Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Chi Town

So I spent most of the weekend visiting my lovely older brother (this was taken at his favorite restaurant in Chinatown). He lives in downtown Chicago and every time I visit we always go exploring in a different part of the city. This trip took us to the Wicker Park area that just has some pretty darn fabulous shops (there were tons of cute retail shops and I picked up this adorable red pea coat, love it!) along with great eateries and coffee shops. We stopped at the Worm Hole, which is a throw back to the '80's, complete with an original Nintendo system (that we of course played for a few hours) and all kinds of memorabilia from the time.

When you first walk in the door you are immediately greeted by the car from the Back to the Future movies (which is evidently called the De Lorean). Just a bit of fun :)

Our next adventure took us to Chicago's Chinatown. We had a fabulous lunch (see 1st picture ;) followed by a bit of window shopping and of course pictures by our Zodiac animal.

I have a tradition. Every time I visit my brother I always bring some sort of barcookie. Sometimes there's beer or cheese that also make the trip, but there is always a pan of barcookies. I think it started when I was still in high school and I would always be asked to make said cookies, usually sometime late at night after we'd been talking on one of his visits home. I have an old standby that I usually make, it's just an adaptation from the Tollhouse chocolate chip cookie recipe, but recently I had stumbled across this AMAZING recipe and had to try it. Let me tell you, it was pretty great, uber sweet, obviously, but oh so good.

They are definitely now on my go to list, especially for fall events, after all, who doesn't love s'mores? And a whole pan of them, come on!

Alright, so that's what I've been up to lately, cooking and traveling, surprise, surprise :) I hope you are all enjoying your week, it's almost halfway through (yep, it's going to be a long one).

Friday, September 23, 2011


It's officially fall and I have to say that I'm a bit excited about that. Summer was packed full with friends and family, canoeing and camping, swimming and grilling out and so much more. Fall brings with it the beautiful changing leaves, apple and pumpkin picking, bonfires and hayrack rides, hoodies and hot apple cider. I love the beginning of every season. The change in temperature, the change in nature, the different activities that go along with that season. I'll hopefully do a summer wrap up when I have a bit more time, but for now, enjoy the crisp autumn air and a glass of apple cider.  Happy Fall!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Thankful Thursday!

It has been an extremely long time since I've done a Thankful Thursday, and I have had such a fabulous summer that there's so much to be thankful for, so here's my list...

At this moment I am thankful for...
(1) Amazing weather. It has been absolutely gorgeous here the past few days, the hint of fall is in the air. I just love it!
(2) An adorable and healthy Godson (I love this picture, especially his excited older sister on the far right). My cute little Godson turned 2 over the weekend and I was blessed be be able to celebrate with him and his family.  
(3) Football!!! I got to go to a Badger football game last week (is was packed by the end of the 1st quarter) and, well, it was pretty great. I love college games because of the school spirit. The Packers open up their season tonight. So excited.
(4) Friends. I was blessed with the opportunity of spending sometime at a friend's house on the lake with a group of friends form the area. It was such a nice and relaxing time with great conversation, good food, fun games and great people.
(5) The American heart. As the Anniversary of September 11th draws nearer I've been hearing some of the tragic stories from that day, but also the hope of the future, the story of the beautiful memorial that has been built and the beauty of the fact that this day will be a tribute to those who tragically died and they will live on in the hearts of a nation who will continue to mourn them but has also grown closer as a nation.
(6) That I no longer have to hear that Brett Favre has officially retired, no wait he's returning, no wait he's really retired this time....
(7) A good meal. Whether it's eating out or something I cooked at home, I'm thankful that I have the means to fill my stomach when needed and live in an area where I can quickly drive to a place that serves whatever my heart desires. I'm pretty spoiled and am extremely thankful for that luxary.