I decided to fly into Europe by way of Berlin so that I could visit one of my Bluephie’s babies, Esa, that’s doin’ big things and living in Germany postgrad. Berlin was really the only city in my itinerary that I didn’t research or plan for. Esa had been living in Berlin for a few months by the time I got there, so I figured I would be in good hands and just let her basically take me wherever she wanted to or thought would be the most fun. She picked me up at the airport with beers for the trip home, like any true friend would, so basically I loved Germany from the second I landed. It was so much fun to get to spend time with her and all her new friends, I didn’t realize how much I missed her until we were reunited.


A large part of my time in Berlin consisted of drinking cheap German beer and staring into Esa’s beautiful face. The beer Esa is drinking in this picture was probably the most expensive beer we bought the whole time, and it definitely cost less that six US dollars. Don’t worry, we supplemented our one bourgeoisie beer with plenty of big beers from Späti’s that cost approximately .70 Euros. Which we mostly drank in the streets. Because you can do that in Berlin and that alone is worth cost of the plane ticket, trust me on this one. IMG_1349

Germany knows how to do brunch. Any place that will serve me a giant tray of meat and cheese for breakfast is okay in my book. Esa and I were brunch monsters when we lived in Madison together, so we continued the tradition as much as possible in Berlin, even though she had to do all my ordering for me this time. IMG_1374

We took full advantage of the “Photoautomats” around the city. Basically they’re these dingy, outdoor photobooths that are all over the area we went out in. Don’t ask me to name the neighborhood, like I said, I basically just followed Esa around for two weeks. These were taken before and after our trip to Monster Ronsons, a karaoke bar where all the emcee’s are drag queens. If you’re wondering whether Esa and I rapped a Kanye West song to a room full of cross dressing Germans, the answer is obviously.

Esa’s roommate used to be a city tour guide, so we made her take us on an all inclusive tour of Berlin’s famous sites. Brandenburger Tor is obviously beautiful, but it’s important to note that we also saw the hotel where Michael Jackson held his baby out of the window. Only the most relevant and historical stops on this trip, guys.

The Berlin Wall was pretty much the only thing I knew that I had to see while I was in Berlin. Esa is really smart and worldly, so she was able to tell me a bunch of cool stuff about the history of the wall and facts about the different paintings on it, none of which I can remember. It made for a great Insta opportunity (basically the motivation behind my whole trip, tbh.)
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All in all, I spent just under two weeks in Berlin, the first week I arrived in Europe and the last before I flew back home. Esa was literally the perfect host and we had so much fun drinking copious amounts of champagne, pretending to be Lizzie McGuire, and harassing local boys on Tinder. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t consider trying to find an au pair job in Berlin and staying there forever but unfortunately my high maintenance lifestyle and all German family’s unwillingness to pay over 300 Euros a month didn’t exactly match up. Until next time, Germany.



Weekend Recap

For some reason, this felt like my official first weekend in Chicago, even though I’ve technically been moved in for two weeks now (and have gone out downtown a million times before I officially moved here). Maybe because I didn’t have to work all weekend, so I could really do the damn thing and go out Friday and Saturday night.

My brother ended up being able to come into the city to check out my new (awesome, adorable, perfect) apartment which was super exciting because he was the first of my family to come over! So I gave him the grand tour and then we got down to business aka drinking and playing music videos on our new Apple TV– I’m obsessed. Felt like I was at a Juvenile concert, so basically like I was in heaven. We stayed around the Lincoln Park area and had lots of fun and shots before heading back and having a slumber party. Actually, everyone passed out as soon as we got back and left me to play by myself, so not an ideal slumber party as it turns out. But it was still great to catch up with my brother and show off our fancy new place.  The only pictures I have from this night involve my brother and my cousin passed out on different couches, so I think I’ll just have to leave that to your imagination.

Saturday I unfortunately woke up at 7:30 when my brother was leaving my place, so I self medicated with Orange is the New Black. I don’t know if it’s just me, but I’m not as into this season as I was with the last two. It seems a little overdramatic and I feel like some of the story lines are a little played out. Don’t get me wrong, I still watched for a solid three-plus hours, I just wasn’t on the edge of my seat like I was expecting to be. I spent the rest of the day meeting with the landlord and running a few last minute errands before getting ready to watch the Hawks game.

I met up with some friends at HVAC in Wrigleyville for the game, but I was pretty underwhelmed.(Also, side story: My uber driver kept asking me if I smoked pot and told me that he would bring some over to my house and we could smoke together and then he fist bumped me and dropped me off a block from my destination.) It was PACKED (they were running a $30, all you can drink special between 6-9) and we had a really bad view of the TV so I honestly didn’t even watch the game and instead focused on my drinking. We ended up leaving the bar early and heading to my roommate’s friends house to actually watch the end of the game and keep taking shots.

Our night eventually ended at Hang Up’s (like any great night should) and involved me wearing a rubber chicken mask and taking whiskey shots with middle aged men. I wish I could say this was out of the ordinary, but it actually was a fairly typical Saturday for me.

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Sunday I was up bright and early to head back to Rockford for my friend Nicole’s bridal shower. I hadn’t seen Nicole since probably high school, so I was super excited to be reunited and have a free boozy brunch. The shower was so much fun and they even had a red velvet Blackhawk’s cake so I was pretty much in heaven. (My roommates sent me a picture of them doing yoga in our basement just as I was having my second piece of cake and my fifth cocktail.)

Nicole’s best friend Liz couldn’t be there because she is in the Marines and is currently stationed in Japan, so Nicole’s mom made a fake Liz for us to play with. She bought a blow up doll and camo clothes (including high heels) on Amazon and taped a picture of Liz’s face to the doll. Almost the same as the real thing, but way less drunk than the real Liz would have been.


After the shower I ran a few errands and hung out with my mom and my kitty, and then my sister and I met some friends for dinner at Rockford Brewing Company. They have a really great beer selection, some killer buffalo chicken dip, and a cute dock on the river, so it was a fun way to enjoy the one nice day we had last week. I ended up getting back to Chicago around 12:30 and immediately passed the fuck out. I am turning into such a grandma these days, I can’t party like I’m 19 anymore and it makes me sad.


Hope everyone is having a good start to their week!

Three Cheers For Marriage Equality!

And just when I thought I couldn’t love America more than I already did, it goes and makes gay marriage legal in all states. You go, Supreme Court Coco!

I am so excited this finally happened you guys. And it’s about time!!! It’s 2015 for God’s sake. It’s crazy to me that there are people out there who still believe that it should be illegal for same sex couples to get married. I understand, to an extent, people who are against gay marriage because of their religion or because it says that it is wrong in the Bible (even though it doesn’t actually say that, but whatever). And if that’s what you believe, fine. You are entitled to your own opinion. That’s what makes America great, after all. But the idea that gay marriage should be legally and constitutionally outlawed makes absolutely no sense to me. Just because you believe something is wrong does not mean that everyone in the country should be forced to live by the rules of your own specific morals and values.

I have a lot of LGBT friends and the fact that their love is now officially and legitimately recognized is so so exciting you guys. I’ve been watching the Snapchat stories all day and they give me chills every single time. My heart is smiling for every LGBT person in America today. And their parents and friends and kids and dogs and mailmen. I can’t remember the last time I was so excited about a political decision. And it is so cool to see so many other people getting excited about it and to see the crazy huge amount of support behind this decision and the entire LGBT community. Google, Facebook, and even my WordPress screen right are showing support via banners, pictures, and notifications. It makes me all tingly inside.

I feel like there has been a lot of anti-USA talk going on lately, and I hope that this decision puts that on hold for at least a little while. Don’t get me wrong, America still has hella social, political, and economic issues. I’m not trying to ignore those. But I hope that this decision will serve as a reminder that, despite these issues, it is still one of the greatest countries in the world. I am so proud to call myself an American.

I’m not suggesting that this decision is the end to all LGBT discrimination and shaming. The same assholes who were out there before today are still out there and I guarantee the passage of a law won’t change their opinions or their actions. But let’s recognize and celebrate this decision for what it is– a step in the right direction and an opportunity for us to get wasted at twice as many weddings from here on out. Mazel!

Rockford, where dreams go to die.

So, here’s the thing about living in Rockford: it sucks.

I know I’m being a brat and living here actually isn’t that bad, but I can’t help it. I feel like I’m in a funk and I think it’s because I can’t seem to get happy here. This is a huge struggle for me because I like to think of myself as someone who can be happy no mater what. I have always believed that happiness depends on you. If you’re not happy, you are fully capable of changing your attitude, changing what you’re doing or whatever it takes to make yourself happy. It shouldn’t depend on your circumstances, but on what you choose to do, say, believe, etc. And I still believe this. I think I’m just having a hard time figuring out what changes to make.

Because here’s the thing. The things that are making me unhappy are things that I have to put up with for the time being so that I can be happy in the future. I know living here and working at the stupid job I have right now is temporary. And that the only way I will be able to go to Europe in January and eventually move to a different place is if I stay here for a few more months and save money. But I still hate it.

I think part of it comes from the fact that I was so in love with my life in Madison for the last four years. Even if I had a bad day (or week or month), I always felt so lucky to be living in Madison with my best friends. I loved that I had the opportunity to go to school there, even if it meant I had to spend hours studying and still work a full time job. It didn’t matter because I was living in a city that I loved surrounded by the people that I loved. I was able to almost always look on the bright side no matter what because I knew that the positives outweighed the negatives by, like, a hundred thousand million.

In Rockford, not so much. I realize that I’m incredibly lucky to be able to live at home and save money. I realize that I’m lucky that I have a job where I make good money and only work 40 hours a week. I realize that I’m lucky that I am only an hour away from both Madison and Chicago, and that I have a car and enough money for gas to visit both pretty frequently. And I realize that complaining about my life even though I have all of these things makes me sound like a total princess.

But at the same time, I can’t seem to get rid of the feeling that I could be doing something more. I don’t want to be stuck working at this dumb job that I don’t like in this town where I have no friends, even if it is only temporary.

Basically, what I’m getting at is that I need a major attitude adjustment. I need to start refocusing on ways to make myself happy, even though I’m not necessarily living out my ideal scenario right now. It’s hard for me because I’ve always been the girl that could smile no matter what, even if shit sucked for a while. I just need to work a little harder to get back to that place now.

I’m not really sure what I wanted to get out of dumping all of this here, but hopefully this will be a reminder to myself that I need to stop wallowing and feeling sorry for myself and make the best out of a (realistically, not-so) shitty situation. Ugh, being an adult is hard stuff.

Throwback Thursday: That Time I Graduated College



So I’ve been an official, graduated grown up for four months now. Assuming that your definition of “official grown up” is someone who drinks 5 out of 7 days, owns one pair of dress pants and spends 90% of their income on brunch. By those standards I’m killing this adult thing. But it’s still crazy to think about the fact that just 100-ish odd days ago, I was still living in my old apartment with my best friends, going to classes every day and trying to decide which awful college bar to spend money at that night. I was recently looking back through my pictures from graduation, and I realized how grateful I am to have been able to go to Madison. I know everyone probably thinks their school is the best, but anyone who didn’t go to Madison is obviously wrong. I almost chose a different school over Madison, and I am so so thankful I decided not to. If I didn’t go to Madison, I would never have meet my perfect friends, I never would have gone to New Zealand and I never would have know the pure joy that is bacon night. I’m thankful for all four of my college years, but most especially for this last one because it taught me so much about myself, about friendship and about life. Being able to take cap and gown pictures with my three best friends in the most fun city just about anywhere has been one of my proudest moments to date (hashtag apartment 8 fo’ life). Hopefully no one reads this because it is far too mushy gushy for me to own up to, but it’s true. And even though leaving Madison was insanely hard and getting snapchats of my friends at Badger games makes me want to cry and punch everyone who’s there, I’m so happy that I’ll get to return to the terrace and to Camp Randall as an official alum. #blessed





(Photo cred to the insanely talented Jane Thompson)




Life After College, aka Kill Me

So it turns out that life after college is pretty stressful. Who knew, right? But seriously, I had always kind of imagined that after college, I would know exactly where I was going to live and would have a solid job offer waiting for me as soon as they handed me my diploma. Except that that’s literally the exact opposite of my life right now. I have no idea where I’ll be living in a few months or what I’ll be doing or if Picatso and I will be living on the street like hobos. Which we all know he wouldn’t tolerate because he is such a diva.


I had to stay in Madison for the summer since I had to take a few summer classes to finish up my degree. So I’ve been living in my same apartment, finishing up my classes, waitressing and balancing two internships. Which has been fine. I’ve actually been having a really fun summer so far. I’ve been able to work enough to pay my bills and still buy alcohol, thank God. And I’ve been able to find a decent balance between having fun and doing actual work. But the last of my friends left in Madison are all leaving within the next few weeks and my lease is going to be up next month. So it’s finally starting to hit me that wow, this is actually real and I have to move out and live somewhere else and quit my job and not go completely broke. And it’s so confusing.

I’ve been applying for jobs online like crazy, but it’s so discouraging to not hear back or to hear back and not be selected. And since I’m mostly looking for jobs in other states, half of the places that do want to interview me fall through because they aren’t willing to do so over the phone and are looking for local candidates. And as much as I wish I could, I can’t afford to drop hundreds of dollars every few weeks to travel to interviews for jobs that I might end up not getting.

But then I try to imagine myself in a big girl job, one that I’m “supposed” to be getting right now, and I don’t know if I’m really that excited about it. Sure, it would be nice to have a set schedule with nights and weekends free and more money and a place of my own. But I don’t know if I would be completely happy. What I really want to do is travel, except that’s really hard to do with no money and a brand new fur baby. I was tentatively planning a trip to Europe in January but if (by some miracle of God) I do find a real job before then, I won’t be able to do that and it makes me really sad. Like, really sad. But the idea of traveling around by myself is just as scary, if not more scary, than the thought of moving to a new city by myself and starting a big girl job.But it’s also really really really exciting. My mind has been going a thousand different directions lately, and I keep deciding what I want to do and then changing my mind a few hours later. I know that everything will work itself out in time, and that I should be excited and happy and grateful because this is pretty much the only time in my life where I have literally endless possibilities. And I am. It’s just hard to remember that sometimes when I’m busy stressing out about the smaller details of it, like where to live and whether or not to keep applying for jobs.

So basically what I’m getting at is that my life is in shambles and if anyone knows of a company that will pay me six figures to travel around the world with my cat and post adorable Instagram selflies in various destinations, please email me. Much appreciated.


A Day At The Lake


Yesterday God smiled down upon Madison, WI and gave us a day of perfect weather. There’s this place called Picnic Point that is basically a mini-peninsula in Madison where people go to run, hike, bonfire and swim and even though it’s a Madison staple I had never been out there. I met up with some of my favorite friends to explore yesterday afternoon and it did not disappoint. I had to leave early because I’m a slave and had to go back to work, but I really want to plan a day soon where we can bonfire and swim all day. Splashing in the water and exploring totally reignited my inner flower child and I can’t wait to go back!

I’m off to pretend I’m back on the beach and not at work boo hoo. Hope your Wednesday involves more adventure than mine does!