29 November 2015

The Tree


Per tradition, we picked up our Christmas tree this weekend. We stopped at Monches Farm again. It was kind of strange without our friends Maria & Robbie living there, but we did get to Facetime with them as we were hunting for the perfect tree. Decorating the tree was a several day process this year. H, aka Mr. Christmas, was very patient even though he was going crazy not having it finished on the very first day. It's done now and I think we all are happy to have our little tree lighting up our living room again. We are officially ready for the holidays now.

27 November 2015



I started Thanksgiving morning with a really fun group WOD at CrossFit. Afterwards, I had about 10 minutes at home before we left to go to my parents. We dropped the dogs off, then went the country club where we met my sister, cousin and their families for some platform tennis. It was such a blast. So much fun! Afterwards, we cleaned up, then it was time to meet up again for the big feast. My parents hosted this year. The day was filled with whipped cream fights, poker and other shenanigans, but also just appreciating how much we have to be thankful for. We spent the night there, which seems kind of funny considering they don't live that far away -- but it really makes for a nice evening since we don't need to rush home afterwards. The next day, my uncle and cousin came over. We haven't seen them in really long time. Too long, to be honest. Brian and H had to leave for a bike ride, but the rest of us reconvened for brunch with Skip & Brad. Early in the afternoon, it was time for us to leave and go Christmas tree shopping. Bring on the holidays!

Last Week in Moments

Went to the Nomad to watch the Barcelona vs. Madrid soccer game // Second anniversary party at the CrossFit gym I go to

Thanksgiving day platform tennis with the family // At Monches Farm picking out our Christmas tree

20 November 2015

Last Week in Moments

Last weekend was the first one we've had in forever that we didn't have anything going on. We went out for dinner. And lunch. Saw the new James Bond movie. Brian & H met up with Chris and went mountain biking in Kettle Moraine. They also rode motorcycles on our friend's property later in the day. C and I walked along the river hoping to see some late salmon. There were a bunch of fishermen, but no salmon.

I got a haircut. I love how Matty styled it. It hasn't -- and probably will never -- looked this good again. But I still love the cut.

13 November 2015

Last Week in Moments

Celebrating our niece turning 17!

The ongoing sage of Gretel getting spayed -- first, we had an appointment in September and she went into heat. So, I scheduled and appointment for two months later. Over the weekend we got a phone call that our vet left the practice, so someone else would be doing the surgery. No big deal, but still. On Tuesday, it was time for her appointment. I took her in and got a phone call four hours later from the vet. The couldn't do the procedure yet! Turns out, she's still at the end of her heat. And, in fact, she's in false pregnancy. I didn't even know that existed! So now we keep teasing her about her fake babies. And have to wait another month.

So many leaves!

06 November 2015

Last Week in Moments

Outside the bakery with the best coconut cream donuts in the world // Strolling The High Line

NYC LaGuardia  >>>  Chicago O'Hare -- one great city to the other // Being greeted by these two (who helped Brian cook up an amazing empanada dinner) makes coming home after such a great vacation so much easier <3

04 November 2015

New York :: Day 3


Our final day in NYC... Once again, we definitely made the most of it. After another round of bagels for breakfast, we made our way to Chinatown to the New Nice Deluxe Green Bo to meet up with another friend from Oak Park, her daughter, Emma and two of her friends. Melissa hadn't seen Emma since she left for college back in August, so we were all pretty excited to participate in this reunion. I was also very excited to try soup dumplings for the very first time! Absolutely delicious. They may change the name on a frequent basis, but the Deluxe Green Bo is already calling my name on my next NYC trip.

Most of the day was spent wandering around Chinatown, with a quick trip into Little Italy for a delicious coffee. While shopping in Chinatown may not be my cup of tea, I've never experienced Chinatown this way, and it was so much fun participating in this adventure. After stopping in Papa Bubble to pick up some treats for the kids, it was time say our goodbyes to our Temple dancers. We had such a great day with them, and I loved the fact that it was even one of their first trips to New York!

By now, it was cocktail time. We walked the streets of Nolita, and ended up at Mother's Ruin. Perfect, right? Again, we kind of didn't want to leave ... but it was also dinner time. We caught a taxi to the Brooklyn Bridge so we could walk across it. So, so glad we did. It was one of the things I was hoping to do, and we couldn't even believe how stunning it really was. No matter where you looked, the views were spectacular. We were trying to get to a certain restaurant, but just so you know, it does make a difference if you put Ave. or St. in the address. Ha! We ended up at the Ugly Duckling. Again, things happen for a reason. It was fun watching the waiters who dressed like women (Halloween...) awkwardly serving the patrons. The Mets game was on. And they were extremely accommodating.

Sadly, with this, our day came to an end. We were hoping to grab one more donut before hopping on our airplane the next a.m.. Unfortunately, that plan didn't work out so we made our way to the airport instead. After a quick flight, it was time for me to say goodbye. I still cannot even believe this trip happened. It was so perfect -- such an amazing weekend.

03 November 2015

New York :: Day 2


The first day we were in New York, the bakery down the street was closed for a film shoot. By the next morning, it was open for business again, so we decided to grab a bagel & coffee before heading out for the day. So glad we did, because it was absolutely delicious. In fact, my mouth is watering just thinking about my everything bagel with garlic/dill cream cheese. Our hotel was several blocks from the "G" train. Our first stop was Times Square to stop by TKTS to see if there was a Broadway show we wanted to see. Alas, it was still closed by the time we got there. But we were able to take in the sites and sounds -- and Penny and I even got our picture taken by the Revlon Love is On camera. As we were leaving, we passed by the theater where Book of Mormon is playing. We decided to stop by on a whim, and were lucky enough to score four tickets to the show that night! Yay!

After buying our tickets, we walked to The High Line. I had worked on a project a few years earlier, which was located right off it in Chelsea. It definitely was one of my favorite places to visit. We also made sure to bring the boys there during our visit a couple years ago. Melissa, Penny and Amy had never been before, and I was so excited to get to show it to them. It's really quite something. We walked from one end to the other. By the time we reached our next destination -- the Chelsea Market -- we definitely felt like we earned our delicious seafood lunch. Afterwards, we browsed some of the artisan markets then walked more before deciding it was time for a cocktail. We ended up at The Meatball Shop, where the bartender mixed up some mean Moscow Mules & Old Fashioneds. After a few of those, we decided it probably was a good idea to try out some of the balls, so split an order of four traditional meatballs.  We probably could have stayed there all night, but alas, we had a show to catch. Realizing one meatball each probably wouldn't tie us over, we picked up a slice of pizza on our way back to Broadway.

I would have been happy seeing pretty much any show, but have to say, Book of Mormon was the one I wanted to watch most. I was pretty excited we were going, and let me just say, it did not disappoint. It definitely is not for everyone (hi, Mom & Dad), but I thought it was absolutely hilarious. After the show, we walked across the street for a cocktail, and as we were leaving, had a Rumer Willis sighting. We headed back to Brooklyn on the train with a bunch of Mets fans, after realizing it was really difficult to get a taxi to take us there. No big deal. But by the time we got home after our long day, we were absolutely exhausted. Granted, it was after 1am by the time we set foot in our room. But what happened next still makes me laugh -- we got a noise complaint! Can you even imagine? A bunch of moms, drinking water and eating grapes. We sure are a wild bunch. Hilarious.

02 November 2015

New York :: Day 1


I just got back from the most amazing girls weekend in New York. It was Amy, Penny, Melissa and me, and we had such a great time. We flew out of Chicago early on Thursday. After a dramatic flight (lots of turbulence = I've never come closer to getting sick on a flight my entire life), we arrived in Greenpoint, Brooklyn at the Henry Norman Hotel. Our room was really spacious -- perfect for the four of us. We decided to stick around the area the first day, so had the complimentary car service drop us off at Esme for lunch. The cocktails and sandwiches were amazing, but the highlight was the Beet Salad with Brussels Sprouts, Potatoes, Dill & Horseradish Sauce. I need to recreate it. So good. Despite being extremely full, we didn't get too far before we found ourselves in front of the Peter Pan Donut Shop. I'm usually not a huge fan of the donut, but seriously, my coconut donut was the best donut I've had in my entire life. It was that good. We did a little strolling then headed back to the hotel for a bit before it was dinner time already. I'm not sure any of us were that hungry, so went to El Born for tapas and enjoyed some food and gin & tonics before calling it for the night. After all, we had the entire weekend ahead of us.