Tuesday, December 28, 2010

New Blog

I invite you to join my as a begin a new year with a new blog

This blog will highlight my journey to lose 20 lbs in 4 months, using 4 different workout methods.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Harvest Time- How I have missed thee

When I lived in my old neighborhood (Lincoln Square- a whopping mile and a half from where I live now), there was this great little mexican grocery store that I loved called "Harvest Time".  Harvest time had great food, great produce aisle and even greater prices. 
Today I had the day off, and I needed to go to the grocery store to get us taken care of for the week. 
Here are the things I purchased:
1lb green grapes
1 pinapple (whole)
4 granny smith apples
bunch of green onions
3 jalapano peppers
3 sorriano peppers
2 onions
Jiffy Creamy peanut butter
3.4 lbs chicken breast
1/2 lb boars head black forest ham
1/2 lb munster cheese
chicken stock
2 cans chick peas
2 cans cannellini beans
2 cans pizza sauce
1 can tomato paste
1 can black olives
bunch of cilantro
lime juice (the kind in the lime)
chicken bouline cubes
beef bouline cubes

Grand Total...

wait for it...


steals of the day
1/2 boars head deli meet- $2.62
1/2 lb munster cheese (from the DELI)- $1.36
3.68 lb boneless chicken breast= $4.77

And that, ladies and genetleman is why I love Harvest Time.

If you live in chicago, I highly recommend checking it out.  They have the most amazing guacamole in the city.  Its fabulous! 

Harvest Time Grocery Story
Lawrence and Rockwell
Chicago, IL

Monday, November 22, 2010

Bend it like Bikram

Bikram Yoga is a set standard 26 poses of yoga done in a room heated at 105 degrees.  In other words...Hot Yoga.
Last week I stumbled upon a groupon for 20 sessions for $40 (it's quite a steal...one session at the yoga place I go to is $18)...of course they get you in for cheap and then you fall in love and it's hard to leave:(

Anyways, since it is such a unique experience, I thought I would share my reactions and thoughts and I go through these 20 sessions.

Session 1: Saturday November 20th 9:45 am- 11:15am

I arrived at the yoga studio (Bikram Yoga Andersonville http://www.bikramyogaandersonville.com/ )approx. 20 minutes before class.  In gearing up for the class they tell you not to eat or drink anything 2 hours before class - you want to make sure your food is completely digested.  I did a GREAT job Friday night of drinking water.  i had soooo much water--- but then I followed that with a ginormous bowl of popcorn...perhaps not the greatest idea.
Anyways, I got a good night sleep Friday and woke up excited (and a bit nervous) Saturday morning.  Scott dropped me off as he had to do some work. 
As I entered the studio, the two ladies at the entry way were extreamly welcoming.  I filled out some basic forms and they told me the goal of the first class is to stay in the room.  they reminded me it is about 105 degrees in there.  If I felt natious, I was to sit on my mat and take a sip of water.  No need to fear...i would get there.
I went to the locker room to take off my outer layer (they recommend wearing shorts and a sports bra) and grabbed my yoga mat and my towel and headed in to the warm oven of the studio. 
WWHHHHAAAAMMMMMM---- it hit me like a ton of bricks.  Not the heat but the SMELL.  A friend of mine compared it to a bunch of hippies...I dont know how to describe it...but it was strong.

After a few minutes in there of some deep breathing exercizes, the smell waifed away and I was able to concentrate on my practice of yoga.

There are 26 poses of yoga, each done twice (once right after the other).  Two of the poses are breathing exercizes.  Helping to clean the body of toxins. 

Day one I did have to sit down for the second set of several of the standing stretches...but was able to complete the ones on the ground....or at least attempt them.  I consider that a success.

I have never been so releaved to walk out the door and get into cold air in my life...only to realize it wasnt that cold :(

now, I know its not polite to stare....but some of these people in this class are freaking amazing.  I am not sure my body will ever bend that way...I doubt I will ever be able to even lock my standing leg on many of the one legged poses (Im not very good at balance).  But even yesterday (my second day) I was able to complete more poses, push myself further and actual complete the camel pose....

I plan on going on Wednesday (as the office closes at 3) prior to the Thanksgiving extravaganza....

Ill keep you updated on my love/hate relationship with Bikram.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Weight a minute....

I've been very lucky this far in my life.  I haven't really ever had to worry about my weight.  I was able to eat what I wanted, work out when I wanted and not really worry about gaining anything. Evidently, my body has changed.  Now that I look back on it, I guess I really started gaining the weight about the time I moved to Chicago.  Slowly but surely, the LBS have become OMG's.

They are sneaky little suckers, those extra pounds. First they just come one at a time...and then they start to double.  First it's just 5 and you'r like ahhhh--- its 5 extra pounds, no big deal..then it's 10 and your buying new pants...but when it becomes 20 there is something you need to start doing about it.  You don't realize how it got this "out of control". 

with an impending wedding (yeah)- I have to put a plan of action in place to jumpstart this process (great timing right ...the week before thanksgiving)

(keep in mind 3,500 calories=1 lb)

1.  Reduce alcohol consumption- those glassses of wine a day---that's 300 calories of emptyness- no longer acceptable  (7 days a week*300= 2,100 calories a week)
2.  Simmer down the "stress eating"- now that things have settled down at work- it is the best time to start reducing this bad habit I have somehow picked up along the way.
3.  Bikram Yoga- Bikram Yoga is 90 minutes of yoga done in a room heated to 105 degrees.  According to some very brief "research" done today, a session of yoga can burn up to 1000 calories for a person of my weight.  I bought a groupon for Bikram Yoga- 20 sessions for $40.  I have use my 20 sessions in the next three months.  I will reserve a special blog for Birkram Yoga- I had my first experience yesterday---and what an experience it was).  I need to hit the yoga studio at least 2 times a week...
4.  Gym- I want to make sure to start up my cardio and weight training again.  I have rejoined yet another gym (XSport) and it appears this may be more up my alley.  There are three of them on my way home. I haven't quite figured out what I think about it yet, but so far things are going ok.  If I can do a cardio class, and some weight training, I should be able to kick some pounds off there.

SMART Goals-
I have been in the professional world for too long.  I can't create goals for myself that aren't SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely).

1.  I would like to lose 20 pounds by April 14th (my 30th BIRTHDAY).  To hit this goal, I need to lose
5 lbs a month.  Not too shabby!  (I certainly put on pounds that quickly)
2.  I would then like to lose another 10 for the wedding (9/4/2011)...so at that point it is continuing on my current path.

So...Im off to the races!  Look for frequent updates on my challenges and successes!  I am excited to share this journey with you!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

So much to do...So little time

Ok- so me, being the project manager I am, had a bit of a freak out moment today.  (warning- this post is going to make me sound like a bridezilla...be warned.)

On Monday, Scott took me out for movie and dinner (ps- Inception----awesome!), after all, we are now at the 1 year mark to our wedding....I remember a time not so long ago, where we had a million months before our wedding...not so anymore.  I told him, I needed to get a calendar so I could start to outline my plan to get everything done.

In true project management fashion, I started at the end and headed to the beginning.  This was a BAD idea.  There is sooo much stuff that has to get done like the month before the wedding.  Seating chart finalized, final headcount to caterer, programs designed and printed, favors (if applicable) purchased and ready, placecards designed and completed (since we are having a sit down and offering choices, we have to let the wait staff know who is ordering what).  Not to mention, we will both be working full time and trying not to sweat to death in our apartment.  August freaked me out so much that I didnt get very far with the rest of the stuff.  Who knew there was so much incorporated with a wedding (yes- I suppose everyone else who has already been married)...but geesh! 

I am excited.  This is when it all starts to get fun.  and I truly believe by having a plan in place, we can always work ahead if we are in a place to do so.  For example, I have us preparing all of our invites in May, even though we wont send them out until June.  This way if we get behind, we will not be a risk for missing the mailing deadline.  (wow- I am such a dork).

And for the most part, I am only scheduling stuff for us on the Weekends.  This just means that I have to stop planning all of our weekends 3 weeks in advance (that is Scott's suggestion).

I welcome any suggestions of any other great wedding planning tips (esp. for folks doing alot of the "stationary stuff" (programs, invites, etc) ourselves.

Please and Thank You!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

And "sew" it begins

As I told you in my previous blog "Project Runway Here I come", I have re-decided to take up sewing. 
I began with a "simple" wrap dress.  Using some very cute stretchy fabric I thought it would be easy and forgiving of mistakes....lessons learned #1 Stretchy fabric is not easy to cut.
However, I did get everything cut out and I began to make some progress.  I got the top pleated correctly, got my sleeves sewed together and sewed the two halves of the back of the dress together...
Then I went to sew the sleeves onto my back....For some reason, they weren't tying out correctly.  I couldn't get the seams to line up correctly.  I sat and pondered for a while.  And then looked at the directions (crazy, I know).  turns out I sewed the wrong sides of the back together (I sewed the sides together as opposed to the center seam...
Lesson #2- Buy a seam ripper prior to begining a sewing project...oh and reading the directions might not hurt either.

Here is the thing.  I AM reading the directions...they are just kind of written in a foreign language and I do NOT find the pictures understandable.  So much for these "simplicity" patterns .

So, while I am waiting to go purchase my seam ripper...I decided to start on my yellow/gold skirt.
 This one seems much easier.  Cutting the fabric was a breeze! 

I got some pleats sewed in, got the back sewed together (correctly this time) and got the back sewed to the front.  all I have to do is buy something called "interfacing", and get my beltedish waist completed.  I hope to finish this skirt during this long weekend!!!!

I did skip a step on the back that would make the skirt have a cute little flip because I do not understand what "Press Seam open above clip.  Press Vent extension toward LEFT back.  Baste upper end of vent extension in pace along stitching" means...I figured it was just for decoration.

Hopefully I will have a finished product up here by the end of the weekend...if you are lucky, maybe two!
The makings of a skirt
Close up of Skirt...don't mind the tape in the mirror
See the expert pleating!
Failure #1- the incorrectly sewed back...this should NOT be a V-neck back....duh!
Completed sleeves..waiting for the back to be "seam-ripped" to complete the look!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

"Aint it funny how a melody...can bring back a memory"

There have been a LOT of songs written about how a song can "take you back" and make you re-live moments of your life that have been "pushed back" to other areas of your brain.  As someone who always thought of herself as "musically inclined" I feel there are many "tunes" that describe an era of my life.  There are also many songs that remind me of specific people who have enhanced my life.
Here is a list of songs that remind me of specific people and why.

Salt N Pepper "Shoop"...somewhere around 7th grade...this girl I knew (Virginia) and I decided that we should sing Shoop at our Uber conservative Church's talent show.  luckily VA's cousin Paula was older, more mature and realized that a song about "doing it" would not be an appropriate song for two tweens to lip sync in any sort of venue...let alone our church. Our endless Thanks goes to Paula for saving our souls...though we continued to LOVE the song!!!

Bonnie Tyler "Total Eclipse of the Heart"...so...I grew up in "middle Illinois" (some may call it southern...its not, where I spent many of my highschool nights either planning for or participating in our Snowball event (which was a weekend lockin that provided highschool kids an outlet away from alcohol and drugs).  There was a very moving skit to "Total Eclipse of the Heart", where there were different people on the stage representing different substances...from "gateway drugs" to the "hard core stuff" and you would watch this family deal with the "pain".  My first huge "CRUSH" turned "BOYFRIEND" was in this play and I feel head over heels....as a silly freshman or sophomore in highschool.  We had our fling, realized we werent right for each other and have moved on.  This song always has and always will remind me of him.  I wish him and his family the VERY BEST! 

Semisonic "Closing Time" Throughout Highschool I worked at "DRAGONLAND"...AKA- the best place on earth if you were a high school student and wanted a job where all of your other friends would work and you could walk around and pick up life jackets and get a tan...not to mention, pretend you were the "head guard" and start the rotation"....Anyways...I worked there for 3 years and had a GREAT time...During this time, Closing Time was one of the most OVERPLAYED songs on the radio..and was on 98% of the day.  It soon became an anthem to those of us who were working as they played it close to that 6:00pm whistle...AKA- "get out of the pool...we all have places to go"

Billy Joel "Only the Good Die Young"...as two individuals who were not raised Catholic at a Catholic University, Tisha and I (not only Billy Joel Lovers) stuck together singing this song in Gallagher Hall Freshman Year of College  Singing "You Catholic Girls Start Much Too Late" was a little rebel yell for us...though we were the farthest things from Rebels you ever will see.

Songs that remind me of Jessica Rickert
"Night to remember" Shedaisy
Anything with Rob Thomas or Brittany Spears- before she went nuts

Songs that remind me of Emily O'Malley (Olsen)
Anything EARLY John Mayer- early acoustics of Why Georgia and prior
"Center of Attention" Guster

Songs that remind me of the DR
"Sittin on the Dock of the Bay"Otis Redding
"How can you solve a problem like Maria" from Sound of Music
any Shakira song AND if I ever heard a Mamajuana song...one of those
"Yo tengo nueva amore"- though I never hear that song except in my dreams.

Any Country Song- reminds me of my time in Kentucky (steriotypical or not)...esp. Dierks Bently or Kenny Chesney.  They are not bad...they are actually quite nice.  They remind me of good friends, friends that helped me get through my "post college stage" and on to my "early adulthood stage". Friends that will never be forgotten...My LWC baseball boys:)

So yes, I truly believe that songs can take you back to somewhere you have hidden deep in your mind.

What song takes you back?

Friday, August 20, 2010

Watch Out Season 16 of Project Runway- here I come

Yes...they are only on season 8...I know...that means I have 7 more seasons to get my sew on.

Once upon a time, I had my first trial at sewing. I made my old college roommate Jessica and myself Halloween costumes. We went as Velma Kelly and Roxy Hart from "Chicago". I was Velma, she was Roxy. The dresses...ummm...were snug. We had to add lots of fringe to the bottom of Jess's dress so she didn’t have a Brittany Spears moment. But they stayed together for the most part and we had a good time wearing them.

I am also about 40% through making my t-shirt quilt from college. It’s going to be awesome..all the shirts are cut and have been cut since right before I left to go on the road...that right, since 2004. So, now that it’s 2010, its time to get back on track.

Now, I would not call myself anywhere close to "fashionable" as a matter of fact, most days i secretly hope to be walking down the street and hope the "what not to wear" folks will find me and give me a lesson on fashion. I know what looks good on other people, I just can’t seem to find something that looks good on me. I’m very square in body type and more recently have become a little more "round" than I would like to be (that’s a different story for a different blog), needless to say...I will not make it in the fashion design world. But, I like to sew...I like the rules that surround it. You have to follow order, guidelines, patterns. At least I do now, until I get the real hang of it.

So about a month ago, Scott brought me a "sewing table", I bought myself a "sewing chair". I have my mom's sewing machine, now it’s just a matter of sewing.

On Wednesday I went to Joann fabrics, much to my dismay. I live in Chicago for peter rabbits sake. There are tons of AMAZING fabric stores, but they all seem to close at 6pm and i just can’t make it back to the city by then....they also don’t seem to have any patterns. I’m not quite a "make my own pattern and then sew from it" expertise yet. I'd be the person on project runway that would make all the other contestants go..."she can’t even thread a needle, what is she doing here". So, I ventured to Joann's. This is probably a pretty good choice for a first timer like me. lots of patterns, they were very helpful and frankly, they had a pretty good fabric selection.

I chose two pattern packets.

One has a wrap dress and I found really pretty fall fabric to make my dress (and its stretchy...I figured stretchy would be good for a first trial so that if it’s a bit snug it will stretch.) and then I will make two skirts.

I started the warp dress as soon as I got home on Wednesday. I've got the pattern cut out, its been pinned on my fabric and I have cut most the pieces out. Words of caution...stretchy fabric is NOT easy to cut....sometimes you stretch it when you cut and then you have some uneven sides. Also, does anyone know when it says on the pattern "leave 1/4" for seam" if that means you are supposed to add a 1/4" to the pattern, or they have already built that in for you. This "simplicity stuff" is not very simple if you don’t know the sewing terms. Hopefully this weekend i can get the pattern traced on the fabric....still not entirely sure how to do this and start the fun part...sewing!
I will keep you updated on my progress...but until then, here are a few pictures...consider it my "next time on project runway" segment.

My Sewing Nook

Hoping for finished product..looks easy enough, right?

Pattern cut out- check
Pinned on fabric- check
Cut out of fabric- half check

A closer look at the fabric for the wrap dress.  I love it and think it will be very cute for fall.
The two fabrics I bought for my two skirts...we will see how these work.  Im debating between getting lining for the gold one, or just wearing my slip...thoughts?

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Bridezilla....I hope not!

So, I have a new horrible past time that I do when Scott isn't home (when he is home...he keeps my bad tv watching habits in line). I have been watching alot of "Bridezillas" on WE. I find these people RE-DICK-U-LOUS!. I keep asking Scott if he thinks I will be a Bridezilla...he says no. And I am begining to understand why.
1. These women are NOT organized....they drive me crazy by not having things done on time, not creating a plan, not remembering to SEND OUT INVITATIONS, etc.
2. They are inconsiderate. I'm sorry (I'm not really sorry), but be on time...for appointments, for your dress rehersal, and FOR GOD's SAKE...FOR YOUR WEDDING....Now, I was a wedding coordinator for 3 years in college, so I understand that there is usually a little lateness (generally because people---ie guests---are still coming in and getting seated when the wedding is supposed to start), but being an hour late. This is incredibly rude to your guests who have come to share your day with you, who have spent money on transportation, perhaps travel expenses, hotels, gifts, etc.
3. Self Centered. Wow....your bridesmaids are doing you a HUGE favor by standing up at your wedding. They crack me up when they have their bridesmaids do a run way show and then criticize their wardrobe....PS- you probably picked out the dress...its probably not going to flatter everyone...they had to buy a dress that they will probably not ever wear again...

If there is anything I have "learned" from this obsession is that I have been BLESSED for the "27 dresses" I have dawned for weddings. I have been priveledged to be standing up for some very CLASSY brides, Thankful brides, and organized brides!
I promise my bridesmaids that I will be respectful, organized and will love whatever you are wearing. I promise my future husband that I will not yell at him...but he already knows that he will be part of the planning process. Not because I am a bridezilla...but because I want him to be a big part of our day and I dont want it to just be my ideas.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

My kind of Sunday Funday

We have had a CRAZY last few months. We have been to Yorkville (where Scott's parents live twice), Pekin once, I bought a car, went to a wedding, went to a graduation party, started a new job...needless to say, it has been exhausting! This weekend we FINALLY got a weekend at home. We had no plans. It was perfect.
Friday night we met some of Scott's friends at a new establishment that opened in our neighborhood, The Fountainhead. Great food, great people, great refreshments!
Saturday, Scott had to go do a little bit of work, but I had nothing to do. we laid around, took naps, caught up with each other and our crazy lives. We ordered delivery and just ate junk food and hung out.
Today was a PERFECT Sunday! Though I did have to do a few chores, they aren't as bad as it used to be. As I have spoken about before, I have a disdain of public laundromats. They get so crowded, and kids are running around and Im worried about knocking them over with my cart. But we found a better place, LOTS of washers and dryers, LOTS of spaces to fold clothes that each have their own TV so I can watch my Sunday Morning News shows. It is much better.
So I did laundry, then I went grocery shopping. I love cooking on Sunday's and making enough for us to have for most of the week. I'm usually our the door at 5:15am and don't get home until 6:30. Scott has class on Monday and Tuesday and works late on Wednesday, so we barely see each other from Sunday-Thursday, let alone have enough time to cook. Today I made a big thing of chicken salad (yum:)) and some turkey burgers with cranberries and brie. We had the turkey burgers for dinner tonight and we have leftovers. We should be able to get through those by Thursday and we have our menu ready for Thursday of stuffed peppers!
I went to the library and picked up another book I had on hold (I know have 4 books at home to read plus one on audio for my commute). I wish I would have gotten a little more cleaning done, but you know what...it will wait. I got to spend some great time with my guy and got caught up on normalcy!
I will be the first to admit that I love to be busy. I love to have things on my calendar (I guess it makes me feel popular), but it is also nice to be a homebody and relax, recharge.
I am ready for an exciting week!!! (and what an exciting week it will probably be)!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

8 years ago...8....

I am feeling a bit nostalgic this weekend. 8 years ago yesterday, I flew back to the USA from my semester abroad in the Dominican Republic. I was in the DR from January-May in 2002. Creighton sent a group of 13 students, 1 teacher, a Program Director and a Dallas:), we lived together, learned together, and did service projects together. We built houses, taught english, taught safe-sex, but learned about true social inequality and injustice, about hospitality, about life, about love and most importantly, about ourselves.
I'll never forget many of the memories I have of that place. Dallas catching us "swimming in the ocean" much later than we needed to be..., smoking cigars sitting at Cabarete, whale watching, Jarabacoa....and the scariest, most mindblowing realistic, nightmare inducing moment of my (and Vals/Pablos) life. Not to mention the deep down emotions that come up whenever I hear "Yo, tango nueva amor", the sound of marangae, the thoughts of the Batey boys strumming on their guitar and singing to Sara and I for hours on end. The hours I cried during the Haitian earthquake earlier this year, hoping Papito/Nanaota and any of my other family members were not there. Knowing I probably would not know if they were.
I think of my friends, many of whom I have not talked to in YEARS, who I will always have a connection that no one can break. No matter the miles, no matter the occupations we have chosen, no matter the fall outs we have had, we will always have one thing in common that NO one else will. No one else will have the same memories of Jarabacoa that the 12 of us have. No one else will think of a hotel in the Dominican Republic when they hear the song "Hotel California". No one else will know that starfish STINK...and actually live outside of salt water...and can continue climbing on walls, beds, etc.
I think of those that are no longer with us: Johnny, Chucho, Patricia at Hogar Luby. How these lives were lost too early, some out of disability that could have been prevented, some out of hatred and racism and some out of decisions made to create a living.
I am extreamely greatful for the four months I spent abroad. I wouldn't it trade it for anything in the world...and if anyone wants a 10 year reunion...I would be in for 2012!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Goal Completed!!! I did it!!!

I got a new job! I start as a "Real" employee at McDonald's Corporation on June 1st, 2010!

I thought I would share that good news since the rest of my "goals" for this year are failing miserably.

I also bought my wedding dress saturday...who buys a wedding dress 15 months BEFORE their wedding....SERIOUSLY!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Goals for my 29th year

As I stated in my last blog, every year on my birthday I create a list of goals. As the year passes, I take a look at my goals and see how I am doing. In my 28th yeat, I succeed in completing only about 30% of my goals:( Hopefully this year will be better. I have also decided to make my goals more "SMART"- Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely. I am also hoping to blog on my progress and am giving you, my loyal readers, the task of ensuring I am completing them.

So, without further adeu...
10. Workout at least three times a week. I am stating that my workout week is Sunday-Saturday. A workout constitues at least thirty minutes of sweaty activity (ie- walking does not count).
9. Continue working on my leadership skills- read at least 2 leadership books and identify where I can continue to improve upon. This is harder to make SMART.
8. Work on communication skills- see above.
7. Continue volunteering with ACS- perhaps expand to an additional organization?
6. Pay off credit cards by December- no more using credit cards.
5. Eat healtier- cook at least 4 meals per week. Limit fastfood intake to twice per month.
4. Try a new recipe every week.
3. Start a monthly brunch club- who is interested in joining?
2. Save 10% of takehome per week.
1. Secret goal- I will let you know when it's accomplished...but its getting close!

Thanks for all your support and friendship. 28 was a great year. 29 is shaping up to be the same!!!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

My birthday month- Reflecting on my goals for my 28th year

So, every year I create a list of things I want to do that year in life. Usually it's something silly (like graduate college, when it's going to happen in like 3 weeks), or bong a beer...

My 28th birthday was a "scary" one for me. I know most people are scared of their 30th or 40th, not me...I was scared of 28. I think it was because so much was "supposed to be done" in my head by 28. I thought I would be married, I thought I would have started on children, I thought I would be living...well I don't know where I thought I would be living...but you get the gist.

So, I made a list of 10 things I wanted to accomplish. I am going to share my progress with you all, my readers, and for my 29th year, I am going to be more diligent in sharing my progress as to keep myself on track.

Goals for my 28th year:
1. Saving Money- well, this is a very generic goals and it does not really qualify since it is in no way SMART. I did do better at saving money. I did a MUCH better job, especially in the last few months of not using credit cards and getting them paid down. Will need to make this more specific and attainable for my 29th year. Making progress
2. Continuing to Volunteer- I am the ACS volunteer queen, maybe not queen, but I have certainly done a great job on this goal. I am now a committee chair for the ACS Determination team. Success!
3. Find a non-profit board to sit on- Failure. Not for lack of trying. What I did find was that a lot of boards who would have the likes of me (not willing to commit high dollar amounts to be a board member) were very unorganized and it was very hard to get on their calendars. Perhaps Ill try this again next year, but for now, this is a FAILURE!
4. Move in with Scott- Success. And we still love each other! ALOT!
5. Stay better in touch with friends and family- again not very SMART, but I will try harder next year. I will keep this on here for 29....I would say, making progress again.
6. Be a better leader, both to those in the workplace and those around me- I have made some progress here. I think getting out of a some-what toxic environment has helped. I would like to continue to show progress in this area. I think I have learned alot about leadership in the last 6 months and working with leaders and true mentors it is helping me determine the kind of leader I want to be. Making progress.
7. Go to my high school reunion- FAILURE. However, in my defense, it was a bad weekend (the weekend before we were moving in together and going to ATL for a wedding).
8. Write my novel- FAILURE. But I have started this blog, which keeps my writing skills up to date.
9. Better understand my strengths and how I can improve upon them: I have realized that I am much better at some things that I thought I was (organization). I always knew I was a good communicator, and am continuing to improve. I am trying to learn something new everyday. Maybe I need to read the Gallup Book....can I borrow that Grant? Making Progress
10. Read more books from the library: SUCCESS!!!! I have 5 books out now, I have not purchased a book all year! yeah for me!!!!

So overall:
Success: 3
Making Progress: 4
Failure: 3

I have one other "secret goal" that most people know about, but I will not write it on public space. I am probably 70% to completing. It won't be complete by my birthday, but I am getting close and continuing to make progress.

I think 29 is going to be a GREAT year! Stay tuned for my new goals and see how I track my progress to meet them.

Monday, March 29, 2010

I'm not a runner....but I act like one

Maybe it's because it's spring, the weather is getting nicer outside, I want to be outside b/c it's finally nice and an easy way to do that is to go for a run.

Maybe it's because I have become uber involved in the American Cancer Society DetermiNation group, who are a bunch of HARD CORE runners....we are talking iron mans, several marathons, signed up for several races this year, and so on.

Maybe it's because I really like the way I feel when I'm done, I like the feel that I can now go eat pizza rolls and not feel bad about it, I like that I feel energized, that I sleep better, and the Scott says Im just plain in a better mood.

Anyway you slice it, I have been banking about 12-15 miles a week for the last several weeks.

I have signed up for 2 5K races (which happen to be on the same weekend, Sat/Sun races, thankfully so I can do both), and I am looking to sign up for Soldier Field 10, the North Shore 1/2 marathon, Rock and Roll Chicago Marathon and the Rock and Roll Denver 1/2 marathon....

Call me crazy! but then I remember, when I trained for the marathon, I ran like 7 1/2 marathons for weekend runs.

It's funny the things you forget how much you like when you don't do them...and then you start again and it's like finding an old friend.
So here's to my old friend, running. Thank you for always being there, even when I forget you!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Adults- take some responsibility

In several Chicago area school districts, teacher's jobs are being cut. Not only are there job cuts, there are rising activity fees and eliminating activities/classes that are deemed "not required".
This is not just happening in Chicago, but around the country in a time where states are "tightening their belts" due not only the recession, but also years and years of reckless spending. Private Drivers, Private planes, and I know many people are frustrated at the amount of times they walk into government offices and no one seems to be doing anything, but no one can help you.
In Kansas City, news broke a few weeks ago that they are planning on closing almost half of the schools. Now, I don't know all the details, I don't know how full these schools were to begin with, but I do know that this will equate to large class size, which will enable teachers to focus on individuals, which will decrease the amount of attention they get on individual issues. We already are a country where education continues to lag behind those of similar socio-economic climates. When you look at school districts in lower-income communities, the success and graduation rates decrease dramatically. Some of these children are not even given a chance. Many times the way some of these children are able to attend college is through an athletic scholarship. By increasing the cost of athletic fees, you hinder the chance of these children playing sports, let alone getting scouted and being able to live larger dreams that they thought imaginable.
This is a mistake. Children should not be paying the price for adults irresponsible spending. Please write your senators, congressmen, school board members. Schools should be about teaching children to do better than we do. Schools should be teaching about responsibility, schools should be teaching about how to survive, how to think, how to learn. Schools should not be having to tell students that they can no longer play sports/be in choir/ play in the band/ showcase their talents in plays, etc.
I don't want to live in a world when schools become an afterthought.

Saturday, March 20, 2010


I have been living in Chicago since May of 2006. I have been "dating" Scott since June of 2006...so, I never had to make any of my own friends. I met his, they were great, and life was easy. In the back of my mind I always thought...man if we break up, its going to suck, and I will have no one. That's a somewhat depressing thought for someone like me, who hasn't really ever been considered a "wallflower" or "loner". In the last year, one of my goals in life was to make my own friends. This is one of my goals that I would like to say, I have done rather well with.
I joined a bookclub (Thanks Micki) and met some great girls with whom I have not only a standing monthly date, but often at some other points in the month may see each other randomly.
I have become very active in the American Cancer Society DetermiNation team, heading up the runner recruitment team this year, and have met some wonderful people and really gotten to know some of them better (thanks to long nights, long days, and downtime). People like these make time go faster, make you enjoy being there, and make it an easy decision to extend your shift for a few hours with the promise of dinner. It's been great to start coming into my "own" again. I think it is so important in a relationship to have your own lives, and to continue to have your own lives. I know myself well enough to know that I can't handle being around someone 24 hours a day 7 days a week. I always have been like this . In junior high/high school, I was the girl who changed "best friends" pretty much every year, (I often just needed a bit of a change in pace).
Anyways, to all my girlfriends out there, new/old/near/far, thank you for your friendship! It means so much to me to be let in on the "new news", to be considered a part of the circle, to learn more about you, and to know a good thing when it comes.

Remember to thank all of your girlfriends. There is nothing better!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Decision #1 made!

Well, we have made our first wedding decision. We have picked a venue. It is great!!! The Chicago Mart Plaza inside the Merchandise Mart.

For those of you who don't know much about Chicago, or aren't local, the Merchandise Mart is a LARGE (rumor has it, you could run a marathon inside the building) I do not plan on doing this the weekend of my wedding, nor will I require my guests to...I'm just that nice of a bride! Anyways, the Mart, to me, is almost like a designer's paradise. They have a lot of items wholesale (like Marble, slab, etc) and it's a beautiful building located on the south-east side of the loop. The hotel is on the south west side of the building and the lobby, and reception hall, is on the 15th floor. There is an amazing view of the city from the hall! We are so excited to make this decision and after looking at several venues, deciding this was the one for us. The wedding consultant there seems great, calm, collected and organized.

So...yeah! One decision down, only about 100 more to go! Now I've got to go sweat bullets as I write out this first check...YIKES!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Blogging the Red Carpet

I've always wanted to host a Oscar party, but it's on Sunday, and it usually runs late. And people, I have a strict bedtime. If Im not in bed reading my twenty pages a night, then I am not a happy person in the morning...and morning rolls around early these days (around 5:45). So for the 28th year in a row, I am watching the Oscar's in the same fashion. Except Scott is making me a fabulous dinner (stir fry and crab ragoons....that's right...he is making them). This year, we have done a horrible job of seeing movies. In all reality in 2009 we saw very few movies. and none that are nominated for an award. We just get soo busy. We really wanted to see Invictus, Up, Up in the Air. I want to see Precious, but I was telling Scott I know that I will need to get in the right frame of mind. Have a box of tissues and a few hours after wards to take it all in.
In watching an interview with Monique, I got a bit distressed. I guess that there has been a lot of criticism that this movie plays African American's in a dark light, shows them as abusive, etc. I loved what she said, and totally agree. This movie is colorless. There is this type of abuse in households regardless of skin color. It happens, and its out there, and that is what should be the part of the movie that is repulsive and should strike people...but again, I haven't seen the movie. Once I have time to watch, I'm sure I'll have much more to say.
I have no desire to see Avatar. I know everyone says I should see it, even if I don't like sci-fi.

So, here is my recap of the Oscar's starting with the red carpet.

#1. Sandra Bullock- stunning! she looks absolutely amazing.
#2. Kathy Ireland- you should stick with modeling, b/c you are not a natural in front of the camera. She seems VERY nervous and stiff. her left arm is just sticking out there in a "pose" but it looks fake.
#3. SJP- love the dress, hate the hair. Matthew- I think you are so super sexy in your spots of gray and a little bit of chub:)
#4. Tina Fey- you look amazing and beautiful. I love when funny girls can look gorgeous.
#5. Oh Hanna Montana...I have nothing to say about you except stop sloching.

----I feel like I'm starting to be a bit like Joan Rivers...I need to stop being so cynical----

---ps- when do I get to go to the Oscar's...and wear something amazing--

#6- I L-O-V-E Kate Winslet. She is stunning, beautiful, wonderfully poised. (speaking with an accent doesn't hurt:))

-oh, no, Kathy Ireland is back....what a disaster---
#7. How classy is Meryl Streep. Timeless. Attractive. Pure Class.

Red Carpet is over....enjoy the 82nd annual Academy Awards.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

My FAVORITE Weekend of the year!

There is one weekend, one city, that any "good" Creighton alum hears about and can't help but smile. Two words that mean: The Big Bang, Brewery, Embassy Suites (RIP), Morgan Street, forgetfulness....oh, and did i mention basketball? It is the one weekend where Omaha miraculously moves itself to St. Louis, where alumns come and have thier "Creighton reunion". Where you can run into past basketball players that were their "favorite basketball players (of all time)". It's ARCH MADNESS!!!! It's Missouri Valley Basketball Tourney Time ladies and gentlemen...and for the 2nd time in 10 years...I will not be going:(
Well, I guess last year at this time I wasn't going either...and then on Friday I bought my plane ticket for the next day only to get there and watch Creighton get beaten by Illinois State by like 20 pts....talk about sucky!
Here are some of my favorite memories of St. Louis, the Arch, and the Madness.
10. Getting my picture taken with Kyle Korver Senior Year...yes, it's number 10...I know many of you are shocked....actually probably none of my "readers" are shocked...since you didn't really "know" me in college..
9. "Drunk Schmuck" singing Neal Diamond at the Big Bang...on stage...with the pianist
8. Walking into a bar in St. Louis and knowing 80% of the patrons in there...and everyone has been partaking in the St. Louis "business", so we are all friends.
7. Going on the Budwiser Brewery Tour, and again, knowing about 70% of the people on the tour with you...and then singing "white and the blue" in the tasting room
6. Standing in line 4 hours before the game senior year to get my front row seats....and then the a$$ security guards kicking everyone out b/c we were in the wrong seats....excuse me...this is my seat...this has been my seat for the whole season...just cuz we moved stadiums...um...cities...it's still my seat.
5. Seeing what AWESOME signs Joe Johns can come up with ( I think my favorite is still "Things on Fire...1. The Butternut Building #2. The Jays)
4. Randomly getting into a cab (TWICE) with John "so hot, want to touch the" Heine.
3. Getting to drink Boulevard.
2. Sleeping a small villiage in an embassey suite hotel room...and then "tricking" them into providing all of them free drinks during the happy hour
1. Championship game senior year...Emily and I's dad's both came, and after winning, we all went back to the bar....Great times, great celebration, one Hellofa time in St. Louis!

For all of you going...Cheer Loud....Know that i will be cheering from my couch, or if I get crazy enough, maybe a bar.

"The white and the blue
Colors two it is you we defend
Fearless for you
all our might to the fight we will lend
so WAVE banners wave,
we will fight on for your GLORY
The White and the BLUE
we will fight til the fight is WON!"

Sunday, February 28, 2010

'Tis the end

I spent my Sunday trying to keep the Olympic spirit alive. I started the day watching the best Olympic movie ever...."The Cutting Edge", duh - for all of you out there thinking Miracle or some other boy sports movie:)

Then I joined, from what I could gather from facebook status', all of my friends nationwide to watch the USA/Canada gold hockey game. As I watched, in disbelief, Syd- the kid- Crosby, hit in the winning goal, I couldn't help but let out a little cheer. Crosby plays in the US. We hear about him all the time. I cheered for him in the Stanley Cup last year. How can I cheer against him now?

That got me further thinking, of course. In the business world, we often hear about the flattening of the world. With social networking no longer needing to take place in bars, or conferences, everyone can get to know everyone else. How does this effect the Olympics? I was in speech, and show choir, in high school. And you would after awhile, get to know your competitors from other schools. You would play cards during off-rounds, spend weeks together at camp, etc. It became a friendly competition. Now, multiply that by 500. That can only be how these olympians feel. On the hockey team, many of these players are playing against teammates, friends, collegeus. In the figure skating world, many of them train in the US or Canada, coming from Turkey, South Korea, etc.

Watching the female skiing, where every other person was taking a tumble, the camera's would often pan to other competitors faces and you would see true concern. No one wants to see their competitors get hurt. These people are athletes. They want to compete, and if everyone is hurt, that is a sucky competition. I'm sure these women are all facebook friends with each other;)

Well, another olympics are over...what sucks is from winter to spring you really have to wait 2.5 years. So....I guess I will have to find something to do until Summer 2012.

Thank you athletes for giving me a lot of time to sit on the couch and be amazed by your athleticism, lack of fear, and cheer you on!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Worry Wart

So...Ive been worrying (thinking) alot lately about a whole bunch of things I don't have a whole lot of control over. It really drives me crazy when you can't fall asleep, cuz you are too busy thinking over stupid, stupid stuff. If you are anything like me (God help you) you sit there and play over scenes that havent even happened yet. Some will be best case scenario, some worse, some are just bizaare.

So, as I was worrying, I tried to keep my mind off it by reading some of my FAVORITE poetry....I came across this one.

Funny how these things still apply to us as adults.

Whatif by Shel Silverstein

Last night, while I lay thinking here,
some Whatifs crawled inside my ear
and pranced and partied all night long
and sang their same old Whatif song:
Whatif I'm dumb in school?
Whatif they've closed the swimming pool?
Whatif I get beat up?
Whatif there's poison in my cup?
Whatif I start to cry?
Whatif I get sick and die?
Whatif I flunk that test?
Whatif green hair grows on my chest?
Whatif nobody likes me?
Whatif a bolt of lightning strikes me?
Whatif I don't grow talle?
Whatif my head starts getting smaller?
Whatif the fish won't bite?
Whatif the wind tears up my kite?
Whatif they start a war?
Whatif my parents get divorced?
Whatif the bus is late?
Whatif my teeth don't grow in straight?
Whatif I tear my pants?
Whatif I never learn to dance?
Everything seems well, and then
the nighttime Whatifs strike again!

RIP Shel Silverstein. You truly are a genious.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

olympic lovin

I love the Olympics....I always have. Some of my favorite memories involve Kristi Yamaguchi, Katarian Vit, Bonnie Blair, Shannon Miller (yeah- she's summer, but she is still an olympian), carrie shrug...so...I guess a lot of women are memorable.

But I love, for 3 weeks, that the WORLD seems to be cheering on something in "common" their own country.

We have already seen some amazing stories...and its only day three.

US Metals from short track speedskating, mogals, and nordic combined (our first EVER).

One of the greatest stories of these Olympics so far, is the story of J.R. Celsk, the American short track skater, who 6 months ago "nicked" his leg, almost severing his femoral artery, and thought his skating career was over, at 19. He proved himself and the rest of the world wrong on Saturday night, in an exciting ending, taking home the Bronze.

But we also have tragedy. As we all know, a Georgian luger, Nodar Kumaritashvili, tragically died during a training run on Friday, prior to the opening ceremonies and creating an atmosphere of somberness. Luging is such a scary sport, and I think it's scariness was brought to light in these Olympic games.

Im sure there will be so many more memories creates, hero's created, tears of joy, tears of defeat, and many more "Star Spangled Banner".

As countries around the world unite to cheer on the few, I pray for safe tracks, beautiful figure skating, and lots of close finishes.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

KIDS, I don't know what wrong with these kids today....

Actually, I kinda do. I think it's mostly the parents. My co-worker was talking about valentines day at her daughters school. MAN...it sucks to be a kid these days. You cant get any chocolate, or hearts, or anything b/c all the sudden in the last several years everyone is alergic to something. I would really like someone to do a study that tells me what SHIT we have put in some water source, or whatever is causing all of these deadly allergies, cuz if you asked me they seem to have come out of NO WHERE.

Anyways, they also cant bring in valentines...well, they CAN bring in valentines as long as they
a) have no gender diffarentiator
b)contain no candy
c) are not addressed
d) are exactly the same amount of valentines as there are kids

I get it, I do. Some smelly kid who eats glue didn't get any valentines one year and went and complained to his mommy who went and complained to the principal, who in turn created some rules so everyone was treated fairly.

This is also the same kid who is as coordinated as a bag of fruit, who can't figure out who to swing a bat, and complained because he never got any playing time...DUDE, figure it out. Your not an athlete....how about instead of complaining about what you are NOT good at, you figure out what you ARE good at and make yourself better.

Here is the thing. We are setting future generations up to be WUSSES!!! I see it at work all the time. Parent's who call me because I didn't hire their child (dude, its not hard to get a job here...you have to pass a basic math and drug test...your kid didn't pass one of those, and Im pretty sure he can count to 5....). Parents emailing/calling college professers to ask why thier kid didn't pass the class....(umm...he showed up twice, and didn't bother to spell check....oh...and he has his mom fighting his battles.)

If we never learn to lose, how do we learn to pick ourselves back up, hold our heads high and try again. What ever happened to the saying "if at first you don't succeed try and try again". Now it seems it's "if at first we don't succeed, figure out who we can blame, cuz it's certainly not my kids fault."

Kids need to be taught that everyone isn't always going to like them. People are mean. wait til they get to be teenagers. You get over it, you grow up and you learn to pick yourself up again.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Ms. Danz blogs Washington

This past Tuesday, Illinois held it's primary. It's over...Thank God...I have about 8 months of non-election commercials...yeah!

But as we go through yet another election cycle, I can't help but wonder...does it really matter? Are we really electing "leaders", people with visions of a different future, who can sacrifice their personal agenda for the greater good? or are we only electing politicians (people who talk a good talk, walk a "somewhat" good walk, and plan to retire as elected officials.

Now, as most of you know, I live in Chicago...so, perhaps my judgments are a bit jaded. We don't have the best track-record of quality leaders. Our governors extort, blackmail and, eventually, make our license plates. Our alderman’s staff, drivers, admins, etc. are full of nepotism (sisters making $100K a year to be a weekend driver, yet, we have to decrease/eliminate routes on the CTA because we can’t make a budget).

On a bigger scale, our congressman and senators refuse to work with each other. Regardless of my personal party affiliation, I find it repulsive that elected officials can’t work together to compromise, listen to each other and come up with solutions that are acceptable to all. No one SHOULD ever get everything they want. It’s called working together people. You are all VERY well educated people, did no one ever teach you along the way how to get along with people? Or are you just too concerned about winning your next race, that you can’t afford to “piss-off” your contributors. What a sad world we live in when the people who really are making decisions are the people with the biggest pocketbooks.

I propose setting a tenure limitation for all elected officials. There is a reason we don’t let Presidents have endless terms (that would be called a dictatorship…ok- not really they are still “elected”, so I’m being a bit dramatic), but I really think if people weren’t worried about constantly campaigning, trying to get funds, trying to work with their various large corporate donors, etc that we could actually GET something done in Washington, Chicago, Illinois, wherever.

Now, I know no one is going to listen to me. I don’t sit in Washington, I am not a lobbyist, senator’s assistant, or even a poly sci major, I’m just a girl with a blog. But I urge you to think about it this year as we come to mid-term elections. Would you rather elect a politician or elect a leader?Someone with a vision, someone who isn’t worried to put their personal views on hold for the greater good.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

ARuba Part 2

Well its, been a long time coming.  It's been a crazy couple weeks.  Once we got back from Aruba on Sunday, I found out (pretty much upon arrival at my house) that I was going to Jacksonville on Wednesday for work.  So, I was home for two days, then off to Jacksonville until Friday. (the 15th).  That was Scott's birthday, so I had told him that he could have people over to play poker...and I wanted to give him his day...and I was exahsted!!!!!  So, I went into the guest room (have I mentioned how much I love having a guest room) and caught up on Gray's, Private Practice, and Hotel Babalon....SEASON 3!!!!  WHOHOOOOO!!!!  Who knew there was a Season 3.  Take that Brittish guys who said my show is rubbish. 

Anyways, Saturday (the 16th) was a crazy day as well...filled with Brithday lunches, Creighton basketball and surprise birthday drinks....and Sunday I went to a bridal expo...thats a whole other blog.  And that is my blog about why I havent added a second blog about Aruba.

So, Let's go back, shall we, to January 8th.  I woke up from a great nights sleep (it's sooo nice to sleep when its chili....it's never chilli in our apartment, and I love being a little cold....or at least not hot.

Friday we got up and ate breakfast again and then went to the beach.  We had until around 2:30 and then we needed to head to the "high rise district" for our Pirate Cruise.  We went to the hotel lunch place at 1:30 for lunch and ordered (I had a burger, Scott had a fish sandwich), we also had a margarita....

Then it was 1:45....no food

2:00....no food
2:15...no food

Now, I can live on island time like anyone...and Scott pretty much lives on island time all the time...but seriously....waiting 45 minutes for lunch...so we flagged down our waitress and told her we needed our lunches to go, and the check....NOW. 

But here is the good part

Our pirate ship!!!!! 

Me snorkling in 60 feet of water...I was VERY proud of myself...as I was a bit afraid of sharks.

Scott on the rope swing!

It was a bit windy on the boat....but here we are....

We met some friends on the boat (Marcia and Adrian) and we went for drinks on the pier to see the sunset....How beautiful is this.

Saturday, January 9th
Saturday was our last day...and we had nothing planned...on purpose.

We went to the hotel next door to have breakfast.  They had the coolest chairs ever.

We just laid around, read our books, soaked up the sun and RODE THE WAVES!!!!

I love the water.  I love playing in it, how great my skin feels in ocean water, how thick my hair gets when it's full of salt, the way sand sticks to all your creavises for days and days, so you are always taking a part of the beach back with you.

I LOVE the beach, I love the ocean...you get the picture.

So, one of my favorite parts of the ocean, is the waves.  I love catching the wave at just the right time so you can ride it in almost all the way to the shore.  I (secreatly) love it more when you dont catch it quite right, and you hold on for dear life to your nose and your swimsuit,,,,as the wave crashes above your head and takes you for a ride!

We found out earlier in the week that Aruban's Carnival was Saturday night.  so we had planned on going to downtown to watch it.  But by the time we got around to going, we were too late, so we went back to the high rise district.  We walked around...forever....to buy our souveners, and then ate at this cool place called "Mr. Jazz".  It was a steakhouse...and they had plantains...that was really all that mattered.. oh, and the live band

And that, my friends, is Aruba....
I hightly recommend it!  Beatuful island, wonderful people.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Aruba Part One- Arrival, Day One and Two

As most of you know, last year, Scott surprized me with a trip to ARUBA.  We parted on January 6th, bright and early.  We left the apartment to get to the airport in plenty of time for all the enhanced security (thanks alot mr. failed christmas day bomber).  Our flight was at 5:30 to miami.  We were to arrive in Miami at 9:00 and then we were to leave for Aruba at 11:30.

We board the plane....everything is great, it is not full so I got a whole row of three chairs all to myself (yeah for sleeping).  and I promptly fell asleep as the plane wasnt moving.  I was rudely awaken by Scott tapping my head about an hour later asking what time it was....we had not left yet...and it appeared the engine was "frozen" so the maintenance guys were coming BACK with thier tools....evidently it is silly to just bring your tools with you.  Well Scott is freaking out, cuz if we are any later we are NOT going to make our connection (and we wanted to get to Aruba.)  Well we finally left (and I slept until again...another tap on my head...Scott wanted us to move forward in the cabinso we could get off the plane early.  WE moved forward and were talking to lots of other people who were also dangeriously close to missing thier flights.  we landed at 11:05 and ran through the Miami airport...only to find out our plane was now delayed until 12:45.  Well, the reason the plane was delayed was becuase they were getting us a different plane that required everyone to be resat.....awesome.  The only good thing to come of this was the Miami airport has Presidente (a Dominican Beer I am VERY fond of).

WE get to Aruba, get to our hotel, and are finally happy.
We enjoyed our first happy hour beverage

Passion Fruit Daquari and Polar (Venezualian Ale)

The sun was setting on our first day, we were hungry (I had breadsticks from Pizza Hut, Scott had nothing) and we had been up since 2:30 our time.  We walked around the area by our hotel (Manchebo Beach Resort and Spa) and found a cute little resteurant called Elliot's (it was Italian and FABULOUS!) I was falling asleep on my dinner, so i called it a night (Scott went down to the bar and had some more Polar's).

End of Day One

Day Two (Thursday January 7th)
We woke up and enjoyed a breakfast at the resort.  We did not get all inclusive, though it was an option, because we knew we would want to try other areas.

We had 11am massages, which were amazing,  There is nothing like a thatch building massage when you are ON THE OCEAN....no fake "wave sounds" here.  The spa was great.  I could have had a massage every day, but alas...we had other things to do.

We spend most of this day on the beach, lathering up and not getting sunburned....This is amazing for Scott and I, as we are both PALE.

Here I am getting all set up for the day.  Don't you love my sun hat.  It kept me from getting burnt and getting wrinkles...Im getting married folks...can't have wrinkles!

Can you find the iguana?

And this begins the 360 view from our hotel room.

I have a rough life...I know.

Monday, January 4, 2010


I will be in Aruba in 36 hours...
I just thought you would all like to know.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Nine: A review

Last night, my friend Micki, her friend Kerry, and I went to go see Nine.  Now, I love a movie musical almost as much as the next person, and though I had very few idea's of what this movie was about, and I knew who was in it.  So, I was very excited to go.

The show opens with Daniel Day-Lewis (a director in a rut) looking at an empty set and suddenly all the "women" in his life appear.  Let's pause a moment and talk about Mr. Day Lewis.  Quite possibly one of the best actors out there.  He is a chameleon on stage, a true genius.  He is one of those actors that I know is in a movie yet I can never pick him out.  He always looks, sounds, acts so different, in every part.  There was no trace of the "My two left feed" guy or "There will be Blood" guy.  He is amazing. 

Anyways, we see that Mr. Day-Lewis is a bit conflicted.  He has a wife (Marion Cotillard), and mistress (Penelope Cruz), both who play intregral parts in his life, not to mention his muse (Nicole Kidman- whose very small part reminds us of how outstanding she was in Moulin Rouge).  It also shows four other women, his long-term costume designer (Dame Judy Dench- amazing), his mother (Sophia Loren- beautiful, classy, captivating as always), Fergie who plays a strong, almost greek Goddess of sex type charactor and a journalist with whom he has limited contact, but obviously left quite the impression.

You automatically love Marion Cotillard (for those of you who aren't familiar with her work, she is a French Actress that worked along side Johnny Depp in Public Enemies.  She is beautiful, elegant, charismatic, lovely.  She is our generations Audrey Hepburn.  She is there, beside her husband, though you learn she knows os his mis-comings.  She has given up a lot to be with him, and she is begining to question if she made the right choices, and if those choices are still correct.

Penelope Cruz, poor lady, she is in love with Daniel Day Lewis, and she cant get over being second place.  However, let's talk a little about her dance/song number.  Hello...I am thinking about making Penelope MY mistress.  She is HOT, SEXY, FLEXIBLE, DARING. 

Dame Judi Dench- I really feel you must begin her name with Dame, as she is one.  She has become Daniel Day Lewis's confidant, and almost a motherly figure.  He ofter crawls into the fetal position when he is having a rough spell in order to gain her full attention.  She doesn't pressure him like everyone else for a script of the new show, and does this FANTASTIC number on Folies Bergere, just an homage to the folies of the past, in beautiful show girl costumes.  We also are introduced to Guido (Daniel Day-Lewis) as a young child. 

Whenever Guido is lost, doesn't know where to turn, is sinking further into himself, he sees his mother.  The lovely, always elegant, Sophia Loren.  The perfect portrayal of Ms. Loren is at the end, during credits, they show all the ladies practicing and dancing.  They all are in thier sweats, yoga pants, etc...except Ms. Loren, who is still in her pearls, of course.

Kate Hudson and Fergie also do stand out numbers, Katie in her go -go boots, american journalist number.  Fergie in her straight up and tough advice to young Guido and his childhood friends to "Be Italian", playing into the whole "Italian Stallion" stereotype.

I would highly recommend this movie.  It will make you leave wanting to take dancing and Italian lessons.  It serves as a good reminder of why Italians (men and women) are so damn sexy.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

wax on, wax off

So, T- 4 days until Aruba...and I had some "cleaning" to do, so I made an appointment at my favorite salon "Spacio" for 9am this morning....whew,  what a wake up call.

#1- It's FREEZING outside.  I'm talking - windchill, 5 degrees regular....too cold for this old girl. 
#2- well, the whole, procedure itself was a bit awakening! I've had it done several times before, but it's been a while...and well, it's winter...so my razers tend to take a backseat until someone actually sees my legs, etc.

So, Spacio...it's a great all service spa and salon.  One day I will go in there for one of their variety of other treatments.  It's a gorgeous building and everyone I have ever encountered there has been fabulous.  You go in and sit in the "women's lounge" where they have my favorite infused water and granola bars.  Nice relaxing music so you forget why you are there and just start to enjoy it.  My girl  then arrived and took me back to my room.  I love when you go to salons and the rooms are warm.  We had massages in California at our B&B and the room was cold.  You cant relax when the room is cold, and I never got warmed up.  This room temperature was perfect, and Margaret, (my girl) was perfectly chatty.  When someone is spreading hot wax around your hoohaa, i personally want them to talk to me, so my attention is at answering questions, talking about my trip, my newly found sparkly thing on my finger, etc. 

The first rip is the worst...that's what I always think...and then they get the more sensitive areas...whoohoo!  But there is nothing like walking out fresh and cleaning and knowing you are now bathing suit ready.  I don't have to worry about shaving that lovely area while in Aruba.

So thank you Margaret for my new look!

Friday, January 1, 2010

"Ring"ing in the new year

New Years Eve...hasn't always been my favorite holiday.  I mean, it's fun and all, but growing up and through college I never really had a boyfriend, so it was pretty much just me kissing the air on new years...wishing and hoping that my knight would come save me at some point in my life.  Enter 2004. The scene- Applebee's in Auburn, Maine.  I met him...and you know what...I knew it then.  I could feel it in my heart that I had met someone special...even if two of his good friends went to Southern Illinois (Creighton's rival).

Many of you know Scott, you know our story, I dont have to share it with you. 

Fast forward 6 years -note- we were not dating for 6 years....just 3.

Last night, we decided to stay in.  It was nice.  The last few years have been either bouncing from party to party or celebrating weddings (Happy Anniversary Dobbers).  So, this year, I decided against driving to weather-plagued Omaha, and stayed in Chicago.

It was great.  We ate pizza rolls, and tatertots with cheese.  We had champaign chilled and popped the bottle at 11pm to say Happy New Year to our East Coast Friends.  Then around 11:30 Scott starts acting WIERD.  He is getting up and sitting down, pacing back and forth in the apartment.  I finally said something like , "sit down, you are driving me crazy".  So, instead of sitting down, he got down on one knee, and asked the question that I wasnt really planning on for another week.    And then he pulled this beautiful ring out from under the couch.

I, of course, said yes...and then we kissed, poured some champaign and rang in 2010!

What I love is that we were doing what we usually do...sitting in our pajama's, relaxing, sipping on some wine...just enjoying being with eachother.  It was truly perfect and magical!

Cheers to everyone!  Happy 2010!