Adulting: Buying a Condo, Part III: …in the SUBURBS

I love Chicago. It took me a few years, a bunch of new friends, and multiple jobs I enjoy for me to like it, but I have learned to love this city. With its cultural sites, multitude of parks, plethora of exciting restaurants, and never-ending new bar scene, Chicago is pretty great. Yet, when I decided it was time to buy a condo, Oak Park was my #1 choice. There are multiple reasons why OP seems to be the place for me at this time in my life, and the biggest one is I wanted a community (i.e. a place I could call home, a vibing yoga scene, good schools for my future children, friends nearby, and so on).

At the same time that I’m excited to move to Oak Park, I’m also sad as can be to leave Chicago. I know it’s not far – technically 10 minutes by train! I admit I have stated on many occasions how much I disdain the suburbs. But, OP is cool, I promise! Sure, there are a few chain restaurants that end in an ‘s, but not very many! And there’s a booming downtown with nary a strip mall in sight. There’s a restaurant scene, and a bar scene, and (hopefully!) a singles’ scene. So while I loathe the suburbs, I don’t think of Oak Park as a suburb – it’s more like an extension of Chicago. A sparkly, expensive, pretty extension of Chicago.

And while it’s not far from the city (it even touches Chicago!!), it’ll be a little trickier to go to all of the places I really like here on a regular basis. So, I’ve made a Chicago bucket list! I leave Chicago in just over a month, so let me know if you want to join me in saying “See you soon! It’s not forever! I promise I’ll be back real soon!” at one of these places.

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Sex and the City was 20 Years Ago, but the Dating Scene is Still the Same :(

I started watching Sex and City again. This time, from the very beginning. Season 1 Episode 1. 2018 marks the 20th anniversary. And while the characters don’t have cell phones, Facebook, or constant contact with their “friends”, it’s quite interesting how much we have in common: in both eras women just want to find love, but the men out there are slim pickings.

This past weekend, my grandparents, parents and I were watching some home movies. Everyone was so happy in the movies. Both my grandparents and parents laughed at the fun they were having with all of their kids. The VHS recordings made me want to have children even more than my little eggs and hormones already tell me I do. I want that same happiness my family had and still has. Someday, I want to have my own home movies to watch with my children and grandchildren.

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Adulting: Buying a Condo, Part II: Yep, I’m Single

I haven’t talked about it much to many people, unless you’ve asked me point blank, but the rumors are true: I found a condo!! Firstly, yup, I’m super jazzed. I’m now addicted as f#$k to Pinterest, Craigslist, and OfferUp. I bought a graph notebook and have been playing around with ideas for how I want to set up each room…

IMG_2590

…complete with little graph paper furniture that I can rearrange.

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Top 5 Coolest Sites in the World!

I’ve been a lot of awesome places with a lot of awesome sites to see. Here is a countdown of my top 5 favorite sites in the world!

5. Brooklyn Bridge (+Grimaldi’s Pizza)

Anytime anyone asks what to do in New York City, I tell them go to the Brooklyn Bridge at dusk so you can take pictures during the sunlight and at night. By walking the bridge, you get to see the skylines of both Manhattan and Brooklyn. Though you have to share the bridge with bikers and a whole lotta tourists, the cars drive on the platform underneath. Whether you start or end in Brooklyn, it’s a must that you go to Grimaldi’s Pizza next to the bridge. The pizza is traditional New York style (which is the best kinda style, sorrrrrry, Chicago <3). There’s no alcohol served and sometimes there’s a wait, but it’s so damn worth it.

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Should I Prioritize My Love Life?

Remember that one time I said I was ready to buy a condo? That was due in part to the fact that I was done focusing on finding a husband/relationship (you know, whichever comes first). I was never giving up on finding a mate, but I was no longer going to make it my sole focus.

Earlier this week, I saw a condo in Oak Park for a second time that I’m really digging. Driving there, I started to have a mini-panic attack. What was I doing?! Was I really going to replace my desire to find a man with my desire to buy a home? Was I really ready to give up on men being my #1 priority????

Okay, so of course, men were/are not my no. 1 priority, but finding one of my soulmates was/is up there on my to-do list. I know that by buying my own place it doesn’t mean I can’t still find and/or look for a mate, but it does take my thoughts away from the husband-finding process. Which, I KNOW is a good thing, but it’s darn scary! I’ve spent so much time and energy looking for *the one* that I think I’m going through withdrawals.

So, yea, guys, I’m freaking out a little. It’s definitely first-time-home-buyer jitters. But it’s also this worry that I’m making a mistake by not prioritizing my love life.

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An Ode to Friendships

As 2017 comes to a close and I prepare for the last crappy dinner party of the year, I wanted to write a post about how thankful I am for my friendships.

There’s this saying that friendships are either for a reason, a season, or a lifetime. I’m sure you can think of a friend who was only in your life long enough to teach you something or to show you the way {reason}. Maybe you have a friendship that lasted only while you were employed at the same place, attending the same school, or playing on the same sports team {season}. And many of us are lucky enough to have friendships that’ve lasted through it all and those friends that will stand by you no matter what {lifetime}.

As I was lamenting the end of a friendship while sitting on my therapist’s couch a while back, she told me, “Ashley, what if you still had all of the friends you’d ever made? How would you have time for all of them? You wouldn’t! And they wouldn’t all have time for you.” She’s right (as she typically is). Yes, it is sad when a friendship ends. Two-fold silver lining, though:

  1. Maybe you learned something from that friend {reason} or maybe he/she made your life better while you were together for that period of time {season}
  2. I remember all of the wonderful friendships I still have!

And with all of those wonderful friendships I have, we do some really wonderful things together. Here are some of my favorites:

Crappy Dinner Parties

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Taking Chicago by storm…one date, one yoga class, one salsa lesson, one blog post, one trip, one drink, one meal, one new friendship at a time.