March 9, 2011

Golden Ticket.

Felt this would be funny to share. I love Vosges Chocolate more than life. Therefore, it would only make sense to have it at my wedding as a treat for my guests.


I was given your contact information from one of my favorite co-workers, Randy. After sitting next to me in the office for over a year, Randy knows first-hand of my passion for Chocolate!

That having been said, I but jumped at the opportunity to reach out to you after discovering Randy rode the train with someone at my favorite Chocolate company (of all time), Vosges. For an extremely healthy eater, it’s ironic that I consider the Vosges products to be part of my diet (my favorites being the Barcelona Bar, Black Pearl Dark Chocolate Truffle, Peppermint Candy Cane, and Blood Orange Caramel). I am absolutely your biggest brand ambassador!

I may also reach out to you via phone in case that is more convenient for you, but wanted to inquire about the possibility of including Vosges within my October 22, 2011 wedding (at the Modern Wing in Chicago). I have given these products away as gifts for years, and it would only be fitting.

I’d love to discuss what options may be available from a pricing standpoint and would be honored to have 2 minutes of your time! I hope to connect with you soon.

Thank you in advance!
Michelle Goldstein

March 6, 2011


Not sure if anyone has seen the movie Spanglish. It's one of those movies that you either love or you hate. I love it (Doug feels otherwise). The pronunciation of the main characters name in the film, Flor (played by beauty Paz Venga),  is impossible for Tea Leoni to pronounce as the movie opens. Very funny to me at least. I was reminded of that scene when we went to Florentine (at the JW Marriott) last week for a business lunch with one of our clients because the hostess at the restaurant rolled her "r" when she welcomed us (done correctly unlike lovely Leoni).

The JW Marriott is absolutely gorgeous.  I was very impressed. It looked like Titanic when I walked in with white marble floors and long banisters. I'm not a huge fan of Italian food, but this restaurant was pretty basic and offered some simple dishes including goat cheese pizza with leeks and arugula hazelnut salad. It looks like a nice place to head to after work, since there is a nice bar right when you walk in. I don't understand people who can do pasta for lunch, but those that ordered that at our table seemed to enjoy it. Give it a whirl. But let me  warn you that if you venture there during lunch not in business casuals you'll be under dressed (after all, it is financial district during lunch hours!).

Lunch Menu Here
Dinner Menu Here


February 28, 2011

Butternut Squash Soup (FAST)

No not "Keep in Touch" like you used to sign in your yearbook, nor "HAGS" (Have a Great Summer). I'm talking about pre-cut and pre-seasoned Butternut Squash Soup Kit from Whole Foods. I found this in the same section of the store in a $5.00 clear container near the pre-sliced fruit (that are typically way overpriced since their price tags reflect their fruit, so other than watermelon, it's pretty much a rip off). Back to the point, head to that section & look for these kits or ask about them. They are awesome and very cost effective because you don't have to snoop around for all those tiny yet expensive ingredients and spices if you don't already have them in the kitchen. I love these and will continue to purchase them. This was the fastest soup I have ever made. I used my hang blender that Molly got me from my engagement party (best gift ever) and I was done with hardly any mess. I love it. Directions below. Pretty self explanatory. Perfect thing to make if in a tight time frame, or especially if you have vegetables already cut up that you'd like to blend together.

Pre-heat oven to 425
Spread out the chunks of squash & a little Olive Oil or Olive Oil Spray
Bake for 25 minutes or until soft 
Place into a bowl, along with 2 1/2 to 3 (depending on the thickness you like) cups of vegetable broth 
Blend for a few minutes, add in a pinch of salt, pinch of sugar (I use the calorie free non-artificial stuff from Whole Foods), and a few more pinches of cinnamon 


So easy!

February 27, 2011

Trattoria Number 1,234

I swear that there are over 1,000 "Trattoria's" in Chicago. We went to one of them last night with our close friends Christopher and Beth. They are an amazing couple that Doug and I have learned a great deal from (Doug works with Christopher now and has for years at his previous advertising agency). Beth is about to graduate as a doctor shortly, and is one of those people that has more unique and elaborate stories than anyone I know. Despite the fact that I'm not a huge fan of Italian food, when this couple asks you to go to dinner with them, (similar to Doug's "Aunt" Christie) you JUST GO. 

Trattoria No 10 is actually where we ended up on Saturday night. It's in the West Loop and is a restaurant which sits below street level, very old school Italian. Darker inside with mixed tile and floral carpeted floors. To be honest, I enjoyed the wine and the company more than the food...but don't get me wrong, the food wasn't that bad! I just am not a big pasta eater and getting very simply prepared fish at restaurants is only fun when you haven't been at a work trip all week choosing the seafood option at Italian restaurants.

I ordered some mahi with walnuts, butternut squash puree, and also some green beans. Prior to that, in addition to the Cabernet, I also split a prosciutto plate with Doug. Both were just "good" nothing was amongst the most amazing prosciutto or fish I'd ever had, but at least I had dark chocolate in my purse to hold me over before we went to Sepia for after drink drinks and dessert. 

Doug ordered a tomato based pasta dish with muscles, and Beth and Christopher ordered pork ravioli and a risotto dish. Both were good, but actually not what Beth had a craving for (thus our escape to the familiar and wonderful confines of the Sepia bar scene with our charming Aussie vest wearing bartender). 

{@ SEPIA, so therefore, the photo needed to be in Sepia tone, yes?}
I'd just say, that if you are craving Italian, just go to Rose Angelis on Wrightwood. You won't be let down. I included the photo of us when we were out, rather than any of our food. Nor did I want to include what we ordered at Sepia, since it would completely outshine everything we ordered at Trattoria. 


February 26, 2011


After a tiring week in New York for work, Doug's "aunt" (not real aunt, but he calls her aunt Christie) was in town. I love this woman. She is incredible. Therefore, when she's in town, there is not a question in my mind that I'd choose to participate (or not) at a dinner she organizes when in Chicago. I just go (even if I've been heavily drinking, not sleeping, staying in a hotel for multiple days in a row, and chowing on waist thickening Italian restaurants for the past few days). We went to SUNDA. Once you go Sunda you don't go back. I want to live in this restaurant, purchase all the furniture, and could probably eat everything on the menu for all my snacks and meals for multiple days in a row. This place is a HIT, let me tell you. 

Although hard to find, at its address at 110 W Illinois, it's on the North side of the street if you are walking west from, in my case, the Ivy Room, where Doug and I are most likely planning to hold our rehearsal dinner. There is blue tile outside of the restaurant, which in no way prepares you for the interior which rests ahead. Walk inside the front door, and you're taken to a modern vintage Asian American escape of multi-layered long communal tables, a bar area, and a sushi bar with an elaborately textured straw hanging art collection dripping down the wall. Very cool. 

We ordered a bunch of things (thanks to Katie, my future sister in law's knowledge of the 1/2 price appetizers until 7:00pm with a 4-square deal) from the appetizer menu including a mushroom and green bean saute dish, Oxtail pot stickers, and edamame, followed by multiple sushi rolls, the Ocean Garden Salad, and delicious red wine. 

I'd highly recommend this place. Check out the website and have a visit for yourself! Just be careful of the restrooms in the basement--I'm sure the long stairway gets harder to treck down after a few of the luscious cocktails on the menu! 



February 16, 2011

Valentine's Day at Mrs Dunn's

{Look at this little nugget! So cute!}
{He named all his strawberries "Jerry, Terry, Larry"}

{I continued to crack up}

If anyone knows me in the least, it's apparent that I like chubby babies. Little kids I find adorable, I call nuggets. No I don't want one, but I love fat fingers on little kids. I know it sounds creepy, but just move past that fact for me. I want to share my experience doing community outreach with our partner charter school at work. We fund their first grade class programs, and go and spend time with the cuties each year a few times on specific holidays (this time was Valentine's Day in particular). I had the best time ever. I had a dance party, some stimulating conversation with the cutest little chubby boy in the room, and have been happy about it all week. Some photos of our strawberry making festivities are included.
{Dance party continues}
{Woo! Hoo! Maybe corporate America isn't for me?}

February 15, 2011

Best of February List

Hello Friends, 

Just some loose ends that I had to point out before I forgot. 

Best Film of the Month: Cedar Rapids 
Ed Helms plays Tim Lippe, a nerdy tidy whitey wearing Insurance Agent, who find that he has no idea what he's in for when he's sent to Cedar Rapids, Iowa to represent his company at an annual convention. What happens at the convention stays at the convention. Dry humor finished off with witty writing and fantastic characters including John C. Reilly {Chicago native!}. A MUST SEE. I'm excited to purchase this. I don't even buy movie's anymore, that's just how good this one is. 

Best Health Product: Thin Thin Dark Chocolate 100 Calorie Bites
If you have had Think Thin, you know how great these protein bars are. Plus, this is a new flavor. I'm personally very excited about their putting this on shelves. Get these at Whole Foods.

Best Make-Up Product: Benefit Erase Paste  
According to Sephora Online, "Benefit Erase Paste is a concentrated, creamy, blendable concealer that instantly brightens and camouflages all-in-one. It has an innovative formula which makes sure signs of stress and fatigue are a thing of the past. These three brightening neutral shades give every gal correction perfection." I learned about this product when getting my make-up done for my engagement party. I thought it would be a fun thing to do. This was the best product I bought last weekend. 
Sephora Website to Purchase  

Best Song to Run To: You! Me! Dancing! {Los Campesinos}
This is the best song ever. You'll recognize it from a Bud Beer commercial. No, I didn't find this song by myself. I found it via Doug, my hub to all good music. I may regret admitting that, but it's true. I like 80's music and don't really know anything past that other than what he recommends. Get on Groove Shark and listen to this immediately. If you aren't in a dance party within 5 minutes, call me and I'll owe you something. Plus, I suck at lyrics to songs. This chorus has like .001 items to remember "YOU! ME! DANCING!" I can do that. 

Enjoy the rest of the month!