Sunday, May 23, 2010

depaul, daley, doughnuts and dolphins.

this weekend involved several events because depaul just launched the many dreams - one mission capital campaign to raise funds for scholarships, faculty and campus expansion. my department is part of the office of advancement who is coordinating the campaign so we have been involved with the process. on thursday they did the big announcement with a big picnic on campus, friday i coordinated an event for consecutive donors and volunteers and saturday was the HUGEEEE gala! the event on friday was really great - a bunch of my wonderful student volunteers came and everyone really enjoyed themselves. i actually didn't have to do much on saturday - the crew had it all under control. i worked with the students a tiny bit but not much. so basically i got to enjoy one of our events - it was a welcome change. the event had many components included a theatrical performance, a depaul song, cocktails, dinner, speech from mayor daley (one of our famous alumni) and a dessert buffet - which included a doughnut machine-YUM! i got to spend a lot of time with my wonderful student volunteers before the end. i just love them. i feel so lucky to work with these outstanding students - they truly are depaul and remind me why my job rocks. then all the staff members working went to the university house which is a beautiful lincoln park town home that the president hosts out of town guests at. we got to take off our heels, chat and enjoy some wine. it was really nice! overall the launch was a huge success and i'm very proud to be part of this exciting time. i would STRONGLY encourage you to give to the campaign - even $1 makes a huge difference for us and depaul students. DO IT!

as for the rest of my weekend - it was pretty nice! on friday night i got to meet my pal, ryann out for drinks. it was nice to catch up and watch the end of the hawks game. then on saturday during the day rob and i went to the bagel for brunch - it had been ages since we had gone for brunch so it was really great! then we shopped a bit for new glasses for him and possibly found some cool new frames. afterwards i went to the farmers market down the street and got some cheese and pretzel bread - love farmers markets! it felt really nice to not have any real plans until later that night. i felt like a normal person - not the crazy busy person i have been recently. i'm starting to learn how to just chill out and take the day as it comes and just do what i want. and today was just the absolute best! rob had suggested we have a picnic and go to the shedd with my new membership he got me. we went to whole foods and got some yummie lunch items to take to the lakefront. we found a perfect spot in the shade and got some amazing lake breezes. then we hit up the shedd. i just love it there. it's so pretty and i love the otters and dolphins and penguins - all of it! we had a really great time despite the horrible fantasea show which is their new dolphin, beluga whale, hawk and penguin show. skip it people. it felt great to get out and enjoy the outdoors and the city - it had been awhile! apparently it's full blown summer now because its supposed to be in the 80s all week! hope everyone enjoyed their weekends!

Friday, May 21, 2010

8 year anniversary.

this wednesday the bf and i celebrated our 8 year anniversary! it's seriously hard to believe we've been together that long - sure we've had a few break ups here and there but we didn't spend that much time separated. we've been through A LOT together and we had to grow up together. looking back on those past 8 years, i think we're in the best place we've ever been. i couldn't be happier. i feel very lucky to have such a patient and thoughtful boyfriend that i still have an absolute blast with no matter what we do.

this was a wonderful anniversary celebration. on wednesday we opened presents, made dinner together and got our favorite ice cream at bobtail. when i got home, i was greeted by very pretty flowers. he knows it's kind of a requirement. then we opened presents. i got him a few small things - a gift card to five guys - one of his faves, a photo book with 1 pic from each of the last 8 years that has room to add on as we go, a shower mirror for shaving that is fancy and steam free and i'm going to pay for a basic bike maintenance class at west town bikes. he liked it all! he got me a lovely card and a membership to the shedd aquarium!!!! i'm so excited, i absolutely love the shedd but don't go very often because admission is kind of pricey. i get to bring a guest with me every time i go too. it's truly the perfect gift. we are going to have a picnic on sunday (if it's nice out) on the museum campus and then go for a visit. can't wait! later on we made a simple dinner - a cheesy chicken concoction we came up with and then we walked to bobtail for some yummie ice cream. they have a bunch of board games there and we played guess who, one of my favorites! rob beat me though.

then last night we decided to take a cooking class. we were both kind of nervous but i called chopping block and they said it was a beginner class. we got partnered with another couple that had no cooking skills so we didn't feel so useless. the chef/instructor went over 3 parts at a time and then would make us just go for it. i definitely thought she would go step by step but she didnt. scary! so rob and i first tackled the citrus herb butter which involved getting lemon and orange zest and mincing herbs and then whipping the butter. we did ok. the other couple cut the potatoes, cut the herbs and got those baking. they also made the biscuits for the dessert. rob chopped the strawberries and i sugared them and cut the mint for them and tossed them together. then she did more instructions for the next part and i tried to 'supreme' an orange - i needed rob's help. then we both worked on cutting the veggies to go with the entree. the other couple grilled the veggies for the salad. then rob and i tackled the walnut vinagrette. that was probably the most in depth thing we did. i got all the ingredients together - rob whisked his little heart out and then we adjusted it as we went based on how it tasted. then i broke up the goat cheese for the salad and got the grilled veggies and tossed it with the salad dressing. then we put the cut up veggies in with the salmon in little parchment pouches. she wanted us to bake them to be medium rare but i said no way and left mine in longer. good thing i did! no one else really liked their rare salmon but mine was pretty good. this was definitely an experience and pretty fun but also kind of frustrating at times. kind of a cool thing to do as a couple. see some of the ingredients and finished product below. yum!

Monday, May 17, 2010

love your body day.

so love your body day ( isn't actually until october 21 but i'm happy to report i'm loving my bod today! i have gotten into a pretty serious kick of working out lately. more than i ever have before and the most challenging work outs i've probably ever done - and i love it! i take a lot of different fitness classes and i think that's what has done made the difference. my legs have trimmed down a little, lost some of my love handles, some chub in my face and overall ive shed about 5lbs. and that makes me happy and gives me a sense of accomplishment. i tried spinning for the first time last week and did my best to keep up and i also did a muscle work class and felt so much stronger than i did the last time i took the class. not only are the work outs showing results, they also make me more relaxed. if i'm not in a class, i'm just on an eliptical or ski machine watching grey's anatomy or say yes to the dress. what's better than that??

it's always a work in progress - no girl will ever be 100% happy with their bod but i'm happy with what i've accomplished right now.

now my eating habits are another story...i just love food so much and it's really hard for me to live with any strict diet. i pretty much just try to be healthy when i can but don't forbid myself from enjoying things like hot dogs at the cubs game or trying out new restaurants. i mean you only live once and i can't imagine living it without occasional junk food and beer :).

sorry if this post is a bit obnoxious but i don't think there's anything wrong with being happy with how you look every once and awhile! if youre a bit down on how you look or not 100% happy, pick your favorite thing about your bod and embrace it!!!!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

friday funday & sleepy saturday

this friday i had freebie cubs tix from work. i took rob and my coworker and her husband went too. it was really gorgeous out and it was nice to leave work early that day after how chaotic it has been! it was very windy that day but we somehow ended up out of the breeze and it was just perfect. i'm not really into baseball but i LOVE the atmosphere! i always have to get a hot dog. i think i said 10 times while eating it, "i love hot dogs!" then you have to get some beers and later rob and i got pretzels and cheese. YUM! i felt fairly disgusting afterwards but it was well worth it!

after the game rob and i went home and i passed out for about 2 hours on the couch. lovely nap! then my friend darc came over and took us to the local natives concert at schubas. AWESOME show!!! darc and i just got into them recently and we loved it! i hadn't been to a show that i knew all the words to the songs in awhile and it was fun to belt out the lyrics!

after the show we went home real early because i had to get up for an event saturday morning. it was a fun-filled day and i was happy to relax at the end of the night.

saturday i had to wake up earlier than i'd like to work our spring tour. people LOVE these tours and that's why we keep doing them but man they're a pain in the butt. we have to bring water and boxed lunches on the bus for the guests so i had to lug a huge cooler filled with 20 pounds of ice from my neighborhood to downtown - real fun on the train and then transport it to a bus and get 2 cases of water and 50 boxed lunches on board as well. it's truly a huge headache. i started the day at 8 a.m. and it ended at 330. i seriously was soooo exhausted. i came home squeezed in an hour nap and then was on my way out again. i was meeting rob for dinner at big star and guess who we ran into?? darc and friends! we were able to pull up a chair and eat with them. i was kind of a zombie from how exhausted i was but it was fun of course. i didn't enjoy the service or 'tudes at big star but my food was real yummie! i had a crispy pork belly taco and chicken tostada. i really liked it! after that the bf and i went to his friend's engagement party. we got stuck there a tad longer than expected and that threw a kink in my plans and just ended up meeting a friend at a bar near the party for a few drinks. time escaped me yet again after a couple of hours of girl talk. my other friend came and met us for a bit longer and then it was time to call it a night.

i slept great last night and woke up ready to conquer the day! i grabbed a bagel at The Bagel and came home to clean my apartment, tackle the pounds of laundry, finish my homework and work on some random projects. i kind of just did whatever i wanted this weekend which was probably kind of obnoxious but it's what i needed. i was just too sleepy and run down to do much of anything. but i had a nice weekend nonetheless and i got to spend time with lots of fun people. promise i'll be more fun in weekends to come friends!!!

Monday, May 10, 2010

happy, calm and ready.

after last week's complete panic attack and sob fest, i'm happy to report that i'm pleased as punch. i think having a good cry and venting to all my supportive friends and coworkers made me feel a million times better. the weekend was a blast and also helped me destress. on friday i went to the ballet with my good friend and her coworker. we got the groupon for eclectica awhile back. the seats were awesome! i was so surprised that we were so close to the stage for such cheap tickets! they show included 3 unique pieces and it had 2 intermissions which was great for us girls to talk in between each piece. the first piece was very pretty and romantic, the second totally funky and reminded me a lot of the choreography and outfits we'd wear for winterguard and the last piece was beautiful, but one of the girls fell! i've never seen that before! afterwards i went home to join the bf on the couch and we watched "an education." the next day i had a quick luncheon for my student volunteers. they are so adorable and funny. they were all asking what i was doing this weekend, curious about the big bachelorette party and wanted to see all my travel photos in my office. they keep me young, i swear. then i packed up all the alcohol and bachelorette party decor and was on my way. the co-maid of honor got to the hotel (hyatt mccormick place suite - crrrrazy view on the 31st floor!) and decorated our little hearts out. we had all sorts of typical bachelorette party goodies (i.e penis straws and kama sutra balloons) then we had some cute stuff too like caution tape and streamers, glittery buttons and stickers for everyone. we got pasta bowl delivered and had lots and lots of champagne and jello shots. we also had a masseuse and sex toy lady come. it was quite festive. then we went out for a bit and danced our hearts out. i had WAY too much champagne and woke up with the worst headache/hangover i think i've ever had. but man was it worth it. i had such a fantastic time getting wild and crazy! sunday i could not move or function until about noon. the bf took me to return the cat - she attacked me too many more times so she got the boot. i'm SO happy to have her gone. i felt like a big weight was taken off my shoulders and i could relax at home more. i didn't always have to be on the look out for the little devil. and it was nice to toss her literbox and take all the sheets off my furniture. then we drove out to naperville (took 2 hours rather than 45 minutes - thanks 290) and hung out with my mom, bro, dad, aunt and cousins. my cousins bdays are this week so we did a big joint bday/mother's day celebration. it was really nice and they have 2 maltese pups and i realized how much more of a dog person i am than cat. maybe ill start fostering them instead!

i'm feeling totally relaxed and happy and ready to take on all the challenges i have this week. im also thrilled that all i have to do tomorrow is go to the chiropractor and then go home and chill out. wednesday im taking a fitness class and volunteering with my seniors, thursday i might go to a pop can art show and friday i have a half day at work before going to the cubs game and a concert and saturday i have to work an event but it will be a fun one. i'm seriously so ready and looking forward to all of it! hope everyone else had a nice weekend!

Friday, May 7, 2010

going out of my head.

so last night i officially lost it. i've been feeling the pressure, exhaustion and stress for awhile and last night it all came together and i LOST IT. crying, yelling gibberish, hiding under my covers, etc.

truth is, i love to be busy. it feels good to be productive and i love filling my days with activities, time with friends, the bf, checking out things in the city and yes, even working. however, right now all those things are kicking my butt and there are just too many of them to keep my head above water. i have had to staff a lot of events lately - weeknights and almost every saturday since mid april. the last time i didnt have something i had to do after work was april 13 i think. GROSS!

so i made a list of things that i would like to do that would make me happy. (lists make me happy)
1. take fitness classes. i LOVE taking these challenging fitness classes. they make me feel very accomplished and you don't have to speak for the whole hour. glorious! ive been too busy lately to do them so ive been stuck on the eliptical or treadmill for a half assed work out.

2. paint pottery. i love painting pottery - specifically alone - because it's a nice quiet time activity and i get to be creative.

3. scrapbook. i have a TON of pictures and scrapbooking crap but no time to do it. it makes me very happy. i like that there is a finished product that i can enjoy over and over again.

4. go straight home from work one day. i NEVER do this. i always either have something i have to do or go to the gym. i work until 430 but i usually don't get home until 8 or after.

5. get a real massage. i go to the chiropractor almost every week and get a "body treatment" but it's not as glorious as a spa massage. i really need one and it's the ultimate relaxation for me!

6. do art. i just wrote about this. again, no time to really dive into anything right now.

7. sleep in. i haven't been able to sleep in much on the weekends like i really like to do because of work and other activities. i'm hoping i can this sunday!

8. eat junk food. i have been trying to be really good about eating and working out lately. for example, my lunch consists of chicken noodle soup, strawberries and carrots. what i really want is a hotdog and cheese fries.

9. spend the day with my man. i haven't been able to do this and it's needed!

10. have the energy to go out like a wild woman with my girlfriends! the past few weekends i've wanted to make them the best nights ever but i've just been too sleepy to stay out too terribly late!

i realize that i often don't allow myself to do the things i really want to do and get caught up in what i think i should do or need to do. hopefully things will die down and i can do the things that i've been missing out on. wish me luck!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

latest foster kitty.

i got a new foster kitty about 2 weeks ago. i am trying out a new program through PAWS. i used to go all the way down to their intake center, take in a sickly cat that wasn't ready to go to the adoption center. it was real hard to get there and sickly ones can be kind of tricky. i found out that the nearby lincoln park adoption center also does fostering. they put cats that don't "show" well into foster care so that the foster parent can write a little bio about how great they are at home and add some adorable pictures to help encourage adoptions.

i went in to met honey bee. as soon as i walked into the room she ran to the top of the cat tree out of my reach. the head volunteer brought her down so i could meet her and she was skittish but sweet. he said that she always shys away from new people and doesnt like to play around other cats. i said sure, let's go for it. he tried to put her in a carrier and she went APE SHIT crazy. great sign! in the cab she was scratching the inside of the crate like a pyscho. awesome. then i get her home and she bolts for under the bed. for like 3 hours. she finally came out for a belly rub and appeared to be very sweet.
she likes to drink out the faucet and our cups. she likes to scratch at my leather couch too. she really likes to be brushed and play with feathers and she sheds like no other. she was all sprite and delight until she attacked the crap out of me a couple of days into her fostering. she randomly jumped on my arm and bit me and clawed me while i was studying. it was INSANE and very scary! then it happened like 3 more times within 2 weeks. couldnt figure it out at all. bought lots of toys and treats and had planned play sessions and it still didn't help. she attacked the bf once last week but since then she's been fine. playful but not aggressive and fairly cuddly and needy. not really sure what changed but i'm relieved because i was terrified she was going to claw my face. she's pretty darn cute looking too.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

art lover.

lately ive been missing art. i used to get to do artwork all the time for school-drawing, mixed media, printmaking, jewelry making. even after i graduated i took the time to do small art projects. now, i find it hard to find time for it and i lack the inspiration i once had. i'm starting to get the itch again so hopefully i will start to pick it up again but for now i've been enjoying other people's art. last weekend at the dance thing i went to the walls were covered in art. my good friend and old roomie had a few fantastic pieces! she inspired me to do more myself. then on tuesday last week i visited the MCA for their free day. i did not understand a thing. i loved it though. everything was incredibly abstract and modern and didn't make a lick of sense. some of it was super ugly, some of it was gorgeous and some of it was very funny. i was so happy to go because it had been awhile since my last visit. on friday the bf and i joined his friend and gf at our favorite theatre for the opening of "exit through the gift shop" a documentary about street art. i loved it. it was funny, interesting and filled with intriguing art. i highly recommend it. this saturday i made a pitstop at the cultural center and viewed some photographs, some pieces done by young adults with disabilities and my favorite - a paper jewelry exhibit. i get so happy when i go there. i love that it's always free and that its beautiful inside. it's one of my favorite chicago spots. later that day i got the chance to go to artropolis at merchandise mart. unfortunately my friends and i were dragging and super duper tired. artropolis is not the place to go when you're tired. there were 3 different floors and endless rows of art. we first stopped in the emerging artists floor. it was pretty cool and we saw some great pieces. then we went to the other floor with more established artists and it knocked or socks off. i fell in love with all that glittered. i love crafty kitschy art and there was a fair amount there. there were pieces completely made out of sequins - love it! my favorite were these pieces that used straws to create 3d shapes like lips and an eye. there was so much art there it was quite overwhelming but we got to see some very interesting and spectacular pieces and i'm so grateful we got to go.

hopefully i'll do something interesting on my own someday soon!