Tuesday, May 26, 2015

{memorial day} weekend recap

A Tuesday has never felt more like a Monday. *insert exhausted emoji* I'm still getting over my lingering cold/cough so that's made coming back from our long weekend a little bit tougher but today is my last night class of our Spring quarter (!!) so that's making things easier. It'll be so nice to have the summer off to just work instead of balancing school with everything else. 

On to the recap! 

On Friday, my family and I celebrated my sister's birthday at our house. She requested angel hair, mac & cheese (from Boston Market no less), roasted potatoes (because we can never have enough carbs, right?), beef sandwiches, and fruit salad for dinner which was all delicious.

Later on, Sammy and I headed over to one of my girlfriends' houses who was throwing a bonfire to celebrate two of their graduations this past month. It was so nice to sit around, have some drinks, and be able to catch up and celebrate their accomplishments. I don't get to see all of them as often as I would like so it was nice to slow down and get to spend time with them. 

On Saturday, Sammy and I spent the day in a quaint little town near our houses we don't visit too often. Since the weather was gorgeous we decided to take advantage of the outdoor shops and eating and spent the afternoon there. We ate at a place called The Chatterbox and I got a beer battered baja taco with a chipotle cream, gauc, and pico de gallo & a side of veggies (since I've been trying to eat healthier which always just sucks. I mean, veggies? Really?) and Sammy got his usual burger with fries (since he has the metabolism of a 9 year old. Hate him). My taco was so delicious. I would definitely go back just for those. 

We came back into our area and took a three mile walk through a forest preserve near our houses while the sun went down. I got to hear him tell stories of when he was younger and the stupid fun things he would do with his friends there which was a treat for me because I've known him since the 2nd grade and we know most of each other's stories already (or we have the same ones) so hearing new ones is always fun for me. 

On Sunday, I spent the afternoon with my family at a family friend's BBQ. It was definitely nice spending time with family we don't get to see very often. & on Monday I spent the day with Sammy's family celebrating his grandma's birthday which is always such a great time because: food. Also, family. But mostly food. I couldn't get a picture of all of it in time because as soon as it hits the table it's gone and by the time I was finished I couldn't even move. But here's only half of the desserts we had:

In between all that there were books, Chicago Blackhawks games, naps, homework, and puppy snuggles from this old man:

It was definitely a full weekend and I have another one coming up so I'm trying to beat this cold while I can. I hope everyone had a relaxing, grateful weekend. I raised a glass to both of my grandfathers, and all the men & women, who graciously and selflessly serve(d) our country in order to uphold all of our freedoms. I will forever be grateful for that. 


Wednesday, May 20, 2015

{late} Weekend Recap

Sooo, it's Wednesday and we're already closer to this weekend than we are to our previous one but I still wanted to share a little recap on here! I wasn't able to post on Monday or Tuesday because I had some stressful days at work {I actually have to finish a work project I took home after I finish this post} and I had a really hard class last night. *warning: skip right past the picture below if you don't want to read about #graduatestudent/writerproblems*

For whoever doesn't know {if anyone out there is even reading haha} I'm a writing and publishing graduate student and a lot of the writing courses I take are workshop based. Now, I'm really good in small group workshops. Get me in a group of four or three and you won't be able to get me to shut up {many people in my personal life can attest to this being all too true}. So, it often surprises people when in large group workshops I can barely get up enough nerve to speak. I struggle with a good amount of anxiety and I let it consume me in certain situations. Workshops are one of them. I'm already filled with a certain amount of anxiety about participating that the added anxiety about people reading and critiquing my written work is completely overwhelming. 

Normally, I get through it. I might pipe up here or there but I much prefer to write comments on people's pieces and hand my feedback that way but last night was especially tough for no specific reason and then... we got to my piece. It was probably the worst workshop experience I've had in my college career {undergrad included} thus far. Without getting into too much detail people weren't very constructive with their criticism and didn't seem to thoughtfully think out how to politely say things. I know as a writer, or any artist, you have to have a thick skin and I have developed one. I'm sensitive, no doubt, but I know what I need to hear and what isn't working in my pieces and what needs to change. I completely agreed with every criticism and comment made because they were the same concerns I had myself but it was the way in which the comments were delivered that really got to me. I know I shouldn't have let it bother me as much as I did but I couldn't help it. 

I left feeling extremely defeated, vulnerable, and I was even questioning my ability as a writer which is a dream I have had ever since I could remember. I got some excellent advice from my boyfriend and one of my girlfriends who is in the program with me who reminded me of one of our favorite quotes by Eleanor Roosevelt and I immediately made it my screensaver on my phone.

I worry about this being boring for any of you readers out there and I fear it sounds far too "poor me" and self deprecating but I realized this is for me. It doesn't matter how it sounds or is perceived because I'm here just trying to vent not to gain sympathy or make people understand. I feel better today but even better after writing it out and sharing it here. I know it may not seem like something very important to some people but when you're passionate about something and you start to question your ability it can be daunting and scary. 

ANYWAY. Let's get moving here! Thanks for letting me vent guys. It really did help. 

This weekend was full of plans and things to do which I have a love/hate relationship with haha. I love having plans and doing fun things with those I love but it also causes me a little anxiety {can you even believe it?!} because it's just so much! But this weekend turned out to be rather chill while still having something going on every minute. 

On Friday my boyfriend and I saw Pitch Perfect 2! We stood in line with every teenage girl in the tri-state area. My boyfriend kept repeating over and over again, "I'm the only guy here..." despite the fact that he's been the one counting down the days 'till this movie came out. Also, he spilled half of our popcorn {one of my favorite things on earth} in line... so, he's lucky he's cute ;)

The movie was good but definitely not as good as the first. I probably had too high of expectations. My boyfriend on the other hand thought it was really good but that's probably only because he has a large crush on Anna Kendrick. Can't blame him 'cause I, too, have a large crush on Anna Kendrick. 

On Saturday, I had to work all day at our park district which means I spent eight hours helping run three birthday parties back to back for little girls. I enjoy it because they're {usually} so cute and it's some extra money but it was an exhausting day. Afterward, I went with my mom and sister to my grandma's to set up and decorate the space for my cousin's surprise shower we were throwing her the next day.

Here are some of the food tags I made.

And here is one of my gifts after I had finished putting it together.

My cousin's mom {who is also my cousin} took a lot of pictures with her shiny nice camera so I want to do a whole post on the party as soon as she sends me those photographs. 

& then Sunday was the shower! Which was so fun and lovely and turned out really well if I do say so myself. My cousin was absolutely shocked we had done it for her and kept it all a surprise. We were so glad we were able to celebrate her and this wonderful little peanut she and her husband are bringing into this world and our lives. There isn't a more deserving family. 

This was a little sign I made that I placed by the front door so guests could see it as they walked in.

So, that was my weekend! The next one coming up is another fully packed weekend so I'll be looking forward to that as well. 

Thanks again, anyone, for reading. Even that rant of mine. It feels really good to have this space to be able to share things and hopefully learn from one day.

I hope everyone's weekends were lovely and your weekdays have been stress free. We're almost back to the weekend! 

Monday, May 11, 2015

Weekend Recap

Monday, Monday, Monday. Trying to be positive on this gloomy Chicago day but Monday is testing my limits. I'm actually being really obnoxious because I have nothing to really complain about. I was complimented all morning by people at work {not to brag but this doesn't happen every day and it's nice to have efforts recognized especially when you're trying to land a job after the internship is over} and now I'm eating fried eggplant cutlets from Trader Joe's & cheesy risotto on my lunch break so, like, it's a good day so far. Especially when it follows a pretty solid weekend. 

On Friday, I went for a run since I am "training", and I use the term training lightly because there are people who do real training and they put me to shame, for two 5ks I've signed up for this summer. I joke about being kind of lazy and unhealthy but doing a 5k is something I've always wanted to do. I've always wanted to enjoy running but never {ever, ever, ever} have but I finally bit the bullet and signed up!

This is my face after 1.1 miles and lifting this asshole a total of 5 times. I'm killing it in the exercise department, obviously. 

In the evening, my boyfriend had a date night at home. I cooked dinner for us and by cooked I mean I made breaded chicken and a salad for him {because I don't eat salad or meat... see, I like to keep it as unhealthy as possible around here} and heated up the rest of the leftovers I took home from his grandmother's so it was minimal effort on my part ;) 

I did make the rice though! {which he reluctantly ate...I swear I'm a decent cook}

On Saturday, I spent the day with my mom, grandma, and sister running errands for a surprise shower we're throwing for my cousin and one of my favorite people, ever. She and her husband have had a difficult time getting pregnant in the last few years so this pregnancy is such a blessing. I told her yesterday for mother's day that it's a good thing hearts expand {I know, ew kind of} because mine is filled to the absolute brim with love for this little peanut already. We're doing a nautical/sea ish theme since it's a gender neutral shower and because her family loves being on the water. I'm excited to share some photos of what we come up with since the shower is this Sunday! 

We also had to do some unrelated errands which means Trader Joe's for me. I've become thoroughly obsessed with Trader Joe's recently. I realize I'm late to the party but I'm here now and I'm here with a vengeance. I had to get some ingredients for the breakfast I was making my mother for mother's day and also flowers for the 800 mothers I know ;)

On Sunday, I made my momma breakfast in bed and then my siblings and I spent the morning lounging around in her room. These moments have been really special for me, especially lately, because I know they won't be like this forever. My sister is going away to college this year which I can't even talk about because I get too stupid emotional about and I know at some point it will become appropriate for me to move out, ugh, so I'm relishing these moments while they last. When my parent's were married my Dad always made a big deal about us making my mom breakfast in bed so when they got divorced I didn't want that to end just because he wasn't there to wake us up and help us do it so it was important for me to continue the tradition. 

I made eggs benedict because they're one of her favorites and roasted red potatoes {from Trader Joe's...where else?}. Later, I stopped by my boyfriend's because they were hosting mother's day this year and had an early dinner with them before going back home to have a late dinner with my family. Lost the belt I had on real quick yesterday. It was really nice being with his family this year because even though we've been dating for a while it hasn't been until this year that we've started to share holidays so this was nice. Plus, his cousins were there and I was able to spend time with them which I don't get to do often enough especially since one of them is getting married this October and has asked us both to stand up in her wedding! So it was fun talking about wedding updates and bachelorette party plans. It's looking like we may be taking a trip up to Michigan for a girl's weekend at the wineries which I'm very much looking forward to. 

All in all it was a productive and fun filled weekend. The next three weekends in May are completely booked which I enjoy but also causes me a little anxiety 'cause there's so much! But it's all good stuff. Looking forward to documenting it all on this little space of mine. 

Friday, May 8, 2015

Friday Five

Hey, Friday. So glad you're here.

 Linking up today with AprilChristinaNatasha, and Darci for Five on Friday & I'm so glad to be back. Today's five are pretty random because I'm 23 years old and much of my life is random. Let's get to it.

ONE // Obvious quality time with my significant other

Anyone else love "spending time" with their significant other while doing completely opposite things? No? Just us? Don't get me wrong. We definitely spend actual quality time together while participating in the same activity but sometimes it's nice to be together and still do our own thing. Here I am catching up on blogs {clearly April is a favorite of mine} while my guy got increasingly aggravated watching the Chicago Bulls. #solidbondingtime

TWO // The Jaclyn Hill Favorites Palette by Morphe

I was so pumped to get this palette in the mail last week. Thanks to Jaclyn Hill {who I'm totally obsessed with} I'm now a product junkie and Sephora is one of my favorite places, ever. So, when she curated a palette for Morphe I pre ordered it as soon as it was available. Aren't the shadows beautiful? I was really happy with how the look I did today came out. {also, we're ignoring my floral, thrifted, grandma pajama shorts, okay? Floral, thrifted, grandma pajama sets are my kryptonite, OKAY?}

THREE // The Mindy Project being cancelled

K, I'm sorry but what? I was so upset when my girlfriend told me about this yesterday. I love this show! As if there wasn't a reason to hate Fox before there certainly is now. Rumor has it that Hulu may pick it up and I certainly hope they do. Also, I know the above picture isn't from The Mindy Project but I found it fitting. Also, The Office was genius so it's always fitting. 

FOUR // Stuffing my face at my boyfriend's grandmother's

We went to visit and have dinner with her last night and, ah, Nana Tina, bless this woman's heart. Going to her house for dinner is like going to a Disneyworld for diabetics. Everything is fried, stuffed {typically with breadcrumbs}, and full of carbs. Just the way I like it. She breaks out the gold trimmed dishes and the crystal glasses when we come like we're frickin' royalty. And the above plate? That was just the antipasto {or the first course}. We ate three more after this. She's the best human. 

{a mushy} FIVE // Life with this guy

I know this picture is incredibly blurry but I snapped it quickly in front of his grandma's house because I thought he looked so handsome and I wanted to remember this moment. I've been thinking a lot about the future lately {something I typically falter between being excited out of my mind for and terrified out of my mind for... I have growing up issues sometimes} and I can't wait to see what is in store for our future together. I love life with this guy. 


Looking forward to spending a low key weekend filled with a date night, baby shower prepping, and a relaxing Mother's Day. Can't wait to see everyone else's Friday posts. Here's to them being a little more pulled together than mine. 


Monday, May 4, 2015

Weekend Recap

Hey, people!

I'm not back as quickly as I would have liked to been but I'm back! {and hopefully here to stay and post more regularly... I've missed this world so much}

I wanted to do a quick weekend recap. I want to get into a consistent pattern of posting these because I feel like they'll be fun for me to look back on one day. {not that my weekends are always bursting at the seams with "blog worthy" events but they're special to me :) }

I have Fridays off {from my internship and from grad school} so I spent the day watching Netflix and working on a baby shower gift for my cousin. I'm not the most crafty so suffice it to say it took me several hours to complete the tiniest corner of this project. I did this until I couldn't stand my own glacial pace anymore and until my boyfriend got off work so we could go see The Avengers. His request, not mine, although I did end up really enjoying it.
Action/Super hero movies have become my guilty pleasure. I'm kind of a sucker for corny one liners and anything completely over dramatic. {also I love berating my boyfriend with questions so he has to explain every plot line to every super hero, ever. Which he loves to do, obviously ;) } One of my favorite things about my relationship is how often we indulge and encourage each other's inner child. My boyfriend has loved super heroes since he was a kid {super typical, I know} but has only started talking about his love of them until recently and we've been dating for nine years! He came with  me to see Cinderella {which I was counting down the days to since my inner child has a Disney princess obsession} so I go with him to see these guys.

On Saturday, I spent the morning doing homework and sipping coffee slowly which was nice for a change. My boyfriend had to help his uncle move some furniture since they're undergoing some remodels in their home right now so we spent the afternoon helping and visiting with them. Then we had dinner outside at a local restaurant while trying to figure out if we were going to watch the Mayweather/Pacquiao fight with some friends. 

I was starving so here's the aftermath of that dinner 
After a long deliberation {my boyfriend and his friends can't ever get it together} we decided we didn't want to pay the outrageous covers all the bars were charging to watch the fight and we called it a night. I was clearly super disappointed. ;)

On Sunday I had to work {I work part time at our park district to make some extra money #poorgradstudentproblems} so I rode my bike to get some of that cardio in, which I hate {cardio, not the bike}but it was a lovely Spring day and everything seemed to have bloomed over night so I really enjoyed the ride and having that alone time.  Then in the afternoon my boyfriend and I took a walk to get some fro-yo. We were supposed to go the night before but forgot so he promised we could go on Sunday. He feels my fro-yo cravings passionately, Then we spent the night binge watching Lost {we're late to the party but are now totally obsessed} and House Hunters. We love our Netflix. After he left I got myself together for Monday so I wouldn't be in a rush this morning, even though I totally still was, and got in bed early only to stay up until almost 2am finishing Sex and the City for the 800th time and eating Trader Joe snacks in bed. Jesus, do I do anything besides watch tv and eat? I have to get out more ;)

I love weekends like these where I felt relatively productive and moderately active yet still was able to keep it low key and spend time with the people I love. 

Hope you all had a great weekend!