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Showing posts from April, 2012

Project Runway: All Stars

Do you watch reality TV?  
I used to really enjoy Amazing Race and Project Runway, but that's about all I could handle.
This season I watched one episode of Amazing Race and wasn't feeling it so I'm not watching.
They just finished Project Runway All stars, which had returning Project Runway contestants from all their seasons (10?).  I watched season 8 of Project Runway (like any other series my viewing comes and goes) and met Mondo.
I love Mondo.
He got second place that season, which I felt was an incorrect decision.
He was back for All Stars and that's all I needed to know I would watch the season!
Every week I would just think, 'I love Mondo.'  I love his designs, but I also love his personality.  He was just so honest and down to earth the whole time.  He's never been one to drive the drama of the series, which I don't like anyway.
Guess who won All Stars?  MONDO!!!!
Parts of his prize include a spread in Marie Claire (which makes me want to buy the magazin…

bike's end?

As promised, I have a bike update for you, even if it is a bit sad.

My bike's been falling apart for about a year.  But do you remember the story?  Yes, it's precious.  That is why I want to make it last as long as possible.

Here's a small list of what's happened in the past year:
-lost both fenders
-chains are very rusty
-stopped shifting gears
-quite loud while I'm riding  (The noises come from all different places of the bike.  I have no idea.)
-cords (for the brakes) falling everywhere and getting in the way of peddling
-brakes don't work very well  It forces me to pay closer attention so if I know I need to brake coming up then I need to start applying them early.  If I wait too late, I end up in the middle of the intersection.  
-all the reflectors have fallen off

Yes, there's more, but I will stop there.

The most recent event kept happening Friday night.  My front wheel kept stop turning.  Clearly this made my bike stop unexpectedly.  One time in the middle of …

what a week

Seriously... wshew what a week!

First impression of the new job is good.  And a bit insane.

I started laying out everything I did in week 1, but decided it wasn't a great idea.  So now I'm not sure where to begin.  

Let's just talk about a few key things for now:

*Had brunch with my buddy from the Adler in Edgewater and I got to see her cute place.  That was super fun and the perfect way to fight off the tiredness I was feeling.  She revved me right up!

*Bike is having problems.  Bigish ones that make me a little scared to ride it.  I think I'll do a different post on that story.  It's making me sad though.  Maybe this is what people who love their cars that are dying go through?

*Got to put my toes in the Florida sand this week.  Only at night, when the sun was down, but whatever.

*Visited Michigan for the first time (for a few hours)

*I'm not classy.  I'm just not.  I can try to be, but I'm not.

*Had an impromptu dinner at Flo in West Town with a friend.  Afte…

Recently Read

Last week I had a bit extra time to read and I loved it!  Here you go, my list of recently read books:

The Pickup - Nadine Gordimer

I was skeptical at the beginning of this book.  Wondering if I could get into this unique style of writing. This book had me wondering what the other person was thinking for the majority of the book.  This book was written in 2001, but it is still so relevant regarding immigration.  There was a central love story to follow, but even at the end, I had to ask myself was it ever love?  There was lots of deception, lies, and people being oh so conniving.  
Catching Fire - Suzanne Collins Yeah, I decided to finish out the Hunger Games series and see where it ends.  It's not like it takes me much time to get through the books.   I really hope people stop to think about this books a little deeper because I feel there are all kinds of implications and things to think about right below the surface.
Born to Run - Christopher McDougall Aw man!  I need to read this a…

Ellen's Dance Dare

By now you probably know about my love for Ellen.
Right now she's doing a Dance Dare where she dared everyone to sneak up behind people and dance.  It doesn't cause anyone harm and it's hilarious!

Here's one video:

Awesome!  Right?
You can see more here.

first day

Today's the first day of my new job.  And I'm pretty excited to see what comes.  
I'll be training hospital staff on how to use a translation device.

I've come to learn you can't really judge a job until you're in it for awhile.  So that's what I'm going to do.  

I had a lovely week off last week though:
-I read a lot (at the lake)
-worked on making a website for my dad (still a work in progress)
I could write an entire blog post about this experience and reacquainting myself with html writing.  I wrote a website in high school and one in college and that's it.  And they were both lame.  Just good enough to get me an A.  So here I am working on a real one and it makes me glad I didn't choose a computer programming profession, for one thing.  It's good for me though.  I'm learning about myself.  #1 I am not detail oriented.  When I find the one tiny thing that's messing everything up, you better bet I pat myself on the back.  #2 When I get …

Happy Earth Day!

Happy Earth Day Everyone!

I hope you do something today to appreciate our wonderful earth!

Today instead of having a tip to be a bit more green because it's Earth Day AND my thankful time posting for the week let's take a look at a positive thing that's happening.

On my drive back to Missouri for Easter I looked off to the side to see a windmill farm.  Can you see them?  Well, they're there.  

This is awesome!

What a great step towards using more renewable resources!

save electricity

I hope you all are enjoying Green Week as much as I am!  I love all the tips on TV and around.  It's so exciting.  Tomorrow's the BIG DAY!  =)

Today let's talk about electricity.

Turn off the light when you leave the room.  Unplug appliances you're not using.  Use the ceiling fan before turning on the air conditioning.  Set your computer so it goes to sleep sooner than the standard settings.  Clean the filter on your air conditioning unit.  Dirt and dust hinder air flow, reducing efficiency.  When your current light bulb burns out, replace it with compact fluorescents.  If you're buying a new washer/dryer/refrigerator buy an energy efficient model.
Pick a couple of those and try it out...
Bonus:  it will save you money too!

FYI:  If you're around a Caribou Coffee tomorrow and take in a personal mug, they will give you a coffee for free!

Seriously...I'm Kidding By:  Ellen     "Want to save electricity?  Unplug your appliances when you're not using them.  E…

electronics can be tricky

And I'm not just talking about figuring out how to work them...

What do you do when they're no longer working?

I know we live in a world full of technology.  I won't lie, I love technology too (with just a couple exceptions... you have to be careful not to let it take over your life.  That is a completely different conversation.  I shall try to stay on topic...)

After technology has lived it's life it can turn toxic to the world around us.  If we were a bit more conscious of what we do with used up technology, we could make the impact lower.

#1 Try to use your current technology as long as possible.  I know it's tempting to upgrade to the next thing whenever it comes out.  Try to resist and use your current technology as long as possible.  Resist the consumer cycle!

#2 Once it's dead.  Recycle it!  Please!  There are lots of recycling places around for electronics.  The best thing to do is google places for your area.  (I hear Best Buy has a program.)
Even if you jus…

plastic bags part 2

We talked a bit about plastic bags before.  Now you're used to taking a bag with you so you don't get bags at the grocery store or while shopping.  Awesome!  Great job!  
Here's a little twist.  


You bring your lunch to work in different plastic bags?  If so, you could save more!

There are cute little lunch boxes now.  No more plastic bags!
And even bags like your little ziplocks.  Here's one company:  ReUsies.  They have a re-usable alternative to sandwich/snack bags!
Right now Groupon even has a deal for them.

I usually bring my lunch in tupperware containers (which I'm constantly told I should change to glass because of the effects of microwaving plastic, but I haven't gotten there yet).  

If you like your little bags, this is a great alternative!  Like I said, I'm happy with my tupperware, but everyone has their own preferences.

it's all about the packaging

I so very strongly dislike over packaging things.  It's unnecessary and quite annoying.  

Have you heard about some companies utilizing reusable packaging?  Pangea Organicsdoes...

*Pangea Organics offers compostable, biodegradable and plantable packaging, thanks to its molded fiber box made from 100 percent post-consumer newsprint and used across the luxury brand’s bar soaps, skincare line and massage and body oils. For instance, Pangea bar soaps are packaged in seeded boxes and the soaps contain seeds of flowering Amaranth. When consumers are finished with the packaging, they need only soak it in water for one minute and plant it one inch deep in soil. Within days, the package will begin decomposing and the medicinal herb will start to sprout.
Botanical Paper Works does too!  They have all kinds of greeting cards.  You send it to someone, just like you would any card.  But once they receive it and enjoy it for a bit, plant the paper in soil, water, and enjoy wildflowers!  Awesome!

If …

back to the kitchen

The last month and a half were very hectic with work so I didn't spend much time cooking at all.  Unless you consider pasta, which I don't.  I was cooking the noodles and dumping bought sauce on top.  No, I do not consider that cooking.  I don't even really like pasta, but it's easy and cheap.  I had several dinners of cereal.  My eating was just plain.

I'd either come home so late I just wanted to eat immediately or I'd come home so tired I didn't want to spend any time cooking.

I did make spinach and chickpeas sort-of by the recipe during that time.  And then used leftover ingredients to turn it around and make it in an Indian style:  Chana Masala.  Pretty sure I didn't use this recipe.  I looked at lots of different recipes before picking one, they all had minor tweaks. I picked one with lots of spinach.  I'm not sure which one I decided on anymore so... it was similar to that one.

Today I was so excited to get back in the kitchen though!

I've be…


Happy Green Week everyone!  I'm so excited with the recent trend to not only celebrate Earth Day on April 22nd, but celebrate the entire week.  I think we can all learn a few tips to appreciate the Earth more.  

Let's start out nice and easy...

It's so easy.  I have different trash cans marked for recycling and for your other trash.  I keep them separate in my place and just walk it down to the recycling.  I do understand this depends on your area.  Growing up we had a recycling center so we had a recycling area of the garage and we needed to take it to the center.

I'm excited that Chicagoans will all be able to recycle curbside by 2013!  Read about it here.

Seriously...I'm Kidding By:  Ellen    "There's plenty we can do to help.  First of all, if you're not recycling I don't even know what to do with you right now.  I hate to have to scream at you through this book, but PLEASE RECYCLE!"

spring is here!

And I'm excited!

*Sunday morning I took a coffee and book out to the lake for a few hours.  It was absolutely lovely.  I think I'm going to make that a tradition.
*Boats are filling the harbor again.
*Dandelions are blooming.  I don't care if people call them "weeds."  I think they're beautiful now and fun later.
*Trees are blooming.
*The tulips outside my building are blooming.
*Sailing lessons started in all the harbors.

Riviera Maya: Day 7

Day 7:  Departure
Karen & Mom's day

We started out the morning eating at the resort.  Mom & I splurged on the buffet and Karen had an omelet.  

We headed back to our rooms, packed up, and checked out.  Then we headed to the pool for the day.  The resort had a "hospitality room" for us to shower in before getting on the shuttle to head to the airport.

I felt pretty sad getting in the shuttle to go to the airport.  I love México.  I mean, I love vacation too... who doesn't?  I didn't want to leave.  That's for sure.

While I was there I was always on the look out for alegría and never saw any.  Needless to say I was excited to see some at the airport.  Which I immediately bought.  Sadly, they were not very good.  But when you can't have the real thing, it'll do.
I also love their mixtures of nuts covered in chili!  That was as good as normal.
I wish I knew where I could find alegría in Chicago...

We got back to St. Louis early Sunday morning and …

Riviera Maya: Day 6

Day 6:  Chichén Itzá
My day

We got up bright and early again to hop on a colectivo to Cancún.  From there we bought tickets on another ADO bus (charter bus) to Chichén Itzá.  We were there about 30 minutes before it left.  (We had pretty good timing on this trip, without even knowing what time the bus left beforehand.)

On the bus ride there we entered a new state, Yucatán, the ride was about 2 and a half hours and we arrived at one of the 7 wonders of the world!  It was a little confusing getting all the tickets situated, but we made it in.  You do indeed have to buy two.  I asked the information guy who went on a long tangent in rapid fire spanish, which I could not understand, so I plainly asked him, instead of "What's this for?"  "So we need two tickets?"  He said yes and we went off to buy the other one too.

Chichén Itzá Mouth of the Well of the Itzáles

This is the most famous and best restored of the Yucatán Maya sites.  And so crowded.  There were SO man…

Riviera Maya: Day 5

Day 5, Thursday: Snorkeling, Resort
Karen & Mom day

Karen likes to Snorkel and we were going to make that happen on her day.  We headed to a nearby town, Puerto Morelos, to find a place to snorkel.  
Mom decided to stay at the resort this day, she's not a big swimmer so it made sense.

We took a colectivo from the resort to Puerto Morelos and then walked to the beach.  Karen decided it was too far of a walk and said, "Why am I walking on my day off?"  That's what her days became... her day off.  (We took a colectivo back so we only walked one way.)

Puerto Morelos retains its quiet, small-town feel and has shallow Caribbean waters on the coral reef only 1,800 feet offshore.  We got there and found a snorkeling place off the beaten path almost immediately.  
They asked us to wait 20 minutes and they would take the two of us out.  We sat in the Zócalo and had a very special treat.  The kindergartners at the nearby school were having their spring walk around the Zócalo so w…