Saturday, December 11, 2010

Don't get in a rut when in a relationship-keep the spark alive.

Another guilty pleasure of mine is watching reality TV series Giuliana and Bill,that shows on Style Network on Monday nights. Bill Rancic if you recall,was the first Apprentice on Trump's reality show. Giuliana if you don't know, is a TV host for E! I especially love this show because not only does it take place in the Windy City,but also because it is honest-to-goodness reality show without all the crazy drama. Some may think this is boring but it is a nice change from all the tacky reality shows that have been popping up everywhere. Giuliana and Bill have put "relationships and marriage can be fun" back on the map.

Watch this clip as they talk about how getting in a rut is easy when in a marriage or serious relationship. Good advice from a couple whose idea of marriage should include keeping the spark through creative ways. All too much we hear that once someone gets in a serious relationship or marriage,we tend to just get into this routine and not try anymore. I believe this is definitely the secret to any relationship.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Christmas in Chicago-enjoy the festivities.


Christmas in Chicago can get pretty cold and the snow is dreaded by all,but the holiday festivities warms up the city like no other. Chicago remains throughout the year as an ideal city full of activities.

Here are two events that will get you through the holiday winter season.

ChristKindlmarket-is a street festival that takes place up to December 24th at Daley Plaza. Check out German based goods and sip on hot wine or chocolate,as well as take pictures under the city's Christmas tree.

Winter Wonderfest at Navy Pier-is another festival that takes place at Navy Pier. Take in the sights and sounds that is also great for young and old alike. Check out Winter WonderFest at Navy Pier for more information. 

And of course window shopping on State St. is always a timeless tradition. Check out the Walnut Room at Macy's on State for a festive feast. 

Who says hibernating during the winter is necessary to survive the winters in Chicago-get out there and enjoy what Chicago's winter season has to offer. Before you know it,it'll be springtime.

Sunday cruising on Michigan Ave.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Shopping after Thanksgiving? Don't buy if it's not "worth" it.

Today marks the first day for holiday shopping as people frantically look for good deals on Black Friday and beyond.

But there is something to be said about purchasing some of these deals. A lot of the products that are selling are usually brands that may or may not last for a long time. You may find that great plasma for under $600 but will find out 5 months later that you need a TV repairman to fix it. This example may be too extreme,but it is just a reminder that just because a product is marked down at an extremely low price does not necessarily mean it's a quality product. Make sure you check out the brand,what it's warranty entails,and the details included in the product. Or else you will find yourself spending money on the same product for double the price where you could have avoided that in the first place.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Kevin Spacey on Being Successful

  Kevin Spacey on Being Successful
- Watch more Videos at Vodpod.

This video really inspired me and hopefully it will inspire you too. He sends a clear message that if you really want something,you can make it happen.

Monday, November 1, 2010

A Name Is A Name-come see what Macedonia is all about.

There has been some posts where I have mentioned the fact that my ethnic background hails from Macedonia,a beautiful small country situated in the Balkans. Now you can see for yourself.

Come join us on Friday,November 12th at the Spertus Jewish Center, located on 610 S Michigan Ave in Chicago, where you can see the premiere of A Name is A Name. Come witness the journey as a group of people define what Macedonian means to them,and how their name is keeping them hostage.

 Tickets are $15 and can be purchased on-line or at the door. Jason Miko,producer,will stick around afterwards for a Q&A session. Show begins at 7:30pm. Go to for more information regarding the movie. See you there!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Dread those chores? Put some music on.


Let's face it. We all hate chores(unless you are Danny Tanner from Full House,who loved cleaning every minute lol). But it must be done. Keeping order in the home is a must to lead a clutter-free, energized positive lifestyle. Knowing where everything is keeps your life organized.

Here is a great tip that I use to get me through those cleaning routines. I recently organized my closet. Now that fall is here and winter is fast approaching,I needed to make room for my sweaters and had to do so by pulling out my summer duds. Fortunately I was able to hold out until late October for this,since Indian Summer in Chicago managed to stick around close to about a month this time. Dreading the task,I put on my favorite podcast called the Deep House Cat Show and let it play away.

 You can choose any genre really that suits your taste. Itunes Podcast would be a great place to find something you like since it can give you hours of good music. Pandora is another great source for nonstop music to get you through those cleaning sessions-try it! Before you know it,you will finish that task without realizing how boring it was. Music makes the world go 'round they say! So true.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Fashion in the city:Chicago Fashion Focus-10/18-10/24


Starting this Monday,Chicago's very own fashion week  Chicago Fashion Focus will be highlighting some of the most talented designers ever known from the windy city. Most of the events will take place at Chicago's very own Millenum Park. Come check out what will be in store for the upcoming season.

Chicago may not be LA or NYC but it definitely has some talented designers here. Check out designers such as Kate Boggiano and Maria Pinto,Michelle Obama's go to for fashionable duds.

Events and times vary,as well as admission. For more information check out Chicago Fashion Resource, a site that displays all the latest events related to fashion throughout the city.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Happy Anniversary to us! How I survived the 1st year of marriage.

This coming Monday,October 4th will mark 1 year since I have been married. How time flies! As I gear up to have dinner on a cruise at Navy Pier, I think about how much I have grown and adapted to being a wife in this crazy modern world we live in.

It was difficult at first to adjust to the fact that I am no longer alone. I was so used to being by myself,making my own decisions,coming and going as I please,and so forth. When you fuse your life with someone else,it then becomes where there are two people that you have to consider when it comes to making decisions,anywhere ranging from where you are going to live,to how much money you will be spending,to who will be in and out of your life. We learned each other's quirks and habits which also takes place in the newlywed process.

Of course,one must not get lost in the marriage process. Too often do I see couples isolating themselves where they have no friends whatsoever and start to lose themselves as an individual. Sure you will be spending the most time with your lifetime partner and best friend,your husband/wife,but it definitely should not mean that you cannot have any other outside activities and other friends. Who says you have to give up yoga,hanging out with your girlfriends,or joining that charity just because you are married now?  Time apart will actually strengthen your bond with your other half believe it or not,and is healthy for your well being. We definitely do this and I am very fortunate to be married to someone that allows me to. I think that is a big bonus when seeking a mate because it is only healthy to have time apart.

With both genders in the workforce nowadays,we seek equality in our marriages as well. Yes,this means the husband should also pitch in with the housework duties such as laundry,dishwashing,etc. This is the 21st century after all. Especially with us living in a large city such as Chicago,the hustle and bustle of city life does require both parties to work together to move life right along,not only outside the home but inside the home as well.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Growth through Creativity-New Ways of Reaching Others

This morning,I headed over to Loyola's Watertower campus to partake in a continuing education workshop called Growth through Creativity-New Ways of Reaching others. As a licensed therapist,I am required to collect continuing education credits in order to maintain licensure. I received an invitation from Loyola's Alumni Association regarding this topic and it really intrigued me,and I am still short of credits,so I figured why not. I graduated in 2006 from The School of Social Work here and it really felt good to come back on campus,located in the heart of Michigan Ave. It was great reminiscing the days as I grabbed myself a cappuccino at Argo Tea next door(it started at 10am so I needed a little perk) as I headed upstairs to the 13th floor of the building.

The speakers that were there were excellent. One talked about providing therapy to her brain injury patients through "Dance" which was great. Another speaker uses Drama techniques to assist her Alzheimer's patients. Another used "Adventure Therapy" such as sea kayaking and rock climbing to work with at risk youth. The other one used Yoga to work with her clients that have Depression,Anxiety, Substance Abuse,etc. One clinician started a program devoted to at risk youth on the South Side talking to younger children about staying off the streets and prevent violence.

I had to applaud these clinicians as they chose to "think outside the box" as far as providing therapy. No longer are the days where the only therapy setting provided is the typical Sigmund Freud-laying on the couch- while the therapist speaks aside-from you.Conventional ways may not always work and are found to be very stigmatizing. Creativity and the Arts can provide a great tool to help those patients navigate their lives and improve their inner well-being.

If you or someone you love need a counselor and would rather partake in these such therapies as opposed to traditional therapy,email me and I can refer you to these therapists.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Fashion Night Out 09/10/10. Location:Everywhere.

As summertime in Chicago comes to an end,we are now into the crisp cool days of fall. With that comes along a whole new set of fall season threads waiting to be sported along the city's "public runway".

Another love that I have is my passion for fashion(that rhymes! lol). Tomorrow evening, beautiful people and clothes will be coming together all around the world to participate in the annual Fashion Night Out(FNO). Among the stores participating will range from stores in the Water Tower to Neiman Marcus,to Chanel. This is a one night event that is going to occur at the same time all over the world.

Participating stores will be offering fashion/trunk shows,dj music,cocktails, and much more. The event will go from 5-9,a perfect after hours activity to begin the weekend.

For more details and a list of stores participating,check out Chicago Fashion Resource a site that deals with Chicago's fashion scene. If you are from another city check out events near you.

See you in stilettos!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Dj Colette at Green Dolphin

Dj Colette not only spins but she also sings.

As you have read my previous posts, I love love love house music. Chicago is the House capital of the world no doubt. I have been real busy with the summer and all so this post is a little late.

I went to see one of my favorite dj's ever,Colette,at Chicago's Boom Boom Monday nights at Green Dolphin,a haven for house music and house music lovers alike. Dj Colette is a native Chicagoan who was on a tour called "Second City Sessions" and did her final round in Chicago on August 16th. I actually got to meet Dj Colette after my husband spotted her mingle amongst the locals and told her how much of a big fan I was of hers-imagine how surprised I was! She was sweet and down to earth,which cannot be much said about a lot of these djs these days.

I enjoyed listening to all her classic tracks including "What Would She Do for Love" and "Hypnotized" as well as many others. A little known fact:DJ Colette grow up singing in a choir and has a GREAT voice. She also sings with her tracks which makes her a truly special Dj. Also,she is one of very few women House Djs out there these days,so more power to her.

As I mentioned, Green Dolphin is the place to be on Monday nights. Monday nights is "Boom Boom Room" nights in Chicago that features great underground house music. There is no dress code here so everything goes,and it truly is a place for people to go to listen to great house music and dance the night away(in your Puma sneakers of course). I also love this place because it has such a different vibe to it then your typical club/lounge on Saturday nights. It's mainly local people that go and that's what makes it so great because they are not there to show off,or to act pretentious, but to really enjoy themselves to local music.

What I also love is the diversity of the place. You may be wondering what kind of people attracts to this place and the answer is: everyone! All walks of life come here making it a truly unique experience. I much rather go out here on a Monday nights then on a Saturday nights anyways. You know the saying goes:weekend are for amateurs!(hehe) People are amazed when I tell them that this place is opened until 4am! That's Chicago for you :-)

You must think it's crazy to go out on Monday nights, especially if you work a 9-5 job everyday. Just take a PTO on Tuesdays and check it out,you will not be disappointed-it's totally worth it.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Coming soon-Documentary series on Chicago's House Scene.

Check out this trailer from 5 Magazine,a local publication that focuses on house music. The series will present 40 interviews from Chicago's hottest house music djs. If you have read my previous posts,you know that I love house music,especially underground house from Chicago:

Chicago's House Music Scene

Friday, July 30, 2010

Why do people drink so much?

Hey guys-long time no blog! Just enjoying what is left of my summer. I just got in from a co-worker's bachelorette party at the Trump Hotel and I must say that hotel is s-p-e-c-t-a-c-u-l-a-r. Beautiful views of the city on the 26th floor suite. We then headed to Rebar on the 16th floor and it was just as lovely. It was packed for  a Friday night. Just be prepared to bring a  lot of cash-I paid 15 bucks for a wine spritzer.

Anyways, my husband always wondered why people get SO drunk and excited about the nightlife here in Chicago. Even anywhere for that matter,let me tell you why and what I tell him.

Here in the US,there is a whole lot of stress. A whole lot. The stress can come from a variety of situations. Maybe it's that spat you had with your boyfriend. Or maybe you just had a grueling 40 hour power study session for that final exam that you pray you passed. Or maybe it's your job and you are having a really crappy day. Or maybe you just finished a 60 hour work week. Whatever the case may be,you will want to relieve what caused you this stress.

The healthy ways of course is to exercise,deep breathe,mediate,yoga,whatever, to decrease your level of stress. A lot of times however,people hit up the bars and do some heavy duty drinking instead. Or they just go on an all out shopping spree to help them relieve this stress as well. Too much and even too little can be detrimental to your physical and emotional health on some level.

This is why. People do work hard,but they play hard as well. This is my motto.

As long as it doesn't destroy your overall well being and  you get to a point where you cannot function in today's society.

Well,time to take this makeup off,and get ready for bed,and hit up brunch somewhere in the city tomorrow. Goodnight!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Summertime in the city part 2

Well here I am,my last day off before I have to head back to work(yes I counted the weekends as well).
With this 90 degrees weather we have been having,I have to say,in a city that keeps us hostage with the extreme cold temperatures in the winter time,this 90 degrees heatwave we have been having is a punishment for all the complaints we make in those winter months.

With that in mind it has been way too hot to cook,so I have been heading out to different spots for food and drinks. One of them was a neat place in Uptown called Fat Cat-they had great martinis there. I also discovered this great coffeehouse based out of Vienna called Julius Mienl. Here they got great coffees,healthy gourmet sandwiches and wonderful desserts.

 I also was able to head to Oak St beach as a bathed in the sun amongst the city skyline.

I did some shopping here and there,before the sun got really strong or right before the sunset,because that was really the only time that was the most comfortable. I got a killer navy blazer for half off at Zara,a retail based clothing store from Spain. Oh how I love shopping in Chicago.

Summer isn't over yet for me however,and I am half dreading to go to work and half of me just needs to go back. I just can't imagine being off for more than a week if I am not planning on going anywhere. In the meantime I will continue to enjoy what our city has to offer,especially in the summertime.

Now if it can just cool off "just a little bit" so that it can be comfortable to dine al fresco.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Summertime in the city.

Here's me at the annual Kidney Walk to benefit The National Kidney Foundation. The event took place on June 27th starting at Soldier Field and ended at McCormick Place. It was raining pretty bad that day but it turned out to be a success regardless. Plenty came out and did the walk along Chicago's beautiful Lakefront.

As you can see,I have been out and about since summer kicked off here in Chicago. Other things I have been up to are:

Going to the beach. With the beach a block away from me who wouldn't take advantage of that?

Lunch at the Signature Room. My parents came out last weekend and me and my husband took them to the 95th floor of the John  Hancock Building. They feature a great lunch buffet between 11:30-2:30 every Saturday for only 20 bucks!. The view up there is beautiful as you can see the whole city skyline. We had a view of Navy Pier and the lake. Day or night this place is a great stop.

Shopping and dining al fresco. This is the best time to go to Michigan Ave because the weather is nice enough where you can walk around without a coat. I bought some great threads from the ever so popular international brand United Colors of Benneton. This store has sleek,classic but stylish threads for the modern woman. I finally checked out Kuma's Burger and Sweetwater which are excellent options for dining.

I finally took off a week from work,so I will definitely be checking out other hot spots here around the city. I won't be blogging as much because I will too busy enjoying my time off,but I will definitely keep you updated when I return.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Letting go toxic relationships-are they worth keeping?

We all have had them at one point in our lives-toxic relationships. As you already know,I am obsessed with the reality series The Real Housewives of New Jersey. One of the girls on the show,Dina(left),decides to confront a long time drama queen named Danielle(right) to let her know that she is too toxic to be in her life,and does not want to have anything to do with her anymore(you will have to see how that all pans out by catching up with the episodes on Bravo).

Of course, we cannot all be brave like Dina,but there are times when letting go certain people in our lives that cause drama has to be done in order to live a happier life. People who bring you down and keep you in the negative is in no shape or form good for your self-esteem or emotional well-being.

Do you have someone like this in your life you want to get rid of but not sure what to do about it? Just think about this for a minute. Does this person(or persons),whether it's a relationship with a friend,significant other,or even a family member make you feel awful when they are around you? Or do they make you feel good and are a joy to be around? Does this person display a caring attitude and likes you for being you or does this person try to dominate your every move and doesn't really care to be there for you? Even worse,does this person use you and contacts you only when she/he needs something? These are just some things to think about whether or not it's worth keeping someone like this in your life.

Then of course you got the ones that don't care to pick up the phone and bother calling you or take the time to even drop an email to say hello-just drop them all together,they can be just as toxic as someone who is involved in your life on a day to day basis. We are all busy,and being "busy" is not an excuse. It takes five minutes to say hello,or drop a note. Social Media especially has made it easier now to keep in touch with everyone,so there is no excuse.

So next time you are pondering whether or not you should hold on to a toxic relationship,ask yourselves these questions mentioned above and find out if these people are really worth keeping. We must fuel our bodies with nourishment,water,and sleep,but we must also fuel our mind and spirit and keep it free of negative energy. Instead,surround yourself with positive and drama free friends and family instead,your soul will thank you.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

The Skinny Italian: A recipe for looking good and eating great-who knew?

As most of us,we have one guilty pleasure(or two) that we may be embarrassed to say what it is or just laugh it off and admit it. One of mine is the Reality TV show "The Real Housewives of New Jersey". There are several shows that have this theme(such as New York,Orange County,etc) but the New Jersey series seems to be the one that interests me. I don't know why,maybe it's because my father used to live in New Jersey. Maybe it's also where my husband spent the majority of his time in the US as well. I have been to New Jersey myself since my family has friends still living there. Maybe because this Italian-American cast just reminds me so much of the big hair, big houses and drama that my ethnicity possesses as well.

 One of the girls on the show,Teresa,has made a cookbook recently called "The Skinny Italian". Teresa Giudice,is an Italian-American woman who is married to an Italian also and has four kids. She one day decided to make a cookbook out of all the recipes that she learned from her parents who are from Italy themselves. Her cookbook is not just any cookbook,but also an autobiography on how her parents immigrated to the US and kept their traditions alive,tidbits from her husband,and how to dress fabulous on a budget(Teresa was not always a housewife,she graduated from Berkley College and was a buyer for Macy's in NYC). The best part of the book is her step by step instructions on how to can and preserve tomato sauce(totally reminds me of us Macedonians and our canning of peppers for the winter months). There is also descriptions on how to choose the best olive oil,the different types of herbs,and more.

Here is the best part: The Real Housewives cast member did not know how to cook when she got married. All her recipes were learned through the phone! This is the perfect book then for you newlyweds(such as myself) who may never lifted a finger in the kitchen but has that inner housewife in them.

 The thing with this cookbook is that it is a very "busy" book with lots of pictures of not only her great slimming recipes but of her four gorgeous daughters and her fellow housewife friends. Teresa insisted that she was not going to write a cookbook that was "boring" but a cookbook that was fun to read and get a chuckle or two from it. It's an autobiography,self help book,and cookbook all in one.

"The Skinny Italian" can be purchased at Borders,Barnes and Nobles,and where I got mine at,Target. Target has the best price for this book ($15.99). Grab one today and start impressing your husband. Yes you too can be a housewife and fabulous!

Friday, May 21, 2010

The Girl's Guide to Homelessness

I read an article today on Yahoo that totally inspired me. It was an article that was titled "10 Things Americans Cannot Live Without." As I continued to read the article,one of the things it mentioned was that the "laptop" and "high speed internet" was a necessity to most Americans. It gave a great example of a girl named Brianna,who lost her job in 2008 and ended up on the edge of homelessness. She sold all of her personal belongings and ended up living in a trailer. The one thing she did not give up was her laptop and the internet,which she used to surf the web to look for jobs. Her friend inspired her to write a blog about her experiences. Publishers were so inspired by her blog that she was offered a deal to write a book. Things picked up from there and she is now an advocate for homelessness around the world.

They say things happen for a reason. With the great recession continuing to affect millions of people,Americans are learning ways to cut out spending and hold on to what is most important to them. Whether this will last once the economy improves who knows. This is also a time where people have a chance to pursue what they love,or a career change. They say opportunity knocks,especially with some hard work,a positive attitude,and dedication.

Read her blog here: the Girl's Guide to Homelessness

Saturday, May 8, 2010

My first photo of the view outside my 7th floor window.

I managed to capture this rainbow after a gloomy rainy day in Chicago from the window. I couldn't open the window because so many birds were circling around trying to get in. Still breathtaking though.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Falling into a funk,"Don't try this at home."

As I settled into my newlywed bliss,I noticed something that I am er, not exactly proud of.  

I can only speak for myself,but I have gotten too "dependent" on my husband. Now that I have a constant man in my life,I have sort of slipped on things that I was so used to doing on my own. There are certain things of course that I will always seek help for,like parallel parking the car for instance,a challenge here in Chicago although I do know how to definitely do it,my husband can just do it better.  

There was a stereotype that men from the Balkans don't really allow their women to have a separate identity and let them really to have friends and spend time with girlfriends. However,the post-communist generation has definitely become more open-minded, when it comes to these things,it really comes down to trusting your partner and we have that. In fact I encourage my husband to do the same and he also has a separate set of friends that he hangs out with. It's healthy for couples to have a healthy relationship with the outside world.

I fell into this funk where I really lost touch with the outside world,it just seemed easier to just plop on the couch after a 40-hour work week and have a glass of wine.  The thought of using public transportation sounded like such a hassle and it was just so much easier to just talk my husband into dropping me off wherever I wanted to go. I felt that calling up old friends seemed like a hassle too and in fact wondered why they were not calling me to go out instead.

So I had made some adjustments. I started attending yoga classes downtown on the weekends at Lululemon Athletics,which is great because they offer complimentary classes on the weekends. It is refreshing to wake up early with the rest of Chicago and do good for your body at the same time. Since I live on the North Side and parking is a pain downtown,I take the bus which is literally two feet away from my place and a straight shot 20 minutes to downtown. I find it so much easier and less of a hassle to use then the El. Not as bad as I thought. I have also reconnected with friends at the same time.

I will be attending a few events this month both during work hours and outside of work which I am excited for. And I am psyched to learn that my favorite house dj Collette will be here for a concert at Metro this month so I will be aiming to go to that as well.  In June,look for my blog that talks about my recent joining of the  Kidney Walk.

Chicago,I am back in full force.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Macedonia featured in April's issue of "State"

The US Department of State is featuring "Macedonia" on their monthly magazine,named "State" along with a featured article on Macedonia on page 20. Check it out,gives you some insight of where my background is from. This is also where I had my destination wedding.

Great minds think alike,I myself wrote an article for Gal About the Globe around the same time featuring Macedonia not too long ago.

View April's issue of "State" by clicking here: State

Also check out my blog post about Macedonia on Gal about the Globe

Monday, April 5, 2010

Please,we are in church,aren't we?

So Easter has gone and past,including my one week vacation. The weather in Chicago was fabulous, with several days getting up to the 80's. I did some killer shopping on the Magnificent Mile,walked along Lake Michigan,and rounded the week up by attending Church and visiting family in Indiana for some Easter Lamb.

I by no means am a bible thumper,but I do have a connection with the Eastern Orthodox Church. Before I start my rant I do have to say that not all Orthodox Churches are like this.But there is a time and place for everything.

Service started at 10:00 am and I unexpectingly arrived about half hour early. I walked in with my husband and did our rounds as we lit candles and did our cross and proceeded to sit down.  A bunch of old school ladies in their 60s and 70s sat down near me as well as people started pouring into the church. The next thing you know I couldn't help eavesdrop a rather annoying conversation and it went something like this:

Old lady No.1: "(insert name here)" now lives downtown,but ah,let them study downtown"(this church was in a Chicago suburb by the way as if it was so me far magical place,it's actually only a half hour away)

Old lady No.2 "(insert name here) is now the boss at the hospital,the problem is she cannot find a husband,but she doesn't need a man if she is the head of the hospital"

Old lady No.3" That's good,she will find someone one day.

If I was this girl they were talking about,I would be SO mad,and it is so SAD that such gossiping occurs when you are in the House of God.

In the meantime,my Husband had some old 80 year old guy nudging him constantly,asking him where he is from,what does he do,etc. My goodness,the priest is talking,why are you!? Gee,I didn't know church is used as a social hot spot.

 Then of course you got the late comers who pour in about half hour before the service ends,and of course no one is coming in quiet,as I strained to hear the priest continue with his sermon. Again,hello,you are in church.  

The service ended with communion services,which of course people were cutting in line,as if we were in some lunch line at an elementary school,how old are we now?

I try not to rant about things on my blog but this one I just had to. When you are in church,please do not do the following:

-Do not speak while the priest is speaking,it's rude.
-Do not gossip,you are in church,not at some coffee shop.
-Do not cut in line,push,or shove,we are not in kindergarten.

If you cannot follow these simple rules then I suggest you don't bother coming to church at all. End rant.


Sunday, March 28, 2010

Lent/Holy Week

Happy Sunday everyone...

I will be sacrificing many things and fasting for Lent/Holy Week starting tomorrow. This includes no internet,no alcohol,no sex,no dairy,meat,or any other animal products. This is so I can cleanse my mind and spirit as much as I can and just mediate on the simple things that we take granted for as we head into a new season,a season of renewal,Spring. See you soon,and have a great Easter for those who celebrate.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Balkan Spring Festival-get your dance on!

My love for Eastern European/Balkan dancing started as soon as I started to walk and was taken to dance parties featuring Macedonian and Serbian folklore music. Next thing you know,I joined a dance ensemble and performed in front of hundreds of people from elementary school into high school.

I took a break when I went away for college pursuing my Bachelor's,but once I moved to Chicago and started Grad school,I reconnected with my love for Eastern European dancing when I joined The Chicago Balkan Dance Ensemble.

Every year, the Chicago Balkan Dance Ensemble features a Balkan Spring Festival which hosts a series of workshops from various Balkan dance artists and musicians,followed by a concert from various Eastern European Groups and a dance party afterwards. It takes place March 19-21 at International House,1414 E 59th St in Chicago,located on University of Chicago's campus. The cost varies,but if you want to make it to the concert and dance party,the admission cost is between 20-30 dollars,depending if you wanted to attend the concert.

I have performed and volunteered at this event,and it is definitely worth checking out! Come learn something new and be immersed Eastern European culture.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

H&M: A great shopping destination.

It was when I first moved to Chicago for graduate school is when I discovered H&M-a fashion retail store that hails from Sweden. This store has locations all over the world and features fashion that has a global sense to them as well. I went to school just right across the street from this store and usually after class I would just step on over and shop for outfits that I would plan out for the weekends in the city. As I said before,I was a grad student so that meant I couldn't exactly shop at its fellow neighbor Chanel or Gucci or any of those high end stores you would find on Michigan Ave.

H&M always rotates their storefronts and their layouts of the store as well,giving it a fresh new look each time. Some designers even have sold some of their items here such as Roberto Cavalli,Madonna,and now Parisian Sonia Rykiel,which just started featuring her clothing line today. The store on Michigan Ave. here in Chicago is three stories high,and has clothes for Men,Women,and children as well. Accessories can be found here ranging from costume jewlry to scarves to purses. I especially love their "Divided" line which provides comfortable,affordable,and stylish items.  And yes, the clothes are of good quality and last.

One thing I should forewarn people should they ever decide to come to this store:Saturdays are crazy busy because of all the tourists that come for the shopping on Michigan Ave. The best time to come here to shop is on a Sunday or even during the week. I don't know about you but I hate crowds when I go shopping. I like to take my time and stroll through,looking at different pieces in a relaxed atmosphere without being bumped into or wait in long lines at the fitting rooms.

I have to say ever since I moved to Chicago I also gained a great interest and appreciation for fashion. Where I come from,people don't dress as individuals but more like cookie cutter so they can blend in. No one takes risks and if you did it would just be thought of as odd or off the wall. But here,I noticed that fashion is taken on another level-it may not be Paris or NYC but Chicago definitely has style here. The numerous boutiques that are available at your fingertips is great and the shopping is extraordinary. Another reason why I love living here.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Sick of Starbucks? Try Bridgeport Coffeehouse.

 This past weekend,Tim and I headed out for my early Valentine's Day gift in Lincoln Park. Afterwards,we then gave a buddy a lift to the West Loop. Of course,my husband,being the spontaneous one as all Europeans are,decided to take a trip down memory lane as we head on over to Bridgeport Coffeehouse for a cup of java on the southside.As we gave our friend a tour of the first neighborhood he lived in when he moved from Jersey, Bridgeport, which is the home of the White Sox,we finally arrived and instantly the coffee-bartender(slightly pictured), Mike, greeted us with open arms as if it was yesterday. When Tim and I first started dating, he lived in Bridgeport and I read one day in Chicago Magazine that this was a pretty neat place to go for coffee,hangout,etc. Tim did not even know this place existed and it was right in his backyard. Instantly,we became a regular and after awhile all the employees there got to know us.

Bridgeport Coffeehouse was created when the owner saw an empty storefront one day and thought since the neighborhood didn't have really anywhere to go as far as coffee,it would be an ideal spot. And he was right. Everything on the menu is pretty good,but I have to say their coffee of the day is always a hit no matter what. Coffees from South America can be found here. They also blend and roast their own coffees daily.You can take some home to brew for your liking. 

The ambiance has that homey,cozy feeling where everyone knows your name. Free Wifi is a plus as regulars come and surf the net or  or type that 10 page college paper. Pictures and paintings of local artists are also featured on the walls. On Sundays,different musicians come and entertain the coffee dwellers. We have also come here in the middle of the week where musicians held small venues as well. 

I now live on the Northside,but no matter what we will never forget Bridgeport Coffeehouse,it's definitely worth the trip. Why go to corporate chain owned Starbucks when you got great local coffeeshops in your own backyard? Those are the best places to hit up in my opinion because they are unique and have that great neighborhood feel to them. And that's what makes them so special. 

Bridgeport Coffehouse is located at  3101 S Morgan St in Chicago.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Attention: El train riders.

Lately I have been reading incidences regarding theft on the Red Line train. This isn't meant as a scare tactic but just thought I'd post some tips:

If you need to ride the El to run errands try to do it during daytime hours.
Now I know you must be thinking: things happen in the daytime also. Very true,but your risk of something happening goes up at night,especially if you are riding alone. There is usually more people in the daytime as well.

Please,if you can,do not take your purse,and take only credit cards.

If there is any way you can take a small coin purse or just put your credit card in your pocket,you are better off. Buy a CTA pass if you can so that you don't have to carry that much cash. Especially with the times right now,more women(as well as men) are getting pick pocketed. Again,things still can happen no matter how careful you are but at least with credit cards you can dispute the charges and cancel it all together if someone ends up stealing it. Lot of city people know this but for those who have recently transplanted from a small town or come down to the city from the 'burbs they tend to be too comfortable and are the ones that end up having this happen to them the most.

Use the buddy system
Especially if you are going to be riding late at night coming back from the bars.

Lastly,if you see something suspicious,get off and go inside to the nearest building.
Immediately call the police if you can.

If you can,carry Mace with you,it's good to have on your keychain in case you need to use it.

The El train system is a wonderful source of transportation that can help us avoid paying 30 dollar parking fees,but at the same time you are going with a number different kinds of people so it is always a good idea to take precaution.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Get fit with Body By Gilad!

Gilad's Ultimate Body Sculpt Series - Cuts and Curves
It's getting towards the end of the month and I am still focusing on working out and eating healthy. If you want to get really fit with fast results,may I suggest "Body by Gilad" workout programs. I have been utilizing his exercise as far back as high school so I know it works. I have tried all sorts of exercises but find that I get bored real easily. With Gilad's programs,you will never be bored. He mixes it up with a combination of cardio,weight lifting,squats,abs,you name it. And they work! Choose from a variety of dvds that target all types of body parts and you will be strutting North Ave Beach in no time.

Check out  Body by Gilad for further ordering information,or tune in to your local listings on Fit Tv.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Doodleganza at the Museum of Contemporary Art

Just found a neat event that is held  the first Tuesday of each month at the Museum of Contemporary Art. "Doodleganza" is basically a free event where people can come and experience some hands on art while they feature different artist to guide the participants into making it. It's not quite an art class,but more of an "art party" that does not require any expertise of art whatsoever.

This event occurs the first Tuesday of every month and starts at 6pm. A great "happy hour" event where you can relieve some of that stress from work. It can be very therapeutic if I say so myself.

Check out different free events every Tuesday by checking out MCA's site.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Healthy Eating in 2010!

I vowed myself after New Year's that I was going to eat more healthy. So far so good!

After much reading,I learned that fruits and vegetables,not carbs,should make up the majority of your diet. I have also incorporated a trail mix of nuts and raisins so I can snack on in a healthy way between breakfast and lunch to curb my appetite. As far as proteins,egg whites,chicken breast,and lean turkey meat are some of the things I have included as well.

Stay tuned as I blog about my exercise regime with Body by Gilad.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Material Posessions or Having "fun"?

I have been debating on this forum on this particular topic and most people got the question. The question I posted was" would you rather spend your money on material things like nice house,car,etc or,would you rather spend your money on vacations,eating out/having drinks,etc. Most of the people on there got it but one particular person has not gotten the concept,she believes you can do both.

Really both? Are you well-to-do?Living at home? Then ok,I can see the point there. But for the average Joe,some take priority of having a nice place to live and spend money towards that than to splurge on eating out at fancy restaurants 3-4 times a week. Some prefer to enjoy life more and are perfectly fine living in a shack and not drive a car.

I honestly think this girl still lives at home with her parents and don't know quite yet how it is to live in the real world.

It really is about where your priorities are in life. I also believe you can have a great blend of both lifestyles,as long as you don't go one extreme to another,unless you want to be among the millions that are in great credit card debt that can't seem to pay off their bills.

I think that this is the reason why the economy is in the state that it is right now-I am hearing countless stories of people that have not seemed to "learn their lesson" and continue to just not care.

I had an interesting conversation with someone the other day. She hails from a poor country and have always had a low standard of living. So when the economy went downhill in the US she pointed out that she was able to cope with it because she has been living this way for a long time out there. My husband says this to me also. People that have been put in this situation before tend to be more resilient than those that are not used to it.

Maybe this concept will now be coming to the US,we don't know for sure if the state of the economy is going to recover completely to where it was during the Clinton years. Perhaps people will start living like the people in France for instance,small housing establishments and taking public transportation,or just own one car instead of 4.