Thursday, March 31, 2011

current obsessions.

there are a few things that i can't get enough of right now and i wanted to share my obsessions!

1. Almond Milk Concentrate from Loccitane
This stuff is AMAZING! It's for skin firming and smoothing and it really works! I've been using it under my eyes 2-3 times a day and I've definitely seen a difference with the fine lines. It moisturizes so well but doesn't feel too heavy or like it's clogging up my skin. I also adore the smell!

2. This American Life Radio Archive
I know most people are already familiar with the awesome Ira Glass and the great radio and tv show, This American Life but I recently discovered their archive online and have been filling my slower than average days with a couple of episodes. They truly tell some amazing stories and I definitely recommend it!

No, not edible cake - I love that too but I'm talking about the band. They recently released a new album, Showroom of Compassion and I'm VERY obsessed with the song they had on Shameless on Sunday - Long Time. Check out the link above to listen.

4. Philanthroper
Philanthroper is a groupon-esque site for giving to non profits. They ask that you give $1 each day to a new organization. I've probably already given about $30 since I joined. I think a little goes a long way and I'm really impressed with the site. Check it out and help out!

5. Babybel Cheese
Everyone knows I'm obsessed with cheese but I recently discovered the mini babybel cheeses and I LOVE THEM! I love that they're low calorie but filling. They're the perfect afternoon snack. I've tried all the different flavors - I especially like the original and cheddar. I highly recommend them!

What are you obsessed with?

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

spring break is over :(

i've been on "spring break" since march 15 and it was amazing. and today it all ends, i have night class tonight and again on thursday. even though i didn't actually go anywhere for spring break, i didn't have to think about organizational communication for 2 weeks and that was the best vacation ever! i got to go to the gym a whole bunch and take really tough classes and kinda get back in shape, i got to make legitimate home-cooked dinners, i got to watch tv and movies we had downloaded ages ago and best of all i slept! i took off st. patrick's day and the following day for my spring break staycation. i think i slept for about 11 hours both days - glorious. the only outing i had was to whole foods, my favorite place. i went crazy getting all of my favorite things - annie's fruit snacks and honey wheat pretzels, fruit strips, all natural taquitos and organic chicken and blackberries and a beautiful salad from their killer salad bar and corned beef & mashed potatoes for later on at dinner. wonderful. the rest of my two days off were spent on the couch watching march madness. i went out on thursday for st. pat's with some friends and on friday rob and i drove to u of i for cody's birthday and show. we got a great dinner at the restaurant his girlfriend works at and then got to see cody play with 3 bands! it was really fun. then on saturday i got my haircut and had lunch at hooters with my friend stef. later on amy, tom & luke flew in and i got to spend some quality time with them that night and all day on sunday. it was great! then all last week i did as little as possible - i went to the gym and came home and laid around. on wednesday i grabbed dinner with my cousin at MK for chefs week. it was great to see her and the food was pretty good. on friday i went to the brew & view with some friends and saw no strings attached which was actually pretty cute! on saturday we went to the aquarium with mrs. j, amy and luke. luke loved it and it was so fun to spend the day together at one of our favorite places! he's such a good baby! that night rob and i got dinner at nacional 27 - my old boss gave me a giftcard from like 5 years ago that she found in her office so we went and went all out! i hadn't been there in a long time and the food was really delicious. on sunday night i got pizza & fro yo with some of my dab girls. and then it ended. all the carefree wonderfulness and laziness is done and im back to school for the next 11 weeks or so. im taking 2 classes for this first will be a doozie!

Monday, March 21, 2011


the boyfriend and i are finally moving in together, after about 9 years together. i've been resistant - wanting my own space, us to enjoy the years before marriage as independent 20somethings, and i wanted to wait until we were engaged. however, we definitely already live together unofficially so it's silly to delay the inevitable when we are so happy spending every day together under one roof. plus, rob's lease is up at the end of april so it really is perfect timing. we started hunting for apartments and setting up appointments for people to see my apartment because my lease is not up until august. rob did most of the work and found a bunch of places for us to see and made a craigslist post for my place. we viewed a few places but found the one when we were just walking around the area we liked and saw a sign for a nice looking place. the landlord was there and available to show us the place right then, so we did and we liked it. we ended up signing a lease on thursday last week and we're good to go! it's quite big with 1bdrm, an office, dining room, large kitchen and medium sized living room. it's seriously vintage...aka very old but it's huge, felt homey and includes all utilities except cable/internet AND HAS A WASHER/DRYER IN UNIT! dream come true! my place got rented over the weekend too so everything is falling into place. i'm really excited! not looking forward to the actual moving part - i hate packing and moving furniture and then reorganizing everything and trying to get settled in but it'll all be worth it. i'm interested to see if we'll face any challenges with this new living situation. currently we basically live in my tiny studio apartment - it's decorated how i want it, i get all the closet space, i can freak out if there is a glass left out for 2 days and so on...but soon it will be OUR place and it will decorated how WE want it and i can't freak out if he leaves a glass out for 2 days because it's his place too .... or can i? the main thing that will be an adjustment for me will be sharing food. i'm crazy about food. i don't like sharing certain things. we'll be sharing and splitting everything so we'll see how that works out :) but if that's our biggest challenge i think we'll be in pretty good shape.

Friday, March 11, 2011

irish lassy

being 50% irish means i gotta do it up for st. pat's. every year since i can remember i've worn my over sized "if irish eyes are smiling, you can bet they're up to something" shirt my aunt got me when i was about 11. this year i will kickstart the festivities with my friend darcy's birthday celebration. they're starting early tomorrow morning with a keg at their house and then cruising around the neighborhood. then i'll go to birthday celebration #2 and #3 - my rugby friends leah and nikki are celebrating with a realllly early house party and then hitting up our college fav - kelly's. i have gone to kelly's every year for st. pat's except one since i moved to chicago. they put up a big tent, the beers aren't too expensive and something ridiculous always happens. next week i think i'll do st. pat's festivities with my coworkers after work on wednesday and with my friends on thursday. i took thursday and friday off to enjoy some time to myself and sleep a lot - i'll probably venture out for a corned beef sandwich somewhere.

i definitely always favor my czech heritage so i gotta make my irish mama proud and drink a lot of green beer to show my irish pride over the weekend :) she'll be so proud.

happy st. patrick's day everyone!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

connecticut trip

my boss asked me to go to hartford to work pregame receptions for the big east women's basketball tournament and i gladly accepted. i'm a college hoops fanatic and i was excited to get out of the city for awhile. i had a quick and easy flight in, got a rental car and drove - a bit aimlessly - to my hotel. i slept so well that night, it was so nice to have peace and quiet and time to myself. the next day i met staff from athletics at the arena to decorate our room and go over everything. after that i had time to kill so i decided to go for, go on a short drive to get the burger i've been dreaming of ever since i saw it on man vs food. steamed cheeseburger with a slab of steamed cheese. unreal. i made it there in a crappy little rainstorm and just stared at the sign for a second, couldn't believe i was finally getting to try it! it was a bit crowded but i made my order - cheeseburger with my favorite toppings and cheesy home fries which are basically really thick fries, almost like potato wedges. it was sooo good and i inhaled it. total bucket list moment. after that it was time for the game, we had a huge turnout at our pregame reception and the girls won their game. i stayed for awhile to watch the notre dame/louisville game but i just really can't stand ND fans so i left to go to my hotel to work on homework. the next day i woke up and got right to work, i had a paper due the next day and still had a lot of work. after working for several hours i ventured out into sunny hartford and explored a bit. i grabbed lunch at woody's, the hotdog place featured on man vs food. all of their hotdogs are a foot long and they have all different kinds but i got one with cheese, brown mustard and chopped onion with fries. i LOVED it! quite possibly more than the burger from the day before. they grill the bun which made it buttery and crisp and the fries were perfect. junk food heaven! after that i ran some errands and then it was time for the pregame reception and game vs notre dame. our girls did pretty well, had the lead for awhile but in the end, they lost. and nothing tastes more sour than a loss to stupid notre dame. i was super bummed but almost glad they didn't go to the championship vs connecticut because uconn just KILLS everyone, they're seriously like a professional basketball's never pretty. i went home and worked on my paper for several hours and crashed. the next day i started my long day of travel and everything went smoothly and i was home in time for class and felt pretty good about my paper.

i was really glad i had the chance to go to support our women and connect with our alumni in the area but i was definitely ready to go home. hartford aint got nothing on chi town!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

pure michigan weekend!

this weekend my bud ryann and i drove to grand rapids, michigan to visit our friends jamie and kyle. they recently bought a house and got 2 pups so a visit was in order! as soon as we got up there jamie took us to an outdoor craft beer festival at a ball park. it was crazy and oh so michigan. jamie strung up some pretzel necklaces that you eat right off the string so that you keep something in your belly other than beer. we arrived and got our 13 tokens - you're supposed to turn one in with each tasting but we didn't really do that too much so it's sort of a free for all. i think we tried about 8 each?? not too sure...but we liked almost everything we got! i think my favorite part was the screaming - everyone would raise their glass and the entire tent would just kinda holler in unity. it reminded me of oktoberfest! it was pretty cold and slushy and all of our feet were quite frozen. they had fire pits that helped us warm up though. i think we made it a little over 3 hours before we had kyle come pick us up. we were giddy and slightly tipsy and made him take the top off his jeep - we had giggle fits over the snow coming in on the short ride home. then we zoned out for hours, ate some of jamie's wonderful homemade lasagna and enjoyed some fabulous desserts. kyle's friend from home came up too. the next day we went to their church which was really nice to see. they are part of the united church of christ and it's so community oriented and accepting. i really enjoyed going. after that we went to the omelet shoppe for an insanely large brunch. we were all starving so we all ordered way too much - but then ate it all. i got a spinach, swiss & onion quiche, a cup of soup and a side of hashbrowns. fantastic! we went back home with our full bellies so i could check out jamie's handmade jewelry and shop a little. she's got some really great pieces! then i interviewed her for my class while ryann snoozed. then jamie gave us a quick tour of the downtown area - we got to see several awesome pieces of art from their annual "art prize" event. my favorite was a beautiful mosaic in the JW mariott. so pretty! then we hit up Founders Brewery. it was so cool in there and they have AMAZING beer! we tried a bunch of little samples, some peanuts, cheesy beer dip and one big beer. we chatted a little while longer and then ry and i hit the road. it was a great weekend and i was thrilled to be part of jamie and kyle's michigan life!