Thursday, July 22, 2010

my new apartment! my new dvr!

i have no idea how in the world i survived an entire year without a dvr. it truly is one of the finer inventions of the 21st century.

hooray!! i moved last week!!! relax, everyone who is likely thinking where the hell can this girl move NOW? well, whatever. no worries. i am settled settled settled in chicago! not going anywhere anytime soon (or ever, if i have anything to say about it!) so ready or not, here i am (to stay)!!! :) im sure you're all quite thrilled. ANYWAY. nope. i just moved an embarassing four blocks from my last apartment. that just goes to show HOW desperately i needed to peace outta my old place. i make it sound like i lived in the ghetto. ha. please. lincoln park is about as far from the ghetto as it can get. who are we kidding here?

BUT whatever. no need to dwell on the misgivings of my last place. this blog is about happiness and merriment. sunshine and joy. hugs and kisses. flowers and candy. santa claus and mariah carey... well, you get the idea.


1. it's a high rise building. while i didn't necessarily feel UNSAFE in my last building (which supposedly had "security" in the overnight hours, but more often than not, that little security desk was rather empty), i didn't exactly appreciate seeing the back alleyway door left open on WAY more than one occasion... considering i lived on the second floor, this was not the most comforting notion. but since ignorance is bliss is my motto in life (that's right- i admit it), i just continued along my merry way. and it turned out fine. but still.

2. im on the FOURTEENTH FLOOR!!!! now, being on a high floor could have some misses (ie: looong elevator rides) but whatEVER. you need to see this VIEW BABY!!!! hahaha. TOTES worth the fourteen stories. given that my building is the last high rise going south on clark until you hit downtown, you can only guess what my view is... a complete, unobstructed view of the city of chicago's skyline. omg, im in love with it. you have no idea. i most CERTAINLY pulled my blinds ALL the way up on all four windows facing southward on the day i moved in and i have not put them down SINCE. granted, this might not be the smartest idea, considering i shamelessly change my clothes, windows and all, but i dont care. the beauty of it? im so high up that no one can see me! alkfsdjlskd! you would think i wouldve learned from all those years of friends episodes with ugly naked guy but clearly, i dont. haha.

3. my KITCHEN!!! when i first viewed the apartment (which is a studio), there was a wall blocking the living area from the kitchen. which was fine enough for me- i mean, i took the place, didnt i? but THEN i was granted with the most glorious of news! they were totes going to break down half the kitchen wall so it's more of a bar-like area, that looks into the living area. which MEANS it adds just THAT much more openness to the whole apartment space as it IS. not only THAT, but they TOTALLY RE-DID my kitchen before i arrived! it was like magic. really. it was.

4. my MOVE! so i hired movers... those four blocks could've otherwise been real strenuous on me!! anyway, given all the horror stories ive heard about movers, i was bracing myself for the worst. nope. these people not only showed up on time, they showed up FIVE MINUTES EARLY! not only THAT, but they finished TEN MINUTES ahead of schedule!! and they were like the most adorable people ever. i wanted to offer them lemonade (it was f'ing 90 degrees outside + unnecessary ridic amounts of humidity that day) but of course, i had no lemonade to offer. now, if they wanted some multigrain bread, turkey, mustard, or chai tea bags (no chai tea lattes, because i haven't had milk in my fridge for QUITE some time!) i would SO have been more than happy to oblige. but whatever. in any event, i highly HIGHLY recommend EZ movers for any/everyone's moves!

5. my cable setup - this brings me back to my very first couple of sentences in this entry. so our building apparently scored some deal with comcast for all kinds of cable wonderfulness. my old building had cable built in and, while it was sufficient, it was certainly not direct tv. and dvr. omg, as i write this, the tv is on in the background because... well, just because. hbo, starz, encore, dvr, my own little guide... i could literally sit here forever. well, maybe not forever but for a VERY long while, that's for darn CERTAIN! is it sad that i even turned down plans one evening this week because i wanted to... sit... and watch my tv? for a girl who hasn't really watched all that much tv since the 80s (ie: once cosby show, full house, fresh prince, growing pains, and saved by the bell were over and done with, i really didnt see much need for regular tv watching... well, except for friends- but every rule's gotta have an exception, right?), this is quite a 180 im doing. but whatever. maybe the novelty will wear off and ill go back to preferring reading books to watching tv. then again, maybe NOT omg i LOVE DVRLKSDjflkajsdlfkjasdlkfjalksdjfklasdjlkJ!KLjfalksfjoiwerwekjflkadljkfhsdoiUHJ!O!!!!!!!

6. my location! - while i knew i wanted to move out of my old building, i 100% knew that i HAD to stay in lincoln park. i mean, i know lincoln park is considered the yuppiest of yuppie neighborhoods and i am so not a yuppie if i do say so myself, i still love love love this area! but it comes with a price. places in this area are ex-pensive. so i essentially wanted an upgraded apartment without having to raise my rent by over a hundred dollars than what i was paying. fat chance, considering my other place was a pretty darn sweet deal for the location. but look at that! i find THIS gem... and it's only four blocks from my old place!! right on the corner of a main intersection (no worries, my apartment is, of course, soundproof... add it to the perfection, really) and i dont have to change ANY of my wonderful public transportation routes. man oh man, i love chicago. i love lincoln park. i love clark and fullerton. and i love the cta... okay. maybe not necessarily the cta- let's not get carried away here (some of the bus drivers are cRAZy) but i do love me the efficiency of the chicago public transportation system. well done, chicago transportation gods, well done.

7. have i mentioned my dvr? i forget. hahaha i crack myself up.

so there you have it! another recent happening in my summer of many... happenings, if you will. thank goodness for my tv/dvr to ensure some quality relaxation time in the coming few days... you KNOW i already have oprah on my recurring dvr setup.

in gratitude of-
wonderful movers, lovely views, and (of course) the inventors of the DVR

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

christie's cost-cutting contributions...

sorry, i know it's been a while since ive updated this thing. man, people weren't kidding. summertime in chicago is pretty much THE place to BE! i LOVE IT HERE!!!! haha. but that would explain my lack of an update- i simply havent had enough time to sit down and write a substantial (read: neverending) blog entry.

but no worries! im back!! in (hopefully!) full swing! and what better way to start off my summertime series than with a little lesson in personal finance?

i came up with this idea for a blog entry about... eight hours ago when i started off my wonderful wednesday morning by... taking a look at my credit card statement. holy bejeezleweezles! talk about a rude awakening. well, after that slight shellshock of a start to my morning, ive spent the rest of the day coming up with some creative approaches to cutting costs (because im certainly not making any more money... come on, darn novel, will you just publish yourself and become a multimillion dollar bestseller? come ON!) in the summertime, without sacrificing any fun (of COURSE!)...

so i present to you... christie's cost-cutting contributions... talk about alliteration at its finest...

1. bike to work - im more determined than ever to start biking to work once my monthly pass' pre-tax benefits are done in august. granted, it takes about an additional half hour to my morning routine (based on my sole trial bike ride to work a couple of weeks ago, when my overexcited self decided to just take to the streets of chicago by bike) but i really think the majority of that additional half hour is due to the act of locking my bike. once i figure out how to efficiently do THAT (which i firmly believe will happen with time and practice), i really think my morning routine will be pretty much as seamless as possible. minus the issue of changing clothes and drying off my sweat (lovely) in the ladies' restroom at work. sigh. sacrifices. but just think! exercise, a beautiful ride along lake shore, and saving $86 in a month. totes worth it. (icing on the cake: i bought my bike for SUPER cheap because my friend had an extra one just laying around- if any of you have been bike shopping recently, you KNOW how expensive these things can BE... yikesers...)

2. stop drinking - i dont enjoy the taste of alcohol. and, quite frankly, im about as uninhibited as one can get in a sober state of mind. not to mention i need all the help i can get to condition my body for this half marathon in september... i really think all signs are pointing to nixing the intake of alcoholic beverages. well, maybe except for wine (how can you resist a good white wine in the summertime)... or maybe i could limit myself to like one drink whilst out... a little cranberry vodka never hurt anybody, right? ah, only time will tell but i really think that, even if i dont stop drinking altogether, i will be SIGNIFICANTLY cutting back- not like i drink all that much to begin with, but still, it's enough to feel it on my bank account... for all of the above reasons in addition to the whole saving money bit... now, if the tab's on someone else... well, that's just a whole other story...

3. bring lunch - i dont understand why the hell i keep buying lunch. lord knows it's NOT healthy (did you know one of my favorite salads in the cafeteria contains 41 g of FAT?? WTF. i used to be so GOOD at gauging the fat/calorie count in a particular meal... but clearly that is now lost on me). not to mention i usually end up spending between five and eight bucks on lunch everyday (!)... add that up over the year and you are looking at a WHOLE lot of unnecessary wasted cash. at least now that ill start bringing lunch, ill be able to truly cherish eating out as a special occasion now. i really am annoyed myself for developing this bad habit and i have no idea why/how i picked it up. i mean, my parents NEVER buy lunch at work- it never ceases to amaze me.

4. dont buy coffee - okay, since my little lenten resolution, ive successfully nixed my starbucks habit. unfortunately, ive also now discovered the wonders and glories of corner bakery's chai tea. sigh. while cheaper than starbucks, it's not nearly as cheap as... nothing. it doesnt make any sense, either. in the wintertime, i justified this habit with the whole "wanting something warm in the morning time". well, screw that in the summertime. it is HOT and HUMID. if i want something warm in the morning time, ill just allow myself a few more extra minutes of sitting around in my disgusting sweat between my morning workout and getting in the shower. lovely thought, isnt it?

5. dont belong to a gym - now, remember. i didnt want to sacrifice anything regarding my health and wellbeing or general happiness for cheapness. therefore, because working out makes me feel good (think: endorphins... think elle woods in legally blonde... does anyone get my reference?!?!?), i dont want to discontinue it because i want to save on the costs of a gym. but that's where the beauty of mother nature comes into play! hello! it's SUMMERTIME! what better time to exercise outdoors than now? i guess this sounds a lot better in theory than in actuality, given the disgusting ridiculousness that only humidity can bring, but still. it hasnt deterred me yet... and at least chicago's not experiencing as BAD a heat wave as the northeast, right? right. see? look at me- ever the optimist.

6. shop at trader joes - so, despite the fact that i havent been bringing my lunch to work, i still do go to the grocery store on a regular basis, believe it or not. partially it's because i LOVE grocery shopping but i also think a huge part of it has to do with the fact that there's a grocery store literally one block from my place. unfortunately, this place is also ridic exPENsive. i mean, $5 for some kraft cheese? are you kidding me? no. and i know this fact. each and every time i go to this grocery store i think about how much money im wasting. but the convenience of having it right on the corner has really overcome my concerns for its priceyness. not anymore, thank you very much. trader joes (tjs, if you will) it SO is. i mean, do you guys REALIZE how CHEAP tjs is?? and the best part is, tjs has some pretty f'ing DELICIOUS FOOD. so no sacrifice to quality of meals, i can 100% assure you. it's quite amazing, really. my heart tends to skip a beat in excitement each and every time i enter such hallowed halls. you think im kidding, but im so not... well, maybe just a tad. but just a tad.

7. stop attending unnecessary events that are NOT free (or at least more than, like, 10 bucks) - so when i made my grand arrival in chicago, i knew i wanted to get super involved in the city, because i know i want to settle down in this area and, obvi, i HAVE to be involved in the community within which i want to settle! i mean, what if i want to run for public office someday?! (haha omg can you IMAGINE if i ran for public office someday?? sigh. another blog topic for another day, i guess...) ANYWAY, so with this intent in mind, i have completely immersed myself in a couple of organizations and/or general activities throughout the city. while not all of them cost money, some of these events certainly DO. and considering i feel pretty well-settled in chicago by now (not to mention feeling slightly overextended by my extracurriculars at present), i feel like i have plenty of room to cut back/be more selective about the events which i choose to attend. so you KNOW ill be paying just THAT much more attention to the price tag on said events... i mean, it really just adds up.

so there you have it... all the little things you can do in life to cut some costs while maintaining the same satisfaction levels with your life. ahhh- here i go again. saving the world one christieism at a time. gosh, you are SO welcome. hahaha juuust kidding :)

in gratitude of-
cost-cutting contributions...