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Showing posts from 2017


*Karen tells me that is not what I'm supposed to say, but it makes sense in my head...

Saturday I was in San Antonio for work, I did get to hang out with a friend while I was in town so that definitely made the trip better, combined with the fact that the volunteers there are just wonderful.

I knew Sunday was going to be overwhelming before I left on Friday.  I always write lists when I'm overwhelmed, I wrote a list.  (Even though I hardly referenced it on Sunday.)  Just writing it down helps me feel better.

Sunday we registered for at two places, starting at 9am.  When we finished the second one (which we were both dragging ourselves through) it felt like it was time for was 2pm.  Guys, this experience brought so much clarity to people's registerys.  I would not necessarily say it was a fun experience.  And I am very happy Mike seems to have a vision because we would limit the insane number of options down to a couple options together and then I would say I don'…

We're Engaged!

Mike & I are engaged!  We're pretty excited over here and trying to plan an August wedding.

He proposed at The Robey hotel rooftop and it was perfect.  He wanted a public proposal, I did not.  Somehow we both got what we wanted!
Note:  Mike decided it would be fun to put out our arms, which I followed his instructions.  He then decided it looked silly and did not pass along that decision to me... ;) P.S. Photo credit to my sister!
Just for fun, here are some "fun facts" about Mike:

He did improv at several Chicago places and graduated from iO's program.  One of the reasons we're often going to comedy shows with his friends in them.

He loves chocolate.  Like a lot.  To the point where if there's a sweet without chocolate he doesn't see the point.  This is only really a challenge with birthday cakes because my sister does not like chocolate.

He's a night owl.

He doesn't like yellow cheese.  He will pick around it.

His current favorite video game is grand…


Every morning I fire up a skillet and make kale and eggs.  (I like it.)  Sometimes I will have toast or add some cheese or on special days avocado!

I recently came across this idea for breakfast sandwiches - and I love breakfast sandwiches - on Cup of Jo from the lady behind Smitten Kitchen.  I've jumped in full force the last couple weeks and I love it!

It's super easy and somehow more delicious than my normal kale & eggs.  Maybe it's just the fact of mixing things up a bit.
Add a little water to the egg and beat it before pouring it into the skillet.  Cook briefly before adding the filling.
I'm a big kale for breakfast fan so it's kale for me.  Sometimes I add a little cheese if there's some around. 
Fold it up, right there in the skillet.  Let it cook a bit longer.  This helps my kale wilt a bit and cheese melt.
And done!  Super quick and easy!  I'm a fan of open faced sandwiches so I have a slice of toast at the bottom.


Society 6

My friend, Rubina, mentioned Society6 in the fall and I really enjoy it.

This is a great way to honestly support artists where there main tagline is "Every Purchase Pays An Artist."  Hundreds of thousands of artists use Society6 as a producer and Society6 prints their art on all kinds of products: t-shirts, blankets, art prints, coffee cups
I love my mug that Karen, my sister, gave me for Christmas.  I get compliments at coffee shops all the time and then I go in to my spiel about Society6...

Check it out!

Date Night

I think I've mentioned here before that my love language is quality time.  I am so glad I know this.  Typically, throughout Mike & my relationship we spend a lot of time together on the weekends.  Then we moved in together in August and I quickly found myself gone almost every weekend for work.  I also found myself annoyed at Mike a lot.  For pretty much no reason.  Except for the fact that we weren't spending as much quality time together as I need.

By the end of the fall we figured out if I'm going to be gone, we have to plan a date night for the week.

So last weekend was my first work weekend trip of this year.  We took ourselves out Thursday night (in the rain) and it made a huge difference.  We went to Reno and Spilt Milk and had a lovely night out (even though our clothes were quite wet at Spilt Milk).

Another Newsletter

We all know newsletters are the new thing.  They range from delivery once a day, once a week, once a month and accross the spectrum, delivered to your inbox.  So, another newsletter you ask.  Yes!  And it's great!

My latest discovery that I really enjoy, maybe you've discovered it too, is Eye Level.  It is a bi-monthly love letter to all things literary.  It's currently in it's third issue and I'm in love with it.

I've added great new reads to my library request list, the wait is long, but it's worth it.

Check out their three issues here!

5 Year Journal - Again

I know I've mentioned my 5 year journal here before, but now that I'm in my second year and everyday I get to look back at what I did that day last year I can't tell you how much I love it.  And I imagine I will love it more and more as the years go on.  I'm already dreaming of year 5!  

It takes a maximum of 5 minutes to jot down a few notes from the day and then you move on.

I have this one.  (I'm pretty sure it was more than $12 when my grandma got it for me so that looks like a steal.)
But this one looks amazing!

Wash & Repeat - Bottle Challenge

7 days without a plastic water bottle!  I'm proud :)

Now, wash that bottle and try to use it more often!

And if a campaign catches your eye, let me know, I'm in!

Water Bottle Challenge Summary

1 More Day!  Thanks for helping the environment with me a little bit this week and helping out to do something good!

Today, we have a very informative infographic to summarize.

Thank you for joining me to make a difference!

1 = 240 - Water Bottle Challenge

Hey Guys!  Happy Sunday!

It's already day 5 of the week water bottle challenge!  Did you find it easier or harder to remember your water bottle over the weekend?

Reusing 1 water bottle will prevent the purchase and consumption of more than 240 plastic bottles every year. (source)

Do you remember when water bottles were not popularized yet?  I feel like I do.  I was definitely young, but these are a recent development.  Meaning...we don't actually need them.

Energy to Recycle - Water Bottle Challenge

Day 4 - Fact 4

How are you doing?  Has remembering your water bottle become easier?  It'll be a habit before you know it!

Yes, recycling a water bottle is a better option than throwing it away.  And reusing it a few times before you recycle it is even better.  But right now we're reducing, the best option!

So let's chat about recycling, which is good.  The energy it takes to recycle plastic bottles is mind-boggling. It's no simple task to melt down all those bottles, and the plastic is usually degraded in the process and often can't be used for food-grade products again.  But not great.  (source and view a video of a recycling plant).

Reduce Reduce Reduce

And now for the much anticipated reader sister :)  When I told Karen about the challenge she responded "easy"  She always drinks out of her reusable bottle.  So I told her to send me a photo.  Here you go!

Thank you, Karen!

400 YEARS - Water Bottle Challenge

Day 3 - Fact 3

Plastic water bottles can take between 400 and 1,000 years to decompose. (source)

Let's just ignore the 1,000 years for a second because that's too much.

If you are lucky you will live as long a 1/4 of the life of a quickly decomposing water bottle.  That's only one water bottle.

Guess what?  If you use your own bottle, you don't have to worry!

Let's Talk $$ - Water Bottle Challenge

Here we are, day 2!
I'm always wont to save a buck or two.  How about saving a ton?  

Our first bottled water fact is on dolla dolla bills.

The recommended eight glasses of water a day, at U.S. tap rate equals about $.49 per year, that same amount of bottled water is about $1,400.  (source)

We are lucky enough to currently have tap water you can drink, unless you're in Flint, Michigan, than please don't.  You know they still haven't fixed the issue in Flint.  I bet anyone there will tell you how much they wish they could drink from the tap.  

I remember while living in Mexico we had a big jug of water we would take to the corner store, give them the empty container and take home a full one.  It was heavy!  Seriously, it was probably 30 pounds, at least.  I am always grateful to drink from the tap.

World Water Day - Bottle Challenge

Today is World Water Day!  What a perfect day to start our water bottle challenge!

Did you know it takes 3 times the amount of water in the bottle to make the bottle? And an average of 663 million people worldwide who do not have access to clean water.
Take a second and appreciate clean water.

Read more about World Water Day or consider making a donation to charity: water.

Water Bottle Campaign

One of my friends working in a non-profit once told me they couldn't imagine volunteering in addition to their regular work day because she gives so much of herself every day.  And I get that.  (I'm sure many people who work at for-profit organizations can feel that way too.)  Sometimes it's nice to do something you personally feel strongly about too.  It actually makes you feel better in general.

A couple weeks ago I was at a conference in Atlanta.  I sat down in the general session ballroom at the beginning of the second day.  The night before I worked in my hotel room while crying because I felt so overwhelmed (it made it difficult to read the emails I was answering).  So I was maybe not in the best space to feel interested in anything but sleep.  (Although the run in the morning did help!)

Then the CEO from kicked off the presentations.  When she was done I wanted to move to New York and work for them.  Needless to say it was a good speech.

While I will no…

Basic Illustrator

Oh, hey!

Sorry I've been MIA.  Do you ever feel like you're still tired from a work event you organized 3 weeks later?  Well, that's how I feel right now.  I took a PTO day last Friday to try and piece myself back together...and I think I still need another.

I feel like my job right now is to learn everything and master nothing.  With that said, if you ever need a basic video to introduce Illustrator, may I introduce: How to Vectorize.  It's been amazing this week.

That is all ;)

7 Cents

A Couple Weekends Ago:
Cashier: Would you like a bag today? Me: No, thank you.  I'll use my backpack. Cashier:  Save the 7 cents. Me:  And the environment. Cashier: People seem to care more about the 7 cents. Me:  Not me.
February 1st Chicago put a 7 cent tax in place for plastic bags and somehow it seems to be working!  Last year I was excited about a plastic bag ban and then a loophole slid in for stores to have even thicker bags that "people would reuse."  Spoiler: no one reused them.  And it was terrible.
So as February 1st approached I refused to get my hopes up.
Then I started to notice people bringing in bags or just saying they'd carry their stuff and skip the bag.  
I don't think I will come to understand how in other people's minds 7 cents is terrible and the thicker bags weren't.  Regardless I'm glad it's working.
P.S. Would you like to know more about terrible plastics?  Read here.

Chicago River North Branch

Let me set the scene.  Monday was President's Day, both Mike & I had the day off work and it was 60 degrees in February. 

Once Mike peeled himself out of bed from his recovery from the Auto Show.  (He was there for 12 hours and a little sore on Monday...)  I suggested a bike ride.  There's a sign by us that says Chicago River North Branch 1 1/4 miles.  Neither of us were familiar with it so we thought we go check it out.

First we started with empanadas from Cafe Tola.  Yum!

As we sat there we realized the 1 1/4 miles note didn't make any sense.  There is a Chicago River North Branch that is mostly in the suburbs and the furthest south it goes is Lawrence... was that it? That's definitely more than 1 1/4 miles north of us.  

We still don't know what that sign is referring to, but we ended up on the Chicago River North Branch and it was lovely.  A nice relaxing bike ride.  

We made it up to Skokie and decided to turn around underneath what we believe is the yellow lin…

Happy Valentine's Day!

Hate takes energy, love gives vibes.
This quote from Girls over the weekend is pretty appropriate in so many ways right now.

I've always liked Valentine's Day.  February 1st I get out my card materials and get to work on cards for my family, which I always enjoy doing.  I think Valentine's Day is at it's core a good reminder to care about people...all people.

Do you have plans for celebration?

Turns out Mike & I have very different ideas of how this holiday should be celebrated.  We ended up planning our own celebrations...with each other.

Sunday night we had "my Valentine's Day" and tonight we'll do "his Valentine's Day".  

Everyone's happy.

Running 2017

Guys, we went on our first outdoor run of 2017 over the weekend and it was amazing.

Yes, it was challenging.  Turns out my body just doesn't stay in running shape when I force myself to run 2 miles on the treadmill every once in awhile in the winter.  

Outside is my jam.

I promised Mike we'd go slow and not too far.  We did both.  We probably ended up around 4-5 miles.  Nothing crazy.  We're going to work our way into this.  It was a bit chilly but I still got home happy!

And we stopped for pie on the way home.  Balance.

Weekend Observations

River North will never be my scene.  It just won't.  Even if I get to see lovely friends there.

For the first time in my life, I made it on the "board" of a video game.  And then I didn't know how to put in my initials and put in AAA. :(

I'm not the girl who's going to wait for brunch at a new place (that takes reservations) when there are a ton of delicious places around the corner.  Note: make a reservation for The Robey.

The weekend was full of comedy and I think we all need some comedy right now.

Thursday we started at Unabridged Books.

Saturday we got to Green Mill for Paper Machete 45 minutes before it started and got the last table.  I walked away with a to do list: calling representatives, looking up some laws, etc.  One girl did a piece like "Ann Frank" ... amazing.  Another on women's rights...amazing.  There was a little stand-up: How come guys are called bros, almost as a compliment, and their female counterparts are called basic bitche…

Pod Save America

Anyone else trying to stay on top of everything happening politically and feeling overwhelmed?  Very overwhelmed?  


I'm reading terrifying articles (when the sun's out).  Reading them cautiously and thoughtfully.  Making calls.  Writing postcards.  (P.S.  If you're in Logan Square, Hopewell is having a postcard writing event on Thursday, February 2 at 5:30pm)

Two things I've discovered in the past week and enjoy:

Countable - it's an app to monitor how your representative are voting and what's currently happening in congress.  You can pick what specifically you would like updates on.

Pod Save America - I enjoy listening to podcasts during work.  Usually it's Cardinals podcasts, this week I delved in to Pod Save America.  It is a political podcast hosted by ex-Obama staffers.  They give it to you straight (which is quite terrifying), but their delivery is spot on and I'm not scared the way I am after reading recent news articles at the end.

Give it a try!

Action 1 of 10

Yes, I attended the Women's March in LA.  I was there for work and went to the march with my boss, a volunteer and her daughter, and Mike.  It was beautiful.  A very beautiful day.  Trump's first week in office has been a bit of a slap in the face.

Are you following along with the actions listed on the Women's March webpage.  There are all kinds of things you can do now, the actions gives you ideas for where to start.  The Women's March was the beginning.

The first action: write a postcard to your Senators.  Over the weekend I sat down and wrote.  Will you join me?

I know this is in no way sufficient.  It is a start.  I encourage you to start.  And a postcard is a great start.

Have you seen the girl who is sending a postcard to an elected official every day for 100 days?  Check it out on instagram.

P.S.  Just take a glance at this article.

I turned 30!

Guys, I turned 30 a week ago!  And had my big celebration almost two weeks ago.  It's been a busy couple weeks, but I'm here, now, to tell you about it!

Celebration #1
I started the celebrations with a small Logan Square bar crawl.  It was honestly really fun.  I really wasn't sure what to expect.  With us starting at 3 and traveling to 4 bars I assumed we would be done by ... 8:30..?  I got home at 12:30.  Whew.  My friends know how to party.

We started at Hopewell at 3.  I think this was the perfect first stop for a few reasons.  Hopewell is BUSY on the weekends, even during the day.  This was an easy place for people to filter in and gather as they were able to make it, in a bright and energetic place.  Then as it got more and more busy, we moved on.  Don't get there any later than 3 if you're meeting a group.  We got one of the last "spaces" when we walked in.

Then we traveled down Milwaukee to Rocking Horse.  This was a last minute decision.  I leaned th…

Shopping Style

I feel like there is such a spectrum for everyone's shopping styles.  I had an old co-worker who would receive a shipment of clothes from online shopping almost every week.  (She returned most of it, but, hey, no judgement here.)  That's her shopping style.

When we moved in August I knew I would need to do a major closet cleanse (and then some).  I did really go through my clothes and donate a lot before we moved and my clothes still filled our living room chairs for a couple days because there wasn't room in my closet.  My new closet is probably a third of the size of my old closet.  I did some sorting, I embraced some organization and I got it to work.  

I think I've bought three or four new clothing items since then.  And the excuse I always say is, "I don't have any room."

To be fair.  If I was more near the spectrum of enjoying shopping and enjoying new pieces all the time, I would donate clothes to make room for new items.  I'm just not.

I enjoy get…

Zero Waste

This seems like a great resolution for 2017.  Produce less waste!

P.S.  See the article here.

Comedy Nights

I'm not sure Mike & I knew how popular comedy nights are in Logan Square when we moved in.  Now we most certainly do.

Unabridged Bookstore has a comedy night the 1st Thursday of every month at 7:00
Cole's has an open mic (which is usually stand-up comedy) every Wednesday at 9:30

We've started to become regulars at Unabridged.  7:00 can be a bit tight with Mike coming home from work so one time I had plans with a friend right after work and met him there.  Last night he got home and we bundled up (0 degrees is no joke) and hustled over.  (It's a good thing for us that they usually start late.)

It's BYOB, but they usually have old style and PBR too.
I recommend it, my friends.


Wednesday I had set-up camp to work at the gym for a bit after my morning class and my instructor made his way over to chat.

As we're chatting he says, "I was thinking about you last night.  How many years have you been coming to class?"

I stopped for a second and started thinking what job I was at when I first started coming, I said 3 or 4.  Then he said he was thinking 5.  And I think he's probably closer.  5 years taking one class (maybe more)!  Time is crazy sometimes.

So many things have changed and yet, somehow, this one class remained constant in my schedule.  (Although my attendance during my work traveling years was more limited.)

I met friends in this class.  It's the only class I can tolerate weights (because he mixes in a lot of cardio too).  When my friend Molly moved to St. Louis over the summer, one of the things she said is she hasn't been able to find Michael's class...hopefully yet.

Who knew when I started the class that this is what it would…