Friday, June 24, 2011

Weekly Gratitude: 23rd Edition

{Lake Michigan // Chicago Lighthouse}

Things I'm thankful for this week:

  • Our friends had a baby! I'm thankful for the healthy delivery of their brand new baby girl.

  • We celebrated my Dad's birthday. I'm so glad he was born.

  • We also celebrated Father's Day - again, I'm so thankful for my father.

  • Long telephone calls with friends who live hundreds of miles away.

  • The first day of summer - even though the weather has been cold/rainy/unpredictable, summer is here!

  • We got tickets to see Paul McCartney play Wrigley Field - this is {literally} a dream come true!

  • A road trip to visit my Grandparents, we had a great visit.

Happy Weekend!



Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Summer in the City

{strawberry picking in California - 2010}

Happy First Day of Summer!

A list of things I'm looking forward to this summer:

  • Celebrating my birthday in early July

  • Movies at the Park - Chicago Park District hosts movies throughout the City at various parks, it's such a fun {and free!} way to spend an evening outdoors

  • Seeing Paul McCartney play Wrigley Field - I've been a Beatles fan since I was 12 years old, and this is {literally} a lifetime experience

  • Evening bike rides along Lake Michigan

  • Festivals throughout the City - the festivals are always such a fun way to check out a new neighborhood

  • Enjoying my favorite frozen yogurt & gelato places on evening walks with Hubby and the dog{s}

  • Taking Lennon to the dog beach

  • Attending my cousin's wedding in Minneapolis, Minnesota in July

  • Planning a visit to a museum downtown

  • Riding my bike to work

  • Switching up my hair-do

  • Soaking up the sunshine as often as the weather {and my work schedule} permits

  • Eating lots of summer fruit: strawberries, blueberries, cherries

  • Spending time with family

Friday, June 17, 2011

Weekly Gratitude: 22nd Edition

Things I'm thankful for this week {a short list}:

  • A visit with one of my oldest friends {photo above}! Through good times and bad, this girl knows me better than most.

  • Fresh cherries are in season. They're my favorite summertime snack!

  • Running along Lake Michigan, I couldn't ask for a better workout spot in the Midwest.

  • Hubby. Dude knows how to make me laugh. Lots.



Friday, June 10, 2011

Weekly Gratitude: 21st Edition
Things I'm thankful for this week:

  • I've been enjoying these storms we've been having lately. Especially when they happen just as I'm going to bed!

  • My favorite work lunch: Dr. McDougall's Vegan Black Bean & Lime Soup - so good!

  • Silly YouTube videos Hubby finds to make me laugh: see above.

  • A long telephone call with my BFF

  • Hubby surprised me with homemade dinner, and even more impressive: homemade iced green tea. Yum!



Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Inspired Tuesday:

{Via Budget Planner Software -}

I've talked a bit about our goals of living with family to pay off debt and save money ... one of the greatest tools that we've used to plan our finances is This website is an excellent tool for all things financial. Through all checking, savings, and credit card accounts are linked to one central place.

The website walks each user through the steps to budget, establish savings, and set debt payoff goals. also establishes categories for all spending {which one can easily edit} so that it's actually helpful in figuring out where and what we're spending our money on. My favorite feature has been the ability to visualize the spending and saving  habits with their handy-dandy charts. I love charts! It's kind of fun to click on the different categories and see how it divides the spending.

The blog is addicting {which is why I chose to blog about it for an Inspired Tuesday post} - there are so many ideas for saving money and tracking spending that one can't help but feel inspired to get a handle on the finances. Once. And. For. All.



Monday, June 06, 2011

Foodie Monday: Toast

This weekend Hubby and I decided to try a new brunch spot in lieu of our usual M. Henry. We've passed by Toast on several occasions and thought we should give it a try. If I'm being completely honest, I was smitten with the name. Toast: brilliant.

The wait was an hour for a table for two for Sunday brunch. I was surprised how many people would attempt to put their names in and then give the hostess attitude when she told them how long the wait would be. 1) The place is tiny and 2) it's Sunday. Duh, there's going to be a lengthy wait for a table.

Overall, the experience was okay. The menu had a substantial amount of options, and the decor was neat. Vintage toasters lined the shelves, vintage photographs on the walls, and a chalkboard menu. I ordered the french toast orgy: a variety of a half order of each of their stuffed french toasts. I thought it was tasty. Hubby ordered the salmon omelet with house potatoes. As I've mentioned before, we are obsessed with house potatoes {also known as home fries}. Although Hubby thought they were tasty, they just don't compare to our favorite in the City {also M. Henry}.

Although it was fun to try a new place, we likely won't be back for more Toast.



Alphabet Soup

{via my pinterest}

Ambition: to love wholeheartedly, laugh genuinely, and live simply
Bad Habit: biting my nails
City: chicago
Drink: sparkling water
Education: finished grad school one year ago
Food: cheese
Guilty Pleasure: reality television
Hometown: the midwest
Ice Cream: phish food
Jonesing for: a vacation {somewhere warm, exotic, with my love}
Kryptonite: mean people
Look-a-like: my sisters
Movie: empire records
Nickname: peej, PJ, pillar, P
Obsession: kombucha
Perfume: marc jacobs daisy
Quirk: i'm a stickler for spelling
Regret: not going to a state-school
Starbucks: venti iced green tea, unsweetened
Thrift Find of the Year: a vintage bag with rosary beads hiding in the zippered pocket
University: i've always loved the wolverine
Vacation: paris, please via Oh Happy Day Goes to Paris
Wine: pinot grigio
X: x-men, i love the series
Years: 27 {almost 28}
Zen: the smell of the ocean & the sound of the waves

*I found this via one of my favorite blogs: Smart and Sassy with Sprinkles.

Saturday, June 04, 2011

New Show: New Girl


It's no secret that I love Zooey Deschanel. I adore her style, her voice, and her humor. I am excited for her new show on Fox this fall. And let me just say that the whole "making up songs" thing is something that I do on a daily basis. Ask Hubby, I often make up songs or sing things instead of saying them to pretend I'm in a musical. Strange.

I'm very excited for this show!



Friday, June 03, 2011

Weekly Gratitude: 20th Edition

(this is the record shop in our new neighborhood)

Things I'm thankful for this week:

  • The moving process is officially over

  • Being only 2 blocks from Lake Michigan at the new place; it's awesome!

  • Taking long walks with Lennon on the lakefront path

  • Kombucha: the stuff is simply amazing!

  • Central air conditioning: because we didn't have it for a few years, I'm even more grateful for the cool air

  • The new Death Cab for Cutie album was released - love it!

  • That Hubby and I have been married for five years, and it just keeps getting better



Girl & the Goat

(love the tea towel napkins & stamped paper holder)

(hubby trying to decide what to order)

(chickpea fritters)

(goat empanadas)

(i love the goat!)

(bread with apple butter and homemade butter)

(ham frittes)

(grilled asparagus)

(pig face)

(bittersweet chocolate)

(to quote hubby, "cheers to five years")

Hubby and I love Top Chef. It's one of our favorite shows to watch and we become quite competitive over who the winners of the challenges will be. It's a great show. Especially if you're a foodie. It's also a great show if you're just a reality-tv addict. When Top Chef Chicago winner Stephanie Izard opened Girl & the Goat we decided it would be fun to have it be our "5th anniversary dinner".

Dinner at Girl & the Goat was perfect. The food was absolutely fantastic. I loved the atmosphere and literally all of the design elements. It is such a great space!

We researched what to order before (mostly via yelp and friends who've been). I love that the menu is primarily small plates, so you can get a variety of flavors and taste experiences. The menu had just the right balance of wanting to satisfy curiosity, and food that I was able to pronounce (yes!).

I would highly recommend this restaurant to anyone and everyone (although it's not a vegetarian friendly meal, there are some vegetarian and some fish dishes).



Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Moving Day(s)

(our apartment)

(the avocado room)

(loved the faux fireplace)

(donation pile ... we filled the bin)

As of yesterday at 7pm, we are no longer tenants at any apartment building. We spent the weekend packing, cleaning, sorting, donating, and storing. My favorite photo is the pile of stuff that we donated. Seriously! It felt so good to get rid of extra baggage. I will forever miss the avocado green walls of our former apartment. It was such a fun color for the dining room. To be completely honest, I had a minor meltdown on Monday evening.  We lived in this apartment for two years, which is the longest we've lived in any apartment. Even though I hated it at times (bad water pressure, weird smells, & floors that were never clean), I will remember it fondly.




Hubby and I have celebrated each anniversary differently:
1st Anniversary = Cubs game
2nd Anniversary = Fancy Schmancy Dinner #1
3rd Anniversary = Fancy Schmancy Dinner #2
4th Anniversary = California Vacation

This year we decided to switch it up again and do something a bit more traditional and exchange gifts. To mark our 5th anniversary we decided to exchange watches, and then get them engraved. So, we spent a day trying on and picking out watches. After a significant amount of window shopping online, I ultimately decided on this Michael Kors watch. Hubby is a loyal Nixon fan, and finally decided on this one.

Next up, we have to decide on a quote for our engraving ...