fresh out of the oven

two dear friends of mine both had babies 6ish weeks apart! oh babies! they are so cute, fresh, and high maintenance!

my morning started out in a hustle. i knew it would take a long time to get to dana’s and we were running so behind. i was a bit bummed that my tardiness was cutting into my time with dana, so i asked andrea {my second stop of the day} if i could come over with dana. she was all aboard and i wanted to make sure dana felt comfortable about it too!

well, we were all game, so i was happy i was going to be able to spend time with both my friends! after spending an hour over at dana’s visiting her and the new baby abraham, we gathered our belongings, strollers, and don’t forget the kids and walked over to andrea’s house [she lives a little over a block away from andrea!}. andrea had just gotten home with her kids {just ab and see…no ollie – he was at camp}, she had picked annabelle up from a lyceé français camp and so kindly picked up lunch for us gals! i felt like an ass, because she’s the one who had the baby and i didn’t want her picking up food for us! i should have been the one picking up the food for the new mamas!

anyhoo, she swung by a boulangerie, next to annabelle’s camp and picked the most delicious sandwiches and macarons from there! andrea told us that they baked their own fresh bread there…yum!

us gals hung out, abe slept, sebastian cried, ellie clung to me, and annabelle and olive played together. i knew dana didn’t want to stay out too long, plus i needed to hit the road  to coordinate ellie’s nap with our schedule, so after an hour or so, we left. i was a little bummed my time with andrea was cut short. i really cherish her as a friend and i’m a bit sad we don’t get to see each other as often anymore!

it was so good to see my two dear friends who just had their two beautiful baby boys! i am blessed to have amazing women in my life!

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[rosie freaking out over the girls]

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[yup, there’s ellie, loving on rosie]

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[ellie NOT happy i’m holding abe]

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[total meltdown and i love how olive is smiling]

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[scott, abe, and dana]

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[sweet friends]

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[noshing on a macaron]

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[2.5 weeks and 9 weeks]

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[so darn goooooood – andrea picked up sandwiches from a local boulangerie]

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[ellie is a stage 5 clinger]

xoxo

cubs game ’18

yaaayyyyy! i love cubs games!

i really, really do. i grew up loving the cubs. my most favorite team? andre dawson, ryne sandberg, wilkins, mark grace…my love for the cubs intensified then. i was that child that would rush home from school and turn on the cubs games on wgn and actually watch all nine innings. yesssssssss.

anyhoo, prior to the game, we had abraham’s bris {you can read that in the previous post}. we purposely arrived late to the game because 1. we had the bris to attend and 2. it was soooooooo dang hot, we didn’t mind showing a wee bit late. we scored rockstar parking and walked our way into the stadium. we grabbed some dogs and beers and maneuvered our way to our seats. ohhhhhh, it was hot! the temperature in the stadium was 102 degrees F. yowza!

we really enjoyed ourselves. well, i really did…although drinking beer, mixed with hot temps seemed like a disastrous combination. my body temp started to rise and i was feeling super parched, but survived. once the game hit the 8th inning, hc was done. i was surprised because usually i am the one done but hey! it’s the cubs game!!!! i love attending any game and it’s even better when they win. i absolutely love singing the go cubs go song at the end of the game!

well, i wasn’t going to argue! so, we left. we stopped by a shop to find a hat that hc was interested in. we knew that a storm was coming but we really didn’t plan around it. once hc purchased his hat, we hit the streets to walk back to the car. that was when the sky opened up and it rained on us! it was actually awesome! it was so hot, so a rain shower was appreciated! it may have rained for 6 minutes and then it stopped and the sun came out again.

i loved that we attended two events that day, i really had a great time despite the 102 degree heat, hc and i both purchased hats {like we need any more!}, we were rained on, and…

we left at a poignant moment in the game! the twins caught up and then the cubs won the game by one run! holy cow!

we hit the road again and cruised home to meet up with hc’s parents, who stopped by our house {they watched the girls over the weekend!}. it was such an eventful but heart-full day.

go cubs go!

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[we arrived late to the game]

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[it was sooooo hot outside]

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[we left at the 8th inning]

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[nice face hc]

xoxo

west lake market

i’ll try to make a long story short.

one day, while i was in the kids section at barnes and noble, i ran into a lady with her two boys. we started chatting and definitely clicked. we went on and on about random stuff, exchanged instagram handles {@tandeminlove}, and went on our merry way. we continued to connect on the ‘gram {@chicagomomgoesuburban} and we’ve been avid positive supporters of one another.

michelle is a writer for chicago parent magazine, a photographer, a blogger, and a mom to three boys! she’s multitalented, fun, and most importantly – super sweet. our paths were meant to cross! recently, she invited me to a fashion event at west lake market. it’s kick off was this past sunday. this event happens every second tuesday of the month for the summer and i was excited to go!

i invited olivia to join me; i can always use some girl time. she met me at my car {i scored a parking spot} and we walked in together. at first we had no idea where the entrance was but a kind gentleman showed us the way.

as we were walking inside, we ran right into michelle! i forgot how tiny she is! we chatted a bit and she showed us the way upstairs to the vip event that just ended {we needed to nab our goody bags and pour ourselves some champagne}. we explored the the area. it was so cool! a perfect place for a bridal shower, a baby shower, or any sort of event!

we headed back downstairs to the market and perused the shops. there were so many cute things! it was also kid friendly, they had face painting and mr. dave – a fun guitarist who sang kiddie songs! i was eyeing a resale shop full of chanels and louis, there was a fun handmade, local candle shop, beautiful ceramics, and clothing boutiques! i purchased the cutest romper {long story but i have to say – thanks michelle for forfeiting the piece} from a shop call sanem, and a candle. plus, our goody bag was full of {ahem} good stuff!

once we were done shopping, olivia and i contemplated a few restaurants for brunch but we decided to stay and eat at eden. michelle had let us know that she was going to eden for a small bite and coffee. once inside, we said hello to her again and we met her sister in law kristen!

we nabbed a table and enjoyed a delicious brunch and lots of coffee. it was a wonderful time with my girl olivia. i love our chats…the conversations and connection i have with her makes my heart full. i love my friends. there’s never any judgement, there isn’t a tally list of who does what. it’s about enriching our lives with each other when we can.

cheers to good friends.

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[me and olivia]

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[champagne and berries]

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[isn’t this a cool place?! it can be rented for special events!]

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[after the event, we had brunch at eden]

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[isn’t she beautiful?]

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[avocado eggs benedict and salmon]

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xoxo

a good day

i was excited for some me time!

my girlfriend dana is pregnant and due at the end of june. i’m trying to squeeze in time with her before she has this bebe. so, when we do make plans {of late}, we typically make them exclusively between us. now, we love hanging all together with the hubs but lately, we or i need the girl time, only.

the two-three hours away is so refreshing for me! i love being able to go with the flow, relax, not have a kid interrupt our conversations every two minutes, actually finish a thought…and think. i love being fully present and engaged with that person in front of me. honestly, with my kiddos, it’s hard.

so, being able to get away for a few hours to resets my mind, my sanity, and reenergizes my soul. i’m so thankful that i am able to do that every so often!

dana and i decided to have brunch at mhenry’s. oh, how i love that place!!! i can’t tell you how many years i’ve dined there but i know it’s been a long time! the weather was so unbelievably crappy that day. it was coooold and rainy, like 40 something degrees cold, it felt like winter again. there were folks in puffer jackets and winter knit hats at the local nursery buying flowers to plant {where are you spring?}!!! hahaha!

the most amazing part of the morning? there was no wait for a party of two!!!!! what?! i guess not too many couples go out for brunch, just large groups. ha! it was soooo crowded in there but as soon as i walked in, they seated us!

lately, i’ve been on an egg and potato kick. i have always, always ordered the blueberry bliss cakes every time i have gone to mhenry’s but the last two times, i haven’t done so. times are changing!

dana and i chatted and left just in time to meet her parents back at her condo {her hubby scott was out golfing}. i told her that i wanted to say hi to her parents but needed to jet out afterwards to get home to the babes. i told the hubs that i would nurse ellie and put her down for her afternoon nap!

well, her parents arrived and scott came home not too long after them and of course i didn’t leave right away! how could i?! i love hanging out with these peeps, i had a hard time tearing myself away! fiiiiiinally i forced myself out the door. oh, i love her parents! her and scott, of course, but her parents are so much fun!

i finally hit the road for the long commute, happy and content on a beautiful day out with some good friends.

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[beautiful blooms]

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[sweet dana]

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[always a yummy menu]

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[fried egg sandwich]

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[pretty plants in dana and scott’s condo]

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[dana and scott]

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[can i just say that this pic is the first pic, in a loooooooooong time, where i feel like i don’t look like i look an old hag. for reals]

xoxo

mother’s day at argyle

for mother’s day, we wanted to take my mom to an area that she loves going to – argyle!

we planned on going to a restaurant we have been to before, on mother’s day five years prior {that was when i announced i was pregnant with olive!!!! it was such a fun, amazing day to celebrate!}.

we made the trek to uptown…it’s such an obscure area to travel to. we circled around a bit to find parking, it was super crowded and busy. after a few rounds, we finally scored a spot off on sheridan road. we didn’t mind walking for it was such a nice day, a bit cold but nice and sunny out!

my bother, dan, and his girl agata were already there, always on time and always wondering where the rest of the clan else was. the usual. everyone was 5 to so many minutes late behind! ha!

my brother huy and his wife, tashina, were in town! they had a wedding to attend to and it was awesome it fell on mother’s day weekend, so my mom was able to spend the day with allllll her children!

we started to order food, of course, first with appetizers and then with entrees. after a tedious process of getting everyone’s orders and ordering random dishes for everyone to just share, the server comes back and tells us we cannot order anything stir fry. ummmmm, ‘scuse me??!! that eliminated almost half our entrees. oh, i was so irritated. he gave us an excuse that their stir fry cook called off and they couldn’t make any stir fry dishes. wtf. that made no sense. i am sure all the cooks there that day knew how to make most of the dishes!! c’mon…it’s a vietnamese restaurant with all tenured vietnamese workers and no one knows how to make fried rice??? i hardly cook, and damn…i bet i could have rolled up my sleeves in the kitchen to make that. or send my mom in, ’cause she’s a bad ass cook!

i, honestly, believe that most people order pho or other easy, pre made dishes on sunday and because our group was so darn large and there were so many orders, they gave us that excuse. maybe they were short a cook, fair enough, but don’t tell me no one knows how to stir fry anything in that kitchen right now!!!

we went back and forth with the server and spent some time looking over the menu again. everyone took some time to rethink their entrees when the server came back out and said, “ok, we can make the stir fry dishes but it will take a very long time.”. fine. i said go ahead. ohermgawd…it took forever. the ironic part was the dishes that were ready to serve, came out dead last. four people order the bun boa and it took forever for them to get their soups. whaaaaaaaa?

needless to say, it was terrible. absolutely terrible. we will never eat there again. everyone was so disappointed. the food wasn’t great, the portions were tiny and too much money. i won’t even put their name in this post because it was just disappointing.

after lunch, my mom shopped around a bit while us kids sat in the stinkiest coffee shop. yes, it smelled awful. so unpleasant but the kids were having fun playing with the board games they had on the side!

after a half hour or so, we all headed home to get ready to go back to my mom and dad’s house for food part 2. my mom had made pho, so we all gathered over there for sunday dinner and to hang out with huy and tashina, since they were leaving the next day.

despite the restaurant being subpar, we all had a wonderful mother’s day! praise to all the moms out there who work their butts off balancing a career, or the house, or both, the kids, the hubby, and everything else that goes on in-between. our role is complicated, messy, stressful, amazing, fulfilling, and so full of amazing love. thank you for all that you do to raise good humans!

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via tandeminlove.com [who’s in charge?]

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[isn’t she so sweet? but oh so naughty!]

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[looking at uncle huy, in fear]

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[she loves uncle huy and aunt tashina]

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[dan and agata]

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[the crew]

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[hot pot]

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[i love this sweet face]

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xoxo

a lovely day

it was a nice but cool day. the sun was shining, so it felt lovely but in the shade, it was a bit chilly. nonetheless, it was a wonderful day to explore the city.

we did our best to get up early to beat the brunch crowd. 11-11:30 am is prime brunch time, that is when the wait gets cray. it’s the perfect time because you don’t have to wake up early but it’s early enough to not be completely starving. soooo, we arrived at the bongo room at 10:25ish and we waited, maybe, 20 minutes for a table for 5? score!

of course, brunch at bongo is always delicious. i usually get their seasonal pancakes but i was totally feeling eggs and potatoes that day. yuuuummmmm. hc and i each got a drink {mimosa for moi and a frou frou drink for hc}, it’s five o’clock somewhere, isn’t it?!

after brunch, we decided to explore bucktown. we love shopping around the area. we love the eclectic vibe and exploring the fun shops. what i find so interesting is that grace pretty much likes the same stuff i like, to a degree. we have similar tastes in some fashion, make up, and accessories. what is very different is that she is wayyyyyy younger and we interpret our choice in fashion through our age appropriate styles. i really enjoyed exchanging our opinions around items we liked though, that was a lot of fun!

while we were eating, i had text olivia and dana to see what they were doing. dana was busy but olivia and aaron decided to meet up with us {they don’t live far from the area}! while grace, the girls, and i were shopping at benefit, olivia and aaron showed up! it was great seeing them, even if it was for 45 minutes! after buying a few things at benefit, we all walked to reckless records and shortly thereafter, we had to leave to take grace to her driver’s ed class.

it was a beautiful, lovely day. it really was. i thoroughly enjoyed our day at brunch, shopping, spending the day with my family, seeing olivia and aaron, and just being in chicago. i love my tribe and i love chicago.

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[my tribe]

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[my sweet girl]

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[she absolutely adores grace]

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[nice whipped cream]

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[pretty fruit plate]

xoxo

michelin star brewery

we had previous plans with matt and johann a few months ago but unfortunately, that date fell through. sooooo, we made plans for another day and it was a beautiful {albeit chilly but sunny} morning to have brunch!!

they picked this restaurant, band of bohemia, and it was delicious! hc loved the cool decor and we loved the fact that it is the only brewery ever to be awarded a michelin star! does anyone else follow michelin star restaurants? also, has anyone ever seen the movie burnt? not the best movie ever made but i really enjoyed the idea behind michelin star driven chefs and the discipline {amongst other things} it takes to achieve the prestigious honor.

anyhoo, we arrived early and just soaked in the surroundings while we waited for matt and johann. once they arrived, the libations and tasty morsels flowed. it was a very adult menu although it was a very kid friendly place. don’t expect kids cups, drink options, or entrees that will be favored by the majority of most little one’s palette. olive isn’t as adventurous, although ellie is but the food sufficed in feeding the babes.

it’s funny to me how it can be potatoes but not potatoes in the typical format my girls are used to, so therefore, they reject it. i’m like, “seeeeerioulsy?! it’s just potatoes?!” and olive will says, “no it isn’t.” okuuuuuuurt.

the drinks were extra {as in extra fancy}. cheers to that! and cheers again as the boys continued to toast drink after drink! ya know that saying – ‘it’s 5 o’clock somewhere’! we were having a great time catching up with the boys, as it had been awhile since we have seen them!

ellie was in rare form…she was super fussy and antsy and olive was in love with their waiting room area. i was ok with olive playing over there by herself but i couldn’t leave ellie there with her…she’s too much of a trouble maker! regardless, ellie wasn’t happy anywhere at the moment. she wanted to be in my arms, she wanted to be in hc’s arm, she wanted to be by olive, she wanted to be on the ground exploring. we couldn’t keep up with her!

i must give the babes credit for, overall, being so well behaved because we were there for quite awhile. i think we were there for two or more hours! i think ellie was just bored, hence her short attention span for things. hahaha!

we knew our limits and didn’t want to push it any further with miss ellie, so we said our goodbyes. it was a fantastic morning with our fellow friends. you can’t beat good food, drinks, and amazing friends!

cheers to that!

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[band of bohemia]

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[sweet babe]

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[grace and rich]

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[she’s such a sensitive doll]

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[my girls]

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[giggles]

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[it’s 5 o’clock somewhere]

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xoxo

easter sunday

the easter bunny came!

i have hemmed and hawed over the idea of the easter bunny, tooth fairy, and santa. i wasn’t sure if i wanted to push a made up character to persuade olive to be a good kid. ’cause honestly, she’s a good kid without persuasion. there are some big debates between parents around this subject. these fictional figures have been molded and it’s american made, it’s financially driven, it’s lying, it’s bribing, and so forth.

easter and christmas are christian religious holidays celebrating jesus. i want olive to know and understand that those holidays are stemmed from the life of jesus. that is why we celebrate on those days.

i also loved the idea that these characters added to the magic of the season and are really fun to believe in. i did believe in them when i was a kid and it didn’t harm or taint me. my parents didn’t enforce the idea of santa, the easter bunny, or the tooth fairy on me, it was all about church, the bible, and our faith but i loved the magic behind it. i was never upset they weren’t real. honestly, i always knew they weren’t but loved believing in something magical. i definitely don’t look back on my childhood and think i was scarred or lied to. all i remember is magic, love, excitement, and damn good memories with my family and friends.

my heart is so full to see her so excited over things like the easter bunny. she loved her basket from the bunny, she loved finding the eggs the easter bunny left behind. she giggled with excitement at the idea of presents. i’m ok with that.

what i try to do every day is parent with love, respect, and discipline. do i fail, alllll the time but i try, try again. i want to raise my girls to become strong, smart, independent, kind, and to be filled with gratitude {to name a few attributes}…the list goes on and on.

so whether they believe in the easter bunny or not, or whether i push it on them or not. i think they will grow up just fine and hopefully pass the traditions and love to their children to create magical moments together too.

{we celebrated easter together in the morning and then met my family for brunch in chicago, at swift and sons, later in the day!}

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[ellie making her way to the easter baskets]

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[olive eyeing the baskets and excited!]

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[ohmergawd her hair!! talk about bedhead!!!]

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[digging through her goodies]

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[she sooooo wanted this bunny!]

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[she was so excited over everything!]

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[ohmergawd, this sweet babe]

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[look ma, an egg]

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[i’ll pretend to eat it]

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[hahaha! just kidding!]

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[i’m so funny, i crack myself up!]

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[easter egg hunt time!]

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[checking out her goodies]

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[so excited for her shopkin surprise!]

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[easter egg hunt aftermath]

*****

BRUNCH AT SWIFT AND SONS!

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[sweet cousins]

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[opening up her easter basket from r + b]

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[always doting on her]

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[thuy getting festive]

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[flummoxed]

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[my love]

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[i loooooooove bloody mary’s!]

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[cheers!]

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[dan and agata]

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[preptastic]

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[we fail ,every holiday, at taking a family picture together]

xoxo

easter bunny

my sister kim, last minute, asked us to come with her to go see the easter bunny at 900 n. olive paid a visit to the easter bunny once {at a local easter egg hunt}, when she was two years old but we didn’t see one last year. we hosted an egg hunt at our house versus going to one and seeing an easter bunny at a local mall or so.

the next morning, we did our usual routine and got ready to head out. i remembered back in the days, something like this stressed me out with two kids {hahaha…and yes, i only have two. not three. not four. referencing, it’s all relative, right?}. getting them ready & dressed, getting myself ready, getting them fed, packing up enough toys, diapers, snacks, etc., not forgetting anything for myself, getting them layered up for the cold weather, getting them strapped into the car seats {’cause, hell, that’s a process in itself!}, do i have the stroller? all sorts of things to remember and plus, i was always late. yes, it used to stress me out but now it’s like second nature.

we were ahead of schedule and hit the road to head to 900 n michigan ave. we parked, i fed ellie, i assembled the stroller, we rolled in, walked around, i had to go to the bathroom, we went to the wrong floor, and then we finally found the easter bunny area and signed up for a visit. it was an hour and forty five minute wait! oy! there were 40 families ahead of us!

everyone finally rolled in and we all gathered around the 6th floor {for coffee at oak tree}, to wait our turn for the easter bunny while the kids played in galt toys. olive obsessed over a unicorn bouncy. she was smitten. the entire time we were there, she bounced on it all around the store. she was sooooo happy! she showed it off to anyone who would listen. it was so cute. when we were leaving, she asked me if she could ‘borrow’ it. her word for, can we ‘buy’ it. i said, “maybe you can tell the easter bunny to bring it to you?”. her eyes totally lit up!

it was finally our turn to see the easter bunny! it went by much faster than estimated {one hour versus the hour forty five}, thank goodness! as expected, ellie was a hot mess when i left her with the easter bunny but overall we received pretty awesome pics!! olive was so good! i was so surprised and my heart was so full that she was excited to see him and not scared! the set up was so gorgeous! the balloon arch was beautiful and the flowers and lights were so springy and fun! i was so happy with the results!

after the easter bunny pics, we headed on over to the blue door kitchen and garden down on elm. it was so cute and cozy inside! the dinnerware was pretty, the libations were tasty, and the food was so delicious! i absolutely enjoyed our service; everyone was so attentive and polite! i definitely hope i can get back there with hc to eat again!

after our excursion at the restaurant, we shopped a little bit more and then headed on our way home. later that evening, the family came over to our house to eat dinner and dye eggs! our day was filled with so much fun!

it was such a lovely day. it really was. we had such a great time with everyone. seeing the easter bunny was so much fun, the restaurant was so good, and the company was even better. it was a really fun day with the family! time spent like that is priceless. oh, and the easter bunny did get olive her unicorn bouncy! yay!

happy easter lovelies!

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[i’m typically walton]

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[how gorgeous is this balloon display?]

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[i could stare at this all day…it’s so whimsical and pretty!]

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[i think i was more excited than olive when the easter bunny came out!]

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[she spotted the bouncy]

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[she’s going for it!]

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[no pictures of this next event but the poor babe fell on her face. eep!]

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[she faired better on this riding toy]

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[sweet babes running through the center]

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via tandeminlove.com[my sweet babe]

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[sweetest cousins]

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[cookie monster]

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[super auntie thuy and ellie]

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[what really happened…oh poor babe was so scared!]

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[blue door kitchen and garden]

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[terry and kim]

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[cutest kiddos]

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[the most delicious tea drink everrrrrr]

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[i love her so much]

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[yummy, yummy hummus]

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[my sweet olive]

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[this kale and brussel salad was ahhhhhhhmazing]

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[lan and avery]

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[these babes are too sweet]

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[i love her bob]

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[eating pizza before dyeing eggs]

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[reagan’s creative egg dyeing]

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[sweet babe ready for bed]

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[olive’s eggs]

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[pj time!]

xoxo

brunch in the city

it’s been a while since i’ve blogged anything. a few things contributed to this…one, my computer went kaput on me {part my fault and more on that later}, it’s still kind of ‘broken’ but i’m just getting by. i really need to get it looked at but {cue the little violins} i feel like i don’t have enough time everrrrrrrr. the idea of dealing with apple help makes me want to crawl under a rock. two…i have been feeling uninspired and overwhelmed {was it the winter blues??}, maybe that was causing me to not want to crack open my computer and type.

the whole situation with my phone and computer crashing and all the time we spent trying to fix everything was exhausting. i just needed a break. plus, i took a break from going out! nothing new, since after valentine’s day…there isn’t much in-between and relaxing was in order!

we did head out the weekend prior with my girlfriend olivia and her guy aaron but i really wanted to just enjoy my time with them. i didn’t want to snap a million pics and plus, it was at night and i didn’t feel like being intrusive with a camera and a flash!

i’m so glad i did because it was wonderful to catch up with them and just relax, enjoy our time together, and soak in the city. we went to sushi in bucktown and then had a night cap at a new hotel lounge across the street and it was just perfect!

well, the following weekend, i had a date with my girlfriend dana. ohhhhhh, my darling dana. she is 6+ months pregnant and looking fabulous! the holidays and winter always puts a damper on catching up with my friends. it’s not always as easy, so this date was long overdue!

we met up at our stomping ground {southport grocery and cafe} and had the best time. i absolutely loved catching up with her. we talked babies, we talked about giving birth, we talked about nursing, life, friends, hubby’s, and everything else in-between. i really think the tables next to us were appalled or shocked at our topics of conversation. i exclaimed that i loved child birth. yes. it’s true. as painful and crazy as it was to deliver both my girls, it was the BEST moment in my life {besides getting married to the love of my life}.

words really can’t describe childbirth and the miracle that it is. i absolutely loved being pregnant and i absolutely loved giving birth to my two beautiful girls. i view it as the most powerful thing i have ever done in my life. i could do that over and over. no joke. so, that is why the tables next to us gave us the side eyes. hahahaha!

anyhoo, we shopped a bit afterwards and then called it quits. this soon to be mama needed her nap; and i am allllllll about that because there’s really no sleeping after the baby comes. hahaha!

ohhhhhh, i am glad to be writing again and i am so glad to be on the move with my sweet friends!

happy week lovelies!

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[the mama to be]

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[coffee and juice]

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[goofy smiling]

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[we always have our go to favorites]

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[i can never pass up an omelette, biscuits, jam, and potatoes]

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[i love the good stuff they sell]

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[i love their displays! they’re always so pretty]

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[iphone selfie…gosh, the the camera phone make us look so well rested!!! ha!]

xoxo