Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Blog Challenge Day #2- My Entrepreneurial Story

Here we are on Day 2 of the Alex Beadon Feel Good Blogging Challenge.
Today's topic is all about my entrepreneurial story. The how and why I decided to start my own business.

Ever since I was really young I knew I would never have a "normal job". I'm not cut out for the 9-5 lifestyle. The idea of working in a cubicle scared me even as a young girl. But I knew I wanted to make money. I've always liked having my own money to spend on the things I want. I didn't like asking my parents because most of the time the answer would be no. But if I had my own money I would never have to ask, I could just buy whatever I wanted!

I had a Beanie Baby bag that had different dividers in it where you could put your Beanie Babies and carry them around. Well I turned that bag from a Beanie Baby tote to my own personal travelling salesman bag. I collected different sample soaps and those little shampoo bottles from hotels. I would spend hours in my bathroom mixing up different concoctions from shampoos to body sprays. I'd set them all up in my bag. Along with my bath products I would carry around beaded bracelets I made. As well as a newspaper I created called "The Rodriguez Family Harold". I would go around the house and try to peddle my wares. I thought I was the coolest traveling sales woman on the whole Eastern Seaboard.

That was my first ever business adventure. I did it quite often and sometimes my parents would buy a few things. I mean they had too! They're my parents haha.
Flash foward to now. I've always had this idea that maybe one day I would open up an Etsy store. I think I could be quite good at it. So I've begun my new business adventure. I'm currently in the process of setting up shop and creating things to sell. It should be all ready and set by mid-July. It's something I've always wanted to do because I've always wanted to be my own boss. And I'm finally making my dream come true!
Cheers xo

Chicago Day 2: A Random Day

Happy Tuesday!!

Ready to travel back to Chicago? Good, come on!
Sunday we stayed pretty local. Our main goal for the day was to see all our favourite places and visit the cemetery. I feel like I've talked a lot about cemeteries recently. I hope you don't think I'm too morbid haha, but cemeteries have never bothered me much. Especially the one up here in Chicago, it's very beautiful and peaceful. And aren't those flowers just gorgeous! They're fake of coarse so they'll last a while. But I'll talk more about the flowers in a bit. I'm getting ahead of myself. We have to actually get to the flower shop first!
 You can see a sliver of the Des Plaines River there.

We also drove through the beautiful town of Park Ridge. It's one of my personal favourites, my dad too. If he doesn't retire to Alaska he wants to retire here. It's a beautiful. lush, and vintage town. take a look!
That's a theatre above where they show different films. Beautiful architecture, am I right? I fall in love every time I see it.

I thought I had a picture of the outside of the flower shop but it must have gotten lost. Oh well, the inside is just as beautiful. The flower shop has been here for as long as I can remember and for as long as my mom can remember too. It's very close to the cemetery so we always stop here first. We some fake flower bunches and a couple of Polish flags too.
Drive by photos of the outside. 
We had a hard time finding my great-grandparents, turns out we were literally maybe 20 feet away. But as we were searching we were noticing the blatant lack care taken in maintaining the graves. The section we were in was easily at 80 years old so some sinking headstones would be expected. But what we found was just awful. If you can see the gray spot at the bottom of this picture, that's a headstone I found and tried to dig the grass up. And all that green, it's grass covering more headstones. 
It was horrifying and sad. I tried to clean the grass off of as many headstones as I could but there were areas that were just completely covered. It was so disheartening. None of them were people who were related to me but they're all graves of people related to someone. That's people's family being covered up and forgotten about. I can't stand it, it's not right.
Needless to say, I wrote to the cemetery expressing my concerns and disgust. If I had the time, and it wasn't 47 degrees out with wind, I would have sat there all day digging up the grass. I would be such a good cemetery caretaker. I don't know why but it's something I feel so strongly about. I guess because I feel like everyone deserves to be honoured and remembered. And as a caretaker it's your responsibility to do so. You're the person visiting the grave every week so why not show them love.

I got really carried away there, so sorry! Mind you the rest of the cemetery is very well taken care of it's only the old part they've neglected.

Moving on though. We spent about two hours there and then made our way to our favourite food store. On the way though is my grandparents old house. It's the house my mother grew up in and the house I spent all my summers in. After they passed away we had to sell the house, it would have been to expensive to keep. This was the front, though the new owners put in the flag pole and Virgin Mary.They also built a huge garage in the back and enclosed the porch. 
I always have mixed feelings when I see the house. I understand it's not our anymore but in a way it'll always be. I still remember all the details of the inside. The way the kitchen floor looked, how the hallway had stone flooring instead of wood. The pink bathroom for girls and blue for boys. My mom's calico carpeted bedroom floor. My god, I paid way too much attention to the floor!
There are things about the house that I'll never forget and I want my future house to have them too. Oh, I'm getting teary eyed thinking about it! Okay moving now!
They specialize in produce, obviously, but they also have all the ethnic food you could every want. And a big portion of the store sells Polish goods. We pretty much go there with one thing in mind. Chocolate. 
Wawel Kasztanki is my absolute, most favourite chocolate in the whole entire world. I'm seriously not joking when I say this is one of the main reasons I go to Chicago. It's for this chocolate. It's a hazelnut chocolate with groats maybe? I'm not entirely sure to be honest, there's no description. But trust me it's to die for.
We also get Polish beer to take back with us, for my dad, and "Gala" a Polish fashion magazine for me, some soup for my mom, cookies, and some more chocolate!
We stopped by the Harlem Irving Plaza on the way to my Aunts' house for dinner. The Harlem Irving Plaza, or HIP is a mall which used to be an outdoor shopping plaza in the 60's and 70's. My mom would shop here back when it was just an outdoor mall. Now everything is indoors and they have all the big chain stores. We didn't go to shop though. We really only went because I love the parking.
I know, it sounds crazy! But because everything is so tight the mall is build upwards not outwards, and the parking lot is on the roof. They have escalators that take you from the roof into the mall and I think it's just the coolest thing ever! We walked the full length of the mall to see it and then headed out to my aunt's house.
My aunts live together on the South end of Chicago. The house they live in is also the one they grew up in. It's over a 100 years old and you can feel the history when you walk in. It feels like home. I didn't take pictures of it but here's a picture of Lucy, one of the dogs.
This was a wordy post wasn't it? I think I've kept you long enough and I'll end it here. Tomorrow I'm taking you downtown!
I hope you have a great day!!
Cheers xo

Monday, June 29, 2015

Blog Challenge Day 1: Who Are You Talking To?

Two blog posts in one day?? Yep that's right! But this one's a little different than normal.
Judging by the title I think you already guessed, this is a blog challenge post. I heard about Alex Beadon's 7 Day Feel Good Blog Challenge and decided to give it a go! If you click the link it'll take you to the sign up page.

Alex Beadon is business and blogging queen. She knows why more than I could ever hope to and gives out great advice and inspiration. If you want to check her out her blog the link is here

So here we go!

#1- Describe your tribe
My tribe consists of strong headed, independent, creative people. People who have a love for travel, arts, good music, and coffee. People who march to the beat of their own drum and create their own soundtrack. We are people who try new things and aren't afraid to be on our own. Dreamy-eyed and level headed but with dreams big enough to fill the universe. We're quirky and cool with vintage love affairs. We're a tribe of gypsies, poets, painters, explorers and dreamers.

#2- Why did you choose to focus on serving this group of people?
This my sound like a funny question to ask, especially because I don't currently serve anyone. But I'll let you in on a secret. I'm opening up an Etsy shop! It's all in the works right now. I'm setting up shop if you will. 
So why do I choose to serve my tribe? Because I want to share my creations with liked minded people. The things I will be selling will be handmade by me and I want to sell them to people who will like them and appreciate them. My tribe will wear and share my creations. And as like minded people hopefully they will love them and share them with their tribe too.

#3- What makes you the expert on solving their problem with your product or service?
What makes me an expert huh? Well, I'm an artist, I have a different outlook on life. I have a unique style and crafting ability. I'm studying to be a sculptor so I'm great with making stuff. I have a unique background that started out in dance, moved to writing, theatre, and art. I spent four years working and studying as a costume designer so I know clothing. The things I'll create will be unique to me and who's a better expert on my style them me? I'll give you a new twist to things.

#4- What's the one message you hope people will take away from your blog.
The one message I hope you take away from my blog is this:
Always be proud of who you are. Wear a crown and declare yourself queen because you can. Be confident and show people how much you mean to yourself. Never let other people's opinions and thoughts stop you from being yourself.
Society has put a stamp on individuality that says it's weird to be different. People attack the strange, different, and expressive. Don't let it stop you from being yourself. There's no use in trying to fit yourself into a mold because their is only one mold you fit and it's yours. Be yourself always. Show people who you are and embrace it. Wear your crown and smile.
Cheers xo

Father's Day


I thought I'd brake up the Chicago posts a bit as share Father's Day with you. Considering it was last weekend, now seems like a good time. But don't worry, there will be more Chicago coming soon!
So for Father's Day my dad wanted to go down to Gulf Stream Park. It's a fancy horse racing track and the only one I know of in South Florida. But it's a little more than that. There's a shopping streets behind the track with many little upscale shops and cool restaurants. It's still being built up but what they had was pretty neat.
We choice this spot for a family photo op. It was pretty and more importantly, it was in the shade!
 The Princess, the Dad, and the Angel.
My dad setting up the camera, haha.

It was pretty out there but I have to say, there wasn't enough shade. And in South Florida you need shade because it was like 97 degrees out there.
This is where they bring the horses before and after the races. We did actually manage to see two races while we there. I'm personally not a huge fan of horse racing but my dad loved it and that's all the matters.

We went to eat at a burger joint after the long day and it was the most amazing burger I've had in a long time! Look how big it was. It was so juicy and cooked to perfection. And out table was massive!
After the long day at Gulf Stream we all headed home. We made a stop at the cemetery to visit my Grandmother and pay our respects. As we were leaving the sun was setting and this is what we saw. It was the perfect ending to a great day and a beautiful Summer Solstice.
So that was Father's Day.

Get ready to travel tomorrow because we're heading back to Chi Town for day 2 of my trip! A view of some local sites and local weather.
Cheers xo