December 18, 2010

Shot Ski Time

For Katie (my lovely bridesmaid and future sister in law), we threw an 80's ski party inspired by the fantastic movie titled "Aspen Extreme." Just take my word for it, everyone should watch it. I was pretty concerned with pulling together the bridesmaid "take out" containers that evening, not to mention that the weather was really terrible that night (it was gusting winds and sleet raining as I ran final errands prior to the party) so, unlike most parties I throw, I just wanted to keep the food pretty simple and non fussy. I made one of my signature Quinoa dishes and then simply had a cheese platter (in addition to some random snacks that Doug purchased--to his credit, he did run all errands early in the morning in addition to purchasing the Sweet Many B's cupcakes I ordered).

Everyone came over between 7 and 8. It was a swell time. The shot ski was a hit and we finally got to consume some of the Amarula Liqueur (similar to Bailey's that we brought back from South Africa). Most importantly, I was extremely comfortable all night in my one piece snow suit. I may have Doug do a special step by step tutorial at some point about how to make a shot ski. I think that might be fun to learn. It's basically figuring out the best way to attach shot glasses to a ski. Super Glue from Joann Fabrics works like a charm. I kind of just wanted to make sure that I had this photo below somewhere, so that in 15 years my kids will understand that we DID do cool things like bring shot ski's into bars (the interior of Small Bar on Division is below). Good luck with your own shot ski. It's a guaranteed good time in 80's ski wear. I highly recommend it.

A new thing I learned after this experience: Craft stores sell fake snow. I bought 3 bags of it because it was 40% off! It added much needed ski lodge flair (and also since it was raining outside, it certainly lifted spirits).

They Said Yes!!!

Now that my bridesmaids have all officially said "yes" to my popping the "big question," I can openly celebrate & chat about my wedding party. (My blurting it out on the blog was postponed until after lunch this afternoon with Kim, to make 5 total ladies). I'm so excited about this, I can't even sleep. I'm not sure if it's a normal reaction, but all I want to do is plan things for these amazing women that I'm so proud to be friends with. I literally am browsing the Internet right now to get something on calendars (food or meal related) so that I can further reward and celebrate this event. I will keep you posted on what I end up putting on calendars along that vein. The take-out boxes are from the Container Store, and the lettering is from Joann Fabrics that I purchased (along with the fake snow for our 80s ski party for Katie's birthday that night). Inside each box was some white stuffing along with an Essie nail polish color, a note, and a Vosges chocolate bar. I felt as thought it was something that was simple and straightforward, yet special at the same time. I was originally going to ask the ladies to join my wedding party at a brunch, then I got nervous about making sure everyone could come and decided to do something a little more crafty and portable. Thank you ladies for being a part of this day! You have all seriously been the most supportive people I know to date. Woo! Hoo! This is going to be fun!
October 22, 2011, here we come!

Cruisin for a Boozin

Ahoy Mate!

I was given the privilege of boarding a holiday booze cruise which took off from Navy Pier. Along with me were three fantastic and smart women that I am honored to work with. We boarded the Odyssey at roughly 12:45pm and it took off "into sea" (Lake Michigan) at around 1:15pm. By that time, I'm pretty sure that I may have already been slightly intoxicated, no big deal. I don't know what it is with white wine during the day, it seriously messes with my head. Especially white wine. I also discovered that I think that I am a candidate for motion sickness. It runs in the family I'm pretty sure, so it only seems logical that it wasn't the pinot talking, but instead, that I tend to get a little woosey when we were, for example, in the "bridge" (what I thought was the cockpit because I know absolutely nothing about boats), I grabbed my co-worker's arm and literally thought that I was going to puke. That certainly didn't stop my asking if there were any extra captain's hats around (which of course there were and I repeatedly mentioned that it was the best day of my life and did a little bit of drunk dancing wearing one of those heavy things). The food was pretty tasty, and I LOVED the marshmallows, as can be seen in one of the photos below (who said dessert couldn't necessarily consist of mac and cheese with some puffy white sugar on the side, eh?). Another photo is a nice (partially blurry) one of my doing the electric slide. Man I love that dance. It was like a permanent bat mitzvah on that boat! Happy holidays!


December 16, 2010


Time for me to pay tribute to the trashiest yet BEST shop in the Ogilvie Transportation Center. It's called Shooz. I was just imitating that hilarious cleaning product (I think Lyscol) commercial when sponges are talking to each other and one goes to the other "Look! He's even cleaning 'shoewes' I don't even know what those are!" Funniest commercial ever. I'm sure like 1 out of the whole crew of people that actually read my blog (like 6 people I think) will actually know what I'm talking about. Pretty standard for me as well that I'm in my own world. Back to Shooz. One of my co-workers (a trendy yet very busy mom of 4 beautiful girls actually purchases most of her clothing and accessories, shoes included of course, at this little shop that resides in between Claire's and Borders in the train station). Super classy. Don't judge me! They have great jewelery.

I got out of a budget meeting this morning and needed some air because I felt dizzy. Well, sorry for partying, but this is where I ended the register signing my credit card bill for this $30 purchase. It looks J Crew, doesn't it? Well, I wore it out of the store, and felt completely happy and uplifted. Cheers to random finds that make your day. I know mine got better after this purchase and some dark chocolate from the Trader Joe's run I made last night after a few drinks and dinner at Mercadito (standard).

And, yes, I photographed my chest in my cube at work to get this photo. Totally fine.


December 15, 2010

Elementary School Brown Bag Lunch

I think the best part about elementary school was having your own area to store your personal items. I feel like everything is special with your own little cubby (is that how you spell that word? I honestly have no idea). Maybe I should explore putting that back into our apartment somewhere somehow. Could be pretty charming. For some reason, I find myself adding in more and more elements from classrooms into my home (from the chalkboards and entire chalk painted wall I'd like to do). I think I just like when things look cozy and personalized, basically exactly what my 3rd grade classroom consisted of with Mrs. Freed at McKenzie Elementary school. Look at these adorable little shelving units for your "to go" orders at Specialty's on Monroe. Each one is labeled. PRECIOUS!! I freaked out and whipped out my BBerry to get a (blurry, sorry) shot of this action. Sorry I'm a nerd if these things excite me. And by the way, try Specialty's. They rock and you can order online. Best for the South Loop people! Yeah! I get the vegan salad and the whole grain oatmeal cinnamon cookie. Delicious.

December 14, 2010

Engagement Skirt.

Yes, this required it's own post. I just purchased a skirt possibly for an engagement party. I'm really excited. Big shock, it's from J Crew. Woo! So winter, I DIE. I love it. Please excuse the quality of the photo, it's from my Blackberry. It's called the Golden bubbles pencil skirt from the J Crew 30% off sale (with free shipping). Music to a Jew's ears.


Renegade Winter Fair

The day after the holiday party, I walked from the Dailey Method to the Renegade store in the snow. Wrong. The Renegade Winter Craft Fair 2010 was at the Pulaski Field house, a few minutes away in Wicker Park. I also found out that there was a trolley (free trolley!) that ran about every 15 minutes or so, over a couple of streets to the field house. Of course, since a friend was waiting for me, the trolley took it's sweet ass time getting me over there, but that's beyond the point. I love these craft fairs. They beat the heck out of any fairs that Lincoln Park has to offer. I was blown away (in my hungover state after the holiday party) of the variety and amount of booths that were displaying their goods. There were literally hundreds of folks that came to share their innovative crafts. Plus, I got my first taste of Mana sliders, and also was inspired by a gorgeous lamp that I'm going to re-make myself with corresponding fabrics from the Needle Shop. Stay posted for the lamp, and make sure your catch the trolley next year!

Check out the website!

December 12, 2010

Pumpkin Pancakes & Chocolate Milk

I got up, finished cleaning what I had tackled while drunk the night before (sporting a snowsuit and doing body rolls to Michael Jackson music), and made whole grain pumpkin pancakes. Last night, Doug and I hosted MalcaPlooza at our home. It was for Katie's 26th birthday (which is officially on Wednesday of this week). Recipe is below. I love chocolate milk when I'm hungover, too. I've just finished my 3rd glass. I use almond milk and Lite Hershey's Syrup. It's fricking amazeballs.

1 cup Bob's Red Mill Organic Whole Grain Pancake Mix
1 Cup Vanilla Almond Milk
3 Tablespoons Egg Whites (Egg Beaters work)
4 Tablespoons Organic Pancake Puree (Trader Joe's has some good stuff)
1/4 Teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 Teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 Teaspoon Splenda Brown Sugar

Pour it out in your initials like your mom used to do. That's what I did this morning. Then I ate the pancakes while I watched Father of the Bride, texted my friend Kim, and cried at the father/daughter relationship in regards to the wedding since I'm going through a similar situation now (and my dad is just like George Banks, but Jewish).

Mana a Mana

I don't know what is inspiring me to do so, but I've been eating less and less meat and more vegeterian cuisine. No, I'm not becoming a vegan eater who won't wear leather jackets, and no I'm not on any crazy diets, but I am finding that I not only feel better when I eat less meat, but it also allows me to focus on consuming more vegetables. Over the past year, I can confidentially declare that I've made a good deal of progress learning how to cook and prepare vegetarian dishes that are extremely savory and healthy too. That having been said, I'm finding all these new places from my favorite tour guide of Wicker Park, Molly, (you may remember her name from my MVP at the September housewarming party) that offer delectable vegetarian cuisine. MANA is the best vegetarian cuisine I've had in a long time.

How do I rave enough about this place? I am obsessed and I've only tried 3 items on their menu: their Mushroom Sliders, Beat Slaw, and Curry Cauliflower Sweet Potato dish (on brown rice with peas & a tomato sauce). On Division, on the 70 bus route, 2 doors down from an old school bakery is a modern looking store front (which sports a grey door awning vestibule in the winter) named Mana. The people are friendly, the menu is not too large, but offers an array of uniquely composed and Asian inspired flavors, and the interior is chic and incorporates dark wood with clean design touches (like carved wooden benches at a front bar). I've not yet had the chance to eat in the restaurant, (only eaten their sliders at the winter Renegade Craft Fair--which I'll certainly blog about--and at home last night when Doug and I decided to get carry out since it was cold, rainy, and Doug has a runny nose and sore throat). Their menu incorporates hot dishes and cold dishes into a perfected collection of flavors and textures to satisfy whatever you may be in the mood for. Small or Large portions are available too.

I highly urge everyone to make their way over to this spot. It's infrequent that extremely healthy eating meets flavor and flair. They were even featured in Chicago Social Interiors for their innovative stripped wood booths up against the wall opposite the bar.

Links to Check Out:
Website Here.
Press Here.