The Best Singalong of All Time

I’m just going to leave this right here…

And may the record reflect that this car is filled with my answer to the question “If you could have dinner with anyone, who would it be?” except I would probably add my late-grandmother who would spend the entire time calling Jesse Tyler Ferguson “cute as a button” and telling them about the time we saw the original cast of Spring Awakening on Broadway and she didn’t understand the plot until the (very graphic) sex scene right before intermission.

I freaking love the week before the Tony Awards. Mainstream media gets all on-board with musical theatre and everywhere I look there is another interview with someone who made a beautiful piece of art for us to enjoy this year.

And may the record also reflect that when I consider reproducing, it is largely so we can divvy up the parts in “One Day More”.

#NationalDonutDay

glazed

I know it’s not a competition but if National Donut Day was in fact a competition, my Dad and I would win.

It’s really cute how everyone on social media today is all #NationalDonutDay but the old man and I practically invented a holiday around our favorite breakfast confection because every day we consumed a donut was a celebration, we love them so much.

I am an only child so you might assume that a 4 pack pictured above would be the the amount of donuts brought into our house but you would be mistaken. Saturday mornings were usually met with a baker’s dozen from the local gas station that doubled as a (surprisingly decent) donut shop. If I had a friend spend the night? All bets were off, two dozen were sitting on the kitchen counter when we emerged from our sleeping bags. Krispy Kreme were for amateurs, over-hyped small boring glazed discs…we were apple fritter, long john (custard, not creme), cake donut with any topping aficionados. And don’t get us started about french crullers or blueberry cake donuts. Or properly done apple cider donuts (why are they dry so often?).

When I moved to Chicago, our donut game got real and my Dad and I started making the rounds. I will never forget the day I went to meet up with my parents and saw my Dad carrying a bright orange box proudly down State Street. I didn’t even have to tell him about Glazed and Infused- the siren song of fresh, real deal donuts lured him there.

My husband (then-fiance) once claimed that Do-Rite Donuts had the best apple fritter in the city so my Dad and I immediately headed toward Randolph Street. I honestly think my Dad considered stopping our wedding. Best fritter in the city it was not.

In honor of this alleged #NationalDonutDay, I present to you the Chicago Tour de Donut. These selections were made after doing some serious leg, err, donut work and my suggestions do not come lightly- this is seriously the bees knees of donuts.

Glazed & Infused: Apple Fritter

Stan’s Donuts: Glazed or the Donut Gelato Sandwich

Dinkel’s Bakery: Cake with Coconut

BomboBar (Bar Siena- the walk-up window on the side): Salted Caramel Bomboloni

And for the love of sugar, if you happen to be in Charleston, SC today PLEASE go to Glazed Gourmet and buy everything and eat everything. My best pals woke me up with a box of glory from this place on my bachelorette party and I will never forget how happy I felt covered in powered sugar and smiles.

High five, Daddio- you taught me well.

Beer Under Glass at Garfield Park Conservatory

Beer Under Glass

Have you ever been to the Garfield Park Conservatory? One of my clients is in the craft beer industry and I was invited to join them at the kickoff to Chicago Craft Beer Week called Beer Under Glass and was blown away by how gorgeous the conservatory was. It is basically the biggest, most beautiful greenhouse I have ever seen under a canopy of glass. And while it was a gorgeous evening, after the cold chill we had last week it felt really good to be somewhere that was warm and slightly humid.

Oh and there was beer. Really, really good beer. My little sampling glass (pictured above) was filled with several craft brews during the event and favorites included Moody Tongue’s Caramelized Chocolate Churro Baltic Porter and the grilled pineapple and rhubarb infused Farmhouse Ale from Smylie Brothers– bonus points for the beer history lesson I got from Brad the head brewer which was seriously fascinating and awesome.

To recap: drinking local craft beer while surrounded by gorgeous greenery in a historic Chicago landmark. Beer Under Glass is about as solid an event as they come.

Garfield Conservatory

Smylie Bros BUG

Garfield Park Conservatory at night with moon

The 5 Stages of Starting a Business

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I left my employed-by-someone else job in November and have since started my own company. I’ve heard parenthood called “the longest shortest time” and while I have not birthed an actual child in the last 6 months, I have found that phrase fairly accurate describing bringing a company to life as well. Now that I have a roster of clients and full days, I find myself thinking “Wow! Everything came together so quickly!”. But there was that time (also known as all of February and the better part of March) where I wondered what the hell I was doing with my life and self-doubt occupied every corner of my brain.

When looking back at the decision I made to start a PR and Brand Development company and the time it took to make multiple Hamiltons, the stages to get here are pretty clear and they look a little like another 5 Stages. So I present to you…the 5 Stages of Starting a Business.

  1. Denial. No, I’m not really doing this. I can’t start a company. Starting a business is what other people do, other people who have better connections, are smarter and more successful than I am. People who are independently wealthy and probably really good at Excel. I am just taking this time to freelance until I find a stable salaried job with benefits and a 401k because I am an adult and those things matter. This isn’t really happening because no one would want what I have to offer, no one would pay real money for that. Nope, I am just in a transition time that is anything but starting a business.
  2. Anger. Why do I have to start a business? Why didn’t the companies I worked for in the past fulfill every need and goal I had? If they had their shit together, I would have stayed and made them millions of dollars and not had to go through figuring out what my next step was. Why doesn’t the business I want to start exist already? Shouldn’t someone have already done this and I could join their team? Why do I have to be the one to provide this solution for the market? Why didn’t I become a teacher/accountant/[insert other job with a (perceived) clear path] so that I knew where I was going to go with my career? This is complete crap. What is wrong with everybody, everything and what is wrong with me?!???
  3. Bargaining. Okay. So if I start my own company, I will be my own boss. I will be the sole factor in how much or little income I make. If I start my own company, I can choose who I work with and what projects I take on. I can work how I am comfortable working, create my own schedule. Not wear pants until 2pm if I don’t want to. Go for a run to work through any blocks I have (*likely while wearing pants). If I start my own company, I can create the business and life I want.
  4. Depression. This is never going to work. I am a huge failure. Worse than a failure, I am worthless and it’s comical that I ever thought I could do this. I’m not good enough to start a company. I am not worth the paper Lean In was printed on, let alone thinking I do anything a big CEO even did in their first internship. The only thing I am good for is raising my cat and that isn’t even going well. I am bad at folding laundry well and hate cleaning my shower. I have wasted so much time and money and it’s all for nothing because I am not good enough to do what I think I want to.
  5. Acceptance. I am starting my own company. I have started my own company. Every conversation, every relationship, every interaction, every success during my entire career was a brick building up to my company. My LLC is filed, I have a business credit card, and my website has been published. I have my own company. I have clients. I am giving out my business cards for MY business. I am telling people what I do, I am making connections. I am sending out emails, I am getting press, I am building strategies that are valuable. I set my own schedule, I burn the midnight oil, I have big wins, big learnings…and it’s all mine. Because I started a business.

Sad Little Bracket Busting Bears

 
I think I counted my chickens before they were hatched. Or, at the very least, purchased too many Michigan State themed gummi bears to be consumed before the end of that terrible, bracket busting game on Friday.

However, I soldiered on and ate those gummi bears. Someone had to do it.

See ya next season,Spartans.