Monday, December 31, 2012


In looking at my year of pictures, I'm reminded that 2012 was pretty amazing for me. I'm looking forward to a fresh start of new possibilities in 2013, and am hopeful, like always, that I will find much love, luck and peace in the new year to come. The photos below are in no particular order, but are some of my favorites and most memorable experiences of the past year. What does your year in review look like?


I found many ways to give back to the community this year by fundraising and volunteering. I met the artist, Rafael, after having helped paint the Addison street community mural he created.
I vowed to take advantage of what my city had to offer, and explored much more of it this year.  One of my favorites was "Dragon" by Cirque Shanghai at Navy Pier...

I made new friends this year, and strengthened existing bonds as well (and rocked a few concerts along the way)

Saw Ron Santo added to the Hall of Fame and enjoyed many a Cubs game this year with new and old friends alike.

I expanded my horizons and attended an educational photo seminar at Wolf Park. I enjoyed intertwining my love of animals and nature with my creative side. Additionally, I loved learning more about animal behavior at the Anti-Cruelty Society's seminars and enjoyed the Pet Expo as well!

I learned to enjoy the scenery along the way and have captured many a nature scene via my smart phone. (Thistle photo taken while participating in the Out of the Darkness Walk with friends)

I challenged myself, and then some, by participating in and completing the world's toughest challenge on the planet, the Tough Mudder.
I couldn't add just one photo of my trip to Wolf Park

I enjoyed yoga on the beach in both California and Chicago this year. I was happy to travel to the sunny state early in the year for work, and enjoyed yoga and running on the beach - can't wait to do it again!

I found I love volunteering at Lincoln Park Zoo and have met some really great people and made new friends. I've learned more then I ever thought possible about the zoo and it's inhabitants and am super excited to continue volunteering in 2013.

I completed 20 races this year and logged over 100 competitive miles breaking all personal records to date.

I enjoyed learning ASL and met some really cool chicks along the way!
The eldest bacheolor troop gorilla, Azizi (one of my favorite photos) taken at Lincoln Park Zoo.

My favorite theater! I enjoyed a few musicals and productions this year, including The Addams Family and War Horse with family, adopted family and friends!

I went gluten-free and am loving the health benefits! I have fallen madly in love with Rose's Wheat Free Bakery in Evanston and am so ecstatic that the business will be around for a long time despite some recent hardships! I've found numerous gluten free offerings in the city that are delish-ous and can't wait to keep exploring.

Bring on 2013 - a new year and new photos to come!

Sunday, December 30, 2012


It's the last Sunday of the year and since tomorrow is Monday and the start of a fresh week, my new workout routine starts. Although January 1st brings on all the promise of a fresh year, I can't make any sense of starting something new on a Tuesday versus a Monday. I'm guessing lots of readers have similar new year resolutions (to workout/diet) and will start a new on the 1st, but I can't say working out is anything new for me, rather I'm just switching up what I do.

I've been struggling since my tailbone injury and a pinched nerve to find a challenging workout that won't aggravate my issues, (I dearly miss my Cross-Fit class) so back to the Body for Life program I go. It's a great routine and easy to follow. I just purchased the Body For Life Success Journal and downloaded some new tunes for my I-pod - this girl is ready to hit it, and hit it hard.

But with all that said above and talk of resolutions, I have decided to change things up a bit for 2013. Instead of focusing on things like, "get skinny" or "get rich", I'd rather focus on how I feel. Meaning, if I want to feel healthy, I ask myself what do I have to do to get there? How do I feel healthy? The answer is I feel healthiest when I'm working out, eating well, and practicing yoga. Additionally, I feel healthy and happy when I'm giving back and volunteering, and (hopefully) inspiring others. I feel healthy when I forgive others, and let all the bullshit of the day go and focus on friends and family (admittedly, sometimes easier said then done). Pretty easy right? This frame of mind and choice of "resolution" seems much more forgiving then torturing one's self with the scale, right?

As for that comment about getting rich - how does one feel rich with limited money? I've got a plan for that too - save money, give to others, and realize that not all riches are monetary, of course. Easy-peasy, right? It will be as easy as I want it to be. Resolutions after all, are really just a frame of mind. How do you plan to feel in the new year?

PS) This author is going to start feeling happy immediately by finally pulling a nail out of the living room wall that has been there since I moved in 5+ years ago. It's constantly made me think it was a bug on the wall when I catch a glimpse of it!