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.

first birthday party

so it begins.

olive was invited to a classmate’s birthday party. her very first birthday party ever! i was so excited over this and so was olive! it’s funny how special it is for me in a mommy sort of way and fun for her because she’ll be with her friends from school!

it was a very cold afternoon and the party was being held at olive’s gymnastics building, how easy and convenient! i had NO idea they hosted parties there! once inside, i signed a waiver and we ran downstairs to be greeted by gwen and george, sam’s parents. all the kids were already on one side of the building, playing with the parachute! i walked olive in, sam saw her and called her over to her. olive happily ran over to sam and joined in on the festivities.

hosting a party there is great! the instructors take care of everything. they are like the pied pipers. they lead the kids all around the gym, engaging them in fun activities, they serve the food, they divvy up the treats, direct the kids, and complete the clean up! how sweet is that? you bring the food, decor, and whatever else and they lead the event for you!

olive had such a great time! she loves playing with her friend sam…she told me that she is the one she plays with most at school. how sweet!

i didn’t take a bunch of pics as the kids were constantly in a different room from the parents plus, i always veer away from that when it involves other people’s kids.

olive’s first friend birthday party was a success! she loved all the activities, the food {she tried carrots for the ‘first’ time and like it!}, she loved the pink frosted cupcake treat, and was so excited over the purple {her favorite color} treat bag she received!

happy birthday sam and cheers to many more birthday parties to come!

via tandeminlove.com

[olive eating carrots for the ‘first’ time and she didn’t choke! she actually liked it. duh!]

via tandeminlove.com

[the cute favor bags her friend, sam, decorated]

via tandeminlove.com

[the kids gathered around the instructor for favors and it’s so funny how close they got to her!]

via tandeminlove.com

[with her good friend and birthday girl, sam. it was too cute, sam ran over to olive and gave her a big hug goodbye!]

xoxo

birthday snowstorm

hbd to my sister thuy!

my sister kim planned a birthday dinner for thuy but an incoming snowstorm {an expected 8 inches of snow in some areas} derailed our plans for the city and we also ended up switching days too. the snowstorm was suppose to start on friday evening and go super strong throughout the night and into saturday morning, so we changed our dinner plans to friday evening instead. we diverted our eatery of choice to a local restaurant called cadence.

our reservations were later that evening but the snow didn’t start until 10-11pm; the weather folks predicted the snow to start around 3pm, then 6pm, then 9pm…hahaha! so, we were in a good place from a driving perspective.

i’ve never been to this restaurant and the decor was pretty cool – a modern woodsy feel and the our server was super friendly and prompt. we ordered drinks right away and perused the menu on suggestions to help guide us on what we were going to order. we got a bunch of yummy shared appetizers and i ordered the salmon which was soooooo good! i throughly enjoyed everything we ate!

what was so fun too, was that throughout our dinner, random employees at the restaurant would come up to thuy and wish her a happy birthday! that was so cute and nice! what a great way to make someone who’s celebrating an occasion feel special! they even brought out a polaroid camera and snapped a group picture of us and printed a few copies for the gals! i loved that!

i had brought a cake with a topper and sparkler candles to surprise thuy! i told our waitress that if she couldn’t light the sparklers, i brought regular candles instead. after our entrees, she brought out the cake with the sparkler candles lit!! it was so fun to see and experience!

the snow started to come down furiously and the ground and cars were becoming blanketed in white. we wrapped up our delicious dinner and headed on our merry way in the beautiful snowstorm.

it was a fun, warm, wonderful evening celebrating thuy! cheers to many more wonderful birthday celebrations sis!

via tandeminlove.com

[a fun night for me and hc]

via tandeminlove.com

[this was really, really good]

via tandeminlove.com

[birthday shots courtesy of the restaurant]

via tandeminlove.com

[birthday girl]

via tandeminlove.com

[happy 21st birthday!]

via tandeminlove.com

[a signed card from the staff and polaroid pic!]

via tandeminlove.com

xoxo

valentine’s day books

a few of you asked about our collection of valentine’s day books, so here they are! everything is linked and easy to shop for!

reading is an essential part of our day. i’ll read to olive randomly during the day but we are consistent every night. olive always picks out a book for me to read before bedtime. we first practice letters, words, spelling and such on the cover before i open up the book to read the story.

i believe in teaching and olive learning all day, everyday. i think reinforcing any type of teaching and learning is critical for any parent to do with their kids. it helps them become better at processing problems and propels them to be a bit ahead of the game!

i love decorating for each holiday and creating memories and excitement with my girls. olive becomes so joyful when she sees all the decor and lights up in our house! i think it makes their childhood a little bit extra special, well, at least i hope so!

so here are all the books we currently have. to shop, just click on the book title and it will take you directly to the site to buy! i am addicted to always adding to our slew of literature. books are pretty. books are fun. books are for everyone! {uhhhh i just make that cheesy rhyme up…my apologies!} aaaaaaaand if you have and love a book that we don’t have, i would love for you to leave a comment on what it is! i love adding to our stack!

happy shopping my friends!

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

[plant a kiss]

via tandeminlove.com

[olivia and the perfect valentine]

via tandeminlove.com

[love is a tutu]

via tandeminlove.com

[words and your heart]

via tandeminlove.com

[when an elephant falls in love]

via tandeminlove.com

[love]

via tandeminlove.com

[love is]

via tandeminlove.com

[love is a truck]

via tandeminlove.com

[olive my love]

via tandeminlove.com

[pink umbrella]

xoxo

happy brunch

gosh. life. i think we…ok, i think i seriously have fomo. or fonde {fear of not doing enough} or fonda {fear of not doing anything} or for {fear of relaxing}. whatever it is…i cram wayyyyyyy too much into my calendar and i’m alllllllllllways busy. don’t get me wrong. i looooooooove to do nothing at times. it is so needed. i love to sit on the couch and not have to clean. do laundry. get something for the girls. make food. take a shower {where are my moms who understand me?!}. yes. there are moments where i just like to sit and do nothing but that is very rare.

but i always have something going on.

let me clarify something else. i might complain a bit that i am so busy but i love it more. i love being with my family. i love being with my friends. i love just being me. and part of that is to be social.

so a brunch date was in order with our friends dana and scott. it had been months since we have seen them. i’ve seen dana but we haven’t been able to get all of us together but today was the day!

we settled on a date. we lassoed everyone in and voila! we had everyone going to brunch! we met at the rookery and it was an awkward beginning. the server seemed disappointed there weren’t 7 adults but 4 adults and three kids. she wasn’t friendly at first and seemed rather annoyed with us and our kids {we made a reservation, in which we were asked several times by a few employees if we did. yesssss, we did! and besides that…the restaurant was empty}.

as time went by, she started to warm up to us but we honestly didn’t care or more so notice. we were thoroughly enjoying our time together with our friends. abe was soooooo darn cute, chunky, and so freakin’ laid back. oh, he was so squishy and adorable.

we caught up with each other, consumed delicious libations, adored each other’s kids, and ate yummy food. we just chilled. the restaurant wasn’t busy or packed and it was the perfect environment for us to just relax. the kids were in good spirits and the drinks were in full supply – encouraging us to stay and chat. we were there for a solid two hours before dana and scott had to run out. if dana didn’t have to get on a call, we probably would have sat there for, at least, another half hour!

it was so good to see them! goodness i love them! they are such a good couple and such a beautiful family! cheers to fabulous friends in your life!

via tandeminlove.com

[is he not just the cuuuuuuuutest?!!! he’s such a sweet babe!]

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

[he’s so sweet]

via tandeminlove.com

[i completely didn’t take a pic of olive. at all. wahhhhh]

via tandeminlove.com

[holding tight to baby jack jack]

via tandeminlove.com

[kicking it]

via tandeminlove.com

[the boys]

via tandeminlove.com

xoxo

nye ’18

hello 2019!

hc was at work and i was at home with the kiddos. i had done a lot of my prep work the days prior – grabbing drinks, food, accessories, ordering balloons, buying decor, etc. i knew i had to get it done before monday because i knew monday was going to be jam packed full of nothing! haha!

our day started out slow. we woke up late and hit up the grocery store for some last minute items. the girls were too adorable shopping with me. ellie insisted on sitting in the cart and olive wanted to grab the mini red shopping cart and help me shop! it then ended up with ellie wanting down and helping olive push the cart around the store and filling it with goodies! it was sooooooo cute!

once we got home…it was already early afternoon! i started prepping some things but before i knew it, it was ellie’s nap time. i put the, getting sick, little babe down, right then thuy was knocking on the door. she wanted to come over early and bake cupcakes at the house for the kids. olive was quite excited to help thuy bake! she loves to help in the kitchen. she helped mix and decorate them and she definitely had a fun time!

hc came home early and was surprised i hadn’t finished decorating! ha! like i said, it was a slow morning and afternoon. i started my hustle and got everything dunzo by 5pm, got myself ready, and continued to do the final touches in the house – lighting candles, turning on mood lighting, hc started a fire, and then i started to put together my cheese plate.

i also created a champagne bar! i collected veuve cliquot, moët et chandon, la marca prosecco to make fun cocktails! i had raspberry sorbet, sugar cubes, mint, limes, lemons, berries, bitters, and rock candy sticks for an endless combo of tasty beverages!

everyone slowly trickled in around 6/7pm and kim started cooking her dinner for the night. she decided to make a shrimp diavolo, arugula salad, and pull apart garlic bread. yuuuuummmmmmm. dinner was ready by 8:30pm, which was perfect for new year’s eve! eating late, serving dessert late, and then counting down the new york’s new year is how we roll!

this year was just family and it was perfect! although we were missing our usual suspects – you know who you are! our evening consisted of eating well, drinking delicious libations, and cheered to the new year together!

2019 – don’t disappoint us, you’ve got some heavy competition!

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

[olive helping thuy make cupcakes for dessert]

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

[thuy’s diy cupcake toppers]

via tandeminlove.com

[so proud of her work!]

via tandeminlove.com

[kids table]

via tandeminlove.com

[boxes of goodies – hats, poppers, candies, glow sticks, and noise makers]

via tandeminlove.com

[our go to app when hosting]

via tandeminlove.com

[oh, my poor ellie was sick]

via tandeminlove.com

[adult table]

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

[kim and terry]

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

[champagne bar – create your own cocktail]

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

[my poor under the weather ellie]

via tandeminlove.com

[the goodies]

via tandeminlove.com

[the cutie pies]

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

[my bat girl…she really wanted to wear this!]via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

[terry, bennett, reagan, and kim]

via tandeminlove.com

[desserts!]

via tandeminlove.com

[super aunty thuy with her kids and pouty olive]

via tandeminlove.com

[happy new year!]

via tandeminlove.com

[diiiiiiiiiiva]

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

xoxo

friends

my girlfriend from seattle came into town for the holidays with her family. we don’t get to see them often since they moved away, so it’s a wonderful event when they come here and we get to visit with them! we hosted them and two other close friends at our abode.

the evening was casual…it was the day before new year’s eve {we were hosting a party for our friends and family the next night}, so we wanted to keep it simple and fun. costco catered and we relaxed…ha!

everyone trickled in around 4pm and all we did was talk and the kids had fun. although, jaime’s babe, liam, was odd man out, being {almost} the only boy there!!! pam didn’t bring her two boys and travis is much older, so poor liam was on his own! plus, with us having two girls…we only had ‘girly’ toys and he was not interested!

ted and rich continued their bromance while us gals caught up on life. we served apps and threw dinner in the oven. hc was the responsible one for picking up the entrees at costco and we ended up having pasta, pasta, and more pasta!!! hahaha! no matter…they were all delicious choices and i am always game for some major carbs!

slowly throughout the evening, the ladies trickled out and carol and ted stuck around. before we knew it…i think it was almost 11pm!!!!!! oh, the past two weeks have been such laaaaaate nights for the girls. they have been going to bed sooooo late!

it’s always so good to see them, everyone! carol and i have been friends for 34 years!!!! cray, non?! this holiday season has been so special and moments like this make is just a little bit more extra.

via tandeminlove.com

[pam, carol, and leighton]

via tandeminlove.com

[pampers, carol, me, jaime, and leighton]

via tandeminlove.com

[ohmergawd…i’m dyyyying. this is so cute!]

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

[the peeps]

xoxo

christmas day

i was looking forward to christmas morning. this year, olive was fully engaged in it. 1-3 years of age, she didn’t care. 4 she sparked interest and age 5, she was full blown into it! she’s been so thoughtful, opinionated, detailed, and just so funny with her ideas, comments, and conversations. i’m sooooo loving this age!

we don’t wrap santa gifts {hello, it’s so much easier and they know those are his gifts versus ours that are wrapped} and olive walked out from her room with the most sheepish, excited look on her face! she was gleeful to see that she received all the gifts she asked santa for!

we waited for ellie to awake before we opened up the gifts from us. we wanted to do that with ellie but having such a late night on christmas eve, ellie was wiped out and slept in late. so, we cooked breakfast and hung out until we heard her stir. we all then went back to the tree and the girls opened up the gifts from us to them! ellie’s most favorite toy was the cash register from santa!!!! she looooved it and still does!

hc and i then got crackin’ on our preparations for christmas dinner. we had his side of the family coming over at 3pm and we needed to decorate and start the food. the good news was, everyone was bringing something. whether it was apps or side dishes, it was fantastic to have bits and pieces of the meal being brought over by someone else, so the burden wasn’t completely on us!

this is our second year hosting christmas. it was passed on to us after the aunts and uncles discussed how they were getting old and tired and needed the kids to carry on the tradition. this year, we had 27 or so people at our house. holy cow! {i hardly took any pics!} let me tell you…our entertaining space is quite small, so that’s a lot of people crammed together.

nonetheless, it was wonderful, merry, and full of love – everyone made do and i think we fret over our small space more than anyone else. our evening was filled with great conversations, joy, and merriment – exactly how christmas should be spent with family!

via tandeminlove.com

[my sweet girl]

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

[she looooooves bath bombs!]

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

[so in love]

via tandeminlove.com

[rudolph the red nosed reindeer]

via tandeminlove.com

[surprising, ellie was not into presents this year, although it may seem like she was through these pics]

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

[her most favorite toy from santa – a cash register]

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

[ellie, it’s a scanner…not a phone. hahaha!]

via tandeminlove.com

[my sweet girl]

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

[rich’s side of family]

via tandeminlove.com

[christmas dinner tablescape]

via tandeminlove.com

[jane and aunt vicki]

via tandeminlove.com

xoxo

christmas eve ’18

christmas eve. it’s such a special evening. i get so excited leading up to this day. the magic, the love, the merriment. there is something so wonderful about spending this evening together as a family. maybe it’s the hustle and bustle that envelopes you. maybe it’s because everyone is in a good mood. maybe it’s the sound of christmas music and strangers saying merry christmas to you. maybe it’s the joy and smiles that exude from your children filled with anticipation of candy, toys, and a visit from santa. maybe it’s the smell of a delicious dinner waiting to be served. maybe it’s the wine kicking in. hahaha!

whatever it is, it’s truly the most wonderful time of the year. we spend christmas eve at my parent’s house annually and i love the coziness of it all. the kids have fun darting all around and playing. our family members ebb and flow to different parts of the house to socialize and immerse themselves in random conversations and activities.

once dinner is ready, we all take our seats and my dad says grace. this year, we had mom’s crab soup, tenderloin, sautéed mushrooms, corn, mashed potatoes, {i’m sure i am forgetting something} and agata brought her homemade cabbage pirogies sprinkled with chopped bacon!!! her dish was the highlight and hit of the night! it was sooooooo flippin’ good!

after dinner and clean up, we served desserts and then we all changed into our christmas pj’s and posed for our family photo. a tradition running, maybe, ten years strong…or close to that! once that was done, the kids became super excited because we started our gift exchange. it’s soooo delightful to watch their excitement and joy!

oh gosh, the girls are so fortunate to get so much!!!! the gifts kept rolling in for the kids. ellie was a bit fussy and was not into opening gifts but olive on the other hand – she was a pro! oh my, it was such a long and lovely night. after each gift was opened and desserts were consumed, we had to get home. it was almost midnight!!! so late for the little buggers. plus, santa was coming soon!

what a perfect and wonderful christmas eve. we are feeling so grateful for everything – life, love, health, family, and friends.

via tandeminlove.com

[bûche de nöel]

via tandeminlove.com

[tashina and huy]

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

[olive is sooooooo extraaaaaaa. aren’t they the cutest cousins?!]

via tandeminlove.com

[she’s so sassy, sweet, and thugalicious]

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

[ellie loves dogs]

via tandeminlove.com

[how sweet is nutmeg and ellie?]

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

[our sweet family]

via tandeminlove.com

[christmas is for chillin’ with the fam]

via tandeminlove.com

[kim’s table centerpiece]

via tandeminlove.com

[kids table]

via tandeminlove.com

[plaid anyone?]

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

[hamming it up]

via tandeminlove.com

[ellieeeeee, she was hugging reagan so tight and making the funniest faces!]

via tandeminlove.com

[thuy and mom]

via tandeminlove.com

[how sweet is this?!]

via tandeminlove.com

[y’all. i can’t even with olive’s faces. hahhaa!]

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

[i had to post them all because she’s so cute!]

via tandeminlove.com

[christmas pj’s]

via tandeminlove.com

[the doan zone]

via tandeminlove.com

[there goes olive again with the cute expressions]

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

xoxo

nutcracker

last year, i really wanted to take olive to the nutcracker. tickets, or at least the tickets i wanted to buy, were quite expensive and after i discussed it with hc, we decided that olive being another year older was the best time to take her.

well, this was the year and i reconnected with hc about it and he gave us the green light. i researched tickets and read reviews that balcony front center were the best seats. so, i purchased front row and i was so excited to surprise olive!

i told her we were going to the ballet but i don’t think she fully understood what i meant. on the way to chicago, i played the story of the nutcracker on the radio for her to hear the storyline and have an idea what it was about, on our way there. we were in heavy traffic and olive fell asleep after listening to the story a few times. i parked and rustled her up…she woke up so sweetly.

i wanted to take her out to dinner {i really wanted to take her to the gage, but we were running out of time}, so we ate at corner bakery instead. one, olive wanted to walk and she was walking so cute and slow. two…the gage was another 1.5 blocks away and that was valuable time and since we were short on time, i decided to eat at the latter.

she was soooooo excited over her outfit. it was too adorable to watch her so delighted with it. when we arrived at the theatre, everyone – everyone ohhhhh’d and ahhhhh’d over her ensemble! i asked her to pose in front of the poster easel and without batting an eyelash, she walked up to the sign and struck a pose! she literally stopped traffic! she was too cute, there were times when people told her that she was so cute, she would curtsy or pose and say thank you! hahaha! what a ham!

olive was so mesmerized with the dancing. her favorite dancers were the sugar plum fairies. during the performance, she got up from her seat and did her best to emulate the dancers. it was soooooooo heart melting to see her so enthralled with the beauty of it. i let her dance around a bit but ended up pulling her back to her seat in fear that she’d fall over the edge!

speaking of that, since we were front row center balcony, we were literally on the edge. the only thing that separated us to the floor below was a wall that was barely knee high. that FREAKED me out. i am so afraid of heights and i was having a hard time with it…hiding my fear as much as i could from olive. she found it funny but i was so nervous!!! so with her dancing so close the edge, i could only bear a few minutes of it without pulling her back!

during intermission, i took olive to the washroom and a women inside asked if olive was a part of the show {the women was dead serious}!!! haha! no but that was so cute. i got olive a pop and myself a prosecco and we moseyed back to our seats and finished out the show.

it was such a magical, amazing time. i had the best time taking olive to the nutcracker and i knows she had a memorable time! i must admit…i did cry a few times because it was so emotional for me. cheers to wonderful memories together!

via tandeminlove.com

[i hastily got ready…i wished i wore something different but i was running out of time. despite the facial expression…she was really excited!]

[i hastily got ready...i wished i wore something different but i was running out of time]

[such a ham!]

via tandeminlove.com

[this. she is soooooo sweet. just waiting patiently for her food and looking at the christmas decor]

via tandeminlove.com

[i love her sooooooo much it hurts]

via tandeminlove.com

[i was so happy her costume from last year still fit!]

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

[she absolutely loved her outfit that night]

via tandeminlove.com

[i was dyyyyyyying. i asked her if she could pose in front of this sign…without blinking, she walked right up and posed. i loooooooooooove her!! she literally stopped traffic!]

via tandeminlove.com

[selfies!]

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

xoxo

splash magazine party

one of my ‘gram friends, jen, invited me to a magazine party in honor of her being on the cover with two other cool ladies from chicago. i was game but hc was not but my go to party friend, olivia was in and i was set! i debated on going, initially, because it was a night my girls had gymnastics {i love taking them}, it was a tuesday night, and it was so close to christmas and my to do list always feels like a mile long BUT i thought, damn it thu…just do it. freakin’ nike ad but yes, it’s my motto. it’s the only way i get shit done around here…hahaha!

i got ready {it felt like it took me forever to gather all my things!} and headed out the door into some heavy traffic. olivia and i decided to meet there and go in together. i picked her up at a café nearby and we found a sweet parking spot! we arrived at our destination and the party was in full swing. jen greeted us and olivia and i nabbed two glasses of rosé right away and in usual fashion, gabbed with each other non-stop. i love her! i love that my closest friends and i can talk endlessly, now that is true friendship!

well, we mingled a bit with my other ‘gram friends, ate apps, and eventually the dance floor got wild! we had so much fun! i loved connecting with and meeting new peeps doing the same thing! olivia and i were tearing up the dance floor with the other babes and we stayed so much longer than anticipated!

overall, it was a night out that was so needed! i had such a great time with olivia and all the other ladies! cheers to all the ladies who blog and, typically, not taken seriously but we definitely know how to party! haha!

via tandeminlove.com

[i love snapchat and olivia]

via tandeminlove.com

[oh you know, just chillin’ on the couch and throwing my new gucci bag on the floor…don’t look at this hc!]

via tandeminlove.com

[the guest of honor, jen!]

via tandeminlove.com

[‘gram friends kristen and carla]

via tandeminlove.com

[‘gram friend amanda]

via tandeminlove.com

[rosé all day]

via tandeminlove.com

xoxo