suzie says

DIY bar cart transformation

I’ve never had much luck finding treasures in the trash, but the other night as I was getting home I found what looked to be a bar cart in perfect condition! I couldn’t believe it so I immediately hauled it upstairs and got to cleaning. I did some major disinfecting with some Clorox -because people are gross. Now, this baby looks brand spankin new!

After a little research, I found out the cart is actually a “utility cart” from Ikea that retails for $30 which is a great deal, but I got it FO FREE!

I wanted to spruce up the cart and what better way than a little gold spray paint?!  After protecting the white areas with newspaper (the most tedious part of the project), I got to spraying. This was actually my first time ever using a spray can. My only advice other than make sure you do it outside (obvi.), is to make sure you do it in the daylight (not so obvious.) so that you don’t miss any spots. Since the sun sets so early these days and I’m majorly impatient, I sprayed in the dark like a freak. This was followed by several touch ups, but the end result looks great!

I had been wanting a bar cart for months, but couldn’t justify spending more than $100 on just the cart itself without even adding on the dollars to stock it – cause I mean, that’s they whole point right?

Check out the final product below! I’m still working on adding a few more bottles, but this should hold me over for these frigid nights ahead! 😉

image

xo

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birthday thangs.

Although the weather during Memorial Weekend was amazing, last weekend (actually two weekends ago now #latepost) took a turn for the worse when temps literally dropped like 30 degrees over night and giant rain clouds decided to hover over Chicago for pretty much 24 hours. This though, was NOT going to bring me down.

On Saturday night, I took an awesome pottery class at Penguin Foot Pottery with my friend Sandy (who got me this as a birthday present). Why was it so awesome you ask? Because anything that is BYOB is awesome in my book. The class was small so it was perfect if you wanted a little one on one attention from the teacher, but that didn’t really happen cause our teacher…let’s call him Dream Crusher, was pretty much no help. When I asked if I could make a jewelry dish he responded with, “You don’t want to make that shit.”

OH, okay.

He was very talented, don’t get me wrong, but he wasn’t the best “teacher” per-say. That’s okay though, cause I was going to make a jewelry dish with our without him and I did! Two in fact. Two abstract jewelry dishes. Suck it, Dream Crusher.

Check out highlights from my pottery adventure below:

The Dream Crusher

The Dream Crusher

Before throwing the clay onto the wheel
Doin' my clay thang

Doin’ my clay thang

My masterpieces!

My masterpieces!

Pottery Masters!

Pottery Masters!

It was the perfect birthday gift & i can’t wait to go back to paint my dishes!

& since we’re on the subject of my birthday (even though it was a month ago), I might as well include some photos from those festivities -which consisted mostly of beer!

mah friends

mah friends

I also received some AWESOME care packages from my family for my birthday.

The best kind of mail!

The best kind of mail!

that’s all for now folks! xo

summer is coming.

summer

I know, I know. I haven’t written a blog post in FOR-EH-VERRRR, but I have valid reasons for this. Up until about two weeks ago all I could think about was when pesky winter would go away forever so that I could finally do hoodrat stuff with mah frandz (jk). I had minimal motivation & although weird & crazy shiet happens to me daily, I haven’t shared it because I’m selfish. But you guys! This weekend WAS IT. It’s gone. Like, for good. WINTER IS GONE! I’ve always heard that Memorial Weekend is the “unofficial start of summer”, but these things could never be applied in MI-YAMI, because whatever, it’s always sunny and it’s on a completely different wavelength than the rest of America.

But the point is, SUMMER IS COMING! I feel it in my bones. I feel it in my heart. I feel it in my soul. I SAW IT ON A SIGN! Words cannot describe the happiness I feel. #TeamNoPants has been in full effect & I find myself walking downtown, avoiding shady patches of gloom and instead standing longer than necessary in sunny spots and just smiling while looking up at the sky, like the freak that I am. It’s just..SO.MAGICAL. Sunshine is EVERYTHING!

So this is why I’ve decided to get back on the blog train. I feel alive and I need to express it. Winter had me feeling blue, and a part of me was frozen & dead, but I’M BACK! For the next 100 days of summer I am taking FULL advantage. I will do ALL THE THINGS. ALL.OF.THE.THINGS! No one will stop me!

This long weekend was outstanding. I seriously felt like it was a 7 day weekend because that is how many things I did. Here’s a recap of some of it..

Bowie, the #partyanimal at Sandy's Dinosaur Birthday Party.

Bowie, the #partyanimal at Sandy’s Dinosaur Birthday Party

Lights I put up for the patio partayyy.

Lights I put up for the patio partayyy

Unexpected brunch at Janik's was the shiettt.

Unexpected brunch at Janik’s was the shiettt.

I'm obsessed with this honeycomb wonder in Lincoln Park.

I’m obsessed with this honeycomb wonder in Lincoln Park

honeycomb2 honeycomb3
Yogis make me wanna be a yogi.

Yogis make me wanna be a yogi

Lincoln Park Zoo is probably the prettiest zoo I've ever been to.

Lincoln Park Zoo is probably the prettiest zoo I’ve ever been to

My spirit animal!

My spirit animal!

Sandy, the Egyptian.

Sandy, the Egyptian

I swear I just wanted to swim in this tank with the seals.

I swear I just wanted to swim in this tank with the seals.

Parson's is the SHIT. Patio drinking will happen this summer.

Parson’s is the SHIT. Patio drinking will happen this summer.

Summer is my favorite. Stay tuned more adventures of Suz. xo

go home winter, you’re drunk.

As mentioned in my previous post, I have a deep disgust for snow. Sunday night however, the universe decided it would only be appropriate if on the anniversary of my first year in Chicago, I would slip on a big pile of ice and fall down the stairs.

Let me break this down for you, black ice is a sneaky mother f-er. It’s as if Satan just Alex Mack’d himself and turned into an invisible pile of hardened water so that he could have a front-row seat at your painful and humiliating death. It’s THE WORST.

Since moving here, I’ve witnessed a number of people slip and fall on ice and I’ve always dreaded being one of them. I may have laughed uncontrollably at them when it happened, but that was only a natural instinct, I truly felt bad for them. For this reason, I always take tiny steps when near snow or ice or puddles or whatever. I may look like a total freak, but it beats falling on your ass. This, I now know first hand.

The other night, as I was getting home from my weekend job (a topic for another day), I saw my life flash before my eyes as I slipped and fell down these demon stairs:

I slipped on ice at the top right after I pushed open the gate & fell all the way down onto that even bigger pile of ice at the bottom 😦

I’m now literally afraid to go in or out through the back of my apartment until winter is over and done with. I’m completely traumatized. The back of my apartment is a freaking ice rink & I am NOT a fan of skating. Check it out for yourself:

For an entire week it hurt to walk, sit, get up, you name it. If it wasn’t for all the down feathers in my puffer coat, the pain would be much worse, but it was scary nonetheless. There was no one around that late at night and I just pictured my frozen, lifeless body being found the next morning. Super tragic.

What I really need is for that stupid groundhog to get out of his cave & make this winter disappear. The sun needs to shine the shit out over Chicago and melt all this dumb snow so that we can all get on with our lives and frolic the streets sans coats and have endless drinks on sidewalk patios and wear skirts and shorts and tank tops and sandals like normal human beings! Enough with this winter nonsense already! It’s freaking March people! I can’t take it anymore!

Rant over. Thank you for letting me vent.

xo

one year later..

Although it’s all still a little unreal, today is my one-year anniversary of living in Chicago!

Exactly 365 days ago I flew into a city wrapped in a blanket of snow on a weekend where the snow came down for days, and I never looked back –that’s a lie. I look back all the time, but I truly am happy I risked it all to move here. NO RAGRETS.

Anyway, as I look back at the year that has come and gone, I can’t help but reflect on my time here and think of all the new things I’ve learned –and not learned. So I’ve decided that I would share my observations with you because, Suzie Says.

1- As nice as Midwesterners are, (they are VERY nice) when it comes to the L, there is no such thing as personal space. The train is a special place where you spoon strangers in the early morning hours on your way to work, stare uncomfortably at the person standing less than inch away from your face, and accidentally touch things you had no intention of touching –you know, hands, butts, thighs, you get the picture.

2- While in Miami shots of tequila are customary, in Chicago whiskey is the poison of choice –and if you’re really unlucky, it’ll be Malort. gag*

3- I will never, not laugh whenever someone slips on black ice. It’s a natural reaction to what I’ve just been lucky enough to witness and I will not apologize for it. I will ask if you’re okay though –as I continue to laugh uncontrollably.

4- With so many incredible places to eat in the city, it truly amazes me that people still go to McDonald’s. I live across the street from a McDonald’s and I think I’ve maybe stopped in twice out of pure desperation.

5- I’ve learned that girls here rarely ever have their nails done & that’s cool, but I will never abandon my mani/pedi ways. I just can’t.

6- Working 7 days a week is probably the worst idea I’ve ever had, but having zero debt is a great feeling.

7- Winter is what you make of it. You can sit around and complain about how terrible it is, or you can appreciate the little things –like a 25-degree day instead of a 5-degree day. It’s the little things guys. Embrace it, or just join me in my chant: Summer is right around the corner. Summer is right around the corner. Summer is right around the corner.

8- Although I try my best to follow #6, snow is still Satan’s vomit and I will always hate it. But what’s worse than falling snow? Mushy snow, slippery snow, puddles of snow, snow that hardens and turns into pure ice. I can really go on and on. Snow is evil.

9- Patio season is the best season.

10- I’ve learned that getting your groceries delivered beats having to go to the grocery store ANY DAY. Peapod is my best friend and I’m not ashamed to admit it.

11- Dating apps can actually be entertaining and also creepy and overwhelming, but you can meet decent people on there. However, I no longer recommend it to my Miami friends. I’m sorry I ever did, hah!

12- Living alone can be a bit scary, extremely quiet, and sometimes boring, but there’s nothing boring about dancing alone in your underwear to Milky Chance and I am beyond grateful for every chance I get to do that –even though I cry a little on every first of the month.

13- Making friends in unfamiliar cities isn’t easy. You have to put in lots of effort, but it beats not having a social life. I appreciate all the friends I’ve made since moving here.

14- Also, although it’s taken me about a year to accept, I’ve learned that you can’t hate someone for not being on the same page as you. Timing is everything, and it can also be a bitch. Sometimes people need to fully experience life before they’re able to reach a certain point so that they won’t resent you later. When that happens, you just need to walk away and let it be.

xo

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.
Picture 2

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

threeamigos turkeydinner bowie vinyl view puzzle

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.

 

summer_is_over

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.

cubs beer

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

 

beach fest forth fireworks lake cottoncandy tacos park

 

roof water watermelon

 

full circle.

header
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.

soaked

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.

quote

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.

lollabanner

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

all smiles

willeuhm

peace

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