There was vodka and tequila and friendship and laughter. Perfection.

This weekend was super-super busy.  And amazingly fun.  I even brought my camera along for some of it!  Friday night was a highlight:

flowers

milo

making drinks

moscow mule

b&l

e&t

dinner

ladies

game

game

marg

e&k

us

I hope you’re having a most splendid start to your week!

love

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Sunday Funday :-)

sunday

1. 5 6 songs you’ll listen to the rest of your life:

  • Free Fallin’ – Tom Petty (One of my all-time favorite songs for no particular reason)
  • Piano Man – Billy Joel (This song ended every dance at my high school)
  • God Gave Me You – Blake Shelton (First dance at our wedding)
  • When I Say I Do – Matthew West (What I walked down the aisle to at my wedding)
  • Ho Hey – The Lumineers (My new favorite song)
  • Home – Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros (Another favorite new song)

LT-0463

2. 5 things on your bucket list:

  • Have a few kiddos (One day….)
  • Travel to Austin, Alaska, Thailand, Charleston, South America…etc.
  • Have a piece of writing published
  • Get married Done!
  • Volunteer abroad Done! (Nicaragua and Tanzania)

3. 5 celebs you’d love to hang out with for a day: I’m not too interested in celebrities per se. I guess I’d have to choose Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Michelle Obama, Jon Stewart, and Ellen. 4. 5 things you always carry in your purse:

  • Lip gloss
  • iPhone
  • Keys
  • Wallet
  • Ticket stubs left over from various events

5. 5 books on your reading list Ah, I have a pic of that!

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

These are next on my ‘to-read’ list!

6. Share the last 5 pictures on your phone I’ve been using my actual camera this weekend, but I have a few phone pictures…

weekend

I hope you’re all having a most-wonderful weekend  🙂

love

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!

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!

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!

An ode to apple tea.

When we were in Istanbul I cradled a glass of hot apple tea in my hands wherever we went.  We were given tea in the markets while bargaining over the price of decorative plates.  We drank tea at the Grand Bazaar at a cafe that was recommended and took us over an hour to find.  We drank apple tea in the mornings and at night after dinner.  Sometimes I drank apple tea after lunch.  Occasionally I would forget to specify apple tea and they would give me Turkish tea and that was (almost) as good, but not quite.   I would break my own rules and have caffeine at any hour I chose, because it was apple tea and I was in Istanbul and it was delicious and I loved holding the glass in my hands and breathing in the apple scent and drinking the tea slowly, because I always drink slowly.

apple tea and turkish coffee

We also drank sahlep.  Vendors sold this delicious milk drink on the corners and we drank at least one cup of it a day.  Of course, the cups were very small, but it was a treat.  It tasted of milk and honey and floral and cinnamon and we would pay a few TL and savor the drink as we walked around the older parts of the city.

These days I’m missing these drinks.  In Chicago I have to stand in a line at Starbucks (or better yet, a local coffee shop) to order a fancy drink (that takes too long to make) in a to-go cup that is too big and too expensive for a simple treat. It’s as if the city wants me to freeze.  Istanbul was much better at keeping the bellies of its visitors and residents warm and full

Istanbul, I miss you and your delicious treats and your friendly shop vendors and your large mosques and the singing that calls worshipers to prayer.  I also miss the desserts we ate for breakfast and the time we went to Asia for lunch and got on the wrong ferry and ended up on the opposite side of the bay.  I wish we could be back in Turkey bargaining with shop owners and reading our guide-book and walking around holding hands and eating our baked goods that we bought from other street vendors.  I miss the roasted chestnuts that were everywhere and for all different prices.   I miss the friendly people and the expensive seafood and the small-sized drinks.  But most of all, I miss the apple tea!

My weekend included sparkles. It was great.

It was one of those weekends where i was too busy to think, much less write blog posts.  Sorry blog world / friends who are trying to keep up with me from afar.

I wish I had taken a single picture of weekend happenings… but alas, I did not.  I have no excuse for this, but I like to think it keeps my life shrouded in mystery.  Actually, it seems like the very best weekends have no pictures of them because I was too busy enjoying my time with loved ones and didn’t take a break to reach for a camera/phone.  The lack of pictures of great times always leaves me sad in retrospect, but brief breaks from technology make me exceedingly happy.

See below for a gratuitous wedding picture of my shoes to satisfy any sort of desire to see pretty things.  It’s actually relevant to this weekend because I wore them to a wedding we attended on Saturday.  Yes, I wore my wedding shoes to someone else’s wedding and it was completely fabulous and it made my heart so happy to wear them again!  Actually, I didn’t consult any sort of wedding etiquette advice column on whether it’s appropriate to wear any part of your wedding outfit to someone else’s wedding… is that super weird?!  It’s true that I had more fancy and awesome shoes than the bride, but that just can’t be helped.  Don’t judge me please.

Plus, I didn’t wear white, I wore blue.  Blue and sparkles.  Emphasis on the ‘sparkles.’  Have I mentioned I was obsessed with my wedding shoes at my wedding and continue to be obsessed today, a month later?

aren't they beautiful?

aren’t they beautiful?

Other parts of my pretty-spectacular weekend included: the husband came home and my dog-caring duties ceased. weekday christmas shopping. prosecco and seafood with brit. work christmas party. safari shopping. wedding. burger competition & bears game. beer. double date. crossfit.

I definitely don’t live the ‘simple life’ but it really is quite wonderful in its stressful and complicated way.