Saturday, October 31, 2015

Happy Halloween and a Prophecy

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Happy Halloween everyone! This weekend my dad is visiting us in Chicago. There have been numerous places that S and I have stumbled upon that we can't wait to visit with my dad too.

I thought that this would be a good time to share a spooky (in a good way) story. Back in May we visited New Orleans with some friends. I went for the first time years ago for my bachelorette party and fell in love with the city. Me and my best friend got our tarot cards read and it was eerie how spot-on the Voo-Doo Bone Lady was. (She said that I was working in an association of some kind [non-profit museums] and that my partner was really supportive of that. She also said that whoever I was with at the moment, I would be with them a long time - she didn't know I was there for my bachelorette trip!)

One one of the last days on our most recent trip, S mentioned that he wanted to get his tarot cards read. S is not at all superstitious, doesn't really believe in things like ghosts and witchcraft, so I was so surprised that he wanted to do it. I, on the other hand, love tarot cards and all things related to the occult - I find them fascinating! It seems that the Voo-Doo Bone Lady no longer does tarot card readings in Jackson Square of the French Quarter, so instead we looked for another reader in the square.

We came upon a lady with tons of silver rings on her fingers, and I had a good feeling about her. So we sat down for a couples-reading. S and I each shuffled the deck, and Lady Crawley drew our cards, laying them down in a formation. After she looked at each card and how they relate to each other, the first thing she said was, "I see a move in your future." And, eerily, she was right.

At the time of the reading, we had no idea that we were moving. We've wanted to move to Chicago for years, but I wasn't ready to move, and I wanted a good job before I did because I would be leaving a great job behind. At that time of the reading, I had no idea that the position at the museum was open. I had no idea that I was ready to move out of state. I had no idea that she would know before we would know.

Not only was Lady Crawley correct that we would be moving, but she was spot on with all the background behind it, and the timing. She knew that there was no time limit (S could transfer his position and I was waiting to find a position that would be worth the move). She knew that it was based on one of us looking for the right fit (me, only wanting to stay with museums). And she said that if we stayed where we were, we would be fine, we would be content. But, if we moved, we would be really happy.
She broke down the cards into seasons:
  • •Summer, she said was a time of socializing and networking.  This is when I was traveling to a different place each month (NOLA, Paris, Chicago, Bahamas, Mexico, etc), and when we talked more after the reading was over, she said if I was hoping to move that I should network with my connections in summer. (Such sage advice... there's an entirely other story behind that as well).
  • •Fall, the time of the move. We moved in late August, so she was pretty spot on.
  • •Winter, a time when it all comes together and it's all worth it. She made it sound like something would happen or inspire us to recognize that it was worth the move.
  • •Skipping spring to next summer, she said would be a time of reflection and settling in. A lot less travel and a lot more being at home. I'm okay with that. After a busy year, a quiet summer in Chicago sounds perfect. Dog beach for Mort, the Lake Michigan beach for us, lunch outside with friends, it really sounds perfect.

S says that the tarot card reading could have inspired me to check the museum's website for open positions, which I hadn't done in a while. It could have inspired me to overcome the fear of moving so many miles away. And it could have inspired me to really pursue something that we've talked about for years. Or, Lady Crawley is just really great at reading tarot cards.

Monday, October 26, 2015

My Week In Objects

Monday, October 26, 2015
↳This block. This city is so architecturally rich, I am inspired when walking the dog, walking to the train, and even walking to the grocery store. I love living in a city where I can take public transportation for exploring the city and day-to-day life. But I also love that I can have my car in this city and take day-trips on weekends to the rural parts of Illinois and bring my pup Mort to places like the dog beach which is too far to walk to. It the perfect balance. It also doesn't hurt that we are in one of the most food-rich cities in the nation. 
↳This pumpkin. Speaking of day-trips, our friends wanted to go to a proper pumpkin patch so we drove west through Illinois while listening to Sufjan Steven's Illinoise album. There were hills and trees and cornfields and it was really beautiful. The air was a little chilly, which was perfect for hot apple cider and hot cocoa when we got there. S opted for a large pumpkin to carve as it gets closer to Halloween. He had to carry it over his should, it was too big to wrap his arms around. I went for a handful of small and colorful gourds. I hope that they last for a Thanksgiving cornucopia like my mom used to have. After the pumpkin patch, our friends brought us to a brewery called 5 Rabbits. We went inside this warehouse, and in the corner was a bar where they made the tables and chairs from reclaimed wood and pipes. We tried everything they had on tap. When choosing, I let the brewer know that I don't typically enjoy hoppy beers. His reply? "Well, then you're going to love us." And I did. What I found was my favorite IPA in existence, 5 Grass. So smooth and hardly hoppy, with great flavor. We brought a six-pack home and I cannot wait to visit again.
↳This bae. In this weather he's super frisky and excited to be outside. He loves fall as much as we do. Once inside, he's super cuddly and sleepy. We brought him to a greyhound meetup to meet his greyhound neighbors! We drove to the suburbs and like always, he was amazing in the car. Sleeping silently until we got there. At the meetup, there were about 30 greyhounds and each one was sweeter than the rest. This one girl looked like Mort and she would just hang out next to me, leaning on my leg. Another boy was super friendly and playful, and I was surprised that Mort and him didn't hit it off. Instead, Mort just found comfort in being around other greys, like usual, and he was more interested in the people that he's never met and the doughnuts on the table. (Did I mention there was also wine for the adults? Best doggie date ever).
↳This other bae. S is so great. He's always there to do the dishes when I'm too tired to. He always lets me pick what to watch on TV after I make dinner (hint: it's normally something dramatic on Bravo...). He is always up for exploring our city. He's always up for ordering pizza when neither of us want to cook - and I love pizza. He always gives me the Reader's Digest version of the news when I'm not keeping up. And he always finds new podcasts, shows, and movies for us to enjoy (like this scary movie which is perfect for Halloween coming up and is also set at my museum!).
↳These ears. I was a bridesmaid for my maid of honor's wedding this past weekend. All of the bridesmaids received a matching pair of mouse ears, and the bride had a complimentary white one. The couple loves Disney World, so it was only fitting that we each receive our own mouse ears. But also, not only do I love the ears because they represent my best friend and the love that her and her husband share, but it also represents Orlando, a place I called home until recently. It's nice to have a little piece of my best friend, and my previous home.
↳This bride. I've known her longer than I've known S. She's been a part of our relationship longer than the relationship itself. She saw us fall in love and grow up together. I'm so glad that I was able to see her do the same. We spent the night before the wedding day with a bridesmaid sleepover. We watched Sex and the City and we all wore shorts with pizzas on them. It was truly a weekend full of love.
↳The next day, another friend was getting married.  The ceremony was in their backyard by a tree, the cocktail hour on their patio, and the reception was in the yard, shared by their kind neighbor who was sweet enough to offer the space. They hung up market lights and had their friend (who happens to be incredible) photograph the day. They walked down the aisle together to the ceremony, they served awesome drinks like moscow mules and German beer (the groom is German), and the meal was served family style, guests passing the platters of colorful food to each other and pouring the bottles of wine to their table-mates before serving themselves. We only knew the bride and groom and one other couple, but everyone we met that evening was fun, inspiring, and absolutely magnetic to be around. I should have known that an incredible couple like A² would be surrounded by equally inspiring friends. Photo credit to their photo-booth, Snap! Studio Booth.

I first saw this my week in objects feature on Reading My Tea Leaves.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Saturdays vs. Sundays

Friday, October 16, 2015

saturdays are for accomplishing household chores, for brunch, for sleeping in, for getting dinner and/or drinks with friends, for exploring your city, for shopping for antiques, for farmer's markets, for cocktails and champagne, for dining outside, for having a picnic, for going to the movies, for hosting a dinner party, for attending a festival, for decorating the house, for going to a concert, for making a floral bouquet, for playing a drinking game, for going on a tour, for midday beers, for attending events, for day-trips... 

sundays are for drinking coffee really late, for sleeping in, for making pancakes or waffles at home, for walking around your neighborhood, for staying in, for making dinner with your lover/partner/friend, for wine and hot chocolate, for nesting in a clean home, for listening to the radio, for catching up on tv shows, for reading a book, for working on crafts, for knitting, for lighting candles, for doing laundry, for writing, for reading the sunday times, for finding new recipes, for afternoon tea, for yoga, for gardening, for baking, for opening the windows, for blogging...

As you might have noticed, I've updated my blog design. I went with another design by Labina Studio, because I adore her style and flawless coding. Anyway, I am so thrilled that it is the weekend. I executed my very first two events this week at the museum. All of the events that I was working previously, I was shadowing other event managers. This week I had a small reception for a skincare company, as well as a day-time meeting for neuroscientists. There are definitely things that I learned, but overall, I felt that they went pretty smooth for the firsts.

After finalizing the event details all week, working late on Thursday, and being at the museum early on Friday, I'm happy it's Friday night. The rest of my agenda for this evening includes watching the new season of American Horror Story, drinking winter-spiced tea, and catching up on my favorite blogs. Somehow, in the midst of things, I decided I wanted a new blog design as well. Happy Friday!

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Art Deco Design Tips for a Retro Bedroom

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Chic, retro, and ultimately timeless, art deco is the latest interior design trend to re-emerge from the history books, bringing elements of art nouveau, cubism, and romanticism into your everyday. While it may be tempting to pick up a paintbrush in your living room, why not try to create a retro bedroom first, allowing you to experiment with color, patterns, and accessories in a room where your personality is king? In addition, a retro bedroom is a great place to relax, unwind, and feel truly at home, while allowing you to discover the person you could have been during the time of art and romance.

The Desirability of Art Deco
Inspired by the movement of the same name, interior art deco features bold patterns, geometric and angular shapes, shine and shimmer, the use of fabrics to create texture, stylized images of the everyday, nature motifs and theatrical elements, as well as bright and fresh concepts that were prevalent in the art of the era. Popular during the discovery of travel and tourism as a leisurely pastime, art deco also boasts exotic animal prints and patterns, which are currently bang on trend, and a real cosmopolitan feel as homeowners strive for European influences.

Incorporating Art Deco Into Your Home
Incorporating art deco into your home could not be simpler, particularly if you’re starting off with a relatively small space, such as your bedroom. First things first; don’t be afraid to show your individuality, or to experiment with colors and textures. After all, art deco is about personality and the design ideas that matter to you.

For example, rather than playing it safe with a matching bedroom suite, try bold, unique items that will stand out from one another, or add patterns and shapes in unexpected areas – if you’ve always fancied a wall hanging above your bed, go for it! Adding texture to your bedroom is also a great way to introduce an art deco feel, so consider throws, faux fur cushions, sumptuous rugs, or drapes.

You will soon learn what works in and around your bedroom, and perhaps even become a little more daring. Of course, while art deco is all about making a statement, you need to be consistent. Try not to mix and match too many patterns or colors, and if brightening your bedroom with accessories, keep the rest of your room neutral. The ways in which you choose to light your new retro bedroom should also be considered. Chrome light fittings are particularly fashionable, while window shutters are a great way to utilize natural sunlight and add sharp, edgy detail to your bedroom.

Choosing to stylize your bedroom need not break the bank. From wallpaper offcuts and single, statement accessories, to vintage items and reprinted posters, there are plenty of ways to add art deco touches to your bedroom without going overboard. Art deco is no longer a design choice for the elite, but a means of exploring a stylish era in your own bedroom. Despite its lengthy history, it is as fresh, modern, and inspired as ever – a fantastic way to stamp your personality throughout your home.

This post was contributed by an external writer. To read more about my disclosure policy, please click here.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Currently // 4

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

eating // cheese and meat. We found a shop in Ravenswood called Gene's Sausage Shop where they make their own sausages and cure their own meats. We bought a few cheeses, some wine, and cured meats like soppresata. They even make their own liverwurst in house. Liverwurst is something my mom would have on hand every once in a while. She would eat it on bagels and it's kind of comforting to me now. Because my grandfather is German, I'm thinking it may have been a comfort thing for her too.

drinking // wine. I was on a gin kick for a little while, and now it's autumn and I've fallen in love with red wine all over again. Beaujolais nouveau est arrivee (presque)! Also, we found this beer at the sausage shop that is made in Wisconsin, that my dad had on hand one day when we went to his house for dinner in Florida. His friend sent it to him, and apparently it's only made this time of year. S thought that he would never see this random Wisconsin beer ever again, and there it was, a few cases piled up in the shop.

making // dreamcatchers. I ordered some supplies online and had them delivered to my house. It was a little project that I started, inspired by the Renegade Craft Fair, that has become a very relaxing hobby these days.

listening // to NPR every morning and every evening. I've always listened to NPR, but having WBEZ in Chicago has made my commute that much more interesting, I feel so in touch with the world around me. I'm also listening to some old CDs that I've found mixed into my boxes of books that I've finally unpacked. All are early 2000s like The Strokes and Tegan and Sara. The albums are from my early teenage years so as I re-listen to them, I'm feeling all the feels. Oh to be young!

celebrating // Halloween! September was busy while I was still training on events at the museum. October at work quieted down a little bit, but social events have made up for it! A new friend has recently opened up a science and art lab, or "makerspace", and I hope to assist with an insect-pinning class! The perfect spooky occasion for October!

reading // not enough. I'm still in the middle of Devil in the White City, which is historical fiction that takes places during the World's Fair in Chicago in 1893. I also started Julie and Julia because I found a copy at a thrift store for $1, so it's been my light-reading.

enjoying // the weather. Because summers in Florida have been too long these last fourteen years, and winter is coming. The crunchy leaves on the sidewalk are the soundtrack when I walk my dog. We'll be driving or walking around the neighborhood and a strong wind will blow leaves off of their branches, sprinkling confetti across the sky.

dreading // the freezing breeze off of Lake Michigan. I'm not sure if I've ever been that cold before, but I'm trying to be prepared!

wearing // boots. And dinosaur socks from my friend.

cooking // stews and soups and stocks with white wine.

travelling // to Florida for my friend's wedding day! She was my maid of honor and now I'm a bridesmaid and it's her wedding!

smelling // all of the falls scents! I ordered a few candles online that smell like fall and winter. Cheers to a cold winter inside! Speaking of ordering online...

karma // for the first time, we've experienced Chicago crime. We came home and our landlord that lives below us witnessed a package being stolen off our shared porch. By the time our landlord went outside, the thief ran off with a package of a pair of shoes S had ordered for the upcoming wedding. Gr!

feeling // generous. I volunteered to help out the museum with one of it's off-site events, Evolution at Revolution. They host it at a brewery and have a scientist speak. Volunteering for these sort of things involve a lot of my passions - events, science, brews! And it feels good to be spending my free time helping out an organization that I love, like my museum.

reminiscing // on our move to Chicago. Years ago, I was 18 and packed up my little Honda Fit and drove two hours to move to Orlando, FL for college, and for a boy. This time, in our mid-twenties, we packed up our dog and our overnight bags in the same Honda Fit, packed a big moving truck, and drove 1,000 miles to move to Chicago. I remember crossing the Illinois lines and seeing signs for Chicago on the interstate. There was mass amounts of construction on the highway, and it was scary driving in unfamiliar territory with a huge truck following me. And yet, I was still thrilled and excited to see the grey city buildings peeking out from the horizon. The closer we got, the more excited I was. And then, we made it home.

remembering // bill stanley

I originally saw this currently feature on Joy Felicity Jane.

Monday, October 05, 2015

On Working From Home

Monday, October 05, 2015

One opportunity that presented itself to me when I least expected it was working from home for a branding and marketing company. A friend was asking for me to recommend an applicant for a writing and blog editing position that he was hiring for. It was S that said, you should do it, you already do that now, why not make a career of it? So I went for it. 

It's been a year now since I've worked from home, in addition to working a full-time job at a museum. Initially I was a copy editor, and then I moved on the social media team to be the social media manager. It's been fantastically rewarding. Both were positions that did not exist previously, so I had the freedom to create the positions from scratch. I've always loved working in events and working in museums, however, blogging and social media have grown to be more than my hobbies, they began to be extra income for me. So why not do that for clients?

With the "virtual-office" position, I'm able to work on my own time, making it easy to manage two jobs. Well, "easy" as in, my second job doesn't affect my first job's schedule, and vice versa. And honestly, working from home has also been hard at times. There are weeks where I'm incredibly busy both at the museum, and with the digital marketing position. I'll work 8 am to 9 pm at times, days in a row, and it gets mentally exhausting that I have little time to dedicate to anything else. I tell S that this is why I watch so much bad TV like The Real Housewives, because by the time I have an hour to myself before sleeping, I don't want to read my books or do anything else that requires my mind.

I feel guilty at times when I'm simply cuddling on the couch with Mordechai or watching a movie with S - if I'm home, I feel like I should be working, right? Wrong. My new blog-neighbor Laura (Chicago-based) writes the blog Blogging Over Thyme, and recently wrote about the work-life balance. In that post, she wrote things I have definitely been feeling. I really love my job(s) and I can't imagine working on anything else and being this happy and fulfilled. However, I also really look forward to spending time on weekends with S and Mort, friends and family, and exploring our city. I look forward to leaving the office at a normal time and I look forward to shutting down my laptop in my home office and viewing my apartment as my home, not as my virtual office.
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