30 Days of Change

Day 30: Smile

Day 30: Smile

I love seeing these strong, thoughtful, hilarious ladies each month. They come from the suburbs, far edges of the city, they rush from work, they brave Chicago’s crazy weather. Many take what precious time they are given to sneak away from home having to hire baby sitters. A warmth grows in my chest a little at just how wonderful they all are. For most of us this is the only time we see each other.  This could be the first time we have ever met or it’s last time we will see them for awhile. Life has a way giving us busy work. For today’s change, one of the very last changes I will have made this month I promise to renew C.B.C.’s dedication. Our dedication to support our community,  the earth and each other. Crafting for a cause…

This month we proudly support Operation Smile. This is an organization which performs surgeries to repair cleft lips and cleft palates to those who either cannot afford the procedures or live in a part of the world where it is not readily performed. Remember how self-conscience you when you had acne in high school or even now? Now imagine if you felt like that for the rest of your life. By donating you not only help these people make a physical change but you help give them higher self esteem on the inside as well. I hope you visit their site today and support this very special group of people and their cause.

For our craft we learned glass etching. We repurposed items we already owned with almost no waste being made. Here are a couple blog tutorial links on how to etch from Thistle Wood Farms and Say Yes to Hoboken. Check out what some of the Beavers made below…

Day 29: Table For One

Day 29: Table For One

I am 34 years old and I have never been to a restaurant alone, a movie, a museum, or on a trip by myself. I love having people around me, I adore the noise. When friends tell me they went to see a new release by themselves I always think about how boring that must be. Why would I go out to eat without a companion? It just doesn’t make sense. It just seems so lonely and kind of sad. There must be something more to it. Is it simply about enjoying your own company? Honestly I have no idea but I am going to take myself out and see what it is all about.

Day 28: Paper or Plastic?

Day 28: Paper or Plastic?

You are probably wondering where day 27 went. It went by very slowly at an alarming hangover rate. Now hear me in write this in the voice of Roger Murtaugh, “I’m too old for this shit”. The only change I was making yesterday was couch to recliner to bed.

So let’s start anew today. Feeling peppy and productive I want to talk about a very simple change. NO MORE BAGS! I cannot recall the last time I was asked if I want paper. The production of bags these days is so poor that they double them as part of procedure. This is doubly bad for momma earth. Did you know that plastic grocer’s bags are banned in California? Genius! If you go shopping without bringing your own bags be prepared to leave with with things stuffed in your pockets with arms full. I have heard rumor of this eco action spreading to Oregon too and  threats that Chicago wants to join the cool club too in the next couple years. Not soon enough I say. Snag those reusable bags for your groceries and say goodbye to the under the kitchen sink clutter of bags. Bye bye baggies! I bought some from Joann’s Fabrics for only a buck each, they were on sale. They fold up to fit in your purse, your truck, and your glove box.  They even fit in the pocket of some of my jackets depending on the brand. Get with it Chicago! Let’s do this thing!

You can find the bags below at Joann’s, Reuseit, and the Global Bag Project if you want to support a not for profit as well.

 

Day 26: The Getalong Gang

Day 26: The Getalong Gang

Since 1997 I have had well over twenty roommates, probably closer to thirty actually. My first apartment was in Chicago. Ah, sweet freedom. We spent all of our nights going to shows at the Fireside and all of our days sleeping off the night’s debauchery. From there it was a brief stop in Mount Prospect. There I would try veganism, get sick from malnutrition and have my parents nurse me back to health. Apparently noodles cannot sustain you. Who knew? Years later I would live in a two bedroom apartment with four people, sometimes more. The hippie lifestyle of tapestries tacked to the ceiling to create additional floor sleep space was not uncommon. We had kids coming through on Phish tours with dirty dogs looking for a friendly place to stay. Rock n rollers and dreaded haired hippies cohabiting with only one rule, no patchouli. It was easier back then because with only one rule it means everything else was fair game. It was like we had our own little Whole Foods frat house with jello shots for breakfast, a mac n cheese diet, and beer flowing like water. We just sat around arguing music all day. Two of the roommates became mortal enemies and our perfect party palace would fall apart. I can’t remember if I lived in the motel before or after the last place mentioned. It was all an floral duvet blur. How can you not want to invite twenty five people over every night when you live in a motel. It all just screams “TRASH ME!”. Then I moved to a big and bright apartment at California and Milwaukee. That song California Love by Tupac came out that year. We found ourselves singing, “California, knows how to party” far too often.  Here is where I start to actually remember things I don’t like about roommates. The annoying girlfriend who doesn’t go home. She eats your food, uses your shampoo, doesn’t do her dishes, racks up your phone bill, takes your tampons and is annoyingly loud in bed. We get it, you exist! Sheesh. This is apartment where I realize how vengeful I can be. I removed all of the phone jacks in the main rooms, replaced our bedroom door knobs with keyed door handles and kept all of the food in our rooms. To show us she wasn’t going anywhere she would lay around on the couch all day doing nothing but blare the tv and make dirty dishes. My retaliation was juvenile and crass and I keep the photo to remind me of just how bad I let it get… I spray painted my entire couch with a message just for her. “Stay off my couch you whore”. Needless to say that couch did not make the move with us to the next apartment. Since that year I have had some pretty great roommates and some pretty broke ones too. I had an absolutely perfect one once. Just once. I think he ruined me, I compare all others to him. I long for the days I would come home to freshly baked pies, the smell of warm laundry in the air and not a dust bunny in site. DAAAAAAAAAVE! (sobbing, slobbery cries inserted here) Now I just try to be more understanding as to why they do the things they do. Obviously they must have an allergy to cleaning bathrooms. They probably feel like they don’t use the floors enough to necessitate having ever to sweep or mop them. Yes, the trash actually does walk itself outside in time to catch the garbage truck. It just likes to wait until everyone is sleeping to do so. Lastly, if you share a room with someone it is like they don’t exist and so they don’t have to contribute in any way. The truth is that I love having roommates. I love the antics, the stories, their endless drama, the commune feeling and noisiness of Sunday brunches. As much as I am ready to live alone with my boyfriend and our furbabies I don’t think I can give up the live telenovelas just yet. So today’s change… tolerance. Now I am off to do Magoo’s laundry, throw away the take out leftovers in the fridge, and sweep the house. (sigh) Tolerance.

 

 

 

Day 25: Here I Go Again

Day 25: Here I Go Again

I am a chronic bailer. I tell everyone I will attend their party, dinner, drinks with the girls and then decide later which one I want to do more.  Yes, it is awful. It’s difficult to decide how to handle this sort of thing. Do I yes to the first plan, the most important one or the one that will be more fun??? You can get ten Facebook invites at once these days. I understand it’s important to just be there for people sometimes. Just showing up says you care and I don’t people thinking that I don’t but I can’t do them all. We try though. So while I plan to change how often I bail on plans I am still trying to figure it all out. Sorry friends if I haven’t seen you lately. I will make the time to catch up, you are most certainly missed. xo

Day 24: Minnie the Moocher

Day 24: Minnie the Moocher

Today is short and sweet….

HOORAY! Today I start a new job. Having Magoo act as my sugar daddy has been awesome but I want to work. I love working for myself  but I am looking forward to a paycheck,  from someone else. Plus, I have had my eye on a new drill bit set for awhile now. The job is transcribing the Martha Stewart show and that’s a good thing. I can still work on my own projects too because this is work done from home, the coffee shop, the grocery store or anywhere else with wifi.  GO ME! Have a great day everyone and if you live in Chicago enjoy the snow!

 

Day 23: Pleased To Meat You

Day 23: Pleased To Meat You

The last time I had red meat I was about twelve years old. I just didn’t like the way it tasted. My parents tried to get me to eat pork when they could by telling me it was just chicken prepared differently. I was fourteen the last time I remember eating chicken. I am more of a sushitarian these days. Yes, I know that is not actually a thing but it should be. My most hated smell in all the world next to the Durian fruit is bacon. My old roommate Dave loooooved bacon so one year for his birthday I got him the Bacon of the Month Club. Each month a new box would arrive with with three different packages of bacon. What a mistake! Every weekend the smell lingered in the house and permeated all of our clothes. After a few months he let me cancel it since his doctor told him to lay off the bacon for health reasons. HA! Sorry Dave.  To this day the smell of bacon makes me queasy. My boyfriend, Magoo is a meatatarian. Again, I know that’s not a thing but it should be. Together we are the perfect date. He eats the meat and I eat the veggies. He constantly cooks me vegan and vegetarian friendly meals, actually he makes almost all the meals in our home. I am not a very good cook, especially because half the time I forget that I started to cook/bake something. Yes, yes I have used timers but once the timer goes off my mind immediately thinks of something else and I forget. What can I say, I am a weirdo.

For today I want to cook my man meat. I carefully went through two hours worth of recipes and Magoo’s final decision was…. drumroll please… Chicken Cordon Bleu. I couldn’t believe it. Of all the things he could have, this is what he wanted. Whenever we would go to the grocery store he would look to buy the crappy frozen ones but they are always sold out. Either these things are really good or just really cheap. Ha Ha. I found this yummy looking recipe on the blog The Girl Who Ate Everything. If you love food you will love this blog. Just ignore the broccoli in the photo. That is going to be what I am eating for dinner. Like I said, together we are the perfect date. Wish me luck!

Day 22: Get It Together Already

Day 22: Get It Together Already

It has been a looooooooong week. We had company stay with us from London, midget wrestling, a drag show, housewarming party and a brunch. It’s been great but I need to buckle down and start getting some work done. I am a chronic note taker. You can find notes in Sharpie on my hand and arm, scribbles on the back of receipts, in magazines I thumb through, in the notes section of my phone. The repetitiveness of taking the note is almost OCD like. Taking the note down four or five times does however make sure that I don’t forget. I am totally wasting paper, skin space and end up with a million notes strewn about. There are actually thirteen stickies on my desktop at this very minute. EGAD! Tax time is going to be humorous when I have all these business receipts with “get toilet paper, crystal light and finish chalkboards” boldly written on them. You would think that with my excessive note taking my checkbook would look pristine, nope. I haven’t used one since early 2000. I need to organize my brain! Let’s try to make some room in there for other things.

First I am downloading Evernote. With Evernote you can make notes, make image clips, save webpages, files, lists and they sync up with every available device and computer you use.

Then I am signing up for Outright. It’s bookkeeping software that syncs up your bank, credit cards, PayPal, Etsy and more. You can even prepare your taxes in it which is nice.  It markets itself towards small business owners and crafters and it’s free.

Now onto my morning ritual of coffee and emails. Well hello there 17 subscription emails. Some of you have got to go. I simply don’t have time to read you all anymore. I’m sorry. It’s not you, it’s me. Just kidding, it’s totally you. It is going to be real easy getting rid of all three cooking sites. All I do is forget I am cooking and burn the Teflon off of the pan I am using anyway. It’s just safer not to be encouraged at this point.  I sure as hell don’t need Etsy Weddings emails or the two other Alderman’s office updates. I haven’t lived in one of those districts in almost 3 years. I will die before I get rid of Apartment Therapy though! Sigh, I can’t quit you. Goodbye to the five sites I bought clothes from and now they won’t leave me alone. Then there is the eye candy of Polyvore, Uncovet and Etsy who exist only to torture my poor soul. Uncovet it great though because they offer discounts on awesome things that you find on Etsy and other retail sites. I am currently drooling over this shirt right now. One afternoon this summer we were driving home from Pilsen and saw two guys waiting for the bus. One of them had this very shirt on I we all became very giddy at the sight of it. We had to roll our windows down to tell him how awesome he was being the proud owner of such a bad ass shirt. Fast forward to today and BAM! I open my email and there it was!!! AAAAAAAHHHHHH! That was supposed to sound angelic and not like I a murderous howl. I mean look at it, that shirt screams “I’M A MAN!”. After that guy punched the bear he bought the bear a beer and they talked about football while eating deer meat. Then he gave the bear a ride home on the back of his motorcycle and walked him to the door. Because this guy is not only a manly man’s man, he is also a gentleman. You can tell by the suspenders.

Deep breath in, deep breath out. I did it. I made things a little simpler for myself. It’s time to put away the Sharpie, the post its, the receipts, and the junk email. I have better things to do now…like look at Imgur and at this tattoo someone got. That is one crazy Die Hard fan!

 

 

Day 21: “Read” A Book

Day 21: “Read” A Book

There is a stigma with book clubs that it is something only lonely old ladies do. Women sitting in a circle, a cat in each lap while sipping on bitter tea discussing Jane Ayre sounds horrific. I would rather lose my sense of smell than read 50 Shades of Grey to be quite honest. Still, I have been attempting to read more for years. I just have very particular tastes when it comes to reading. I love historical books about Chicago and war and that’s about it. Ha. With that all said, I JOINED A BOOK CLUB!!! I am not mad or embarrassed about it either.  I am not lonely nor, eh hem, old. Now I’m not going to lie to you. I downloaded the first book…AUDIO!  I know, I know I am a cheater and it’s not really reading. I am just so busy these days and this will allow me to listen to it while I work. I am the worst member of a book club ever! We are “reading” Gone Girl which is turning out to be thriller. If you know me then you know my love for Law & Order (BUM BUM). I love a good whodunit. I am really enjoying the soothing voices reading aloud to me but I can’t help but wish each part was played by Morgan Freeman. Everything he says just seems more interesting. I am very excited for our first meeting next week. Will there be wine and cheese I wonder…

 

Day 20: Sundays Are Tough

Day 20: Sundays Are Tough

Let me entertain you today for a change. Get it? Get it? Today’s change is merely entertaining you. Sit back and relax and enjoy some of the weird, wonderful and just plane awful hip hop & rap things I have seen this month.

  

   

               

                                                       (Note the snot on his face)

    

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