Thursday, July 5, 2012

Things That Make Me Happy!

Did anyone catch Bravo's special with Kyle Richards & Jonathan Adler this Sunday featuring their top ten lists of things that make them happy? Rob and I watched it and had a good time coming up with our own lists. Rob, my girlfriends and my families are givens and are not included in my list.

10. Small furry animals. I have a major soft spot for gerbils, hamsters, otters, guinea pigs, bunnies, meerkats, kittens, mice and more.

9. A full fridge and pantry. Nothing excites me more than new groceries at home. I love having tons of fresh produce, new items to try and new recipes to put together. I especially love when there is some cheese in there. Cheese makes me very happy.

8. Me time. As much as I like spending time with people, I also really love time to myself. I need days that I don't speak to anyone for hours and I can go off my own agenda rather than other people's plans.

7. DePaul. I love where I work and I'm proud of my degrees from here. DePaul has always felt like home and like a perfect fit for me. I love what we stand for and the opportunities it provides for me. I feel very privileged to work here.

6. Bravo. Bravo makes me very happy. It's the only channel on TV I could not live without. I'm too obsessed with The Real Housewives shows, Jeff Lewis and Top Chef. I am always happy when I'm watching Bravo.

5. The elderly. volunteering with seniors makes me really happy. I love their no nonsense honesty, hearing their stories and seeing the impact my visit and relationship with them has. Volunteering in general always makes me happy whether it's with animals, the elderly, building, cleaning, with kids - it is always a good feeling to give back.

4. Stationary. Paper crafts make me really happy. I have an entire station in our office of paper and letter stickers and other paper things. I love making cards, sending notes and scrapbooking. It definitely makes me happy.

3. Chicago. I LOVE my city so much. Yes, it has it's quirks and it's inefficiencies, but I love it more than any other place I've ever been. I love the restaurants, the cultural activities, the skyline, the neighborhoods, the changing seasons, the history, the size, the accents...EVERYTHING!

2. Southwest Michigan. As much as I love Chicago, sometimes I need a little escape. My favorite escape is certainly to southwest Michigan. My parents brought us there a lot growing up and I've continued to visit several times throughout the summer as an adult. I love the Chalet that we stay at. I love Redamaks and Oinks the burger and ice cream places we go to in New Buffalo. I love their sunsets. I love Krasl Art Center in St. Joe's and Silver Beach. I love Michigan wines. It's great for me to go there, take a load off and reminisce.

1. Planning. Planning ahead makes me really happy. I love making plans with friends, planning for work, planning my life with Rob, planning weekend activities - anything really. Making plans and then having them work out or end up being the best day ever/best event ever/best night ever - makes me really, really happy. I love making other people happy and I often have the chance to do that through the events I plan for work. I really like trying new things and doing activities - I'm not big on just hanging out. I like to be checking things off a list - like skydiving, trying the newest restaurant, or visiting a new neighborhood. Plans definitely make me happy.

Monday, July 2, 2012

best birthday yet!

Today is my 28th birthday, but I've been celebrating for awhile. Last Sunday Rob took me to see Steve Martin (my fav!) at Ravinia for an early birthday gift. I took Friday off to relax and get things ready for my party on Friday night. I ran a few errands and did a little shopping spree at target and then relaxed. Rob helped organize a fantastic old school dance party with all our friends and booked the party room at this bar around the corner. I put together a throw back hip hop playlist full of gems like Biggie Smalls, Snoop Dogg, Missy Elliot, Ludacris and more. We danced to all our old favorites for hours and it was great! All of my friends brought the nicest gifts! I'm so spoiled! My favorite part might have been that Ryann had to decorate the cookie cake she ordered herself when Jewel didn't have it ready as ordered. It said drop it like it's hot in frosting. PERFECT! On Saturday we went to our friends, Brendan & Kati's wedding in Logan Square park. It was roasting hot but no rain! It was so fun to see everyone that came out to celebrate their special day. The ceremony was short and sweet and then they had Hot Doug's cater which was pretty fantastic! It was a great day for a great couple! Afterwards Rob and I came home to relax in a/c, get some gelato and watch a movie. We haven't had a relaxing night in just the two of us in so long! On Sunday I went to see the critically acclaimed film, Magic Mike :) with Ryann, Caitlin and Shalva. The girls brought mimosa fixins and Shalva made some delicious cupcakes! Leave it to my friends to turn a movie date into a mini party! The screen wasn't working for awhile so we had plenty of time to catch up beforehand which was fun. The movie was pretty atrocious but so fun to see it with my friends! I'm so grateful that my friends are willing to celebrate with me for multiple days - I'm so lucky! Later on Sunday Rob and I met my family for dinner in Greek Town. It was such a treat to have delicious Greek food and spend time with my family in the city! I have today off to do whatever I pleased before bingo and another dinner with Rob. What a great celebration! I'm the luckiest!