Tuesday, September 29, 2009

weekend top 10

i had a really good weekend and i absolutely despise tuesdays so i figured i can perk myself up with recapping my fun weekend!

10. insane power shopping after work on friday - some of the favorite items purchased: new knit dress, cute white tee with pouf sleeves and adorable blocks for my friend's baby.

9. my coworker visited me while i was filling in at the store i used to work at in college on sunday and he brought me a red velvet cupcake from sweet mandy b's!! so amazing.

8. got to walk through the east lakeview art fair on saturday morning and saw a bunch of great art!

7. took a hip hop dance class on saturday and had an absolute blast!

6. hung out with my bff all saturday afternoon for a good catch up and a delicious homecooked lunch!

5. had a date night with the bf at the chicago brauhaus for some oktoberfest fun! we watched a ridiculous polka band, enjoyed some beers and amazing food!

4. went to the grizzly bear show at the metro with the bf and it was fantastic.

3. tried mac & cheese pizza MMMMMM

2. invited a bunch of people to join me at a coworkers bday and they all came! it was great to have all of my friends together in one place :)

1. participated in a dance off at the coworkers party and lost to a man who could do the splits. hilarious and fun!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

getting old...

i have recently realized that i'm no longer a kid. sad. i don't party like a rockstar anymore, i don't rely on my parents for much of anything anymore, i'm financially independent and i don't have the energy to stay up much later than midnight during the week. i'm old. while i rejected the idea of being a grown up last year and still partied quite a bit in rebellion...i've now come to accept this new maturity and enjoy it. instead of evaluating my summer by how many crazy nights me and my girls had as i used to - i look back at this summer (and early fall) and think of all the wonderful memories i have. i've spent the last few months doing interesting activities, celebrating special occasions and spending quality time with the people i love. i went to a crap ton of festivals this summer, went to the zoo a couple of times with my parents and had a few trips to michigan. my best friend was in from munich with her bf this summer and we had so much fun having all of the high school girls reunited. my 25th birthday was so amazing and memorable - with the all girls pottery painting party and then the elaborate surprise party the next day - my bday alone could easily make this summer the best one yet. i also had some nice vacations - one to hunky dory with the bf's fam and another to nashville for a southern adventure. i spent a lot of time with friends -reconnected with the ones i hadn't seen for awhile and definitely hung out with my favorites too! we did more than just getting drunk at dive bars - but we did that too! we went to farmers markets, had a dinner party, saw a movie in the park, went to wine bars and all sorts of ther fun things. i hung out with the bf a ton and had lots of date nights. oh and i went skydiving!

overall, it wasn't my most exciting summer but it was probably one of the best and most memorable ones that i can remember full of quality time with family, friends and the bf and cool chicago activities. the rest of fall is looking pretty damn good too! i guess i can get used to this grownup stuff.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

wmu memories

i really don't think high school juniors/seniors should be allowed to decide where they're going to college. i truly had no idea what i really wanted out of my college experience at that time and ended up making a fairly terrible choice. i THOUGHT i wanted to go to a big state school and get the "real" college experience. i wasn't a huge fan of any of the illinois state schools and about 80% of my graduating class was heading to those schools and i really didn't need a repeat of high school. so i looked to michigan - i was into northern michigan (in the freaking UP) and western michigan. my parents took me to WMU for a visit and i totally fell in love with it. i loved all the trees, the huge campus with art spread throughout it, the huge student center with everything you could ever need...it's exactly what i thought college should be. a few people i knew from high school and one of my very best friends also decided to go to wmu so i was really excited but after a few months i hated it. i didn't have a car so i was kind of trapped on campus, my roommate was pretty cool but her boyfriend came to visit every weekend and took over our room, everyone in my dorm always had their door closed so i didn't get to know anyone and every party we went to got busted. my classes were my saving grace - i started off as an art major. i loved the people in them and i just loved creating ALL THE TIME. but after getting through my first year and giving a second one a shot - i hated it even more by fall. my classes weren't enough to keep me there. it just wasn't the school for me. most of the people there weren't the type of people i wanted to spend time with, i knew i would never get anywhere as far as a career and kalamazoo just isn't that exciting. so i decided to transfer. i was thinking columbia or loyola and then my parents suggested depaul (which is where they originally wanted me to go - go figure) and when i visited the campus i literally felt like i was home. i'm still completely confident that coming to depaul was the right choice for me but every fall i definitely miss western. my heart aches for the feeling i had going to classes on a big college campus with the leaves changing all around me and crisp cool air. now that fall is coming to chicago i started thinking about all the things i loved about wmu that actually made some of my time there pretty special.

taking 8:30am drawing classes my frosh year - i loved break time with my classmates - we'd go to the little cafe in sangren hall and get toasted bagels and cream cheese and chat.

drawing in this outdoor courtyard that was hidden from the rest of campus

my dance classes! i met so many nice people in those classes and enjoyed them so much. i also remember going to a senior performance with my mom that was so special.

the huge theatre on campus - got to see dane cook, pilabolus and stomp there.

the hookah lounge! totally spent a ton of time there freshmen year

my jewelry & metal working professor. one of the most inspirational professors i have ever had.

art exhibitions - there was a big student show every year that was outstanding, i was selected for the small freshmen art exhibit and there was a gallery a bit off campus that students could do shows in and host openings - i went to a ton and absolutely loved them all

the trees and stars!!! oh how i miss the beautiful trees changing colors and crunching under my feet for a nice long fall. fall was so much more outstanding there and the stars were so increcibly clear.

there are so many things about western i miss - the quality of the art classes, the huge campus, having real seasons and just that overall actual college vibe that doesn't really exist at depaul. i know that ultimately i made the right decision coming to depaul and i think i'm pretty lucky that i got to split my college experience into two totally different worlds.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

festival season

as the summer comes to a close i'm scrambling to attend the last few chicago fests of the season so that i can fully feel like i've taken advantage of this awesome chicago tradition. every year i wish i went to more and there are always fests that i am bummed i missed out on. this year however, i've done a pretty good job of hitting up a ton of fests!

it started with the wells street art faire i think where i bought some really cool pieces, then the do division fest for some cool bands and good food, then the metronome fest in logan square to see a friend's band play, next up was the randolph street fest for tara's birthday and it was blazzzzing hot but a ton of fun! i took a little bit of a timeout on festivals in july and only made it to the taste of chicago. then in august we started it off with the north hasted market days which is always the best people watching, then we did lollapalooza...well sort of. it was way too hot and smelly so we barely went. then later on in august we did the taste of greece which had the tastiest food ever. and now summer has come to an end but luckily there are still chicago fests in september! i stopped by celtic fest this sunday in honor of my irish heritage and then at night the bf and i went to the german-american fest for some beer and sausage. it was a blast! tomorrow i'm going to the berghoff oktoberfest. this weekend there is an apple fest i'm interested in. next weekend is oktoberfest in lincoln square, lakeview arts fest in my hood and the chinatown new moon festival. and i think that's it. all in all by the end of september i should have hit up a grand total of 15 festivals! i think that's pretty impressive. i love activities and taking advantage of this city so doing as many festivals as possible is a huge accomplishment to me! overall, the german-american fest has been my favorite with taste of greece in a close second. i'll have to report back on the last few!

Thursday, September 10, 2009


skydiving has been on my life to-do list for about 7 years now and i finally got to cross it off! a couple of weeks ago the groupon was for a discount on skydiving and it definitely put a little fire under my butt to get it over with! my bff decided to go too. i was really excited during the days leading up to it but on the actual day i was FREAKING out. we drove all the way out to hinkley, il and ended up having to wait FOREVER because apparently skydivers are just like surfers - totally laid back with no structure. during the wait we got to watch a ton of people jump and land safely. we finally geared up after 3 hours of waiting and my instructor was SO nice! he definitely helped me calm down and made me feel totally comfortable. but i was still petrified. we finally boarded the plane and me and my friend were set to jump last. i got more nervous as the plane got higher and freaked out when we were the last to jump. the rest is all kind of surreal. i barely remember what it felt like to walk up to the open door of the plane to jump out. he snapped my head back and pushed off the plane and off we went. it all happened so fast. when we were free falling at 120 miles per hour i have no idea what i saw or what was around me. i just remember it being super cold and not knowing what to do with my mouth because if i tried to close it - it shot open, if i tried to scream - nothing came out. so i just tried to relax and enjoy the intense ridiculous experience of being sucked to the ground for 1 minute. it felt like forever. the instructor alerted me when it was time to pull the cord. when i did it shot us back up in the air and then it was all wonderful from there on out. i felt safe and calm and could enjoy the view as we floated down. my friend's instructor slowed them down so we could be close to each other and scream to one another in the air. it was so cool! he showed me how to maneuver the parachute so we could spin and make it a bit more exciting on the way down. we landed safely and got all ungeared and realized we were EXHAUSTED and totally nauseous! it's quite the rush that wears you out! the whole experience felt totally exhilarating and surreal. i still haven't been able to put the experience into words properly so this post doesn't even do it justice. i can't wait to do it again someday!

enjoy the thumbs up photos...lameeee i know

Friday, September 4, 2009

weekly highlights!

MONDAY: bingo ofcourse!
TUESDAY: i was recently asked to train new project leaders for chicago cares. this is a huge honor and i'm so flattered to be given this responsibility. i had the training for this on tuesday night and i'm excited to get more involved!
WEDNESDAY: awesome event for work - fireworks boat cruise! we got a wonderful overview of architecture along the chicago river and an excellent view of the fireworks from navy pier. everyone really enjoyed it and i was so happy it went well!
THURSDAY: date night with the bf at the brew & view. gotta love cheap flicks, draft brews and snuggling with my babe!
FRIDAY: my oldest friend asked me to be in her wedding!!!!!!!!!!!!! i'm SO unbelievably honored and excited to be a part of their special day!

estimated weekend highlights....
SATURDAY: going skydiving. omg. that will be a whole post on it's own next week!
SUNDAY: going to michigan with the bf

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

lucky me photo collection.

i'm so lucky because of the people in my life and the wonderful, exciting things i get to do with them all.

top to bottom - left to right: 1. visiting my bff in munich for oktoberfest '08 2. posing in praha with zdenek - my amazing tour guide from study abroad 3. horseback riding in lake geneva with my bff 4. feeding the penguins at brookfield zoo for my '09 valentine's day gift 5. bff photo shoot 6. with my wonderful parents and the bf in front of my favorite ice cream shop in michigan 7. shot of my study abroad girls in vienna 8. with my other family - the bf's at hunky dory 2009 9. all my best friends on my 25th bday 10. one of my fav pics with the bf in san francisco