Holiday Entertainment

Sometimes holidays are the best time to do quality things like binge watch TV and movies in between holiday dramas. This year, I traveled for work in mid-December and picked up bronchitis making myself pretty immobile yet prime for holiday entertainment.

I’m finally on the mend thanks to antibiotics and Joe not smothering me in my sleep, so here are the hits and misses:

Making A Murder: If you haven’t heard about this one you’ve been living under a rock. Netflix’s latest docu-series tells the story of Steven Avery – a man who served 18 years in prison for a rape he didn’t commit. DNA evidence proved his innocence. He’d later sue the Manitowoc County Sheriff’s Department for essentially pinning the rape on him without a real investigation. But the real story begins there. If you have a brain and even half a conscious you come to understand that the Sheriff’s department planted evidence against him in a new murder, coerced his nephew into a confession and sent his ass to jail for life. Okay really 12 jurors with no brain did the last part. I still feel sick about the injustice here and I don’t know what average people like us can do other than boycott Wisconsin. I’m still remembering details from each episode and thinking, “oh my god, that’s so messed up!”

Joy: If I had paid to watch this in a theater I’d be annoyed that I spent my money on it. I love me some J. Law and her standing up for equal pay and all, but her playing a woman in her mid-30s misses the mark and pisses me off. Are there no award-winning blonde women closer to Joy’s actual age? Also this movie is so choppy and lacking a structured storyline. I wanted more about her family, more about what happens after she’s rich. I’m too smart for this mediocrity.

Concussion: First, my hat goes off to Will and Jada. They are the real MVPs lately. Have you seen this interview with Jada? She gives me hope about life (with kids?)! But back to the movie. Will is my Beyoncé of cinema. He kills it every time. And this time he keeps me entertained on a topic I’ve only just begun to care about because I’m paid to–football. Watch your sons on the field, concussions are scary!

Narcos: If you liked Blow (the movie with Johnny Depp) for the history of it all, you’ll like Narcos. If you still haven’t seen Blow, don’t talk to me until you do.

The Big Short: Admittedly, when the housing market went to shit in 2008, I was preoccupied being a college student and don’t remember any of what happened. Flash forward to 2015 and being a homeowner has opened my eyes to the realities of government, taxes and banks! This is a great cast telling an important story. It even has fun celebrity appearances by Selena Gomez, Anthony Bourdain and Margot Robbie who explain just how the hell this all happened in layman’s terms.

I’ve got a stack of books on my nightstand coming up soon, so let me know what your reading and watching because there isn’t anything good on until mid-January. Just kidding, I’m secretly watching The Bachelor tomorrow.

Advertisement

Parents

Last night I choked up talking about how much I love my parents in a movie theater bar.

Karen and I have occasional shitty rom-com movie dates at River East. This time it was Julia Roberts’ Secrets in Their Eyes (rent it) which also stars Dean Norris (always great) and Chiwetel Ejiofor who’s starting to really grow on me after Z for Zacharaiah (illegally download it). In case you haven’t seen that one, the moral of that story is never turn a girl down when she wants sex. EVER!

Anyway, dates with Karen are good for my soul. We catch up about the old job, friends and life. Her positivity and great attitude toward life are one of the best traits about her and why, even when I’m tired, I make time to grab dinner and a movie with her.

She asked me about wedding planning–which I promise to blog more about later. I’m still very much in a stage where I’m planning thinking I genuinely want everyone to enjoy it. However, we’re mixing cultures, religions, generations, etc. and that makes me feel like no one will 100% enjoy every aspect of it. Eventually, I will stop giving a fuck, but for now it’s stressful.

Being honest with her, I admitted the people I want to please most are my parents. And that’s where all of the feelings came out.

I love my parents more than I can possibly tell them or show them. In the last year, they’ve helped Joe and I move into a new home, get settled and now they’re being really cool about wedding planning. No list of demands or attendees they want us to have. I’ve even gently killed their dream of a full Mexican band without any arguments involved.

The underlying layer to all of this is immigrant child guilt. If you’ve watched the “Parents” episode of Master of None, Aziz does a fantastic job of getting down to the nitty gritty of this feeling. I know some people will say, “everyone feels this way about their parents,” but I think it’s different when your parents are immigrants. Granted, there’s no award for who loves their parents more and it’s not about whose parents did more for them. This is about carrying a weight on your shoulders because of what they went through. It’s about a level of success you’re always trying to achieve to somehow match the tremendous amount of work and sacrifice they made for themselves and ultimately for you. You’ll always want to live up to them. You’ll never feel like you can repay them. You’ll wish you could.

The older I get, the more I appreciate that they were strict and wouldn’t let me go to school dances. The older I get, the more I appreciate them being at work even if it meant I wasn’t chauffeured to dance class or sports. The older I get, the more they show their love and support in ways that Karen reminded me not everyone knows. And that was a turning point in our conversation for me. She was right. 

Instead of worrying so much, I’m gonna try telling my parents how much I love them and focus on gratitude instead.

Happy (early) Thanksgiving all!

My Chicago Beauty Week

Cheers to the weekend! As if this last week wasn’t already jam packed with work and outings, it somehow turned out to be quite the beauty adventure and it all started with a haircut!

Epoch Studio Salon (1147 W. Ohio St.)

After extensive research on ombre color specialists and hours reading Yelp, I found Beth Stock of Epoch last December and couldn’t be happier. More on my first visit to Epoch here, but I kicked off my beauty week with a haircut with Beth. As I’m getting back to longer length, I did the logical thing–cut some off. Layers help me feel better about my lazy hair routine of washing/drying at night and touching up with a flat iron in the morning. When I have layers, everything just looks a little more “done.” In advance of this appointment, Epoch let me know they were in temporary space at Golden Girl Chicago. Lucky for me this meant they were offering a complimentary airbrush tan (more on that below)! As always, Epoch was in touch before my appointment and the blowdry I got from Beth lasted days (without hairspray, mind you). You just can’t top going to a professional like her!

Epoch Details:

  • First timers receive a discount on their services (10% off)
  • If you refer someone they get a discount ($20/women, $10/men) on their services and you receive 20% off your next service.

Benefit Brow Bar (Macy’s, 111 N. State St.)

While I live near a Benefit boutique (which I highly recommend for their waxing), I’ve never tried their brow services. This week, I got to tag along (read: provide moral support) for a co-worker who was going to get her eyebrows tinted for the first time. She was a brow “virgin” if you will, never having used powders, pencils or tints to fill in her brows. When she told me she was interested in trying it, I jumped at the chance to be a “brow ambassador.” As some of you already know, brows are everything.

Benefit Details:

  • This brow bar location does not take appointments.
  • When we got there, they said it was a 30-40 minute wait. We agreed to wait and they pulled out a sign-in sheet to take our info and call when they were ready. The sheet looked a lot like an appointment book to me.
  • The tech was friendly and patiently let us grill her with newbie questions.
  • Unlike past trips to Benefit, there were no hard sells on purchasing makeup.

Goldplaited (2803 N. Sheffield)

If I haven’t already mentioned it here, I LOVE Dabble. Back in November, I was looking for something fun for Joe and I to do on our anniversary and soon learned they have all kinds of activities to try for dates, girls nights or just self improvement. I was randomly browsing and saw Goldplaited was holding hair and beauty how-to classes. As blowdry or “finishing salons” are popping up all over Chicago right now, it’s been nice to see a range of prices and services suitable for any budget. Goldplaited’s Gal on the Go: Hair & Makeup Timesavers class was $20 and included a few glasses of champagne and a lipstick bar. THIS GIRL IN LIPSTICK? Yes, I know it’s shocking. Take a good look cause you won’t see red lips often!

Image

Goldplaited Details:

  • The location is super accessible (right off the Diversey Brown Line stop).
  • The salon is owned by two sisters who were both involved with the class and getting to know everyone. Something about an entrepreneurial sister duo made me happy to give them my business.
  • The make-up tips were great for beginners (BB cream, brows, etc.), but I did learn a trick or two from their hair style lessons.
  • They have plenty of other classes you can try here.

Golden Girl Chicago (160 N. Halsted)

Who turns down a free airbrush tan? Not me. When Epoch offered a complimentary service with Golden Girl, I immediately started my research. Spray tan preparation is no joke. Exfoliation is key, but I soon learned my trusty Dove soap could mess with the coloring so out I went to purchase a mild body wash and lotion. The experience itself was interesting. I think Brazilian waxes really are the most “naked” you can feel in front of an esthetician, so this didn’t feel that uncomfortable except for the BRISK air on your chest. The results were good–I’m tan without any hint of orange. Since I use bronzer everyday, I’m not afraid of a little color and could have been okay with another coat on my face and feet, but otherwise very pleased with the results.

Golden Girl Details:

  • My appointment was with Lola who really made me feel comfortable and confident in what could be an awkward 20 minutes. Would definitely book with her again!
  • Golden Girl will soon be launching nail and blowdry services too so check them out! A big thanks to Jenn, the owner, who gave Dani and I a complimentary preview on Friday!

Have you had any beauty services lately? I’m always looking for something new to try!

Book I Loved: MWF Seeking BFF

When was the last time you read a book that changed your life? Okay, not completely altered it, but you know, made you change something significant in the way you think, act or speak? I picked up a few books before our trip to London last month and I’m still thinking about one of them weeks later.

MWF Seeking BFF is for any girl at the stage in her life where making new friends doesn’t come easy and keeping the old ones gets tricky. For some of us, it’s not until our mid-late twenties, but I really think the idea applies to women of all ages. At multiple points in the book I found myself thinking of my mom, sister and the friendships I’ve seen come and go in their life.

For me, it really boiled down to this. I’m at a stage where I’m stable in some areas of my life – love life and career – but friendships are difficult to maintain. We are traveling, moving, nesting and a few are hundreds of miles away. Sometimes we’re simply too “busy.” It was easy to maintain friendships when we were all on the same trajectory of life – college – but five years out, it’s not that simple. The biggest takeaway from the book (the one that still is keeping me up at night) is this–friendships are like any other relationship, they take work! And, as normal relationships go, you realize or learn the hard way that some don’t last forever. Other times you get tired of giving more than you’re getting out. Most importantly, it made me stop and appreciate the good friendships in my life no matter how old or new they are.

Following my #BFF high, I’ve started planning a big reunion with old friends in Iowa City whom I haven’t seen in a while and had some much needed phone dates. I even said some goodbyes to a guy friend who’ll be gone for a year. Normally, I’d be bummed, but instead I’m excited to make a visit to Brazil to see him in the next year and have an #OriginalInterns rager.

Has anyone else read the book? Curious to hear your thoughts. Next on my list is The Fault in Our Stars.

MWF Seeking BFF The official synopsis is below:

When Rachel Bertsche first moves to Chicago, she’s thrilled to finally share a zip code, let alone an apartment, with her boyfriend. But shortly after getting married, Bertsche realizes her new life is missing one thing: friends. Sure, she has plenty of BFFs—in New York and San Francisco and Boston and Washington DC. Yet in her adopted hometown, there’s no one to call at the last minute for girl-talk over brunch or a reality TV marathon over a bottle of wine. Taking matters into her own hands, Bertsche develops a plan: she’ll go on fifty-two friend-dates, one per week for a year, in hopes of meeting her new Best Friend Forever.

In her thought-provoking, uproarious memoir, Bertsche blends the story of her girl-dates (who she meets everywhere from improv class to friend-rental websites) with the latest in social research to examine how difficult—and hilariously awkward—it is to make new friends as an adult. She asks why women will happily announce they need a man but are embarrassed to admit they need a BFF. And she uncovers the reality that no matter how great your love life, you’ve gotta have friends.

Things Chicago Winters Have Taught Me

I grew up in the suburbs of Chicago, so while I’ve experienced the temperatures we’re getting during this polar vortex before, I didn’t feel winter the way I do now. I took for granted the brisk walk from the front door to a freezing car that eventually warmed up and became hot. I came to expect that all sidewalks were shoveled and usually salted. The worst thing I could complain about were bad drivers on the road.

Moving to Iowa was the first time I realized people don’t salt the road before it snows (or at all). They put sand on most roads and cars in the ditch along I-80 were common. Then came city living. Chicago has taught me a number of lessons, but the winters with their “wintry mixes” and “thundersnow” have taught me:

1. The best gifts in life are practical. My winter coat and various boots have all been gifts from family and Joe. I cherish them more than any piece of jewelry, nice dinner or trip. My coat is the the barrier between myself and frost bite. My boots come from multiple varieties, all with a very important purpose.

boots

  • Sorel – For the coldest days, shoveling snow or walking in wet snow.
  • Tretorn – The best all-around boot. It’s good for everything from rainy days to the messy sidewalks of the city after a snowfall. Best of all it’s furry inside for warmth.
  • Ugg – Ugly, warm and comfortable. These are one of two pairs of shoes I’m taking to Europe. Lord help me.

2. Mind the gap. Err just don’t stand so close to the curb unless you want to risk disgusting street water being splashed up so high it hits your face. On a particularly rainy day, I was so hypnotized by my phone that a CTA bus hit a pot hole full of slush in front of me and it splashed all over my hair, face and white shirt. Side note: if you ever see this happen to someone, don’t be an asshole–offer them a tissue/napkin.

3. Invest in a good ice scraper and shovel. Anyone who keeps a car in the city understands there are certain truths you must accept. Your car will get covered in salt. You will clean off your car again and again. You will get stuck sometimes unless you’re driving a tank. This winter I’ve burnt plenty of rubber trying to get the Celica out of iced grooves in the street and curb. Every little bit of tool helps, even the kitty litter.

Anything you can’t live without this winter?

Where Has The Time Gone?

Really it’s more like where is my time going? It’s been a little over two years since my last post. Seems like so much longer.

Rather than try to remember and recap everything that’s changed in my life since then, I want to start writing down all of my goals for 2014. Yes, the New Year ‘s Resolution bandwagon. Statistically, 40% of people make resolutions but only 8% achieve them. So here goes nothing:

  • KIT. Remember what this meant in the pages of your yearbook? We have every form of communication at our fingertips, but keeping in touch seems overwhelming and has not been a priority. I want to change that. It’s my own fault if people that are important to me seem distant and news on their lives comes from Facebook. I have to do a better job of reaching out, and my first step will be email. I’m often missing calls and occasionally ignoring others knowing I don’t have enough time to give to the person on the other end as much as I’d like. So rather than try to schedule it, I’d rather do it in my own time via email with the hopes the other person will be cool with this method. At least it’s start right?
  • Health. In the last two years I’ve: visited a dermatologist for the first time and finally got a skin problem diagnosed, had my first root canal, had all four wisdom teeth removed and had my eyes checked so many times I was finally prescribed medicated drops. We’re gettin older and with each passing year more and more health problems pop up. I’m determined to be more “preventative” in my healthcare. That means, continuing dental visits regularly, because what more can they possibly pull out now?, finding a new  gyno in the city, getting physicals and speaking up when the doctor asks, “Is there anything you want to ask about?” On the weight front–I am at my “scary” weight. By that I mean the weight I never thought I’d reach personally and it scares me. The number itself isn’t scary, it’s not that weighing this is wrong or bad, it’s how quickly I got here. Seems like every season now I’m squeezing into clothes that just fit a year ago and I’m fed up. I got a gym membership at the beginning of 2013 and have actually been going more regularly than my last attempt in 2011 (2x week minimum). I will continue even though my pants are discouraging.

And on the list of things on my mind, with no real resolution to make except to keep on moving:

  • Life Planning. All around me life plans are coming to fruition. It’s exciting, surreal, and yes, a bit overwhelming though aren’t even my own. My friends are moving into new phases of our post-college lives, and they range all across the board–babies, dogs, homes and relocating. My life plan for a very long time included graduating, moving to Chicago and starting a career. Well, I’m here. I have a lingering question mark hanging over me that shines, “What’s next?” Joe and I moved in together in February (officially) in our own place. It’s been such a learning experience. When he was overseas, I prayed and tried to imagine the day when this would finally happen. No more long distance, no more short distance, no more one weekend a month trips, just him and I together. And here we are. Moving in with someone was in many ways what people said it would be –same as before–and in some ways different. On good days, I am so beyond grateful to wake up next to him, to have help with everything, to have someone to come home to on shitty days. On rough days, I miss some independence, control over the TV and my ability to avoid fast foods and snack cakes. With Joe recently going back to school, I’m excited for his future. It’s been a rough year and half for him, but I know he’s one of the most hard working people I know (talking to you future employers) and we will get through this phase like we have all the rest.

“One forgives to the degree that one loves” — Francois de la Rochefoucald

Because the last five days have been filled with entirely too much sadness, anger and bitterness (that even snickering at losers on Facebook can’t numb), I need to focus on some positives in my life.

  • I went to the 20SB Summit a week ago and met Molly Ford of Smart, Pretty and Awkward. She was a sweetheart and I fell in love with the simple but insightful premise of her blog. Today, I found her post title especially suiting so I stole it.
  • Work is good. I really hope I don’t jinx that by admitting it, but I have to say that it really has been going well lately. And I’m not just referring to the work that I’m doing or the opportunities that I think may be coming my way, but the people. I work with some great people. Some of them have been there in the trenches for the last two years. And, in the last year, I’ve grown closer to a few more. Aside from knowing I can count on them at work, I’ve learned that I can also count on them outside of work too. Thanks guys.
  •  Joe is back. He’s safe. In Iowa with just one last year in school to go. 2011 has been really tough on the two of us and while our relationship is a little more on the “it’s complicated” side than either of us would like, him being home is something I’m really grateful for. Now I just have to figure out where I go from here.
  • Books. I read two books this weekend and I’m craving more. Started The Hunger Games trilogy and finished the last of the Pretty Little Liars books (don’t judge me, I can’t get enough of the show). Admittedly, this has me excited for the VMAs tonight so I can see part of The Hunger Games movie trailer.
Now if only I can keep positive thoughts through the week I’ll make it to labor day weekend. I have a wedding to go to–oh joy.
xoxo

24 Questions From a 24-Year-Old

I’ve been spending a lot of time reading Thought Catalog. I found this post, 27 Questions From a 27-Year-Old that was interesting, especially when you compare these questions to the ones swirling in the mind of an 18-year-old about to embark on the awesomeness of graduation/college. If you have time, read the 50-something who responds in the comments.

So here I go with my own questions. Side note: I almost wrote this post as 23 questions because I somehow can’t register in my own head that I’m 24 years old, although I am not one of those girls who dreads growing older. Funny that I naturally assumed I was younger, when I consider myself to be pretty mature for my age.

Here goes:

1. Will everybody I know get married? I don’t mean like the people I went to high school with, who I really don’t give a shit about, but still like to check in on their page occasionally because I’m bitter and want to see how petty their lives are in comparison to mine. I mean my close friends old and new. If they all get married and I don’t (or vice versa) – can we still remain close despite different life paths?

2. Will my thoughts on wanting children change when I’m older? You know those girls who dream about being a mommy and having another little person around that’s just like them? That’s not me. I don’t have even the slightest urge to give up putting me first, to be 100% responsible for someone else. Goddamn that’s selfish, isn’t it?

3. Am I going to stay in the same job/industry forever? As a millennial I’m supposed to be this “entitled” job-hopper. Most descriptions of millennials offend me. I’m not entitled, in fact, I think I work my ass off. And, in terms of a job, I’d ideally rather stay at the same place for a while. There’s a nice sense of loyalty and comfort in settling into a job the way you settle into phases of your life.

4. By the time I retire, is there even going to be any damn social security money left? Cause if not, I’m boycotting paying into it anymore.

5. What am I going to do when my parents get older? When they die? They are so young for their age and are living life to the fullest. I can’t bear to think how I will handle adulthood without them there, as they have been every step of the way.

6. Will the era of reality TV ever end? Dear god I hope not. My love for Bravo TV is just beyond words.

7. Is the war on terror ever going to end? When Joe gets back, I don’t know that I’ll ever feel the same about war. I hope this anxious feeling I have deep inside goes away when I know he’s safe at home, but now that I have a better glimpse into war, I don’t know if this feeling will ever go away until war ends.

8. Are all of my bad eating habits going to catch up with me one day and make me obese? *As I take this last bite of Lou Malnati’s*

9. Am I still going to be getting into fights with girls when I’m 70? I’m guessing I won’t be at the club pouring drinks on some skank who’s sitting in a VIP booth thinking she’s hot shit, but canes, wheelchairs and bingo can be worthy of a throw-down when you’re old I suppose.

10. Is freedom of speech going to become even more limited because of social media when I’m older? It’s bad enough that nowadays we can’t be passive aggressive about life on Twitter or Facebook because a parent/client/co-worker might see it, but how far will this go? Where can I be on my soapbox without somebody crying like a little sally over it?

11. Will a tornado or earthquake ever happen in Chicago? Apparently there’s some big fault line in Illinois and lately there are plenty of tornado watches in the city. Hrmmm.

12. Am I going to get plastic surgery one day despite my views on boob jobs being a sad sign of insecurity?

13. Are Justin Bieber, Kim Kardashian or Katy Perry ever going to get hit by a bus or fall of the face of the earth?

14. Will a Mexican-American ever become president?

15. Am I ever going to give a penguin a big hug?

16. Am I ever going to prove my mother wrong when she says, “you can’t have it all, at once?”

17. Will I ever have a midlife crisis? I don’t think I can afford to have the female version of that where lipo, exotic vacations and designer shoes are all involved.

18. Am I gonna have serious wrinkles by 30, cause I have stress lines on my forehead already.

19. Will I ever enjoy running?

20. Will I ever really know what forgiveness feels like? I’ve lost relationships in the past because when I feel betrayed my immediate reaction is to write people off. For good. Those that I’ve reconciled have been only after years have passed or they called me crying. I hope I can grow up a little and learn to move on from things without shutting people out of my life.

21. Will I have close guy friends when I’m older? People say you can’t be close to someone of the opposite sex without something “happening.” I don’t really believe that because I feel like I can be close to guys, but who knows if deep down they just want some.

22. Are you ever too old to BOMO?

23. Will I ever grow a pair and crowdsurf, bungee jump or sky dive?

24. Will I still be blogging in 24 years?

 

What are your questions?

-Gloria

Staycation in Chicago

What a week!

I’ve reached the end of my very first Staycation and it’s bittersweet.

Last year, I went on Spring Break in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico (rating: good, but wouldn’t go back) and while I missed the sunny/high of 85 temperature on this staycation in the city, I couldn’t be more happy I took time off and got to see Joe. It’s been a while since I literally had 7 week-days off from school or work. With Joe back from Afghanistan we had a lot of catching up to do, but made plans to hit up as many places in Chicago as we could. For me, this was the perfect opportunity to introduce him to places/events that he’ll hopefully learn to love when he student teaches here next Spring (fingers crossed). We also semi-lived in the James Hotel which is an awesome place but a sore subject for me because of my missed encounters meeting Bethenny Frankel.

Some highlights from the staycation places we loved:

A spa day!

I’m a very ticklish person. Joe tries to put it nicely by saying I’m “sensitive,” but realistically I’m so weird about people touching my feet that I was pretty nervous about going into my first 90-minute massage. The girls over at Spa Space were really welcoming though. The massage was definitely relaxing and they really took the time to go over what I felt comfortable with. The facial I had included a foot rub (nice perk) and I got some good skincare tips one of which I really need to work on–DRINKING MORE WATER! Also happy to report the nice girl who did our pedicures did not get accidentally hit with a toe while painting my nails 🙂

A penguin encounter.

So okay, I’ll admit it. I have this weird thing about penguins. Like, I think penguins are fucking awesome. A long time ago, I saw MTV Cribs and Wayne Newton was showing his house in Vegas. While I’m sure the house was gorgeous the only part that stuck out was that he had penguins in his backyard, in VEGAS! Ever since then I decided I could potentially own/house penguins myself one day. I think my idea makes perfect sense since I live in Chicago, I mean what better penguin weather is there?! That said, the Penguin Encounter at the Shedd Aquarium gets a big thumbs up. You pay a little more but you get to have one-on-one time with a penguin in a small group of visitors (cute 4-year-olds visiting the Shedd with their grandma). You also get to wear a nice pair of rainboots in case the penguin gets “excited” aka shits on your shoe. So what was seeing a penguin like? AMAZING. It has soft little feathers that puff up and its wing is super smooth. I really had to hold back from picking him up and rubbing his chubby belly and then running away with him. A girl can dream though…

A concert with one of our favorite bands.

This marked my third time seeing Boyce Avenue in concert. I’ve written about seeing them before, but I just can’t promote these guys enough. They do acoustic cover songs of top 40 hits, but also play their own stuff too. Joe found them on YouTube, which is how they got famous to begin with. Only downer to seeing them this time around was that the crowd was bigger (they sold out the Bottom Lounge two nights) which is great for them, but it felt like there were a lot of loud chatty assholes who didn’t really know their music. I could do without them next time.

A trip to my family’s ranch.

It’s not too often that I get to go out to the ranch to see my family when they’re all there, but when I do there’s always something or someone new to check out. New to the ranch tenant list is chickens (“cock-a-doodle-doos” as my niece calls them) in addition to two dogs, cats, and plenty of horses and a pony. It’s funny to me, having all these animals around. Growing up we never had pets and now I see what an integral part of the family they are at the ranch. Maybe penguins should be added next?

A Bulls game.

So I’ve said before that I’m really not into sports. I cheer for the Iowa Hawkeyes and that’s about it. Back in the days of Jordan, Pippen and Rodman, I was a huge Bulls fan because my brothers were and whatever they did was cool-duh! Even back then though, I never got to go to a Bull’s game. Luckily for me, we picked the game against the 76ers last week it was Latino Night! The game was really entertaining and I like that the crowd made it fun too. Despite losing to Philly, I’m glad Joe suggested it. I can definitely get into going to more Bulls’ games, especially when you have sweet seats like we did!

Anyhow, tomorrow I go back to the grind, but I’m not disappointed. I definitely used my time off to sleep, relax and see the people I love. I couldn’t ask for more, except another encounter with my favorite penguin soon.

XOXO,

Gloria

Things I’m Lovin Lately

This week my brothers get back from Hong Kong (safe and sound, thankfully) and Joe heads back to the states since leaving for Afghanistan last fall. It’s so crazy to think he’s already on his way as I’m writing this. Aside from all that excitement, the last week has given me plenty of “me” time and here are few things I’ve been enjoying:

  • Adele. I’ve been living under a rock and didn’t listen to her music until someone shared this link for her new album Adele 21. You can listen to the whole thing for free thanks to NPR. Adele is amazing and makes me wish I could see her in concert. But instead I’m content with listening to “Hometown Glory” on repeat.
  • One Day by David Nicholls. I have been in a non-reading funk ever since my trip to the Printers’ Row Book Fair (last summer) and this book has got me back into the reading groove. I can’t begin to tell you how much I loved this book. I can’t do it justice with a full review because I think I’m still processing what it means to me personally. But hopefully this review (from the New York Times) will help convince you to read it. I also can’t wait for the movie to come out this summer. Only disappointment is that Anne Hathaway will play Em and I just didn’t imagine looking like Anne Hathaway who I don’t find funny or attractive.
  • Pinterest. Do you like Tumblr? Do you use idea boards for inspiration? Or just like looking at pretty things? One of the perks of my job is learning about cool new sites from the early adopters themselves (aka my co-workers). I’m still not sure if/how I will use this site for productivity (which I think is the real purpose) but in the meantime, when I go on it, I get a smile on my face. So sign up, let me know if you joined so I can follow your boards and enjoy!

Also want to send some thoughts/prayers to everyone affected by the earthquake and tsunami in Japan. I had my own little related scare this week when my family couldn’t get in touch with my brothers and have been following the news daily. If you haven’t already, here’s some cool ways to donate and send relief their way.

God bless everybody,

-G