DIM (Did It Myself)

I’m going to go ahead and skip over the apologizes for not writing thing time, it seems like all A and I do is apologize for our lack of writing. But I will say, in my defense, that I’ve been battling some severe arm/hand pain for the past two weeks and have thus, been unable to type, write, and even feed myself. That being said, I couldn’t bare to leave you guys hanging any longer. 

What have we been up to?

As far as I’m concerned, I’ve been pretty much on bed/couch rest for awhile now. Which has given me ample time to get very well acquainted with HGTV’s current line of shows. A girl can only watch so many Friends reruns (not true, I could watch Friends reruns for years and never tire of them). 

Anyways, my HGTV obsession has led to an entirely new obsession – interior decorating and DIY. Obviously in my current state I can’t be gutting kitchens. So I’ve started a few minor projects for my (in the very near) future apartment. Here’s what (mom and) I did…

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And here is how I did it…

Step 1: Collect old bottles and jars of various shapes and spray paint. We chose Rustoleum‘s metallic line and it worked really well! 

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 Consider using these bad boys… 

IMG_8788Step 2: Apply spray paint to the bottles and jars. Keep the paint cans 8-10 inches away from bottles/jars and apply coats lightly. If you press too hard, the paint will run and leave drip marks. Mom couldn’t really get the hold of this. 

And here’s how I’ve been using them…

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really love them, even though it made my hands feel a lot worse and I don’t have an amazing little city apartment to put them all in (yet)! They were super easy and a great way to repurpose things that are too pretty to be wasted.

Love,

How To Deal: When You Become an Unintentional Workaholic

I would have never considered myself a workaholic. Work-life balance is gospel to me. GOSPEL. I need to have a healthy bit of life in my life, in order to feel normal. God only knows why I chose to go into advertising (I blame 21-year-old Ambika), but alas here I am. And I love what I do. I really truly love it. But strategizing, and then noodling your strategy, and then re-wording your words, and re-visualizing your visuals can get gnarly.

And considering that even on a normal 9-7pm schedule, my brain turns to mush by EOD, I’ve been living a nightmarish, brain-dead, extreme.

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I know people out there can do it. I have friends who have done it and continue to do it and more power to them because Lord, it is hard (although I guess if you’re making bank it’s probably easier to stomach, i.e. why investment banking still exists).

But regardless of my trials and tribulations, I’ve been doing my damndest to stay positive and on top of my life game. Because with a wedding to plan, a guy to love, and a family that will never stop calling (please don’t, I love you!), no one’s going to let me off easy.

Here are some ways I’ve been staying afloat:

1. Retreating to my work besties. Often.

There is nothing better than a work BFF break during a long work day. They’re like a pool of cold water in the Sahara. A lone umbrella in the rain. A pair of mittens during a blizzard. Those peeps are important peeps, and they will save your sanity time and time again.

2. Planning what I’ll do on my day off when the crazy ends.

This is what I’m thinking right now. Take a day off. Go to Brooklyn. Find this new creepy cool new age store that I’m intrigued by. Purchase a book. Purchase a fancy lunch. Sit and read. With my phone in my purse on DO NOT DISTURB MODE (which if you haven’t discovered I literally don’t know how you live).

3. Getting something really tasty for lunch everyday & keeping treats at my desk.

I had enchiladas FOUR times this week. This is not an exaggeration. And each time, for some reason, my meal got the slightest bit bigger. Oh Guac? Of course! I need chips with that! Oh an ELOTE appetizer? Please. Game over.

4. Sending my fiancé work-selfies.

K can attest to this. I have ONE documented full-face selfie. That shit’s just not my thing. But when it comes to making weird faces at my fiancé – I just can’t resist. And even if he doesn’t respond (which he doesn’t), at least I can have a little (or huge…) laugh at myself and realize that life just isn’t that serious.

5. Not making any plans after work.

For some people, this isn’t a thing. In fact, they need to go to a fancy dinner and then drink cocktails until 4 am to feel better. Not this gurl. I need a cup of chai with fresh ginger, and my bed. Enter apartment. Change into PJS. Wash up as fast as possible. And in.to.bed. NETFLIX.

6. Journaling moments in my crazy as F days that give me a sense of fulfillment.

There are some really good moments in my bad days. Moments when I finally crack a tough question, or figure out the perfect chart (1. you know you’re a strategist when…) to fit the campaign architecture in my head, or help a brudda/sistah out. I can’t lose sight of the things I love about my job. They make the crazy hours feel less crazy.

7. Using whatever downtime I have to write blog posts like this that will make light of my situation.

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Even if it is just plain crazy.

Hope you’re all staying afloat!

Love,

A

How to Survive the Polar Vortex of 2014

So I’m sure a number of you have noticed that it’s, erm…bloody freezing outside. Here in Chiberia (yes, apparently that is the latest Chicago nickname) we’ve been through what now seems like almost a month of temperatures way too low to really sustain a happy life. Forget frequenting Hubbard Street at night, I can’t even muster up enough courage to drive to Trader Joe’s and stock up on goodies! I’ve had to shovel way too much snow, slush, and ice recently. And while I appreciate the forced arm workout (that’s a lie, I don’t), I’m sick and tired of this, guys! I’ve honestly caught myself (very profanely) cursing the harsh winter weather for killing my social life all too often this year. But we can’t change the weather, so how can we roll with the punches (to the gut) from good ol’ Mother Nature?

If you know me at all, you know that I love love love lists. I make at least one list per day. Really. I’ll find excuses to make lists. So, below I’ve compiled a list of ways you can all enjoy life in the great indoors as the polar vortex continues to kill your happiness, friendships, and pantry.

How to Survive the Polar Vortex

1. I highly highly recommend the buddy system. Yes. Roads are scary, parking is a nightmare, and you should probably go equipped with jump cables. But having a paly waly by your side makes everything better. In fact, the first time we were held hostages to the weather, I made sure I was with two of my best friends for the entire time. And we had the time of our lives. Sometimes being trapped is really fun if you’re trapped with someone you love.

2. Light your fireplace. I could probably conduct an actual scientific experiment on this and prove to you that by lighting a fireplace, your mood will improve at least five fold. But science really isn’t my thing so I’m going to just go ahead and tell you to light your damn fireplace and hope you listen to me. It looks pretty and gives off a lot of heat. Now that’s what I call a win-win situation.

3. Drink (a lot of) hot chocolate. Much like a nice toasty fire, a warm, filled-to-the-brim, mug of hot coca will surely boost your winter spirits! And you can get really creative with this. I’m talking adding candy canes for a little peppermint flavor, extra marshmallows, or even making it a little more adult and straight up spiking that already amazing goodness.

4. Build a fort. I am always trying to get people to do this with me and I don’t know why no one will. Dozens of pillows and blankets. Movies and magazines. THIS IS THE GREATEST IDEA EVER! If you’re trapped in the house, you might as well let your inner child out for a little play time.

5. Movies. Lots and lots of movies. This is a god-given “catch up on pop culture” opportunity for you.

6. Use the weather as an excuse not to go to the gym (hooray!)

7. Call up old friends and reminisce about how happy snow days used to make you as a child. Um, hello. The polar vortex is an excuse for you to relive your childhood (please reread #4 because I just cannot emphasize this enough).

8. Turn to your hobbies. Do you even know what your hobbies are?! Last week we were playing the typical classroom icebreaker games (another fun fact about me: I hate these. I really hate when people try to force me to have fun. Like…this is not fun. This will never be fun. Yes…even if you make it a Jeopardy! game) and the question, what’s your favorite hobby came up. And my group and I made a joke about how no one has time to learn what their hobbies are, let alone engage in them. Use this time to figure out what you like to do when you have some time off! Cook. Knit. Write. Learn how to give yourself a blow out. Read. Take photographs. Become cooler.

9. Order really cute winter gear online and have it shipped right to your doorstep! This is a great excuse to shop. You actually need new sweaters, gloves, scarves, and hats in order to survive this!

I suggest trying these places because of free-shipping and/or free returns: Shopbop – Zara – ASOS – Piperlime – Topshop

10. Nap. Nap like hell because I know you need it and you deserve it. Nap on the couch because it is so fun. Nap with three pillows and three blankets and maybe even your pet for optimal comfort. Nap nap nap.

I promise that if you take at least some of my advice, Mother Nature won’t seem like such a huge bitch. Ha! Jokes on you, gal pal (referring to Mother Nature, not you of course!)

Unless you have class on Mondays because, uh, schools are open. In that case, double up socks, grab those Uggs, put your leggings under your jeans, and grab that parka. Then go ahead and cry and complain to your mom, I know I will.

Here are a couple of my favorite memories from the snow/cold storm earlier this month:

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Slow sippin while staying toasty with one of my greatest friends, S!

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Catching up on (Bollywood) pop culture and giggling like a maniac when this question was asked!

Anyways…

Stay warm and bundled!

Love,

K