Summer Inspired

Summer Inspired
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Summer Bucket List 2k14

Because this is so much more manageable than deciding one that is supposed to be a lifetime long.

Last summer, I was working 14 hour days, every day, even celebrated my, long awaited, 21st birthday with my boss, and we spent the entire time talking about work, of course.  So, this summer, not seeing my friends, not spending every weekend at lake houses, and not getting tan az hell is not an option.

I was inspired by one I found on Buzzfeed and did a few additions/modifications of my own. Living near Chicago, I have the luxury of life being outside my door so I decided to forget far away travel plans and extensive research and am leaving it up to me and my backyard to make this my best summer ever.  Because, as we all know, Chicago only gets 100 days of it.

imagesSip an umbrella drink
tumblr_lwio8d34kh1r06q46o1_500Take a daytrip to eat something amazing – probably GF themed
3Go sans make-up on vacations (have several weekend trips planned)
Stella-McCartney-Resort-Garden-Party-22_11535193591.jpg_carousel_partiesHost a party!
6Grill fruit. And lots of it.
giphyGo to the beach
Ji-Young Jung, Sun-hwa Park & Sojung Yoon by Kim Je Won (Spring Picnic - Singles Korea May 2011)33Go on a picnic
outdoor-decorating-MH0709-m-1-mdnPlant a garden
mimosasAttend a mimosa brunch
rooftopGo to a rooftop lounge
2013-0628_avocados-189Eat as many avocados as I can get my hands on
bonfire-518x345Hang out around a fire and drink whiskey
tumblr_mjxn64IEmm1rvvjnbo1_500Go camping
originalHave a water war
Coachella 2014: Day 1 AtmosphereGo to an outdoor concert/festival
farmers-market-produceCook a meal using only the farmer’s market
stock-footage-people-look-at-garage-saleGo garage saling
tour de france girl bicycle paris HRGo on a 10+ mile bike ride
navy_pier_swing_and_ferris_wheel_by_wallGo on the Ferris Wheel at Navy Pier
5402-5402_Classic-Wrigley-Field-Rooftop-Experience-MAINAttend a cubs rooftop game
Volume_ChugHost or attend a beer olympics
tumblr_mtfo056ggY1r5xzeyo1_400Getting matching tattoos with my mom and sister! – we decided on Foxes after Ylvis’ hit WHAT DOES THE FOX SAY??
11Go to a roller rink
Fashion-12-Alter-Ego-2Perfect an accent/alter ego
tumblr_m6191tyRXQ1ry22pqo1_500Plan a trip for this fall
5257_wallpaper-sony-gorgeous-camera-beautiful-model-Wallpapers_2560x1920Document every minute of it. I have nothing but selfies, it’s sad.

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Challenge Fail :(

So apparently, posting everyday is more of a challenge than I thought it was going to be… I am not able to post what I intended today due to something coming up but I have several thoughtful posts in mind for this week.

Sorry for sucking.

Admitting and owning up to your mistakes is a challenge we all must face and this whole thing is about challenging myself and I will do so, not only considering the task at hand, but also with myself.

Have a good night everybody!!!  Here’s a jam for the road:


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The Quest for BF: Pt 1: Online Dating

I figured since it is out in the open that I am an eternally single individual that I would allow all of you to experience the wacky world of online dating right along side of me.  (Note: I am only doing this because I live in a metropolitan area, and there are like a billion fish in my sea)

Sites I’ve tried:

Coffee meets Bagel – it was terrible.  Made no sense.  Very little users and wanted you for your $. Not that desperate

Hot or Not/Tinder – Only kidding. DO NOT FIND YOUR BF HERE.  Though it is a hilarious way to pass the time, men to not know how to choose photos amiright?, but there is no serious potential for love.  HOWEVER, my bff did find her bf on this site (she stumbled across someone she knew from high school and it worked out!) – let’s face it.  It is not geared towards 20 somethings, we should not be desperate enough to try online dating according to society standards.  So instead, we all sign up, none of us pay for it, and so we’re all just receiving the email updates (that we can’t unsubscribe to since we didn’t pay for it) of people we can’t talk to.  And if you DID pay for a membership. Cancel it.  Then take your money and go to a bar with it.  Or buy a pair of shoes, shoes are always an excellent investment.

Which finally lead me to… the holy grail of free, young people, online dating… I signed up for it last night and let me tell you… already it has been a smashing success!  The format is clean, very user friendly, asks the right questions, and, most importantly, I’ve found about a dozen eligible bachelors.

Here’s a peek at my profile (because I don’t know about you guys but I have no idea what to say on it…):

Here are some of my uploaded photos: 100_2548kl 007 482949_302436579852522_1742016439_n 20140309-232009.jpg

Self summary: I am an adventurer. Nothing is too boring or too extreme to put me off, it’s up to us to make it fun!

I am originally from New Mexico, moved to Chi area as a tot and have loved it here ever since, this is my favorite place. The city life, the weather (making those 100 days of summer something we all should take advantage of) and the culture. I love that there are endless options and so long as you are outside you are going to see or hear or experience something new.

What I am doing with my life: Undecided. traveling, blogging, working, whatever strikes my eye I will pursue

I’m really good at: Making people laugh, being compassionate, small-talk, logic, writing

The first things people usually notice about me: 

  • My height. 5’9 (and legs, a “short top”)
  • My smile
  • My eyes – hazel
  • That I am “unique” whatever the hell that means

Favorite Books, Movies, Shows, Food, Music:

Books: She’s Come Undone
The Secret
Great Gatsby
The Snow Child
Anything by Murakami
Fuck I’m in my 20′s
Where’d you go Bernadette
Gone girl
Rules of civility
Any cookbook. Foodie.

Million Dollar Listing
Mad Men
White Collar
The League
Kelly & Michael
Fantasy Island
New Girl
Mindy Project

(Assume that I have never seen any movie)
Mean Girls (had to get it out of the way)
Mulholland Drive
Boogie Nights
Fast Times
Lincoln Lawyer
Any chick flick, most documentaries (especially on street art), indie movies, comedies, ect

I cannot stand country music. There’s something about the twang that kills me. Maybe that can be challenge to change my mind but none have prevailed so far.
As far as the other genres go, totally good. Except like death metal. But I can jam with everything. And if I know the lyrics, even better.

I am an excellent chef. Baking, broiling, roasting, sauteing, whatever it may be – I AM ON IT.
Ice cream – massive sweet tooth
English muffins
Mashed potatoes
If it is processed, has preservatives, colored artificially, or from a chain, I probably will not eat it. Food quality is extremely important to me.
I’ll eat any cuisine and have tried (and loved) most. Total foodie.

Six things I cannot live without:

1. iPhone
2. Moose tracks ice cream
3. Emojis 😘
4. Music
5. High heels
6. Skinny jeans

I spend a lot of time thinking about: Everything. Memories, my dreams/goals, future plans, self improvement, discovering new things, wine, fashion, beauty

On a Friday night I am: hanging with my crew or finding something to do

The most private thing I am willing to admit: I need to get out more

Message me if: Hmm… (not to be redundant but)
you are looking for an adventure! And have an EXTREMELY open mind, short sighted and small minded people do not jive well with me.

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The best advice I can give to anyone who is going gluten free

Is to try everything! If you think it will taste good, 99% of the time it does.

Don’t be afraid to experiment with your food and make it gluten free with substitutions but do have a backup in case it is truly not edible.

When my mom first started it she had no idea how to eat without wheat. She ate rice cakes or rice with everything and looked like a skeleton. Cut to 3 years later, the gluten free market is expanding exponentially and we eat genuinely delicious food (being gluten-free or not I would still totally eat these recipes) and there are now so many blogs, sites and companies dedicated to this food movement that it’s getting hard to ignore.

Here are a few of the best things we’ve found:


Leo’s RAVIOLI. Which is a seriously exciting find and they are seriously fucking good.

image3Udi’s for everything they make – bread, pizza, pizza crust, MUFFINS.  They have MASTERED the consistency and flavor


Glutino pretzels


Nut-thins Crackers


Mediterranean Baked Lentil Crackers


Bob’s red mill GF mixes


Pillsbury GF Pie Crust


Rice chex – naturally gluten free :)


This is a splurge – Cup 4 Cup Flour available at Williams and Sonoma - it’s chef recommended (for when you absolutely must have real flour)

So try it! You feel lighter, skin will improve and it makes your meals so much more creative. Seriously.  Our old lame dinner basics are now out of this world.

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Tanning 101


Summer is on my mind and, it seems, everyone and their mom has posted something tanning related so here’s my go at it.

Here’s a great article published by Fashionista on real women trying various self tanners, and below is a great video detailing a few of her favs:

Now, I used to be a lifeguard, so I know a thing or 2 about how to be a bronze goddess and there are a few key tips to achieving (and maintaining) your tan:

1. Chlorine strips tan from your skin.  It’s bleaching and drying and there’s nothing that will fade a brand new tan faster than a day in the pool.  Go to a beach instead.

2. Exfoliate/shave prior to applying self tanner or going to tan.

3. HAVE A BASE TAN BEFORE TRYING TO SERIOUSLY TAN (being outside 4+ hours) OR ELSE YOU WILL SERIOUSLY REGRET IT.  Somehow, I always have an event every spring that I have to be tan for so I go the salon route to build my tan but self tanner will do the same trick.  The goal is to not go outside with pasty white skin, that will burn, and that will hurt.

4. Apply higher spf around your bikini line (naked so you cover every inch).  As a naive teen, I always got lobster red in this area.

07214000666_220x220_a5. My fav self tanner? Nivea Sunkissed Radiant Skin, around $7-8.  It doesn’t have that gross self-tanner smell and develops into a really nice color, gradually so as not to streak but you’ll notice a difference after 1 use.  I apply my regular lotion over my knees and elbows after the application to prevent orange-y-ness.

6. Whilst tanning, spritz your skin with water often.  It keeps you cool, obviously, and will attract more light, tanning you faster, while adding moisture to your skin.  Double win.11082252_130311123000

7. Use the lowest possible SPF for your skin.  N
ow, if this were an anti-cancer post, I would be preaching SPF60 all day long but this is about getting a tan.  After about a week of SPF15 I switch it out for my good ole’ Banana
Boat SPF4 tanning oil and even maybe some Neutrogena Baby Oil
by the end of the summer.

8. Apply lotion daily to maintain your tan.  Moisturized skin is the key to keeping it around.

And if you burn?  Keep calm. Take a cold shower. Apply the aloe. Put on loose clothing. And carry on.  It’ll turn into a tan anyway…

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I had an epiphany today that my life is boring, like, I would rather be sleeping all the time boring.

Maybe it’s because my bff has officially been swept off her feet by a new boy, leaving me to be my own best friend, or that I have been sitting at home for months waiting for my life to piece back together but there is literally nothing. going. on.

And, knowing that you create what you get, I need to put my creativity towards more than fantasizing about clothes I can’t have and things I definitely don’t want so I’m going to start monthly challenges.

That’s right, I’m going to do the same (new) thing everyday to spice things up!  And, of course, share my discoveries with you all.  Once I end the monthly challenge they will be completed weekly instead of daily (except the blog posts of course, can’t leave my readers hanging!).

I find that personal growth and reflecting often is the key to finding true happiness and putting things into place.

Along with the new challenges every 30 days I have a bucket-list running for my 2014 summer.  To be posted at a later date, sometime this month I’m sure.Very exciting stuff.

Here are my challenges for the upcoming year:

  • April: Posting to Pumps In the Night daily. 
  • May: Decluttering and organizing for 30 min each day
    • Goal: getting rid of 100 things.
  • June: Sweat everyday!
  • July: Full serving fruit/veggies per day
  • August: No facebook/TV
  • September: Write 30 min per day
    • Goal: write a novel/book of short stories
  • October: BE A CHEAPSKATE
  • November: Play hostess once per week (with all the money I saved from being a cheapskate)
  • December: Do a random act of kindness everyday
  • January: Picture a day
  • February: Read 1 hr per day
  • March: Learn French!/Re-learn German

***The later months are subject to change to depending on what interests get picked up along the year but so far this seems like a pretty solid list.

Here are a few ideas that did not make the cut:

  • Only wearing 1-6 articles of clothing
  • No waste
  • No sugar
  • Calling an old friend/connection everyday

Have any challenge ideas?  Doing something like this yourself?  I would love to hear about it!

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Sexy Is What Sexy Does

And sexy is one thing… confidence  

I recently stumbled across this article published on Huff Post written by a woman (Anastasia Basil) who was ready for the “sexy movement,” so to speak, to be over.  And you know what?  I completely agree.  

I analyzed things for a moment.  Society, myself, and realized, there is nothing. sexy. about “being sexy.”  There is a reason that Drake famously coined the phrase…


totally kidding, “sweatpants, hair tied, chilling with no makeup on…” we know the rest of the lyrics, but it’s true.

The one and only boyfriend I’ve had got together amidst a hot summer lifeguarding job AKA being hair tied with nothing but sunscreen on.  The relationship didn’t last and so neither did the notion that all natural beauty is linked to attraction.

So, 5 years later, I am going back to my philosophy that makeup does not, in fact, attract a mate.  (Which is a hard concept for me, I tend to treat every social activity as a red carpet event.)

Now, I am not going full throttle and throwing away my makeup and banishing my LBD’s but there is no need to go all out every time, or even like 1/2  the time.

1. It feeds into the stereotype of men “not knowing” what they would wake up to the next morning. Dicks.

2. [DISCLAIMER: I have no R&D on this but...Miranda Kerr is seriously sexy and she bares no makeup often] Men honestly don’t find it sexy either.  It’s fun to look at it for a little, sure, but I find it’s much more enticing for other woman and our silent competition than it ever is for men.  Which, is kind of the point of girls night but not date night.

3. IT IS SO EXHAUSTING. Omg if I could get back the time I have spent removing my makeup and scrubbing all the winged eyeliner and lash glue from my eyes…  And for that very reason I do not have co-ed sleepovers.

4. It makes sultry makeup and hair a special occasion.  Now, I’m sure it is SO FUN to look like Barbie non-stop but I’m kidding.

5. Men intentions are never clear… There have been many a men I dated that did not find the non-makeup look attractive.  In turn, I no longer found them attractive.

So let your brows grow bushy and PUT DOWN THE EYELINER! It’s about to be summer time anyway, LET YOUR INNER BEAUTY SHINE!


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Unsolicited Life Tip #1 – RE: Dressing Yourself

Ladies, it’s okay to not know who you are

I have gone through so many fashion phases I could puke:

hollister whore

Hollister whore


 Indie/urban outfitters




Slouch – sweatpants/scarves and a hoodie every day




Blair Waldorf (for like a day- bought a billion pairs of tights and headbands and realized I’d rather be Serena)

Snapshot_20110404_26Hipster (I was in art school, I had no other choice)


Sexy librarian/grandma (worked at a bookstore, again, no other choice)

Which brings me to my final look:

20140320-115915.jpgPolished with edge (maybe it’s the tattoos but not having a badass item just doesn’t feel right)

So if you wake up one day and want to look like a ballerina and then a Catholic schoolgirl with edge the next it’s entirely fine.

I can never pre-pick out my outfits (packing for a trip includes my entire closet) because I wake up and play dress up every morning to suit mood: rockstar. bohemian. heartbreaker. saint. Kate Middleton. Kate Moss. lumberjack. ect. But I do it my own way so I always maintain my “look” and it’s so easy to do with a few key pieces to make any sort of vibe achievable.  Wear it with confidence otherwise people will know it’s not your typical style.

  • Jewelry- spikey, delicate, chokers, collars, pearls, diamonds, rings
  • Leather jacket and biker boots- A leather jacket is just a necessity for every human being. Mine is one that my sister stole from her ex boyfriend so it’s a true beat to shit lookin thing but it’s fitted (he was super skinny and short) so it doesn’t look like it’s belonged to anyone else but moi and my boots are Michael Kors I found on mad clearance at DSW years ago and they are the only thing on my feet in winter. I get them repaired yearly.
  • Tights- in every pattern/color imaginable
  • Black skinny jeans
  • V-neck in every color – thinking “subtle cleavage” is the ticket
  • Dresses – classic a-line, lbd, sundresses, cutout, collared shirt and I’m sure there are a dozen more. Dresses are my fav because they are 1 stop dressing. Throw on a blazer to dress it up and you’re good to go
  • And

Have wardrobe and style tips to share?  Comment below!


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Happy Dance


FINALLY got my makeup brushes from Hautelook

Review to come!



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