Wednesday, September 30, 2009

gotta have it

I'm taking some much needed down time tonight. Neill and I went out for mexican food, watched the new house episode, and now I'm catching up on a week's worth of wedding porn. While perusing weddingbee I came across this picture, taken by Laurie Peacock Photography for a wedding that happened right here in Chicago.

Look at those earrings! swoon. They are made out of vintage chandelier crystal by Precious Meshes. And there is a matching necklace!!! oh my.

i want these sooooooooo bad. But unfortunately the life of a graduate student doesn't include the luxury of randomly dropping 60 bucks on a pair of earrings or a necklace. but, these beauties might definitely end up on a holiday wish list :)

what do you think? are the earring worth a splurge? What about the necklace?

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

winter blues

Is it really here? The cold and wet and windy and dreary awful time of year?

Yesterday, there was no sun beams to be found. just wind. cold wind that found its way through my sweater and gave me the chills. While waiting for the train, i fantasized about having a pumpkin spice latte to keep me warm.

How can the cold weather be here already???? I am so not ready for this! My seasonal depression is already coming out. boo.

How do you plan to make it through this winter?

Monday, September 28, 2009

believe in me

my my my it seems im quite tardy for the party

What has been going on with me?

-statistics test on Tuesday sucked hard core. ugh. even though I'm pretty sure I did awful on the test, I still can't wait to get it back. It will hurt so good, you know?

+neill and I went to old orchard on Saturday night and ate yummy yummy yummy comfort food at The Bagel. I know I'm not the only person in the world who LOVES corned beef + chopped liver because it is on their menu!

-on same trip discovered that Zara makes some of their clothes in only size small or medium. no large available. what the fuck!??!

+We had our engagement photo shoot with the wonderful Alix Klingenberg. She was freakin awesome and we had such a good time with her. I was super nervous about the pictures before hand and couldn't even sleep, but she gave so much positive feedback that it was easy to relax in front of her. I can't wait to see the pictures!!!!!!!! eeeeee

+Made it to NRS to volunteer yesterday. Good job Alisha!

-I have been a bad bad bad eater this week. Healthy food just could not make it into my diet this week. In fact, I've been consciously stress eating. When I was feeling really down after my statistics test, I used Bacci's pizza to make myself feel better. And I don't even want to talk about how much ice cream I've gone through this month . . .

+Speaking of month though - I've officially made it through a month of graduate school! That is a pretty awesome feeling.

-I'm being a bad Jew and not doing anything for Yom Kippur.

+ Saw Denison Witmer at SubT last week. swoon!

I hope all of you lovelies are doing well . . .

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Zara (@ Old Orchard Mall)

I was out in Skokie shopping with my beau when we spotted Zara. We hadn't been in once since we spent way too much money at Zara in Brussels so we decided to check it out. I found this super cute vintage inspired white dress that I immediately wanted to own. Looking through the sizes, all I found were smalls and mediums. Net yet giving up, I asked a sales associate if they had any larges in the back. She was kind enough to inform me that the dress only came in small or medium, but that the medium is meant to be like a one size fits all. Riiiiight. Like a sucker I decided to try it on just to see if maybe I could possibly fit into it. No such luck. Ugh.

Damn you Zara for thinking it is okay to not make clothes in a fair range of sizes. I understand that not all business can make XXS to XXXXXL. But come on, large is in the range of normal here. I'm not some beluga whale. bech. down with skinny bitches (and the stores that cater to them)

American Eagle

1000 W North Avenue
Chicago, IL 60622

stepping foot into american eagle makes me feel old old old. And i'm only 23. I'm pretty sure they should have a sign on their door prohibiting anyone older than 18 (maaaaybe 19) from entering their store. but, they don't - so I went in.

honestly, I've never been a big fan. But, I will admit, they sometimes have some cute stuff on sale. Like yesterday, when I bought this cute navy and white flowered dress for 15 bucks. Am i actually going to wear it? irrelevant! It was only 15 bucks!

This AE location is somewhat more obnoxious than other stores I've been into because of the high percentage of giggly suburban girls and dumb suburban boys. yes people - these stereotypes exist and they congregate at american eagle store at old orchard. But, if you can lower your self respect long enough to check out the sale rack, you might find something you like.

The Bagle Restaurant and Deli (At Old Orchard Mall)

The bagel just feels like home. Sure, maybe sometimes it takes way too long to get that soda you ordered, but how can you complain when you can munch on all the pickles you want? Plus, they have my go to jewish deli sandwich - corned beef with chopped liver. nom nom nom. and man do they pile that meet high.

Forget about going shopping and trying to squeeze into those skinny jeans - have a big old comforting meal at the deli instead! And even though you will be super stuffed, buy some cool tasty treats on the way out. Try the chocolate covered pretzel sticks and marshmallows. You can eat them on the way home and thank me later :)

Friday, September 25, 2009

Sher-A-Punjab Indian Restaurant

My fiance swears by this place so I've been here a few times. Last night we were craving some deliciousness, so we made the drive up north to Devon Ave. As we were walking to Sher-A-Punjab I saw all these other fantastic buffet places and I felt they were calling to me. But no....Sher-A-Punjab it is.

And boy was it.

I filled my plate, sat, down, and took spoonful after spoonful of deliciousness. Sopping up all the curry with the naan. I didn't try any of the tandoori chicken, but my fiance ate it all! I might have filled my plate more than once, but we don't have to go into that here :)

Oh, and I had the little dessert balls to top everything off. Honestly, I've got no idea what these are. They taste like donutholes that have been soaking in a honey mixture. Texturally, they are mushy and wet. Taste wise? Sweet tooth heaven.

Sher-A-Punjab is definitely worth trying. If you don't like it, no biggie. You'll only be out 10 bucks. But if you do like it, nom nom nom nom. You have so much to gain! (in pounds that is)

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Bacci's Pizza

Bacci's pizza is the cream of the crop when it comes to stress eating. If you have had a bad day, drive yourself to bacci and order yourself a big old piece of whatever your vice is. Personally, I prefer the peperoni. Then, take advantage of your FREE soda. Go all out and get a REAL soda. Then, drive yourself home, change into pants with an elastic waist*, sit down in front of the tv, and then smash that piece of pizza. don't stop chewing until its all gone. If you follow these directions exactly, I promise you that all of your stress will be gone by the time you finish that slice.

*if you wore your eating pants out of the house, more power to you. you probably won't mind stuffing your face in public either.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

J Crew - Wedding Dress Shopping

this review is for my experience shopping for a wedding dress at J.Crew

As Risa P noted, this is the only location in Chicago that carries anything bridal. Also, they only carry size 8 samples. If you make an appointment at least a week in advance they will order in the dresses that you would like to try on in your size. This is definitely a nice thing, but it also means that you better know exactly what you want to try on. If you don't tell them to get it in your size, then you'll be sol. I should have told them more dresses than just the few I mentioned. Even if you don't think a certain dress will work, it is nice to try on different styles of dresses. Plus, if you are going to make the trip downtown it might as well be worth your time.

If you are coming here for bridal you also just have to be prepared that you will be treated basically like any other customer. They assigned me a "wedding specialist" to work with, but she was also assisting a few other dressing rooms. Sorta awkward when you need someone to zip up a dress or something.

Oh yes, and about those other dressing rooms. There is a chance that they will will be filled with annoying teens that have too much money for their own good. And you will share the mirror with them. And that is also just a bit weird.

My last disappointment was with some of the dresses. The silk dresses they have are basically the most unflattering thing I've ever put on my body. They will show every lump or bump or jiggle you have. They aren't necessarily bad for curves...but they are bad for somewhat untoned or uneven curves. I did really like one of the taffeta dresses though, only to find out that the dress was sold out. That was sort of a bummer. But, they will put you on a "wish list" so that if one in your size is returned you could purchase it. Down side of that? Once it becomes available they will charge your card immediately and send you the dress without asking. So, you have to be super committed to it.

I guess I'm glad I came here. If I didn't, I'd probably always wonder. But, it wouldn't necessarily be something I'd recommend to everyone.

Sukkat Shalom Congregation

Rabbi Ari Moffic, of Sukkat Shalom, is officiating at my wedding. Since my fiance and I aren't members of a temple, she let us know that we could get tickets to Sukkat Shalom's high holy day services by contacting the executive director. Since they don't sell their tickets, like most temples, they do ask for a donation in exchange for the tickets. But, giving what you can seems much more reasonable than being asked to pay a set price. (I don't even want to get started at why temples sell tickets for services on the holiest holidays . . .seems so . . . not right).

Anyhoo, we went to their Rosh Hashanah service this past Saturday and over all we had a positive experience. For some reason, I was expecting it to be more of a diverse congregation and so I was really disappointed to see that my fiance was the only nonwhite person in the room. In terms of looking for a congregation to join, that is a major issue for us. But, I guess they are diverse in that they are very accepting of interfaith families. I guess it just depends what sort of diversity is most important to you.

But, over all, the service was very nice. The rabbi gave an interesting sermon on biblical and modern parent child relationships. He used the example of Paul in Chorus Line. While he didn't come right out and argue for gay rights, there was definitely a message that parents should accept their children no matter their sexual orientation. I definitely appreciated that. There was lots of music and the shofar blower was awesome.

Bucktown Wicker Park Chabad Jewish Center

Chabad in Wicker Park has the *best* synagogue advertisements and pamphlets EVER. They are so slick and funny...they seriously do an excellent job of targeting people like me. Young, jewish and no where to go for the high holidays.

Last year, attracted by the signs I saw advertising their services, I decided to check it out for  the kol nidrei service. Let's just say I was beyond surprised at how orthodox the service was! They separated men and women, there was dovening, almost everything said was in hebrew. I had no idea it was going to be like that! I was expecting young, hip, and relaxed so I felt a bit uncomfortable.

All that being said, they are very welcoming and no one seemed to care that I came wearing jeans. That is always a plus in my book. I would even probably do services here again as it is convenient and simple. But, in my opinion, this isn't really the ideal place for an interfaith couple. Someone who didn't already have some understanding of what was going on and then had to sit separated from their jewish partner might be very bored/uncomfortable.

Monday, September 21, 2009

fashion. turn to the left.

of all the things going on right now, like my first test of graduate school that just happens to be in statistics going down tomorrow or getting ready to juggle jayson and lindsey coming to stay with us and preparing for midterms, you know what is stressing me out the most right now?

what i'm going to wear.

on my wedding day.

many months away.

specifically, 263 days away.

ever since a certain favorite someone found her beautifully wonderful dress, I've felt a bit more motivated to find mine. I suddenly feel like time is running out! It was one of those things that I really wanted to try and force myself to do over the summer, but I just could not get my act together.

It's just so overwhelming!

And, I don't even really love shopping. And, let's face it, I don't want to spend the money. I've always been a jeans and t-shirt kind of girl. the pull on whatever is on the floor and run out the door sort of dresser. i don't really do the whole outfit thing. and while i can certainly drop a pretty penny on wonderful cotton t-shirts that shouldn't cost 30 bucks or a pair of jeans that i really like that probably aren't worth the 60 bucks I'm willing to pay for them, looking well dressed just isn't something that is on the forefront of my mind on a daily basis. But, obviously, on my wedding day it is a bit of a different story.

I'd like to look nice.

but why is it so difficult? for any other occasion I would never ever ever ever ever buy a dress that cost more than 100 bucks. In fact, the last time I bought a formal dress was my sophomore year in college. I think that was the last time I bought my only pair of heals too. That is now 4 years ago. Given this, it is just sooooo bizarre to go to a store and try on these dresses and then think of plopping down hundreds if not thousands of dollars on a dress that I will wear once. It is just sooooooo not like me.

anyways, in my dress anxiety delirium I forced my self to go to j.crew and try on some of their dresses this past sunday. I want to write about some of the horrors of that experience on yelp so keep an eye out for that. but, I did find one lovely dress that was just so wonderfully effortlessly comfortable. (yes, being comfortable always has been and always will be top priority for me)

but then after I tried it on and I told my little helper elf I liked it, she let me know it was sold out. oh. gee. thanks. But whatever, it's 1500 dollars so it happens to be about 1300 dollars more than what I would like to spend. but im still pissed.

If you are still with me right now, you are super fabulous and I thank you. I know everything will be fine. Neill promises to marry me even if I show up in comfy pants so that is somewhat of a relief. It is just frustrating. I wanted a relaxed casual wedding so that I could wear a cheap white sundress from the gap. but for some reason i'm just not feeling brave enough to go that route right now.

le sigh.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

oh so true

i hope i'm not the only one who still reads postsecret :)

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

VMAs x2

I watched Jay-Z and Alicia Key's VMA performance and youtube tonight. That was freaking awesome! I heart Jay Z and Alicia Key's voice was spot on. But why was lil mama up there all randomly at the end like she had done something?

Also, after that, I watched beyonce's performance and was reminded how annoying that sound got. It is like Sexy Back. Great song...just sooooo overplayed. I also feel as though, even though my love for beyonce is not secret like erica's, she needs to decide if she is going to be a singer or a dancer. because obviously she can't really do both at the same time. and perhaps she should wear a leotard with a little but more coverage in the vajayjay?

Jenny Yoo - Bridal

I had a really positive experience at Jenny Yoo last week trying on dresses. Jenny Yoo has affordable wedding dresses that are minimalistic (in a good way) and comfortable. I was attracted to a lot of the chiffon dresses and they were just as light and airy as they looked online! You have to make an appointment to try and dresses so you get the whole show room to yourself. Diana is very laid back and just sort of let me do my thing, while offering helpful comments and questions when appropriate. I really really liked a strapless dress I tried on, but I feel like I need to try on a few more dresses before making a final decision. Its so hard to decide when you can't try on the right size/color combo!

As others mentioned, they also have beautiful bridesmaid dresses. But, while the dressings are inexpensive in comparison to other stores the bridesmaid dresses were a bit more money then I would ask my ladies to spend.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


I know I'm late on this, but what the fuck is wrong with kanye? Sure, when Taylor Swift was up there accepting the award I was thinking to myself "Who the fuck is Taylor Swift??" and "What song is this??", but damn....Kanye crossed the line.

Also, the host was only like 15% funny.

What did you think?

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Saturday, September 12, 2009

rainbows in the dark

last night, some of my classmates and myself checked out piece for some pizza and beer. I happily sipped on flat iron stout before switching to tall boys of strongbow. By the time we sat down and got our pizza, i was full from all the liquid! Of course, I didn't let that stop me from munching on a few pieces of spinach + black olive pizza. nom nom nom. I'm so relieved we all get along. It is quite a relief! Plus, Neill seemed to really hit it off with Daniel (the one boy in our class) and Mike (Edn'a bf). They were yapping away all night and I practically had to tear Neill away from them to go home. I heart my friendly hubby :)

Yesterday, I also stopped by Jenny Yoo to try on some dresses. Out of all of the dresses I tried on, this one was my favorite. But, I'm not sure if the design would be unflattering on me. Maybe it emphasizes the midsection too much? It was hard to tell because I was trying on dresses that were a size too small. I also liked this one. The thing I really liked about all of the dresses I tried on was how light they were! There was no crinoline and the lining was very comfortable. Also, they weren't heavy so it was easy to walk around. They just felt much more wearable than the other dresses I tried on at David's Bridal. Anyhoo, they are having some event at Lumen which sounds totally not my scene, but just for attending you get a 10% discount on anything you might buy. I'm not so sure if it is worth it yet, but I'm thinking about it. We shall see we shall see. I've got a few more places to visit before I make a decision :)

Friday, September 11, 2009

Chipotle (Rogers Park)

6600 N Sheridan Rd
Chicago, IL 60661

So who in their right gets excited about going to chipotle at 7 o'clock on a Thursday to have a beer? Graduate students. Sad but true. After a particularly long day of classes, some of my fellow students and I desperately needed to unwind. Enter chipotle. Not only was I craving one of their burrito bols (who isn't?), but we all decided we needed a drink. Now, normal people would have gone to a bar. Or like a bar grill. But, we went to chipotle. And drank in their "beer garden" . . . which is really just a patio on Sheridan Ave. It was pretty awesome, I'm not going to lie.

if wednesday is hump day

than what is it called when thursday sucks?

I think god for these simple things:
+chipotle serves beer
+banana flavored ben and jerry's
+neill stocking the fridge with beer I like
+the police women of broward county

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Hump Day

Wednesday = Hump Day.

This is the day when you can find me muttering to myself, "if I can just make it through today everything will be okay". And this is very true. My weeks tend to be heavily front loaded. Tuesday may be the toughest. Statistics for two and a half hours followed up very quickly be a lab meeting. My mind is already mush after stats so it is a real fight to stay alert at lab meeting, which yesterday didn't end until 5:30. And then I had to finish grading papers before I could go home. Poo. This aint no 9 to 5.

Thursdays are a bit rough too - an assessment workshop where we learn how to use different intelligence and personality tests and then right after Intro to the Profession of Clinical Psychology. Both of those classes are a bit laid back, so it is not so much mind numbing as hunger inducing. If you don't bring your lunch, you are screwed. Unless you are one of those skinny bitches that can go for hours without eating.

This Thursday, I'm adding one more thing to that string of events and heading over to the Wellness Center right after class to try and observe an intake session. I'm pretty pumped about it because there is only so much you can understand from reading about clinical interviewing.

Fridays are probably the best, because I have no class. Yep. I'm lucky. Every other week I have a brown bag I have to go to between 12 and 1, but other than that no standing meetings. Just lots of time to catch up on the reading :)

Mondays aren't awful, except for the fact that they are Mondays. I have the lecture portion of assessment for two and a half hours. And that's it. Why do they suck? I always have hours and hours of reading to do for that class.

It's interesting, class doesn't really take up too much time. Its the work they give you outside of it that is the tough part. Last night I think I read about 100 pages in a text book, 3 journal articles, and then researched the controversy of psychologists and torture for a class presentation I have to give on Thursday. Monday, I spent waaaay too many hours grading. That was mind numbing. For lab next Tuesday I have to prepare synopsis of the literature on two methodological issues. I don't even know how to go about doing that. shhhh. All I know is that is will for sure take about 20+hours.

Anyhoo, I didn't intend to turn this into a rant. The overall message is supposed to be positive. If you can make it through hump day, then everything will be okay.

Monday, September 7, 2009

corn and kale

Farmer John's Corn and Kale Salad
Serves 4 to 6

2 quarts water
4 ears sweet corn
1 large bunch kale, stems removed (about 1 pound)
2 teaspoons salt
1 large red bell pepper, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 large tomato, diced
1 small sweet onion, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1.5 teaspoons cajun spice seasoning*

1. Bring 2 quarts of water to a boil in a large pot; add the ears of corn. Turn off the heat and let the corn cook in the hot water for 5 minutes. Set the ears aside and reserve the cooking water. When the corn is cool, slice the kernels from the cobs.

2. Return the corn water to a boil and add the kale and 2 teaspoons salt; cook until kale is just tender and still bright green, about 5 minutes. Transfer the kale to a colander to drain and cool. When the kale is cool enough to handle, squeeze out the excess liquid with your hands and then finely chop.

3. Toss the kale with the remaining ingredients in a large bowl until well combined. Season with salt to taste.

*If you don't have a cajun seasoning mix, you can make your own by combining 1/4 teaspoon salt and a big pinch of each of the following: cayenne pepper, freshly ground black pepper, dry mustard, crushed fennel seeds, and dried thyme.

I just spent an hour making this salad. You should too - it is delicious.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

never pay full price

I don't know if I'm late to the party, but I stumbled upon this great website - The basic idea? Never pay full price! i can get down with that! I found it when looking for promo codes to use for I also heard somewhere that J Crew offers a little publicized student discount of 10 or 15%. That could very well be internet gossip, but and are the real deal. (pun intended)

What are your favorite websites to find great deals?

So graduate school . . .

There are 6 people in my class total, including myself. Let me introduce the players.

1. There is me. We all know me.
2. There is Edna, who I actually knew prior to this because she volunteered at NRS.
3. There is Daniel. He is from California and has that west coast nice guy vibe
4. There is Devin. She is from the D.C. area and went to Emory.
5. There is Amanda. She went to undergrad at Loyola.
6. There is Lea. She is from boston and moved to Chicago a year ago because her husband is at Northwestern's medical school.

6 people. We have every single class with each other. And no one else. (well in one class, there is some random social psych kid).

As you might imagine, there is a lot of pressure to get along. And to have these other people like you.

And I'm pretty sure everyone already thinks I'm weird. ::sigh::

Not weird in the smelly girl who has a tick and talks about power rangers. Not that weird. Just a little weird.

And if they are reading this, which I don't know why they would be, they will think I'm even weirder.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

weekly problems

Wednesday night....9 pm....what is a girl to watch? Top Chef or Real World? Ugh. It is so hard to choose!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009


Happy 4 year anniversary to US! What a wonderful wonderful wonderful life! By this time next year we will be husband and wife and I will be Mrs. Miller!

Neill, you truly are a wonderful man and I feel so lucky to have you in my life. Thanks for everything.