That’s Life

Chicago is in this weird in between phase with seasons. There are moments when I can feel summer: the smells, the glow about people, the dewiness in the air, the warmth, frozen yogurt, dog walks… the list goes on. Although today was 54 (get it together Chicago), it is almost summer in my heart and that’s what matters.

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The tress are perfectly green and have beautiful blooms.

Yesterday I hit the mother load with mail and received both Yoga Journal and Vegetarian Times (thank you mother in law for the rad gifts!). This month the times is featuring detox and gluten free recipes, heaven. In the issue they recommend a 3 day cleanse that is pretty to implement and filled with delicious recipes. They list the 7 best detox foods and some favorites were included: blueberries, brocolli, and beets to name a few.

One of the best things about summer.

One of the best things about summer.

The recommended breakfast for the cleanse is a beet smoothie. If you like beets I recommend, if you don’t like beets.. beware!

Detox Beet & Blueberry Smoothie


  • 1 c blueberries
  • 1 c vanilla almond milk (unsweetened)
  • 2 beets (boiled)
  • 1 slice of ripe avacado
  • 3 ice cubes
  • 1/4 c of cold water

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  1. Place ingredients in blender and hit liquify, serve immediately

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When school is over I am going to do the full 3 days and post the recipes. I think a cleanse/detox will be the perfect way to kick off a healthy, productive, and fun summer! Until then I am going to do my sort of cleanse that involved frozen yogurt from time to time 🙂

Each morning I start with a smoothie and then eat a kale salad, cucumber and side of fruit within my day. I have consistently been drinking the detox water I posted about weeks ago. Since I have started my water I have lost about 7 pounds.

Each morning I start with a smoothie and then eat a kale salad, cucumber and side of fruit throughout the day. I have consistently been drinking the detox water I posted about weeks ago. Since I have started my water I have lost about 7 pounds.

Where in the world…

Things are good, really good. A response to this greatness is my inability to keep up with posts. Between work, Smarty Pants Yoga, and being sick, I haven’t cooked anything new (I have been eating the recent posts on rotate) nor have I been able to practice yoga (it is killing me but beautiful husband says I must rest… dang).

Even though I have been sick I have used the forced time at home to finalize some of our spaces. We still have a ways to go but this past weekend I made some major progress! The Uptown neighborhood hosts an amazing Vintage Garage Sale every few weeks and I hit the jackpot this past Sunday!

I have realized that a clean space is a critical piece to my happiness. I endure chaos on a daily basis between work, multitasking, and 150 individualized emotional messes. Coming home to a space that lacks chaos let’s me take a deep breath and relax, even if just for a minute.

Here are some shots of our new finds!


Side table! Brown and gold antique

Side table! Brown and gold antique


The cats love our new space

Living Room:

Vintage bar cart!

Vintage bar cart!

Mid Century magazine rack

Mid Century magazine rack

New vases and center napkin.

New vases and center napkin.

Queen of the Jungle Gym

I have been insanely busy and sick, however I had the pleasure of writing a guest post for A Breakfast Serial about life lessons after college. I feel this post is a pretty thorough explanation as to why I haven’t been posting. I am can not wait until June 7th when I am working only one full time job!

Full post: Queen of the Jungle Gym.

In my post I mention Lean In.  I have wanted to write a post on this book for a while. I am not going to attempt this now, but I will leave you with Sheryl Sandberg’s TEDTalks. This talk is only a snippet of the entire conversation that we must have about women in leadership roles.

Flowers in Bloom

I wrote this piece for ABreakfastSerial a few weeks ago and felt it was appropriate to share considering Chicago is in full bloom.

“The Petit Bouquet” 

Going to the chapel and were gonna get married” blared from my iPad on June 20th 2012. The sun shined brightly through our Parisian windows, it was the first time it hadn’t rained in days. I remember standing in the elevator of our flat staring at Stephen, it seemed like a normal day, but it wasn’t.

Annie at Le MaraisWe walked over to Le Marais, found a small corner café and basked in the sun. To me, nothing is better than Parisian breakfast. Fresh jam, a warm croissant, and a crisp espresso is how everyone should spend their mornings. While enjoying one another’s company I decided that a bouquet was necessary for the ceremony. Up until that morning I had not considered flowers, but as the vows crept closer, I found myself drawn to the idea. Stephen at Le MaraisThere was a small flower shop close to our flat. On our way back from breakfast we stopped in to purchase a small handful of flowers. “Bonjour, could I purchase some flowers?” I asked. The woman behind the counter ignored my question and continued on with her business. Rookie mistake…English.

Defeated, we left the shop and searched for another flower store. A few blocks from our first destination was another store, specializing in exotic plants. Needless to say, I did not care to carry a palm frond and decided to forgo the possibility of patronage.

We returned to the first shop. Stephen and I stood on the corner and strategized. French! We needed to speak French!

Round two: “Pardon Madame, le petit bouquet?” I said with a terrible accent. “Ah oui!” she replied enthusiastically. Petit, not quite, but the flowers were beautiful.


Flowers in weddings have symbolized many things throughout history. Flowers have symbolized the new harvest and life. They have been cited to represent loyalty.

Flowers in WIndow

For me, Le Petit Bouquet represented growth and new beginnings. I stood behind the Notre Dame chapel and exchanged vows with the most wonderful gentleman. Although we had been dating for 6 years prior, those vows began a new journey, our new life together as a family, as one.

Annie and Stephen Notre Dame

Veggie Quinoa Stir Fry

Whole ingredients! Veggies! Whole grains! Balance! Oh its good!

The detox greatness continues with this veggie stir fry recipe. I adapted this recipe and added quite a few veggies to the mix. It was filling, nutritious and super low calorie. One serving is only 190 calories!

Veggie Quinoa Detox Stir Fry

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  • 1 small yellow onion
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 head of broccoli
  • 10 button mushrooms
  • 1 small bushel of kale
  • 2 small zuchinni
  • 1 c of quinoa
  • 3 c veggie broth
  • 1.5 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes



1. Rinse veggies and chop roughly. Place ingredients in food processor and pulse.

2. Place veggies in deep saute pan (needs a lid) with 1 tbsp of olive oil and let cook for 2 to 3 minutes.

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3. Pour quinoa and broth and bring to a boil. Mix all ingredients together.

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Bring to a boil and cover

4. Stir in spices.

5. Once boiling cover mixture, bring to a low -medium and cook for 15 minutes (or until moisture evaporates)

* You can serve cold or warm

Quinoa Kale Salad

Detoxing is amazing. It is so wonderful to have your body love and thank you for providing it with good nutrients. Additionally I am back at the studio and all is right with the world. It is so critical to consistenly remind ourselves to turn inward and take care of ourselves. When we forget this we loose balance which puts others out of balance as well. I want to create peace for those around me and for myself. Yoga is an essential piece to this peaceful puzzle.


I have had made detox kale salads for dinner and they have been filling and packed with goodness. This recipe is light and wholesome. I adapted the recipe to fit the ingredients I have.

Bluberry and Kale Quinoa Salad



1 tbsp honey
1 tsp soy
1 tsp toasted sesame oil
1/4 c lite balsamic vinaigrette dressing
1 tsp chopped ginger

1 c tri color quinoa
1.5 c chopped kale
.5 grated carrot
1 c blueberries
10 almonds chopped


wholesome ingredients

For complete instructions click here.


Mix salad ingredients in a separate bowl while quinoa is cooking. Keep dressing separate.

Mix all ingredients together once quinoa is cool.

Mix all ingredients together once quinoa is cool.

The Shirley

I have ALWAYS loved interior design. For a hot minute before college I seriously considered going to school for interior design. I did not follow that path, however, I still enjoy design.

I ADORE our new apartment. Its in the heart of Andersonville and has a lot of vintage quirk and charm. We have windows (oh how I love sunlight), a fire place, and beautiful vintage built ins. I  am smitten by  our new home because its our first apartment as a married partnership.

Our apartment is turning out lovely and I am so excited to see our vision come to fruition.

My first priority was our kitchen. I needed some semblance of normalcy and unpacked it immediately. Stephen is a rad dude and was totally cool with a retro pink wall and installed beautiful shelves for me. Cooking in a clean and cute kitchen changes the experience for me, I am so excited for our new home!


Throughout this moving process I have really tried to practice a yoga mindset and be mindful of non-hoarding and contentment. I often lack patience and struggle with not having things done (i.e. completely unpacked in one day) immediately. However I continually reminded myself to live in the moment and tackle what I could. This was a tremendous help in keeping me sane.

Detox Kale Salad

My acupuncturist is the best! She recommended this detox salad and I am so glad she did. Its well rounded, robust, and most importantly… insanely healthy.

Goji berries are called a super food and for good reason. Click here for more information! Goji berries are packed with protein and are nutritionally dense.


After eating junk while away, my body loves me for eating this salad. I hope your body thanks you too!

Kale and Goji Berry Detox Salad



  • 1.5 c of kale (chopped is easier)
  • 1/4 goji berries
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 slice of lemon

* You can add coconut flakes for additional zest!

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  • 1. Chop the kale into very small pieces.
  • 2. Place kale and berries in a mixing bowl.
  • 3. Mix oil into salad
  • 4. Squeeze lemon over salad.

*Soak overnight for maximum greatness of goji berries.


When I think of the perfect morning it goes a little something like this: I wake up and sun is shining in my window. My beautiful husband is by my side. I quietly slide out of bed, put on a pot of coffee, nudge my beautiful husband to wake and then we enjoy our cups of joe at the table by the window. The sun continues to shine in and the record player turns.

I have had many of these mornings, however they have been absent in the recent weeks.

Over the course of the past two weeks I have: graduated yoga school, visited NYC, visited Florida, moved, worked two full time positions, and watched my students compete in a city competition. In the midst of moving and travelling my peaceful idea of a morning has disappeared and healthy eating has fallen to the way side.

So honored to be part of such a wonderful non profit. Check out NFTE!

So honored to be part of such a wonderful non profit. Check out NFTE!

Yoga graduation. Amazing people

Yoga graduation. Amazing people

Enjoying sunny Florida with my love

Enjoying sunny Florida with my love

This week is a step towards normalcy. I need to detox to get back on track. So this week all recipes will be detox focused! With a detox and clean house my perfect morning is almost here!

Luckily good ol’ Doctor Oz is also all about detoxing. I used his detox water recipe and its refreshing and is definitely helpful for removing the toxins.

 Fruit Water



  • .25 small watermelon
  • 4 frozen blackberries
  • 2 lime slices
  • 4 mint leaves
  • 12 oz. filtered water

Image (63)Place all slides ingredients in a mason jar with water and let sit over night.