Jar of Pies 

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{jar pies: Jam Jar Bakery}

So my working out 1+ hours a day has been pretty unproductive. Yay. Apparently it is time to take matters to the next level… Meaning eating nothing that isn’t green (no, not you pistachio ice cream).

Eating only kale and the like really isn’t the most painful part of a diet, it is the constant yearning for something OTHER than kale that is. So what does any reasonable person do with these cravings? Well, troll the internet looking at food porn of course!

The most amazing treats that I have found whilst on this journey of self-deprivation have come from Jam Jar Bakery. Pies. In a Jar. Now I don’t normally share the same cravings as Jason Biggs, but the thought of a little slice of heaven in a single-sized portion served in a hipster-style container… I’m in.

Except right now I could eat about seven of them.

Kiss.001

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Designing on Training Wheels 

I really have a passion for interior design that I, unfortunately, discovered way too late in life. (Seriously, I worked in investments for four years?! Total waste.) Obviously I have done a lot in my own home, but recently I branched out and designed a guest bedroom for my brother (baby steps with the family, yo).

I thought I would share the mood boards that I put together for him (and he subsequently used to decorate).

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{headboard; chair; roman shades; duvet and sheets; fur throw; lamp}

It was interesting for me to listen to what someone else wanted and not just do whatever the hell I felt like. (My former employers were right; I am pretty terrible at following direction when I don’t like it.) However, my “client” was pretty awesome and allowed me to sneak in some of my own quirk with the pops of yellow and the llama print, which is by far the highlight of the entire room.

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{pillows; artstrokes and llama; brass accents; floor lamp; wall sculpture}

¿Como se llama?

Kiss.001

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Sunday on the LFT 

I was super excited to test out Pickle’s newfangled bike-riding skills this Sunday on the Lakefront Trail (“LFT”). Spoiler alert: It sucked (almost as much as Pickle’s newfangled bike-riding skills).

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For those who don’t know, the LFT is an 18-mile foreshoreway (I stole this word from Wikipedia and I am pretty sure that it does not exist in the English language) that stretches along the coast of Lake Michigan.

Doing the entire route from our house sounded like it might be too much so we drove a bit down the shore and headed out from there. We should have just driven the entire eighteen miles and called it a day. Pickle screamed bloody murder the second she got on her bike and I was forced to go back and get her scooter.

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I would love to say that this solved all problems and the day went smoothly from there. Instead we made it about a half mile on the trail; the highlight being a public bathroom stop.

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It was a pretty fucking phenomenal bathroom… From the outside.

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Cape Caaaad 

If you asked me just a few months ago if I would rather circle the pit of hell for eternity or spend a weekend in Cape Cod, it would have been an easy choice. Hell for one please! But this summer my husband’s best man at our wedding got hitched himself, so off to the Cape we went.

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For some reason, the Gods decided to smile on me (more likely the beautiful couple, but I will choose to ignore that) and blessed us with absolutely perfect weather – 70s, low humidity and not a cloud in the sky. When I do eventually make my way to hell, this is the weather I expect. As well as everyone to be wearing Chloé and drinking green juice. Basically I expect hell to be an issue of Goop.

Anyway, the Cape (specifically Harwich and Chatham) was infinitely more charming than I had remembered. As long as the area was more densely populated (and therefore devoid of those ugly shrubby trees that blanket the area), we were cool.

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I absolutely loved where we stayed – the Winstead Inn (even though they couldn’t help but decorate in a nautical theme, ugh). We had an entire building – and more importantly a pool – to ourselves. I spent 90% of our stay napping in a lounge chair and the other 10% of the time eating candied cherries while being mad at my husband. (Spoiler: Eating candied cherries does not solve problems. It only makes you fat. Which gives you more problems.) We made up but I am still trying to burn off those damn cherries.

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Did I mention that these cherries were preceded by a “Duck Infused Burger” from Mooncussers Tavern? Filled with foie gras and topped with a fried egg, it could easily be one of the most delicious burgers I have ever tasted. It could also be the reason why my ass looks like a tub of Breakstone’s.

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{necklace: BaubleBar, dress: Alice + Olivia}

After eating said burger and cherries, I stuffed my bloated self into a dress and headed to the wedding, which was at Wequassett Resort and Golf Club. I got married in Italy, but if I had to do it again and was forced to stay domestic, I would seriously consider this place (and possibly a much richer and much MUCH older husband). It was beyond.

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Everything was perfection. I hate flowers as much as I (formerly) hated Cape Cod, but these? Peonies?! Get. Out. And I won’t even start on the bride… Tall, thin, gorgeous and SO nice. Basically someone you never want to have to stand next to in pictures but just can’t help yourself.

I was about to call it a day and plan my permanent move there when I saw this. A Lilly Pulitzer-print Jeep that appeared not to be a joke, but a vehicle owned by someone who actually chooses to fill their upscale boutique with Lilly Pulitzer apparel. Lilly Pulitzer: what Satan dresses his enemies in.

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Game over.

Kiss.001

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Maxwell Street Market 

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A few weekends ago, we went down to the Maxwell Street Market, something that the City of Chicago calls “a Chicago tradition of bargains and bargaining with international flavor”. I call it a hot mess (with the “hot” clearly being some of the merchandise).

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The products being sold were what they would like us to call “eclectic” but what I would call complete crap. The first vendor we encountered had a huge pile of tires to hawk, the next a huge pile of cell phone chargers.

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There were pet supplies, tees, toys and my favorite booth of all… the partially used beauty products. At first I thought the assortment was funny but then it just made me completely depressed that some people call this “shopping”. So what do I do when I am depressed? I EAT.

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Easily the most recommended food stand was Rubi’s, which is why I waited in line for an HOUR to get food there. It was pretty absurd, but usually long lines equal great payoff.

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My great payoff was to watch a gentleman carve beef and a lady make tortillas for an hour straight, while my husband and daughter sat at the finely appointed dining area eating churros with a new amigo.

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In all honesty, the food was fresh, authentic, pretty delicious… and very cheap. I purchased five gigantic tacos and one quesadilla for less than $20 and ate about 10% of it.

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We had the al pastor (often regarded as the best so we ordered two), squash blossom, mole and asada tacos as well as the steak quesadilla. My favorite was the mole taco (so incredibly flavorful!), followed closely by the squash blossom (totally unique taste). Because it was the only item that did contain cheese and did not contain vegetables, my husband picked the quesadilla as his favorite.

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Although the tacos were great, I would never ever go back to Maxwell Street. Unless I need a new cellphone charger.

I know I should probably look at the nail polish bottles as half-full, but I just see them as half-empty gross.

Kiss.001

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Elaine Stritch: Goddess of Glasses 

Yesterday, Elaine Stritch, star of both stage and screen, passed away at 89. While I could recognize her from her roles on “Law & Order” and “30 Rock”, I KNEW her for her style. Specifically her glasses.

Elaine obviously recognized what every woman over 35 should… We always look better in shades. Not only does it cover the lines that are creeping in, but it gives you an air of mystery, sexiness and sass. Here are a few of my favorite looks from Elaine and similar shades that could easily be worn by us common people.

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{glasses from top to bottom: Gucci, Marc by Marc Jacobs, Prada, Vince Camuto}

I know people always say that they hope to age gracefully.  I don’t. I hope to age fiercely… just like Elaine. RIP lovely lady.

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Royal Albert: Miranda Kerr Collection 

I have yet to meet a girl who doesn’t want to have tea parties. Young or old, they are something so sweet, so simple, so timeless. Did I mention they almost always include finger sandwiches (real or fake)? Yay!!!

In probably a ridiculous move on my part, I am dying to buy this tea collection for my daughter. If we are going to play tea party, I want to do it with something really beautiful and something she can keep forever.

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{tea set: Miranda Kerr Collection for Royal Albert}

It is either that or the whore teacup set I was originally thinking of buying. Because that is pretty fucking classic too.

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An Evening at Ravinia 

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Last night, Mr. A and I headed to Ravinia for the first time to see Toad the Wet Sprocket and Counting Crows. This venue is something on the summer’s must-do list for Chicago and I can’t wait to do it again. If you want a “scene” and don’t care about actually seeing the performers you came for, Lawn tickets are the way to go. Also the way to go? About four hours before the main act comes on, if we learned anything!

My absolute musts to bring with you are part practical, but pure pleasure.

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{citronella torches, blanket roll, wine stacks, picnic basket, sandals}

The other thing I will need to remember for my next trip? A camera, as the picture below is the only shot I got the entire night. But not to worry, I will be back there this weekend and can torture you with another post then!

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And yes, those are Birkenstocks. And yes, they are back in style. And no, I am not kidding.

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Taste of Chicago 

It was bound to happen. After praising everything Chicago, something had to go wrong. And it was just about the worst thing ever… I lost my internet.
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For almost a whole day! Thank you for all of your prayers, cards and well-wishes. I (just barely) made it through.

Unfortunately my blog post for yesterday didn’t make it out, so my weekday posting streak ends at five. And it started off so promising. Damn you Comcast! Anyhow, back to the blogging at hand…

This weekend was Taste of Chicago. And although it wasn’t my first Taste, it was the first one where I was actually allowed to eat anything (see: asshole ex-boyfriend who liked me to look like a malnourished boy). I’ll be honest, the food wasn’t all that great. And neither were the drinks. But what was great was spending an entire day with great new friends getting toasted in the sun!

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^ Lets me eat! ^

Apparently, I wasn’t the only one allowed to eat today. Or the past twenty years. Festivals are always great for the self-esteem.

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The food was pretty uninspiring, despite this booth’s foray into fine dining with a dish called “Mac & Cheetos”. Yes, I tried it. No, it was not good. (Surprising, I know.)

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I did a lap and came back with this vanilla-filled churro for my husband. For obvious reasons, I did not find this long, oozing “treat” appetizing. (But I did have this for dessert, which was so heavenly that I ate it before I remembered that I should have taken a picture.)

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There were two types of alcoholic beverages available for purchase – bad and REALLY bad. I chose a Straw-beer-ita, thinking that it would be as close to a tropical cocktail as I would get. (Shoes by Rachel Zoe)

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It was a diabetic coma in a can.

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So instead I opted for the always-classy Gallo family of wines. And their equally classy accompanying stemware.

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Would I recommend Taste for the food? Probably not. But it really was another perfect day in Chicago…

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And that I most certainly recommend to everyone!

Kiss.001

 

 

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Bandbox: Hats with a Secret 

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As some of you might remember, I am a TERRIBLE bike rider. Usually I can go about life, not worrying about this shortcoming… But not lately. See, I am attempting to teach my daughter to ride a bike and, in doing this, have to pretend that doing this isn’t one of the single most terrifying things to me.

The problem is that in demonstrating my biking skills, I look ridiculous. Ridiculous! However, I think my old trick of dressing cleverly to cover my inadequacies will once again cover my ass.

See, I found a line of super cute hats for the summer. Hats that are not actually hats… They are bike helmet covers! The straw ones are my absolute favorite. Check out the entire line at Bandbox.

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So with a (very much needed) bike helmet stashed cleverly under my chapeau, I can once again teach my daughter the greatest lesson in bike riding…

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Take a cab.

Kiss.001

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