29 June 2012

This Weekend

-Infusing farmer's market cherries with brandy
-Starting a new batch of lavender honeycomb tequila
-Reading the Art of Fielding
-Watching "Moneyball"
-Catching up on this week's New Yorker
-Go to the gym

28 June 2012

New Releases!!!!

You guys, I took myself on a very indulgent mental-health date to see Safety Not Guaranteed earlier this week - and something rare happened! I watched the trailers and realized that I want to see every single movie that was being marketed to me!! I know right, these previews were seriously tailored for the right audience. A new Woody Allen movie, a new movie starring Paul Dano, a film adaptation of Perks of Being a Wallflower featuring Paul Rudd, AND a movie about the a fake film crew smuggling American hostages out of Iran in the 1970's - I seriously can't wait!! Check out the trailers below, and let me know if you're excited too / want to go on a movie date with me!

 To Rome with Love - now playing at Century Evanston

Argo - comes to theaters October 10, 2012

Ruby Sparks - comes to theaters July 25th (limited engagement) 

Perks of Being a Wallflower - comes to theaters September 21, 2012

27 June 2012

Ma Vie en Instagram

Longest day of the year photo (1) Returning yet another book to one of the most treasured resources! photo (2) This is how I start my day Untitled photo

1)North view of the Skyline on summer solstice // 2) Mexican hot chocolate and blueberry french toast gelato from Black Dog // 3) Finished "All of My Friends Are Going to be Strangers" // 4) Arby's with my bro Rob // 5) My new favorite breakfast, and currently reading // 6) South view from the river // 7) My new fave jams

26 June 2012

The Art of the Ask

Working in the non-for-profit-sector is fascinating and hard work. For the last two years, I've been riding the non-profit rollercoaster, so to speak, navigating my way through the interesting world of fundraising at one of Chicago's most treasured cultural institutions. End of fiscal year for many non-profits, including my own, is June 30, and naturally the buzz words for the week are "make goal"! With monetary goals in mind, I thought it might be fun to share some of my favorite local non-profits that I gladly support and urge you to as well. Remember kiddos, every gift counts, no matter the size!!

1) The Art Institute of Chicago - support
The Art Institute of Chicago via source

For obvious reasons, I have to make a fundraising plug for AIC. Not only do I work in fundraising here, but I understand just how crucial funds really are when we get down to the wire. If you haven't given, consider it! Every dollar matters to us!

2) WBEZ / NPR - support
This American Life via source

I listen to WBEZ every morning to hear the weather, the latest news, and to feel connected to the outside world before I leave my house. I have been tuning in to This American Life just about every Saturday since I can remember, and I know that producing high quality, well-researched, thoughtful content is incredibly costly. I am a proud member and supporter of WBEZ, now you should be too!

3) 826 Chicago - support
826 Chicago / The Boring Store via source

826 is a program founded by Chicago-native and author Dave Eggers, for the explicit purpose of encouraging reading and creative writing among the young students it supports. Not only do volunteers work amazing after school and tutoring programs with inner-city children from all over Chicago, but some of the students' writing is actually published!! A worthwhile cause with an awesome mission - how could you not love a place like this?

4) The Farnsworth House - support
The Farnsworth House via source 

Located about an hour outside of the city, in Plano, Illinois, this magical steel-frame house is a true gem of modern architecture. Mies van der Rohe conceptualized this one room weekend escape in 1949, and here it still stands, nestled into the wilderness of rural Illinois. But this house is at risk! Not only is it incredibly expensive and difficult to maintain, it sits along the Fox river, a river whose water level is rising! The house suffered a terrible flood in 2008, and is still in need of funds to be properly restored. Wouldn't it be a shame to see something so beautiful and marvelous fall into disrepair?

5) Preservation Chicago - support
Prentice Women's Hospital via source

Speaking of preserving historic architecture... Preservation Chicago is a non-profit created for just that purpose. Currently, one of the landmarks they are advocating for is Bertrand Goldberg's Prentice Women's Hospital, a cause near and dear to my heart since it's where I was born!! Check out some other buildings they are fighting to preserve!

6) Chicago Public Schools - support 
CPS students with President Barack Obama via source

As a product of the Chicago Public School system, the relative of a Chicago Public School teacher, and someone who follows local news - it's pretty obvious to me that adequate education is a primary need in this city. To give the right kind of education while supporting our teachers and schools takes funding. With an impending teacher's strike in the works for this coming August, all I can say is give, give give.

7) Chicago Public Library Foundation - support
Chicago Public Library's Blackstone Branch via source

Two words: FREE BOOKS! 'nuff said.

8) WTTW - support
WTTW via source

As a self-proclaimed fan girl of Downton Abbey and someone with a very limited cable package, I'm going to go out on a limb and say that even if I did have premium cable, I would still turn my eyes to WTTW for it's clean cut, engaging, superior, and consistent programming. WTTW, you are a gem of Chicago! Also... Chic-A-Go-Go.

9) Lincoln Park Zoo - support
Lincoln Park Zoo via source 

Lincoln Park Zoo is one of the oldest zoos, open to the public most days of the year, at the low cost of NOTHING. That's right, going to an amazing zoo, with gorgeous landscaping, enriching educational programming, and thoughtful early 20th century architectural design, is completely free. But it can only remain a free resource if everyone pitches in, am I right?

10) Chicago Park District - support
Grant Park, Chicago via source 

Chicago is known for its incredible amount of green space. I grew up playing in our parks, and to this day, I spend a lot of time in Millennium and Grant Park escaping the chaos of the city. Our parks are kept in incredible condition, with beautiful lush landscaping, and programming offered for members of many neighborhoods of the city. But to keep the city this green and this gorgeous takes hard work and plenty of funds. Give, get outside, and enjoy!

22 June 2012

My Sister And Flowers

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Letter to the Art Institute

Check out this hilarious letter exchange with my museum!! I'm sure the staff who received this much have had a good laugh, I know I did. Also, let's hope that all of our Picassos are safe and sound :)! HAPPY FRIDAY!
Letters via Art on Track

21 June 2012

This Weekend

-Have my MacBook fixed at the Apple Store
-Learn how to cook farro
-Eat lots of asparagus
-Finish "All of My Friends Are Going to Be Strangers"
-Cook breakfast with Spencer
-Logan Square Farmer's Market
-Gay Pride Parade

19 June 2012

I'm Really Grateful for the Farmer's Market & Flowers

The last few weeks have been nothing short of chaotic. A lot of changes have been coming my way, some unsettling, others I am happy about. But being the kind of gal who stubbornly drags her heels through changes big and small, it helps that there are some things I can always rely on to give me a sense of composure and stability. One of the things I know I can always count on, is that the flowers at the farmer's market - right when it opens - will always be beautiful, and will always brighten my day.
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The photographs above were taken with my film (!) camera outside of Daley Plaza last month. If I could climb into that bucket with those flowers, I would.

11 June 2012

New Yorker Covers

Sometimes, the cover of the New Yorker completely sums up exactly how I'm feeling about the state of the world. It's funny how perfect an issue's cover can be regarding current events, life changes, world affairs, all with wit, humor, class, and incredible artistry. I grew up loving the cover of the New Yorker more than I loved the content, as a kid I just assumed it was too highfalutin for me. The bathroom of my grandparents' home in California was decoupaged from floor to ceiling in three years worth of covers from the early 1970's, and I recall my time spent well in that tiny space taking in the covers. It's an unspoken truth that when I have a home of my own someday, I fully intend on covering an entire wall in my favorite covers.

When it comes to expressing important facts and moments in my life, I can't help but recall the cover that published the week I graduated from Knox College in 2010. The image, titled Boomerang Generation by Daniel Clowes, depicts a PhD. moving back in with his parents - a reality I understood but didn't quite grasp until I lived with my parents for over a year after graduating. 

We were only two years into the recession, and already Clowes was showing the truth that a lot of us recent grads were facing. We earn degrees, we are sent out into the world, we are expected to be successful, and move out of are parents' homes, but jobs are few and far between. Repaying student loans is real and scary - not to mention incredibly relevant given the talk of raising the interest rate. Fast forward two years later, to a recent cover of the New Yorker.

Here we have the illustration titled Adrift by Mark Ulriksen. Graduates float without direction on ice islands, their future unknown but pressing given that the ice they float on will surely melt. This work wraps into it the recent graduate's ongoing fear of the future and possesses a sincere lack of direction. Images of rapidly melting glaciers come out of the impending doom of the threat of global climate change. This particular illustration works in such a way to describe the anxiety of what it is to enter the world in such a strange and unstable time.

We students were told that we needed to go to college. That having a degree distinguishes us, and makes us more eligible candidates for careers. I began school in 2006, and in 2008 everything changed. In 2010, I graduated into a recession. I was an intern, I was briefly unemployed, and then I was a temp working 35 hours a week without benefits or the promise of ever being hired. I came into work everyday wondering if I was going to be let go. I continued to live in my parent's house because I wasn't sure if I would ever have a full-time job. I came into work day after day not knowing my purpose or my value. And though I am incredibly grateful to have been hired, I am still incredibly unsure of myself.

Living for a year and a half with the mentality that any day I could be fired has had an incredibly damaging effect on me. I still possess a great level of anxiety over my own job security. Often times, I wake up anxious about my job. I still periodically find myself looking for other jobs because I am not even sure if I've dreamed this up, if I've really been hired. And then there's the never-ending question of if I am being utilized in a way that speaks to my potential. Am I using my brain? Is my job creative, or even fulfilling?

I'm not angry at what happened with the economy - at least not angry enough to go out and protest. But I am careful with my money. I am aware that I have to work hard. I am accepting of the fact that I will be paying off a student loan for the next ten years, and that I probably will not go back to school unless I can justify taking out another loan for it. I also know that it will be a very long time before I own a house. That I will be living in apartments that don't suit my taste for sometime, because my pay check won't allow it. I'm not mad, I'm accepting that this is the world that I unfortunately graduated into. I am cautious, I am wary of new investments, and I am terrified of what is going to happen to future graduates. But the world keeps turning, and this is what I have to work with. So I will continue to read into every cover of the New Yorker, save my favorite ones, with the dream that one day, I will own a home with walls papered with my favorite covers from my favorite publication.

08 June 2012


I'm so happy that covering songs is officially a thing. We haven't had a good pop-culture moment like this since the 'Dance Forever' wedding dance IMHO, so naturally I'm loving all of the celebs jumping on board with this. Seriously, I am convinced that sensations like this are what social media was invented for. We are so lucky to live in a strange place where things like this are possible, amirite? So, to gear up for the weekend, I leave you with the latest rash of mash-ups and covers.

Jimmy Fallon & The Roots

President Barack Obama

Katy Perry & Friends

The Miami Dolphins Cheerleaders

Even NPR did a cover!


This Weekend

-Shopping for a wedding present
-Laundry & packing
-Celebrate an early Father's Day
-Go to the gym
-Logan Square farmer's market
-Watch the Muppets movie

07 June 2012

One Time My Boyfriend Met Ray Bradbury

The following photograph just appeared in my inbox. It's unbelievably precious. When Spencer told me he met Ray Bradbury, I filed that information away in a part of my brain reserved for things of pure disbelief. But here were are, proof of the event. And I am having trouble containing my jealousy and pride. In light of Ray's death, and in memoriam, I share with you, said charming photograph!

RIP Ray Bradbury!

01 June 2012

This Weekend

-Strain and drink lavender honeycomb tequila
-Go to the gym
-Finish the New Yorker piece on Cuban guerrillas
-Moonrise Kingdom with Adam
-Logan Square Farmers Market
-Big Star Taco with Carly and Jenny