Instagram insanity

Thank you, Instagram, for finally realizing that Android users like to take hipster-y photos too!

I just downloaded the Instagram app yesterday and kind of went nuts with it during a girls’ night out with some of my college friends. We were celebrating Sarah and Jeannine’s 30th birthdays, an occasion that obviously called for tapas and sangria at Cafe Iberico immediately followed by Photo Hunt at Clark Street Ale House.

Nights like these are my favorite.

Follow me on Instagram @carliecrash!

Weekend in (blurry) photos

As the pictures above clearly demonstrate, blurry photography can occur as the result of many circumstances, including:

1) When your husband is the photographer

2) When alcoholic beverages are being consumed

3) When the camera being used is actually a mobile phone

Hopefully you can tell by looking at these pictures that I had a fun weekend involving Thanksgiving festivities, late nights with good friends, an afternoon at the Chicago History Museum, a sleepy dog, and Christmas decorating.

It may sound like a busy weekend, but Will still found the time to watch 15 episodes of The Wire on his iPad, if that gives you an idea of how much wonderful downtime we had. I got to catch up on episodes of Glee and The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, and Elf just happened to be on while we were putting up our Christmas tree!

Lazy post-holiday weekends are my favorite.

Adventures in Chi-town pt. 2: In which I hold a baby and get sort of drunk. Not at the same time.

You guys. I held a baby last weekend. And I returned him to his mother, unscathed (I’m referring to myself, not the baby).

The baby (one mini Mr. Tyler Hoff, son of my high school friend Stacey) also survived in one piece. His head didn’t fall off, and I want to say he lasted a whole five minutes before bursting into tears. I also have to admit that he was sort of cute in a wrinkly, tiny person kind of way.

Is this a sign? Am I coming around? Do I maybe want a little baby Tyler of my own?


At least not yet.

How do I know this? Because later that night Carlie the newborn baby holder met up with a group of her college friends and turned into Carlie the I’m-not-in-college-anymore-but-that-doesn’t-mean-I-can’t-act-like-it sorority girl and did some things (like stay out until 3 a.m.) that are soooo not mom-like.

So that’s the end of that. But overall, last weekend I had a great time back in Chicago (and surrounding suburbs). And here’s another shocker – I hung out with not one, but TWO babies! At the same time! Willingly!

That’s Tyler and Brooklyn, the offspring of my friends Stacey and Kristen, who seem to be handling motherhood swimmingly. I’m hoping to be able to learn a thing or two from them. They hold their babies like nobody’s business, and that’s not easy for Kristen. Brooklyn is a very healthy 6 months old and my forearm nearly snapped in half when she offered to show me how heavy a baby in a car seat can be. Lesson learned. I better start on the protein shakes now.

After a fun lunch with that crew at Stacey’s house, I headed out to Naperville to begin my baby-free part of the day and catch up with two more friends, Anna and Sarah. We went to a Mexican restaurant and did NOT get margaritas because a night of drinking copious amounts of sangria was in our future. So there’s proof that I don’t act exactly like I did in college (and that my fear of hangovers is almost as intense as my fear of sharks. Which is really intense. Have we discussed that yet? I HATE sharks).

Anyway, after a Diet Coke, chips and salsa and a bite of Sarah’s chicken quesadilla, I was fully fortified for a night on the town!

First stop: Café Iberico! Frequenting this place has become somewhat of a tradition for my college friends. The food is awesome but the sangria…oh the sangria…is purely magical.

And perhaps a side effect of the delicious Iberico sangria fruity goodness I speak of is big scary-ass bug eyes.

I don’t know.

Let me introduce you to the girls. Here we have Megan, Kim and Sarah.

And this is Laura, Emily, Jeannine and Sheena.

Now you can put faces with names when I talk about them again. Because I’m sure I’ll be talking about them again. You may recognize them from my original Adventure in Chi-town.

After downing about 6 pitchers of sangria, we thought it would be a good idea to drink some more.

So off to Clark Street Ale House we went! And we spent about 6 hours there. Almost a full work day. The best part was that I didn’t spend a dime thanks to a generous fellow named Stephan (with a soft “ph) who felt compelled to buy drinks for a bunch of people at the bar that he didn’t know. I hope Stephan remembers how grateful we were when he gets his next credit card bill. I’m sure that will make it all worth it.

The next best part was that I was introduced to a completely addictive game called Photo Hunt.

Basically, they show you two pictures that are slightly different and you have to point out the differences. The money we would have spent on drinks if it wasn’t for Stephan was quickly poured into this machine.

Then it was a quick detour to El Famous Burrito and off to bed (aka deflating air mattress on Megan’s floor)!

Ah, Chi-town. Thanks for yet another great weekend!

I have a feeling the spending-time-with-babies to going-out-drinking ratio in my future weekend trips will start tipping in the babies’ favor. But for now, this was a great balance! And that means something since my preferred balance in the past would have been 0% babies and 100% going out.

This is big – I’m making progress!