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

bunny good time!

it was a mix of many things this past weekend. it was the weekend before easter and hc’s birthday. we were able to do a lot of fun easter driven things and unfortunately, most of the birthday inspired activities fell through. there was the snow storm on sunday which cancelled plans for a lunch up at hc’s parent’s house. i had planned a spa afternoon and dinner at a yummy restaurant for his actual birthday but that fell through as hc had to stay late at work {his boss was flying in mid afternoon and he had to be there}.

nevertheless, it was still a good, fun, relaxing time!

we had a date with the easter bunny on saturday morning. as usual, our morning started off slow and always winds up in a frenzied rush to get out of the house. i didn’t want to be too late, as in, i wasn’t sure if the line for the bunny would be too long. last year, it was at least an hour and half long wait and we arrived there early!

we were third in line, which was great! the person manning the virtual wait list told us to not go far, as we would be up soon once the bunny arrived. hey, no problem. we grabbed a seat right by the check in and waited until we received a text from the virtual queue. i received the text that we were up next, so i walked up and the host told us to step in the 8 person deep line. um, what? what is the point of a virtual line if your place in line is not honored?? i was annoyed. hc made a great point, it was worthless for us to arrive a half hour early to secure our place in the virtual line and if we had arrived 40 minutes later, we would have not waited and had the same place in line as our virtual queue, because it didn’t matter. we could have just walked up and it would have saved us time in the morning and all the rushing we did just to secure a place that was not recognized. i was peeved.

the good new was that the line moved quickly. the bad news was, ellie was starting to freak out. she was sooooooooooo scared of the bunny. i mean she was freaking the f8ck out! as our turn with the bunny drew near, she started to melt down. i was holding her and she literally screamed for my sister, thuy, to save her {who was standing outside the ropes}, she said, “i want thuyyyyyyy!” and cried. when it was our turn, girlfriend literally belted out in the loudest voice, “noooooooooooooooooo! no! nooooo! no!!” everyone was like “awwwwww” as in they felt her pain.

we got a few pics in and we went on our merry way. poor ellie…i didn’t want to traumatize her! i felt so bad she was freaking out hard core. although olive was a pro! she was so excited to see the bunny and couldn’t wait to tell him what she wanted for easter! i get it though…olive was not keen on santa, bunnies, or anything of that sort until she was about 4 years old, so we have time with ellie {only being 2 1/2!}.

we all walked to a favorite restaurant called the blue door kitchen and garden {off of elm and rush}. we were seated upstairs {it’s so quaint and cute}, where it was a little more spacious and less crowded. the girls were so well behaved but it helped having their cousin with them, reagan, who is so good with them!

we ordered food for the girls right away and libations. we hemmed and hawed just a wee bit on the entrees but finally concluded to a few delicious choices. i really enjoyed everything about the restaurant: the ambience, the decor, how relaxing it was and the great service. i also adore how the girls love to explore and how comfortable the environment was for them to do so. that always makes for a relaxing, stress free dining experience!

after brunch, we traipsed our way back to bloomingdale’s, where we hung out a bit more {we are a bit obsessed with aster hall}. kim and reagan had to head back for his baseball game and thuy had plans with a friend in the evening.

once we arrived home and settled in, we dyed easter eggs! it was such a fun time. olive truly loved it and had a great time creating different colors, drawing on the eggs, and making unique designs. we used shaving cream with food coloring to create swirl dyed eggs, we had mod podge, glitter, confetti, markers, stickers, party hats and metallic paper to promote creativity! ellie, on the other hand, preferred to watch us, yawn, and roll her eyes at us. LOL. she’s such a character.

we crammed a lot into our saturday but i wouldn’t have it any other way. i love being busy and keeping busy and diving deep into anything holiday related! happy easter week my friends!

*****

900 NORTH SHOPS CHICAGO

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[anxiously waiting for the easter bunny!]

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[being skeptical about everything]

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[she styled her outfit and hair!]

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[we really had to talk to ellie and tried to convince her that bunny was a good dude]

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[miss ellie couldn’t stand still for anything]

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[playing around and waiting for the bunny]

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[look at ellie crying!]

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[i totally didn’t want to be in the pic but here we are!]

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*****

BLUE DOOR KITCHEN AND GARDEN

via tandeminlove.com[she was entertained by her little figurines]

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[pretty plates]

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[enjoying our time with family]

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[pretty corners everywhere]

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[high tea]

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[mes seours]

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[classic ellie]

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[hc ordered a drink called the boss and it just baffled olive why they kept serving the boss to dada. LOL]

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[the prettiest restaurant]

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[my sweet tenacious babe]

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[chicken and waffles]

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[i am obsessed with kale and cabbage salads!]

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[the prettiest light…auntie kim with the prettiest ladies]

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[hustling through the streets of chicago]

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[the clan gang]

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[my old stomping ground]

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*****

EASTER EGGS

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[easter egg dying]

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[working diligently]

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[eggcited over the colors!]

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[how ellie dyes easter eggs]

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[glitter, confetti, party hats, markers, food dye…oh my!]

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[shaving cream food dye colored eggs]

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[her easter egg bunny creation]

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xoxo

spring break staycation

olive loves hotels. she loves staying at a hotel. she loves sleeping in them. she loves watching tv in the room. it cracks me up how much she loves being there. from one vacation to the next, olive will always hint to me how much she loves flying on a plane and staying at a hotel.

well, for spring break, we decided to do a staycation in our favorite city! there would be no airplane but definitely a hotel stay! on our way there, olive kept exclaiming how excited she was for our ‘family vacation!!!!!’. so adorable!

we stayed at the millennium knickerbocker hotel and my sister {last minute} ended up staying at the park hyatt hotel, a few blocks away! they were suppose to fly to california but some health issues put a stop to that, so they wanted to get ‘away’ and booked a room at a hotel off the ave too!

so it was extra fun having family with us! the kids jumped on beds, swam, ate, stayed up way too late, ate some more junk food, shopped, perused toy stores, explored, and then some!

the weather wasn’t so great {hello chicago!} so we didn’t venture outside as much as we liked but if you’re staying in chicago, i highly recommend visiting millenium park, lincoln park zoo, the shedd aquarium, the science and industry museum, peggy notebaert nature museum to name a few!

we loved eating at food life in watertower place, ghirardelli’s, aster hall at 900, benihana’s in the hancock building, eataly are some great places to take your kiddos!

we had such a fun time with the kiddos! they loved staying at the hotel, exploring new places, and breaking all the rules!

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[immediately chillaxin’]

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[the sweetest sisters]

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*****

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[watertower chicago lego store!]

*****

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[walking hand in hand]

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[my world]

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[she’s so cool]

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[really olive?!]

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[swim time at the park hyatt hotel!]

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[having fun with dada]

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[she’s so happy]

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[sweet kisses]

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[laughing at the boys]

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[best of friends]

*****

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[ellie was enamored with the park hyatt’s dog, parker]

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[she was too cute with her!]

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*****

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[this awesome new eatery is at 900 north]

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[ordering our food]

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[these three…ellie is not quite there yet]

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[this was so so so so good!]

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[she loves to talk. about. everything.]

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[the sweet lady behind the counter gave olive her little chocolate heart for free!]

*****

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[this picture just kills me. i love her so much, it hurts]

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[silly sisters]

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[ellie is always running off somewhere]

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[she loved this ponycycle!]

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[they’re so cute]

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[wonderoll rolled ice cream]

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[she loved american girl doll…what little girl doesn’t?]

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[silly babes]

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[she was so excited!]

*****

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[oh my]

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[ellie insisted on wearing these glasses at night]

*****

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[she loved seeing al the fish and animals – ellie screamed, terrified]

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[she’s so sweet]

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[it literally sparkled]

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[olive loved how big this fish was!]

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xoxo

brunch with o + e’s guncles!

we’re partial to hanging out in the city than the ‘burbs but we have the rare moments where we just don’t want to go far. we’re fortunate to have friends {the ones who live in the city} that are willing to alternate our meeting destinations. well, this past weekend, we were feeling it and matt and johann gladly came out our way.

we met at our current favorite place, pierce tavern. we love the vibe, the food, drinks, the staff. there was a bit of a wait, so we all walked to starbucks for coffee. our table became ready at the perfect time and we all made the short walk back to the restaurant, ready to eat!

they seated us at the first bar table by the door. imo, the worst table ever. one, when people are waiting by the host stand for their table, they literally sit on top of you. two. the chairs are so high, ellie would most likely plummet off of it and probably hurt herself, and three…it was right by their two way entrance – which meant high traffic and people constantly brushing past you. yuck.

anyhow, no matter. we made the most of it and we were most definitely not going to wait again for a lower table further in the restaurant. we squished the girls in-between the adults and first things first…drinks! we started ordering drinks, apps, drinks, food, drinks, and more drinks. these dudes are like fishes, then there’s me who nursed her spicy bloody mary the entire time because miss ellie could.not.be.apart.from.me. she let hc hold her for 7 minutes {so i had enough time to eat my food} and then it was back to kiki’s arms again and pretty much for the rest of the duration of our restaurant stint {and we weren’t there for a short period of time either!}.

as always, we had a great experience at pierce! once we finished up, we invited matt and johann back to our place to hang out some more. what started at noon, ended at 7? mannnnnn, we can totally hang with them! the girls were super good and low key…i loved that we were able to spend time with matt an johann allllllll day and the girls just flowed with it!

we had such a good time with them {always} and hc worked hard on trying to convince matt to move close to our area. johann is sold on that idea but not matt. he was steadfast in his opinions and even the libations weren’t swaying him! we also tried to convince them to sleep over but that was a no go either. LOL.

we reluctantly agreed to end the evening, we seriously have so much fun with them! thanks guys, for coming our way! it was so much fun and we love you two oh so much!!!

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[olive, moi, and matt]

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[extra spicy bloody mary]

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[the best thing a restaurant can do for your kids!]

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[three amigos]

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[delicious pork ramen]

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[this crusty mouth, booger nosed cutie is the best. the best at being high maintenance. LOL]

xoxo

serena and lily

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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[the delicious spread]

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

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

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[raven roxanne reading her book to the kiddos]

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

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

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[drawing their own nests]

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[color choices]

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[raven checking on everyone’s drawing]

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[ellie’s nest]

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[olive’s nest]

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[dream bedrooms set and beautiful girl]

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

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[olive wanted to show off her picture!]

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[with the artist and author, roxanne]

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[my sweet girls]

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[the beautiful little book]

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[so dreamy]

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

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

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

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[squishing her face into the railing]

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[pouting]

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[she loves her big sister]

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[more coloring!]

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[the hubs…don’t mind his beard]

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[kale and brussel salad]

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[we’re at papersource lincoln park]

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xoxo