Saturday, December 22, 2012

dancing queen.

Not much else makes me happier than some solid dance moves.

Take exhibit A from a Celtics game years ago. This kind of commitment to a song (regardless of the song. I mean Bon Jovi I could really take or leave. Probably mostly leave.) should not go unnoticed.



What I want to know is how I am just seeing this?

Absolute gem.

Monday, December 17, 2012

sleep in heavenly peace.

In the midst of learning of two horrific tragedies in the past week, one directly effecting the entire nation at Sandy Hook Elementary and one more personal, Saturday Night Live made an appropriate and classy move as a tribute to those whose lives have ended much much too soon.

The most touching version of "Silent Night":



Read more here.

My heart hangs heavy in the midst of this holiday season. However in the effort to make spirits light, if any good can come of these awful occurrences, let it be that we're all just a bit nicer to one another. Be grateful. Grab your loved ones and show them they are loved. Listen when it's needed and don't look back. Hug tight and don't let go (well eventually let go physically because that would just make everything a bit more difficult if you didn't).

And to my loved ones, know you are the reason I am who I am and I couldn't be any luckier than I am right now.

Monday, November 19, 2012

fall back.

This is most definitely how I feel since the whole "Fall Back" thing of 2012...

I'm all "what is happening in the sky right now?"

Gif credit

Thursday, November 15, 2012

what makes this beautiful

If I were a 12 year old girl, I'd be nutty for the Biebs, Carly Rae and One Direction.

But alas, I'm not 12.

But wait, I'm not 12 and yet...I still listen to all of the aforementioned music (ON OCCASION. I mean, it's good to be well-versed across all genres, including teen pop).

Also, this is pretty dang awesome. Have a listen:



WHY ARE PEOPLE SO TALENTED?

Monday, November 12, 2012

flip this apartment

Every so often I get antsy and find I need to rearrange SOMETHING in my everyday life. I don't live in a huge apartment, but it's all I need for now. Although there isn't too much room to move the big objects, I have a few smaller pieces (a la shelves, tables and desks) which can be tested and tried in various nooks and crannies.

Alas one evening, I came home from work and feng shui-ed my little heart out!

Where the desk used to live.
Ricky will have to get used to his sleeping locale on this wall now. 
Additional shelves in the kitchen? Always needed.
Sofa shifting
This'll do. This will certainly do!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

and my vote goes to....

It's Election Day 2012 here in the good ol' America...which can only mean one thing:

Let's ignore politics and 

watch cute puppies on the web!



Tugger for President! He slays me. I want him. I need him. Merry Christmas to me?

Monday, November 5, 2012

lol.

I don't "lol" and there once was a time where I was scared of emoticons (thanks, Emoji language on the iPhone, for I am frightened no more).

I'd like to take you back to when AOL Instant Messenger was the reason for breathing. That's right: back to roughly sixth grade until well, senior year of college. Yes, that's a fact and I'm not ashamed of it.

Oh to return to the days where your "Away" message was the biggest deal in the world. And you were challenged each day to have the cleverest (needless to say, I rocked that challenge each day).

But wait!
You can!

A genius invented this Twitter handle and although there's a bit more drama entwined than my Away messages of choice growing up, it's still entertainment:

https://twitter.com/yourawaymessage


All this raises the ultimate question: have Facebook statuses replaced AIM Away messages?

Discuss amongst yourselves.

Friday, October 26, 2012

ignorance is baffling.

At the risk of falling victim to the double post, this is one link worth posting over and over (again).

As I mentioned when I initially shared this with my Facebook friends, I'm by no means political, but this goes beyond politics and straight to humanity.

A definite must-read.

http://specialolympicsblog.wordpress.com/2012/10/23/an-open-letter-to-ann-coulter/

In short, the above URL is an open letter from Special Olympic athlete John Stephens, who responds in the classiest of manners, to an insensitive tweet by Ann Coulter (an extremely conservative author) following the Presidential debate Tuesday night.

Stay classy, John Stephens. I'd like to shake your hand one day. May we all be so lucky to know someone of your character in our lives.
image credit
Sidenote: I should not have read this follow up article because it just makes me more mad.

Friday, October 19, 2012

minty fresh.

Entering the real world was a rude slap in the face by dolla dolla bills.

I'm talking money management, you guys.

While I don't go on huge shopping sprees, I'll go on little sprees...a little too often. Paired with additional spending (for weddings, gifts, travel, etc.), I need to get things a little more under control. Excel just wasn't cutting it anymore.

I had attempted Mint.com a few years back, but like most things, clearly they just needed to work out a few of their kinks because I'm back at it. I just reconfigured everything this morning and it's already a cleaner lay-out and an eye-opening "I owe how much?"

Why is Mint.com cool, you ask? I'll tell you.

Although it seems scary and shady to link up your bank account and credit cards onto some random website, I've done some reading on their security measures. Their founder, Aaron Patzer, mentions that "account information is encrypted and stored on Mint.com's own servers, which are located in an unmarked building. To get into the building, Mr. Patzer said, one needs to scan his or her hand, pass by a guard and then go through a long hallway where you'll be trapped if there are suspicions about you."

They also hire "white knights" aka hackers to try and break into the system every three months. They hire knights? Good enough for me!

Security issues aside, in a world where we all have a 102 usernames and passwords, it's nice to have one consistent log-in to view all the credit cards and bank accounts on one site. Talk about streamlining!

With the holidays coming up, I've decided to set a few rules for myself (I'm a sucker for some rules and a list):
1. No clothing/apparel purchases for me
2. Hit up the grocery store at least twice a month and pack more lunches
3. Pay with cash more
4. Use debit card as much as possible
5. Don't worry about money - it's just paper!

Cheers to smarter spending and a larger savings account for the just in cases...

image credit

Friday, October 12, 2012

baby boom.

Here's the thing: my friends are having babies now.

That's reality.

For the first five years out of college, it was all about weddings. It still is, but now babies are being added to the mix and this is something my little head (no seriously, I have a small head. Big brain though.) just can't seem to comprehend. How are we old enough to be in charge of little creatures who fuss, smile, eat, sleep and snuggle?

This has totally taken me by surprise, shock and awe...in the best way ever.

Lauren and Brad were in Chicago for the quickest week in the history of weeks (visiting from Singapore...with about ten million bags in tow. NBD) and they brought along just about the sweetest bundle of joy one could imagine: baby Ford. I fell in love instantly.
I mean, seriously?
I found myself just looking at Lauren, then looking at Ford, then looking at Lauren looking at Ford and my heart grew three sizes that day (much like the Grinch minus the whole he "stole Christmas" shtick). My friend totally and completely enamored with her baby plus me totally enamored and completely with her baby. What's not to love?

Let's all gaze at the baby and watch him do nothing. Who knew doing nothing could be so fascinating? Just like watching a fire: mesmerizing.
So easy on the eyes.
The strangest thing about the whole "Lauren had a baby - a real life baby" phenomenon is I never saw her pregnant in person, which makes this experience even more surreal. Sure, I saw pictures, received texts, read her blog, but I never realized how not seeing one of my best friends pregnant in person totally changes the realization that she is a MOM (and a ridiculously flippin' cute one at that).

Ford is one lucky babe. Not only is he surrounded with a hands-on loving family, he has the mother of the year. What earns Lauren this title merely seven weeks into little boy's life? Just the fact she accidentally called her son "Skipper" (a.k.a. her dog's name) last night.

In all seriousness, seeing her with him is just about the coolest thing and it makes me smile right now just thinking about it. I know, ultimate cheeseball alert. Get over it. She is absolutely glowing and in for the ride of a lifetime - and I get to be a  passenger! Aunt Kerri to the rescue, you guys!

I cannot wait for the rest of this boy's life...mostly to see what other creative names Lauren gives him along the way.

Ready, set, go! Oh and also, please just move back to Chicago already. Please and thank you.


Wednesday, October 10, 2012

buckeye bounce.

I love DePauw. Absolutely love it and I wouldn't change my college experience for anything in the world, but I can say DePauw football games are essentially glorified high school games. I say this not wanting to take away from any of the talent on the field or how much fun I had at any of the games.

However, this past weekend, I experienced some true college football.

Ohio State vs Nebraska 
The 100th anniversary of OSU Homecoming 

It was seriously one of the coolest experiences I've ever had...mainly because I kept asking myself, "This is real life?" and "How do students do this every Saturday in the fall?" Every Saturday! 

Let me begin with the tailgating experience. We got to be all VIP (thanks to Mike's friend's brother) and were graciously invited to The Fan 97.1's tailgate. And let me tell you, that tailgate knew what it was doing. Not only was there a Jeep with a TV which just magically appeared in the backseat, but also its very own PORT-A-POTTY (insert: "you know you've made it when..." here).

Pimped out Jeep 
Never have I seen so much college-themed paraphernalia in my life. Pashminas, golf shoes, earrings. You name it and it was covered in Buckeye. Was it all necessary? You can bet the owners of said paraphernalia would not hesitate with their "duh, yes" answers.

To the left stands the reason we were there
and to the right, stands the reason I was there.
So apparently in Columbus, instead of being predictable and calling this what it was - a pep rally - they call it a "Skull Session." I have no idea why - maybe because the marching band is so loud in your skull? Seems like a stretch, but I'll buy it because it was pretty darn neat. Hearing Urban Meyer give a little pep talk, seeing the whole team suited up and watching the most fascinating Men's Glee Club leader in the history of Men's Glee Clubs. Not to mention we sweet-talked our way into sitting pretty in row 1. I've never been impressed by a marching band more. Or so I thought, little did I know what half-time would bring...

The "Greatest Band in the Land"
View of The Ohio Stadium. Who knew we helped set an attendance record? Go & brush yo' shoulders off. 

These two people had zero clue thirteen touchdowns were about to happen in the game.


I had no idea this game would be such a learning experience. What you see below is called "Script Ohio" and it's just about the craziest thing humans can do. All those band members are in motion, weaving in and out of each other to write Ohio in cursive and not run into each other. How do they do it? We'll never know. Oh yeah and can you see those bodies on the 20 yard line? The Nebraska kicker turned out to be a real jerk and came onto the field to practice while the band was still performing. The nerve! Go back to Nebraska, you Cornhusker!


Mike's phone is fancier than mine (waaah waaah)...so behold the sweet panoramic shot he captured:


Then I pretty much owned Ohio Stadium. Typical, right? Actually, no, not really at all. It was the Buckeyes who owned the Cornhuskers: 63 - 38. A real defensive battle.


Before heading back to the lovely city of Chicago on Sunday morning, we made a few pit stops around campus (it was my first time after all) and got a sneak peek at a real Heisman Trophy! Not only do I now know who Archie Griffin is, I also have seen one of his trophies. Super cool, but the plaque was much more generic than I was anticipating: "Outstanding College Football Player in the United States." Guess beggars can't be choosers.


Moral of the story: I found out I have been spelling Ohio correctly all my life - as confirmed by the constant cheers during the game. I totally get the hoopla around Ohio State football and I'm on board - Buckeye bouncin' all the way. Their marching band is pretty much the greatest. And I just love football, regardless of who plays.

In case you're interested, here's the halftime show. Prepare to have your socks blown off:




Wednesday, October 3, 2012

kerriPhone outfit

That awkward moment where you realize your outfit matches your iPhone cover...


Welcome to my today.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

for once, BEARable!

You know what I'm not?

I am not a Jay Cutler fan. I never have been and I'm tempted to add: "and I never will be." However, I've learned in my life to never say never (and no, Justin Bieber did not first teach me those wise words. That credit goes to the pigeons in American Tail).

You know what else I'm not?

I'm not a cat fan. I don't like cats. I like dogs. Dogs do something. They enjoy your company. They get excited to see you. Cats do none of these things. They are seemingly useless (I apologize to all my friends who are cat fans. Please know this is not directed towards you - merely your animal of choice).

So when I stumbled upon this article which compares Jay Cutler to that of a cat? I was instantly smiling and nodding my head in agreement. Not only because it's hysterical, but also because after reading the article, IT JUST MIGHT BE TRUE.
image credit
Although I'm not fan of Cutty, we do need a quarterback and if this is what I'm dealing with, I'll deal...as long as they keep winning and as long as he continues to throw to the right team.

Friday, September 21, 2012

the f word.

No, no, no, not that f word, you clowns.

Friday!

On this Friday, I'd like to address something which has been abusing my phone the last five days:
telemarketers. Damn telemarketers.

Take a look at the below because I can't make this stuff up:


Kid you not. This has been my week: ignoring call after call after call. I'm told if I continue to ignore them, they'll eventually stop.

All I know is they better stop or else I'm going to start answering the phone with a blow horn.

Do you think the new iPhone 5 is immune to telemarketers? It's out in stores today and if that's the case, I'd go wait in line for that feature alone.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

fall me maybe.

It's that time again. Puffy vests. Crisp air. Boots. Honeycrisp apples. Football for hours. Dips for days.

Autumn's making its grand arrival on Saturday and I could not be happier (she types as she hangs her puffy vest up outside her cube).

I can't exactly pinpoint the exact thing I love most about fall, but I'm not sure I need to.

All I know is it makes it just a bit easier to jump out of bed in the AMs and knock out a run along the lake. Enter today: 48 degrees at 6:30am. I most definitely run better in that kind of weather. Those Olympians are lucky the Games aren't in the Fall or else I'd be kicking some serious booty.

The one complaint I have so far? Why doesn't Bed, Bath and Beyond have any cinnamon-scented candles out?? That's a serious problem that needs to be solved ASAP. Girl's gotta have her cinnamon.

image credit

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

dennis screwball

For as long as I can remember, my parents gave me "love" presents. "Just because" presents. And they always came at the most unexpected times. And I never took them for granted.

Take last night, for example. I climbed into my dad's car as we were heading to the Cubs game and before we left the parking garage, he handed me a box with said "love" present and I never saw it comin'.

What you see before you is an original Cape Cod bracelet - the Dennis Screwball!


Now, I've been to the Cape a good number of times and while yes, I have noticed this design on my mom's wrist...come to think of it...constantly, I never thought to ask what it was from or if there was a story behind it. I just assumed my dad gave it to her and that was that.

Of course I turned to my good friend, Google, today to learn a bit more and wouldn't you know: the Cape Cod bracelet was originally designed by a man who lived in Dennis (aka our Cape hometown!) AND his last name is my first name (spelled differently). What are the odds?? Wait, don't answer that. There are only 14 official towns on the Cape so I guess the odds aren't terrible.

Needless to say, I'm absolutely obsessed with it and fairly confident it will never be leaving my wrist.

Feel free to throw me the Dennis screwball any day of the week.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

just did it.

Nike nailed it.

This is easily one of the best ads I've ever seen and makes me want to get up and run RIGHT THIS SECOND.



Greatness...it truly is in all of us and I'm finding a little more of mine every day.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

shut the font door.

Comic Sans.

That's right. That infamous font you couldn't not use when you were nine years old and all you wanted was to stand out from all your buddies with your purple Comic Sans AOL Instant Messenger conversation.

Here's the thing: that's fine when you're nine. We're in the professional world now, working for a living, so when you send an email using said font, it's not so fine anymore.

Therefore I present you with this:



My advice? Stay far, far away from that terrible font and don't look back.

image credit




Friday, July 13, 2012

"and my name's tim mcgraw!"

Apparently summer of 2012 is my "go to country concerts at fields" year and I ain't complainin', dawg.

Enter Jake Owen, Tim McGraw and Kenny Chesney at Soldier Field.

I told myself I wouldn't take as many pictures so as to enjoy the real thing. However, for obvious college reasons, I had to capture "Keg in the Closet" on film as an ode to my very own "white frame house in a college town" in the form of 703 Locust senior year of DePauw University...


No real problems we needed to drown, but we tried our best anyway...

Thursday, June 21, 2012

where the wind blows, babe

Uncaged.
Zac Brown Band
July 10th, folks.

Still unsure how I feel about their first single "The Wind" so I'll just upload the cool video here and see if it grows on me in a knee slappin', blue grass-y kinda way....

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

at least i don't see dead people.

"I don't think it's fair for me to be on a jury since I'm a hologram" - Liz Lemon

Now I'm one of the biggest country fans there is and there's not much more I love than a live concert...add in the fact it's country...at Wrigley Field and I'm sold. Hook, line and sinker.

So flash forward to a night of The Band Perry, Chris Young, Miranda Lambert (more like Meh-randa...) and Brad Paisley.

Pure perfection.

But wait...there's more! About an hour into Brad's set, he slows it down and starts his latest duet, "Remind Me," which he sings with the infamous Carrie Underwood. It was at this point, I turned to Mark and said "No...could it be..." as a sparkly figured emerged from backstage.

AY CARUMBA. Carrie Underwood in the house, y'all. I admit it: I stood up from my seat, double fist pump style. Sing it, sister!

Flash forward to the night after where I learn the cold hard truth:
Carrie Underwood was not actually there.




It was merely a SINGING HOLOGRAM. Seriously. It looked so real...from the 400s. Is this where our concerts are headed? Cookin' up a fake hologram of real people? I don't like it. I don't like it one little bit.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

no words necessary

Attitude's a funny thing: especially when you decide to change it. Everything looks just a bit different...in the best kinda way.

Colors are brighter and people are smiley-er.

Now I'm not saying I was down in the dumps - heck, the only side I see is bright - but recently, I found myself...wait for it...wait for it...complaining (gasp!). Yes, yes, I know.

The dreaded C word.

Funny how one little visit to a place that begins with a C can turn it all around. And no, clearly, the irony does not escape me.

Cape Cod. Duh.

Meet my Memorial Day 2k12: where no words are necessary because these pictures are worth a thousand words (and my writing is full of cliches)...

Tuna and I during our moped ride on Martha's Vineyard. SAFETY FIRST.

Lunch view from The Black Dog Tavern. It's famous?

Gang's all here.




Absolutely no filters needed.





Epic night, naturally.




Blowing kisses to those on the shore.




Rocking The Shack Out Back.




"Happy Memorial Day," says Dennis, Massachusetts.

Sailboat sights from a sailboat.




Little house on the Cape.




...nuff said, eh?


Monday, May 14, 2012

setting the bar...pretty low.

Yesterday was Mother's Day. In honor of my Peggy, I braved the kitchen to make "lowfat delicious lemon bars." Granted I'm not a huge lemon-y fan (unless it's lemonade with a little blueberry vodka swirled in), but I figured I could go these a whirl for her.

I was excited. I had the ingredients ready. I left myself ample baking time. I was feeling confident.

I followed the directions and have to admit: these things looked GOOD. Once they were cooled, I added the confectioners sugar and viola! Lemon bars were born!

Feeling proud of myself, I loaded them in the fridge to chill overnight and went about my Saturday/night.

Flash forward to dessert time last night. What you need to know is I was battling the ever delicious birthday cake and Graeter's ice cream (thanks to Allie)! Knowing I needed to bring it in the dessert department, I was ready.

My dad was the brave soul to give the first one a try. I was so excited and kept cheering, "Is it good? Do you like it? What do you think?" The poor man couldn't even chew it. His eyes just grew wide and he just started laughing hysterically. He didn't say a word. Naturally I reacted: "You hate them! Are they gross? Oh no, are they gross?!" Still chuckling...and attempting to chew, he managed a "they're...fine" which set us all off laughing. Ricky then dove in and he didn't even give me a courtesy chew! He literally spit it out in the trash. I felt awful, but was also so entertained by everyone's reactions.

I was the last one to test and holy cow: they were TERRIBLE. I bit into it and the top stuck to my teeth. It was unchewable. My dad lovingly dubbed them: "memory foam bars" because you could press the top with your finger and it would just pop back up.


Needless to say, I will not be making what is pictured above ever again, but I daresay I accidentally made Mother's Day 2012 pretty memorable...with the lemon bars we'd all like to forget.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

wake up, north carolina.

I'm appalled and saddened. Tonight, the state of North Carolina officially banned same-sex marriage. Banned. What is this world coming to?

Love is love is love. If you're lucky enough to find it, you should be lucky enough to keep it and make it legally yours forever.

I can only pray they'll wake up and see what a terrible decision they made today.



And here I was...thinking we were living in the 2010s...where change for the good was inevitable...sigh.

Monday, May 7, 2012

walk on, walk offs.

So Cubbies, this is how you're going to test my blood pressure? Every single game I've been to this season has not only gone into extra innings, but the Cubbies have finagled a W each time...with some version of a walk-off!

Okay okay, here's some fine print: I've really only been to two games so far, but that's neither here nor there.


However, with many a baseball game under my belt in my life, I daresay yesterday I witnessed a first.

Three hour rain delay.
Bottom of the eleventh.
Bases loaded.
Zero outs.
Fans on their feet.
Count's 3-2...here comes to the pitch...BALL FOUR. Literally a walk off. One might think it would be an uneventful finish, but not when you're a Cubs fan and not when it happens early enough in the season to remain optimistic.

I know it's going to be a long year, but I'm still opting to celebrate every W and continue singing Go Cubs Go loud and proud(ly bad)!

Brother and I grinning after the W.

Friday, April 27, 2012

perfect places.

today's perfection:

image credit

this in addition to: friday / sunny / walked to work / starbucks treat / converse sneakers / free as a bird weekend / blog catch-up time.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

april is for fools.

Mantra I will be preaching to everyone and anyone:

image credit
It really can be as simple as that so make it happen, y'all.

Also, visit this webpage because it'll make you giggle and chuckle. Then quickly remember that tomorrow is OPENING DAY AT WRIGLEY.

Go Cubs Go!

You have a lot to do today. I have faith you can handle it.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

thank goodness for pilgrims.

For without pilgrims, we'd be without a name for this beach.

I now introduce you to Pilgrim Beach: home of one of the most peaceful, beautiful, happy tears-inducing sunsets ever.




Don't you feel calmer already? It's a common side effect of any Cape Cod sunset.

Friday, March 23, 2012

quick!

What's underrated and uses more hands than should be possible?

Stumped?

The answer, mis amigos, is this video:



(Thanks to Richard for the original find weeks ago...just took me until now to not be creeped out by how many appendages I can count)

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

i'm corny, baby

It's so rude to make popcorn in the office...

because I ALWAYS WANT IT RIGHT THEN AND THERE TOO - whether I'm hungry or not.

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Also, this is now my favorite new website: puns!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

i'll never let go.

And clearly, neither will Gatorade...with their latest and greatest commerical:



I remember this game like it was yesterday. Got chills then. Get chills now. There will never be another MJ.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

the oreo's so old.

Thanks for the solid 100 years of milk-dunkin' success, Oreos! I couldn't picture life any other way and I don't plan on it.

In case you're curious what other flavors they've got going on around the world, look no further - International Oreos.

I need to get me to Argentina to try those options. Three in one then dipped in chocolate for good measure? Oh hell yes.


image credit

Sunday, March 4, 2012

on the spot talent.

No, I'm not too old to have a Zac Efron obsession. It's perfectly normal.

Friday, March 2, 2012

the mystery of the missing "bless you"

Picture this:

You just sneezed.

What do you hear next?

The sound of silence? No one acknowledging that awkward noise that you just somehow formed with your body while trying to cover it up in as polite a manner as possible? To make matters worse: NO "BLESS YOU"?

If you're like me, that's precisely what happens (my goal in life is to be a more graceful sneezer. Here's hoping!)..and it appears to be the common trend these days. Whether in the office, the EL, the elevator, walking down the street, I sneeze...and nada! Thanks for the kind words, y'all.

I really have no idea what happens when you sneeze, but I like the acknowledgment of a (even ungraceful) sneeze and I don't know when that simple courtesy disappeared. Now the first part of that sentence is a lie because I just Googled "what happens when you sneeze".

The fact is: I don't really care why. I just know that we do and I'm bringing back the "bless you!" then tacking on a "may you live 100 years!" for good measure.

image credit

Author's note: I really was curious where "bless you" came from so I looked it up here
Long and short of it is - IT DOES MEAN SOMETHING and you are supposed to well wish post-sneeze. "The phrase 'God bless you' is attributed to Pope Gregory the Great, who uttered it in the sixth centurying a bubonic plague epidemic (sneezing is an obvious symptom of one form of the plague)." 

Monday, February 27, 2012

come on, Google. you’re better than that.

I work in the Internet world and I wasn’t even aware of the privacy-stripping policy Google's instigating in three days. 

Starting March 1, Google will start collecting much more intricate data on what you search, who you are, what religion you believe (or lack there of), what your favorite color of the week is and if you texted that guy back who’s been trying so desperately.

Good news: I’ve stumbled upon an article which points out 6 easy steps to pause this process and make you “anonymous” instead of totally transparent. Me? I've always wanted to be just a number with personality.

Follow these steps:

1. Go to the Google homepage and sign into your account.
2. Click the drop-down menu next to your name in the upper-right hand corner of your screen.
3. Click accounts settings.
4. Find the "Services section".
5. Under "Services" there is a sub-section that reads "View, enable, disable web history." Click the link next to it that reads: "Go to Web History".
6. Click on "Remove all Web History".

I get they want to learn more about a browser’s behavior but at least give the people a bit more of a heads up, would ya? It's the least they could do.

That's where I come in with sharing those steps above. You can Google "how to thank me" later.


Sunday, February 26, 2012

chi-town sunday.

Every so often, I find myself strolling along the streets of Chicago, just absolutely in love with this city. As I hopped off the red line to go immerse myself in the wonderful world of Target, I looked to my right and saw this:


It actually caused me to stop in my tracks (sorry, person behind me texting and walking...right into me) and just take in all the Chi-sights. Even in 18* weather, the sun can play wonderful tricks on your mind and your city.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

just do this.

A couple months ago, I posted a list of 30 things to stop doing for yourself. I wish I had written it, but alas, I did not. Wouldn't you know the same author with the help of two readers came up with a new positive spin on the list with "30 Things to Start Doing for Yourself."

Once again, genius strikes.

Read on, dear person.
  1. Start spending time with the right people. – These are the people you enjoy, who love and appreciate you, and who encourage you to improve in healthy and exciting ways.  They are the ones who make you feel more alive, and not only embrace who you are now, but also embrace and embody who you want to be, unconditionally.
  2. Start facing your problems head on. – It isn’t your problems that define you, but how you react to them and recover from them.  Problems will not disappear unless you take action.  Do what you can, when you can, and acknowledge what you’ve done.  It’s all about taking baby steps in the right direction, inch by inch.  These inches count, they add up to yards and miles in the long run.
  3. Start being honest with yourself about everything. – Be honest about what’s right, as well as what needs to be changed.  Be honest about what you want to achieve and who you want to become.  Be honest with every aspect of your life, always.  Because you are the one person you can forever count on.  Search your soul, for the truth, so that you truly know who you are.  Once you do, you’ll have a better understanding of where you are now and how you got here, and you’ll be better equipped to identify where you want to go and how to get there.

  4. Start making your own happiness a priority. – Your needs matter.  If you don’t value yourself, look out for yourself, and stick up for yourself, you’re sabotaging yourself.  Remember, it IS possible to take care of your own needs while simultaneously caring for those around you.  And once your needs are met, you will likely be far more capable of helping those who need you most.
  5. Start being yourself, genuinely and proudly. – Trying to be anyone else is a waste of the person you are.  Be yourself.  Embrace that individual inside you that has ideas, strengths and beauty like no one else.  Be the person you know yourself to be – the best version of you – on your terms.  Above all, be true to YOU, and if you cannot put your heart in it, take yourself out of it.
  6. Start noticing and living in the present. – Right now is a miracle.  Right now is the only moment guaranteed to you.  Right now is life.  So stop thinking about how great things will be in the future.  Stop dwelling on what did or didn’t happen in the past.  Learn to be in the ‘here and now’ and experience life as it’s happening.  Appreciate the world for the beauty that it holds, right now.
  7. Start valuing the lessons your mistakes teach you. – Mistakes are okay; they’re the stepping stones of progress.  If you’re not failing from time to time, you’re not trying hard enough and you’re not learning.  Take risks, stumble, fall, and then get up and try again.  Appreciate that you are pushing yourself, learning, growing and improving.  Significant achievements are almost invariably realized at the end of a long road of failures.  One of the ‘mistakes’ you fear might just be the link to your greatest achievement yet.
  8. Start being more polite to yourself. – If you had a friend who spoke to you in the same way that you sometimes speak to yourself, how long would you allow that person to be your friend?  The way you treat yourself sets the standard for others.  You must love who you are or no one else will.
  9. Start enjoying the things you already have. – The problem with many of us is that we think we’ll be happy when we reach a certain level in life – a level we see others operating at – your boss with her corner office, that friend of a friend who owns a mansion on the beach, etc.  Unfortunately, it takes awhile before you get there, and when you get there you’ll likely have a new destination in mind.  You’ll end up spending your whole life working toward something new without ever stopping to enjoy the things you have now.  So take a quiet moment every morning when you first awake to appreciate where you are and what you already have.
  10. Start creating your own happiness. – If you are waiting for someone else to make you happy, you’re missing out.  Smile because you can.  Choose happiness.  Be the change you want to see in the world.  Be happy with who you are now, and let your positivity inspire your journey into tomorrow.  Happiness is often found when and where you decide to seek it.  If you look for happiness within the opportunities you have, you will eventually find it.  But if you constantly look for something else, unfortunately, you’ll find that too.

  11. Start giving your ideas and dreams a chance. – In life, it’s rarely about getting a chance; it’s about taking a chance.  You’ll never be 100% sure it will work, but you can always be 100% sure doing nothing won’t work.  Most of the time you just have to go for it!  And no matter how it turns out, it always ends up just the way it should be.  Either you succeed or you learn something.  Win-Win.
  12. Start believing that you’re ready for the next step. – You are ready!  Think about it.  You have everything you need right now to take the next small, realistic step forward.  So embrace the opportunities that come your way, and accept the challenges – they’re gifts that will help you to grow.
  13. Start entering new relationships for the right reasons. – Enter new relationships with dependable, honest people who reflect the person you are and the person you want to be.  Choose friends you are proud to know, people you admire, who show you love and respect – people who reciprocate your kindness and commitment.  And pay attention to what people do, because a person’s actions are much more important than their words or how others represent them.
  14. Start giving new people you meet a chance. – It sounds harsh, but you cannot keep every friend you’ve ever made.  People and priorities change.  As some relationships fade others will grow.  Appreciate the possibility of new relationships as you naturally let go of old ones that no longer work.  Trust your judgment.  Embrace new relationships, knowing that you are entering into unfamiliar territory.  Be ready to learn, be ready for a challenge, and be ready to meet someone that might just change your life forever.
  15. Start competing against an earlier version of yourself. – Be inspired by others, appreciate others, learn from others, but know that competing against them is a waste of time.  You are in competition with one person and one person only – yourself.  You are competing to be the best you can be.  Aim to break your own personal records.
  16. Start cheering for other people’s victories. – Start noticing what you like about others and tell them.  Having an appreciation for how amazing the people around you are leads to good places – productive, fulfilling, peaceful places.  So be happy for those who are making progress.  Cheer for their victories.  Be thankful for their blessings, openly.  What goes around comes around, and sooner or later the people you’re cheering for will start cheering for you.
  17. Start looking for the silver lining in tough situations. – When things are hard, and you feel down, take a few deep breaths and look for the silver lining – the small glimmers of hope.  Remind yourself that you can and will grow stronger from these hard times.  And remain conscious of your blessings and victories – all the things in your life that are right.  Focus on what you have, not on what you haven’t.
  18. Start forgiving yourself and others. – We’ve all been hurt by our own decisions and by others.  And while the pain of these experiences is normal, sometimes it lingers for too long.  We relive the pain over and over and have a hard time letting go.  Forgiveness is the remedy.  It doesn’t mean you’re erasing the past, or forgetting what happened.  It means you’re letting go of the resentment and pain, and instead choosing to learn from the incident and move on with your life.
  19. Start helping those around you. – Care about people.  Guide them if you know a better way.  The more you help others, the more they will want to help you.  Love and kindness begets love and kindness.  And so on and so forth.
  20. Start listening to your own inner voice. – If it helps, discuss your ideas with those closest to you, but give yourself enough room to follow your own intuition.  Be true to yourself.  Say what you need to say.  Do what you know in your heart is right.
  21. Start being attentive to your stress level and take short breaks. – Slow down.  Breathe.  Give yourself permission to pause, regroup and move forward with clarity and purpose.  When you’re at your busiest, a brief recess can rejuvenate your mind and increase your productivity.  These short breaks will help you regain your sanity and reflect on your recent actions so you can be sure they’re in line with your goals.
  22. Start noticing the beauty of small moments. – Instead of waiting for the big things to happen – marriage, kids, big promotion, winning the lottery – find happiness in the small things that happen every day.  Little things like having a quiet cup of coffee in the early morning, or the delicious taste and smell of a homemade meal, or the pleasure of sharing something you enjoy with someone else, or holding hands with your partner.  Noticing these small pleasures on a daily basis makes a big difference in the quality of your life.
  23. Start accepting things when they are less than perfect. – Remember, ‘perfect’ is the enemy of ‘good.’  One of the biggest challenges for people who want to improve themselves and improve the world is learning to accept things as they are.  Sometimes it’s better to accept and appreciate the world as it is, and people as they are, rather than to trying to make everything and everyone conform to an impossible ideal.  No, you shouldn’t accept a life of mediocrity, but learn to love and value things when they are less than perfect.
  24. Start working toward your goals every single day. – Remember, the journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.  Whatever it is you dream about, start taking small, logical steps every day to make it happen.  Get out there and DO something!  The harder you work the luckier you will become.  While many of us decide at some point during the course of our lives that we want to answer our calling, only an astute few of us actually work on it.  By ‘working on it,’ I mean consistently devoting oneself to the end result.

  25. Start being more open about how you feel. – If you’re hurting, give yourself the necessary space and time to hurt, but be open about it.  Talk to those closest to you.  Tell them the truth about how you feel.  Let them listen.  The simple act of getting things off your chest and into the open is your first step toward feeling good again.
  26. Start taking full accountability for your own life. – Own your choices and mistakes, and be willing to take the necessary steps to improve upon them.  Either you take accountability for your life or someone else will.  And when they do, you’ll become a slave to their ideas and dreams instead of a pioneer of your own.  You are the only one who can directly control the outcome of your life.  And no, it won’t always be easy.  Every person has a stack of obstacles in front of them.  But you must take accountability for your situation and overcome these obstacles.  Choosing not to is choosing a lifetime of mere existence.
  27. Start actively nurturing your most important relationships. – Bring real, honest joy into your life and the lives of those you love by simply telling them how much they mean to you on a regular basis.  You can’t be everything to everyone, but you can be everything to a few people.  Decide who these people are in your life and treat them like royalty.  Remember, you don’t need a certain number of friends, just a number of friends you can be certain of.
  28. Start concentrating on the things you can control. – You can’t change everything, but you can always change something.  Wasting your time, talent and emotional energy on things that are beyond your control is a recipe for frustration, misery and stagnation.  Invest your energy in the things you can control, and act on them now.
  29. Start focusing on the possibility of positive outcomes. – The mind must believe it CAN do something before it is capable of actually doing it.  The way to overcome negative thoughts and destructive emotions is to develop opposing, positive emotions that are stronger and more powerful.  Listen to your self-talk and replace negative thoughts with positive ones.  Regardless of how a situation seems, focus on what you DO WANT to happen, and then take the next positive step forward.  No, you can’t control everything that happens to you, but you can control how you react to things.  Everyone’s life has positive and negative aspects – whether or not you’re happy and successful in the long run depends greatly on which aspects you focus on.

  30. Start noticing how wealthy you are right now. – Henry David Thoreau once said, “Wealth is the ability to fully experience life.”  Even when times are tough, it’s always important to keep things in perspective.  You didn’t go to sleep hungry last night.  You didn’t go to sleep outside.  You had a choice of what clothes to wear this morning.  You hardly broke a sweat today.  You didn’t spend a minute in fear.  You have access to clean drinking water.  You have access to medical care.  You have access to the Internet.  You can read.  Some might say you are incredibly wealthy, so remember to be grateful for all the things you do have.
My happy place.