31 January 2013

Clawed Meownet At New Wave Coffee

Ya'll I am so proud to announce that my dear friend Emma Marie is debuting a collection of her work at New Wave Coffee this coming Monday, February 5. Please come check out her beautiful pet portraits, and feel free to support the arts. She's worked incredibly hard on this series, and I am expressing an absurd amount of mom-friend-pride for her. You should too!

New Wave Coffee is located at the intersection of Milwaukee and Logan.
Emma's work can be found under the moniker Clawed Meownet. 

18 January 2013

This Weekend

- ArtWork6 Exhibition Opening
- Go to the gym for the first time in forever
- Laundry
- A 25th birthday party!
- Try another one of Chicago's 50 Best Sandwiches
- Finish duplicating my keys
- Hang another few pieces of art
- Explore Lincoln Square!!


My friend Ben and I were volunteer coordinators for an exhibition of work created by S/AIC faculty & staff. The show is opening tonight with performances happening throughout the evening. If you happen to be in the Loop between 5:30 and 7:30 pm, please stop by and say hello!

Check it out: ArtWork6 is listed as a weekend to-do in Time Out Chicago!!!

11 January 2013

This Weekend

- Volunteering for the ArtWork6 Exhibition
- Unpacking my final batch of boxes
- Try one coffee shop in my neighborhood
- Edit photos
- "Zero Dark Thirty"
- Hang at least three pieces of framed art in my apartment
- GIRLS Season Two!!
- Dinner with dad
- Write to my two pen pals

2K13 Goals

My last post was moody & thoughtful, but now it's time for some real talk. Every January (and September, Jewish new year, I see you) I take the time to reevaluate and often over-challenge myself with my laundry list of things I plan to accomplish in the year to come. And every January (and September) that list is usually full of these lofty and somewhat arbitrary goals that I almost never accomplish in full, if at all. This past summer, I spent time relishing in the beauty of self-help books, something I never thought I would read, let alone enjoy enough to influence my life choices and I wound up making so decisions that have had an ongoing positive impact on my life over the last few months, enough for me to want to carry them into my new year.

So rather than put "take the GRE" on my list for the third year in a row, I've decided to just put things I know will enhance my life making me a happier person. I don't really feel like any of these needs much explaining, but I am happy to say this list feels pretty darn good to me.

- Make my bed every single day
- Floss
- Finish reading "Frank Lloyd Wright: A Biography"
- Learn to pitch a tent
- Learn to start a fire
- Camp
- Learn to grill
- Learn to grow my own food
- Learn to properly cook eggplant
- Explore my new-ish neighborhood
- Take a class at SAIC
- Back-up my computer regularly
- Do more for myself
- Reference "Titanic", Katy Perry, and blink-182 less in conversation*
- Keep a journal
- Watch all of "Seinfeld"
- Volunteer
- Learn to ride a bicycle in Chicago
- Be the best possible pen pal

*this is for real.

06 January 2013

2012: A Reflection

terzo piano portrait

Reflecting on the goals and resolutions I set for myself in 2012, I realized in retrospect that maybe, just maybe I put one too many things I wanted to achieve on my to-do list, and only accomplished a small handful of things. That said, I will be the first to admit that 2012 was one of the most trying and difficult years of my entire life. From heartache and an eventual breakup, to a death in the family, divorce, and every single person in my family moving to a new home in a short period of time, it was incredibly difficult for me to settle in and slow down enough to reflect on the crazy that was the last twelve months.

I think one thing I can say is that toward the end of 2012, I grabbed the bull by the balls (the bull being my life) and made a lot of important decisions that resulted in me becoming a much happier and healthier person. Choosing to end my relationship with Spencer, though incredibly difficult, was something that just needed to happen. I had not been happy for a long time, and learning to make a decision that would result in both of us moving forward with our lives is something that I do not regret. Subsequently, my swift decision to move out of my former apartment and live alone was probably the best decision I made all year. I knew I needed to leave. I knew I wanted to experience solitude, quiet, and the challenge of taking care of myself. I wanted to have to set up all of my utilities. I wanted to unpack my things. I wanted to befriend my landlord, and deal with getting my stove fixed. I wanted to deal with movers and furniture deliveries. I wanted to be alone, and know that I am fully capable of caring for myself.

While I might not have cooked my way through a cookbook, gotten into a yoga routine, eaten out less, or taken up painting again - I will say that the things I achieved in the last year have been immeasurable and life-altering. I feel like I spent much of 2012 sleepwalking, in a phantasmagoric state, unaware of myself and my daily discontent with the world around me. Taking the time for me, taking the time to reevaluate what it is that I want out of this life, and what it is that will make me happy - that was the most important achievement of this year. I wake up every day with a profound sense of joy and excitement to get out of bed, and I have to say, it feels exquisite. My appetite for the experiences yet unknown is insatiable.

So to 2012, I raise my glass, I thank you for the challenge, and I move on.

04 January 2013

PQM: my favorite restaurant of 2012 (a guest post from Moriah)

Hi everybody. My name is Moriah. I am Sandy's friend. I used to have a blog that I posted all kinds of things on but I recently decided to tone down my internet persona for professional reasons. This left a bit of a void in my life though, to be honest. I really missed sharing my two cents with a (debatably) interested audience. Sandy was sweet enough to suggest that I do some guest blogging here on her site. How exciting! Today, as we begin 2013, I bring you my favorite restaurant of 2012.

Publican Quality Meats (PQM) opened in early 2012. Since then I have gone approximately once a week and sometimes as many as 2-3 times per week. I have done business lunches there, hosted an official work buy-out dinner, and had countless lunches with my dear friend Lizzie.

Here I am with Lizzie having lunch. She was having the Gyro, I was enjoying the roast beef. The food at PQM is fantastic: it's not overly done-up (one of my pet peeves that I recently remembered while dining at Little Goat), it's affordable ($10 sandwiches), and in addition the staff is super friendly. 

Here I am waiting for lunch over the summer. I had had a horrible couple of days because some ding-bat had broken up with me after we only dated for like 3 weeks. PQM was the perfect thing to lift my spirits. Sometimes you might be a little bit daunted by the gaggle of people who want to dine, you might worry that the wait will be too long. I wouldn't worry about that though--the turn around is quite fast and you can nosh on tasty things from the deli counter while you wait. 

On Tuesday nights during the summer PQM has Burger night. They have two different burgers and a bourbon special too. Since my 25th birthday fell on a Tuesday, it was perfect for a night out with Lizzie and Iz. 

Here is a beautiful charcuterie plate that our friend Chavie sent out to us while we were having lunch one day. And that brings me to the point I really want to make about PQM. Was it the best meal I had all year? No way--not in a long shot. PQM is my favorite restaurant of 2012 because I feel at home there. The staff have become my friends and it never feels like just going somewhere for lunch. It's personal you guys. Lizzie and I made friends with Chavie just from going in there so much. I recently saw Chavie out in Portland where he is now working at Olympic Provisions. I was able to tour the facility and make connections with the people there that are going to last for years. All because I met him at my beloved PQM.

This year for my Christmas gifts I made tiny charcuterie board ornaments to give to my friends and family. You had better believe that one of them went to my friends over at PQM. 

Thanks for letting me share my two cents here, Sandy!