I'm off to watch my cousin perform in the musical RENT at the Greendale Community Theatre. I'm so excited! RENT is one of my favorite musicals but if I had to chose just one.... it would be the Sound of Music. Hands down best musical ever! What's your favorite?

{photo via imdb.com}


It's HOT in Arizona

Everyone says that 115 degrees in Arizona isn't nearly as bad as 80 degrees in Chicago. (It's dry heat after all.) I agree it's not as bad, but geez it was HOT.

Besides a minor heat stroke, the trip was fabulous. My friend surprised me with a trip to Tuscon to El Rancho de Sebastian (my friend's house) for an overnight stay. He had the most amazing view. We watched a storm over a mountain range while relaxing on his back porch.

We also climbed A Mountain, went to a Diamondbacks game, walked around Phoenix, went to the Hard Rock Cafe, played sand volleyball, drank a ton of coffee, hung out in Tempe on the ASU campus and spent every afternoon laying out next to the pool.

A Few Little Things That Made My Week

{So happy.}

Visiting two of my best friends
Laying poolside all week
Conquering my fear of heights (sort of) by climbing a mountain
Watching baseball at a park I've never been to
Waking up to coffee with friends every morning
Jumping off swings like a little kid
Reading a good book outside

{photo via youaremyfave}


Sitting Poolside

Greetings from Arizona!

My friends and I have been spending most afternoons poolside, tanning. Well, trying. I can't believe it's been nice enough to spend all day and night outside. This has been an amazing trip.

I'll tell you all about it when I get back!

{photo via LIFE}


Off to Arizona for a Week!

I wonder what it will be like. All I can imagine now is a nice ranch like in the show Hey Dude. (What a great show! Like I said before, I miss good TV.)

I'll let you know all about it when I get back!

{photo via gluce0922}


I Love Surprises

My friend is picking me up at the Phoenix airport Thursday morning. She called me today with strict instructions: do not make plans for Thursday. She has a surprise.

If you know my friend Sam, this could be anything! I love little surprises (nothing too big though because, like I said before, I'm a big planner) and now I'm even more excited to get to Phoenix!

{image via tvloop.com}

If I Could Live Anywhere...

I've been applying to a lot of jobs lately and, though I know I will mostly have to start in a small town, I would love to live in a big city. I've been thinking a lot about cities I would love to live in the most.... Here is my list of cities I would love to live in most (in no particular order).

{Also, keep in mind that I love cities with history, character and personality.}

{San Francisco}


{San Diego}

{Minneapolis/St. Paul}




{New Orleans}

I have never been to a few of these cities (San Francisco, Portland and Austin), but I'm sure I would enjoy them.

{Photos via Flickr, in order: 1. vgm8383 2.Gigapic 3. zoltaan 4. moonjazz 5. Craig S 6. Visualist Images 7. Pear Biter 8. Thomas Hawk}


Cooking with Friends

What's better than going out to dinner with friends? Making dinner at home with friends.

A couple of my best girls and I decided against a night at an impersonal restaurant and crowed bar for a quiet night at home- together- with a bottle of wine. Call me an old lady, but I'd much rather spend a night at home. At home where the conversation flows as freely as the wine, second helpings are always an option and no one cares if you talk during the movie.

We made a three cheese pasta dish and it was absolutely fabulous.

We are planning more dinner nights together soon. I can't wait! I just got a few new cook books with recipes that I'm dying to try.

{Photo via Flickr theothermattm's}

Roadtrip? Hell Yes. Camping? Hell No.

My friend Alyssa called me a few days ago to ask if I wanted to go on a road trip. I LOVE road trips with friends so it sounded like a great idea. I asked for a few details.

Itinerary: Drive to Phoenix. Stay one night at a friend's place. Drive to Vegas. Stay two nights at a hotel. Drive to LA. Stay one night at a hotel. Drive to San Francisco. Stay two nights with a friend of the family. Drive to Yellowstone. Camp two nights. Drive to... WAIT!! CAMP?!?

Umm, sorry. I'm busy that week. Well, not so much busy as just terrified at the idea of camping.

To me, "roughing it" on vacation means no cable TV or one-ply toilet paper in my fully-functioning bathroom or maybe the shower water is only luke warm or the sheets weren't washed with enough fabric softener.

Anyway, you see, I don't camp.

In all seriousness, I am really considering the trip. It sounds like so much fun, and hey, maybe there's a hotel nearby.

{Photo via Flickr PJEFFY}


A Little Bit of Memphis

My trip to Memphis was fabulous. We spent the afternoon at the Civil Rights Museum where I have never felt so amazed, proud and ashamed at the same time. It was a moving experience. We also spent time wandering around the downtown area, visiting the zoo and got dinner at a cute Irish pub. (I know, Irish isn't really Memphis, but we stopped for BBQ later on the trip. One word: Delicous. Capital D.) Overall, a great mini-vacation.

A few observations of Memphis--
  • It is much more spread out than I thought it would be. There's really no large 'downtown.'
  • First thing I learned: "If the street is named after a president, avoid it."
  • The best BBQ ever really is found in Memphis. (Check out Central if you go.)
  • It's odd how there are little pockets of terrible neighborhoods in the middle of nice ones.

A wall mural in the downtown area.

The Memphis Zoo. Definitely one of the best I've been to.


Struggle. Hope. Triumph. Love.

My cousin Laura stars in RENT next week at the Greendale Community Theatre in Greendale, Wisconsin. She's playing Maureen Johnson, a bisexual performance artist, and my favorite character in the play. I'm really proud of all the work she's put into the play and I can't wait to see it! Watch their video blog here.

It's definitely one of the best plays of my generation. I hope if you ever get the chance to see RENT in the theatre, you do.


I'm going to Graceland

My friend called me two days ago: "Do you want to go to Memphis?" she said. I need to be more spontaneous, I thought, "sure."

I'm a planner, a list-maker; I always have been. Since graduating from Northwestern with my masters degree and no job prospects, I've decided I need to be more spontaneous and open to new experiences. So I am.

I'm off to Memphis on Sunday. I'll be back on Wednesday to tell all
about it.

Also, here are a few links to my favorite songs about Memphis: "Walking in Memphis" by Marc Cohn, "Maybe It Was Memphis" by Pam Tillis, "Black Velvet" by Alannah Myles and "Honky Tonk Woman" by The
Rolling Stones. Enjoy.

{image via Wikipedia}

Yes, I Am From Wisconsin. No, I Have Never Been Cow Tipping.

For everyone that has been asking me lately, I found this hilarious video.


Arizona, Here I Come

Two weeks from today I will be enjoying a nice dinner outside with my friends... in ARIZONA. My friend Jessi and I are visiting our friend Sam for a few days. She lives in Chandler, a suburb of Phoenix, and promised to show us all around the area. I'm so excited! Let the countdown begin...

{Image via Flickr robotography}


Library Cards are Back

I found this adorable little post on the Black Eiffel blog about a home cataloging system. I thought it was so cute, I just had to share it.

I especially love this kit because I secretly miss the library card system. The last time I remember using them was in elementary school. I'm sad everthing is going digital. I wish we could bring the cards back!


Coffee and Conversation

If you could have a cup of coffee with anyone, living or dead, who would it be?

I'm sure there are so many people I am forgetting, but I would love to sit down and chat with... Dorothy Parker, Cary Grant, Paul Newman, Humphrey Bogart, Bobby Kennedy, Grant Pick, Bob Dylan, Al Pacino, Diane Keaton, John Lennon, Bob Uecker, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Frank Sinatra, Jack Kerouac... to name a few.


Stars and Stripes Forever

July 4th is one of my favorite days of the year; watermelon, fireworks, parades, family, picnics, cookouts, what's not to like? Here are a just few photos from the parade. It was so much fun!

{For more photos from the Fourth of July, check out my Flickr}


Drawing in Air

One of my favorite things to do on July 4th is "paint" with Sparklers. The trick is to be fast enough so your drawing doesn't disappear before you finish!

In 1949,
LIFE photographer Gjon Mili photographed Picasso drawing in the air with a small flashlight. His drawings were amazing. There's something magical about drawing in the air.

{image via doubletakes via LIFE}

Taste of Chicago

I posted this on my other page, but I thought I would throw it up here also... I spent last Sunday afternoon at the Taste of Chicago with a few friends so, of course, I brought my new camera. I've been playing with it a lot more lately and I can definitely see a difference, though there's much more to learn.

Here are a few of my snaps...

For more, check out my Flickr account


I am so excited about the Fourth of July that I can't even think in complete sentences... Watermelon. Golf. Parades. Desert. Fireworks. Picnics. Family. Sparklers. Lemonade. Music. Games. Sprinklers. Decorations. Red. White. Blue.


Miles Away

My friends and I have officially hit that 'grown up' milestone: we're all moving away. Some of us are moving for work, some for med school and some just for the hell of it.

While I welcome the many possible vacation destinations (Phoenix, Chicago, Memphis, Charleston, Raleigh, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, Washington DC... to name a few), I'm said that we will no longer all be able to meet for a cup of coffee or a quick lunch. I'm going to miss being able to call up one of my friends for a walk or a midnight movie.

I already miss the closeness.

We all grew so close in college, I'm now worried that the hundreds or thousands of miles between us will change that. I really, truly hope it won't.

Vintage Knick Knacks

My sister always tells me about the great finds she makes at vintage shops and thrift stores. Every time I see her, I swear she's wearing something "new" she found there.

I'm more interested in little knick knacks than clothes. (Though if I could dress like Nora Charles or Annie Hall, I totally would.) This is definitely one of my favorites. I found it at a flea market in Washington DC's Eastern Market.

Not sure what I'm going to do with it, probably just set it in front of some window so I can glance at it as I walk past.
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