Friday, November 14, 2014

Announcing Baby!!!!

First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes....oh come ON!  I'm loving this post already!!!  
I want to scream it, I am soo overjoyed!!!!!!  Pregnant!!!! And gender neutral green for now ;)
I can't explain how jazzed I was to take these pictures!  I never thought I'd find one of these signs, lol
Don't get me wrong, the gift of pregnancy is amazing, but come on, who isn't dying for bump photo mania!?  How to choose my favorite....impossible!




 
This little secret has been hard to keep, but in honor of the bump in all of it's glory these days, taaadaaa!!!  Having soo much fun telling friends and co-workers, it has been a blast for sure! I had a few other ideas up my sleeve for a picture "announcement", but the bump sign trumped all. 



 What a wonderful second wedding anniversary gift! 

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

More Chicago foodie finds, a coveted credit card, and pomegranate kerfuffle!

First of all, who thought it was a good idea to approve me for THIS THING!?!?
The Visa black card, blown up to a funny degree, I just had to take a pic.  Of course it looks cool, and it's made of something other than plastic, but no mam, I will not pay an annual fee like that! Is this a clue I am spending too much?? Hmmm......

Onto more food finds in the city! My last weeknight girls evening brought me to the famed Mindy's Hot Chocolate. This time, I had yet another hot chocolate experience at the new Rick Bayless restaurant XOCO.  We checked out the Wicker Park location since my g/f from San Fran was in town (which never happens!) and she wanted to experience it.  So we had some really rich treats at the only place in Chicago that goes from bean to table in the same location.  The coco was yummie but I was missing the marshmallow....however the churro was a great substitute ;)
We also enjoyed some bacon caramel popcorn (like I'm not ordering that!) as we chatted about life as a mom.  Backstory, Jess is my college pal from tennis and I saw her last at my wedding....now she has a 2 year old!  We had a great time and enjoyed lots of yummie mexican treats.
Bacon caramel popcorn

Chicharron

pumpkin hummus with jicama&celery

Choriza Queso

Chicken torta

Visual aide if you aren't sure of where Wicker Park is in the Chicago neighborhood scheme of things!
My next girls outing was only 2 days later on an actual weekend!  Okay, it was brunch, we are officially "old" what can I say ;)
We checked out a few hot spots, like the infamous Donut Valut, which was as good as the hype....and the line was as long as the hype as well!
How is that for a sampler platter??

Best donut I ever ate!! Apricot filled!!!!

Next it was off to Lincoln Park hot spot, Summer House.  We had a great time noshing and chatting, as usual!
Acai Basil drink

calamari

Umm, can you say, rice crispie chocolate chip cookie?!?!
And that is the summary of a pretty great week out.  Until it was back to work and packing my own lunch....which led to a healthy treat that was sooo labor intensive that my heart broke when it landed smashed on the garage floor in a zillion pieces..... goodbye pomegranate, hello snackless wonder...

Friday, November 7, 2014

Camping with 70 kids, house hunting, engagement ring decisions, oh my!

Have you ever been camping?  Add 70 middle schoolers and get back to me ;)
Actually, a great time was had by all, including myself!  We fell upon a really nice day, sun-shining and not too cold.  I got a chance to take a break at some point in the day to think about my new boots and how they were holding up in the cold, wet, dewy morning, and my ring, which was just re-plated.
 Pretty pleased with my Sorels, after the customer service kerfuffle when a representative steered my to a fraudulent website to buy boots last November when they were already all sold out! Long story, but they gave me a decent discount to compensate for my loss, so I tried these out, hoping they will stand up to Chicago slush and cold!
 Beautiful camp day and bright sunshine on a quick break from the chitlins.

Onto my ring, which I fell even more in love with after I got it re-plated, an annoying chore you may be familiar with if you also have a white gold wedding band.  And yes, for the record, there is no such alloy as "white gold".  Sorry, that was the science/gemology geek in me :)  It just became so nice and "white" again, which added a lot to the overall look.  I was missing my bands greatly, which, even though they got turned in on the same day, took extra time.  So the 3 year warranty was officially up and I was stuck deciding if I wanted to go the lifetime route, which means I can re-plate when I want, or leave and pony up the cash when I want to "dip".  Hmmmmmm........  thoughts???
Pros: *looks so great when you pick it up from the store
         *if a tiny stone were to fall out you are covered
Cons: *it would only cover the bands, not the engagement ring...boo to you Rogers and Holland!
          *the plating seems to wear off awfully quick.....like 2-3 weeks quick....
          *it's a painful amount of cash to throw at your rings.....
Might I add that I was really not thrilled at the, ahem, presentation of the ring back to me..... here is how she gave it back to me: I know, ridiculous.

In the meantime, I got to shoot some arrows, do some rock wall climbing and some low ropes course!
And if that wasn't enough to consder in my wonderful married world, onto the next step for many couples.... que the music... THE HOUSE HUNT!!!!!!!!  Does this strike fear in you, or make you happy??  I was all about watching house hunters and used to think things like, "oh stop crying about how you'll 'never' find a house" or "you 'lost' the house, it wasn't yours, move on!" or my last and favorite, "these people are soooo picky!  Change the freaking paint or counter top, big deal".  Well............ as I have continued on this hunt I have found.... I did all of those things!!!!!!  I don't want to spend anymore Sunday afternoons driving from place, to place, to place... and feeling like, no of these are it!  Or, how are there not more options!?  What do you mean they aren't "motivated sellers".  A new a/c unit is how much!?!  Radon testing and mold for 1K, no refunds?  Head spinning!  And how am I going to learn to 'fix stuff'??  Does anyone know how big of job this is? I don't!!!!! 
How about this??
I know nothing. Picking out a wedding dress was much easier :) :)

Monday, October 20, 2014

Sweetest Day, food trucks, world's largest maze, pumpkins and pig races!

When I say we did all things fall, we really did cram in tons of midwest fun this weekend!  It all began on sweetest day when I got the best breakfast in bed ever!!!  Pumpkin pancakes (one with chocolate chips, one without, oh how he knows me!) with cinnamon cream syrup (my husbands specialty) which was to die for!!!! Of course it had to be served with cool whip frosting "cream cheese" flavor, like it's not decadent enough already.  And of course, milk in my favorite smurf glass ;)
Then it was off to the Pumpkin Festival in a neighboring town where it was pumpkin everything!  Well, until I reached the food truck section that is...




Toasty Cheese gets around town quite a but, but mostly during the work day when I am teaching.  Sorry folks, no food trucks outside this school.... Not to fear, I got my fill!  We sampled 2 sammies and the loaded fries.  I almost needed a pumpkin wheel barrel to get outta there!  But if that wasn't enough, the Chicago Cupcake truck was there too!  Yeah, like I'm not gonna get a caramel apple cupcake...







Onto day 2 of the fall festivities! This one brought us north to a corn maze...in fact, it was THE WORLD'S LARGEST! Cool right!  Fought past my fear of the time I was trapped in the "Corny Maze" (no corn involved in that one) in the Wisconsin Dells....which may or may not have ended with a firetruck ladder to get me out...











So we went in and did the color challenge first, followed by the actual maze!  I was really windy and quite cold, but we had a blast.




More fun was had when we elbowed some little kids (I mean....waited in line) to do things that we are probably, mmmm, 20 years to old for!  The slide and the off road pedal cars we awesome!






Wrapped it up woth some cider donuts and apple cider and off to the races!

Races?  PIG RACES!  Oooooh, yes!! I had my money on Miss Piggie, and Chris bet on Kevin Bacon.  I lost the first round, which resulted in paying off the bet (snorting loudly in public) and just when I thought I had the second round in the bag, I was defeated again!







 We definitely had an A-MAZE-ING time :) :)