Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Amendmum

Today I received a call from my dad regarding my latest blog post. My dad hyper-understands my pitfalls (stubbornness, over-sensitivity, judging) and he was concerned that my latest piece highlighted my greatest: not living in the moment. He wanted me to know that I should be proud of who I am, what I've accomplished, and how far I've come.

He also told me: Don't leave before the miracle happens.

What does this mean? Don't check-out (physically, emotionally, mentally) from a moment in time before you learn the lesson, receive the gift, or in any other way continue the life process of growing. Take each moment as a stepping stone. Stand on it fully, jump on it, dance on it before you move on to the next. Because the only sure thing in this world is that once you leave, you won't be able to go back.

And so for anyone else who might be feeling confused about their current situations, make a note to concentrate on that last resolution of mine: disregard these lists. Life is happening exactly the way it's supposed to. Embrace it, cherish it, breathe it in and out and love it for everything it has to give you.

Frustrated by your job? Remind yourself of the alternative (unemployment) and remember why you accepted it. Tired of your city? Go to the neighborhood where you spent your first night out and relive the romance. Freakin' out about bills? Don't: everyone at one point or another has debt. Live within your means and the ledger will balance itself. Money was made to be spent and one day, you'll look back on being a poor student and think fondly...

So ya, I guess I'm done here. I just want anyone and everyone who reads this to know that I too struggle (yes, believe it or not) with something great: not realizing how kick-ass my life is, even when it seems like the crepe is ripping at the seams.

But back to the interesting stuff. Check out this dress today I found at Macy's. On the RACHEL Rachel Roy website, it's listed for $50, and I got it for $22. SCORE!! I think I'll wear it to NYE '10:

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

New Year's Resolution

Eek ok I'm sorry little blog I've been super MIA! I didn't mean to be! I was still thinking of you, but what with the eggnog, the food, the friends, the shopping, the driving, the...the... well, blogging just kinda got away from me.

But, the real reason I decided to post was not to humor you with my excuses. Instead, it's New Year's Resolution time. Last year, at this time, I was preparing for a four-month trip to Paris to intern with a search firm called Janou Pakter. Also, I had just finished my undergraduate education and I was embarking on a new relationship (that sounds so Hallmark card-esque, but I can't help it!). Before I left, Mark took me on my first trip to Wisconsin, and during the drive, we made New Year's Resolutions. Mine were:
1. Find a job
2. Become certified in yoga
3. Buy riding boots

Oddly enough, the only one I was able to accomplish was probably the most difficult, given the economic circumstances. For this year, I want to focus on less-frivolous, more mindful goals that I wish to accomplish. These are the five I've decided on:
1. Graduate from Northwestern (I really hope I'm not jinxing myself by writing that)
2. Fall in love...with a city, with a job, with a hobby. I'm especially leaning towards the "city" and "job"
3. Be more romantic. The mom of one of my friend's said that you should never stop dating, even after 30 years of marriage. Go out for dinner, get butterflies in your stomach, flirt with him or her and be a kid in love, even it's a 30+ year love
4. Begin a savings/payment plan for my student loans. Just writing that makes me stressed out, and it's hard to accomplish with a minimal cash income, but it will happen. Some way, some how!
5. Stop making these lists. Life will happen the way it's supposed to, I'm convinced of it. Everything happens for a reason, and everything works out in the end. I need to relinquish control and let life take the reigns.

What are my fellow crepsters' New Year's Resolutions?

Monday, December 20, 2010

Going Home




I took the Megabus home this weekend. Yep, that's how much I love my family: so much that I'll splurge $2 for a round trip to Des Moines to see their bright and shining faces. It was a trip long over-due; I hadn’t been home since September 1st, and even then I was home for less than 12 hours. Before then, I hadn’t been home since June. And man…was I missin’ it!

So Saturday was a fun-filled day. I woke up early and cleaned up after my sister (she had left our room a disaster!—love you sis!). Then, I went to get my haircut from my favorite lady, Giovanna, at her salon Atelier Hairspace on 4th and Court in downtown Des Moines. Her cuts are $53 and for that price, I get what would cost $300 in New York—a stylish, perfect trim from a woman who used to style for Bumble and Bumble during NY Fashion Week.

Then, it was off to get my eyes checked (and I bought a sweet pair of hipster glasses—I’ll upload pics once they arrive) and then my papa and I went to the Sprint store and I finally got a smartphone. Woohoo!! That’s right Crepsters, I got a smartphone and am now officially living in the 21st century. We also had a yummy lunch at a dive and authentic taco joint. I also introduced Jim to horchata.

But it was Saturday night that really made me happy. I went to dinner with my 18 yo sister Audrey and three of her close friends. I’ve known some of these girls since they were in 1st grade and to observe them as young, classy, funny young women was absolutely mesmerizing and charming. I am so proud of them (and of course my sister!) for becoming such lovely young women. You guys R Da Best!

And in case I didn’t say it enough, happy birthday to my bestest friend in da world, my Audy.

 Crappy quality, but you get the idea!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

A great Monday night

Last night, Martin, Claire, and I got together for a little weekday fun. I was so excited to see my friends during the week--usually we have to reserve our get-togethers for the weekends because we're all so busy. But it's nice to be able to find time to meet during the week: as my friend in San Francisco Jordan reminds me, it's important to have fun during the week because weekdays are meant to be fun too.

Us ladies left the planning up to Martin. Our events were as follows:

1. A bottle of Cotes du Rhone, Domaine Guicharde, at Vintage 338 on Armitage Ave in Lincoln Park
2. Vienna Red Hots at The Weiner's Circle on N. Clark in Lincoln Park
3. A showing of Black Swan at the Landmark Theatre, again, in Lincoln Park

As us young people continue to develop into "professionals," I think it's important to remember why we work in the first place. It's not to fulfill some prophecy of "what we're meant to do," nor is it to meet quotas set by our bosses, nor is it to appease our family. Working is, at its fundamental value, simply a way for us to earn money for us to spend with and for the people we love, care about, and enjoy being with. Don't let work become more important than that. Because when you do, you will lose sight of what's really important.

Therefore, having a job is necessary (and maybe a necessary evil) because we all have people in our lives that we care about and want to have money to spend, even if that person is only yourself. So make sure that the job you do is something you enjoy, because you can't avoid having it. But don't ever let that job become more important than the people who prompted you to get that job in the first place.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

A La Martin

This Sunday, I went to Martin's house to have dinner with him and his family. On the menu was Cotriade, a Breton white fish stew. That, coupled with wine and mucho fromage made for a very satisfied Lexi Tummy.

A link to a version of the recipe can be found here.


The soup was light, but very filling, and with a little sprinkled bacon on top, it was oh so creamy. Very easy to make too! Maybe an hour of prep, 15 minutes of actually cooking. Thanks to Martin's mom and dad for supplying the supplies.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

My Thoughts are With Elizabeth Edwards and Her Family

In a quiet moment this afternoon, I and my office learned of the passing of Elizabeth Edwards. An inspiration to Democrats, women, and the American People, she was truly full of grace, even during her family's disgraces. I think that this post she recently posted on her Facebook best sums up why I've always liked and respected her.

You all know that I have been sustained throughout my life by three saving graces -- my family, my friends, and a faith in the power of resilience and hope. These graces have carried me through difficult times and they have brought more joy to the good times than I ever could have imagined. The days of our lives, for all of us, are numbered. We know that. And yes, there are certainly times when we aren't able to muster as much strength and patience as we would like. It's called being human. But I have found that in the simple act of living with hope, and in the daily effort to have a positive impact in the world, the days I do have are made all the more meaningful and precious. And for that I am grateful. It isn't possible to put into words the love and gratitude I feel towards everyone who has and continues to support and inspire me every day. To you I simply say: you know.

May your soul know peace.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Wahhh

I love these glasses!! I want I want!! The brand is Super and the model is Ciccio

Chappy Chanaukah

I'm not Jewish, but this menorah by Jonathan Adler sure makes me wish I was celebrating the Festival of Lights this year. Found at www.design-milk.com

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Tuesdays=Gross, Groupon's Pricetag=Grosser

Hey Crepsters,

Thanksgiving has come and gone. A bit disappointing--it went by way too fast! Even though I was unable to "live blog" the scene of the parents meeting, I did take extensive notes. But unfortunately, none of them are worth reporting to you.Why? Because honestly, the meeting went smoothly, so much so that it was rather undramatic. Everyone got along, the turkey was cooked to perfection (aka no bashing of the food), and everyone arrived and left safely and soundly. Ahh...talk about a Hallmark moment!

The Tuesday after Thanksgiving is sure a bummer. The excitement of a full-email box with things to do yesterday didn't exactly come to fruition, and still today all of our clients, etc seem to be MIA so the office is way too quiet right now. Which is why I've been doing mucho internet reading on ever-important topics, such as Google's proposed acquisition of Groupon, now believed to be a pretty price of $5.3 Billion.

WOAH.

Sounds like a lot, no? For me, amounts over 1,000 don't even register with me because I can't comprehend the size, so 5.3 B left me rather unphased. But as I continue to gather research for a paper I am writing about the merger of Delta and Northwest airlines in 2008, I learned that Northwest was valued (and I believe subsequently purchased) for 3.5 B, almost half the amount of Groupon's proposed value. Puts everything into perspective now, don't it?

Google, you are sick. The only thing I can ask is that someday I, or the person I marry, will earn a livelihood from you. So that then I too can parasite off of your parasiting as you earn $1.3 M per every employee of yours. With all that cash, wtf not buy Groupon?

Me and the dog Chloe, contemplating our existences and what to buy on Groupon...

Monday, November 22, 2010

Preparation for Thanksgiving

I went to a ballet class yesterday at The Joffrey with the help of a little Groupon. It was amazing--my legs feel so strong yet sore after the class, and it was amazing how quickly everything came back to me. So while my exercise routine has now reverted me back to my childhood, it will be this Thursday that throws me into semi-adulthood.

Yes, internet, it's time I confess: my family will be meeting the family of my boyfriend. Oh My Goodness! you think. No, I reply, we are not getting engaged. And no, we're not expecting. I don't know why everyone thinks this is such a momentous occasion. Don't people remember that Thanksgiving is just about spending time with the people you love? So we consolidated, big deal. And that's what we've decided to do.

My friend Jordan suggested that I live-blog about this experience (and oo boy what an experience it will be!). In the meantime, I am going to write, for my friends who may have to one day introduce their family to their significant other's family, here's some things to expect in preparation for this momentous occasion:

1. Nerves: Everyone is nervous. Will they like each other? Will there be awkward conversation? Will they judge one another? Answer: Uh, duh. That's why you drink wine. And if you don't drink, that's why you have a Wii. DISTRACTION is key.

2. The Sex Talk for Adults: This may or may not come up, but your families might be spending the night somewhere, which means that you and your beau will also be joining the sleepover fun, which means that you are going to have to decide whether or not you can share a room with them. This might mean having The Sex Talk Round 2 with either your parents or his. I got to have it with his. FUN.

3. Stupid traditions That Can't Be Forgotten: Every Thanksgiving, before we eat and before we give sacrament to our Beloved (jk), we have to say what we're thankful for. In our family, this requires something deep, profound, and touching. Other families might only watch football with all the thankful crap only getting in the way. You have to figure out a way to blend them: Being Thankful for Football.

4. Food: God, this is something that is so personal. People's pantries are like an extension of their life's philosophies. What if my parents don't like the food they serve? Vice Versa? Ahh...we'll have a pile of starving parents! What to do?!?!?!?

5. Explaining to your friends why you've been so on-edge lately: Again, this can be helped by copious amounts of red wine and Desperate Housewives.

Less than forty-eight hours until the experiment begins...muwahahahahahahahahahahahahahha...

At least we have Lady and my sister for comic relief.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

News?

Tonight's leading story on WGN is : "BREAKING NEWS: How to shop for 1 on $30 a Week." What the heck? I do that every single week, sometimes I even get it down to $20. Why is this breaking news? This is more like common sense. Not to mention habbit for most of us.

Monday, November 15, 2010

HELP!



Even though I am happily, ok make that blissfully, employed (great boss, no commute, oh ya, and having money during a recession), I make it a point to always keep sniffin' for new job openings at my level. Why? you ask. Simple, because if the job isn't right for me, odds are I know ten people for whom it might be.

Now, let me warn all you newly-graduated/entry-level folks. I work as a recruiter. Therefore, my job is to network with people in the industry for which I am recruiting. So, when I ask you, "Who do you know that might be a good fit?" PLEASE don't send me to your BFF Joe Schmoe. And the same goes for you readers: don't apply to jobs that aren't relevant to you. If you don't have at least one year (or a month shy) of experience, or 2+ internships (six months each) that are 100% relatable to a job, don't apply.

Of course, there are some exceptions. Like, for instance, me when I applied to my now-job: I knew (kind of) the hiring manager, so I was able to flex my way in. My point is, read the job descriptions! Have a focused job search! Meditate about what you want a job in and the energy will follow! (Thank you to my Diane for that one.)

To help all of my crepey friends, below is a list of 5 top-notch entry level gigs or paid internships in the Chicago area that y'all should look into (oh ya, I say ya'll). If you don't live in Chicago, maybe it will give you inspiration for your own job search.

1. Chicago Public Radio: WBEZ Internship (paid and unpaid)
2. Starcom Media Vest: Media Associate (28K-35K first year salary)
3. iProstpet: Search Enginge Opitmization internship (paid: $12/hr)
4. Other great Chicago-based companies to look into: H2O, Playboy (seriously!), Sara Lee, Walgreens, and the countless media outlets (PR, advertising, the list goes on and on. . .)

I'll try to list more in the future. Good luck to all my hunting friends!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

School tomorrow

I've got class tomorrow and I'm feeling a little stressed out. And when I feel stressed out, I tend to procrastinate, which only makes things worse. So humor me and look at these shoes. Cute, right?

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Mumford and Sons Blogotheque Video

Ahh . . . 'tis great to watch these gospelly Brits sing in French . . .

Mumford and Sons reminds me of a cross between Tallest Man on Earth and The Avett Bros--amazing!


Mumford & Sons - The Banjolin Song / Awake my soul - A Take Away Show #105 from La Blogotheque on Vimeo.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Le Marais...in the USA

I discovered the most amazing shoe brand tonight called Marais USA. They are designed by two women who spent a summer in Le Marais in Paris (where you find Hisidic Jews and trannies all on one block). I'm thinking about debating between these styles:


What do you all think?

Thursday, November 4, 2010

HAILed To the Chief!

Hello Crepsters!

OMG can you believe it actually hailed today? I certainly couldn't. But once the bottom half of my pants were completely soaked thru, then I could. . .

Work was BUSEEEE today. . .phew! It takes it out of you, but it's a good feeling at the end of the day to know you got somewhere. And seeing as how I've been laggin' a little in school (despite getting that A on my paper--booya!), it's good to know that I'm being productive at least somewhere.

So ya, when I left work I was all "Ok cool I have a couple extra bucks I'll go check out F21" only to get soaked. BUT I did get these awesome tops:



And for $23!! I'm also on the hunt for a pair of animal print kitten heels. I'm going to Target and DSW tomorrow after work to see what I can find. I am also going to try to remember to take pics of some of the decent outfits I wear to work. Most of them are pretty frumpy these days and I'm hoping putting 'em up here will help me get some inspiration--aka I need your input!

I also bid on this really awesome Vena Cava dress today at the blog Laws of General Economy. It's a great site where users (anyone!) can post items (higher-end, fashion-forward) items for other users to bid on. The poster usually sets a price, but I think that if more than one person says they want it, some tricky negotiation a la Professor Roloff (the professor who game me that A!!).

See you tomorrow!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Sugar High

Well I didn't "O-D" on sugary candies, but I did on plenty of other things. . .namely, food, drink, and staying up too late.

So I got into Boston at 9am on Friday morning. I found JP there and soon Molly met us and we took the T (Boston's trolley) back to her house. She lives in an adorable studio in Allston: quaint and quiet, but still in a vibrant neighborhood. We got a much needed coffee, saw the BU campus (where Molly goes for graduate school), and filled our bellies with yummy sandwiches from the Farmer's Market at the Boston Commons. We then trekked to Cambridge to check out Haaaaaahvaaaaahd. No, I didn't spot Mark Zuckerberg, something that I am still very bitter about. . .

The next day, we woke up at 10am and headed to the North End (the Italian quarter where Paul Revere lived) for cannolis at Mike's Pastry. I got a Florentine. . .soooo good. . .nutty with honey hints, creamy nearly flavorless ricotta and CHOCOLATE! . . . It was here that we would run into a Hawkeye which would prove important later. . .



Ok, I can't rotate this but if you turn your laptop or iPad around you'll get the idea.
We then walked off our desserts (or tried to at least) and made our way to Thaniel Hall for chowdah at a Todd English joint called Kingfish Hall (think of him as a Rick Bayless for Beantown). JP had crab cakes, Miss Molly had lobster grilled cheese, and I had CHOWDAH of course!

Chowder with real oyster crackers!

Mmm!  
It was now time to walk off this meal, so we checked out Chinatown, a really scary Halloween store with an electric chair, and this cemetery.
John Hancock's grave. Molly told us that he is buried with one of his slaves.




We then had plans to join a bar crawl, but the bar was at capacity! Knowing that the afternoon was only going to get crazier, we decided to go to a bar called Clery's (yes, that's how it's spelled) because that is where the IOWA woman in the morning had told us "they" go. Turns out "they" is about 20 Hawkeyes living in the Boston area. That woman is from Cedar Rapids, went to Harvard, and now operates the Big Ten Boston chapter. Oh ya, we also ran into someone from our high school. WEIRD. Oh ya, one more thing: HAWKS WON!!!
Everytime IA scored, someone had to do the Goose Walk. This is JP's turn.

 From here on out, the night was a little less coherent. . .and not from the drinks. More from the food actually! We went to an amazing place called Parrish Cafe where chefs from all over the city design their own sandwiches. We also checked out the Michigan game and we met friends of Molly's cousins. JP also treated me to a wonderful hot dog at a place in Allston.

The next morning, needless to say, we woke up at noon.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

First Installment of Boston Re-Cap

Hey People!

I'm back from a fantastic weekend in Boston. Here is the first pic from the extravaganza: Us ladies with the two Yip Yips (from Sesame Street) that we met on the way to The Place (Boston's Michigan bar) to watch them unfortunately lose (Go Blue!) to Penn State.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Halloweeeeen!

So as you all may or may not know (depending on how often we talk or you check my Facebook), I am using a voucher from United Airlines and heading to Boston for this upcoming Halloween weekend to meet JP and Molly (my Michigan gals). It's a much needed trip as I am feeling a little deprived of the girl talk. But, we're stuck: we are in need of a genius group costume for the three of us! Any ideas?

So far, this is what we've come up with...

Ron, Harry, and Hermione

Witches from Hocus Pocus

Birds of a Feather (Who Flock Together)

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Cali-fun-ia

Yes, I am a (Northern) California native. I was born there. My sister was born there. My mom, my grandma, my great grandmother were born there. Her family was born in the Sierra Nevadas, I've seen the family plot. My grandfather's family came to CA during the Dust Bowl of the 1920s/30s. We have long established roots there. I'm very proud of it. I love the landscape, I love the culture, I love the food :) But I don't always love the people. And I think this pretty much sums up why. Thanks to my newly-made Californian friend Jordan for sending it along. I know that she and her boyfriend have not and WILL NOT turn into annoying center-of-the-universe Californians... but instead stay the progressive San Franciscans with modest Midwestern hearts that they are.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Lookin' for a Good Deal?

Hmm...so now that my birthday has passed, it means that someone's isn't too fary away. I spotted this record player online and am hoping to get some in-put. It's pretty basic, but hooks up to a computer to convert songs in Mp3s which is really what we're after. And for only $71.95 and free shipping, I think it's a pretty good deal, right?

Sunday, October 17, 2010

I am 22 today

Yep, pretty hard to believe! Friday night, after a long (but great!) day of class, I met Mark in Elmhurst and his parents treated us to a delicious meal at Kona Grill. Saturday, after picking up Mark a new pair of shoes, we watched the Hawkeyes beat the Blue and Maize (although we struggled a little in that last quarter!).We then took the train into the city and dined at The Purple Pig. It is a tapas style restaurant with an amazing cheese and wine selection (their slogan: Cheese, Wine, and Swine). We had to wait about an hour and a half to get a table, but I think we would both agree that it was worth it. We ordered three plates: pork blade, chorizo stuffed olives with a garlic sauce, and bone marrow crustinis. It was incredible, and the perfect amount, and we both agreed that the bone marrow was our fave.

After two and a half days of intense birthday stuff, today (my actual birthday) was pretty quiet. I stopped at Old Navy this morning and picked up these items, the total being under $25!

Then I came home, checked my Facebook salutations (I was curious to see what would be the outcome considering that I don't have a "wall"), ate some lunch, and then decided to head up to Lincoln Park to try Sweet Mandy B's. The line was long, at least 20 people, but it moved fast. And oh my goodness, was it worth it. Since I had red velvet cake on Friday (which is my favorite), I decided to go with something a little more adventurous and I ordered the almond cake with chocolate frosting and a cup of coffee. It was so delicious, but the cake was too crumbly (not very cohesive). I then walked around a bit and stumbled across a sampl sale store called Thread Lounge. They have two outposts in San Francisco as well, with pop-ups all over the country, and they had great things from Tory Burch, Milly, and others. If I find a cheaper place to live, I'll definitely start shopping there :)

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Best Birfday Present Evahhh

So I’m not really the mushy-gushy type, especially publicly (like I will bawl my eyes out watching Titanic…but I don’t advertise it). But, I had to write something about this: today, at approximately 2:20pm Central Standard Time, I received the best birthday present from a pretty amazing boy. To avoid an overdose of saccharin, I will refrain from elaborating. But ahhh…sometimes it’s nice to be reminded of how sweet life is.


Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Go Hawks!

We are NOT all in for Michigan...unless Jordan or Molly are reading this in which case, I'm always in for Big Blue :) The Hawks will be challenging the Wolverines this Saturday in Ann Arbor and considering that it is my birthday weekend, I have a feeling we'll be watching intently with a case of beer and (hopefully) some snacks (mmm...maybe some cheesy bread from Mrs. S...).

I CAN'T BELIEVE I'M ONE OF THESE PEOPLE WHO BLOGS ABOUT THEIR DOGS. HOW LAME!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Run Chicago Run

I hate to admit it, but I'm at a Starbucks (more like Star-LOTS OF-bucks) on Wabash and Jackson sitting on the patio with my $3.05 coffee drink. A young Indian guy just asked me to look up directions for Basil Leaf Cafe. He is supposed me meet some friends there to celebrate his completion of today's Chicago Marathon, sponsored by my beloved Bank of America. The marathon attracts up to 45,000 runners the Kansas City Star cites. NBC Chicago claims one ran barefoot. And after checking out a map of the course provided by the marathon's website, the course looks nothing short of daunting. Runners kind of annoy me (I dunno...they posses some runner thing that I don't have--maybe it's resentment or jealousy). But no amount of Nike/Asics/Saucony inside-edition type mentality can taint the fact that the feat they accomplished today is nothing short of astounding. So my hats off to you 45000.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Bekah Garrison

For Today's (or really it's night time now) post, I am featuring the photography work of a friend of mine named Bekah Garrison. Bekah and I met when I was 14 at my first job at a (kinda crappy) bakery in Des Moines. From our khaki pant uniforms to becoming independent young women, I've watched Bekah's photography grow and morph (she was a year older than me in school and I would watch her work on the walls of photography class). Below are a few excerpts of our conversation, and below is some work that Bekah was kind enough to let me share with you here.

I've attached 3 photographs....my favorites change all of the time. The first is of the downtown sculpture in the sculpture garden. It was taken in the evening during 80/35. I love the lighting in this photo, the clouds, the people on the hill, the slight reflection on the sculpture. That sculpture is sort of a staple for Downtown Des Moines. I've already printed it to take with me when I move...so I always have a favorite place of mine with me.


The second is a photo I took quite a while ago. I love this photo for several reasons. First, is that I have a love affair with black and white photography. I will always be on a quest to find the perfect lighting for BW photography. Second, this photo comes from a series I named Green Chair Project. The chair was my grandmothers, and after she passed away I started a project of photographing it around Des Moines. This was in the dead of winter on the railroad tracks downtown.


The third photo is of a plant outside my house in Hawai'i. I love the LIFE in this photo. The dew, the light shining on the plant, the greenery. So lush! It was the first place I have lived outside of the state, so it brings back great memories of the house.

I suppose I always knew I wanted to pursue some area of photography, I just hadn't gotten a feel for if I wanted to do it professionally or recreationally. This past summer I have been working as a Photography Assistant at Meredith. To be around like-minded people - all passionate about photography - really gave me the extra boost I apparently needed to kick things off. I'm working on my first website currently, and I hope to have in underway before I move back to Hawai'i. 

I have been quite surprised by how open people are to having a younger photographer be in charge of capturing their wedding day, their newborn's first photos, senior pictures, or any special moment in their lives. I feel people are more willing to embrace a younger generations view point, and actually are looking for something different. 

Now that I have become more committed to building a website and getting my work out, a lot of my time has been taken up. I have shoots lined up pretty much every week until I leave, so unfortunately my friends are taking a bit of a backseat. Considering I am self taught, I do feel this is my "college time". I never had those late night study sessions, or week long paper binges, so perhaps this is my time to work my arse off a bit :) 

THANK YOU BEKAH!! So great to see alternate paths that other 20-Somethings are taking in this topsy-turvy world. I do not have a link to her website yet, but you can find her on Facebook here.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Sick of Being Late

My boss Lisa (great lady--find her on LinkedIn) sent me a great article published today in the Wall Street Journal about how cell phones (and CrackBerries and iPhones and . . . ) have somehow made it excusable for us to always be late. Specifically, with mobile phones, wireless internet, and emails, we can easily inform anyone (a friend, boss, potential friend or boss . . . ) that we are running late. And this seems to pardon the fault. And so what we're left with is a culture always behind schedule who is not paying attention to those human relationships that deserve the respect of an on-time rendez-vous. Those people you're always delaying? Well, they might start to get ticked that you can't even see them when you say you will.

This article spoke to me on a lot of levels. But I thought it was particularly interesting in that it relates to something my dad always says to me: in an age where we are all so connected, we've inadvertently distanced ourselves from everyone, especially those closest. So even if it's not that you're always emailing your girlfriend letting her know you will once again be late for your coffee date, maybe it's a LinkedIn message to a potential client asking to reschedule or a text to your boyfriend when you really can't talk on the phone because you're on the train. So my challenge to you: go retro and do communications the old-fashion way. Make a plan, write it down, and follow-thru. Don't back out at the last minute. Not for coffee, not for a first date, and not for that important meeting that could land your pitch a win.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Moozic

My dad sent this link to me. It's a recording of Tyrone Davis' Turn Back the Hand of Time. He said that it would be great for a sultry night of lounging around with others. I'm thinking I'll have to add it to the ubiquitous birthday iTunes mix that I shall now begin preparing for myself.

Monday, September 27, 2010

C H E C K I T

I want to first let everyone know that back episodes of History Channel's GANGLAND is now on Netflix InstaWatch. Check it!

Second, I want to let everyone know about a great blog that I'm incredibly sad isn't mine. It's called Crepes of Wrath and it's everything I want to be in a blog. Check it!

And third, for all of you who are way prepared and ahead of the game, I want to let everyone know about Les Trois Petits Cochons for all their holiday gift-buying needs. It's a gourmet cheese, sausage, etc (French style of course!) online store. Check it!

Hope to have more exciting blog and video notes soon! Check it!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Bck 2 Skewl

The joys and/or doldrums of the First Week of School finally befell on the Northwestern campus last week. And yesterday (Saturday) was my first day of real graduate school. The day began early, with my alarm waking me at 7:15. By 7:53, I was on my way to Evanston via the CTA. I arrived by 9:10, filled my belly with a chive-cream cheese adorned sesame seed bagel and cup of black coffee and headed to our small lecture hall to begin the three hour session of Change Management with Prof Roloff.

The guy is amazing. First of all, he requires no book. But that's a real superficial reason for liking a teacher.   He was captivating to listen to, with a quick and humorous pace. His profile reminded me and the girl sitting next to me of Robin Williams and this seemed to amplify his jokes and their delivery. He gave us a general overview of the course, touching a lot on the aspects of psychology that must be considered when directing a group or large organization towards change. I am really looking forward to this class to better learn how to implement change in the work place successfully.


Today was a good day for me. I woke up at 11:15am after staying up until 1:30am to watch Titanic (such a good movie! Omg, I forgot how good. I cried and cried and. . .). I ate, watched HGTV, dressed, and then I took a looooong walk north on Michigan Ave, my destination being a certain woman's lingerie store because I had a coupon for a free pair of underwear. Along the way, I stopped at various stores and tried on various clothing items, many of which I liked, and all reasonably within budget (particularly at Forever 21). But I didn't buy anything, not even the $5 tunic. Why?. you ask. Simple. Because NEWS FLASH PEOPLE: Buying clothes won't make you happy. So I've decided to hold off on buying clothes that are merely for the purpose of momentary happiness.

And now I am working on becoming Lady MacBeth's agent. IAMS Dog Food is hiring new doggie models so I will be submitting some pictures of her for her audition. Below are the ones that Mark has given me. I also plan on attaching one of the videos of Lady with Mark in the pool. More soon!



Thursday, September 23, 2010

First Assignment

My first assignment for school was to describe two threats to my company. I knew the first one right away--duh, The Economy!! But the second one was a little trickier. I'm curious to hear what other people have to say is a threat to their company, job, or school work. Right now, I've said that a threat is the managerial staff of companies that I try to recruit out of. I also want to say something about the stigma of recruiting, but I also don't want to go there because I think I understand this sentiment a little too well... More on this later.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Wrigley Field

Wrigley Field and the Cubs versus Giants game was the most amazing experience of my life. Since living in Chicago. The stadium is beautiful, the crowd so lively (way  more so than Sox fans), and sitting in the 13th row on the third baseline allowed the perfect view of a rather slow game. Below are pictures of the evening. I hope that I can go back there some day and maybe even convince Mark to tag along :)



Monday, September 20, 2010

And it's root root root for the...

Oh Sh*t, tomorrow I'm going to a Chicago Cubs versus San Francisco Giants game and I have no idea who to root for. Cubbies? Giants? Ahh! Even though I haven't seen a Giants game since they still played at Candlestick, I think it's in my blood to root for them. My family (minus my grandma who is an A's fan), and my extended family, are all Giants fans. But now that I'm in Chicago, I feel that it's time to adopt them as my team. I feel so conflicted. I just have to remind myself that "Oh ya, it's a sports game, something I care very little about. And at least I'm not a White Sox fan..."

photo courtesy of: gettyimages.com

When my mind isn't all-consumed with mindless sports battles, I found a great blog page filled with new music while I was researching Mumford and Sons (a Tallest Man on Earth and Avett Bros combo--very good!). Here is the link. I suggest everyone download the songs and enjoy! I especially like Band of Horses and Mumford.

photo courtesy of: johngushue.typepad.com

Last post I blogged about Ettie and Billie, an organic skin care line. As I read about their products more and researched, I came across this blog called Fig+Sage. It's a blog devoted to organic beauty and wellness and conscientious consumerism. I love the layout of the blog and the products they feature, even if they're too expensive for me at this point in my life. I may be needing some lavender destressant pretty soon...


photo courtesy of msc.northwestern.edu

Because school starts on Saturday!! I'm a little stressed only because now I have to start practicing my time management skills while I'm at work AND at home, but I'm really looking forward to those meals at the Kellogg Building. Woo Hoo!!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The Pursuit

I know that the Lulu manifesto says that the pursuit of happiness is the source of unhappiness, but c'mon, check this thing out! The moment I find this will be a defining moment in my life, I'm sure of it:
Thank you to my girl Rosalind for sending this along! My jaw dropped when I saw the pic, but a huge smile also came to my face knowing that Rose was thinkin' of me.

And to continue in Jordan's and my quest for the best blog, I came across this one today, after visiting the Etsy store called Ettie + Billie, a San Francisco-based organic beauty line. There store can be found here, the founder's Twitter here, and her blog here. While scoping E + B's blog, I came across a link to a design blog, which then led me to this: Unplggd, a site dedicated to homes and work/art spaces that are clutter free. The designers, work, and suggestions are all kitschy but clean, modern, and approachable. It reminds me of a more fun version of Real Simple. I suggest everyone check it out!

In other news, I'm off to Evanston tomorrow for Orientation for my graduate school. I officially start next week, Saturday the 25th. I'm really looking forward to it!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Fly Away Home

Well, as some of you (the few who read this AND talk to me on a regular basis) know, today my French host sister Eulalie flew home to Lyon. Well, actually, her trip isn't that simple. First, she flew to Boston, then to Dublin, then to Paris, and then a train from Paris to Lyon. I know she'll be exhausted, but also so relieved and happy to be home. Plus, I packed her a snack pack so I know she won't be hungry.

But now that she's gone, I have found myself with TONS of time after to work to do nothing. So, after talking with my friend Jordan about the challenges of keeping fit, I've re-started my workout program today. Thanks to my $950 rent, I've got the blessing of having a small but ample workout room in my building, which is great when you're not feeling up to walking outside, especially now that it's getting dark so early. So tonight, after a stressful but exciting day of work, I did my 75 sit ups, some yoga, and 30 minutes on the elliptical.

I'm not saying I feel like Hulk Hogan, but I do feel great. So, my challenge to everyone is to do something today that makes your body feel good: maybe a hot bath, a walk to and from the grocery store (instead of taking the train), or a home-cooked meal with some fresh veggies (see: not frozen). I mentioned I did some yoga, but because I've never been very self-disciplined, I found a great Hatha video on Youtube that was 35 minutes long! I encourage anyone looking for a 10-15 min workout routine to check out Youtube as well.

This isn't the video I watched, but it's the only embeded video of yoga I could find for the purpose of showing you. Just google "yoga video" and great things will come up. So easy!




Me and Lilou:



Monday, September 13, 2010

Sent to me today from my boss

For everyone feeling a little loss, or jealous about the new LuluLemon collection, read this, their manifesto on life. It's a great daily reminder of things that are more important than deadlines, deals, and dollars.



the lululemon manifesto
  • Drink FRESH water and as much water as you can. Water flushes unwanted toxins from your body and keeps your brain sharp.
  • A daily hit of athletic-induced endorphins gives you the power to make better decisions, helps you be at peace with yourself, and offsets stress.
  • Do one thing a day that scares you.
  • Listen, listen, listen, and then ask strategic questions.
  • Write down your short and long-term GOALS four times a year. Two personal, two business and two health goals for the next 1, 5 and 10 years. Goal setting triggers your subconscious computer.
  • Life is full of setbacks. Success is determined by how you handle setbacks.
  • Your outlook on life is a direct reflection of how much you like yourself.
  • That which matters the most should never give way to that which matters the least.
  • Stress is related to 99% of all illness.
  • Jealousy works the opposite way you want it to.
  • The world is changing at such a rapid rate that waiting to implement changes will leave you 2 steps behind. DO IT NOW, DO IT NOW, DO IT NOW!
  • Friends are more important than money.
  • Breathe deeply and appreciate the moment. Living in the moment could be the meaning of life.
  • Take various vitamins. You never know what small mineral can eliminate the bottleneck to everlasting health.
  • DonĂ¢€™t trust that an old age pension will be sufficient.
  • Visualize your eventual demise. It can have an amazing effect on how you live for the moment.
  • The conscious brain can only hold one thought at a time. Choose a positive thought.
  • Live near the ocean and inhale the pure salt air that flows over the water, Vancouver will do nicely.
  • Observe a plant before and after watering and relate these benefits to your body and brain.
  • Practice yoga so you can remain active in physical sports as you age.
  • Dance, sing, floss and travel.
  • Children are the orgasm of life. Just like you did not know what an orgasm was before you had one, nature does not let you know how great children are until you have them.
  • Successful people replace the words wish, should and try with  I wil.
  • Creativity is maximized when you’re living in the moment.
  • Nature wants us to be mediocre because we have a greater chance to survive and reproduce. Mediocre is as close to the bottom as it is to the top, and will give you a lousy life.
  • lululemon athletica creates components for people to live longer, healthier and more fun lives. If we can produce products to keep people active and stress-free, we believe the world will become a much better place.
  • Do not use cleaning chemicals on your kitchen counters. Someone will inevitably make a sandwich on your counter.
  • SWEAT once a day to regenerate your skin.
  • Communication is COMPLICATED. We are all raised in a different family with slightly different definitions of every word. An agreement is an agreement only if each party knows the conditions for satisfaction and a time is set for satisfaction to occur.
  • What we do to the earth we do to ourselves.
  • The pursuit of happiness is the source of all unhappiness.
 For anyone unfamiliar with LuluLemon, it's an amazing line of exercise and yoga clothes for real women. They have a store on Sherman in Evanston.
 

Monday, September 6, 2010

European Tour of Iowa and Illinoise

PEOPLE!

Miss me? I'm sure...This week has been really crazy in regards to my schedule (and time I'm able to alott for blogging) because my French host sister arrived on Tuesday and we've been keeping really busy. She was able to easily find my apartment from O'Hare and we've been seeing the sites ever since, after of course, we got caught up on each other's stories.

Now that Eulalie is here, I have a reason to do many of the touristy things that I before did not have reason enough to do (mainly it was my pride that prevented me). On Wednesday, we walked up Michigan Ave in search of an ice cream shop and instead stopped at Giordano's for a deep-dish pizza and 312 beer. On Thursday, we went to the Art Institute (which is free on Thursday's after 5pm) and saw two amazing exhibits: a Persian art display and a retrospect of Henri Cartier Bresson's work. HCB is a renowned photojournalist who has traveled all over the world catching such moments as Ghandi's funeral, Mitterand's inaguaration, and Sunday morning in Harlem. I was particularly excited by the exhibit because it contained a photograph of his that I wrote an essay about for a French class my junior year of high school. This is it:

photo courtesy of: google images/flickr

Lilou was especially thrilled by the warm reception of a fellow Francais. For the long Labor Day weekend, we went to Iowa and stayed with Mark in Iowa City. On Saturday, we visited my family in Des Moines, where my parents made an all-American meal: fresh-mdae hamburgers, corn on the cob, coleslaw, and iced tea and lemonade. Lilou had never had corn on the cob, so that was an especially thrilling moment. After lunch, we drove around the city, stopping at TJ Maxx (where my sister works), Von Maur, Audrey's and my high school, the Farmer's Market, etc. It was a beautiful day and with my family, one of my best friends, and a full belly, I couldn't have been much happier.

Yesterday, L and I managed to convince the boys to go the resevoir to soak up some rays. I actually got in the water and I actually got some color. Afterwards, we drove to Tiffin where we stopped at "Jon's," a diner/drive thru type place. We had none other than an Iowa pork tenderloin. She seemed to enjoy it. I certainly did.

I wish I had pictures of all this. Eulalie does, but we can't upload her pics onto my Mac without a cord (which she left at home) and roommie Jamie has her computer with her (her PC is able to accept the card from L's comp). So...long story even longer, pics will be up soon. In the meantime, below is a picture of my amazing sister, who works at TJ Maxx, and nannies, and has her own car, and has beautiful dark curls, and is a great seamstress. I'm jealous of her in more ways than one. My dad was able to catch her in the midst of another (I'm sure) wildly successful day at TJ:

Photo courtesy of Jim

 Also, many thanks to Lawrence for driving us back to Chicago.