Monday, September 28, 2015

101 in 1001: Month 7 Update

Wow! Seven months into this challenge. I can't believe we've gotten this far, but I am so proud of myself!  This month wasn't full of a ton of updates, but progress is progress no matter how small (Am I Dr. Suess now? You may never know...) 

  • Visit 3 new states I’ve never been to before. This past month I went to Chicago! I also crossed off:
  • See Wrigley Field! I got to watch the Cubs play in one of the most historic baseball stadiums! You can read abut my trip here.
101 in 1001: Month 7 Update -

  • Update your license before it expires. I technically UPDATED my license. As of September 4, I don't know if my expiration date is the same or not. Guess we'll find out. UPDATE: License still expires in 2016. AGH. 
  • I didn’t run as much I would’ve liked but I added more miles to my Run 500 Miles. I’m currently 201/500. 
  • Learn the difference between a Roth IRA, IRA and retirement account. I did some googling. I found out some things. The future is awesome. 
  • Buy a nice video camera. I did a thing. My credit card company probably isn’t pleased, but I did it. It is a Sony a5000 and I love it more than anything. Except my last camera, have you seen it? (MIA - Camera c 2011)
  • With my new camera, I should tell you that I’m in the process of starting a Youtube channel. Decided it is time to dabble in a new hobby. Check it out here

Coming Up on Operation Twenties:

  • Bodybeast and 21 day Fix Update - Toned Up Tuesday
  • Fall Things to Do
  • 101 in 1001: Month 8 Update

Friday, September 11, 2015

Here Goes: Chicago

Here Goes: Chicago -

Many people call it the “Windy City”. I call it the newest home to an old high school friend of mine. If she had never moved back to her favorite place in the world, I wouldn’t be writing this blog post telling you how the trip to kick-off my “Here Goes” blog series and travel challenge went. Thank her for the following words. 

In early May, my friend moved from our high school hometown back to Chicago. In June I decided I needed to find out what was so special about the Windy City. I started looking up flights and decided that the best time for me to go would be in August. 

I talked over dates with Daniella and booked my flight. Then I did some research (does Pinterest count as research?) and found this Travel Itinerary  from Miami Rose. She also has a Fashion Itinerary downloadable which can help you plan your outfits for your trips as well! I printed both out and started to write a basic plan for my trip so I knew what to save money for, what clothes to pack, and what to tell my friend I definitely had to do.

I have deciding to make this trip happen by spending less than $300! 

July 11, 2015: $293.09

I officially booked my flight to Chicago. I searched through different websites including Skiplagged, Southwest and Delta before booking my flight through my credit card's reward program. I only played $6.91 for my flight after using my reward points. I'm extremely pumped and I can't wait for August 29!

I’m researching places that are a must-see for me in Chicago and letting my friend know to see if we can do them!

August 29, 2015: $293.09

My boyfriend dropped me off at the airport so I saved money on parking but I spent some after I got through security on coffee (which was terrible so shout out to that $5.02 that I won't ever get back. I also stopped at Bojangles for food because I figured I'd be hungry once I really woke up - I wasn't. Also another $7.64 I'm disappointed in myself for spending.

I left ATL at 8:00 AM EST. I had a window seat. Usually I hate them because I can’t sit still long enough during a flight.

Here Goes: chicago - www.operationtwenties

I landed in Chicago at 9:44 AM Central time. Daniella picked me up and gave me a quick tour of the city.

Here Goes: chicago - www.operationtwenties

We decided to get some breakfast at a place called Ann Sather’s. It was delicious and BYOB. I love that idea! Why doesn't ATL have more places like this?! We stopped at Aldi and picked up some Orange juice to go with the Champagne we got but we ended up not needing it. I got the Lumberjack Wrap (bacon, egg, cheese, hash browns all in a wrap. Tell me you don’t want to try it] I got a side of applesauce and 2 cinnamon rolls. OH MY GOSH. These cinnamon rolls, man. I couldn’t finish the second one AND my wrap because the first one was so filling. 

Here Goes: chicago - www.operationtwenties

We ended up going out and exploring the city more afterwards. She took me to Buckingham Fountain and the Bean. You can’t go to Chicago and not at least take one picture of both. 

Here Goes: chicago - www.operationtwenties

It rained on us some, but I feel like that made the day a little more special. We walked the Magnificent Mile and I saw the river run through the city and honestly it was amazing (also Chicago locals I understand why you hate the Trump building so much, kills a perfect view into the city - but from the building? PERFECT VIEW).

Here Goes: chicago - www.operationtwenties

We went back home and just lounged around until it was time to get ready to go out. We stopped by Subway and got a quick bite to eat. 

We went out to a few bars Saturday night and I’m not much of a bar girl anymore but I had a blast. Daniella always knows how to show a good time. I only bought drinks for us once and then I paid for the taxi coming home.

August 30, 2015: $193.07

Today was an important day in the world of food. I tried real Chicago deep dish pizza. It was way better than expected and way better than non-Chicago stuffed pizza places do it. I will probably dream of this pizza for the next 3 weeks. 

Here Goes: chicago - www.operationtwenties

Then that afternoon we went to a BYOB painting class that was about 2.5 hours long. We found it on Groupon. It was really fun. 

Here Goes: chicago - www.operationtwenties

Tell me that I’m not the next Van Gogh.

August 31, 2015. $169.03

If Sunday was a big day, Monday was bigger. Wrigley. That’s all I really need to say isn’t it?

Daniella technically had her first day of work so I got some homework done (you’re proud aren’t you?). 

Here Goes: chicago - www.operationtwenties

We had pretty decent seats and since the Cubs were playing the Reds (they lost but that’s not important) I got to bring the Joey Got-No chant that my boyfriend and our friend came up with in Atlanta when the Braves played the Reds. I picked up a shirt and a hat at the fan store for myself and my boyfriend's hat collection. I already love my t-shirt. You will see it a TON if you know me IRL. 

After the game Daniella took me to her favorite pizza place, Bacci Pizza, in Wrigleyville. It was $5 and it’s probably worth much more or maybe I was just that hungry. It was great. Pizza was obviously the theme of this trip. 

September 1, 2015. $117.03

Daniella and I said our goodbyes before she went to work and I made sure I was all packed up. I called a Uber to come get me from her apartment and got a ride to O’Hare. 

I’m currently sitting next to most likely the only charging station on this terminal typing this blog post. I can feel people annoyed with me because I’m charging my laptop (I have to write blogs people - you need to understand…) and I guess I’m in the way. I’m sitting right next to the charging station and I’ve moved all of my stuff out-of-the-way (or so I thought) but seriously people look annoyed with me. I can touch the charging station I’m sitting so close to it. 

O’Hare, I believe it’s time to update your terminals. Most airports are installing plugs in most of their seats nowadays. It makes things less awkward and way easier.

I digress. 

Chicago you treated me so well and Daniella you were a great host and I had a wonderful time. I will be returning.

And for the last time before my flight leaves for home: Go Cubbies! 

September 4, 2015. $56.84

I'm finishing editing this post at the moment and I'm doing the math of the amount I spent. I originally felt like I spent way over my budget, but then when I was writing down all the purchases I started getting really confident. I was also stunned at how much money I spent just in the first day! I'm pleased with the amount though. Chicago was worth it! 

P.S. I need to watch my spending at airports when I'm stuck there all day....... WOW!
Also, Check out this awesome video I made of my trip!

Coming up on Operation Twenties...: