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#17 Accomplished: Host A Dinner Party

There are some things that scream adulthood; getting married, having kids, having a full-time job, and hosting a dinner party. A part of me wants to embrace this next stage in life and the other wants to run away like a kid who sees cookies and cake in a nearby storefront. For now, I’ll take one step closer to becoming a frigid adult by  hosting a dinner party with fat kid foods.

Even though Mike is a great chef and, I like to think, I’m a great hostess, it’s still hard to get people to journey to Edgewater to eat dinner in a one bedroom apartment with an overly-loving dog.  My plan of attack: make the place look pretty.

As you may recall, may #17 goal is to host a dinner party with fabric napkins, a table runner, and decor. Here’s what I did for our Thanksgiving Dinner:

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I made the paper centerpiece out of craft paper and glue. It’s two sections that took me maybe about 4 hours to make in total, but I wanted the dishes to be the focus.

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DTG X See Shel Book Club: Imperfectionists Questions

We are determined to make this book club successful, so for all who are following along, here are the questions to keep in mind while you’re reading.

I’ll be reposting them on March 28th to prepare those who are in Chicago and for everyone else to answer in the comments.

I’ll also be sharing comments throughout my read, so hopefully you all don’t mind!

These questions are from my edition of The Imperfectionists. Let me know if I should add anything else.

1. How did you feel when you encountered a protagonist from one chapter in a different key somewhere else? Did these moments ever catch you by surprise?

2. Why do you think Cyrus Ott started his newspaper? Why do you think his family kept it going?

3. Do you think Hardy Benjamin made the right decision by ignoring the theft she uncovered? And which is more important in a relationship: love or honesty?

4. Is there a lesson to be learned in the story of Arthur Gopal’s rise through the ranks?

5. What do you think kept Ruby Zaga in her job all those years? Is her persistence admirable?

6. At one point Herman Cohen muses: “All this has been the most extraordinary surprise; he had expected an unhappy life, yet ended up with the opposite.” What do you think accounts for his happy fate? Is it luck, or something else?

7. Do you think someone like the war correspondent Rich Snyder might gain fame and recognition despite his bad behavior — or because of it? Would you rather be Synder or Winston Cheung?

8. Do you see traits of the characters in people you’ve worked with?

9. How did the Roman setting inform the reading experience of The Imperfectionists? What do you think it would be like to be an expatriate?

10. What do you think the future holds for the newspaper? How has the way you receive news day-to-day changed in the recent years?



It’s that time again! Share your accomplishments. They can be personal or professional. Take this time to think of something that you are proud of accomplishing these last two weeks. It doesn’t matter how big or how small they are. Any accomplishment is something you should be proud of.

photo via St. James Lutheran Church

My accomplishment is becoming an official member of St. James — it’s also number 19 on my 26 Things To Do list. Mike and I took four weeks of classes and I’m now a member of a new church. I’m truly thankful to be a part of a new community. Even if you’re not a church-goer, people  appreciate the sense of community. St. James has truly welcomed Mike and I into its church body, and I can’t wait to see how our lives will change. If you’re in Chicago and don’t have a church and want one, please let me know. I’d love to have you as my guest. Pastor Donovan does a great job of making his sermons relatable and comprehensible.

A Book A Month (February): Brain on Fire

Brain on Fire

February was supposed to be the first See Shel X DTG Book Club, but it wasn’t so successful. With busy schedules, plans were never settled, but I still need to tell you about this great autobiography.

Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness

By: Susannah Cahalan

Pages: 288

Synopsis: Susannah was a 24-year-old NY Post writer when all of a sudden strange things started to happen. She developed headaches, lost control of her body, lost her memory, and other crazy things. After being misdiagnosed several times, a doctor realizes she has an extremely rare disease that wasn’t known till about four years before.

My review: While reading this book it was hard to remember that it was an autobiography. Susannah was a successful writer when all of a sudden she lost control of her body and memory. I can’t even imagine having all of my goals ripped away from me because of a mystery disease.  It’s even harder to imagine that the disease she had wasn’t known until about four years ago. Women were being misdiagnosed for depression, psychiatric problem, and other things for some many years.

I also have to mention that while reading this book my hypochondriac mind started wondering. It’s funny now, but I was getting headaches and I kept thinking my memory was going bad.

I recommend this book to everyone. It’s so inspiring that Susannah was able to fully recover and write this book when she could hardly function for a whole month. She is proof that you can do whatever you put your mind to.

Rating: 9/10


A Place for Big Dreams and Dreamers


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