What is do30days about?

I decided to launch a series of 30 day experiments.

About me: My name is Kelly Butler and I’m a freelance advertising copywriter from Texas, currently splitting my time between Chicago and LA. You can view my portfolio at kellybutler.com. Or don’t. Honestly this blog is all about keeping me accountable to doing 30 days of things that scare the shit out of me.


Experiment: 30 Days of Not Drinking

I promised myself that I would still go to all the “drinking” events I was invited to, only I just wouldn’t be the one drinking. The last time I went 30 days without a drink was… actually I have no idea. That’s how long it has been.

Week 1 (April 4-10, 2016)

So far, I’ve been around booze 24/7 and not had a drop to drink. Here’s where I’m at with my “Booze-a-meter” (that’s how many drinks I think I would have consumed):

Monday: Kristi’s birthday at Pequods. Booze-a-meter: 4 beers (pizza takes 40 minutes just to cook so… yeah…you gotta kill that time somehow).

Tuesday: Did my first podcast interview, with an old friend, at 6:30 PM in the dark of an abandoned conference room. And the ad agency where I’m freelancing has a kegorator. Booze-a-meter: 1 beer  (Even with no booze I ended up crying on the podcast when I mentioned my grandmother and now that shit is out there… like FOREVER… sigh).

Wednesday: Dinner with Miranda and Joe. Booze-a-meter: 3 Manhattans (I’m just going to assume we’d all be drinking the same thing in the same amount because we like whiskey).

Thursday: Meet Helen for happy hour and dinner with Carolyn and friends Booze-a-meter: 2 bourbons + 4 glasses of wine (the evening also involved a little shopping and, even without any liquid courage, I managed to buy a pair of  Italian wedges at Delicious Shoes).

Friday: Workplace happy hour and dinner at Chicken Shop with Vanessa Booze-a-meter: 4 Bulleit on the rocks (Vanessa, for the record, only had ONE DRINK… I can barely grasp that concept even now).

Saturday: Day drinking with Nora and Terra, but mostly Nora Booze-a-meter: 6 beers (Nora and I tried to leave THREE times and came back for more beers. So we had to open three different tabs). And then I went and saw Eye In the Sky Booze-a-meter: 2 beers

Sunday: Day drinking at Miranda’s house party Booze-a-meter: 4 scotches + 2 beers (I bought Miranda and Joe a Sodastream just so I could bring my bottle over there and use it for myself. I am the most selfish gift giver, ever).

Booze-a-meter Total: 32


Week 2 (April 11-17, 2016)

I’m still not over the realization that I would have consumed 32 drinks last week. Hopefully I won’t be as busy this week.

Monday: Lunch with James Booze-a-meter: 2 Manhattans followed by my first session with a stylist at Trunk Club Booze-a-meter: 1 bourbon (the shop has a full bar in it… of course it does… so does my nail salon… I’m totally serious.)

Tuesday: Zipfit came to my agency’s office to fit folks for new jeans, so those are on the way (seems like a cool service). Then lunch with Katie at Doc B’s Booze-a-meter: 1 beer (I occasionally like a beer at lunch). Later, dinner with Miranda and Joe at Happy Camper Booze-a-meter: 1 beer. And then we met a new friend, Rambo (long story) Booze-a-meter: 1 bourbon

Wednesday: Met the girls at Bin 36 for our weekly Winesdays (great new location). They specialize in wine flights Booze-a-meter: 3 glasses of wine.

Thursday: Drinks and dinner with Vanessa. We first stopped at Moneygun and ran into my friend Theo. Then we went to Swift and Sons and ran into my friend Theo. It ended in oysters followed by La Sirena. Booze-a-meter: 4 scotches

Friday: Holy crap this was a long night. Drinks with Laureen at the Broken Shaker (love this bar in the Freehand hotel) Booze-a-meter: 2 Manhattens. Drinks with friends at Geek Bar (quick stop) Booze-a-meter: 1 beer. Marissa’s get together at Happy Village Booze-a-meter: 4 vodka sodas.

Saturday: Busy day. Brunch with Elizabeth and her mom at Snaggletooth Booze-a-meter: 0 Bloodies (they didn’t serve alcohol). Met Jennifer B. at Emilio’s for some day drinking Booze-a-meter: 3 margaritas. Then I went on to see the Jungle Book Booze-a-meter: 2 beers (I arrived early).

Sunday: Client requested I turn around revisions in 24 hours. I spent the first 23 hours procrastinating and stressing over said request. Then I did the changes. Booze-a-meter: 0 (I don’t drink much at home for some reason).

Booze-a-meter Total: 25 drinks

Week 3 (April 18-24, 2016)

I think this week that I’m going to be down from 25.

Monday: Walked to work. Walked home. Booze-a-meter: 0 drinks

Tuesday: Meet Baptiste for drinks at The Broken Shaker. Booze-a-meter: 2 mystery punches (no idea what’s in them). 

Wednesday: Walked to work. Walked home. Booze-a-meter: 0 drinks

Thursday: Girlsday! My favorite day of the month.Booze-a-meter: 3 vodka sodas. Then I met Lara, Brant and Heather at Joe’s to see a band Booze-a-meter: 5 beers

Friday: Holy crap this was a long night (again). I met Amy for happy hour drinks at the Hampton Social. Booze-a-meter: 2 scotches. Then onto dinner with Heather and friends (I totally crashed this) at Smack Shack, Parlor Pizza, Lonewolf, and Moneygun (we closed it down). Booze-a-meter: 8 scotches

Saturday: Brunch and shopping with Vanessa Booze-a-meter: 2 bloodies. Then onto my first sober date since… ever… with Jacob at Old Town Ale House (solid date) Booze-a-meter: 3 beers. Then meet Vanessa, Molly, and Heather at Matchbox Booze-a-meter: 4 old fashioneds.

Sunday: Brunch with Heather, Lara, and Katie at Brunch. Booze-a-meter: 2 bloodies. Then another sober date, this time with a guy named Mark (great date). Booze-a-meter: 3 scotches. Next it was onto Range where Steph and I had dinner (I also had a coke float because all I do is crave sugar now). Booze-a-meter: 3 Manhattens. 

Booze-a-meter Total: 37 drinks (and I didn’t even go out two of the six nights!)

Week 4+ (April 25-May 3, 2016)

Honestly, I don’t need to drink, but I’m starting to miss it.

Monday: Meeting with Rambo (long story)  Booze-a-meter: 0 drinks

Tuesday: Dinner with Miranda at Haywood Tavern Booze-a-meter: 2 scotch and sodas 

Wednesday: Worked 16 straight hours on a day rate Booze-a-meter: 0 drinks

Thursday: Took a paid day off. Dinner with Miranda and Joe at their place Booze-a-meter: 4 beers and then drinks with Heather at The Pour House Booze-a-meter: 2 beers

Friday: I met Amanda, Vanessa, and some new friends from LA at the Chicago Athletic Club for dinner and drinks Booze-a-meter: 5 scotches

Saturday: This was a blow out. First T’s birthday lunch at Whiskey Business Booze-a-meter: 1 bloody 2 martinis. Then onto Megan’s going away party at her place Booze-a-meter: 2 beers. Then to SchoolYard (I know, I know) to meet up for Harish’s birthday get together. Booze-a-meter: 4 old fashioneds. And finally, to a movie that stopped projecting 30 minutes in (I just left) Booze-a-meter: 1 beer.

Sunday: Dinner date at Masa Azul with Mark (First second date I’ve had in a very long time) Booze-a-meter: 4 Mahattens

Monday: Lunch with Miranda at Highline and dinner with Vanessa at Aloha Poke  Booze-a-meter: 0 drinks

Booze-a-meter Total: 27 drinks

Results: 30 Days of Not Drinking

As it turns out, I don’t have to drink a lot to have a good time. Whew!

The first drink I had was with a glass of wine, which is funny because I’m not really a wine drinker. But it was there so, bottoms up. Anyway, the short of it is, I had no idea how much I was drinking and I’m glad I that now I do. And I feel this has motivated me to be more mindful of my drinking in the future. I’d like to cut this number in half, so I’ll be keeping that goal in mind moving forward.

Grand 30-day Totals:

Booze-a-meter:  121 drinks

Pounds lost: 7

Average cost savings at $8/drink: $968 (I don’t drink cheap shit)