Being a Tourist in Chicago

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I brought my camera to work the other day, so during my lunch break I went for a little stroll – tourist style. (: Chicago is so BLUE and beautiful! To be honest, I never liked bringing my camera into the city because I didn’t want to give off an impression as a tourist. This is my house and I’m going to put my feet up on the coffee table if I want, kinda thing. But I realize that mindset is pretentious and not to mention, stupid. Because when you’re a tourist, you look at the town with a different pair of lenses and you’re a lot more open-minded to do things that are out of your comfort zone. Suddenly all those free, crowded events don’t sound so lame, and the new restaurants popping in look enticing, and sitting in Millennium park after a food truck makes for the perfect Saturday afternoon.

My motto for this summer: 
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What does that mean for me? Run a 5k, attend a summer festival for a different city/state, have a picnic, make a video, go on a road trip, host a board game night, make s’mores, watch a movie at a drive-in, play sports regularly, go fishing, win free tix from a radio show, rent a bicycle for the day, purge my closet, find a hike path, run a 100 miles, frisbee on a beach… just to name a few. Hold me to it? 
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Being a tourist in Europe was great and so fun. But this, this is the beautiful town I live in and am so proud to call home. (: And I’m ready to unlock its secrets the same way.

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What’s on your summer bucket list?

XO.

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Life of an Ad Intern: Day 2

Day two was INSANE. Let me tell you about it.

The Insane Story of Day Two:

I boarded the 8:00 am train (per us), found a seat, opened my purse to pull out my train ticket and realized that my wallet wasn’t in my there! -Along with all my cash, cards, train and bus tickets… I had a mini-panic attack unsure of how I was going to get through the rest of the day, let alone pay for the train ride I had already boarded. I was like… should i run off, should i stay on, should i lie, should i cry… I felt like I was in Italy again illegally riding those trains to Milan. Anyway, I rummaged through my purse and found a crinkled $10 sitting at the bottom, (lucky instance #1)  so I was like nice and I decided I would use that for that train! …And figure out the rest later.

So, the ticket master stepped in going around to see some everyone’s boarding pass. By the time he got to me, I explained to him that I had already purchased a monthly pass but accidentally left it at home so I didn’t have it with me that day, but I assured him that I ride that train every morning, yadda yadda wink wink pulls shirt down — no I’m totally kidding. He asked me if I’d be there tomorrow, and I responded yes, and he let that ride go. (lucky instance #2 — ticket master pulled through that morning. ps: i saw him again a later day and said “HI” and flashed my monthly pass in the air for a few seconds to show gratitude for the previous day… he didn’t remember who i was and sort of cringed for being so enthusiastic. end note). So I was like okay, I can use this $10 for the ride back home then.

AND THEN, the train was delayed. Like I said, I hopped on the 8:00 train which is supposed to arrive at 8:34…  BUT we didn’t get to union station until 9:40!!! Two trains broke down on the track and one of them had to be tied up to the train in front and dragged into the city. Our train just followed slowly behind that whole ordeal. It was a mess. Do you follow? Picture oregon trail on the train tracks, because that’s pretty much what it was.

When I found out the train was going to be delayed for such a long time, I panicked because I didn’t want to be late on my second day of work, and decided I would use that $10 to pay for cab fare. I emailed my supervisor letting her know about the metra delay and that I would be in ASAP. She responded by telling me to just take a nice walk cause it was beautiful outside. “no worries” she said. So I was like, okaaaay!  So I took that 30 minute walk to save that $10 for the train ride home like I originally planned. (lucky instance #3)

Then I came work, read some blogs, stapled all these packets (i’m becoming an EXCELLENT stapler, btw. I started to play this game to see how quickly i could get through packets… and the time is honestly pretty impressive.) So after I kept winning I got bored and lunch time came around. I had luckily thrown in some granola and decided to just munch on that to save monies. BUT THENNN, one of my supervisors came in and told me that there was a client lunch happening and that we could go out to eat on the company card!!! Just my luck. (: So, we went to Nordstrom Cafe and each enjoyed a $15 dollar meal. I got this amazing chicken pasta and a red velvet cupcake. It was freaking perfect. (lucky instance #4) Way to be clutch, havas. 

Then the afternoon is kind of a bluuuuur and the work day ended and , I walked back to union station, and payed $8.75 for the train ride home. What a day. Now all I remember is a blur of mini-panic attacks; but luckily, somehow everything aligned and it was a-okay. (:

Anyway. That’s my ridiculous story for the day. Now I will show you my outfit which has nothing to do with said story… HOWEVER, I am linking up with Mix & Match Fashion to daily document how I do biz casual. (: 

DAY 2 OUTFIT: 

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DAILY TAKEAWAY: 

  • PC STILL sucks. My eyeballs hurt so much from staring at this dim screen for 8 hours. And you can’t take screenshots. And you can’t zoom in/out with your trackpad.
  • It’s hard to type quickly with long nails. I should probably cut them because they keep sliding off these cheap, plastic keys and falling into the cracks in between. ESPECIALLY BETWEEN “k” AND “i” AND “f” AND “t.

 

xo.

Life of an Ad Intern: Day One

Ello, ello.

Today was my first day of the internship. (: If I hadn’t mentioned it before, I am an account management intern @ HAVAS WW, CHICAGO. Never heard of it? It might be because they recently had a brand makeover as of September last year. They used to go by EURO RSCG. Still doesn’t ring a bell? You’ve probably seen their work, though! My office (CHI), specifically has done Sauza Tequila (do you remember that viral Fireman YouTube video?), Reynolds Wrap, The Laughing Cow, Pucker Vodka, etc. And Havas WW in general has done Does Equis (The Most Interesting Man in the World), McDonald’s, Evian, IKEA, IBM, Coca-Cola… just to name a few.

Anyway, it was a solid first day. Boarded the 8:00 a.m. train, arrived to Union Station a quarter til 9:00 a.m., hopped on a bus, and got to the office just in time for orientation at 9:30 a.m. Last summer, the office was on Randolph, so it was only a 25-30 minute walk from the station; but this time the office is located a little bit more North. I google mapped it, which told me the walk should take around 30 minutes, but with all the foot traffic, I’m assuming I should factor in an extra 10.

It was pretty chaotic in the office with people running around to and from meetings, trying to maintain the momentum of work from the previous week.   I think the arrival of 20 new bodies moving in and trying to set up camp probably didn’t help.Yeah, there’s nearly 20 of us interns. We’re not all together though. The interns have been divided based on department and team. So more than half went to creative, and account/strategy got split into designated accounts. I’m on Bel Brands. You know, the Laughing Cow and those circular cheese wheels that come in little rad wax packing. (I meant red. But it’s rad, too.) Those were the hot commodity back in junior high days.

It’s fun. I read through all the creative brief and strategy, watch unreleased commercials, sat in on meetings… I resonate with the brand’s voice, so I’m excited to be able to touch the campaign in whatever capacity I can. It’s a team of about 10 people, including the creatives, strategists, and president. All the interns are given a “mentor,” and mine is the Sr. Account Executive on the team. I’ll just call her M. But she’s super cool and nice and SMART and can’t wait to learn from her. Her, along with her friends, and their interns, took us out to lunch today at the Nordstrom Cafe. So we all got to meet each other and have non-biz conversation. Mostly about GOT. (It’s always about GOT these days, isn’t it?)

Enough words, though. Here’s some photos to show you! (:

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^ This was on the bus. This weird lady kept trying to guess how much peoples’ shoes were. I think she thought she was on “The Price is Right” or something,  not public transportation. (Deep apologies if this is your mother and I retract everything I just said. She is probably a lovely woman.)

FIRST DAY TOUR:
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^ Sitting right on the kiddie corner of Grand + State… And only ten tempting steps from Nordstrom. DANGEROUS, RIGHT?!
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^ welcome inside! 🙂 this is the lobby.
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^ My office! (: My desk is the one on the left — with all those rappers’ faces. (It was there before I was, I promise.) On the left, is B’s desk. B is also on my team as the Account Coordinator. She was really busy today so we didn’t talk too much, but she was super welcoming and helpful.
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^ Yes, you are seeing that right. They gave me a PC……………………………………………….. #help. #shouldirun? I have LITERALLY never felt so disabled in my life trying to operate this colossal machine they call a laptop. It took me 20 minutes to figure out how to brighten the screen because the keyboard “sunshine icon” does CRAP. The keyboards are so plastic-y and annoying. The mouse is moves choppy and in order to do ANYTHING, it requires 9 other steps, first. Also, they don’t even have an em-dash. If I want to use one, I have to do this. (see photo below):photo 1 (1)
^ In order to make a punctuation mark, you need to shuffle through 8 other things and then copy and paste it. I’ve literally been googling “how to do __on a PC” as well as g-chatting my hotdog all day. My hot dog is a PC user by choice. (I know, those exist). Sigh, learning curve, right? Lawl. I’m just being dramatic. But I really do hate PC’s. Moving on to other corners of the office… hehe (:
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^ That cappuccino maker does WONDERS. So far I’ve tried the FVL and the Chai Latter.photo 1 (2)

^ Yes. Yes I did take a panorama of the kitchen.
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^ The floor plan is kind of complicated… There’s a lot of winding hallways and circular rooms. I don’t think I expected the office to be so BIG (and beautiful). Havas has their own building to themselves. It’s a five-story office, complete with rooftop seating. (: Which is where we had lunch today! Floors are separated by department; lobby, hr, creatives, account, and media, respectively. So I’m on the fourth floor! All these photos I showed you are only of the fourth floor and I still get lost. Floors are organized into Chicago “neighborhoods,” and they’re written all along floors and walls to help guide your way… you just need to remember where is called what. I’m in bucktown. (: here’s wicker park!

FIRST DAY OUTFIT:
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^ I wanted to look buttoned-up, but still comfortable enough to easily do whatever the day’s tasks were, so I crossed out a skirt or dress — and double criss cross on the heels. | Blazer: The Limited | Top: Banana Republic | Pants: NY&Company | Belt & Necklace: Forever 21 | Flats: Italy

DAILY TAKE AWAY: 

  • BTS = back to school
  • you don’t need that 4th cup of coffee — you will get jittery by 3 p.m.
  • act confident. even if you don’t feel it.
  • bucktown 1 printer sucks. don’t use it.
  • double check, double chek.
  • status meetings are essential because so many things are happening at once to each person on the team. these meetings help everyone debrief on where they’re at and minimize miscommunication

Phew. That was a long one. I just wanted to document my first day. Cheers.

XO..

Look Book : Emerald Green

     { Top & shorts: Banana Republic | Necklace and blazer: Forever 21 | Purse: Kate Spade | Shoes: Dolce Vita, Nordstrom } Happy Sunday, guys! Banana Republic Factory was having a huge sale this past weekend and I … Continue reading

Currently…

Spring Break was this past week and I celebrated with some girlfriends in Spain! We started in Barcelona, stopped by Valencia to catch the end of the Las Fallas festival, and then made our way to our final destination, Madrid. It was nice to escape the rain in Italy and be surounded by the sun and palm trees of Spain. It wasn’t quite hot enough to jump into our bikinis, but there were some days we dozed off on the beach. I guess I really shouldn’t complain about weather though to friends back in the midwest. I heard there was a terrible snow storm last night?! Glad you were at least rewarded with a snow day though, right? (:

I have one week of “normalcy” AKA staying home in Verona, and then next week is Easter vacation. Starting Sunday, I’ll be in Greece! Pretty much everyone from my program made reservations at the pink palace in Corfu. It’s supposed to be this fun-loving resort that provides living accommodations, breakfasts/dinners, group activities like booze cruises, snorkeling, beach volleyball, and more IMPORTANTLY, one complementary pink toga for each guest. (: I know, that alone sold me.

I’ll try to squeeze in posts of my adventures in Paris, London, and Spain before I head off!

* side note: I have exactly five weeks and five days left in europe, and then it’s back to the states! man, how FAAAST did time fly! i also do have exciting plans for this summer. starting june, i’ll be interning at the chicago office of HAVAS WORLDWIDE through the 4A’s MAIP program. not only will I be in the office +40 hours a week, I will also fly to NYC twice this summer to attend ceremonial dinners, participate in weekly seminars, and be a new member of the MAIP network. i’ll be trading easy italian gelato for starbucks coffee, walks on cobblestone streets for rides on the metra, and 4-hr lectures for 8-hr work days. as much as i want time to just slow down right now so i can milk each and every experience while here, i’m also ecstatic and ready to be in a regular workflow. ready to be consumed with conversations on consumer behavior and insights, brainstorm sessions with our feet up and take-out in hand, late nights before big pitches, preparing research decks and documents… i’m ready to be in my element. but again, italy, don’t take it the wrong way and slip out of my hands quite yet. (;

i think this is what growing up starts to look like.

Love at First Sight — Wicker Park

Although I grew up in the Chicago suburbs, my family always lived a comfortable distance away from the city. Specifically, Lombard and Naperville — neighborhoods that were both tucked away from the heart, but still attached by a strip of highways. So it was an odd relationship, between the city and I. I called Chicago home but I never understood it. Not the language, not the culture, not the street names. I was still a tourist snapping shots at the bean and eyes glued to the GPS… but it was my “home.”

Last summer I had the opportunity to find a corner of the city when I landed an internship downtown. I took the 7:46 am train every morning from Naperville to Union Station, stopped by a nearby coffee joint, and walked my 20 min commute to my building, gaining a sense of ownership and familiarity with each step. And throughout the duration of my internship, I started to feel less and less of a tourist. I started to walk the talk — sit in a quiet car to avoid loud children, choose Marianos vs. Au Bon Pain,  respond to emails within the hour you receive them, avoid Jackson at all costs, and ignore pushy taxi drivers. Head straight, earphones in. My taste and knowledge of Chicago was limited to the Loop and that language.

Today, I had the opportunity to see another side of Chicago — a much, much different side — Wicker Park. I spent the day with one of my girlfriends from college, who lives right near the city and is very familiar with it, and  she showed me “her neck of the woods.” It was so fascinating to me that there could be cultures on such opposite sides of the spectrum in one city. If the Loop is fast-paced and pretentious, then Wicker Park is easy-going and liberal. And as much as I admired and adapted into the Loop, I felt immediately accepted and inspired by the ways of Wicker Park.

The air there is inspiring. Brick walls covered in beautiful graffiti. Criss-cross streets jam-packed with sushi bars, cafes, boutiques, thrift stores—

But rather than me tell you why it’s so amazing, let me show you…

This is why I love Wicker Park:

dogs balloons handbag sale soap banner curtainus2 us1f store close up p gh    grafbl us

What’s your favorite part about Chicago?

XO.

NYC [in iphone photos]

Hello. (: I am BACK from NYC and ready to share with you some highlights of my trip via iphone photos. If you are following me on instagram, then this post will probably be boring and repetitive for you. New photos and stories will be up soon. I came home with a terrible flu and have been sleeping 13+ hours a day and haven’t found energy to upload photos from my camera just yet. Each day I’m feeling a little bit better and my fever is going down little by little, so once I am at 100% recovery, I will share all the AMAZINGNESS that is NYC.

^ From top to bottom: (1) My recently purchased city boots and color-blocked purse. (: Boots from Nordstrom Rack and the purse from The Limited. Patiently waiting on the floor of the airport while dozing off. Our flight was at 5:45 am, but since our group consisted of 20+ people, we had to arrive at the airport by 3:30 in case we faced any trouble. (2) Traveling essentials— magazines for leisure reading, sunglasses for napping, knit scarves for chilly air. We flew through Spirit which has possibly the MOST uncomfortable seats and smallest amount of leg room. Fortunately the flight was a little less than two hours. (3) We went through Grand Central Station and it was BEEEAUTIFUL. I was having a little bit of a freak attack because this was also the shooting location for Gossip Girl, Friends with Benefits, and the infamous flash mob. (I was secretly hoping to spot Serena VanderWoodsen.)

(4) Um, yes. Anyone else a HIMYM fan? The bar, McClarens, was actually inspired by the creator’s favorite bar, McGee’s in NYC. And yes, we did make sure we payed a visit there. We took photos at this particular booth, and all purchased tourist shirts. It was so awesome. There were photos of all HIMYM cast and special quotes from good ol’ Barney, it was a good time. (5) One of the many dessert cafes we stopped by. All the shops in NYC are so cute. (6) Hellooo, Time Square! The city literally never sleeps, and you could never tell this photo was taken at 2 am. My eyes were twinkling like no other when I first stumbled across Time Square. It is beautiful and speedy fast. There are lines of buildings higher than you’d ever seen, walls covered in advertisements, lights shining from almost every corner, and tourists like me soaking it all in. Did I mention there’s a F21 with 7 floors and doesn’t close til 2 am? Oh, yes.

I’m already getting so excited and nostalgic as I spit out a few recaps. Sigh. I’ll be back, New York.

Anyone else familiar with NYC and would like to share some “must go” places? I did spend an adequate amount of time wandering around and wasting taxi cash. I’d love to hear about new places!

XO.