• Amazing People,  Friends,  My Friends Have Mad Skillz

    Personal Evolution: It’s a Thing.

    I enjoyed lunch with an old friend today, someone who I last saw only in passing when we were teaching spin classes at the same health club (years ago). Our lives have been intertwined in a bunch of different ways since we met in late 1995. I used to care for her school-aged kids in the health club nursery while she taught classes at night and on school holidays, and years later her daughter babysat for my boys in the summer when I worked full-time. She was a mentor to me when I was studying for my ACE Group Fitness certification and then when I became a spin instructor, and…

  • Amazing People,  Best Thing Ever,  Childhood Memories,  Music

    The Concert of My Lifetime: Billy Joel at Wrigley Field

    When I was a kid in the seventies, we had a pretty nice-sized vinyl collection thanks to a friend of my dad’s who owned a record store and shared lots of the albums that he no longer needed. The square covers always had a 1/2-inch notch cut out of the top and a sticker that said “For Promotional Use Only: Not for Resale”. These days I’d have to sit and think about which albums were in our collection in order to talk about them except for two standouts, “The Jacksons” and this one, Billy Joel’s “Piano Man”: When I was six and seven, that album cover both intrigued and terrified…

  • Amazing People,  Best Thing Ever,  Blessings,  Fun in Chicago,  My Friends Have Mad Skillz,  Proud Moments,  Something That Could Change Your Life

    Five.

    Sunday was a great day. On Sunday Tracey and I, along with our incredible cast of ten other women and one Pete, brought the fifth annual LISTEN TO YOUR MOTHER CHICAGO show to the stage. I don’t write as much about LTYM here on Suburban Scrawl as I used to. I’m not sure why that is, because it really has become a part of my practically-daily life all year round. Being involved with LTYM on a few different levels is still a life highlight, and it just keeps on getting better. Like Sunday. Our fifth show? Wow. Time flies when you’re having fun. Five years in and it’s still a…

  • Amazing People,  Best Thing Ever,  Music

    Missy.

    In case you didn’t hear me shrieking yesterday during Super Bowl 50, Missy Elliott followed me on Twitter. Yes, THE Missy Elliott. One minute I was tweeting a reply (“I’d like to see Missy Elliott back up there!”) to Sirius XM’s question about who else I’d like to see on stage with Coldplay, Bruno Mars, and Beyonce, and the next minute, Missy “Misdemeanor” Elliott herself was following me. And that’s when the evening took on an ALL CAPS flavor. (Apologies to my friends. I know how annoying that is, but MISSY ELLIOTT, YOU GUYS.) I was so excited about it that I was doing a little bit of tearing up…

  • Amazing People,  Best Thing Ever,  Blessings,  Favorite Things,  Food,  Friends,  Fun in Chicago,  My Friends Have Mad Skillz,  Pretty Pictures,  Something That Could Change Your Life

    I Nearly Nailed @MomoFali In The Eye With A Gummy Bear Last Night.

    Honestly. It was close. More on that in a bit. The 2015 BlogHer Food conference is in the books, and it was awesome. I loved that it was in my hometown for many reasons, not the least of which was that a bunch of my local friends (some food bloggers, some not) were in attendance. Working a conference on my birthday when work doesn’t seem like work AND I’m surrounded by so many people I love wasn’t too shabby of a gig, I have to say. My friend Aimee Giese of Greeblehaus, who I’ve known online since 2008-ish but with whom I’ve never spent more than a minute or two…

  • Amazing People,  Confessions,  Do I Really Want My Readers To Know This?,  Friends,  My Friends Have Mad Skillz

    Friends First.

    Momo and I met online seven years ago, at some point in 2008. (In Internet time that’s virtually 575 years ago.) We met in real life in June of 2009, when I helped bring a van full of meat to her house. (The Momo’s Meat Wagon story is here.) We’ve been close friends ever since. I became her contractor at BlogHer three years ago, and for every day of those three years I have been one half of a total Dream Team. I don’t think every pair of friends could have a successful work relationship, but we do. We have worked together seamlessly, with excellent communication and just the right…

  • Amazing People,  Blessings,  Confessions,  Friends,  I've Got Mad Skillz,  Jim Has Mad Skillz,  My Friends Have Mad Skillz,  My Kid Has Mad Skillz

    Coping Skills For Mostly Happy People

    I’m lucky in that I don’t have too many bad days. I’m constantly counting my blessings and I realize all the time that my life is pretty darn good. I am a completely normal human being though, which means that I’m not happy all the time. Life is a roller coaster: ups AND downs are part of the deal. Yesterday? Was a downer. Being a mostly happy person, I tend to freak people out when I’m having a bad day. It’s not that my friends think I cannot have a bad day (or am not allowed a bad day), but when I’m walking around living a 21st century Pollyanna life,…

  • Amazing People,  Best Thing Ever,  Favorite Things,  Food,  Friends,  Fun in Chicago,  I've Got Mad Skillz,  My Friends Have Mad Skillz,  Skydeck Chicago,  Travels

    Life In The Fast Lane Surely Make You Lose Your Mind

    It just hit me on Tuesday evening, right after I dropped Liz and her middle daughter off at the airport (how much I hate goodbyes could be a whole other post, ugh), how much I had done/accomplished/enjoyed in two weeks. It made me dizzy, and perhaps piled on more exhaustion, on top of my exhaustion. It also made me smile. The last two weeks of July just might have been the busiest two weeks of my entire life, but I’m not complaining. It was a blast. First there was the BlogHer conference in NYC. I went into it exhausted; the weeks leading up to conference weekend are crazed for our…

  • Amazing People,  Favorite Things,  Friends,  Fun in Chicago

    Delayed Re-entry

    What day is it again? *checks calendar* Ah yes, Thursday, July 23. Time flies when you’re having fun! This may be my most epic July ever. In fact, I don’t even have time to write an actual, well-thought-out post because I am about to get in my car and head up to Wisconsin for the day. The last couple of weeks have been crazy and fun, crazyfun. Last weekend was the eleventh annual BlogHer conference, in New York City. I say every year that BlogHer weekends are some of my favorite weekends ever ever ever, and this year was no different. In fact, the fun of it (and being around…

  • Amazing People,  Childhood Memories,  Favorite Things,  I'm Apparently Old.

    This Is A Recording.

    I’ve been listening to a piece of my childhood this week. I’ll get to that in a minute. First, I want to talk about how it’s a truly special thing when an entertainer can impact one generation of people in a positive way. Two generations? Even better. Three? One word: WOW. I have been watching the new Netflix Original show “Grace and Frankie”, which stars Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin. Err, “WATCHED”, since they released the entire season at once and I devoured it. Past tense. Anyway, I was sitting there watching it one afternoon and J, who is twenty, walked into the family room and suddenly stopped as his…