Archive | August, 2011

52/52: Resources

31 Aug

52/52 starts tomorrow!

Normally I’m old-fashioned in the sense that I prefer paper over technology (examples: making lists and sending thank you letters [like, you know, through the USPS]). Last time I started 52/52 I created this kick booty excel spreadsheet, printed it and filled in the blanks as I went, but I quickly realized that it wasn’t the best option. I either hadn’t left enough room for the book title or authors name and had to squeeze it in. It wasn’t working for me. So! I did a quick google search for sites that would keep track of the books I read and/or want to read in the future and came across these three, tried all of them and have ranked them in the order of how easy they were to use and how relevant they were to what I was personally looking for. I encourage you to at least browse all of them to see what fits your style best. Here they are:

GoodReads: This one was the winner for me. It is simple and easy to get used to, but also has great comments and book reviews. I can’t say it’s the most accurate as far as ratings go, but it has exactly what I need. Through GoodReads you can keep track of books you want to read, are reading or have read, rate them, comment on them, and share them with friends. I also really like the descriptions that they give on this site a little better than the others (they aren’t the exact same as what’s on the cover of the book, but it gives you a gist of what’s going on).

LibraryThing: This was my second choice, it has a lot of the same qualities I liked in GoodReads, but it was a little too detailed. For example, it has all the details of the book weight, size, background of the publisher, a zillion sources you can find the book, etc. It still gave descriptions of the book, had a place for ratings, you can connect with friends (either through LT, Twitter, or Facebook). It was a close second, but second nonetheless.

Shelfari: This was definitely third for me. I registered for it over a year ago and knew right away it wasn’t for me. I didn’t like the site navigation and got confused (it might have been just me! Who knows…). Honestly, I don’t know what more to say about it. I didn’t really like it. However, I do encourage you to at least look at it and make up your own mind.

I hope you have your first book picked out, but if not, you still have time! This is so exciting for me because it marks that I am completely done with school and am transitioning into the next stage of life. I keep thinking… I wonder where I’ll be a year from today when I finish?

Check back tomorrow for my first book! Now, I’m off to watch a movie and go see my friends band. Happy Wednesday!

52/52: Ready?

28 Aug

I have been so insanely busy lately I almost forgot that September 1st is quickly approaching! I’m also in denial that August is almost over. BUT I am so excited because that means that 52/52 is almost here! A few weeks ago I borrowed about 10 or so books from Erin (who owns a great collection of books) so that’ll probably be the group of books that I get my first few from, but one of my goals is to read all the books that I currently own.

Do you have your first book picked out yet? I do! You’ll see that post on Thursday.

Okay, now I’m going to go and watch movies for the rest of the day. Happy Sunday!

Lifehouse: Smoke and Mirrors

26 Aug

Everytime I see your face

My heart takes off on a high speed chase

Now don’t be scared, it’s only love

Baby, that we’re falling in

Can I just say that Lifehouse is fantastic live!! Sylwia got free tickets to go see any concert at Ravinia in either August or September and while I reallllly wanted to see Carrie Underwood that just wasn’t going to work with our schedules. Sylwia told me she didn’t care which concert we went to so I picked Lifehouse. The day before the concert she found out that she was able to get 4 tickets instead of just 2 so Misa and Karolina came too!
On our way to Ravinia we stopped by Trader Joe’s and Walgreens to stock up on the essentials: wine, grapes, crackers, a wine opener, and super awesome cups for our wine (that you’ll see later).

Sooo… we also thought that by getting there an hour before the concert started that we’d be all set. Wrong! None of us had ever been there before and we were so surprised at how packed it was! We also didn’t know that if you have lawn seats that it means you won’t actually get to see the band playing. So, after realizing this we finally found a spot kind of in the middle, put down the blanket and popped open the wine.

HERE are our fabulous Disney cups from Walgreens (for $1 each!). This was the best purchase I’ve made in a long time. Mine is Tinkerbell 🙂

And then Sylwia and I made the mistake of deciding we wanted more food. We found the place with salads right away, but then we saw it. It. The place with all the cakes, brownies, cookies and other delicious things that normally I want nothing to do with, but on this night I was out of character. At almost the same time we spotted the carrot cake (and yes, that brownie in the back is ours too).

We tried very, very hard to eat our salads first, but the carrot cake was just calling us. Ten minutes later we nearly had the piece of cake (that was the size of my head) devoured. At this point we realized we should probably eat our salads, so we did that and then took what was left of the cake back to Misa and Karolina to let them finish it. We felt kind of bad we didn’t share right away, but we couldn’t help ourselves… itwassogood.

Near the end we walked up to where the seating started and still couldn’t actually see the band that well, but we could see the big screens! So, here is a picture of my future husband. He’s married? Hmmm… Something can be arranged.

awkward & awesome thursday!

25 Aug

Awkward…

  • Today I wore a dress that I bought at a thrift store for three dollars ($3!!) and I was super excited about until I realized that the cut of the dress made me look pregnant. Super awkward since I’m totally not.
  • Walking down the street in said dress that makes me look pregnant and having a guy ride by on his bike and yell “damn girl… you look fiiiiiiiiine” Thanks?
  • I know this guy, Manny. The other day someone asked Manny where the restroom was, but because it was so loud where we were and he couldn’t really hear he thought the guy asked where Nordstrom was and proceeded to tell the guy that it was about 3 blocks east and a couple blocks south. HA! The look on the guys face was PRICELESS at the thought of the restrooms being that far away.
  • Holding the door open for someone and when she said thank you I replied with “Your problem”… ahhh, I really need to stop doing that. No problem and You’re welcome don’t do well when combined. The lady looked at me like I was nuts.
  • Two different people told stories about how easily I blush and when I blush the most. I tell ya, I don’t think I had ever been redder.
Awesome…
  • Waking up on Friday morning knowing that I had turned in my final paper on Thursday and was completely done with school. This song keeps running through my head.
  • This isn’t really my awesome, but the weather has been so incredible lately… it’s the perfect way to ease out of summer.
  • Watching America’s Test Kitchen and getting great ideas for what to cook.
  • Finding random pictures on my computer I forgot I had at all. The picture above is one that Fussy took the day we all went to see Born to be Wild at Imax and then went on the ferris wheel at Navy Pier.
  • Paul said something crazy to me so I told him to get out of town. Two minutes later, “You want me to get out of town?! HOLY MOLY!… Then I wouldn’t see my parents!” Okay, maybe you had to be there, but it was so darn cute.
  • Now for the most awesome Awesome of all… my friend Sarah (and her boyfriend Craig) were in town this week. 🙂 They both came to visit last year for about 36 hours and we agreed that we couldn’t let another year go by without seeing each other, but what did we do? We let another year go by. Shame on us. Sarah is absolutely amazing and will get her own post!
There you have it kids, another A&A Thursday! Enjoy the weekend!

sunshiney day

24 Aug

Last week I met up with Erin, Paul and a couple of E’s friends from back home at Millennium/Grant Park. I left work early and it was a perfect day for a walk in the park. I’m so glad I could go with them! I don’t have many pictures from the day, but here are a couple of my favorites…

This is muh cutie pie nephew. There isn’t much that’s more fun than going to a HUGE park with a 4 year old. It’s my favorite when he goes around telling you how beautiful all the flowers are and how amazing it is when you can just run and run and RUN without having to stop!! 🙂

This is Erin. She’s my seeester. And friend. 🙂

awkward & awesome thursday!

18 Aug

Awkward…

  • Do you ever look all over your house/apartment/wherever for something that you know should be there, but then end up finding it in the place it belongs? Yeah.
  • I no longer have to even order my food when I go up to the cafeteria, the guy that works there already knows what I’ll want and gets it ready when he sees me coming.
  • Going to sleep fully dressed and waking up fully undressed.
  • Walking out of my final final, doing a little happy dance, looking up and seeing my professor looking at me. What makes it even more awkward is that he did his own little happy dance too. Oh college, how I will miss you.
  • So, this one is really awkward… Erin and I were in the bathroom at Target Saturday night and I was in a really bad mood and well, I’ll be honest, I dropped the F-bomb (not something I ever do in public and rarely privately) once or twice thinking we were alone… only to hear the toilet flush a few seconds later. Needless to say we both cracked up at this and quickly left and pretended like it never happened.

Awesome…

  • Making plans to do hot yoga… I’m so excited!
  • Group gchat sessions. My friends crack me up individually, but get us altogether in one chat box and I laugh and laugh and laugh!
  • I went and saw The Help with my girlfriends last Friday night and was blown away by how fantastic it was.
  • Before my friends and I went to the movie we went to a friends friends rooftop party. Let me tell you! This was one swanky apartment building with one heck of a view of the city and lake and Navy Pier. The guy who lives in the building lives on the 42nd floor with a balcony that overlooks both the city and the lake… it was gorgeous! (In the picture above you can also see the full moon)
  • I love love looooove that I now have time to organize my entire apartment. I’ve started decorating and it’s really coming along, but the house organization bug is biting now that I don’t have binders and pens and sharpies and three-hole punches and rules to keep organized.
  • And for the most awesome Awesome of all… I am officially a DePaul University graduate!!!!!! Go BLUE DEMONS!!
  • Celebrating being done with school by going with Corey to a Goose Island beer thing. It was a fun way to spend my first night as a grown up!

This week has been a little stressful with getting everything finished up with my class, but now that it’s over I feel really good and am ready for the weekend!

52/52… the official challenge!

18 Aug

Over the past year or so I’ve been reading more and have enjoyed looking up new authors and books or diving into books that I’ve heard about my whole life, but never got around to reading. With my school life officially over and my full time working life beginning I don’t want to become that person that goes to work, comes home, makes dinner and lounges in front of the TV all night. Over the last few or so months I’ve probably read 5 books. Mostly chicklit, ya know, the easy stuff… Wuthering Heights thrown in there too, but that can really be improved now that school is over.

Here’s my challenge to myself. I’m going to read 52 books in the next year. I started this challenge about a year ago and got 17/17 in and then school got hectic and life got busy and I realized that it wasn’t the best time and decided to wait until after graduation to begin. After thinking about it, September 1, 2011 was chosen as the start date. It gives me about 2 weeks to get settled into things after classes end and it also gives a simple start date to remember.

So, here’s the plan:

The challenge goes from September 1, 2011 to August 31, 2012. 52 books WILL be read. No excuses. I make zero promises to be faithful to updating what I think of the books, but I will definitely update when I start a book, what it’s called, the description and when I finish it. I’ll try my best to update at the end what I think… but no promises. (Not promising means I’ll probably update it more than if I promise to write something. Yeah, I’m that girl) Also, as a simpler way of keeping track of where I am in the challenge I added the “52/52” page at the top.

If you want to join me, the only official rule is that you have to read 52 books in 52 weeks. Otherwise, the rest is up to you. It’s up to you to make it your own. So, I’m challenging you…

52 books. 52 weeks. Here goes nothing…