Friday, August 8, 2014

My Latest Obsessions

This past July is on record for being one of the
coolest ever (temp wise) in Illinois. Wowser!

Lunch Date w/ CMC where we happened to stumble upon
Downtown Oak Park's french style art market = Super cute and fun.

Fun afternoon at the Robie House in Hyde Park where we went on
Blue Balliet's tween mystery novel, TheWright Mystery 3 Tour

A little RFTC Young Member Show action

A little stop at Bang Bang Pie shop = YUMMY!
Even G$'s transformer Optimus Prime tagged along! 

Dinner at Twin Anchors for Georgie's 4th Birthday =
TA's newest member of the fan club!  

Happy Friday! Summer is officially starting to come to an end as the start of school for the kiddos is on the horizon. Bittersweet in many ways. I actually don't mind and appreciate the quietness (since so many folks are on vacation) that you feel around town right now as we gear up for the hustle and bustle of the first days of school. It's the quiet before the storm, right?!

We have a cousin's birthday party later this afternoon - a little bowling action and then we're hoping to make it back to the hood to try some limited edition ice cream that a local friend created at the Ben and Jerry's headquarters this past spring. How fun (um, and yummy) is that?! And then tomorrow morning we're heading up to the Evanston Farmers Market so the kids can connect the dots once again to our upcoming farm stay at Kinnikinnick Farm. This will be our 3rd time back to the farm and it continues to be one of our kids favorite weekend stays/trips. The kiddos and I were just looking back at pics from our first visit there and last year's weekend stay.

We're doing a cousin swap Saturday evening. Georgie and the gals are excited for their respective "boys" and "girls" sleepovers. We're hosting "boys" night at our place with G and a cousin and the gals are staying downtown with an Aunt and our niece. And then Sunday evening PFC/I are heading downtown for a little date night action = catching "The Qualms" at Steppenwolf (and I'm kind of thinking about one of Balena's yummy pizzas for dinner). I was bummed that I missed the opportunity to catch local fave Tavi Gevinson in This is Our Youth (and now it's made it's way to a theater in NYC). Super exciting for all of those folks.

Have a fabulous weekend. Enjoy. XO - d2

Some of my latest faves (lots of them as it has been awhile since my last post!)...
  • I made this yummy Chopped Greek Salad earlier this week for one of our favorite guests. Super good. I chopped most of the ingredients the evening before as I knew the next day would get away from me. So, it is a great one that you can prep ahead of time and just throw together when it's time to be served (always a plus in my book!). 
  • CMC and a few of her cousins read Blue Balliet's tween mystery novel, The Wright 3. We then went on The Wright 3 Mystery Tour at the Robie House in Hyde Park. The tour (and book) was a super fun way to learn about and see a home built by Frank Lloyd Wright. A few years ago when my Mom was in town we went and toured The Robie House. I learned even more about it this time around. At some point I would love for the girls to read Marianne Sloane's Sixty-Eight Rooms and then head to the The Art Institute of Chicago collection of Thorne Miniature Rooms. This might be a field trip I'll save for a time when my mom, JuJu, visits! She is someone who would totally appreciate all of the little rooms with the different periods and styles. 
  • These new Lookout High-Rise Jeans look pretty awesome. Legs for miles = sign me up! 
  • A friend mentioned she was making a super yummy chocolate cake for her son's birthday. I had her send me the recipe = Collette's Chocolate Cake. I'll be honest, making a cake from scratch seemed rather daunting and time consuming. The gals and I had been talking about what kind of cake (um, boxed!) we wanted to make for George's 4th birthday. After hearing more about Collette's Chocolate Cake we decided to try it. We called it an adventure in baking (if you will). It ended up being a blast and a perfect opportunity for the girls to carefully read directions and follow measurements via a recipe. We even made our own homemade buttercream frosting (which I've gotta say totally beats store bought frosting!!!). And of course we created a transformer symbol stencil for our transformer loving G$. I definitely now feel more confident in my/our baking ability and who knows, maybe we started a new tradition of baking homemade cakes for birthdays within our family. We shall see. PFC's bday is next and his fave = german chocolate cake. And this makes me want to reach out to my aunts and get my grandmother's cheesecake recipe. When I think about her I dream about her insanely good homemade cheesecake. 
  • Interesting article = Are you raising nice kids? I really appreciated the following tip = Instead of saying to your kids: "The most important thing is that you're happy," say "The most important thing is that you're kind." Another interesting article on kids = Your Kid and my Kid Are Not Playing in the Pros.  
  • Gardening season is coming to an end but wouldn't these pretty (and practical) potting gloves make a great gift for the Gardener in your life?! Orla Kiely's flower stem design is one of my faves. 
  • Our friend's son made the New York Times Fashion pages for his Lollapalooza Festival Fashion = so fun and exciting! Gotta love someone who can pull off a fabulous hawaiian shirt! 
  • I'm looking forward to getting my Braverman on soon! I miss my Braverman family! Sounds like Hank's ex-wife will be around in the final season. Should be interesting! 
  • These slow cooker pork carnitas look awesome! 
  • Fruit ice cubes = gorgeous! Pretty water = more ounces downed per day! My favorite fruit this summer has been watermelon. We've all been eating tons of it. These Watermelon Feta Mint Skewers look awesome. I've always loved the salty/sweet combo of watermelon and feta. So good! Oh, and I've been making this Bruschetta and Lentil Dip a ton this summer. I have been eating it as a salad = super yummy! This is honestly one of the easiest things ever to make = dump and pour (and just cut up the feta and basil). I'm a big fan of Trader Joe's block of reduced fat Feta (vs the already crumbled feta). 
  • Fab and fun list = 10 best small cities in America. Speaking of Newport, RI, I was just chatting w/ a friend who was heading there for vacation. I told him he must check out Castle Hill Inn = amazing food, fabulous views and great vibe. I planned a business dinner there years ago that was fabulous. I definitely want to head back to Newport again some day. #2 on the small city list = Sedona = reminded me of my recent(ish) escape w/ PFC. And soon enough (Thanksgiving) we'll be hitting up another great small city, Santa Barbara, to meet up w/ my side of the family! 
  • Okay, and if I happened to be in Portland, OR, this weekend I would attend the Portland Mini Market / Renegade Craft Fair. I would check out the following vendors: Collisionware (and these adorable oven mitts), POPbyTS, Sun Nation, Dea Dia (love this Geo Deco Necklace). 
  • Okay, local folks, if you love biscuits (OR even if you don't even think about biscuits much) you MUST head to Bang Bang Pie at some point. I've never been a big fan of biscuits (as they always seem dry to me) but I must say that I LOVE Bang Bang's biscuits = AH-mazing. GMC and I stopped by there the other day to grab a gift card for a friend and hung out on their awesome backyard space for a bit. 
  • And lastly, I marked my calendar (Valentine's Day 2015) for the release of the movie, Fifty Shades of Grey. The book seems so yesterday but hey, it will be fun to watch the movie, right?! The casting of Christian Grey is not exactly who I truly envisioned. But I guess Jamie Dornan will do

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