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Showing posts from February, 2016

Volunteer Leaders Conference

This post may just be a jumble.  You've been warned.

Last Monday I started a new job with NephCure.  It's an organization working to discover the cause and find a cure to nephrotic syndrome.  And wow.  We had a gala Friday night, which was sad, and only my intro to a very eye-opening, difficult weekend.

Saturday and Sunday was the Volunteer Leaders Conference.  At the beginning of the day they all stood up and gave their story.  The majority of volunteers in the room are parents of patients.  Some were friends.  Some were spouses.  And some were the patients themselves.  Everyone in the room cried.  Everyone.

In some ways it was extremely motivational for me.  This is now what I work for.  (So very, very different from any job I've had in the past.)  
In other ways grateful for the health of my friends and family.
And in other ways extremely overwhelmed.

I got home Sunday afternoon and Mike & I headed out for a run, which I knew I needed.  Not so much for the exercise-that&#…

New Orleans

Guys, real talk, we really liked New Orleans.

We were there for four days and they were jam packed with exploring (and lots of walking ;) good thing I was wearing my trusty shoes from Target and my minnetonkas)

We went with some of Mike's college friends and their significant others and rented an Airbnb house, which worked out very well.  We were definitely outside of the city (pros and cons) and it was less expensive than a hotel.  It had a pool and a fire pit.  It was maybe not in the best area of New Orleans although we didn't have any problems.

I'll just tackle this with some of the places we visited and some of my thoughts.

Shaya - this was essentially our first stop and we had lunch and it was amazing.  We sat on the patio and ate the best pita bread I've ever tasted.  We ordered a bunch of small plates (side note: half the group was vegetarians so all our stops were veggie friendly) and the tabouleh and lutenitsa were my favorites.  Oh, and, the cauliflower on the h…

James Hamblin, MD

Who watches Jim Hamblin's videos on The Atlantic?  

I can't help it, I love them.  They make me laugh while learning about something I've typically never thought about.

I have two videos for you to check it out below.  (I couldn't choose one!)  Note:  they are all good!

They have an option to subscribe so you receive a notification when there's a new video...subscribed!

P.S. He writes articles and such too.

Lena Dunham

People feel how they feel about Lena Dunham.  Personally I really like her.  I don't really know what it is (obviously I don't really know her), but maybe it's just that she seems so bold.  

And for real, how many projects does she have?  And how is that possible for one human being?  I'm impressed!

Check out this article on Refinery 29Girls - yes, I love Girls (I am very aware not everyone does)I really thought the season starting at the end of this month was the last.  Luckily I was wrong and there's one more!Lenny - the newsletterPodcastHer Book - Not that Kind of GirlDirecting Movies - most well-known Tiny Furnitureand I'm sure the list goes on...

Here We Are: Lent

And before Lent is Fat Tuesday and MARDI GRAS.

Did you know the second largest Mardi Gras in the country is St. Louis?  After New Orleans, of course.  Many people are surprised to discover the strong French influence in St. Louis.

This year I really wanted to go and it just didn't work out.  Mike even tried to find something Mardi Gras we could do in Chicago the weekend before and came up pretty much empty.  Next year, Mardi Gras - St. Louis, me and you will have some fun.

I did get to hang out with my friends, Justin and Jason, on Fat Tuesday.  So what if it was mostly a coincidence it was Fat Tuesday.  We hit up Hopewell and then grabbed some burgers.

P.S. Sort-of speaking of New Orleans...we're headed there this weekend for a long weekend, which is coming at good timing.  I need a little rejuvenation!  Feel free to follow along with some photos on instagram if you'd like!

Top 5 of 28

Yes, I am 29 and I have been for almost a month.

I didn't share my top five of 28 (because there are always five good things that happen in a given year).  Honestly, I was so wrapped up in stuff that I forgot to come up with my top five this year until a good friend asked me at my birthday gathering (because I pester everyone else to come up with their top five things).  I had to come up with it quick on the spot. 

Note: I may have thought about this further since that night and made some adjustments... 

Top 5 of 28:
-Florida with the family
-Italy - which I still haven't recapped on here...sorry.  You should see my scrapbook though! ;)
-Mexico City with Mike (and Jess's wedding)
-Implementing Sister Dates - blog post on these coming up!
-this is a general one, my developing relationship with Mike.  It's a thing that happened this year.  Last year meeting him didn't even make my top 5 because I was so unsure about the whole thing.  Feeling more sure now...

Here I am 29.  Th…

Adult Coloring

Everyone's talking about Adult Coloring Books and I'm starting to see them everywhere!

My brother and his family actually gave me one after I had a brief conversation with my sister-in-law over Thanksgiving and I kind-of love it.

I got it almost a month ago and just finished my first page Sunday, but I'm not in any hurry and I figure that's the point.  A little relaxing activity every once in awhile.

I even heard of an app that goes along the same lines: Colorfy.  If that's more your speed.


Flowers for Dreams started as an unassuming college project. We set out to sell a few hundred roses to parents outside a high school graduation ceremony. The plan was to use half the profit to upgrade our college diets from frozen pizza to takeout, and the other half to buy backpacks for the low income students we tutored during summer. Make a little money and make a difference. (via)If you are planning to send someone flowers for Valentine's Day in Chicago this year (or any time of the year), I've recently come across a flower company that donates 25% of their profits to charity.  Allow me to introduce you to Flowers for Dreams.

Aside from all this, they offer free delivery to most places in Chicago and the flowers are beautiful.

AND if you'd like 10% off your order, enter "vdayshortisthenewblack" at checkout.

P.S. This week they are sharing Chicago love stories behind their favorite local businesses. From bakers and chefs, to independent coffee shop owners and nei…

Sunday Reading

It's 2016.  A presidential year.  And we all have some important decisions to make.

So here's a little Sunday reading for you:
It doesn’t matter which one is more experienced, or which one’s policies are more likely to pass congress, or which one is more likely to win a general election, or which one is a man and which one is a woman. This is not about just this election, or just the next four years. This is about whether the Democratic Party is going to care about inequality for the next decade. We are making a historical decision between two distinct ideological paradigms, not a choice between flavors of popcorn. This is important. Choose carefully.Read the entire article here.

Extra Dry Hands?

I am blessed with hands that get super dry in the winter.  Cracking to the point of bleeding is not uncommon.

But this year I came at winter with a strategy!

My friend suggested coating my hands in thick lotion and then putting them in socks before going to bed.  I did this for awhile, until the newness wore out and I was tired.  Guys, I am always tired at night.  I'm a morning person over here.  So the socks were too far away.  I couldn't manage to get myself up to grab those socks.  This plan faded and my hands started to show it.

One morning (mornings are my jam) when my hands were getting close to the bleeding level, I coated my hands with the thick lotion I was using before bed, put my gloves on and made my way out the door for my commute.  And I am happy to report this plan has stuck!

My hands are nice and smooth (at least for several hours) and it's a system that works for me.

Any others with super dry hands out there?  What works best for you?  

Anything to make the wint…