obsessing over: i'm not really obsessing over anything at the moment, but i can't help but want to buy a ton of new summer dresses and skirts. i have enough already, but can't seem to resist a new one if it's a good bargain, haha.

working on: changing up my workout routine. i tried rock climbing at my gym the other night and although i'm terrible at it, it was really fun. luckily my friend dan works in the rock wall area, and helped me out a lot. it definitely made me feel more comfortable than learning from a stranger. i made it halfway up the wall a couple times. i'm hoping to make it to the top by my 3rd time ;)

thinking about: my friend's cookout/pig roast/massive party this weekend in wisconsin (it's going to be so much fun), our company canoe trip next month :) & upcoming plans/parties in july. one of my dear friends tim is moving to LA in july. it's sad to see him go, but i think it will be a good move for him. but why is california slowly stealing my social circle?! maybe i'll have to make my way out there someday.

 canoe trip email // tim & i at his birthday party this year

listening to: the civil wars' album barton hollow (& their daytrotter session) and sleep out's new album black cat found. sleep out is actually my boss' band, he plays the drums.

watching: true blood, the newsroom, hbo movies, old grey's episodes. the newsroom just started last sunday night on hbo, and i thought the pilot was amazing! if you get a chance, be sure to check it out!

reading: "fifty shades of grey" still. and i totally take back my comment about it being a good pool read.... uh, not anymore, lol. unless i was reading it on a kindle or something, which i'm not. i can only read a couple chapters at a time, and then i lose interest, so i'm looking for a couple new summer reads. any suggestions??

wishing: for more summer weekends (b/c mine are already filling up so quick!), for a little rain to relieve this crazy midwest heat (but not this weekend please),  and for more time to blog/photograph/read.

hope you all have a great weekend! 

7 question #15

old photo from my college years, and i have no idea why i'm making this face.

1. if you could be any princess - which would you be and why?
like any princess from a movie or book or something like that? my first thought was aurora from sleeping beauty. i've always thought that her name was beautiful, she has loving parents, and a handsome prince charming. not a bad deal. however, i would like to have a normal princess childhood & skip all that evil fairy nonsense ;)

2. do you have any odd habits?
i have a few, and probably more that i'm not aware of, but this is the one that popped in my head first: i eat all sandwiches PLAIN. just the meat and bread, occasionally with some cheese, but not usually. i'm not a fan of lettuce, tomatoes, and all of the other "extras" on regular sandwiches. sometimes i don't even eat the bread, just the meat, haha (i usually only do that with steak or pulled pork sandwiches, not the deli kind).

3. what's your "go to" outfit?
if i don't have to dress up for anything in particular, i will usually wear a heather grey v-neck tshirt/tanktop, jeans, and sneakers/flip flops. i'm all about the comfort factor.

4. do you have any siblings? what are their genders, ages, order of age, names, etc?
yes, i have a younger sister sarah. she is 2 1/2 years younger than me (currently 25). she's pretty much awesome. best sister i could've ever asked for.

5. what's your favorite precious stone?
a diamond i suppose, followed closely by sapphire. diamonds go with anything, but the sapphire blue is gorgeous.

6. if you had a check in your hand for 1 million dollars, what would you do with it?
pay off my debt, my parents' debt, my grandma's debt, my sister's debt, and then i'd pay off chester's debt, too. i would by a house for myself. and after that, i'd probably get a new car... nothing terribly fancy, but nicer than i could ever afford now :)

7. what do you love most about yourself - physically (eyes, smile, hair, etc)?
i like my eyes. they were a really dark brown throughout my childhood (i used to say i had "black" eyes when i was really little), and as i get older, they have been lightening up a little bit & i can notice some green highlights near my iris. just like my mom's eyes :)

link up!

VVS - it's serious people

my boss sent me this video last week and i forgot to share it on here. hilarious. any video people out there will appreciate this :)

and yes, i myself have been guilty of this a couple times, but not anymore! 

7 questions #14

i missed the 7 questions #13 because i was without blogging capabilities on my last day in vegas, but i'm excited that the 7 question posts are back! now on to #14:

(my mom & i at father's day dinner on sunday. i asked my sister to snap a photo of us and she took a "prep" shot.)

1. what do you do when you're sick? (do you act like a baby? tough it out? have any weird cravings? cry?)
i do tend to act like a baby, lol. i get some comfort food (as long as i don't have the flu) and watch endless amount of tv curled up in bed. recently my allergies were just awful when i was working late one night, and my sinuses started to hurt really bad. the last time that happened i had a sinus infection for 10 DAYS. i was pretty upset, and ending up calling chester whimpering & crying a bit. luckily he was able to recommend some medicine and i was fine the next day. again, i'm a baby.

2. what do you do to find motivation when you feel you've lost it?
i guess it depends on what i need motivation for. as far as staying fit, i usually ALWAYS need a kick in the butt to go to the gym. and almost every time i think about skipping it "just for today". but then i put on my workout clothes, and by then i tell myself to just get it over with, haha. by the time i get to the gym, i get pumped and work out longer than i was planning to.

as far as motivation for photography or craftiness, pinterest does a good job. but is that more inspiration than motivation? :/ maybe.

3. do you wish time away or do you savor every moment?
i guess it depends on what i am doing. a slow day at work? i wish that time would just fly by. hanging out with chester, my friends, or my family? i definitely try to savor every moment, especially if it's a vacation or out-of-town experience.

4. if you could be any mythological creature, what would you be, and why?
ok, i had to google "mythological creature" to make sure i was choosing from the right group of creatures, lol. when i first read this question, i immediately thought that i'd like to be rob stark's direwolf from "game of thrones". i wouldn't mind following rob into battle, haha. and those wolves grow up to be pretty badass!

but if a direwolf doesn't count (i don't know, does it?) then i would be pegasus because it would be pretty cool to fly around.

5. what is your current biggest weakness and are you working on fixing it?
um, probably overanalyzing everything. that's been a weakness for a while, which brings along a lot of worry and stress. i definitely try not to overanalyze as much as i used to, especially if it's over something that i cannot change. but it's a gradual process.

6. how do you greet someone when meeting them for the first time?
"hello, i'm stephanie. it's nice to meet you", and i'll shake their hand.

7. how do you grocery shop? (do you write up a list? go in with no idea what you're looking for? have meal plans? bring your own shopping bags?)
ok, if you are a list-maker like me and haven't downloaded the clear app yet, then you are missing out!
i usually add to my list within that app before i need to get food, then if i want or need more, i branch off the list while i'm at the store. i definitely don't plan out meals, but get ingredients that give me a little flexibility.

i'm glad that 7 questions are back! i missed them! if you want to join in, be sure to link up!


i know, more pool photos. but now that summer is here, i'm obsessed with being at the pool! 

obsessing over: summer plans, my financial situation (boo to being an adult), keeping my vacation tan (seriously, i don't know why i'm so obsessed with that, i have the whole summer to get tan), getting back into my workout routine, eating cleaner/healthier

working on: blogging more often, taking more photos (both everyday shots and photos with friends), cutting back on junk food and snacking, reading more, being outside more

thinking about: summer plans, my diet, changing up a few things on my blog layout, old friends, my family, old memories

listening to: john mayer's born and raised still, fleet foxes, my running playlist (made up of crappy club music... i know, but it makes running easier, lol)

watching: the killing. seriously, if i don't know who killed rosey larsen by the end of this season, i'm giving up. i caught up on sunday's episode last night, and i have to say that i didn't see those last few minutes coming. very interesting. and *spoiler* linden's psychiatrist was also her fiance?! i hope they expand on that whole thing a little more. game of thrones is over (sadly), but true blood starts this sunday!!! i need a refresher on last season, i forget how it ended.

reading: "fifty shades of grey". yep, i jumped on that bandwagon. it makes for a good pool read. i'm only about 3 chapters in, but i do have to agree with a friend's opinion that it's very much like "bella swan in college". but i'll still give it a chance. i did read all of the twilight books after all ;)

wishing: that my parents and my sister were only a 5 minute drive away. i would LOVE to meet them up for mid-week dinners like old times. i'm also hoping chester and i can get our late summer vacation planned soon. i always feel better when flights & hotel rooms are booked. then i get really excited :)

my vegas vacation

over the memorial day weekend (well, sunday through wednesday for us), chester and i met up with 3 of our couple friends in las vegas. i've been to vegas a few times before, but i was really excited for this trip because of the group dynamic. we were all on the same page which makes a vacation stress-free and really enjoyable. plus it was nice to vacation with friends that i had not travelled with before :)

ok, on to the photos:

we all stayed at the cosmopolitan. it's a fairly new hotel on the strip and had a younger crowd, which was perfect for us. my friend jason's company, digital kitchen, did a lot of work for the hotel, and it turned out so cool! jason worked on a design for the entryway (he's standing next to it in the photo), and worked on concepts for the video screens throughout the hotel. i wish i had taken more photos of these videos b/c they were so well done. the entire lobby was made up of these video columns, and it was a really amazing sight. if you're ever in vegas, be sure to check out the comso's lobby.

chester and i had an awesome wraparound terrace suite. wow. it was so cool. and we had a great view. i was able to snap a couple of panoramic shots via my iphone and the photosynth app. my favorite shot is the second to last one of this set above, where the sky is in the process of changing colors :)

memorial day was spent at the boulevard pool at our hotel. we made sure to snag a prime location early in the morning, and ended up spending 8 hours there! (we were smart about spf, which was key or we would all be miserable, lol.) most of the pool area near our chairs was very shallow, about 6 inches or so, which i thought was silly until i could barely stand the heat laying in my chair. we easily were able to lay out in the shallow water, keep cool & still work on our tans, haha. this part of the day was one of my favorite parts of the trip. very mellow and low key, but still a lot of fun. the multiple pitchers of mojitos & sangria helped out too.

i love this shot! our friends posted it on facebook and i snagged it right away. thanks tom for the awesome photo idea :)

and of course, we had a lot of fun going out at night. we went to tryst (at the wynn hotel) sunday night and marquee (at the cosmopolitan) monday night. both nights we were lucky enough to snag some table space without having to get bottle service (which was ridiculously expensive). we had great food, good strong drinks, and so much fun.

on tuesday, our dear friends made their ways back home, and chester and i had the night to ourselves. unfortunately i don't have any photos of our time, mostly because i was trying to enjoy the moments without having to photograph everything. it really was nice to have that quality time, just the two of us. oh! and we had THE BEST SUSHI! not kidding, this stuff was amazing and i've been craving it ever since. we got a late start to our evening when our nap lasted 3 hours, lol, but luckily the blue ribbon sushi bar was open til 1am. we had an awesome server who recommended 3 amazing sushi plates, and we ate every last bit. our favorite was the "me bachi maguro zuke", which was "marinated big eye tuna, mizuna salad, with garlic chips and ponzu". i don't usually order sashimi, but this stuff was soooo gooood. the tuna was marinated in garlic for two days and it was divine. if you like sushi and are in las vegas, be sure to check this place out!

it was the best vacation that i've been on in a loooooong time. we're hoping to go back in august already! haha. luckily i was sort of eased back into my regular schedule, and am officially caught up on emails, blogs, and tv shows. ya know, the important stuff ;) but this whole 5 day work thing will take some time getting used to.

'til next time,

i'm back!

hello hello! i'm back from my fabulous las vegas vacation. i do have to say though, my homecoming is bittersweet, haha. it's pretty chilly here in IL, and i would give anything to be lounging poolside with my friends again. but at least i came back to a two day work week, and now it's the weekend again :) i'm looking forward to a relaxing few days, and hopefully it will warm enough to lay out a bit (to keep my vacation tan). i'll be back soon with more photos from my trip. hope you all have a great weekend!