J’s Birthday Weekend {via iPhone & Instagram}

IMG_7825 It was J’s birthday over the weekend and we did a lot of celebrating! I think I was more excited for his birthday than he was. The weekend started with happy hour on Friday at Citizen. It was the perfect little get together for J to celebrate with his friends.

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IMG_7810 Saturday was J’s actual  birthday and we spent a relaxing day together followed by dinner at Bavette’s. The drinks, food, and service was incredible. Our waiter was very knowledgeable about the menu and even picked some items for us when we couldn’t decide. I love knowledgeable wait staff, it makes the dining experience so much better! I highly recommend Bavette’s for your next special occasion.

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IMG_7818 Lastly, we went to a family dinner on Sunday at Topo Gigio in Old Town. Topo never fails to serve up a great meal. It is one of the most consistently good restaurants in Chicago.

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IMG_7833 After a weekend of celebrating it’s back to reality, at least it’s a short week.

Hope you had a great weekend!

My Best Friends Wedding Weekend

What a weekend! My best friend Jessica married the love of her life Saturday night. I can’t believe it’s already over and that my best friend is now Mrs. Morris! Everything was perfect from the dress, flowers, room decor, hair, makeup, pictures, family, friends, etc. It was a beautiful wedding and Jess made a gorgeous bride. As the maid of honor I gave a speech at the wedding, I was so nervous about it but luckily it went well.  It’s the coolest thing when your best friend gets married, it still doesn’t seem real to me! I am so beyond happy for Jess and Drew, they are such a special couple.

Congratulations to Mr. and Mrs. Morris!!!!!!!!!

Pre Valentines Day

I am not much of a Valentines Day person however since I love holiday candy heart shaped chocolates, sweet hearts, and gummies make me happy. My friends and I like to make Valentines day fun every year and get together to eat, drink, create, and exchange gifts!

Heart shaped pizza...yummy!

Heart shaped pizza...yummy!

delicious creamy cheesy pasta

heart shaped oreo brownie cakes

Underwear exchange- love these lace and leopard undies!

 We created our own cake trifles in mason jars using cake, cool whip, frosting, candy, sprinkles, etc. The top left is my trifle- I love sprinkles!

our creations

If you’re hosting a party or want to give a fun and creative gift this is an easy and inexpensive way to impress your guests. Special thanks to Siera for hosting the party last night!

 Have a great evening!

 

Super Duper Bowl

Good morning! I feel like a walking carb face after eating all of that yummy food at the superbowl last night. Everyone made amazing dishes, I can’t wait to post the recipes and share them with you!

hummus dip

baked salami

pasta salad

buffalo chicken dip

mac & cheese bites

chili dip

walking taco!

My friend Colleen took mini bags of fritos, crushed them up, and cut an opening at the side of the bag. Then had us fill them with homemade vegetarian chili, cheese, lettuce, and sour cream.

yummy

This is a great one for tailgates, parties, festivals, etc.

Peanut butter and jelly bars

what a proud little chef!

homemade cookie dough dip... no words just amazingness

mini pecan tarts

homemade 5 minute fudge

I will be posting the recipes for these items throughout the week- which one do you want me to post first?

Special thanks to Dayna and Todd for hosting the Superbowl party at their apartment. Good times!

 

Where I’ve been

Good morning, Happy Monday! I apologize for being a terrible blogger but I have tons of stuff to share with you!

Last week I was at a conference in Shaumberg, IL for work to kick off 2012. It was a great experience. I saw speakers such as Al Gore, Madeleine Albright, and Rudy Giuliani. I will share more of those details later this week.

Here are my weekend highlights!

I babysat for my family's dog Chloe over the weekend. She is too cute for words.

I babysat for my family's dog Chloe while my parents were out of town. She is too cute for words

At Paris Club wearing my "hippie" outfit. Wide leg jeans, flowy top, wavy hair, and my favorite leather bomber jacket.

cocktail bling

My college roomate sent me this throwback from 2008 when we were seniors at IU. So funny to see old pics!

I want this

Texas boy and I at a friends bday party

Sunday morning brunch at Prasino. Their entire menu is organic and has gluten free and vegan options.

Banana bread french toast

Lobster stuffed avocado

The Austin Texas

they even brew their own kombucha!

Dinner: flaming cheese from Greek Islands

Tiramisu

Bottle and Bottega

Hi all! Hope everyone is having a great week. Last night I went to Bottles and Bottega in Lincoln Park for a fun winter break activity with my girlfriends instead of  the usual drinks out, dinner out, etc.

Bottles and Bottega is is brilliant concept! This is where you create art while enjoying wine and apps. This three hour class starts with a mini happy hour where you have a chance to open your bottles, bring in some food and mingle with the other participants. Then the instructor gives you a few minutes of technique and you get right down to the painting.

Brittany and Blair enjoying some wine

Our instructor

Ready to paint!

Colleen, Stephy, and I

You can choose to follow the instructors directions or go off and paint it however you’d like.

my blank canvas

mixing the colors

Painting the background

making progress!

ladies in action!

finished product!

Colleen adding her finishing touches

Chelsea and I

fantastic work ladies!

At the end of the session, we walked out with some art, some lady-bonding and a solid buzz.

This is definitely an out of the box idea worth considering for your next get together. They do bachelorette parties, showers, office parties, birthdays, whatever!

Now I need to decide what to do with my painting. Should I put it in my kitchen or my entry way?

Have a great day!

 

The Big Fat Holiday Party Post

Saturday night my friend Dayna hosted a fancy holiday party. She went all out and it was a absolute BLAST! There was music, tons of wine, and everyone brought a dish of their own that included dips, finger foods, and deserts. I took tons of pictures, fel free to use any of these dishes for your holiday party. Comment below or shoot me an email if you want any of these recipes!

so freakin cute!

Brittany's homemade sushi

obsessed

Cheese dip

red velvet cake balls

Ooey gooey s'more bars

cupcake tree

tomato soup in shot glasses and mini grilled cheese

pigs in a blanket

baked salami

chili cheese dip

arti dip

snowman made out of layers of happiness

crabbies {made by yours truly}

chopped salad

fruit skewers

reindeer made out of nutter butters!

crowding around the table

sock buns!

time to party!!!!!!!

i love my friends

 

Girls Holiday Party

Last night was my annual holiday party with my high school friends. I love that we still get together and have stayed so close throughout the years. My friend Joree was kind enough the host the party, here is the recap.

Lauren’s homemade guac that she made from scratch in 3 minutes

She put the avocado pit in the guac so it wouldn’t turn brown, what an awesome tip!

Joree’s baked ziti

 She used rigatoni noodles with tons of cheese and a mixture of marinara and Alfredo sauce. YUM!

 salad

Now on to the fun stuff…

cupcakes!

for cupcake decorating

 Cookie decorating

 I don’t mean to brag but I’m really proud of this one

 and this one

Secret Santa gift exchange

My gift from my secret santa, an awesome leopard print make-up case!

more gifts!

Special thanks for Joree for hosting the party! It was so much fun, I’m so glad we do this every year!

What do you do with your friends to celebrate the holidays?

Have a great weekend!

 

Weekendddddddd

Between my Dad’s birthday (tomorrow’s post), Halloween, and weekend randomness I have lots of pics to share. Gosh I love my iPhone camera.

halloween cupcakes made by my co-worker Andi

carrot apple juice from Meli Cafe

chocolate chip pumpkin cookie pie I made for my Dad’s birthday which turned out to be an epic fail

Halloween!

smoothie from eggsperiance

 

Sunday funday feast at Lao Sze Chuan in Chinatown

crispy mayo shrimp

Tony’s chicken

general’s chicken

veggie fried rice

clearly our eyes were bigger than our stomachs

Have a great Monday!

Italian Dinner with the Girls

Good morning! I am in BAD shape today….not only did I over sleep but I am battling a nasty cold/sinus/cough whatever it is! Fortunately, I had the privilege of dining with my high school friends last night at Enoteca Roma a cute Italian neighborhood restaurant in Wicker Park.

We sat in the back patio which was very open and spacious. I loved the ambiance of the entire place. They had an extensive menu with tons of yummy options to choose from. We ordered a bunch of plates to share.

Since my throat was killing me, I started with the garlic lentil soup.
It was delicious! I almost took another cup to go for my lunch today.
Their menu had a variety of bruschetta options. We were able to mix and match.
My favorites were the goat cheese and roasted red pepper and the apple, honey, and brie.
Refreshing salad to share…mixed greens, onions, dried cranberries, gorgonzola, & granny smith apples.
Their rustic roman style pizzas have a thick and crunchy crust. 
We ordered the Dragona, tomatoes, olive oil, basil, and burrata cheese.
no words
LOVE at first bite.
Pear ricotta ravioli with a walnut cream sauce and Gorgonzola cheese.  
Not pictured: spaghetti in a spicy tomato sauce with shrimp, cherry tomatoes, garlic, and a white wine sauce.
My fatass plate
The restaurant is connected to Letizia’s Bakery (same owner). 
Obviously we had to stop into the bakery and check out the goods!
heaven!
OMG…giant peanut butter cookies sandwiched with chocolate fudge
i love my friends.

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