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

bris

when my dear friend, dana, got pregnant, she told me waaaayyyyyyy in advance about the bris. the what?

the bris is a ceremony where the baby gets circumcised eight days after birth. obviously, if you are not scheduling the date of the birth, it’s kind of a throw your hands up in the air on when the event will be. well, it happened to have fallen on a day we already had plans. a cubs game and hc’s parents coming over because they took the girls over the weekend!

i hemmed and hawed. i really wanted to go! it was important to me to attend this special event {now literally, i wish there were really two of me! can you imagine all the shit i could get done and all the socializing i could do?! hahaha!}! i talked it over with hc and we decided that we would be able to make it, even if it was only for a half hour or 45 minutes.

as we pulled down dana’s parent’s street, there were soooo many cars! i said to rich that there must be multiple parties going on this block. as we neared our destination, we noticed a flow of people going to the same house. hmmmm, as we got out of the car and walked towards their house, we confirmed that, indeed, there were no other parties on the block and that all the cars parked on the street were there for the bris!

the house was packed, there were so many people inside! we cruised around, saying hello to the few people that we knew, said hello to scott, and waited. dana came downstairs and the ceremony began. it was traditional, meaningful, and very, very special! the rabbi’s speech was heartfelt, funny, and poignant.

when scott and dana explained why they chose the name abraham, gosh, that made me cry! scott was so emotional, it completely tugged at my heartstrings! this whole event was so freaking wonderful and i am so, so, so happy we were able to attend!

after the ceremony, scott and dana headed upstairs to have the mohel explained the 4 steps of taking care of the circumcised area, but hc and i needed to get going. oh, i was a bit sad i couldn’t stay any longer and super sad that i couldn’t visit with dana a bit more! hc and i needed to hit the road to go catch the game.

we cruised on out but i was quite content that we were able to witness this special occasion, albeit our time there was so short! thanks dana and scott for letting us into this moment in your lives! 8 days after having a baby can be so chaotic but you two handled almost 100 guests like champs!!!

mazel tov!

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[debuting abraham]

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[sweet little abraham]

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[sooooooo tiny!]

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[scott is so sweet about his family]

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[passing little abraham to his aunt, emily]

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[proud grandpa’s]

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[the mohel holding baby abe]

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[sweet sisters]

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[nervously laughing???]

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[feeding the baby wine and ready to go!]

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[gail is so proud!]

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[proud grandparents]

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[oh scott, he made me cry with his speech! he talked about the special meaning of the name abraham]

xoxo

west lake market

i’ll try to make a long story short.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

cheers to good friends.

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[me and olivia]

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[champagne and berries]

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

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[after the event, we had brunch at eden]

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[isn’t she beautiful?]

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[avocado eggs benedict and salmon]

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xoxo

a last minute soiree

hc, last minute, put together a petit party for his former colleagues.

he invited his friends jeri, max, and dave {and their spouses and kids} to our house for a saturday night dinner. i was throughly impressed by hc’s efforts. he killed it. he went grocery shopping, prepped all the food, set up extra tables, decorated the kitchen, got creative with the place settings, dressed olive, took care of the kids, and pretty much remembered all the details. very much like i would do! kudos hunny! that was pretty awesome!!!!

i came home and just made a guac dip. a very important job. hahaha!

jeri was first to arrive, then dave, then max {much later}. we served apps, drinks, and ran after our kids. oh, to be a parent. you can hardly finish your sentences or barely remember your train of thought. i was talking to jeri about how hard it is to balance it all. women are programmed different then men. we multitask the shiznit out of everything. we remember so much. we plan, we accomplish, we follow up, and we get it dooooooone {well, most women}. sometimes i’m exhausted by the thought of what i do check of my mental list!

what was so good was that most of the kids were older, so they played together. took care of themselves, and were independent. yes! ellie was still napping, so i had my hands free for a second and jeri had baby g, so it was a bit relaxed and less chaotic. jeri and i could visit with each other without too many distractions.

soon, hc fired up the grill and cooked up a storm. all of the food was delicious! burgers, brussels sprouts, tater tots, corn, and so much more. seriously, the hubs did such a good job hosting and coordinating this all!

the kids played, the adults hung out, and we called it an early evening because, yep…you guessed it, we all have kids and they need to go to bed! it was a great time, even though it was only several hours, it was good to catch up with everyone and share our stories. the kids were adorable and played so well together. thank you maggie for being such a good big ‘sis’! she was sooooo good with the girls and especially great with little miss ellie.

after dessert, everyone gathered up their belongings and went on their merry way. we were left with crumbs on the floor, toys everywhere, and great memories. it was so wonderful to have everyone over. we don’t get to do this very often with this group so it was very appreciated. plus, miss jeri and john are moving soon, so this was very needed!

thank you to hc for putting this together, instigated by jeri! it was a beautiful evening spent and hopefully, we can do this again soon.

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[dave, maggie, and dana]

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[hc set up a ‘bar’ area, or more like a glassware area for drinks]

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[john, jerry, and giuliana]

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via tandeminlove.com[ellie loves babies…although i feel like she’s still a baby! i can’t remember if guiliana is 9 or ten months old but ellie weighs one pound more than her!]

via tandeminlove.com[ellie kept putting her hand on her cheek]

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[he’s so sweet with his sister{s}]

via tandeminlove.com[i loooooove this sweet picture of them together]

via tandeminlove.com[gina, moi, and jeri]

via tandeminlove.com[the kiddos minus one sleeping and another refusing]

via tandeminlove.com[the gang]

xoxo

play time

my friend, kim and i have been trying to plan a get together for months. literally months!!! our conflicting schedules, cancelled play dates, sick kiddos, and busy months have delayed a get together that has been long overdue!

fiiiiiiinally, we were able to settle on a date and we stuck to our guns. i headed out to kim and mikey’s abode in no time flat. they live far away but not too far away. it may take 50 minutes? sometimes faster, sometimes longer – it all and always depends on traffic and what time of day it is.

i love coming over to their place because it’s so much more kid friendly. mine and hc’s place is more like a museum {kind of…not really. ok, just a wee bit}…plus, once our basement is finished, it will be so much more fun and kid friendly when the playroom downstairs is set up!

anyhoo, olive was quite excited to see brady and play with the plethora of toys! when we arrived, of course ellie needed to be in my arms and get comfortable before she explored on her own {it only took about ten minutes}. i was so excited to see kim! immediately, we started gabbing and gabbing. when kim and i first met {oh…9 years ago??}, we couldn’t stop talking to one another. ha! we went on and on about everything you could imagine! we just instantly clicked. so, when we get together, time just flies by!

i brought over stan’s doughnuts and kim provided lunch! the kids started to warm up to one another and the rest of our time there was relaxing, fun, and filled with lots of cute moments.

we were there for several hours but honestly, i felt like i could have stayed all afternoon! the kids were being silly together and i was having a great time catching up with kim. her hubby, mikey ran out to grab the adults tacos and such, while kim prepared a quick meal for the kids.

after lunch, we yapped, hung out, i nursed ellie, the kids played some more, several diaper changes ensued, and then we ate doughnuts! much to my dismay, i needed to round the kids up to head home. olive didn’t want to go, i wanted to talk more, and ellie needed a nap!

we said our goodbyes and sadly went on our way home. oh, how i love hanging out with kim, see her growing crew, and i love that our kids get to play together! oh, and we got to hang with mikey too…we never get to see the busy guy!

thanks for having us over kim! we always have such a great time seeing everyone and hopefully it’s not months until we see each other again!!! i see pool and zoo dates in our future!

{p.s. picture overload…lots of multiples but i couldn’t narrow it down!}

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[sweet girls]

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[olive’s face cracks me up. it’s her awkward, not sure face. hahaha!]

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[sweet girl was obsessed with brooklyn’s toys!]

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[this babe is too much!]

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[the cutest kiddos around]

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[gnawing on an apple slice]

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[ellie eating her mac n cheese!]

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[i love her hair]

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[ellie baby]

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[oh how i love this pic of them!!!]

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[look at mason’t stare down!]

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xoxo

a good day

i was excited for some me time!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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[beautiful blooms]

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[sweet dana]

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[always a yummy menu]

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[fried egg sandwich]

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[pretty plants in dana and scott’s condo]

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[dana and scott]

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

xoxo

brunch with mutts

i met mutters or mutts {also known as danielle}, hmmmmm, maybe 8 or nine years ago??? it might be longer but i honestly can’t remember. she could clarify but that’s not the point. i have known her for quite some time and have seen her grow as person.

she was a single lady {all the single ladies!!}, dating a douche on and off and finally reconnected with an old flame that led into a serious relationship, then into an engagement, then into marriage, then into pregnancy. the circle of life, non? for some, not for all, but definitely a circle that goes round and round for most.

anyhoo, mutts and i were really close all the years we worked together and when i went my separate way, we stayed in touch. she’s a sweet, silly, and sassy lady who cracks me up. i love seeing her, hanging out with her, and now she’s expanding her family and it’s so awesome to see.

we met up for brunch the other week and holy cow! she’s was due in eight days! wowza. i was like, don’t have the baby while we’re eating. haha! just keeding. having a baby is nothing like what is depicted in the movies.

we had a great time. we talked about babies, birth, life, work, kids, and all sorts of stuff. my girls were being great and i was really surprised how calm ellie was being. sometimes, when i/we are at a restaurant for too long, she becomes restless but that day, she was happy as a clam sitting in a high chair.

maybe i was was talking too much but i felt that i barely ate my food! after a hour and a half, we decided to go. mutts was going to go get her nails done and us gals were going to go shopping.

it was a gorgeous day out and we were excited to get out there and shop for new shoes, dresses, and fun stuff…whatever we needed. we said our goodbyes to mutts and wished her luck on her upcoming labor!

well i am happy to say that she delivered her sweet baby girl, skylar, on may 12 at 4:05 am weighing in at 8lbs 4 oz. congrats anthony and mutts!!! we are over the moon at your sweet blessing!!!

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[ellie being entertained by paper]

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[mutts]

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[my sweet olive]

xoxo

michelin star brewery

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

cheers to that!

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[band of bohemia]

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[sweet babe]

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[grace and rich]

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[she’s such a sensitive doll]

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[my girls]

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[giggles]

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[it’s 5 o’clock somewhere]

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xoxo

brunch in the city

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

happy week lovelies!

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[the mama to be]

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[coffee and juice]

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[goofy smiling]

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[we always have our go to favorites]

via tandeminlove.com

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

via tandeminlove.com

[i love the good stuff they sell]

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

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

via tandeminlove.com

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

xoxo