Who doesn't love free wine??

I was a wee bit too tired to post last night about the goings-on in my life but don't fret.  I am back to report the important happenings of yesterday.

I had my third and final interview at the Murphy Auditorium.  Again, the facility is absolutely beautiful and the interview went really well.  There were a good number of events planned for the space that I would help with but I would also be able to help revamp the website and ultimately re-brand the Murphy Auditorium.  My interviewer was also really excited that I was engaged so I got to walk home with two new bridal magazines :)  This quickly became my second choice behind Athena because it deals with many events and I would dip a little into a major marketing project as well.  That knowledge would be incredible to have.

The dynamic with ATHENA however was just sooooo memorable that I can't see either Jewell or Murphy surpassing them. Each company has some awesome opportunities and it was sad to have to say no to 2 of them.

As of 30 minutes ago, I did indeed decide to go with ATHENA, but because they are not in the office on Friday, I have to wait to call all of my locations until Monday.  I really wish I could get it out of the way because I feel awful that I won't be doing the other two.  (just an FYI: the girl I was competing with didn't choose them either which is REALLLY sad.  I was hoping that she would have ended up at one of the places because they really did seem like a good place to intern with....)

Today has been pretty laid back.  I got to sleep in. Until 8:30am. cruel, I know.  Then my hotel roomie and I went to Rick Bayless' restaurant, Frontera.  It was located in a really stylish food court so I cheated and had some chicken noodle and a cookie (yes, I finally got my chocolate fix).  I seriously cannot wait to move into the apartment so I can cook my own food again.  It's so expensive not to and I miss my milk, spaghetti sauce, etc etc.  It's no marriott, but the hotel at least has free hot chocolate from 2-4 and free wine from 5-7.  Loves it.

Tonight we'll be off to a comedy club so I'll try to report soon on that.  However, everyone's having isssssues with the cable/internet guy so who knows when I'll be capable...oooh Chicago :)




Today was such a surprise.  I had two of my interviews today, one with ATHENA and the other with Jewell, my last and first choice based on excitement.  But after interviewing they were definitely switched.

My first interview was at 11am and the minute I stepped into the office, they said, "Hi, Vanessa" as they were standing and chatting.  Not really a huge deal, but I felt welcomed immediately.  Then I met the CEO briefly but she had a call to take so I really didn't get to know her at all, but then I met with 2 members of the ATHENA team.  Again, it was almost immediate that I felt so very comfortable.  The conversation flowed really well and we sidetracked a little because we all got along so well.  Then of course I got really excited because my interviewer has a 5 month old baby that she brings to work 2 of the 3 days I'd be in the office.  I tried to play it off that I am not obsessed with babies, but they'll soon find out if that's where I end up.  As far as the projects I'd be involved with, I would have major responsibilities for one of their main events of the year, the Leadership Summit in April.  So basically I would get to plan something from very early on to the end.  It's not weddings or catering specifically but it IS planning events, which is what I want to do.  It would give me ownership of a huge project and I would be able to network like crazy.  Neeeeedless to say, even though I was there for a full hour, I fell in love with the ladies and that might just do it for me.  The working dynamic would be amazing.

My second interview was scheduled for 3pm at Jewell, but I got there about 30 minutes early and we started almost as soon as I got there.  I was a little confused that I didn't see the other girl there because I was so early.  Anywho, I got a quick tour from their marketing director and then had the interview with him and a wedding consultant for the company.  I kind of got the feeling that there wasn't much going on because they wanted me to split the days between them.  Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't mind doing marketing at all, but as a catering company, I had just assumed it would always be busy and then I quickly have to say to myself, " you know what happens when you assume...."  They also really didn't tell me a whole lot about specific projects that I'd do, but perhaps that's because stuff hasn't exactly been planned out yet.  Another reason why I may not have liked it as much is that although we had good conversation, it didn't flow as nicely as it had with ATHENA.

So after day one of interviews, I'd have to go with ATHENA, but this may all change tomorrow after my last interview.

The end of the night had me actually going out for once.  After the CS pizza party, my new roommates, Elanie from Spring Arbor and Tabitha from Hope went off on the Brown line to Diversity for some shopping.  I being poor didn't buy anything, but then we headed off to a cool bar called Matisse (I think).  Everything was really reasonably priced so we plan to go back there sometime.  We also got along REALLLY well which is such a relief.  We will have a really good semester for sure.

That is all for today as I am completely pooped.  Tootles!


uncommon grounds

End of day two and I'm exhausted!

Today wasn't as eventful as yesterday, but it was definitely a bit more stress.  It was HOUSING LOTTERY day!  I didn't have roommates up until the very end because I was an idiot and thought we had more time, but it worked out perfectly.  There were 2 girls that I was going to room with that were the sweetest girls I had ever met.  They were both from Aquinas, both psychology and really nice.  Unfortunately, their name didn't get called right away so I ended up with going with Elaine and Tabitha.  They both seem super cool and Elaine is also engaged so that will be nice.  They are both previous swimmers too so my friends from Luder will appreciate that.  We are living in Gold Coast in the Canterbury Apartments.  It's one bedroom and has a full kitchen and is fully furnished which is super nice.  I am really excited to live in Chicago and to have two new people to get to know.  I can't wait for the semester!

The other really cool part of the day, less stress of course, was dinner.  There were 7 of us and we had to find our own way to a chosen restaurant in the city.  We were headed towards Loyola which took about 45 minutes each way and it was SUPER cold.  I was shivering so much at one point that I tried the counting in my head thing so that I'd stop, but of course that did not work.  I just shivered as I whispered to my self .  However, the food was absolutely amazing.  I cannot say enough.  It was called Uncommon Grounds and they actually have (in the summer) a full garden on top which they said can supply up to 20% of their produce.  AWESOME right!  We ordered some appetizers, calamari and this reallly reallly good pizza type thing which had pork, cheese, barbecue and was on a toast like thing.  Not really sure what it was but it definitely Was amazing.  And yes, Gary, I said I liked the barbecue.......  For my main course I had the pot roast on a bed of fabulous mashed potatoes.  Again, Gary, we are going to this restaurant again sometime so you can get the macaroni and cheese :)

That's about all for tonight, except for me catching up on the Bachelor...shhhh no one needs to know that ;)

Can't wait to blog tomorrow about the interviews!  Wish me luck!


hilton hotel? that's a product placement for sure...

The first official day of Chicago Semester Spring 2010 has come to a close and by golly, it was tiring.  Gary, his dad and I left decorah at 7:30am and drove through a bit of crappy weather for half the ride, but we ended up making it to Chicago at 1:30pm.  We hit up noodles & co for lunch and then I was off to Hotel Allegro.  Sadly, Gary had to leave me there and I miss him so much already.  Thankfully I've been super busy and don't have a lot of time to think about it.

So here's the lowdown:
2-2:45 check-in to the hotel - Check
2:45 say goodbye to Gary - Tear, Check, Tear
2:45-3:30 mingle, mingle, mingle - Check
3:30-5:30 first sessions of the day (welcome (Annie is SOOO cute! Love her already), overview, etc, etc - Check
5:45-7:45 Dinner with small group (some potential roomies) at the Water Tower Place, food for life i believe.  I of course had spaghetti with a huge meatball.  Mmmmm - Check
8-9:30 more sessions on safety, housing and................INTERNSHIP SITES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! we had to wait forever, but thank god we found out today and not tomorrow. it was driving me nuts not knowing. - Check

and the places i'll be interviewing........................................................................................................(ranked according to my excitement level)

1. Jewell Events Catering - if I end up living in Canterbury Apts, it will be roughly 30-40 minutes commute via CTA. not bad.  This is a large-scale catering company and from the little bits i've gathered online, it also does weddings.  I'm not sure if my interviewer is simply a wedding consultant or a planner but either way it looks really cool and they go to a bunch of different locations which would be really interesting since i've only done weddings in one location.  Sadly, I am competing with one other person to get the interview, but I'm the 2nd to be interviewed so hopefully that means i'm better ;-) Kidding....kinda....

2. Murphy Auditorium - roughly 10-15 minutes from apt.  This seems like an amazzzzzing facilty and would be an excellent way to experience event coordination on a huge scale.  I'm so used to events less than 250 ppl, heck less than 175 most the time.  It may be a bit grueling, but very worthwhile.

3. Athena International - roughly 15-20 from apt.  To be honest, I have no idea what this internship is about.  it seems to be sort of a women's recognition place for hard working individuals.....We'll see....

So i'm very excited to start the interviews and to see what i'll end up with.

On deck for tomorrow: by the end of the day I'll have roommates and housing.  weird.

Toots from the windy city!


one week left

So far I've been super excited about going to Chicago, but now that I have only one week left, it's starting to hit home that I'm leaving everything that I've known for 4 years and trying something completely and utterly out of my comfort zone.  I'm mature enough to know, though, that this is going to be an amazing experience.  However mature I am, I still can't seem to shake the procrastination habit....

I still have soooo much to do and soooo little time to do it in. damn.


Go Martha!

Gary and I made a special dinner for our 1.5 years together.  (I know, cute, right???)  We ended up making this aaaaaaaammmmaaaaaaaaaazzzzziiiiiiiiingggggggggg meal and it was super duper easy.  So easy in fact that Gary made most of it himself!

The recipes:
Sauteed Chicken in Mustard Cream Sauce
Roasted Red Potatoes

Here are some pictures of our masterpiece:

the baby reds before the oven

Mmmm Mmmm Mmmmmmmmmmm


Roasted Cauliflower is the bomb.

I've been meaning to try out a new recipe I found online for roasted cauliflower and I finally mustered up the motivation to do so.  Let me tell you, it was soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo good and really easy!

Here's the recipe:

1. Cut up a head of cauliflower into 1/4 inch slices (roughly).
2. Place large saute pan on stove over high heat.  Add 3 tablespoons of butter, 2 tablespoons of olive oil and a dollop of garlic (my dollops are quite large, but yours doesn't have to be :) ).
3. Add cauliflower and toss it around so it becomes coated with the butter and olive oil.  Cook it for approximately 10 minutes under it turns a slight brown color.
4. Turn heat to medium, tossing and let it continue to cook for 10 minutes until tender.
5. Add salt and pepper and EAT UP!

I might try roasting some cherry tomatoes and adding it to some pasta and spinach next time...........


The sweetest gesture

Who would have thought the Real Housewives of Orange County would make me cry?  Vicki nonetheless... She literally drives me nuts and to be honest, I have no idea why I even watch the show.  Everyone knows Real Housewives of New Jersey is better ;-)

Anyway, to recap, Vicki and her husband had a really rough year last season.  They seemed to always be on different pages and it was hard on the both of them.  However, this season has been all about Vicki understanding that it's not all about her, that she has to give back to her husband for their marriage to work.  On the latest episode she decided to show just how much she loved her husband and surprised him with a trip to Turks and Caicos for a secret Wedding Vow Renewal.  At dinner Vicki had their waiter bring out their wedding album with a new picture of when they got married and he just sat and teared up.  It was the sweetest moment I have ever seen.  And then Vicki surprised him by saying they were going to have a wedding the next day.  I have to admit that even though Vicki is sooooo annoying, this was a truly lovely gesture.  Thanks, Vicki, for making me cry.

On another note, Gary and I have decided to get married on March 26, 2011.  Originally we had July 14, 2012, but that is SOOOOOOOOO far away.  I couldn't handle not being able to plan anything.  So, we have roughly 14 months to go!  I am so beyond excited!!  I'm currently trying to figure out the colors I want but that is proving more difficult than I originally thought.  I like too many damn colors.  Next week I'll be meeting with my boss to talk about having the reception at the Hotel Winn and also having phone call with Olive Juice Studios.  I'm definitely hitting the ground running, but I like it that way.

Gary and I are also trying very hard to live healthier.  We've got quite the plan in place and it will test us both to keep following it.  I hope to someday be able to bike for hours at a time or run for an hour or more, but that will take some time.  Once I can, I will tell you ALL about it :)

Lastly, I'm taking my very last official class at Luther College.  Sadly, it's a science course and not fun at all.  It's not terribly difficult but it's science.  I really dislike science.  Like reeeeeeally.  I keep telling myself only so many more days to go.  Today, there's only 12 days left (since I'll be leaving early).  Only 12 days left!!!

PS:  only 18 days until I leave for Chicago!!!!! That only means I have to completely dejunk, pack up all my things, finish my portfolio, read all my senior paper stuff, maybe even a literature review, and prepare for all my interviews....Wow.  SO much to do and SO little time.