Category Archives: Gal Pals

We’re Becoming Labbies

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During last year’s Chicago Innovation Awards, I learned of the Makers Lab– a space in the Chicago Public Library (Harold Washington branch) featuring new technology and workshops. The best part? It’s all free. I’ve been trying to get in to classes since November.

And I finally did.

Two weeks ago, Amanda and I (and her baby bump) headed to the lab to create 3D cuff bracelets. After placing together shapes in TinkerCAD software, we picked our plastic color and watched a printer create crazy designs. I had no idea how insanely cool and efficient 3D printing is. Seeing other objects the team put together, I was completely mesmerized by this animal figurine with moveable legs, and the fact it was all built on the same plane. No assembly required.

Last week, a few of us from work went over to try the Laser Cutter printer during the Name Plate workshop. Using a program similar to Illustrator, we created our words and phrases. I went with “Write On” as a not-so subtle reminder/encouragement for the desk.

Below are photos from the first visit making bracelets. My bracelet printed in a boxed printer, so you couldn’t really see what was going on. Thankfully, Amanda printed in the open space!

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No Place Like Home

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This past weekend, Lisa, Baby B and I headed back to Kansas for a much-needed reunion. And even though we didn’t get to see stars up in the sky, we still had our Mi Ranchito, Mama/Papa Z day, and surviving on Peanut Butter M&Ms traditions.

“Oh, you’re the best friends anybody ever had. And it’s funny, but I feel as if I’d known you all the time, but I couldn’t have, could I?” — Dorothy, The Wizard of Oz

Belated Birthday Celebrations for Katie and rockin' a new Spring 'do!

Rockin’ a new Spring ‘do at Kati’e Belated Birthday Celebrations

Baby B getting her Jayhawk shopping on

Baby B getting her Jayhawk shopping on

Driving Away the Worries

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It was above 60ºF. It was a Monday. The motto was: just make contact.

The roommate and I took advantage of a twilight session at the driving range last night. Despite living within one block from this place, I had yet to head over there. We could find no excuse not to go after a hard day at the office and beautiful evening weather.

The last time I picked up clubs was a few years ago when Mom, Grandpa and I were together. Despite the fact Grammy and Grandpa gave me golf lessons (either for my 13th or 16th birthday), I still have much to improve in the way of my game.

Needless to say a tradition is set. Though today it’s 30ºF, so we may have to wait a bit for our next venture.

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#STPSochi2014

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For her birthday party this year, gal pal Amanda took full advantage of Olympic fever and hosted a shindig complete with Olympic activities and a firm dress code. #STPSochi2014 took place this past weekend at Fat Pour and with three events (Cross Country Pong, Figure Pinning and Chubby Bunny Biathlon), there were many opportunities to land on the podium.

I went back and forth on my costume. Do I wear all denim and go as a Canadian Tuxedo? Do I curl my hair, wear crazy pants and go as a curler? Finally, I took a cue and inspiration from the opening ceremonies.

Remember as a country enters the arena, they have a flag holder? And next to that flag holder is a gal announcing the country names? They looked straight out of Hunger Games. And were exactly what I would mimic.

Using a white dress, silver pipe cleaners, a headband, a hula hoop and some paper, I created my outfit for the day. Needless to say, didn’t really think through the whole commuting to the bar, but thankfully Melissa threw me in the backseat of her car. The party was total fun and I took home a silver in the Cross Country Pong event. We all were still riding that thrilling Hockey game in the morning, so nothing was dampening our spirits.

When we left, we decided to hit up Smoke Daddy’s for dinner. I cut myself free of my hula hoop and realized with the white dress and silver medal, I looked like one Nancy Kerrigan á la Lillehammer Olympics.

Should the Summer Games ever hit right with my birthday, I clearly know the winning theme.

Preparing for the Cross Country Pong event while not breaking character

Preparing for the Cross Country Pong event while not breaking character

Medal Biting Ceremony

Medal Biting Ceremony

Meet and Greets

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Between the holidays, the never ending Polar Vortex and a busy work schedule, life as gotten the best of me. As I sit here hyped up on some Alka-Seltzer on yet another Work From Home day (thanks to those tundra temperatures), I figured I should take some time to update.

Within the past two months, I met two people I’ve been waiting to meet since 2004. And three weeks ago, I got to meet a tiny little lass I’ve been waiting to see and hold since August.

First up, the Bernings. Fate dealt us one sweet card when Matthias and his parents ventured down to Chicago the same weekend Mom was in town. We’ve heard a lot about Matthias’s parents over the years, but we’ve never met, as they don’t come to the States all that often. This meeting/reunion of sorts was my absolute favorite part of the holiday season. We all easily fit into conversations with each other, though Matthias had to jump in every now and then and wow us with his seamless German-English-German speech. The weather wasn’t the best, though I spent the whole day in fits of giggles and smiles. A Christmas miracle? Nah, just much overdue.

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After some time Facetiming with Lisa and Baby Beckett, I ended up having a work trip out to Colorado. Lucky for me, the presentation was on a Friday, which meant I could take the weekend with the Watsons down in Colorado Springs and finally meet Baby B. I was pretty excited and anxious as well as a little more than nervous. I cannot tell you the last time I held a baby. After a drive (and gossip sesh) from Denver to the Springs with just Lisa, I arrived to Watson Manor ready to meet Baby B. We both played coy. And during the Kansas game the next day we moved into the “hold me” phase. Thankfully, there’s one thing Baby B and I cannot get enough of…books.

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Sharing some book love while dressed in Rock Chalk attire

Even with the mood swings of Old Man Winter, it’s hard to complain too much. Especially since Restaurant Week is going on and Sundance U.S.A. is this Thursday. Needless to say, there’s not much meandering around the city though enjoying the quiet, downtime of “too-cold-for-tourists” season.

Fill the Silence

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I’ve noticed dinner parties/rooftop gatherings/patio meet-ups are quickly becoming more favorable than heading to nights out at bars for drinks and cocktails among friends. So naturally, we have to be nearing adulthood right?? Adulthood or not, I will say the conversation topics have shifted. Talk that surrounding pop culture and trips of nostalgia, has now become “Guess what I learned this week?” and “You’ll never believe this, but …” Maybe chalk it up to Buzzfeed with the endless lists of things you never knew about your favorite films, bands, TV shows, etc. Whatever it is, I walk away from these nights with new facts for trivia nights, perfect since that season is right around the corner.

During my daily blog run down, I came across Fill the Silence. It’s a fun Tumblr with random facts sure to spice up conversation at the next dinner table. There are only a few pages, so feel free to go back through the archives, you won’t get lost in a never-ending hole for the next 2 hours (like most Tumblrs). Two of my favorite findings below from the site.

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Via A Cup of Jo