Friday Faves: April 4, 2014

Sidewalk sans snow

Well, there it is, friends — the sidewalk in front of our house, sans snow! It’s been gloomily rainy, but I will gladly take that over the white stuff at this point.

Here’s hoping the end of the week also means the end of the sick house. Nora came down with a wicked cold at the end of last week, and she graciously shared it with KP and me. And then KP left for New York for work mid-week, so it was just me and the little sicky. It’s safe to say I am ready for the weekend.

And what a weekend it will be. One of my pals from my Boston days is coming for a weekend visit, so I will get my fair share of girl time! Manis and pedis and dinners out are all on the agenda. Whatever you’ve got on your agenda, enjoy it!

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The best thing that happened this week: the return of The Mindy Project, after an unacceptably long hiatus. But they generously gave us two episodes, so all is forgiven.

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I picked up a few things at Target this week to put a little springy pop of color in my wardrobe. How adorable is this bicycle cardi?

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Next month, Daisy will turn — gasp — ten! These treats are definitely in order.

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Happy to see some of my favorite ballparks on this top 10 list.

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The Ledge is one thing, but I think I’ll refrain from trying the Tilt. “It’s never been done before…” Well in that case, sign me right up to be one of the first! No, thank you.

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I’ve made the executive decision that when Nora is an independent adult, KP and I will quit our jobs (assuming I have one) and travel the world for at least a year. I wonder if any of these tips will change much by then.

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Ever wondered what a day of takeoffs at LAX looks like? It’s pretty incredible.

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TGIF! Have a wonderful weekend.

Friday Faves: March 28, 2014

Snow

Bla, bla, bla, SNOW, bla, bla, bla. It snowed. Again. At the end of March. Chicago, I wish I knew how to quit you!

As I was writing this post, I glanced at the calendar for today’s date and I can’t believe it’s already the end of March. Maybe it’s because it generally still feels like January, but I feel like the first three months of the year have just flown by. But I’m glad. I’m ready for it to warm up, and I’m ready for all the fun things we have planned this spring and summer.

My weekend is wide open, aside from doing some much needed stuff around the house like finally finish the baby-proofing, rearrange furniture, organize cabinets — the spring cleaning bug bit me. While I go work on my weekend to-do list, you enjoy these links.

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I loathed April Fool’s Day as a kid. I was sure I was going to somehow get punked and look like a… well, fool. Here are some ideas if you’re interested in making someone look like a fool.

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One correct: Boston is also very aware of what “dibs” means.

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My most favorite piece of celebrity gossip this week.

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I’m never at a loss for things to do in Paris, but here are some good ideas for free things to do in the City of Light.

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This week marked the 30th anniversary of one very memorable detention.

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Guilty of eating at least two of these things as a child.

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I love pretty much everything Laura Mercier — and it’s on Gilt right now. Snag some goodies while the gettin’s good (and cheap)!

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Daisy actually looked a little bit like the Boston in #3 when we were basking in the warm temps at my parents’ last weekend.

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That’s all for this week. Have a fabulous weekend!

Friday Faves: March 21, 2014

CelebrateToday calls for a celebration, my friends. It’s the second day of spring (and my brother-in-law’s birthday — happy birthday, Nube!) and unlike yesterday, Mother Nature did not play any cruel jokes today. I woke up to a generous dusting of snow yesterday. Seriously. Luckily it was all melted by lunchtime, but snow on the first day of spring? (I’ll spare you the photo from our back deck because it looks exactly like every single other one I’ve posted on a weekly basis.)

Although it’s spring, there appear to be these all-too-familiar white flakes in next week’s forecast. I could really use a warm weather escape. Two friends are jetting off to Mexico and I’m beginning to consider cramming myself into their luggage.

Alas, we have our own little getaway this weekend, and while it isn’t to warm, sunny Mexico or anywhere remotely like it, at least the temperature’s supposed to be in the 70s at my parents’ today, which is where we’re headed. While I go dig out my sunnies, you enjoy these links.

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Super advice for learning a language before your next trip. Wish I had done this instead of plunking down $$$$ on a German class that I later dropped before visiting Germany.

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Basic things to keep yourselves healthy, ladies!

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If Mother Nature isn’t going to bring spring to Chicago, then Macy’s will. Macy’s Flower Show kicks off on Sunday.

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This “pile of trash” is super alarming, but luckily it was saved.

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We lost one of our furry friends this week. He was a Boston Terrier rescue, like Daisy. Rescue organizations and the volunteers are amazing. I love this sweet story written by a volunteer.

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My rain boots bit the dust this week, and I’m loving these adorable turquoise ones — a nice pop of color for a rainy day, right?

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You will be shocked at how ridiculously yummy — and easy — this is.

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That wraps it up, friends. Have a lovely weekend!

Friday Faves: March 14, 2014

Blarney CastleHappy St. Patrick’s Day Eve Eve Eve! Back in my younger days, this weekend would involve guzzling lots of green beer. These days, it will probably involve wiping lots of green boogers. But I’m okay with that.

So this week in Chicago we were teased with just a taste of springtime. Just a taste. Monday started off ridiculously beautiful with lots of sunshine and temps in the 50s. I had to splurge and get an iced coffee on one of my three (!) walks with Nora.

This was Monday.
This was Monday.

And then by Tuesday night, it all went to hell. This is what we woke up to Wednesday morning:

This was Wednesday. Waah waah waah...
This was Wednesday. Waah waah waah…

Sure, it was pretty. But I’m over it.

Anywho, it’s Friday and it’s supposed to be like Monday again, temperature-wise. Fingers crossed! I could really go for a walk or two with my little bird. On tap for my weekend is a haircut and a double date — we’re cookin’ up tacos tomorrow night. Probably time to start looking at a big girl car seat, too. Whatever you’re up to this weekend, enjoy. And if it’s warm where you are, send some of it my way, please.

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I’m not a huge corned beef and cabbage fan, but I am a huge quesadillas fan. If you’re looking for a non-traditional way to eat traditional St. Patrick’s Day fare, give these a try.

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St. Patrick’s Day automatically brings Ireland to the forefront of my mind, which makes me think about the incredible trip we had there nearly two years ago. If you’ve never been, I can’t recommend it enough. And by all means, make sure gorgeous Castlemartyr is on your itinerary.

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Remember when I was raving about Warby Parker? The lovefest continues. I got my new prescription sunnies and love love love them. I think I need a trip someplace warm to break them in.

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I’ve never been a fan of cats. And one that scratches a seven month-old baby? Hell no.

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I always (almost) choose a window seat. But I never capture anything remotely this cool.

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Although I’m still super peeved about The Mindy Project hiatus until April 1 (how can they do this to us?), I’m happy to hear this news.

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I just signed Nora up for swim class again. It starts in less than a month which means I have less than a month to find a non-frumpy “mom” swimsuit, or risk wearing the swim “dress” I bought when I was pregnant (which is now super frumpy). Thank goodness there seem to be some decent options out there. Wish me luck!

Friday Faves: March 7, 2014

Never-ending winter

We got another little surprise from Mother Nature this week. She is just too much. Really. No, really. The good news is we’re in for a real heat wave this weekend with temps in the 40s. I’ll take it!

If it really is so warm that my snot doesn’t freeze, Nora might get a walk or two, possibly even a trip to the park (wow, that kind of makes her sound a lot like Daisy). Besides that, my weekend starts off with an evening out with some of my favorite ladies and wine.

While I ponder red or white for tonight, here are some links to start off your weekend.

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Did you catch Ellen hosting the Oscars? So funny! I think I’d have a perma-grin if she were my BFF.

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Our master bedroom needs a subtle spring refresh. I love the pop of color in the artwork above this headboard. Feeling inspired…

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Nora and I went to a Mardi Gras party on Sunday and the lovely hostess served an amazing muffuletta sandwich. Still dreaming about it.

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I love cheese, no matter what you want to call it.

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Nora just might make her first trip to the Big Apple later this spring, if/when we tag along on one of Daddy’s work trips. I’m both excited and apprehensive; excited because I haven’t been to New York in years, apprehensive because we’ll have a baby in tow this time. Starting my baby-friendly hotel research now.

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I miss the days of living minutes from BOS; I could leave my house to pick up guests after they landed. Just Landed might come in handy these days, though.

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Yep, this is pretty much what I think when I thumb through the Pottery Barn catalog.

Friday Faves: February 28, 2014

DSC_1565

Week one of being a stay-at-home mom comes to a close. Although, I don’t really count this week since Nora was in and out of daycare before she’s officially finished with that early next week. Once daycare days are done, I have to figure out a way to maintain this gym routine, though. I went three days in a row this week. Unheard of. Not sure what go-getter took over my body, but I like her and she’s welcome to stay.

My weekend is likely going to include an unwelcome guest called snow. While I wallow in our never-ending winter, you enjoy these links from the week.

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I was really wowed when I ordered prescription sunglasses from Warby Parker. What an innovative idea. At least check it out and play with the site (you can virtually try on sunnies!)

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I know it can’t stay winter forever (although Mother Nature’s really pushing it…), so once it warms up, I’ve got my warm weather nail polish picked out. Took OPI strawberry margarita for a trial run recently and love it. Perfect for spring and summer.

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Have you ever been ill at a hotel? I have, and while The Sanderson was a pretty great place to be sick at, they didn’t offer immune-boosting menu items or other flu fighting amenities. Genius.

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Pothole artists. They should come to Chicago. They’d have a heyday.

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In case you need a reason, here are 45 as to why you should live abroad once. (Miss you, London.)

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Learned about this fantastic idea from my friend, Jaime. It’s not too late to start. I tried to do something similar with the new year, but have aborted that mission as I was the only one in my household consistently participating… and how boring would that be to just read my good things at the end of the year?

Friday Faves: February 21, 2014

Today I mark two lasts and one first. It’s my last day in corporate America (for a while) and Nora’s last Friday at day care. And it’s our first anniversary of living in our new home.

Goodbye, old Chicago post office. I won’t miss this view from my office too much, especially when it includes snow.

Old Chicago Post Office

I’ve been looking forward to this day since I resigned three weeks ago, although I’ll admit I have a tiny bit of anxiety about what lies ahead, mainly because it’s new. I’ve never not had a job in my adult life. It feels scary and liberating all at the same time. My new “job” will probably be 100 times harder than the job I’m leaving, but a different, much more rewarding kind of hard.

We’re celebrating the end of my answering to “the man” with two of my favorite things tonight — sushi and bubbles! Whatever you’re up to this weekend, make it a good one… and enjoy these links.

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Did you catch The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon? Aside from U2, the best part of the show was the Evolution of Hip-Hop Dancing with Will Smith.

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I have mixed feelings about TripIt, but will have to check out some of these other travel apps, especially Gate Guru.

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I’m still dreaming about wine country after my trip to the Willamette Valley last month. And then I learned about Farmhouse Inn, which is now on my must-visit list.

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Italy was on — and then off — our list for our big vacation next year. After seeing these gorgeous pictures, it might have to be back on the list.

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With months of winter remaining, these tips on tying a scarf will come in handy to mix things up.

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The best part of our Valentine’s Day dinner was the decadent dessert: heaven and hell cake. The recipe sounds complicated (because it’s not from a box), but if it tastes even remotely as good, it’s worth it!

Friday Faves: February 14, 2014

Happy Valentine’s Day!

I find that most people either love or hate Valentine’s Day. You’re either in the, “it’s a stupid Hallmark holiday” camp or you’re not. I’m not. I probably felt differently when I was single, but I’ll admit it: I like flowers and chocolates and gifts. That said, my husband and I agreed to forego gifts this year since we’re going away for the weekend with Nora. That’s right, it’s time to escape Antarctica Chicago for a wee bit and mosey on down to Texas, ya’ll.

While I’m away, enjoy these Valentine links!

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Red velvet cheesecake brownies

I love baking for Valentine’s Day. A few years ago, I made these decadent red velvet cheesecake brownies for my husband. The recipe has been repeated several times since!

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Drew Barrymore’s Find It in Everything is perfect for today.

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I wish you none of these things this Valentine’s Day!

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Paper Source has the most adorable Valentine’s and gifts for the holiday.

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I would wear this coat not just for Valentine’s Day, but all throughout winter to add a perfect pop of color to the otherwise dreariness.

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Tips on choosing men’s cologne for your Valentine.

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XOXO!

Friday Faves: February 7, 2013

Happy anniversary, house! A year ago yesterday, we officially became homeowners. And despite repeatedly saying, “we have no space,” and loathing the fact that we no longer have a garage (thanks, snowiest winter ever), I really love our home. The memories have a lot to do with that; it’s where our family began. But it is home, despite its shortcomings. And lack of space. And we couldn’t possibly love our neighborhood more. Did I mention we’re short on space?HomeReally looking forward to the weekend. I have a girls’ night out and a hair-cut/highlights. Yee-haw! I will also begin counting down the days left that I have to go to work (for the record, we’re at eight, not counting today). Enjoy whatever is on your agenda for the weekend, as well as these links.

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As I said, I’m getting my hair cut this weekend. And I am on a short hair rampage (mine is long, stringy and style-less at the moment). I am obsessing over this cut.

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These are the types of things I think about someday addressing with my daughter. I hope she’s as smart and open as Stephanie’s daughter, though I have zero doubt that she will be.

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I wish I felt this way about rain. So sweet.

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I’m not a huge fan of the Olympics. I’ll probably watch bits and pieces, but not on purpose. I do, however, find the hotel nonsense to be good comedy.

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I randomly happened to learn about Li-An Lodge this week. Admittedly, China has never been on my bucket list — nowhere close, in fact. But I was totally wowed by these images.

Friday Faves: December 6, 2013

We’ve finally bid adieu to what was left of Thanksgiving leftovers. I’m a fan of turkey sandwiches, salads and paninis in the days following Thanksgiving, but after a few meals of leftovers, I’m over it.

And now we’ve quickly transitioned to Christmas. We got our tree, a white pine with unbelievably soft needles, and spent the better part of Sunday getting it–and the rest of our house–decorated. It definitely looks like Christmas!

It feels like Christmas, too. Today is my company’s holiday party which is typically a good time, and if nothing else, it’s a reminder that you can count the number of work weeks left in the year on one hand. Hooray!

While I get ready to go witness some employee make a drunken fool of himself, you enjoy these links!

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It’s become an unofficial tradition to migrate to the Christkindlmarket for Glühwein after our holiday party. I’m not even a fan of Glühwein, but I love the festive feeling so I imbibe. Chicago isn’t the only city in the U.S. to feature a traditional German Christmas market.

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It wasn’t until I saw my friend Mark post something on Facebook that I learned about GivingTuesday. What a genius idea. Though, I wish I had heard about it earlier. Still, I did my good deed and donated to the Alzheimer’s Association. What really got my goat, though, were retailers still trying to squeeze a buck out of me, a la Lands’ End, who sent an email titled, “It’s Called Cyber Tuesday.” No, it’s not, and stop trying to get me to buy something.

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Good advice for over-achiever mommies. I need to remember this every day, not just at Christmastime.

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I hate to admit it, but I had the Christmas songs playing just a tad before Thanksgiving. However, we pulled out all the stops on our drive home from Pennsylvania last weekend and turned on the Sirius Christmas station. Which. Was. Terrible. Was their goal to take every awful Christmas song and make a station out of it? Because they succeeded. Needless to say, I will be making my own playlist and including some goodies like these, but also my two favorites from Band Aid (would you look at adorable, young Bono?!) and Wham.

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A drinking game for the best Christmas movie ever.

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I need to hang onto this list of top spots to dine in one of my favorite cities, Austin, Texas.

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Speaking of top dining spots, Eataly has arrived in Chicago. It has been seriously hyped up and I’m sure it’s a fabulous place (queue the “People of WalMart” for the Dean & DeLuca set pictures) but I typically shy away from places like this that attract throngs of people, so I think I’ll have to wait til the hype dies down.

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Happy weekend!