Yard sold

Our yard sale – co-hosted with my friend Emily – was a success! We had a great time in the nice weather unloading a ton of stuff, making a little cash, and seeing a ton of friends thanks to the power of social media.







We’ve donated the remaining items to Brown Elephant, Open Books, and a few things will go to Tree House Cat Shelter this week, too.

I had a great time – but man, am I glad thats over! :)

Up to.

What I’m up to right now.


1. Attempting to finish my patchwork comforter before we move to the new apartment. I’m very close!

2. Preparing for Saturday’s yard sale.  Hoping for good weather!

3. Enjoying my 2 week Yoga Tree trial immensely.  Scheduling 3 more classes before my trial runs out next week.

4. Getting ready to go see “Brigadoon” at the Goodman Theater tonight.


5. Packing up our entire apartment – and finding countless items we don’t need anymore to either apply to #2 or to get rid of in other ways, like giving to friends, donating, or (in the case of this pile of DVDs we’re never going to watch again) taking them to trade in to Reckless Records.

6. Cooking corn bread and black beans for dinner – to use up this corn meal that expires soon, as well as my homemade veggie stock that is approaching the end of it’s time.

7. Enjoying all the windows being wide open and it not being sweltering hot.








imageMy husband and I like trying new beers. We’re beer people, and it’s one of our hobbies.  In honor of Chicago Craft Beer Week, I’d learned of the Chicago Craft Beer FESTIVAL, and decided it might be fun to attend.  With tickets – each including a 3oz sample glass and 15 drink tickets – each running about $45, I’d practically written it off.  Then, magically, a deal appeared on Groupon for admission for two – including a sample glass and 15 tickets per person – for $45, I jumped on it.  I also had a discount code for Groupon, so I wound up paying $40 for my husband and I to attend. 



I had a good time at the festival, and feel like I got my money’s worth, despite a few annoying things that, had I paid full price, I might be steaming about.

First, though, the good! It was a beautiful day to wander around a festival, and we tried many delicious brews.  Our favorites were the Tallgrass Brewing Co. Buffalo Sweat (an oatmeal cream stout), the Local Option Morming Wood (a coffee amber) and the Rude Hippo Honey Basil brews.  We tried lots of beers.  Honestly, none of the brewfolk were taking the actual drink tickets, so we could have drank non-stop for four hours and no one would have cared.  When we left, we handed our remaining 29 (of 30) tickets to some festival late-comers.  Everyone in attendance was in a friendly mood. It was nice to be out and about at an adult event sans our kiddo.  We love him madly, and he spent a lovely afternoon at his friend’s house, so everyone had a good time.  Also, like I said, I paid less than Buy One Get One Free for admission, so I think it was a good deal.

The bad!  Mainly, that this was a horribly organized event.  We had these advance tickets, but the festival was held inside another festival.  Arriving, we got herded into a long and confused line of people who didn’t know why we were in line.  My husband ventured to the front of the line to find out that we all had to get wrist-banded before we could go into the actual beer festival.  This was fine, but having one person there to tell us why were in line would have eased a lot of confusion.  The line didn’t take very long, and we were soon inside.  It is obvious that this event was oversold – it was “elbows to assholes” the whole time we were there.  This was not helped by the fact that the breweries were all under white tents, with no evidence from outside the tents of who was where.  There were maps around, but very few people had them.  (I got one at one point, and countless people asked me where I’d found it.) Essentially, it was a big game of “hold your glass and hang on” as we fought line after line to get to sample the brews. 

Also, there were only these 5 port-a-potties for, I’m estimating, 1000 people?



Despite annoyances, we wound up having a nice time and certainly sampled a wide variety of beers.  I’m glad we attended the first day of the fest, as some breweries seemed to be running out of things by 2:30pm.  

Will we return? Probably not. But it was fun nonetheless.


Cheers! Drink responsibly!



Good Friday Things

Five good/frugal/healthy things I did this week.

1.  I rescued a perfectly good laundry basket from being thrown in the dumpster of the apartment building next door.  It shall first be used to hold toys at next weekend’s yard sale, and then it shall go into kiddo’s closet at the new apartment to be his very own laundry basket. (Currently, he shares mine.)

2.  I started yoga, taking advantage of a $29/2-week unlimited new student special at Andersonville’s gorgeous and friendly Yoga Tree.  My first class was last night, and it was hard and sweaty and I am not at all bendy, but it was wonderful and I left totally rejuvenated.

3.  Tonight, some friends are dropping us off some boxes for moving and we’re going to dinner at a new place in our ‘hood I’m very excited about – using a Restaurant.com gift certificate.

4.  Yesterday, while out and about, I failed to bring my own iced coffee.  However, I spun it in the right direction – and went to First Slice Cafe for coffee rather than Starbucks.  I kept it local AND First Slice does a ton for local hunger causes. Also, their coffee is delicious.

5.  We made sushi at home last night.  And it was delicious.

:)  Have a good weekend! 

Better begins here.


I took this picture of myself yesterday in the clothes I plan to wear to yoga class.  I’m starting yoga class tonight, because I’m feeling stiff and old and not-centered lately, and I think this might be a good way to relieve that.  I’m not sleeping great, and my anxiety is flaming up pretty frequently.  I don’t love the picture, but I’m going to share it here because I want to be honest in my real life and online.

The time has come to make some changes.  In 2008, I lost 50 pounds through intense calorie counting, multiple workouts a day, and the glory of Sparkpeople.com.  Six years later, and a wife and mom, I’m back to my previous weight, but obviously I can’t do all that again.  Nor do I want to.  It was a singular quest taken by a younger woman purely to “get thin” – other positive effects (clearer skin, better sleep, etc) were a bonus.

At age 32,  my goals are different.  I want to be more relaxed, happier, and change from my current high-stress/low-energy ways into a person who will be around in the world for my husband and son for a long time, and also to be someone they want to have around.  This means eating cleaner, getting more exercise, and spending more time outside.  Kiddo and I were outside for five hours today, doing nothing in particular, and it felt great.  I’m sure weight loss will accompany these lifestyle changes, and that’s cool and all, but it’s not the ultimate goal.  The goal is to be happier and healthier and all-around better.  I’d like to be around for a long time. I still have things to do. ;)

For being a major metropolis, Chicago is a city that values it’s outdoor space and does wonderful things with parks.  No one will argue that Millennium Park, located on the lake shore right downtown, is a marvel of outdoor beauty.  Boasting iconic attractions like The Bean, this 24.5 acre section of the bigger Grant Park – in which Buckingham Fountain, Shedd Aquarium, Adler Planetarium, and the Field Museum also reside – is simply awesome.

Today is the 10th anniversary of the opening of Millennium Park, and though we didn’t realize that fact until we were down there (how’s that for timing?), we joined in the celebration.  

The original intent of our trip was to see my husband for lunch and catch the Grant Park Orchestra’s open rehearsal for their evening performance as part of the Grant Park Music Festival.  This fest, lasting through the summer, brings amazing musical performances to Millennium Park at the Jay Pritzker Pavillion, which is itself a remarkable structure.  While arena seats are available for purchase, the lawn is open and free to anyone who wants to bring a blanket and listen to some gorgeous performances. In addition, on the afternoon before pretty much any evening performance, there is an open rehearsal that you can catch.  As the mom of a rowdy toddler, attending an afternoon rehearsal rather than the serious and busy evening performance eases my mind a bit.  The kids can wander and dance, and no one cares.  Tonight, the orchestra is playing along with the BBC’s The Blue Planet documentary, so we grabbed some lunch from Panera Bread and sat in the grass, listening to a good chunk of the rehearsal complete with a screen showing the acclaimed film.  imageBeforehand, however, my son headed right for his favorite part of Millennium Park – Crown Fountain.  With the kind of reckless abandon only a toddler still has, he dove into the water and was soon soaked.  Oh well, he was delighted to run and splash around for a while, and it was a warm enough day that he didn’t freeze.  (He’s also taking a long nap right now, which is an added bonus.)


Crowne Fountain.

Millennium/Grant Park is an awesome – and totally free – place to spend a few hours.  There’s easy access pay parking in the Millennium Park garage, but a wide variety of CTA bus and train stops are super close as well.  Head outside and check out the park!

Yard Sale: Prepping!


Thank goodness for this portable clothes rack I’ve had since my theater days.

Lest we forget that on top of moving to a new apartment, I’m having a yard sale in two weeks.  Now that I have an official permit from the City of Chicago – which was a totally easy process that basically involved filling out a piece of paper and taking a recent bill to the Alderman’s office – I’m going crazy with prepping for the sale.  My sweet, wonderful husband is being marvelously patient as I take over our lovely sunroom for the next two weeks for sorting and tagging, and over at my friend’s house she’s doing the same thing. It’ll be a rather epic sale, full of toddler boy and girl clothes and toys, household items, and loads of books. 

The leasing agent is going to start showing our apartment this week, so I hope the prospective tenants don’t think I’m a hoarder. 



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