a day of chill

we had a long overdue date with dana and famille. it was a cold and dreary day in chicago which called for a cozy day date with this beautiful family. we traveled north to their abode to hang out, have some lunch and catch up.

dana and scott are pregnant with their second b o y! such exciting news…we are so excited for them and can’t wait to meet him. it’s pretty amazing to think about our journey together. i met dana yearrrrssssss ago…maybe 12 or 13 years ago? we were single or kind of single and years later, as the circle of life happens, we are married to wonderful men, and have the most beautiful children. we weathered good times and really bad times and have stayed close together through life’s crazy ride!

the girls were so excited to see the toys…LOL naturally! ellie loved rosie, the dog, and they settled in quickly as hc and i were happy to be there and spend some time with these two lovely people.

the boys grabbed some strong libations while us gals caught up with each other. after some time, we decided to grab some grub from a corner eatery down the block. we gathered everyone together and took a short walk to the restaurant to grab some food to go. we debated on eating at the place as it’s not spacious and there were so many individual people on their laptops scattered throughout the place, there wasn’t a conducive spot for  a large group like us. no matter…we were happy to go back to their place to eat and relax in a comfortable environment!

as we spent the afternoon at their abode, dana’s parents stopped by to drop off some things! we were so happy our paths crossed and we had a chance to say hello and hang out for a bit with the rubin’s!

after several hours of fun, we said our goodbyes and headed home to our sweet home. it was a perfect sunday spent with wonderful friends.

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[little abe]

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[love this family]

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[the girls loved abe’s toys!]

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[he’s so cute!]

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[the girls goofing around at the corner eatery]

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[scott and abe]

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[goofy girl]

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xoxo

you had me at starbucks

we try our best to see our friends matt and johann every other month…90% of the time, we are successful! we love these two and it always brings us joy seeing them!

they are always so gracious and always offer to come out by us but we love chicago and will take any chance we can get to hang out there.

we decided to meet downtown, have lunch at blue door and attempt, i repeat, attempt to get in the new starbucks reserve roastery.

lunch was fabulous. i love the blue door and the space is so quaint, vintage, and modern. the food is always on point and delicious and so is the service. when we arrived, ellie was not warming up to anything. she insisted on sitting by me and was not friendly with matt and johann…it had nothing to do with them, just her always being fickle.

she slowly warmed up to them and we all were enjoying ourselves with libations flowing and good food before us. as we were catching up with life, matt and johann asked us a very serious question. they asked us to be the godparents to the their future adoptive child. cue the tears. like tears jumped out of my eyeballs. i was so touched, so honored, so full of love that they felt that, out of all the people in their lives…they chose us to step into that role. i immediately replied yes. YES…i felt compelled and it felt right to say yes to such a request. of course hc said yes as well! okuuuuuurrrr, that made the day fantastic!

after lunch, we walked over to the new starbucks, secretly hoping that it would not be busy. LOL the weather and temps were amazing. a beautiful sunny day with temps in the 40’s…hello! as we turned down erie street, we were like no. oh helllllll no. the line stretched almost a city block. with the place being open only a couple days paired with warmer sunny temps, on a weekend, that was a combo for disaster.

we immediately said no and walked our way to the peninsula hotel and settled our tushies into a cozy booth at the z bar. yes…we went from drinking and eating to drinking and eating. hahahaha!

our day was fabulous. just perfect. we loved seeing matt and johann and thoroughly enjoyed our time together. when you fill your time with amazing friends and family…you win at life.

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[the boys]

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[my favorite brunch drink…mmmmmm]

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[love this babe so much]

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[i love christmas time and all the decor]

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[my loves]

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[biscuits and gravy]

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*****

P E N I N S U L A  H O T E L

Z BAR

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[she loves nina]

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[johann…so darn good with the girls]

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[she loves her guncle johann]

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[oh you know…it’s only 38 degrees outside]

xoxo

flower farm workshop

my friend dana emailed me a link to a flower farm workshop and, uhhhhh, before i even read it…i said, YES please!

that was a no brainer. i didn’t know where it was located. i didn’t know what time the event was. i didn’t even know how much it cost. YES please.

so, dana and i agreed to go and i asked dana if i could invite olivia. obvs, they are friends through me but i didn’t know if it was just a dana and me time she had in mind, specifically, or if she didn’t mind me inviting olivia…so that was another yes!

dana so graciously offered to drive and coordinated the logistics for us {thanks babe!}. they promptly arrived at 8:30am at our house and off we went! the drive there was, strangely, very long. well, it was a long trip distance wise but usually when you are heading somewhere, it tends to fly by because you are excited for your destination, etc. nope. the drive there was loooooong.

we finally arrived and our event began! it started with coffee and pastries…a chocolate croissant to be exact. yum! we were the second or third group to arrive and right when we did, a strew of cars were right behind us. the temperature was just right…a little cool and on it’s way to warming up a bit. we enjoyed the crisp air while eating our croissants and sipping our coffee, provided by the hosts. once everyone arrived, the tour began!

jeanie, the owner of brightflower farm, led us through the several acres of flowers she grows. she was so informative, diligent, and so darn good at what she does! truly a strong, smart, brilliant women who has a passion for flowers. she was full of knowledge and so well versed in every detail surrounding alllllll types of flowers. natch. she talked about bugs, watering, weather, seasons of growth, flower genus, when to do this and that to your plants, building greenhouses, land sustainability, suitability, and so much more! i was so amazed by her! i loved her passion, laid back ways, and how powerful she is!

once we walked through her magical fields of gold, we rounded back together and were directed by steven {ceo and co-owner of flowers for dreams} to come back out to the beds and cut our own, specific types, of flowers for our arrangements.

that was FUN! everyone scattered about the farm and circled back to the white tent with their prizes in hand and our assembly line of flower arranging began. we were able to pick from buckets of gorgeous flowers already precut for us! once we all had our vibrant blooms, steven walked us through on what to start with first in our arrangement, how to cut stems, what each plant was, how to take care of our flowers, and guided us on how to create depth and character with the placement of our flowers.

i loved watching everyone creating their own unique style of arrangements. everyone’s creativity and personality showed through each of the vases. as i was coming near the end of my picked floral pieces, i decided i needed more stems to fill it up and out, so i headed back up to the flower station and nabbed a few more flowers to create a fuller spread within my vase. then – ta da! i felt pleased and satisfied with my work of art!

once everyone was finished, they walked us through our homestyle lunch spread. they had hired a chef and jeanie’s husband {who was a culinary chef} took to the grill to put some finishing touches on a few delicious food items for our menu. we were served pulled pork, michael’s personalized homemade bbq sauce, rolls, grilled portobello, pickled beets, chickpea salad, coleslaw, and several homemade desserts. it was all soooooo good!

during lunch, we hung out, relaxed, reveled in our floral arrangement beauty, satisfied with our hard work. while we were eating and chatting, michael offered us to take home his farm grown red peppers and tomatoes right off the vines. how awesome was that?! so many people jumped on that one. once everyone’s bellies were full, the crowd started to thin, as the event was coming to an end.

as our trip home began, we were so happy to have experienced such a wonderful event {thanks dana for initiating it} and we were buzzing over the day’s memories. our ride home was quick! like i said above, our trip in was slow but our journey home was fun and exciting! before we knew it, dana was pulling up to our house and i was super sad to be parting ways with my girls! i had such a great time at the flower farm and i absolutely loved hanging out with my bestie babes all day long!

it was a much needed day of girl talk, relaxation, beautiful scenery, and delicious food. the best part of my day was the company! thanks dana and olivia for being so awesome…love you gals so much!

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[the cutest welcome sign]

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[ready to cut some flowers]

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[jeanie…the farm owner, walking us through a tour of her flower farm]

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via tandeminlove.com[my girls]

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[quite the amazing women! so educated, smart, tenacious, and cool]

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[loving our tour!]

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[everything was gorgeous]

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[chop chop]

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[i picked this one]

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[ready to arrange our flowers!]

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[a little inspiration on assembling my own vase of flowers]

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[a beautiful mess]

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[ta da! my flower arrangement!]

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[having fun and having the best girl time!]

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[our final products!]

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[i can’t get enough of my flowers. LOL]

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[i love these babes!]

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*****

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[my arrangement in our abode!]

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[looking beautiful on our dining room table!]

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xoxo

retro on roscoe

it was a beautiful day out, we had nothing planned but i’m always about taking advantage of a lovely day!

i am always the one game for plans in the city. the hubs…not so much. he does love the city but he doesn’t love it as much as i do. when we got married, i insisted that we lived in chicago first {as i knew we would eventually make the transition to the ‘burbs}, when we were looking to buy, i was steadfast about staying in the city {but caved because life wasn’t about me anymore…it was about our family}, and so the only thing i can hold onto, anymore, is whenever we have a chance to do something on our own terms, i love being in the city!

yes, a majority of my friends are still in the city {so we tend to go there when we commit to plans} but how can you not take advantage of such a great city so close by?? hc did a great job looking up some fun, kid friendly events to go to and we stumbled upon retro on roscoe and it peaked our interest. it was super kid friendly event. they had a large section of the fest filled with kiddie games and a whole area filled with bouncy houses! a kid’s dream come true!

we parked super close {score!} and once inside the festival…we grabbed a beer and started exploring. once we neared the kiddie section, we were done for. the girls. did. not. want. to. leave. hc and i were famished and needed to grab something to eat but olive and ellie almost had a meltdown that we were leaving the bouncy area! oh em gee. like mama needed to eat or she was going to pass out!

i promised olive and ellie that we would return once we finished eating something but that was so unconvincing to her. the entire time we were trying to enjoy our super greasy festival food, olive kept on nagging us on when we were going to go back. i almost lost it and told her we wouldn’t go back if she asked us one. more. time. and i mean it!

on top of that, ellie woke up on the wrong side of the bed that morning {funny…she can only get out one side, as the other side is the wall. LOL}. baby girl was so mooooooody and slightly mean and very stubborn. gahhhh! she pretty much cried and whined from the moment we arrived and almost the whole time we were there. the only time she didn’t was when we were in the bouncy house area. plus, she insisted that we carry her the whole way around the festival. uh, scuse me baby girl…i see two capable chubby legs of yours that can walk. we don’t need to hold you for the two hours we were there. yeahhhhh, she didn’t like that answer and proceeded to whine and cry if we didn’t pick her up. ughhhhhh!

despite the kids whining, crying, pouting, and lack of joy in parts of our adventure, it really was a good afternoon. hahahha! i know you don’t believe me but truly, hc and i had fun hanging out together, we really enjoyed our time there, together as a family, and we were happy we experienced the festival and we did something fun and different!

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[this one was in a MOOD that afternoon and not a good one. eep!]

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[cutest necklace by little blue olive + hooray everyday]

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[loving her hair style]

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[jumpy houses]

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[there were so many jumpy houses, the girls had to try them alllllll]

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[just us parents standing around while our kids explored]

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[right after her meltdown…sweet face ]

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[ellie refused to take a picture….thennnnn….]

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[ellie was, again, like no…i don’t want to take a picture]

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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

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

olive’s first cubs game

hc took olive to her very first cubs game!!!!! i was so excited. hc was so excited. olive was so excited! the day had come and the weather stunk. absolutely stunk. it was cold, rainy, gloomy, and did i mention cold? hc was a bit bummed but i said, take her anyways! bundle her up, bring lots of layers, a blanket, and if it got too cold…you can always leave but it’s the experience that was most important!

so, there they went. olive was so game for it. they explored the area, took pics everywhere, and baby girl was a complete trooper! as elsa said, “the cold never bothered me anyways!” LOL the good news was their seats were under an awning, so they were protected from the ongoing/intermittent rain.

olive enjoyed a big cup of pepsi and of course, a hot dog! she loved the music and bopped along to the tunes and enjoyed watching the game. one of her favorite things about the visit was meeting the cubbie bear! she thought he was so cool, bragged how she high fived him and he picked up for a pic!

this girl was steadfast in staying and enjoying the game despite the crummy weather. so much so, baby girl stayed through 10 innings! yes, 10 innings! after the 10th inning, she said she was ready to go home! i don’t even think i’d survive 10 innings in the cold and rain! i was so proud of her!

hc and olive packed up their items and headed out. she is so darn good! hc even offered her to get a souvenir and she declined. she didn’t need one. whaaaaaa?! gosh, i love her!

her first chicago cubs game was a success! she thoroughly enjoyed it! i can’t wait until she goes again and this time around, it will be warm out! i demand it. i guarantee it. no if’s and’s or but’s…ya got that chicago weather? please and thank you.

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[that’s a big cup of pop]

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{may 11th, 2019}

xoxo

under the sea birthday party

i was looking forward to spending some time with andrea at her kid’s birthday party. one – i don’t see her enough. two – she’s awesome. i mean, she’s hosting, so i knew it wasn’t going to be one on one time kind of chatting but no matter what the circumstance, it’s always good to see a friend.

we arrived there in a flash and it was a beautiful day out! it was hard to believe that it had snowed alllllll day the day before! once inside, andrea greeted us, we settled in and i started snapping away with my camera.

ellie was not happy at first {as usual}. she cried and clung to us. she acted as if we were throwing her to the wolves with this large group of adults. {eye roll} olive on the other hand meshed right in. she was loving it. first thing we walked into, when we arrived, was the dessert spread and that received a thumbs up from miss olive!

we made our way through and said our hello’s to the usual gang – ginger, katheryn, beth, and patrik. it’s always so good to see them and it was great catching up with everyone.

andrea had a slew of entertainment there! i loved it! such great ideas for an indoor kids birthday party that’s not at an activity center! she had a balloon animal artist and a singer called miss jamie’s farm. the kids looooooooooved it! ellie not so much. the balloon guy made ellie a dog and it freaked her out and she threw it on the floor. miss jamie started singing and ellie cowered back in fear. oh em gee…she’s a riot. i finally made some mom moves and coaxed ellie onto the dance floor and slowly but surely, she started loving miss jamie and her singing! it helped 100% that olive was soooo into it and ellie loved that olive loved it too! anything her big sister does, ellie is game.

the kids ate {lots of pizza, pastas, cheese curds, salads, beef sandwiches, and so much more! there was a copious amount of food!}, they played, they were entertained and super happy!

we sang happy birthday to the kiddos and ginger cut the cake while i passed her the plates. we made a good assembly line although, she was quite swift in cutting the cake and i was a bit slow with handing her fresh plates! i received some coaching on my lack of skills and sped up! LOL. i yelled at andrea for some forks and after that, we were on a roll divvying up the cake to the ravenous kids in front of us.

we were some of the last guests to leave…as we were having so much fun! it was such a great party! i had so much fun and i know the girls did too! thanks andrea and jamie for throwing a fabulous birthday party! many blessings to all the years ahead for annabelle and sebastian! happy birthday kiddos! we love you all!

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[andrea – always the consummate host]

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[olive had to have any cupcake with a mermaid tail]

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[always attached one way or another]

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[yum yum macarons]

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[mesmerized by the balloon artist]

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[olive was so excited!]

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[they’re so sweet. oh they melt my heart]

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[unicorn]

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[colin and katheryn]

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[someone really likes to gamble. LOL]

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[oh that face]

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[y’all. we took, hmmm, maybe 10 pics?? in EVERY pic, ellie literally made a different face. she’s my freakin’ emoji face kid]

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[the kids enjoying miss jamie’s farm]

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[the sweet birthday girl]

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[i love her outfit]

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[ellie bullying this poor girl in front of her, who is smaller than her!]

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[sebastian and grandma]

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[jamie]

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[how fun is this cake?!!]

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[the birthday girl, ready to make a wish and blow out her candles!]

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[ginger, the cake cutter extraordinaire]

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xoxo

easter ’19

oh, it was a very busy {leading up to} and very tiring week after easter! you know meeeeee, always piling on too much and loving every second of it. i swear if i didn’t plan months in advance, then i’d be a creative hot mess. LOL.

easter morning started out with the girls waking up and screaming their way to their baskets. well, olive screamed her way! hahaha! ellie, for some reason, was in a mood and pouted her way towards her basket. oh guuuurrlllll.

olive was so excited the easter bunny dropped off her unicorn ponycycle! her face was priceless when she saw it! i absolutely love that they BOTH love it and they sometimes ride it together…it’s so cute! ellie feels comfortable on it too, so the gift was a win win!

they then went through their easter baskets looking at all the goodies. they were very excited over their shoes! yay! olive had to look at everything and make a comment on each item. once they were done perusing their basket of goodies, everyone got ready for easter brunch.

but before we left, we did an easter egg hunt outside! the weather was Ahhhhhhhmazing. the best kind of day to celebrate Christ! the girls had so much fun hunting down their eggs! i made paper plate markers for the eggs and to help guide the girls through the hunt! hc did the set up {y’all know kiki doesn’t get up early if she doesn’t have to!} and did a great job with hiding all the eggs! we had filled them the night before with candies and moj moj animals. olive loooooved them all and loved that they also glowed in the dark! bonus!

i was quite proud of miss ellie getting a good amount of eggs too! she did good! once the hunt was over and the girls went through their egg surprises, we then headed downtown for brunch with the famille!

our place of choice was baptiste and bottle at the conrad hotel. we were very curious on this restaurant. i told my family that it better be amazing as it took two weeks and a whole lotta phone tag to finally nail a reservation at this establishment! we walked in and the interior looked lovely, modern, and moody. i was totally eyeing the scrumptious dessert table that greeted us!

they walked us over to our table{s} and didn’t even push them together to seat our party of 13! i had to ask them to do so. i mean, if you are out with a whole group, would you want to sit at separate tables?? that made no sense! then our server came by and he was energetic and very nice! then, 45 minutes later, our drink orders were still not fulfilled, our food still hadn’t come, and i was completely irritated. it was prix fixe menu!! the kitchen obviously knew how many people they were serving that day AND the menu was set…so waiting almost one hour for our first course to come out was ridiculous!!!!

i went to the hostess stand and asked to speak to a manager. he was very nice and polite and i was cordial and calm. he immediately reacted, apologized, and came over to our table to help our server out. for goodness sake, my sister ordered coffee and asked for cream and sugar and 15 minutes later….she still didn’t get. i had to do something!

once the ball started rolling, our server continued to mess up {he’d take away our plates and then would forget to bring in fresh plates so we could continue to eat} but we were in deep and there was no going back. the poor guy did his best to accommodate us but i really think serving was not his forte! the good new was, the food was delicious!! we really did enjoy our brunch despite the subpar service. we were with the right people and that was all that mattered.

thuy brought the kids their easter bakets and olive went nuts over what she bought her. she literally had to wear everything thuy bought her! ohmergawd, olive is so extra. the girls are so loved and so spoiled by their family. we are so so lucky to be close to them, in all aspects.

after our long and yummy brunch, we all traipsed our way over to the new shop – dylan’s candy bar store! it was bright, fun, and smelled way too sweet for me! it was a candy land dream! every type of candy, the largest cotton candy cone i have ever seen, and everything was way overpriced! LOL. of course, olive suckered me into buying her a lollipop! no pun spared.

our easter was perfect. the weather was perfect. the day was perfect. remember it’s your mindset. live positively. count your blessings. cherish the moments with your people and be thankful for what God has given you. then your filter will always view things as perfect because it is.

*****
EASTER MORNING

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[here they come!]

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[look at that excited face!]

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[she loves her ponycycle!]

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[she was totally pouting for no reason]

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[there she goes!]

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[easter baskets]

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[bunny sunglasses]

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[gong through their goodies]

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[scattered goods]

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[oh that face]

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[gummi’s on a stick]

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[LOL doll in a chocolate egg]

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*****

EASTER EGG HUNT

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[isn’t she sooooooo sweet?]

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[finding easter eggs]

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[egg hunt markers that i made the night before]

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[eggs in plain sight]

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[bunny egg markers]

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[looking for eggs]

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[a whole lotta goodies]

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[ellie’s goodies]

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[she’s loving her moj moj’s]

*****

EASTER BRUNCH

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[she loves her cousins]

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[ellie alllllllways attached]

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[bagel and lox]

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[the cutest cousins]

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[avo toast]

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[baskets from auntie thuy]

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[she’s so excited over her basket]

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[dessert table]

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[agata and dan]

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[reagan, kim, and bennett]

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[check out all her moves!]

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[my sweet extra girl]

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[a rare family photo]

*****

DYLAN’S CANDY BAR

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[rainbow rice krispie treat]

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[the biggest rainbow cotton candy stick i’ve ever seen!]

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[grandma and her grandkids – minus ellie]

xoxo