Friday, October 28, 2011

40 Days


I have often considered myself as a highly motivated person. I work hard, I exercise, and I try to take care of my family and friendships.

I was even motivated enough to pick up and move to Chicago. I needed a change in my life—and so I made it happen.

That’s how everything should work. You want something? Make it happen.

But now that I’m in Chicago and happy, I’ve kinda let go of everything else. I obsessively watched my diet back in Colorado, so I don’t need to do that here, right? I don’t need to run or lift because I’ll just naturally keep my figure through happiness, right?


I’ve been unhealthy since I moved. I thought I could beat the Midwest diet, but apparently I’m human. Being human sucks.

So, I’m vowing to put myself back on track. For 40 days and 40 nights, I want to make every choice a healthy choice. Snack nuts at work? No thanks. That candy bar? Nuh uh. And I for sure don’t need any more hamburgers. I also plan to work out every day. Even if it’s a short yoga video at home.

Just worry about TODAY. Make every day the best. Then smile.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

My Niece

My niece Ava's birthday is coming up on October 8th! I won't be there for their Halloween extravaganza birthday party, but I did get her some cute stuff from the Disney store. Shopping for kids is waaaay more fun than shopping for adults.

I was going through my e-mail this morning and ran across this video that my sister-in-law, Amber, sent me. The title is "Video Proof that I am the Worst Mother Ever."

Amber explains:

Ava and Andrew like to slide down the stairs. I changed the way they do it. I don't think you're supposed to teach two-year-olds this stuff. Whoops.

I think this is absolutely stellar! I can't stop laughing at the video.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Chi-town Balance

I promised that I'd get back to blogging and surprise, surprise I haven't been very good about posting.

It may sound weird, but I'm having such a great time here in Chicago that I'm afraid that if I write about it then that will ruin it. My secret bubble of happiness will burst or something.

Sometimes I worry that I'm not doing enough here. That I'm not taking full advantage of the city. But then I just reflected on everything that went on this past weekend and the guilt quickly faded away.

I'm discovering that I've finally, finally managed to get a balance in my life. I leave work at 5. I have not and will not tie my work e-mail to my phone. My weekdays are pretty low-key while I'm always exploring something new on my weekends.

Balance is happiness, my friends.

To give you an idea of my new life in the city, here's a glimpse at this past weekend:

On Friday, the director and producers from the ABC show, Shark Tank were filming in our offices. As both our CEOs were out, it was my job to make sure that everyone knew their way around the office and had everything they needed. The producer, Steven, and the director, Patrick, were both great guys! It was fascinating to see the whole filming process unfold. What's crazy is that a whole afternoon of filming will probably amount to only a couple minutes on the show.

George and Rolf, creators and inventors of Power Decal.

My desk will be famous!
After working late to make sure that everything wrapped up and they got out of the office okay, Nick met me at work and we rushed over to US Cellular Field to watch the Chicago Police versus Chicago Firefighters charity baseball game. This game was sooo much fun! 10-times better than a Cubs MLB game. We had such a great time!!

Watching Chicago's Finest
A great picture of Mariya, myself, and Nick!
It took up about a million shots to get the picture above, mostly because I have short arms and because Mariya likes to make faces for every picture she's in.
After the baseball game, we trecked out to Nick's side of town to meet his adorable dog and to grab a few more drinks. I'm not a huge beer drinker, but after a long week at work it was the nectar of the gods.

On Saturday morning I woke up and worked out with my awesome trainer, April. I'll do a whole separate post on her later. Just to make sure I was fully recovered and not under-fed, Mariya and I went out to Greek Town for some amazing Greek food.

Incredible appetizers. Look at those giant lima beans!
Meat pie wrapped in philo dough. Heaven,
Lamb with greek pasta
After the giant lunch and subsequent food coma, we rolled back home and spent the night watching Weeds. I'm new to this show and Mariya and I have only gotten to the third season, but this show is absolutely nuts! I'm constantly saying, "what the f---?!" at the end of every episode.

On Sunday I rolled my bum out of bed, threw in some laundry, and went to our playoff soccer games in Lincoln Park. The first game we won but the second game we lost in penalty kicks. Brutal! I've been playing with this team for about two months and I'm finally getting to know everyone on the team. They're a ton of fun! As I've always said, adult sports and leagues are a great way to both get outside for a little bit and get to know people! Everyone always has an interesting story.

So, there's a weekend in the new life of Claire. It's stellar. At least, I think so. :)

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

10lbs Heaver, 10x Happier

View of Chicago from my rooftop
According to Blogger, I haven't posted since May. My bad!

At first, I was so stuck in Boulder that I didn't want to post anything. Who wants to write about unhappiness? That just sucks. But now, I've been so busy and happy in Chicago that I haven't had the time!

And then I gained 10 lbs. Damn amazing Chicago fried food! Ack! So, I need to recommit to my fitness and my health and my blog while continuing to be happy with my life.

Do you ever get to the point where you sometimes forget what happiness is? I had forgotten in Colorado. I was just getting through each day. My life wasn't horrible, but it wasn't great. Moving was one of the best things I have ever done.

I'm also permanently on vacation out here---which means that I'm eating like I'm permanently on vacation. I literally had restaurant kettle-fried chips for dinner. Oops! Time to stop that. Right now.

So, dear friends (all two of you), I'm ready and excited to continue sharing my happy life and my struggles with you. There's so much to tell! I will forge ahead... again.

Friday, May 13, 2011


I've announced the news everywhere---at work, to my friends and family, on Facebook, on Twitter, and to my new account on Tumblr.

I just haven't announced it here. Without further ado:

I'm picking up and moving to Chicago. My last day of work is June 24th and I hope to be "shipping out" soon after.

I already have a place lined up that is directly downtown (and cheaper than what I currently pay in Boulder) and two awesome roommates.

Basically, I'm thrilled! I can't wait to go. I want to go now. Right... now.

I'm unsure how much I will continue to post to this blog. Obviously I haven't kept up with it lately as I should. Maybe I'll chronicle my move on here? Or, maybe I'll just keep the excitement to myself. :)

Most of my time lately has been devoted to my Tumblr account:

I’ve realized that, for the moment, Tumblr suits me much better. I can quickly and easily post the random pictures, articles, quotes, and videos that make me laugh or think.

Even better, I don’t have to write something interesting and profound with every post (as I feel I have to do here). Sometimes things speak for themselves. Sometimes they need a little help.

No matter what, I’m excited to keep sharing things with you, dear, dear reader. (All 2 1/2 of you.)

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


From PhotoPreneur

I love motivational statements and quotes. I have a little binder of quotes that I started in high school. Although I haven't added to it in years, this is one thing I would grab if a fire raged through the house.

I recently found a short, motivational article online at Men's Health and loved it (thanks, Twitter). This gets my quote-book-stamp-of-approval. You'll have to read the whole article here, but these are my two favorite tips: 

6 Navy SEAL Tips to Achieve Mental Strength   

Control Your Emotions Physically 

"Ask a family member or friend to study your posture when you're happy or content. Then practice it, over and over. Your psyche will follow your body. You can literally control your emotions this way."   

Break Big Goals into Small Targets 

"How do you eat an elephant? One mouthful at a time. Don't wake up Monday morning and say, 'Four days and 16 hours till Friday.' Instead, wake up and say, 'Two hours till breakfast.' And then, 'Three hours till lunch.' Try to stay in the present."


I admit that I catch myself slouching. My physical actions can be disheartening and I can feel it everywhere.  

So, Claire, stand up straight! Take every day moment by moment! Smile! 


Sewing, Family, Friends

A lot has been going on these past few weeks, and I apologize for being MIA. (A constant apology.)

I often think that the things I do aren't exciting, until a few weeks go by and a number of pictures build up. So, I'll make this posting somewhat short and sweet.

First of all, sewing

(Between sewing and cooking, I may eventually become a "woman" rather than just a "tomboy.") 

Emily had an excellent idea last month to take a "Sewing 101" class at a downtown shop called the Fancy Tiger. Before this I had never touched a sewing machine in my life! I managed to get through the course without blowing anything up and I completed a small project. Emily and I are now determined to conquer the sewing world. I'm not nearly as good as Em at this point, but I did just complete my first at-home project! It took two days and thousands of times reseting the bobbin, but I completed it. The stitching is crooked and pooled up in places, but it's all a learning process, right? Right. Whew!

Sewing machine that I inherited from Amber

It's a purse organizer!

Rolled up neatly to fit in a purse

Second, family!

My family and I were finally able to get together for  a "Christmas in April" party. It was great to see everyone and exchange white-elephant gifts. I got some stellar water bottles (an item that I could never own enough of). Some pictures of my amazing fam:

We look amazing! I promised Amber that I'd post this picture online.

Christmas in April chaos

Ava helped with all the presents

Andrew already has his hands on a tool set. We're all doomed.

The guys with Lexi.

My mom, Alissa, and Peter

Aunt Debbie and Andrew

What a beautiful family! Jason, Katie, and Lexi

Evan and Nicole

Finally, friends!

A group of us went to see the Rapids' home opener. They are the 2010 defending MLS cup champs! I have to admit that I didn't watch a single game last year---not even the playoffs. I'm a terrible soccer fan. I love playing the game, but I don't like watching it much. I'd rather watch hockey. Anywhoo... it was a windy evening, but still gorgeous and fun!

I also got to see Sol and Daria the other day. I love having these handsome men in my life.

Hot dogs!

Gorgeous sunset

Daria and Soloman

Monday, March 28, 2011

"Date a Girl Who Reads"

I was pointed to this through Twitter, and subsequently adored it. It's from, and it's perfect:

"Date a girl who reads. Date a girl who spends her money on books instead of clothes. She has problems with closet space because she has too many books. Date a girl who has a list of books she wants to read, who has had a library card since she was twelve.

Find a girl who reads. You’ll know that she does because she will always have an unread book in her bag.She’s the one lovingly looking over the shelves in the bookstore, the one who quietly cries out when she finds the book she wants. You see the weird chick sniffing the pages of an old book in a second hand book shop? That’s the reader. They can never resist smelling the pages, especially when they are yellow.

She’s the girl reading while waiting in that coffee shop down the street. If you take a peek at her mug, the non-dairy creamer is floating on top because she’s kind of engrossed already. Lost in a world of the author’s making. Sit down. She might give you a glare, as most girls who read do not like to be interrupted. Ask her if she likes the book.

Buy her another cup of coffee.

Let her know what you really think of Murakami. See if she got through the first chapter of Fellowship. Understand that if she says she understood James Joyce’s Ulysses she’s just saying that to sound intelligent. Ask her if she loves Alice or she would like to be Alice.

It’s easy to date a girl who reads. Give her books for her birthday, for Christmas and for anniversaries. Give her the gift of words, in poetry, in song. Give her Neruda, Pound, Sexton, Cummings. Let her know that you understand that words are love. Understand that she knows the difference between books and reality but by god, she’s going to try to make her life a little like her favorite book. It will never be your fault if she does.

She has to give it a shot somehow.

Lie to her. If she understands syntax, she will understand your need to lie. Behind words are other things: motivation, value, nuance, dialogue. It will not be the end of the world.

Fail her. Because a girl who reads knows that failure always leads up to the climax. Because girls who understand that all things will come to end. That you can always write a sequel. That you can begin again and again and still be the hero. That life is meant to have a villain or two.

Why be frightened of everything that you are not? Girls who read understand that people, like characters, develop. Except in the Twilight series.

If you find a girl who reads, keep her close. When you find her up at 2 AM clutching a book to her chest and weeping, make her a cup of tea and hold her. You may lose her for a couple of hours but she will always come back to you. She’ll talk as if the characters in the book are real, because for a while, they always are.

You will propose on a hot air balloon. Or during a rock concert. Or very casually next time she’s sick. Over Skype.

You will smile so hard you will wonder why your heart hasn’t burst and bled out all over your chest yet. You will write the story of your lives, have kids with strange names and even stranger tastes. She will introduce your children to the Cat in the Hat and Aslan, maybe in the same day. You will walk the winters of your old age together and she will recite Keats under her breath while you shake the snow off your boots.

Date a girl who reads because you deserve it. You deserve a girl who can give you the most colorful life imaginable. If you can only give her monotony, and stale hours and half-baked proposals, then you’re better off alone. If you want the world and the worlds beyond it, date a girl who reads.

Or better yet, date a girl who writes."

— Rosemary Urquico

Monday, March 14, 2011

The Onion Wins Again

I've always been a hockey fan, but recently I've been a borderline obsessed hockey fan.

Blame it on HBO's 24/7 Penguins v. Capitals documentary. This show managed to highlight both the beauty and strengths of the game itself as well as reveal the behind-the-scenes personalities of the players and coaches (not all of whom are beautiful or strong when the mask is off).

Men. Sweat. Hockey. Muscles.

This girl is in heaven!

But the game also has some humor behind it. Take, for example, The Onion's expertly crafted list of pros and cons of some the game's top players. Too funny!

Wayne Gretzky
Martin Brodeur
Sidney Crosby
Alexander Ovechkin

My favorite line is one of Wayne Gretzky's weak sides: "Um... Couldn't... Fly?"

Life's Answers

I'm a planner.

I want answers.

Especially when it comes to my own life. I like knowing where I'm going to be in 6-months, a year, even 5-years. But, I'm quickly learning that being an adult it isn't that easy.

As an "adult," I now have the education, the ability, the health, and the knowledge that I can go wherever I want to go and do whatever I want to do.

But when the whole world is open to you, where do you go? Where do you even begin?

Call it a quarter-life crises. Call it opportunity.

Just tell me the answer please? Someone? Anyone?

Nevermind, I’ll figure it out for myself. Because these decisions are the joy of being an adult. (I think.)

I want my mommy.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Random Updates

I know I'm not very consistent with posting and updating. Sorry about that!

So, here are some random life updates from the past few weeks.

First of all, it was recently Denver's 5280 Restaurant Week! This is where a number of top restaurants in the area create a 3-course menu that costs only $52.80 per couple. I've never done this before and to make up for lost time I went to four restaurants in a two-week period. I don't think I've ever eaten so much food in my life---and it was absolutely worth it. The places we checked out were:

John's Restaurant (Boulder)
The Cork  House (Denver)
Arugula (Boulder)
8 Rivers (Denver)

The winners? John's, by far, for their incredible food and 8 Rivers for the awesome company.

To continue on with my life, the rest of this presentation will be brought to you by my awesome Panasonic camera.

Adam's birthday party in Blackhawk. Here are all the handsome men.
My car on a snowy March morning.
Long hike outside of Golden. You can see downtown Denver in the distance.
You can also see multimillion dollar homes on this hike. Le sigh.
We FINALLY won our indoor league!! (We were able to pull this off even after forfeiting the first 2 games of the season. Holla!)
Kyle and I at DU's playoff hockey game. Go Pios! (Notice the cheap photocopy? This is what my $40k/year education paid for. Awesome.)
Team huddle.
We won 3-2 in overtime!!!
The team saluting their crowd.
I ran in Denver's St. Patty's Day race this weekend. I was slow as I haven't been training much, but it was still good to get out there.

And, as you know, a blog post of mine wouldn't be complete without pictures of food. Lots and lots of food.

French onion soup in the crock pot.
The final result of the soup. Yum!
Shredded chicken from the crock pot. Ridiculously easy.
This was supposed to be a artichoke ravioli-type dish. Obviously it didn't turn out quite as I had envisioned.
Homemade mac n' cheese! It's filled with crumbled bacon, shredded chicken, and topped with breadcrumbs. Artery-clogging goodness.

Friday, March 11, 2011

The Perfect Body?

Body image is a difficult issue.

I struggle with it. Almost everyone I know struggles with it in some form or another.

I also pride myself as an athlete. Am I an Olympian? Buahaha! Absolutely not. But I do love anything fun and active.

My sister-in-law recently forwarded this article on to me. It's photographic proof that there is no ideal body type, even for Olympic athletes---and these people use their bodies to make a living.

Check out this article and flip through the pictures. Good stuff!

Does this assuage all my fears about the perfect body image? No. But it does help.