Friday I'm in Love

Friday I’m in Love

Happy Friday! It’s one of our last few summer Fridays, so I hope you are taking advantage of summer fun this weekend. Here’s what I’ve been loving this week! Spoiler alert: it’s mostly food and yoga.

1. Carry on Cocktail Kit 

I found out about these this week and LOVE the concept. If I order a drink on a plane, it’s usually wine because I prefer to keep my rum and diet days in 2005. I like to think I’ve graduated to a classier cocktail palette.

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With these little babies, no more boring mixers for your plane liquor! Create a craft cocktail from the comfort… er…small, confined area of your plane seat. They even include a linen coaster! How chic.

2. Chicago Dining 

This week we really hit it out of the park with restaurant choices. Chicago is a foodie scene, and something new is popping up all the time. We had an amazing meal at Bar Siena — Top Chef Fabio Viviani’s new spot in the West Loop.

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a romantic, italian evening in the windy city

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beef carpaccio and the number 8 cocktail

A great date night spot, we enjoyed sharing the beef carpaccio, oysters, a pizza and the skirt steak. Not to mention, their cocktail program is by none other than Femme du Coupe

Pub Royale is another great hot spot that I hiiiiighly recommend. It’s like colonial India — it has a British twist on traditional Indian fare. We went with another couple and enjoyed eggplant curry, cashew cauliflower, garlic naan, palek paneer, mussels and samosas. Omg, it was so good. Put it on your list!

3. Pasta Pappone Red Pepper 

Pasta Pappone has a new flavored pasta, so I had to make it this week. I mixed the new “Roasted Red Bell Pepper” flavor with sauteed shrimp, but I think this would also be a perfect base for a veggie primavera! It was yum and I’ll add in all veggies next time.

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4. Eagle Pose 

In the last few weeks of wedding planning, I’ve taken to doing hot yoga about five times a week. It’s such a great stress reliever, and probably why most of what I’m loving this week is food — it’s a great, demanding-but-relaxing work out.

 One of my favorite poses this week is Eagle pose. If you do it right, it takes a lot of focus, balance, and core work.

this is kind of a creepy-looking dude, but the best image I found to show the details of the pose.

 In this pose, I feel my strongest. It takes balance and some flexibility to pose like you’re sitting in a chair while twisting your limbs, and it rings out your toxins. It opens your shoulders and hips (a problem area for me and most runners) and feels awesome when you sustain it for a long period of time. Plus, when the room is 96 degrees you really get your sweat on, leading to feeling strong and cleansed.

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Hope you guys have a fabulous weekend! Don’t forget to check out what my Friday friends are loving too: Misha // Kendra //Amanda // Laura // Aileen // Jessica // Ashley

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Friday I'm in Love

Friday I’m in Love

Happy Friday, friends!! Don’t you think it’s a well-deserved weekend? We’ve put in a long, hard week. We’ve made time to work out. We’ve made a meal or two instead of eating out. We got up five days in a row and did our jobs. Time to embrace this weekend.

Here’s what I’ve been loving in the days leading up to this weekend — all long, hard five days — and be sure to check out what my Friday friends are loving too: Misha // Kendra // Amanda // Laura // Aileen // Jessica // Ashley

1. HydroFlask 

I attended a fabulous Christmas in July party last weekend where everyone had to bring two of their “favorite thing” for a gift exchange. (I brought the Bling Brush). One of the favorite things I received in the exchange was from my friend Christina — a HydroFlask.

Hydro Flask 32 oz Wide Mouth

mine is a pretty pink, but there are many color options

I. am. obsessed. It keeps cold things cold, I mean super cold, for hours. Example: On Monday, I filled up my hydroflask at work with ice water at about 1 pm. Went on with my day, and then hit hot yoga after work. I practice yoga in a 95-98 degree room. For one hour. When I left, there were still ice cubes in my Hydroflask. 

Like, what?! Miracle bottle.

2. Yes, Please! 

My read this week is Amy Poehler’s “Yes Please!” I love her from Parks & Rec, and anything with her and Tina Fey…so it’s only natural I would LOVE her book. It’s kept me laughing on my commute this week. Which isn’t weird at all on public transportation.

She’s inspiring, empowering and hilarious. Definitely say yes please to reading this!

3. Watermelon Margaritas 

Did you know that we celebrated National Watermelon Day this week? Yep, this fake (Instagram) holiday exists. I did not let it go to waste and whipped up a watermelon margarita.

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You should enjoy this, too.

– Rim a glass with lime juice and salt. Fill with ice.

– Take 1 cup of diced watermelon and puree it in your blender or small food processor. I mean, puree it. There should be no chunks at all and it should be liquid.

– Pour your puree watermelon into the glass. Pour in one shot of tequila.

– Squeeze the lime you used to rim the glass into the mix, and top with sparkling water.

Yum! I love that there is no added sugar and only 4 ingredients for a refreshing cocktail!

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Happy Friday! Hope you have a great, refreshing weekend ahead!

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Champagne Moments

Chicago Bachelorette Party – Night One!

Heyyyy y’all. Long time, no see.

This girl has been juggling wedding planning, a busy job and summer fun. I’ve had so many blog posts that I’ve written in my head, or in my sleep, but just no time to get them down IRL. It’s fine. I think wedding year, you get a pass, right?

But for the sake of posterity, I am planning to document some recent wedding festivities — like my bachelorette party! Of course, I won’t be sharing all of the details with the world wide web, but most of memories are PC.

When my bridesmaids asked what I wanted for my bachelorette party, I really wanted to have all the ladies I loved, together. Chicago has amazing options for a summer night on the town, so planning in Chi was an easy choice. Boy, did these ladies deliver. A Saturday night out was planned, and all the details were left a surprise.

Since we had out of town bridesmaids coming in, I requested a low key Friday night so that we could all spend time together. Some of my bm’s had only met once or twice (although, you always feel so close to people through the stories). So, my bridesmaid Laura graciously hosted everyone in her home!

It was nice heading out to the suburbs, because my mom got to join in the fun, too. We got our nails done and then grabbed a drink and some apps at our favorite Naperville restaurant, Angeli’s.

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Laura’s soiree was. adorable. She chose a wine pairing theme, and had five different wines paired with five different courses! Now that is right up my alley.

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you know the night is starting off right when the first course is cupcakes and champagne.

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poppin bottles

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so, so into this.

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a perfectly paired crostini and Cooper’s Hawk white!

 Laura was super thoughtful not only with food, but with the decor! All around the room, she had printed and framed pictures of me with each bridesmaid! So special. Not to mention, fresh-cut hydrangeas right from her garden!

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classic throwbacks.

Color me happy. It was the perfect, classy, intimate evening spent with these ladies from near and far!

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The night left me rejuvenated from laughter and catching up. The thought and the detail and all the delicious food and wine was the best way I could have thought to spend time with good friends. Not to mention, it allowed us to be well-rested for a Saturday full of city fun!

Love these ladies! Thanks for a wonderful start to the bachelorette weekend.

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Friday I'm in Love

Friday I’m in Love

Happy Holiday weekend! I hope you’re planning on some poolside drinks, sparklers, and cute red, white and blue outfits all weekend long! Don’t forget to check out what my fab Friday friends are loving too: Misha//Kendra //Amanda // Laura // Aileen // Jessica and here’s what I have been lovin’ this week:

1. Celebrate Everything 

This article makes a great point about how women prioritize what we celebrate — weddings and babies taking the cake. But in this day and age when we are all trying to Lean In, career achievements are JUST as important to recognize. Friend who passed the bar or completed medical school? Pop a cork for that shiat. New promotion? Send flowers.

pop the cork for a friend's promotion, too.

pop the cork for a friend’s promotion, too.

The writer makes a solid point that the celebrations for women center around a ring, a new last name, or having a baby. All very well deserved! But women who have worked hard for an educational or career milestone should be celebrated too.

As my life motto goes, celebrate everything.

2. Travel Hacks

Okay, I’ll be honest, I won’t just use these only for travel. I have a hate/hate relationship with my iron (due to more than one instance of getting burned/steamed) so I adore these tips for quick, wrinkle-free clothes.

3. American Citizenship 

With the Fourth of July holiday this weekend celebrating our independence, it was amazing to be a part of a naturalization ceremony this week. It was so moving. These men and women came from over 30 different countries and I got to watch them all pledge their allegiance to the U.S. of A.

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The United States now has 86 new citizens. Congratulations!

4. Perfecting my Roast Chicken recipe 

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You guys, I’ve got it. I’ve been working on a simple, but tasty, roast chicken prep and this week, I found it.

Lift the skin and put soy sauce (low sodium) directly on the meat. Rub olive oil over the skin, then soy sauce over that. Then, season with salt and pepper as normal and add a few fresh herbs. I used lemon thyme, rosemary and basil from my garden! Roast at 400 degrees for 30 mins, then turn down the temp to 375. Cook until the internal temp of the chicken reaches 180 degrees. The skin will get nice and crispy, while the meat stays tender. Delish!

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 Need some 4th of July inspo? Check out last year’s stars and stripes party on she themes everything. Hope everyone has a great and SPIRITED long weekend!

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***Happy 4th of July! ***

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Theme Thursday

Garden Baby Shower

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the hostesses with our favorite momma-to-be!

This past weekend, I got to co-host a baby shower for one of my best friends and her beautiful baby girl!

Theme: We decided to do a garden theme for Baby H and host it in my parents’ backyard. It has beautiful landscaping and opens up to a park, so with gorgeous weather it made the perfect setting! Plus, it was the closest home to our guest of honor’s, so she wouldn’t have to lug all her new gifts too far!

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in bloom for Baby H!

Paper goods: 

We decided on this invite from tiny prints to capture the garden/floral theme we wanted.

invitation example!

Then, we used these plates and napkins from Smarty Had a Party to tie in with the invitation:

i loved the lace edge

pink sweet pea gave the perfect pop of color

We used white paper table covers on the beverage table and food table, but left the seating tables uncovered for their wrought iron, garden-y feel.

Food & Drink: The menu included antipasto skewers, shrimp with mango salsa, Texas quiche, caprese salad, and fresh raspberry cupcakes.

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For drinks, we did a white wine spritzer and a mint and lime-infused sparkling water. Of course, we had pink and green garnishes with mint, lime and watermelon!

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the cutest baby bottle drink labels!

Decor: Both of the other hostesses are already moms, so they had the brilliant idea to create centerpieces that Laura and Baby H would be able to USE! Nothing gone to waste here.

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a basket, books and a frame for the nursery!

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more books and a stuffed animal. (with our onesie line in the background!)

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the dining tables had board books, and one had a sign for the nursery.

I loved that the decor was cute AND functional. We also asked every guest to bring a onesie for baby H to hang on a clothesline. Laura could take them all home and Baby H will be the cutest little newborn on the block.

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it made for a super cute back drop!

Activity: Every guest filled out a “Wishes for Baby” card, and Laura read them out loud.

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Favor: One of my favorite elements of the day was our Bouquet Bar. We decided that everyone loves some pretty flowers, right?! So we made a make-and-take bouquet bar.

Every guest left with a beautiful bouquet!

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minus one droopy rose, my bouquet is holding strong!

minus one droopy rose, my bouquet is holding strong at home! 

The best part of the day was getting to spend quality time with Laura and Baby H, and lounge around in beautiful weather talking and laughing and celebrating them!

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the beautiful, glowing momma

Hooray — we cannot wait for this beautiful woman to become a mom, and I canNOT wait to meet/cuddle/kiss Baby H in September!! xx

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My Weekend in Photos

my weekend in photos

it was an event-filled weekend! my favorite.

day-of coordination of a beautiful Lovebird Events wedding at the W City Center

I did some day-of coordination of a beautiful Lovebird Events wedding at the W City Center.

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LOVE love love-ing the sequin linen. The bride and groom chose to pin-spot it with a light so it REALLY sparkled as guests arrived!

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After the ceremony it was a quick switcheroo to the cutest (and yummiest) favor table. Carol’s Cookies for the win!

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Sunday, I hosted a baby shower with the ladies on the end for the sweetest momma-to-be in the middle! It was a beautiful day and we couldn’t have ordered better weather.

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I’ll share more day-of details this week, like our favors for guests — a Bouquet Bar where they could take home a bouquet of their favorite blooms!

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I’m already on my third cup of coffee — it was an exhausting, but amazing, weekend! Happy Monday!

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Friday I'm in Love

Friday I’m in Love

Happy Friday, friends. We made it! Check out what my Friday gals are loving, too: Misha//Kendra //Amanda // Laura // Aileen // Jessica

1. Anti-Frizz anything 

So, we’re quickly approaching the Dog Days of Summer. No, not the beer (although I love anything Two Brothers), but the hottest days of the year. Even after blow drying and straightening in the morning, once I step outside into Chicago humidity, I need some help taming my naturally wavy frizzy hair. I love the idea of these anti-frizz sheets! Just pack ’em in your purse and off you go with your sleek, smooth look. Def packing this in my honeymoon carry on.

2. The Blackhawks Win! (still) 

celebrating the Hawks win hard.

celebrating the Hawks win hard.

This should have been in last week’s FIIL, but I’m still so obsessed with how happy Chicago is after the Blackhawks Stanley Cup win. Everyone is still on cloud 9.

Now, it’s my only goal in life to be in the same place as the Cup and either touch it or get a photo with it.

3. Undo Send 

Gmail has new “Undo Send” feature. Um, amazing. I rrrrreally could have used this a time or two before now! You can enable “Undo Send” in your settings, and after pushing send have up to 30 seconds to change your mind and pull that baby back out of cyberspace. Game changer.

4. Honest Wine Labels. 

Hi.larious. These really speak to me.

  

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See them all here AND here.

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Hope your weekend is filled with laughs and yes way, rosé.

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