Birthday vibes

Hello 26!

Yesterday I celebrated my birthday.  The day got off to a slow start because I have been feeling sick for the last three days.  Body aches, sore throat, and stuffy nose — I didn’t let that stop me.

My parents surprised me with an early dinner at Cochon Volant, 100 W Monroe St. Chicago, IL.

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Again my love for France from my trip continues.  The decor of this place reminds me of the French bars we would sit at and drink beer and coffee while staring at the Eiffel Tower!

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Cochon Volant – Flying Pig in English has the cutest logo.  Helps if you do not know the translation at first.

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We came during their lunch hours, so appetizers filled the menu.  We decided on the Warm Brie Plate and Croque Madame Eggrolls.  Looking back I realized I didn’t take photos to share… but it was because it was so good!  Once we got the dishes we dug in and although it was appealing to the eye my stomach was very pleased as well!

If you have been is there anything you would recommend from the dinner menu?  I am interested in going back soon!

Check please,

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The check comes with a Cochon Volant postcard!  What a cute way to market yourself!

After we arrived home we played games on the deck as we enjoyed some refreshing beverages.  The weather today although hot on the day side was perfect for deck drinking.  It was a great way to kick off my vacation as well as celebrate my official adulthood.  I’m off my parents insurance (insert crying).

I will keep you updated on all the vacation fun to come!

Thanks to everyone reading and to everyone who made my birthday memorable!

-A

Treat yourself

Hello all,

Today was my day to get my nails redone.

Although the length is a little long for my liking I am really in love with the design.

The guy who did them has been a nail tech for 18 years!  He’s super talented obviously.

If you are interested I went to Magic Nails in Countryside… they opened a new location near the Best Buy – 11 Countryside Plz.  I visited this one with a friend today after work and it is so nice!  Everything is new and spacious, less busy than the other location but I doubt it will stay like that for long.  Has anyone else in the area been here?  How was your experience?

 

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My ring finger is done to look like marbling.  The rest of my nails are done in white/ grey ombre.

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Many times when I tell people this is where I get my nails done they talk about price.  Yes, it is a bit expensive, however you get what you pay for.  The entire expeirence and products are high quality and if I am going to treat myself why not I am not going to pick the McDonalds of nail salons.  I want the Gibson’s of nail salons if I am paying for something to last me 3 weeks.

Also I do the DIP which can last 3-4 weeks… meaning I am paying $2 a day for nice nails… not bad in my book.

P.S. Right now until the end of May they have 15% off at the new location!

Hope everyone is wrapping up their week in a fantastic way!

If you haven’t done anything to treat yourself this week go a head… you deserve it!

Below is a throwback to walking the Paris streets… oh how I miss this!

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-A

Fun and Games

Welcome back!

It has been a few days.  Hope everyone had a wonderful Mother’s Day!

I had the pleasure of watching my Aunt graduate with her Masters of Law.  Literally the most inspirational ceremony, I cried pretty much the entire time.  Both because my aunt is a bad ass and can accomplish anything she puts her mind to and because the inspirational words shared hit home.  One speaker spoke about the importance of what you get from your career, with the exception of money.  How money (although a necessity in life) should not keep you doing something that doesn’t bring you happiness and provide value to your life and the lives of those around you.

I know he was talking to the new graduates, but the speech was for the moment of life I am currently in.  It was nice to be reminded by someone who doesn’t even know me.

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Also tickets for Pokemon Go Fest in Chicago went on sale… and sold out this past Friday.

Brian and I were lucky enough to have gotten a pair.  I am hoping for the sake of players who were unable to get tickets Niantic will rethink the platform they use to sell tickets to events so they are not purchased by people who are going to mark up the price.

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Needless to say I am so excited! Brian and I went last year and it was fun, despite my cellphone reception being horrible, which I blame AT&T for not Niantic.

Is anyone traveling to Chicago for the event?  Where are you traveling from?  Did you have troubles getting tickets?  What are you most excited for?

Here is a picture of us last year…

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I am also looking forward to the nice tan I will be getting walking around catching Pokemon!

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Brian also sent me this bar that Replay in Lincoln Park is doing a Pokemon themed event that starts on my birthday!  Can we all guess where I will be?  You’re smart.

Is anyone else interested in this event?  The event runs from May 25th- June 4th.  Below is the event description:

Starting on Memorial Day weekend, we’re transforming our bar into a Pokemon trainer’s paradise, complete with themed drinks, a Pokemon Center and Pokemart, and lured pokestops for all you Pokemon Go players.

But if that weren’t enough, we’re also allowing budding trainers to take on the Replay Pokemon League Challenge. When you visit, you’ll be able to ask your bartender for a Trainer Card, with spaces for eight badges earned through ordering specific themed badge shots at the bar. If you collect all eight, you’ll be able to challenge one of our Elite Four at Pokemon Stadium. If you prevail, you will receive a prize pack fit for a champion.

Not feeling competitive? We’ll also have wild Pokemon hidden all around the bar. Catching them by entering a code on a specific website will unlock discounts and goodies. We’ve even heard rumors that there are some legendary Pokemon out there that will unlock secret menu drinks!

Let Brian and I know if you are going?  What part of this do you find the most exciting?

We will be there and be geeky.

This week keeps getting better…

Drake announced he will be in Chicago August 17th and 18th.  Who is going?  It has been a few years since I went to see him so I am so happy he’s back in Chicago!

More to come on Drake because I have not purchased my tickets yet but I can hardly wait to do so!

-A

Attitude of Gratitude

Tonight was so much fun!

My aunts, grandmother, mom, and I all spent a pre Mother’s Day night out.  We went to the pre-screening of Book Club.  A must see!  It was so hilarious!

Have you watched the trailer?  What are your thoughts?  Are you going to see it May 18th when it’s in theaters?

After the movie we enjoyed a nice dinner at the pizza place near the theater.

I honestly couldn’t navigate life without her.  She is my biggest supporter and my voice of reason when I am in need.  She has taught me so much over the years and my need for her wise words and strategic thinking has only increased as I age.  I am so grateful to have her as a mother and best friend.  (P.S. Jerzday has been moved to Friday!)

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All my mothers in one picture… Mom, Grandma, and Godmother.

I wouldn’t be the person I am without these wonderful women!  I literally am my grandma in so many ways it’s crazy!  As an adult it’s so wonderful to see the impact of those around you in your actions, mannerisms, and of corse looks.

Looking forward to doing this again with these ladies and I am so excited to celebrate them again this Sunday!  Any interesting Mother’s Day plans?

I would also like to add as a reminder that some people no longer have their mothers to celebrate Mother’s Day with.  We should use this as an opportunity to celebrate all women who have shaped our life with their love.  Celebrate and love your moms everyday, because they deserve it!

Happy Mother’s Day!

-A

Hello Spring

Welcome back!

The weather in Chicago is finally feeling a little bit more consistent, so are my allergies.  I’d take spring over winter any day so despite my allergies I am very excited!

Here are some of my daily must haves for spring/summer:

 

As you know I am still working on finishing up You Are A Badass by Jen Sincero.

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These slide on sandals are my all time favorite right now for both comfort and trend.  These are $22.99 at Old Navy, I purchased the black suede and these blue and white striped ones about 3 weeks ago and I am so excited to start wearing them as the weather improves.  I will definitely be purchasing more of these in the other colors.

The candle pictured is Watermelon Lemonade from Bath and Body Works.  I love this scent so much I have bought about 7 of these candles in the last two months.  It is so fresh and makes me feel like it is summer already.  They also just added the body wash which I also had to get because I loved the scent so much!

 

These are some of the skincare/haircare products I use consistently throughout the summer.

 

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This Urban Decay Beached Bronzer is probably the best of all the bronzers I have tried.  I bought it in Bronzed because as the summer progresses I tan fairly easily and need the darker of the bronzers.  I like that this doesn’t have an overwhelming amount of shimmer because I have tried many that do and I just never used them for longer than a week.

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This Mary Kay Timewise age-fighting moisturizer got me through my driest days in the winter.  It moisturized my face without making it oily, the major perk is it is SPF 30 so will be very useful in the summer!

 

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This is one of my favorite lazy day hair sprays.  The Surf infusion spray by Bumble and Bumble creates beautiful beauty waves.  This was part of a sample size pack so it is only 1.5 fl oz. but as you can see I have gone through a bit so I will need to stock up soon.  This can be found at Ulta, Sephora, and occasionally at TJ Maxx.

 

 

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I was first introduced to this product at the salon I get my eyebrows threaded.  Humphrey’s Witch Hazel can be used to reduce redness and tone your face.  I usually put this on after I have washed my face in the morning/evening.  They have many different scents and this one is my favorite right behind the original scent.  I found this one at TJ Maxx for $9.99.

What are your favorite spring/summer products? Any recommendations let me know in the comments!

*I apologize for not having prices or places to locate all the items.*

 

Happy Spring!

-A

 

 

13 Lessons

Late last year my boyfriend and I began to binge watch some Netflix series’ as a way of spending some time together.  Our second choice was 13 Reasons Why.  I had heard little about the series prior to becoming interested in watching but I think it is something that is worth while for teens today.

After watching the series I saw all the controversy that is caused.  However I think it is still something the world needed to see.  I do not believe it glorified suicide but instead shed light on the following lessons the world needs… these are the 13 things I took from the series.  If you haven’t watched do it quick season two drops May 18th!  If you have what is your opinion of the series? Are you excited for season 2?

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  1. What you say matters.  Words seem so simple but once they are said they can remain with someone forever.  This series opened my eyes to how judgmental the world is, I am at fault of this too.  When someones interests don’t align with ours what is our first thought?  Something must be wrong with them… incorrect something is wrong with the thought we are all suppose to share the same point of view.  Chose your words wisely.
  2. What you do matters.  Remember when you told Julie you would come to her birthday party.  Something “better” came up and you ditched it.  Julie didn’t forget, in fact it changed your friendship.  My point: what we do or in some cases fail to do matters.  People remember things and their feelings can be impacted by our actions. Chose to do right by yourself and others.
  3. You do not always know what is going on in someone’s life.  There are things people do not feel comfortable sharing based on many factors.  Whether it be a death or illness in the family, a personal illness, a personal trauma, or just a bad day.  Some people rather not speak on personal things in their life no matter how close you are with them.  Therefor bullet 1 & 2 are critical to ensuring what little we can offer be positive.
  4. Little things become big things.  When someone is suffering from any type of depression or anxiety something you view as small may seem like a huge occurrence in their life.  This basically is a reminder that bullets 1, 2, & 3 are critical.  Do not get me wrong, you are not to blame for having bad days, but if you make someone else’s day bad, well that’s your fault.  You have so much to offer make sure it shows in all that you do.
  5. We all need a quality friend.  I added quality because we all have friends.  Friends of quality are harder to come across.  More important being a friend of quality is not an easy task.  We can’t all be perfect and our friends understand that, but this point goes back to bullet 2.
  6. Be a quality friend.  Shocking next point, huh? Your actions matter, treat others as you expect to be treated.

The next set of points come from experiencing the first 6.

  1. Take people’s opinions with a grain of salt.  No one is perfect and no one opinion or way of life is correct.  We learn to live life the best way suitable for ourselves and families.  Do NOT change who you are or what you do based on a simple opinion.
  2. People are going to let you down.  Since no one is perfect this bullet is easily true.  We can not always make everyone happy and in most cases our intention is not to make people unhappy.  However we will disappoint some times.  Do NOT focus on a one time action, focus on a repetitive action, this will allow you to determine the intention of the person and make it easier to walk away from their behavior.  Remember we are human and you deserve to be treated with the respect you treat others with.
  3. Stand up for yourself and others.  If you have mastered the confidence it takes to execute the bullets above you probably stand up for yourself.  But remember some of us are still working on these skills, we need your help.  Stand up for others if you know something or someone is treating them wrong.  It is easier to handle things with a friend, no one should go through anything alone.
  4. Ask for help when needed.  Life is not rainbows and butterflies, we all need help at some point.  Do not be ashamed to reach out for help.  You never know what you will find, many people are going through similar things.  You are NOT alone.
  5. Help.  Be there for someone when they need it.  If someone reaches out to you and you are unable to help, find someone who can.  Most people just want a friend and someone to talk to they aren’t expecting a million dollar check and all their problems to go away.
  6. Do not speak.  Like I said some people just want to vent.  They need a hug.  They want to get coffee and cry it out.  Do not try to solve their issues with words.  Your presence is enough and your ability to listen means everything.
  7. Locate help.  Like I said before if you are unable to help someone by following all the other bullets it may be time to locate professional help.  Depression is a serious mental illness that affects over 18 million adults in any given year.  It is also the leading cause of disability for ages 15-44.  If you or anyone you know is looking for someone to talk to or is in need of help visit here for more information.  You can also visit the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline for free and confidential support.

I learned so much from this show and its rough topics.  I honestly wished it was around when I was a teen so I was more aware how impactful what I did an said to the people around me could affect them.

If you have not watched this series I encourage you to do so!  I also encourage you to talk about these issues and spread awareness so that everyone who is in need of help is able to receive the treatment and support they need in order to beat their battle with depression/mental illness.

Don’t forget to watch the second season premiering May 18th on Netflix.

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-A

 

Late night inspiration

Welcome back,

As I sit here unable to fall asleep while scrolling through LinkedIn I came across some motivating words.

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These are Gary Vaynerchuk’s  things to consider as you strive for happiness and success.

I came across Gary’s LinkedIn page a few days ago and I have been inspired by him everyday since.  He is an entrepreneur, best selling author, and one of the most sought after public speakers.  His podcast is what caught my attention when I visited his page and his energy is so captivating I couldn’t stop watching.

If you are in the mood for some personal and business advice I encourage you to follow him.  Do not take his words lightly, go out and live your dream!

Is there anyone you find inspirational for business/personal growth, leave a link or their name in the comments so I can utilize them for motivation as well!

Part of me starting this blog was about doing something for me, working on my day dream if you will.  Many of us spend 7-10 hours working on someone else’s dream only to come home make dinner and fall asleep.  Never forget to do something daily that moves you closer to your dream.

No matter what you work on today, big or small, make it count!  Give it your all and NEVER GIVE UP!

Also channel inspiration from the things around you…

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The universe, will send you signs and little bits our encouragement.  The full moon the last few days has been a total sign to me from the universe.

Anyone capture any cool photos from the full moon? Share in the comments!

This encouraged me to do some reading…

The moon is the planet that governs feminine energy.  It is traditionally understood to be powerfully emotional, intuitive, and rooted in wisdom of the subconscious. Full moons are notorious for being a signal of sudden endings.  It’s a time when we face the consequences of earlier actions or decisions we’ve made.  The key to dealing with any job, relationship, or situation coming to a close at the full moon is to not fight it, and to simply let it go.  Whatever safety you’re attempting to cling to is exactly what is putting your personal growth in danger.

-The Scorpio 2018 Full Moon Meaning Is More Intense Than You Think, Here’s What You Should Know by Rosebud Baker

This article was spot on and gave me chills.

Side note: universe just so you know I am loving your signs.  The full moon was beautiful now time to put change in action!

-A