Category Archives: living in chicago

living in chicago

Strawburries

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Have you seen this? Do you remember this?

Hilarious. And the whole time I was strawberry picking yesterday I was saying “Strawburry” in my head and remembering how funny this video was.

That’s right, I went strawberry picking yesterday. And what’s better than a strawberry patch on a clear and sunny day? And outlet mall within 5 minutes. And Culver’s. And of course a best friend.

{loved the signage}

{strawberry lane}

{berry beautiful}

indulging and purging

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{trimming the tree}

I love the holidays: family, food, church, traditions, new things, old things. But I have to say that usually when it’s all over I feel like purging, in more than one way.* Our families were so generous to us this year; more than we deserve in more than one way. It left me feeling very indulgent and got me thinking about what I love about Christmas. What’s important; what I want my kids to focus on; what traditions we want to keep; which ones we need to purge. I for one felt a little frantic, like when we finally got to the moments we’d been waiting for, we rushed through them, took a couple pictures, hurried to clean up and move on to the next thing. A lot of this has to do with us bopping back and forth between two wonderful families, two sets of meaningful traditions and all our years of expectations about holidays, but I haven’t quite figured out how to make it all work.

{pleased as punch}

So what’s a girl to do? (Besides finish off the holiday goodies of course.)

Purge.*

So that’s what I’ve been thinking about. Purging some of my expectations about the holidays; purging some of the assumed obligations (including, eek, GIFTS, or at least the type of gifts), and purging some stuff.

{handmade by my sister}

We don’t need all the stuff we have, we don’t use all the stuff we have. So with the feelings of indulgency (is that word?) I’ve decided we need a stuff purge. A giant ikea bag has already been started. Now there are some really good ways to get rid of extra things and help others. We’re big fans of the little thrift shop around the corner that supports the local church which has a community dinner every Sunday night for those who need it. Scored a sweet chalkboard there.

Another great option is freecycle.org. You can check out their website, but this is a great option because people actually come and get the stuff from you. (When I was working with people who were homeless I was able to get some really nice and necessary things for new homes throug this) Goodwill, Salvation Army, Women’s shelters, etc. There are plenty of good places that need your stuff more than you do. Find one that feels good.

Oh and Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

*I do not condone forms of purging that involve vomit.

sneak post

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Sooooo close to the end of the semester, 1 presentation and 1 paper left and I really really should be working on that stuff. BUT I can’t stop thinking about all the things I’ll do on my month in between this semester and summer semester. I literally have a list on my desk of things to do which includes cutting my dog’s hair, tailoring a pair of jeans and finding a new apartment. Not the most fun things, but I am starting to collect other ideas. Maybe a few of these will interest you. Let’s be honest, most involve food.  Which means I need to add running to that list.

  • got a weird craving for this in class today, minus raisins
  • go thrifting to find some more tea cups so someday when I have a giant kitchen I can make this.
  • organize my life with some of these.
  • take photos of my new pottery.
  • have some soup.
  • make some cheese.
  • and more bread. (sounds like a good meal right there)
  • and some sweet treats.

If the weather gets nice going to the beach will be on that list as well. But honestly I’ll probably be bored in a week. :)

shine on

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SUN today! And in support of the almost 40 degree weather I am not wearing my coat. Take that winter.

I’m sure there will be some payback tonight about 9:30 while I’m waiting for the bus.

Either way spring seems like it’s maybe, kinda, almost on its way, and I think I’m going to like living in this city again.

Christmas Cactus

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{bloom baby bloom}

What a nice little surprise! This little cactus is an heirloom plant that my lovely aunts gave me before I got married. Plants are clearly an adult rite of passage. Now I’ve been married almost 2 years now and all three plants have survived 2 years AND a move to Chicago. I think maybe if these plants die that guilt will be dispersed into the air since they’ve survived 3 generations now.

{notice our beautiful view of  the wall}

ANYWAY. This cactus is on our window sill in the kitchen and just the other day I looked over the edge and saw this hot pink lovely flower. I haven’t been tracking how many times it’s bloomed, but it’s not that often so I thought I would share it with you. I’m not sure the dogs appreciate it as much.

I’ll take two please

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As promised Josh and I braved the hour and a half bus ride down to the Chicago Auto Show. It’s a bunch of cars inside basically. And you walk around and look at them all. You open doors, move seats, push buttons and try to rationalize buying a new car. or two.

We have the feeling that a larger vehicle is probably in our future, not the near future mom, but in the future. Josh is a great researcher/comparer/consumer reports reader so he had all this information about different SUVs. Fuel efficiency, engine size, cargo space, apparently important stuff. I like to sit in cars and decide how cute I look in them.

{cute right?}

{cute right?}

More on this little dandy later.

So last year when my parents went with us, my mom was obsessed with different car’s trunk space. I guess after driving a minivan for 15 years trunk space is a big deal. I have multiple photos of her checking out trunks. So I deemed last year the year of the trunk. This year was the year of the third row seating.

I don’t know if you’ve looked at every comparable SUV with third row seating available in the United States lately, but I have and there are a lot of them. Part of the deal with most of these is that there has to be some fancy seat folding for this all to work. Josh even noted that the folding of seats was so easy in most of them that “even a woman could do this.” (don’t worry he better not believe that) But it was so cool how much storage you could have and how many people you can get in those things.

Now Josh is about 6’4 so the ultimate test for this third row seating deal is Josh climbing into the back row of seats, seeing if his head touched the ceiling and if he could fit his legs in.  This usually involved getting in cars with other people and awkwardly stuffing your six-foot self in the back. This is Josh sitting in the back with a nice couple in the front.

cute guy, bad picture

It makes me giggle just thinking about this happening anywhere other than the auto show.

Well last year I asked Josh what his favorite was and I think he thought it was a weird question. But this year he asked me and of course I had been mentally prioritizing all the cars I liked in my mind the whole 3 hours we were there. So I bring you the top two cars as chosen by the Hibbens at the car show, and one honorable mention because it’s just a concept car and I can’t have it, yet.

My choice is the Kia Soul. I must admit I really do like the mini cooper, well because it’s mini and adorable. The truth is that Josh cannot fit in a mini cooper. Although it was my pick last year I have to be more realistic. So that’s why the soul is awesome. It’s still cute, and obviously a little mini coopery shaped, BUT Josh can sit in it, and there is a reasonable amount of trunk space mom. Also I’m cute in it.

{it's got soul}

{Josh's pick}

Josh’s pick was probably even more practical and not a bad choice in my opinion either. The Chevy Traverse probably has everything we would want in a SUV and it gets pretty good gas mileage. The Equinox is pretty stellar as well and I think it gets like 32 miles/gallon on the highway. It’s because it has a 4 cylinder engine. (does my car knowledge impress you :)

This is also a pretty color and the leather seats and really nice too.

So if you’re looking for gifts for us in the near future, these are just two options.

And as if this post isn’t long enough already, I do want to post the honorable mention concept car. You’d have to listen to this guys schpeel, but this is very futuristic, you can fold a seat down and flip it to the other side of the car to get a mountain bike in upright. Now I just need a mountain bike. Also I don’t know if you can see it but this man has no hair on his head except his side burns.

{GMC granite}

booties for Posie

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Well it finally got seriously cold in here in Chicago. No one was more shocked than our dogs. It’s not like they hadn’t braved the winter before.  Posie used to get excited when we’d say “outside,” now she runs and hides under the bed. But the bad thing is that the salt they’ve been using has really been hurting their feet. By the time we’re down the street they’re already limping and sitting down to lick their paws. So we decided we should look into dog booties. Yes our dogs are still basically our children. Anyway we started looking around online and I found a pattern for some made out of fleece and that material that’s on the bottom of footie pjs. Isn’t that the same stuff that’s on bath tubs? Anyway when Josh left for class one night I realized I pretty much had all the materials (thanks Grandma!)to make a sample pair for little Miss Posie.  Not favorite choice in fabrics, but here’s what she got:

The best part however is when we tried to take her out that night. She was very confused as to what was happening. I put them on her on th couch and when I finally got them all on she didn’t know what to do and literally sat in this position until I picked her up and put her down on all 4s.

The good news is once she got outside she loved them. She was sprinting around like crazy and not even trying to gnaw them off. I’m determined to get some cuter fleece in the near future and then Ruthie better watch out too.

one of a kind

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no, not me.

It’s this amazing little huge show that Janelle and I went to today. I’d say part craft show, part art show. Everything from bourbon bacon popcorn to hand blown glass vases. It was at merchandise mart which is this huge building in the loop that I can never seem to get out of. There were just rows and rows of booths, we had to devise a system to get through it all. So here are a few of my favorite things:

adorable notebooks made out of old books: www.overdueindustires.etsy.com. They don’t have anything up because they’re roaming the country doing shows, but you can look at the sold section :)

incredible painted windows, I just love the mix of vintage windows and hand painting: www.emmystarbrown.com

also love this vintage/repurposed stuff. Where do these people find these things? www.secondchanceart.net I want to decorate my house with this one day.

And I bought a calendar/notebook from this nice lady: www.greentrikepress.etsy.com

ANYWAY it’s still going on this whole weekend and if you’re in Chicago you should go and especially check out the etsy section. and the food section. did I mention bourbon bacon popcorn. also wine smoothies.

Now off to look at all the business cards I took and figure out who I can buy all this amazing stuff for.

craftactular weekend

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I am so glad this weekend it over, but so glad it happened! The weekend started off with craft social where I led a table making felt ipod/phone cases. I have to admit that no one came to my table for at least the first hour. Luckily my wonderful friend Janelle came so we just gabbed until things picked up. And boy did they. After everyone warmed up on other awesome crafts the table was hoppin’. Before I knew it it was 10:30 (it was supposed to end at 10:00). So I ran home and got ready for the next craftastic event.

After pulling together all the stuff I would need for the 1154 Lill show (and showering) I slept a little and woke up early to go get my other awesome friend Leigh. The Lill show was all day we were in it for the long haul, we even packed a bag of snacks. I have to say that I was a little worried about my lack of inventory and the possibility of not selling anything. Luckily I was comforted by the fact either way I got to spend the whole day with Leigh and she couldn’t leave. Long story short, I did sell somethings (yay) and talked to a lot of great people about custom work too. There other vendors were incredible and gave me so much to aspire to in the way of displays and professionalism. I think I need a few more months to get together some more stuff and I will be back at it. Meanwhile I will be listing some stuff on Etsy so feel free to peruse :) Here are the two pictures I took, I know that’s pretty pathetic. I think maybe I should be saving for a better camera…

IMG_3865IMG_3870

and with the lovely LeighIMG_3871

uhh

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I can’t even think of a proper title for this post. I’m getting the feeling I suck at blogging, but I really didn’t do this to become some excellent well-followed blogger. So there.

Basically it’s crunch time at school: mid-terms, finals or papers every week from here on out. And yes I have finals and midterms within days of each other. Scheduling isn’t one of the values of social work. So that’s awesome.

ALSO this weekend I’m doing a little craft social event AND a show, selling a little pot…tery. I’m running a table at the craft social showing people how to make felt ipod cases. There will be dessert so this is the least stressful part. The show is another beast. Despite my intimidation by the incredible other sellers, I’m excited to get back at it. The negative is that Josh will be out of town so I’m setting up solo on Friday, with a new set up that involves 6 foot plantation shutters and wooden boards. oh yes and breakable pottery of course. If you’re looking for a good laugh stop by around 3:30 I’ll be sure to be falling down awkwardly. (A million thanks to my lovely assistant Leigh for helping Saturday!) However if you’re in Chicago you should check it out: http://1154lill.com/holidaymarket/

So blame it on the combined stress of those things and I think I have a decent excuse for my lack of blogging or interesting blogging and probably both. The only reason I’m writing this now is because I’m avoiding writing a paper. So there.