Girls Weekend in Chicago

Some girlfriends and I thought it was about time we got a “mom’s weekend away”. Our husbands have been going to Vegas each Spring and backpacking in the Adirondacks each fall for about 3 years now, and so we thought it was our turn! So Chicago it was!

We flew out Thursday night and from Buffalo the flight is only about an hour. So we had most of Thursday night, Friday and all day Saturday. We left super early Sunday morning and got back around 9:30am, in time to spend the rest of the weekend with our little kiddos.

Thursday night we hit up a place called Three Dots and a Dash. Very cool! First, its really hard to find. We kept being told secret ways to enter, or “down an alley” all sounding kinda sketchy, but once we located it, (aka walked there by a local) we went down some stairs and into a dark underground restaurant. It was a tiki/Hawaiian type place, known for their drinks. The drink menu has strength warnings and even an average drink was pretty potent. The food was great too, we got a sample platter and a side of guacamole to share and it was more then enough for 4 girls. (The guac was amazing with chunks of pineapple!)

Friday morning we headed to Three Arts Club Cafe for brunch. Another amazing food choice!! The weather was cold and cloudy but this adorable little place had a window roof top and indoor fountain, so you really felt like you were outside. They don’t take reservations so we were told to get here early. We arrived around 10am and were sat almost immediately, but when we left around noon it was swamped with quite a wait time.  We shared some croissant pastries for the table, chocolate, almond and ham and cheese – all which were sooo good. Then they brought us some french fries and aioli sauce, compliments of the kitchen (could be the best fries ever!) Followed by our actual meal, we all ordered the same – Scrambled eggs with fresh farm eggs, crème frâiche, avocado, chives, and Texas Toast! Everything was perfect! Highly recommend this place!

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After brunch we took a 1:30pm Architecture Boat Tour down the Chicago River. There are a bunch of companies that offer this, but we chose Wendella Boats as it was located right near our hotel. It was $35.50 per person and had a bar on board, 75 minutes long. The tour was great, despite the weather being cold, our tour guide was super informational and entertaining! We were able to get some really great pictures and learned a ton about the city and even other random tidbits.

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After the boat tour we walked to Millennium Park to check out The Bean. It was very crowded (and did I mention cold) but we got our touristy pictures and moved on. The boat tour guide had filled us in on a little place called Cindy’s Roof Top Bar. He said it was a great spot to grab a drink and look out over the Bean, and he was right, the drinks were great and the outside balcony area overlooked Grant park for more exceptional views!

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On our way back to the hotel, we decided we were hungry for some Chicago style Pizza. I read about some less touristy places for this but, this one was on our way, so we stopped at Giordano’s. (Fact: The Deep Dish Pizza takes about 45-60 minutes to cook once you order it.) Since we didn’t have the time to wait, we ended up getting a flat crust pizza instead, which compared to Buffalo style pizza was still quite different. I was a bit disappointed we didn’t get to try the famous Chicago style, but after seeing it on other tables I was ok. It doesn’t look like Pizza at all to me. We did hear that people would call ahead and order their pizza and then walk into the restaurant and sit down to eat. A little tip for next time!

Our night out started with a quick trip up to The Signature Room Lounge in the John Hancock Building. With amazing views of the city from the 96th floor, you don’t have to pay $19 just to go up and look like you do at the SkyDeck Chicago. For less than $19 each we got a bottle of wine and shared. (Also the women’s bathroom has one of the best views around!) Dinner that evening was pushed back from 7 to 8pm since we filled up on pizza late in the day. We went to the Pump Room at Public Chicago. Food was phenomenal and atmosphere was perfect. We sat at our table and chatted and drank wine for hours! A perfect Mom night out!

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Day two started out with Breakfast at West Egg Cafe, just a short walk from our hotel, The Loews Downtown Chicago. Cute place, great breakfast and pretty fast! The rest of the day turned into a bit of a jumble as the weather was pretty shitty! It was pouring rain and about 40 degrees. We spent most of the day just shopping in and out of places to stay dry. A couple of us split up. Me and my Girlfriend Andrea spent the day on the Magnificent Mile, stopping into the Disney Store and Tiffany’s (dreaming). The other three found themselves in an area called Bucktown which had lots of unique boutique shops and restaurants. We met up at 4pm at Second City Comedy Club to catch an early Improv show! A must stop! Improv isn’t really my thing and I find it kinda odd, but once I got used to it, it was really funny. It was a pop culture show so it hit on a lot of things relevant to me and today!

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After the show we had an early dinner reservation at Sunda Chicago. We weren’t able to get a reservation here on our own, but the concierge at our hotel was able to hook us up. It had a great menu of unique drinks and Asian food. Its meant to be ordered family style so the table can share, but we had a lot of tastes and opinions to cater to and so it worked out better that we all ordered our own dishes and shared a couple things. The food was great and my blackberry cocktail was dynamite.

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On our way back to the hotel we stopped and got some Garrett Popcorn to bring home to our families. The Mix was the best, cheddar and caramel! Yummy! With early flights in the am we all checked out early and we were in bed by 10pm.

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It was such a fun getaway for a couple days. I wish the weather was better, I’d like to go when its warmer so we can enjoy walking the downtown area a little more. We had to take a lot of Uber rides to avoid the cold and elements, but even that was super easy and surprisingly not very expensive if you have to. We would have loved to check out Navy Pier and the beach areas or rent the city bikes but we just weren’t up for that this time around.  A reason to go back again I guess!

The Wedding from a Magazine!

Our good friends got married at the end of September and it was literally a wedding straight out of Brides Magazine! They had the best DIY wedding I’ve ever seen and I was honored to stand by their side as they said “I do”! There aren’t really many words for this wedding, it was such a perfect day. The entire wedding party was our group of high school friends, making it the absolute best wedding party in the history of wedding parties! We all stayed in three townhouses side by side so the whole weekend we were able to spend together! I love these two so much and it warms my heart to know they have everything they ever wanted in each other and I can’t wait to watch their family and their love grow in the future! Much love to Cody and Danielle on a beautiful wedding!!

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What’s New?

A lot has been going on here lately. I know I’ve been MIA for awhile.  First, I’ll start with all the new things going on with us. I know I started my last blog post with a teaser that I had some exciting news to share and a big announcement. As you might have imagined it was a pregnancy announcement and unfortunately this pregnancy didn’t go as planned and we found out around 9 weeks that we had a missed miscarriage. Nothing is more shocking then expecting to go in for your first sonogram and getting that kind of news with no warning signs. We were devastated and its been a long couple months getting back to normal, but hopefully everything will work out for us when the time is right. For now, we are just enjoying our beautiful summer with Ada, we’ve been doing a lot of traveling for work and just spending time with family and friends. I’m not going to go too far into what else we’ve been doing because its just a lot of nonsense, but I’ll share a bunch of pictures to make it more enjoyable!

We celebrated a warm Easter Sunday with family at my parents house! Complete with a family photo shoot!DSC_1022

 

We took Ada on her very first plane ride to Tampa, Florida to visit Dan’s brother and their new baby girl Penelope. Ada loved every minute with her new cousin. We can’t wait to see them again this upcoming week when they come home. Tampa 2

No trip to Tampa would be complete without a trip to the beach!Tampa

Or a trip to “Disney”. We took her to Disney Springs because its free, she’s only 2 she doesn’t know the difference yet! We’re hoping to take her to see the real thing this Fall when we go back to visit.Disney

I also stood by my best friends side as she married her new best friend!! Fortunately I really like him!

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Photo credit to Alissa & Michael Photography

We got to spend a lot of time together with out of town friends! Weddings are great for bringing people back together!DSC_0287

And we are getting ready to help another special friend tie the knot in September, we celebrated her shower in mid-June and I cannot wait to stand by her side as well while she, (who is one of my oldest childhood friends) marries one of my closest friends from High School.DSC_0093

And lastly, we had a fantastic weekend celebrating the 4th of July and a great kick-off to summer with our friends!!DSC_0196

Happy Summer!!

How did you celebrate the 4th of July?

 

 

Weekend Recap

We had an extra long weekend thanks to Mr. Columbus! Saturday we took the kids to the zoo, for Boo at the Zoo and they got to wear their halloween costumes and trick-or-treat at each of the different exhibits. It was a beautiful day so luckily we didn’t have to wear coats over our costumes. The kids really enjoyed getting treats and handing over their card to get a punch at each stop, and then we got to look at the animals.

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We had a nice picnic lunch that we all brought from home and then it got close to nap time and we had some meltdowns and had to call it a day.

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Daddy has been working a lot lately because he has a big event coming up where he is competing for $1 million dollars for his new start-up company, so he had to work on Monday, my day off. Me and a couple girlfriends took all the kids to a local farm for some good old fall fun!

They had a great time and the weather was perfect. We got to take a tractor ride out to the pumpkin patch and pick our own pumpkins and then we took the horse drawn carriage back to the barn.

 

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The kids all got to have a pony ride, we had a picnic lunch in the small barn and then visited the petting zoo. On our way out we got some popcorn and some beautiful purple mums for our front porch!

 

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Ada had a meltdown when we had to leave and screamed bloody murder almost all the way home, until we were about 2 minutes from home when she fell asleep. (always) So I decided to leave her in the car and drive to my parents house for awhile.

It was a fun, festive weekend for us and we hope this great weather will last a little bit longer!

 

 

The happiest engagement ever!

This was the 12th year we have been going to my friends lake house up in Batavia, NY. I wrote about our trip last year  when we took Ada. This year Dan and I decided to send her to Grandmas house for one night and we went up and spent 2 days and 1 night with our friends and I’m so glad we did!

Cody is one of my best friends, we’ve been friends since we were freshman in high school and have been through a lot together and Danielle and is one of my oldest friends, we’ve known each other since we were 4 years old and took dance together! I’ve never been so happy for a couple knowing I am so close to both of them!

This weekend trip has been part of our lives for so long, and this place has so many memories and stories it made perfect sense that Cody would pop the question to Danielle here. He let all our friends in on the little secret and had everyone play a part. The picture below I think is probably one of the most adorable and special engagement pictures I’ve ever seen. She was so surprised and we all felt so happy to be part of this memorable day for them!!

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Her twin sister did an amazing job distracting her while everyone got in the water and into position. (We made sure to do this right away before anyone had a little too much drink in them and misspelled something important!)

I think out of all the great times and amazing memories we have from this place, this weekend will go down into history as one of the best ones!

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4th of July

Another fun summer weekend on the books! This is my absolute favorite of the year! I just love the 4th of July, it just makes me feel like summer. This one was a bit different, but still packed full of activities!

We started out by going to the baseball game Friday night, which was partially a bad idea since a 19 month old and a 2 ½ year old can hardly be expected to sit still for a game. I can hardly sit through one! We ended up spending a lot of time walking around! At 10pm they shot off fireworks and the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra played music to the show! It was great and they did a phenomenal tribute to our soldiers and American history, by far the most patriotic thing I’ve ever done for independance day!

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Saturday the 4th, we took the kids to the beach, and they loved it! Ada has gotten over her fear of sand and she was all about it!

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That night, my sister and her husband Dan came over and we drove downtown to go watch the fireworks at canalside with like 15,000 people. It was a bit crazy but we made some good parking decisions and walked which was a life savor! It was another really great weekend!

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Also Happy Birthday to my Sister-in-law Becky!!

A shower and a 30th birthday

This weekend we celebrated a lot! My best friend is getting married in 4 short months. She lives in Colorado and I don’t get to see her nearly enough. But her mother hosted the most beautiful outdoor shower along the Niagara River Saturday morning.  The weather was perfect and there is really no better thing at a shower then to see the most magnificent mimosa and bloody mary bar.

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We also celebrated the first one of our friends to turn 30 with a surprise party!  SoHo Burger Bar is a great little joint with a rooftop bar overlooking downtown Buffalo, it was open bar, great food and great company. Afterwards we went down to Skybar which is known for being the late night party spot with ridiculous cover charges and sleezy girls and guys. I’m not sure how or why we got in but we did and we stayed out way too late and I paid for it the next day. It was a lot of fun to be out acting 21 again although it does not appear that I can recover like I am 21 still!

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Ada’s First Birthday Party

Ada’s first birthday was a huge success and so much fun! We had everyone over to our house, and because the weather wasn’t looking good, we moved everything inside, luckily we have a big house because it was a huge guest list. I think there were at least 80 people in my house! The Bills game was on, so we had 2 TVs set up, the back room turned into the room for all the kids and babies and the front room ended up being more of the grown up who didn’t have kids. Worked out perfect.

I did a huge taco bar in order to feed that many people without breaking the bank and it was a huge hit. We had everything you could think of for tacos and nachos . Dan’s mom did the cake for us, and I made a few other little snack things for people to pick at.  

Ada had a special cupcake to eat and I think she really enjoyed everyone singing Happy Birthday to her.

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Here are a couple of my favorite pictures from the party yesterday.

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Two beautiful weddings

Two of the 11 weddings we have this year were for 2 of Dan’s cousins of which who are two of our best friends. 4th of July weekend we had Dan’s cousin Chuck’s wedding who married the beautiful MaryAnn.  Dan was a groomsman in that wedding so I took Ada to church with me and she was wonderful and fell asleep on me like 2 minutes in, so I didn’t have to worry about her making a peep.

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I dropped her off at my parents house afterwards and met up with Dan at the reception. Such perfect weather for a beautiful couple! Here are a few pictures I took from that day!

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Just last weekend we had another wedding for Dan’s Cousin Amy who also happens to be one of my best friends. She had an adorable DIY wedding, she made almost everything herself from her bouquets to her sash on her dress, the centerpieces and more. It was another beautiful summer day to watch them tie the knot! Again we brought Ada to the church for her 3rd wedding and took her to my parents for a sleepover. Here are some more wedding pictures from their happy day!

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My Favorite Holiday

Every year on the 4th of July we go to my friend Jill’s house for a pool party. For now, we’re the only ones with a kid, Ada is still pretty young so it wasn’t too much of an issue, but next year we’re going to have to do something different. I look forward to this pool party so much every year because it just screams summertime! It’s always beautiful weather, hot and sunny and ALL our friends come over to play. We play games in the park across the street from her and then walk over to her house and grill burgers, snack and drink beer until it’s time to walk to the fireworks. This is just the 4th of July for us!

Having Ada was different this year but still fun since she is at that age where everyone just loves to play with her and hold her. She isn’t mobile on her own yet so we just played in the grass, walked around the park and then let her splash around in the pool.
We decided to forego the walk down to watch the fireworks and instead met up with Ada’s friend Abby and did something a bit more child friendly. We still went to watch the fireworks, but we drove somewhere else, and just parked off the side of a parking lot so we could make a quick escape. Both the girls fell asleep before the fireworks ended anyway!

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