kim’s 29th birthday!

we celebrated kim’s birthday this past weekend at pacific standard time, a restaurant of her choice.

so, funny story…i had text hc about our reservation time and confusion ensued. here’s our conversation {modified for your enjoyment}.

me: dinner is at 5 at pacific standard time

hc: 5? downtown? well, if you really think about it, 5pm is really 7pm cst but it’s still cutting it close to get to the restaurant.

me: hun, pacific standard time is the name of the restaurant. thuy wasn’t confused when she said the dinner reservations were at 5 at pacific standard time.

bahahahahahaha!

we all, almost, arrived on time {thuy was a bit behind}. our time was well spent drinking tasty libations and lively conversations between us before we placed our order. our server was detailed and encouraging during our time there. i loved how passionate she was about the menu, the food, and her astounding memory! she absorbed our appetizer {and we ordered a lot} and entree order with no glitches. everything came as specified and i was impressed!

we ohhh’d and ahhhh’d over our meals, we shared plates, and became giddy as our tastebuds were delighted! everyone throughly enjoyed kim’s cod…yes, that was written out comically, but we really loved her fish! it was my, and most, favorite dish!

the food kept on coming and we merrily passed along each plate to consume everything in sight. as our belly’s filled up, our evening out together dwindled. our server then brought out a surprise dessert for kim’s birthday – we awkwardly sang happy birthday and kim angrily blew out her candle {you would have to have seen my instagram story to understand}, and we cheered!

after dinner, we took a few pics outside and enjoyed the gorgeous warm temps. warm summer nights are an absolute favorite of mine! it was a wonderful time out celebrating my sister kim! happy birthday kimberdo!

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[pacific standard time]

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[ma seours]

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[lan. agata, and dan]

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[kim’s amazing cod, like, seriously…it was sooooooo good]

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[the half eaten delicious pappardelle]

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[this dessert was decadent and delicious]

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[happy birthday kim!]

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xoxo

day date

hc and i needed to find counter stools and we decided to make a day date out of it. my dear sister, thuy, kindly decided to watch the girls for us! we were so excited to have an afternoon with just the two of us.

we headed out to wrigleyville to a favorite brunch spot, southport grocery. we walked in and the hostess said, “it’s a 30 minute wait.” okaaaayyyyyy. we looked around and there were 4 tables open. yes, there could have been other people on the waiting list in front of us but there was a table in front of the window that was open, that we noticed, and when they text us that our table was ready {20 minutes later}, they seated us in that same table that was open. huhhhhh? ok, and maybe some people in front of us on the waiting list didn’t come back but highly unlikely!

anyhoo, we sat down and ordered drinks right away. some sort of old-fashioned drink for hc and a mimosa for moi! i was a bit bummed that they changed some of the ingredients in the omelette that i usually ordered {but i love that they keep it seasonal}, so i went rogue. i ended up ordering the avo toast and i think i have a new favorite! it was so yummy and the perfect amount of food!

after brunch, hc and i headed over to wrightwood furniture to shop for some counter stools. we knew what we wanted but you never know if you’ll like it until you see it! initially, we liked it but we wanted to walk around and peruse the shop, just in case we might like something else more! well, we came back to the original stool and closed the deal. we walked away with the stools we needed and once we got them home and put them in place, we looooooved them! they are a perfect addition to our kitchen!

after being out and about all day, we all stayed in for the evening. hc concocted a yummy app plate of hummus and other delicious dips right before he cooked a wonderful dinner for us!

what a day! it was lovely, perfect, and fun; our evening in together was just what we needed to end the night!

via tandeminlove.com[avo toast…so good!!!]

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[puppy dog eyes]

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[mimosa]

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[hc trying to take a pic of me but focusing on the flatware instead]

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[hc put together this yummy app plate before he started cooking dinner!]

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xoxo

brunch with friends

we don’t get to see these two guys very often…but when we do, it’s always so fun and feels like we did just see each other!

we’ve eaten at band of bohemia before and we liked it so much that we needed to go there again! matt made reservations for us and shockingly, hc and famille actually arrived early! it’s a hit or miss for us…usually it’s a miss but once in a blue moon, we will actually have our act together and get out the door on time!

we arrived early and snapped some fun pics and sashayed our way inside. they seated us right away but within minutes, johann and matt showed up! we ordered copious amounts of libations, perused the menu, and settled on our choices. we chitchatted and took care of ellie, cause she’s high maintenance. she’s such a wiggle worm. she doesn’t like unfamiliar enviromments and will only want us to hold her but she can’t sit still so it’s like a flippin’ wrestling match with this little chunker.

after we ate, olive asked us if she could play over by the waiting area. it has a record player, music blasting, games, comfy couches and chairs, and it’s a perfect play area for these babes. i was a bit hesitant because i didn’t want her to go by herself {we could still see her if she went} but i didn’t want to sit over there with her because we were still visiting with matt and johann. we asked her to wait a bit longer and she complied. after 10 minutes {it probably feels like an eternity to a kid} she asked again and i let her go.

our brunch turned into a 2.5 hour long event, as usual. is it me? is it us? is it hc’s doing {ha probably not!}? it seems like whenever i meet up with my friends, we can gaaaaaaaab for hours and hours. hmmmm, i think it’s me. hahahaha!

anyhoozle, it was definitely a fab time together. the drinks were tasty, the bites were good but the company was even better. until next time my dear friends!

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[ellie always giving the side eye]

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[cheers!]

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[ellie always needing to be in one of our arms]

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[the prettiest, cutest bagel and lox i ever did see]

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[johann, hc, and ellie]

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[she’s the silliest girl]

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xoxo

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