st. patty’s day ’19

oh st. patrick’s day. i neither love nor hate it. i just never really celebrated it but since having kids, it gives me a great excuse to get festive!

we started our morning with green lucky charm pancakes, whipped cream, bacon, and green milk {hc cooked us mexican inspired breakfast}. the girls loved it! they ate more whipped cream and marshmallows than anything else! we’re so lucky hc loves to cook and do special things like this for the girls and us!

before breakfast commenced, hc prepped all the ingredients for our corned beef and cabbage meal. he threw it all into the slow cooker and we waited! i love this meal…or really i loooooooove cabbage! yes, it’s so good! it could eat cabbage allll the time!

after breakfast, cleaning up, and getting the girl all jazzed up, we dropped them off at my sister’s place and hc and i took off for a day date! he had scheduled a couple’s massage for us at a place in naperville. i’m always anxious about trying new places in the ‘burbs cause it’s honestly hit or miss and i find it’s mostly miss. eep!

well, this place was nice! i really enjoyed it. it was new, clean, and everyone was friendly and kind. that’s always a plus cause nowadays i feel like you walk into a business and no one cares. wtf?? anyhoo, the receptionist was so friendly, my masseuse bernice was very helpful, nice, and really spent her time listening to me and suggested ways to help me improve my posture so my back doesn’t get so tight and cramped up! the experience was so good! as it should be! oh i felt like butter afterwards!

in honor of st. patty’s day, olive and i also made rainbow cupcakes! i have to tell you, she did such a great job!! she really did! she put the ingredients into the bowl, used the mixer to smooth out the batter, separated the cupcake liners into the pan, mixed the food coloring into the separated batter, spooned each color into the liners, and decorated each frosted cupcake with gold flakes, green sprinkles, gold coins, lucky charms, and rainbows!! she did good!

i was so proud of her! she has become such an amazing helper around the house. she loves to clean, put away her toys, help cook/bake, and change ellie’s diaper to name a few things she’s been keen on.

later that evening, hc put together the most delicious dinner of corned beef and cabbage. it was sooooooo good! the carrots, potatoes, cabbage, and beef were perfect! plus, i must have it on record that this was the first time the girls ate EVERYTHING. yes, everything. up until a month ago, getting olive to eat anything green was almost impossible. but on this night, she ate her carrots, cabbage, potatoes, and beef! i was so impressed! ellie on the other hand is much more open to eating different things but it based on her mood. one day she will eat it and the next she will not {most of the time she screams “no!!” when we try to feed her but when i tell her to eat it, sternly, she opens up her mouth and realizes she likes it!} but at least she eats her greens from time to time!

well, that was our st. patrick’s day in a nutshell. so much going on but it was truly a wonderful day! we reflected and felt so content about our day of celebration! life is good!

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[lucky charm green pancakes and green milk]

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[chowing down on her festive breakfast]

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[whipped cream face]

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[my sweet girl eating all the sugar]

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* * * * * * *

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[we mixed the colors…ready to pour the batter into the cupcake liners!]

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[separating the cupcake liners into the pan]

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[separating the cupcake liners into the pan]

[voila! olive did such a great job!]

[separating the cupcake liners into the pan]

[separating the cupcake liners into the pan]

[separating the cupcake liners into the pan]

[separating the cupcake liners into the pan]

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[ta da! rainbow inside!]

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xoxo

pump it up

birthday parties, birthday parties!

we were invited to our neighbor’s grandson’s birthday party. it was at a place called pump it up. i had never heard of it and i truly had no idea what kind of place it was for kids. LOL. once we arrived and walked into the first room, i was like, “ohhhhhhhhhh” a lot of bouncy houses. alright.

we chatted with our neighbor mary and her kids. hc and i found a game where you throw the football into the hole {football bags. hahaha!} and i smoked him. yeahhhhhhh, i got more hole in ones than him. booyah!!

we did our best to get ellie to want to go on one of the bouncy’s but we were failing miserably. fiiiinally though, we sparked an interest in one of the bouncy’s and ellie was enjoying herself although she wouldn’t go further than the ‘stairs’.

olive was gone. she was soooo into the bouncy houses and we hardly ever saw her! hahaha! she’s so good with acclimating into new environments. well, then there was ellie – she cried and screamed and was unhappy in every room we went into. once she liked one bouncy house, it was time to move to another room. we started all over again to get her comfortable with a new bouncy house. then it was time to move onto another room and that girl threw a fit. she screamed and cried every time!

well, the final room was the party room, they were serving juice drinks and cake. they had picnic style benches and olive and ellie were trying to figure out where to sit. i directed them to an area and olive climbed up and ellie followed suit. as she settled her tush onto the bench, she lost her balance and fell straight back onto her back flat on the floor. oh my goodness. that just added onto how irritable she was that afternoon. she started shrieking. like SHRIEKING. i picked her up and ran out into the hallway to calm her down. oh, poor babe was having the worst {yet best time} ever!

once she calmed down, she sipped her juice drink and ate her cake. she was a happy camper. we mingled a bit more with the family as the guests trickled out. after the group had dwindled, hc and i decided to leave and the girls said their goodbyes. it was a great place to throw a party – quick, convenient, and easy clean up! she had such a great time with everyone!

we’re so fortunate to have become such great friends with our neighbors and their kids. we’re so lucky to be surrounded by such good people! thanks kristin and chris for inviting us to brett’s party! we had such a wonderful time!

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[always skeptical]

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[doing some incredibles 2 moves]

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[she was having so much fun]

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[on the first bouncy, she wouldn’t go up any further than this point]

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[she was constantly bothered and upset…LOL]

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[she was having a blast]

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[she cried and vied for this pink mobile and when she finally got a chance to ride it, she was on it for 5 seconds. wtf]

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[trying to appease the babe]

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[finally, finally realizing that these bouncy houses are fun!]

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[it was so cute. i couldn’t see her go down the slide but within a few seconds, her head popped up at the bottom! hahaha!]

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[there she goes!]

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[there goes olive!]

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[they were having sooooo much together!]

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[oh ellie. she was having a meltdown before this picture and olive was trying to console her]

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[the birthday boy and his sister]

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[incredibles baby jack jack]

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xoxo

down the rabbit hole

an old friend pam, who i met through my friend carol, when we were – maybe 8-9 years old, hosted a first birthday party for her sweet babe leighton! the theme was alice in wonderland and it was so darn cute and cuuuuuute!

pam went all out. there were fun, festive themed decorations everywhere! an easel greeted us on the walkway. there were decorations on the front door, in the hallway, she made a photo booth, a tea party table…i felt like pam was my long lost sister in the party throwing/hosting department! i loved all the details! it was all so cute and perfect!

olive disappeared as soon as we walked inside. she spied the playroom and was gone forever. i chatted with pam’s bestie becky for a bit and made my rounds saying hello to people i knew. i was able to chat with pam’s mom, carol, for awhile, which was really nice because i don’t get to see her very much! i nibbled on some food, checked up on olive, and mingled a bit with some guests.

i convinced olive to sit down for some fruit and pbj, in which she obliged. she was having so much fun with the other kids! i love that she can mold into the new environments and feel comfortable befriending new people. she tends to play a lot by herself {which is ok} but i love that she can entertain herself and be fine or blend into a group.

after we sang happy birthday to leighton, we snapped some pics in the photo booth, and then later, pam opened up the presents given to leighton. olive was sooooo excited to help! i had to tell her a few times to back down and not prematurely open up gifts that were not hers! hahaha!

olive was very sad to leave. she was having so much fun! it fills my heart with joy that my girl was having a good time! i was a bit sad to pull her away but we needed to get home to the hubs and ellie.

thanks pam and ryan for throwing a wonderful, beautiful birthday party for leighton! it was perfectly done and you two are the best hosts!

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[tea party coming right up!]

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[presents galore]

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[croissant sandwiches]

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[how cute is this cake?]

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[she was like, no crown please]

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[there is goes!]

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[pam, leighton, and ryan]

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[my sweet girl!

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[pam surrounded by kids so excited to open presents]

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[me and pampers]

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xoxo

serena and lily

we were invited to an event at a chicago shop called serena and lily {i am obsessed with everything they sell!}! it was to meet the author of the children’s book, a raven’s nest by raven roxanne.

we arrived a bit past ten, at the store, and we were warmly welcomed by the staff, greeting everyone at the entrance. they kindly took our coats and invited us upstairs, where the event was happening. once we hit the landing, we were enveloped by the gorgeous decor, a beautiful brunch spread, and the author made her way over to us to say hello!

i was in photo heaven! the lighting in the space was amazingly perfect and the aesthetics was beachy, coastal cool. the author, roxanne, was just about to sit down and read to the children. i ushered olive and ellie into the room and they nabbed a space close by. after the book reading, the children were encouraged to create their own nests…inspired by the book’s storyline.

the girls nibbled on some treats and sipped on sweet beverages, while i waited patiently for the author to sign her book! once we were done at the event, we traipsed our way over to a yummy restaurant called the blue door {the last time i was there, it was at the old location on armitage and now it’s on halsted}! ohhhhhh, it’s such a good place. again, the decor was inviting and cool and the food and drinks are even better! there was a teeny tiny wait, but the girls entertained themselves. or more so, ellie was rebellious and olive was trying to calm her down. sigh…pretty much how it goes everyday!

after brunch, we walked along armitage and peeked into a few shops! while we were at papersource, ellie completely fell in love with a dog there! the great pyrenees belonged to a couple, who was shopping there too. as soon as ellie saw the dog, she could not let go! like at alllllll! she was in love! it was soooooo darn cute to see her so enamored with this beautiful white dog! i told hc, we found the dog we will get! hahaha!

it was such a perfect morning! we had the best time in the city and the girls were sooooo darn good! let’s admit it, when no one is screaming, crying, fussy, loony, and upset, it always makes for a better time! they had a wonderful time at the event and we all enjoyed our fun, smooth, no bumps in the road outing.

{check out all the fun pics below!!!!}

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[the delicious spread]

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[the girls or girl intently listening. olive was so into it but ellie was side eyeing all the other kids]

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[doesn’t she look so sweet and innocent?]

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[raven roxanne reading her book to the kiddos]

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[she spotted me and wanted up…when she wants me to pick her up, she says, “hugs”. melt!]

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[oh she’s soooooo saucy and sweet. just look at that mug!]

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[drawing their own nests]

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[color choices]

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[raven checking on everyone’s drawing]

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[ellie’s nest]

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[olive’s nest]

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[dream bedrooms set and beautiful girl]

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[can i please have this swing in our house?!]

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[olive wanted to show off her picture!]

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[with the artist and author, roxanne]

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[my sweet girls]

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[the beautiful little book]

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[so dreamy]

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[after the book signing, we ate brunch at the blue door!]

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[this cuuuuute face right here was being very naughty at this moment but oh, that sweet face melts me!]

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[i scolded her and she ran over to the stairs to hide]

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[squishing her face into the railing]

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[pouting]

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[she loves her big sister]

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[more coloring!]

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[the hubs…don’t mind his beard]

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[kale and brussel salad]

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[we’re at papersource lincoln park]

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xoxo

papa’s birthday ’19

we traveled up north to meet rich’s dad and famille to celebrate his birthday!

he picked a place called beelow’s. this would be the second time i’ve eaten there and the second year in a row we’ve gone there to celebrate dick’s birthday there. i, unfortunately, have had two subpar experiences with their food! now, everyone else loves this restaurant and has had a great experience with their food! the service is typically fantastic, which makes all the difference but i think i’m cursed to have not so great encounters with my main dishes!

when we went last year, i ordered the scallops. i looooooove scallops! when my entree arrived, it tasted like it was doused in salt! oh it was tooo salty! i ate one scallop and didn’t finish the rest. i could not eat it or the greens it was sitting on. my whole entree was lost. i was so disappointed! then this year, i decided against sea food and went for a tasty burger. i ordered the fried onion and blue cheese burger with truffle fries! i was excited to eat! i dug into my burger and it was very good! i loved the fries as well. as i was eating my burger, i noticed a piece of black hair on it. i was like, what? how did my hair get in there?? i was wearing a ponytail and i thought it was odd, since my hair really doesn’t fall out in that style. i went to grab the hair off my burger and it was ENTWINED in the meat. ohmergawd. barf. i just about died.

i immediately stopped eating my food. i couldn’t believe it!!!!! i was disappointed and i was once again, hungry! hc looooved his meal, which was great ’cause he didn’t have the best experience last year either. so, at least this time around, one of us had a good meal!

our evening was super chill and as usual, always wonderful when you get to spend it with family! despite my meal{s], it was so good to hang out with the fam. the girls always love seeing their sister, grace, and they absolutely love seeing their papa and gramma! auntie missy is always killing it with the selfie game…she’s queen of selfies and olive and ellie love taking them with her!

it doesn’t matter where or what we do to celebrate papa’s birthday, we just love being with him and gramma! happy birthday sweet papa!

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[isn’t she so sweet?]

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[she’s so silly and sassy]

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[selfie! no filter, no editing, sometimes i look young and other pics i look old AF]

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[the birthday papa and his granddaughter]

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[rich and jane]

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[missy, brian, rich, and jane]

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[daniel, grace, and aunt wendy]

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[gramma and olive]

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xoxo