Let’s do this!

One of my favorite blogs of all time is HRH Collection. The bogger’s name is is Alex, and she’s absolutely adorable. She has her own jewelry line, she’s incredibly stylish, her house is amazing, and she even has a cute little white bunny that makes occasional appearances (just like I have Aiko!). I really enjoy reading her blog and get really excited when she posts new things.  She has taught me the coolest way to jazz up my shorts, the art of using bronzer to highlight my cheekbones and just how to create the perfect combination of edgy and girly. Though she often finds herself apologizing for her brief delays between posts, Alex continues to follow through with photos, videos and text posts that really inspire me. The appeal of a great blog is that steady stream of fresh new content that keeps readers coming back.

That used to be me.

I used to have new posts every, single day. Mondays were for Recipes, Tuesdays were for Photos, etc. I had a strict Editorial Schedule that I actually stuck to! EmJoyable used to be an accurate depiction of doing things by the book, filled with seasonal recipes, activities and adventure, and inspiring other people to be as excited about everything as I am! Then I started slacking. There just wasn’t enough time in the day to get everything done. I started planning a wedding, crafting a lot more, hanging out with friends and participating in recreational sports. Now don’t get me wrong, those are all very important things! And I love them! But those are the things that I want to share on EmJoyable. Those are the things I want to inspire other people to do! Those things are the reason EmJoyable was born!

And I’m back.

I had two big moments recently. The first came when I was walking through Montrose Harbor on my way to my playoff volleyball game. I realized that I am so incredibly happy. Like, ridiculously happy! I just want to freeze time and be in this phase of my life forever. I love my apartment and where it’s located in the heart of the best city in the world. I’m engaged to my best friend and we’re planning the coolest, most fun wedding of all time — and I get to make so many crafts for it!!! I have the best friends in the entire world who are so incredibly supportive and nice and fun and social and pretty and fantastic! I just, can’t help but squeal thinking how truly lucky I am, and if I could inspire even one of you to realize how happy you are in your own life, then my mission is complete.

The second moment came while I was having drinks with two of my favorite girls on Thursday night. One of them used to live in Chicago, recently moved to Michigan, and was just back in town for work. The other is my dearest friend in the City, who was born and raised in Chicago. (Keep in mind that I’ve only been here for about 2 years, so we had a nice dynamic going on here.) So we’re sitting on a patio outside of bar, drinking RumChata and chatting it up like girls do. We started talking about how great Chicago is and how there’s just this energy here that is just invigorating, that is impossible to match anywhere else (New Yorkers reading this, you’re allowed to disagree with me here, but you surely understand the sentiment for your own turf). And then EmJoyable came up. These girls are two of my biggest fans, and they have been checking my blog repeatedly, and finding the same old content. One of them even knew the exact date of the last time I posted! And I had let them down. I had let my readers down. Each time someone came to my site and left, after finding nothing new, I had missed an opportunity to inspire. One day last year, I had 3,899 views in a single day. Yesterday, I had 4.

I never realized until that moment that there are people on the other end of this blog. When you’re typing away into the backend of WordPress, it’s hard to see that there are actual people reading it on the other end. And they are people like me, checking their favorite blogs every day, and wanting to find something exciting. I have enough excitement in my life that I should I should always be able to provide that!

So I’m making this post as a commitment to inspire! As a commitment to you and myself that I am back, and I will always come back.

Love you!

My New Faves

Lately, I’ve been spending a lot more time reading other people’s blogs than writing my own. Sorry about that! But it’s been a really inspiring endeavor! There are so many good ideas out there and so many creative people to talk about them. Lately, EmJoyable has been primarily about cooking, but it’s more than that. It’s a lifestyle blog. It’s about doing cute things, celebrating everyday and embracing creativity! I wanted to share some of the blogs that I’ve been reading lately. I hope that you take some time to check them out and get inspired too! They’ve certainly put some ideas in my head that I will be trying out soon!

Cheers!

Baking/cooking blogs

Sweet Pea Kitchen
Just a Matter of Thyme
Chocolate Covered Katie
Heat Oven to 350
Dessert First
Bake or Break
Baking Bites

Fashion blogs

The Londoner
The Life Styled

 

Fall Bucket List 2012

After six years as a barista, I will always define my seasons by Starbucks seasonal drinks. Now that Pumpkin Spice Lattes are out, I’m officially allowed to start blogging about fall! Fall is my absolute favorite season. October first is my favorite day of the year, pumpkin recipes never get old and you simply can’t beat the weather!

Right along with the change in weather this year is my change of local! I recently moved to a new neighborhood in Chicago that is absolutely beautiful. I live by some of the best patio restaurants, wine bars and extraordinary window shopping in the city. Now that I have this whole new turf to explore, on top of all the other fabulous fall activities, I feel like I need to make a 2012 Fall Bucket List.

I hope that fall inspires you to explore your neighborhood and go out and do cute things! (And yes, don’t worry, there will be a Go Do Cute Things – Fall Edition coming out soon!) Here’s my top 10 things to do this fall. I will keep you posted every step of the way.

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1. Visit a Farmer’s Market (often).    
There’s a Farmer’s Market just up the street from me and all I want to do is wear a cable-knit sweater, sip my Caramel Apple Cider and peruse the tents full of produce. And then buy a huge bouquet of fresh flowers to walk home with and put in a vase on the kitchen table.

2. Try my hand at pie crust for a completely homemade apple pie.  
I’ve attempted homemade pie crust once before and failed miserably. As a recipe blogger, this is a task I MUST accomplish. I figure if I fill it with fresh apples, even if it totally sucks it won’t be that bad. 

3. Visit a local bar for a pumpkin inspired beer. 
I thought I accomplished this goal last Halloween at Fountainhead, but it turns it out it was just beer that was served out of a pumpkin, and wasn’t actually pumpkin flavored. I hear that there are several pumpkin ales and I’m excited to try at least three of them.

4. Build up my fall wardrobe with scarves, sweaters, flannel and boots!
Can you believe I’ve never owned tall, brown, leather boots? I couldn’t either! I am desperately in need of a pair this season! I know that fall attire has been in the stores for the past month, but I’ve been trying desperately to hold off on buying it all until I had a crisp, fall saturday afternoon to spend doing so. It will be a very expensive, very fulfilling, very fantastic day I just know it!

5. Not get last in my first-ever Fantasy Football Team. (Let’s go Oak Street Jenny MacAurthors!)
I’ve only really gotten into NFL football over the past two years, but when my fiance asked if I wanted to be on his league, I was extremely excited! I asked if EmJoyable was an appropriate Fantasy Football team team and it turns out that it’s not. So I opted to pay tribute to my favorite character on The League. I was an NFL columnist for a college sports website for a while, so hopefully that counts for something. I don’t expect to win, but I would just really, really like to not get last.

6. Make pumpkin seeds that don’t suck. 
I tried them last year and they were really soggy. My goal this year is to make delicious, crispy and salty pumpkin seeds that someone might actually want to eat.

7. Eat brunch outside.
And if we’re being honest, also eat lunch, dinner and dessert outside and as often as possible. My neighborhood is lined with trees and floral arrangements and I can only imagine how beautiful it will look when the leaves start to turn. Plus, I am surrounded by brunch places with cute patio seating outlined with rod-iron fences and strings of white lights. I could eat brunch on a different patio every weekend till Christmas.

8. Make a killer DIY R2D2 halloween costume.
No one seems to believe me when I say that this costume is going to be adorable, but I promise that it is! And it’s going to be easy and cheap! I hope you’re as excited about it as I am.

9. Host a fall-themed party (and make a few friends to invite to said party). 
I’m not exactly sure what this means. All I know is that I bought six wine glasses, so that will clearly be involved. There will certainly be pumpkin flavored snacks, a craft table (yes, like Mrs. Dunphy on Luke’s birthday on Modern Family) and probably a screening of “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.” I just know it will be great.

10. Blog about ALL of these things!
I know I’ve been a total slacker lately and that makes me very sad. So I am making an honest vow to be better! No one likes a blogger that doesn’t blog. Let’s have a great fall together!

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What things are you hoping to do this fall?!

Happiest of Holidays

Hi! My name’s Emily, and I write this blog called EmJoyable! I just wanted to remind you in case you forgot considering it’s been forever! I’ve missed you, friend! Anyways, I feel like I have so much to catch up on that I don’t even know where to begin. In the spirit of Inspired Thursdays, I thought it was fitting to share everything that inspired me to celebrate this holiday season to its fullest! Hear’s to hoping that your holiday was just as charming, sparkly and lovely as mine was. 

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Kenny and I went to the giant Macy’s on State Street more times this season than I can count! Between the giant tree at the top, the elaborate window displays and the floors upon floors of sparkly jewelry, cozy sweaters and stunning dresses that I couldn’t afford in a million years, it felt like we couldn’t go a week without dropping by to say hello! 

We also got to go see A Christmas Story the Musical which was absolutely incredible! I’m kind of a nerd and I love musicals, plus A Christmas Story is just awesome anyways! I had a blast!

I had some seriously great baking sessions, which included cinnamon roll apple pie and pie pops among other things! Keep your eyes peeled for the next few Mondays for some amazing recipes!

I got to go to Zoo Lights twice this year! Once with the boy and once with the family (and boy), and it just never gets old! (I’m the one who looks like a lion)

The Sweets Table at family Christmas. Enough said.

I got to hang out with a very darling little wiener dog named Max! Oh yeah, and the rest of his family!

I got to celebrate my fake birthday with my family downtown, which was lovely! We ended the day with some Goose Island beers and a sweet Irish Pub for dinner.

On my real birthday, Kenny took me to this darling Patisserie I’ve been wanting to try forever. It was adorable! 

We got dinner at The Melting Pot and it was just incredible! We got Fiesta cheese fondue, then a pretty mediocre salad, followed by eight different kinds of raw meat and veggies cooked by yours truly. Then, the BEST part, was obviously the half dark chocolate half white chocolate fondue! The perfect birthday!

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So that was Christmas and my birthday in a nutshell! All that’s left now is New Year’s Eve! I’ll see you then! 

I Work Out

I definitely peaked in high school. I had the most friends, I had the most in-season clothes (since that was the only thing I had to pay for) and I definitely was in the best shape of my life. I ran track and cross-country, I cheered, I tumbled and I voluntarily worked out even outside of my sports. I wasn’t the fastest distance runner, but I could go 10 miles without stopping. I wasn’t the best sprinter, but I was head-over-heals-in-love with it and went to state in the 4×100.

I was never the best gymnastic, but I really enjoyed being upside down. And then there was cheerleading, and God did I love cheerleading. Cheerleading, I actually was pretty good at.

RHS Represent – ha!

I had my many senior nights and then I retired my spikes and hung up my pom pons and kissed my fit self goodbye. 

I ran a few times in college, usually on nice spring days or immediately following getting dumped, but not enough to make it stick. I joined the gymnastics club for a year, so that helped a little bit too I suppose. But then I turned 21 and I could say with 100% certainty that I had more vodka gimlets than I’d done sit ups.

A few days ago, a good friend, a perky cheerleader voice on the other end of the phone and a taste of Hip Hop Heat changed all of that. Now, I can proudly say, I work out! Well, at least I have since Monday. Watch out world, the glory days will return!

Anyway, so this week, I’ve been inspired to get my little butt back in shape! I joined Women’s Workout World, which despite sounding (and looking) like an 80’s pop song, has actually turned out to be quite fantastic! They have a different class everyday, ranging from Zumba to Simple (which is actually not simple) Step, which so far have been really great! Plus, even if we just go to four classes a week, it only costs me $1.62 a day! And that includes the quarter for a locker! What a steal! My friend Chrissy and I joined together, so between signing a one-year contract and the buddy system, there’s no way of getting out of this one! 

Wish me luck! Next step … making more friends.