Wednesday, September 7, 2016

It's been a hot minute...

I hate that phrase. Like what's a hot minute? Stop it. But seriously, it's been a good chunk of time since I've been on this little blog of mine. This happens from time to time. I say I'm going to get back in the swing of things and then don't. And then I say BUT REALLY, I'm getting back into it this time. More consistency, more posting. Unique content! And then I remember I'm rarely unique and mostly dorky, and then I forget to post. 

I miss it though. I miss it a lot. I go through lulls of reading blogs obsessively and then taking months off from reading any at all and have to spend several weeks catching up on my favorites. That's actually my favorite thing to do though. Load up a bunch of Little Baby Garvin posts and catch up for a few days. It's like reading a short novel. I dig it, man. 

But I also like being on top of it all and keeping up with things. But I inevitably fail at that too and get lazy again and let life consume me despite the fact that my life isn't very hard at all. In fact, it's quite lovely. Lovely in its work meetings and dinner with friends and nights on the couch. 

So when life gets in the way of posting on here sometimes, it's not so bad. 

But guys, there's much I want to recap and talk about. {It's fall! I'm reading Wild again! I bought new sweaters at Target last week!} I haven't written creatively since I graduated in June and it sucks. Even writing this. This silly little post. Even this feels fluid and pretty great. 

So I'll be back. Even if it's just for me. 

Friday, July 15, 2016

Five on Friday

Hopefully getting back on this Five on Friday kick! Lately I've been lazy and have been linking up with recap posts or "Friday Favorites" posts and haven't been properly participating in Five on Friday, so I'm happy to be back!

One // 
There are zero plans on the horizon and I couldn't be more excited about it. The last few weekends have been jam packed and next weekend is sure to be a shit show based on how much is going on. But a good shit show. If you feel me. 

Until then, I shall do nothing but live in elastic pants and love life. 

Two // 
This is about to be super exciting... I recently switched up the old workout routine and am officially a morning work out girl. And I'm kind of really digging it. I love that it's done by 8am and I have the rest of the day to focus on all other things. Only downside: I can't figure out how to keep my hair looking normal for work. It's a straight mess afterward so I have to figure something out since I can't rock a "classy bun" for longer than 45 minutes {although I try}. 

I also don't hate getting ready in the locker room for work as much as I thought I would. It forces me to plan my outfits even more ahead of time since I pack my outfits in my bag, but go to work in workout clothes and change after. I've followed some Instagram accounts for lifting workouts but I'm looking forward to simply getting into a routine I like that feels more fluid since constantly looking at my phone for direction is a little distracting. 

Three // 
Since Sammy graduated from the police academy, and after recent events in the news, I've had a lot of thoughts I'd like to get down some day about my experience and journey with dating someone who works in law enforcement. 

I'd love to keep most things pretty short and sweet {although most thoughts aren't always so sweet} while being as respectful as possible. I definitely don't want these posts to become controversial in any way, and I would avoid posting about specific opinions even though I prefer to remain as neutral as possible anyway, but would rather use this space as a place where I can record how I've been feeling and dealing with all the changes and realizations that come up while on this journey. It's only been week one and it's been a crazy ride so far. I'm looking forward to writing some honest feelings up in here. 

Four //
I decided to take the plunge and by myself an adult camera as a graduation present to myself and I've been loving it so far. I barely know how to use it but am loving all the experimenting I can do with it.

I was inspired to finally get one because my cousin is so amazing about documenting all of her family's big and small days and I really wanted to get in the habit of documenting daily life. She made such a great comment to me about photography the other day when she was telling me how much more I'm going to notice now that I have a camera and she said, "the every day is so revealing" and I just about cried because isn't that such a beautiful way to look at life?

It was a great investment because I probably won't ever need another camera and can always update by getting new lenses. And with all the new ways to back up photos, it pays to have a device that can take quality digital photos. I've taken it to so many family events already and love the photos I've gotten out of it even if they're amateur at best. I can't wait to share them on here!

Five // Family vacation
I keep talking about how comical it is that my divorced parents have planned a family vacation for us this summer. To go on...together. But by no means is that to imply that I don't fully realize how amazing it is that we're able to do this {although I'll never stop thinking it's funny}. They've gotten to a point in their relationship where they enjoy one another's company again so it's made birthdays, holidays, and other celebrations such a pleasure when they can both be there, joking and laughing together.

{we're driving through New Mexico and I would love to be able to stop and see Ship Rock on our way through. Isn't it stunning?}

We're driving from IL to the Grand Canyon and then flying back from Arizona once we've spent a few days there. The trip should be about seven days {we're doing part of the drive on Route 66} and Sammy recently got his approved vacation days so he's coming with! I can't wait to annoy the hell out of everyone with my camera.

{bonus!} Six //
I got promoted! 
My new title is Production Editor and I'll be helping to manage all of the front list, reprint, and marketing production timelines associated with our books, while also ensuring everything we produce as a company adheres to our style guides. Beyond appreciative and stupidly excited to dive head first into this new position {for me and for our company}. It's going to be crazy but I couldn't have a better team behind me. I can't get over how supportive our company has been of me and all the opportunities they've constantly thrown my way {despite my constant mistakes, like seriously over and over again}. I'm beyond blessed.

Ironically enough, right before my contract was offered to me I read an article on Man Repeller called "6 Things I Wish I Knew When I Started Working" so since I'm a sponge, constantly looking for advice on all subjects, I clicked it immediately and loved the pieces of advice. While I've been working {as an intern and part-time employee} at this company for almost two years, this will be my first full-time position so I was quick to soak up any useful and wise advice.

Some of my favorite highlights:

"Get your questions out early. Even the dumb ones. No one will remember you asked."

I'm CONSTANTLY apologizing for "bothering" someone or asking someone to do me "a favor" by answering one of my questions. It wasn't until I made a rather large mistake and some of my co-workers {politely} told me it's better to ask questions earlier so we can avoid making mistakes. Sometimes they're not avoidable, and that's perfectly okay too, but asking questions early on proves more helpful than not. I'm working on not apologizing for every little thing {so when I do say it, it resonates as sincere} and realizing that I'm worthy of asking questions, no matter how small, stupid, or often.

"Do not defend yourself when someone provides you with feedback. Everyone has a reason for why they acted a certain way, which is precisely the reason it does not matter. Perception is reality. Take in the feedback. Ask them for it! Thank them for it! Sit with it. Consider how it might be true. Take the parts of it that feel helpful, leave or further examine the ones that don’t. Then keep moving."

This is HUGE for me. I'm constantly trying to defend my actions because I stupidly believe everything on earth requires an explanation, but I definitely need to work on simply sitting with advice and feedback, learning from it, and moving on.

"No one is thinking about you as much as you are. Everyone is thinking about themselves and how things are making them look."

Need to remember this forever about everything.


Hope everyone has a great, relaxing weekend!

Monday, June 27, 2016

Life Lately | June

I'm wondering if I'll ever get around to sharing things as they actually happen in my life. I feel like for the past few months I've been doing a lot of "recaping" like a weeks after an event happens. 

It seems as though I've completely lost my tolerance for being able to juggle things and/or handle multiple things at once which I'm both happy and sad about. I've only been out of school for a few weeks and my mind is already blown that I was able to tackle everything that comes with regular, busy life and still had time to get a master's degree. By the way, that's not me bragging in anyway. That's me being genuinely dumbfounded by myself {which is honestly not all that unusual}. Nowadays if I even have a load of laundry to do after work I shut down. I gotta get better at this like how do people have children? And also do other things? 

But I digress. Moral of the story is I need to get better at getting things done. I clearly need a better routine than just going home after work and not doing my laundry. Although, I have been enjoying that lately. Until I get better at the routine thing, here's another giant recap with many pictures most likely of terrible quality. 


I graduated! {as I've mentioned 87 times on here} This graduation only reminded how much support I've gotten over the past year and a half throughout this program. Without the girl you see above I wouldn't have finished the program, and if I did it wouldn't have meant half as much or been half as fun. I'm so thankful to know her. 
I'm also so grateful to all my friends and family who put up with my shit while I tried to balance everything and often failed. Especially my parents, who are nothing but the most supportive best friends a girl could ask for. And of course, Sammy, who never bats an eye at my crazy dreams, whose pride in me is palpable {even when I don't deserve it}, and always gives the most surprising feedback to first drafts. 


One of my very best friends got engaged!! 

Her {now!} fiancé asked many of their friends and family to be apart of their special day and it was such an honor to be there and help and celebrate the two of them, especially when the groom picks downtown Chicago as the location!


These two are truly the kindest individuals who deserve nothing but the best. They were definitely made for one another. 

All I wanted as a graduation present was a hammock... and a hammock I got. So there have been many an afternoon and evening spent out on the hammock with this guy. 

I had an impromptu lunch at Antico Posto with some of my very favorite cousins to celebrate my graduation and just spend time with one another. 


Afterward, I got some much needed cousin time with them and their own babies. 

Don't think I could explain how much this was needed. This baby is such magic. 

Oh, more hammocking. 

I dragged took Sammy to see The Sound of Music which I've been waiting to come to broadway since forever. 


Before the show we ate at Petterino's. I got the spinach gnocchi and Sammy got the chicken parmigiana. 

Nothing like a man in front of a bowl of pasta. 


The show was pretty good! I'm a little obnoxious biased because The Sound of Music is my favorite movie so I had high expectations even though I knew it wasn't going to be the same. 

I seem to always be taking photos of him creepily.

On Father's Day, Sammy and I spent the day barbecuing with his family and then I met my family for dinner at Mack's where I ate an entire dinner of carbs {only my favorite kind} before going to see Finding Dory which was every bit as adorable as I thought it would be. 

Oh, God... more hammocking!


On the police front, this guy got fitted for riot gear {and looked suspiciously like Captain America to me}. He also got issued all his rifles which he requested I hold. Not sure what he gets from that... but I happen to think I look pretty badass so it's fine. Now I can't wait to get to the range. {what has happened to me?}


Last Friday, we went out to dinner to celebrate Sammy's parent's anniversary and his brother's birthday at Mago Grill & Cantina. I got the vegetarian tamales with the pistachio mole and it was crazy good. 

And last Saturday {because we clearly can't stop eating ever}, Sammy and I had a day date at Bonta which I think is going to be our new place. The service was incredible — the owner's are so kind. I had the Margherita pizza and Sammy had a sandwich with Italian deli meats on ciabatta. Everything was simple but tasted amazing and so fresh. We also split an arancini {rice ball} that was incredible. 

Sammy of course double fisted for dessert with their tiramisu and chocolate chip gelato. 

Also to note: in a weak moment over the weekend, I started to get really upset thinking about Sammy moving up to Wisconsin {more on that later maybe} and being lonely up there by himself. Now, it may have been my crying {since I am nothing if not dramatic}, but I convinced {although also somewhat a manipulation ;)} Sammy we need a cat. It wasn't much of a convincing since Sammy has wanted another cat for years. I immediately began searching that night and found this guy. I need Kevin in my life, guys. I need him. We're also super weird and have had future pet names picked out for a while now, none of which were Kevin which is absolutely stupid of me since, obviously, Home Alone. So now any cat we get will be named Kevin. No question. 

What a weird way to end a recap! Oh well. It's starting to get much less censored here on the ol' blog. & I kind of dig it. 


Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Engagement Party Recap

This past Saturday, I had the pleasure of hosting an engagement party for my best friend, Chelsie, and her fiancé!

I'm pretty pleased with how everything turned out despite some unfortunate weather circumstances. I had planned the party to be entirely outdoors, but it ended up pouring throughout most of the afternoon. Luckily, it cleared up right around dinner and we were able to have dessert out on the deck and have a bonfire late into the evening with all our friends which is exactly what Chelsie wanted.

Here's a photo dump of some of the details!

{I'm lucky enough to work with several graphic designers, one of whom is my closest friend in my office and she offered to make some signs for the party which I loved, and so did the bride.}

{I had all the invitations, recipe cards, signs, and "how well do you know the couple game" sheets made by Dana whose shop is on Etsy. She was amazing to work with & I highly recommend her and her work.}

{we had cases on cases of beer because my friends are drinkers and because my father, who wanted to contribute via alcohol, is a beer guy and knows his stuff}

{the groom doesn't drink alcohol, but his favorite soda is Mountain Dew and because I'm all about the aesthetics I got his favorite soda and Chelsie's in the glass bottle to put on display}

{for apps we did focaccia, black bean and corn salad with chips, bacon wrapped hot dogs for the groom, and peppers in hummus cups}

{dollar section find at Target!}

{my cousin is amazing and has been recently making cookies as party favors, so I knew I wanted her to make the favors for this party. She made some to look like bride and grooms and then some had the word "love" or their wedding date written on them.}

{we had vases of white and varying shades of purple flowers all over.}

{the bride and some of her bridesmaids!}

 {for dinner we did Italian sausage and peppers, chicken limone (both from Avanti's), caprese orzo salad, fruit salad, green salad, potato salad, and a zucchini and corn side dish. The food was a huge hit and I was so happy with how many dishes could be made the night before or quickly right before we ate.}

{the bride and some of her college friends}

{the groom, his father, and a groomsman}

{cutest couple!}

{for dessert I made mason jar lid apple pies because it's the groom's favorite dessert, and my girlfriend, Alicia, made carrot cake cupcakes because it's the bride's favorite dessert. We also had fruit salad from dinner and the mother of the bride brought key lime pie, cheesecake, and more fruit.}

{our whole group!}

{almost all of the bridesmaids!} 

{some cute guys :) Sammy fixed some lights so they could keep playing bags in the yard once it got darker}

{she's the best}

I've been planning the party since early March, so I was pretty thrilled to see all the details come together the way I had envisioned. I couldn't have done it without the help of my girlfriends who did some of the shopping with me, came early to help set up, and took care of little things throughout the day so they wouldn't turn into mishaps. God bless them, they kept me relatively calm all day, and if you know me in even the slightest way, you know that is no easy feat. 

Chelsie texted me later that night to tell me how much she appreciated and loved everything and both her family, and Dan's family, said how much they enjoyed the party which is all I ever wanted to hear. 

I hope they felt all the love that was present for them that day and everyday. 
Now I'm itching to plan something else! This time next year we'll be talking bachelorette party! ;)