Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013: Year in Review

It's a time of nostalgia for most bloggers, and I'm not one to be left out.

I mean, I am one to be left out. But that's because I was the baby of the family so I always think I'm more left out than I really am.

But that's neither here nor there.  On this, the last day of the year, I wanted to share my Top 13 2013 Memories. They're in chronological order, not order of importance. Unless you value the importance of chronology.

Valentine's Day

This year was the most adorable Valentine's Day I've had. I mean, John took out an ad in the paper to advertise our love. It was amazing. And made me feel all squishy. And I still have the ad pinned in my cubicle. PLUS! This was the first day we went to Monti's (more on that in another post).

Florida Keys Vacation

Oh my god. Just looking at the pictures from this trip makes me so sad we're not going again this year. It's absolutely BEAUTIFUL down there. Nevermind the fact that I got seasick while fishing and snorkeling. It was still a great trip filled with beautiful memories.

Kristin's Wedding

This was also the year that my cousin/first best friend ever got married. It was such a beautiful ceremony filled with so much happiness and fun.  And family. So much family time!

Grand Rapids Trip

In May, we also went to Grand Rapids, AKA our one true love, for a whirlwind 24 hour trip. It was everything you could hope for in your favorite city - beers, video games, snugs.

6 Year Anniversary

This June, Johnboy and I celebrated 6 years together by taking the day off work and lounging around at the beach. We followed it up with a trip to a restaurant that gave John a plate of meat. So that was amazing.

Pam Beesly-Halpert Retweeted Me

Normal people don't necessarily have retweets on their top of the year lists. But I've never claimed to be normal.  And Jenna Fischer retweeted me and thanked me for the nostalgia and it made my month.

98 Degrees/Boyz II Men/NKOTB Concert

Oh my godddddd. This concert was the shit. 98 degrees should have sang longer and more directly to me, but otherwise it was phenomenal. Kelly and I were fangirling all over the place when they took off their suits and wore wife beaters (that term is ew) to serenade 4 lucky ladies.

New Job AND Apartment

This summer involved a promotion at work and a move to a new apartment. As hectic as the move itself was, I am still absolutely smitten with our apartment. It's in a way better location (6 blocks from our last one) and we have so much more to do.

Maroon 5/Kelly Clarkson Concert in Indy

Sadly, this year involved one of my favorite people moving to Indianapolis. Luckily for me, that's not too terribly far and I was able to visit quite a few times.  One of which was for my birthday when Laura took me to see Maroon 5 and Kelly Clarkson in concert. It was AMAZING. I was so shocked that I loved it so much but I really did.

Wolf Sanctuary

Speaking of Indy...in September, I dragged John out there to visit and we got to go to a Wolf Sanctuary and play with wolves. I mean, that's an awesome experience that most people don't experience everyday and I won't soon forget it.

Diana Genevieve Zechar (11/24/2013)

Uh. Guys. I have a new niece as of November and she is ADORABLE. I mean, I haven't gotten to meet her in person yet but she's so stinking cute that I can hardly stand it. I'm excited to see her and pinch her cheeks at some point in 2014. :)

NYC Trip

Obviously this is on the list. NYC was as beautiful as ever. And I got to visit areas of the city that I had never seen before with one of my oldest friends. So there's that. ;)

Hazel Time

I wasn't sure where to put this one because I hung out with Hazel (my other niece) a lot this year and it was AWESOME. She's grown up a ton and I've been able to see it happen through Skype and visits. She's easily working her way into BFF territory here.

Anyway! That's a little snippet of my year from 2013. I know 2014 will prove to be just as amazing. I'm already proclaiming it to be the year of people visiting Chicago. So get on that. ;)

What are your favorite memories from 2k13?


Monday, December 30, 2013

Music Monday: Lydia, the Tattooed Lady

The Muppets are amazing. So the fact that my step mom relates this song to me is a-okay.

Any time I tell them I got a new tattoo she just starts singing this and I love it more now that I've seen this video.

Oh, btw, I got a new Tattoo.  In case that slipped right by you. I'm thinking of naming her Lydia.

Happy Monday! 

I'm back in the office today after a week of travel and Christmas and working from home. So I'll be looking into a Chrome extension that blocks websites and forces me to be more productive.

How was your holiday?


Monday, December 23, 2013

Music Monday: Lily Allen - Somewhere Only We Know

This week's Music Monday is brought to you by Christmas. Maybe you've heard of it?

This song has been on my mind since the commercial came out. Oh, you haven't seen it? It's so sweet!

I'm willing to buy a clock if it'll keep a bear awake for christmas with his forest buddies.

Plus, Lily Allen kills it on her version of the song.  So while it's not exactly Christmas music, it gets the sentiment across nicely.

I hope you're having a great start to your week!


Friday, December 20, 2013

Home Alone: The Drinking Game

It's the weekend (almost)! And a holiday (almost) weekend at that!

If you're looking for something festive to do this weekend, look no further! This is the alcoholic holiday good time you were looking for.

The Home Alone Drinking Game

Take a drink whenever:

  • Kevin's family makes fun of him 
  • Harry's gold tooth *pings*
  • Marv says "Wet Bandits"
  • Buzz's tarantula is seen
  • Anyone knocks over the statue in front of the house
  • Old Man Marley looks totally menacing
  • John Candy says "polka"
  • Anyone in your group says "keep the change, ya filthy animal"
  • Someone mentions how ragged McCauley Culkin looks now
Chug for the duration of any scream.

I'm keeping the rules minimal. Because you're going to be drunk no matter what.  Feel free to ad lib too!

Happy Holidays, and go easy on the Pepsi, Fuller.


Thursday, December 19, 2013

Power Ballad Thursday: Guns N Roses - November Rain

Okay, the original reason that I picked this song (other than it being awesome) is because in college, we had a hamster with giant balls. And we searched for info on hamsters and illness and found this site full of hamster info that had a midi file of November Rain playing. So I can't hear it without laughing about hamster balls.

I'm a grown up.

But NOW....now I'm insane. I've watched the video like 3 times this morning. I got roped into the story.

First there's this trashy (and amazing) wedding dress. AND THEN (spoilers) the bitch is dead. After this big rain storm during the reception.

Originally, I thought she died of pneumonia. Because it was just so rainy.

But then it looked like people were jumping out of the way like there was a shooter at the reception during the rainstorm. Mainly, one guy jumped THROUGH the wedding cake. Which seems extreme for just getting out of a rain storm.

Cut to - funeral. Where there's a partition down the casket with a mirror reflecting half her face to make it look like she's got a normal face. So, something (gun shot) happened to her.


And then I read that the video was based on a short story by Del James (Axl's friend) about a blues musician who's ex shot her self. Which implies that the bride shot herself. There was like 1 seen where she looked sad in the car...I guess that she could be depressed.

And also, Slash walked out of the wedding to play an emotional solo in the desert. So maybe he loved her. And maybe she killed herself at the thought of being with Axl forever instead of Slash (sounds right to me). Or maybe Slash killed her during the reception. Is he at the funeral? I'll rewatch and tell you. He was at the funeral. So he didn't kill her.

I mean....come on

I'm sticking with suicide. It's the most plausible.

How is it only Thursday? What am I doing with my life?


Tuesday, December 17, 2013

New York, New York

Well, I'm still feeling like poop. But I've downgraded my diagnosis to a cold and determined I'll be fine by the end of the week.  Even so, I'm not sure I'll be able to find the words needed to talk about my long weekend getaway in NYC with Kelly.

So I'll try to do so with photos. Please note, I vetoed an insanely large number of photos from this trip because they were blurry or something is wrong with my camera. It's weird, and I'm sorry, but you'll get over it.

Day One:

The first day of the trip involved waking up at 4am and driving to the airport in Chicago. That is super freaking early. But the flights were crazy cheap so that's what you get. Once in NYC, we made our to our crash pad for the weekend in Queens (Thanks again, Toni!).  Despite being tired, we went the push through it mode of travel and went napless. Opting instead for pizza (sadly not Sbarro's) and a trip to Central Park (I literally just typed "Central Perk" - oh Friends).

That park is huge. In fact, EVERYTHING in this city is huge. I don't feel like I got a full grasp on it's largeness last time. But coming home to Chicago felt small, homey and manageable. (Slap that on a postcard).

This was also the longest (best) day because we headed out to JC (That's Jersey City) for a party with the hugest tree ever. And the best friends ever. And the best DANCE PARTY IN A KITCHEN EVER.

It was a late night.

Day Two:

The second day in the city was spent getting lost on the way to the Brooklyn Flea and then overwhelmed by it's amazingness. There is a whole section just dedicated to food truck type foods. I stuck with a tasty grilled cheese (and later a donut) but my boof Sasha had a famous Ramen burger. 

After the flea, we headed to a German beer hall and soaked in the snowy evening with friendly conversation and beers. All of which I miss dearly.

Day Three:

This is the point where the photos turned to shit. But day 3 was pretty epic. It involved wandering through Chinatown looking at cheap american wares. Which was a little disappointing until I googled a mall where I could buy the most kawaii shit available (if only I was smart enough to buy that creepy Totoro neck pillow!). 

We also met up with some new friends (old friends of Kellys) at this tasty Puerto Rican restaurant, Sofrito. Yum town, party of four.

Day Four:

The fourth and final day was a little intense. We traveled to MoMA after eating at a crazy diner with singing waitstaff in Time Square. The museum was amazing, but overwhelming for day 4. There were aching feet and beautiful exhibits. It was just a lot to take in with so little time left in the trip.

After a few hours gawking at the inspiration. We headed to Rockefeller Center to gawk at the type of inspiration I love most - Christmas. Damn. Dat tree! I took the time to stop in at the NBC store (which was a little lacking this year) and the Nintendo store (which was not) before heading back to Queens to catch our (delayed) flight back home.

And there you have it!  A weekend trip widdled down to a few photos and a few paragraphs. I love it. You love it. Merry Christmas!

Oh god. My cough medicine is kicking in now. (please note I wrote this post last night when I was indeed at home drinking cough syrup. but posted it at work where I'm not. Sadly.)


Monday, December 16, 2013

Music Monday: Paramore - Still Into You

I'm a mess today. Home sick from work and just wanting to sleep.

But instead I am working and I'm trying to stay awake through dance. Even if it is just mental dancing.

I like this song a lot. It's way more poppy than Paramore's earlier stuff. And it's about being with someone for longer than 5 years (can't count all the years that we've been together) so duh. I relate.

Anyway, enjoy!

This is what I look like in my brain:


Thursday, December 12, 2013

Power Ballad Thursday: Motley Crue - Home Sweet Home

Oh, hello there! I may have taken an accidental blog break while I went to NYC last weekend.  OOPS! My bad! But I'm back! And I have a young, shirtless Tommy Lee with me. You're welcome.

I picked this song for 2 reasons.

1. It's a power ballad. Which is required of #PBT. Duh.

2. I'm excited to be home! I accidentally scheduled a little too much travel from November through January. And it's stressful (and FUN!).

Plus, just look at Vince Neil pre VH1 surgery show. He's wearing really tight suit-shorts. It's hilarious:

Hope your week has been great! I'll share pictures of NYC soon.


Thursday, December 5, 2013

Power Ballad Thursday: Bryan Adams - Heaven

I will admit that until I watched this video just now I had no idea what Bryan Adams looked like. And that makes sense because he's got a pretty generic look to him.

But the video has a story about being a drunk driver. And that's important and stuff.

Anecdote time! When I was in like...early high school and Napster was big I would just download everything that gave me feels. And Bryan Adams and that raspy voice just really hit home. And I have no idea why. Remember when there was a club remix of this song though? Well my BFF at the time and I would just adamantly demand that Bryan Adams was way better.

I think we just wanted to be different. Not in a cool way. Just a different way.

see. this bitch didn't know what he looked like either!

Anyway! happy PBT!


Wednesday, December 4, 2013

My Ultimate Christmas List (and a GIVEAWAY!)


Have you heard that it's December? A time for decorations and love and gifts? Oh, you hadn't gotten the memo yet? That's cool. Now you know.

I've spent the past month(ish) thinking of the perfect gifts to buy everyone in my life. So today, I reversed that thought process to come up with my own ultimate Christmas list - you know. Just in case.

1. Frankie and his Bride Salt and Pepper Shakers - Okay. John absolutely HATES this set. But that's why it's on my wishlist and not his. I mean, come on. It's two horror figures kissing. It's so cute and weird!

2. Effie Barbie - Have you seen Catching Fire yet? (I'm going to keep asking) I already have a Katniss from the first movie but look how adorable Effie is with dat hair and dem shoes!

3. Candy Pop Fuji Film - I LOVE my Fuji Instax. It takes the cutest little pitcures. But film is expensive. So, this is always on my list.

4. Funko Pop Robin 1966 - I collect vinyl toys. I'm a grown ass woman who likes toys. And 1966 batman stuff is too cute not to love.

5. Clue - Office Edition - I love The Office more than most people. And board games. And mystery.

6. Young House Love book - Have you read their blog? I freaking love it. And one day I'll have a house and need to redo things and want to stare at their beautiful projects.

7. Playmobil Santa's Home- This is the cutest little house. A-frame. Christmassy. I stinking love it. Just...look at the details!

Anyway, enough about my silly wishes and on to what's important.  For the month of December, I'm co-sponsoring a giveaway over on One Chocolate Box. You can enter multiple times and you'll be eligible for a $60 gift card to either Amazon or Modcloth.

Now, that's on EVERYONE'S wishlist. Cash money.

So head over to THIS post and enter the rafflecopter giveaway. There are directions and it's easy to follow along. I'd love it if one of my readers won this great prize. :)

And the link to the giveaway is always over on my sidebar if you get lost. So just do it!

What's on your Christmas List?


Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Give Thanks for Michigan!

I'm back in Illinois and back at work this week after a whole entire week in Michigan. So I'm sad. And well rested. And full.

We hosted Thanksgiving at my Dad's house this year and because my stepmom was in California :( I had to cook and decorate and entertain. Which, yes, I LOVE. But I also wished she could be there to be with the family.

Speaking of family - everyone was there! My dad, my mom, Mark, my grandma, Erich, Holly, and Hazel. We even got to skype with Nick and Kat and new baby chubby cheeks, Diana. It's the reason I take a whole week off to come home.

This is NOT a great photo. I didn't bring my camera home. But I needed to show you how much I don't understand cooking. I was in charge of mac and cheese and mashed potatoes (on the left of this photo). I MADE LIKE 10 POUNDS OF FOOD. When the night was done it didn't look like anyone had even touched the mac and cheese - even though they had. A lot. But it was all so yummy!

Oh, and did I mention the Lions won? No? Well they did. And it was amazing. And a Thanksgiving miracle!

I'm a little scatterbrained just looking at this girl. Hazel, my niece, is the cutest thing ever. She spent the evening wearing an arm rest cover as a hat and dragging a pillow around the room and laying down pretending to sleep. I can't even. I miss her a ton now.

So, outside of Thanksgiving itself the week was amazing. I saw Catching Fire on Monday with my lady friends (GO SEE IT IF YOU HAVEN'T. even if you have). I visited Erich and Hazel at home. I watched Son in Law (the ultimate Thanksgiving movie). I cooked. I went shopping. I ate a chicken finger pita. I bought a Christmas tree. I visited downtown Milford. I did a ton!

Onward to Christmas!!


Monday, December 2, 2013

Music Monday - The Head and The Heart: Shake

I've said it before, and I'll say it again: Any song with hand claps is good in my book.

'Shake' is no exception. This song is upbeat enough for me to bop my head along with it but chill enough for me to listen to it while I work and actually get some work done.

I actually went to see The Head and the Heart recently with my friend, Abby, and developed a crush on Charity Rose Thielen - the adorable violinist/back-up vocalist in this band. She's shy and awkward and wonderful. (I also almost got in a fist fight with some 20 year old boys, but that's unrelated).

This is from the show. Don't mind the quality - just focus on the ambiance. AMBIANCE.

I hope your Monday is going well! I'm in Michigan on vacation so I know mine is just a tad more amazing than usual. :)


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