Archive for October 2012

29 October 2012

A few recent photos

By: Jessica B.
Tagged: Random

Happy Monday! I’ve posted before that I’m a tad addicted to Instagram. Seriously, that app is one of my favorites and one that gets regular use on my phone. My only complaint is that I wish they would mix up the filters. Variety is not a bad thing.

So, as a way to ease in to the week, I thought I’d share some of my favorite, recent Intagram photos.

A beer arcade opened in my neighborhood and it has old-school TMNT. Lots of memories playing that game as a kid

Bar in my hood also lets customers carve their own pumpkins, then displays them outside. And I check them out every year

My London postcard FINALLY arrived! Also, whenever I send myself postcards, I always address it to “Future Jess.”

My favorite pork tacos (with a strip of bacon!) from Antique Taco

Still able to enjoy some early morning, post-gym sunshines…for now

Northern view from the Addison Brown Line station. Ugh, errands

Also, I cannot believe Thursday is November 1. !!!!! Um, fall is going by way too fast, IMO.

How was your weekend?

24 October 2012

How yoga broke me

By: Jessica B.
Tagged: gym, Random

You may think I’m kidding, but I’m not.

Yoga, the practice of stretching, zen and centering yourself, beat me like I was a punching bag and then kicked me to the curb like a piece of trash.

It was the most humbling 60 minutes I’ve had in a while.

At my old gym, I used to do yoga every Sunday. Sixty minutes of Vinyasa that felt great and was very relaxing. But it was also downtown at 10 am on a Sunday and once I started going out more, 10 am on a Sunday was a big problem.

I do miss yoga but after last night’s class, it reminded me that yoga will not be an easy friend to catch up with.

My buddy Liz invited me to join her for a walk-in class at a local yoga studio and (in an effort to step and mix up my workouts), I said yes. We settled on a Yoga Sculpt class, which is a combo of yoga cycles and free weights, which sounded awesome. I lift weights, I got this!


First, I worked out earlier that day. I wasn’t sore or tired from it but my body had already gotten a tad of a beating first-thing.

Second, the studio was, no lie, sweltering hot. And the kind of hot that isn’t totally Bikram (105 degrees) but not like, comfortable or room temp either. You know it’s bad when you’re sweating 2 minutes after walking in the door and before even changing in to workout clothes.

Within a few minutes of doing my sun salutations and table tops, I was sweating like a whore in church. Literally, sweat was all over me like a fur blanket. Rather than dewey adorable, I looked more like “oh my gosh what’s wrong with her?”

I couldn’t even finish some cycles or balance on the mat because it was soaked in sweat and slippery. SLIPPERY.

By the time the lights went down for a final stretch, I wanted to collapse and weep with joy. And in doing that final stretch, I looked over at my friend Liz, who I have so many memories with, and in seeing each other in this state, we reached out and locked arms (which was difficult given the sweating) because damnit we were in this together.

Then I went home and drank about four glasses of water and put myself to bed.

There are few people I can imagine doing this with and laughing about it. Fortunately, one of those peeps was there :)

Should I give yoga another try?

22 October 2012

Going home

By: Jessica B.

Chicago is home most of the time but I haven’t another home too, southeastern Wisconsin. I was born and raised in Wisconsin, but now, I only make it back there a few times a year.

And you don’t really get to appreciate fall when you live in the city. The foliage changes color but it’s not quite the same. And, there are no farm or corn fields within commutable distance. Fall in the city is great, but not quite the same.

So I headed north this weekend to get a break from the city, see family and get my live college football fix.

It was great and exactly what I needed.

So let’s take a look at fall on the other side of the state line.

It was a nice weekend and I’m looking forward to going back next month for Thanksgiving!

How was your weekend?

17 October 2012

Getting happy and making changes

By: Jessica B.
Tagged: Random

Happiness is a subjective emotion. I mean, what is being truly happy?

Well here’s the things, lately, I haven’t been really happy.

And happy in a content way.

And the unhappiness I’ve been dealing with hasn’t made me the best person, friend and daughter. And forget about having any sort of romantic or naughty thoughts.

In early August, I wrote about taking back control in my personal life. I meant it and was doing it. Then, I got crazy sick and seemed to lose control again.

But then, I went to London and got perspective (and my allergies activated).

The first part of perspective was to really look at why I am unhappy. What’s causing it and where is that unhappiness really located: professional, personal or both?

It’s a funny thing, trying to really scrutinize and identify why you’re not happy or what seems to be the root of that unhappiness. It may either tell you it’s easy to fix or…not.

Then I looked at, when I was happy and content, what was happening in my life at that time to make me feel that way?

And the answer was pretty clear.

So now I’m trying to begin making these changes. One has already started and the rest will follow soon after. And even though the changes to the main issue aren’t what I expected, it’s still progress.

Things will never be perfect. There will be good days and bad days, but I’m ready to start feeling like the good outweigh the bad and get back to being a better friend and daughter.

Away we go!



14 October 2012

Belated London recap

By: Jessica B.
Tagged: Random, travel

Cheerio readers! Or, the handful of you that might still be out there. Things have been a little crazy since I’ve been back.

But yes, I am back from the other side of the pond. Yes, the London adventure is in the books and it.was.amazing.

And honestly, my first overseas trip where everything just…fell in to place. Paris and Italy both had a few bumps but London was mostly bump-free, and I did not mind that!

I don’t even know how to start summarizing everything that happened or all of the awesome stuff I saw, but my inner history nerd is satiated with joy from what I saw/learned and my inner shopper is happy too (and a little poorer). So let’s hit some highlight/lowlights and some photos!


  • Buckingham Palace State Room Tour – The Palace State Rooms are open only two months out of the year (August/September) when the Queen is at Balmoral. I signed up for a private after-hours tour that ended in the gardens with a glass of champagne. Much like biking in Versailles, that was a moment of being truly happy
  • Big Ben – My first time in London, it took my breath away and it still does. I’m moderately obsessed with the structure and the Parliament building. I won’t tell you how many photos I have
  • Nerding out at British history – So many museums, castles and history at your finger tips, I truly could not get enough
  • Beer – It’s good there and so readily available. Almost ever bartender questioned if I could drink an entire pint solo, I proved them wrong :)
  • Shopping – London is expensive but the shopping is amazing. And not only at stores but at the markets too!
  • Abbey Road – I love the Beatles so seeing the studio exterior up close and the personal messages people left on the gate was so cool


  • Weather – Yes, I know it’s England but it still rained on/off every day and one day was ALL RAIN. Ugh.
  • Tube construction – The Tube is your main mode of transportation and my station was all but closed one day, extremely inconvenient

I really loved London and had a great time. Coming home was definitely bittersweet, but now I’m re-adjusted and back in reality (suck).

I cannot wait to go back. Solo adventures are on hold now until spring but coming soon: Costa Rica, possibly Spain and Greek Islands!!

How is everyone else? What’s new!