On Making Time: Lou Malnati Cancer Research Benefit

This past weekend I had the opportunity to attend the 44th Annual Lou Malnati Cancer Research Benefit--a huge thank to you the Weiner family for the invitation and the Malnati family for the entire evening. Those of you who are on the receiving end of my relentless emails for the board I am on, the University of Chicago Cancer Research Foundation, understand that philanthropy for cancer research is something important to me.

It's easy to get caught up attending these benefits or fundraisers solely for the social aspect--and trust me, they're fun (especially when Saturday's event was Derby themed!). You're partying for a damn good cause and what's better than that?

As we sat around the table on Saturday night watching a tribute to Jean Malnati (currently battling cancer herself), every single one of us was crying.  There were speeches made and hugs given to this gracious woman who was described as the most giving, loving, spectacular person they've ever met--for the money she's donated to the events she's organized to the way she raised her family.

It's those moments that remind you why you attend these events, why you're on a junior board, why you volunteer.  At times it can seem like a burden, another event to add to your schedule, another meeting after a long day at work. To remember you're fighting for those that have no known cure to their battle is what is most important. 

I currently serve as the Event Chair for UCCRF Associate Board and need that reminder at times--how selfish is it to think I sometimes sigh at the thought of a meeting or working on soliciting donations for a large event? Horribly selfish, really.  The event on Saturday re-opened my eyes on how important giving back and supporting those who are fighting a battle so much larger than anything we could imagine is.

Being on a junior board or volunteering doesn't mean you've had to of been directly affected by cancer--a disease without a cure can never have enough support. 

An hour a day, a week, a month--whatever you're able to give back will make a difference.

Lou Malnati Cancer Research: http://www.loumalnatis.com/community

University of Chicago Cancer Research Foundation: http://cancer.uchicago.edu/help/research-foundation/

xo,

Nat

Man-Children vs. The Unicorn

Due to some blog maintenance, it's been quite a while since I've been able to bring you stories from my hilarious love life to the hardships of being a young adult.

The best part of this gap in time? I don't have that many stories for you.

Sure, there was the guy who talked in third person during the whole date ("Conrad loved to play basketball in high school but now he just lifts weights), the one who had a girlfriend (who doesn't) and the very special one who told me I wasn't "wife material" (....).

The summer has come and gone and so have those guys--it's a new season, literally.  I told a friend the other day that each guy I go on a date with makes me feel like I'm getting closer and closer to meeting one of the "good ones." The nice guy. The unicorn.

I could be way off and just feel that way because there ACTUALLY cannot be that many more man-children in Chicago...can there?

I don't know what exactly I want, but I sure as h*ll know what I don't want--and that's just as important.  From the 8+ weddings I've attended to bridal showers to baby showers to weekends with married friends, I've been able to view first-hand what I (and every girl) deserve.  Looking for those types of qualities that my friend's significant others possess doesn't need to scream you're ready to get married or have kids--it should simply show that you respect yourself and how you're treated and the quality of guy you're looking for.

My lack of dating horror stories might not be as entertaining to you, the reader, but it's a clear sign I'm doing something right...and that I de-activated Tinder (and Hinge...the list goes on).

xoxo,

Nat

Still Swiping....

I'm not afraid to admit I still dabble in the online dating world -- anyone who knows me knows I love a good blind date. I thought the craziness had died down a little (I deleted all forms of it), but Tinder -- which seems to have made a resurgence of late -- or Hinge...I'm up for it. 

And so is everyone else. Traders. Ad execs. Consultants. Bankers -- the unsuspecting, you might say. Are the ties, funky socks that are a favorite of hip twenty-somethings, business casual and the god forbidden kitten heels hiding a hankering for a relationship? 

 I used to think online dating was kind of for losers...then I remembered I do it and I might be a little biased, but I don't consider myself a loser. Neither are the other millions of people who do it as well, even though we judge those five pictures on Tinder or your mutual friends on Hinge harder than someone on Dancing with the Stars.

Some people use the platform in the right way (I've gone on a handful of fantastic dates. I'm also still single...) and others really make you question if there are actually good, normal people left (see picture). I feel like I've hit it off a few times here or there with someone and it just peters out...after a week, a month, whatever have you. Make plans, cancel plans, "reschedule" plans...it's so easy to toss aside a match because, sh!t, there are 576 other people within a 5 mile radius of 60610 that are waiting to be swiped right (Mom, that means you are interested in them. Swiping left means you are not). 
 
I hate to be a pessimist on this now age-old topic, but how are relationships supposed to start, let alone last, when there are so many outlets to meet other people? I've heard time and time again if someone wants to make it work, they will. If they want to see you, they will. I get that. But there are also so many other tempting options, why spend too much time on one person? Why get too invested when you might get a better match tomorrow? Or, like in past cases, you can't get too involved if you have a super serious girlfriend (shocker!)....reel us in and spit us out, Chicago.

Still swiping Old Town,
 
Nat