Weekly Gratitude: Grandparents

Happy Sunday yet again, friends! Time is flying by and it is somehow already November and the holiday season is approaching rapidly and I could not be more excited. This last week my lovely and amazing grandparents came to visit me in Chicago! I made sure to plan everything out to a tee so we could utilize the two days we had together to squeeze in everything we could. They were here for Wednesday and Thursday, which also meant I had classes. But lucky for me, I have pretty early classes and get out earlier in the day. So we ended up having a decent amount of time to spend together. I really enjoyed this time with them, just me, especially since I really only see them on holidays now a days. I am so thankful I have the grandparents that I do who take time out of their days to come visit me!

Wednesday November 1, 2017

We started off our day with a tour of my campus! They loved seeing all of the buildings, the beautiful church, and the breathtaking lake. We stopped by my apartment and they met my roommate Julia and talked with her for a little bit.

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After a few hours back at their hotel for resting (and me homework time) we met back up for dinner at a fun local place in Wrigleyville. I took them on the L and they were oh so impressed with and I quote “my ability to navigate through the city.” 💁🏽

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Finally we got to dinner and went to Al’s Italian Beef off the Addison stop on the redline. The italian beef was so good and the fries may have been my favorite part. I think it’s safe to say we enjoyed our quick and fun meal.

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After dinner I headed back to their hotel with them to hang out and chat for a while. It was nice having them so close.

Thursday November 2, 2017

This was my favorite day of the two! I got out of classes a little later this day so we went for a late lunch downtown at Pizzeria Uno. Grandpa wanted to have some Chicago deep dish so I said this was a great place to try and one of my personal favorites.

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After lunch we headed to the Chicago river for an architecture boat tour! Although the weather wasn’t the best the tour was amazing and so beautiful to see all of the buildings and parts of Chicago I hadn’t seen before.

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After about an hour and a half on the boat tour we walked to our dinner location for the evening, Shaw’s Crab House. This is one of my favorite places for the atmosphere and memories of my family and I going a few years back. I had to take them here and was so excited. When we were on the boat a few hour prior I got a call from the restaurant confirming our reservation….for 4…? I apologized to the woman saying I must have messed up the reservation because there were only supposed to be 3 of us. We get to the restaurant and let them know we are there and wait to be seated. Around this time my grandparents both are getting very sneaky and I’m confused but not thinking much of it. I’m thinking at the very most, Grandpa said it was “my birthday” or something silly so we get free dessert. BUT little did I know!!!!!!

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SURPRISE!!! My dad showed up and I literally was sobbing I was so shocked to see him. He had been in Wisconsin for business that day and stopped to spend the night with us before heading back to Indy. This was such a wonderful surprise and it just makes me feel even more lucky to have the family I do.

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After dinner, Grandpa wanted to stop for dessert at Ghirardelli for some ice cream and chocolate. It ended up perfectly because it is right next to my downtown campus so I was able to show them around one of my favorite areas in all of Chicago. Also, a perk Grandpa was way too excited to learn about was that we got 10% off at Ghirardelli with my student discount. MORE chocolate and ice cream please!!

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These last few days were so so so much fun to say the least and I am so excited to see them all in another two weeks for Thanksgiving break in the happiest place on Earth, and definitely our favorite place on Earth, Disney World. Thank you Grammy and Grandpa for making the trip to see me. Please come back soon!! But for your sake probably when it’s warmer. Love you guys so so much!

XOXO Anna

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Weekly Gratitude: My Amazing Friends

Happy Sunday!!! Today I figured it was about time I wrote another weekly gratitude. There are so many things I am grateful for and have learned to appreciate even more since coming back to school (already a month ago!! What!!). For example, MY AMAZING FRIENDS! I was so excited to go to college last year but even more nervous if I would find a good solid group of friends. Not going to lie, my friends at home set the bar pretty high so I was hesitant to see what happened. Now, all living in the same building we see a lot of each other, I mean a lot. We do pretty much everything together which can be exhausting but also the best thing ever. I didn’t even realize how much I would miss them when I left for summer break earlier this year. I almost cried I was so sad to say goodbye to their little faces. They had become my family at my home away from home and what was I going to do without them? Even more crazily, summer FLEW by just like I knew it would and soon enough we were right back at Loyola. This first month back it feels like I have spent more time with them than I did all last year. We have laughed, we have cried and we have the best time together. Someone is always willing to help you pick out an outfit or borrow a pair of shoes. The support is incomparable. Yesterday was my incredible roomie, Julia’s birthday. We had a ton of festivities planned as well as some secret surprises she didn’t know about. It was so much fun seeing everyone come together to make this birthday special for her. Everyone has such a kind heart and wants the best for everyone, especially our sweet Julia. So basically what I’m trying to say is I’m just so happy and lucky to have found such an amazing friend group that has stuck with me for two whole years now and hopefully a long long time from now. Find yourself a gang like these fools pictured below. Really don’t know what I’d do without them.

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XOXO Anna

Weekly Gratitude: Mama Said Tees

I am probably getting a little bit annoying with how much I am OBSESSED with my internship this summer…but that’s just because it may be the best thing I have ever done. I am all about creating opportunities for yourself in whatever form that may be. More specifically than the internship itself may be my two BAD ASS bosses Colleen & Colleen (or better known as CS & CB). I can’t even begin to explain the love and passion that they have for this business. They radiate kindness and positivity and make me smile more times a day than I can count. This weekend we are at the Cincinnati Baby Expo and I am having the time of my life. They have taught me so so much about what it not only takes to run a business, but to be a good sister, daughter, wife and mother. It is incredible to simply see them interact with all of the customers who walk by our booth. I am so grateful for them for this opportunity of a lifetime and I cannot wait to see how far this company goes. There is so much more to Mama Said Tees than tee shirts and hoodies. It is about such a greater purpose. A company that stands for kindness, love and equality? Who wouldn’t want to be a part of something like that?! I feel like the luckiest girl on the PLANET!!! So thank you Colleen & Colleen for being the COOLEST role models and friends a girl could have.

***Follow us on @mamasaidtees to see what we’re up to!!

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XOXO Anna

 

Weekly Gratitude: My New Sisters

Happy first Sunday of April! I thought I would write a weekly gratitude because 1) I haven’t written one of these in a really long time and 2) I have a really good thing to write one about this week. So a lot of my friends and family have been asking me to write about my sorority recruitment process and what it’s like being in a sorority, but I have been hesitant because I am only a newly initiated freshman so really how much advice can I give at this point? Just last weekend I became officially a member of the Alpha Chi Omega Iota Rho Chapter at Loyola University Chicago. Yesterday (and the event that sparked this post idea) was my first AXO retreat with all of my new sisters. The retreat was held at the Indiana Dunes and was the picture perfect day. Clear blue skies and sunny. Yes, greek life is filled with mixers, philanthropy events, fundraisers, formals, and weekly chapter meetings, but yesterday proved to be so much more to me and showed what this is all really about. It was a day filled with lifting people up, taking goofy instagram pictures by the beach, and meeting some pretty rad people. We played cheesy games and gave a lot of compliments but in the end, when we were all standing around on that chilly beach with our windy city far off in the background, it just felt right. This is where I am supposed to be. With these people, in this place, right now. So shout out to my amazing new sisters for making yesterday one to remember and making me even more excited and proud to rep Alpha Chi yesterday, today, and always.

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xoxo Anna

Weekly Gratitude: My Foodie Parents

Last weekend my parents came to visit me in Chicago for the first time since I moved up here one month ago today. The time has flown by but that didn’t make me miss them any less. The time I spent with them was incredible as usual but very very different. We didn’t have my siblings with us and the fact that they were simply visiting was a weird feeling. We went shopping, went to a beautiful church, and did a lot of typical Kleck things. If you know my family even a little, you know we love our food. I would even go as far as calling us major foodies. We are constantly trying new restaurants and eating all types of different cuisine. From a young age my parents always somewhat forced us to eat everything, just to try it. To give you a visual, my brother was chowing down on some octopus at age four, and he loved it. I am so happy that they instilled that in us from so early on (not eating octopus but trying foods from all cultures lol). So what did we do last weekend you may ask? Well, we ate. We ate often. We ate incredible food. We ate a lot. Keep in mind they were here for a day and a half so we had at least lunch, dinner, and breakfast.

The first place we went was Eataly. This place was not only really yummy but such a cool idea. This place was huge. A giant two story mixture of a market place selling anything and everything Italian and then the restaurant part where we ate. When we go out the Kleck fam goes tapas style so we can get a little sample of everything. My dad usually orders for the table what he thinks we would like. It’s perfect for us.


Okay so wow, don’t even know where to start with this next one. My parents were so excited about taking me to The Loyalist, which just opened in August. The atmosphere of this place was so fun. It was underground and super industrial. We sat at a communal table and ordered some pretty outstanding dishes. Highly recommend 10/10.


Lou Mitchell’s may have been one of the cutest breakfast spots that I’ve been to. Open since 1923, this place just radiates charm and hospitality. We were instantly greeted at the door with the most adorable older woman handing out donut holes in a giant wicker basket. Right then, I was already sold.

Shoutout to my parents for being the best of the best. Thanks for always teaching me to explore and do whatever it takes to become the best version of myself. Love you endlessly. You rock.

Weekly Gratitude: Pinterest

This might sound like a really silly thing to be grateful for. How can I be thankful for something that is basically just a feed of pretty pictures? For those who know me pretty well know that I may have a slight addiction to Pinterest. I currently have 6.5k pins with 24 boards and growing. It’s not only a somewhat therapeutic pastime for me but weirdly inspiring. There are pictures of beautiful homes, clothes, makeup, quotes, and so much more. It makes me excited for my future. Now yes, this also could be giving me false hopes of what the real world is like and a materialistic perspective. But as long as I’m aware of that it’s fine, right? I look at it this way. If seeing these people and things makes me want to get up every day and achieve my goals so I can maybe one day have the life I want is that really such a bad thing? I don’t think so. My Pinterest is basically a giant gallery of goals I have for myself, one big inspiration board. I have all the cliché girly boards you could imagine like “Dream Wedding” and “Dream Home.” But some of my other favorites are “Wanderlust” and “Apartment Life.” These boards are me in a nutshell—everything I am and or hope to be one day. They include places I want to travel, recipes I want to make, DIY projects, college dorm room essentials, positive and uplifting quotes, and just overall things I love and that make me happy. I have attached the link to my page if you want to check it out. Have an amazing day, my lovelies.

Weekly Gratitude: Bad Days

Now I know this might seem like a strange thing to be grateful for. It’s not that I like bad days because they are bad, I like them because they make the good days that much better. Not every day can be a good and happy day, because things happen. And sometimes, nothing is necessarily wrong on these days and you just feel a little off. Allow yourself to take these days to recharge and take the time for yourself. Just remember it’s okay not to be 100% all the time.

Some things I like to do on these days:

Turn off your phone and disconnect
We live in a world where the first thing we do when we wake up is look at our phones, and right again before bed. You see how wonderful and great everything is going in other people’s lives and feel a certain pressure to live up to those standards. We don’t like for people to see the not so happy parts, so we put out there what makes us look the best—the ultimate highlight reel of our everyday lives.

Put on your comfiest clothes
This may seem like an obvious one but it really makes all the difference. You won’t be able to fully relax if you aren’t comfortable. Put on your favorite pair of sweats and your biggest, softest t-shirt, it’s a game changer.

Put on some soft music
Music is a big part for me and makes me feel that much better when I can relate to certain songs. Here are a few songs that I love listening to on these days:

  • Venice – The Lighthouse and the Whaler
  • The Heart of Life – John Mayer
  • Unwell – Matchbox 20
  • Wake Me Up When September Ends – Green Day
  • Holding Back – SG Lewis
  • All the Right Moves – One Republic
  • Riptide – Vance Joy
  • People – Nico and Vinz

Do some mindless tasks
This can be anything just as long as it doesn’t require a lot of thinking. Something for me would be cleaning my room. When I have a clean room I have a clear head. On days where you’re probably already doing a lot of over thinking anyway, the last thing you need is a cluttered mind.

Read a book or put on your favorite show
Snuggle up on your couch with a book you love or pop on a Netflix show and have a mini marathon! Let yourself break away from your world and into the fantasy lands of the stories. It’s okay to escape for a while.

Go out and buy something that will make you feel a little better
This doesn’t need to be anything big or expensive. For me I would buy a yummy smelling candle, a fuzzy blanket, a new face mask, or a new notebook. Just a little treat that you don’t really need but want.

Go for a walk or a drive
This is one thing that almost always makes me feel better. It lets me be alone, listen to my music, and just think (or not think).

Comfort food
Make one of your favorite meals or order in some take out. Food is never a bad idea.

“Some days are diamonds, some days are stones.”

Weekly Gratitude: Alone Time

As I begin this new part of my life a lot has been put into perspective, and I have realized how much I am thankful for in my life. I have been blessed in ways I can’t even put into words. I have an out of this world support system who would drop anything for me in a heartbeat, as I would do the same for them. So with these weekly gratitudes (something I hope to make a regular part of this blog), I will choose one aspect of my life I am especially grateful for that week and share with you just how much it means to me.

This week I am grateful for alone time. I have always been one who enjoys solitude. It’s the short drive I have to work in the morning, when I’m washing my hair in the shower, reading a good book, or taking my dog for a walk. Those times alone with my thoughts where I can really think and plan and not have to worry about anything else other than myself. Discovering that I am going to be forced into adulthood in 36 short days has me feeling some type of way. I like the idea of it but also not really at all because what do you mean my mom won’t be making me dinner every night? I recently have grown to cherish this alone time to figure out my goals and what I want out of this life. It’s made me more aware how I should be spending my time and how I really want to spend my days. It’s been a huge wake up call for me and for that I am thankful.

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