ravenswood brunch

it had been awhile since i had seen andrea and her family! we finally made concrete plans on the calendar and stuck to it! the fam and i drove to ravenswood to meet up with them for brunch at local irish pub near their abode.

we arrived early {yay! it’s always a win when we do cause usually we are late. #familylife} and waited in a quiet corner of the restaurant while the girls colored away with the paper and crayons that were given to them. jamie and andrea arrived a bit later with their two nuggets in tow.

it’s always so good to see them! i was delighted when they arrived. i’m sure a lot of you understand that energy and vibe you get seeing good friends after a long gap. andrea and i have been friends for quite awhile but we don’t get together very often now that i don’t live close by. add in kids, work, life, etc…it’s too far too much time in-between visits but it always feels just as good and routine when we do meet up.

the girls played together – annabelle brought her entourage of MLP and both my girls were excited to play with them too! ellie, per usual, was attached to me and insisted on sitting on my lap almost the entire time. i can only get her to bug her dada if i trick her into it but it’s usually rare that she chooses to be in his arms over mine! hahaha!

we ate, we drank mimosas and bloody mary’s {i have no idea what beverages the men consumed but i’m sure they were tasty!}, and chatted away about life. after an hour or so, andrea and jamie needed to head out – annabelle had a birthday party to attend. we said our goodbyes and gave our warm hugs before heading out in the major snow!! oh, it was so pretty when we walked outside! the fluffy snow was falling all around and covered the ground!

i must be the only person living in chicago that absolutely loves the snow. it’s been hitting us hard core this winter and i don’t mind one bit. it’s such a joy, so pretty, and i don’t mind driving in it. i prefer to not drive in it but i don’t mind.

well, i hope it’s not too long in-between our next visit with this wonderful family! it was so good seeing you, andrea, and your beautiful family!

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[mean mugging before heading into the restaurant]

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[she’s so wild and fun]

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[working diligently on her artwork]

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[selfie]

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[andrea and sebastian]

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[sweet annabelle and olive]

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[chunker]

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xoxo

dg brunch

we’re big fans {or at least i am} of having brunch in the city. the ‘burbs just don’t do much for me. there are several places out here in la grange, hinsdale, etc. that are aestetically pleasing and offer great entrées but the overall vibe leaves much to be desired. or is it all in my head?! haha!

most of my friends pretty much all live in the city. yes, my immediate family is in the ‘burbs and i have a few friends out here as well {in different towns} but the friends i hang out on a regular basis status live in good old chi-town.

so, we usually take turns and rotate our meeting destination. whether they come to our house or we go to their area, we usually end up going to the city because we prefer it. i feel pretty fortunate that my friends do offer the rotation split…it’s always thoughtful!

well this time around, we were going to host our friends olivia and aaron at our house. when it came down to it, hc didn’t feel like cooking because he was preparing something for the Super Bowl that evening and he didn’t want to be cooking all day. so, we decided to meet our friends in our local downtown area.

we really enjoy this place, called pierce tavern. it’s ‘new’, it opened late last year and we love the vibe, cocktails, and food! we decided it was our place to meet and overall, had a great time hanging out with these two beautiful people. the girls were so well behaved and we were all able to catch up with very little chaos that usually surrounds young children. LOL.

cheers to good local places to hang and to even better friends to hang out with!

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[me and olivia]

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[the best things for little kids – crayons and paper]

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[i’ll miss those chubby cheeks when they’re gone]

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[ellie’s incredible 2 moves on dada]

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[my go to drink on sunday’s]

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[my loves]

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[apparently aaron is the star focus of this pic. hahaha!]

xoxo

first birthday party

so it begins.

olive was invited to a classmate’s birthday party. her very first birthday party ever! i was so excited over this and so was olive! it’s funny how special it is for me in a mommy sort of way and fun for her because she’ll be with her friends from school!

it was a very cold afternoon and the party was being held at olive’s gymnastics building, how easy and convenient! i had NO idea they hosted parties there! once inside, i signed a waiver and we ran downstairs to be greeted by gwen and george, sam’s parents. all the kids were already on one side of the building, playing with the parachute! i walked olive in, sam saw her and called her over to her. olive happily ran over to sam and joined in on the festivities.

hosting a party there is great! the instructors take care of everything. they are like the pied pipers. they lead the kids all around the gym, engaging them in fun activities, they serve the food, they divvy up the treats, direct the kids, and complete the clean up! how sweet is that? you bring the food, decor, and whatever else and they lead the event for you!

olive had such a great time! she loves playing with her friend sam…she told me that she is the one she plays with most at school. how sweet!

i didn’t take a bunch of pics as the kids were constantly in a different room from the parents plus, i always veer away from that when it involves other people’s kids.

olive’s first friend birthday party was a success! she loved all the activities, the food {she tried carrots for the ‘first’ time and like it!}, she loved the pink frosted cupcake treat, and was so excited over the purple {her favorite color} treat bag she received!

happy birthday sam and cheers to many more birthday parties to come!

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[olive eating carrots for the ‘first’ time and she didn’t choke! she actually liked it. duh!]

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[the cute favor bags her friend, sam, decorated]

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[the kids gathered around the instructor for favors and it’s so funny how close they got to her!]

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[with her good friend and birthday girl, sam. it was too cute, sam ran over to olive and gave her a big hug goodbye!]

xoxo

happy brunch

gosh. life. i think we…ok, i think i seriously have fomo. or fonde {fear of not doing enough} or fonda {fear of not doing anything} or for {fear of relaxing}. whatever it is…i cram wayyyyyyy too much into my calendar and i’m alllllllllllways busy. don’t get me wrong. i looooooooove to do nothing at times. it is so needed. i love to sit on the couch and not have to clean. do laundry. get something for the girls. make food. take a shower {where are my moms who understand me?!}. yes. there are moments where i just like to sit and do nothing but that is very rare.

but i always have something going on.

let me clarify something else. i might complain a bit that i am so busy but i love it more. i love being with my family. i love being with my friends. i love just being me. and part of that is to be social.

so a brunch date was in order with our friends dana and scott. it had been months since we have seen them. i’ve seen dana but we haven’t been able to get all of us together but today was the day!

we settled on a date. we lassoed everyone in and voila! we had everyone going to brunch! we met at the rookery and it was an awkward beginning. the server seemed disappointed there weren’t 7 adults but 4 adults and three kids. she wasn’t friendly at first and seemed rather annoyed with us and our kids {we made a reservation, in which we were asked several times by a few employees if we did. yesssss, we did! and besides that…the restaurant was empty}.

as time went by, she started to warm up to us but we honestly didn’t care or more so notice. we were thoroughly enjoying our time together with our friends. abe was soooooo darn cute, chunky, and so freakin’ laid back. oh, he was so squishy and adorable.

we caught up with each other, consumed delicious libations, adored each other’s kids, and ate yummy food. we just chilled. the restaurant wasn’t busy or packed and it was the perfect environment for us to just relax. the kids were in good spirits and the drinks were in full supply – encouraging us to stay and chat. we were there for a solid two hours before dana and scott had to run out. if dana didn’t have to get on a call, we probably would have sat there for, at least, another half hour!

it was so good to see them! goodness i love them! they are such a good couple and such a beautiful family! cheers to fabulous friends in your life!

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[is he not just the cuuuuuuuutest?!!! he’s such a sweet babe!]

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[he’s so sweet]

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[i completely didn’t take a pic of olive. at all. wahhhhh]

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[holding tight to baby jack jack]

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[kicking it]

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[the boys]

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xoxo

friends

my girlfriend from seattle came into town for the holidays with her family. we don’t get to see them often since they moved away, so it’s a wonderful event when they come here and we get to visit with them! we hosted them and two other close friends at our abode.

the evening was casual…it was the day before new year’s eve {we were hosting a party for our friends and family the next night}, so we wanted to keep it simple and fun. costco catered and we relaxed…ha!

everyone trickled in around 4pm and all we did was talk and the kids had fun. although, jaime’s babe, liam, was odd man out, being {almost} the only boy there!!! pam didn’t bring her two boys and travis is much older, so poor liam was on his own! plus, with us having two girls…we only had ‘girly’ toys and he was not interested!

ted and rich continued their bromance while us gals caught up on life. we served apps and threw dinner in the oven. hc was the responsible one for picking up the entrees at costco and we ended up having pasta, pasta, and more pasta!!! hahaha! no matter…they were all delicious choices and i am always game for some major carbs!

slowly throughout the evening, the ladies trickled out and carol and ted stuck around. before we knew it…i think it was almost 11pm!!!!!! oh, the past two weeks have been such laaaaaate nights for the girls. they have been going to bed sooooo late!

it’s always so good to see them, everyone! carol and i have been friends for 34 years!!!! cray, non?! this holiday season has been so special and moments like this make is just a little bit more extra.

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[pam, carol, and leighton]

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[pampers, carol, me, jaime, and leighton]

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[ohmergawd…i’m dyyyying. this is so cute!]

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[the peeps]

xoxo

splash magazine party

one of my ‘gram friends, jen, invited me to a magazine party in honor of her being on the cover with two other cool ladies from chicago. i was game but hc was not but my go to party friend, olivia was in and i was set! i debated on going, initially, because it was a night my girls had gymnastics {i love taking them}, it was a tuesday night, and it was so close to christmas and my to do list always feels like a mile long BUT i thought, damn it thu…just do it. freakin’ nike ad but yes, it’s my motto. it’s the only way i get shit done around here…hahaha!

i got ready {it felt like it took me forever to gather all my things!} and headed out the door into some heavy traffic. olivia and i decided to meet there and go in together. i picked her up at a café nearby and we found a sweet parking spot! we arrived at our destination and the party was in full swing. jen greeted us and olivia and i nabbed two glasses of rosé right away and in usual fashion, gabbed with each other non-stop. i love her! i love that my closest friends and i can talk endlessly, now that is true friendship!

well, we mingled a bit with my other ‘gram friends, ate apps, and eventually the dance floor got wild! we had so much fun! i loved connecting with and meeting new peeps doing the same thing! olivia and i were tearing up the dance floor with the other babes and we stayed so much longer than anticipated!

overall, it was a night out that was so needed! i had such a great time with olivia and all the other ladies! cheers to all the ladies who blog and, typically, not taken seriously but we definitely know how to party! haha!

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[i love snapchat and olivia]

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[oh you know, just chillin’ on the couch and throwing my new gucci bag on the floor…don’t look at this hc!]

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[the guest of honor, jen!]

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[‘gram friends kristen and carla]

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[‘gram friend amanda]

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[rosé all day]

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xoxo

brunch with matt and johann

we love these guys! hanging out with them is always so fun.

we had planned for a dinner at our house but everything that day was so topsy turvy. i forgot about plans to have the fam over for pumpkin carving that evening, so i asked matt if they could do brunch instead and they so graciously agreed to change the plans for us. plus, the weather was so unfavorable for our christmas mini photo sesh that morning, that those were cancelled. it was one erroneous surprise after another.

well, all eventually spanned out quite well. we made it to brunch early and had a wonderful time with matt and johann. we ate at oyster bah, a place we’ve never been to, and enjoyed our experience. as usual, we gabbed and gabbed and gabbed with one another while the girls were too cute and sweet.

the girls were dressed in their christmas outfits and looking so darn darling. so many strangers loved their looks and commented on how cute they were. well of course!

our hangs with matt and johann is always a good chunk of time. we love spending it talking and catching up. sometimes our brunch get togethers can be a couple hours. i am thankful i have two girls that can hang. olive is always so good and ellie can lose interest after an hour or so. once that happens, i usually attempt to entertain her until we leave {by walking around, typically}. she’s our short tempered, stubborn, tenacious babe. she loves to love and loves to hate. when this girl wants something, she won’t wait and will definitely let you know!

after ordering our entrees. manger, and drink after drink, we were ready to go. it’s always so lovely to hang with these two. i absolutely love their dynamics, humor, and friendship. until next time matt and johann! we love you guys!

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[hc, matt, and johann]

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[coloring away]

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[cheers!]

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[she’s so sweet]

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[i love this babe!]

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[playtime by the stairs]

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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

hb mason!

i can’t believe little mason is one!

my girlfriend, kim, celebrated her third baby’s first birthday party this past week. i can’t believe it’s been a year since mason was born. that totally flew by!

hc and us gals had a relaxing morning. the party wasn’t until 3, so we chilled and did random stuff until it was time to leave for the fête. i told kim i would arrive a bit early to help her with some of the decorations.

once there, i scurried around, finishing up some last minute decor touches, snapped some pics, and then sat back with a beer. well, kind of. ellie was in rare form that day {and honestly, of late…she’s become soooooo attached!}. she clung, CLUNG to me or hc. she didn’t want to venture off on her own, she didn’t want to play with the other kids. she didn’t want to play with her sister. she didn’t want to be left alone by either one of us {especially me!}! plus, she didn’t get the nap that she needed.

so, there we were, trying to pass her back and forth, socialize with others, and drink and eat – one handed, or no handed. hahaha! overall, it was great to catch up with kim, her friends, and family! the party decor that kim dreamt up looked fabulous and i was so happy to have helped!

olive and brady had a blast playing together as usual! the food was delicious and the company even better!

happy birthday sweet mason!

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[father daughter]

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[brady and olive…so sweet!]

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[isn’t she darling?]

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[oh, these kids]

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[the one second we didn’t have ellie in our arms. what you don’t see is her tugging at our legs, crying]

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[oh sweet girl]

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[i created a chalkboard sign for kim!]

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[me and the party planner]

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[the FIVE minutes she actually sat by herself and not in our arms]

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[donut grow up theme]

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[she’s clingy but oh so sweet]

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[kim, amy, and phil]

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[sweetest pasta sauce smile]

xoxo