Rekindling an Old Love and Finding a New Hobby in Coronavirus Times

My mom grew up on a farm. Here, she learned to identify flowers (thank you boy scout leader Grandpa!), bird songs, and many other interesting natural things. Both of my parents were outdoors people and we often went camping, even survival camping when I was very young. Since becoming an adult, I’ve lost this knowledgeContinue reading “Rekindling an Old Love and Finding a New Hobby in Coronavirus Times”

Petra van Nuis—from Radio City Rockettes to International Jazz Singer

Originally written for Jazzgroupiez.com “I went to the auditions for the Rockettes, and [knew] I’d probably get in, since I’d done it the year before…I did the audition and I thought ‘I really don’t want to be here.’ … They’re corny. It was stupid artistically… I had pointe shoes in my bag. I was wrappingContinue reading “Petra van Nuis—from Radio City Rockettes to International Jazz Singer”

Don Stille, Grammy Nominated Jazz Accordionist

Originally written for Jazzgroupiez.com A hot, sunny Saturday afternoon welcomed thousands to Edgewater, a small, eclectic neighborhood in the north end of Chicago, where artists of varying kinds had collected to show off their stuff. Potters, jewelers, mask makers and painters line the streets between Broadway and Sheridan, while stages at either end of theContinue reading “Don Stille, Grammy Nominated Jazz Accordionist”

Natalja: A Jazzy Cabaret Singer, Inspired by Movement and Collaboration

Originally written for Jazzgroupiez.com I came upon the Coffee Studio on Clark Street, here in Chicago, just minutes past 7:30. At first, I didn’t recognize her, but this feeling made me lean in closer to see if the woman sitting there outside was her.  “It is you!” Natalja looked up from her book, rose toContinue reading “Natalja: A Jazzy Cabaret Singer, Inspired by Movement and Collaboration”

Andy Brown, a Man of International Talent with a Heart for Local Music

Originally written for Jazzgroupiez.com – 2018 He has played piano since he was young and started saxophone in middle school. But at fifteen, he got a guitar, and found his passion. “Some of the musical things I had learned as a young guy [transferred to guitar]. My dad wants to take credit for it…and heContinue reading “Andy Brown, a Man of International Talent with a Heart for Local Music”

Budget Travel Tip: Motivation to Run on the Road

I’m someone who needs a specific goal to keep me training. If I want to run loads to improve my overall health, the motivation of “feeling better” isn’t enough. I need a race – something I can’t get out of to keep me running. Otherwise, I get bored and stop training.

How I’m Fighting Our Poor Immunity In the Home

Lately, we’ve been getting sick. A lot. And I’m the girl who never used to get sick at all, until I wound up working as a nanny for a family that appears to have had a very similar immune system to my own. We constantly passed illnesses back and forth, despite me only being inContinue reading “How I’m Fighting Our Poor Immunity In the Home”

25 Budget-Friendly Destinations for 2020

I love reading Fodor’s Go List with 52 destinations each year. It’s a great selection of locations based on trends, travel ideals, significant events – think centennials, celebrations, etc. – and other criteria, and gives people some great ideas on where to go throughout the present year.

True Budget Travel Essential: The Lavender Eye Pillow

I love good travel gear. I love good inexpensive travel gear even better. Best of all, I love good inexpensive travel gear that makes life better overall. And that’s why I’m mentioning the lavender eye pillow that I purchased for my husband for Christmas. I randomly found it tossed into the Christmas section at Target,Continue reading “True Budget Travel Essential: The Lavender Eye Pillow”

How to Get to Machu Picchu for $1500

If you’ve ever dreamed of doing Machu Picchu, but you’re on a super tight budget that doesn’t exactly allow you to hit up five-star hotels and dine in elegant restaurants, you may think it’s out of reach. I’m here to tell you that it’s not. In fact, I’m here to tell you that you canContinue reading “How to Get to Machu Picchu for $1500”