Saturday, March 31, 2012

Design (Competitions) Within Reach.

I've been an Interior Designer for nearly seven years now, and somehow I've never gotten around to entering a design competition.  I thought it was about time I pushed myself to come up with something that wasn't required for school or for work, so I entered the Live/Work competition co-sponsored by Dwell Magazine and Design Within Reach.  The winner of the competition will have their design produced and sold through Design Within Reach, so if I won, I would be able to add product designer to my resume!  

A word about the submission see above.  My goal was to design a piece that integrated all the necessary functions for a workspace: work table, storage and lighting.  When in use, the light pulls out from the raised unit, and there's access to storage, paperwork, etc.  When not in use, it descends to create a clean flat plane on the work table and the clutter is covered below.  This unit would be of particular interest to those who don't have a separate room for an office, and have their desk out in their living area.  When guests come over (or you're sick of looking at it), it's easy to hide everything.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Active Duty.

I really got down to business this weekend and knocked out two of my 30 before 30 items.  Taking a Bikram Yoga class (#4) and joining Crossfit (#1).  I had my intro session to Crossfit this past Saturday along with seven other interested folks. There was a lengthy explanation of what to expect, and then we got into a "baseline workout"- 500m row, 40 squats (no weight), 30 sit ups, 20 push ups and 10 pull ups.  

I took stock of my competition-4 pretty fit looking men, 2 women I thought I could easily handle and 1 woman that looked like a wild card.  I figured I'd at least beat two of the woman and maybe one of the guys.  

Wrong.  I came in second to last.  

The instructor wrapped up the session, explained the pricing structure, told us to think about the commitment and email her if we were interested.  
I practically ran up to her and threw my credit card at her saying "I don't ever want to come in second to last again!"  Oh the shame.

Bikram.  My goal was just to make it through the class without leaving the 105 degree 40% humidity room.  I started off strong, but the five glasses of wine I'd had the night before hit me around the 22nd of 26 postures.  I alternated between sitting up and laying down for the rest of the class, but... I didn't leave the room!  Feeling less than stellar about my athletic abilities, I signed up for a month of unlimited classes.

So I guess the way to get me to open my wallet is to have me fail miserably at something.  Shame sure is expensive.

Thursday, March 22, 2012


#21- Auditioning for a play has been causing me some major anxiety and that's not the point of this whole 30 Before 30 deal, so I'm calling in a sub!  I attended a great lecture the other week on sustainable urban farming, so long story short, I will replacing #21 with a day of volunteering at 'The Plant'- and urban (and indoor) farm in Chicago.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

In Touch With My Spiritual Side...Check!

I made it out to a lovely Baha'i New Year's devotional last night, along with my boyfriend and parents, who decided they wanted to explore their spiritual sides as well.  My Mom couldn't figure out how to get the whole temple in the photo, but I swear, it's back there.  I can report the following:

  • The temple is as beautiful as I remember it from going on a field trip there as a child.  I even told my Mother that it kind of reminded me of a fancy Scottsdale hotel.  The weather didn't hurt either.
  • The service was made up of an a capella choir and readings from members of the congregation.  There isn't a pastor/rabbi/priest and there aren't any sermons.
  • They don't accept donations/offerings from non-Baha'i folks like myself.
  • I am not a religious person, but I do find many of the tenants interesting like "the search for truth" and the emphasis on a world community.
  • I would like to learn more...

Monday, March 19, 2012

Come on- big money, big money.

Alright folks, project 30 before 30 is well underway.  I've got leads and dates on several items, which I'll detail later, but one that I'm currently on top of is my lotto ticket purchase once a week item (#30).  I've made this really easy on myself and ordered a lotto subscription online!  Now I don't have to embarrass myself at the local gas station with my pathetic optimism.  

I've already begun to plan what I'll do with my millions...all I can say is that dogs and real estate brokers will be big beneficiaries.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Retraction: Bang Bang.

Well, it looks like I might have jumped the gun (pun very much intended) on thinking I had to get a FOID to take this intro to firearms class.  Turns out, it's not necessary to take the class!  I'm calling to schedule today for a class April 28th.  Game on!

Bang Bang.

Who knew you had to get a FOID (Firearm Owner's Identification) card just to shoot around at a range (#8 on the list)?  Not me.  Well, it's a good thing I'm researching this now because it'll take at least 30 days to get one of these.  If you're also pining for a go at the shooting range, click here.  If you happen to know someone who has one of these things and is willing to take you shooting, then you don't need it.  At least in Illinois.  
I figure I need a bit of background and training before I start shooting off a gun, so my plan is to go to Midwest Guns in Lyons and take their 'Intro to Firearms' course.  FYI-My boyfriend tells me this is unnecessary, but I am nothing if not thorough.  
By the way, that photo is all sorts of confusing, but if the little girl in a pink peace sign jacket can shoot a machine gun, then I can certainly handle a little hand gun.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

30 Before 30...the Explanation.

Here's a little more explanation on the list:

1. Join CrossFit. (Completed March 24, 2012) I'm already working on this one.  I have my intro session on March 24th, and after that I just need to pull the trigger.  My goal by joining this is to become a tough badass.  
2. Get out of debt completely.  Between my parents and my boyfriend, I owe approx. $2900.  I'm looking at you Tax Refund!
3. Buy myself a nice piece of jewelry. This is just one of those things I feel an adult woman should do.  I've been coveting several pieces from my friend Amanda's line of jewelry. so I'll be posting my favorite contenders soon.
4. Take a Bikram yoga class.  (Completed March 25, 2012) Ugh, this is going to be tough since I function terribly in extreme temperatures, but it's a good goal because of that.
5. Go SCUBA diving. (Completed December 2011)  This is a bit of a cheat since I already took care of it, but it was something I've wanted to do for awhile now.
6. Get certified in Open Water Diving SCUBA.  I am substituting this one because I won't be getting the funds together in time, and this is something I didn't think I'd have the chance to do before 30.  Bonus!Buy a grown up sofa. I'm an Interior Designer, and I still have my IKEA couch from my first post-college apartment.  Not okay.
7. Come up with 30 great vegetarian/pescetarian recipes that I can make everyday.  As a recent convert to pescetarianism, I have done a terrible job of coming up with new and exciting dishes.  Help is appreciated on this one!
8. Go to a shooting range and learn how to shoot. Maybe it's all those episodes of Law and Order: SVU I watch (I love you Detective Benson!), but this is something that I've wanted to do for some time.  I'll post my target afterward-prepare to be underwhelmed.
9. Drive myself or do a ride-a-long in a race car. (Completed May 26, 2012) Due to financial constraints (see #1,2,3,6,14 and 24) I will probably do the ride-a-long, which is $300 less.  
10. Try absinthe. This is really important because I'll be able to say "oh absinthe, sure, I've tried it.  No big deal."
11. Get my nephew to call me by my Auntie name "Essie". (Completed April 15, 2012) Tyler and Gretchen-I'm looking at you to support me on this one.
12. Enter a design competition. (Completed March 31, 2012) I always think about entering a design competition.  I even print out the rules and requirements, but I never do it.  Just being lazy.  Now there's no excuse.
13. Learn how to bake a great chocolate cake. (Completed April 8, 2012) My favorite dessert in the world is cake, and chocolate is my hands down favorite flavor.  Good thing I don't have any weight loss goals on this list!
14. Go hot air ballooning. I'm taking my boyfriend this Saturday for his birthday, so I'll be sure to post about the experience.  Really excited for this after not being able to do it on our vacation to Australia last year.
15. Learn 100 words in Hebrew. My boyfriend is Israeli, so if he can get a PhD in the United States, then I can probably learn a couple of words in his native language.  I'll choose the words, and he'll test me on/day before my birthday.
16. Get acupuncture. I don't have a specific ailment to get acupuncture for, but I'm sure it can help something.  I've just always wanted to know what it feels like.  PS-I hate needles.
17. Reach 150 followers and 2000 pins on Pinterest.  I just love Pinterest, and have enjoyed interacting with the community there.  I hope to reach more people in the coming year.
18. Take the Frank Lloyd Wright tour in Oak Park. We just moved from Oak Park and never did the tour.  So crazy.  I've done the Taliesin West tour in AZ, but haven't gone close to home.
19. Visit the Farnsworth House in Plano, IL. I grew up in Chicago, love architecture and design, love this house in particular and have never visited.  Blasphemy!
20. 7-Day Juice Cleanse.  (Completed May 27, 2012) I wonder if I can really make it through one of these without breaking.  This replaces a trapeze class for reasons I'll explain in a future post.Take a flying trapeze course. Maybe I'm belatedly inspired by Carrie Bradshaw in SATC circa 2003, but this seems pretty cool.  I'm afraid of heights.  Should be interesting.
21. Volunteer at 'The Plant'. (Completed May 19, 2012)  The Plant focuses on a closed cycle of sustainable (indoor) urban farming.  I can't wait to learn more.
22. Go to a Baha'i service. (Completed March 20, 2012) I've been to the beautiful Baha'i temple in Wilmette, IL, but never attended a service.  I don't consider myself a religious person, but I am a life learner, so this will be a great learning experience.
23. Watch 'The Exorcist'. (Completed May 18, 2012) My boyfriend and others think it's appalling the number of classic movies I haven't watched, so I'm choosing this as a representation of that deficit.  
24. Create a great bar set up-cart, booze, mixers, accessories. I love a great cocktail or glass of wine at the end of the day, and I've always loved the idea of whipping up a cool cocktail when guests come over.  There will be a post about the shopping list for this bar later.
25. Milk a cow. I'm not sure how I missed doing this growing up, but I'm definitely doing it now.  I have enormous respect for dairy, and thereby for it's provider.  I'll try to combine this with #28.
26. Visit the Holocaust museum in Skokie, IL.  (Completed May 28, 2012-Memorial Day) There are two reasons for adding this to the list.  1) I have always had a deep interest in the Holocaust and 2) Stanley Tigerman designed it, and he's an architectural genius.
27. Eat an ostrich egg. (Completed April 8, 2012) I have a nagging feeling that I may have already done this, but I don't remember, so I guess I need to do it again.  I love eggs, so this is like the Holy Grail of eggs.
28. Do WWOOF. (Completed April 7, 2012) If you know me, then you probably think this is something about dogs.  Not the case.  It's a volunteer program to join up with organic farmers and exchange labor for education, meals and lodging.  I'm sure to catch hell from my parents about staying over at a stranger's farm, but it sounds really cool.  Check out more about it here.
29. Go to a MMA fight. (Completed April 13, 2012) That's Mixed Martial Arts, if you weren't aware.  I'll admit, 'Warrior' got me pumped up about this.
30. Buy a lotto ticket once a week until my birthday. (Will be complete by my birthday-I purchased a weekly subscription) If I recall correctly, I think my Grandma bought weekly lotto tickets.  She didn't win anything (to my knowledge), but perhaps carrying on the legacy will bring in good luck.  In any case, it's for a good case.  The cheesy winner (they're always so cheesy, right?) can purchase their long coveted gold plated toilet or recreate Disney World as their house.  Me?  I would go much more subtle with a silver leaf toilet and a Legoland house.

Stay tuned for progress!

A Third of a Bucket...List.


It's been entirely too long since my last post, but I'm going to be mixing things up a bit in the coming months.  I am hijacking my design blog to post my list of 30 things to do before I turn 30 on July 7,  2012.  I will be calling this segment "A Third of a Bucket...List".  I'm getting a bit of a late start on this considering my birthday is in four months, but better late than never.  Following you'll see my list and on the next post the explanation of each item.  I'll cross off and date the items as I complete them along with photos and descriptions of the items in various stages of progress and completion.  Let the fun begin!

30 Before 30 or A Third of a Bucket...List

1. Join CrossFit
2. Get out of debt completely
3.  Buy myself a nice piece of jewelry
4.  Take a Bikram yoga class
5.  Go SCUBA diving Completed December 2011
6.  Buy a grown up sofa
7.  Come up with 30 great vegetarian/pescetarian recipes that I can make everyday
8.  Go to a shooting range and learn how to shoot
9.  Drive or do a ride-a-long in a race car
10. Try absinthe
11. Get my nephew to call me by my Auntie name “Essie”
12. Enter a design competition
13. Learn how to bake a great chocolate cake
14. Go hot air ballooning
15. Learn 100 words in Hebrew
16. Get acupuncture
17. Reach 150 followers on Pinterest and 2000 pins.
18. Take the Frank Lloyd Wright tour in Oak Park
19. Visit the Farnsworth House in Plano, IL
20. Take a flying trapeze class
21. Volunteer at "The Plant" 
22. Go to a Baha’i service
23. Watch ‘A Clockwork Orange’
24. Create a great bar set up-cart, booze, mixers, accessories
25. Milk a cow
26. Visit the Holocaust museum in Skokie
27. Eat an ostrich egg
28. Do WWOOF
29. Go to a MMA fight
30. Buy a lotto ticket once a week until my birthday