Weekend Recap: 4th of July Edition

4th of July has been my favorite holiday since forever. When I was a little kid, my whole family used to spend the 4th at my grandparents house cooking out, catching fireflies and watching fireworks from their front lawn. My family would always be in from out of state and I would be so happy to see them. I would also have a lemonade stand every year and would set it up near the sidewalk at my grandparent’s house where lots of people would pass by to get a good spot for the firework show. Needless to say, it was a huge hit. I also think it’s a great opportunity to recognize and appreciate the amazing country that we live in and all the men and women that have sacrificed their time and their lives to make America, in the words of my hero Borat Sagdiyev, greatest country in ahh world!

Now that I’m old enough to add adult beverages into the mix, 4th of July has pretty much become my version of Christmas. It gives me the excuse to day drink, wear a tutu and sing the National Anthem in public so really, what’s not to love? This year I celebrated by going into Chicago twice in one weekend. First to visit friends then to explore Andersonville with my family. Lots of fun and lots of driving.



I got an early start and left Madison around 9:45 to head to Belvidere to pick up Brock and my USA tutu from my mom’s house. Just the necessities, obviously. We ended up making it to Chicago around 1:30 because we had to stop and visit with our families and also stop at Wal-Mart to buy beer and toys. God Bless America. Once we got to the city, we took an Uber to Rachel’s new apartment so we could see where she was living and drink on her porch. She lives about 2 blocks from Wrigley which is basically my dream come true.


After a few hours we got hungry and headed to a Badger bar in Wrigleyville with a pool/fountain thing outside and little cabanas to eat in. I had the best nachos of my life and we got to participate in a USA chant so I had a ball. From there, we met up with some other friends and headed down to Monroe Harbor to watch the fireworks over the water. That has to be one of my absolute favorite activities of all time. Rachel and I both said that it reminded us of the fireworks we saw while we were in Sydney and it made me really happy and really sad at the same time. We spent some time splashing around in the fountains at Millennium park and then walked around downtown, admiring all the lights and drinking from plastic bags like hobos. But really, my bank account would not be happy with me if I spent $12 per drink while we were out, $14 vodka out of a water bottle is much more my speed. We ended up going to a country bar first, then a tequila bar and ended the night dancing at a little dive bar, which everyone knows is kind of my forte.



Saturday I woke up in Chicago, got grumpy because no one would come get a bloody mary with me, and drove home to go to work. Pretty boring in comparison to Friday, but you win some you lose some I guess.



Sunday I ventured back to Illinois to visit with my family that was visiting from out of town/state. We went back into the city where my cousin Nick gave us a tour of Andersonville. He works for the Chamber in that neighborhood, so he was basically our own personal tour guide. We went to the Swedish American History Museum, popped into a few local specialty shops and had some ridiculously good pie. My mom and I split key lime and chocolate peanut butter and the woman working told us they go through at least 15 key lime pies a day. I could probably have eaten those 15 by myself, it was delicious. We headed back to Rockford for dinner and a hot tub at the hotel and called it a night.


So now it’s back to a super exciting week of work work and even more work! Hope you’re having a great Tuesday!

Meet Picatso

This may very well be the most important post I have ever written. It’s time the world knows about the little ray of sunshine that has been lighting up my life and destroying my couches for the last 7 months.

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First name Pablo, last name Picatso. Catso, Kitsy, or Asshole for short. Picatso came in to my life the way you fall asleep- slowly at first and then all at once. (Just kidding). Long story short, one of my sorority sister’s friends needed to get rid of this furry little creature and I had been half seriously not really looking for a cat for a few months. Picatso’s cute little beauty mark and the fact that he was free sold me. He joined our happy little apartment 8 family in early December and we immediately became obnoxious white girls (I had had a lot of practice up to this point, so it was an easy transition for me).

Things that Picatso enjoys include making me late for work, being the bathtub, watching me shower, climbing in the fridge, girls with red lipstick and humping my roommate’s giant stuffed dog named Hashtag. He also does this really fun thing where he meows at the top of his kitty lungs everyday at 7 am because no one is playing with him aka feeding him.

Things that I enjoy that are related to Picatso include giving him cat nip, forcing him to let me hold him, talking to him in a baby voice, making him wear his fancy boy collar (pictured above) and taking pictures of him next to alcohol bottles.

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Things that Picatso does not enjoy are cuddling me and loving me in general, being ignored, not being allowed to eat human food and when we make him wear adorable costumes.


Picatso also has an Instagram and approximately 115 followers. This makes sense because all of my friends like him better than me anyway. I think the fame is going to his head a little and that’s why he refuses to cuddle me but who knows, maybe he is just the worst. Feel free to follow him, Mr_Pablo_Picatso. I can’t promise he will follow you back, like I said he’s pretty sassy.

You can look forward to many more posts about Picatso’s shenanigans in the future, but in closing, here’s a picture of Catso getting his Beyonce on and filling the tub up halfway and riding it with his surfbort.

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Summer Goals

I need to write these down somewhere to keep myself accountable. And since if I wrote an actual paper-and-pencil list I would probably lose it in a half an hour, I think something a little more permanent is a good idea.

By the end of the summer, I want to:

  • Read at least four books. This one should be a piece of cake since I’ve read two so far, but I’ve been slacking recently.
  • Get a big girl job. Please God please. Otherwise Picatso and I will be out on the street and we all know how big of a diva he is so that is clearly not going to work.
  • Clean my car. The inside of my car is horrific. This is one of those things that I know needs to be done but I just hate hate hate doing. So hopefully sometime in the next two months I will stop being a lazy bum and actually do work.
  • Visit Chicago. It has been way too long since I have seen my best friends.


  • Go to a drive in movie.
  • Do something at Picnic Point. I feel like I would be a disappointment to Madison if I don’t go at least once before I move away.
  • Go swimming outside. Technically I did this while I was in Mexico, but I’m not counting that. Unfortunately Lake Mendota isn’t quite as nice as the Caribbean Ocean but it will have to do for now.

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  • Pay off all of my debt. This is probably my biggest goal for the summer. Earlier this year, my cat got sick and I wasn’t working because my arm was broken. This series of unfortunate events left me with a looong list of credit card bills and that needs to go ASAP.
  • Go to the zoo!!!!
  • Go through all of my stuff (especially my clothes!) and find a bunch of stuff to get rid of. I will hopefully be moving within the next year, so I’m trying to downsize.
  • Put sheets on my bed. This should obviously be a no-brainer and I could even do it right this second but it is seriously my least favorite task in the entire world. My bare bed is also a daily reminder that no matter how hard I pretend, I’m clearly not a real adult yet. Good or bad? You decide.

Okay now that these are officially written down I will have no excuses if they don’t get done. Except for my constant excuse of “I got tricked into going to the Laurel for beer and cheese curds!” So I guess we will see how this goes…..

Wait what?

Remember that time I used to blog? Me neither.

Let’s skip over the part where I tell you life’s been crazy/I’ve been super busy/etc. and just pretend this little hiatus never happened, okay? K great thanxxx.

I’m sure all of my readers (aka my mom) have really missed me, so here’s a bunch of pictures of me having fun that no one except for me cares about.

My favorite sister and I preparing for a Badger WIN, per usual.
Just being really cute, what can I say?
I had the honor of taking my little sister to her first Badger game
So many Thetas, so little time
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Every year my family has a pumpkin decorating contest. Every year I lose. I know what you’re thinking, and I don’t understand why either.
Bout that Miley, sneaky wine, and pedicure life. Sure fire way to improve any week day, I highly recommend it.
Sister pic
Watching the Packers and drinking Leine’s. I love Wisconsin.
Just me and Binx being sisters as usual.
My favorite blondes (besides myself).
Love me some Kelsey.
Madison will literally never get old. I may refuse to go out with her ever again though, it gets way too crazy.
My best friend in the word. P.S. look how long my hair is hollaaaa
This is what happens when you ask drunk people dressed as pirates to take your picture.
Hosting Halloween in the proper fashion
The gorgeous view from the AGR house at our volunteer event on Halloween. Never have I ever not loved living by the lake.
My friend Whitney’s cat taking a break from our cuddle session.
Crazy cat lady in the making. No apologies.
Hope everyone had a day that was way more exciting than this post!!!!!

Oppression, Kangaroo Balls, and the Opera House

It’s officially been a week and a half since I’ve been home from Australia and this is the first time I’ve been even slightly motivated to post about it. This might have something to do with the fact that blogging means I’m not studying. It also might have something to do with the fact that leaving New Zealand in 5 days, and I’m freaking out. So instead of thinking about it, I’m going to relive the best 10 days of my life.

Apologies in advance for the picture overload! 

Getting to Sydney involved a Nakedbus, a city bus, two airplanes, and one square of oppression. Our flight left at 6 am on the 1st, but we got into Christchurch around 9 pm on the 31st, so we decided to stay over at the airport. Now, the last time I stayed over at the Christchurch airport (coming back from my Spring Break trip), there were people sprawled out all over the floor sleeping in their sleeping bags or spread out across 3 or 4 of the designated “sleeping area” chairs. Well apparently sometime in the last 2 odd months, the Christchurch airport decided to switch up their policies in order to make those staying overnight as miserable as humanely possible. Anything I could possibly write about the situation would not even come close to doing it justice, but just know that it was probably the longest, coldest, most sleepless night of our lives. They even claimed us as oppressed people by making us wear wristbands, which I can only assume are comparable to the numbers tattooed on the Jewish during the Holocaust. I did manage to get a $5 spaghetti dinner and a window seat in an exit row on the way to Sydney though (extra leg room, hollaaa!) so that helped to ease the pain a little bit.ImageAfter that little adventure, we finally arrived in Sydney running on literally no sleep. Breakfast and espresso were in order. ImageIn case you’re wondering, those are pancakes with honeycomb butter, fresh strawberries, and maple syrup and I loved them more than I can ever imagine loving another human. #pancakesaremyboyfriend

 Our first day in Sydney was dedicated to squeezing in as many touristy activities as we possibly could. Aka I took pictures of every cool building I saw regardless of whether I knew what they actually were. ImageImage

We decided to keep with the obnoxious tourist theme and head to Paddy’s Market, which is a giant indoor flea market basically. They have all different kinds of vendors, from people selling clothes and jewelry, to souvenirs (hardest word in the entire English language to spell, by the way), iPad cases, animal onesies, and real kangaroo balls repurposed as bottle openers. They also had an intense food market with all kinds of unique and crazy cheap fruits. ImageImage

ImageFrom Paddy’s, we walked over to see the Harbour Bridge and the Opera House. I probably took about 7,000 identical pictures of the Opera House but I just couldn’t help myself. This was when it really hit me that we were actually in Australia, since that’s kind of the quintessential image I had in my brain. It’s even cooler in person. ImageImageImageImageImageImageOne of the great things about Sydney (among millions of other great things) is that they have fireworks over Darling Harbour EVERY. SINGLE. SATURDAY. Aka my dream come true. We decided to eat dinner by the water where we would be able to see the show from the restaurant. We decided on some Chinese place where we were told we had to leave within an hour, were screamed at for asking about the fried rice, and reprimanded for all ordering separate meals instead of sharing. Great choice. But it was fine because the fireworks more than made up for the mean service. 

After dinner we headed back to the hostel (which was TERRIBLE– but that’s a story for another day) and crashed hard. Successful first day, check!


In other unrelated news, tonight we’re getting all the Americans together for our last supper of free pancakes and then Hell’s Pizza. And of course it wouldn’t be our last Wednesday in New Zealand if we didn’t hit up karaoke at Shooters and continue to disgrace make America proud. I’m ridiculously excited and also really sad that this is our last shebang all together. But I am going to try not to cry (or sing another awful rendition of “Born in the USA”). Have a great rest of your day!! 




Wine and the Ocean: Not the Worst Monday I’ve Ever Had

Since yesterday was technically Memorial Day (NZ is one day ahead of America), we decided that it was only fair to take the day off of classes and go explore Hawke’s Bay. We aren’t being bad students, we’re just honoring our country! I’m going to write a full post on this later this week, but since I slacked off all last week yesterday, I have heaps of school work to get done today! So I will leave you with these.


Sami's Shenanigans

7 More Sleeps Until Australia!

Hoooooly crap, I will be in Australia in exactly ONE WEEK from today!! I am freaking out. Like, pee my pants excited. (Except that I have to finish three huge assignments before I leave on the 31st…but we’ll just ignore that little detail for now.) We are going to be staying in Sydney for ten […]