Let’s get random

And suddenly, it’s 2013.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all!

My activities over the holidays can best be expressed in a dramatic monologue and simultaneous interpretive dance. But Gatsby got camera-shy when I asked to record his performance for the blog. So you’ll have to settle for Instagram. (Did you know that you can follow me on Instagram? Because you can.)

Tea at The Drake

Afternoon tea

Carolers at The Drake

Airport drinks on the way to St. Louis

Airport drinks

Christmas morning mimosas with my parents

Merry Christmas!

Warmth! Sunshine! Florida!

Moon over Ft. Lauderdale

Scanning for shark fins

Morning coffee view

Last pre-dinner Florida happy hour

Handsome hubby

Cozy Christmas presents


Wine everywhere at dinner with AGD girls

Wine everywhere

The best Christmas leftovers

The best Xmas leftovers

New bookends

New bookends are situated

As you can see, the holidays were pretty awesome, and man I want to go back to Florida.

In addition to that half-assed recap, I also have these thoughts:

1. I’ve been reading Are You There, Vodka? It’s me, Chelsea by Chelsea Handler, and dammit if that woman’s writing isn’t way more entertaining than mine. I envy her edginess, and I guess I could always go the shock value route, but I have to wait for my parents to die first. Or go blind, or forget how to read. Other women whose writing is better than mine include Tina Fey and Mindy Kaling. Conclusion: comparing myself to professional comedians is not a productive exercise in self-esteem building.

2. Everyone please stop using the phrase “cool beans!” right now. It really makes me wish you weren’t a tool. Also, beans make me think of farting and then I associate that with you. And I really want to like you. I do.

3. I’m pretty sure I had this floral jean jacket in third grade in 1991. It’s now being sold at Gap in 2013. I don’t remember traveling to the future to make the purchase, but I’m not completely ruling it out.

4. Do you say “The Gap” or just “Gap?” I try to avoid saying it altogether because I just don’t know.

5. Showering every day is really starting to feel like a burden. This is very concerning because “second day hair” is not a look that works for me.

6. We recorded a Downton Abbey marathon on PBS about a month ago and watched all of it over the past couple weeks. It’s fabulous. But I just discovered that the DVR didn’t record the last 3 episodes of the second season (whhhyyy???) and there doesn’t seem to be an easy way to watch them online. It is slowly dawning on me that I might never get to see them. I guess that’s the reality of the cold, cruel world we live in.

7. While playing Cards Against Humanity last weekend, I discovered that nothing is funnier to me than random tiny animals wearing human clothes.

Have an un-sucky Monday!

Christmas creep

Today while strolling through the Gold Coast, I used my phone to take a photo of a Christmas tree through the window of a complete stranger’s home. Surprisingly, I was not arrested.

My excuse? It’s Christmas! And it’s getting to me. It’s the time of year when I just can’t resist anything sparkling, the smell of pine, and the crooning of Bing Crosby. The air is refreshingly crisp, Starbucks drinks taste of gingerbread and peppermint, and all of the tiny dogs I pass are wearing plaid sweaters with mini matching booties. It makes me happy.

Because of this, my Instagram photos of late have been overwhelmingly Christmas-themed. (This is of course in addition to the year-round themes of “Gatsby” and “alcoholic drinks I drink.”)

Pretty paper

Pretty paper

"But officer, look at that tree!"

“But officer, look at that tree!”

All Bing, all the time

All Bing, all the time

Tongue paper cuts from stamp-licking are a very real thing

Tongue paper cuts from stamp-licking are a very real thing

The little hipster

The little hipster

Still sleeps with his teddy bear

Still sleeps with his teddy bear

Treat yo' self

Treat yo’ self

Indoor 'smores ('smore what?)

Indoor ‘smores (‘smore what?)

Beer flight

Beer flight

Night lights

Night lights

"Good news! I saw a dog today."

“Good news! I saw a dog today.”

So that’s what I’ve been up to lately. Not looking forward to January. Christmas detox can be quite painful.

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!

New York via Instagram

Well, our NYC trip has come and gone. And it was a success! We walked all over the island of Manhattan, plus a little of Brooklyn too. My feet are in full-on recovery mode.

I took some photos with our good camera, but here are some Instagram pics for you to peruse until I get around to posting the real ones. As you can see, much of the weekend involved eating. In other words, it was the perfect trip!

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!

My weekend looked like this

Bacino’s pizza date and catching up on Mad Men and Girls on Friday night. (Sadly, The Bachelorette is still on the back burner.)

Brunch and day-drinking for my Emily’s 30th birthday on Saturday. Don’t we look festive in our multicolored jeans?

Meeting an old friend’s new baby, who just happens to be adorable.

Hanging with college friends at a lovely outdoor wedding shower on Sunday.

Snuggling with Gatsby.

And finally squeezing in an hour of relaxation before the weekend was over.

Monday, you’re such a party pooper.

How was my weekend?

I’m so glad you asked!

It just so happens that I managed to capture all of the highlights on my new favorite toy – Instagram!

We had an excellent dinner at Balena. (Here’s a tip if you ever plan on going there – they have a whole section of the restaurant reserved for walk-ins, so most of the time you don’t need a reservation. We got there a little after 7 pm for dinner and were seated right away!)

I painted my nails (Essie’s Geranium).

We got all gussied up for a super fun wedding (shoes from Zara).

We celebrated Karen’s birthday with a slightly alarming mini pyrotechnic device.

And we happily abused the photo booth.

Sunday was fully devoted to recovery, rehydration and Mad Men watching.

And how was your weekend? (This is not a rhetorical question – I really want to know! I care about you.)

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!