Blurry Bliss - Dana Chirps

How on Earth has it been so long since I posted? Well, to be honest, that’s an easy question for me to answer. Life has been busy! It’s mostly been very good things…

February 22-March 19th: Brett and I had our 3-year anniversary, his 35th birthday, and my 33rd (saaay whaaaat!?). We also celebrated my cancer-free day (19 years!).

March 8th: My parents were in my neck of the woods for a hockey tournament (which my dad’s team won!), so we got to show them our home in Newburyport during this brief but wonderful visit. It was so nice to get to have a birthday dinner with my parents.

March 24th: Brett and I got to go to one of his friends wedding in Monteray, CA. It was an Indian wedding, which is something I have ALWAYS hoped to get to experience. We wore the traditional attire, ate tons of Indian food, and loved every aspect of it. It was the most spectacular and over-the-top (in the BEST way) wedding I’ve been to. The groom went to college with Brett, so it was all of his Purdue friends. It was so fun meeting them.

March 30th: My good friend from Fort Lauderdale, Angelica, visited me! It was SO nice to see her and we had a blast catching up. I’m hoping I can convince her to come up to Newburyport in the summer months someday because she saw it when it was pretty dead. Now that it’s summer, the town is vibrant and lively.

April 6th: Brett and I got together with my Nana in early April and took her to see the musical, A Bronx Tale. I had never heard of it, but Brett and Nana had! It was a really good play. I still think I prefer the classic heavy hitters, but it was nice to change it up with something less mainstream. Honestly, I was just thrilled to spend the day with Nana.

April 12th: My family suffered an unexpected and devastating loss of my “Uncle Nick”. He was technically my dad’s cousin and was his best friend in the world. It rocked our entire family. I can’t remember which family member said it, but Uncle Nick was “the best parts of Podgurski”. It was absolutely heartbreaking. And to know how sad my dad was to lose his very best life-long friend was unbearable. There is definitely a piece missing in our family, but I know he is looking down on us - especially my cousins.

April 24th: I chopped my hair off!!!!! This is something I’ve been debating literally for YEARS. I finally pulled the trigger, and did so in a bold way - I went to a different salon with a new-to-me stylist. I’m really glad I did it. I keep going back and forth on keeping or growing it back out. I like both!

May 2nd: I took a public speaking course. Normally, I feel very confident giving presentations but I had gone through a funk where I just couldn’t deliver the way I had in the past. I knew it was all in my head and I had to do something or it was going to eat me alive. I essentially used the course as a “reset button.” The instructor essentially said that I have zero issues speaking in front of people, but that I should focus on everything that happens as I am waiting to speak. He offered realistic and helpful tips. It was a good experience for me and I left feeling like my old self again.

May 4th-5th: Brett and I took a weekend trip to Providence and we both LOVED it (we hadn’t been before). PVD is a city that has been gentrifying. There are still some seedy parts, like any city, but overall we thought it was beautiful. The food scene is unreal. It’s common for chefs to graduate from Johnston and Wales and open restaurants in town. There’s also more Italians per capita than anywhere else in the country - so the restaurants in Federal Hill (think Little Italy) are as authentic (and delicious) as they come. The art scene is thriving with RISD being right there. Scenic canals run through the city. It’s a city that is funky, weird, enthusiastic, energetic, and packs a lot of punch for a small city.

May 17th: Brett got me an ebike! I had vowed to never ride a bike again after using one as a primary mode of transportation in Bermuda. But electric bikes are FUN since they provide assistance (mine has three levels of assistance). It’s still quite a workout though! I love that we can go on rides together.

June 2nd: Brett and I took another trip to Providence. Because we had such a great time when we went in May we went into this trip with a “could we live here?” mindset. We also went to a really cool rooftop bar and restaurant called Mare that I had found on “the gram”. We loved everything about it. My favorite part (other than the food itself) was that the rooftop (and killer views) is accessible all year round, too!

Weekend of June 8th: Brett and I attended a wedding in Philly! It was for our friends Kieran and Sam. They visited us while we were living in Bermuda. We had such a blast exploring city and then celebrating their marriage. It was my first time in that city and I really wanted to hate Philly (b/c I hate the Flyers). But I seriously thought Philly (the city, not their sports) was awesome. The foooooood. The walkability was topnotch too.

The Rest of June: It was a CRAZY but AWESOME month. I was gone the whole second half of it. First, I went to South Florida for a few days where I stayed with my friend Angelica (the one who came to visit me in NBPT back in March). I worked during the day and caught up with more friends at night. Then Angelica, myself, and two other girls took a long weekend to Panama. Angelica is Panamanian and graciously offered to host us - I’ll write a separate post about that trip! But we had an incredible time! After that weekend was over, we flew back into Miami and I spent a day working there before I then flew to Denver for a work conference.

Mondays and Tuesdays: I (still) take painting class twice a week. It is the highlight of my week, every week. I love both my instructor and my classmates. They’re all so brilliantly talented. It’s like a family at this point.

Bermy: He is 85lbs and about 8 months old, ha! When Brett and I both have work trips we send him to get formal training (since we’d be boarding him anyways, might as well!). He is so much more obedient! He’s really transformed into this dog that is just fun to have around. He makes Brett and I laugh on a daily basis. We’re so lucky to have such a sweet and lovable pup.

Work: It’s going great. Although the honeymoon phase is over, I still feel like my decision to join this company was a really good one. I seriously love the team I’m on - such good people, and we each carry our weight in our respective roles - no weak links in this group. One of my teammates and I went to a conference in May. It was a blast to hang with her and be back in the multifamily scene, as it was my first industry conference since moving to Bermuda! It was like a reunion in many ways. The best speaker was the CEO of Travelocity and the best “fun” part was going to event at Tom Tom and meeting both of the Toms from Vanderpump Rules. At the end of June I had another conference which was pretty good. The highlight speaker was our CEO (it was my first time hearing her speak and she was really compelling) and Mindy Kalig. The “fun” part was that one of my vendors rented out The Filmore and had The Struts and Keith Urban perform just for us! Right now I am in busy-season with a whirlwind of quick trips, but I live for the chaos.

So there you have it! I’m alive! Ha! So many more updates and news to share, but that is all for now.

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Dana Podgurski

Hi everyone! I'm Dana Podgurski! 

I'm a foot in the mouth, tongue in cheek, head in the clouds, and heart on the sleeve kind of gal. I live for new experiences, but am a total sucker for nostalgia at the same time. I'm tough as nails, but am a complete softie for all things kids and animal related. I fly by the seat of my pants, and live for adventure. But I firmly believe that adventure is a mindset that one's self determines.

For work, I am a marketer through and through. Bringing brands to life, and content marketing are passions of mine. Many would consider what I do as nerdy, but I seriously dig it. I have been doing marketing contract work for years, and appreciate the variety it brings, and the relationships I've developed with my clients. To check out my work portfolio, or if you're interested in a partnership, click here.

For fun I love to create - writing/blogging, photography, and painting are my main three mediums of doing so. Feeling good and healthy is also high on my list, as it really lends itself to making everything more enjoyable. So I maintain a very active lifestyle, eat pretty healthy, and am outdoors as much as I can be. And if my blog didn't make it abundantly clear, I absolutely LOVE to travel. I spend any extra money I have on plane tickets, and feel so fortunate to have been to several amazing destinations both domestically and internationally. There's nothing more fulfilling than coming home from a trip and adding a been-there-pin to my map.

Wynwood - Miami - Dana Chirps

This is one of those posts I meant to do ages ago. Wynwood is an artsy section in Miami was just starting to come to life right as I moved to South Florida. It has evolved quite a bit over the last 4-5 years. It started of as a quiet but funky art scene that people would often describe as "kinda sketchy,"  that not a ton of people knew about or participated in. Every second Saturday the galleries open their doors, and tons of local artists, vendors and food trucks set up for the evening. "Second Saturdays" quickly picked up traction, and is a hustling and bustling atmosphere these days. I'd describe Wynwood now as a trendy but still an artsy area that attracts art lovers, hipsters, and foodies. It is also quite the "selfie destination." It's still a great time, and I'm happy for the gentrification of the area, but I do miss the ability to find parking with ease. Back in December, my brother and his girlfriend came to visit me while I was still living in South Florida, and I was so excited to show them this part of town. They dug it.

The photos above were taken in this section of Wynwood called "Wynwood Walls." Wynwood is most famously known for its incredible graffiti art, and "the walls" is a closed off area for people to walk around spectacularly painted walls, and into some really cool galleries.

The most popular galleries are the pop art galleries within the walls, especially Peter Tunney's. It's practically impossible to go into his gallery and not take a picture. His work (showcased above) is so energetic and catchy, I love it. 

It's also worth suggesting that when you go to Wynwood, be extra observant! There is art everywhere. I love the stamps on the sidewalks, like the one above. Pop into Panther Coffee for a cuppa joe. It's South Florida's most well known local coffee. Truthfully, I don't think it's the best coffee I've ever had, but it's still enjoyable, and a part of the Wynwood experience. I also recommend coming to Wynwood with an appetite - the restaurants are amazing. Wynwood Kitchen and Bar is an easy go-to with delectable tapas and unique cocktails. But in that part of town, I really like to just stumble into places and try them. Other places I like: Concrete Beach Brewery, and the outdoor garden inspired seating at Wynwood Diner.

Have you been to Wynwood? What are your favorite walls?

 

 

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Dana Podgurski

Hi everyone! I'm Dana Podgurski! 

I'm a foot in the mouth, tongue in cheek, head in the clouds, and heart on the sleeve kind of gal. I live for new experiences, but am a total sucker for nostalgia at the same time. I'm tough as nails, but am a complete softie for all things kids and animal related. I fly by the seat of my pants, and live for adventure. But I firmly believe that adventure is a mindset that one's self determines.

For work, I am a marketer through and through. Bringing brands to life, and content marketing are passions of mine. Many would consider what I do as nerdy, but I seriously dig it. I have been doing marketing contract work for years, and appreciate the variety it brings, and the relationships I've developed with my clients. To check out my work portfolio, or if you're interested in a partnership, click here.

For fun I love to create - writing/blogging, photography, and painting are my main three mediums of doing so. Feeling good and healthy is also high on my list, as it really lends itself to making everything more enjoyable. So I maintain a very active lifestyle, eat pretty healthy, and am outdoors as much as I can be. And if my blog didn't make it abundantly clear, I absolutely LOVE to travel. I spend any extra money I have on plane tickets, and feel so fortunate to have been to several amazing destinations both domestically and internationally. There's nothing more fulfilling than coming home from a trip and adding a been-there-pin to my map.

Some Realness - Dana Chirps

my escape from it all - fresh air. this is about 1.5 miles south of me on fort lauderdale beach.

The last few months have been completely, and utterly insane. Throughout this period of time, I randomly had a few people message me saying something to the effect of, "girl, it looks like you're living the life!" They were going strictly off of my social media. I found myself wanting to tell each of them (and sometimes doing so) that yes, things are good, but there's plenty of stress and struggle behind that very same Instagram account. As a part of the rebrand of this blog that I did back in August, I mentally vowed to myself that I would be a little more transparent on my blog - even if it meant it wasn't all sunshine and rainbows. So, here it goes...

From about the end of October to the new year, my life was a total SHIT SHOW. Below is a list of some of what was on my plate. I might not have the timeframe totally accurate, and some of these are out of order. It was such a blur. I was on survival mode. I have only (very recently) begun to catch my breath. 

  • At the end of September my mom had to cancel her trip to visit me here in Fort Lauderdale because her father, my Papa, had made an unexpected bad turn in his health. It was weeks before he actually passed. I took some very last minute trips up north to be near family, and then to attend his funeral (he passed away October 20th). The loss of my Papa was devastating for my whole family, but I do feel as though we (especially my cousins) have become closer. However, the post you saw on my Instagram was me apple picking. 
  • At my Papa's funeral, I learned that my Aunt/Godmother (dad's side) had been moved to hospice due to her lung cancer caused from years of smoking. Another last minute trip up north was made with the intention of "visiting" her... but unexpectedly, that very same visit turned into saying goodbye. It was agony, but I'm glad I got to see her one more time. It was also the first time in five years my immediate family was all together in the same room, which was special despite the circumstances.
  • Around the timeframe my Aunt passed away (Dec 7), my Uncle -her husband- was diagnosed with lung cancer. But Uncle is tough as nails, has a ton of support, and is doing his part to beat this thing because he has motorcycle rides he wants to get to.
  • Somewhere in the midst of this... my boyfriend, Brett, was talking about a possibility for a job that would require us both to move out of the country, and move quickly. Ultimately, he got the offer and accepted it. This was very exciting, and I was (and am) elated for this opportunity for him, but in came the stress of moving.
  • I had to negotiate and fight the terms of my lease. Originally, I was told that I could not go month-to-month because that was against the terms of the lease. That would have meant I either would have had to move my stuff into a storage unit and find a place to live for a couple months (K, I'll forever owe you for even entertaining the idea of letting me crash on your couch), or I would have been asked to pay for an entire year's worth of rent for a unit that I wouldn't be living in for "breaking the terms." Thank God I read the fine print (pro tip, ya'll), and was confident enough to fight back. I was able to get my lease extended, short-term, and in a month-to-month format. I'm pretty sure there was a beach picture on Instagram. 
  • Knowing that this move was becoming a strong possibility, I knew it would be a lot cheaper/easier for me to sell my furniture and belongings instead of moving them. Cue the rodeo that is Facebook Marketplace. But thank the dear sweet Lord for aligning me with a few people, (one in particular - CS!) that became the new and rightful owners of the possessions that I was parting with. I feel like I could write a book titled "Sisterhood of the Traveling Couch." But using my ironing board, and long board as a dinner table has officially gotten old. lol.
  • Let's add job searching/interviewing for a rewarding and remote marketing position I could do in another country while already being more than busy with the actual job I was currently employed at... that was probably a crab legs for dinner Instagram post. 
  • And then actually giving notice... that was more emotional than I was expecting. Thankfully it ended up working out just fine. I was asked to fly back to Fort Lauderdale after Xmas/New Years to work just one day, which I thought was odd... but it ended up saving me about $175 (despite cost of ticket I paid for) because I didn't have to pay out of pocket for insurance for January anymore, so I shrugged it off and didn't mind it, despite the added hassle. This corresponded with a bestie selfie on Instagram during the flight back to FLL.
  • And just to make things a little more interesting, I was coordinating (and arguing with insurance), and then had that well-overdue surgery on my vocal chords on December 22nd, a $2000 procedure (after insurance). Christmas decorations post on Instagram for sure!
  • In order to wrap up my work projects in a way that put my boss and coworkers in a good position, and to give me enough time to heal from vocal chord surgery, I had to negotiate my start date for my new job. It was a conversation that started with massive anxiety ("what if I lose this opportunity?!" "what if I can't get my voice fixed!?"), but ended in relief. My new boss could not have been any more understanding and willing to work with me. Brunch pic on Instagram.

Did I mention all this took place during the holidays? The most wonderful time of the year, eh? I had reached a point where I felt like my brain was going to split in half, was mentally and physically exhausted, and suddenly found myself quite empathetic towards Britney Spears' 2007 meltdown. I'm not one to wish time or days away, but by the end of December 2016, I was definitely looking forward to a fresh start with a new year. 

Once I got to the first week of January, I felt like I had finally made it over the hump. Yes, my heart still aches intensely when I think about the losses my family has had, but it no longer feels as raw as it did. My Uncle is kicking ass, and putting cancer in its place. I have successfully sold all the big pieces in my apartment, and I'm donating what doesn't fit in my car when I move this weekend. My lease in Fort Lauderdale worked out, Brett found us a place to move into, and we successfully tag teamed to get his condo in Portsmouth rented out. Vocal chord surgery (and recovery) is already a thing of the past. I started my new job, and so far I'm really enjoying both the job and the team. I'm sleeping better (you can literally see the difference on my FitBit), I feel lighter (but am eating more), and no longer have any negative thoughts or stress lurking in the back of my mind. Life is good.

I really hope this post doesn't come across as "woe is me." I truly think my life is freaking AWESOME, and consider myself to be someone with a positive outlook. But when somebody younger than me had reached out to me and said my life seemed "perfect," it made me want to write this post to shed some more light into what was occurring in my life "behind the scenes." To compare your life to someone else's without knowing the whole story is a dangerous game, and I did not want to contribute to that.

Despite what social media profiles project - nobody's life is perfect, certainly not mine. Know there is almost always more to the story. 

 

 

 

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Dana Podgurski

Hi everyone! I'm Dana Podgurski! 

I'm a foot in the mouth, tongue in cheek, head in the clouds, and heart on the sleeve kind of gal. I live for new experiences, but am a total sucker for nostalgia at the same time. I'm tough as nails, but am a complete softie for all things kids and animal related. I fly by the seat of my pants, and live for adventure. But I firmly believe that adventure is a mindset that one's self determines.

For work, I am a marketer through and through. Bringing brands to life, and content marketing are passions of mine. Many would consider what I do as nerdy, but I seriously dig it. I have been doing marketing contract work for years, and appreciate the variety it brings, and the relationships I've developed with my clients. To check out my work portfolio, or if you're interested in a partnership, click here.

For fun I love to create - writing/blogging, photography, and painting are my main three mediums of doing so. Feeling good and healthy is also high on my list, as it really lends itself to making everything more enjoyable. So I maintain a very active lifestyle, eat pretty healthy, and am outdoors as much as I can be. And if my blog didn't make it abundantly clear, I absolutely LOVE to travel. I spend any extra money I have on plane tickets, and feel so fortunate to have been to several amazing destinations both domestically and internationally. There's nothing more fulfilling than coming home from a trip and adding a been-there-pin to my map.

Adios, Soflo - Dana Chirps

3 blocks from my place.

This post is a little all over the place because there is just SO much to say. About 4 years ago I knew I'd be leaving my job, and knew I was also ready to leave Virginia. With the exception of a few years in northern Jersey, I had spent my life in VA, and wanted a change. So I applied for jobs in cities I liked. My top choice was Boston, but I didn't get any bites. I ended up getting the most job offers in South Florida, and that is how I ended up here. 

Moving to a new city where I didn't know anyone gave me a certain level of independence, and confidence that I am not sure could have been achieved any other way. With my immediate family and the bulk of my network being 1000 miles away - everything was up to me. It's been both scary, and invigorating. I have zero regrets in moving here, and have largely loved this chapter in my life. 

But it's time for the next adventure, and I am moving. In fact, this weekend is my last weekend living in South Florida. 

My experience here has been a mix of highs, lows, and a ton of sunshine. There will be things I miss, and things I don't. In regards to the negatives, even though they were challenging, I know I ultimately came out on top. The negative experiences only made me better. 

The lows and things I won't miss:

  • The amount of shady people down here, especially those disguised as "friends." But thank you for teaching me how to use a very sophisticated filter to determine who I allow in my life. 
  • The dating scene. (Though I have a boyfriend now). But thank you for teaching me to be fearless in addressing BS head-on, and for helping me figure out what I wanted (or didn't want) in a relationship.
  • Phonies in the workplace. But thank you for reminding me that it's always worth the bumpy ride to rise above.
  • The blatant obsession (not to be confused with the general liking) of money, cars, plastic surgery, and material things. But thank you for showing me that "keeping up with the Joneses," getting tons of plastic surgery, and owning (or pretending to own) a lot of shiny objects is (sometimes) just a very glossy way of hiding other issues and insecurities. Even extreme wealth doesn't buy happiness. 
  • The glorification of cheating/affairs. But thank you for increasing my respect for those who are loyal (and proud to be) to their significant others.
  • Drugs... this particular low is especially targeted towards the guy that I was once set up with on a blind date. The pansy roofied me. I literally woke up naked and alone in a hospital not knowing why I was here (had no memory of the night). Thank God for my guardian angels, as what often happens when a girl is roofied did not happen to me. But thank you for showing me that for every jerk in this world, there are at least 10 incredibly wonderful people. (Side note: I was also delighted to learn that somehow even in my drugged state, I was still seemingly determined to stick up for myself - I was told I broke the guy's hand. :)) 
  • The traffic.
  • The "palmetto bugs." ::::shudder::::
  • Aventura, Doral, Kendall. (lol)

The highs (Where do I begin?!):  

  • I learned how to search, find, and set up my own place - it's an empowering feeling to choose your very own home, in the city of your choice.
  • My career in marketing is (in a word) thriving. I attribute a lot of that success to the opportunities I was blessed with while living here. I can confidently walk into any industry, speak to any stakeholder at any level, and can provide them with revolutionary marketing strategies and tactics  - this is a sentence I would not have dared to put on paper 5 years ago. I have also had the privilege of working for some true leaders (DV, looking at you), and met some AMAZING friends because of work (ninjas, TA, network/industry peeps, I love you).
  • The newfound confidence of being on my own led me to travel to 8 different countries in Europe, solo. 
  • The friends I've made here! My goodness, do I roll with an awesome pack! 
  • How international South Florida is. I absolutely LOVE this, and love that I've made connections with such a diverse group of people. I would not have it any other way. 
  • The weather, and the surrounding natural beauty. This. is. everything. Almost every single week I have had a "I can't believe I live here," moment. It is PARADISE, people! Dining outside, all year round. Going to the beach, all year round. Never having to wear bulky annoying layers. Folks, it's not as good as it seems - it's better.
  • The brightness - between the sunshine, the rays coming through my bedroom windows every morning, and the general affinity to neon colors down here... I just dig the vibrancy. 
  • Living three blocks to the beach. This has been an absolute dream. I can walk to the beach, and to some of my favorite restaurants, and bars. I can go for a run up and down A1A, with the ocean on my side the whole way. Every day is a beach day.
  • How active people are down here. It is so motivating and invigorating to see so many people being active, and taking advantage of their environment. Shout out boot camppppp!!!! 
  • The "only in south Florida" moments. 
  • Being a blonde in Miami.
  • All the bad drivers - I'll miss them because this will probably have been the only time/place where I'll get to be classified as an "average" driver. ;)
  • 94.9 - lovvvve my latin music in the morning!!!!!
  • Cheap hockey tickets.
  • Being able to keep close tabs and be involved with marketing luxury real estate here!
  • Basketball on the beach.
  • Publix, and the dude there that hooks me up with extra crab legs from time to time.
  • Having tons of things to do - paddleboarding, biking, nude beaches, shopping, bar hopping, exploring, road tripping, rooftop pools, rooftop parties, rooftop bars, everglades, Key West, Art Basel, festivals, concerts, kite surfing, boating, boat parades, boat parties, renting yachts, clubbing, you name it, Soflo has it.
  • Burger Fi, Steak 954/The Living Room, S3, Grille 401, Houston's, Sushi Rock, The Alchemist, Bulla, Park Tavern, El Camino, Neuvos Cubanos, Wynwood Kitchen and Bar, Lure, Tap 42, Rebel House, Elbo Room (lol), and a ton of other spots.
  • All the different areas - Jupiter, Mizner Park in Boca, The Ave in Delray, allllll over Laudy, SoBe, Wynwood, Midtown, Lincoln Road, Coconut Grove, Brickell, and Little Havana.
  • Knowing that no matter how hard you try there is always someone weirder in South Florida!
  • There is really nothing quite like a wild night in South Florida. Drinking, dancing, partying, and just having a fun time. 

Good grief, the good outweighed the bad BY FAR. On more than one occasion, I've compared South Florida to the kind of woman you'd say "Thank God you're pretty" to... but I really have loved my experience here, and feel so grateful for everyone that helped make it so wonderful. It has been such an adventure to chase South Florida's sunshine for almost 4 years. I will most certainly miss it, but am excited for the next chapter. Stay tuned to see where I'm headed! (Those that know - shhhhh!!! don't give it away!)

I will miss this.

Comment

Dana Podgurski

Hi everyone! I'm Dana Podgurski! 

I'm a foot in the mouth, tongue in cheek, head in the clouds, and heart on the sleeve kind of gal. I live for new experiences, but am a total sucker for nostalgia at the same time. I'm tough as nails, but am a complete softie for all things kids and animal related. I fly by the seat of my pants, and live for adventure. But I firmly believe that adventure is a mindset that one's self determines.

For work, I am a marketer through and through. Bringing brands to life, and content marketing are passions of mine. Many would consider what I do as nerdy, but I seriously dig it. I have been doing marketing contract work for years, and appreciate the variety it brings, and the relationships I've developed with my clients. To check out my work portfolio, or if you're interested in a partnership, click here.

For fun I love to create - writing/blogging, photography, and painting are my main three mediums of doing so. Feeling good and healthy is also high on my list, as it really lends itself to making everything more enjoyable. So I maintain a very active lifestyle, eat pretty healthy, and am outdoors as much as I can be. And if my blog didn't make it abundantly clear, I absolutely LOVE to travel. I spend any extra money I have on plane tickets, and feel so fortunate to have been to several amazing destinations both domestically and internationally. There's nothing more fulfilling than coming home from a trip and adding a been-there-pin to my map.

Calle Ocho in Little Havana, Miami - Travel - Dana Chirps

Calle Ocho really is as vibrant as this artsy tiled wall there!

I recently had the pleasure of hosting my little brother, Moose, and his girlfriend, Hannah, here in South Florida. Originally, we had all mentally planned for some outdoor activities, but Mother Nature had other plans. So we quickly decided we would instead head down to Miami, and visit Little Havana. Little Havana is the Cuban neighborhood in Miami. The main street is called "Calle Ocho," by both Latinos and gringos. It means "8th Street." It's likely you've heard this area being referenced in one of Pitbull's songs. It is filled with cigar shops, restaurants/bars, ventanitas (coffee windows), and basically all things Cuban. 

What I love about Calle Ocho is the history. Most parts of South Florida are new (at least in comparison). New and flashy is fun, don't get me wrong - and I wear those neon colors proudly! But it's awesome to have an area in Miami where you can be surrounded by deep history and culture, which Little Havana provides. The people, the food, the music, the cigars, the decor... it really does feel like you've been transplanted someplace else, even though you're just a few miles from Brickell.

This is the Cuban tile that surrounds the bar at Ball and Chain.

In this neighborhood, you'll see tons of different variations of Cuban tile all throughout. I loved trying to spot all the variations - I find them to be beautiful. You'll also see a lot of domino references because on 8th and 15th is Domino Park. It's fun to take a glimpse at the older gentleman in these tense domino matches. 

Domino Park! Don't let the grey hair fool you - it can get pretty rowdy in there!

Little Havana is ready for the holidays!

As far as food goes, man oh man... it is SO good. Muy autentico! As my Cuban friend put it, "you really can't go wrong." We opted to go to Ball and Chain, a spot with tons of history, and known for their excellent Cuban food and live music. We conveniently walked in right as happy hour was beginning - love when that happens. 

We ordered a handful of apps which included: Cuban Spring Rolls, Queso Frito, and Mariquitas de Maduros. All three were addicting, but my favorites were the spring rolls, and the mariquitas de maduros. Moose and Hannah (and Moose's friend, Greg, who ended up joining us) all ordered drinks which they enjoyed - I only took sips because I was driving, and thank goodness for that, because they were strong! :) Also - forgive the low quality phone pics... it was monsooning so I didn't want to risk my Nikon getting drenched.

Sweet Mother of God... I think we all could have consumed our body weight in these Cuban Spring Rolls.

Mariquitas de maduros - these were thin and crispy, and sprinkled with salt. Delicious!

I normally don't talk too much about the specifics of my work on blog - but I definitely have to this time. I've been doing marketing for luxury apartments for some time, and one of the deals I've worked on this past year is a property called Intown, which is located on Calle Ocho. We paired off with a local South Florida interior design team, and I have to say - they nailed it. 

The first picture is a snapshot of the clubroom. I love the image that was blown up on the wall. Also, if you look closely, you'll spot some Cuban tile along the wall of the bar that was done so elegantly. But my favorite design element in this property had to to be the enormous light fixtures (there's two) outside of the clubroom. It's the type of fixture that really can't be done just anywhere, it has to be done in the right setting and atmosphere - but the vibe and style of it aligned so seamlessly with the brand of this property. 

Generally speaking, I think that Calle Ocho is a place that anyone coming to visit Miami should check out. It's so different than the rest of Miami, and culturally quite remarkable. 

There are three things I still would like to do in Little Havana:

  1. See a film at Tower Theater - historic theater that shows foreign, award winning, and independent films. 
  2. Attend Carnaval Miami on Calle Ocho - yearly festival.
  3. Go to Versailles.

 

 

 

Comment

Dana Podgurski

Hi everyone! I'm Dana Podgurski! 

I'm a foot in the mouth, tongue in cheek, head in the clouds, and heart on the sleeve kind of gal. I live for new experiences, but am a total sucker for nostalgia at the same time. I'm tough as nails, but am a complete softie for all things kids and animal related. I fly by the seat of my pants, and live for adventure. But I firmly believe that adventure is a mindset that one's self determines.

For work, I am a marketer through and through. Bringing brands to life, and content marketing are passions of mine. Many would consider what I do as nerdy, but I seriously dig it. I have been doing marketing contract work for years, and appreciate the variety it brings, and the relationships I've developed with my clients. To check out my work portfolio, or if you're interested in a partnership, click here.

For fun I love to create - writing/blogging, photography, and painting are my main three mediums of doing so. Feeling good and healthy is also high on my list, as it really lends itself to making everything more enjoyable. So I maintain a very active lifestyle, eat pretty healthy, and am outdoors as much as I can be. And if my blog didn't make it abundantly clear, I absolutely LOVE to travel. I spend any extra money I have on plane tickets, and feel so fortunate to have been to several amazing destinations both domestically and internationally. There's nothing more fulfilling than coming home from a trip and adding a been-there-pin to my map.

Single Lady Wednesday - Dana Chirps

In the business world, we call this "managing expectations."

I am literally speechless.

If I had to guess... he's voting for Trump. 

I'm so confused as to how this became political? And for the record, I'll take a guy with a bathroom selfie over a guy without a picture ANYDAY.

Comment

Dana Podgurski

Hi everyone! I'm Dana Podgurski! 

I'm a foot in the mouth, tongue in cheek, head in the clouds, and heart on the sleeve kind of gal. I live for new experiences, but am a total sucker for nostalgia at the same time. I'm tough as nails, but am a complete softie for all things kids and animal related. I fly by the seat of my pants, and live for adventure. But I firmly believe that adventure is a mindset that one's self determines.

For work, I am a marketer through and through. Bringing brands to life, and content marketing are passions of mine. Many would consider what I do as nerdy, but I seriously dig it. I have been doing marketing contract work for years, and appreciate the variety it brings, and the relationships I've developed with my clients. To check out my work portfolio, or if you're interested in a partnership, click here.

For fun I love to create - writing/blogging, photography, and painting are my main three mediums of doing so. Feeling good and healthy is also high on my list, as it really lends itself to making everything more enjoyable. So I maintain a very active lifestyle, eat pretty healthy, and am outdoors as much as I can be. And if my blog didn't make it abundantly clear, I absolutely LOVE to travel. I spend any extra money I have on plane tickets, and feel so fortunate to have been to several amazing destinations both domestically and internationally. There's nothing more fulfilling than coming home from a trip and adding a been-there-pin to my map.

Dating Sites and Apps - Dana Chirps

Love used to be this serendipitous event that would just naturally occur "when you least expect it!". Now to "find love" we are at the mercy of carpal tunnel inducing dating sites and apps. I originally got on dating apps when I first moved to South Florida because I was told everyone uses them here (no stigma), and that it's a great way to meet people and make friends. I've since confirmed that pretty much everyone down here uses at least one dating app, and it IS "a" way to meet new people. 

Some apps are better than others. I also think where you live plays a huge role in your experience. For example, in South Florida, it's rare to find a honest guy that is looking for anything more than a "hook up." In smaller towns, you know or have mutual friends with the majority of the people you're looking at - that can be a good or bad thing, and not to mention the slim pickins. In NYC, it's so easy to fulfill a "grass is greener" syndrome. You'll be on an endless search for the next shiny object, having an endless pool of people to view given the size of the city. So every location has it's nuances. But I wanted to share my experience with the apps I've used in South Florida. 

1) OK Cupid - I had no intention of ever using this site because it had such a bad reputation, but I happened to hear one of the founders (Christian Rudder) speak at a conference and it made me curious. So I signed up. By far, this is the worst dating app. It's the literal gallows of the online dating world. I deleted it pretty quickly because I just couldn't take it. So unless unemployed, uneducated, impolite, disgusting, and sloppy is your type, I advise against it.

2) Plenty of Fish - Affectionately, I call this app "plenty of shit." It's not as bad as OK Cupid. And I actually have met a couple of nice guys through here (literally, two... and unbeknownst to me one was technically still married - hi Grant!). A lot of guys on POF exude that "I don't have my shit together" aura. But I will say I've gotten the most entertaining messages on this app, and I do love a good laugh. So I keep it around for amusement.

3) Tinder - Tinder is most commonly known as a "hook up app". And largely, that is what it is. I'm one of those girls with a disclaimer on the profile. It says "I'm not a floozy." And I have met guys on Tinder that weren't looking for just something physical. I think this is one of those location dependent scenarios - South Florida is so transient and people are often looking to meet new people, hook up or not. I've learned to use a pretty strong filter, and it seems to be working just fine. So really, the only complaint I have is the infiltration of unsolicited d*ck pics that are posted as moments on this app. It blows my mind how willing people are to showcase their goodies, especially if their goodies aren't that... well, good.

4) Match - "You should join Match!" That's what I was told over and over again. I finally caved and gave it a shot. The nice thing is that you do interact with guys who are more likely to be looking for something more serious, but the pool of these guys I found was a bit small. I ended up deleting my account because (again, location dependent), almost all of the guys on Match were on all the other sites, too. I also got really tired of yelling at 50+ year old men and telling them that they were too old. :::Beyonce Z-Snap::::

5) Bumble - This app I'm still getting acquainted with, but I really like it so far. It comes off like a less slutty version of Tinder, with the main difference being that the female has to start the conversation within 24 hours of being mutually matched with a guy, or else the match dissolves. But it's too early for me to really give it an assessment. 

 

 

 

 

 

2 Comments

Dana Podgurski

Hi everyone! I'm Dana Podgurski! 

I'm a foot in the mouth, tongue in cheek, head in the clouds, and heart on the sleeve kind of gal. I live for new experiences, but am a total sucker for nostalgia at the same time. I'm tough as nails, but am a complete softie for all things kids and animal related. I fly by the seat of my pants, and live for adventure. But I firmly believe that adventure is a mindset that one's self determines.

For work, I am a marketer through and through. Bringing brands to life, and content marketing are passions of mine. Many would consider what I do as nerdy, but I seriously dig it. I have been doing marketing contract work for years, and appreciate the variety it brings, and the relationships I've developed with my clients. To check out my work portfolio, or if you're interested in a partnership, click here.

For fun I love to create - writing/blogging, photography, and painting are my main three mediums of doing so. Feeling good and healthy is also high on my list, as it really lends itself to making everything more enjoyable. So I maintain a very active lifestyle, eat pretty healthy, and am outdoors as much as I can be. And if my blog didn't make it abundantly clear, I absolutely LOVE to travel. I spend any extra money I have on plane tickets, and feel so fortunate to have been to several amazing destinations both domestically and internationally. There's nothing more fulfilling than coming home from a trip and adding a been-there-pin to my map.

Fresh New Hockey Season - Dana Chirps

Hockey is back. This past weekend I had the pleasure of going to my first hockey game of the season - it was opening night at the BB&T Center. The Panthers victoriously defended their home turf against my least favorite team in the league, The Flyers. 


The Panther's not only slayed the Flyers 7-1, but they also beat them up. It was nice to see Thorton acting as the enforcer that he is meant to be. Since his trade from Boston, I felt like he wasn't playing his game or wasn't given the opportunity. But it was just lovely to see him acting like his old self, wreaking a little havoc on the ice. Worth noting - Jagr might be old as hell, but he scored two goals. As long as he keeps scoring, and can keep up with the youngins', keep him out there - mullet n' all. Smith (also a former Bruin!) rocketed two goals, as well. 

I know it's way too early to jump to any conclusions, but I will say I was impressed with the readiness that the Panthers displayed. I was embarrassed for the Flyers - they were slow, they were sloppy, and they did nothing memorable. Not to discredit them, but I've seen junior teams play with more tenacity. 

I also noted some positive changes of the overall experience of attending a Panther's game. 

  1. The infamous and weird "RAWR" that used to blast throughout the games was only heard once and with music overlaying it. Thank you sweet baby Jesus.
  2. Although it was opening night, it was a sold out game which makes me slightly more optimistic for the franchise. Nice to see.
  3. They got rid of the painfully awkward entertainment, particularly, "The Rat Pack." This caffeine/coke/something fueled group was formed back when the Panther's made the playoffs in the late 90's. It always felt like such a joke as they were paying tribute to something so long ago. Their form of entertainment reminded me of the weird theater kids from high school - and I don't mean the cool kind of weird. Removing this group I think says that they are trying to get this franchise to be taken seriously. I respect that. 
  4. Music selection drastically improved. I actually felt like I was at a rink.

While there still seems to be no ketchup or poutine to enjoy from concessions, I'm pretty stoked at the aforementioned changes. It's the first time where I felt like I could maybe take the franchise seriously. I hope the changes are here to stay, and job well done to the folks who pushed to make them happen. 

                                                              My hockey game face.

                                                              My hockey game face.




4 Comments

Dana Podgurski

Hi everyone! I'm Dana Podgurski! 

I'm a foot in the mouth, tongue in cheek, head in the clouds, and heart on the sleeve kind of gal. I live for new experiences, but am a total sucker for nostalgia at the same time. I'm tough as nails, but am a complete softie for all things kids and animal related. I fly by the seat of my pants, and live for adventure. But I firmly believe that adventure is a mindset that one's self determines.

For work, I am a marketer through and through. Bringing brands to life, and content marketing are passions of mine. Many would consider what I do as nerdy, but I seriously dig it. I have been doing marketing contract work for years, and appreciate the variety it brings, and the relationships I've developed with my clients. To check out my work portfolio, or if you're interested in a partnership, click here.

For fun I love to create - writing/blogging, photography, and painting are my main three mediums of doing so. Feeling good and healthy is also high on my list, as it really lends itself to making everything more enjoyable. So I maintain a very active lifestyle, eat pretty healthy, and am outdoors as much as I can be. And if my blog didn't make it abundantly clear, I absolutely LOVE to travel. I spend any extra money I have on plane tickets, and feel so fortunate to have been to several amazing destinations both domestically and internationally. There's nothing more fulfilling than coming home from a trip and adding a been-there-pin to my map.

Single Lady Wednesday 12 - Dana Chirps

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#YoureNotHim

This is why I'm a huge supporter of pharmaceuticals.

He wants to wear my skin.

Spoiler Alert! He didn't have his shit together.

Well that was creepy.

Comment

Dana Podgurski

Hi everyone! I'm Dana Podgurski! 

I'm a foot in the mouth, tongue in cheek, head in the clouds, and heart on the sleeve kind of gal. I live for new experiences, but am a total sucker for nostalgia at the same time. I'm tough as nails, but am a complete softie for all things kids and animal related. I fly by the seat of my pants, and live for adventure. But I firmly believe that adventure is a mindset that one's self determines.

For work, I am a marketer through and through. Bringing brands to life, and content marketing are passions of mine. Many would consider what I do as nerdy, but I seriously dig it. I have been doing marketing contract work for years, and appreciate the variety it brings, and the relationships I've developed with my clients. To check out my work portfolio, or if you're interested in a partnership, click here.

For fun I love to create - writing/blogging, photography, and painting are my main three mediums of doing so. Feeling good and healthy is also high on my list, as it really lends itself to making everything more enjoyable. So I maintain a very active lifestyle, eat pretty healthy, and am outdoors as much as I can be. And if my blog didn't make it abundantly clear, I absolutely LOVE to travel. I spend any extra money I have on plane tickets, and feel so fortunate to have been to several amazing destinations both domestically and internationally. There's nothing more fulfilling than coming home from a trip and adding a been-there-pin to my map.

A Guy Who Gets His Own Post

I don't think I've ever exclusively dedicated a blog post to one guy. But I'm so disgusted by this incident, I'm doing so. This person struck a nerve because so many of my friends have recently had babies, and are battling the very real emotions from all the changes that a baby brings. 

For all of the beautiful (inside and out), badass, warrior princess females that have experienced pregnancy.

Last week I "met" a guy on an online dating site. He seemed nice in messages, and was quite witty. We talked on the phone, and he didn't creep me out, so I decided to get sushi with him this past Friday. The date consisted of exchanging funny one liners, and pretty decent conversation. Before I met him, I already knew he was a bit of a gym rat, which I'm totally cool with as I'm a bit (understatement) active myself. During the date the topic of being active/healthy naturally came up in conversation. But then he started talking about his two year plan to achieve the body he wants. It wasn't that he had a long term goal that made me raise my eyebrow, it was the way he described it... it was abnormal. Leading up to the date, and then on the date while he was talking about his body goals he said as though it was his personal mantra,"do what you hate as if you love it." Call me crazy, but I'd rather do what I love... like I love it.

Anyhow, after our date I wasn't really put off by anything and was hoping to hang out with him again... although I was quite aware of his attitude towards his physique.

The next day we were texting and he asks me if I wanted kids. I answer I do and express some nervous feelings around the subject, and he said he felt the same. But he then said, "Plus I don't want me or my partner to be fat afterwards. Seen it happen." To try to better gage what he meant I stated, "Well you realize that a human being grows in a female for nine months, stretches her skin beyond recognition, causes her hair to change sometimes, her hips to widen, etc.?!" 

I followed that up with sending him a picture of a female who has had a least one child, who is clearly active, fit, and healthy... but like many moms, she has loose skin on her stomach, no biggie. In my opinion I thought she looked GREAT. Describing the photo I said, "Above average stomach post baby." Honestly, given his easy going personality, I was expecting him to say something like "Yea! Good for her! She looks awesome!" 

Nope. 

He said, "Bullshit. I've been with women who have had children and that's not what it looks like."

I'm shocked and on full WTF mode, but am still trying to give the benefit of the doubt. Thinking that maybe he's never had this explained to him before, I tell him, "You can lose weight. But you can't lose skin, or stretch marks, or bring your hips inward." His solution: "Eat clean, use cocoa butter and workout." He follows that by generously (sarcasm) saying "Not saying it's easy or happens over night but it's not always going to look like that." 

Then I asked if that picture bothers him, and he answered "Slightly, yeah." I was baffled. I told him he was delusional in his expectations, and that if cocoa butter was the solution for stretch marks all of womenkind would be joyfully marinating in cocoa butter jacuzzis. In fact, I was so shocked at what he was saying that I wasn't even mad (yet). The conversation continued: 

Saying he knows several women who have had children reminds me of white people who name their two black friends when racism comes up in conversation. 

Then he sends me a picture of a female who tracked her post preggle weight loss with three time stamped photos. Yes, she looked terrific, and I don't want to say anything to discredit that.  But I couldn't help but notice she was also the type that had a coveted thigh-gap. For most people to look like that it involves a lot of carefully measured, and incredibly bland chicken and broccoli, paired with a level of dedication at the gym that would leave you with little time for anything else - and certainly no wine.

Look. I'm 100% for people taking care of their bodies, and being healthy and active. I think it is important. But I'm not ok with someone trying to transfer their own insecurities (whether it's body dysmorphia or simply shallow and ego-driven) onto other people, especially when it's dealing with things that others have no control over (e.g. loose skin from HAVING A FREAKING BABY). It is wrong on so many levels to punish women who just sacrificed their bodies (and many other things) to produce a human... do you not think they are punishing themselves and having a hard enough time coming to terms with their new body? It is disgusting, it is pathetic, and it is disturbing to hear someone condemn someone for that. 

I could tell he was getting very uncomfortable with me defending what I felt was right. I ended the conversation by telling him that I didn't think he was going to want to date me. Should he ever talk to me again, I will not be as diplomatic. I hope he gets his head right someday. What a world he is missing out on. 

9 Comments

Dana Podgurski

Hi everyone! I'm Dana Podgurski! 

I'm a foot in the mouth, tongue in cheek, head in the clouds, and heart on the sleeve kind of gal. I live for new experiences, but am a total sucker for nostalgia at the same time. I'm tough as nails, but am a complete softie for all things kids and animal related. I fly by the seat of my pants, and live for adventure. But I firmly believe that adventure is a mindset that one's self determines.

For work, I am a marketer through and through. Bringing brands to life, and content marketing are passions of mine. Many would consider what I do as nerdy, but I seriously dig it. I have been doing marketing contract work for years, and appreciate the variety it brings, and the relationships I've developed with my clients. To check out my work portfolio, or if you're interested in a partnership, click here.

For fun I love to create - writing/blogging, photography, and painting are my main three mediums of doing so. Feeling good and healthy is also high on my list, as it really lends itself to making everything more enjoyable. So I maintain a very active lifestyle, eat pretty healthy, and am outdoors as much as I can be. And if my blog didn't make it abundantly clear, I absolutely LOVE to travel. I spend any extra money I have on plane tickets, and feel so fortunate to have been to several amazing destinations both domestically and internationally. There's nothing more fulfilling than coming home from a trip and adding a been-there-pin to my map.

Single Lady Wednesday 11 - Dana Chirps

Not wrong.

Hands down the worst pick up line I've ever gotten.

Hey there.

I'm hiding.

The force is strong in this one.

So this last one I feel the need to explain a little further... this guy, no- this grown-ass-man was obnoxiously BLOWING UP my Match.com account for about two weeks. While I realize you can block people, sometimes I think a direct approach is better. Especially when I saw that this 45 year old man was searching for females as young as 18 years old, I felt the need to say something. So if I instilled at least a little bit of hesitation on his part to pursue girls that young, I consider this a win. 

Not gonna lie, I would have liked to have seen his face when he read that last sentence twice.

 

 

1 Comment

Dana Podgurski

Hi everyone! I'm Dana Podgurski! 

I'm a foot in the mouth, tongue in cheek, head in the clouds, and heart on the sleeve kind of gal. I live for new experiences, but am a total sucker for nostalgia at the same time. I'm tough as nails, but am a complete softie for all things kids and animal related. I fly by the seat of my pants, and live for adventure. But I firmly believe that adventure is a mindset that one's self determines.

For work, I am a marketer through and through. Bringing brands to life, and content marketing are passions of mine. Many would consider what I do as nerdy, but I seriously dig it. I have been doing marketing contract work for years, and appreciate the variety it brings, and the relationships I've developed with my clients. To check out my work portfolio, or if you're interested in a partnership, click here.

For fun I love to create - writing/blogging, photography, and painting are my main three mediums of doing so. Feeling good and healthy is also high on my list, as it really lends itself to making everything more enjoyable. So I maintain a very active lifestyle, eat pretty healthy, and am outdoors as much as I can be. And if my blog didn't make it abundantly clear, I absolutely LOVE to travel. I spend any extra money I have on plane tickets, and feel so fortunate to have been to several amazing destinations both domestically and internationally. There's nothing more fulfilling than coming home from a trip and adding a been-there-pin to my map.

Single Lady Wednesday 10 - Dana Chirps

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Nice try, Drug Lord.

You might want to empty your dirty hamper that's filled with d-bag neon tank tops before taking a butt ass naked bathroom mirror selfie. Or at least have the decency to remove your wedding ring. #rookie

This is true.

 

Good to check your reflexes now and then I guess.


Comment

Dana Podgurski

Hi everyone! I'm Dana Podgurski! 

I'm a foot in the mouth, tongue in cheek, head in the clouds, and heart on the sleeve kind of gal. I live for new experiences, but am a total sucker for nostalgia at the same time. I'm tough as nails, but am a complete softie for all things kids and animal related. I fly by the seat of my pants, and live for adventure. But I firmly believe that adventure is a mindset that one's self determines.

For work, I am a marketer through and through. Bringing brands to life, and content marketing are passions of mine. Many would consider what I do as nerdy, but I seriously dig it. I have been doing marketing contract work for years, and appreciate the variety it brings, and the relationships I've developed with my clients. To check out my work portfolio, or if you're interested in a partnership, click here.

For fun I love to create - writing/blogging, photography, and painting are my main three mediums of doing so. Feeling good and healthy is also high on my list, as it really lends itself to making everything more enjoyable. So I maintain a very active lifestyle, eat pretty healthy, and am outdoors as much as I can be. And if my blog didn't make it abundantly clear, I absolutely LOVE to travel. I spend any extra money I have on plane tickets, and feel so fortunate to have been to several amazing destinations both domestically and internationally. There's nothing more fulfilling than coming home from a trip and adding a been-there-pin to my map.

Single Lady Wednesday 9 - Dana Chirps

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Welp. That about sums it up.

He seems approachable.

This pic made me laugh my butt off. What do you don't see (due to privacy) is a smile reminiscent of one of Austin Power's cheeky grins. But really, I would have considered talking to him had he not been a vacationer just because he made his profile picture THAT ridiculous. 

What?! I was in a diplomatic mood.

I was so grossed out I couldn't even give him my full name. All he got was a letter. 

Comment

Dana Podgurski

Hi everyone! I'm Dana Podgurski! 

I'm a foot in the mouth, tongue in cheek, head in the clouds, and heart on the sleeve kind of gal. I live for new experiences, but am a total sucker for nostalgia at the same time. I'm tough as nails, but am a complete softie for all things kids and animal related. I fly by the seat of my pants, and live for adventure. But I firmly believe that adventure is a mindset that one's self determines.

For work, I am a marketer through and through. Bringing brands to life, and content marketing are passions of mine. Many would consider what I do as nerdy, but I seriously dig it. I have been doing marketing contract work for years, and appreciate the variety it brings, and the relationships I've developed with my clients. To check out my work portfolio, or if you're interested in a partnership, click here.

For fun I love to create - writing/blogging, photography, and painting are my main three mediums of doing so. Feeling good and healthy is also high on my list, as it really lends itself to making everything more enjoyable. So I maintain a very active lifestyle, eat pretty healthy, and am outdoors as much as I can be. And if my blog didn't make it abundantly clear, I absolutely LOVE to travel. I spend any extra money I have on plane tickets, and feel so fortunate to have been to several amazing destinations both domestically and internationally. There's nothing more fulfilling than coming home from a trip and adding a been-there-pin to my map.

Single Lady Wednesday 7 - Dana Chirps

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I dedicate this post to you, Jim.

I thought this was better than a bikini photo. 

Babe.

The Jedi Knight has spoken and his wife requirements are: must like sushi, and must like traveling.

Typical South Florida. 

Maybe the greatest thing to ever be posted on the internet. 

2 Comments

Dana Podgurski

Hi everyone! I'm Dana Podgurski! 

I'm a foot in the mouth, tongue in cheek, head in the clouds, and heart on the sleeve kind of gal. I live for new experiences, but am a total sucker for nostalgia at the same time. I'm tough as nails, but am a complete softie for all things kids and animal related. I fly by the seat of my pants, and live for adventure. But I firmly believe that adventure is a mindset that one's self determines.

For work, I am a marketer through and through. Bringing brands to life, and content marketing are passions of mine. Many would consider what I do as nerdy, but I seriously dig it. I have been doing marketing contract work for years, and appreciate the variety it brings, and the relationships I've developed with my clients. To check out my work portfolio, or if you're interested in a partnership, click here.

For fun I love to create - writing/blogging, photography, and painting are my main three mediums of doing so. Feeling good and healthy is also high on my list, as it really lends itself to making everything more enjoyable. So I maintain a very active lifestyle, eat pretty healthy, and am outdoors as much as I can be. And if my blog didn't make it abundantly clear, I absolutely LOVE to travel. I spend any extra money I have on plane tickets, and feel so fortunate to have been to several amazing destinations both domestically and internationally. There's nothing more fulfilling than coming home from a trip and adding a been-there-pin to my map.

Single Lady Wednesday 6

You really disappointed me, "Nipples."

Just being honest.

Is this his way of asking me to buy him a drink??

Homie went pretty deep for an introductory message!

Just lost faith in the man part of mankind.

Comment

Dana Podgurski

Hi everyone! I'm Dana Podgurski! 

I'm a foot in the mouth, tongue in cheek, head in the clouds, and heart on the sleeve kind of gal. I live for new experiences, but am a total sucker for nostalgia at the same time. I'm tough as nails, but am a complete softie for all things kids and animal related. I fly by the seat of my pants, and live for adventure. But I firmly believe that adventure is a mindset that one's self determines.

For work, I am a marketer through and through. Bringing brands to life, and content marketing are passions of mine. Many would consider what I do as nerdy, but I seriously dig it. I have been doing marketing contract work for years, and appreciate the variety it brings, and the relationships I've developed with my clients. To check out my work portfolio, or if you're interested in a partnership, click here.

For fun I love to create - writing/blogging, photography, and painting are my main three mediums of doing so. Feeling good and healthy is also high on my list, as it really lends itself to making everything more enjoyable. So I maintain a very active lifestyle, eat pretty healthy, and am outdoors as much as I can be. And if my blog didn't make it abundantly clear, I absolutely LOVE to travel. I spend any extra money I have on plane tickets, and feel so fortunate to have been to several amazing destinations both domestically and internationally. There's nothing more fulfilling than coming home from a trip and adding a been-there-pin to my map.

Did Something New

                                                                       A five minute walk away.

                                                                       A five minute walk away.

For the first time since college, I resigned a lease. Since the glory days (college), I have always been on the move - chasing new places, better careers, and more daunting challenges. It's nice to experience the ease of deciding to live in the same place, longer. But it's also kind of weird. And scary. Thankfully, living three blocks from the beach always seems to calm those doubting thoughts. :)

But honestly, living in South Florida has been a wild wild ride. The biggest challenge down here is meeting good honest people. I've learned to use a different kind of filter down here than I ever needed to in Virginia for finding friends, while dating, and even in the professional arena. South Florida is easy to move to, but it's a hard place to stay in unless you learn how to do this.

The thing that keeps me in Florida is obvious - the outdoor lifestyle. I'm outside all.the.time. I kick it at the beach. I bike up A1A (main road along beach), and go to the gym where there is a spacious rooftop to workout on that overlooks the beach on one side and the intercoastal on the other. I brunch, lunch, dine, and drink outside - all year round. There is just something about fresh air... it really makes me believe that humans are not meant to be cooped up inside as much as they are.

                                                                Fort Lauderdale Beach Life

                                                                Fort Lauderdale Beach Life

Will I live here forever? Not a chance. But for right now, I have every intention in embracing what South Florida offers.

                                                                                   Beachy keen

                                                                                   Beachy keen

2 Comments

Dana Podgurski

Hi everyone! I'm Dana Podgurski! 

I'm a foot in the mouth, tongue in cheek, head in the clouds, and heart on the sleeve kind of gal. I live for new experiences, but am a total sucker for nostalgia at the same time. I'm tough as nails, but am a complete softie for all things kids and animal related. I fly by the seat of my pants, and live for adventure. But I firmly believe that adventure is a mindset that one's self determines.

For work, I am a marketer through and through. Bringing brands to life, and content marketing are passions of mine. Many would consider what I do as nerdy, but I seriously dig it. I have been doing marketing contract work for years, and appreciate the variety it brings, and the relationships I've developed with my clients. To check out my work portfolio, or if you're interested in a partnership, click here.

For fun I love to create - writing/blogging, photography, and painting are my main three mediums of doing so. Feeling good and healthy is also high on my list, as it really lends itself to making everything more enjoyable. So I maintain a very active lifestyle, eat pretty healthy, and am outdoors as much as I can be. And if my blog didn't make it abundantly clear, I absolutely LOVE to travel. I spend any extra money I have on plane tickets, and feel so fortunate to have been to several amazing destinations both domestically and internationally. There's nothing more fulfilling than coming home from a trip and adding a been-there-pin to my map.

Single Lady Wednesday - 5

I don't even know what to say.

Comment

Dana Podgurski

Hi everyone! I'm Dana Podgurski! 

I'm a foot in the mouth, tongue in cheek, head in the clouds, and heart on the sleeve kind of gal. I live for new experiences, but am a total sucker for nostalgia at the same time. I'm tough as nails, but am a complete softie for all things kids and animal related. I fly by the seat of my pants, and live for adventure. But I firmly believe that adventure is a mindset that one's self determines.

For work, I am a marketer through and through. Bringing brands to life, and content marketing are passions of mine. Many would consider what I do as nerdy, but I seriously dig it. I have been doing marketing contract work for years, and appreciate the variety it brings, and the relationships I've developed with my clients. To check out my work portfolio, or if you're interested in a partnership, click here.

For fun I love to create - writing/blogging, photography, and painting are my main three mediums of doing so. Feeling good and healthy is also high on my list, as it really lends itself to making everything more enjoyable. So I maintain a very active lifestyle, eat pretty healthy, and am outdoors as much as I can be. And if my blog didn't make it abundantly clear, I absolutely LOVE to travel. I spend any extra money I have on plane tickets, and feel so fortunate to have been to several amazing destinations both domestically and internationally. There's nothing more fulfilling than coming home from a trip and adding a been-there-pin to my map.

A Dessert Like No Other

A couple of my girlfriends and I wanted to get dessert somewhere, so we walked around the corner from my apartment, and went to Steak 954. I saw a picture of their baked alaska on their instagram, and knew that was what I wanted to order. This was one of the best desserts I've ever had in.my.life. It's a light key lime flavored ice-cream that is surrounded by porcupine looking meringue. All of that goodness swims in a pool of berry blended amazingness. Also worth noting - this was the only time EVER that my girlfriends and I have been silent while together, because we were too busy inhaling this masterpiece.

Key lime baked alaska
Key lime baked alaska

We also ordered the chocolate souffle. Of course Steak 954 has to go over the top with it (in a good way). A server breaks the souffle open in front of us, which in turn fills the air around us with a chocolatey scent. Then he pours this hot chocolate sauce INTO the souffle, which is what you see in the picture below. Oh, and it is served with salted caramel ice-cream. I think I just found the cure to PMS.

Chocolate souffle
Chocolate souffle

With it being a "cool" 70 something degrees (oh how I love south Florida weather), I wanted a warm drink to wash down my dessert. I opted for their Vietnamese coffee. The bottom layer is condensed milk, then coffee in the middle, and foam on top. Once you mix it, it's like a light and sweet coffee.

Vietnamese coffee
Vietnamese coffee

I don't know for sure, but I'm convinced there is some sort of sugar genius in the kitchen of Steak 954. Also - shout out to our server, Kevin! He had such a friendly, and accommodating personality - we'll be asking for him whenever we go.

Comment

Dana Podgurski

Hi everyone! I'm Dana Podgurski! 

I'm a foot in the mouth, tongue in cheek, head in the clouds, and heart on the sleeve kind of gal. I live for new experiences, but am a total sucker for nostalgia at the same time. I'm tough as nails, but am a complete softie for all things kids and animal related. I fly by the seat of my pants, and live for adventure. But I firmly believe that adventure is a mindset that one's self determines.

For work, I am a marketer through and through. Bringing brands to life, and content marketing are passions of mine. Many would consider what I do as nerdy, but I seriously dig it. I have been doing marketing contract work for years, and appreciate the variety it brings, and the relationships I've developed with my clients. To check out my work portfolio, or if you're interested in a partnership, click here.

For fun I love to create - writing/blogging, photography, and painting are my main three mediums of doing so. Feeling good and healthy is also high on my list, as it really lends itself to making everything more enjoyable. So I maintain a very active lifestyle, eat pretty healthy, and am outdoors as much as I can be. And if my blog didn't make it abundantly clear, I absolutely LOVE to travel. I spend any extra money I have on plane tickets, and feel so fortunate to have been to several amazing destinations both domestically and internationally. There's nothing more fulfilling than coming home from a trip and adding a been-there-pin to my map.

Taste of Venice

...Venice, Florida, that is. This past weekend I took a little weekend trip to the "other coast" of Florida - the west coast. It was a great time had by all (met up with some pretty awesome people).

unnamed
unnamed

In comparison to Fort Lauderdale Beach, Venice Beach had lighter colored sand, clearer water, a larger shore, and more of a "low key, vacation" vibe to it. It was kind of nice getting out of the hustle and bustle my neck of the woods for the weekend.

On Saturday, we grabbed some brunch at a charming place called Nokomis Breakfast House. It's a tiny little yellow house converted into a tiny little restaurant. The interior was simple, but bright. Every table had a white tablecloth, and painted chairs - green, orange, pink, blue, purple, yellow, etc. We were sat at the "purple table," which matched the nail color on my toes perfectly, might I add! Aside from my table, I would estimate that the average age was 72, and I honestly would not have it any other way. I loved it. I ordered Eggs Florentine (seen below). But I'd have to say that the chocolate chip pancakes that my friend ordered stole the show! (But only if you REALLY like chocolate ;) ).

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unnamed

The highlight of the trip was when my buddies and I went to the beach during sunset. At first I wasn't going to go in the water since it had gotten a little breezy. But I ended up getting thrown over someone's shoulder and chucked playfully into the water. Not gonna lie though - I'm glad I was. :)

The ocean itself looked like a sea of gold. It was just spectacular.

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unnamed

I also snapped this picture of a fellow swimming in the ocean solo. It's nice to have those moments of solidarity with ol' Mother Nature. Whenever I have those moments, I feel like a tiny fleck in this gigantic world of ours. It's humbling but still incredibly gratifying each time I get the chance to feel this way.

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unnamed

It was also refreshing to see so many people come out to just watch the sunset, and appreciate the magnitude of its beauty.

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unnamed

This trip made me realize a few things though:

  1. I love going to quieter places to "re-charge." But I could never live in a quiet place.
  2. I have a moderate obsession with pretty skies. So I am considering getting a "real" camera instead of my 5s (iphone) to better capture them.
  3. I have awesome people in my life.
  4. Road trips are always a good idea.

I'm already ready to go back again.

2 Comments

Dana Podgurski

Hi everyone! I'm Dana Podgurski! 

I'm a foot in the mouth, tongue in cheek, head in the clouds, and heart on the sleeve kind of gal. I live for new experiences, but am a total sucker for nostalgia at the same time. I'm tough as nails, but am a complete softie for all things kids and animal related. I fly by the seat of my pants, and live for adventure. But I firmly believe that adventure is a mindset that one's self determines.

For work, I am a marketer through and through. Bringing brands to life, and content marketing are passions of mine. Many would consider what I do as nerdy, but I seriously dig it. I have been doing marketing contract work for years, and appreciate the variety it brings, and the relationships I've developed with my clients. To check out my work portfolio, or if you're interested in a partnership, click here.

For fun I love to create - writing/blogging, photography, and painting are my main three mediums of doing so. Feeling good and healthy is also high on my list, as it really lends itself to making everything more enjoyable. So I maintain a very active lifestyle, eat pretty healthy, and am outdoors as much as I can be. And if my blog didn't make it abundantly clear, I absolutely LOVE to travel. I spend any extra money I have on plane tickets, and feel so fortunate to have been to several amazing destinations both domestically and internationally. There's nothing more fulfilling than coming home from a trip and adding a been-there-pin to my map.

Single Lady Wednesday - 4

Gentlemen, here is a simple example of what not to do. I can assure you she won't be interested in spending time with you if you start a conversation off by proclaiming that you're not good at starting conversations, and then ending it with "i would like to know you more?" The question mark is the kicker.

2 Comments

Dana Podgurski

Hi everyone! I'm Dana Podgurski! 

I'm a foot in the mouth, tongue in cheek, head in the clouds, and heart on the sleeve kind of gal. I live for new experiences, but am a total sucker for nostalgia at the same time. I'm tough as nails, but am a complete softie for all things kids and animal related. I fly by the seat of my pants, and live for adventure. But I firmly believe that adventure is a mindset that one's self determines.

For work, I am a marketer through and through. Bringing brands to life, and content marketing are passions of mine. Many would consider what I do as nerdy, but I seriously dig it. I have been doing marketing contract work for years, and appreciate the variety it brings, and the relationships I've developed with my clients. To check out my work portfolio, or if you're interested in a partnership, click here.

For fun I love to create - writing/blogging, photography, and painting are my main three mediums of doing so. Feeling good and healthy is also high on my list, as it really lends itself to making everything more enjoyable. So I maintain a very active lifestyle, eat pretty healthy, and am outdoors as much as I can be. And if my blog didn't make it abundantly clear, I absolutely LOVE to travel. I spend any extra money I have on plane tickets, and feel so fortunate to have been to several amazing destinations both domestically and internationally. There's nothing more fulfilling than coming home from a trip and adding a been-there-pin to my map.