Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Small Victories

Today was one of those days where I thought to myself "I'm going to be okay here." I bummed around in the morning but when I left the apartment I was greeted with Spring in January! The sun was shining, the wind was breezy, and I un-zipped my coat, took off my hat, and squished in the mud to the train station.

Did my temp job and felt very accomplished. It's a very zen thing to get everything organized in a space, it was a very calming experience. Then out for Running Buddy's Birthday! Half price sushi and drinks downtown...we didn't run after that, but it was tasty sushi and fun had by all.

Then the el broke down underground, so we got on the bus and I sat next to a narcoleptic homeless man that smelled like pee and a college student that kept repeating that she hated "unseasonably warm weather." But I didn't let it get me down! I got off the bus and took the train the rest of the way home while taking to Mom. She re-hashed this week's episode of Biggest Loser (which we used to watch together and eat chocolate) and I taught her how to use Pinterest so she can be as much of a fanatical list maker as I am. Next week we'll upgrade her to Polyvore!

Tomorrow is the first crack at my new theatre job (not paying the bills yet but it's going to be a fun/enlightening experience) and then off to my Country Estates for some R&R and job application fun time with Viking Boyfriend. His show opens this weekend so I'll go see that and probably watch copious amounts of Adventure Time with Viking Boyfriend's twin brother...yes he has a twin!

Hurray for little victories in optimism!

Picture via

Monday, January 30, 2012

Monday Monday

I received another e-mail this weekend..."we will keep your resume on file...". This was an intense interview. The first round lasted three hours and included a timed test, team building exercises, and a group interview which resulted in the weirdest list on interview "donts" that I never thought anyone could accomplish.

One applicant sat hunched over, apologized for every answer (if they didn't admit to the interviewer that they were copying an answer), and proceeded to tear up when asked about their past job. Another said they hated difficult people at an interview for a customer service job and after the crier started apologizing everyone else in my group started to apologize, it was an infection!

During the second interview I showed up in proper business attire and the other applicant showed up in a t-shirt, jeans with fuzzy cuffs, and jingle bells on their feet. This pretty much tops my past experience when an interviewee brought in home made print outs for his computer fixing business complete with clip art and kept referring the Geek Squad as his "competition".

So I still don't have a reliable job. But to focus on the bright side there are more opportunities out there for me to pursue. No matter how much I stress out about it or how many times I call my mom crying there's got to be something out there for me, and I'm not ready to give up.

Picture via

Sunday, January 29, 2012

20 Somethings

Has anyone read the blog post What 20-Somethings Want? I posted a little bit of it on my Pinterest, but the whole thing makes me smile.

"You just want to know that the things you’re going through aren’t unique, that other people are in the same rickety brokedown palace of a boat."

Picture via

Saturday, January 28, 2012

The Finale

Today is the final performance of the show I've been working on. We'll strike and the Titanic will have sailed...or sunk? I'm excited to work on new projects, but I'll miss getting to work with the talented folks that I've gotten to know since December.

I'm also saying "see ya later" to Ms. Abbie Miller. We came, we saw, we conquered Chicago. Tomorrow it's back on the job hunt and back in to writing (which I took a break from this weekend) and a quick refresher trip to my country estates to see Viking Boyfriend's show open and get my hair cut (I know everyone is waiting with bated breath so I'll be sure to post).

Friday, January 27, 2012

Tales of Conquering

Thanks for the feedback on the hair cut! This is the last weekend of the show so after we strike I'll have some time on my hands to go get it chopped. In the mean time I'll be conquering yet another city with my bff since 6th grade and my former roomie, Ms. Abbie.

Since Abbie and I met we have been traveling the globe together. We started out small by going to Iowa, then we went to Paris! Oh lala!

The for our senior trip we went to Carolina Beach.

Sophomore year of college we went to New York City.

Our senior year of college we moved in together!

And tonight we will conquer Chicago! Wish us luck, although we will not need it.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Mane Issue

Has anyone discovered that the current state of their hair is a reflection of how their life is going? Since graduating college my hair has been stuck in the same place: long, stringy, and a shade of brown. Before college I used to get a different hair cut every time I went to the salon until I decided to grow it out.

I never had an emotional attachment to my hair until I grew it out. A couple times over the past few years I've tried cutting a couple inches off, then I miss it and grow it back. Viking Boyfriend jokes that I will become the "crazy hair lady". You know, the women who grow their hair to their ankles (for no particular or religious reason) and someone nominates them for a make-over on Rachel Ray?

This is my future if I don't get out of my hair rut. Although I must say her natural color is a very pretty sun kissed bronde don't you think?

So here are the options:

A layered long bob with side swept bangs a la Brooklyn Decker? I could also dye it blonde which would fullfill #5 on my 24 before 24 list.

A long pixie cut like Michelle Williams? I adore it but I'm also afraid of the maintenance to keep it looking cute and that I will cry looking at all of my hair on the salon floor. 

Or I could play it safe and go with a side swept bang. Still a nice change of pace but with minimal commitment.

Which one do you think I should try?

Pictures via 1, 2, 3, 4

Wednesday, January 25, 2012


Today in a sudden flash of inspiration after looking at this amazing website I decided to accomplish half of #14 on my 24 before 24 list: Finish making the dress and skirt I started. The skirt pattern I started in September before all the moving craziness happened, and the dress I intended to wear it to my college graduation...almost two years ago. Knowing that I probably wouldn't get it done in time Mom and I rushed out and bought a green dress from the Limited sale rack that ended up being a size too small.

There aren't really pictures of me wearing the green dress because the minute I got home I changed in to a different dress. On my 25 before 25 list I'll make a note to let it out so I can wear it!

My flash of inspiration was immediately halted when I realized that I had packed my sewing machine, but not the pedal foot OR the power cord *slaps forehead*. I was going to tear through my apartment like the Tasmanian Devil looking for it but then decided that my time would be better spent looking at job listings and trying to match a replacement for a discontinued lipstick color. R.I.P. Mauve Crystal. My priorities are obviously solid.

P.S. Following these three simple rules are harder than I thought. The writing and running are going okay, but getting dressed when you know you're just going to change in to leggings and go running later? Bummer. No wonder I wore jeans and a t-shirt every day in high school.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Better Run

Happy Year of the Dragon! I myself am a dragon and as is customary I read through my Chinese Horoscope, picked out the parts about it I liked, and declared in accurate. To celebrate Running Buddy and I tackled the icy paths again and rain 3 miles! We rewarded ourselves with Chinese food from a little hole in the wall place near out apartment (that Roommate found). Pineapple Chicken awesomeness ensued.

I also did a heap of laundry, not just to celebrate the year of the dragon (although my domestic and organizational dragon qualities approved) but because I only have one pair of long leggings and two long sleeve shirts to wear running so I have to keep up with the laundry. Fortunately/Unfortunately we're going running twice in a row this week so I'll have to find something else to wear, BUT if I had unlimited funds this is what I would be spending my cash on:

When I went on my artist date last week these are the running shoes I picked out. Comfy, not too narrow, and they support breast cancer which is aproximately 100% of the reason I've run a 5k in the past four years. You can buy them here.

Upping the ante just a touch is the Nike Vapor Flash Jacket. It's warm, stylin', and super reflective. The runner in front of me was wearing it and it reflected absolutely everything from traffic lights to the small blinky arm bands other runners were wearing. It is beyond pretty and mesmerizing, but would I ever bring myself to spend over $200 on something I'm going to get sweaty in? Probably not. But this is unlimited cash happy-time at Kiley Kate, so this is going on the list. If you're so inclined you can buy it here

And while I'm getting high tech here I have to mention these firewall 220 tights. Not only will they keep your legs warmer (than a $5 pair of cotton leggings like I've been rocking) but they're guarenteed to make you look like Olivia Wilde in Tron. Finish off with sassy hair cut and you're pretty much set to rule the virtual universe...or at least your running path. Here!

And just for funsies I had to include the unicorn poop colored shoes that my Artist-Self picked out! Buy here!

Monday, January 23, 2012


Do you ever feel like your feeling of home is influenced by how well you can find your way around the nearest grocery store? Grocery store layout never seems important until it's all wrong and you can't find anything you want. And somewhere in between the fine cheeses next to the cheap fake butter and the two separate aisles of bread kept apart by the florist, you find yourself longing for the grocery store where you used to live. Where you knew were everything was, it all made sense, and the customer service desk wasn't dismissive of your pleas for another location to buy a parking sticker. Where a family of five wasn't blocking your way to the break and bake cookies and kids who were mad at their parents for buying "all natural" apple sauce weren't hitting you in the shins with a cart and staring at you like it was your fault. None of this would have happened in Ohio.

I resolved my anger by asking Roommate to make eggplant mozzarella sliders and baking those dang break and bake cookies that I had to reach over a four year old to get. They were worth the effort and made me feel better. But I still miss knowing where cool restaurants are, calling up my friends to go to a movie, and knowing the cheapest place to get a beer. I resent the fact that I've never lived in victorian village and that I probably should have applied myself more to the theatre scene instead of looking to get out.

I don't think I've given Chicago enough of a chance. Right now it's cold and damp and I don't have a job which means I haven't gotten the change to do much exploring for the tastiest brunch place or a night club that plays 80s (and more) on Thursday nights. I'm going to keep going to runner's meetings, blogging, hoping for an early spring, and looking for the perfect grocery store where I know where everything is.

Picture via

Sunday, January 22, 2012


Roommate and I did this back in December, but I still thought it was worth sharing. It's perfect for a snowy cold day and it's super easy to make: Nutella Chocolate Mug Cakes!

The whipped cream is a must since ours turned out a little dry, but use some chocolate sauce and it's just like lava cake! Recipe here.

Hope everyone is enjoying their lazy or productive Sunday, however you want to spend it!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Saturday Beats

I woke up this morning not to the sound of children jumping above me, the reggae fest going on downstairs, or even the maintenance guy yelling obscenities at the snow, but with the clutching fear that my checking account was overdrawn. I checked and of course it wasn't. I just fell asleep the night before thinking about the bills that were due, rent is in another two weeks, and will I have enough left over for groceries AND waterproof boots? Probably not for now.

My wild fantasy world does have me jonesing for Valentine's Day a little early this year. Since I won't be going out (more than likely) I put together a cozy staying in outfit. Red tights 4 life! I should also be sticking to my promises and putting myself together right about now, even though it is way easier to jam to the sweet beats pounding through my floorboards in the snoopy pj pants I stole from Viking Boyfriend.
I'll more than likely post more since I have an unnatural obsession with Pinterest and Polyvore as of late. What else is a girl to do when it's snowing mercilessly outside?

Thursday, January 19, 2012

First Date

I want so badly give updates on my writing and running adventures, but I know three days is hardly the time to be giving a progress report. That may be why I don't finish a lot of the things that I start. Two days in I have an epiphany and decide "that's good enough". I've read ahead a few chapters and in three weeks I will be lamenting about how I can't read blogs...bleck. More on that to come.

But today following the book's advice I took myself on an artist date. An artist date is when you indulge your inner artist child by doing something fun and creative, and no one is allowed to come. Just you and your inner artist. Please feel free to put the following youtube clip on loop while you read the rest of this post.

I had to go to the bank and Artist-Self thought it would be a good idea to get a dum dum sucker. But they were handing out good luck coins for Chinese New Year with a dragon on them! Artist-Self was pleased. Next, Artist-Self really wanted to go to Urban Outfitters, but since I got off at the wrong stop I took Artist-Self to Michael's crafts, how fun! Artist-Self looked for cards to make for Valentine's day, felt the bright fun and soft yarn, and looked at dollar sticker books with cute smiley faces in them.

Hit play and keep reading!

Since Artist-Self didn't find anything super fun and crafty I decided to go try on shoes at the DSW in the basement. I tried on slippers, moccasins, and flats, and Artist-Self tried on cowboy boots!

Next we made a pit stop at a sports store to look at running shoes. I liked the pink and white pair while Artist-Self loved the new rainbow new balance shoes and hot pink tube socks. Artist-Self and I stopped at a military surplus store and looked at paratrooper boots and carhart hats and then I had to go to the performance. After walking through the cold I treated Artist-Self to a burrito and even let Artist-Self put on red lipstick before I had to go to work. I'm not sure if I did exactly what the book is urging me to do, but that was my first date with Artist-Self and I think I'll be doing it again. According to the book I have to do it once a week so we will at the very least have a twelve week courtship.

Do you want to take your artist self on a date? Or have you been taking your artist self on dates this whole time and didn't even know it?

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

I Work Out!

Yesterday was the first day of the running club and I had all kinds of nervous energy about it. I hadn't run outdoors in the winter since who-knows-when and I recall it always feeling like daggers when I inhaled the cold air and little bits of snow would sneak attack my eyeballs. Not only have I not run in the winter but I haven't been running in quite some time. Some may recall this incident...

We were wearing the costumes and we stopped for water every chance we got, and we finished in 45 minutes, 45! Couldn't say I was too down on myself though, we had a great time and I barely trained for it (and by barely I mean not at all).

So last night I met up with Running Buddy, a great friend that I ran cross country and track with in high school, who also moved to Chicago just before I did. We decided that there was no better time to start than on the most freezing day of January so we introduced ourselves to the heads of the group and made sure they knew that this was our first time in a long time. Although I'm sure I didn't have to tell them, there were a few clues.

The first of which is that I don't have running shoes. I left my only pair in Ohio and so I had to choose from my butt toning shoes with the rip in the bottom or my polka dotted lunar shoes from working at the zoo. I chose the butt tone shoes in hopes of a better work out.

Clue number 2 was my lack of high tech running gear. If you want to run around the city in the middle of winter, you have to be a little bit crazy. But to combat that notion of crazy you have to invest in some pretty tip top running gear involving compression leggings, dry fit thermals, and reflective jackets to keep you safe and help you feel like you're in Tron when you're blazing down the path way. I would have all of these things were I employed, but since I'm not I wore old navy leggings with target cotton shorts over top, an old running t-shirt, my college sweatshirt and my ear flap hat sent to me by the zoo. My logic was that running was supposed to be a cheap sport. I feel that trainers in magazines say "don't get a gym membership! Just put your tennis shoes on and go for a run!"  

After the run I felt very fulfilled, just as I had imagined, and my nervousness was quelled. We were by no means the best runners there, but I felt a sense of accomplishment and drive to keep going and train for 5ks and half marathons. Today we're going to take a break (I need to rest my tired glutes, thank you shoes!) But we'll be back for some more winter craziness...maybe tomorrow.

Anyone else in the Chicago area want to come run with us?

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

New Leaf

Do you know how hard it is to get out of the house, much less your pajamas, when you have no where to go? Yesterday I spent the majority of the day watching movies under a blanket and slowly but surely leaving an ah-mazing butt print in the green arm chair. I answered e-mails, checked blogs, and did manage to make myself a tasty dinner. Roommate has been working this past week so it's just me and good old Captain Dusseldorf scaring each other in the hallway at night (oh wait...that's just Dusseldorf). Such is the life of a freelancer.

Last night in an attempt to unblock myself I realized that this couch potato behavior was no longer relaxing me, it was making me edgy and unhappy. It's been too hard to write, exercise, and sleep despite the fact that these are all things that make me happy. In the spirit of my 24 Before 24 list I'm making a couple changes to my routine that I hope will get me back in to the swing of things and complete my list faster.

First, I'm going to start morning pages again. In college I had a wonderful professor who taught playwriting, and she gave us two books to help expand our creativity. One of them was Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg which I have read multiple times (whenever I'm blocked). The other was The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron. When I first read it I got too hung up on the semantics and dismissed it, but after re-reading the first couple chapters last night I'm going to give it another shot. The book recommends writing three pages every morning when you first wake up to drain your negative thoughts and give your day a fresh start. Although I nearly forgot this morning (coffee haze) I'm going to start making a regular habit of it. I have to fill five notebooks with writing some how.

Second, I'm going to start running again. Back in high school and middle school I ran cross country competitively and it's something that made me feel extremely fulfilled and relaxed. I am one of those people who needs something to be accountable to other than myself, so my friend and I are joining a "fun run" group that does 3-6 miles three times a week. We haven't even gone yet and already my running buddy wants to go again tomorrow. I told her if I'm not dead I'll think about it.

Last, I'm actually going to start getting ready in the morning. Not just rolling out of bed and putting slippers on. I'm going to make the bed (so I can't get back in to it) put on some big girl clothes and do my hair and make-up. Even if I don't plan on going anywhere I want to look presentable just in case I do decide to venture out. I think that getting ready in the morning has a lot to do with self confidence, and I want to feel my best as well as look it.

Anyone else feeling the winter funk? The jobless-ness funk?

P.S. Here's a picture of Captain Dusseldorf for reference. He lives in our hallway and scares off evil spirits (as well as people that want to use the bathroom in the middle of the night).

Pictures that are not mine: via 1, 2, 3

Monday, January 16, 2012

24 Before I'm 24

Has anyone kept their New Year's Resolution this far? I normally make small resolutions that will help me improve, but that aren't too hard to keep. One year it was to take better care of my teeth, another it was to not box dye my hair (I went through a different color every other month phase) and last year it was not to buy any new make-up or products until I'd finished the ones I already had. Want to guess how well that worked out? "Oh, but I don't have hot pink lipstick yet!" I'm still working on that.

This year I decided to go a different direction. Inspired by a post at Delightfully Tacky I decided to make a 24 things to do before I'm 24 list. It's perfect because they're all accomplish-able goals and since I turn 24 in six months it gives me a shorter deadline than say, a bucket list.

Here's the list:

1. Write a pitch for a travel book

2. Buy one investment piece I’ll have forever

3. Travel to one place I’ve never been before

4. Fill five notebooks with writing

5. Dye my hair

6. Buy a new camera

7. Be happy and self-sufficient with my employment

8. Find a work-out regiment that makes me happy

9. Complete a full length play and submit it

10. Save up enough money for a puppy

11. Take an improv class at Second City

12. Finish reading the books on my shelves

13. Go on a trip with Viking Boyfriend

14. Finish making the dress and skirt I started

15. Complete one application to Grad School

16. Start shopping vintage more often

17. Buy my brother a drink on his 21st birthday

18. Buy a great format for my blog

19. Get a credit card

20. Promote myself without being embarrassed

21. Use all the old lip glosses in my make-up drawer

22. Shop my closet and wear all of my clothes. If I don’t, I have to donate it at the end of the season

23. Donate money or time to charity

24. Buy a couch

I'll keep you updated on my progress, but are there any you'd like to join me on?

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Beauty Spot

I realize that this has been a Viking Boyfriend kind of weekend, but I didn't have a chance to upload pictures until now. But LAST week after the driver's license panic and the failed queso making, Viking Boyfriend decided we needed to treat ourselves...

We picked these up at wally-world for about a $1, you can buy them here. I went with some hydrating action while the Viking decided that the avocado "pore purging" mask was more epic. He was pretty much right.

We didn't have any headbands on the premises so he chose to use his most prized article of clothing to keep the hair off of his forehead.

Mine had a less comedic effect but it smelled fruity good and my skin felt exfoliated. We went to a party that night and his freshly purged skin was noticed! Viking Boyfriend now has his own "beauty secrets"

Anyone else treat yo self this weekend?

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Illinois Sunset

So right about last week I had received another rejection letter and had plans to go get my new Illinois license which ALSO did not work out well. There's a lot of paperwork (and FIVE forms of identification) that you need to have. So there may or may not have been a panic moment in the parking lot which resulted in me calling my mom and apologizing profusely to Viking Boyfriend. But when I stopped bemoaning my bad luck and poor research I looked up and this was here...

We chased the sunset all the way to Chipotle and had ourselves some tasty burritos, thus calming my bad mood. The Viking Boyfriend and I tried to make some queso which I couldn't take pictures of. It turned in to this curdled glue of a cheese that made me gag when it squished in to the trash can. Lesson learned: stick to the recipe. Hopefully we'll try it again soon and I'll have some delicious results to take pictures of.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Winter Booties

Sometimes I like to do this thing where I pretend that I have money. In these wild fantasies filled with eating out twice a week, being able to pay off my car, and spend more than fifty dollars on something without getting sweaty and calling my mom, I also imagine what I would wear. Today, when the snow is past my ankles and I my poor piggies are freezing, I imagined what kind of snow boots I would buy with my fantasy money...

Keeping it classic are the duck boots from Land's End. They're everyone's favorite snow boot and I have nostalgia attached to them since my mom used to wear them to take us out to play in the snow when we were little. I wore her boots around for a while in high school when I was really in to raiding my mother's closet for her "vintage" dolphin shorts and a tank top she had that I wore to shreds. In any case these boots would stand up to anything, including the snowpocolypse.

Who doesn't want to dress like the Queen I ask you? Because if you want to keep it "country manor" in the middle of Chi-Town then you need a pair of these babies.  Accessorize boots with a pack of adorable welsh corgis and a string of pearls and you're done! (I like the red color, it'll make you stand out waiting on the train platform)

And lastly, if you want a look that says "I eat raw meat and sleep in the snow" you need these bad boys. Nothing will speak louder about your abilities to track and kill your own food or about how you're not afraid to down some peyote and wander the prairies at night with a gun that has one bullet in it. A part of me resists liking these boots...and the other part just traded tobacco and a bag of beads for a wagon axle and some buffalo meat.

Which of my fantasy boots is your favorite?

You can buy them here, here, and here.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

And so it begins...

Viking Boyfriend called me early to warn me of its coming, but there wasn't a spec of snow on the ground at 10:30am. It's now 2:30 and it looks like this...

It was a little weird walking around in 50 degree weather in January, but that's come to an end. It'll be snowing here the rest of the week. And according to the Chicagoist I'll have many more snows to look forward to. Snows like this one:

Ordinarily I'd be curled up in bed with hot tea and netflix (that isn't to say that I haven't been in my pj's all day), but it's opening night for the show I've been working on. I doubt a little snow will scare off a Chicago audience, so it should be a good turnout!

Picture via

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Style Obsession

My two unlikely fashion inspirations for the week:

And there's always a little of me thrown in there

Pictures via

Tuesday, January 10, 2012


It's that time of year again when I dread going outside with anything less than three layers on and curse the gods (and myself) for moving farther north! Although Christmas in Chicago was beautiful, I have a feeling that I'll love it even more when it's warm enough to go outside in a sun dress. These are five things that will be better when it's spring in Chicago:

1.) The deck off the back of the kitchen. Granted it faces an alley way, but I always imagine curling my feet under on a deck chair, drinking my coffee in the morning, browsing a magazine, or painting my toe nails. Not only that but I'll get to plant some pretty annuals in the two little flower boxes and that will really spruce things up.

2.) The brick wall that my bedroom windows face will have grown its ivy back, and my view will have more of an old world charm than look like the alley way that it is.

3.) After the ivy comes back, I look forward to ripping the plastic "saran wrap" off my windows and not live in fear of dashing out of bed and to the living room in the morning. Despite my many efforts my bedroom is still the coldest room in the house, and while it hasn't reached arctic temperatures I still hate throwing the covers off and making a run for it past my window. At least I'm getting some cardio in, right?

4.) The beach two blocks from my apartment will be the perfect place to spread out a towel, read a book, eat some cantaloupe, and continue watching people walk their dogs outdoors, but right now it's frigid and windy.

5.) Most of all, I'll be glad for a much easier commute come spring. Less bulky clothes, less things to lose: "where's my hat?! Did it fall off on the platform? Crap, phone's ringing, gotta take off my gloves. Where is my cta pass? I can't find my cta pass!" And so forth. Despite the fact that I adore my new winter jacket, I can't wait for the ease of a jeans and a t-shirt as opposed to the long underwear extravaganza that's happening now.

I'm sure I'll do another post like this one. It's too much fun imagining what the city will be like when it's warm out. What do you miss about spring?