Frolicking in the Park

Sometimes, it amazes me, the beauty that surrounds us. A few weeks ago, Brian and I took a stroll down the Fox River in Geneva, Illinois with a lovely photographer and her assistant. We had a little picnic, played some games, and frolicked (yes, frolicked) around the playground surrounded by tiny humans. Our photographer captured some of the suburban Chicago beauty of spring, and I’d like to share that with you.

We weren’t planning on having an engagement session, but when I stumbled across a contest (and YOU helped me win 3rd place), we received a complimentary photo shoot with the lovely and talented Joy.

All photos are from Being Joy Photography. If you can’t get enough, you can check out her Chrissy and Brian blog post (and more of our engagement photos).

We began the session with a walk along the river, where we sat on a park bench and told bad jokes while Joy took lovely shots of us in the background.

Engagement photo shoot at a park with cherry blossom trees

Then we got up close and personal with this cherry blossom tree. Because look at it!

beautiful plus size engagement photos

When Joy asked how I felt about laying on the ground, I informed her I’d do whatever she wanted; she was the professional. I was secretly hoping she’d take advantage of this and make me do some crazy incredible feat so that I’d fall down and have some truly epic photos…but she was kind.

beautiful plus size engagement photos in a park

We brought props. All the props. Edible props. Playable props. Toys. Games. You name it. We brought it. Obviously, cheese was the star of the show. But this game, Mice and Mystics, is our game. While it can play up to four players, it’s the game Brian and I play on our at-home date nights. The game plays through an entire campaign, so we’ve been working our way through it slowly. Savoring it, if you will. My favorite part? The currency in the game is CHEESE.

Engagement photo session with cheese and board games

In fact, we had a whole picnic with some of our cough my cough favorite things. Board games. Cheese. Champagne. It was glorious. And fun. I totally ate a ton of cheese that day too.

engagement photo shoot picnic with cheese, champagne, and games in a park

Of course, I won The Game of Life (for the first time ever), and Brian was less than pleased. So he flipped that shit upside down. I tried to explain to him, “BRIAN, I never win this game. Can’t I win just this once?”

engagement photo shoot with the game of life throwing the game in the air

He wasn’t having any of that nonsense. So we walked away. We had a wardrobe change and took some silhouette photos under this super cool archway. My grandpa, the brick layer, would have been proud.

black and white silhouette engagement photo under archway

There’s this really cool looking foot bridge over the Fox River that I really loved photos on, and Joy was happy to oblige. This is one of my favorite photos from the whole shoot.

engagement photo session on a bridge, sitting indian style kissing

Across from the bridge, which is underneath the train bridge, Joy decided she wanted a shot of us in the support dealie (any one have any idea what this is called?). It turned out pretty cool!engagement photo session under a train bridge around the corner from each other

And then we made our way to the playground, where there were dozens of tiny humans running around on the unseasonably warm April day. We had to get creative. Joy seemed to really appreciate our facial expressions. Brian called this my zombie face. He’s not wrong.engagement photo session at a playground on the slide

Maybe one day, I’ll show you all the picture of Brian falling off the swings…but for now, you can see us being all lovey and adorable.

engagement photo session at a playground on the swings

We concluded our photo shoot with a picture of us taking a selfie. Because I’m kind of a selfie queen. It’s a thing.

engagement photo session on a park bench taking a selfie

Did you have an engagement photo session when you got married? If you’re not married yet, do you want an engagement sesh? Can you believe we’re getting married in three and a half months?

No one paid me to write nice things about Joy, but I did win a contest in which the prize was the photo shoot. We paid for all prints and products.

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

I Fit Inside a Box and Other Weight Loss Related Updates

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I do that shit, myself.

Ok, so fitting inside a gigantic grill box doesn’t make me skinny. I get that. But I’m on this weight loss journey. And it’s working. I’ve been eating healthy foods and tracking my movement/activity. I’m down 7.5 pounds since starting this Pocketful of Quirky Grace DietBet and that pleases me greatly.

So much so, that I had one of my little photo shoots just for you guys. Inside a box.

Because this coming weekend (birthday proper is on Friday [also go enter my birthday giveaway]) involves a wedding, a dinner with Brian’s brothers (his younger brother and I share a birthday), house hunting, and celebration with my favorite person on the planet, my family celebrated with me on Monday, as we christened Dad’s new grill.

My brother and boyfriend put the grill together in the backyard, while I chatted with Mom in the house. I thought I’d join the boys out back, so I meandered out there. As soon as I stepped outside, I saw this magical beast of a grill box and I knew what needed to happen.

I crawled into the large box. And I fit! I knew I was going to have fun for hours. Or at least minutes. It reminded me of that time my best friend, Mark, got a new TV…so my pal Liz and I played in the box for hours. And wouldn’t let him throw it away. Yes. We were adults. Obviously.

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The best part was when Brian rolled the box over. I wish there was video of THAT. He’s apparently glad there’s not.

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For the record, the grease stains are from my sunscreen, not sweat. Dicks.

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Who needs glamour shots, when you can have a Quirky Chrissy style photo shoot?

What’s the strangest thing you ever did during your own mini photo shoot? Would you have jumped right into a large empty box? What would you do if you had an awesome box like this?

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Fashionista? Who? Me? Oh, Sure!

I’ve always been kind of a girly tomboy. I love pink and sparkles and fuzzy and cute. But I also love football and sweatpants and comfy and cozy. While I may not have the BEST fashion sense, I know a cute outfit when I see one. So when Meijer asked me to play dress up with their new fall styles, I couldn’t resist.

Meijer Fall Fashion Lookbook

 So last night, after a long day at the office, I made my way to Meijer, armed with a gift card (courtesy of Meijer), my camera phone, and my keen fashion sense. I had a plan.

Now, I’ll warn you right now, I’m a normal girl. I’m a REAL girl. I’m a slightly chubby-non-model-girl. So as adorable as these clean cut, wake up fresh lady models may be… They’ve got nothing on me.

Back to my shopping adventure. As soon as I walked in, I noticed that there was a nice selection of sweater dresses, which are my go-to fall faves. I love that if it’s still warm, I can wear them (sometimes) without pants (you know how I hate pants), and then when it gets cool, I can pair them with leggings (yes!) and flats. Once it gets Chicago blustery, it’s leggings or skinny jeans and boots. I tried on 3 adorable sweaters, that were all super comfy and very reasonably priced…And I felt kind of like Goldilocks.

The first sweater made my boobs look GIGANTIC. Which I thought was fun, but at the same time, not really for me (anymore).

The second sweater was comfortable, but it was too short for what I wanted in a sweater dress. Plus, no matter how much I want them to work, horizontal stripes have never been my strong suit.

The third sweater was just right. And perfect both with pants and without! Hair down, hair up. I could wear it on a train, I could wear it on a plane. In a house, with a mouse. I could wear it here or there; I could wear it anywhere.

 Meijer fall fashion real girlsMeijer fall fashion real girls

 Meijer fall fashion real girlsMeijer fall fashion real girls

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After my little dressing room fashion show, I wandered through the collection of fall shoes and accessories. I loved the infinity scarves and purses (there was a TOTALLY cute owl purse that I ALMOST bought). I ended up getting several pairs of knee high socks to wear with my boots, because I never seem to have enough socks. (Something about them getting lost in a strange land somewhere between the washer and the dryer.) Plus, let’s be honest. I freakin’ love socks. I love them almost as much as I love not wearing pants.

What are your favorite fall fashion trends, Blog friends?

While I was compensated for this post with a Meijer gift card, all opinions are, as always, my own. Obviously.

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

This Shit Seriously Just…Happens to Me

Pepperidge Farm Goldfish

I love the fishes ‘cuz they’re so delicious. Gotta go fishin’

Pepperidge Farm Goldfish

When we drove by this on Saturday afternoon, the conversation went like this, “BlahblahblahunrelatedHOLYCRAPTHATSAWESOME WEHAVETOTURNAROUND” And Brian turned around. And yes, I do talk that fast.

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

I Squish Skyscrapers With My Fingers

I’ve been participating in DeBie Hive’s 30 Day Photo Challenge. And at the end of the challenge, I’ll upload all of the images so that you can see 30 days in the life of a Chrissy. But for now, I’ll just keep you up to date with the most interesting photo shoots. Last week, one of the topics was hands. I had planned to go home after work and take a picture with all of the heirloom jewelry from the strong women in my family…

But then Brian missed the train and our plans homeward were delayed. So I was sitting outside the train station, enjoying the gorgeous Chicago weather (for once), and this idea came upon me. I looked up at the Sears Tower (Yes. SEARS. Mother. Fucking. Tower.) and thought to myself…wouldn’t it be cool?

And so I reached. I reached for the tower with my hand. It was tricky, but I managed it with some random weird looks from commuters.

Sears Tower

And then, after looking at the results, I got an even better idea… I bet I could grab that building…

Sears Tower

You’ll see that I can move skyscrapers with the palm of my hand. Because I am a boss. But another idea popped into my head. Because I had been thinking about perspective shots like this since I saw something awesome on A Clown on Fire…And so there I was…

Sears Tower

Squishing skyscrapers with my fingers. Like a boss.

It was a great day. (And maybe Le Magnificent™ Le Clown will come squish sky scrapers with me one day…hint hint beg beg.)

Also, this:

I am squishing you with my mind

I am squishing you with my fingers

Happy Monday Blog Friends!

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Wordless Wednesday: Polar Plunge

Chicago Polar PlungeChicago Polar Plunge Chicago Polar PlungeChicago Polar Plunge Chicago Polar PlungeChicago Polar PlungeChicago Polar Plunge Chicago Polar Plunge Chicago Polar Plunge

Chicago Polar Plunge Donation for Special Olympics Chicago

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Brian Shares Saturday: In Which Brian Cheers Me Up with Nerd Stuff

I can’t believe it’s only a few weeks until Christmas!!! Aren’t you so excited?

Brian knows that my love of Christmas is strong…which is why he not only humored me by participating in the best Christmas card ever this week, he also helped plan it out. It’s brilliant. I may have a few left if you still want one…but it’s first come, first serve.

Here’s a sort of sneak peak…

Christmas cards from Quirky Chrissy

This is NOT our Christmas card picture. It was just part of the photo shoot…

Back to the usual shares…

This week wasn’t my finest hour. I’ve been having some overwhelming feelings of not excitement because I would like to be gainfully employed with a company that is awesome. Freelancing can be fun, but it’s not constant. Plus, I miss that whole team environment that comes with a job. Brian knows what’s up though, so he’s always trying to cheer me up.

The Sloth

As you well know, sloths are kind of a big deal in this house. So he still sends me the cute sloth sitting in his desk. Sorry guys, that picture just never gets old. Ever. One day, we will have a sloth named Ebenezer. And it will be wonderful.

You Think You Had a Bad Day…

So Brian sent me this amazing link to 19 gifs of pure joy. 19 people who’ve most definitely had a worse day than me. Believe me, it’s worth clicking this link. I don’t know how or where Brian finds this shit…but it’s freakin’ awesome.

Nerdy Physics Stuff

On one of our dates in the first few months of our relationship, Brian took me to a physics discussion on Dark Matter at Fermi Lab, which is a cool science facility practically in our backyard. I was unsure as to whether it was a good idea, but he seemed so excited about it that I agreed to go. Other than it being long and during dinner time and I forgot to bring snacks so I was a little cranky, it was really cool.

So when Brian discovered this article on “something cooler than dark matter,” and came home all excited about it, I knew I had to share it with you. Perhaps you sciency and nerdy types will enjoy it. If you’re not into that, I understand…I’ve got something for you, too…

Reading Gaming Goodness

For the literati and the gamers, Brian found this most amazing comic strip in the history of ever. When I taught high school freshman, one of my favorite short stories was The Most Dangerous Game. If you have not read it before, take a few minutes and go read the story first. The full text is linked above. It’s short. I’ll wait.

Read it? Fab.

So now you know the surprise ending to The Most Dangerous Game (and if you don’t…seriously go read that shit. it will blow your mind. Maybe. At the very least, you’ll be just a little bit smarter for having read it.)

Brian sent me a comic strip called, The Most Dangerous Gamer.

Hysterical right? The competition. The angry I’m-better-than-that-guy gamer mentality. The winner. Brilliant.

An Overabundance of Cute

cute pup rolling over

Yawning puppy

OH! And this is what happened when Brian discovered Google Drives has a survey format…He created a survey for me. I mean seriously. I almost said no because it was an option! If I made one the choices would be, “Yes, Of course, Absolutely, or Definitely.”

In all seriousness, though guys… Do I not have the best boyfriend in the world? I don’t know where he finds it all, but I’m always smiling.

Hollywood Studios Picture

 

 

 

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Wordless Wednesday: I’m Thankful For…

I'm Thankful for Cheese

Thankful for Cheese

Tim & Tom's Cheese

Cheese Sign

cheese porn

gratuitous cheese photos

cheese porn

cheese porn

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

The Joy of Haunted Houses and Halloween

I love love love Halloween. It’s THE ultimate holiday. It’s the fourth family holiday, you know. Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter, Halloween. My aunt in North Carolina actually flies into Chicago for this, above all other holidays. It’s the best. I’ve had my fair share of Halloween costumes, many of which were homemade or half homemade.

Haunted House Costumes Galore

This is the first in a series of photo posts in honor of my favorite holiday.

Crazy Haunted House Costume Numbers Clown

I used to volunteer at a haunted house…

In fact, this is how I managed to survive student teaching. I’ve said it was the hardest thing I ever did in my life, but it got a little crazy, considering I was president of my local Jaycee chapter, who ran a haunted house. One of the most hectic times of my life–I escaped into the costumed crazy of Suzzee, my haunted house character with character.

She started out because I love acting the crazy part.

 

Crazy Haunted House Costume 2

This is Suzzee at the very early stages

Crazy Haunted House Costume with Teased Hair

Check out that hair!

As I’ve had some experience in the world of haunted houses, I’ve decided to share with you the secrets to haunted houses. This is what to prepare for.

The Five Types of Haunted House Scares

The Standard Scare

This scare revolves around the things that typically scare…Spooky atmosphere. Scary music. Dark hallways. Traditional monsters. Dead people.This is the easy scare. Mostly scares little ones…

Redneck Monster Haunted House Costume

My redneck monster

Dead Haunted House Character

Dead

Haunted House Costume

My audition photo for The Walking Dead. What do you think?

The Boo! Scare

This scare is the most common. The jump-out-of-a-hidey-spot scare. The rah! scare. The scare they’re expecting, but not expecting…If you’re going through a haunted house, expect this when you least expect it. And when you most expect it. Just be ready for it everywhere.

Haunted House Creepy Little Girl

Suzzee started taking shape. She was a little girl who got into mommy’s makeup, but she was crazy. She was sweet, but mean. Friendly, but nasty. Quiet, but loud…When you least expected it, she was there–screaming in your face…

The Grotesque Scare

As you can see in the photo above, I wasn’t opposed to covering myself in fake blood. (corn syrup and food coloring) The grotesque scare feeds on the fear factor of humans. I’ll bet you never thought about how gross watching someone masticate is… I took every opportunity to chew in people’s faces.

Haunted House Crazy Girl

That red candy was a gummy heart with red liquid candy…it was like eating a heart covered in blood…and I was absolutely disgusting while I did it… I also used gummy finger fries in bloody ketchup…

Haunted House Characters

Suzzee was caught by the popo and stuck behind bars for a while…That pink bunny had a squeaker in it…and was stuffed with cotton candy…which I pulled out and ate in front of people. They really thought I was eating the cotton…

Haunted House Costume Fun

Told you.

The Personal Space Scare

This scare is easy. Walk up to someone who looks scared…stand close enough that you’re just barely touching them (without touching them). Get your face in their face. Sniff them. Smile at them. Scowl at them. Or even better…Scream in their face when they start laughing at you. All of these things are allowed in a haunted house!

Crazy Haunted House Halloween Costume

Suzzee had no problem walking up to people and crowding their personal space. Often.

The Mind-Fuck Scare

There really was no other way to describe this type of scare. It’s the scare that leaves you with nightmares. It’s the scare that makes you unforgettable to teeny bopper radio DJ’s (Yes, that’s right…I ran into them at the car show 5 months later looking normal…Guess what? They still remembered me. They told me they were still having nightmares about my character. It was the greatest compliment. Ever.) I’ve got a super creepy monotonous singing voice that I bust out for haunted housing… I can stare at the same spot for 5 minutes straight…It’s pretty fun.

Haunted House Creepy Character

Creepy right? MIND-FUCK

So Suzzee was the best…Because she encompassed ALL of the scares. An all-around mind-fuck who did and said whatever she wanted.It was great, because I had to be in character at all times. So instead of being the responsible president or the responsible student. Or the responsible teacher… I could just be Suzzee. And life was fun.

When I grow up, I want to be an actress.

 

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

It is Day 100!

That’s right friends, It’s Day 100 here at the wonderful world of Quirky Chrissy. 100 blog posts. 100 stories. 100 times Chrissy. So I’m stoked. Plus I’ve got a super special announcement…

But anyways, Day 100…

It makes me think of the early days of elementary school, when there was a song/jingle dedicated to Day 100 (sung to the tune of “It’s a Small World”), everyone was asked to bring in 100 of something small that could fit into a gallon sized ziplock bag, and we got cookies shaped like 100.

Why Day 100 was such a celebration, I’ll never know…but the vision of 5 year old Chrissy, bringing in a bag of 100 bottle caps (yes–BEER bottle caps) is priceless. Oh yes, folks, in addition to creating a picture of my future self as a bartender (when prompted to draw what we wanted to be when we grew up) at the tender age of five, I managed to bring in a giant bag of beer-soaked bottle caps.

Oh-right…some of you are new. My family used to own a bar.

But yeah. Bottle caps. Most kids brought in paper clips or pennies…I brought in bottle caps. And I’m pretty sure it was my idea. And by the time I was five…if I had an idea, I wasn’t going to let anyone tell me differently. Just like the time I decided I was never going to love a pair of jeans the way I loved my paint splatter ones in kindergarten…and refused to wear jeans for the next five years…Or the many times that I stubbornly refused to take off the adorable red floral summer skirt that I loved…in December. When I had no matching shirt. With red cowboy boots.

Right. Stubborn.

In other news, I’m giving away my sweet prize package today which includes:

  • A *used* copy of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (I buy them used…lots of them…it’s good practice so that when the gov’ment decides that they’re no longer appropriate or wants to change things, I can still distribute the good stuff)
  • A sweet official Disney trading pin (They’re freakin’ awesome–be excited!)
  •  A surprise pack of goodies from Trader Joe’s that includes cheese, cookies, and other favorites. (Unfortunately, it’s not easy to send really delicious cheese…so cheese flavored products will have to suffice)

And now, to announce the winner!

Contest Winner Announced

I put your names into a hat

Picking the winner

Brian as my witness, I promise I didn’t cheat!

Contest Winner is...

And the winner is…

Lily from It's a Dome Life

The winner of Chrissy's Favorite Things

Lily from It’s a Dome Life!!!!

Chrissy Photo Shoot

Brian kept snapping pictures…

Hamming for the Cam

So I hammed it up-photo shoot style…

Raining Winners

And did the funniest thing that I could think of…It’s raining contestants!

So congrats to Miss Lily, for her excellence in whoring out my little blog, (she got the most entries, so the odds were already in her favor, people) and winning the random hat drawing!

I would take a picture of the prize pack, but as you’ll see I didn’t really give the details of the pack…

I’ve found that it’s more fun to receive a box of unknown goodies…then it’s like Christmas!

In conclusion, happy Day 100! Lily, congrats on winning the prize pack! Stay tuned for more fun. More excitement. And oh right… I did promise a special announcement…

Coming Soon: Quirky Chrissy: The Foodie Section

 

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!