Share on Pinterest

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 at Ribfest Chicago this past Friday. To be fair, I might have tried to sign up for it if I hadn't have been been in...

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 is miserable in the winter, having the kind of weather that merits not-so-cute nicknames such as "snowpocalypse" and "snowmageddon" and "Chiberia." But we brave those...

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 that soon one thing will be finished and I'll have more free time. But then I make up some new project and am back at...

I've been home for six months. Six months in Chicago. I haven't even taken a vacation in that time. No flights, no weekend getaways, nothing. It's hard to believe, really. Sometimes it feels like I came home ages ago. Sometimes it feels like just yesterday. And, sometimes, it feels like I've never traveled at all. There are a lot of times where I wish I could just pick up again and move to Thailand or Colombia or travel around Africa or road trip the US. But, for now, I'm here. And I'm finally starting to feel "here." I have my apartment that's slowly...

My March could be summed up in one concept: moving. I moved into my apartment. I moved in all my stuff. I bought more stuff and moved that in too. I unpacked all my boxes. I hung up some curtains. I hung up some art. I rearranged the few items of furniture I actually have. I bought a shelving unit for my kitchen and thought it was a great idea to carry it home on the el. It wasn't....

I've never been big on St. Patrick's Day. It's just never been my thing. Even in college, when most of my peers were waking up at the crack of dawn to ditch class and drink green beer at "unofficial," I was diligently sober in class. I really don't know how I've avoided it for so long. I mean, Chicago celebrates St. Patrick's Day pretty hard. So much so that people I've met who are actually from Ireland have told me that they hope to celebrate here some day. But I've never passed out or puked on a Wrigleyville bar crawl. I've never...

February was a tough month. I spent most of the 28 days working, even on weekends where I worked anywhere from an extra hour or two to an extra twelve. And one of my best friends moved way. And didn't say goodbye. And hasn't talked to me since. And I've had to, more and more, come to the realization that maybe he was never a friend at all. Sigh. I'm just exhausted from it all. Anyways, here are a few of the things I got up to in February when I wasn't working or crying into my pillow...

It’s easy to make New Years resolutions and then promptly forget about them. Everyone is gung ho about going to the gym on January 1 but come January 31 it’s all Netflix and excuses. Or maybe that’s just me. Personally, despite every good intention I may have had, I lost about 1 pound in January. I tried cutting down on calories but instead I ate way too much chocolate. As usual. And I thought about buying a Groupon for some fitness classes but then a nasty cold had me doing nothing but taking DayQuil and passing out. And I thought...

If you haven't noticed: I like to eat. I pretty much live for my next meal. And, yes, yes I am one of those girls who refuses to start eating (or let anyone touch communal food) until I have properly instagrammed it. I hope that doesn't turn you off from dining with me. Or from following me on instagram. Because I totally need more people to dine with. And to follow me on Instagram. So you should totally do both. I'm trying to make it a goal this year to finally go out and eat at all the places in Chicago...

I'm sometimes called out about how negative I can be. And I get it: my blog can be kind of a downer. But that doesn't mean I'm not happy. And it doesn't mean I don't have a totally amazing life full of good food, friends, and experiences. It's mostly just that I use writing as a way to make sense of things, and usually you don't have to make sense of happy things. Happy things are happy things. Negative things are more complicated. Negative things need to be worked through. Negative things need attention. And, for me, writing is the...