brunch time with my gals

mhenry, here we come!

i love going to this restaurant. it’s one of my top three favorite brunch places in chicago. what made this trip even more exciting?! meeting my gals, dana and olivia!! yeahhhhhh. i love these babes and i, seriously, have the best time with them every.time.

my trip in was interesting. i took my usual route but forgot about lollapalooza…whaaaaaa? so, i had to detour down michigan ave. yuck. i avoid the avenue like the plague but on this day, it was inevitable. i needed to get on lsd, so i drove down to oak and finally got on! my cruise through the avenue was not bad, thank goodness, due to it being so early in the morning!

i decided to not go straight on hollywood {the line of cars made me avoid it} but turn left onto sheridan but the blocks are so long on this road that i ended up driving past my destination! as i turned down thorndale, a car pulled out in front of me and it was driving soooooooooooooo slow. no joke. s o  s l o o o o o o w. as we inched towards a light that was doing it’s countdown {9, 8, 7, 6…}, this car was probably moving at 20 mph or less and we got the red. arghhhhhhhh. i pulled up beside the car {old folks} and reminded myself, this could be someone’s grandma…be nice, be nice. well, the light turned green and i smoked this car. as i drove down the street, i looked in my review mirror and this car was just passing the intersection as i was two blocks away. gahhhh! i drove a few more blocks, parallel parked my car, grabbed my stuff, and starting walking towards the restaurant. as i did that, the old lady finally passed me. hahaha!

we all arrived within minutes of each other. we were seated right away and started our gab sessions. we talked and talked and talked. it was so great catching up with these ladies! they gave us our check and we continued to talk. a server came by to grab our check and we still hadn’t given our cards. we gabbed some more. then he came by again to grab the check. still empty…no cards. we shared some more stories. then he came by one more time and i said, “gosh, we need to pay the check!”. so, we finally put our cards into the sleeve and immediately another person grabbed our check and came back with the receipts. we were so oblivious.

we finally dragged our arses off our chairs and walked outside. omg. there were, at least, 25  people waiting for a table. hahaha! that is probably why they came to our table for the check so many times!!! there was such a big wait! eep. regardless, we had such a great time there and never felt pressured by the staff to leave or at least, we were not concerned, worried, or picked up on any bad vibes.

it was so good to see my gals! after brunch, dana needed to get to a jnf meeting and olivia invited me over to check out her new abode. it was great to hang out with miss olivia a bit longer and check out her new dig!

it was a gorgeous day and i had such a great time out without the kiddos! girl time is crucial as a mom! typically, i slightly don’t want to {gosh, i love my baby girls!} but i know it’s good for the soul to get out there and do something for me!

cheers to sunday brunch! it’s my favorite!

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[my favorite girls]

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[staples]

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[blissberry pancakes – my go to every time]

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[checking out her new house!]

xoxo

happy birthday b + b!

my girlfriend, kim, tends to have her babes in mid/late july or august. so, naturally, after having her third baby in july, she decided to have a joint birthday party for her first two kids, brady + brooklyn in july.

well, here’s the story. kim and i were exchanging text messages about the party. she initially said it was starting at 3:30pm and then a week before the party, we exchanged a few more text messages and she wanted to confirm that we were going because she wanted to finalize the count for food, dinner at 4:30pm. i was, for sure! we were going to be there and we were super excited to attend the party.

the day of the party, i told my husband that the party was going to start at 4:30, so we had some time during the day to do whatever. i did say to him that i thought it was odd that the party was so late, especially for a kids party! well, we did random things and around 3 o’clock, i headed out to the store to pick up some birthday gifts for the babes and a little gift for mason. we were lollygagging and so late already…on our defense, ellie was sleeping and we didn’t want to wake her up.

anyhoo, kim texts me and says, “are you still coming?”. um, what? it was only 4:45 and we were about to leave and that wasn’t going to make us terribly late to a party that just started. i text her back and said, “yes! didn’t the party start at 4:30?”. she text me back saying the party started at 3!!!! ohmergawd!!!! what?!!! i freaked out! we were sooooooooo late!

we then ran around grabbing stuff left and right. gahhhhh. i couldn’t believe i messed up the party time! we hit the road and slowly drove there…hc recently learned a hard lesson with speeding so it was painful to drive the speed limit. yes, keeping it real. i am a lead foot and absolutely terrible at driving the speed limit.

we arrived and told everyone we only came to eat and leave. hahaha! just kidding! it actually turned out perfect…it was intimate and it was super fun just hanging out with kim and her family! that was the best. i loved having uninterrupted time with everyone and it was very relaxing. we ate, sang happy birthday, and then the kiddos opened up their gifts. olive was too cute…she was having a blast with everyone and it’s been such a joy to see her blossom socially. she loves making new friends and plays so well with anyone she meets. it just melts my heart to see her grow.

after a few hours, it was time to leave and i was a bit sad. i always have such a great time at kim’s house, whether it’s a party or it’s just a play date – it’s always wonderful to hang out with her!

well, i can’t wait to celebrate all three kiddo’s birthdays next year {since they were all born just weeks apart!}!! happy birthday brooklyn & brady {& mason}! y’all are so loved!

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[the dino luau party theme!]

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[a unicorn and her buddy brady]

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[leis]

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[with the hostess with the mostess]

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[sweet baby mason being fed by grandma!]

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[the cutest, most festive cakes!]

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[detaaaaaails]

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[my stern unicorn babe]

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[the sweetest babes]

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[blow out the candle and make a wish!]

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[i’m so in love with her]

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[my loves]

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[yummy, festive lemonade]

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[kim and mason]

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[this pic killlllllls me. it’s so dang cute!!!]

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[brady is so cute with olive]

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[this babe. this pic. this pose.]

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[i mean, their outfits!!!]

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[sweet boy]

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[she’s ready to open her gifts!]

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[she’s so excited!]

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[the cutest baby bum]

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[the cutest dino gummy favors]

xoxo

catch up

it was time for another reunion with the s family! we love getting together with kim, brady, brooklyn, and soon to be new addition baby s!

i grabbed a coffee and hit the road. we cruised there, i mean cruised there!!! the kennedy renovations were completed and whoa! what a difference does it make! the roads were open, there wasn’t a construction zone speed limit, and no congestion to fight through.

i arrived in the area so early {for a change!}, i decided to stop for gas and take my sweet time because i always find myself driving like a maniac, hoping i’m not too late {to any engagement}! hahaha!

as i pulled up onto to her driveway, sweet brooklyn was peering out the window! that was so cute and a wonderful first reception. typically, it’s brady looking out the window but on this day, we were graced with brooklyn’s pretty mug.

olive excitedly walked up to the door and we busted through her front entry way! hugs were exchanged and the fun began! brooklyn was obsessed with ellie and olive immediately ran to all the toys. brady was being shy, and kim and i started o catch up with all sorts of life adventures.

let me tell you, kim is so preggo and so darn cute with that baby belly, that it makes me miss mine. well, i still have a bit of leftover pudge from being pregnant but that’s not the same. haha!

i may say this a thousand times but i love hanging out with this mama. she’s a sweetheart, we have so much in common {from similar timelines of life or to our disposition on many subjects} and we truly enjoy each other’s company. brady and olive play together so  well and brooklyn is currently obsessed with ellie…it was too darn cute to watch her ‘dote’ on her as ellie cried about brooklyn’s overly affectionate ways. plus, i found out a cute fact: ever since brady had met ellie when she was a newborn {maybe a week old?}, he’s called every baby he’s seen since, ellie. how freakin’ cute is that?!

after many hours of us chatting, the time had come for us to leave. ellie needed a nap and we didn’t want to be in the thick of rush hour traffic. so, we said our goodbyes – my favorite part because it’s so darn cute to watch brady and olive kiss and hug their farewells!

hopefully we can meet up with kim before she has another bundle of joy {due in july!}! cheers to great friends!

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[the cutest friends!]

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[brooklyn is obsessed with babies]

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[cutest sequence of pics]

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[my sweet friend]

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[hugs and kisses goodbye]

xoxo

oysters for brunch

original plans fell through but the new plan still included the originals. haha!

we hemmed and hawed over where we were going to eat. matt and johann suggested that we meet somewhere in the ‘burbs but the burbs {when it comes to restaurant choices} boooooooore me. it’s basically chain, there are a few unique, good restaurants to choose from and they are so sporadic.

i preferred finding a restaurant in the city, it’s just more fun! the sun was out and temp was just right outside. we decided upon gt fish and oyster. i love the ambience, decor, and delicious brunch menu. we met up around 11am and we were seated immediately {with reservations, of course!}. we had a spacious corner spot and we had a great wait staff. they were so attentive to the kids…which is always a bonus in my book!

olive had a blast with the crayons and coloring paper and ellie enjoyed eating the crayons and drawing all over her onesie. we really had a wonderful time. the kids were so well behaved {natch}, the food was yummy, and we always enjoy our time with matt and johann.

it’s times like these that make me smile. number one…i love brunch. brunch makes me happy. i don’t know what it is about brunch. is it the fabulous breakfast foods? is it the coffee? is it the alcohol? is it because it’s the first meal of the day? or perhaps, it’s the city scenery that i love? anyhoo, brunch on sundays fill my heart with happiness and warmth and twirl it around with our kids, hc, friends or family – i’m set!

we took our sweet time eating, drinking, and just reveling in life, because we are truly blessed and fortunate. that is how sunday brunches should be!

cheers!

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[spicy!]

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[sweet cheeks]

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[aren’t they cute]

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[yummy mimosa]

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[cheers!]

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[so delicious]

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[i love this smiley babe]

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[yummy!!!]

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[i love this crew!]

xoxo

daaaaaana

my darling dana came to visit us!

we were so ready to meet up with her at our favorite stomping ground in chicago but olive had gotten really sick. so there was no going out at.allllll. dana so kindly came to visit us at home and it turned out to be a perfect afternoon.

i ordered food for us to be delivered…i made sure dana had options since she was observing passover and could only eat certain foods. we then giggled, chatted up a storm, and just chillaxed…oh, i so needed that. especially since olive had not been feeling well and it was a bit of a rough week for all of us.

i absolutely love this girl. she’s funny, quirky, real, raw, hilarious, sweet, kind, thoughtful…um, she possesses every quality of a great, true friend. no judgement, no anger, no accusations, no bean counting, just real, awesome friendship. we don’t talk all the time, we don’t see each other all the time, and we don’t worry about it ever. we know that when we do, it’s always the same yet not the same…consistent like a three star michelin restaurant. hahaha!

olive warmed up to dana and ellie just likes everyone so it was a win win situation for everyone! after hours and hours of laying around, dana needed to hit the road and try her best to avoid the terrible traffic back home. she was so brave coming out to us on a friday afternoon and if anyone knows one thing about chicago, no one wants to drive anywhere on a friday afternoon!

i was sad to part ways with her but until next time my darling dana. we will meet again and have the best time together once again!

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[hey girl]

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[pajama day]

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[olive insisted that i took pictures of her gummy bears!]

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[me and my cutie babe]

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[dana and olive]

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[sweetest ladies]

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[passover perfect meal]

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[hi]

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xoxo

atrium brunch

one, we were excited to meet up with olivia and aaron. two, we were super excited to try 3 arts cafe in the restoration hardware building. a six floor mecca of insane home inspiration. i really mean insane. it’s probably the most gorgeous store i have ever been to.

you walk inside and immediately it’s sensory overload. the architecture of the building is stunning, the colors are so pleasing, the luxurious fabrics against your fingertips were titillating, your eyes dart from one space to the next, almost unsure on what to focus on, and the chandeliers are absolutely mesmerizing…i could go on and on! every room was gorgeous and meticulously well kept. they had a cleaning lady walking around and that was all she did…maintain each room to perfection.

olivia, olive, ellie, and i walked around to explore while hc and aaron stayed downstairs and talked. we walked and talked and drooled over every single room. olive was having a blast. she loved inspecting each room and she loved hiding her dinosaur under every blanket she found. she thought it was the funniest thing! she is too adorable!

we only made it throughout the second floor {plus feeding ellie} before we headed back downstairs to check on our table. get this – aaron and olivia got to the restaurant at 10:05am or close to that time {they open at 10am} and the wait was already 1.5 hours!!! the hostess told them that the line to get in before they opened wrapped around the building and everyone waited in the p o u r i n g rain! whaaaaaa? cray!

anyhoo, it was close to noon and we were finally seated. i said to our group that after waiting for so damn long, we were going to sit at our table for freakin’ two hours! hahaha! actually we ended doing just that. we were having such a great time! the restaurant inside the atrium was gorgeous. everything was lavish, decadent, and supple. ellie’s highchair was made out of leather! hellooooo?! so amaze! i loved what i ordered and the bellini’s went down way too fast! yum!

after a few hours of hanging out, we went on our merry way home. it was such a great brunch! i loved eating there, the ambience was exciting, and it was just plain fun. the wait for a table was quite long but it felt like minutes when your surrounded by possible hours of exploration. what a novel idea this is! i can’t wait to go back and experience this again.

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[a sneak peek into the restaurant]

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[every corner you turned, there was an amazing living space]

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[ellie looking so sweet]

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[a coffee shop tucked away]

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[going up in the cool, cozy elevator]

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[the windows in the inner circle of the rooms opened up to the restaurant]

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[she had so much fun hiding her dragon under the blankets on the bed]

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[despite olive’s rbf face, she was having a blast!]

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[i loved the moss that they had everywhere]

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[i was loving all the colors and textures]

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[me and my babes]

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[my gorgeous babe chillin’ on a couch]

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[olivia and ellie being so cute]

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[the restaurant was so gorgeous in the atrium]

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[i love the olive trees in the eating area]

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[she was so sweet and patient, as always]

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[she was being so cute, ‘looking’ over the menu with olivia]

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[seriously? first, she is sooooo cute and second, this high chair is made with leather!]

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[cheers!]

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[i love this beautiful couple…such sweet souls]

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[love my time with these babes]

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[i looooooved my brunch plate]

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[best picture i could get of these two clowns]

xoxo

twin baby boy shower

a friend i met recently, christina, became pregnant with twin baby boys! her and her husband, michael are beyond ecstatic and we couldn’t be happier for them!

i was invited to her baby shower and, of course, i rsvp’d yes! i love parties, baby showers, wedding, bridal showers, brunch…you name it! i will always do my best to go if my schedule allows!

it was held in the evening, due to her guest’s schedules, and not too far from where we live. i was sad to leave my babies behind {i almost wanted to bring ellie} but excited to get out for a few hours by myself.

the decor for the party was so stinkin’ cute! her friend roberta did such a great job assembling everything together! she made a diaper cake, decorated balloons, made food, and helped out with so many details to make her shower super special!

i mingled, ate food, drank lemonade, and got to know her other guests a little bit better. the apps were delicious and the food served was savory and perfect. i really enjoyed sitting down with a few guests and talking over a few fun subjects, like vegas, babies, weddings, and palm springs…such fun topics!!

after dinner, we guessed the inches around her baby bump and then she opened up her gifts! baby stuff is soooooooo cute, boy or girl styles! we ooohhhh’d and ahhhhh’d over the cute items and then dessert was served. i didn’t stick around much longer {being a nursing mom…i was on a schedule} and headed out and home to feed miss ellie. the party spot was only 20 minutes away at most so it was easy for me to jet out and get back to my babes.

christina’s shower was beautiful, fun, and soooooo darn cute! i am so happy for her and can’t wait to meet her two baby boys! congrats christina and michael! y’all are so blessed!

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[the delicious salad made by roberta]

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[the cute diaper cake made by roberta…this decor never gets old]

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[me and the mommy to be]

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[the gorgeous balloons by roberta]

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[christina calls her babes, baby A and baby B]

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[roberta and kathy]

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[balloon decor]

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[strawberry lemonade]

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[guess the how big the mama’s bump is…i WON!!!!]

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[presents galore!]

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[christina opening up her cute gifts]

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[gorgeous, happy mama]

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[how pretty is this cake?!]

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xoxo

dinner party

our dear friend andrea invited us to a dinner party in celebration of her husband, jaime’s birthday. we love getting together with them; they are fun, funny, smart, and sweet as can be.

we come to find out that andrea had hired a chef for the evening to serve us dinner! how cool is that?! oh, it was going to be a fun, decadent evening! plus, it was a kid friendly party! woo hoo! double bonus!

we arrived on time and were greeted by jamie. olive was a bit overwhelmed and became super clingy and upset so i knew what would calm her down…toys! andrea and jamie have a ‘play area’ downstairs and i knew olive would get lost down there with all the fun items all around her! so, downstairs she went and we never saw her again! hahahaha!

we were immediately served champagne and hor d’oeuvres were plentiful ~ yum! don’t mind if i do! we mingled and visited with everyone while hc and i switched between holding ellie. we love their friends and have such a great time catching up with everyone. the chef was hard at work and i guzzled champagne and ate a lot of cheese ~ my weakness! we periodically checked on olive and continued to enjoy ourselves. did i mention that jamie and andrea have the most gorgeous home in chicago?! let me just say it’s so fabulous!

we were called to sit down for dinner and i was so excited to eat! the chef gave us details of each dish that was served. i loved that we were informed on ingredients of each delicious plate that we were about to consume. each portion served was a combination of wonderful flavors and eat bite made my mouth and mind happy! we had the best time at our table and the conversation was delightful, funny, and entertaining. gosh, i love moments like these!! great food, drinks, and friends, you just can’t go wrong!

oh my! we were having a great time! we made it through the end of the meal with two happy kids but it was almost nine thirty and we were ready to go. the kids were holding up great and were so good but we know our limits. it was almost ten o’clock by the time we left and it was perfect. we had a fabulous night, the kids were in great spirits, and we left just in time!

we had such a wonderful evening! thank you to jamie and andrea for inviting us over for jamie’s birthday dinner! it was fun, fabulous, delicious, and perfect!

cheers to amazing friendships!

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[the pretty table setting]

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[the menu for the evening]

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[daddy and daughter]

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[aren’t these ladies by my side so pretty?!]

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[appetizers and plenty of booze…mmmmmm]

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[party time]

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[the chef for the evening]

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[bottomless glass…keep it coming!]

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[feeding ellie before we feast]

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[kathryn and ginger]

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[these babes were being so cute together]

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[hmmmm, i am so cute!]

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[the chef explaining each entree]

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[the delicious pomegranate salad]

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[ellie entertaining herself during dinner]

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[hostess with the mostess]

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[baby, baby, baby!]

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[main course]

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[andrea with baby colin]

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[creme brûlée]

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[the man of the hour!]

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xoxo

dinner date

ahhhhhh, the kid life. life has changed so much for me. before kids, i loved going out, loved being out in the scene, had alllllll the time in the world to do nothing, and slept allllllllll the time. brunch at 11 was too early for me on some days. hahaha! my how life is so different.

it’s now filled with drool stained clothes, ponytails because your kids will rip your hair out if it’s dangling within reach, tired zombie like state, no sleep, appointments, runny noses, snacks, no sleep, puke, late night feedings, cartoons, toys, no sleep, stepping on and cleaning up toys, crying, pee breaks, no sleep, lots of nursing, make believe interactive play time, and the list goes on and on. sounds so inviting and luxurious doesn’t it?! bahahahaha! my single friends are currently running away and calling me birth control. ha!

anyhoo, usually when my girlfriends ask me to go out, i love doing brunch. brunch works. it’s daytime, it’s early, and it’s easier to get the kids wrangled up and out the door. when they can’t make a brunch date…dinner gets tricky. it gets late, you don’t know how tired your kids will be, how well behaved they will be at a restaurant, and you also debate on whether or not you want to go out without them. i usually like to be with them…yes, i am that mommy. every second i can spend with my girls, i will take it. i feel like life is too short, time is too fast, and i don’t want to lose any moments with my babes. they will get bigger and not want to spend every waking moment with me and i will take advantage of it now! they are only babies for so long and i know i will miss those moments.

sooooooo, i invited my girlfriends over for dinner. bam! kill two birds with one stone…dinner at home {kids are around} but us gals can have a great time together and relax in a comfortable environment!

karen and kt came over and the fun began! i was nursing ellie when kt arrived. i then heard the sweetest thing come out of olive’s mouth…she said to kt, “want to see my room?” she wanted to show kt her bedroom and i just melted. i have never heard olive say that before! it was so sweet she wanted to share her space with kt! they played and had the best time in her room! it was the cutest thing to watch. i joined them minutes later and we had such a great time together.

we imbibed a few libations, karen made the most delicious appetizers! go chef karen! it was sooooooo yummy! we talked non stop and had a blast together! i had a great time hanging out with my girls and olive was sooooooo in love with them. i have to tell ya, karen and kt are so freakin’ good with olive. they love kids and they love interacting with her! hc changed her into pj’s and she told him she wanted to show her friends her funny faces. i love that she called them her friends! so cute!

after several hours of hanging out, it was time for the girls to go. we were a bit sad to say goodbye but that only leaves us looking forward to the next time we can hang out! thanks karen and kt for coming over! it was so much fun and i can’t wait to get some more girl time soon!

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[hi baby on the floor]

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[she was being so adorable…the first thing she wanted to show kt was her room!]

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[i swear olive was having a blast. hahaha!]

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[delicious apps by chef karen]

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xoxo

ahhhhh back to our roots…

i was so excited to have made a date with dana!

we were going to meet at our old stomping ground, southport grocery. we used to do this all the time and then dana went and got a monday thru friday job and it was a bit more difficult to have lazy afternoons in the middle to the week!

anyhoo, we actually arrived on time {what?!} and ran into dana on the street as i was pulling out suitcases of our stuff {hahaha! we only leave with everything but the kitchen sink when we go out!}. we walked inside the restaurant and it was quiet and not busy at all. yay! it gave us more time to chill and chat, space for olive to play, and plenty of room for all of our stuff!

it was so nice to share our stories and current life happenings. even though we try to see each other once a month {give or take}, so much happens in-between our visits. the kids grow up, life throws curve balls, and fun, new things pop up! i thought maybe dana had a ‘secret’ to tell me but that was not the case. darn it!

olive and dana got along quite well! if you show an interest in her toys, if you are sweet to her, or just act silly to her…she will like you immediately. olive can be shy at first but then she will open up and be a total talkative goofball and then becomes your best friend! she’s so sweet like that, i love how stinkin’ sweet and thoughtful she is. oh my little babe, such a doll!

we were at the restaurant for quite awhile, at one point i was holding ellie and olive wanted me to hold her too! so, there i was, holding both girls in my arms…it was so fun, quite the sight, and so freakin’ adorable! dana snapped the cutest pics of the girls wrapped in my arms. they were being so sweet and heart melting, i loved all the pics she took of my silly girls!

after we ate, we shopped southport and hit our typical stores…anthropologie, francesca, and papersource are our staples whenever we are there. we had so much fun at each store but honestly, it was olive who made every store a blast! she is just so much fun! after perusing each store, buying things we don’t need, dana and i said our goodbyes. she was going to get her nails done and the girls and i were going to go home sweet home.

it was such a fun, relaxing, awesome afternoon with my sweet, dear friend dana. i love this girl so much! i look forward to many more chill afternoon brunches with this babe!

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[besties]

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[showing off her favorite toys]

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[me and my babes]

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[sweet babe]

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[ohmergawd i love them!]

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[cutest babes]

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[peek a boo]

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[heyyyyyy girl]

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[she’s soooooo funny!]

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xoxo