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Choosing Figs

Peppers, cabbage, tomatoes, onion, cherries, and squash blossoms from the Chicago Lincoln Square Farmers Market.

July and I.

Beer cap wall at Barcade in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, New York. #arcade #bar #brooklyn #newyork #Williamsburg A photo posted by Val Bromann (@choosingfigs) on Jul 3, 2015 at 9:02pm PDT It's almost hard to believe that it was only four weeks ago that I visited New York. It feels like ages ago. Of course, it often feels like I've never left Chicago before at all, so there's that. I'll hopefully have several more...

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The Baby-Sitters Club 26 - Claudia and the Sad Goodbye

Val Reads Baby-Sitters Club #5: Weeping, Weddings, and Welcoming.

It's back! It's been over a year since my last installment of Val Reads The Baby-Sitters Club. And I have one bad reason and two good as to why it's taken me so long to continue. 1. I've been lazy. (That's the bad reason.) 2. I left to travel shortly after finishing book 25 and my quest to pack light didn't include stuffing my backpack with a BSC library. (That's a good reason.) 3. I knew what was coming...

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Men's Contest at the 2015 Nathan's Famous July 4 Hot Dog Eating Contest

Every Dog Has His Day.

On July 4, 2007, at the Nathan's Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest, Joey Chestnut ate 66 hot dogs to Takeru Kobayashi's 63. It was a historic feat: no one had ever out-eaten 6-time champion Kobayashi in hot dogs and some speculated that no one ever would. That day, Joey Chestnut did the impossible. He out-ate the man who couldn't be out-eaten. He brought the victory back to America. I watched this all go down that morning on...

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Nathan's After Party at Professor Thom's

A New York Minute.

It was in bar in Sevilla, Spain, many years ago now, when a fellow backpacker asked me what I liked most about traveling. I paused for a moment before saying, "When you're home and wake up the first thing you think is, 'what do I have to do today?' But when traveling you think, 'what do I want to do today?'" I've been home "for good" from traveling for over 8 months now and my life...

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RibMania Ribs Eating Contest in Chicago

How not to prepare to compete in an eating contest.

Step 1: Don't Sign Up for an Eating Contest The first step to not preparing to compete in an eating contest is to not sign up to compete in an eating contest. I suppose you can apply this logic to most anything you might (not) want to train for: marathons, SATs, dog-obedience. Whatever. Just don't sign up and you don't have to prepare. Easy. For instance, I didn't sign up to compete in the Ribmania ribs eating contest...

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Drinking a beer at Maifest Chicago 2015

Festival Season.

It's festival season in Chicago. At least, it is in theory. In reality the weekends have been cold or rainy or both, and every Chicagoan is waiting for consistent sun and consistent warmth. Not warm one day, cold the next. Not sunny all morning with a downpour at noon. Just warm, just sun. Summer. But in a city known to have all four seasons in one day, we might be waiting for a while. Chicago...

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French Toast at Little Goat DIner

May Days.

I still have trouble with balance. Even more so now that I'm home. I have work, my blog, the gym, an apartment to keep clean and to furnish. I have a million other things I want to be doing, a million other things I should be doing. Even in my most productive weeks I'll only check off a third of my to-do list only to add more for the next week. I keep telling myself...

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An Ocean-Blue Couch: My Living Room So Far - West Elm Peggy Sofa in Eucalyptus

I live here. With a couch and everything.

I live in Chicago. I think that's official. I've been here for seven months. I have a job. I have an apartment. I have furniture in said apartment. I think that means I really, truly, live here. It's something I'm totally fine with until those times I'm not. Until those times where I realize I could be on a beach instead. Or somewhere warmer or colder than Chicago depending on the day. Or with my friends...

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Choosing Figs Website

You can’t do everything. And that’s OK.

I can't do everything. That's something hard for a control-freak like myself to admit, but it's true. I. can't. do. everything. Now, I'm the kind of girl who wants to do everything, who tries to do everything, who wants to do it all herself, even if it's beyond me. I can learn. I can do it. I can figure it out. I can. In some ways it's a good quality to have. I pick up so many...

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