Sep 21, 2011

Fun times...

I've been super swamped with work, school, and my husband's approaching deployment, so I feel like I've had no time to blog, vlog, or really do much of anything.

I blogged about striving to have some sort of social life and making time for friends a priority, and my girlfriend spotted us in this video for the DJ Mick Boogie event that we went to Labor Day weekend. Catch a glimpse of me at the 00:27 mark and my girlfriend @ladylalacpa at the 00:36 mark. Good times.

An actual blog post is in the works lol... but this is just my friendly way of saying hello and thanks for staying subscribed :)

Sep 14, 2011

My Weekend / Adventures on the Metra

Friday night I was in bed by 815p which was hilarious because I officially felt like an old woman, but the sleep was SO good. Like, it totally hit the spot and was just what I needed. Saturday was another low key day that saw me lounging around the house with my in-laws and taking 3 of the 5 family pets to the vet. About that - - can I just say that I noticed a HUGE difference between lugging 2 cats to the vet versus taking 3. Lucky for me my brother-in-law was able to come with me because I needed the extra hands. While we were in the waiting room (nearly a 2 hr wait... crazy!), I was my usual motor mouth self and talked to everyone that was there. I always enjoy the random conversations you can have with strangers. I actually liked one of the girls a lot and thought "hmmm... we could be friends" lol.

Sigapura Kitten
Sidebar: She had a $1700 cat! Wanna know what that looks like? It's a Singapura --->

Insanely cute, big eyes, and super small... but $1700!! She said it as the only breed her husband wanted. I laughed. My husband would take a $1700 TV over a pet, but whatever keeps your spouse happy.

Although I've been determined to get out of the house on weekends and maintain some sort of social life (despite feeling like I have no free time during the week and would love to sleep in)... I realize life is short, and if you wait for your schedule to magically clear up it probably won't. I've been trying to make time for friends, even if it's just 1 day out of 7... so Sunday I got together with my favorite ladies @sexyandthechi @ladylalacpa @kcalana1 & @jayamed) and did some retail therapy downtown. I hadn't stepped foot inside an Urban Outfitters in over a year, so it was awesome to check the State St. location out. I was insanely jealous of the super cute tribal dress @ladylalacpa scored, but managed to find a few things I loved. Urban Outfitters is truly one of my favorite stores. Oh yeah, I also tried on a pair of Jeffrey Campbell shoes at Akira on Sate and let me just say, I totally get what all of the hype is about!! I loved them. They were a saucy pair of red platform wedges.

We topped off our afternoon of shopping with another appearance at Cafe Ba Ba Reeba!! It's official - - I can't get enough of this spot. The service this time 'round was just okay... but the food hit the spot once again. I have narrowed down the vast list of tapas to my favorites: Mushroom & Rice Croqueta, Fried Green Peppers & Coarse Salt (warn you that this doesn't come out "fried" but grilled... they're awesome), Roast Dates with Bacon & Apple Vinaigrette (these are bacon wrapped), and the Seared Scallops with Spinach, Raisins, & Pine Nuts Vieiras Salteadas. Yes... that's my list of must-haves. All yummy... All delicious. Once again we took advantage of their free Pintxos Platter for checking in via Four Square for the first time, but they also have another great deal. Monday - Sunday (4p - 6p) and Friday/Saturday (10p - Midnight) - - Take advantage of their special on Pintxos ($1) and Tapas ($3) at the bar!!  They also offer a Tapas style brunch Saturday and Sundays from 11a - 3p.

My metra life has been rather ho-hum as of late. The train is extremely reliable, the ride is always smooth and there's not a whole lot of ratchetness to report. The most interesting thing I saw this past weekend was a guy that partied a little too hard and passed out on the train. Of course this would be a common occurrence on the CTA (and it would probably be a bum), but for the Metra? This was a BIG deal lol --->

Otherwise, I'm a happy camper (or commuter) on the metra. I still find it crazy that I had so much anxiety about riding this lol... very funny.

How was your weekend?

Sep 9, 2011

Items From The Rubble: 9/11 Remembered

I came across this post on MSN this morning and was instantly touched. To think that all that could remain of someone is a slightly melted credit card or piece of jewelry... it really hits you how precious life is. I'm having a slightly emo type of day, but wanted to take the time out to share this link with everyone. The stories are amazing.

Sep 8, 2011

300 sq ft Apartment in Chicago's Lincoln Square

I'm always inspired by small spaces, and although this isn't a studio, Jay Michael's quaint 300 sq ft apartment in Chicago's Lincoln Square neighborhood struck a very realistic, affordable cord with me. It's not often people can find a cozy, budget-friendly space that has the desired upgrades, so I was excited to see this post on

Jay Michael's goal with this apartment community renovation was to show renters how "beautifully and efficiently one can live in a small, rented space." For any of my Chicago readers that are on the hunt for a place to call home, these units are located in the Rockwell Commons apartment community and start at $800/mo for small 1-bdrms like the one featured. However, they do also have larger 1, 2, and 3 bedroom apartments.

Name: Jay Michael
Location: Lincoln Square — Chicago, Illinois
Size: Approximately 300 square feet (this particular model)

Sep 7, 2011

Adventures on the CTA

I know it sounds outlandish that I would ever miss the CTA, but for some reason I did... that was until I rode the brown line and Halsted bus this weekend. Boy oh boy, the metra has spoiled me!

Seriously, riding the metra is like sitting in the lap of luxury for my commute each day. Of course the perks of the CTA are the frequency in which they run, the distance they span, and just their overall convenience. However, riding the brown line felt like being on a slightly ratchet roller coaster. I was kinda grossed out and didn't want to hold onto anything, but after a few  jerks I realized that my quads wouldn't keep me from face planting, so I had to hang on for dear life.

Once a seat finally opened up we were able to sit down... but I realized that I've been glamorizing the train. It's really lackluster and although it provides constant forms of comedy, I do prefer taking the metra... I just hate living so far out that I MUST take the metra.

In addition to experiencing the brown line, I also got to see the #8 Halsted St. bus. The views riding through Lincoln Park made me all warm and fuzzy inside (definitely want to live there now...), but my visions of calling a greystone bldg home were cut short when my girlfriend pointed out the ratchetness sitting in front of us ------>

Poor thing looked like she had just crawled out from some ghetto swamp. She was a mess...  It looked like she a Wu-Tang "W" lining in the back and ratted up hair thrown in a clip :/ Me no likey...

Anyways, after my Sunday Funday I rode the metra home... a very long ride, BUT I was able to nod off without fears of getting jacked!

Sep 6, 2011

My Weekend...

DJ Mick Boogie
This weekend marked the unofficial end of Summer and I was on a mission to have a wonderful time! Friday night I headed to see one of my favorite DJs, Mick Boogie, at the Griffin Lounge. My girlfriend and I managed to actually get there in time to enjoy the Skyy Vodka sponsored bar, along with free entry. Ummm... why aren't more people taking advantage of this!!! Free drinks + no cover = an instant good time. It's crazy that I slept on this for so long because discovering this at 27 is slightly bittersweet. Sweet  because it's an amazing perk for those who don't mind getting out earlier... bitter because the bulk of my club days are LONG behind me.

Anyways, the "Culture Couture" event was hosted by The Movemakers and while I appreciate organized events that cater to a young, urban professional crowd... I think some club promoters, or just club folks in general, are suffering from a serious case of "god" complex. You aren't giving VIP access to the pearly gates in the sky... You're creating a great atmosphere to allow your patrons to have a nice time and stimulate the economy, while throwing some money in your pockets. Reducing the size of your ego is never a bad thing.

Tip: Take advantage of the hosted bar and free entry by using their weekly "password." The catch? You must sign up for their emails... which can be slightly annoying on a Friday. They seriously send like 6+ emails lol... but again, focus on the free cover and drinks! 

To wrap up our night we headed to Bijan's (a longtime favorite of mine) and enjoyed some tasty late night eats before hitting the sack.

Tip: Bijan's is a more intimately sized eatery so there may be a wait, but where else can you eat perfectly cooked escargot at 3am!

After spending my entire Saturday recovering from my Friday night festivities (... because I'm older now and need a full day to recover lol) I headed to Lincoln Park for the much talked about Sunday Brunch at Duffy's Tavern. My girlfriend warned me that we needed to get there by 1030a, but due to a warped weekend Metra schedule we didn't make it until about noon. Wowzers... this place was PACKED! I guess the brunch buffet and bottomless mimosas are enough to make anyone crawl out from their comfy abodes early Sunday morning. The 2 hr wait was a bit painful to say the very least,  but the moment we got our table, some grub, and the drinks flowing, it was an amazeballs time! We seriously danced and drank for HOURS and it felt like a nonstop party. I couldn't do this every weekend, but during the summer this is a must.

Tip: If you plan on checking this place out please do yourself a favor and get there by 1030 at the very latest. Yes, it seems early, but getting a good seat by the food and DJ booth will make it worth your while. Also note that your entire party must be present in order to get seated.

After stumbling out of Duffy's (and a failed attempt at finding Jade Dragon to get spontaneous tattoos and piercings lol), we realized that all the dancing had worked up an additional hunger. Cafe Ba Ba Reeba, another Lincoln Park gem, was our next stop (after a slight detour into Baskin Robbins). I can't even begin to put into words how delicious all of the tapas were that we ate! Yum... I definitely need to visit this place again.

Tip: If you check-in via FourSquare for the first time you get a free pintxos platter (a $9 value). This was delicious and FREE!

Weekend Haunts

Bijan's Bistro
663 N. State St.
Chicago, IL 60654

Cafe Ba Ba Reeba
2024 Halsted St.
Chicago, IL 60614

Duffy's Tavern
420 1/2 W. Diversey Parkway
Chicago, IL 60614

Griffin Lounge
324 W. Chicago Ave.
Chicago, IL 60654

Sep 2, 2011

Adventures on the Metra #2

Another wonderful week on the metra is wrapping up, and because I was slacking with my post last week, here are 2 weeks worth of pictures!

So far life on the metra is pretty nice. Well, there is this one issue I've encountered...

For the most part, metra riders are generally in their late 30s to early 50s. It makes for a parking lot of nice cars, but slow ass walkers on the platforms and stairs! I've wanted to yank my hair out numerous times whenever I find myself stuck behind someone with a snail's pace waddle. Seriously... you'd think someone could walk a bit faster equipped with their fanciest "easy tones" or "shape ups," but that's never the case.

Sidebar: When I was looking for my "commuter shoes" I was shocked to see a pair of shape ups that didn't make me throw up in my mouth. I even tried them on... but it was the strangest thing having my foot feel like it was on a rocking chair. Instead I opted for a cute pair of Puma athletic ballerina flats... and I've already broken them in running to catch my express train lol. For the record, it felt like I was running on air! The other pair of commuter shoes I chose were Sam Edelman ballerina flats. I found them on sale at Nordstrom Rack and the gold shine of the shoes instantly won me over. I'll wear gold anything so these shoes have quickly risen to the top of my favs list.

Sep 1, 2011

Have you been watching HawthoRNe?

I've seen a few people tweet about Jada Pinkett-Smith's show "HawthoRNe," but I had never seen it myself... Well, that is until I stumbled across this little gem NecoleBitchie posted!


I'm all about perfecting your craft, but it's safe to say Jada and Marc are pros! Seriously... I get that it's just acting, really good acting, but I would never want my husband to be in a scene like this. Not that people don't occasionally bring their personal problems to work, but imagine Jada and Marc using this scene to get out their frustrations re: their failing marriages (allegedly for Will/Jada).

The scene was HOT and the perfect example of a short person, soft-core TV sex scene. Yes, they kept their clothes on, but around the 2:04 mark I think things got real. Around 2:44 I was looking around for a cold shower... and by the end of the video I was lighting up a cigarette - - and I don't even smoke!

They were really going at it and, wow... didn't know little old Marc Anthony had all of that in him! The scene was very believeable... very "Mr. and Mrs. Smith" - - Jada and Marc were actually giving me a tinge of Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt flashbacks... We all know how that one ended.

So, what do you think about the scene? An example of actors doing a great job or did it cross the line of being a little too real?

Sidebar: Does anyone watch HawthoRNe? Aside from the sex scenes which are obviously awesome, is the show worth watching?

Natural Hair = Natural Pain in my Ass

I couldn't think of a creative name for this post, so I decided to skip the fluffy bs and get straight to the point - - since moving back to Chicago I have been plagued with bad hair days! I'm surprised my new co-workers don't think I'm playing "beauty shop" at my desk the way I transform styles throughout the day lol.

For instance, I start with a twist-out which INSTANTLY shrinks!! Next I do my best to salvage it by busting out my good ol' bobby pins and attempting an updo. Once that fails I resort to a high bun, which by this time my hair has been pulled, fluffed, and stretched so much it usually looks a mess! The funny thing is that I usually end up telling myself "man, I should've just left it alone..." because it almost always looked better in the shrunken twist-out.

In addition to the non-existent good hair days my favorite staple products have been failing me. I lived in Chicago for the first 6 months of my transition, but soon after moved to Arizona where I did my big chop. Now, the catch with that is that yes, I was fully natural - - but I was working from home so it wasn't necessary to have time efficient styles that lasted and could easily get me through the work week. Now I totally get why folks are always asking "how long can this style last?" It's because nobody, no working person at least, has the time to commute, work, have a family/personal life, and spend a million hours doing their hair.

Doing my hair for work each day has quickly turned into a fulltime job and the biggest let down is that the results don't reflect the energy I'm putting into them. My growing frustration has led me to contemplate everything from cutting my hair to throwing in a weave. Yet, I'm still left with multiple question marks floating around my head.

Just to add a bit of clarity to this rant, my biggest issue has been the shrinkage... Shrinkage SUCKS! It sucks big, sweaty monkey balls! I've slowly started realizing that there's really NOTHING I can do but let my hair fully dry before taking down my twists and learning to live with the shrinkage. *insert playing violin* I know, I know... there are people in the world dying and kids that don't have food... but in my life right now I feel like these bad hair days and shrinkage are public enemy #1. I don't think I've ever been so anxious for Fall to come.

How do you fight shrinkage?

** UPDATE: Since writing this post last week (out of sheer frustration lol), I've experienced 3 good hair days which I'll attribute to the temps cooling off. Unfortunately for my hair it's looking like it'll be a HOT Labor Day weekend, so I'm already brainstorming ways to not turn into a frizzed out, puffed up mess! Maybe I'll do this style.... **
Powered by Blogger.
Designed By Boutique-Website-Design