National Holidays

This was my first Canada Day not spent in Canada. I decorated my apartment with as many Canadian flags as I could get my hands on.  While it left me feeling a little sad and nostalgic, I have my first 4th of July celebration to look forward to!

Canada Day was spent enjoying one of my last weekends as a resident of Chicago. This meant hitting up some of my favourite touristy places – millenium park and navy pier – for some good live music, food and drinks outdoors in the glorious sunshine. 

There really isn’t much difference between how the two holidays are celebrated – food, friends, and fireworks. And the national pride! 

What’s your favourite way to celebrate for these holidays?

Chicago · Fitness

Staying Fit… On A Grad Student’s Budget. 

Yes, I know! You want to try out all of the fancy boutique studios your friends rave about. But a quick glance at your recent bank account statement may quickly be telling you no (if not – by all means hit up your dream studios.. or follow some of these tips and save a little money anyways!)

Step #1: explore your school’s fitness options. I got to an extremely tiny little college, but we have an actually decent athletic program. I was on some IM teams in my first year, but the sneaking suspicion that I had that I wasn’t cut out for soccer was true, and by the time basketball rolled around I had a sprained ankle. There are also probably some classes. Most of our classes are run by students, but one day I decided to try out the yoga class and it turned out that our school contracted an instructor from my dream studio! Imagine that! I’m glad I gave it a try. 

Step #2: Facebook. Look up different athletic stores and see if they offer free classes. I frequent lululemon’s Sunday Salutations and get the benefit of practicing with many different unique instructors. 

Step #3: more internet searching! Chicago offers tons of free outdoor classes in the summer. I haven’t gone to any but I’m sure they’re great. 

Step #4: run outside. This is guaranteed to be free and great exercise. The world is yours! 

Any other good free fitness options?

Chicago · Fashion · Organization

Downsizing My Closet…

Yes, you read that right. I, owner of one of the largest clothing collections this side of the North Pole, spent yesterday deciding what clothes I could bring with me to Kentucky. It was slightly stressful, definitely heartbreaking, and in the end… wonderful. I write this post listening to fireworks at the nearby White Sox game. Ironic? Perhaps.

Now for the sake of honesty, I must admit that I didn’t donate or toss most of my precious belongings. While I’m in KY, I’ll be storing a good chunk at my parents. I’ll be living in a grad student dorm for three months (just typing dorm was enough to make me shudder), so I can only bring the essentials. That meant eliminating my winter and spring work attire, t-shirts and sweaters, but also paring down on the rest. I ended up with three bags of clothes to donate, several items that were at the end of their life, and a fairly large pile of garment bags. My hope is that spending these months separated from my clothes will help me decide what else I really don’t need.

How did I accomplish this task? I thought you’d never ask!

– when was the last time I wore it.. if I haven’t worn it since I moved here, it’s unlikely you’ll ever see me in it again
– will I sweat to death wearing this in KY in the fall
– how many times have I put it on and not ended up wearing it out (frayed? out of style? uncomfortable? poor fit?)

This activity, and having done the same when I initially moved to Chicago, has really made me aware of cheap fashions and their impact on the environment. But my views on this are another story for another day.

I also had to pack up most of my kitchen wares which was equally as difficult. I can’t wait to have a proper apartment of my own again! A little over one month remains until the big trip from Chicago to KY. Stay tuned…