Sunday, July 28, 2013

50 States

I challenged myself to find all 50 quarters of the states.  I DID IT!!

I get quarters for laundry and some from tips at work.  So every time I got quarters, I checked to see if there was one I was missing.  Last week, I got my final quarter in my tips!  I was so excited.

Today I put them in the best map shape I could and took pictures.  Now I can use them for laundry (I know I'm a dork, haha!).

The map I used as a model.


"Keep Moving Forward"

Saturday, July 27, 2013


I had a job interview today.  I didn't tell many people because I didn't want to jinx it.  It was so hard to keep it a secret from my mom.  I wanted to tell her.  But I wanted to surprise her if I got the job.

I GOT THE JOB!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I'm so happy and excited!!  Time for the snoopy dance!

"Keep Moving Forward"


My aunt sent me this picture of my grandfather and some of his friends the other day.  My grandfather is the man holding the rectangle thing.

My mom is using to learn more about our family, especially my grandfather's side.  We were never allowed to know anything or ask my grandfather questions.  One time my mom asked him a question about the family, when she was a teenager I believe.  He became so angry, he punched a hole in the wall!  There are some facts that we will never know for sure.  But so far it's an adventure figuring it all out.

"Keep Moving Forward"

What do I want for Christmas?

I love Kris Carr.  She's so inspirational.  She is living with an incurable stage-4 cancer because she chose to heal with food.  She is vegan and, I believe, in remission.  I have three of her books.  If you're interested in knowing more about her, I'd recommend watching her documentary called Crazy Sexy Cancer.

This is the book I want for Christmas, whether I get it from someone as a gift or use a gift card to buy it.  I would also like her ebook on juices and smoothies.  Yum!

In the meantime, I might see if I can borrow it from the library.

"Keep Moving Forward"

Dance for Joy

"On with the dance! let joy be unconfined;
No sleep till morn, when Youth and Pleasure meet
To chase the glowing hours with flying feet."
- George Gordon, Lord Byron, Childe Harold's Pilgrimage
"Keep Moving Forward"

My mom's visit

I've been a bit absent this week because my mom came to visit!  I also had to work and keep on top of other things I had to do.  Normal adult stuff that gets very tiresome, especially when family is in town.  All you want is to be with the people you love who you don't get to see often.

I had a great time with my mom anyway.  She got here last Sunday.  I picked her up at the airport.  It was so great to see her!  I hadn't seen my mom since January when I was in CT for the Christmas holidays.  That's a long time.  I've had a friend, who's a mom, tell me that she couldn't last that long without seeing her kids (she has three).  I honestly don't know how we do it either, but we manage.  We text/call practically daily.  We also Skype on occasion.  My parents come out for Thanksgiving every year.  Then I go there for Christmas.  My mom tries to visit during the summer.  Last year my dad was actually able to come out for a Bruce Springsteen concert.  I wish I had more time with my parents, especially one on one.  They both have different tastes and want to do different things.  I'm already looking forward to Thanksgiving.  I have my menu all planned.  I'll post about my menu in detail when it's closer. 

After my mom got settled and we had lunch, we headed to Trader Joe's.  I'm obsessed with Trader Joe's.  It's such a great grocery store with lots of easy vegan options.  Plus it's cheap!!  I don't know about where you live, but our main grocery store is expensive!!  I started shopping around and Trader Joe's is half the bill of my main grocery store bill.  Crazy!  I also go to Wal-Mart when I'm in a pinch.  But I stick to Trader Joe's.  I always have my staples: soy milk, oats, beans, brown rice, whole wheat pasta, diced tomatoes.  During this trip we got my first watermelon of the season!!  So yummy!  I could eat watermelon all day.

During her trip, we relaxed a lot.  We watched movies, did art, and played bananagrams. 

On Monday, we did do a lot around the city.  In the morning, I made my breakfast cookies.

We headed downtown to browse around some stores.  Every time my mom visits, she has to go to this giant art store called Blick.  Then we picked up lunch from Cosi and had a picnic at this little park area next to the art museum.  It has fountains and is shaded by trees.
You can find anything vegan in a restaurant...just ask.  I got a delicious cup of tomato lentil soup and half a veggie and hummus sandwich.  Yummy!

She took this just as I put a spoonful of soup in my mouth
Then we walked over to Buckingham Fountain.  It's one of my favorite spots in Chicago.  I find it so relaxing.  If you go there at night, they have a light show.  Music plays and the lights light up to the beat of the music.

My mom was very proud of herself for being able to take this picture.  Normally she can't seem to get our heads centered.
We finished the day with a movie.  We went to see The Heat with Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy.  Such a funny movie!!  I cannot wait until it comes out on DVD.  I'd watch it every time I'm feeling blue.  It makes you laugh so hard you're nearly crying!  Melissa's character is so blunt and honest...saying everything normal people would never say aloud.  Sandra's character is so conservative and completely opposite Melissa's it's hilarious!
On Wednesday we went to one of my favorite restaurants in Chicago: The Chicago Diner

I love this restaurant.  It's 100% vegetarian where all menu items are vegan or have vegan options.  It's so great to go into a restaurant and not have to dissect the menu.  I usually can find something I can eat on any menu even if its a salad.  But there's a huge difference between being able to eat one or two items to a four page menu.  I had a BBQ Bacun Cheezeburger (all veggie with seitan bacun and Daiya cheddar cheese) with sweet potato fries.  For dessert, we got chocolate shakes that were equipped with vegan whipped cream!  Unbelievably delicious!

We walked around different stores before heading back to my apartment.  I had to go to work, but my mom was able to go down to the lake and take pictures.

Thursday was the best.  I wish I had pictures, but I don't.  My mom and I went to the beach!  We bought beach chairs and umbrellas the day before.  So we were able to sit in the sun with a little shade.  It was a great set up.  It took me forever to get my mom out into the water!  It was very cold, but the more you moved, especially after going under the water, you warmed up.  My mom didn't though.  She was frozen.  After a while, we went back in to warm up.  I actually got a tan!  We were there for about four hours.  It was so relaxing.  After dropping stuff off at my apartment, we headed to a diner a block away.  I had this amazing veggie sandwich on a tomato bread.  So yummy!  I just ended up eating the top of the bread that had tomatoes cooked into it with cheese and sliced tomatoes on top.  So good.  It's vegetarian, not vegan, but I'm still working on eliminating dairy.  We finished the day with movies, art, and bananagrams.

My mom was so great this week.  She really attempted to eat vegan the whole week.  It was only when we went out to eat that she ate meat.  Pretty awesome.

My time with my mom went by so fast.  It felt unfair that she couldn't stay longer.  When I brought her to the airport on Friday, I had to try not to cry.  I just wanted her to stay.  But we live in different places and have our own lives to live.  It was wonderful while it lasted.

"Keep Moving Forward"

Sunday, July 21, 2013


I haven't seen my mom since I was home for the holidays in December.  I'm very excited for her trip!

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Laughter is the best medicine

When you're sick, sad, angry, upset, depressed or whatever negative feeling you can have, the best medicine is laughing.  There are times where I feel really sad and I'll scroll through funny posts on Pinterest. I'll watch a funny movie or TV show.  Sometimes I can even get comedic relief from family members or friends.  Whatever you can do to get your laugh on!  It really does help!

What are my favorites to get me laughing?

Those are some of my favorites from Pinterest and some snippets from movies.

Sometimes, looking at pictures aren't enough and you need to be sucked into a different world.  That's where TV shows and movies come in.

This movie is still out in theatres.  Absolutely hilarious!

Of course, never count out talking to a friend or family member.  I know when I get talking to my best friend, who lives in NYC, I could end up laughing so hard I'm crying.

My best friend, Jordanna, and I (this was taken by my mom after I accidentally hit her)

My cousin Nikki and I

My cousin Aerin and I

I saw this today on my cousin's facebook page.  It made me laugh so hard!  And made my day.

You can find something comedic everyday to make yourself laugh and feel good.  So get your laugh on!

"Keep Moving Forward"