Grateful 4 Her and Chorus Girl U

I took a personal day on Friday.

I started the day with coffee on my balcony, then a run in the 70-degree temps, then (not pictured) met with a recent Loyola grad for lunch to answer questions about a career in digital marketing.

But the real reason I took the day off was so I could participate in my friend Kelly’s Grateful 4 Her project.

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Because it’s a video project, my involvement was to be interviewed by Kelly about women I am grateful for. And being on camera = getting my make-up done by a professional.

The project itself sounds pretty awesome, it’s described as “a Thank You Note to women everywhere. It is a movement in gratitude. A celebration of powerful and loving women we are grateful for.” I talked about my mom because she’s awesome and a great example of a strong, smart woman. I also talked about Dita Von Teese and Red Hot Annie for their role in the modern burlesque movement and encouraging women to express what they find beautiful and sexy. Anyway, it was fun to participate and I can’t wait to see the final product!!  

I’m also glad I took Friday off (from work, anyway) because my weekend was pretty active – I signed up for the first annual Chorus Girl University, which took place on Saturday and Sunday.

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Chorus Girl U was put on by the Galaxie Girls (performing above) to teach vintage dance styles and other tips for costuming, hair, make-up etc, and give participants a taste of being a Chrous Girl. I got to hang out with Nina (aka Kitty Von Royall) at most of the sessions I attended.

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It was a fun weekend and I learned some new things for both dance and hair & make-up. I got to put some of the make-up tricks to the test for my performance on Saturday night:

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Backstage selfie as Kitten Von Purr ;-) 

Saturday night’s show was another good one! You have two more chances to see the Scream Queens at Vaudezilla’s Silver Screen Striptease!

What were you up to this weekend? 
What women are you grateful for and why? 

Three Things Thursday

Did you see the sunset last night?? I didn’t make it up to the roof in time to see the rainbow, but I saw the lovely sunset, and it’s reflection in the skyline.

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Thank you all for your comments on my last post – Zero Motivation. I think just getting it out there helped me realize 1) I’m not the only one 2) I overthink things. Actually, talking to my husband helped me with #2. Thanks, babe.

On that note, I’ve been working out more this week, which helps with motivation. Last night’s workout at Title Boxing was much needed, more than I realized. I kicked (and punched) the ish out of that bag. Lots of rage in me, apparently.

 

Last weekend was apparently Family Weekend for my burlesquin’. Which ended up being way more exciting than weird. (For me at least.) My brother (and his wife and my husband) (and a co-worker whose sister does burlesque) came to my show on Friday, I did a lovely group fan dance that you missed and I might never do again. It was quite pretty. I love fan dancing. Someday when I can justify the $300+, I would like to buy my own pair of fans.

On Saturday, my motely crew debuted our Scream Queens act during the first night of Silver Screen Striptease with Vaudezilla – movie-inspired acts this month. We opted for horror movies. Don’t you want to know what’s going on in these photos??  You’re in luck! We’re doing this act for the next three Saturdays! Save on tickets at vaudezilla.com with code vaude2016.

But what was really awesome about Saturday’s show is that my parents came!!!

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My shirt is relevant to my act

I don’t care how old I am (33), this really meant a lot to me. Plus it was a great show for them to attend, it was funny and creative and had a lot of references that they probably “got” given the movies theme. (There was even Monty Python & the Holy Grail burlesque … seriously … you gotta come to the show this month.)

Zero Motivation

I don’t know exactly what’s up, but I seem to have lost my motivation. It’s been gone for a few months now. Give or take. Probably longer.

I realize I have a very nice roof over my head, I have my health, my family members are all alive and healthy, I have a good job with benefits, etc. Lacking motivation? For what?

But, whatever, this is my blog, so, yeah. Maybe I spend too much time at work, but I’m not sure of the “root cause.”  Maybe …

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I spend 40 (plus) hours a week at work. Giving a lot of fucks. I honestly do enjoy my work. I manage websites. It’s truly what I wanted to do “when I grow up.” I’ve been learning more about user experience and roadmaps and how to plan for enhancements – I’m getting away from strictly marketing and get to think about efficiency and how to communicate better. It’s great. What I’m actually communicating, you know, it’s not changing the world. So maybe that’s leaving a bit to be desired. The problem is the skills I have come at a cost, a cost that typically only for-profit companies can afford, so I’m a bit limited in that regard. How privileged am I?? Gah.)

And somehow, I inadvertently wrangled myself into 5 burlesque performances this month. I seem to be in a weird spot with burlesque. It’s starting to feel like work. And the work part, I don’t enjoy. When I’m actually in class, or at a performance, it’s fun!  But the preparation, having it hanging over my head “You have two performances this weekend; you’re performing every Saturday this month.” At the end of the day though (literally), it’s not like I would be doing much else on a Saturday night. And you know, nothing worth having/doing/etc comes easy, right?

And running. Fitness. Very little motivation. And I’m definitely beating myself up for that. I want to sign up for a race, I want to see if I can build up mileage again. But I have this fear. That running = knee pain = no fun. Granted, I haven’t really pushed myself to see what it’ll feel like, so yeah, this is just me talking myself out of it out of fear.

So … I’m not really sure how to find my motivation again. I’ve been thinking about it a lot though. In the meantime, here are some pictures of my 4th of July.

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Our lovely boat hosts

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This does not suck

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Is it fireworks time yet?    …..   How about now?

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Chicago, you so pretty

I have to start brushing my cat’s teeth

My little Olive has reached senior cat status.

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As such, I need to take good care of my old lady – meaning I need to be better about taking her to the vet for check-ups and vaccines.

Of course she loves that.

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The nice caregivers at the South Loop Animal Hospital are used to shy animals and thankfully gave her a towel to hide behind.

Anywho, her check-up went well. She got her necessary shots, plus they’re doing standard blood work for “senior” cats. (She’s 9, by the way, which is roughly 55 in cat years. So not that senior, but I’m using the vet’s language … please don’t get mad.)

In addition, I was told (and shown) that she has gingivitis. So, she needs regular teeth brushing. Of course without thumbs, she can’t really do that herself, so I get to do it! I’m sure she’ll be thrilled!

The vet recommended for the first couple weeks, I just lift up her mouth and touch her teeth and get her used to that. Then I try a couple weeks of touching her teeth with (poultry-flavored animal) toothpaste on my finger. Then I try brushing with a small cat finger toothbrush. I’m sure it’ll be great.

Check back in a few weeks and we’ll see how mangled my fingers are from cat bites????

In the meantime, she loves her carrier when she’s not forced into it. Drama queen. But it is a cozy little nook she can hide in.

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Do you have a senior pet? How has life changed? 

Love

I’ve been mulling over love a lot lately. For my own personal reasons. Maybe slowly some of those will come out. In the form of vague blog posts.

Today I want to talk about how many different ways there are to love. Yet, we only have one word.

Love for your parents, brothers, sisters, family of origin. Love for your chosen family, the ones you choose to share your life with, your spouse or partner or partners, children, stepchildren, fostered and adopted children. Love for your friends, near and far, still present in your life and gone from your life. Love for your pets, who you take the sole responsibility of keeping alive. Love for the community to which you belong, love for ideas, love for shared values. Romantic love. Familial love. Platonic love.

We use the same word to describe our feelings for all of these things – love. But are they the same feeling? Even within each grouping, there is so much variation.

To use one word indicates that what I mean by love is the same as what you mean by love. And that each time I use the word love, it means the same thing. But it doesn’t. But have we simplified love by using the same word? And left no room for variation, personalization, for finding a way to love that works for each of us? Because when I talk about my love, do you already assume to know what I’m talking about, to understand my experience? We can relate to each other, sure, but our experiences are so widely different, even when we don’t realize.

Yet we use the same single word. It’s so powerful, but does it always communicate what we’re saying?

Review & #Giveaway: Aurorae Yoga Mat & Tote Bag

Recently, I had the opportunity to try out a printed yoga mat and tote bag from Aurorae.

 

I’m a huge fan of both of them! The tote bag is huge – big enough for 2 yoga mats, a towel, water bottle and extra pockets for your keys, phone, lock, etc.

 

The yoga mat is a great size – longer than some of my other mats – and thick and cushy. Great for me, since I often do yoga on hardwood floors … or wooden decks.

 

Aurorae offers tons of great yoga products:

Printed 5mm Thick Yoga Mat with Non-Slip Rosin

Yoga Mat Tote Bag

Microfiber Swim & Sport Towels:

Yoga Mat Sling/Carrier:

Yoga Mat Flip Flops:

Silicone-Grip Sports Headband:

All-Natural Deodorizing Shoe & Foot Spray Made with Essential Oils:

Do YOU want to try out Aurorae yoga products? They have generously offered to give away one yoga tote bag & printed yoga mat (what I showed off above, but your choice of color) to a Mag Mile Runner reader!

Enter via Rafflecopter
I will pick a winner on Sunday, June 19th

This post contains affiliate links, and I was provided with products from Aurorae in exchange for this review & giveaway. Opinions are my own. 

Linking up with Erica Finds and Running with SD Mom

Free Weekly Summer Workouts in Chicago

Love group workouts but don’t love the cost? You’re in luck! There are tons of great free weekly workouts in Chicago, especially in the summer! Wanna join me for some?

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Millennium Park Free Summer Workouts – Wednesdays and Saturdays

The Chicago Park District has been offering free Saturday morning workouts on the Great Lawn at Pritzker Pavilion for awhile now. But NEW this summer is Wednesday morning yoga at 7:30am! Saturday workouts are 7am Tai Chi, 8am yoga, 9am Pilates and 10am Zumba. Learn more.

North Face Mountain Athletics – Tuesdays and Thursdays

These free group workouts are actually offered all year! Tuesdays in Lincoln Park and Thursdays in the West Loop (previously Millennium Park). Learn more and sign up or follow on Facebook.

November Project – Wednesdays and Fridays

A free fitness movement that started in Boston and has moved to other cities. In Chicago, they meet all year long on Wednesdays at 6:28 am at the Lakefront Trail Totem Pole (Addison/Lakefront Path) and Fridays at The Bean in Millennium Park at 6:00 am. Follow on Facebook (no need to sign up- #justshowup).

Pilsen Yoga Tribe – Sundays

I’ve been practicing yoga with the Pilsen Yoga Tribe for over a year. They meet all year long at Thalia Hall at 10:30am on Sundays. All you have to do is show up with your mat. In the summers, they add a 12:30pm session at the Pilsen Farmers Market at Halsted & 18th. Join them on Facebook for updates (sometimes they cancel sessions due to conflicts at Thalia Hall, or weather).

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So there you go. You can workout almost every day of the week (two options on Wednesdays!) without spending a dime! Have you checked out any of these workouts? Which is your favorite? Are there any others I don’t know about? (Nike Chicago normally offers free workouts all week long at their studio on Michigan Ave, but is taking a break.)