Update From 27.

•May 20, 2013 • 22 Comments


Hi, anyone who awesomely spotted this little update!

Just thought I’d say “hi”. It’s been almost a few months since I bid an adieu of sorts to this blog, and turning a year older seemed like a good time to check in. As I move closer to 30 (eeks!), I’m really just feeling lucky. In this Chicago life o’ mine I’m definitely not as thin or rich (relative terms ;-D) as I was in the ‘burbs or Milwaukee…and yet I’m so happy. So many friends are a walk or “L” ride away, so many restaurants and breweries have been enjoyed and are still waiting for me, so many streets and lakeside views are just gorgeous. I work with pretty incredible people and have the cutest preschool students around (in my humble opinion).  And, yes, I’m in love and feel very loved and it’s pretty darn awesome. Winning all around.

And, hey, I just hacked 7″ off my hair, which somehow feels like a notable action. I think I’ve been hiding behind long hair for too long. Feeling zero upset when it came off felt like confirmation: I’m so much more comfortable with me. It’s nice. 100%? Ha, no siree. But I’m gettin’ better.

I welcomed this new year with a girlfriends-only brunch (+ window shopping & beverages outside) on Saturday and spent the rest of the weekend with the boyfriend (who just returned from a weeklong family vacation). It was a really lovely balance of friends & couple time (+ a bit of exercise, a lot of good food & drinks, and some very sweet presents).

I have a good feeling about you, 27.

Hope all is well with you. I’m loving keeping up to date with many of my favorite bloggers & readers via instagram…such a fun way to stay in this universe, at least a little bit. Wishing you a wonderful end to May,








•February 4, 2013 • 13 Comments


Hola amigos!

After hearing from a few of you, I felt like I should check-in on this here blog. I don’t think this is goodbye forever, but—for the moment anyway—-I don’t plan to update regularly.

Life is all good (really, sooo good!), but I haven’t been feeling inspired to take outfit photos every day or to summarize my daily activities . Work’s busy, the city social life is busy, and I’m even dating someone new (which is very fun). I can absolutely see returning to the blogosphere, but for now I’m content with documenting on instagram and limiting my computer time a smidgen. I’ve so loved being a part of the bloggin’ community and having my own little corner of the internet. Especially through a rough year, your support was so, so appreciated. You guys rock. Thank you for every comment, email, blogger brunch.

I’ll definitely still be updating my reads o’ 2013 and, who knows, may pop on over to say HOLA.

With love and gratitude,


Wordless Wednesday: CCXXXIX

•January 16, 2013 • 1 Comment









A few pictures from my Sweden/France trip, 7/2012

(…Because Maria‘s coming from Stockholm to Chicago on Friday! WOOHOOO)

Wordless Wednesday: CCXXXVIII

•January 10, 2013 • 1 Comment

Museum day for Anna’s birthday
Some photos by Kevin

January 5th, 2013
















In 2013…

•January 4, 2013 • 6 Comments

I will…

Send more snail mail. It makes people happy, and I spent money on a lovely return address stamp. Win-win.

Read at least 40 books. C’mon, self. Let’s aim for 50, but at least add one title to the annual total!

Not be obsessed with a scale or calorie counting. If my clothes still fit, I’m exercising regularly, and I could run a 5k without any advance notice…let’s just let it be.

Do laundry and dishes regularly and keep my apartment presentable.

Travel. I’d love to do something (??) for Spring Break and attending Maria’s Swedish wedding in August is pretty much a definite in my mind. Eurotrip 2013, you’re not all that far away!

Budget better. If this means acknowledging I’m going to spend a ton on restaurant meals with friends…so be it! But then, Elena, spending less on things like clothing and lattes is gonna have to happen.

Explore Chicago. More museums, restaurants, breweries, plays, long walks.

Give compliments and praise when they’re genuine/warranted. Whether to strangers, teaching assistants, students, friends, family, etc. We all like to hear good things.

Monitor my happiness. Feeling down? Then change something. Be proactive and always in pursuit of joyful, smile-inducin’ experiences.

Continue to grow as an SLP. This especially means more assistive technology & feeding/swallowing training.

Maintain friendships, whether down the street, across a state line, or over the Atlantic. Always good to keep in mind.

Basically…I just want to enjoy you, 2013. I think I’ve built a pretty darn nice life for myself here in Chicago and now it’s time to just live it. Let’s do this.


Wordless Wednesday: CCXXXVII

•January 2, 2013 • 1 Comment

Just a little 2013 inspiration.






2012: Reflection.

•December 31, 2012 • 5 Comments

I took a gander at the hopes I had for 2012. Not bad, self. Admittedly, I think I had some pretty attainable visions, but I’m good with it. It’s been a year of, well, slow emotional and financial healing, big changes (new job, new apartment/city), wonderful times with old and new friends, professional growth, travel & adventure.

Bottom line: I feel very grateful for where I’m at.

So, in looking back at my little goals for 2012:

I did buy red lipstick. I won’t claim I wear it regularly, but, hey, it’s an option.

Yes, I kept running. I believe I ran four 5K races in 2012 (+ a 2 mile fun run on Thanksgiving).

Read 39 books in 2012. Not quite 50. I went through some big reading phases this year…and months with zilch.

I paid my parents back all wedding $. My savings account, especially after moving, makes me want to cry a little…but I’m very glad to not be writing monthly “wedding” checks.

Travel: I did indeed make it to NYC/NJ and to Sweden and France. Amazing trips. I will be bragging obnoxiously about how perfect EuroTrip 2012 was for years to come. Money well spent.

I didn’t volunteer too regularly at the animal shelter or get my own dog.
I’m okay with it. I switched to mentoring an elementary school student as my “volunteer” activity when I moved.

-Eat less ice cream? Cook more veggie-tastic meals? Eh. I wouldn’t say any big changes happened here, though it has been awhile since ice cream graced my freezer.

Savings/retirement? I did finally set up a 403b. I’m not rocking the contributions, but I’m glad it’s in motion. Still need to figure out an IRA…

-Budgeting has been questionable. Still debt-free, still able to do anything that comes up with friends. Still figuring out where my money’s going to go each month in Chicago. Lots toward restaurants and Starbucks as of now.

-I visited Milwaukee/Chicago friends pretty much constantly throughout 2012. And now I live in the windy city. Woot woot.

-I definitely stressed less and was more spontaneous. I’m proud of this one. I have to say, I do believe the awfulness that was the end of 2011 has really strengthened me and taken away most of my anxiety issues. The little things, for the most part, do not get me down anymore. I do not overanalyze, I do not over-think. Overall, I just see how/where things go in life, and I’m liking it.

Chicago apartment is significantly cleaner. Thank God. I do pretty regular straightening up and love this new home (& entertaining friends in it).

-Left old job; took a new one. Can’t get much more proactive than that.

I’m not bitter, and I absolutely believe there are so many good people out there. I would still not classify my ex in any sort of kind category, but I’m certainly glad I’m not married to him. So…thanks? And throughout this experience I have seen the good in friends and family again and again. The people I am lucky to surround myself with are good people. No doubts there.

You had some nice moments, 2012. I’m looking forward to the new year. Priorities for 2013 coming soon…


(Original list of  aspirations is beneath the cut)

Continue reading ‘2012: Reflection.’

Holiday Housewarming.

•December 27, 2012 • 6 Comments

I already shared some of the “photobooth” results from my holiday/housewarming party, but just thought I’d document a few other details. Those of you who’ve been reading for awhile may remember that I kinda LOVE throwing a party. A lot. I get into silly things that I realize most people don’t really notice or care about (e.g. signs detailing the food being served, favors for guests when they leave, etc)…because I just can’t resist. IT’S SO FUN. Begin to imagine the efforts I put into planning a freaking wedding…and feel my pain. BUT MOVING ON. Previous evidence: housewarming 2010, Stella & Dot jewelry party, 25th birthday (cupcake bar remains one of my favorite ideas!).

I didn’t want to stress about this party, so I really did make it relatively low-key. I just put together a hot chocolate/coffee bar (…on the pull-out ironing board in my kitchen) with lots o’ toppings and a few liquors to use for spikin’. With the help of friends, made a few appetizers (bacon wrapped potatoes with lemon aioli, asparagus/mozzarella tarts). Baked some carrot cake cupcakes (from the box mix) and whipped up some cream cheese frosting that I could dye green to make a little tree (which I also did last year. Ooh—got to use a few of my cupcake toppers from the aforementioned non-wedding…yes!). I made some of my grandma’s cookies earlier in the week to put out as favors (along with little to-go bags stamped with my new address). I knew friends were awesomely bringing food and beverages, so other than grabbing some local beer and a bottle of wine, I didn’t go crazy on that front. My sister cut out a paper tree for everyone to decorate, which was another fun addition!

I shopped early in the week so I wouldn’t be running around, got my hair cut that morning and just lounged around while things were baking. Low-stress with pretty great results aka getting to spend time with wonderful people. Can’t wait for an excuse to throw another party…











Wordless Thursday: CCXXXVI

•December 27, 2012 • 2 Comments

Scenes from Christmas, 2012



















Holiday Cheer.

•December 24, 2012 • 1 Comment

Another sporadic post. Just wanted to wish you all a very merry holiday season! I kicked my break off with a holiday housewarming party on Saturday. It was all I hoped. So many of my favorite people in one place, lots of holiday cheer, plenty o’ yummy food and drinks. My house and heart were very warmed. And I could be even cheesier about it… 😉 I feel like I truly have the best friends one could ask for.

A few silly photos (from about 200 ridiculous ones!) to wish you and yours a happy Christmas Eve!