Friday, May 30, 2014

Time to Fly...

I am at the airport and getting ready to board my plane to Canada. So excited to see my buddy, visit Niagara Falls and have a few days away from the Chicago Office. I kicked off my review this afternoon so my Team has plenty of work to do in my absence. Yes! 

More craziness in the office. Two male coworkers raised voices at each other over a deal and one guy was later pulled aside and told he should look for a new position. Sucks because I really like him. Then my other coworker got seriously demoted this afternoon although she will keep her salary and title. 

I am just keeping my head down and posting for positions. They tried to come for me again a couple of weeks ago but I shut that down with my performance record. You don't have to like me or my personality but my team likes me, appreciates me and I am a top performer. In the end, they sat there with blank stares after I was done with them. I had everything documented. Moving on and thankful I had my work record to back me up. I've more than stepped up to the plate this year so they had nada. 

Toronto...Here I come! Have a great weekend! =)

Thursday, May 29, 2014


Good Morning!

Working through feeling a little sad and grieving for my relationship. Just really trying to get to a place of true forgiveness and love so that I don't continue to have this internal dialogue in my head surrounding what went wrong and how I felt about it all. Just trying to make peace with the past so I can move into the future. I wish I had a mechanism that would just switch it all off but I sincerely loved Harlem and wanted a future with him. Real feelings don't change that fast and we were great together when things were good. Just continuing to pray for healing of my mind and spirit and continuing to keep everyone in my prayers so that this kind of hurt and pain never has to reach another person. God is faithful so I know he'll bring me through this personal challenge. 

Looking forward to my trip this weekend to Canada and Niagara Falls. I stayed up last night to start packing and chatted with my friend from NJ. We didn't get off the phone until midnight and she's on the East Coast! 

Wishing everyone an amazing day! Thank you for reading and for your continued support of Windy City Blues to Bliss! =)

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Four Day Week...

Back to work today after a wonderful long weekend. I leave for Toronto on Friday and I'm looking forward to hanging out with my friend MC (we always joke that we have the same initials) and visiting Niagara Falls on Saturday. He's been counting down since last week and sent me the forecast this morning which looks awesome or this weekend. Thumbs up!

I jumped on the treadmill this morning for 30 minutes. It takes forever for my body temperature to come back down, even with a cool shower. Thank goodness, I don't need or wear make-up. Just a little eye liner, mascara and lip gloss and I'm good to go.

I'm doing my very best to stay positive, focus on being my best self and remain  thankful for all of my blessings. I cannot say that I don't miss Harlem because I do but I hope he's doing well whenever he is in the world. It's still crazy to me how I'd never know where he was when we were apart. Without a permanent address, he could be anywhere at anytime. A life so different than my own. Not wrong or right. Just very different. My Mom mentioned him yesterday when we were talking about men and crooked teeth. I know...random. She mentioned his smile and I had to just grin and agree because he has a smile that makes my heart melt. Bright smile against rich chocolate. Just Beautiful! I hope he's smiling wherever he is and I pray he's happy. 

I intend for this to be an easy and peaceful workweek. I begin leading another review today and I have to kick it off before I leave for Toronto since I'll be gone for a week. I should have an interview scheduled soon for a new position. I am ready to move on to a new challenge. 

Have a great day!!! 

Monday, May 26, 2014

Hit the Track...

I slept in this morning for the first time in a long time and it felt great. I got up and went for my very first training run. The arches in my feet have been hurting really bad doing the T25 so I decided to see if the track at the local high school was open. I was so happy to see it open and several people out running. I even ran into an old classmate from junior high and high school. Love!

The soft track was great for my feet but I do need to get out earlier to beat the sun and heat. I think I burned a little. I ran Mile 1 straight. I sprinted the straights and walked the curves on Mile 2. My lungs were struggling with the 80 degree heat and direct sunlight. My inhaler was my friend. Once I got light headed, I called it quits.

I Came! I Saw! I Conquered! Day 1! =)

True Love...

I had to stay up to finish reading this book. Amazing love story....I laughed. I cried. Beautiful!

Sunday, May 25, 2014


I had another really good day. An old school fun day. Playing in the yard, eating good food, spending quality time with family and listening out for the ice cream truck. Old school! 

As I left the park today, I found a little peace in my heart. I absolutely love living in a smaller town near a big city. I like the closeness and feel of a small town with big malls nearby but small mom and pop stores also in the heart of the village/city. It's special to feel that hometown feeling. 

I go into the big Chicago city to work and sometimes hang with friends. It's rich with history, culture and amazing people. I really feel like I get the best of both worlds. Being with my family and friends is the best place to be and's home! 

Enjoying the Park...

One of my most favorite things to do is go to the park to just to walk around or sit and enjoy a good book. I got up early this morning to go to Church and I stopped over to my parents' house to get my cookout assignment. Wine picked up and car washed, I was able to pull over, grab a chair out of my trunk and enjoy this beautiful day in the park.  

In a couple of hours, I will head over for some good eats. My Mom is throwing a bunch of stuff on the grill. Yum!!! The family is coming over so I will get to enjoy good food and quality time with loved ones. Can't ask for much better. 

Yesterday, I got an awesome massage, treated myself to lunch and then my Mom and I took my nephew to see Rio 2 which was such a cute movie. Despite it being a cartoon, I found myself laughing at different parts and bopping to the music while my nephew destroyed my nachos and slurpee. lol That's okay, after the movie I took him down in the arcade with some car racing games. lol...I will always be a kid at heart. Maybe today, we'll play a little baseball and football in the yard. Dad put together the hoop I bought my nephew for Christmas so there is sure to be some basketball too. Fun! 

Remaining thankful for all my blessings. I hope you guys are enjoying this long weekend. 

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Lovely Day...

It's a beautiful and sunny, mid 70 degree day in Chicago. I had an awesome massage this morning and now I'm having lunch outside. I just have to get out to enjoy this beautiful day. Dating myself may not be such a bad idea until someone special decides to join in the fun. =)

Friday, May 23, 2014

Take a Moment, Give a Hand...

From Soledad O'Brien's interview in Essence Magazine on what's behind the Starfish name of her company. Everything you do for another matters.

Happy Friday...

I woke up this morning to the sun shining and just excited and thankful that's it's Friday and the long weekend is finally here. It doesn't even matter that I have no plans other than a massage. My house is clean and I am free for 72 hours. Yippee!!! No work, no muss and no fuss! Oh yeah! 

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Long Weekend...

Trying to work on some weekend plans so I don't get bored or lonely. This is when I really wish I had a significant other and partner for companionship. We could brainstorm some activities together and really get out and have some fun. Or we could have planned a short getaway with a last minute deal involving the beach and sun. Whatever! I love spontaneity. 

What plans do you have for the weekend?

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Goals Update...

Chitown is going to Niagara Falls! I had a work trip scheduled for Toronto in June but my nephew is graduating from pre-school the Saturday after the training. So, I was resolved that I wouldn't be able to make it to Niagara Falls. 

In steps my buddy from Toronto. He was a football player at NU, resides in Toronto and has dual citizenship. We've kept in touch over the years via Skype and FaceTime and he called me a couple of weeks ago to ask me when the company was sending me across the border. I was just about to book my flight for training when he said come early and we could hang out and he'd take me to the Falls. Perfect! He has a condo in Toronto, about 30 min from the training facility. He'll pick me up Friday and I can stay with him and then and we'll stay the night at Niagara Falls and he's taking me to meet his family on Sunday. He says his Mom always likes to meet his friends from Northwestern and I love time with family so that's perfect. Then he'll drop me off at the training facility for the week. I am so excited because the flight is on the Company and I will have minimal out of pocket expense and get to go to the Falls. Yes!!!

One of my best friends from NJ is turning 35 in June and she called the other night to ask me if I wanted to go to Carabana in Toronto again in August. Umm...yes! I just don't know how I'm going to pay for that trip. I told her I'd get back to her. We just need to book by the end of the month. 

Lastly...I'm running another half Marathon. My Buddy from Toronto asked me to run with him and his sister and I was promised a nice fattening meal after the race...I'm sold!!!! lol. Now I will meet another goal this year. Time to lace up the sneakers. 

I am still determined to pay off at least $20k in debt this year. I think that's more than possible. I'm claiming it...It's already done! At least 20k this year and $30k next year. Boom!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014


There is a pretty big thunderstorm happening right now. I can hear the rain coming down hard, see the lightening between the blinds and hear the thunder. It's quiet in the house. The lights were flickering so I have the candles lit and it's just me sitting here on my couch thinking.

My adult life has been very disappointing. I'm 36, single, in a job that I dislike to my core and I'm $200,000+ in debt. I never imagined a life of struggle. I never imagined this would be my story.

I struggle. I've been struggling since I went out on my own at 25. 11 years of really hard work, struggle and absolute disappointment. It's hard sometimes to look in the mirror and not see myself as a disappointment. To not feel like a disappointment. I had it made. I come from a great family, I got a full ride scholarship to one of the best universities in the country, I'm super smart and I'm beautiful on the inside and on the outside. Nobody would ever know my struggle. I have a smile that will light up the entire room and it's my mask. It hides my pain.

The relationship struggles amplify the other struggles. I've taken care of the men in my life in the ways they needed, financially and otherwise and I've been hurt badly mentally, emotionally and even physically.

I read all the time. I read in "The Fault in Our Stars" this line that rang true...."That's the thing about pain, it demands to be felt".  Indeed it does. I didn't go to work today. I spent part of my day opening about 2 months of mail. There had to be a notice somewhere about my student loan payment increasing as it did this month to the tune of about $150. As it stood, I had about $1,200 in free cash flow each month after bills are paid but I've been trying to put an extra $400/month towards debt. So that left $800 and just $400 every two weeks for groceries, toiletries, household items, miscellaneous bills/expenses, tithing, clothing, medicine, etc. It doesn't go far. There's no money for vacations, shoes or purses and little money for entertainment. All of that comes from whatever savings I have which depletes very fast.

Today, I opened up a letter that told me just one of my 10 loans was increasing another $75 in July so now I'm down to just over $600 for the entire month with more loans increasing by October. I honestly have no idea what I am going to do if I don't get another position soon. As it stands, I already work 12 hour days and my boss is considering mandating that we work from 8 to 6 when we already do and take work home on weekends. I got chastised for leaving 20 minutes early so I could go coach softball so an extra job isn't even possible.

It's just bad. I need suits to wear for Leadership Training next month so I was going through my clothes to see what I could fit and what needed to be repaired, etc. I haven't purchased clothing in about 6 years. My clothing situation is raggedy. The pant linings to all but one of my pant suits are so ripped up that I had to just cut them out and I had to get a few hems repaired. The three sweater shirts I took to the cleaners today had holes in them that I got repaired vs. buying new ones. I was so embarrassed to take those clothes into the dry cleaners. I got back in my car and I just hurt to my soul. I wanted to cry. I drove over to my parents house just to see them and to remind myself that there is a reason for me to be here and that I am loved and valuable to someone.

I just never imagined this would be my story. I don't have anything to offer people that are looking for a personal finance blog. The only thing you get here is a real life picture in words about the devastation that debt can cause. How debt can dim a person's light.  I am going to have red, puffy eyes tomorrow. Too much crying. Night night.

Escaped Work Prison...

Working from home today and getting a lot of work done even though I called off sick. I couldn't stand the idea of going to prison today. I know I'm supposed to think positive and I do well 95% of the time but they've taken to monitoring our every move over this IM communicator tool so they even know when you've been in the restroom too long. Just ridiculous to be at the VP level and be treated like a kid right out of school. I'm the most junior and my co-workers are easily 20-25 years older with a wealth of experience and being treated the same.

This is exactly why the group stands to lose about 5 of us in the next quarter. Two are already retiring and moving to new positions. I posted out and two of my other co-workers have also posted out with another mentioning that she wants to move too at age 65! Anyway, the walls closed in just that much more over the last week. Sucks! Especially with Summer looming. Now I'm super glad that I put in for two weeks of vacation in July. Oh yeah!

Monday, May 19, 2014


I finished two weeks of the Beachbody T25 Program. The physical improvement is a little slow but I do have more energy and I feel stronger. Getting up in the morning to workout has been pretty easy so far. Often, I even wake up before my alarm and the birds in the tree outside my window woke me today. So I got up and got busy with my workout. 25 minutes later and you feel like you worked hard. I definitely appreciate the shorter 25 minutes but you do need to go all out for the entire duration. I am going to repeat beta program before I move on to the second part called gamma. Plus, the weather is getting nicer so I'm looking forward to some running and bike rides.

Have a Happy Monday! 


Sunday, May 18, 2014

Master Class on Own...

Jay Z's Master Class on OWN was excellent. I just finished watching it and the one with Justin Timberlake. If you ever get a chance to watch the series, you might actually learn something. Cheers! 

Sunny Spring Sunday....

It's a beautiful and sunny Spring Sunday. I went to church this morning and now I'm home with house music going through the condo while I do some Spring cleaning. My condo looks like a depressed person has been residing here but I've actually been purging and minimizing things in my space. It looks a bit crazy right now but it will be worth it in the end.

I took stock of my finances over the last month and I really did a lot and I mean a lot of emotional eating out and my credit card bill is ridiculous. I'll bite the bullet and pay it in full at the end of the month but it's not pretty. I also switched to cash for the next month to reel myself in some. It's always been painful to physically withdraw money from the ATM and to spend cash. It's no problem when you can just swipe! I was going to delay paying off my small $2,100 credit card balance since that's about how crazy I went with my card but I didn't. I paid it off with stock sales and I'm getting myself back on the right track. Not having so many emotional ups and downs will help.

I met with a new division in the Bank on Wednesday and posted for another position on Thursday after learning more about the job. It will be a lateral VP grade move but it will mean an increase of at least $10k so I'll be very close to $115k base and 20% target bonus. Not bad. I hit 20% with my bonus last year. My career is really just getting started at the Bank so I have a lot of room for growth and movement.

Hope you guys are having a wonderful weekend. =)

Saturday, May 17, 2014

The Fault In Our Stars...

Just downloaded to my Kindle App. One of the ladies I follow in IG said it was a great book. Here goes...


Out in the park watching my 5-year old nephew play t-ball and it's the best thing in the world. I am watching a star be born. He's been hitting the crap out of balls since he was 3 years old. I am so in love with this little boy and he has such a great spirit. He's taking all of the coaching with a good attitude and it's just a special, special thing to pour love into this little guy. We're all here. My Mom, Dad, Sis and BIL and we'll all be there in a couple of months when he graduates from pre-school. I don't want to miss a thing. Proud Aunt! 

Friday, May 16, 2014


The day after I had to go to the hospital with chest pains a couple weeks ago, I told Harlem that I was not ready to have him in my life as just my friend. I loved him and I was in love with him but he ended things and wasn't inclined to put in the efforts and work needed to have a relationship, i.e. stop breaking things off and running away. Plus, he just didn't display that he was truly ready to have a settled life, having been on his own and traveling the world for over 20 years. So, we left things telling each other I love you and I wished him a good 40th birthday trip. 

Well, a couple days later, Harlem called me by FaceTime around 3 o'clock in the morning in Spain and we talked like we usually do...just that automatic comfort and chemistry. I didn't know if he just felt bad or he was just lonely so we talked for a little over an hour and that was all. I hung up thinking, he has no idea how hard this is for me but I'll entertain it because he must be lonely on this trip by himself. 

A few days later, same thing and then we started texting and more FaceTime from Morocco and I'm even talking with him during work because of the time difference. So, if I said I can't be your friend and you're still calling, etc. then you must also really want more right?!?! No! 

On Friday, Harlem is asking me to send him a picture of me, the one in the bikini so I sent two and it's all "very sexy" and then comes Sat. I'm out enjoying a beautiful day in the park with my softball teammates. We'd just won and who sends me a message?!?!...Harlem. So we start communicating and I'm driving home and as I get near the house, I receive a message saying "I want you to know we are friends and I don't think of you sexually anymore"...random message when we were just casually chatting via text. 

Needless to say, 1) what woman who is in love with a man wants to ever hear that?!?!, 2) you just did think of me in that way and 3) you were just asking for bikini pictures and complimenting me the day before. So, what kind of games are you playing AND why do you insist on hurting me over and over again?!?! So, I sat in my car for a few minutes to see if there was a follow up text, a "Ha Ha" just kidding or something but that was all. So, I made a decision. Enough! Enough hurting me and enough of me giving him the power and opportunity to hurt me and drag me down. I really thought he was going to be different and better. I thought he was one of the "good guys".

So I Blocked everything so I wouldn't receive any more text messages, calls or FaceTime requests. You don't get to choose in life whether you get hurt. You do get to choose who hurts you. Harlem has hurt me so many times emotionally with his words and his selfish actions. Even if that was his truth, I just told him a week before I was not ready to be just friends so he should have honored my truth and not continue to contact me and monopolize my time. My heart is my heart and I still love the man and a part of me always will but for right now...Enough! 

I was telling my best friend about his messages and she said there would come a time when I would get tired of playing games and having someone take me for granted. I reached that point. I don't know if I'll ever understand all that's transpired over the last year and a half. I offered Harlem everything he said he wanted and needed and I had a lot of patience and I forgave a lot and I mean a lot. I loved him. I love him....But Enough!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Take Nothing for Granted...

I attended an amazing Women Leadership Seminar this morning with Dale Carnegie. I left feeling very empowered and motivated. 

When I got back to the office, I logged on to learn that my co-worker's 81 year old father was killed this morning in a car accident. My heart just sank. Life can change in an instant. Every moment with a loved one is so precious, every I Love You, every hug and each second. I'll be praying for her and her family. 

Wednesday, May 14, 2014


Just realizing that I am stronger than I thought and that with the amazing support system I've been blessed with, I'm never alone. I love my family and my friends who are also family. God is amazing. 

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Student Loan Increase....

Imagine my surprise on Thursday when I finally realized that my student loan payment increased and I didn't expect an increase until October! Absolute sheer panic and rush to deposit cash into my account so my bill payments don't get returned. Just imagine me screaming in my head silently...NOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!

Yep, that's about right! Only some of the loans increased. Thank God all of them didn't increase yet. Today is my first softball game. The weather is supposed to be decent so I'm looking forward to playing some ball and seeing my teammates. Have a good weekend. 

Tuesday, May 06, 2014

My Value...

What is my life worth? My family and my friends say I am priceless but the price I have to pay to actually get to live is $225,000. My very soul is crying out to live but I'm walking dead. In debt prison. 

I work so hard and I try so hard but the progress is slow and it's so grueling. I want help and I need help but I'm alone and there's no one to help. People around me are just making it too. 

I had a really and I mean really bad day at work today. I'm literally sitting on the train after working a long 10 hour day and I have more tears in my eyes. I am smart and good at my job, really good at my job, but I hate it and I hate my boss. She's a miserable person who wants everyone else to be miserable too. 

I just wanted so badly to pack my things up, leave and never come back. $225,000....that's the price for my freedom. I try to surrender it all to God but then I just keep getting knocked down. There are days when I just want to give up. Today is one of those days.

Monday, May 05, 2014

Dear God...

Dear God,

Please send me a good husband that will love me like YOU love me, bless me with great health and eliminate all of my debt. I ask you in Jesus' name! Amen!

Thank You,



Continuing Legal Education...

I scored a big win today. I received a reminder email that my 30 hours of Continuing Legal Education had to be reported by June 30th. OMG was my initial response as I searched frantically to see if this was a mistake. I mean, I just did CLE reporting! Well, two years flies by super fast when you're having fun. I know I completed some seminars here and there but for the most part, I have 30 hours to complete by month end for a reduced fee through the Chicago Bar Association. The WIN part is that the Bank is going to pay for my CLE and I didn't have to come out of pocket for the $271 like I did a couple of years ago.  I needed a WIN! Score!

I had coffee with my friend who is also an attorney this morning and he shares the same reporting period and is in the same boat.  He was the one who suggested that I ask the Bank to pay and I thought, why not?!?! So thankful for the win!  I updated my net worth over at neworthiq for April.  You can click on the link at the top right to get to my profile. Thanks.


I didn't sleep well last night.  Well actually I slept okay but I popped awake very early.  Since I was up with thoughts racing through my mind, I bit the bullet and worked out this morning.  I did the first DVD of the T25 workout series.  25 minutes later and I am dripping sweat and my chest is feeling just fine.  I was a little worried but I figured I would just take some ibuprofen if it bothered me later.  I haven't had a good workout since February when I got that nasty virus so it feels pretty good.

While I was working out, I kept thinking that I need to surrender all the struggle and worries surrounding getting married, having children and paying off the debt.  I am just going to do my best to stay focused on the present, take things day by day and focus on the things I can control to become the best Me.  I am so very thankful for my life, my family and my close friends.  I may not be exactly where I want to be but I am not where I used to be and I trust that God is giving me this test so that one day I will have a beautiful testimony.  I may still feel broken but he's putting me back together a little bit every day. Grace! 

Have a great day! 

Sunday, May 04, 2014

Day of Rest...

Woke up this morning and the pain was back again in my chest. I bit the bullet and finally took 600mg of Ibuprofen in Church. I was hoping to get to running this week, even if it's on the treadmill, but the doc told me to take it easy for a while until the pain subsides. Bummer! 

Church was really great this morning. My best friend text me to wake me for the early service and now I'm getting a pedicure before the rain starts today. It's always nice to start the week off with a good word, good company, good eats and relaxation. 

I have a little reading to do for work this evening but not too much. I'll stop by to see my parents and then make my way home for the evening. 

My credit card is on fire this month. I had to register my LLC with the State, and had a few more unexpected expenses but it's going to be okay. I'll have to dip into my savings a bit next month to pay it off in full. Then I have to prepare for the medical bills coming from the trip to the ER Monday. 

It's hard. Sometimes I feel like I take 5 steps ahead and three steps back but I'm still making progress every month so I just have to give Thanks. Looking forward to having a partner one day in life for the companionship and so I won't have to take care of everything in my own. It's a heavy weight and sometimes I just wish I had someone to share the load. 

Have a Super Sunday! No matter what's going on...keep smiling! =)

Saturday, May 03, 2014

Good Saturday...

I just got home from having dinner with my best friend. It's always great to see her, chat and get caught up on each other's lives. Two words.... Mango Margherita! Yum!

On the drive home, the radio was throwing off hits and there was this one song I just had to find when I got home. A Stepper's Song which won't mean much to many of you but if you're from Chitown, you know how to step and love some stepping music. The song was "Didn't We" by Gerald Levert, a talent gone too soon. Already downloaded to my iPhone so I'll be jamming before I get to bed tonight. lol. I came in the house searching V103's website and googling lyrics while singing the song in my head. I had to find it. lol. All is better now in my world....just a little (wink)

I had an awesome massage this morning. Before I went, I swung by the park to see my nephew get ready to play his very first tee ball game. From what I hear, we have a slugger on our hands. So cute to see him getting his cleats on, with his baseball hat and run out with his teammates. Time flies. I was just holding him in the hospital when he was born and now tee ball. Man! Love my little guy. As the only grandchild and nephew, he gets all the love and attention. But now there's Max too, my nephew's new puppy and boy oh boy, I am this close to getting a puppy. Then there'd be someone to come home to and someone to add some love into an otherwise stale home. This close! My sister isn't helping. Every week, she says Max needs a playmate. She'll get you to spend your last dollar but she always has you buying worthwhile things. Focus Chitown! =)

Hope you guys are having a good weekend. Time to get to bed so I can enjoy a Happy Sunday. 

Friday, May 02, 2014

52-Week Money Challenge - Week 18...

I completed Week #18 of the 52-Week Money Challenge and I now have $171 put away. The goal is to hit $1,378 by the end of the year. Slow and steady. Slow and steady. =)


$1,378 - 52 Week Challenge