Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Weekending...on a Wednesday

This past weekend was a good one, so I didn't want to miss documenting it! 
We're ticking off showers one-by-one, and while it feels good to have some of these "obligations" (even though they certainly don't feel like obligations since they're for some of my favorite people) checked off the list, it feels weird to take the invitations off the fridge. 
It brings a lot of excitement though! We're getting closer and closer to the "big days" and then I can replace those invitations with wedding pictures and pictures of newborns :)

Sammy worked this weekend, so I spent Friday night with myself ;) which is kind of my favorite thing. I decided to skip my workout to watch a bunch of New Girl episodes instead (and subsequently rewound the scene when Nick and Jess kiss for the first time because I'm a dork and it's amazing). I'm rewatching the series and even though I know it's hilarious, I can't believe I didn't remember just how hilarious. 

Saturday was kind of a nonstop day. I had my first therapy session in the morning which went well. I've been implementing a lot of her suggestions this week for dealing with anxiety and I've seen a noticeable difference which is awesome. 

After that, I went to lunch with my dad and was sosososo happy to find that Scuderio's has not changed in the slightest taste-wise. It's still the best food around. We got a slice of pizza to split, I got the eggplant parmesan (because that's all I order there) and my dad got the Italian sub. We're obsessed. 
If you're local, you should follow them on Facebook. They have specials every day of the week that aren't on their regular menu and they're going to start posting them on their page so people know when to stop by. 


We ran a few errands together after lunch and then I came home so I could wrap birthday gifts for Sammy's cousins.

I spent the night over at Sammy's aunt and uncle's for dinner and cake to celebrate these ladies turning 13. I can't believe it. To think I met them when they were 2... Absolutely nuts.

I got up early on Sunday to help Chelsie and her mom get ready for her bridal shower! It was an intimate shower (much smaller than I'm used to since our Italian families get nuts about showers), but that made for such a cozy and special environment. 


Chelsie's mom made really sweet flower arrangements for the tables and the one I got to take home hasn't withered at all. I can't believe it. They still look so good! 

We played a few games, wrote date night ideas for the couple, and Chelsie and Dan opened their gifts. 

Me and my soulmate. 
It was such a lovely afternoon. I can't believe the bachelorette party is the last event before the big day! The rehearsal dinner will be here before we know it. 

And how sweet are these favors her mom came up with?! "Something blue" aka blue champagne!

The weather was so gorgeous on Sunday and I didn't want to waste it, so when I got home from the shower I pulled the hammock out and read for several hours. It was so good. 

Overall it was a nice balance of weekend plans and relaxation. Just how I like it. 

Friday, April 21, 2017

Five on Friday

This week felt exhausting for no particular reason, so I'm very excited it's Friday. 
Let's get into it!


Last week my dad and I went to see Anne Lamott speak at the People's Church of Chicago. The event was sponsored by Women and Children First (yay local, independent feminist bookstores!) and held at the church. The building was so gorgeous. I believe I read that it was originally founded in the 20s. The chairs seemed to be original (or at least super old if not from the 20s) and the leather was cracking on all the seat cushions. I just love that stuff. 

How gorgeous is the ceiling and the paintings on the wall?

I'm not overtly religious by any means, but I love, love, love the way Anne Lamott writes about faith. Her voice is so honest and vulnerable. She literally takes my breath away with her words, so when I heard she was going on tour to promote her latest book, I grabbed two tickets for my dad and I (he introduced me to her in the first place).


Also, her dreadlocks. Like come on. She's too good. 


After her Q&A and her reading, we stood in line to have her sign our books. Someone in her little entourage had brought those huge frosted bakery cookies for her and she was eating one when I got up to her, and she broke me off a piece and insisted I have some. 
"They're so good. They taste like childhood," she said. 
Who's refusing that? And then I took that very dramatic snapchat and sent it to everyone I know. 
My dad and I stopped at The Golden Nugget for a late-night dinner and got food that is definitely not on our diets. It was a fun and enlightening night, and I loved nothing more than experiencing it with the best guy. 


Cubs baseball, people. They're officially back!
 Last week a few girlfriend's and I met up at Chelsie's for dinner and to watch the Cubs. It happened to be the game when they did the ring ceremony. Love any reason to celebrate those Champions ;)


We picked up Portillos (though I always prefer Gene & Jude's) and headed over after work. It was so nice to catch up and laugh with my girlfriends on a regular old Wednesday night. And the Cubs just topped it off. Baseball is definitely my favorite sport and I love hearing the sounds of the game and the announcers in the background of whatever room I'm in. It's super nostalgic and reminds me of summer. 


I have a decently packed weekend starting with a trip to Scudiero's for lunch with my dad on Saturday. I'm SO excited. They finally reopened after doing a huge renovation after their sixty-year-old oven exploded last summer (no one was hurt, thank god) and I can't wait to see what they've done. 

(old vs. new)

I've seen pictures on Yelp and Facebook, but it's not like seeing it in person. Plus I'm interested to see if their new equipment will change the way their food tastes. Their pizza is SO good and their eggplant parmesan sandwich is my favorite eggplant ever. I won't even order it other places because I know it won't compare. Please go if you're ever in the area! They have an old-world Italian vibe going on and you can feel it when you're there. 


In addition to my very exciting lunch plans on Saturday ;) I'm going with Sammy's parents (Sammy has to work this weekend) to his cousins' 13th birthday party at their house on Saturday night. I've been seeing a lot of Sammy's family lately and I've especially enjoyed being around his SIL while she's pregnant. 

And on Sunday, I have Chelsie's bridal shower! I've been asked to bring my "nice" camera and if I'll be the one who writes down which guest brought what gift. I, of course, said yes to both especially since I've been dramatically waiting my whole life to be the person who writes the list of which gift came from who. Such a dork, haha. 

My Rent the Runaway order should be arriving today and I'm anxious to try it on and see how it looks. Hopefully it fits!

I'm excited to spend the afternoon with all my girlfriends and all the women in Chelsie and Dan's life who are coming to celebrate them. I can't believe we're only two months out from the wedding. Absolutely crazy. 


Also on the wedding front...
Getting so close to the wedding can only mean one other thing...bachelorette party is even closer! ;)

Chelsie's bachelorette party is over Memorial Day weekend and we're having a relaxed, wine tour-themed weekend. I had all the vendors (wine tour company, rental house) scheduled and paid for back in February, but now that we're getting closer, I've been spending a lot of time on Easy finishing up some little details. 

I picked up all items I need for the favors, several decorations, and I'll be getting some XXX items soon ;) I'm very blessed to work with an incredible designer who can literally create anything you ask her to, so she made the invitations, table signs, and other paper goods for me and they're so gorgeous. I ordered the invitations today and can't wait for them to ship!

Here's some inspiration I've been drawing from as I've been planning. 
Keeping in mind, my goal is 75% classy, 25% trashy/gross/immature because otherwise, what's the point? ;)


I love reading wedding related recaps, so if anyone has any bachelorette favorites they've read (or written!), please share! I think I have everything pretty much planned/picked out, but I'm always open for more ideas. 

*Linking up with April and Andrea

Monday, April 17, 2017


It was definitely hard to wake up and get ready for work this morning! This weekend was so spring-y and lovely and I didn't want it to end. 

I had an email in my inbox on Friday morning saying that our office would be closing a few hours earlier so we could all get a jumpstart on the holiday weekend which was a nice surprise! 

On the way home, I had to stop to pick up my bridesmaid dress from the seamstress and she had such pretty potted flowers on her stoop. They smelled amazing and I had to take picture because I'm a dork.

I pulled the hammock out when I got home and enjoyed the sunshine with this guy :) I started Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon. So far I like it! I'm interested to see how the conflict builds and the rest of the story develops. 

On Saturday, I did some "radical self-care," as Anne Lamott says, in the form of painting and napping. The weather was so beautiful, so I pulled all my stuff outside and painted on the deck. Then I went inside with my stack of books, opened all the windows, and took a nap. 


In the late afternoon, I went with Sammy's parent's to a family friend's son's 2nd birthday party. It was Mickey themed and all the little details were so cute!


That boy's face! He's so sweet.


Sammy and I got him a toddler scooter which seemed to be a big hit...until he got a basketball hoop and then it was severely overlooked haha. Can't blame him though. 


Later on Saturday night, I decorated eggs with my mom, siblings, grandma, and uncle. It was nice to see my grandma and uncle since I knew I wouldn't be seeing them the next day for Easter.

I woke up on the earlier side on Sunday morning, pulled out the hammock, and listened to Easter sermons on my phone. There was a slight cool breeze so I brought a blanket out with me, the birds were chirping. It was so peaceful to be out there. I really enjoyed one Easter sermon in particular and I'm making plans to visit the church in person soon.

On Easter morning, my mom had us hunt for eggs and open our baskets. Yes, we still do this. Yes, all that candy has already been eaten. 


Later in the afternoon, I went over to Sammy's parent's house to spend Easter with his family. I didn't take any pictures of the food because I ate too quickly since I'm a slob and all the "big cousins" got demoted to the smaller table in the other room ;) So we didn't have any food that stayed on our table. 

Sammy's mom and grandma cooked and they made lamb, ham, green bean salad, mashed potatoes, green salad, lasagna, and a whole antipasto selection (Italian lunch meats, frittata, cheese, olives, etc.)

And then I spent the rest of the afternoon doing what I love to do most: feeling for kicks :) Which felt a lot of! I'm sure my SIL loves this ;) But I can't help myself. 

I hung around to hang out with Sammy once his family had left and it was great to have a little one-on-one time together. This was his last Sunday off, so for the next month or so, he'll be working every weekend so it was good to have that time together. 


Every year I find that I have a newfound appreciation for the holiness of the holiday. Sammy and I heard different sermons on Sunday, so I was excited to talk with him about what he liked about the service he attended. I'm hoping to keep on with this spiritual journey of mine.

 I hope everyone had a wonderful time celebrating Easter and/or Passover this weekend! 

Monday, April 10, 2017

Weekend Recap

There was a multitude of celebrations this past weekend, which is how every weekend is going to look this April!
We celebrated my dad's birthday on Saturday, went to a baby shower Sunday afternoon, and Sammy and I celebrated our anniversary Sunday evening. 
Even though there was a lot going on, I woke up today feeling like the weekend seemed so long! Gotta love when weekends feel that way. 


We started at Allen's Corner to kick off my dad's birthday celebrations. I got the hash skillet which is nutso good and split the biscuits and gravy with my brother. 
Their biscuits and gravy are always sold out by the time we get there, so be to able to have them was a treat that we made way too big a deal out of.

We spent the entire day with my dad which included stops at a candy store in McHenry and the old movie theatre in downtown Libertyville before heading back to my house so he could open gifts before dinner.


I got reservations at Burt's which has recently reopened since Burt passed away last year. We were super excited to try the pizza since we all think Burt's is the best pizza in Chicago, no question. Unfortunately, they seem to be still getting their bearings as they've only been open about a month and the pizza wasn't quite like how Burt used to make it. He was teaching the new owners his tricks before he passed away, so maybe they need a little more time to get it right.

We finished the night at Comet's with some sundaes and malts :) It was a DAY filled with nonstop eating, but there isn't any other way to celebrate this guy. He's our favorite man on earth and we're so crazy lucky he's our dad. 


On Sunday afternoon, I went to Sammy's sister-in-law's first baby shower. It was at a beautiful country club in Barrington with lovely views of the golf course.

They don't know if they're having a girl or boy, so the pink and blue details around the room were a sweet touch. I'm excited for her second shower I'm helping to throw with Sammy's mom next May! It's bee themed and a little more gender neutral which I think will be really lovely. 


After the shower, I headed over to Sammy's and we spent the late afternoon and evening together for our 11th anniversary. We celebrated by taking a walk to enjoy the 70 degree weather we got yesterday (!!) and lounging around. He wanted to do more, but I just wanted to spend time together and keep it pretty low key. 

Some days I can't fathom that we've been dating for eleven years, and some days when he's driving me nuts, I definitely can ;) I've known him for more than half of my life and everyone knows us as the couple who got "married" in second grade. (It is absolutely as embarrassing as it sounds and no one will let us forget about it.) 

I wrote on social media that this year has been my favorite and it definitely has. We've come into ourselves individually and as a couple more in this year alone than we have in the previous ten years combined. While I know we've only scratched the surface and will experience more hard times together, it's been so nice to reach this sweet spot in our relationship. I told him yesterday that while I was at the baby shower, all I kept thinking was how excited I am to do all "that stuff" with him. Couldn't have asked for a better partner to do life with. 

In between all the celebrating, I finally succumbed to British television. Everyone in my department is obsessed with British tv and British culture, so I always felt pretty left out when they'd talk about how good everything was. A coworker told me I should start watching the Great British Bake Off since several seasons are on Netflix now, so I started that Friday night and have been binge watching all weekend. 

 I am officially obsessed. Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood are no joke. Someone described it to me as being really relaxing to watch, and it absolutely is. I love watching it before bed. They're all so British it hurts. I accidentally saw who the winner is for the first season when I went to save this picture and I'm way too upset that I spoiled it for myself.

Everyone at work is really into The Crown on Netflix, but I decided to start with Victoria on Masterpiece Theatre instead. I kind of wanted to go in order of the monarchies because I'm a huge nerd. Plus, Sammy's aunt is really into Masterpiece Theatre and she's been watching Victoria, so I figured with the baby/bridal showers and Easter coming up, her and I would have a lot to gush over. 

I've only seen the first episode and part of the second and already I'm so into it. I was gutted after the first episode. Sammy's aunt calls it "delectable" and she's so right. Jenna Coleman is amazing as Queen Victoria and like stop-you-in-your-tracks gorgeous.

Safe to say I've drank the British kool-aid. Here and there I get slightly annoyed with how calm and poised they are (how can you be so effortlessly poised?!), but then I see Mary Berry's face and I'm like k, whatever, it's all fine. 

Has anyone been watching? Would love to gush over Lord Melbourne with literally anyone. ;)

*Linking up with Biana