Happy June! This month is flying by, and I've been making an effort to unplug, slow down, relax, and enjoy summer. I really miss blogging though, and I have so much I want to share with you, so I thought I'd pop in share a life update and a behind the scenes look at what's been happening.
Ready for the randomness? Let's go!
I've been marking the passing of time by the flowers. Magnolias and pear blossoms turned into tulips, which turned into lilacs, and now finally the peonies and roses are here! This is pretty much what my camera roll looks like.
I've been trying to practice what I preach in regards to self care instead of always putting myself on the end of the to-do list.
Sometimes "self care" is glam and fun, like getting my eyebrows tinted and waxed for the first time.
Sometimes it is less fun and involves stripping down and getting weird blotches on your body cut off and biopsied.
PSA of the day: Please please please be brave like me and make a dermatologist appointment this summer just to get checked out, especially if you're a fellow pale or redhead sister.
It's not fun but you deserve to take care of yourself, inside and OUT!
Luckily my biopsy was ok and I have one less weird blotch on my body to freak out about.
Ben and I are officially a one car family now, since my trusty 2003 Ford Focus decided to bite the dust. We left it with CarMax and it was weird to say goodbye. This car has seen me through high school, college, grad school, multiple cross-country trips back and forth between Illinois, Michigan, Iowa, Pennsylvania, and Oregon, but ultimately it was becoming more expensive than it was worth. Since I work from home and hate driving in the city, we really didn't need it anyway and I don't miss having to pay attention to the street sweeping and construction signs (and remembering to move it back and forth across the street to avoid tickets) anymore!
Mastering Your Mean Girl by Melissa Ambrosini has been my personal development book of the month so far. I'm hosting a virtual book club in my free Facebook accountability community (click here to join!), and we're all loving it, although Melissa's target audience is definitely young women in their low to mid 20's who are just getting started with personal development, and she's a little "woo" for the scientists in our group ;) But there are lots of really great journal prompts that have helped me gain some clarity on what I'm struggling with and what I want my life to look and feel like. I recommend this book for anyone who wants a fun, relatable intro to personal development and struggles with negative self talk, perfectionism, and holding yourself back.
I'll share my takeways soon!
WORK & LEARNING!
I've also been spending a lot of time at all my favorite coffee shops around the neighborhood to get out of the house and let my creative brain out to play. I'm still working my way through my life coach training course (and LOVING IT!), and launched a 6-week Leadership Mastermind for the leaders on my coaching team which has been unbelievably amazing.
Surrounding myself with like-minded women who are also passionate about dreaming bigger, working hard, serving others, and pursuing more joy and happiness in life has been the best thing I could have ever done for myself. If you're going through a mini crisis, struggling with anxiety/overwhelm, or have no idea what you're supposed to do with your life but you KNOW you're meant for more and are ready to make a change, reach out and let's chat because you are not alone and don't have to feel alone :)
On Friday afternoons my friend/teammate Amanda and I have been making a little ritual to hang out. chat about life, and explore the city since we both work for ourselves and have flexible schedules. I'm learning that although I'm an introvert, I do need regular people-time or else I get super lonely, so I'm so grateful to have her in my life!
SUMMER WEEKENDS! Yes, yes, and more yes.
Weekends have been blending into weeks lately.
"Week end? What is a week end?" -Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey
Ben's mom came up to visit us over Memorial Day and we had a great time hanging out and exploring the city. Ben is teaching summer school but he had a week off last week, so we hit the summer bucket list pretty hard!
Picnics on the lake front, sunset walks, zoo visits, beach time, farmer's markets, eating outside, grilling out, it's been a busy-yet-chill whirlwind!
Summer is one of the main reasons why we still live in Chicago. It makes the other 9 months of winter worth it ;)
Last week while Ben was off, we decided to take a spontaneous day trip to Milwaukee since neither of us had ever been. It was a beautiful sunny day, although really cool by the lakefront (the weather has been biopolar here lately, bouncing between 60's/70's and 90's). We visited the Milwaukee Art Museum (highly recommend!), walked through the Public Market, did some window shopping and future dream-home-planning at Restoration Hardware and West Elm, and spent the afternoon sitting on the rooftop at Cafe Benelux sampling Belgian beers in the sunshine.
The city was pretty quiet, which I guess was to be expected on a random Wednesday, but we had a good time hanging out and will definitely be back because we hear the Harley Davidson museum and brewery tours are super fun. It's nice we live so close to Wisconsin, it's a great state. The vibe is more relaxed, there's so much state pride compared to Illinois, and who doesn't like beer and cheese?
SUMMER IN CHICAGO BUCKET LIST
Here's what I still want to do this summer!
- Outdoor concert at Millenium Park
- Free workout at Millenium Park
- Visit the new and improved Navy Pier
- Take the Devil in the White City tour
- More picnics!
- More grilling!
- Explore as many rooftop bars as possible
What's on your summer bucket list?