thank you, Oprah

One thing I don’t talk a lot about on my blog is that I worked for Harpo and The Oprah Winfrey Network just before my current job.

My time there definitely had its ups and downs. Compared to my first job at a publishing house, it was really hard work. I honestly didn’t know if I’d make it six months. But six months turned into almost four of the most challenging, thrilling, inspiring, and unforgettable years of my life. I learned so much. I worked on projects that were meaningful. I shared the stories of people who were influencing and changing the world as we know it, and, in turn, changing me.

And then there was Ms. Winfrey herself. An icon. A change agent. A powerhouse for good. Although I never worked closely with her, her magic was felt at all times. When she spoke, we listened. Just as many did last night to her moving speech during the Golden Globes while she accepted the Cecil B. DeMille Award.

I happened to turn on the show right before her speech, and listening to Oprah speak brought back so many emotions. Joy. Pride. More than anything, gratitude. For the time when this inspirational woman—and the amazing corporation and its even more amazing employees (read: my lifelong friends)—were part of my everyday life.

And then my joy turned into sadness. Sadness that our country’s leadership lacks this ability to empower and inspire the way that Oprah does. I cried tears of longing for a better time for this country and its people, and I get emotional just typing this.

But I realize that I cannot rely on anyone but myself to make change. And I realize that I can lead by example, and I can focus on the small acts of kindness that can have a ripple effect to create bigger, better change.

Will Ms. Winfrey run for president? Oh, I have no idea, but what I know for sure is I need a little more Oprah in my life. Don’t we all?

I’m so thankful for that transformative time in my life, and the woman it has made me. Grateful is an understatement.

Chicago Blackhawks Win the Stanley Cup!

Well, unless you aren’t on the Internet or live under a rock, you know that the Hawks won the Stanley Cup!!!!

I admit, I go through waves of being a sports fan. It’s kind of hard work! I’ve never been to a Hawks game, I can’t name every player on the team, I don’t know who is in which line, icing calls sometimes confuse me, and I scream with excitement every time either team gets close to the net (Nate can vouch for it…).

Lucky for me, my hubby is a big sports fan, and sits with a now 38.5-week pregnant lady while I ask a million questions about the game and the players. We also have close friends who are super into hockey who we’ve been watching some of the games with, and another friend who is actually an NHL agent (how cool is that?!?). It’s been so fun to follow his players and cheer for them! The whole team just seems like pretty stand-up guys (even if there are rumors…). I also have a not-so-secret crush on Coach Q, too. Maybe it’s the mustache??

I have to say that watching the Hawks win the Cup (third time in six years!) has been a lot of fun and a great source of entertainment for this preggo. I remember after they won in 2010, we waited outside of Harpo for the big red buses to come rolling by, so excited to get a glimpse of the players who were the absolute best in hockey (I know the girls really wanted to see Sharpie). I remember three years later, when I rode the 20 bus down Washington surrounded by a sea of red-sweatered fans on each side of the street, and wanting to join in on the fun. And I can’t wait for Thursday’s celebrations to see all of the wonderful players and their loyal fans. 

I feel so lucky to witness the dynasty, so thankful for the joy the team has brought me this season, and so excited to write in the “what happened in the news” section of the baby’s book: the Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup!

Now, your assignment: help me find the Cup!!!





Spotlight New York City – Cafe Lalo

Because I’ve grown accustomed to sharing all of my new experiences, I’ll be including “Spotlights” in my blog when I do things in cities other than Chicago.

When I was in New York City last weekend visiting my sister, brother-in-law, and darling nieces (shout out to Emma Jean and Jules!), I met up with my good friend and old Harpo co-worker Callie. She recently moved to NYC to work for (ah! the mothership called), and I’ve missed her and our Glee/cocktail nights. (For the record, I don’t watch Glee anymore. What happened to that storyline?!?)

When Cal told me I could decide where to have our reunion, I thought of the perfect place I’ve been wanting to go to for years: Cafe Lalo on the Upper West Side, where part of You Got Mail was filmed (I referenced in my Mario Tricoci event blog post). The Parisian-inspired cafe felt like we were whisked away to France the minute we stepped in the door! Although the pastries in the case and other tables’ brunch orders looked tasty, we simply enjoyed espresso, tea, fruit, toast…and a little gossip. (We got away with a bill for $20 in NYC—is that possible?) I also picked up some honey-flavored sweets for my mom, seeing as You Got Mail is one of her favorite movies. Miss you, Cal!

See the photos below for a look at our French escape! Do you recognize the cafe from the movie?

Cafe Lalo
201 W 83rd Street
Upper West Side, NYC

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