Project 366: Day 75, 03-15 Iowa 80

The Iowa 80, world’s largest truck stop!

It’s a tradition for us to stop at this magnificent attraction on our way to Nebraska, but Cory usually is in too big of a hurry to soak in everything it has to offer. But, that’s OK. As long as I leave with a Frosty or Blizzard, I’m happy.



Project 366: Day 50, 02-19 Binging in Begas

We called it quits on gambling by 10 a.m. (taking our winnings and running!), so we spent the day eating, walking, eating, people watching and eating.

On today’s menu:

Bouchon Bakery


Carnegie Deli


Serendipity 3




Hopefully I get around to a Vegas Tasty Tuesday soon. We will see!

Project 366: Day 49, 02-18 Garth!

Garth at the Wynn was more amazing than expected. We were in the very last row of the balcony, but the theater was small and it didn’t even feel like we were any more than 100 feet from the stage.

Garth played an acoustic show, with a mix of story-telling, comedy, acapella and a special appearance from his wife, Trisha Yearwood.

Sadly, there was a strict no camera policy, so this will have to do…


Project 366: Day 48, 02-17 The Chandelier

Wish I could have taken pix of my spa treatment today, but that’s just awkward. Instead, here’s a pic of my kinda bar…The Chandelier in the Cosmopolitan in Vegas.




For the past year, I can’t count how many times I turned to Cory to ask him how old I was. Not that 27 and 28 weren’t incredibly special years, I just started losing track after 25.

My friend Scott started a Facebook page a couple of years ago, tracking 30 things he wanted to accomplish before he turned 30. What a terrific idea, right? So, now that I’ve turned 29, below is a list of my 30 before 30:

  1. Change my name.
  2. Ride the ferris wheel at Navy Pier.
  3. Check out the view of Chicago from the Sears (Willis) Tower.
  4. See the fall foliage at the Morton Arboretum.
  5. Stay at a bed and breakfast.
  6. Learn to snowboard.
  7. Go to a Sox game at the Cell.
  8. Go to a Blackhawks game at United Center.
  9. Watch the sun rise.
  10. Golf in a personal tournament (Thursday-Sunday).
  11. Make my mom’s famous eggrolls.
  12. Make Cory’s aunt Cindy’s famous sugar cookies.
  13. Make Cory’s grandma’s raspberry jelly.
  14. Figure out Photoshop, Illustrator and Lightroom.
  15. Be debt-free (except the mortgage).
  16. Become a yogi.
  17. Go to the Old Town Art Fair.
  18. Go to a movie in a park.
  19. Take the architectural boat tour.
  20. Camp.
  21. Run/walk a 5K (may be nothing for most, but I can’t run a mile).
  22. Visit a city I’ve never visited before.
  23. Watch It’s a Wonderful Life.
  24. Do a drive by of the Home Alone house (one of my favorite movies).
  25. Brush up on my French.
  26. Back up all my pix on DVDs.
  27. Go dark for a day: No cell phone, computer or TV.
  28. Start eating breakfast on the regular.
  29. Take a class of some sort (cooking, photography, design, French).
  30. Get a psychic reading.

I kept my personal list realistic, measurable and actionable. S.M.A.R.T., huh? (I couldn’t help it, I’m cheesy like that.) I can’t wait to share pictures and stories about each one that gets crossed off the list!

Did you make a list before a milestone birthday? Or will you? What will be on your bucket lists?

Project 365: Day 21 – 01.21

For once, I was the one saying I was craving wine! I told Cory I was going through wine withdrawals and so we opened up some from Canirae, a small boutique winery in Mendoza. It was actually the very first winery we visited, and the story of the vineyard is adorable.

A French couple lived in Mendoza for work and absolutely fell in love with the city. The husband’s job opportunity ended and the couple did not want to leave. So, naturally, they bought an abandoned vineyard and named it after their favorite constellation. It was cute, intimate and we even met the owners during our tasting.

A Decade Later…

It’s unbelievable to look back at the first decade of this century. I remember the Y2K uproar sending families into a frenzy, stocking up on non-perishable food items and dreading the turn of the clock. Now, we’ve fast-forwarded 10 years and wondering what’s to come in 2011.

For me, the past 10 years were packed full of transitions, life lessons, friends, family and love. For the first time, I couldn’t depend on my parents completely, had to make my own choices and grew slowly into the person I am today.

Here are some of my highlights. What were yours?

2000, 08.19 Move In Day with Parents

2000: Transformed from a Southeast High School Golden Buffalo to a University of Kansas Jayhawk.


2001: Gathered with fellow students at a candlelight vigil near the Campanile in honor of 9/11 victims. Photo by Thad Allender for the LJ World.

2002: Spent the summer in France during a six-week study abroad program.

2003, 04.07 Final Four

2003: Celebrated my 21st at the Hawk and took a road trip to cheer on the Jayhawks in Final Four in New Orleans. Photo published in LJ World.

2004, 05.23 Graduation Family

2004: Graduated, but decided to stay in Lawrence through the end of the year (luckily because Cory and I met that fall).

2005, 05.11 Cannes Film Festival

2005: Spent five months in Cannes, France before moving to Chicago in July.

2006, 08.08 GAWLC Tour

2006: Earned a full-time position at Weber Shandwick, a large PR firm downtown, working on got milk? programs.

2007, 01.13 First Family Picture

2007: Picked up Reina Boo in Georgia in January.

2008, 09.07 Lovie at 5 Weeks

2008: Had puppies and kept Lovie Buddy (and introduced friends to their new pets: Phonsie, Diesel and Chalmers).

2009, 11.28 Just Engaged!!!

2009: Bought a condo and got engaged!

2010, 10.16 Wedding Day

2010: Decided to take a leap professsionally, got married and visited South America for the first time. Photo by Makena Coscarelli.

Thankful Thursday: My Real-Life Ninja Hero

Thanksgiving may have been weeks ago, but who needs a holiday to give some appreciation, right?

I know this may be cheesy, but I wanted to dedicate Thankful Thursday to Cory! Now, I’m no damsel in distress, but it’s been quite the year and Cory has been extremely supportive.

Top 5 reasons (in no particular order) of 2010 that I’m thankful for Cory:

  1. He encouraged me to finally get out of my comfort zone and embark on a journey of self-discovery.
  2. He wore a traditional Vietnamese gown for our engagement ceremony in August.
  3. He took me to South America for the first time!
  4. He continues to further connect with my family and friends.
  5. He put a (wedding) ring on it.

Starting off with a Big Bang

Well, it’s the first week of Thi2’s Takes, so we’re starting off with some lighthearted literary lovin’ – in the form of alliteration. Check back later today and throughout the week for posts featuring:

Thanks for visiting and hope one of these topics piques your interest to keep reading this week.