Thursday, February 23, 2012

A Month from Today...

...this is happening.  And I literally cannot wait.  Seriously.  I could watch the trailer 945 times a day.  And get chills.  And squeal.  And then text Matt that we need to get our midnight premiere tickets asap.  Like I said, I literally cannot freaking wait.

And for what it's worth...a few of my thoughts about the casting.

Katniss...perfect, brillant, and no one else besides Jennifer Lawrence could play the girl on fire.  Love.

Peeta...ehh, not quite how I pictured him, but not totally different either.  I'm cool with it.

Gale...hottie pattottie.  Perfect casting.

Cinna...Lenny Kravitz, hell yeah.  I don't know that I ever had a clear picture of Cinna in my mind, but oh my goodness, this was a fabulous casting.  Love, love, love.

Rue...another perfect choice.  And if you watched Columbiana, she was little Zoe Saldana, aka a total mini bad ass.

President, no no.  This is probably my least favorite casting.  I pictured him a little younger, creepier, and with more snakelike features.  Not a match at all.

Haymitch...the hair is dead on, but Woody Harrelson kind of creeps me out.  Perhaps because I had an awful middle school kiss in the movie Kingpin.  The only thing worse than a creepy movie or an awkward middle school kiss is an awkward middle school kiss in a creepy movie.  So yeah, Woody, I'm gonna have to close my eyes when you're on screen.

Effie Elizabeth Banks, but I wish they wouldn't have doctored her up so much.  I pictured Effie to be less alien-like, and more freakishly put together, perfected by the Capital ways.  Almost like Rita Skeeter from Harry Potter.  In fact, I'm pretty sure I pictured Rita Skeeter the whole time I was reading the books.  Fail.

Caesar Flickerman...Stanley Tucci can do no wrong.  Love him.

Ok, that wraps up my Hunger Games ramblings for the week.  I will try to keep my freakish fan posting to a minimum.  But as the next month winds down, I can't promise I won't have a few minor freak outs.  And for my fellow HG fans, I'm dying to hear your thoughts on the casting!  Who fits and who doesn't?  Do tell!

Monday, February 20, 2012


Picnik collage-This weekend Chicago was blessed with some warm and sunny weather.  45 degrees is pretty unheard of for February in Chicago, so we spent most of Sunday afternoon out and about.
-Yep, I'm still wearing this vest!  I'm obsessed and am already brainstorming ways to wear it as a poolside coverup ;)

Picnik collage2-I thrifted these earrings a while back, but haven't pulled them out until this weekend.  Oversized, gold, and adorned with fringe...have I mentioned I'm from Texas?
-We love the grounds of the Art Institute and make it a point to wonder through often, even if we're not going into the actual exhibits.

Picnik collage3-We tried Mi Tierra, a new-to-us Mexican restaurant in Lakeview, and were pleasantly surprised.  Many of the Mexican restaurants here in Chicago don't offer endless chips and salsa, and as a girl who grew up on Tex-Mex, I just can't quite get used to this.  So when servers kept swooping by for refills, we were elated.  It's the little things.
-The yummy margaritas didn't hurt either :)

Picnik collage4-Sunday night, we enjoyed date night at Theater Wit.  The small theaters in Chicago can kind of be hit or miss, but Theater Wit was definitely a hit!
-Matt snagged preview performance tickets for "The Fisherman," and we both really loved the story.  If you're a Chicago local, I definitely recommend going!

Picnik collage5-I snagged these adorable polka dot socks on clearance at Target today.  I can't wait to see them peeking out of my jeans this spring!
-As I mentioned on my Facebook page, I had an early morning interview today, then decided to take the rest of the day off for a mental health day.  (I'm a big believer that taking the occasional mental health day can ward off having to take sick days.)  And what better to enjoy for a mental health day lunch than Portillo's?  Yum is always an understatement at Portillo's.

So that's what's new around here.  How about you; what's was your weekend?


Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Wonton Valentine

Given that Valentine's Day was during the week this year, it meant a Valentine's dinner with Matt was out of the question.  As much as we love each other, I couldn't justify a 4 hour round trip just to have dinner together on a Tuesday night.  However, given that 2 out of the 3 other interns are away from their sweeties this year, we decided we would band together and celebrate the special occasion together.  Then at the last minute, we got asked to do an outreach presentation, and well, given that we were already solo, we decided why not?  So after we got off work late last night, we headed straight for an easy crowd pleaser...Chinese food.  Nothing says sexy like red wine and wontons :)

Picnik collageTea for the table.
One of each, please.

Picnik collage2Egg drop soup.
"Cheersies."  My new favorite word during dinner toasts.

Picnik collage3I had the brillant idea to take pictures with our sweeties.  It was almost like they were there at dinner with us :)

Picnik collage4Calories don't count on holidays.
I had the lamest fortune ever.  (Apparently the cookie gods are trying to keep me accountable for my 2012 focused effort.)

So even though I wasn't with Matt on the big day, I still had a blast celebrating with 2 people who are making this internship year more bearable.  How did you celebrate yesterday?  I bet you can't compete with my fried rice date night :)

Monday, February 13, 2012

My Weekend View

IMG 0373

This was pretty much my view all weekend.  The background changed: our apartment, a coffee shop, the dinner table, our bed, in front of a roaring fire.  But the foreground, nope it stayed the same.  This weekend, in 24 hours, I read the first two books in The Hunger Games series, and oh my goodness...I'm obsessed.  Now I realize why everyone else and their mom has read this series.  It's amazing, addicting, and literally impossible to put down.  (Trust me, at 2:00 am on Sunday morning, I tried to force myself to shut my Kindle.  No luck; it was literally glued to my hands.)

So while I'm pretty sure I'm the last person on Earth to read the series, I've got no shame.  Because holy hell, the series is amazing.  I'm already planning to hide under the covers all night, book light in hand.  I can't promise I won't finish the last of the three books.  By tomorrow :)

PS: Am I the only one who is just now reading the series?  And now counting down to the movie?  And obsessing over every character and plot detail?

Thursday, February 9, 2012


Halfway{via pinterest}

Last month, I hit the 6 month mark of my internship, which means I'm halfway done.  6 months down, 6 months to go.  The experience so far has been a combination of wonderful, hard, exhausting, and rewarding.  There are days I feel like I'm on top of the world, and there are days I wonder, can I make it to Friday?  The past 6 months have truly felt like a journey.  In many ways, its hard for me to believe its only been 6 months; it feels like so much longer.  Part of that, I think, is due to the fact that its the homestretch of this 6 year degree.  I often hear marathon runners talk about the last few miles being the hardest, and though I'm far from a marathon runner, (understatement, I can't even run a mile), this Ph.D has been nothing short of a grueling race, filled with doubt, excitement, success, and detours.  But these last few miles have been filled with their own challenges, their own successes, and their own lessons.  So I thought I'd take a second to share a few of the biggest lessons I've learned during the past 6 months.

Being away from Matt is hard. Really hard.  I know this one shouldn't surprise me, but it has.  I knew being apart for this year would be hard, but I counted on weekend visits to reenergize me and get me going.  I consider myself to be a strong independent woman, and I've never wanted to rely on a man (or anyone else for that matter) for happiness or strength.  I of course love that Matt contributes to my happiness and strength, but prior to internship, I didn't really like the idea of relying on him for those things.  But after the past 6 months, I've calmed down about that and realized that it is ok to rely on your partner to be a source of energy and joy.  Not my only source of course, but a big one.  Matt is definitely a big support, and being apart has taught me that's not just okay...that's totally awesome.

The current college generation is full of movers and shakers. I'm so tired of hearing people complain about today's youth.  As someone who works closely with college students every single day, I can tell you that many of them are incredibly thoughtful, creative, dedicated, and resilient.  Sure, they're attached to their phones, but that doesn't make them ungrateful or entitled.  This generation has their own identity, and I think we need to spend more time appreciating it than criticizing it.

Good playlists are important for long drives. I travel four hours each weekend, and about two weekends into this year, I realized I couldn't get through the commute without my Britney and throwback Missy Elliot jams.

Social support is critical. Internship is exhausting, hard, and emotionally draining.  I get through it because I have three other girls going through the same thing with me.  We were friends for about a week, and then we literally became living life rafts for each other.  When one is stressed, the others help her pick it up.  When two want to give up, the other two remind them, "You can do it!"And when all four of us are stressed...well, we open a bottle of wine.

Netflix is a lifesaver. This might seem like a lame lesson, but for a girl who doesn't have cable (or any tv channels for that matter), Netflix is my go to option for cheap and easy Monday-Thursday entertainment.  I typically work 60 hours a week, so to have 342 episodes of Numbers at the click of a button...well, it means no effort entertainment for me.

I'm good at what I do. Sometimes during this crazy journey, I get caught up in all I have to learn, all that I don't know.  I've been a student for so long, that's it's easy to focus on what I'm not doing right or what needs to be better.  I'm not perfect, and I won't ever be.  But this year has reminded me that it's ok to slow down, and realize I do know what I'm doing, and I'm doing a pretty good job at it.

Six months down, six to go.  Bring it on :)

Monday, February 6, 2012


Picnik collage1. Homemade spicy BLTs, the best Saturday lunch treat ever!
2. Saturday matinee of The Woman in Black, which if you follow me on Facebook, you know I thought was insanely scary (and very true to the original London play!)

Picnik collage23. Excited to get my new Hana dryer (c/o Misikko) in the mail.  You can see me opening my giant box in my first ever blog video here.
4. Matt and I recently started juicing, and this was one of my favorite concoctions from the weekend.  Carrots, oranges, apples, and ginger root...yummy!

Picnik collage35. My Saturday night dinner with friends outfit.  I snagged this sweater from Anthropologie right before Christmas and am so in love with it.  I saw it on a woman in Ann Taylor and chased her down to ask her about it.  I went to the mall the next day, found it, and made it mine.  It's my first "have to have it impulse buy" in a long time, and I don't regret it one bit.  (That's how I know I really love it!)
6. Working on job and postdoc applications at a coffee shop most of Sunday.  Luckily, I got news of my first interview this morning, woo hoo!

Picnik collage47. Manicure of the week.  OPI Glitzerland+Essie Haute as Hello.  The Essie polish is much more peach than the picture lets on, and I can't help but get a peek into spring when I look down at my ring finger!
8. Watching the Superbowl at home, loving all the extras outside of the game.  My favorite commercial?  Definitely the naked MMs :)

How was your weekend?  What's new?

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Misikko Review and My First Ever Blog Video


This weekend, I am so excited to share my first ever blog video!  I've gotten lots of requests for a blog video, and after much delay, I finally gave in.  (I really didn't think the whole world needed to experience my Minnie Mouse on video voice!)  The timing was also right, considering that I'm partnering with Misikko for a product review and giveaway.  The package came in the mail this week, and though I haven't yet had a chance to use the products, I thought I'd give you a sneak peek into the package.  (Particularly because Misikko has the most beautiful packaging!)  I'll be back within the next week or two for a full review and giveaway details, but until then, enjoy a first hand look at all the goodies that arrived and an early jump on what you might be able to win!

And let me know what you think about blog videos...more in the future or please don't ever record another one? :)

Thursday, February 2, 2012


Yesterday{via pinterest}

Yesterday I had one of those very awful, terrible, not so great, bad days.  It started to go downhill early in the morning and just kept creeping towards worse.  The day eventually ended with a small (ok maybe medium) meltdown, that resulted in Matt pulling through like always, calming me down and reminding me things will be ok.  Yesterday is old, today is new.  Yesterday is gone, today is here, and I'm determinded to make it better.

For anyone else that had a rough day lately, let's agree to not let yesterday take up too much of our time, and let's make today better.