorgeous is the lining!!!

33 amanda August 12, 2010 at 6:24 pm

have a blast! you’re going to have a great time. i want to attend a summit of foodies!

34 Kristy August 12, 2010 at 6:48 pm

When I went to Chicago last summer it was in the 70s!!! Hopefully the weather will be gorgeous, so you can check out some of the sites…if you have a free second! Enjoy! ๐Ÿ™‚

35 christina cadden August 12, 2010 at 6:59 pm

I love Chicago!

36 Megan M August 12, 2010 at 9:09 pm

Welcome to Chicago!! Hope the “el” trip from midway wasn’t too terrible. the CTA is sometimes an interesting adventure in itself! Either way… hit the lakefront. You’ll get some amazing views of the skyline either coming form the northside or southside!
-Megan

37 Rebekah W. August 12, 2010 at 9:11 pm

I have been using a big yogurt container for my overnight oats. I love that there is extra room on the top for lots of toppings!

38 emr1984 August 12, 2010 at 9:59 pm

This makes me feel so much better about summer weight gain. I have noticed a few pound increase over the last several weeks, but I think it is exactly the things you mentioned – travel, too hot to run and ice cream/fro yo. Have a fab time at the HLS!!!

39 Kristen August 12, 2010 at 10:19 pm

Love Chicago too, but not in the winter ๐Ÿ˜‰

The rolling bag is a life-saver (and back saver!) I really don’t know how I managed before. You can even hook your purse or smaller bag around the top handle so you can totally hands-free.

I tend to gain weight in the dead of winter, when it’s too cold to even check the mail and all I want to do is sit on the couch under a blanket and eat mac & cheese! Not good for the skinny jeans…

40 Stephanie@ avocado nation August 12, 2010 at 11:35 pm

Love that Vera Bradley girl! I am all about her funky patterns.

41 Orla August 13, 2010 at 4:49 am

I tend to gain my weight in the winter. Once the clocks change at the end of October I automatically lose my drive to exercise.
This year, for the first time I have been thinking about what I can do to change this. There is no street lighting where I live (it is in the country) so for safety reasons I can’t run outside. So I think that I will join a local running club. When I lived in the city I didn’t have this problem as there was plenty of lighting and safe areas to run.
This winter, I want to feel happy and comfortable in my clothes and not have to break out my “big” wardrobe come Christmas time!
Happy Chicago time! Defo on my list of place to visit!

42 kristin August 13, 2010 at 3:55 pm

have fun in chicago!!!

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