Month: June 2012

A Walk to Remember

A Walk to Remember

This last weekend I decided that for the first time I was going to walk from the Loyola Lake Shore Campus to the Water Tower Campus. I figured it would be quite the hike and now regret the flip flops a little bit but it was definitely worth it.

We started early in the day before it got too hot (and humid) and took the Lake shore path the entire way. It is about a two and a half hour walk. If you have not done it before I highly recommend it, whether it be on bike, roller blades, running or even walking as we did it yields some great views of the city. This way, you can truly see the city from a number of different perspectives.

Better yet, if you veer off the path you can find yourself experiencing a lot of the diversity city has to offer. Taking your own path, you’ll have chances to see Wrigley Field, Lincoln Park and Boys Town.

The best way to see this city is wonder, get lost and see what you stumble on! You’ll rarely be disappointed.

A Week Past Summer Solstice

A Week Past Summer Solstice

July is rapidly approaching, which means that half of my Loyola summer is officially over. Two months ago, I was stressing over my finals, and in two months, I’ll be back in the classroom, brainstorming ways that I can convince my professors to give me As (I know- a good start is by doing the homework and studying).

So far, this summer has been filled with many hot and eventful days. And there are many more to come. Several of my summer’s highlights to date are:

  1. Went to my first wedding with a best friend of mine, and took the Amtrak train for the first time to get there. I did not think that I would be hearing country music at a wedding, but I was on cloud nine when I started to hear song after song of pure country bliss. I downloaded “God Gave Me You” by Blake Shelton and “Country Girl (Shake It For Me)” by Luke Bryan the moment I got back from that trip.
  2. Went to one of Chicago’s Full Moon Jams. This firedance is held once a month during the full moon during the summer months in Chicago right off of Lake Shore Drive. Right after the sun set, drum playing began along with a group of people dancing with fire (using hula hoops, batons, fans) in a ring. My favorite part of it? When these two guys started blowing fire out of their mouths like dragons.
  3. Going to Lincoln Park Zoo and seeing this awesome juggler performing near the Polar Bears (or technically, where the polar bear SHOULD HAVE been but WASN’T- I will not cry…). There was a small crowd gather around him as he did awesome tricks that I’d never seen before. One trick was that he stacked several objects (I think it was a flat wooden stick, two balls and a wine glass), one on top of the other, and balanced them using his mouth while juggling two balls in each of his hands. If you don’t understand this…well, I didn’t understand how he did it. Hopefully he’ll perform there again!

And now, here are several rapidly approaching events that I’m looking forward to:

  1. Going to see the performance of Cirque du Soleil- Dralion for my birthday this weekend with my mom. I’ve seen Cirque du Soleil once before and they did not disappoint, so here’s to round two of acrobatic awesomeness!
  2. Seeing the Fourth of July Navy Pier fireworks downtown this year. I saw them several times before, and it was breathtaking. The view of them bursting over the lake is definitely not one to miss- even if it takes four hours in traffic to get downtown to see them.

Along with these events, I plan on having some smaller adventures as well, like: finally seeing Buckingham Fountain, going to Six Flags Great America and hopefully going to the Shedd Aquarium. Maybe July is my month to do all of them!

(Food) Adventure is Out There!

(Food) Adventure is Out There!

One of the perks (or possibly negatives) about living on your own is that food no longer magically appears on the kitchen table at regular intervals. Because of this, and the fact that my roommates and I are trying to eat healthy, we have been keeping a Food Journal.

In it, we write down new recipes we try, with pictures, comments, rankings and suggestions for our next attempts.

Our Notorious Food Journal

We’ve tried plenty of recipes, including some juice ones with our wonderful and fantastic Breville Juice Fountain.

The recipes tend to be hit and miss, but trying them out is good practice for the girl who once melted a spoon making mac and cheese and broke her foot opening a jar of peanut butter (don’t worry about it; it’s a long story).

Ellen and Sandy's Wok Adventure

One of the things I’ve learned from this is experience is that whole lesson about not judging a book by its cover. For example, the above stir fry looks pretty delicious. However, since we made it before we actually had soy sauce, it was super bland and we ended up giving it a 2.25/4 ranking.

Avocado Pasta

On the other hand, this pasta with avocado sauce was one of the best things I’ve ever eaten! (In fact, I gave it a 4.75/5).

In case you decide you want to start experimenting in the kitchen, this is a great and easy alfredo alternative:

Blend together…

1 avocado

1 garlic clove

1/8 lemon

2 tbsp olive oil

1/4 tsp salt

dash of pepper

Pour over pasta and thank me later.

Cashew Alfredo w/ Kelp Noodles

Oh, but back to the whole judging bit, I show you Exhibit A: Cashew Alfredo with Kelp Noodles. Despite looking like, well… don’t make me say it, this might actually be one of the best things I’ve eaten this summer.

It’s currently the only recipe in our Food Journal that I’ve awarded with a 5/5. Another alfredo alternative, my roommate and I made this when she was trying out a raw food challenge. It’s SUPER easy to make, and because it’s raw, it’s great for a hot summer day.

Once, again, whip out that trusty blender (or in our case, a Magic Bullet) and mix…

1 1/2 cloves of garlic

1 1/4 cup cashews

1 oz basil

1 tbsp lemon

Pour the mixture over a package of kelp noodles, and bask in the glory of your newfound cooking skills.

We’ve tried plenty of other recipes, including strawberry apple streusel oat squares, quinoa with sweet potato and penne tomato alredo ala spinach. Every single attempt has been a culinary adventure.

I know that this can be scary. (Literally. I once found some of my roommate’s ginger root and ran screaming to her, asking why we had mandrake root in our refrigerator.) But if I can do this, so can you!

If you’re bored over the summer, I highly recommend you mix it up and do this. All you need is a notebook, a pen and a lot of patience. Remember guys, adventure is out there!

(Psst: No, you’re not going crazy. The recipes I posted are slightly different from what they’re hyperlinked to because we were often missing some ingredients. Feel free to try either one!)

Moving Out and Moving Up

Moving Out and Moving Up

Shalom, friends. Sorry I’ve been lackluster in my blogging lately. It’s only been because I’ve been a little too busy doing this…

And this…

And this…

Oh, and this…

That’s right! I’ve been busy unpacking and setting up my bedroom in my new apartment!

So, between completely moving out of my mom’s place, working a bunch of shifts at the hospital, being involved with the move from Children’s Memorial Hospital to the Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago and organizing the 30 To Do lists that I somehow managed to accumulate during finals week last semester, this past month and a half has been CrAzY.

It’s also been exhausting. I recently realized that in the past two years, I’ve moved six times:

1. From Palatine to Loyola (Fall 2010)

2. From Loyola to Palatine (Spring 2011)

3. From Palatine to Evanston (Summer 2011)

3. From Evanston to Loyola (Fall 2011)

4. From Loyola to Evanston (Spring 2012)

5. From Evanston to Rogers Park (Last Month!)

I think the desire to finally settle down is one of the reasons that I’m the first of my roommates to be totally unpacked, despite the fact that I’m the only one who completely moved out of their parents’ place. I’m just glad to be finally settled in, and I plan on staying put for as long as I can.

When I’m not busy trying to make my bedroom look like something out of Pinterest or Tumblr, living on my own (plus two roommates) can actually be kind of stressful. It’s a huge adjustment, and there’s a lot of learning as you go along.

For example, groceries are actually kind of expensive, the fridge and cookie jar don’t fill themselves, internet isn’t just “there” and when its your own apartment, you actually kind of care about the cleanliness of the place. (See: Yesterday I spent the whole day sweeping, dusting, and mopping. I survived by telling myself, “And there is only one thing we say to dirt: Not today.”)

I have had some other awesome summer experiences, though. I even got outside and participated in The Color Run. It was wonderful, and a perfect 5k for a beginner like me. I can’t wait to do it again next year!

I can officially cross "Run a 5K" off my list of things to do!

Overall, I’m pretty pumped for this summer – I live in a beautiful apartment that’s a block away from the beach, an L stop away from my friends and a 10 minute walk from Evanston. It’s gonna be greatttttt.

My Mini AutoBio

My Mini AutoBio

Hola readers!! My name is Yuliya Chernyavskaya, but let’s just leave things at my first name. I’m a junior at Loyola University Chicago, if you didn’t already assume that much, and I’m a double major in Marketing and Sociology.

I was raised in the northern suburbs of Chicago, namely the village of Northbrook, since I was seven. I’ve lost track of exactly where I was before that, though I know I lived in Rogers Park at some point. Although I may have lived in Chicago most of my life, I wasn’t born here. Actually, I wasn’t born in Illinois, of the USA for that matter. I was born in Chisinau, Moldova, which can be found on most maps (I hope).

I spent my first semester at Loyola on campus in Simpson Hall, but I became an off campus student after that. In the free time that I create for myself, I love to write, take walks and ask people questions about their lives. I have an intense curiousity about anything and everything, so I’m constantly researching online, asking people their stories and scoping out new things to learn.

When I’m not trying to busy myself with self-created projects, I can be found studying in random places, working at my awesome on-campus job, or relaxing with friends and family. I love to dance, sleep, explore, laugh, and many other verbs, but most importantly, I love to do all of this in the one, the only- CHICAGO!!

Photo Class Adventures

Photo Class Adventures

This summer I am taking a photo class. While the class itself has really made me wish I could use a digital camera, I have been exploring many places I would have otherwise ignored. I’ve been able to venture all around the city for this course. Here are some of the great places I have encountered so far.

Osaka Gardens: On the south side of the city, on the opposite side of the Museum of Science and Industry, there is a park that I would have never known about if I was not randomly exploring. It is called Jackson park and it is really just a large space that I think most people aren’t taking advantage of. In the middle of the park this wonderful Japanese Garden. I am not quite sure what exactly makes it Japanese, but it provides for some great conversation spots with waterfalls and views looking over the lake at the museum.

Old St. Pats: While wondering towards Greek Town from Union Station I came across this church. Decorated with lots of Celtic symbols and crests the inside looks like Easter exploded. The majority of the interior is decorated in pastel colors and the people of the community are well stereotypical Midwesterners, aka unbelievably nice.

Chicago Riverwalk: I have been to this area many times but never taken the time to actually really look and observe the surrounding. On the south side of the walk you can find some great views along with random tours. On the North Side there is not much to see except this waterfall, kinda randomly placed but is very nice. Its a great place sit in front of and relax as the boats pass by and the Chicago skyline lurks over you.