31 May 2013

This Weekend

- Mom dinner at Nightwood with Andrew and Ben
- Do Division Fest
- Working the Annual Corporate Partner Day at AIC
- Watching Arrested Development Season 4
- Laundry
- Install my air conditioner window unit
- Dinner at Lula with friends
- Walk around outside
- Practice my bicycle

23 May 2013

Spring Risotto

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When I first moved out of my parent's house, I ate a lot of grilled cheese, BLTs, and mac n' cheese because they were not only major comfort foods, but they were also cheap and easy. For obvious reasons, those three dishes aren't exactly part of a balanced diet (though they are delicious). After getting into a routine at my "big girl apartment" I quickly began bookmarking recipes I wanted to try, and in the past year, I've created a binder (roll your eyes, yes) full of my favorite dishes and staples of my diet. One of my favorite dishes is risotto, also known as "grown up mac n' cheese." After fishing around for a good risotto recipe, I landed upon Wolfgang Puck's Vegetable Risotto (pictured above) which I have made countless times in several variations. 

I've tinkered with the recipe a bit to meet my needs, but honestly, it's really straightforward and always delicious. I whipped up a batch on Sunday in anticipation of Andrew's return from a man-camping trip in the UP. Spoiler alert: the way to a man's heart is a big bowl of risotto + a bottle of chilled white wine + a cheese platter for snacking + seeing Iron Man 3 at the Davis. 

Bonus: Using homemade chicken broth makes everything taste so much better!

22 May 2013

Gone Fishin': NYC 5/23-5/26


Hi lovelies,

Andrew and I will be in NYC from Thursday, May 23 - Sunday, May 26. Things will be quiet around the blog, but please know I am having an amazing time and will return with stories and photos! Our roster mainly revolves around all of the delicious foods and street pizza we will be eating (duh), but we do plan on the following things:

-MOMA / Rain Room
-The Met / Punk: Chaos to Couture
-Finally seeing the Highline
-Strand Bookstore
-Uniqlo
-A live performance of some sort (comedy/music)
-One major tourist attraction (I see you Empire State Building)
-Brooklyn Flea Market
-NYC FRIENDS!!

Have a wonderful weekend!!!

Green Thumbs Up

As declared in my 2013 Goals, one of the things I've been aching to try is growing my own food. I have a little deck space behind my studio, that gets a glorious amount of southwestern light in the afternoons. While I'd previously envisioned buying a plot in a community garden, I thought it best that I start small this year - by planting and owning my very first herb garden. I know it's not the haul of plump heirloom tomatoes I had initially planned on, but if I can properly consume and enjoy something I nurtured from my own garden, it counts as growing my own food.

Two weekends ago, I bought my first batch of herbs, planters, and soil from Home Depot and with Andrew's help I was able to install my first planter. The week quickly got away from me, and in a moment of "git-r-done" fidgeting over my project, I decided it best that I (wo)man up to using my power tools and install the second planter myself. Y'all have no idea how good it felt to roll up my metaphorical sleeves, feel the weight of that drill in my hand, and know that I was doing it for myself, by myself. All in all, I think things came along quite nicely!!

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From Left to Right: Chives, Oregano, Parsley, Basil
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From Left to Right: Basil, Dill, Thyme
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Mint for Mojitos

20 May 2013

Veritas

My alma mater's motto was simply the word - Veritas - or truth. We hinged ourselves on the pursuit of truth and on living our lives both academic and personal on the basis of honesty. The last week has proven a lot of truths for me, it shook me to the core, then released me into the world feeling determined, new, refreshed, and ready.

In short, a close friend, colleague, and mentor passed away suddenly on Tuesday. I won't go into detail, but I want to be clear that it was a beautiful life ended too soon. She was and is an amazing, strong, intelligent, understanding, inspiration - an important figure and role model to me, and she will never be replaced.

While the news was sudden and extremely difficult to bear, I took the last week as an opportunity for reflection and evaluation. I've realized a lot of things about myself, professionally and personally, especially with regard to my goals and my future. While I do enjoy the idea of myself being the kind of woman I currently am (re: strong, skilled, witty, independent, smart, hard working, etc.), I know I have so much work ahead of me. I've decided it's time I get my ducks in a row, and face some truths regarding myself and the life I want to live.

The veritas of it all is that it's time for me to be my own mover and shaker. That there are imminent truths that will always be with us: we all live, and we all die. But how we live our lives is what is of the utmost importance. I want to live my life in the best possible way, be the best possible me. I want to stop taking everything for granted. I want to acknowledge how lucky I have been thus far, and be thankful for everyday I have here.

This past week I realized the following truths:

1) I am capable of using power tools.
2) I am capable of planting a garden.
3) I am capable of having an adult conversation with my parents.
4) I am capable of asking for help when I need it.
5) Being outside in the sun has incredible healing powers.
6) Tell people how you feel about them when you feel it, you may not have another chance.
7) Most things are not worth being angry about. Resolve conflict in an appropriate and timely manner.
8) I have very little complaints.
9) I need to take the GRE, and am actively working on it.
10) I need to go back to school, for me.

17 May 2013

This Weekend

- Dinner at MK with Mom (ie drooling over Richard Serra paintings)
- Cleaning my apartment
- Eye doctor
- LEXIE!
- Lunch?
- More Mom hangs
- Brunch?
- Ravenswood Garage Sale
- Finish planting my garden
- Put together NYC itinerary for next week (!!!)

14 May 2013

Broke Book Club

A month ago, a friend of mine and I went on a long overdue date to Boiler Room for pizza, beers, and shots of whiskey. Well into our second glass and second slice, we got to talking about  books we're reading, books we want to read, and books in general. I mentioned that I had joined a neighborhood book club at the Book Cellar, but that after my first meeting, I just didn't feel like it was my scene, and I have not returned.  Since moving to Chicago, I've been saying (repeatedly, in passing) that I should form a book club with some of my crew here - but the thought is often fleeting, and nothing has ever come of it. But Stephanie (my aformentioned friend) had just enough enthusiasm and excitement for the book club idea that we had a few working lunches and have offically formed what we have donned the Broke Book Club!

BBC will be a monthly gathering of Chicago friends. The name implies that we are going to be meeting on the fly, and on the cheap. We request and suggest that our members either read borrowed or used copies of the books we have picked so that we aren't actually paying for the books themselves. We're also going to be doing themed activities with the club; for example, should we read Julia Child's My Life in France, we'd like to organize a French themed potluck picnic for our book club meeting that month.

Our first book we've selected is Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. I'm already 60 pages in, and I can't put it down!


Reading my first book for a book club I initiated!!!

13 May 2013

Seinfeld S1E5: The Stock Tip

Y'all, this video is me admitting that this episode might have been a little bit boring... Season 1 didn't exactly go out with a bang, but that's not to say that I am not totally enjoying myself. In fact, I think I might even be starting to like this show. Not sure if I agree with what's happening 100% of the time - still salivating over how amazing Elaine Benes is, she's becoming my new life and style icon. Also, how does Jerry end up dating such pretty gals? I just don't get it? On to Season 2!

Plant Life

I recently heard that you aren't supposed to plant your summer crop until after Mother's Day, which is part of why I waited until yesterday to get my garden going - or dare I say, growing... After a delightful family brunch in Chinatown, Ben, Andrew, and I headed to our favorite spot for Depot Dogs and all things home & garden relate: Home Depot. We buzzed through the greenhouse picking up herbs, planters, and soil as well as some little succulents and cacti. I walked out with a quite a haul; two kinds of mint, basil, dill, and thyme, as well as some cute houseplants to spruce up my space. I've already installed half of my herbs in overhanging planters on my back deck, and I'm beginning to plot the many cocktails and salad dressings I will be sourcing from my deck garden! Another May goal has been realized!

Potting and repotting plants with @benguttman !!!

10 May 2013

When You Got Nothing, You Got Nothing to Lose

Friends,

The much anticipated Gatsby has hit theaters today, and I am elated. Yes, I am going to stare up at Leonardo DiCaprio's beautiful face and bask in the glory of it. In fact, I'm tempted to attend one of the midnight screenings of Romeo + Juliet at the Music Box either tonight or tomorrow.

And now for a confession: I'm such an LDC fan girl that I signed up for Greenpeace in college (with mom & dad's credit card...) to support Leo's environmentalist streak! Also, I keep a paperback biography of him in a very special place for light reading, my bathroom. Leo is through and through my all time favorite actor. To celebrate him and the magic he has created in my universe, I'd like to share with you a beautiful compilation of LDC .gifs. You're welcome.


This Weekend

- Losing my Soupbox V-card
- Gatsby (finally) tonight with Emma and Rose
- Lurie Garden Plant Sale in Millennium Park
- Reading more of my giant FLW biography
- Beginning Gone Girl for book club
- A BBQ
- Their / They're / There show at Beat Kitchen
- Brunch in Chinatown at my family's favorite restaurant
- Bicycle?
- Seinfeld, for real.

03 May 2013

This Weekend

- Top Shop after work
- Sushi
- Impromptu mini-road trip to Muskegon and Grand Rapids, MI
- Hot dogs at Yesterdog
- House party
- Meeting Andrew's dog, Sammy
- Family dinner at my Dad's

Cheers to the Freakin' Weekend

Well, we made it to another weekend. After being teased with two days of perfect spring weather, we've been catapulted back into why-am-I-still-wearing-my-winter-coat mode. Beyond the irritating teeth chattering weather, I am pretty stoked for the weekend! Here are some neat things to catapult us into my two favorite days of the week!

The Great Gatsby // Baz Luhrmann

Baz Luhrmann's much anticipated remake of The Great Gatsby hits theaters a week from today. I have been waiting for this since basically the first time I saw Romeo + Juliet at the tender age of 9 and decided that LDC and Baz Luhrmann are a match made in heaven. This film looks gorgeous, decadent, dark, and tactile - and with good reason, they have been pushing the release date back for over a year! Next Friday can't come quickly enough, amirite? NPR leaked the soundtrack for the film, and it is seriously amazing. Give it a whirl!

Modern Vampires of the City // Vampire Weekend

I have no shame over how much I LOVE VAMPIRE WEEKEND. Their next album, Modern Vampires of the City drops on Tuesday. I'm planning on running to the record store during my lunch break to pick up my copy. Also, as a big you're welcome to me, they will be playing on SNL on May 11 (hosted by the golden girl herself, Kristen Wiig). Can't wait to listen and laugh! They've already leaked two music videos!

Roasted Garlic Guacamole // Simply Scratch


Unf, how good does that look? With Cinco de Mayo upon us, all I want to do is eat carnitas, refried beans, chips, and guacamole. This roasted garlic guac recipe from Simply Scratch looks and sounds divine.

Chicago Farmers Markets, Welcome Back!

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Chicago Farmers markets are back in action beginning this weekend! Find one that works with your schedule here! And don't forget to shop for things as they are in season! I'm pretty stoked for asparagus, peas, and rhubarb!

01 May 2013

May Goals

I think the weather and the glorious amount of sunlight streaming into my apartment every morning has got me feeling excitingly motivated. I'm eating fresher more delicious foods, I'm packing more lunches, I'm buying less coffee, I'm trying to go to the gym more, I'm leaving my desk for lunch daily - heck I'm even trying to get into a yoga regimen (starting today).

In the spirit of new friends and a new month, I thought it'd be fun to try to create intentions and (reachable) goals at the start of each month. Here's what I have for the month of May.

1) Go to a yoga class once a week. 
I've been saying forever and ever that I would "get into yoga," and have not really made good on that promise. But in the fall of 2010, in a brief three-week period of funemployment, I went to yoga every single day. I remember feeling a sense of ease, a daily enjoyment of the hour I spent meditating, stretching, and focusing on my intentions, my breathing, my body, my self. Everything felt in sync. So to make things right, I went ahead and was fitted for contacts last week. Tonight I am going to my first yoga class of the month with, Moriah. Namaste.


2) Learn to ride a bicycle in the city.
It's warm out, I am tired of taking the 49 Western (ugh high school students), and the Wells Street bridge construction has got me banging my head against a wall at how outrageous my commute is. Everyone who's anyone (ie all of my friends) rides a bicycle, and swears that if you do it with caution and confidence, you won't die (can't say the same for getting doored). I've already been hit by a car as a mere pedestrian, and have terrible balance/ no center of gravity, but dear god what I wouldn't give to be on a bicycle on a beautiful day like today. This weekend I am taking a bike that was gifted to me out of storage, and by golly, I'm going to learn how to use it. Godspeed to me.

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3) Plant some things on my back porch.
I have a little back porch fire escape, and I love fresh herbs. Not to mention I get an insane amount of southwestern light AND I think watering cans are cute. I'm hoping to get some overhanging planters installed and have some herbs in after Mother's Day. Who's interested in watering my plants while I'm in NYC 5/23-5/26?


And for those of you who are interested, FLW biography page count: 58/564
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