That's right, you read this title correctly - poop.

You see, I come from a family who is not shy to talk to you about it, and I married someone who comes from a family who is anti- bathroom talk. In my family it was common to hear "be right back, gotta poop." I naturally thought all families were equally as open. Becoming part of a family who tells their children that "girl's poop flowers" was definitely not something I expected. Luckily, they have opened up a little more to the idea of bathroom talk.

You may be wondering why on earth I would choose to talk about this for an entire blog post..

Well friends, what if I told you that you could win $50,000 by simply talking about your toilet using experience?

No, this is not a joke.
Thanks to my awesome not-ashamed-to-talk-about-poop cousin, I am now aware of a competition being put on by Charmin. Yes, the toilet paper. It's called Charmin Go Nation Contest, and YOU could win :

  • King or Queen Grand Prize (1 Prize): $50,000, plus an extended stay in NYC through New Year's Eve!
  • Finalist First Prize (5 Prizes): A three-day/two-night trip for two to NYC the week of December 27, 2010, for the finale event at the Charmin Times Square Restrooms (plus $500 spending money)
  • Charmin Go Nation Representative Prize (51 Prizes): $500

All you have to do is submit a video about why you "enjoy the go" most in America!

I say it's worth a try.
Let's face it, everybody poops! Why not talk about it?
They have a sample video on the website to give you a better idea of what they are looking for.
There are only 22 days left to submit your video, or you can go to one of the locations and do it in person.

For more info on how to enter, click here.

Happy Pooping! :)


No Heat

The time has come here in Chicago for the weather to change from pleasant to COLD.
This is my first time going through this transition of seasons.
I, of course, was comforted by the invention of a heater.

Well, last night, the heater started making some weird noises.
Then, without anyone telling it to, it just turned off.
That's right. It's 40 degrees outside, and our heater doesn't work.

Having lived in Florida, where people turn on their heaters when it hits 60 degrees, I naturally started freaking out.

How could this happen? How could the heat break now? For us?
Don't worry. We didn't freeze. Ruben temporarily fixed it.
We do have to replace some stuff , but we'll be ok.

This morning I started to think about those people who don't have heat.
Those people who don't even have homes.
I sat here complaining about freezing in my home with blankets and clothes while there are people in the world  with neither blankets, clothes, nor home.

I wonder if it's ok to be so comfortable.
I feel like it's so unfair.
I'm not sure I have a conclusion to all my thoughts,
but I am sure that these thoughts make me feel incredibly sad.

I can't wait until the day when things are as they should be.
When loving your neighbor is more than something kids learn in Sunday School and grow up to never practice in their daily lives. When all people feel safe, secure, and warm. When sickness and death are no more.

I anxiously wait for Jesus to come back so things can be right and just.

Until then, I'll do my best to love and serve like He did last time he was here.

I encourage you to help someone feel warm today.
Temperature wise, or emotionally.
Either will make someone's day.
If you do, please share how you did. I would love to hear it :)


No-Bake Cheesecake

This post is dedicated to my best friend, Stacy, who LOVES cheesecake more than normal people.
Hope this gives you a simple way to enjoy it more often :)
So, I have recently fallen in love with Gina's Skinny Recipes.

As I was browsing through the deliciousness of this blog, I stumbled upon Gina's no-bake cheesecake.

I immediately went to the grocery store, bought every ingredient I didn't have (which wasn't much because this recipe requires so little!), and put it all together as soon as I got in the door.

The result?
A delicious, low-fat cheesecake!
You wouldn't believe how delicious the left overs in the bowl were.
I can't wait for Ruben to get home to share some with him.

I wish I would have taken a picture of each step, but I was too excited and forgot :(

Although Gina's photos are way better (thanks to her amazing camera/lens), I will share the photos I took:

8 oz Cool Whip Free
8 oz 1/3 less fat Philadelphia Cream Cheese
9 inch reduced fat Graham Cracker Crust
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp lemon juice
In a large bowl, whip cream cheese, lemon and sugar for a few minutes until fluffy.Add Cool Whip and whip until smooth. Spoon mixture into pie crust and chill for a few hours, until firm. 
I totally used a mixer instead of whipping.
Hopefully I didn't ruin it.
I'll let you know.
You can also make this with regular Cool Whip and Cream Cheese if you want an alternative to the low-fat option.

In the near future, I hope to also make these super simple, delicious treats courtesy of Gina's Skinny Recipes blog:


Beauty of Fall

Of the four seasons, I have to say that I love Fall most.

Fall is a season I have not had
the pleasure of experiencing often in my life.

To be honest, before moving here to Chicago,
I think I experienced fall once.
That's right. Just once. Sad, but true.

Now that I live here, I can't help but be in awe of
the trees and bushes as I drive to and from school.

Since my school is in the suburbs,
there is a lot of open space full of all the colors of fall.
The mix of bright green, red, and yellow is truly breathtaking.

When I would hear people tell me that the trees outside
 were red and yellow, I obviously didn't believe it.

Having lived in South Florida (a season-less world) my whole life, I couldn't comprehend it.

Being exposed to it every day here is refreshing.
One day, when I own an slr camera (preferably Canon),
I hope to capture this beauty in creative ways.

Until then, I have my not-so-great camera phone on me at all times.

I wanted to share with you some of the awesome creation I saw on my campus today:

I think the golden looking trees are my favorite.
This is the side of the library.
I had to take a leaf with me as a souvenir.
I couldn't believe how bright it was!
There were bushes full of these!

I'm off to work on a project for school.

Hope your Monday was a fun day!



Today was great.

It was a great day in every way.

It was one of those days where every thing goes right for no reason.

It was a day where you can't help but be thankful for every single little thing.

It was a day you wish to have the same type of every day for the rest of your life.

It was a day full of productivity, incredible amounts of love and serving.

I really believe that it is days like these that we will experience in Heaven.

Since today was so great, I decided to bake a cake.

Here it is:

Funfetti is pretty much my most favorite box cake, ever.

Hope you have a fantastic evening!
Mine will consist of putting together a presentation for class on Monday.
Please try to contain your jealousy.


How to

I have to admit, often when I research things online, I resort to asking Google how to do whatever it is that my mind wanders to that day.

Ironically, upon moving here, I never took the time to ask Google how to adjust to life in a big city. Instead, I named my blog that and hoped that I could explain how I did it.

While I have gotten unbelievably comfortable and familiar with this big city of Chicago, I couldn't help but ask Google what it thought I should have done in my journey of adjusting.

So, like any normal person, I asked.

Here's what I got:

That's my big city ^ :)

How to Adjust to Life in a Big City
By kellyzilar, eHow Member

Adjust to Life in a Big City
User-Submitted Article
Did you just move to a big city from a small town?
Confused on how to adjust? Not sure where to start?
Keep reading and find out!

Difficulty: Moderate

Things You'll Need:
Map of the city
Book of things to do
Walking Shoes
A positive attitude and a big smile!
  1. When moving from a small town to a big city, it can be a bit of a shock. You may not be used to the amount of people, the diversity of a big city, the smells, the crime, or the melting pot. All of which makes it a great place to live. So go get a map and a book of things to do in your new city.
  2. Start out small. Visit the spot that the city is known for. Take picutres. It will make you look for things that you normally wouldn't. Smile at people and don't let your self be intimidated.
  3. After you have explored some, look in your local paper for events that you would like to attend. Book signings, yoga, salsa lessons. Things that will force you to get out and meet people. The more people you interact with, the more you will get in tune with the city. Every person that you meet will show/tell you something new to check out. Follow through on this. Don't be afraid to be forward and explore!
  4. My #1 piece of advice is to open yourself up to things that you wouldn't normally do. Be creative in what you do. It will not only teach you things about yourself, but will let you fall in love with your first big city!

Well friends, I don't think I could have given much better advice than eHow Member, kellyzilar.

Tomorrow Ruben and I are attending an annual benefit dinner for Breakthrough Urban Ministries. I am considering volunteering for this organization. Check it out here.



That time has come again.

Time for research papers and midterms. Oh the joy.

My next few days will consist of conducting research, reading, and studying.


A large number of books will be opened and flipped through.
Journal articles will be skimmed through.
Reference pages will be noted and later thoroughly examined for information that could be useful towards my paper.
Charts will be drawn.
Questions will be asked and answered.
Notes will be taken, crossed out, retaken, circled, repeat.

In other words, A LOT is going to go on in the next few weeks.

Part of me gets excited when this time comes. The other part wants to go in a corner, close my eyes, and fall into a deep sleep until it's all over.

Obviously, the latter is not an option.

I will leave you with a few photos of what I anticipate my future days to consist of.


Oh yea, I almost forgot.
Tomorrow, October 20, 2010, I will be married for 10 months. Awesome.



Recently, I have developed a strong desire to sew.

Strange, I know, but nonetheless a strong desire.

I have not sewn anything since I was in middle school Home Economics.
I still have the pants I made though :)

I have already decided what things I want to sew, and where I want to put them.
I want to sew primarily for decoration purposes, but I guess it wouldn't hurt to make cute things too.

So, I have decided what my first sewing project will be, and would like to share it with you seeing as how its adorableness should not be kept a secret. I stumbled across it on the Viola & Pearl blog. I think it's such a cute idea.

Here it is.

"Love Birds"

Click here for a tutorial.

Have a Happy Sunday! :)


Decorating for Fall

All my life, I have envied those homes I have entered with such magnificent decor.

I have always wanted to have that home.

Well, now that I live somewhere with seasons, I have numerous opportunities to attempt awesomeness in decor.

Right now it's fall. My first fall. It's kind of a big deal.

I am probably the only one in awe of the multicolored trees and incredible weather.
I am totally ok with that.

I decided to go to Joann Fabrics to see what I could come up with.
It turns out that all Fall decor was 50% off. I definitely didn't mind.

So here goes, this is what I've come up with so far:
(don't judge - it's my fist time)

I am open to any and all suggestions.

Have a great Friday!



Well, since I got married I have become a coffee addict.

What is the criteria for a coffee addict?
1.I have to have it every day (preferably at the start of each day).
2.If not, I develop the most horrific headaches I have ever felt in my lifetime.
3.Then, once I soothe my pain with a delicious coffee beverage, I am cured.

Is it all the adorable coffee shops on every corner of the Chicagoland area?
Is it the fact that I have coffee every morning with breakfast?
Or could it be that all the friends I have made here are also coffee addicts?

Recently, we have started to use our coffee press as an alternative to our coffee machine. When using our coffee machine, we tend to make too much of such a good thing and it ends up getting thrown away. In an effort to solve our coffee wasting problem, we decided to start using our little, red coffee press. It it perfect for just the two of us.

After using our little coffee press so often, Ruben and I have discovered the perfect portions of coffee and water to create the most delicious cups of coffee.

Here's to all the coffee addicts out there.

I hope you had your cup today.



Today I took one of many exams that I have taken in my college life..

Thanks to technology, I have not taken a pencil and paper exam since my early undergraduate years.

No, I am not THAT old.
It's just interesting to see how schooling has changed over not so many years.

Lately I've been feeling pretty discouraged.

Surprisingly, having just moved has nothing to do with my discouragement.

I just found out that to change my license I don't have to parallel park, so that definitely added encouragement to my being discouraged about not understanding the concept of parallel parking.

So, what is it then?

I just moved.
I finally have a home here in Chicago.
We have a garage space.
I never have to think about parallel parking when I get home again.
I have an amazing husband.
He has an amazing family.
I am started to build really great friendships here.
The weather is extremely pleasant.

All great things.

So why on earth would I be discouraged??


That's right. School. College. Graduate School.
The Masters in Mental Health Counseling program that I am currently enrolled in.

There lies the source of my feelings of discouragement.

Simply put, I just don't get it.

I don't understand why I have to be in school for so long to finally do what I think I'll love. I don't understand why other people's masters programs last one year and mine lasts THREE - at LEAST.

I don't understand what the point of this "read - study - take exams - write papers - give presentations - repeat" thing is all about.

I go into small depression modes on days I have to take exams.
Seriously. Ask Ruben. It's bad.

I have never been a good test taker. Not being a good test taker automatically means you never feel like you have done well enough. Papers, on the other hand, I can do.

Unfortunately, tests are part of classes. Always. Lots of them. It's great.

Yes, that was sarcasm.

Tonight I took an exam. Yet again, I felt unbelievably horrible afterwards.

Here's to the hope of one day being different.