Thursday, December 18, 2014

my parents turned 35!

On December 15, 1979, my parents decided to make it official and become the Joe and the Peg we know and love today.

Flash forward 35 years and who would have thought they would both want to surprise each other with anniversary gifts - even though they agreed to not do anything special?

I'm here to tell you it was amazing, overwhelming, unforgettable and really really hard to keep quiet!

Here's how it went down


My mom surprised my dad with a sweeeeeeeeeet guitar (we're talking James Taylor would be jealous sweet). The below video is when we learn that my dad, although in the packaging industry, still has some lessons to learn:

But damn, can he play:


My dad schemed for Mark to fly in and surprise my mom with the announcement they'd be renewing their vows. And it got all of us feeling all the feels. I mean, I always knew my parents loved each other in the coolest kinda special way, but to witness them re-devote themselves to one front of us...was something I will never forget. And reminds me true love is absolutely worth the wait.

Only Angels are allowed to take church selfies

 Father Hurley was THE man

The day we learned Ricky isn't comfortable wearing just a white button down shirt 

I mean, does it get any cuter?

So happy anniversary, Mom and Dad - thanks for inviting us to join the ride and here's to 35+ more! The best is yet to come.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

december eh?

Thanksgiving 2014 has come and gone. And you guys, it was easily one of the best ones yet. Complete with an early arrival from Germany, loads of red wine and a sing-a-long for the books.

I don't have enough words so videos (and the only pics I took) will have to suffice.

THE SURPRISE and wildy awesome reaction from the madre:

The infamous "Miller Beer" jingle from the 70s that will never get old to TCB and the J.Man (aka college roommates). My apologies for the low quality:

Mashed potatoes are THE best

Cranberry makin' since 1984

Trottin' turkeys

Carvin' ze turkey

Ang and ol' Rick

Stairwell serenades

Friends in low places...maybe?

And just like that, it's December. Bring on the holidaze!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

a newfound love of free books.

Growing up, I always had a library card and always had a new book on my radar. Nancy Drew series anyone?

Our Glen Ellyn library had - in my opinion - the best summer reading program. I can't recall the actual details but it went something like this:
1) Read and document x amount of books. You had to write the title and author down in their cool colorful brochure.
2) Bring said brochure into the library and the librarian would put stamps next to each book. There were tiers set up and with each tier reached, you got a prize.

I also seem to recall a "mystery box" where you couldn't see what was inside, but you put your hand in and if you could correctly identify the object, you won...again, details escape me. The library was an exciting place, you guys.

Flash forward to 2014 and little 10 year old Kerri, all excited about the library, is back.

I stumbled upon a Chicago Public Library branch about a half mile from my condo about a month ago and I've already flown through four books. Four books in a month? I can't remember the last time I did that. To be fair, it's more like 3 and a quarter because one of the books I deemed dumb and not worthy of my reading time.

Needless to say, the point of this post is the library is one of the few things that's FREE in this world. Take advantage of it. Find a book out of your comfort zone. The glorious thing is if you don't like it, return it and find another. So many options. On that note, any recommendations? I'm jones-ing for some more free books with the upcoming holiday break. Do share!

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Moral of the story: 
The library is a cool place to check out (ha - library pun!)

Friday, November 7, 2014

maybe i'm amazed but not surprised

Billy Joel can do anything.

Including a sweet sweet cover of Paul McCartney's "Maybe I'm Amazed":

Monday, October 27, 2014

a world with octobers

"I'm so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers" 
{L.M. Montgomery}

Friday night surprise.
Scenes from a Chicago Sunday stroll
Scenes from a Chicago Sunday stroll
Let's just say Chicago chose this weekend to show off...and it was perfect.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

all it takes is a $5 bill.

The wise Peg strikes again!

About a month ago, while we were having precious mother-daughter bonding time on the Cape (le sigh...for I wish I was there right now...), Madre shared a fun savings tidbit with me.

That's correct - you read that right. A FUN way to save.

It's really hard. Are you ready?

Every time you get a five dollar bill, stash it away.

Then choose when you want to count up those fives and do something fun with 'em.

Seriously. That's it. I bought this snazzy lil number to keep mine safe and sound.
This is not an advertisement for the brand, Scout
but oh how I do love their stuff.
It encourages you to use cash a bit more and suddenly those fives add up reallllllllllll fast. No joke. I started this a month ago and suddenly have triple digits worth. So give it a go and save those fives for something fine.

30 Unexpected Things You Learn In Your Thirties

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

what i've learned now that i'm 30 and 8/12ths old

Today means I'm exactly eight months into this whole "30" gig and I realized I've learned A LOT since the turning of a page.

I figured I shouldn't be selfish and keep the learnings to myself so here we goooooooo:

Laughing is underrated. We don't laugh enough. Make it a goal to laugh at least three times a day. At the very very least. You'll feel better and you'll cause others to feel better.

- You can only control you. People can be frustrating, irritating, selfish...this list could go on, but ultimately the only factor you can control is YOU and how you react. You can let it eat at you, drive you bonkers or you can face the music. Put yourself in the other person's shoes and try to figure out a way for you to merrily go along your daily life without letting someone else's insecurities beat you down. Note: this is NOT easy and it's a constant battle, but once you embrace this mindset, I promise you, it gets better.

- Wine never gets old. In fact, it really does get better as you get older. I wouldn't say my taste is more refined now (nothing about me is "refined" really) - I just know what I like.

- Learning the difference between happy and comfortable. Because there is one. And it's not always obvious at first, but it's there and you learn to recognize it - no matter how hard.

- True friends are the best friends. The people who don't look at you funny when you say something totally bizarre or slightly crazy? The people who think you're funny as hell? The people who support you - no questions asked? The people who make you better? Let me give you a little hint: Keep those people around. They're a dime a dozen.

Dogs are still better than cats. Need I say more?

- Family really is everything. I hit the absolute jackpot with mine.

- I really love me. I like who I am. I like what I stand for and who I'm turning into (a wacky combination of Joe and Peg. Oh dear. God help us all). I like that I wear my heart on my sleeve and I cry at sappy commercials. I like that I can't sing, but I do it anyways. I like that I make corny jokes and I like that I still have a lot to improve.

Moral of the 30 and 8/12ths story:
Whether you're approaching 30, currently 30 or past 30, I urge you to keep learning. Keep getting better. Everyone will benefit. Just do it.
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Monday, September 29, 2014

table that thought.

Had myself a pretty exciting Saturday morning, you guys!

I officially assembled my new coffee table in just 27 minutes (they said it would take 10) so I consider this a big win.

It's actually technically a bench, but it fits the space perfectly.

I love it and think it really brightens up the room. It's funny how a simple little piece can up and change the entire feel of the place.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

pack it up. pack it in.

Let me begin.

* * * * * * * * *
There are certain times in one's career that can be defined as life changing. Yesterday was one of those times for my dad. And I'm going to take the opportunity to brag about it because I know he won't do it and well, what else are daughters for?

Big news in the packaging industry was announced publicly yesterday morning: PMMI is buying Summit Media Group! Which is just so fantastic for so many reasons.

The real reason you should care is because this business deal is the result of my dad being awesome (and I guess nurturing relationships for 20 years probably didn't hurt).

This is proof hard work, honesty and loyalty can take you places in the workspace you didn't even know you could venture to. Putting his heart into a little publishing company all those years ago - which is now emerging in the industry as a media guru on its game - innovating left and right.

I truly could not be more proud of what this guy and his team have achieved.

So kudos to you, J.Man! Here's to the future. So pumped to see what's in store.

Monday, September 15, 2014

well this is just the best.

Ellen and Kristen, a duet made in the comedy heavens, performing "Let It Go" like you've never heard before.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

the power of no.

I'm a Yes person. I say yes as much as I can because I believe in helping people. I've always viewed No as a negative word. Plus, yes is often the easier choice - easier to please others and make others get along.

However, now that I'm the wise age of 30.5 years young, I've realized yes is actually not easier. Sometimes it means making yourself less happy just to please someone else. And y'all, that ain't no way to live.

And sometimes no is the best thing you can ever utter.

It's hard and liberating and at times, just plain the right thing to do.

I have to remind myself that just because I say no doesn't mean I'm a bad person. It just means I'm prioritizing and doing what's best for me at the time.

I read this article "What happens when you start saying 'no'" this morning and it resonated, you guys. If you suffer from the "yes" syndrome like homegirl, read that article and remember: you're in charge.

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Friday, August 15, 2014

Fly Friday - August 15

Welp it's been quite the week so it's time to focus on some fly things.

1) Remembering Robin Williams and all he taught us: "You'll have bad times, but it'll always wake you up to the good stuff you weren't paying attention to" (circa Good Will Hunting, 1997). The great comedian man brought us Oh Captain! My Captain, Pan the man, Mrs. Doubtfire, the Genie, just to name a few. This week, we were all rudely reminded you never know the demons one is fighting. My childhood would have looked different without Mr. Williams. What he taught us was to treat everyone with respect, stay laughing and be kind. Hopefully now he's found the peace he was looking for.

2) Discovering old mini videos from the college days. And high school. And realizing not much has really changed.

3) The Spinach, Egg White and Feta Wrap from the Starbucks. I could probably eat it every day if I made a gazillion dollars. Nice lil Friday treat. (With that said, I'm pretty confident I've actually already talked about this before. Oh well.)
Spinach & Feta Breakfast Wrap
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4) Friend matchmaking which leads to dinners in places that look like this...while still in Chicago. Yes, amigos, I went to an Indonesian restaurant and actually found things I enjoyed eating. Miracles do happen.
Rickshaw Republic on Lincoln Ave.
5) Finding words to live by which should resonate with everyone. Yes, even you.
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And with that, let's go ahead and make it a flyyyyyyyyyyy Friday.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Fly Fridays - August 1

It's Friday! Let's talk about some fly things:

1) "Heads Up": the iPhone app. This game is awesome and hilarious plus it's a product of Ellen. Therefore, I am a fan:

2) Weekly tennis. Back at it and it feels so darn smashing. Pun always intended, you guys.

3) Focus T25. Started the program on Tuesday and it's kicking my booty in the best possible way. A nice change in (exercising) pace. More details to come.

4) The fact Bachelor in Paradise starts Monday and absolutely, I'll be watching. Guilty pleasures are pleasurable for a reason.

5) Weekends with no real set plans. Freeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeedom.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Just this today.

This is all I've got for you, folks.

And don't forget it.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Fly Friday - July 25

Welcome to Friday! Let's talk about some fly things:

1) Rooftopping - especially when it involves tennis and a view like so:

2) Zucchini bread. Seriously. Why is it so good? Perhaps I'll teach myself how to bake it. Perhaps.

3) Billy Joel. Live. At Wrigley. With the best company ever.

4) Leaving your comfort zone. I challenge you to do so. It's tough and scary, but exciting. You just never know what might happen.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

when a mystic sister reads your mind

There I was, strolling through the usual daily fix of blogs I love, when I found myself reading a certain post, nodding and mentally saying "yep", "nailed it", "ugh! me too!" as I clung onto every word.

As I read my dear friend Kristi's blog post entitled "WHEN YOU WONDER WHY YOU WRITE", I couldn't help but think she needs to get out of my head. This isn't the first or last time I know I'll have to warn her of that.

But her post truly hit the nail on the head.

I started this blog in 2008 (I think?) and there have been a few (hundred) times when I thought, why am I even doing this? The reason is: I truly love to write.

And I'm gonna keep on writing (even though I make basically zero dollars off of it) because it makes me happy. And also sometimes I receive random Facebook messages of the like that really just make my day:

And the point of this post? To say thanks, Kristi, you wise owl you.

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Saturday, July 12, 2014

like a girl

This is by far one of the best things I've ever seen:

Pretty pumped about our younger generation of females and how they're paving the way for awesomeness.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Fly Friday - July 11

Welcome to Friday! Let's talk about some fly things:

1) "You Are" duet between Lionel Richie and Blake Shelton

Have a listen then try to tell me you didn't start smiling. Impossible!

2) Nerd alert: new work computers that don't weigh a gazillion pounds. Seriously, I'm irrationally excited about this faster, sleeker machine...that doesn't have a CAPS LOCK.

3) Independence Day on Cape time. Ain't nothing makin' me (or Mugs or Dad...clearly) feel freer.

4) This article about the 18 things toxic things you need to stop doing.

Happy Friday - go out and cut a rug!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

and that's a wrap!

It's hard to believe a mere 100 days ago, I started the "100 days of happy" journey.

Welp, yesterday was the 100th day and I'd say the whole experience was a major success. The goal is not to be happy every second of every day because it's damn near impossible. If you know someone that is, dig deeper.

What I learned and really started to embrace is that there is most definitely something happy in every single day - no matter how it's going. I'm not going to do this "challenge" again because I think it did exactly what it was supposed to do. When I started this in early March, my mindset was totally different than it is now in mid-June. I'm a pretttttttttttttty happy person anyways (well, most of the time) but this really just taught to keep up that optimism. People do notice and most importantly, I notice.

Flipping through my pictures - some I posted on Instagram, some of both Instagram and FB but all I emailed in - a majority of mine contained :

  • a sunset
  • scenic Chicago
  • scenic Cape Cod
  • people I love

I am sure the above is shocking information. I myself was floored.

Here's a sneak peek at the journey:

Day 1: The lakefront trail actually never closes.
Day 25: Blackhawks victory with a brother bear.
Day 50: frien-sins who visit even when it's not super warm out.
Day 74: home away from home
DAY 100: the annual Best-Angel dinner

And here's a little happy ditty to go along with the theme of this post:

Thursday, June 12, 2014

why, yes, jim carrey DOES have things to say...

...that aren't masked in facial expressions hard to look past.

"You can fail at what you don't want so you might as well take a chance on doing what you love"

Awwwwww snap. Well said, Lloyd Christmas!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

i make no promises not share too many sunset pics but you guys, come on. Is this sky situation for real?

Sundays are something special.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

that time i became a homeowner.

By some twist of fate, I am now officially a homeowner and officially moved into said home.

How did that happen, you ask? Excellent question.

I think I'd really say luck, knowing this was the right step and just finding the time to make it happen. Also knowing this meant investing a lot of moneys, I wanted to find something that was just right for me. 

On Friday, April 18, I found it. I walked into my now condo and instantly knew: this was it. I made my offer a mere 3.5 hours after initially walking in the door and by midday Saturday, the sellers and I came to agreement.

I officially closed on Thursday, May 29 then just got the move over with Friday, May 30. Needless to say, it's been a whirlwind six weeks. A whirlwind of awesome.

I absolutely love it and can't wait to keep tweaking it until it feels like home home. But here are some sneak peeks into my little abode:

The foyer as you walk in the front door. 
Can't beat that pop of color in the bathroom.
What to put above the bed is a work in progress.
Pretty pumped to actually have a DOOR to the bedroom now.
It's the little things.

Oh geez. I might actually have to start cooking.
Incognito desk area.
Can't wait to use that fireplace all winter long.
Oh a not a shabby view to boot!
I know what you're thinking now! You should come visit. Why, yes, yes I agree!

Author's note: HUGE shout out to my parents who helped with the decor and kept me sane during this whole process. You guys are the best.

Thursday, June 5, 2014


Memorial Day weekend of 2014 was the kind of weekend dreams are made of.

No words are enough to share how full my heart is after spending time at my favorite place on earth with some of my favorite people.

I know the Cape isn't the easiest place to get to and it doesn't always have the same effect on people as it does for me. But if I can share my happy, by golly, I'm going to do just that.

Words aren't enough for this trip so I'll let some pictures do the talking:

So lucky.