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Showing posts from 2011

good-bye 2011

i was going to do a final list of green trends of 2011, but honestly it's quite depressing and i didn't want to end 2011 on a bummer note so if you'd like to read that one or any of time's other lists feel free to check them out.

i am currently working on my 2011 reflection to truly let it all go.
out with the old.
in with the new.
(don't worry, i'm journaling that.  i won't bore you all with the gory details here)
i had a bit of a bummer 2011 so i'm ready for 2012.  it's pretty exciting.

i hope you all have a wonderful new year's eve and you spend it doing whatever you like to do.  (i feel like there's so much pressure for new year's... maybe more than any other holiday.)  so the way i see it, if you're doing something you love whether that's with a special someone, a bunch of special friends, a special movie, a special treat, a special sleep... 
whatever it is.  if that's what you want to do.  that's all people need to know.


top 10 songs 2011

remember how i said yahoo had all kinds of top 10 lists.  well, i sort-of lied, compared to time.  they have to have at least 100.  it's insane.  

you can feel free to peruse any of the lists here.

i'm going to feature a couple today and then we'll say good-bye to lists for 2011.

first up
10- Foster the People 'Pumped Up Kicks'
9- St. Vincent 'Cruel'
8- Tyler the Creator 'Yonkers'
7- Cults 'Go Outside'
6- tUnE yArDs 'Gangsta'
5- Nicki Minaj 'Super Bass' or start this at 1:40ish or better... 3:50ish (minute markers)
4- Jay-Z and Kanye West 'Otis'
3- Mayer Hawthorne 'A Long Time'
2- Adele 'Rolling in the Deep'
1- Florence + the Machine 'No Light, No Light'

what songs did I play most this year? (or they really cheered me up when they came on)
The Temper Trap 'Sweet Disposition'
The Blow 'Hey Boy' (there's a lot of talking... start at like 4:40)
Matt & Kim (everything) especially 'Y…

top 10 sports 2011

maybe yesterday was a prelude
the wall street journal provided a top 10 sports list to 2011
10. Baseball Gone Wild 9. Women's World Cup 8. Pack, Back 7. College Conference Ridiculousness 6. Mavericks d. Heat Schadenfreude 5. Tebow-Mania 4. The NFL and NBA Lockouts 3. Novak's No Djoko-vic 2. Penn State 1. Game Six, World Series, Cardinals-Rangers
(in case you didn't notice... the cardinals are #1!!!)
an AT&T man came and visited me this morning and said, "I was wondering where that area code was from (on my phone) and i quickly figured out St. Louis when I looked at your apartment."   so maybe i have a few cardinals things on my walls...

this gives me goosebumps...

my year with the cardinals....

top 10 news stories 2011

with 2011 wrapping up and 2012 right around the corner i have some lists to share with you as we look back at 2011 for the next couple days.
Today we have the Top 10 News Stories of 2011  (via yahoo-they have all kinds of lists you can check out)
1. Casey Anthony Trail 2. Japan Earthquake and Tsunami 3. Royal Wedding 4. Death of Osama bin Laden 5. Unemployment 6. Arizona Shooting 7. Death of Amy Winehouse 8. Arab Spring 9. Libya/Death of Moammar Gadhafi 10. Occupy Wall Street
i'm surprised the cardinals didn't make the list.  they must have separated them in to a sports category and not considered them on the top news stories or they definitely would have made it.
some of these things are so clear in my mind, like it was yesterday.  i feel a little bad to admit, i don't even remember some of them...

christmas weekend recap

isn't it insane how we spend so much time preparing for christmas and then, BAM, it's gone! my christmas "holiday" was just that.  fast. friday night i headed to st. louis and monday morning i came back to chicago.
friday karen picked me up and we headed to wild lights at the st. louis zoo.  (you can find free parking without too much trouble, but there is a $5 admission)

then we headed to the city museum.  which was awesome!  so much fun!

christmas is right around the corner

with christmas right around the corner i can hardly believe it's only 4 days away.  it always seems to sneak up, even when you spend a month preparing.

i'm finishing up my list of things i wanted to do for christmas.  no, i didn't accomplish it all, but i came quite close. (and some things that weren't on the list)

tonight i went to zoolights with a couple friends, which was fun.

i have a couple things to share with you.

last minute greening up your holidays here.

AND tomorrow is the winter solstice!  what does that mean?  tomorrow is the shortest day of the year... and then the days get longer and longer!  hooray!

little comedy relief

the holidays can be a little stressful so here are some gems from youtube so you can get some comedy relief.
feel free to laugh out loud.
i did.

if you watch 2:45 to the end, it'll be worth it.  i promise.


bike riding through december

the weather's actually been decent for bike riding! there were a few rough ones... snow thursday night so there was snow still on the ground for my trip in to work on friday.  but.  did you know?  they sort-of plow the lakefront path.  they definitely put salt down (there are remnants of that on my bike).
saturday the high was in the 20s.  needless to say many body parts were numb when i arrived at work.   i'll still take that over the bus any day.
yesterday there were SO many bikers riding to work.  the most i've seen in quite awhile.
this news cheers me up too!
it helps make the intro to winter a little better =)

holiday happenings

in the last week i've done a lot of christmas things around town here's a little snippet of photos to share with you...
Christkindlmarketwith co-workers

Robert & Annie have cube decoration wars for Christmas (2nd annual).  Annie made a Gingerbread house in Robert's cube.  I convinced him to use the door.

Dinner at Walnut Roomwith Emily

Maybe this isn't super holiday related, but I love the MCA
it has to be my favorite museum.  i love when i can immediately love an artist... this time Ron Terada
oh, and i love that it's free...
Karen & my busy filled day (with lots of christmas thrown in)
we scoured the city riding bikes and having fun!  =)

green up your holidays

with all the holiday festivities making them "green" may be the last thing on your mind.  planning a party is hard work and connivence usually takes the front seat.i have a little list of things you can do to "green" up your holidays. maybe you can pick one or two...
1. use recycled wrapping paper (i like to use newspaper) 2. recycle your tree 3. buy recyclable christmas cards 4. buy rechargeable batteries 5. buy led christmas lights (if you need to buy a new set) 6. use washable dishes, table linens, napkins, cutlery 7. lower the lights (it saves electricity and sets the mood)  ;) 8. keep recycling containers in view so guests know you're recycling 9. local food 10. don't overheat everyone.  rather than opening the windows and wasting heat when the room is full of people, turn down the thermostat.
(read more here or here or here)


this week i'm super thankful for those techies out there.

yesterday my computer was experiencing some major issues.  
I've had this computer for around 4 years and it would make sense that it's end might be near.  (although i hope not because i love it and new computers tend to be expensive)

i did some searching and found these tips.  i tried basically all of them and then realized there was one more i could try.

then my computer worked again.  hip hip hooray.  
they saved me from taking it in and spending money i didn't need to and the stress of it all.

so i'm super thankful people are willing to share their expertise.

although this experience has convinced me i need to buy an external hard drive.  very soon!

Cardinals update

I know I haven't posted about the cardinals since the world series, but a lot has happened!

In case you haven't heard (I hope you have) Mike Matheny is the new Cardinals manager!
I feel like that decision happened at rapid speed, but maybe I'm just used to the politics and extreme slowness that happens at work.  (It took over 6 months to hire an Assistant Director... not an exaggeration.)

I have heard people wonder what happened in that interview to make him chosen over oquendo (third base coach)?

I have a positive attitude about this.  I'll miss Tony, but I trust the Cards and I'm excited that they're keeping the job in the organization.  I guess I feel like he'll understand Cardinals baseball and the way we do things a little better.

Articles were written about how great of an opportunity managing in St. Louis would be.  Speculations were made.

And Matheny came out on top.

oh... and.  pujols is no longer a cardinal.
he's heading to the angels in la.
$250-$260 …

wintertime recipes

both these recipes are perfect hearty meals for the cold of winter!
cinthya came over one night and we cooked together.  it was so fun and involved a serious catch-up session during and after dinner.   we made a ravioli vegetable lasagna
when i'm at my parents, i cook.  i just do.   over thanksgiving i made beans and greens chili.  it was pretty delicious, if i say so myself.  and VERY easy!   how do you know this chili was really good and not just another chili? karen doesn't like chili or anything with too many vegetables. this chili had both and even she liked it!  if that doesn't give it a high rating, i don't know what can.

time for another book update

Seriously...I'm Kidding - Ellen DeGeneres so now i'm up to two of the four lady comedians who all released books around the same time.  tina fey-check.  ellen-check.  now i feel like since i started i should read mindy kaling and jane lynch too.  i liked ellen's book.  very quick read with short chapters, but it was fun dispersed with serious points that were delivered in a funny manner.  very ellen.
Blankets - Craig Thompson back to my surprise that graphic novels are not actually funny.  this is another one.  it's sort-of an autobiography, graphic novel style, of first love.  a little sad, yes.  graphic novels can be an interesting way to switch things up.  i definitely recommend giving them a try.
Girls in White Dresses - Jennifer Close this was a chick book (that's what i'm going to call them from here on out.  like chick movies).  i wasn't super impressed to be honest.  it was about a group of girlfriends as they got older (from college graduation-early …

happy st. nick's day!

Did you celebrate St. Nick's Day growing up?
We did.  
We would get small gifts like our favorite candy or earrings something like that, but it was just a fun little something to find in our stockings in the morning on December 6th.

St. Nicholas had a reputation for secret gift-giving.  They say Santa evolved from St. Nick.  And today is his feast day.

Have you ever heard of it?
Apparently it's most popular in the US in areas with strong German influences like Milwaukee, Cincinnati, and St. Louis. (thanks wikipedia)  
According to Wikipedia you're supposed to put out shoes.  And when I wished my co-workers a Happy St. Nick's Day, Kyle asked, "Is that the shoe one?"  My family never put out shoes, but apparently some people do.

I just love it as an official beginning of Christmas.

So here we are.
Christmas 2011!

Time to pull out the Christmas movies and jump into the season even more.

do you have a favorite christmas movie? i feel like i have love actually on repeat durin…

use your own bags

everyone's doing a little extra shopping these days with christmas gifts to buy and many sales to take advantage of.  so while you're doing your shopping i encourage you to bring your own bag.   "In a landfill, plastic bags take up to 1,000 years to degrade." (via)
You can easily find reusable bags that fold up really small. Stick one of those in your purse or bag for the day and pull it out when you make a purchase.  Just remember (especially if you use these bags for grocery shopping, which I hope you do) wash your bags every so often.
a fun little quote from ellen's new book: Seriously...I'm Kidding By:  Ellen "Another thing you can do is take reusable bags to the grocery store.  Now I always thought a reusable bag that you bring into a store was called a purse, and from what I understand putting things in your purse while you're shopping is called shoplifting.  So, shoplift."

old friends

This week one of my oldest friends definitely came through for me.  Actually, Jess is my oldest friend (besides my sister).  We've been through a lot together, since the beginning of middle school.  

Now, we don't get to see each other very much.  She went to a college near our hometown, got married, and moved back to the street she grew up on.  But even without seeing each other (or using the internet) we do pretty good at staying in touch.  The good old phone.  That's how we first developed our relationship and it's how we sustain it.

Sometimes too long passes before we catch each other and have a nice chat, but we did last Monday and it was just what I needed.  
We quickly run through what we've been up to and jump into deeper stuff.  

She calmed me down and the fact that she knows so many of my experiences she gives some of the best advice.

So this week (and always), I'm very thankful for her.

a minor other thing I was very thankful for this week:

welcome december

#1 i can't believe it's already december, but since i feel that at the beginning of every month these days... let's move on

i brought in december by jumping on the holiday train and stopping by 4 different holiday themed things after work.

*i checked out the new lightscapes on state street
*checked out macy's windows, which are beautiful... as usual
this year it's about wishes, etc. while thinking about ornaments
cute cute cute

*i stopped by igo's holiday party
*then headed to one of a kind show at merchandise mart.  i got free admission.  (it's only december 1-4)  it's huge and all kinds of different art creations by hundreds of different artists.  i didn't even come close to covering it all, but i still really enjoyed it.  it was hopping.  
i really enjoyed the etsy corner.  if you can't make it to the show this week and you're looking for handmade gifts i highly recommend etsy.  i love it.

here's one stand i thought was super cute:  megan lee …

the view

When I walk outside to the chilly air after work to start my bike ride home, this view helps me be a bit more positive.

sweet, little memories

Today my cubemates and I had a fiesta celebrating ourselves.  I planned it before I took my time off so we could celebrate the work we do and have a little fun.

I brought in some snacks to celebrate.

I didn't think about this when I bought the yogurt covered pretzels, but once Rubina & I opened the bag memories came back to me.
Every Christmas my Grandma would get a bunch of yogurt covered pretzels as gifts.  Grandma was always willing to share and when she offered any/all of her treats when I visited, I would always go for the yogurt covered pretzels.  After this happening a couple years, she started insisting i take a little bag of the pretzels with me.

This is my first Christmas in a long time without her little bag of yogurt covered pretzels.  I talked about it with Rubina and explained it was a happy memory and it would just make me enjoy them even more.

i love thrifting

i really do love thrifting.   i feel like it has a negative connotation and i think it's sad.  At work when I get compliments on my outfit many times I say, "Thanks, it's a thrift find."  (or at an outlet mall or it was my dad/mom/grandma's)  I used to get a surprised look in reply (now they're used to it coming from me). you can find some really nice stuff thrifting.  honestly, it's where i buy the majority of my clothes. one of my co-workers said i should blog about it.  i guess i hadn't thought of it because it comes pretty naturally to me.  i going to try to start including my hunts for bargains with you.  (if i can remember... it's hard to think to share something that comes so naturally) There are so many thrift shops in Chicago (and several very close to me).  I love it.  I think my favorite is crossroads trading.
When you hear the word, thrifting, what do you think?

happy thanksgiving!


I hope you're having a wonderful day with friends and family.  

Karen & I ran a 5K this morning to start the festivities and headed straight to Grandma's for her delicious cinnamon rolls =)

I hope you had a chance to play with google's graphic.  I thought it was super fun =)

You're welcome Mr. Turkey =)