neidre was in town!

i was super excited to have received a text from neidre that she was coming into town!

we coordinated a date and the hubs and i were looking forward to seeing her! she is just the sweetest. i love her spunk, her attitude, her outlook on life; i pretty much love everything. you know when you have a person in your life and you only see them once in a blue moon but you have a huge place in your heart for them? that’s neidre. she lives in florida and sometimes we get out there and sometimes she gets out here to chicago but each time, we will make sure we see each other!

we decided upon a sushi restaurant that was a middle point logistically to our locations. we both arrived on time and honestly, i couldn’t wait to see her! hc and i walked in and i saw her hair first…hahaha! big hugs and squealing ensued! we sat down and ordered drinks, apps, and eventually food. i was sooooo hungry and everything was delicious. we have eaten at this restaurant before and i have had a great experience every single time we’ve eaten there.

neidre was staying at her friend kim’s house while in town and kim was a riot! i loved hanging out with these two ladies…they were funny, sweet, and exciting! very gregarious and engaging, so our entire conversation was absolutely compelling throughout dinner.

we shared new stories, old stories, and my husbands crazy teenage angst stories {wow, i never knew he was such a punk}. it was awesome to recount tales down memory lane. after many libations, filling our bellies full of yummy eats, and hours of talking, we needed to get home to our babes to put them down.

it was sooooooo much fun seeing neidre and kim. there is never a dull moment with these gals! we had the best time with them and my heart was so full seeing neidre. she’s so amazing. we said our goodbyes and gave big hugs and parted ways.

i really hope we can meet up with this lady soon! i will have to convince hc on a vacation trip to florida! thanks neidre for being you, we love you and hope to visit you in the sunshine state sometime soon!

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[yummy pear martini]

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[neidre and kim]

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[a delicious surprise inside!]

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[love these two]

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xoxo

pink aunties

yay! we finally met up with karen and kt!

it was a lovely day…on the warmer side but no matter, we couldn’t wait to see my girls! of course, i was on time and i am usually late with juggling these two girls! karen and kt were a half hour late…thank goodness my dollies are well behaved! a half hour is an eternity when you have kids.

when they arrived, lots of hugs and squealing ensued. we ordered our food and sat down. it’s always a challenge for me to keep my thoughts straight when the kids are around. you feel so discombobulated. i had to keep ellie calm and keep olive entertained or basically, make sure both girls are well behaved and not screaming inside the restaurant. hahaha!

karen and kt are soooooo stinkin’ good with kids and they kept olive going. she was so enamored with karen but karen is soooo good with olive. she loves kids and it totally shows. she was olive’s bestie and olive just adored her.

we yapped and yapped and yapped non stop. i was so beyond excited that kt is engaged. i am so proud that i had set them up! who knew?! i was beyond persistent in setting bobby and kt together. something just told me it was right and now look! one year later they are engaged to be married and i couldn’t be happier for them!

we talked about life, relationships, weddings, kids, babies, work, you name it. we were there for a few hours but time seemed like it flew by! while we were visiting, bobby and his partner katie stopped by to say hi! it was great to see them! i was so glad i was able to see bobby and see the happy couple together.

it was such a great afternoon! i had a wonderful time, i am happy we were able to meet up, and i was glad that they were able to see olive and ellie. i love these two sweet ladies…definite staples in my life.

happy day lovelies!

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[waiting patiently for her pink aunties to show up]

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[she’s so funny]

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[she looooooved looking at the desserts]

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[my pretty girls]

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[she’s such a doll]

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[yaaaayyyyyyyyy kt’s engaged!]

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[two of the cutest ladies]

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[having a blast with karen]

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[me and my girl]

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[bobby paid us a surprise visit!]

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[pink auntie karen]

xoxo

a quick lunch

i was super excited to have made lunch plans with ande. i last saw her at her cancer free party in february so it was awesome we could coordinate our schedules to meet up before this baby makes it debut!

i was super stoked that matt could join us! just knowing how busy he is unil the end of summer, i was surprised he was able to make it but it happen to be a window of time that worked out for everyone! unfortunately, last minute, our hvac broke and my dad {who was going to watch olive} had to come to our house to be around for the repair man and watch olive. so, naturally i was a bit stressed about it all and couldn’t stay out to lunch for very long but it just so happened to be the case for everyone else! ande needed to get back to work for a conference call and matt needed to go home to let his little peanut dog out for a bathroom break.

we decided to go to a bagel joint a block or two down from ande’s work. one, it was difficult for me to walk for…i get out of breath soooooo easily and two, ande was just worried overall because i was so pregnant! ha!

it was great, though. we were all able to connect, catch up, talk about life’s current happenings, and ande really wanted to hear all the baby news going on with me. i love this group of peeps. ande is such a doll! she is seriously one sweet lady! well, i just love my friends. they are all such great people for fabulous reasons. i am one lucky gal to have the best friends and family around me.

our get together was short and sweet. of course i could spend hours upon hours with these people but it’s always a good thing even if it’s a short meeting, nevertheless. well, i can’t wait to see them again soon! we agreed it would be a visit to me when the new babe arrives!!! yay! i can’t wait for them to meet our newest addition!

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[chicago bagel authority lincoln park]

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[love these peeps!]

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xoxo

a night out

yay! we had a date night with our lovely couple friends, olivia and aaron!

too much time always passes by before we can see aaron and olivia! we finally made a date and we couldn’t wait to see them! we planned on meeting up at ramen-san in chicago. my sister had suggested it and we were super interested in trying it. who doesn’t love ramen?!

it was a beautiful evening. i am loving this spring weather. it’s so great that it actually feels like spring! the past several years have been great transitions in seasons. we parked the car and walked our way to the restaurant. i love walking and especially when the temps are great and comfortable!

we got there first and were seated right away. aaron and olivia showed up just minutes later and we were so excited to see them! we settled in and right away everyone ordered drinks. i was so oblivious and didn’t even realize that they all had ordered alcoholic beverages but they had also ordered shots! whaaaaa?! our server brought their drinks and then the shots…i was so perplexed! i had no idea they were starting off the evening with shots and i found it so amusing, for some reason. i guess it has been awhile since i have gone out where the party we were with decided to do shots! does that make me old?! ahahaha!

anyhoo, we ordered a multitude delicious apps. after another round of drinks and noshing, we ordered our entrees. i asked for the kimchee ramen. oh my goodness. it was sooooooooooo good! i loved it! olivia ordered the same and she really enjoyed it too. i love spicy and boy, oh boy, it was super spicy! yum!

after eating and drinking even more, we decided to walk over to eataly to have dessert. i am always for gelato! plus, we haven’t been to an eataly since we were in nyc and i was super excited to go, since it reminded me of our trip to nyc on our one year anniversary!

it was crazy packed inside but no matter. we had the evening and we had no restraints. hc and aaron went upstairs to try different beers while olivia and i waited in a very long line to get gelato. we were having a great time catching up while we waited in line. we finally got our order and went upstairs to find the boys. we literally walked in circles and couldn’t find them. we finally found them in a nook of a restaurant and we settled in to eat our gelato, whilst the boys continued to drink.

we sat around for a bit and the question came up on whether we continued the night or called it a night. i felt so guilty because of course i am pregnant and i always, always miss olive. i really do. i was tired and didn’t mind if we headed home. i hated that it all weighed in on me! but no matter, aaron was a good sport about it and olivia didn’t care.

we walked out and walked towards our separate destinations together. once we hit our point of different directions, we said our goodbyes and headed home. it was such a fabulous evening. i had so much fun hanging out with them! they’re a few of my favorite peeps! we love these two cats and i hope not too much time flies by before we see them again!!!

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[mmmmmmm]

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[seriously?! i had no clue they ordered shots, but that’s what happens when your pregnant and not included.]

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[my best friend]

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[kimchi ramen….so stinkin’ gooooood]

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[love these two!]

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[we got gelato after dinner at eataly! so good!]

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[so fresh! i loved perusing around]

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[agreed]

xoxo

brunch with my girls

gosh. it’s been awhile since i have posted. i have been so tired. olive digressed in her sleeping patterns last week and i was wiped out. but per typical preggo fashion, i do post less when i am with child. i did the same thing with olive and now history repeats itself! i have been very low key overall and not going out much, but i have no energy or time to write many if any posts of late! eep!

well, i was super excited to have finally made plans with kt and karen. i love these two ladies. they are two peas in a pod and the sweetest ladies around. i have know these two beauties for quite some time now. karen and i have know each other for a ridiculous amount of time and i have know kt for 10+ years now? well, i always say, keep the good peeps around, it definitely makes life fuller!

our get together almost turned into a debacle. we had planned on meeting up for a bit now but then all sorts of things came up. karen and her mom had plans to visit their friend annie and her new baby girl and kt had a last minute doctor’s appointment that she had to schedule and then there was me, who couldn’t go out in the late afternoon because that would interfere with olive’s nap. haha! oh life. you’re so complicated sometimes!

we ended up agreeing and meeting up for brunch! yay! so, in the end, it all worked out. we had such a great time catching up. i love these two gals! it’s amazing where life had taken us and where we are going. what i love most about our relationships is that no matter how much time comes between us, we always feel like no time has passed.

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[aren’t they the prettiest?!]

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[love this babe]

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[working hard]

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xoxo

hb dear friend

i love celebrating this beautiful lady’s birthday every year. it’s always a perfect time to get together, after the holiday rush and all.

andrea and i talked on christmas day {i called her to tell her about my pregnancy!} and i asked her about her birthday plans. we exchanged a few thoughts and i told her i would coordinate something for her. it’s her birthday and by no means should she have to worry about plans!

i was besides myself…i literally looked at a dozen restaurants to see if they had any reservations available for a party of ten and one restaurant after another was booked! i a few people told me that boarding house was a great restaurant, so i felt good about it.

it was a super rainy, cold night. hc and i had a great start to the city and had gotten there early, which was great because i needed just a few more items for andrea’s gift! we found an amazing parking spot and traipsed inside to the bar area. hc ordered a drink and i asked for a nonalcoholic beverage and truffle fries. i totally needed something to eat! i was so hungry…story of my life right now.

slowly, everyone trickled in. it was fabulous to see everyone! i might only see these peeps every so often but each time always feels like old times. everyone was nabbing drinks when our entire party finally arrived and they led us to our table upstairs.

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[pretty boarding house restaurant]

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[the ladies]

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[beth and patrik…she’s pregnant too!]

it is such a cool looking restaurant. the interior is mysterious, gorgeous, beautiful, and cozy. we were seated up on the third floor in an almost private dining area. there was another table next to us but no one sat there until way into our dinner reservation, so it was lovely having the room to ourselves for a bit. the space overlooked the second floor of the restaurant, so it was a pretty cool view to be in.

we ordered more drinks, ordered apps, and finally ordered our entrees. i really liked our server; he was polite, attentive, and on point. the timing of the food was good and everything was delicious. i really, really enjoyed my entree of scallops. it was beyond tasty. ever since i have been pregnant, i have been ravenous and it’s not a pretty sight. it’s a bit un-classy and a wee bit of a spectacle how i tend to shove food in my mouth like i haven’t eaten in days. hahaha!

the evening was very relaxing and fun. i was able to catch up a bit with andrea and get in on some of life’s happenings. andrea is such a wonderful lady. a true friend who totally has your back. i am blessed to have her in my life. we were reminiscing over our friendship and how long we have known each other. i told her i could barely remember the time frame of how long it’s been since we first met and it’s something insane, like sixteen years. noooooo way! it absolutely does not feel like it has been that long!!! holy cow!

 the evening carried on with more laughter, stories, noshing, and imbibing of tasty drinks. andrea opened her gifts, blew out her birthday candle, and the night slowly faded out.

we had such a grand ol’ time celebrating this beautiful friend. happy birthday to a gorgeous lady inside and out! cheers to an even better year!

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[my alcohol free cocktail]

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[um, just a little too much flash…everything is bouncing off our skin!]

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[happy birthday my beautiful, sweet friend!]

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[such a fun group!]

xoxo

friday night

so months ago, during dana and scott’s engagement party…we made plans to get together with irina, patrick, dana, and scott. fast forward a couple months, we finally make it happen!

our plan was to get to au cheval early and hopefully nab a table {we were crossing our fingers…}, they don’t take reservations! dana, hc, and i have eaten there before but the rest have not and we all wanted to eat there together, it’s soooooo yummy!

per usual, hc and i were running so late! ugh…like very late. traffic on a friday night is horrific, so we were a bit anxious to get going. we hit the road and of course it was baaaad. well, we finally saw why it was so bad, there was an accident on the ike. yuck! we surpassed it and started cruising. the good news was {well, not really good news}, dana and irina were running behind as well! phew! so, we weren’t far behind! yay!

irina’s husband, patrick, arrived at au cheval early, before six o’clock, to put our name down for a table. um, they told him it would be a four hour wait. wtf?! a four hour wait?????? are you kidding me?! no thank you! that was such a bummer. oh, we so wanted to eat there but there was no way we waiting for a midnight supper.

so, patrick moseyed across the street to the haymarket pub and nabbed us a table. i was super annoyed at it all. i, first, didn’t want to spend my friday night in the city at the haymarket pub but hey, whatcha gonna do? there was no way we were eating at au cheval. well, no matter, what was most important was spending my time with everyone. i was super excited to catch up and have some fun!

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[my girls]

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[cheers to being out!]

the conversation flowed non-stop. we have a bunch of talkers in this group! we shared, switched, and started multiple conversations between us all. it was so much fun. i love this group of peeps. patrick cracks me up, irina and her sarcasm, dana is a little bit of both, and hc and scott are just good sweet guys.

we ordered plenty of libations and delicious bites to fill our bellies. after a few hours {we did feel a bit old…or is it because we have kids?} we decided to call it quits. no, we weren’t going to party all night and yes it was still early but it was friday night, where everyone worked and of course, everyone is a bit tired from the week.

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[love these two!]

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[these two are the best!]

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[having a blast]

we wrapped up our bill, nibbled on the last bits of food, and took the last swigs of our drinks before we hit the road. we had such a great time with everyone and we can’t wait to do this again! drinks, food, and friends are the best combo!

xoxo

oh summer {or more like happy fall!}

it was such a beautiful day. such a gorgeous, sunny, warm, perfect day in september. as the days become shorter and cooler, i revel in rare days like these when the temperature and weather is just right. plus, this was literally the last days of summer…’cause today is the first day of fall!

i met dana at our favorite place {southport grocery} and we brunched alfresco. the sun was so intense, i loved it. we caught up on life’s current happenings. there is always so much going on with dana {lately} due to the fact that she is getting married next year and there is always something super exciting happening.

i definitely remember that time in our lives when we were engaged. it was so much fun, exhilarating, and joyous. there were always such positive vibes coming our way. we loved the parties, the people, the attention, the love that went along with being engaged!

anyhoo, we enjoyed our meal and banter while we basked in the sun. after brunch, dana needed to complete a few errands and per usual, we did them together. we headed on over to papersource to peruse a few gift items and in typical fashion, i purchased waaaayyyyy too many cards. i absolutely love stocking up on cards. birthday cards, christmas cards, wedding cards, thank you cards…you name it, i stock it. if you ever need a card, just stop on by. haha!

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[mmmmm, refreshing iced coffee]

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[hi dana…you’re the best]

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[my usual, the southern]

a last minute thought i had was to get our nails done! sweet! dana was game and so i made some last minute appointments at a nail salon i have been to. the nail bar that i frequented often was actually on southport. the lovely place was bought out to put in bigger retailers {boo!} and the techs relocated to different locations. i found out my tech had relocated to a shop just down the street, so that is now the nail place i go to but getting an appointment with her is always a tough task!

well, she was booked that day, so i had to, unfortunately, go with someone else and let me tell you! this nail tech was alright. she was a little rough and that was no bueno. in the end, my tootsies were done and i was a happy camper. dana and i managed to pick out the same nail color {without knowing}. if you know dana and i by now, we tend to show up in similar outfits, so picking out the same nail colors was a given! ha!

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[give me some color]

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[selfie at the nail salon]

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[we chose pinks. my pedi and her mani and some bling]

after a relaxing time at the nail salon, we headed out to a bookstore where dana needed to do an errand. we perused the wonderful items on the shelves. my favorite section was the kid’s book area. i loved reading as a child and i hope the same for olive. kids books nowadays are so cute, cool, and chic. yes, they are! dana gifted olive with the cutest book ever too! i must say, this girl knows a good, perfect, hit the nail on the head kind of gift to give. she is always on point.

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[boys town chicago]

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after several wonderful hours together, we parted ways. dana walked home and i headed back to go see my beautiful babe. it was a lovely, serene, relaxing day together. a much needed time to spend with my dear friend.

xoxo

anniversary fare

it was our fourth anniversary and we wanted to do something fun and special. hc had made reservations for us at the girl and the goat. we were so excited! i have eaten there before but it was a long time ago and could not wait to go again.

as we drove in closer to the where the restaurant is located, halsted was bustling. it was packed and patrons were spilling out of all the establishments down the street. i love that about the city. it’s always so busy and interesting. hc valet’d the car and we traipsed inside the restaurant, ready to eat!

it was jam packed inside, people in the waiting area, people at the bar, and every seat taken inside the restaurant. we checked in and the hostess told us we had the best seat in the house. ooooohhhhh! how intriguing. they led us towards the kitchen and there was a lone table right on the kitchen counter! it was so cute. it was off to the side, we were not sitting next to anyone, and it was soooo cool to watch the cooks in the kitchen churn out delicious dish after delicious dish.

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[our amazing table! we were secluded, right by the kitchen, and had the best view!]

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[the very cool bar]

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our server was gary. he was laid back, helpful, and fantastic at what he does. we were ready to indulge. we started off with tasty libations {cab for me and some sort of hard liquor for hc} and small bites. the bread and oysters were delicious. a perfect beginning to our meal. everything was soooo savory.

we ordered the cauliflower, beet salad, hamachi, scallops, and the crisp braised pork shank…all small bites that packed a flavorful punch. all the plates were so yummy! we were served one plate after another and our bellies started to get so full! a few glasses of wine later, we were giddy, happy, and having a blast.

i really enjoyed my evening out with my hubby charming. it was so fun to talk, spend this time together, and just catch up. every day life can be so monotonous and you tend to find yourselves talking about the same things over and over again. it’s always so refreshing to just talk, one on one, about fun stuff, ask questions we never ask, and discover something new about your partner.

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[cheers to four years!]

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[i really love the goat character everywhere]

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[our table at the kitchen…the only table like that in the restaurant!]

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[rye // zucchini tzatziki. pickled corn relish]

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[food spam]

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[soooooo good // bacon sprinkled oysters]

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[not without a selfie]

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[hamachi crudo // crisp pork belly. chili aioli. caperberries]

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[these were sooooo good]

the night was too short but after three hours of eating and drinking {eep!}, we were ready to go! we sadly left the restaurant but we were very excited to come home to our wide awake daughter. we absolutely loved our time out but nothing is sweeter than coming home to your precious, smiling babe.

xoxo

lazy day with matt

we set up a lovely brunch date with our dear friend matt. he’s been on a roll lately with suggestions on where we go. typically it’s me coming up with different places to go to but we’ve been exploring the area close to where he lives lately. which is totally fine with me!

this time around, we went to a place called over easy. a simple, small brunch place near lincoln square. it was a beautiful day out and we were actually ‘on time’. which means a leeway of 10 minutes. haha! we met matt outside and we were seated right away {they told matt a few minutes but by the time i walked up, the table was ready}.

matt was catching me up on some major life changes for him! life’s twists and turns sometimes throw you sharp curves and loops along the way but no matter what, we persevere and march on. i do love that about my friends. no matter what challenges they face, they charge on with positivity and solutions. even when it does seem like it’s not the most positive moment, we can see the bigger picture.

olive was being quite shy when we first got there…the usual. after a half hour or so, she started to warm up. she’s been a bit rebellious about the highchair of late. she’s not a fan of sitting in one, she prefers to sit in a big girl chair like her mom; only when i can peel her off my lap to sit in her own chair!

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[just terrible lighting, terrible…or just let me think that please]

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[eggs over easy! hahaha!]

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[stuffing her face, as usual]

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[warming up to matt]

after brunch, we headed on over to our favorite stomping ground: starbucks! there, we ordered drinks and just chilled. i loved this part. olive roamed around and matt and i continued to chit chat. it’s nice when olive can entertain herself or feel good that she won’t wander away from me. ’cause all you mamas know that being out and trying to focus on something else besides your kids can be a great task!

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[starbucks always]

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after several hours of hanging out together, we needed to go. i know olive needed a nap and it was just about the right time for her to knock out. it was a fabulous time with matt, as usual. we greatly enjoyed our brunch date and can’t wait until we meet up again…hopefully next time with our husbands!

xoxo