thankful.

The day before Thanksgiving I had a meltdown. Not because I’d be away from home for the holiday or anything, but because once again I could just feel the weight of the world coming down on me.

I recently took on a new job with a pretty big company where I work from home. I know what you’re thinking, working from home? Why is she complaining? Well although I initially thought working from home during a polar vortex would be the greatest thing ever, it hasn’t exactly panned out how I thought it would. Sleeping in & working in practically nothing is great and all, but when you feel trapped in your apartment with no human interaction & instead only hear human complaints via a headset, you want to just quit at life.

I had enough that day & decided to meet my friend and join her while she ran errands cause anything was better than being in my apartment and facing reality. After one train ride, I got on a bus unsure of my final destination and just as I was about to check my phone to see where to get off, my phone dies. OF COURSE IT DOES. How did people get around without cell phones?! I don’t know, but I cannot live without my Google maps!

I got off at a stop that sounded somewhat familiar and decided to walk in a direction I felt my inner compass was pointing at. Due to my earlier meltdown, this wasn’t the best time to get lost with no way to call for help. I imagined myself hitchhiking, but who would actually pick up a freak in big white puffer coat? After walking for what seemed like forever, I see the Mecca.
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Amen! Hallelujah! Praise da Lawd! Thankfully I am #teamiphone, otherwise I think I would’ve been shit out of luck. I charged my phone for a bit & finally got a hold of my friend.

Regardless of all the bullshit I’m dealing with at the moment. I’m very thankful for many things. I’m thankful for the ability to laugh at myself during the most difficult and ridiculous times of my life. I’m thankful for my health & my family who loves me despite my sometimes crazy choices. I’m thankful for my friends near & far who listen to my stories and complaints and never once tell me to shut up or judge me. I’m thankful for my American Airline miles for allowing me to book a flight to Miami next month without actually having to tap into my bank account. I’m thankful for all of the bad, because without that you aren’t really able to appreciate the good.

Thanksgiving this year was exactly what I needed. I cooked with friends who’ve become my Chi-town fam. Had a delicious dinner with strangers that welcomed me with open arms & spent Black Friday eating leftovers, laughing, listening to music & building a puzzle.

When life stresses you out, step back and partake in the simple things. That’s where true happiness lies. xo

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mornings are rough.

I know it’s been a while since I’ve posted anything, but for the most part, things have been running smoothly. Today however, that lovely streak came to an end. Summer is long gone, Fall came and went in the blink of an eye, and as far as I’m concerned we are in the middle of a Polar Vortex in mid November.

Yesterday, while it was 14 effing degrees outside, I had a genius idea. This shouldn’t come as a shock though, because I have genius ideas all the time. But seriously, I needed to do groceries and I figured, what better time to get them delivered than when it’s freezing outside?!

So I went onto Peapod.com and started my virtual shopping list. If you’ve never heard of Peapod, Google it! It’s a game changer. Not that I don’t enjoy strolling the isles of my local Jewel, but there’s nothing like picking and choosing grocery items from the comfort of your own cozy bed.

Anyway, I chose to have my goods delivered this morning anytime between 7:30 am and 1pm. Of course, they decided to grace me with their presence right at 8am while I was still half asleep (it’s my day off, don’t judge me). So I threw on a robe and ran downstairs to open the lobby door for the delivery guy who was actually stuck at the front gate because the code I gave him to get in wasn’t working. Fabulous! Mid-way through my walk to get him I threw my hands in the air and yelled out something he luckily didn’t understand as I realized I came downstairs without my keys, leaving me locked out.

OF COURSE!

So I’m standing outside while it’s 12 degrees, in a cheetah robe with my Peapod delivery guy who’s wearing layers on layers, hat, gloves and facemask (cause it’s that damn cold), and all I could do was laugh. I insisted that he leave me there with my bags of groceries because someone would eventually have to go to work right? Wrong. He was nice enough to wait with me and laugh at me some more for what seemed like an eternity, but regardless I was grateful.

Then suddenly, I had another genius idea (see, they do happen all the time). I opened this little metal slot I always thought was for people’s cigarette butts in hopes of finding a spare key and like some sort of miracle, there it was!

I screamed, he cheered, and I gave him a good tip for being such a good sport. Peapod, I love you. Just don’t deliver anything to me before noon.

xo

summa time chi – my 100 days of summer.

 

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Okay, so I’m waiving my white flag. I’ve accepted defeat. Summer is officially over for me. I tried to avoid thinking of winter for months, but I can already smell it in the air. Luckily, I was able to squeeze in a few final beach days this month, but it looks like my bikini days are dunzo. That whole “100 days of summer” thing I thought was just a rumor was actually the ugly truth.

But instead of worrying about the dreadful temps this winter will most likely bring, I decided to soak up every minute of the sunshine while it lasted.

Summer officially started for me the weekend I went to my first Cubs game with my friend Will. It was the perfect way to kick off the season cause after all, nothing screams summer time like baseball and beers! The Cubs played the Marlins that day and my Marlins actually pulled off a win for me. After the game I took part in some memorable Wrigleyville shenanigans. That was a good day.

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The rest of the summer was filled with street fest after street fest, beach days, rooftops, patio drinking, bikini park days and tacos -lots & lots of tacos. So basically, summer was freaking awesome. I’m not sure if I can say the same for the rest of the year, but I have high hopes. xo

 

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full circle.

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Just one year ago I visited Chicago for the first time with one of my best friends, and it was on that trip that my heart was forever changed. To be honest, my first day in the city was a complete disaster. My friend Amber mixed up her flight information leaving me wandering the downtown area near our hotel by myself. I spent a lot of time in the hotel room that day because quite honestly, this concrete jungle was overwhelming and a bit sketch.

That night, Amber finally arrived  without her luggage. We decided we’d make the best of it by heading to Navy Pier for some touristy fun. Unfortunately, before the fun could even begin, Mother Nature decided to rain on our parade –literally, and we were left soaking wet from head to toe on the pier with nowhere to hide from the rain. At this point we should have just jumped into Lake Michigan and called it a night cause nothing good was going to come out of this trip, but I was wrong. After buying an entirely new wardrobe at the gift shop, we waited for the torrential downpour to end and left Navy Pier decked out in tacky “I ❤ Chicago” shorts, shirts and sandals, although that statement was very far from true at the moment.

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The next day, we decided to go back and try our luck again. While at the top of the ferris wheel that sunny afternoon, I stared into the gorgeous Chicago skyline. Unknowingly, I took an innocent selfie and posted a quote on Instagram that would eventually mean everything to me.

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The purpose of our trip to Chicago was to celebrate Amber’s birthday, go to Lollapalooza, and see Lana Del Rey. Although we’re both music lovers, we had never been to a festival before and didn’t know what to expect. However, the last thing either of us expected was what actually happened that day. There’s something magical about music festivals. It’s hard to explain, but I swear it’s something in the air. Getting lost, meeting a stranger by complete accident in a sea of people and eventually discovering you share the same soul is the definition of serendipity and I’m a total sucker for that shit. Sadly, those things don’t always work out the way you’d imagine.

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This year I had mixed feelings about Lolla. Luckily, I had my friends Jess & Will by my side as everything came full circle at Grant Park. Once again, fate showed itself to me when I least expected it. Although it didn’t turn out how I’d hoped, I was finally able to let go of what really brought me to the windy city. It’s a strange feeling, letting go. I still don’t get how something that once made you feel so much can suddenly make you feel so little, but I’ve learned life isn’t meant for understanding, it’s meant for living. How could you not smile knowing the start of something new is just around the corner?

xo

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peace

only make moves when your heart’s in it.

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I turned 27 years old this month & as a gift to myself I quit my job. It wasn’t a traditional birthday gift & lots of people thought I was crazy, but it was what I felt I needed in order to start 27 the right way. This decision left me with an open schedule, unlimited possibilities and a ridiculous amount of margaritas on that glorious Cinco de Mayo. After all, it was my birthday & I had a lot to celebrate.

It was a weight off my shoulders. I felt like a new woman. I no longer woke up dreading my days & would never again have to go back to the unmentionable. After about a week of freedom & what felt like spring break (minus the ratchetness), I quickly came to realize that free time led to reflection & a lot of free time meant a lot of reflection. I began questioning everything from my move to my career choice to what the heck I was doing with my life. I was trapped in a glass cage of emotion – Anchorman style. Except, the glass cage was my apartment & I am not as funny as Will Ferrell.

If I had to describe my recent experiences in one word, it would be extreme. I’ve almost frozen to death in an apartment with no heat my first week here, woken up in a sweat because now I have no A/C and the sun is a motherfucker, started a new job, quit that job, rekindled things with an old flame, and eventually said, “bye Felicia” to him too.

For all of these reasons, extreme seems most fitting. My first three months in the Windy City have been a complete whirlwind to say the least, but amidst all the chaos and uncertainty one thing was always certain – a positive mind and the ability to laugh at all the madness will get you through anything. It’s also pretty awesome to have the incredible support of my friends and family no matter where on the map they may be at the moment.

All in all, 26 was a little reckless, but YOLO. I put myself out there a lot, took more chances than ever before & I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way. Whether it be in your love life, work life, or personal life, do what you feel in your gut is right. For me, some moves opened doors and worked out for the better and others were shut right in my face.

But what I’ve learned is that going against the grain isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The road most travelled isn’t always the road that will lead you to happiness. Sometimes, you need to make your own road.

I’m not sure what’s going to happen this year, but I know that I’m only going to do things I feel are genuine and true to my heart. Money isn’t everything. Do what makes you happy. Dassit!

xo

it’s the little things.

Lately a lot of people have asked me what I miss most about Miami & my answer always consists of mainly, “the weather, duh.” But each time I’m asked, it makes me really think about what I genuinely miss. I’ve never been the type to feel homesick so it’s hard for me to come up with a serious answer, but recently it finally hit me -like a ton of bricks while driving through the snow on I-90.

For two weeks I drove to work because quite honestly, I missed traffic. I miss sitting in traffic, yelling at people in Spanish to get out of my way. I miss using my hands to yell, “GOOO GUYYY” & “SERIOUSLY BRO?!” and other offensive things I won’t spell out here in case my parents read this. But I do. I miss driving around in my car listening to ghetto ass music on 103.5 in the morning, cause that was my shit and that’s how I liked to start my day.

I miss Publix because no matter what anyone tells you, no other grocery store in the world could ever compare –ever.

I miss having the option to buy churros or water from the viejitos on the street because now that I can’t, I want these things all the time.

I miss not thinking about what I was going to wear each day cause the temperature would never reach below 75 degrees. I miss not even knowing where my weather app was on my phone because I had no use for it. Today, I check it more than I check Facebook and it always makes me angry when I do. Every. Damn. Time.

I miss seeing my legs, because now I can only wear pants.

I miss that feeling of the sun burning my skin through my car window while driving. 

I miss seeing a box full of croquetas on Sunday mornings and having pan con bistec for dinner. It makes me sad not knowing when I will ever taste either one of those things again. 

I miss the unlimited amounts of Vita Coco I could drink while working at SpinHouse, cause now I never want to actually pay for it.

I miss lounging at the Shore Club with a drink in my hand and being able to float around with tourists who would come vacation in my backyard.

I miss never having to worry about parking, because not having a secured spot in your neighborhood causes an immense amount of anxiety.

I miss going to Flanny’s (in Hialeah, obvi) at whatever time of the day or night for the most delicious chicken philly on the planet and the cheapest drinks after 9 p.m.

I miss the feeling of a warm breeze on my skin and the sweet, salty smell of the ocean. I never thought I could live somewhere that didn’t have these things but here I am, buying mango scented candles so that my tropical ass can feel some sort of normalcy –but I doesn’t work.

Recently, I was flipping through the radio stations on my way home I landed on a station that was playing my favorite salsa song EVER! It almost made me cry of happiness like Pharrell during his interview with Oprah. I just wanted to jump out of my car and bust into a rueda with myself in the middle of the snow.

So for everyone wondering, those are the things that I miss.

xo

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the stairway to hell.

When I first found out my apartment building didn’t have an elevator and my apartment was on the fourth floor my immediate reaction was, “My ass is gonna look GREAT!” Just as any other human being would react. My lack of working out at the gym would be justified by how active I would become running up and down these stairs. My ass would get tighter and my calf muscles would look amazing. I was winning all around. It didn’t hit me until later (approximately two trips up and down the stairs later) that these stairs would soon be my nemesis.

It’s been a month since I’ve moved in and I’m still out of breath every time I reach my door. The thought of forgetting something or having to go back downstairs pains me. I HATE THESE STAIRS. SO. MUCH.

Today, I finally found it in me to get the microwave that was in my trunk for two weeks and make use of it in my kitchen. I’m not sure why I was feeling so ambitious however, this feeling quickly vanished and I was left fighting to the death with a 50 pound microwave.

I know you probably think I’m exagerrating, BUT I AM NOT. After breaking the handle of the box on both ends before even getting to my entry door, I finally reached the stairs. At this point, the microwave box is broken and I’m still on the ground floor. I quickly assess the situation and decide that it would probably be best to drag the box all the way up the stairs – caveman style. This of course was an ultimate fail and the microwave slipped out of my fingers and slid all the way back down -TWICE.

FML.

I then leave the microwave at the bottom of the stairs, run up to my apartment, drop off my purse, take off my jacket, pick up my hair and get ready for some serious business and heavy lifting. At this point, my inner hulk was ready to take on the world and I ran up the stairs with the microwave over my head like a champion. Okay, I’m lying. It wasn’t that smooth but it finally made it up to my apartment.

Now, you’ll have to excuse me while I microwave the shit out of my dinner.

xo

don’t drink and ride the CTA.

If I didn’t know what FOMO meant, this week I’ve learned the meaning. While I continue to freeze my ass off and wear more layers than humanly possible, my hometown peeps are frolicking around South Beach like a bunch of wild animals enjoying every #MMW & #WMC event possible. Can I even hashtag on here? IDGAF. Vogue just hashtagged on their cover.

But enough about Miami and all of its current gloriousness. Today was rough in the CHI.

For starters, I fell on my way to the bathroom this morning. FELL ON MY FACE. I fell because I tripped over a BOOT. A problem I have never had to encounter because wtf wears boots?! Not me, until now. It’s all I effing wear. Every. Damn. Day. BOOTS.

OVER IT.

Irregardless, I decided to walk out of my apartment with an open mind because today is Thursday and that means it’s practically Friday, which means FREEDOM. Except what I experienced shortly after going under ground was not freedom. Moments after entering my train stop I became trapped in the freaking spinning thing that lets me into the train terminal. How is this possible you ask? I have no idea, but it happened. IT HAPPENED TO ME. I was trapped in this tiny jail for about 60 seconds until someone else came up behind me and had to set me free. Que pena.

Then the work day passed and it was time for happy hour, which is my favorite hour for obvious reasons. Drink, drank, drunk, now it’s time to go home.

The only problem is, the moment you switch up my routine (and add alcohol) in a new city I GET LOST. All my life I’ve heard the dangers of drinking and driving. What they failed to teach me was the dangers of drinking and getting on the train…because it’s confusing as SHIT. Leave it to me to get on the wrong train and freak out with a nearly dying phone.

Sigh.

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the struggle is real.

I’ve been living in Chicago for a week now and all I can say is, this place is not for the weak.

Besides the obvious freezing temperatures, there’s a lot of other shit you don’t take into account when deciding to move to Chicago on a whim. For example, the absurd amount of money you will likely spend at Ikea, Walmart, etc. while still feeling like you have absolutely nothing. Clearly, I’m still not over this but let’s move on.

Transportation.

Let’s not talk about the $42 cab ride I decided to take to my first day of work. Let’s just not. It still hurts my heart.

The next morning I decided it was time to channel my inner J.Lo (circa 1991) and catch the train like a normal person. This proved to be a much more affordable and practical form of transportation, if I could only get over feeling like a sardine twice a day. Personal space is not something Chicagoan’s practice on the daily.

The train really isn’t that bad though. Except for when it nonchalantly becomes delayed because it hits an innocent bystander. WHATTTT?! Yes, that happened last week. Now I have paranoia to the max. Thanks CTA. No biggie.

Other than the train, you basically have to walk.. EVERYWHERE. I just want to let you all know that I don’t walk. I don’t run. I don’t even work out. I’m skinny thanks to my incredible genes and I probably take it for granted. Sue me. However, since I’ve moved here, I’ve walked more miles and climbed more stairs than I ever would want to. People even expect you to walk up the escalator. Who walks up the escalator?! Why are you in such a hurry?! This life is exhausting!

Since I still don’t have my car, (sidenote: Don’t ever get your car shipped unless you want to pay $$$ that you weren’t originally quoted & you don’t mind actually getting your car weeks after it was promised to you) I haven’t really been able to get very far.

I attempted to do groceries for the first time since I’ve been here this weekend. Seven days later. I know. Don’t ask me what I’ve been surviving off of.

Anyway, the previous tenant told me there was a grocery store “right around the corner”. Being from Miami, I immediately doubted the convenient location of this so-called grocery store. Around the corner is just slang for 2 miles away. However, to my surprise, there it was. Sunrise Market, right around the corner.

 What she failed to mention was that they obviously import their products from fucking Uganda cause the few items they actually carry were out of control expensive. Who pays $15 for little bottle of laundry detergent?! Not this girl, cause I’m from Hialeah and I know better. Where’s the dollar store at??

If it wasn’t for my incredibly delicious Friday night dinner date at Masa Azul, this week would’ve been majorly depressing.

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It ain’t easy trying to live the dream but things are looking up. I’ll finally have cable & internet next weekend so more frequent posts are on the horizon!

xo

i woke up like this.

It’s only appropriate that on my first day of living in Chicago it snowed ALL. DAY.

Legit from the moment I pulled out of the airport until after I bar hopped my little ass around Lakeview at 2 a.m., it snowed. IT SNOWED SO MUCH!

My day started with non-other than an Ikea excursion with my partner in crime, Will. Here I participated in what I would like to call a little game of Supermarket Sweep where I just threw all kinds of shit in my cart without a worry in the world. I don’t know who I think I am. Really. Like, did I think I could afford all of that unnecessary shit? NOT.

So after hours of shopping (and putting lots of things back), it was time to find all of these magnificent pieces of Swedish furniture in the giant warehouse and put it onto our cart – all five of them. WE ENDED UP NEEDING FIVE CARTS. Close your eyes and picture me (and all of my super power strength) along with my friend, lugging around five Ikea flat-bed carts stacked with shit. People just watched & laughed in utter amazement of our strength (obvi) as we struggled with hundreds of pounds of boxes across the massive store.

In the end, I had to find out that all of my glorious furniture won’t be delivered for days so I’ve been sleeping on the floor in the middle of place, crack house style. Like, I seriously had a bowl of cereal on the toilet this morning cause I have no effing chairs & it’s basically the warmest spot in my entire place.

Anyway, last night after an awesome dinner at Cafe Ba-Ba-Reeba and a few vodkas, I couldn’t figure out why the space heater in my “bedroom” wasn’t actually HEATING in the middle of the night so I threw on gloves, a scarf and my J.LO jacket (in addition to my sweatpants, sweater and socks) and went back to sleep -half frozen still.

In the words of Beyonce, I woke up like this…

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