I wonder if stealing the Bible is a sin. I really hope not.

In Chicago we get all of the seasons… and the longest is definitely winter.  Or maybe it just seems that way.  Either way, we’re well into March and there’s a lot of snow on the ground.

I think it’s rather pretty!  My Frye boots would disagree.  They are covered in salt residue and could use a summer vacation for sure.

(Our little Monster loves the snow.  He thinks he’s a snow-dog *that should be a breed*)

cold

In other news, the Husband and I really want to watch The Bible, which is being shown on the History channel in 2 hour increments for the next few weeks.  Unfortunately, we don’t have cable.

And we couldn’t find the episode online.

So we had no choice but to ‘steal’ it.  Or borrow it.  Yeah, let’s go with that, I prefer the term ‘borrow.’

I think God will understand, right?  

(I mean, it’s far better TV-watching than the Millionaire Matchmaker shows that I’ve been occupying my time with lately….)

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What I read when I’m drinking wine.

Sometimes I get so busy that I forget that I’m only human and do not have the abilities to tackle every task at hand and try to do everything anyway.  And then life reminds me that I’m only human and strikes my over-exhausted body down with sickness.

Last week was one of those weeks.  I was so busy, so productive, and so happy.  and then BAM! everything shut down. (By ‘everything’ I’m referring to my immune system).

I was fairly certain I was going to die on Friday from the common cold.

Yeah, this could be an example of me being dramatic, but seriously, I had the fever, the chills, the sore throat, the stuffy nose, the cough, you get the idea.  I felt disgusting and managed to look even worse.  Maybe that’s why the Husband took pity on me and was even nicer to me than usual.  This is one of the great perks of being married – I have a wonderful roommate who is willing to cook for me, rub my feet, draw me a bath, etc.

Do I know I’m spoiled? Definitely.

The point is, this weekend was more uneventful than I had hoped, but the Husband took great care of me and I was able to read a fantastic book!

Silver lining people, silver lining.

This book.... I cannot say enough about it.  It's kind of self-help but pretty much just awesome.

This book…. I cannot say enough about it. It’s kind of self-help(ish) but pretty much just awesome.

Over the weekend I finished The Gifts of Imperfection. No summary of this book (that I could write) would do it justice, but suffice it to say that this book is one of my very-favorites and I think I’ll find it to be quite life changing.

What book is next on my list?  I have a whole shelf full of possibilities, filled with recommendations from friends and blog writers and all sorts of other sources.

These are next on my 'to-read' list!

These are next on my ‘to-read’ list!

Don’t worry (were you worried?), I didn’t spend the entire weekend with my nose in a book and devoid of any human interaction. On Sunday my mom came into town and we went to brunch and any weekend that involves a fancy brunch is pretty wonderful.

It wasn’t just an ordinary brunch, either.  We went to Longman & Eagle and it was every bit as fantastic as I thought it would be.

Oh brunch, how I love thee.

Oh brunch, how I love thee!

Ah – books, love, brunch, family, wine, a documentary or two… I had quite the successful weekend.

I hope you enjoyed your weekend and are recharged for the week ahead!

Last year at this time…

I’d like to think I’m one of those women who doesn’t celebrate the anniversary of every relationship milestone.

engaged

But, I did look at the calendar the other day and think ‘Wow, it’s almost a year since the Husband proposed!  Where the fuck heck has time gone?!’

engaged

So, I will give a head-nod to this day (which means I will fill this post with some of the pictures from our engagement photo shoot that no one has seen yet), because February 11, 2012 was one of the very happiest days of my life and I think happiness should be shared and celebrated and remembered with fond smiles and a joyful heart.

engaged

For those of you who may not remember, or who never knew:  There were photos lining an empty hallway.  There were delivery men who were moving furniture into our new apartment.  There was a long hallway and photos of our last few years and a small table set up in our still-empty family room. There was an empty apartment with just us and the ring and some photos and the glasses and bottle of champagne and rose pedals and joy.  

engaged

There was crying and laughing and disbelief.  I had my hair in a ponytail and generally looked a hot mess.  We ate brunch with my mom. We concluded the day with dinner with my dad and the Husband’s parents.  I couldn’t stop looking at the diamonds on my left hand and feeling unbelievably blessed.  There were lots of phone calls and text messages and social media postings.  Joy. There was lots and lots of joy.

engaged

 

I remember the whole day with a full-heart and misty eyes.  

engaged

It was everything I had ever thought it could be and more. There is not much in my life that exceeds my greatest expectations, but the Husband has surpassed them all, and this proposal was something that I couldn’t have written any better.

engaged

For a man who’s not at all romantic, the Husband outdid himself big time.

engaged

On this day in 2012, I said ‘Can I wear it?!’ by which I meant ‘yes’ and we embarked on yet another great adventure (together)!

engaged

 

I just had the most delicious weekend.

I had a phenomenal weekend this past weekend.  The kind of weekend where I can breathe a sigh of relief and contentment on Sunday night because I finished everything I wanted to do and feel caught up on life and saw friends and ate great food and drank quality drinks and all-around feel fulfilled.

I am savoring every second of these happy and content feelings because some weekends are frustrating and sad and lonely and unproductive, but this weekend was not one of those and for that I am thankful.

I won’t go through every single thing I did, but actually I’ll probably end up listing it all anyway.  Sorry about that, just bear with me.

Publican

On Friday the Husband and I went out with a high school friend of mien and her husband at a place in Chicago I’ve been meaning to go forever – The Publican.  It was fantastic.  I was happy that they had seafood dishes because it’s basically known for its  meat and beer and I don’t eat or drink either one of those.  It was tapas style and the dishes were delicious and we shared so much great food and laughed over beers and scallops and hams and mussels in beer broth.

Dave and Rachel dined with us on Friday.

Great friends, great drinks, great food… nothing beats this!

Speaking of which, you’ll be happy to know (well, you probably don’t care, but I’m at least happy to tell you) that I’ve settled on my ‘adult drink of choice’ which is Ketel One and water with lemon.  Perfection in a glass.

I spent my Saturday shopping on Michigan Avenue with one of my absolute favorite people ever, Miss Brittany.

Well, first we went to Xoco.  I had never been there before and it did not disappoint in the slightest.

I got the fish stew.  To-die-for delicious.

I got the fish stew. To-die-for delicious.

Now, I really don’t go shopping very often (I promise!), but lately I’ve really been figuring out things I need to buy and have been going at this list with extra-enthusiasm.  Our stores-of-choice for this shopping expedition were Sephora, Anthropologie, and Nordstrom Rack.  The things I purchased included: a cardigan (yes, another one), raspberry jeans, an ‘&’ sign for house decor, a candle, conditioner, blush, bronzer, exfoliator, moisturizer, foundation, eye liner, eye shadow, lip liner, lip gloss, a winter coat…. it was exhausting.  I found some awesome deals, too!

After our productive afternoon, Brit & I went out to dinner to celebrate our most fantastic and successful shopping day of all time at Vermillion with our significant others where I got the most AMAZING vegetarian dish I’ve ever eaten.  I’m not even being dramatic, it was that delicious.  We all belly-laughed and enjoyed cocktails and dined on Indian food (and other infusion-type dishes) and stayed for hours and hours.  I even ordered three desserts and we finished every morsel.

Brit and the Husband (mine, obviously, not hers)

Brit and the Husband (mine, obviously, not hers)

Today I woke up and went to CrossFit and the Husband and I ran some errands and bought a piece of furniture and some frames and then we went to church and ate dinner.  Perfection.

My credit card is a bit overwhelmed after all of the use its gotten in the past few days, but I am so, so happy that I took care of so many things I’ve been saying I needed to buy for weeks.

And now I’m watching the Blackhawks and I’m about to read and cuddle with my little monster.

Perfect weekend?  I think so.

I hope everyone else has had an equally wonderful weekend.

If at first you don’t succeed, continue baking the damn eclairs.

In case you haven’t noticed or aren’t fortunate enough to live in the midwest during winter… it’s fucking really, really cold here.  Today feels balmy in the 20’s, that’s how bad it’s been. Take Friday for example… I woke up 10 minutes earlier than usual to put on all of my layers, just to jog a half mile to the gym.

I ran in a full winter jacket and snow pants.   I used to be tougher than this and could handle any run in a few long sleeves and tights, but now I’m a wimp. Don’t judge me. 

My body wasn’t cold (it was a 5 minute jog!) but my lungs were screaming and I think I developed brain freeze by breathing.  Awesome.

*Sidenote, I must admit, I think reading ‘Game of Thrones’ is causing me to become more paranoid about the cold weather.  All I can think of is ‘WINTER IS COMING!  OH NO!’  Uhhh, duh Lisa, it’s February in Chicago. Winter has been here.*

The lock of my apartment complex froze and refused to open. Luckily, there is a used bookstore across the street from me and I was able to hang out there until the Husband came to rescue me.

The lock on the gate of my apartment complex froze and refused to open. Luckily, there is a used bookstore across the street from me and I was able to hang out there until the Husband came to rescue me.

Anyway, this weekend I spent my time doing plenty of indoor activities:

  • Reading ‘Game of Thrones’
  • Watching hockey and eating pizza and drinking beer with friends
  • Wearing my new sweaters/cardigans
  • Drinking butterscotch schnapps and hot chocolate
  • Eating dinner and going to a bar with my girlfriends
  • Watching the Superbowl with the Husband and his family

What I also did was bake chocolate eclair cupcakes from scratch.  You see, it was the Husband’s dad’s birthday yesterday and we all went over to the Husband’s parents’ house to celebrate, and he likes chocolate eclairs… so I figured I would make them into cupcakes!  I should really get some ‘wife points’ or maybe even ‘daughter-in-law points’ for this.

Anyway, I found a recipe for the cupcakes so I thought baking these things would be super-easy and take about an hour.  Any recipe found through random Google searches must be great, right?!

Wrong.

The recipe I originally used was awful and I created two batches that had to be thrown away.  Then I made filling that had to be thrown away.  Seriously, the filling somehow turned into a solid omelette.  This is never a good sign.

Well, finally I wised up and created my own recipe from lots of other recipes on the oh-so-wise internet. In the end, everything turned out great.

It only took about 5 hours.  Oy vey.

Please direct your attention to the top right picture... see how flat the first batch turned out compared to the second?!  But, eventual success!

Please direct your attention to the top right picture… see how flat the first batch turned out compared to the second?! But, eventual success!

It was a good thing I had plans to go out drinking after this ordeal, because I have a super-low tolerance for kitchen mishaps and was in desperate need of vodka after taking the second batch of ruined eclairs out of the oven.

Luckily, third time’s the charm, and I can proudly say I defeated the chocolate eclair cupcakes.

Domesticity is within my reach….

I hope you had a warm and delicious Superbowl weekend!

I wish I had time to read the entire internet. Except for the stuff written by crazy people.

I love articles.  Love, love, love articles.  I digest like, 100 articles/blog posts/etc per day.  I wish I were exaggerating but I really don’t think I am.  I also don’t count the articles I read so ‘100’ is a nice round approximation.

But you get the idea.

Anyway, in case I forgot to send you the link, here are the things I read, saw, and thought about this week:

  • Correlational research determines it’s (probably) beneficial for daughters to have a father with egalitarian views.
  • People still use the word ‘retard’?  Really?  This amazing family tries to put an end to that.
  • A Christian magazine weighs in on gun control and gives me something to think about.
  • I learned how to master the universe.
  • Evidently the contribution limit went up for Roth IRAs for 2013.  I can now contribute $500 additional dollars this year!
  • I read a beautiful love story.
In an unrelated note, this is a phenomenal way to spend a Thursday evening.

In an unrelated note, this is a phenomenal way to spend a Thursday evening.

‘Cockhawks’ and other things I’m willing to put up with to save $50.

We’re a hockey-type family (meaning the Husband and I love hockey and the little monster doesn’t like anything on TV because he feels threatened by anything or anyone that moves faster than him… but he can still be a fan by association, right? Right.)

This is us almost exactly 2 years ago at one of our first Hawks games together. Time flies!

This is us almost exactly 2 years ago at one of our first Hawks games together. Time flies!

Anyway, I was convinced that the NHL was about to be no more for the 2012-3013 season, but just when I was about to lose hope, hockey started again!  Then the problem became: how the heck do we watch hockey games now that we’ve canceled cable television?!

Ah, first world problems at their best.  I’m actually rolling my eyes at myself.

We solved this problem the way we solve all problems, we decided to illegally stream the game from someone who decided to purchase the NHL game package or something like that.  I don’t know, I’ve never looked into it.  I am far too frugal to think it’s a great idea to spend $50 on hockey for the season when there are perfectly good ways to watch the games for free.

Actually, first we decided to try to stream the game from someone with a Slingbox… this has worked for us before and it’s amazing, but for some reason it didn’t work for us last night.  Oh the pain and inconvenience this caused!

Then we found another method of watching the game and this particular method involved some man watching the game  and streaming it online so that other (cheaper) people could watch it with him.  Now, we’ve done this before and it usually works without incident.  However, last night we were watching ‘with’ an especially annoying interesting individual.  At random times during the game he would yell things about the goalies (the Husband says he just used a microphone to do this… I have no idea) and other off-color comments.  Let me tell you, in case you have yet to experience this particular event, it’s super-strange to be watching your TV and hear a random man who is not a TV announcer commenting!  It’s like having a third roommate again, but one that you don’t know and don’t particularly like.  I wanted him out of our family room, immediately.

Then, and this was our favorite part, during game breaks this man actually opened up the Paint program in his computer (do you all remember this gem?!) and started drawing.

So, instead of watching hockey, we were listening to hockey and watching our modern Van Gogh. His specialties appeared to be drawings of mascots, scores from other NHL games, and even a penis or two.  Because no hockey game would be the same without a penis drawing.

What are we, 14 years old again?

Seriously?!

Oh, this man was a clever one. This was taken right before he drew the penis.

Oh, this man was a clever one. This was taken right before he drew the penis.

Maybe we do need to spend the $50 and watch the games like normal people.

 

Last weekend was perfect… And this is a very belated post.

Last weekend was my favorite type of weekend.  And this blog post is evidently very belated because it’s almost time for the next weekend.  Fuck.  Anyway, this shall not get me down and I’ll tell ya’ll *I’m not southern but one of my best friends lives in Knoxville, TN so I think that gives me license to say this, right?* about my last weekend since it was stellar.

(As a sidenote: why the heck do I never take pictures of epic awesome weekends?!  I’m always having too much fun to take pictures and immediately regret this decision when I look back on the super-fun times and have no photos!  Next time… I’ll take pictures next time.  I’ve been saying this for years.)

Thank goodness someone else bothered to take a picture of me and the birthday boy!  Weekend recorded.

Thank goodness someone else bothered to take a picture of me and the birthday boy! Weekend recorded.

My weekend was filled with… A double-date with Brit & Whit at Table Fifty-Two (fancy southern comfort food!  It was ah-mazing). Drinking wine. Errands/Being Productive. Finishing wedding thank you notes. A great friend’s 30th birthday party at Burton Place (a dive bar in Old Town) where we got to meet new people. Going to Crossfit. Brunch with the ladies. Watching football. Playing with our little monster-of-a-dog. Attending a soup-off competition with the Husband’s extended family (the best part about these is that I never cook anything but I’m still allowed to be a judge).

Any weekend involving soup is a good weekend.

Ah, a delicious and well-balanced (meaning tons of carbs) lunch.  Soup for every meal!

Ah, a delicious and well-balanced (meaning tons of carbs) lunch. Soup for every meal!

These are a few of my favorite things.

As part of my ‘slower’ pace in 2013 (I’ll talk about this in greater detail later when it’s more consistent), I read a devotion every morning to get my head in the right place for the rest of the day.  So far this has been more positive to my mental health than checking my email/weather/news/Facebook/etc.

I love starting my day with a positive reading.

Today’s chapter suggested taking time to focus on things I’m thankful for right now.

Mission accepted.

chicago skyline

90s music. Acceptance. Baked goods. Being in love. Black and white photographs. Blogs. Boots. Boutique stores. Brunch. Budgets. Candlelight. Canyons. Card games. Cartwheels. Chai tea lattes. Cheese. Chicago skyline. Cold noses. Coloring. Competition. Country music. Creating. Crossfit. Dance parties. Dancing. Dark rum. Deep conversations. Double Dates. Down comforters. Downhill skiing. Eating at trendy (fancy) restaurants. Eating outside.  Ellen DeGeneres. Equality. Fall air. Fallen leaves. Farmers markets. Feeling of sheets against bare skin. Finishing a long run. Fireplaces. Flossing. Flowers. Fluffy pillows. Fond memories. Forehead kisses. Freedom. Fresh bread and olive oil. Freshly shaved legs. Greeting cards. Handwritten notes. Hard cider. Holding hands. Homemade gifts. Hot apple cider. Hot tea. Instant messaging with far-away friends. Keeping in touch. Kissing. Knowing people well. Large coffee mugs. Listening to rain fall. Lists. Mason jars. Mushy pears. Music festivals. Packing lightly. Painted toenails. Personality assessments. Poetry. Prayers. Productivity. Prosecco. Puppies. Reading. Road trips. Scrapbooks. Silk. Singing in the shower. S’mores. Sports. Summertime storms. Sunsets over the ocean. Sweat. Swedish massages. Thick lotion. Travel. Used bookstores. Vanilla scented candles. Vintage jewelry. Waking up early. Watching snow fall. Winter jackets. Working on projects.