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Showing posts from July, 2015

Back from Italy

We're back from Italy!

It was such a wonderful trip (aside from the airline losing Karen's & Mom & Dad's bags and coming back to a flat tire)!  But those things are just life and don't even really matter in the grand scheme of things.

In some ways it feels like we were gone for 2 weeks (because we did so much). In other ways it feels like we were gone for 2 days (because there was so much more we wanted to do).  I'm not sure how I'm going to share our experiences because they are quite hard to group, but you can look out for that coming up.

For now, I'm off to Wisconsin for the weekend for a girls reunion.  We're staying in my first Airbnb.  (I know I'm behind the game.)  We rented a house on a lake so it should be fun too! Here's to hoping my jet lag dies off ;)

p.s. I didn't say ciao once...


I'm heading to Italy for the this week with my parents & sister.  I'm pretty excited over here!

Partly because I'm feeling very run down and partly because Italy.

I know 0 Italian.  Ciao and grazie (because I just looked them up).  I think those are the most important words to know.

When I'm in a different country with a different language, I always start thinking in Spanish.  In Germany, a couple years ago, Karen & I walked away from someone and Karen said, "You just spoke to them in Spanish."  Me, "I did?  Whoops."  Soooo we'll see how communication goes.

Regardless, I'm excited!  See you on the flip side!

Goodbyes Are Hard

When I worked at my previous job, I worked from home and didn't have any commute time to factor in so I found a yoga class that I quickly fell in love with.  I made friends.  I went consistently, almost every week.  My yoga teacher knew me and what I could and could not do and was able to push me appropriately.  I knew her.  It made me better.

When I got my current job a little over a year ago I had to let it go aside from attending sporadically.  A couple times I even went in late because I needed that class.  

As my instructor said this morning in her last class before she heads to Portland, OR, it's not about the instructor or the space or the supplies.  It's about the practice and carrying that in your heart.  

She's right.  

But that doesn't make it any easier to say goodbye.

Yoga opens you up in many ways, including your heart.  So, yes, I cried during class, I cried after as I gave Margo hugs, and I cried on my walk home...and during my shower.

I feel very sad she…

Food Waste in America

Something to think about:

Learnapalooza: Paper Press

I made my third return to Learnapalooza in as many years.  I think it's such a great program and I love participating.

This year I chose Letter Press Printing Greeting Cards at Double Trip Press and it was one of my favorite experiences!

We were able to press our paper, cut it, and score the paper.  It was really fun to work on a real printing press where you roll the paper back and forth to ink and make the impressions.  I'm always down to try something new!

If you're ever looking for a custom press printed invitation, business card, etc. check out Double Trip Press.  We looked through some of Ryan's work while we were there and to say it's impressive is an understatement.

Learnapalooza will be in Wicker Park August 15 and Edgewater September 12.  I highly encourage you to check it out!
(It's all free!)

P.S. Learnapalooza's of the past:  Friendship Bracelets and Urban Sustainability (one & two)

Rooftop Movie Series

Last night, I made my way to Lincoln Park Whole Foods rooftop for their LOL Movie Series.

There's a very pretty skyline view up there...who knew!

They have some snacks and samples, chairs, a pre-movie band, and then they play the movie.  Crave Bar was there with samples so I definitely had one of those.  I saw them at the Taste and it was cold and I didn't want to spend 8 tickets on ice cream.  It was pretty delicious and their little sample was the perfect size.  Last night it was a bit chilly (many people pulled out blankets).  I still ate the ice cream.

If you're free next Wednesday, I recommend checking it out for When Harry Met Sally!


Last week, my sister-in-law's dad was in a very serious car accident.  I can't begin to imagine the whirlwind their life has been for the past week.

The car accident was Friday.  Saturday my brother and his family flew to Nebraska.  Sunday my parents met them to watch the kids for the week.  My sister-in-law's family spent all week in the Lincoln, Nebraska ICU.

Greta, my sister-in-law, is keeping an online journal of the days and pretty much every time I read it, I cry.  I can't help it.  I just can't imagine what it's like (nor do I ever actually want to know).

Please send some good vibes and positive thoughts to their family.

Happy All-Star Game!

The Cardinals ended up with six players on the All-Star team.
The NL roster has six pitchers age 25 or younger; three are Cardinals.
The Cardinals have had success in the past six years identifying and developing pitching talent, bringing Wacha and lefty Marco Gonzales to the majors within a year of selecting them in the draft. Scouts have remarked that other teams should mimic the Cardinals’ draft trends or borrow from their development.Mattingly suggested another edge the Cardinals have: Yadier Molina.He is a source of what Cubs rookie Kris Bryant described as a “fearlessness.”“There is such a trust factor with Yadi,” Mattingly said. “He calls it. They believe it. Their stuff is incredible. That can beat you alone. When they throw it with confidence and he’s there guiding and leading them, it seems like it’s an easy thing for young pitchers.” (via) We all know Yadi is the best, even if everyone else doesn't. 
Yeah, Yadi is a common cheer for a reason.

Choosing a Book Club Book

How do you choose a book for your book club?

This is not an easy question.  I've heard of book clubs where each person takes a turn at choosing a book.  We usually try to choose as a group.  The majority of us use the library so number of books available there is always a consideration.

We've read many different book lists.  Best of 2013.  It works best to go back at least a year so they aren't as popular at the library.

We've ranged from picking based on the month we would discuss.  We read Obama's book for Black History Month.  A book based in Cuba for Hispanic Heritage Month.  We'll do light and fluffy in the summer for a summer read.

My go to is always historical fiction.  We read a few of those.

We're all over the place, which makes since because we are a diverse group of girls and we like different types of books.

Tons of Veggies

What do you do when you have tons of different veggies in your refrigerator?

I often resort to something we made in Mexico frequently:  Caro's speciality.  AKA mixed veggies.  We would take all our veggies (especially if they were starting to go bad), put them in a pan/pot/doesn't matter, and cook.  We added garlic and salt for flavor and finished with hot sauce when serving.  Done.

I've been resorting to this meal quite a bit lately.  Without much time to plan out what I'll eat for the week I tend to pick up quite an assortment at Stanley's.  Then I get home and look at the veggies in my refrigerator and I'm not sure what to make with my scattered purchase.  Caro's speciality it is!

I can have it with black beans or quinoa or avocado or just plain.

Super easy and delicious.  I am also finding chopping the veggies quite soothing as of late.  It could be the very fall-like temperatures we had this week.

Busch vs Wrigley - Rain Delays

In the past month, I experienced rain delays at Busch Stadium and Wrigley Field.  Yes, I am biased in my opinion, but Busch Stadium wins by a long shot.

It rained about the same amount of time at both stadiums, yet Wrigley's rain delay was twice as long.

A couple things resulted from this.  Wrigley Field almost cleared out during the delay.  Pretty much everyone stuck around at Busch.  

The fans at Wrigley also got rowdier.  Obnoxiously so.  I told Mike on our walk home if I was at the game with anyone who acted like that, I would move.  It's just rude.

It was nice, after the delay, to be able to move down close to the field (since most people left).  We sat right behind the Cardinals dugout and I really enjoyed watching Haris's pitches come in and hit the glove.  It's crazy.  That was nice.  (Aside from my new neighbors and the wet seats...)

I think Mike & I sat in 4 different seats during the course of the game, pausing in a few other spots too.

P.S. Wrigley's tryi…

Happy 4th!

How was your weekend??  I had quite a busy weekend making my rounds in Chicago.  It flew by and it was lovely.

Just for fun...

23ish years ago -

Now -

I tried to take a stab at painting with light this year.  And I definitely need some more practice...

Hooray! Another city bans styrofoam!

Congrats to New York City for joining 70 other cities, including Washington, D.C.; Minneapolis; San Francisco; Oakland, CA; Portland, OR; Albany, NY; and Seattle inbanning all styrofoam products!

"These products cause real environmental harm and have no place in New York City," said Mayor Bill de Blasio in a press release. "We have better options, better alternatives, and if more cities across the country follow our lead and institute similar bans, those alternatives will soon become more plentiful and will cost less." (via)What do you say, Chicago?

City Biking

And the most bicycle-friendly city in the world goes to: Copenhagen!

About 50% of residents commute by bicycle every day in Copenhagen. By comparison in the U.S., about 6% of Portland residents and about 4% of Minneapolis residents commute by bicycle. These cities are considered two of the most enlightened American cities when it comes to bicycling and yet the U.S. trails far behind our European counterparts. (via)50%!  50%!

Read more on how Copenhagen surpassed Amsterdam here: How Copenhagen Became A Cycling Paradise By Considering The Full Cost Of Cars.
Looking around Portland, I thought it was a bikers paradise.  I can't begin to imagine the bike structure of Amsterdam and Copenhagen.

Dear Chicago: First step, have cars stop parking (with their flashers on or otherwise) in the bike lanes.

Florida Vacation 2015

We're back!  We have been for a few days, actually, but this week was quite busy with people visiting so I haven't had a chance to say hello.  


My family & I took our second trip to Destin, FL last week.  Destin, by now, is most definitely a tourist town and the traffic can be horrible because of this, but when you just walk out the door to the beach and spend all day there and cook in at night...who cares.  And, oh, that beach.  It's so beautiful!

We had a lovely time and I came back much more relaxed, with a bit of a tan.  Although my forehead was peeling Monday so everyone who remarked on my tan, I would point to my forehead ;)

But really though, such a lovely time!