Do you know anything about breasts? I mean chicken breasts...

Have you ever heard that the grocery store is a great place to meet people? When I was single I was too zoned into my own shopping to notice if there was a hottie near the oranges. And let's be honest, I can be a bit catty at times. If some creep was trying to hit on me and all I wanted to do was get my damn shopping done things would not go well for him.

This real life tip from the ever helpful makes me very nervous for some men out there:

Pick up some meat packages and look at them carefully, including reading the label. Ask one of the women near you if she can help you pick a lean cut and how you know which ones are freshest. Offer to take her to coffee because she helped you to find the best meal you have had in awhile.

I don't even know what I would do if this happened to me. I'm just imagining all kinds of tasteless meat jokes that could happen during this scenario.

When I found out that my local Whole Foods was sponsoring a singles night I was intrigued.

Music and snacks? Chris and I might have to attend. Maybe we can catch someone sneaking some kisses in the frozen foods section?

Have you ever been hit on in a grocery aisle? Or more importantly, do you hit on people in the grocery store?

Chicago Update

Chris and I have now lived in Chicago for 1 month!

I wish I took more photos so I could do a fun and picture filled recap. But, I didn't. Oh well, next month!

In the last month in Chicago we have:

- M went to Dallas for 2 days and saw her college lovahs
- M went on a girl's weekend in VEGAS with some of her favorite high school friends.
- M started a photography at the Chicago Photography Center
- M started volunteering at Operation Frontline

- C has traveled for work to Charlotte, North Carolina the last 4 weeks from Monday to Wednesday for a whopping 12,000 frequent flyer miles (did I mention that we "bought" all of our tickets using frequent flyer miles?)

- M and C rang in the new year at a house party
- M and C watched the National Championship game, Oklahoma v Stanford, and Vikings v Saints
- M and C have explored 4 new neighborhoods where they have had:
- INCREDIBLY spicy Thai food (so spicy M couldn't even eat it)
- The most delicious baklava ever
- Have tried at least 3 different restaurants for falafel (C's fav food)
- Eaten lebanese food
- Discovered their new favorite cheap grocery store
- Went to a Serbian music and bookstore
- And done a ton of just walking and wandering

In the next month Chris will be headed to New Orleans to watch the Super Bowl with his college friends (to be honest, I'm REALLY jealous) and I will be going to Arkansas to visit my mom. We're also going to a Robert Earl Keen concert and we got the tickets for a steal at $10 each! I wish I had my sweet cowboy boots for this concert, maybe someone wants to mail them to me? hint... hint...

Without a doubt we'll also be exploring Chicago more and I'm going to try and take more pictures!



Chris and I have been doing little victory dances around our apartment lately because we have booked some of our tickets for our grand 18-month trip around the world!

18 MONTHS AROUND THE WORLD!!! It's actually going to happen! We actually have seats on planes!

To say that we are excited would be an understatement!

You can only book tickets 320 days in advance so as of right now we're not coming home! We'll book the remainder of our tickets once the reservations are available.

We're flying to each of the major continental areas (Africa, Middle East, Asia, India) and then will travel within those areas on busses, trains, and maybe a camel or two?

May 29th
Chicago to Johannesburg

September 1
Johannesburg to Istanbul

December 1
Amman to Bangkok

This means we will be spending the Fourth of July in South Africa, my 25th birthday and Chris' 29th birthday somewhere in the Middle East, and Christmas in South East Asia!

My thought process

There's a boat on that bunny's head!

Wait, is that actually a boat hat?

No no, someone tied that boat on that bunny's head.


no possible way.

NO! IT REALLY IS $2,500!

gahhhhhhhhh I know I spend money on stupid crap all the time but a BUNNY with a BOAT on it's head? $2,500?

Bunny bunny bunny boat boat boat-- I should make a rap for that-- AND SELL IT FOR $2,500.

oh and is etsy pronounces et-see or eat-see... See the difference? Any ideas?


I was mentally scarred a child. I know we all were by somethings but my childhood scarring was about recycling. Yes you read that right: recycling.

In first grade-- which let me point is prime time for the animal loving stage that little girls go through-- we learned about all of the evils of pollution. Including the fact that if we didn't cut the plastic between a 6-pack of cans baby ducks, turtles, and dolphins were going to DIE. I would personally would have to bear the emotional weight of being a mass turtle murder if I didn't make sure all 6-pack holders were cut. At 6 years old possibly being a murder was intense. Intense to the point that still today at 24 years-old I will make a big old hissy fit if I see someone just throwing a 6-pack plastic piece away. My sweet boyfriend has already learn to fear of my wrath adapt to the fact that this is just the way it is. In fact, the other night I found a 6-pack holder already cut into pieces before I could even get to it.

And then there was this "music video" from an episode of Bill Nye the Science Guy that I have had stuck in my head FOR MY ENTIRE LIFE:

In the words of my mother I am a "recycling freak". I think recycling is really important and have on occasion had little mini-panic sessions about what exactly we are doing to our one and only Earth.

So when I saw this on one of the foodie blogs I read I got really excited in a nerdy tree-loving sort of way:

I try to make smart choices about the products I buy, use reusable materials (ie tupperware instead of plastic bags, hand towels instead of paper towels), and recycle but sometimes I feel like it just isn't enough. We still make about a full bag of garbage a week, I drove an old gas guzzling SUV in Dallas, and I'm planning a trip around the world with a handful of flights that send pollution directly into the upper atmosphere.

But what can you do beyond becoming this guy:

A former city employee in the Fukushima prefecture town of Koriyama has built a 4-meter (13-ft) long canoe from thousands of used disposable chopsticks recovered from the city hall cafeteria. Bothered that perfectly good wood was going to waste after a single use, Shuhei Ogawara — whose job at city hall involved working with the local forestry industry — spent the last two years of his career collecting used chopsticks from the cafeteria. An experienced canoe builder, Ogawara spent over 3 months gluing 7,382 chopsticks together into strips to form the canoe shell, to which he added a polyester resin coat. The canoe weighs about 30 kilograms (66 lbs), which is a bit heavier than an ordinary cedar canoe, but Ogawara is confident it will float. A launching ceremony is planned for May at nearby Lake Inawashiro.

WHAT? 7,382 chopsticks? USED chopsticks? Sure I'll rock my reusable grocery bags every time I can; but I am not that dedicated to recycling!

The gratutius articles

Did you know that the African country of Gambia is actually the Rupublic of The Gambia.

The next question is obvious... Which came first The Gambia or The Ohio State University?

Lifetime List- Part 4

more things to do!

31. Have a “signature dish”—something that everyone will ask me to bring to a potluck.
32. Go ice fishing.
33. Get all of my amazing girlfriends across the nation together for an unforgettable weekend.
34. Spend a month in the woods with nothing but the pack on my back and whatever I can carry in it.
35. Use the phrase “the last time I was in Thailand” in a completely legitimate way.
36. Own my own company.
37. Learn how to clean and cook and entire fish.
38. Play with a baby elephant.

39. Run a 7-minute mile.
40. Compete in a hot air balloon race.
I'm less than half way into my list. it's going to be a challenge to make the next 60 items!

Facebook-- You're making me angry

*** note: if you're looking for unicorns, rainbows, and cuddly puppies in snuggies this is not the blog post to read. I am about to vent off a mighty storm of anger that has been brewing for a while.

Would you walk up to someone as say "I think your sweater is ugly! And let's not even start talking about the color of your headband, why the hell would you ever choose that color? You must be an idiot!"? Let's hope the answer is no; if not then, we have an entire separate set of issues to discus. But let's assume you aren't a giant jerk. Then can someone please explain to me why in the world people do that on facebook all the time?! But instead of commenting on people's taste in clothing they comment on something even more personal: their political tastes.

I lean heavier to one political side than the other. But, I would like to think that if you met me and we didn't discuss politics you might have a guess where I lean but you would never be fully sure. And while I want my party to succeed and support them through financial donations, my vote, and volunteering, I never act like an ass in public about my party.

This whole Brown vs Coakley thing has stirred up the idiocy on facebook once again. And even when political discussions aren't being shouted about on facebook I see offensive statuses like this all the time:

"Obama is an idiot! Oh yea, and the rest of the democrats too!"


"Suck it conservative assholes, we win!"

Would you ever say this to someone in person? Then why is it okay to set this as your facebook status? It's simple: it's not.

When you want to act like a grow up and have a real conversation about politics and opposing political views then give me a call and we'll go to Starbucks, drink coffee, at times agree, and at times agree to disagree.

I do realize I'm being an ass myself in this rant, but enough is enough!

Soup-a-palooza: White Bean Chicken Chili with Artichokes

Since it has been, on average, 20 degrees here in Chicago I have been making a lot of soup lately. My soup-making desire has also been enhanced by the fact that I'm broke, eating all my meals at home to save monies, and to top it off Chris is working on a project out of town Monday am through Wednesday pm so I have to eat alone a lot.

So, I've been making giiiinoooormous pots of soup (so big in fact that the pot won't fit in my dishwasher and I have to wash it by had!) and freezing half.

Last week this is what I made which is super easy and only uses 1 pot:

White Bean Chicken Chili with Artichokes
This recipe is from Chris' mom and super easy to make!

Prep: 30 minutes Serves: 6

1 Medium white onion
2 TBSP olive oil
1 4oz can chopped green chilies- drained (I used 2 serano peppers we already had in the fridge- finely chopped)
2 tsps cumin
2 16 oz cans Bush's great northern beans
1 14.5oz can of chicken broth
1.5 cups finely chopped chicken (I kind of chopped/shredded/just threw it in there)
1 large can artichokes- drained
1 large can diced tomatoes and juice

Saute onion in the bottom of a large pot for about 4 minutes until transparent (I put the seranos in here at the same time). Add chilies and cumin; cook and stir for 2 minutes. Add beans, chicken broth, and tomatoes. Bring the whole pot to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the chicken and artichokes and cook until the whole pot is hot.


I doubled this recipe to make extra frozen servings.

I didn't take pictures of this soup, but I will tomorrow when I make lentil soup!

OCD alert (or is it senility?)

In the elevator on way down to the lobby of my apartment building I started to worry that I had forgotten to lock my front door. I knew I had the keys in my hand but I couldn't remember if I had locked the door.

Rode the elevator back up and it was locked.

This happens to other people, right? RIGHT? Just say yes!

In just a few hours I will be back in Dallas! I have to go back to take care of a few things, then I am headed to Vegas for a fabulous weekend with my high-school friends and then back to Chicago on Sunday night!

Let's hope I don't lose anything in the process!

So far I haven't lost anything in an entire week! woop!

Chicago Winter Weather Lesson 1

Uggs are great for keeping your toes warm when it is 14 degrees and dry. But when it's been snowing for 12 hours straight making puddles the exact consistency of a slurpee from 7-11 they aren't so effective.

Lesson: buy waterproof boots. asap.

Lifetime List Part 3

Y'all, writing a 100 item lifetime to do list is kind of hard. But I've made some progress and here is the latest update!

21. Live in a city that is no more than an hour drive from the mountains
22. Create a 5-year plan that is feasible, interesting, and exciting.
23. Go to the World's Longest Yard Sale in Tennesse (that's right, this link is to the AARP magazine. I'm awesome like that.)
24. Win the weekly cartoon-captioning contest in the New Yorker.
25. Go 12 months without losing a cell phone.
26. Donate 10+ inches of hair to Locks of Love
27. See the Taj Majal
28. Collect and record stories about my family from my grandparents
29. Break the habit of picking at the skin around my nails. Youch! It hurts!
30. Bungy jump from the world's tallest bungy jump from Bloukrans bridge in South Africa.

Remember yesterday when I was all "Hey, I'm going to act like a grownup and not lose my crap!"?

Well, I failed.

No more that 4 hours after I posted that I lost my wallet.

Some greater force was smiling down on me as some sweet soul turned my wallet (with cash and credit cards included!) into the office at the el station where I forgot to put my wallet into my purse.

New day, new chances right? So far I haven't lost anything, but then again I haven't left the house yet....

new year, new life, new outlook

This year has already been filled with huge changes and we are only 5 days in!

I'm not making any resolutions or mandates but I do want to make some improvements to my life. I am going to eat more fruit. I already eat a ton of veggies everyday but I eat almost no fruit. So, in this new year I am going to try to have a daily dose of fruit. So, today, I ate some strawberries! Woo! Fruit!
More importantly, I need to start being more responsible with my stuff. I lose crap all the time. In the last month I've lost a wallet and a cell phone. Yes, a wallet and a cell phone. I know, how does anyone trust me to be an adult? I don't know. It's an issue.

So far this year I have moved to my new hometown of Chicago and am looking for a new job this very moment. While I do love my new hometown of Chicago even if it is a freezing icy tundra I'm freaking out a little right now. I don't have a job, I have almost no money, and OMG I DON'T HAVE A JOB OR ANY MONEY AND I'M LEAVING FOR A TRIP AROUND THE WORLD IN FIVE MONTHS. I do have money saved for the trip but I'm scraping the bottle of the barrel for spending money here in Chicago. And by spending money I mean money to buy groceries!

I'm applying for jobs this week, trying to pick up some instant baby-sitting cash, and maybe I'll do a little song and dance show on Michigan Ave?

Photo favorites

Hello love bugs!

I've finally uploaded, sorted, and began to edit my huge photo collection from my trip! There were almost 3000 photos from my three months in Europe!

Here are some of my favorites:

A swan in Prague

Graffiti in Berlin. I actually love these so much that I thinking about recreating them in photoshop and putting the up somewhere in my house... Thoughts?

Chris taking a look at the Alps at sunset in Berchtesgaden, Germany. I'm in super love with this photo. SUPER LOVE I tell you!

Ah, sweet sweet Paris

Another photo from Paris. I took this photo in the artists' square in Montmarte.

This is a giant bubble in London! While the picture isn't especially fabulous it reminds me of a great day I had with my friend Allyson walking around the Camden Market!

I'm not exactly sure what to do with all of the many many many many photos I have. I am thinking about creating a scrapbook on snapfish? Any ideas?