Favorites, Holiday, Travel

Top 3 Moments From Chicago And July 4th

Hi everyone! Since I was gone from the blog last week I wanted to share my top 3 moments from our trip to Chicago. Have a great day šŸ™‚

Hopsmith With Friends

Since Alex and I were going to be in Chicago over a weekend, I thought it would be perfect to meet up with friends in the city to get drinks. Most of the time when we’re at my parents it’s for a holiday so most people are busy with their own families. Luckily that wasn’t the case so we got to meet up with about 10 people total and it was a blast!! Alex and I took the train to the city on Saturday afternoon then went to my friend Alison’s new apartment for drinks with her boyfriend Corey before we headed to Hopsmith which is a bar that Alison recommended. We drank the night away and I got to see some of my best friends which was awesome. Corey ordered us nachos and they were tasty. Alex even made a cute little speech since we were calling it birthday drinks.

Incredibles 2 With Alex, Mom and Brendan

 

My older brother Brian, Dad and sister Megan were actually in China for the first half of the trip so it was just Alex, my younger brother Brendan, my mom and I at my parent’s house. Mom was thinking of something fun for us to do so we went and saw The Incredibles 2. Majority of the people in the audience were over the age of 15 which was kind of surprising. The movie was so good though! If you haven’t seen it, you should definitely go. The 14 year wait was worth it.

Time At The Lake

Culver 2018

On Monday afternoon, Alex and I drove to my grandparents house in Indiana. They live on the lake and I grew up going there all the time in the summer. It was such a relaxing and slow paced few days. My entire family went as well as an aunt and uncle. We celebrated some birthdays, had fireworks on July 4th, went boating, read a bunch and spent time with family. It was the perfect little refresher that I felt was needed for both Alex and I. Apparently Mike Pence’s brother lives on the same lake as my grandparents and the VP was there while we were. Alex thinks he saw the secret service on a random boat while we were out one morning too.

Question of the day: American friends, what’s the highlight from your July 4th activities?

Holiday

Summer 2018 Bucket List

Hey, hi, hello! We’re halfway through the week and I hope you’re having a good week. Honestly Wednesdays always put me in the best mood. Maybe because it’s halfway to the weekend and Alex usually works from home so I have things to look forward to. Wednesdays may be my favorite day of the work week as well.

Since the summer season has “officially” started with Memorial Day last week, I thought it would be fun to share a few items that are on my summer bucket list for 2018. Some of them are super simple and things I’ll most likely due but could just fall to the back burner (I’m looking at your farmer’s market) but other’s are a bit more fun and involved. Here are a few items on my summer bucket list!

Wine On Balcony

Go to a winery

Go to the farmers market

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Spend the day at the beach

Make homemade pesto

Spend the day at the pool

Find a cute town nearby to explore

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Throwback to our Christmas NYC date

Date in New York City

Get back to double digit long runs

Go to a concert

Have a rainy day movie marathon

Question of the day: What’s one thing on your summer bucket list?

Daily Happenings, Dog, Holiday, Travel, Weekend

Memorial Day Weekend 2018

Hi friends!! I’m so sorry to have disappeared the past few days. I was soaking up family time and blogging took a back seat. Unfortunately I got some sort of stomach bug on Monday so my plan to have a recap up on Tuesday got thrown out the window. I’m back now so let’s dive right into the weekend. Have a great day šŸ™‚

Friday

Alex, Bailey and I were up bright and early on Friday to finish the rest of our drive. We ended up deciding to break up the drive to my parent’s house and were staying about halfway there in Poland, Ohio. We found a pet friendly hotel on bringfido.com which made it much easier to do since we knew Bailey would be welcomed.

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Once we were dressed and ready, we headed to a Dunkin Donuts for some breakfast before hitting the road. We made pretty good time and ended up arriving around lunch time. It was just my little brother, Brendan, and my dad that were home so after they met Bailey and we chatted for a bit we headed out to lunch. We went to Pazzi di Pizza, a local Italian restaurant in my hometown of Elmhurst that has a great lunch menu. I got the chicken vesuvio panini which came with a salad too and it hit the spot.

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We drove around downtown Elmhurst because Alex is actually working on a potential deal there for work. Small world right?! When we got home, we hung out with Bailey outside. My parents don’t have a fenced in yard so we brought our 30 foot leash with us and tied it to a tree in their backyard. It was fantastic! Bailey could run around without someone being attached to her at all times and we didn’t have to worry about her running away. After being in the car for the morning, she had lots of energy to run out.

My mom got home from work so we all caught up on life before Alex left to go meet a client. Mom and I headed to do a little shopping and I grabbed a new workout tank and capris thanks to a Dick’s gift card that I had. Let’s be real, who doesn’t loving buying something and feeling like you don’t have to spend money because of a gift card.

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We headed home and my older brother Brian had arrived from Michigan. Alex finished up with his meeting and when we got back, Dad had started dinner. He grilled brussel sprouts, romaine lettuce and steak to enjoy. All of it was so tasty!

Alex and I ended up taking a “Bruber” (Brendan Uber) to go meet my friends in a nearby town for the night. It was so much fun to meet up with them and catch up. We started at a bar with a country cover band who was fun before heading to a semi outdoor bar. Our Bruber picked us up and we both collapsed into bed once we got back to my parents.

Saturday

I had every intention of going for a run when I woke up on Saturday but that didn’t happen. Instead I read a bit outside with Bailey before heading for a mani/pedi with my mom. It was nice to be able to sit and relax while talking to her after spending the past two days in the car. Luckily my mom called ahead for appointments because they place was packed! We joked that it was everyone who had stayed in town for the long weekend. After our nails were done, we went to a few local stores to shop around.

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The rest of the day was spent hanging out with the family. My dad went to a meat warehouse and brought Bailey back a bone to chew on. Man did she LOVE that bone. We could have left her for hours and she would not have even noticed she was alone. I mean look at how she’s looking at the bone…that is true love.

For lunch, we picked up some Mexican food from a place that has quickly become my family’s go to for catering. Seriously this stuff is legit and so tasty. This is probably bad but I don’t really remember what we did the rest of the afternoon. I think I napped for a bit though.

For dinner, my dad fired up the grill again. This time he made a beef tenderloin, corn and something else. The rest of the evening was spent hanging out with my family.

Sunday

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Sunday started off on a great note with a big breakfast. Growing up, my dad would pick a few Sundays and make a big breakfast with bacon, eggs and hash browns. Since most of the kids were home (my sister is studying abroad in Australia so she was the only one missing) he decided to make one for us. Scrambled eggs, two kinds of bacon and hash browns were perfect to start the day.

My mom and I last minute decided to go see Life of the Party. We both give it two thumbs up! It was funny but not crude and every funny part wasn’t in the trailer which I appreciated. If you’re looking for a good movie, you should check this one out.

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When we got home, it was time to get ready for the party. I had two cousins graduate from high school last week and one of them was having a party during the afternoon. It was actually most of the reason we went to visit Chicago. After saying hello to everyone I grabbed a new to me beer to try. Goose Island is a Chicago brewery and I was really intrigued to see. Goose Summer Hours lager was similar to Summer Shandy but not as light. If you see it, you should pick it up.

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My aunt and uncle had the party catered and went with Portillo’s and got Italian beef. I packed my bun with it and filled my plate with fruit salad and Caesar salad to round out the meal. Man do I miss Italian beef here in New Jersey. If you are ever in Chicago you must try this sandwich out!

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After eating, I went outside to sit outside and talk with the rest of the family. Once the mosquitoes started to bite, I headed back inside to help my aunt bring the dessert out. Oh man…it all looked so good! The sunflower cookies were delicious and I definitely brought one home with me. Once we got back to my parents, we packed up as much as we could before heading to bed.

Monday

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We got up nice and early to head out on the road. I’m not sure who was more upset to leave because Dad and Bailey had a great bond going. The running joke is he’s going to show up at home now with a puppy.

We were making great time and had every intention of making it all the way back to New Jersey. Then that got thrown out the window. Somehow I caught a stomach bug and we had to stop in Pittsburgh for the night so I could rest a bit. Once again Bring Fido came in handy so we could find a pet friendly hotel to stop at for the night. After checking in I crawled into bed and slept on and off for a few hours before attempting to eat a bit and slept the night away.

Tuesday

Luckily both my boss and Alex’s bosses were incredibly understanding when we both had to call out. After a late start we ended up making it back to New Jersey with no issues. I still had some stomach pain (actually I still do) but we didn’t have to make any emergency stops which was a good sign. Alex did a few work calls on the road (thank you Bluetooh!) and I fell asleep a few times on the ride. When we got back, we unloaded to car and just collapsed on the couch happy to be back.

Question of the day: What was the highlight from your weekend?e

Daily Happenings, Holiday, Sunday In Pictures, Weekend

Sunday In Pictures Vol. 31

Happy Monday! I hope you had a wonderful weekend. If you’re a mother, I hope you got spoiled by your children. Even though it was a grey and rainy weekend, we made the most of it by spring cleaning on Saturday and some time outside yesterday. This week it looks like it might rain most of it but I’m actually okay with it. The rain is washing away all the pollen that’s been killing me – I didn’t even take an allergy pill yesterday! We’ll ignore the fact that I woke up at 1:13 am in order to take on though… Hopefully the sun will shine for you this week. Have a great day šŸ™‚

Strawberries

Alex slept much later than Bailey and I so while we played, IĀ  snacked on some strawberries.

Blueberry Waffle

For breakfast, we had waffles and bacon (not pictured).

Piping

I finally worked on my piping skills with the set Alex gave me for Valentine’s Day. Spoil alert – it was AMAZING. I kept commenting on how amazing and awesome it was lol.

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Called my mom to chat a bit and to wish her a happy Mother’s Day. This was from exactly a year ago today at my graduation from Rutgers. Time flies you guys…

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I made a tortilla pizza and paired it with a big salad for lunch.

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We attempted some obedience training outside… It’s a work in progress but she’s got it in the apartment.

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I made a key lime pie (from a mix )with whipped cream for dessert. The piping needs a little work but not too bad for a second try!

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We went to Alex’s parents house for dinner. Steak, roasted potatoes and some asparagus for dinner before dessert and his mom opened gifts.

Question of the day: What’s one highlight from your weekend?

Holiday, Sunday In Pictures, Weekend

Sunday In Pictures Vol. 25 – Easter 2018

Happy Monday! I hope you all had a wonderful weekend and Easter. I didn’t mean to disappear for the weekend but Alex and I were a little busy… We got our puppy Bailey! She is a 14 week old black lab and the sweetest little pup around. This weekend was fun and a lot of learning for us. So with getting a new pup and figuring her out plus Easter blogging took a bit of a back seat. I’m back to normal posts this week though. Have a great day šŸ™‚

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The Easter bunny stopped by our apartment and brought my favorite jelly beans.

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When you’re on puppy duty but haven’t had breakfast, a mandarin orange makes the perfect snack.

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Homemade cinnamon rolls for Easter breakfast. I used this recipe I found on Pinterest.

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A morning walk near woods then ended with lots of ticks on her since we think she walked through a nest. Thank goodness the grocery store was open for an emergency stop.

Mac & Cheese

Mac and cheese for a quick lunch.

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I was in charge of a chocolate dessert so I made a no bake chocolate cheesecake and topped it with homemade whipped cream.

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The place settings at dinner were so nicely done. Can you tell which seat was for the kids by the chocolate bunnies? I definitely missed a picture of my dinner but I had spinach salad, ham, pineapple, scalloped potatoes, rolls, and green beans.

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This was the first dessert plate – the cheesecake and a lemon tart from Trader Joe’s. I definitely went back for a piece of cake someone brought. My favorite dessert was the cheesecake though. It reminded me of the chocolate mousse one from Cheesecake Factory!

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I’m so in love with my little fam ā¤

Question of the day: What was the highlight of your weekend?