Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Things I think about on the train.

My Nook. More like how I wish I would have charged said Nook. Oops.

Conflicted feelings. Case in point: As I was getting on the train yesterday, a girl handed me an animal cruelty brochure. I proceeded to fight back tears while riding the red line home.  I like to eat meat sometimes. I love animals all of the time. I don't like tofurky or veggie burgers any of the time.

Iphones. As in, I wish I had one.  If for no other reason than to be able to join the cool kids with their instagram pictures. Hopefully I can soon.  Blackberries are so retro.

Summer.  I catch myself daydreaming about warmer temperatures and how vibrant this city is during the summer months.  I’m very much looking forward to Saturdays spent at the beach with a skyline view, Cubs games, rooftop drinks, and plenty of al fresco dining. Ah, come on Spring!

Being finished with grad school.  I’m so ready to start working in my actual career field.  I miss being a part of something I really love and feeling work-productive.

My family.  I usually have a text or two from my sister or mom at the end of the day.  I find myself smiling when I’m reminded of inside jokes randomly.

Harris Teeter. It was my favorite grocery store (still is) for my whole life.  Chicago just doesn’t have great grocery store options. I dread going to Dominick’s or Jewel. And Whole Foods robs me of ridiculous amounts of money. (Although, I do love you Whole Foods). I like Trader Joe’s but hate that they don’t have a lot of the normal everyday household things I need. Like bulk paper towels. Or JIF.

Moving to a new neighborhood.  I like our neighborhood now. We have a lot of space and some pretty good perks (nearby parks, very close shopping, a large terrace, indoor parking) but we talk a lot about what neighborhood we’d like to live in next.  Top contenders? Lakeview, Lincoln Park, and the Gold Coast. (P.S. if you live in the Gold Coast now…what’s the dog-life situation? Dog parks?)

Where does your mind go during your idle time?

Friday, January 27, 2012

Friday Hodge Podge

In December, we were lucky enough to snag a reservation at EL Ideas. I looked forward to it all month and last night was the night.  It's a small restaurant that's set up like a dinner party.  The dining room and kitchen are basically one room and it's very interactive.   Like, chatting in the kitchen and helping plate things interactive.  I'll be posting a full-review shortly but seriously... holy deliciousness.  Definitely my favorite meal in Chicago to date.

I met up with to friends, Tess & Claire, on Wednesday night at Gilt Bar for the perfect mid-week pick-me-up.  It's kind of strange that someone I met through blogging has become such a good friend.  I'm so grateful to have such a sweet friend that has welcomed me into her circle of friends without skipping a beat. (So thanks Tess!)

My sister was supposed to be coming to visit in February but is now waiting until March.  She's never been to Chicago so I'm really excited to show her around and take her to some of my favorite spots. Things can get pretty silly.

I don't really have big weekend plans.  I have a ton of work for grad school to tackle on Sunday.  I'm looking forward to catching up on my DVR tonight (I realize how lame that sounds...and is).

I have a whole new pillow situation in our living room. I need to take pictures so I can post about it.  I decided to bite the bullet and go with some chiang mai and trellis.  I love how pillows can completely change the look of a room.

I've been an on-line shopping machine lately (and my bank account is begging for it to stop).  Fortunately, I've also been putting lots of gift cards that I received for Christmas to good use.

I can't wait for this pretty to come in the mail.

I'm also entirely too excited about these coming to my mailbox.  I realize we have several Lululemon stores in Chicago but it's cold and I'm a wimp.  On-line shopping > walking through cold Chitown.  I've heard they are life-changing pants.

There's actually a Lululemon warehouse sale in the 'burbs (Do I say that now?) today, tomorrow, and Sunday.  So if you are in the Chicago area and feel like fighting through crazy women for workout gear you should head on over.  (And grab me a headband and new yoga mat!)  Those types of situations do not interest me at all.

I'm trying to decide what to get TG for Valentine's day.  We will be celebrating the weekend after since he will be traveling.  Boo. Suggestions?

That's all for now. Happy weekend ya'll.


Tuesday, January 17, 2012


Last Wednesday, I tried out a new restaurant, Acadia, with TG's dad and stepmom (sans TG).  He was working and couldn't make it but not to worry, I've already started planning another dinner.

Acadia is a great new addition to the South Loop neighborhood of Chicago.

The food was delicious and beautifully presented without being pretentious.

After we were seated we ordered cocktails.  TG's step-mom and I both ordered The Aviator to drink.  I'm not sure how to describe it other than to say it tasted like flowers.  I can't find the description of it but it was made with gin and violet something. It wasn't my favorite but there are plenty of drink options that sounded amazing. I was just trying something I wouldn't usually get.

We shared a few small plates including:

-"Risotto"- yukon potato, leek, green apple veil, winter fruffle, fines herbs
-Foie Gras-  malt, curry apple butter, lemon, toddy, savory, mache
-Pork Belly- red cabbage, caraway pudding, pear mostarda, candied mustard seeds, chicharrones

For my main plate, I had the Stonington Lobster Pie which was just as yummy as it was pretty.  The Chef has ties to Maine and imports the fresh lobster and scallops.

We had top notch service from start to finish.  We encountered several members of the staff (waiters, a sommelier, general manager, hostess) and found them all to be so friendly, professional, and just really into Acadia's concepts.

The unexpected amuse bouche as well as the mini biscuits with fleur de sel made the experience all the more special and fun.  My favorite touch was when we left the restaurant, we each received personalized treats to take home (mini pistachio & ginger sweet cake).

High-five to Acadia for bringing such a fun new place to the South Loop! We can't wait to come back!

*Small plate descriptions taken from Acadia's menu found here

Friday, January 13, 2012

When I was in NC for Christmas, I met up with some of my favorite ADPi girls from college.  It's so nice to get together and catch up on each other's lives. We are scattered all over the place now so our reunions are that much more special. 

I love Chicago, but I miss these sweet girls!
...especially this one  : ) 

Happy Weekend!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

The Look for Less

I was on Target's website the other night and stumbled upon some cute pillows.  I even found a couple of We are so lucky to have a pretty great terrace (a luxury in the city!)  I can't wait to entertain outside during the warmer months.  The trellis pillows are technically outdoor pillows but I ordered them thinking I could try them with my Chiang Mai pillows before I bite the bullet and order the Schumacher imperial trellis pillows for my couch.

Here is the original Schumacher version:

And then the Tar-jay version:
There's also this....

which is similar to this (more expensive) print.

And lastly, I think these are pretty too. These may make an appearance on our terrace this summer. 

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

What I'm loving Wednesday

Happy Wednesday all!

1) Revenge comes on tonight.  I can't get enough of this show.  I heard there will be a 2nd season but I can't imagine where the writers will take the show. You know?

2) Being halfway through the week. Always a good thing!

3) Getting excited for my trip to NYC with 2 of my very best friends the first weekend in February

4) Finally getting to some of my decorating projects.  I must say, though, Pinterest really amplifies my indecisive nature.

5) Chicago winter has been unusually mild. I mean, it's still cold but not the unbearable misery that I've heard so much about.

6) Book club is tomorrow night! I'm excited to discuss The Hunger Games.  Never thought I'd be into the sci-fiction genre but these books are good, people!  Wine + appetizers + chatting = the perfect weekday evening.

What are you loving?

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

On my mind at this very moment...

  • At the beginning of every grad school quarter, I become overwhelmed with dread.  Not because of the school work really, but more so because it's just one more thing on my plate. Oh well, 3 more quarters and I'll be finished! I try to remember to just keep on keepin' on. 

  • This past weekend we finally got our love seat. Thank goodness.  Our living area/apartment is becoming more and more complete all the time.  
  • I have got to finish my campaign dresser project.  It pretty much just needs to be painted at this point.  Painting a dresser just hasn't been high on the old priority list lately.
  • I have pictures from Christmas in NC that I have yet to blog. 
  • Sunday, in some streak of domesticity, I cooked taco soup and broccoli salad (for my lunch this week).  Yep... followed recipes and all that jazz.  (And with no kitchen disasters--high five!)
  • Saturday night, we met up with friends for drinks.  The bar ended up being super crowded so we strolled to Tess & Joel's house instead. 
  • In the cab ride on the way home, I read that Beyonce and Jay-Z had their baby...Blue Ivy Carter!
  • I'm slightly entirely obsessed with Beyonce (and the name Ivy!)
  • There are several other DIY projects I've started thinking about. Such as:

I wouldn't use this orange dot fabric though...obviously. Perhaps a black and white thick stripe fabric?

Pinterest certainly does not equal productivity.

images 1-2-3

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

The Obligatory Resolution Post

2011 absolutely blew by.  TG and I talked about all of the events of 2011 during our New Year's eve dinner.  Due to a lack of planning and holiday exhaustion, we opted to do a quiet dinner in our neighborhood. We enjoyed entirely too much food (Spanish tapas to be exact.) I wore 5 inch heels and felt like a human after being lazy the entire day.  Dinner was certainly the highlight.  Unfortunately I wasn't feeling well after dinner and fell asleep minutes after midnight.

So here goes the resolution list...

1) Keep in touch with friends and family better
2) Be more thoughtful.  I really want to make thoughtfulness a priority this year.  (i.e. remembering birthdays, anniversaries, gift giving, and just being a good friend in general).
3) Eat healthier and exercise more.
4) Be more organized and neater. (Try to make up my bed more than once a week)
5) Be a better dog-mother.  (Walk Barkley and Chip more...more dog park trips)
6) Find a home church in Chicago and join a small group.
7) Recommit to running.
8) Be a better money saver (i.e. go to Target less)
9) Wake up earlier on the weekends (i.e. like a grown up)
10) Practice being kind. On the train. In stores. To my boyfriend. And even when people run over my toes with their strollers.
11) Be a better blogger. I love reading blogs and want to contribute more to mine. I'm aiming to blog at least 3 times per week.

What are your resolutions?

Images via Pinterest