Tourist in my own city

I have a habit of becoming a tourist when I am up North, no matter how many times I go.

Three times in a week was nice and provided some beautiful pictures.

I have been busy as you can tell from the lack of posts…

Both work and summer concerts have been consuming the last few weeks. On the July 24th, Brian and I went to see 3 Doors Down.  It was my first concert at Northerly Island Park and I must say it’s a very underestimated venue.  I actually am eager to attend more shows there next year.



Blissful views.

To follow that up we went to see Foo Fighters on July 29th and 30th.  This was my second and third time seeing them.  Such a great show, despite the drunk 40-50 year olds who we sat by each night.  Last time we saw them in 2015, Dave had a broken leg and although he put on a great show from his throne, it was nice to see him commanding every inch of the stage this time around.



If you have never been to a concert at Wrigley Field you’re missing out, GO NOW!

If you have been to Wrigley concert name your favorite one? Who did you see?

My favorites in this order:

  1. Tom Petty (his last concert in Chicago)
  2. Foo Fighters 2018
  3. Green Day
  4. Foo Fighters 2015

Side note: Just realized my first time seeing all of those artists was at Wrigley. Crazy!



Thank you to my amazing boyfriend for such a week of great memories!  There is nothing better than live music with the one you love (rocking out on my arm guitar).


Until next time you can catch me watching videos on my phone reliving these concerts and screaming lyrics at the top of my lungs…. buy ear plugs now.


Go Fest 2018

Welcome back,

This past weekend was filled with some gamming fun.

Niantic definitely made up for last year.  ALL cell service worked and I was able to play the game!!!



Although Brian and I were unable to catch Celebi, which still is super upsetting.  I think Niantic stepped up the creativity with this event and definitely made it an experience throughout the park.


Although I am no event planner, I have a few suggestions for future events:

  • Have multiple entries – this was an issue last year and by adding another entrance that helped however, no addresses were given for the entrances on our map.  Having 21,000 people entering only two places is a bit chaotic.
  • The event should be in a more enclosed area.  The length of the park and the lack of detail in where the entrances were made it difficult to activate our QR codes in order to start our Go Fest 2018 research tasks.  This made catching Celebi difficult since you had to visit each habitat which were pretty far in distance.
  • Train the help… The people who were helping keep people on track and walking in the right direction literally kept saying “I think it’s this way…”  I do not need them to be experts but at least know which direction the South/North Gates are.
  • Since the park was so large – more food trucks would have been lovely.  The South Gate had three food trucks… We waited in an hour and a half line for what was advertised as the best beef in Chicago and was indeed NOT.  When we made our way to the North Gate there were four food trucks… with once again 15-20 minute lines for water.


Also spent some time being a creep on some of our favorite Pokemon Go Youtubers.



Between all the media they had to shoot they spent some time catching Pokemon near us!  Brian and I were super excited, more so Brian, he interrupted me catching a Snorunt in order to stalk them. :).


I had so much fun and can’t wait to walk another 20,000 steps with you again next year babe!

Did you go?  Tell us about your experience in the comments!  Are you from Chicago?  Where do you find the most luck when playing Pokemon Go?



I’m alive

Hello all,

As you may or may not have noticed it’s been a few days…

Last weekend Brian and I attended our first concert of the summer, Weezer! As always it was such a great show!

My absence on the blog has not been a result of an unbalanced life by any means, I am currently taking the time to learn and understand my role. I have entered one of the most upbeat, empowering, and positive environments. Day 1 all of my “what if” questions disappeared.

Tomorrow Brian and I embark on Pokémon Go Fest 2018! The excitement is real!

Thank you for stopping back to check in.

More to come on my transition into my new job and some fun summer activities we have planned.

See you soon!


Thanks for the memories

Hello again,

I have some great news:  I start my new job Monday!

Emotions I am currently feeling: excited, nervous, anxious, and motivated.

This move is a huge step for me to live out my blogs intention: Work Life Balance.

As I look forward to this new chapter in my life and get ready to embrace the most change I’ve had in 8 years, I also am reflecting on the wonderful network of friends I have made along the way.

For those friends reading… your friendship has made saying goodbye hard.  I know many of us will chat via Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn but never forget I am a phone call away.

Today I was surprised by two friends with this wonderful addition to my Alex and Ani collection.  The bracelet colors matched the shirt I wore today perfectly! (Background pattern is the shirt.) I’M OBSESSED!


Randal and Nicole you will be greatly missed on my new journey.  Keep holding it down for the ladies and doing the excellent work you have always done!

My biggest trophy of all that I was given while I launched my career was Brian.  He came into my life when I least expected it and it was perfect.  Through this entire process my family and Brian have offered so much support and encouragement while I was making my decision to pursue a career with a different company.  I can never thank you all enough for listening to the hours on end of contemplating, crying, and complaining.

I wouldn’t change a thing about this experience because it has given me the best friends.

I do not have photos with everyone or they are just super hard to find….

I love you all. Thank you for making this the most memorable 7 years!


Dog life


Many of you already know my dog obsession from reading my past posts.  If you aren’t aware, prepare yourself.


I started to use my camera to take some good photos of my dogs.  Believe it or not they have learned to stay still and I secretly think they enjoy modeling.


Buttercup and Bella trying to squeeze on a seat for their photo op.


I can’t help it but they are the cutest!  So obsessed with how these came out.



I can’t forget the boys who haven’t learned to sit long enough to get model like photos.

Maddox (top photo)

Bandit (bottom)


Hope you enjoyed the photos.  Thought I would share the cuteness.



In Loving Memory

Welcome back all,

So you will notice it’s been far too long since I posted.  Nothing crazy has happened but spending quality time with my family and enjoying the weather has been rather enjoyable.

On June 10th, Brian, his family, and I celebrated his Mother’s birthday and life.  I have plenty of pictures of the church but have yet to download them to my laptop, so more to come.


Brian talked about his Mother often when we first met and I could tell how much he loved her.  His love for his Mother actually made me fall in love with the person she raised him to be.  Brian’s mom had kidney issues and was being treated with daily dialysis which Brian had learned to do at home.  He shared this information with me early on in our friendship and well, it made him look good in my eyes.  He spent his nights after work setting up her dialysis machine and nearly turned down our first “date” in order to do so.

Brian lost his mom three years ago.  At the time, Brian and I had only been dating a little over 4 months and I had only met his mother once and visited with her in the hospital once.  Our first meeting was not how any of us would have pictured it.  We met in the emergency room after she had fallen because her blood sugar dropped too low.

Growing up I developed this fear of hating my future in-laws.  I think it came from the famous “you marry the family” line.

Although Olga and I did not have much time together it was enough for me to understand why Brian loved her so much.  It’s common knowledge that kids love their parents.  However, the bond you have with your children depends on many factors.  Brian and his mom were like best friends.  She would joke around with him and in the same breath tell him to cut the shit.  I wish I would have gotten to spend more time with her but I know she is watching over us, probably wondering how we put up with each other, stubborn and emotional.


Thank you for raising the man of my dreams.




In Loving Memory of 

Olga Mendez

June 10, 1948 – June 11, 2015 


Vacation Recap

Hello all,

Better late than never.

As I settle in from my absurdly long vacation I am so grateful for all I did while enjoying time with my wonderful family and boyfriend.  The picture below represents my feelings on being 26.


As many of you saw via my Instagram, my dog Bella cut the webbing of her paw prior to my vacation.  Although we do not know what she was injured on in our yard we do know she’s a wild child and loves to get into things.  This didn’t ease my animal loving heart when I first found out.  I shed a tear for sure.  This also allowed for lots of cuddles with “Coney,” our official nickname for this little one.



Bella is officially cone free and loving life again.  She enjoys running around in the yard looking for bunnies and jumping up on hind legs too look over our deck at the neighbors dog while barking.  I swear the neighbor dog thinks we are insane (she doesn’t know the half of it).


A few days after my birthday Brian and I went to Replay to see the Pokemon set up for their event (As mentioned in prior post).  Since, they’ve now expanded the event to incorporate the entire bar and a Pokedex to “catch em all.”


The time this must have taken earned my respect and also made me want to hire them! What do you think about the decor?  Have you gone to Replay or are you interested in going?


Brian and I received all of our badges and it was such a fun time!

Later in the week my friend Kayte was in visiting from Seattle.  Oh man did I miss her!  It is nice to have friends who’ve nearly lived your entire life with you.  It is like choosing your family.  16 years of friendship and still holding on for dear life trying to adult. : )


Brian and I also finished 13 Reasons Why 2, I haven’t found the words to express how I feel about it yet.  I suppose it’s similar to how I felt after season one, check out my 13 Lessons post for my recap of what I got from season one.  Did you watch season 2?  What are your thoughts/feelings about the seasons huge end?

To wrap up vacation Brian gave me my gift.  Literally one of my favorite gifts of all time!  The gift of a hobby and art, in the form of a Cannon Rebel T6.  I’ve always loved capturing a moment and being able to see the beauty in it forever!  I am so excited to have the highest of quality memories for both myself and my family.  Thank you again babe!

Special thank you to everyone who called, text, facebook messaged, and spent my birthday with me.  Here is to 26!  I am ready for what this next year has in store for me!

– A