Deck the hall

“Hall” is singular because our apartment literally has one hallway. But “decked” it is!

Last Friday night, I convinced Will to help me set up and decorate our borderline pathetic Christmas tree. Gatsby also assisted by bringing the cuteness.

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To get us in the spirit I turned up the sound on my computer and blasted my new Christmas playlist. It’s a hybrid of this list I found on Pinterest and some of my very favorite Christmas tunes. And it is merry as hell. Download these songs and see for yourself!

  1. Holly Jolly Christmas–Burl Ives
  2. Baby it’s Cold Outside–Rosemary Clooney
  3. All I Want for Christmas is You–Mariah Carey
  4. What Christmas Means to Me–Stevie Wonder
  5. It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas–Bing Crosby
  6. Blue Christmas–Elvis
  7. I’ve Got My Love to Keep Me Warm–Frank Sinatra
  8. The Christmas Waltz–She & Him
  9. Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas–Bing Crosby
  10. Santa Baby–Madonna
  11. Cool Yule–Louis Armstrong
  12. Happy Christmas (War is Over)–John Lennon
  13. Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)–Darlene Love
  14. What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve–Ella Fitzgerald
  15. Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree–Brenda Lee
  16. Please Come Home for Christmas–Don Henley
  17. White Christmas–The Drifters
  18. Jingle Bell Rock–Bobby Helms
  19. Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays–*NSYNC
  20. The Happy Elf–Harry Connick Jr.
  21. The Christmas Song–Nat “King” Cole

I just blogged to say I love you

Hello! Remember me? Yes, I know I disappeared for about a month without any warning, but I’m back! I needed to give attention to some other projects and priorities. You understand, don’t you? Let’s just move forward and pretend it never happened.

To get my blogging legs back, I thought I’d just provide a little synopsis of some things that have happened over the past month:

  • I found out quinoa is delicious.
  • I ran a 5k wearing devil horns and a tail.
  • I made friends with a few new babies.
  • We booked a winter trip to Florida (can’t wait).
  • I decided to start plucking out my grey hairs.
  • I discovered a new favorite nail polish color.
  • I went to a bonfire party and was introduced to smores made with Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups (thanks Kelly!)
  • I got lost driving around a scary industrial corridor while being chased by a tornado (don’t ask)
  • I contributed to the fight against breast cancer by shopping, drinking and watching a fashion show at Saks
  • We toured some awesome architecture as part of the Chicago Architectural Foundation Open House and found new beautiful streets in the Gold Coast I never knew existed.
  • I finally went to Pops for Champagne (and have no idea why it took this long)
  • We had excellent meals at David Burke’s Primehouse, Chicago q, Honey, Cafe Selmarie, Cantina Laredo and 3rd Coast.
  • Lake Michigan got angry, but that was nothing compared to the stories we’ve been hearing from New York and New Jersey. I can feel a Red Cross donation coming on…
  • And our internet connection started sucking, so I am posting this from my phone. And I’m not happy about it.

What’s that you say? This post is in need of some visuals? I agree. Behold:

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That’s it for now! I’ll try not to be gone so long this time…

P.S. Happy voting!

Instagram lately

Don’t mind me. I’m just here on my couch working and occasionally finding a minute here and there to edit my photos from NYC. So in the meantime, you get… Instagram! (I’m really using these Instagram posts as a crutch, aren’t I?)

Polka dots and arm candy. If I ever start a band, I think that’s what I’m going to call it. And I shall play the bass. (Thick bracelet is from C.Wonder in NYC, thin bracelet is from Italy and polka dots are from Anthropologie on sale.)

“I just want to be alone.”

View of the Chicago Public School teachers striking from my office window. And that is all I will say about that touchy subject. #callmeSwitzerland

Look! It’s my friends Kelly and Luke getting married last weekend at the gorgeous Cuneo Mansion! (Confession: I did not take this photo. I was honestly having too much fun at this wedding to even think about reaching for my camera. I totally stole this Instagram pic from my friend Sheena–hope she doesn’t mind!) (Fun fact: The Cuneo Mansion is where My Best Friend’s Wedding was filmed.)

Another wedding pic stolen from Sheena featuring some of my favorite people on the planet. (Side note: Check out Sheena’s new education blog if you’re interested in how she’s piloting an iPad program in her classroom. Very cool!)

The wedding after party.

A shot from our Saturday evening stroll. Sometimes I forget how lucky I am to be able to walk ten minutes down the street and see this. Not this time, though. I was feeling pretty lucky.

And just when I thought Saturday night couldn’t get any better, we ended up at Sprinkles! They may look like boobs (what’s with that??), but these cupcakes are cray-mazing. Peanut butter chocolate for the win!

40 years of wedded Bliss

My amazing parents have been married for 40 years. Four zero. That’s a long time.

We celebrated their love in style last Saturday night on a yacht cruise on Lake Michigan and in the Chicago River. And if you have anything to celebrate, at all, for any reason, ever, I would highly recommend this method. We rented the SunSea yacht for 3 hours, capped off by the fireworks display at Navy Pier and it was one of the best nights ever.

Congrats Mom and Dad! I love you guys!

P.S. After this party, and Kelly’s bachelorette party, I’ve had a very yacht-y month! Awesome.

Cray-mazing weekend

Yes, I’m still trying to make cray-mazing happen. All the cool kids are saying it, and I suggest you get on board.

But that’s not what this post is about. This post is about my epic weekend, made possible by my awesome husband and our 5th anniversary (whoa), beautiful weather, my friend Kelly’s bachelorette party, and one gorgeous yacht.

Well done, weekend. You really outdid yourself this time.

In case you’re curious, Will and I celebrated our anniversary with drinks at RM Champagne Salon and dinner at Piccolo Sogno. Both places were great and had amazing patios.

The yacht (oh the yacht...) belongs to a friend of Kelly’s sister, and has refueled my quest to find a BFF who owns a boat. The search continues. Apply within.

And that about wraps up my super fun weekend of celebrating with people I love. Doesn’t get much better. This life of mine is kind of ridiculous in the best way possible.

Wham, Bam, Instagram

Just being my usual slacker self over here, with not much time to formulate a post of any sort of substance…

So thank God for Instagram! Here’s a little peek at what I’ve been up to this past week:

Enjoying some beautiful weather… checking out the fancy new Target on State Street… walking to Kilwin’s for my beloved chocolate peanut butter ice cream… hanging out in my deserted office on a Friday afternoon (but not for too long!)… getting in some beach time… attending the gorgeous wedding of Dan and Kaitlin… and, of course, showering The Cutest Dog in the World with adoration.

That’s a good week in my book!

Standby

We are currently experiencing internet connectivity issues. Please enjoy these pictures I took at an awesome riverboat wedding in St. Louis last weekend while I try to restrain myself from ripping our wireless router apart with my bare hands, setting it on fire and dancing on its ashes.

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More on this wedding to come (and my post about Positano, Italy!) once I can actually use my computer to post instead of my phone. (Although I must say, this is quite convenient.)

I can’t write right. And… Ravinia!

Let’s get real for a second. When it comes to this blog, I’m experiencing a bit of a writing slump. I’ve basically been posting a lot of photos, throwing up some weak explanations and hoping you won’t notice the complete lack of effort on my part. Part of the problem could be that my current job consists of writing. All day. Every day. And I’ve just hit a bit of a wall. It happens to everyone who writes. Right?

But I’m not here to make excuses. I’m just here to tell you I know. And I know that you know. So now you know that I know too. You know?

While I wait for my creative inspiration to return, check out these photos of the Colbie Caillat/Gavin DeGraw concert we went to at Ravinia to celebrate my friend Sheena’s 30th birthday party several weeks ago. We took the train out from the city armed with wine, food, blankets and classy red solo cups. It was totally like Woodstock. Except we OD’d on hummus instead of hallucinogens.

 

Next

Last week, Will and I had a moment of complete insanity and indulgence.

A friend was able to score 4 tickets to Next restaurant and invited us to go. And even though it was a total splurge (I’m pretty sure we could go on a weekend vacation for the amount we spent), it was absolutely worth it.

Have you heard of Next? It’s a Grant Achatz restaurant (of Alinea fame), but the cool thing is that it changes every three months. When we went, the theme was Sicily. Other concepts from the past include El Bulli, Childhood and Paris 1906. You have to buy tickets ahead of time–and they are NOT easy to get. So you understand why we HAD to go.

Everything I ate (and drank) was delicious. I even ate some swordfish, and I HATE fish. I would actually very much appreciate it if every single fish would disappear from the earth and never return because they are ugly, smelly, slimy, scaly horrid creatures. I don’t even care about the environmental ramifications that would result. But the swordfish did not make me gag, and that says a lot.

The very best thing we ate was the pork shoulder above. (Sorry for the blurry photos, I didn’t have my good camera with me.) It was served with a spoon – that’s how soft and melt-in-your-mouth juicy it was. So crazy. And amazing. Cray-mazing! See? It inspired me to create a whole new word just to describe it!

I honestly can’t remember everything we ate–there were a lot of courses, all of which included wine. But I do remember that this was a blood orange granita. Or taste bud heaven, as I like to call it.

And for dessert, they brought out some sort of insanely delicious cake that used to be made by Sicilian nuns, plus some other assorted treats.

Here’s what the menu looked like. But unless you can read Italian, it’s not super informative.

In addition to the amazing mouth party we were treated to, the service was also excellent. We got tons of information and history about each dish that came out, and our wine glasses were never empty.

Cray-mazing, I tell you. Simply cray-mazing.

Rad Dad

My dad can beat up your dad.

Just saying.

Hope everyone had a fantastic Father’s Day! We celebrated yesterday with my family. And as a token of appreciation for everything my dad did to help raise me, I brought him a moronic greeting card and a bag of Ranch Doritos. Because I was really hungry.

I could tell he was pretty touched.

Love you, Dad!