October 30, 2010

6 Years Ago

Six years ago today, I moved to Chicago.

Six years! Where does the time go?

Here are pictures of my place when I went up with mom a couple of weeks before the move to sign the lease & get the keys.

Living Room

View from living room

Dining Room

Entry Hallway



Wow, my apartment looks really small in these pictures. And really clean!

I came across pictures of the actual moving day, and they crack me up...
We all look so different now.
Everyone looks exhausted.
Much of the stuff in these photos I no longer own.
And looking at the chaos nearly gives me a panic attack.

Let's reminisce about that day for a moment...

When I rented the moving truck, I chose its size based on the website's recommendation of the size of my apartment. Apparently, I can fit a TON of stuff in a small space. Because that moving truck fit only about half of all my stuff! Thankfully, we had my parent's SUV & my car, which were filled to the brim. The look on my dad's face when he saw how much I was trying to fit into the truck was priceless! But thanks to my friend (and former boss) Jess, she used her spatial visualization skills to fit more into that truck than we ever would've been able to.

The drive to Chicago was pretty uneventful, except for the wind storm we were having that day. The temperature was unseasonably warm, but that wind made driving on open highways a little scary at times.

Wind during October means flying leaves. I was still finding those leaves in my things weeks after I moved in.

I wasn't part of the unloading crew, but I heard that fitting (er, cramming) my couches into the elevator was quite fun!

My sweet sister stayed with me my first night in the big city.

And I haven't moved since then.

I sometimes have a love/hate relationship with my building, but I love my neighborhood. It's a historic neighborhood with gorgeous, old houses & quiet streets.

The church a few blocks away rings its bells 2 times a day, playing familiar old hymns.

I am just a few blocks away from Lake Michigan.

And even though it's further away from downtown than I originally wanted, I now wouldn't want it any other way. It's far enough to be away from the busyness of downtown, yet close enough to be there in a few minutes.

Happy 6 Year Anniversary to me!

October 24, 2010


Summer is definitely behind us. I know this because I'm now complaining of being cold when I'm at home.

I hate winter for many reasons, but the fact that my apartment is never comfortably warm during the cold months is a big factor in this hatred.

I live in an old building. And I'm pretty sure the windows haven't been replaced in several decades. So cold air leaks in. And since the management company has shown no interest in upgrading much of anything, these windows are not going to get replaced any time soon. The leaking is so bad that when it's really windy out, my curtains actually move with the "breeze". I do cover the windows with plastic each winter, which helps some, but not completely.

And since I'm now working from home, my complaining may just get worse...unfortunately, my desk & work space is right next to the largest windows in my place.

So, I've decided to make some changes. I have ordered curtains that block out drafts. These tend to be pretty expensive (about $40/panel). But I found a huge deal and got them for $10! Hopefully they live up to their word.

Bed Bath & Beyond

I also bought some fingerless gloves to wear when at home.


If nothing else, they're really cute!


When you live in 550 square feet, you have to very organized. And I am an organizing freak...anyone who knows me well can attest to this.

And I can be pretty handy when I need to be.

I turned this

into this

I even have my very own set of tools!

So with this shelving unit, I now have a place to neatly store all my paper.

There, doesn't it look better, now?


One of the photographs in my Etsy shop was recently featured in a blog. How cool is that?



I just received my new business cards. Aren't they adorable?

And I'm going to turn some of them into fun bookmarks.

You want one, don't you? I will be including them in every package I mail out to my customers. So make a purchase & you'll get one of your own!


I will be adding some new Thanksgiving items to my shop soon.

Here's a sneak preview

Speaking of Thanksgiving, are you looking for a unique Thanksgiving card to send out? I recently added a photograph, which can easily be turned into note cards.

They're $25 for 10. Email me if you would like to place an order.


I just finished a custom order for baby shower favors. I'm so tickled with how they turned out!


It's supposed to be really windy over the next couple of days. I guess the days of admiring the gorgeous trees will soon be gone.


Ok, that's enough hodgepodge for one day. If you're still reading this, thanks for sticking with me!

Enjoy your day!

October 19, 2010


It's Pumpkin Season!

October 14, 2010

Random Thoughts

1. A sign of the season: today was the last Farmers Market until next May (*sniff*)

2. Why does Anthropolgie have to be so darn expensive?

3. I can't wait for Christmas music

4. Watching the rescue of the Chilean miners was amazing

5. I heart Groupon

6. I currently have an obsession with photographing the autumn trees

7. I love that it's trendy right now for us girls to wear flowers or any embellishment on our clothes or in our hair

8. There's an Amish bakery in downtown Chicago (a bit ironic, I know) & I've fallen in love with their cinnamon donut holes. Oh my heavens, they're amazing!

9. I have finally (and reluctantly) put away my summer clothes...pretty sure the days of 80 degrees are behind us

10. Trying a new restaurant can sometimes be risky, but when it turns out to be delicious & cheap - BINGO!

October 11, 2010

Indian Summer Weekend

{Warning: there will be a ton of pictures of nothing but trees in this post. If you get bored, don't say I didn't warn you.}


This past weekend, I spent a splendid Saturday enjoying the amazing Indian summer we're having.

I drove from Chicago to the Indiana Dunes to I meet up with my sister & my cousin to enjoy the day walking the trails.

One of the things I miss now that I live in big city is driving on back roads where the trees make a canopy over you.

(Yes, I took these while driving. But look at those colors!)

Once we got to the park, we decided to walk on trail #10, which was the longest at 5.5 miles, but a moderate one that took us around the entire park. We were up for the challenge. Plus, it sounded much better than trail #8, which took you up & down three dunes. We weren't up for that big of a challenge!

So off we went, enjoying the scenery & chit-chatting away.

A little off the path, we found a look-out. Here's the view at the top.

Back on the trail (and eating Pretzel M&Ms)

After a long while, we were ready for a change of scenery. I mean, the woods was lovely & all, but it all starts looking the same after a while.

We soon rounded a "corner" & came upon this...

...the beach!

Those are faces of happiness because we now have a place to eat our lunch! Can you see how hot & sweaty we were? 80 degrees in October is crazy!

Those don't look like beach pictures taken in October, do they? Who knew it could get so warm this far into autumn (or sunburned!).

Trail #10 continues down the beach for quite a while (about 2 miles). We walked it for a while, but we were getting hot & really wanted the shade of the trees again. So we jumped back into the woods & found Trail #9.

Because I forgot the trail map in the car, we had no clue how far we were from the Nature Center (where our car was). We found someone who did have a map & figured out where we were.

Onward we went!

We finally came out onto a parking lot & started rejoicing...we were ready to be done with this walk!

But it was a false alarm. It wasn't our parking lot. So we followed the signs to the Nature Center & ended up walking another small trek.

With sore feet, shoes filled with sand & full bladders, there was no sweeter sight than that building! (I know, we're kinda of pathetic, aren't we?)

After dumping all the sand from our shoes & trying to freshen up, we jumped in the card & headed to New Buffalo, MI to meet my parents, brother, aunt & uncle.

Dinner at Stray Dog

After dinner, we walked out to the water front to enjoy the last moments of the gorgeous day.

And a perfect sunset on a perfect day