ravenswood brunch

it had been awhile since i had seen andrea and her family! we finally made concrete plans on the calendar and stuck to it! the fam and i drove to ravenswood to meet up with them for brunch at local irish pub near their abode.

we arrived early {yay! it’s always a win when we do cause usually we are late. #familylife} and waited in a quiet corner of the restaurant while the girls colored away with the paper and crayons that were given to them. jamie and andrea arrived a bit later with their two nuggets in tow.

it’s always so good to see them! i was delighted when they arrived. i’m sure a lot of you understand that energy and vibe you get seeing good friends after a long gap. andrea and i have been friends for quite awhile but we don’t get together very often now that i don’t live close by. add in kids, work, life, etc…it’s too far too much time in-between visits but it always feels just as good and routine when we do meet up.

the girls played together – annabelle brought her entourage of MLP and both my girls were excited to play with them too! ellie, per usual, was attached to me and insisted on sitting on my lap almost the entire time. i can only get her to bug her dada if i trick her into it but it’s usually rare that she chooses to be in his arms over mine! hahaha!

we ate, we drank mimosas and bloody mary’s {i have no idea what beverages the men consumed but i’m sure they were tasty!}, and chatted away about life. after an hour or so, andrea and jamie needed to head out – annabelle had a birthday party to attend. we said our goodbyes and gave our warm hugs before heading out in the major snow!! oh, it was so pretty when we walked outside! the fluffy snow was falling all around and covered the ground!

i must be the only person living in chicago that absolutely loves the snow. it’s been hitting us hard core this winter and i don’t mind one bit. it’s such a joy, so pretty, and i don’t mind driving in it. i prefer to not drive in it but i don’t mind.

well, i hope it’s not too long in-between our next visit with this wonderful family! it was so good seeing you, andrea, and your beautiful family!

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[mean mugging before heading into the restaurant]

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[she’s so wild and fun]

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[working diligently on her artwork]

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[selfie]

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[andrea and sebastian]

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[sweet annabelle and olive]

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[chunker]

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xoxo

valentine’s day ’19

i was quite excited for valentine’s day! we had a fun filled day planned out and although it was the only day that was warm that week {50 degrees amongst the 20 degree other days}, we were pretty much spending the day indoors. our morning started with olive’s parent teacher conference {the teacher had such great things to say about olive!} and we cruised back home to cook a late breakfast and surprise the gals with valentine’s day gifts!

after a delicious heart shaped pancake, bacon, and hash brown meal, we just went about our day finishing up cleaning, the girls played with their new trinkets, and getting random errands done.

as the day wore on, thuy stopped by to spend the afternoon and evening with us, i started to set up the girl’s dessert table for some festive treats. we then decided it was time to start dinner, so while hc prepped the pizza dough, sauce, and cheese, olive cut out the heart shaped pepperonis! she also helped place all the pieces onto the pie before it went into the oven.

dinner was savory {the pizza was sooooooo good hc and olive!] and desserts were even sweeter! soon our day was coming to an end. it started out so great with wonderful feedback for olive at school, hc whipped up a decadent heart themed breakfast, we had fun shooting cute pics for the kiddie dessert table for two, and creating heart shaped pizzas for dinner! it was such a relaxing, slow, peaceful all day celebration. i couldn’t have asked for a better way to spend valentine’s day! it was perfection!

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[i gave these pink pails filled with goodies to the girls for valentine’s day]

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[they were loving their surprises]

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[she’s so sweet]

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[she loved her gift!]

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[she loved the magic marker]

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[yummy heart pancakes, and bacon and hash browns, for breakfast]

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[i had so much fun setting this up for the kids!]

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[sweet vanilla cupcakes for the girls]

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[my favorite]

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[pink milk]

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[that face of should i touch the frosting or not?!]

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[mmmm, got it!]

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[delicious raspberry bars…my favorite!]

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[she was throughly enjoying the frosting]

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* *** *** *** *

H E A R T  S H A P E D  P I Z Z A

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[olive cutting heart shaped pepperoni’s]

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[she’s like POW, heart shaped pepperoni…booyahhh! hahaha!]

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[now for the toppings! we made cheese, pepperoni, bacon, and mushrooms]

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[hc hard at work! always the consummate cook]

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[it’s done!]

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[ellie checking out my sister’s phone. you’ll love the next pic!]

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[a picture with the pizza and ellie showing us a picture of the pizza! LOL]

xoxo

pink heart milkshake

in celebration of valentine’s day, i decided to make olive a fun festive milkshake!

i’ve seen on instagram, the web, etc. these really cool looking crazy extra adorned milkshakes and i wanted to attempt one myself. i was inspired by a few pictures, focused around love day. so, off to the store i went to gather all the goodies!

i bought vanilla ice cream {you can buy strawberry flavored ice cream to get the pink look – i used two drops of food coloring to achieve the desired color}, spray can whipped cream, sprinkled soft cookies, heart marshmallows, festive sugar cake decoration candies {we bought x’s and o’s}, conversation hearts, doughnuts, and heart sprinkles {or valentine’s day themed sprinkles}. oh, don’t forget a festive pink, red, or heart straw! aaaaand some powered sugar and a lollipop stick for the doughnuts…more on that in a bit.

i poured 2-3 cups of milk into a blender, added a few scoops of ice cream {it really depends on how many people you are feeding and the consistency/thickness you want your shake to be!}, two drops of red food coloring, and blended it smooth.

for the doughnuts, i make an icing out of powered sugar and water. i used several tablespoons of the sugar and a teaspoon of water. mix and add until it’s thick and paste like. i dipped the doughnut {this was olive’s favorite part} in the icing and olive sprinkled each one with the hearts!

i did prep my garnishes before i made the shake but {tip} you can also store the blender container in the freezer until you are ready to pour! i used a hobnob glass {i love the vintage look of it} and once the shake was poured, i sprayed A LOT of whipped cream {you need a lot ’cause one – it settles quickly and two – you need it to hold your flair!

once the whipped cream was sprayed, i added the cookie, threw on a couple marshmallows, strategically added in the x and o’s, conversation hearts, and placed the stick with the doughnuts into the milkshake. i stuck in the straw and voila!!! a super extra cute festive milkshake!

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[she was soooo excited!]

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[she’s too cute]

xoxo

classmate cards

i recycled the idea we had last year, for olive’s valentine’s day cards again for this year. i absolutely loved making her cards last year {she loved it too!} but i am fond of the idea of capturing her personality and growth each year with the same type of card. i think it’d be fun to make one each year until she outgrows it!

i gathered all the components that we wanted to assemble the valentine’s bags for her classmates. a maze sheet, slime, valentine’s day card, holiday stickers, festive bandages, and ring pops; we purchased it all at target {our favorite place!}. olive placed all the goodies inside each bag, sealed it with a sticker and adorned it with a crafty heart.

she specifically wanted to cover the clear heart on the bag with the paper heart so her classmates didn’t peek into the bag of goodies and spoil the surprise! i love her thinking! she graciously made 18 bags so patiently and loved it to the very end. although, near the end, we tag teamed the sealing of the bags to be faster!

this whole over the top valentine’s day gifting is sooooo me. i am super happy olive enjoys it too but i loved this kind of stuff as a child and didn’t have the means to really create such things and i love that i can do it now. i am hoping olive grows up to love it too! maybe she will, maybe she won’t but i know that she definitely doesn’t have to do it because i am crazy about it!

happy valentine’s day week!

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[treat bags]

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[she’s such a sweetheart]

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[all the goodies]

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[assembling her bags for her friends]

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[band aids…cause every kid loves bandages!]

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[olive loves puzzles and mazes]

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[creating her valentine’s day card]

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[yummy earth pops and olive]

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[she cracks me up!]

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[olive’s hard work looks so good!]

xoxo

dg brunch

we’re big fans {or at least i am} of having brunch in the city. the ‘burbs just don’t do much for me. there are several places out here in la grange, hinsdale, etc. that are aestetically pleasing and offer great entrées but the overall vibe leaves much to be desired. or is it all in my head?! haha!

most of my friends pretty much all live in the city. yes, my immediate family is in the ‘burbs and i have a few friends out here as well {in different towns} but the friends i hang out on a regular basis status live in good old chi-town.

so, we usually take turns and rotate our meeting destination. whether they come to our house or we go to their area, we usually end up going to the city because we prefer it. i feel pretty fortunate that my friends do offer the rotation split…it’s always thoughtful!

well this time around, we were going to host our friends olivia and aaron at our house. when it came down to it, hc didn’t feel like cooking because he was preparing something for the Super Bowl that evening and he didn’t want to be cooking all day. so, we decided to meet our friends in our local downtown area.

we really enjoy this place, called pierce tavern. it’s ‘new’, it opened late last year and we love the vibe, cocktails, and food! we decided it was our place to meet and overall, had a great time hanging out with these two beautiful people. the girls were so well behaved and we were all able to catch up with very little chaos that usually surrounds young children. LOL.

cheers to good local places to hang and to even better friends to hang out with!

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[me and olivia]

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[the best things for little kids – crayons and paper]

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[i’ll miss those chubby cheeks when they’re gone]

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[ellie’s incredible 2 moves on dada]

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[my go to drink on sunday’s]

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[my loves]

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[apparently aaron is the star focus of this pic. hahaha!]

xoxo

valentine’s day cards ’19

olive and i made her annual friends and family valentine’s day cards the other week!

we started this when she was three? gosh, i can’t remember {i guess i should reference my blog to find out…hahaha!}. prior years, olive used to paint paper hearts and adorn them with stickers but this year, i decided to buy pre-made cards and have olive decorate them and sign her name {which she loves to do!}.

ellie joined in on the fun by coloring on her own as olive went to work fancying up her valentine’s day cards. olive is such a trooper. seriously. i am amazed by her discipline and tenacious ways. she listens, she works hard at her projects, and doesn’t complain. we had 18 cards to complete and she did each one with joy and ease. only near the end did she says, “kiki, my body is getting tired!” oh, she’s too cute! i told her she only had three more cards and she was done! she happily finished them and was so proud of her results! i love that she’s so honest, real, and dedicated to what she is doing. whether she does it for herself or for me, i am amazed that she does it with selflessness and love.

we wrapped up our project and the girls happily ran off to play. we added an extra valentine’s day sticker card inside {attached with festive washi tape of course!} and i finished her crafty cards with a bit of calligraphy, a pretty stamp, and more envelope flair.

we sent them out through snail mail and can’t wait for our friends and family to receive a little bit of extra love in their day!

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[she’s oh so sweet]

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[the supplies]

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[she’s so creative! i love the way she signs her name]

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[creating together]

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[i mean, seriously, how cute is this?!]

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[my doll baby]

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[hard at work]

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[decorating]

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[sister love]

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[peek a booooo!]

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[she always poses like this and it melts my heart]

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[oh kiki, i’m so bored. hahahaha!]

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[really olive?]

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[the final product!]

xoxo