Friday, May 31, 2013

May Twenty Thirteen

These playlist posts always sneak up on me. It feels like time just moves faster and faster every year. 
Tomorrow is June 1st. Unbelievable. 

May was a wonderful month filled with many celebrations, lots of good books, countless drives with windows down, and many great conversations. 

These songs were great additions to those memories.  
  1. Boxcar - Shovels & Rope
  2. Lana Del Rey - Young & Beautiful 
  3. The Valley- The Oh Hellos
  4. Follow Me - Trouvere
  5. Falling For You - The 1975
  6. Native Son (feat. Brett Denne) - Kate Earl
  7. 100$ Bill - Jay-Z
  8. Queen of the City - Joshua James
  9. Crazy In Love - Emeli Sande
  10. Saturday Morning - Rachael Yamagata
  11. Beautiful Girl - William Fitzsimmons
  12. So I'll Let You Go - Trouvere
  13. Bad Things - Meiko
  14. Fenway Griffin House
  15. Good Bye - Paul McDonald & Nikki Reed

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Twenty Six

Dress: Gift from mom (boutique in Breckenridge, CO.) Shoes: Old Navy.
Necklace: Francesca's. Bracelet: Renegade Art Festival. Earrings: Target. 

Well, I'm officially in my late twenties! I turned 26 yesterday and honestly could not have felt more celebrated by my friends and family. Thank you to everybody that made me feel so loved.

My day was filled with sharing breakfast, lunch, and dinner with wonderful friends, spending sometime reading in my back yard, watching a rerun (or two) of mad men, and catching up on some work emails from the Memorial Day weekend. 
All in all, a great day.

I wore this outfit out to dinner with some close friends to a mexican restaurant in town to celebrate. My mom actually bought this dress for herself when she was out in Colorado with some girlfriends but when she got home she realized it didn't fit quite the way she was hoping. Worked out great for me! 

Anyway, here's to another year. 
I have no idea what will happen but I'm trusting it'll be a good one. 
Excited for what's in store! 

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Things I Learned...

... This Memorial Day Weekend

  1. Weddings are really one of the best celebrations. My brother's best man Kyle (and close friend of mine) got married this weekend in St. Louis to Sadie. It was such a fun weekend of being surrounded by friends and family who adore this couple. It kind of felt like a preview for what's to come June 29th with my family!
  2. Sometimes it's actually fun to be the third wheel. I might be singing a different tune on a different occasion but this weekend was great. My whole family went down to Kyle and Sadie's wedding but Andrew and Becca were both in the wedding party so that meant lots of quality time with my parents. Of course there were definitely moments where they drove me a little crazy but overall I'm grateful to be the third wheel to them. They're a great pair.
  3. Any sort of animal baby is so adorable. When my parents and I were in St. Louis one of our adventures together was the St. Louis zoo. If you're ever in the area, it's a must. It's free and really wonderful. When we were there we saw this sweet baby elephant who had just been introduced to the public a couple days before. He was just a month old and seriously the cutest thing I've ever seen. I think we stood and watched him for about 20 minutes. Which is ages in zoo time.
  4. The twitter feed @yourawaymessage is absolutely brilliant. If you're not following it, well, that's just seems silly. It's gotten to the point that my best friend Kate and I just screen shot pictures of different posts and send them to each other. Makes me giggle every time. 
  5. Everything makes me cry. But seriously, everything makes me cry. Like a lot of these points, these thoughts aren't necessarily new but they're fresh from the weekend. I've always known this about myself, that my emotions manifest themselves in tears but last night felt like an all time low. Last night my roommate Kelly and I were watching the Real Housewives of Orange County and I cried... twice... I guess that's when you know, right? 

Monday, May 20, 2013

Things I Learned...

... This weekend.
  1. God gives us such a gift in hearing "me too." I've heard that said many times before but it rang very true for me last night. My close friend Laura from high school is in town for just under a week. You may remember reading about her wedding in Napa here. Anyway, Laura's in town so Gwen and I grabbed dinner with her Sunday evening. We spent most of our meal sharing what life has been like over the last couple months since we all had been together over the holidays. It felt like each time one of us shared, a "gosh, me too" followed. And not in a "I want to point the conversation back to me" way but it in a way truly understanding. Grateful for those moments, grateful for those gifts.
  2. I'm a sucker for my hometown (pictured above.) I spent both Friday and Sunday night there. Oops? I know people don't get it, or maybe think it's weird to love where you grew up so much. I just do.   
  3. Wedding season is upon us! On Saturday was Becca's "bachelorette" deal in the city. We spent the day at a spa then went to dinner and out for some drinks. For the last couple months there have been many different celebrations but we're now on to the big day. First up, my good friends Sadie & Kyle, this weekend in St. Louis. Cannot believe it's finally summer.
  4. Eleanor & Park is a must read. I'm 100 pages in and hooked. So what if it's another young adult novel, right?
  5. I'm going to be closer to 30 than 20 in a short nine days. I'm turning 26. What? Yikes, where did this year go??

Friday, May 17, 2013

April Twenty Thirteen

So I realize that it's the middle of may, and I have been in full swing listening to "may twenty thirteen" and totally forgot to post "april twenty thirteen." Do not worry friends, here it is, in all it's glory. And again, sorry that it's almost June.
  1. Don't Give Up - The Inlaws
  2. Wine We Drink - Drew Holcomb & the Neighbors
  3. Go Together - Jillian Edwards
  4. Peace Like a River - Andrew Ripp
  5. All the Poor and the Powerless - All Sons & Daughters
  6. Radioactive - Imagine Dragons
  7. From This Valley - The Civil Wars
  8. Next to Me - Emeli Sande
  9. Youth - Daugther
  10. Beautiful Day - Joshua Radin
  11. Brave - Sara Bareilles
  12. Everything - Ben Howard
  13. Pusher Love Girl  - Justin Timberlake 

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Heat Wave

Skirt: Old Navy. Tank: Lululemon. Shoes: Nine West via DSW
Earrings: Target. Necklace: F21. Sunnies: Urban Outfitters

My goodness it has been warm here in Chicago the last couple days. 
It's unbelievable to me that on Monday there was frost on the ground and then be 80 and sunny the next three days. 
I don't want to jinx it but I think summer weather has officially arrived.

My roommates and I are pretty cheap and haven't gone the air conditioning route just yet. So that means lots of windows open, an unhappy kitty, and clothes that don't really touch my body. This is my go to "it's so hot" outside outfit. I'm a sucker for a maxi skirt during any season but they really are perfect for days like these when it's just simply hot. 

Monday, May 13, 2013

Things I Learned...

... This weekend.
  1. I cannot get enough of The Great Gatsby soundtrack. I think I have spent the last 48 hours listening to it. "Young and Beautiful" has been constantly running through my head. I also loved the movie. Baz Luhrmann did a phenomenal job putting the story on a screen. Not sure I loved Carey Mulligan as Daisy but Leo was casted perfectly.
  2. Mother's Day is the best. Since I'm so close to my family we get together pretty frequently. Today felt different though, it was nice to have an intentional day of just celebrating mom. Seriously though, don't know what in the world I'd do without her. 
  3. Traffic automatically puts me in a bad mood. It is kind of incredible how my day can be going well and then all of a sudden traffic hits and I'm instantly frustrated. 
  4. Homecomings always need to start with deep dish pizza and a visit from your bestie (I'd like to think so at least.) My best friend Gwen from high school has been living out in Washington DC for the last 4 years and she moved back to Chicago today! I was able to stop by her house today and give her a big hug (and eat some deep dish pizza) to welcome her home. I'm excited for what's in store with her back home again, can only imagine lots of fun things.
  5. I like to think of myself as a pretty clean person but one thing is for sure, I'm not very good at keeping my room organized. It feels like once I week I take the time to "clean my room" and then somehow within 24 hours its a mess again. Even as I sit here typing I am embarrassed by its current state. A complete mess. Maybe next time...

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Sunrise, Sunrise

"I like to compare God's love to the sunrise. 
That sun shows up every morning, no matter how bad you've been the night before. 
It shines without judgement. It never withholds. 
It warms the sinners, the saints, the druggies, the cheerleaders - 
the saved and the heathens alike. 
You can hide from the sun, but it won't take that personally. 
It'll never, ever punish you for hiding. 
You can stay in the dark for years or decades, and when you finally step outside, it'll be there. 
It was there the whole time, shining and shining. 
It'll still be there, steady and bright as ever, just waiting for you to notice, to come out, to be warmed. 
All those years, I thought of God and light and the sun as judgmental, but they weren't. 
The sunrise was my daily invitation from God to come back to life."

Monday, May 6, 2013

Things I Learned...

... This weekend.
  1. The smell of freshly cut grass is one of my absolute favorites. After I mowed the lawn, I went upstairs to my room and opened my window as I was getting ready for my day. It was such a sweet little treat to smell the grass. 
  2. A Sunday with your best friend is the best way to end your week (or start your week.) Kate and I had the chance to spend the whole day together Sunday. We started our adventure at a flea market, then headed on sonic for happy hour (best decision ever) and ended the day with margaritas on our back patio with some friends to celebrate Cinco de Mayo. A good day indeed.
  3. White toe nail polish grows on you. I was on pinterest last week and saw a pedicure with white polish. I wasn't quite sure how I felt about it but I thought I'd give it a try anyway. My roommates all told me it looked like I put white out on my toes but after a couple days I really started to like it. Who knows, this might be something I look back on and think how awful it looks (Kind of like white eyeliner and everything I wore in middle school.)
  4. I'm officially going to Vegas in June! My friend Cori, who I wrote about here is getting married in August. I have the honor and privilege to stand next to her and her fiance Alex as they said "I do." But before that happens we are going to Vegas for Cori's bachelorette party! I am super excited and super nervous. Here's to a new adventure!
  5. Sometimes it's okay to listen a song on repeat. Specifically "Just Give Me a Reason" by Pink featuring Nate Ruess from Fun. It's all pop but so good. You should definitely check it out.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Things I Learned...

... This weekend. 
  1. I am never underwhelmed by the city of Chicago. Every spring the organization I work for treats us to a weekend downtown filled with delicious food, community, and surprises. It's always wonderful and this year was no exception. I love that I've grown up in the Chicagoland and no matter it always feels new. It's fun when home still feels like an adventure.
  2. Babies make everything better. My friend Ben and his wife Abby just had a sweet little baby boy 5 weeks ago. He's just the best. It really is unbelievable how holding a baby can put you in a better mood. Well it does for me at least.  
  3. I enjoy coffee in the afternoon just as much as the morning. After I got home from the weekend away I had a couple hours before the next thing on my schedule. I cuddled up in my bed, opened up my window, sipped on some hazelnut coffee and opened my the new book I started Carry On, Warrior (Thoughts on Life Unarmed) by Glennon Doyle Melton. Friends, I call that a perfect Sunday afternoon. 
  4. Debit card fraud is really just rude. This happened during my week but I was without my debit card until today. Last week, someone decided to use my debit card to by film equipment from New York. I'm grateful that my bank was gracious about the situation but it definitely was a frustrating. I was also surprised by how violated it made me feel. 
  5. Musical theater is awesome. During our weekend downtown one of our surprises was going to see "Big Fish" at the Oriental Theater. loved the movie when it came out a while back and I was really excited to see the show. It was neat to see the way they made the fantastical story come to life on stage. And let's be honest, I'm always a sucker for a good musical.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Authentic Me

So I'm sure by now you're sick of hearing about me reading The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown. I promise, this is the last post about it (at least for now...)

One of the things she talks about towards the end of the book is the way that dancing, music, and laughter are foundational to living a "wholehearted" life. I could not agree more. One thing she made for herself is a playlist called "authentic me." It is a collection of songs that make her feel like herself. She didn't explain much why she chose songs but left it at that. 

I decided to make my own "authentic me" playlist. 
The list below are either songs I never get sick of listening to, have impacted me in different ways, make me want to get up and dance, or songs I just simply love. 

  1. The Seed & the Ground - JJ Alberhasky
  2. By the Mark - Gillian Welch
  3. Countdown - Beyonce
  4. Carry On - Fun.
  5. Gathering Stories - Jonsi
  6. Lost and Found - Katie Herzig
  7. The Trapeze  Swinger - Iron & Wine
  8. 23 - Jimmy Eat World
  9. Rain - Patty Griffin
  10. Shine - David Gray
  11. Portions for Foxes - Rilo Kiley
  12. Years and Years - Sidehill Winders
  13. Land of the Living - Matthew Perryman Jones
  14. How the Day Sounds - Greg Laswell
  15. Raconte-Moi Une Histoire - M83
  16. After the Storm - Mumford & Sons
  17. My Love - Justin Timberlake feat. T.I.
  18. Window in the Skies - U2
  19. The District Sleeps Alone - The Postal Service
  20. Chicago - Sufjan Stevens
  21. On Your Porch - The Format
  22. Arms - Christina Perri
  23. Blood Bank - Bon Iver
  24. Blood - The Middle East
  25. I Thought - The Kevin Reid Project
  26. Need & Thread - Sleeping at Last
  27. Kids - MGMT
  28. Shake it Out - Florence + The Machine
  29. Dog Problems - The Format
  30. Land of Hope and Dreams - Bruce Springsteen
I've got this on repeat.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

April Showers

Dress: Anthropologie. Jacket: Michael Kors (via Nordstrom Rack.) Aviators: Urban Outfitters.
Shoes: Cole Hann (via TJ Maxx.) Hair Piece: F21. Bracelet: Renegade Art Fair.
My gosh has there been April Showers here in the Chicagoland. Here's to a past weekend full of sunshine and hopefully tons of May Flowers. 

And speaking of showers, this is what I wore to my future sister-in-law's first bridal shower. I will admit at about 2 PM when it was a breezy 43 degrees, I was second guessing not wearing tights. But I refuse to wear tights anymore, tights are for October, not April. 

Here are some more bridal shower pictures. 

My brother Andrew and me.

Perfect flowers for a perfect Bridal Tea.

Bride and her bridesmaids! (Becca is in white.)

Monday, April 22, 2013

Things I Learned...

... This weekend.

  1. I've got the best big brother. I know that it's not something I just learned and I'm totally biased but I've got to say it. My brother is getting married this summer to Becca whom I absolutely adore. This weekend we had the first bridal shower for Becca. Andrew made an appearance and brought the beautiful flowers pictured above. It's been such a cool shift for me to see Andrew as not just a big brother and a son in my family but to a husband. It makes my heart full just thinking about how wonderful of a husband he will be. 
  2. There are such things as rain days and for that matter multiple ones. This past weekend (well Thursday & Friday) my little city was underwater. The schools shut down, I couldn't get out of my neighborhood, life seemed to just halt. Who knew that "rain days" or "flood days" could shut down whole cities. 
  3. Sometimes life feels like a movie. My roommates and I (on said rain day) watched Zero Dark Thirty. I had seen it already but loved it just as much the second time. It felt surreal sitting in front of my computer Friday night watching the FBI, Boston police department, and other law enforcement literally hunt the second suspect from the Boston marathon bombings. I had such mixed emotions Friday evening. I was grateful that the suspect was in custody but it didn't even begin to subside the heartache I felt for the community of Boston and their families. It didn't feel like the end, but just the beginning... hopefully the beginning of lots and lots of healing.
  4. It's just okay to be in bed at 9 PM. Who cares if that happens to be on a Friday night... right?
  5. You know you really love a book when you look down at any page and all you see is your green sharpie pen covering the page. As I mentioned here. I'm currently reading The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown and I am fascinated (and underlining a ton.) My favorite thing I read today was, "We are biologically, cognitively, physically, and spiritually wired to love, to be loved, and to belong. When those needs are not met, we don't function as we were meant to. We break. We fall apart."  Are you reading any good books? Any recommendations? 

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Everything is Underwater

Growing up in the Chicagoland, I've had my fair share of canceled school and work because of snow days... but a RAIN day? WHAT!

Last night it started pouring rain at 4 in the afternoon and continued raining until about 10 this morning. The result? Chicagoland completely underwater. I had really high hopes for being productive today, I had a long list of errands and things to get done. Turns out, the road getting out of my neighborhood is flooded in both directions and my little hatch back can't make it out. 

So instead of productivity, my day has consisted of a little reading, watching an episode of Law & Order: SVU, Zero Dark Thirty with my roommates, going for a quick stroll with my roommate Kate to grab Chinese food and an afternoon nap. 

Maybe this is just the day I actually needed.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

To Suffer With

It's been hard not to have a heavy heart since 2 pm on Monday afternoon. I don't know what it is, I've gotten older and "understand more" or tragedies like the Boston Marathon Bombings occur more regularly these days. Either way, when tragedy strikes it stirs up all different emotions.

I've been on a Brene Brown kick lately. If you haven't read/watched/listened to any of her stuff, it really is worth checking out. (Her website is right here.) I'm currently reading The Gifts of Imperfection. She explains the three foundational pieces of embracing a whole hearted living, one being compassion. As I sat in Starbucks yesterday afternoon, watching the rain pour down (again,) in the midst of checking my twitter feed to get the most recent updates about the bombings more often than I'd like to admit, I was struck by her words.

Brene Brown writes, 

"Compassion is not a relationship between the healer and the wounded. 
It's a relationship between equals... 
Compassion becomes real when we recognize our shared humanity." 

My prayer is that we may be a people of compassion, understanding that in moments of deep tragedy, and also in the mundane moments of everyday life, we're just like our neighbor.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Things I Learned...

... This weekend.

  1. Blue skies make an already wonderful day even better. It has been the worst weather here in Chicago the last couple weeks. It's been cold and really rainy. But finally, on Sunday blue skies appeared. I was lucky enough to get to spend that lovely day in the city at Dose Market with my future sister in law. If you're in the Chicago area, it is a must! 
  2. I tried on a handful of things yesterday at Anthropologie. Apparently I only like two things right now, stripes and a melon color palate. 
  3. I feel like over the last couple months I've been learning a lot about expectations. When are they good? Do we ever communicate them to other people? How have they hurt me? What are my expectations of others, myself, of God? I finally have been able to put into words how I feel about them... I really believe expectations rob joy in our lives. 
  4. I love Chicago sporting events. In 24hrs I went to the Chicago Bulls game with my mom (when they beat the NY Knicks in over time!) and the Chicago Cubs game with some coworkers (when they beat the SF Giants!) Even if you're not a huge fan of those teams, it's hard not to be when you're at the United Center or Wrigley Field. It's contagious. 
  5. I'm grateful my job allows me to see friends from all over the country. This weekend there was a conference in the Chicago area which brought friends of mine from Michigan, Colorado, Kansas, and Indiana all to one place. Fun to see folks that you don't always get to see. 

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

March Twenty Thirteen

March Madness. 
Spring Break in Naples, FL.
Two weddings. 
New Justin Timberlake album. 
March was a good month.

  1. Land of Hope and Dreams - Bruce Springsteen
  2. Just Give Me a reason - Pink feat. Nate Ruess
  3. Mirrors - Justin Timberlake
  4. I Have Made Mistakes - The Oh Hellos
  5. Hoping For Home - Trent Dabbs
  6. Gone, Gone, Gone - Phillip Phillips
  7. Dance in the Graveyards - Delta Rae
  8. Capsized - Matthew Perryman Jones
  9. Fragile Bird - City and Colour
  10. Joy to You Baby - Josh Ritter
  11. The Valley - The Oh Hellos
  12. Carry On (acoustic) - Fun. 
Any good tunes for me to listen to??

Monday, April 8, 2013

Things I Learned...

... the last couple months.

First off, I want to apologize for my absence the last couple months. To be totally honest, life got the best of me and my energy needed to be poured into the things that were in front of me, not on the internet. But alas, I am back and excited for what's in store for my life and echo grace as spring is finally here and the many things I have to look forward to the rest of 2013. 

  1. It is never a bad idea to re-read one of your favorite books. One of my favorite authors is C.S. Lewis (it's who my cat Clive is named after!) When I was a senior in high school and then a sophomore in college I read Mere Christianity. I picked it up again two weeks ago and it's been just as refreshing as I remember. Grateful how words that I've read many times can still speak boldly into my life.
  2. The best place to spend a Saturday night is Ikea and Chilis. It was Saturday evening at about 7 PM and my roommates and I didn't have a ton to do so we hopped in my car and headed to Ikea. I seriously could spend hours there. I dare anyone to walk into that place and walk out with nothing, it is impossible. And hard not to be there and think of this movie.
  3. After watching countless youtube videos, I finally learned how to do a sock bun. It has changed my life. Okay, that's dramatic. 
  4. Technology is a wonderful thing. In the last week I've been able to video chat with two of my good friends who live in Lawrence, KS and Princeton, NJ. Don't get me a wrong, I'm a huge fan of snail mail and writing letters but there is something so refreshing about being able to see the faces of my friends.
  5. I still love Mad Men. Two years ago Chicago was bombarded by a massive snow storm known as the snowpocolypse. AKA I was locked in my house for two days and I decided to start watching Mad Men (and watched two seasons in two days.) Over "spring break" this year I got myself all caught up and ready for the premier of season 6. My thoughts without giving things away? Peggy Olsen is a babe. Joan is still my favorite. Don is always doing wrong but somehow it works. And Pete is the worst, absolutely the worst.  

Monday, January 21, 2013

Things I Learned

... This weekend.
  1. I think I'm officially as some people may say, a "cat lady." This morning I looked at my camera roll on my phone and realized that 80% of the pictures I've taken since I've been home from Florida have been of Clive. Example: picture about. Little Clive was just loving the oscillating fan in my bedroom, how could I not document that??
  2. Antique stores are the best. For Christmas JJ is in the process of making me a craft desk out of old refurbished wood (woo ho! don't worry, more to come on that when it's in action.) He bought the old wood at this antique store in town and we decided to go look around on Saturday. It was like etsy but a store. There were 30 different "vendors" in the store in little sections. It was awesome, I could have spent hours there. My take aways? A beaded vintage clutch and antique ring. 
  3. Chicago winters are brutal with no snow. The last couple months it's been chilly in Chicago but nothing unbearable... and then January 20th happened. It is like negative degree windchill! And there is no snow! Snow would at least make this frigid tundra worth it.
  4. Sometimes neon green & neon pink nail polish is a must. I'm usually not the first to pick the bright colors for my nails or toes but because of the weather (note above) it only seemed necessary to go with neons this go around.
  5. I only need to see 3 more of the best picture nominations this year! (Amor, Dijango Unchained, and Zero Dark Thirty) I'm really looking forward to seeing them before the Academy Awards in a couple weeks. Right now, my favorite noms are Silver Lining Playbook, Argo, & Les Mis... Who knows though, I'm sure that'll change tomorrow! So many great movies this year. 

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

December Twenty Twelve

It is still unbelievable to me that another year has come and gone. 
And with that being said, another playlist has come and gone. 
  1. Distance - Christina Perri feat Jason Mraz
  2. Orphans, Kingdomws - Brooke Fraser
  3. One Foot - Fun.
  4. Big Parade - The Lumineers
  5. I'm on your side - JJ Alberhasky
  6. Heart's Content - Brandi Carlile
  7. O, Holy Night - Sleeping At Last
  8. Scream & Shout - Will.I.Am feat Britney Spears
  9. Something to Look Forward to - Ari Hest
  10. Mountain Song - Trent Dabbs 
  11. Little Drummer Boy - Sufjan Stevens
  12. All This And Heaven Too - Florence & the Machine
  13. Where the West Wind Blows - Green River Ordinance
  14. Someone - Future of Forestry

Monday, January 14, 2013

Merry Christmas [Part II]

Happy New Years from yours truly! (a bit late)

date brunch with JJ

JJ got me a polaroid camera for Christmas! It's the best!
Here are some of my Florida holiday captured on film. 

Life doesn't get better than the beach and diet coke.

sweet alfie boy.

Nothing like one last shot of palm trees and some Florida sun.

2013 is really happening. After my 10 days in Florida with my family I returned home for a couple days and headed right back to Florida for work. I feel like I have not really been present in my life here in Chicago. I'm ready to be back in my (chaotic) rhythm of life.

Here are some last snapshots from my time in Naples. I'm excited for what is in store this coming year. And just as excited to document it here.

Looking forward to the journey.