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Showing posts from February, 2012

Happy Leap Day

I had no idea Leap Day was a thing

(Besides the fact that women get to eat the cake at the King's Ball when it's a leap year.)

I'm finding this year, that apparently it is...

My calendar in my room has a little this day in history fact every day of the year.  Today it simply says "Leap Day" =)

Well... there you go.
Happy Leap Day!


I mentioned my wonderful experience volunteering on Saturday a couple times already.  I love volunteering and I think you might too...
Step one to finding a volunteer activity you love:  figure out your own preferences.  Some people don't want to work directly with others.  Some do.  Some people prefer to work with the elderly.  Some kids.  Everyone has their own preference.  Figure out what you enjoy and find a place to volunteer doing that.  You're not getting paid, so you better enjoy it.
I love working with kids.  And I want to spend my time with them.  I don't want to work behind the scenes.  I also like working with Spanish speakers.  So when I was looking for a place to volunteer both those areas attracted me.
Step two:  Find somewhere to volunteer.  This is easier than it may seem.  In Chicago I recommend checking out Chicago Cares.  They have so many sites all over Chicago.  You're bound to find something that will work for you.  I know when it comes to volunteer…

use your own water bottle

Say no to the plastic bottle. I can remember a time when plastic water bottles didn't exist.  And guess what?  We all survived.
It's so easy.  Throw a reusable bottle in your bag, fill up at water fountain.  Done.  Easy.
'Cameras' by Matt & Kim "my water comes straight from the tap and those bottles are all just for show"
If you have a few minutes, check out this video:


I'm going to share a few things I'm thankful for this week-

I've mentioned the start of a program at work where we go to parks everyday and work later than usual.  This program brings together 10 different museums in Chicago and it's coordinated by an awesome lady, Jean.  She is truly invested in this program and it shows in the best way!
She came to one of our sessions Tuesday and we were chatting for a little bit about work.  I won't bore you with the whole story.  What happened was she said something that clearly showed she has my back!  I haven't had that feeling since Mexico with Paquita (she ran the day care I volunteered at).  
I am SO thankful for the support.  
I wouldn't mind working for her all the time...

I had such a lovely time volunteering Saturday.  (I really wish I could go all the time.)  I'm so thankful I had the opportunity to volunteer (expect another post about this next week).
I'm going to share one story that I e…

The Battle Begins

Work Life Balance.
You hear about it all the time.  And sometimes it can be challenging.  
Like during Park Voyagers.  
It's hard to have a life outside of work and life seems to want to crash around me.  But I feel so tired I don't know what to do to control it.

Last night I sat on the couch reading, glanced up to see my clean, unfolded laundry looking back and me and I turned the page.

I couldn't muster the energy to put it away.  

Today I woke up after some glorious sleep and I was so excited to have the day off (I'm working a 6-day week next week).  I LOVE Saturdays off.  I scheduled myself to volunteer in Uptown with Chicago Cares, but I had a little time before I needed to leave.  Waking up energized and ready for the day, I put away my clothes, sorted my mail from a couple weeks (I know, it's sad), and I still had enough time to read a chapter of my book.  I even flossed!  I hopped on my bike to go volunteer and with the exception of the wind feeling extra bitey t…

time to remember

I know I've been absent from this space more than usual lately, but don't worry I have excuses:
-I've been/am sick.  I'm getting better, but it was pretty awful.
-Work is killing me, man.  It's bringing me down and I don't want to bring that energy into this space so it kept me away.  Also this week Park Voyagers started again, which means long, exhausting hours.  

There are my excuses.
But I know all my readers are super laid-back and easy to please so you weren't annoyed at all.  So you didn't even need my excuses ;)
But there they are just in case.

Now to the point of this post.
1 year ago, Friday, my Grandma passed away.  I wanted to write a great remembrance post, but I didn't.  I remembered the day in my own way.

I think about Grandma everyday.  
Because I love her.
And because I use things that she used everyday.  
-her old coffee maker  
-can opener (huge upgrade from the handheld one...whew)
-glasses-the kind you drink out of.  I actually love them.
-a c…

little good deeds

This week many people did little good deeds for me that I really appreciate.  
For example, Monday I was grocery shopping in Trader Joe's getting ready to get a new watch battery for a beloved watch that the battery's been dead for a few years.  Needless to say I was excited.  I was paying for my groceries and as I grabbed my wallet, my watch fell out onto the ground, unbeknownst to me.  A lovely lady checking out next to me picked it up and gave it back to me.  Man, I would have been sad when I got to the watch place to find I had no watch.  Thank you lady.

Example #2:  On Monday again, before Trader Joe's I pulled up (on my bike) to the watch place I eyed for awhile for my long awaited new battery.  I was there right before it opened and while my brain was deciding whether to wait it out or come back later a nice lady came up and asked if I was getting a battery replaced.  I said yes.  She said there was another place a few blocks away that was less expensive.  Yes!  I hop…


did the title scare you?
don't worry, i'm not going to try and convince you to become a vegetarian (although that would be ideal).  I know I'm an idealist, but I'm not insane.  
How about designated one day a week as meatless?  Meatless Monday has a nice ring. "Animal agriculture makes a 40% greater contribution to global warming than all transportation in the world combined; it is the number one cause of climate change."  Eating Animals by:  Jonathan Safran Foer I'm getting hungry just looking at these recipes!
"According to food pundit Michael Pollan, who's not a vegetarian, if everybody did even 'Meatless Monday,' it would be the environmental equivalent of taking 20 million midsize cars off the road." Main Street Vegan

spring training

I cannot wait!

Pitchers and catchers report to spring training in THREE days and the first game is March 5th.  AND their season opener is April 4th.  Cannot wait!

I start getting antsy for baseball around this time every year.

I know the Cardinals have a lot of changes this year.  It's going to be so exciting.

Here's a nice positive article!!!

happy valentine's day

Happy Valentine's Day everyone!

I hope you have something special planned with someone you love.  I like Valentine's Day.  For no special reason, but I think it is nice to show your love (and I think gratitude comes naturally during Valentine's Day too) for people you care about.  It's sweet.
Something you don't often hear from a single gal.  (However, for those single gals out there who aren't so keen on Valentine's Day... give this a gander.)

I have a few different love themed things to share...

#1 This is a beautiful photography series by Lauren Fleishman Love Ever After. Literally, just beautiful in so many ways.  Check it out!
#2 I got some Dove chocolates from a volunteer at work.  I love Dove chocolates almost solely because of their sayings inside.  Here are the ones I got:
Discover how much your heart can hold.
Remember your first crush.
Get swept away by love.
Go where your heart takes you.

#3 Here are a couple songs for you to enjoy

#4 What did I do for Val…

week over

Thank the Lord.

This week has been blah in a world where blah means awful.
Which partly explains my absence from this space.  The #1 reason being no internet.

With that said, I still had some lovely moments and times too.  It was just stressful and annoying.  I even went in to work late this morning so I could take my favorite yoga class.  I needed it.  I needed Toni to get me back on track.

Comedy Thursday was helpful =)  (Kyle & I had fun recapping it today.)

And Ellen's been awesome!

I honestly could not agree with Ellen more on this.  We need to work on being in the moment more.
Have you ever gone out with a friend and they are distracted by their phone the entire time?  It is one of my biggest pet peeves, although I'm not sure the best way to say, "Could you please put your phone in your bag so we can have a real conversation?  The text message or phone call can wait (unless it's a special circumstance)."  I said please.  I know that wouldn't go over very w…

beautiful glasses

Last week I had an excellent no spending any money week.  Yea me!  That lasted until Sunday when I bought some beer for the Super Bowl party I went to.  (Binny's make your own 6-packs are wonderful.)

Today was errand day though so I knew I'd have to spend some money.

I had some pants I needed hemmed so I made my way to my favorite (aka cheapest) hemming place.  They really are significantly cheaper than any other place I've been in Chicago.

I saw some adorable glasses in the window of a thrift store I hadn't been to before:  Land of the Lost.  

little bit of chivalry

I had a couple things I wanted to share that I'm thankful for this week.  
I'm going to go with one.

Last night I went to yoga on my way home from work.  I waited for the elevator and the nice man paused so I went in first.  (I wish I knew where the stairs are.  It's only on the 5th floor.) That was nice of the man.
Then another man got in as the doors were closing.  
When we got to the first floor I was standing in the back, but they both paused, looked at me, one even motioned for me to go first.
It was nice and I'm thankful there are still people like that in the world. Maybe they were in their 40s, which they were.  I don't care.  It was nice. I'm an independent person and this doesn't change that at all.  I'm just grateful for nice little gestures like that in the world.

yoga & running combined

I've mentioned before my feeling that yoga makes me a better person.  It does. I think yoga helps me personally feel better about myself and more understanding about life.

Running.  Running makes me a better person too.  The difference I think is running makes me a better person for other people that I interact with everyday.  My best thoughts about what I can do for others and some great, creative brainstorming sessions happen while I run.  As well as making lists (in my head) of things I've meant to tell people (nice or informative things) or do.
I read a different blog that seemed to be a great explanation of how I feel while running.  When I read it I wanted to yell, "YES!  Exactly!"  Here's a little excerpt:

"Truth be told, I do most of my deepest and best thinking while running. I have never been able to figure out why this is the case.  Is it related to the endorphins? Am I so in the moment that my mind and spirit simply open up? I don’t know the answer,…

wall decals

i got an idea about putting up some temporary wall decals (possibly from the Nate Berkus show...)  So going along with my new decorating, I got some!
i decided i wanted a wall decal, but wasn't sure what of.  so i thought... 'if i could paint something huge on my wall.  what would it be?'  a huge sunflower.  bam.  i looked for sunflowers.
they got here and perked my apartment up =)

Then I found this post.  We'll see how the decals work out and next maybe I'll get some tile tattoos.


Oh, Chicagoans...

One of my favorite parts in Time Out magazine is the 'Heard on the Street' section.  
Here are a couple of my favorites from a recent magazine:
This video is pretty awesome.  It's obviously from a northsider's perspective.  (It was taped mere blocks from my place.)  It's funny anyway.
I watched it with a cube mate and we had to remind ourselves to laugh quietly so we didn't miss the next funny thing we say.  Correction:  I had to remind myself to laugh quietly so we didn't miss the next funny thing we say.