About tandem in love

this is about us, our love, our life, happy things, maybe sad things (because they happen), the wonderful people in our lives that help make the world go round. life truly is beautiful and it should be celebrated + shared.

young, wild, and three!

ellie’s birthday party planning started out slow and a bit clueless. i wasn’t sure what i wanted to do so i looked at some birthday invites and saw the theme – young, wild, and three and that perfectly described ellie!!!

then came pinterest and the creative juices started flowing. once that starts, i can’t seem to stop and one idea trumps another and another and that’s when it gets dangerous up in my noggin’. i then start searching for decorations and if i can’t find it, i will make it!

hc and i spent the week preparing for the party. he took care of the yard, the tables, chairs, and helped me with setting up some of the decor where i needed more than two hands; he helped with the food, and some other odds and ends. i spent the week stopping at party stores, grocery stores, clothing stores, cleaning the house, crafting all the diy decor, and slowly setting up each area. i did most of my decorating on friday, the day before the party, and completed the finishing touches on saturday morning. i definitely wanted our morning {the day of the fête} to be more low key, low stress, and calm before all the guests arrived mid afternoon.

the last thing i did was decorate the cake! i was excited to have my vision come to life! my oldest sister, kim, did the fabulous floral arrangements. she’s sooooo talented!!!! each vase turned out absolutely amazing and gorgeous! she picked out the most perfect items to create our jungle themed look {i only showed her an inspiration pic and she killed it in interpretation!}! i asked her for leftover flowers for ellie’s cake and it was like she read my mind on what i wanted to do…she brought over the most perfect flowers and leaves for the cake! exactly what i wanted!

i made an onion dip and cheese plate for our guests as appetizers and we ordered food from a local joint. everything was turning out just right. the guests arrived in a timely fashion, the food arrived as expected, and the rest of the afternoon was awesome.

after we ate, we brought ellie outside to show her the birthday present gramma and papa bought her! it was a unicorn water play table! i also got her/them a rainbow sprinkler. the girls then changed into swimsuits and played outside in the water for a bit.

after a stint in the hot outdoors, i gathered everyone back in to sing happy birthday to ellie! i tried getting her back into her themed dress but that was an utter failure {honestly…i just didn’t push it}. LOL so she wore her unicorn swimsuit for her big candle blow out!

i served up cake, ice cream, and macarons and soon afterwards, our guests started to trickle out. it was the most perfect timing, though. once i brought everyone inside for cake, the sky opened and started POURING. so, while everyone finished up with dessert and the rain finally let up, it was a sign to go!

hc and i did our thing. we cleaned up like pro’s while the babes bathed and afterwards, ellie {and olive} opened up all her gifts! oh my goodness. it was such a wonderrrrrrrrrFULL day. like so good. the decor turned out so damn fun, the food was so good, our guests were the best and we couldn’t have asked for a better afternoon to celebrate our baby ellie.

sweet girl, you are amazing. you are funny. you are silly. you are strong. you are sweet. you are loving. you are sassy. you are beautiful. you are everything good and everything you want to be! we love you so much that descriptive words insult the feeling that is so big within our hearts.

happy birthday precious babe. we love you to infinity and beyond.

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[how sweet is she??]

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[hat by little blue olive]

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[oh olive]

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[i said, “smile ellie!”]

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[favors: glassine bag of candies, tattoos, and organic play dough – in a zebra print, of course! – housed in a brown paper bag, stamped, and i calligraphy the kid’s names]

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[all the favor goodies]

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[play dough from ellie and piper co}

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[our sweet family]

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[the bar table! plastic garland banner from glamfete]

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[drink menu]

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[my kind of town…]

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[party straws and stirrers]

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[floral arrangements by the great and talented kim]

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[i hand stamped the zebra onto the napkins]

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[hc’s side]

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[lynne and barbara]

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[animal masks for our guests]

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[hand drawn, hand cut leaves, calligraphy by crazy me place cards. hc spray painted the animals and glued each card to them]

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[table setting for our guests]

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[i couldn’t get over the stunning arrangements by my sister. she does a phenomenal job every time!]

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[the wood looking plates are biodegradable and are made out of palm leaves!]

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[dessert bar]

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[favor bags]

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[it’s never a party without french macarons!]

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[cake decorated by yours truly with left over flowers my sister left me!]

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[i couldn’t pick just one pic to post of us!]

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[cheese plate i hastily threw together last minute!!!]

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[mom and dad or also known as rimma and ba]

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[hand written menu. i tore apart a paper bag and hand wrote/calligraphy the food we were serving]

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[dan and agata]

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[me and thuy]

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[silly cousins]

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[sista sista]

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]so excited over gramma and papa’s birthday present to ellie!]

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[what a big girl]

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[very hesitant to go under the rainbow sprinkler…she eventually put her hand in it. that was it! LOL]

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[bennett braving the cold water!]

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[olive acting cool…like, guy…it’s not cold…]

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[my sweet little baby]

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[birthday cake!]

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[look at her face!]

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[make a wish]

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[having her cake and eating it too]

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[silly kids]

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[grandma and her grandkids]

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[silly girls]

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xoxo

a fun afternoon

it was a very long, long awaited playdate with kim and famille. like way too long! let’s be clear…it was one year since i had seen them last! whaaaaaaaa? kim and i planned 5 different times to see each other but each time, unfortunately, something always came up for kim and we had to cancel every time.

well, the waiting was over and we secured a date and boom! it happened! olive was so excited to see brady! when she woke up in the morning, she said to me she needed to hurry up and brush her teeth cause she wanted to go see brady! hahaha! too damn cute!

we could have left on time but i am at fault for wanting to do one million more things before we walked out the door, then once we did…we literally turned back around cause i forget to get the girls to the bathroom and we had a long car ride ahead of us! arghhhhh. we finally hit the road one hour after we were suppose to leave. like wtf. i am usually not this late but this was probably a record tardy start for me!

we arrived in no time, quite surprisingly and the girls couldn’t not wait to get inside! once they stepped foot inside…i didn’t see them for an hour. just kidding but they literally ran away from me and were outta sight. LOL i hugged kim and we started chatting. as i have said in the past…the girlfriends i have {kim is no different}, we have this tendency to talk and talk and talk and talk and talk. no joke…time literally flies by when i am with kim. we can gab about anything and everything!

it was super nice cause the kids are at an age where they are very low maintenance and they all play so well together. so, mikey {kim’s hubby} kept the kids entertained as they ate their lunch and kim and i ate our lunch in another room. that was awesome.

before i knew it, three hours flew by and we needed to go! olive had gymnastics and i knew traffic back home was going to be a nightmare. we quickly said our goodbyes {sadly…no one wanted to leave, including me!} and headed back home.

it was such a fun afternoon and a much needed catch up time with kim! i told her, we cannot have another year go by where we don’t see each other! i don’t think that has ever happened in the 10 years that we’ve known each other! crossing our fingers we can squeeze in a zoo date before school starts.

cheers to good friends!

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[olive ellie, brooklyn, brady, and mason]

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[so darn cute]

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[kim and me]

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[such a sweet family]

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[brady’s selfie]

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[how sweet are they?!! melting]

xoxo

the morton arboretum

a couple years ago, hc and i bought a year membership to the arboretum and we probably went a couple times but then it expired and we never renewed.

this year, we fully went in and purchased a two year membership because we totally feel like the girls are at an age where they play well together and they are so active! so it made sense and we know we will go more than twice a year!

the day we went was beautiful. sunny, warm, but not too hot. after we signed up for our membership and grabbed drinks at the cafe, we headed out to the children’s area and the girls were so excited! they immediately became involved with everything that catered to their curious minds. it was great. hc and i just sat back, conversed, drank and the girls kept themselves super busy with their surroundings.

we slowly made our way around the area, stopping at each section so the girls could throughly explore. we made our way through the pond/water area and the girls became excited at the idea of taking off their shoes and wading through the creek, in which they did. i had to help ellie walk through it back and forth while olive independently jumped around.

in one section of the creek, olive became a bit too zealous and slipped and fell on her behind! oh, poor olive! she soaked her entire bottom! no matter, i reassured her it was ok and i knew, with the warm temps, she would dry up quickly.

once that was over, we slowly made our way back to the entrance. i assumed the girls were hungry and i was right, so we stopped for some yummy snacks. as we headed out, the girls also spotted some very large lego creations along the way. they were so cool!

it was a great day. the temps were perfect, the sun was shining, and the girls had a wonderful time exploring the playgrounds! we can’t wait to go back, it’s such a huge area and there’s so much to see and experience there!

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[the maze]

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[caution first]

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[taking the lead]

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[kids playing, parents drinking]

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[hair clips by little blue olive]

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[olive owning the play area]

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[she’s so spunky and sweet]

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[sprinkler]

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[ellie braved the jungle gyms!]

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xoxo

waterlemon

so i discovered a place in downtown lagrange that i absolutely loooooove! it’s a place called waterlemon and it is such an amazing concept, it makes you think…why didn’t i do that cause i, 100%, have thought about it but have never green lighted it. so here we are, at a place where dreams do come true!

we trekked there on a rainy day…a perfect place to go to with the kiddos when it’s not nice out but quite surprisingly, we were basically the only ones there that afternoon!

i was in picture heaven. the decor, the design, the colors felt like a dream come true. aesthetically right up my alley and i was loving every detail. once we walked inside, the girls were so delighted! it was, actually, very nice that we had the space to ourselves. the girls were having a grand ol’ time, and thuy and i chillaxed in the dining area.

i had called the store before we went to make sure the play area was available. i briefly read the website but didn’t read it throughly. i, honestly, didn’t think i needed to. when i called the store, the girl on the phone didn’t mention the need for socks, etc. we have never been there before, so i was unaware of their rules/policies for the play space. once we arrived, we were told the rules of the play area and i was taken aback that we needed socks {the no shoe policy i totally understand…and that’s easy. just take off your shoes} but we had to buy socks and honestly, i would have rather brought our own socks. now, they didn’t charge much for the socks but the fact that i called ahead to get all my ducks in a row and the employee didn’t mention the socks irked me a bit.

that was the only thing that bothered me but overall, it was a wonderful experience. it was clean, organized, and everyone who worked there was super friendly and nice. it’s a play area for kids 5 and under. i’ll be super bummed once olive passes that age because olive and ellie play so well together and i can’t imagine taking ellie there without olive, when she turns six later on this year.

thuy and i became hungry and i knew the girls needed to eat something, so i ran over to a local eatery called owl and lark and ordered meals to go. i loved that they allow you to bring food from the outside…so awesome because we really wanted food.

after hours of play {we were there for, maybe, three hours}, in-between eating and snacking, we finally rounded them up but not without a final treat. the girl behind the counter offered the mini cupcakes complimentary and the girls gobbled them up! of course we cleaned up after ourselves, wiped the table down {cause we’re like that}, threw away our garbage, and the girls played so neatly that the toys were not out of place {LOL…that’s the way they are at home!}.

i purchased the cutest rainbow wall hang and olive declared this shop the best place ever! she said, “they have toys, a play area, snacks and drinks! it has EVERYTHING a kid needs!” hahaha! legit…she totally said that.

well, our time at waterlemon was super successful! i highly recommend this retail/play area to our chicago and suburb mamas out there! your kids will love it and moms {and dads}, you will love the concept, the coffee, and the merchandise! just don’t forget to bring your own skid free socks! ha!

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[the cutest window display]

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[i love balloons. arches. anything]

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[everything was so darn pretty]

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[i wanted to steal it all. LOL]

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[such a beautiful play area]

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[it’s just sunshine and rainbows inside…my kind of world]

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[hi ellie]

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[the cutest little play area for the young babes! it’s enclosed so they can’t escape. LOL]

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[oh ya know…just camping]

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[everywhere i turned…it was instatastic]

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[my kind of message]

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[just chilling in a cool corner]

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[cute corners everywhere!]

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[the cutest selection of clothes]

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[my heaven for party planning!]

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[super auntie thuy hanging out]

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[they – usually – play so sweet together]

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[hello?]

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[how are you?]

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[oh, that’s good to hear. LOL]

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[coffee corner]

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[food is ready]

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[so much fun!]

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[hungry like a wolf. haha]

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[food and coffee from owl and lark]

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[avo bagel]

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[complimentary mini cupcakes]

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[olive loved the treat!]

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[cutest wooden flatware]

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[we bought the rainbow wall hang! perfect for olive’s room!]

xoxo

butterflies in the zoo

it was going to be a beautiful day {as in not HOT}, so we decided to do a zoo day. those 70ish degree days are absolutely perfect for a day of walking around outside {and not sweating, feeling sticky, and exhausted}.

the kids kicked off our adventure with a ride on the carousel, while olive insisted on getting her face painted. oh my goodness…face painting takes forever! LOL hc came over and asked us if we wanted to experience the butterfly garden and i said yes.

once olive was finished {she was so happy with her choice…a unicorn swirly concoction of white, pink, glitter, and purple}, we walked over to the butterfly exhibit {which was two seconds away from where her face was painted}. first, you had to wait for someone to open the door and let you in. once inside, the girl gave clear, strict instructions on how to behave once inside. she then turned on a fan, blowing air straight down in front of the door and we walked inside.

ohhhhhh, it was so beautiful and awesome! the plants and flowers were gorgeous and the butterflies fluttering everywhere was like a dream come true! it was so magical and the girls were amazed! olive and ellie loved it! it was so cute when olive said to me…”kiki, did you know that the fairies paint the butterfly wings?!” oh my goodness…i love her so much!

we spent a lot of time inside the garden. the girls were having such a wonderful time being so close to the butterflies and loved seeing all the different types. i felt that we could have been in there for another 10-15 minutes but our other half of the party was waiting for us, so we reluctantly left the magical garden.

we traipsed our way to the dolphins, then the sea otters, then to get food, then to the playground. we have gone to the zoo with the intent to see the lego set up but every time we go…one thing leads to another and time gets aways from us and yet again, we haven’t seen the lego displays yet.

well, after the playground, we walked around a bit more but kim, terry, and the boys had to go to lacrosse practice. wah wah. ellie was so upset they had to leave and cried about it for a bit, she kept saying, “bennett. bennett…”. it was so cute…she really missed them! after they left, we decided to explore a little more of the zoo, so we headed over to tropic world to see the monkeys. once we were out, we explored a bit more of the zoo with the intention of heading on our way out. ellie was getting tired and a little cranky from not taking a nap.

it was another awesome day at the zoo in the books with the family! we had so much fun exploring and the butterfly garden was our most favorite part of the experience. i love how it’s a fun, different adventure every time we go to brookfield!

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[can you spot reagan and bennett?]

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[where’s ellie?]

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[ready to get her face painted]

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[she chose a unicorn design]

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[she was so good at keeping her eyes closed…even when she didn’t have to! LOL]

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[her finished look!]

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[the beautiful butterfly garden at the zoo!]

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[can you spot the black swallowtail?]

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[can you see the zebra longwing?]

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[hanging with my peeps]

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[beautiful monarch]

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[a plethora of julia’s]

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[peeking]

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[black swallowtail]

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[a great southern white landed on reagan’s hat!]

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[admiring the beautiful butterflies!]

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[i think this is the gulf fritillary]

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[sisters – can you spot olive?]

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[reagan was our photographer!]

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[besties]

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[we took a similar picture like this on this exact statue when we i was a few years old!

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[the boys]

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[monkeys grooming each other]

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xoxo

a day in the city

we had an impromptu trip to the city!

lately, any new adventures into the city…hc is always a part of it but this time around…he had to work and i trekked downtown, with the girls, by myself! its not that i don’t ever go to the city by myself {i do allllll the time but to my usual stomping grounds. helloooo, i used to live in the city} but if it’s a place i’m not used to driving to…hc is usually there.

we traveled to millennium park first to meet kim, terry and the boys. it was hot and humid. i needed to get to the lakeside garage {i spot hero’d my parking} and my map was telling me to take wacker. helllllll no. hc can drive wacker but not me! i freak out just being in the car when hc takes that route. so i diverted to the above ground routes and took the long, a little bit more congested roads to get to the garage. well that was no picnic either. i still had to go underground for a nano second but when you do, gps goes out. poof! like, once you go underground…it’s like bye bye bye {cue n’sync}.

so, i used the old fashioned way of getting around and used my brain. my gps was kaput and i needed to get to the garage. i pulled over. surveyed my surroundings and navigated a u turn, a left turn, then a right turn and voila!! i took myself straight to the garage! wahooooo! i was so relieved!

we found the famille inside the park and we all walked over to maggie daley play area. the girls were so excited to see their cousins! they absolutely love hanging out with them. the kids giddily ran towards the playground and disappeared. kim, terry, and i just wandered around while the kids explored.

while we were out, it started raining and we took cover under the trees. we watched people still going down the slides while it was raining and that was incredibly entertaining as the water made the slides super slick and people were flying off the surfaces! ohmergawd…it was the sound of shrieking and laughter, then thud, thud, thud. folks skidding across the ground as they shot down the slides. so crazy!

after some time at the park, we jumped back into our cars and headed over to wrigleyville to shop around, spend some time at gallagher way, and we also had dinner reservations at dutch and doc’s.

we had such a great time all around in the city and we decided to head back to the ‘burbs for some ice cream at our favorite local shop, where hc & thuy met up with us! ellie fell asleep on the way home and it was so darn cute! she got sleepy and took the baseball cap on her head and pulled it forward over her face. so adorable.

we arrived at the ice cream shop before anyone else and decided to wait for them on a bench. there wasn’t a line but 5 minutes later, i turned around and the line was out the door and down the sidewalk! yikes! i jumped up and got in line to save a spot for everyone!

all the kids got ice cream, and some adults, and we decided to walk around downtown, since the car show was going on {just ending…as we were out so late}. after a lovely stroll in the warm summer evening, we all dispersed and headed home.

it was such a wonderful day and evening spent with the family. life is good.

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[exploring wrigleyville]

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[little buggers…ellie was a nut in the store]

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[new hats]

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[oh ellie…always following in her big sister’s footsteps…it’s so sweet to see]

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[snacking at gallagher way]

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[coloring and drinking at dutch and doc’s]

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[oh how we love the cubbies]

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[so exhausted on the ride home, she pulled her cap forward and fell asleep! we were still heading out for ice cream!]

xoxo

fourth of july 2019

i feel that the 4th of july is the height of the summer season and then it goes downhill from there. not in a bad way but it’s real chill afterwards and then august hits and it’s back to school! eep!

we did our usual the morning of the 4th. we {as in me and the girls} scrambled to get up, ready, and out the door early enough to nab a parking spot at madison school and traipse our way to the usual spot. a spot my sister and brother in law reserve every year with lawn chairs the night before. the girls were excited for the parade and even more excited to see their cousins.

we greeted some familiar faces, particularly helen, and chatted up with a few people already there and waiting. bit by bit, terry showed up, the boys, kim, and then thuy. we were all excitedly waiting for the parade to start and soon, we heard the sirens…signifying that the parade was on its way!

the girls were ecstatic! they shrieked and laughed as they saw cool and funny things walking/driving by! when it was time for the soldiers to walk by and fire their guns…the girl’s reactions completely define them. BOOM! it was so loud and there’s ellie…not jolted by the noise but curious and walks forward to see what it is and where it’s coming from. now here’s olive, running the opposite direction screaming in fear. LOL. yup, that’s them!

folks threw candy, random items, flyers and more candy! the girls walked away with quite the stash! olive’s philosophy on it was, if they’re giving to me…i must eat it now. i had to stop her after her second lollipop! she was like, what? they’re giving it to me??? nice reasoning cutie pie.

after the parade, we ran into hc’s friend max and chatted with him for a bit, while thuy swept the girls away once more. i wanted to stay and hang with max but we needed to get home because we had guests coming over.

we drove home in the jeep and hc dropped me off to get the party started while he grabbed ice and any other random items we might have needed. our guests slowly arrived {my family each brought over an item or two} and our gathering was in full swing. we had apps and drinks going and then finally kicked off the grill and cooked hotdogs, burgers, corn, with pasta salad, all the fixings {grilled onions, avocado slices, tomato, condiments}, potato salads, fruit, etc.

the evening began to cool off while the kids played with some ‘fire’works outside {really just some snappers and sparklers}. we served desserts and then all the kiddos had a water balloon fight! it was so cute to see how they all interacted…the boys chased each other, ellie did a little chasing, but mostly threw water balloons onto the grass to watch them pop and olive cried. uh huh. that’s what they did. hahaha!

our day was super lovely and fun. as always, we had the best time celebrating america’s birthday with our family!

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[they’re so sweet]

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[we saw this lab as a puppy last year!]

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[with uncle terry]

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[she’s such a ham]

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[they hear the sirens! waiting for the trucks!]

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[old school firetruck]

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[here come the fire trucks!]

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[with dada]

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[he’s been walking in the parade for years!]

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[helen, kim, me, thuy, and olive]

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[i love the way ellie is holding onto olive for the picture…she has no idea her hand is on her face! LOL]

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[with their super auntie…they always love being with her]

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[fourth of july desserts]

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[barbara and terry]

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[dan and olive]

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[festive cupcakes]

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[happy fourth!]

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[thuy, barbara, agata, lynne, and kim]

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[walsh family]

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[grand  kids]

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[the cheeky ones]

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[apps]

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[red velvet cake]

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[red, white, blue and stars ice cubes!]

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xoxo

girl and the goat

my friend andrea invited us to a private dining experience at girl and the goat in chicago. i was super excited to participate because 1 – date night! 2 – great food 3 – a night out in chicago while it’s warm! all great reasons to overeat, over drink, and laugh really hard.

traffic was light and we arrived 15 minutes early! hc and i were escorted downstairs to the underground goat but we weren’t the first ones though! lisa, nick, and kyle were already there. we were warmly welcomed and greeted with smiles. we all immediately kicked off great conversations while our server quickly served us delicious drinks.

slowly, everyone trickled in. many familiar faces and some new ones. i was fortunate to hang out with grace, stephanie, and lisa {andrea and ginger too!} a few weeks back {during our craft night out at papersource} and got the chance to know them a little bit better.

andrea claims she’s anti-social but i’d like to argue that. she’s such a great connector and gets along so well with others! i have met so many wonderful people through her and feel very blessed to call her my friend. she’s genuine, kind, thoughtful, smart, and will bend over backwards for you when you need it. she’s definitely a person you want in your life!

we mingled for quite awhile. i was having so much fun chatting with everyone…that itself was already an amazing start to a more amazing evening. after an hour or so, we finally settled into our assigned seats {thanks to andrea’s crafting abilities}. i sat next to hc and a new friend, jessica. her and i bonded over what we were doing differently to help the environment, how we were raising our kids, and social media! LOL yes…but that was not all we talked about!

as the dishes rolled out, everyone ate, talked, drank, on repeat. the food was delicious and i was wildly hungry! i ate almost everything but as the meat courses started to appear {the last dishes to arrive}, i was at my limit. it was all so savory and divine but i was dunzo.

near the end of our meal, stephanie izard stopped by to say hello! she chatted with andrea and jamie for a bit…she kindly joined in on multiple pics with the guests, thanked us, and wished us a great evening. it was so awesome to see her! a perfect ending to our evening!

hc and i enjoyed our time immensely. we thought our experience would be a bit different. i thought the servers would explain the courses a bit more, letting us know the make up of each dish and for some reason, we had the impression we would have suggested wine pairings with the food. no matter, it was a wonderful experience all around. i throughly enjoyed it all!

thank you andrea for concocting this whole event! it was a fantastic night out with an even better crowd.

{i did not bring my camera. *gasp* i wanted to not lug it around and just enjoy my evening with the hubs and friends! so. all of these pics are andrea’s!}

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[andrea and rebecca]

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[stephanie, andrea, and lisa]

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[grace and kyle]

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[nikki and andrea]

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[andrea and ginger]

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[andrea and jason]

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[andrea and jessica]

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[andrea and stephanie izard]

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[cute little favors we got to take home!]

xoxo

fantastic bug encounter

we were invited to preview the newest exhibit at the field museum! and it did not disappoint!

i was super excited to have the girls experience something different and fun. the whole collaboration was well thought out and the field museum did such an excellent job welcoming us!

traveling to the museum took a pinch and we were given complimentary parking – sweet! we quickly parked and walked right into the very close entrance. we were greeted by a few  staff members, asked to sign in, and given visitor passes to wear. then a kind lady led us through the building up to where the exhibit was.

we were then greeted again by staff members at the entrance and given additional information on event and were told to enjoy and have fun!

the entrance was so cool! video screens lined the walk way and it felt like we were walking through an enchanted forrest with butterflies fluttering all around us!

once inside, the rooms were outstanding! everything was informative, interactive, and so beautifully designed! the girls immediately gravitated towards everything in there! olive was obsessed with the immersive chambers and they both were so delighted and intrigued by all the different displays of bugs!

i was pleasantly surprised by ellie! i was nervous she wouldn’t have great time because she is terrified of bugs! i was reassured by a field affiliate that she would indeed have a good time and not be scared and she was right! the whole space is so colorful, bright, and fun…ellie was not bothered by the bugs and didn’t seem to care. what i loved most was i knew she felt safe, so therefor she wasn’t scared! she was so brave the entire time and i can’t believe she came so close to the live bugs at the bug zoo! she was closer to the live bugs than olive cared to get!

we explored the whole exhibit and loved all the rooms. olive loved the praying mantis chamber, all the games, and i think her favorite bug was the swimming/diving beetles! i loved how wonderfully designed it all was. the details, the thought process behind each area, and how creative the space was for the children.

i have to add that the gift bag was bugtastic! they were so thoughtful and generous in giving us such a wonderful treat when we left the exhibit! it was filled with sooooooo many goodies for the girls {lots of toys} and mama {pampering products}!

we even ran into a few other blogger friends at the event! the afternoon turned out so fun for us! after our visit at the fantastic bug encounter, we headed down to south michigan ave to find a place to eat. it was so sunny and warm but once we parked the car, it became dark and the sky opened up! the rain poured down as we waited outside the building under an awning by the el. the girls had a blast standing outside while it rained all around us. watching them giggle, be silly, and laugh endlessly filled my heart with so much joy.

after dinner, we stopped by another eatery and purchased ice cream shakes for the girls. they sipped their sweet treats while we walked back to the car. while on route, as were about to cross the street, i think i knocked ellie’s shake out of her hand trying to guide her and it fell to the ground! ughhhhh! i quickly picked it up and salvaged it! LOL the straw never touched the ground and the shake was still in tact although half of it spilt out. yes, i was that mom who pulled the 5 second rule, even on the dirty streets of chicago. hahahahaha!

our afternoon was beautiful. i thoroughly enjoyed our day together as a family. it’s been awhile where we have spent it in the city on our terms…not just running from one event to the next, driving in traffic just to get somewhere but it was more so a slow moving day, where we enjoyed our time and we weren’t strapped to a timeline or an outside agenda!

thank you field museum for being such a consummate host. the whole experience was top notch and we had the most lovely day!

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[ready to explore!]

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[these girls have my whole heart]

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[i post multiple pics because ellie’s faces are too cute!]

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[sweet kisses for ellie]

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[praying mantis]

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[the very cool immersive chambers were outstanding!]

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[everything was so interactive! so hands on]

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[checking out the bug zoo…the girls did not hold the bugs but they were much closer to them than what i expected!]

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[millipede]

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[she was so mesmerized by the associate who was feeding the ‘swimming beetles’]

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[origami a bird and watch it fly!]

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[oh my sweet babes! they had such a great time at the museum]

xoxo

rotary fest {aka…heritage fest}

come summer, come festivals. oh, it’s one of my favorite things about summertime!

what wasn’t a favorite was the cold, cold temps! ughhhhhh. it was so chilly the evening we chose to go. for me, a jacket wasn’t even warm enough while standing outside for hours. i saw people in short shorts, tank tops and sandals and here i was in layers, long pants, and i was super cold!

we met up with lan, avery, thuy, kim and the boys. olive and ellie were so excited to see their cousins! ellie was all about holding my hand leading up to us meeting them. as soon as she saw the boys, she wanted to be a big girl and refused to hold my hand. LOL she did her best to keep and be cool. oh my two year, going on twelve.

the kids were living their best lives – playing games, having fun, winning prizes. us adults just walked around with the kiddos as they picked what games they wanted to play. the girls were having a great time! the best part of the fest was when the boys and olive rode on the bumper cars. hc went with olive and she had a blast! giggling, laughing, and hc was a pro steering the bumper car and smoked everyone in there.

after a couple hours there, we had made dinner reservations at a restaurant right downtown, just a few minutes away from where we were. we walked right over and enjoyed the rest of our evening in the comfort of warmth.

if the weather was better, we probably would have eaten some yummy festival food and sat on the sidewalk but we wanted to be comfortable {not freezing our tushies} while we ate our dinner.

despite the cold weather, we still had a wonderful evening out at the festival. what was most important was that the kids had a blast, memories were made, and we, in the end, still ate yummy food!

yay for summer!

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[olive said, “kiki! kiki! look…a big lemon!]

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[everything is so bright and over the top!]

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[we chose and only had time to go to the fest friday night and of course it was freeeeeeezing. the next day was super warm. go figure]

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[so many plushies, so excessive!]

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[pop a balloon and win a prize!]

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[i told ellie to look at me]

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[then i said, “look at reagan”. look at her adoring stare]

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[my sweet babe]

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[i love her sweet looks]

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[our crew]

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[oh these two]

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[this girl and her poses]

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[girl gang]

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[everybody wins!]

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[dada helping ellie out]

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[did you win ellie?]

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[their prizes…pink unicorns!]

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[toss the rings]

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[i’m not sure how long he was able to hang in there for]

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[i think thuy got to 75 seconds!]

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xoxo