Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Apartment LOVE: Top House Tours of 2013

In honor of it being New Year's Eve, and a Tuesday, I felt sharing these posts from Apartment Therapy seemed great for a second post today. Below, is Apartment Therapy's Round Up of the top House Tours of 2013.

Without further ado...here are some of my favorites, that I haven't featured in Apartment LOVE.

A Recap: New Year's Resolutions 2013

To recap: last year, I resolved that 2013 would be my year.

With my 24th birthday looming, and my always ready list of 101 things to do in 1001 days, I kept it general.

I vowed to

[one] become a real person
I think this one is a work in progress but I finally think that's okay. My sleeping patterns are slowly improving, although SOME would probably disagree with me. I'm working out on average 4-5 days a week and finally realizing how much working out helps in other aspects of my life, i.e. stress levels, I'm drinking less alcohol and more water, commuting via public transit and really learning what does and does not work for me.

I read an article the other day that essentially said that in your 20s you aren't supposed to have it all together and I think they should tell more people. 

[two] communicate more/better
On this one, I am giving myself a B. In someways, yes I've gotten better at this. But in other ways not so much. As I also learn in my relationships what does and does not work for me, I realize how much keeping in touch with people goes a long way. But I also realized how much harder it gets with time. The more time you've spent on this crazy planet of ours, the more friends you've made and the more people to keep up with. So I go through spurts here, even neglecting my very best friends who live so close at times. It's still a struggle.

But, I take solace in knowing that the best of friendships can always pick up where you last left off. 

[three] learn to relax more efficiently
Again, some people may have never realized this was a challenge I face, while others would have no idea what I'm even talking about: relax efficiently? This, however, is something I think I've improved at. I've learned to enjoy the quiet of doing nothing, of recognizing that you need time for relaxation and spending time with yourself or a good book, or a great yoga instructor. 

[four] take more chances
While I'm not sure that I've taken many risks, I am sure I've taken more chances. I've put myself out there, learned to trust my instincts and did what felt right. Whether it was standing up for something I believed in, simply saying no to an invitation or having lunch with a stranger, I'd say all of these chances have all worked themselves out.

Things usually do have a way of working themselves out in the end.

[five] knock off at least 25 things on my 101 list
Does 21 count? In 2013, I: redesigned my blog with Danielle Moss, Second Birthday Cards to friends and family, Made Green Beans, Corn, Potato and Salad from The Green City Farmers Market, Learned to curl my hair, and like it curly, went on vacation to St. Maarten with the family, do a whole lotta cleaning, had a picnic at Ravinia for the Goo Goo Dolls concert, pretty much kicked butt at blogging regularly, learned to roast a chicken, which by the way was a hilarious but utterly delicious venture for all involved, completed a color fun, learned to roll my own sushi at Koi, dropped a ski waterskiing, without falling, got dressed for OOTD pics, which I know I've been failing at, got a blow out, just because and treated myself to flowers. Apparently, I also mastered the insanely long sentence.

I would LOVE to hear what your 2013 New Year's Resolutions were. Leave a comment and tell me what you accomplished this year!

Monday, December 30, 2013

2013: A Year In Reflection

As today marks the last Monday of the year, and the second to last day of the year, I wanted to spend it reflecting on the past 51 Mondays, 364 days, and I guess year too. [Apparently, we're also doing a lot of math.]

Forewarning: the next two weeks, like the first two weeks of every year tend to be filled with reflections and resolutions. I apologize in advance. Tomorrow, I'll be recapping all of my 2013 resolutions, and then next week, I'll be recapping all my 24th year of life resolutions. Again, sorry.

Wrote my very first guest post on elembee's blog
Celebrated my birthday with close friends at Sunda
Caught a Second City show
Took a class at Bottle and Bottega with the roommates

Started my longest Blog Series to date: Apartment LOVE
Watch Badger Basketball take on Ohio State at the Kohl Center, and somehow ended up in this video
Visited my best friend in New York City for a fun, getaway weekend
Became a PROUD member of Starbucks GOLD

Said goodbye to a close friend, and roommate when she moved for greener, I mean warmer pastures in LA
Enjoyed every moment of the Big 10 Basketball Tournament with the roomie, and bumping into Bucky Badger on the street beforehand
Laughed my way through Book of Mormon
Was a victim of theft: my computer and wallet
Traveled to Florida, via first class, with my parents to visit the grandparents for Passover
Ate at a delicious Greek restaurant in Fort Lauderdale
Won my office March Madness Pool, which made the Badgers loosing so early hurt a little less
Learned to roll sushi at a client event

Welcomed Shelby, and her delicious baked goods, into our apartment
Tried, and hated, Bubble Tea in Chinatown, Chicago
Mourned and Prayed for my hometown of Boston, MA

Took Shelby and Amy back east for Memorial Day, history and lake time
Semi Stalked the TODAY show in Chicago

Tried out having a guest blogger on this old blog of mine
Completed a Color Run
...which happened to be one of the easiest 5K's I've ever run
Started addictively spray tanning, for the summer
...and simultaneously becoming an avid sunscreen wearer
Went on a pretty good first date with someone special

Celebrated the 4th of July where it actually happened
Dropped a ski waterskiing
Took in a Dispatch Concert at the Charter One Pavilion

Went to Lolla for the first time, sang along to the Killers, Imagine Dragons, Mumford & Sons, and more with the beautiful Chicago skyline as a background
Ran a 5K with my two best friends from college, all of us were shocked it happened

Celebrated my mom's birthday with her for the first time since I was in HS
Purchased my bridesmaid dress for my cousin's wedding this coming summer
Welcomed one of my bestest friends from college to Chicago
Experienced Twitter Shopping with Philip Lim for Target

Cheered on my brother's alma mater is the POURING rain at his homecoming
Attended Hannah's Gala benefitting Gateway Arts in Boston

Roasted a chicken for the first time, ever
Celebrated my parent's 30th Anniversary with a trip to St. Maarten

Picked out and decorated a Christmas tree for the first time
Attempted to cure my chronically dry feet
Spent Christmas in Chicago/Away from home for the first time, ever

Friday, December 20, 2013

Link Love


Happy Friday!

  1. I meant to post this last week but Doc Rivers return to the Garden was fantastic. As he said, "This is such a neat place. People don't get Boston. They don't undersatnd. It is a special, different place. They cheer for their teams. The best decision I ever made was when I decided to come here."
  2. 20 Shocking and Unexpected Facts You Learn in Your 20s. I could not agree with numbers 2, 5, 7, 9 and 13 more.
  3. You can always count on Refinery29 for something great. And this Kale & Chickpea salad sounds divine.
  4. I'd like to visit this smart piano at Union Station, and am kind of proud of Chicago for coming up with this!
  5. If you're looking to warm up your heart a bit this holiday season, watch this video of one husband who wore a Tutu for a year to cheer up his wife while she went through chemo.
  6. 19 Products that will make your life easier in 2014. I've been talking about a waterproof Ipod for years now.
  7. This video of a man joining strangers phone conversations in the airport had me laughing out loud.
  8. I took this How British Are You Quiz. Apparently I'm as British as Stephan Fry walking a corgi outside Buckingham Palace. I'm awkward, easily embarrassed, sickeningly polite. I'm as British as they come. Yay, looks like Harrys rubbing off on me.
  9. I spend each year looking forward to DJ Earworm's US of POP Yearly Mash Up. And this year's, and more, are out.
  10. Amy Poehler's pretty brillant, huh?

I'm taking a break over the holidays so I'll be back soon. Until then, Happy Christmas and New Year to you and yours.


Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Apartment LOVE: Zoe Chicco

Zoe Chicco, the designer behind the jewelry line that dons her name, comes here at the end of every day to relax.

She admits, "When I'm into something, a palette or a motif, it shows up everywhere in my life. For the most part, my wardrobe matches my home. Everything is black, white and grey with colorful accents thrown in. I like clean, simple lines but with roominess and comfort as well. Leather and faux fur? Yes, please."

Yes, please.

Two things:

  1. How dreamy is that hallway?
  2. I'm making a note to myself to someday do this.

Photos courtesy of Bryce Covey. Check out the full article here

Monday, December 16, 2013



I know it's been a while since we had one of these. But we made to the last full one of the year. Yes, the last week before the holidays hit, filled with shorter weeks, before I'm calling it a sort of two week hiatus from life, to relax, unwind and catch up. Hallelujah.

But, to get there, it's going to be a busy one.

This week...

 + Is so far light on the work meetings, as of now. I'm going to use my time actually in the office finishing up 2014 Strategic Plans and any early January promotions needing planning. The two weeks after are going to be filled with general company improvement and client satisfaction projects.

+ Did I mention I have TWO openings in the beginning of January? Bring it on.

+ I still have to finish up one or two holiday gifts, which I'm hoping to do during the week before the rush of next weekend happens.

+ The boy and I picked out a Christmas tree for his apartment this past weekend. While we filled it with lights and candy canes, his ornaments were in the suburbs. So we'll be finishing it up this weekend.

+ ...speaking of the Christmas tree, as I said last week, this was my first ever Christmas Tree experience, and not to toot my own horn, but I think I did well. And, I thoroughly feel like I've been missing out. Oh boy the decor I could have had all these years. Definitely starting to stock up. Andddd thinking ornaments could be a new fun collectable. 

+ I'm going to the Standard Club Holiday party with my NY best friend. We've been wanting to attend since I first moved here, and we started doing dinner and lunches there when she's in town, so you can imagine our excitement. It's supposed to be the social event of the season.

+ While I'm a little upset that all my favorite shows, see: Scandal, Revenge, Greys, etc, are on hiatus but I'm planning to spend the next month catching up on other shows like How I Met Your Mother, Modern Fam etc and watching new shows like Downton Abbey and the Bachelor. 

+ And, I know you were concerned about my Holiday Movie watching, but I've caught up, and since watched: Elf and Love Actually. The Holiday, Family Stone and Bridget Jones are up this week.

x0 0x x0 0x x0 0x x0 0x 
Currently -
Listening: Lady Gaga "Christmas Tree." It's just so catchy. 
Eating: Leftover White Chicken Chili, yum.
Drinking: Green Tea, La Croix, Water with lemon juice
Wanting: the week to be over already
Needing: to find some time to go to Yoga this week
Thinking: about Christmas decor
Enjoying: all the great link love I've been stumbling upon lately, this week's already got so much!
Wondering: if the snow can stay pretty forever

Friday, December 13, 2013

Link Love


Another week come and gone and here we are back at Friday. Hello again, good friend.

This week, there was a lot of link love. Each week, I keep links all over the place, on post notes at my desk, on the sticky pad app on my computer, on my phone, just open in my phone's safari, in my email in box. And this week, like recent weeks, there was a lot of notes.

+ As a some what of restaurant industry member, and very much so a restaurant frequenter, I loved this article from Thrillest, and yes, recognized almost every character casted.

+ Yes, I said yesterday, I'm in desperate need of some holiday cheer in the form of holiday movies, and the thought of this one, even though fake, would have me RUSHING to theaters.

+ Are you loving Badger Basketball as much as me?? 11-0, 4th in the Nation. Well, then you'll probably recognize at least one of these 26 signs you've lived in Madison, WI.

+ Speaking of my hometowns, Buzzfeed put together 31 ways 2013 was the most Boston year ever, for better and for unspeakable worse.   

+ This 100 Year Old Woman might be the cutest thing ever. #itwasalwaysMarvin

+ Speaking of cute, these puppies learning to howl had Dunkin running around the kitchen confused. This was also extremely adorable given Dunkin's penchant for fake crying and forgetting to stop wagging his tail. 

+ #TeamAidan...I wouldn't be upset if someone called me PopTart....also, I heard I missed out on Pumpkin PopTarts this year, ugh.

+ Because god may not even know where we're going to need our next Caffeine fix, we can at least count on Starbucks to open an obscure location for us.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

25 Days

We're way late to the 25 days of Christmas party.

I cannot believe that Christmas is a week from Tuesday. Although I am going tree shopping for the first time ever this weekend. [I really cannot describe how dorkishly, childishly excited I am :)]

I haven't even had time to watch any Christmas movies and it's a travesty.

+ Love Actually
+ The Holiday
+ The Family Stone
+ Bridget Jones
+ Elf
+ While You Were Sleeping
+ Home Alone
+ The Santa Claus
+ Trading Places
+ Christmas Vacation
+ It's a Wonderful Life