Pilates Power!

July 28, 2016 at 12:23 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , )

I did it! I completed my 10 weeks’ worth of pilates classes!

Actually, I completed 8 weeks’ worth of pilates because I had to miss two of the classes. But other than those, I managed to sweat and curse silently in my head for one hour every Wednesday during my lunch break. It was a good way to hang out with some coworkers outside of regular office duties but hell, I could’ve done that over happy hour drinks. Taking Pilates was something I had been wanting to try for a while and I’m proud of myself for actually sticking with it. I even had some fun!

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Hey! I’ve done all of these!

Of course, it wasn’t all fun. I’m pretty sure our trainer has a bit of the devil in her but I guess that’s what it takes to make her clients work hard. She clearly knew what she was doing and every workout was completely different and full of variation. That was good because things didn’t get old and it also kept us on our feet – we never knew what was coming next. She incorporated some light hand weights into our exercises and I was surprised at just how heavy 2lbs can feel when you’re doing 30 small movement reps. And I lift weights at the gym sometimes so it’s not like I don’t have any muscle mass!

Seriously though I’m glad I tried this and encourage anyone else who’s been sitting on the fence about it to do the same. Clearly I’m a fan – we’re starting another ten weeks’ worth of class soon!

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Freadom

July 27, 2016 at 12:49 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , )

See what word play magic I did there? It’s because the volunteer events I’ve been running with my company have been a huge success and are providing freedom through literacy to kids all over Chicago!

We’ve officially held three days of giving out books to kids (12 books to each kid – entirely free and theirs to keep!) and we’ve given out over 15,000 books. Yes, 15,000. How incredible is that? Over one thousand kids have walked home happy with bags full of their new libraries and we’re not finished yet! We have two more dates to go next week and while I wish I could be at those like I’ve been at all the others, I’ll be on vacation so I’ll be cheering from afar.

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Can’t beat free!

This has been such a fun program to be a part of seeing the kids cheer as they hug their new books to their chest is pretty damn special. I grew up with my nose in a book and simply can’t imagine living in a world where I didn’t have the ability to escape to a different time or place through just the words on a page. And the fact that the company I work for is actually sponsoring and encouraging employee participation in these events is extra special!

Stay tuned to keep reading all about it!

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Green Thumb

July 15, 2016 at 1:24 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , )

Look what I did!

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Yum!

I know the basil on the far right looks a little sad but it perked right up after I watered it, I promise. My mom was nice enough to bring me a bunch of herbs when she came to visit over July 4th and I finally got around to planting them in my brand, spanking new planter over the weekend. Not to toot my own horn but I think they look pretty good and of course they taste even better (so toot toot!).

I can’t say I inherited my mom’s green thumb but I’ve got a greenish nail or something, at least. My mom has had an incredible garden and array of potted plants for longer than she’s had me and I’m usually green with envy. In fact, she usually helps me re-pot and fix up my plants when she comes to visit! I have some houseplants inside but my lack of outdoor garden is something I’d like to fix one day. Perhaps when I no longer live in a one-bedroom apartment? Yes, I know I’m dreaming big. Anyway, the planter you see is just about all the outdoor space I have to plant anything but hey, it works. And it didn’t fall off and land in our alley during our recent thunderstorm so I think I’ll keep it!

Now if I could just figure out how to grow a vineyard on my back porch I’ll be all set.

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Read All About It!

July 14, 2016 at 2:07 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , )

The company I work for is probably the best company I’ve ever worked for and we do things every day that make me proud to be here. Case in point: we partner with two nonprofit organizations every two years and then dole out a significant amount of money during that time to help them achieve goals and visions that they would not be able to afford to do otherwise. One of the organization’s we’re working with right now collects and distributes books to at-risk kids in Chicago with the goal of giving every child 12 books to take home to keep and use to start their very own personal library. We’re supporting them not just monetarily but through many different service days and activities. I’m acting as the liaison between our company and the nonprofit and I have a big hand in putting the events together and pulling them off – it hasn’t been easy but it has been fun! If you know me, you know I’m quite fond of both kids and books so I feel lucky to be a part of this. We held a Book Drive during the month of June and collected over 2,000 books, which was awesome! Now I’m working on five different days where we’re taking volunteers from our office to different Chicago Public Libraries to literally hand out these books to the kids who come through. We had our first of five events this week and it was AWESOME!

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Not kids from our service day but you get the idea

Apparently, on an average day the nonprofit gives out about 2,000 books to the kids who come through. Well, our first day working with them was quite the initiation as it was the busiest day they expect all year – we passed out over 7,000 books to over 600 kids! It was a super hectic day full of organized chaos and it was really incredible. Our volunteers worked very hard and we had two shifts coming via shuttle to lend a hand. The children we spent time with were so thrilled to be receiving books and there were a few moments where some of us got teary-eyed as we saw just how excited these kids were and how meaningful these books were to them. So many couldn’t believe they got to keep them and that they were free – I was even given a large “Thank You” banner signed by one particular group of kids and I won’t lie, my eyes definitely didn’t stay dry for that!

We have four more distribution days we’re a part of and managing sign-ups, lunches, shuttles and everything else is definitely keeping me busy but it is absolutely worth it. And just one more reason why I love my job!

 

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This Week, This World

July 8, 2016 at 2:10 pm (Uncategorized) ()

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I don’t really have the words for how I feel but this is a start.

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A Bang of a Weekend

July 7, 2016 at 2:25 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , )

My mom and sister came to visit over the Fourth of July and we had an absolute blast, pun intended. We managed to visit some of the biggest tourist destinations in the city (i.e. The Field Museum and Navy Pier…hell, we even took a water taxi from one to the other), enjoyed third-row seats at Wrigley Field to watch as the Cubs beat the Reds, ooh’d and aah’d at a scary and death-defying fireworks show basically in my backyard, ate a ton of delicious food and drank lots of delicious beverages and watched a couple of movies (To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar and Independance Day, respectively…we have diverse tastes. And Patrick Swayze has great gams). We even got our nails done! As always, their visit was a great one and over much too short even though they were here almost five days.

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Perfect!

It’s always really hard to say goodbye to my family when we part ways but I’m so, so thankful for the fun times we had. I really value our quality time and the fact that sometimes we can give each other shit face-to-face versus via text or over the phone. Because sharing is caring, right? Plus, we couldn’t be too sad when we departed because I’ll be home again in about two months. For my bridal shower.

In other news – holy crap I’m getting married in less than four months! And since I didn’t burst into flames while typing that, I guess it’s meant to be. Look out married bliss, here I come!

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