Friday, July 23, 2010

later gators!

i'm off to wisconsin tomorrow a.m. with the boyfriend's family! i'm really excited to lay around, read books and spend time with the jensen crew. i'll be mia for a week and i might i have time to post a quick recap before i leave for france a few days later!

have a great week everyone!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

cramming it in

so this weekend was quite full - and totally great! i'm about to leave for a week long vaca and then shortly after that i'm going to france for 12 days so i'm really trying to spend a lot of time with friends and the people i love before i can't see them for awhile. i'm so glad that everyone has been making time to hang out with me!

friday my bud tara had an urban picnic - she fired up her new grill and we burned the crap out of asparagus and onions but sort of successfully made potatoes and also rocked the brats. she spread blankets out on her porch and lit some candles and poof - an urban picnic/bbq! the guest list was fabulous! my friend caitlin was in from cali, jamie in from michigan, shalva back from israel, tara's friend from oregon and our friends jenny and nicole. it was super fun and i'm so glad we all got together to enjoy the great weather. afterwards we grabbed drinks close by and it was a slight disaster because everyone at the bar was so intoxicated but fun nonetheless.

on saturday me, caitlin and jamie went to brunch and john's place. i had this delic skillet type thing with ham, potatoes, eggs and more. it was super yummie! afterwards we went to the sheffield garden walk and met our friends bryan and his girlfriend tal. we checked out the gardens and some of them were really pretty. it was BLAZZZZING hot and we were all really uncomfortable. we made a pit stop in floriole for water and treats. i've been wanting to check it out for weeks. i had a fruit tart and it was incredibly overpriced but it was divine! then we went to the fest and met up with our friend shalva and i saw my friends band play. i left the fest a little early to hit the road to go to my friend meg's for a girlie slumber party. we got pizza, drank wine and talked for hours about horrible fashion choices in high school. i recalled a hot pink stretchy one shouldered tank that had silver sparkly flames on the bottom. GROSS! so funny though. it was a ton of fun and meg and her daughter bella are good hostesses!

the next day i ran to my parent's house for catching up and lunch and then went to rob's family's house (without rob because he was at pitchfork) to celebrate cody's graduation. i love his family so it was great to spend time with them and to see how much little luke has grown since i last saw him! then i came back to chicago and went out with caitlin for her last night in the city. we grabbed drinks close by and stayed out pretty late for me!! i was wiped monday but still had energy for bingo. then nicole and ryann came over for a few beers and catch up which was nice. i finally got to see rob after not seeing him forever because of pitchfork. i like when he's around all the time :) then last night i went out to dinner at devon seafood grill with darcy and molly. it was wonderful to spend time with them and to try some new foods - i got walu (a light white fish), asparagus and lobster mac & cheese. YUM! we all felt very full afterwards but it was worth it!

overall i feel like i'm really fitting everyone and everything in. it's turning out to be one heck of a summer and i can't wait to make it even better with hunky dory (yes its actually called that!) next week and france on august 3. it's flying by!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

morning commute fashion show!

every once and awhile i go through little funks with hating my wardrobe. i'm in one of those funks at the moment. and i even just went shopping! i got a few completely unpractical items. i went for new dresses and new work tops. i got 2 tank tops, 1 dress, 2 random patterned tops, a purse and some other crap. not really what i needed and now i go to work everyday in the same old crap and i'm totally over it! every morning on my commute i'd admire other girls' outfits and long for a completely different wardrobe. there is no particular style that i focus on. i like the funky clothes, the professional outfits, put together looks and more. just this morning i was checking out all the sleek and sophisticated sleeveless dresses on ladies walking by. yesterday i was checking out high waisted skirts with flowy blouses. i get frustrated that i don't have any interesting pieces that i always just look so so for work and that i never feel very stylish. i get very jealous of girls with great accessories like belts or scarves. i'm so low maintenance, i'm don't really do accessories very well. i have no clue how to make my wardrobe more complete and satisfying. maybe i need a stylist? i'm just not very good at looking at the big picture when i shop so i don't know where to start. anyone else have any pointers on how to tackle your wardrobe??

Monday, July 12, 2010

new people, places and things

this weekend i tried all sorts of new things and went to new places. friday was great because i didn't really have any plans set and i ALWAYS have plans set. i went over to darcy's new apartment and it's AMAZING! i'm so happy for her and i can't wait to go over and visit more. we went to dinner at lokal which i had never been to before. darc had a coupon and we got to enjoy wonderful food for cheap! i had Grilled Pork Tenderloin, gnocchi, caramelized onion, sun dried tomato and darc got Pan Roasted Barramundi Sea Bass, wilted spinach, pearl pasta. we split the dishes. i loved mine because it was so flavorful and filling and darcy's because it was super light. afterwards we hung out with her roomies on their gorgeous porch. then i met some of my rugby girls for drinks and catching up. after that i met rob and his friends at trader todds...will never go there again. it was a madhouse full of super drunk people. we only stayed for a bit but got to hear a lovely karaoke rendition of the full house theme song.

saturday was pretty much dedicated to my alumni event in lake villa. we had an event for an alumni donor at his favorite restaurant in their pavilion. its a bit of a drive so i rented a car and went up there. the alumnus and his wife are SO sweet and so were the owners of the restaurant. they took very good care of us. it was nice to kick back and relax outside with a view of a gorgeous lake and eat good food. it made me think it would be nice to live up there in the peace and quiet and pretty sunsets. but then i realized i'd go nutso after a day and drove back to the city for rob's show at schubas. our friends that just moved back from nyc came and it was so nice to catch up with them!

sunday rob and i got to the house of blues gospel brunch. i was checking it out for an event and got to go for free - booyah! the buffet was insane! they had SO much and we chowed down. the gospel show was much more interactive than i expected but super fun and rob was a trooper. we had a really great time and we will be doing an event there this fall! afterwards we went to the folks and roots festival for a little bit because rob got a free passes. we were a bit hot and tired from the brunch so we only stayed for a bit but i was glad we could check it out!

it was a great weekend and i was happy to try new things! this week is going to be great too (even though i'm under the weather) tomorrow i'm getting a pedi with stef and then i'm going to dinner at my fave mex place with stef and jeff to celebrate jeff's bday! wednesday my friend ryann is hosting a little wine night and i can't wait and then my bud caitlin is town for the weekend. hopefully i feel better to enjoy it!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

birthday weekend.

my birthday fell on a friday this year so i celebrated all weekend long and then some. on friday i came into work and my coworker brought me a balloon and some of them took me out to lunch. i was having a great day and then there was drama. i got all upset and knew i was going to be upset for the rest of the day. i tried to put on a happy face for meeting my friends - they surprised me with a big group at dinner. they all were way too generous to do dinner, gifts and go out. they're wonderful. we had a great dinner at cafe baba reeba and then we went to thunder from down under. yes, you heard me. the male strip/dance show. my friend suggested it and we all thought it would be hysterical! we found a good deal for cheap tickets and went for it. it was seriously the worst/best thing i've ever seen in my life. i was laughing so hard! however, that many women in one place is tricky though - girls were pushing, fighting, etc. and ofcourse i yelled at some girl and caused a huge ruckus and then cried. yes, cried. that's what happens when i have a shitty day at work, a pitcher of sangria and too many coors. whoopsie! my friends were rockstars though and put up with me for the rest of the night and we moved over to kirkwoods and had some fun. then some of us went to matildas hoping to dance but the dance part was closed :( then a couple of us ended the night at sopo lounge. overall, i made a scene and was ridiculous but i still had a great time with my best girlfriends. (Sorry to be crazy ladies! you know how i get!!)

saturday the bf took me to my favorite place - southwest michigan!!! we got to st. joe's and went to the krasl art museum which is literally 2 tiny rooms with about 8 pieces of art. it was an interesting exhibit with some things i loved and some things not so much. glad we got to go though! then we got a cookie at the wonderful bit of swiss and then went to the beach. it was super hot and there wasn't a cloud in the sky - it was perfect for laying out! we got lunch at the little concessions stand there and i also got a sno-cone to cool off. i never get in the water but i was in and out of the water multiple times because it was so hot! after the beach we drove to new buffalo for dinner at redamaks and ice cream at oinks. both made me SO happy! rob also gave me a gorgeous chain to replace one that had broken for my pearl and diamond necklace he gave me a few years ago. i'm so glad i can start wearing it again!

sunday i went to hang out with my family in the burbs. my mom recently had surgery so i wanted to try to help her out and give my dad a little break. my aunt, brother, cousin and rob came over for a bbq dinner and to open gifts. later on my bro, dad and i did some legal fireworks in the backyard. we had sparklers, smoke bombs, poppers, a sparkler tree and my dad also snuck in a pagoda - my favorite! on monday i helped my mom while my dad was at work. i cleaned up a little and made our famous ham and cheese sandwiches to stock up in the fridge for them so they wouldn't have to cook. then i caught a train up to the city so i could lead bingo. i sat with a new group of men this time because we were short volunteers. they were so sweet and it was fun to meet new residents. then i met one of my best buds for tea. she was responsible for putting together my whole birthday dinner - she's the best! we had a nice catch up.

tuesday was all for me. i took the day off for a birthday present to myself. i slept in, read in bed, did laundry, cleaned up a little bit and then took myself to lunch. i originally wanted to go to xoco but it was closed till thursday for the 4th of july holiday. bogus! so i ended up at a place called e.leaven. i had a delicious blt with goat cheese. YUM! then i went to the shedd to use my membership. it was very crowded and very hot inside but i still got to hang out and watch my otters, penguins, dolphins and beluga whales for awhile. i also checked out the wild reef and the main tank. it made me happy to go! then i went shopping. i came out with a few new good items and didn't over spend! phew! i also got some new books at the library. after all of that i headed home to scrapbook. i have had all these trip pictures printed but i never did the scrapbook pages for them so i started working on them and got a bunch done! then i met a few girlfriends for drinks and then went for ice cream with rob. seriously a great day! i feel so much better having had a day all to myself to do exactly what i wanted.

i'm so grateful to have so many people in my life that are there for me no matter what and there to celebrate my birthday.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

25 in Review.

tomorrow is my 26th birthday. 25 has been great. i'm not sure i'm ready to move into the second half of my twenties but it's coming whether i like it or not. i have a lot to look forward to and a lot of great memories to look back on. some of my favorite memories from 25 are:

* ringing in 25 with a big surprise birthday party planned by rob and my best buds! it was the best birthday ever!

* taking lots of trips and vacations - hunky dory with the jensen fam, nashville to visit rob's aunt fran, girls overnight in saugatuk, prague with rob over xmas, spring breaking in daytona beach with the horath fam, overnight in milwaukee and my recent san francisco trip to visit my bud caitlin and spend time with the new parents and my "nephew"

* sky diving with my best friend tara!

* getting a promotion!!!!!!!!

* 3 visits to chicago from my best friend that lives in germany

* trying out 26 new restaurants (and counting) since the new year.

* being a co-maid of honor in one of my bff's weddings! (another wedding coming up in the fall!!)

* becoming an "auntie" to the cutest little thing on the west coast - mr. luke :)

with everything i did this year, i got to do it with people i love in places that make me happy. i am so happy where i am right now. i love my job, i'm enjoying my friendships more than ever, more in love than ever, spending more time with both of my families and enjoying the wonderful city of chicago. i hope 26 brings just as much as 25!