Autumn Amazing

Autumn Amazing

Clutch bag
oqvestir.com.br

Chloé clutch handbag
£770 - harrods.com

Olivia Harris bowler handbag
$455 - stefanibags.com

ASOS satin handbag
$63 - asos.com

Skull umbrella
$625 - cultstatus.com.au

Eiffel Tower Arch Wall Sticker
rockettstgeorge.co.uk

Welikefashion.com Tanktop Beauty
€35 - welikefashion.com

Chicken with fontina & spinach

Tonight, still on my low carb kick, I was craving something fresh and delicious and still very flavorful.  I stopped by my local Treasure Island, picked up some beautiful spinach and my favorite prosciutto (can you tell the prosciutto to other ingredient ratio is quite high?)  I had planned to make stuffed chicken breasts but apparently sale prices on the good ol’ boneless skinless will run them off the shelves in a hurry.  Left with chicken tenders, I went with the stacking method:  take a slice of prosciutto, tear it in half length-wise into two pieces for better tender coverage and place the tender on top.  I layered a slice of fontina on top of the naked tender, pinched a handful of chopped artichoke hearts onto the cheese and lined the top with spinach.  When you’re reading to wrap the wobbly sucker with prosciutto, you can criss-cross the edges for even coverage.  Bake in the oven for about 15 minutes and as always, enjoy with a big glass of red wine.  (Lately I’m obsessed with the Rex Goliath Pinot Noir – maybe it’s the legend of the 47 pound rooster, maybe it’s the colorful bottle…it’s delicious).  Enjoy :)

what a weekend. period. wait…redundant.

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This weekend was one of those amazing collections of days that really makes you love your life.  While much of it was courtesy of an amazing boyfriend, it really started on Wednesday night when Laura and I planned a date night with the girls. (WARNING, if you’re in one of those post-breakup or single-lonely-and-hate-the-world-lonely slumps, I would suggest you stop reading now.  While we all have problems/issues/avoidances in our relationships, this is NOT a sob story that focuses around those moments).  Anyway, girls, Wednesday:  BYOB, sushi and a bit of celebration made for a fun night. 

Friday boyfriend took me out for dinner at one of our favorite local places and had a dirty martini waiting when I arrived (insert creepily happy face here).  After an amazing dinner of tuna tartare, hamachi carpaccio and my favorite – if not confusing – roll with avocado, super-white tuna and raspberry, we went out for drinks and sommeeehhowww may have been over served.  Predictably, we ended up at our favorite local Mexican joint for late night burritos.  We took our food back to his place and had a 3am dance party in our socks to the oldies.  Classic!

Saturday, nursing mild hangovers and in major need of caffeine, we showed up one of our regular brunch restaurants where I had the most amazing eggs benedict with fresh spinach on crispy brioche.  Boyfriend had the benedict special with house made sausage with bacon in it and pesto hollandaise.  Somehow one mimosa turned into 5 (shocking!) and we spent a chilly, dreary, Chicago Saturday tucked into the corner of a welcoming bar with wine, a fireplace and candles.

Sunday afternoon ended with a surprise couples massage, an extended rain-shower at the spa (solo you perv!) and an wonderful, luxurious dinner of…well, a buffalo chicken wrap.  Hey, what do you want from me?  Old habits die hard.

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If I had a million dollars…

I’d be rich!

Every time I stare at my closet before work, I wonder why I’m so quick to buy a new dress for a big (or lets be honest, not so big) night out but don’t ever make an effort to buy fun clothes for the place I spend the vast majority of my waking hours… work!

Since I’m saving for Christmas presents, the new iPhone 4S and a holiday trip to NYC, I decided to virtual shop instead of acting on this impulse :) Ali will laugh when she sees this because so many things here are so typical of me – especially the red bag! This one is definitely cuter than anything I’ve ever owned, but I’ve ALWAYS been drawn to bright red purses… I’m a creature of habit for sure.

If I magically stumbled upon a pot of gold tonight, I’d go out and purchase an outfit like this: classic, colorful and perfect for fall.

Falling

Fa la la la la

When I saw signed into Spotify this morning at work and smack dab in the middle of the homepage sat Justin Bieber’s new Christmas album just begging for me to (silently) rock out all day… I knew it had started.

I KNOW its early and we just got done with Halloween. But…

I LOVE the holidays. I always have. I remember Christmases when Al and I still believed in Santa, laying in bed and genuinely feeling like I was going to throw up of excitement. Ali’s bed had a better view of the door, which we were permitted to keep open only a CRACK and we had the same conversation, on repeat, for about 3 hours:

Me, whispering: “Do you see him?”

Ali, whispering: “No. I don’t think so. Wait…”

Me, screaming: “WHAT! DO YOU SEE HIM!”

Ali: “Oh. No. Sorry.”

Mom: “GIRLS”

This was followed by idle threats of coal in stockings or no Christmas cookies in the morning.

Its not quite the same these days, but in all honesty… thanks to the Bieber baby, I totally felt a touch of that same I’m-going-to-barf-excitement this morning.

Christmas lights on Michigan Ave

 On my must-do list for the 2011 holiday season:

  • Ornament shopping and drinking hot mulled wine out of a tiny boot at the Christkindlmarkt downtown
  • Holiday dinner potluck with friends
  • Magnificent Mile Lights Festival
  • Endless games of Mexican Train Dominos with the family over the actual holiday weekend
  • Baking!
  • Taking in the obscene and amazing Christmas decor at Butch McGuire’s
  • Spending as much time as possible with family and friends
  • Putting pinterest time to good use and creating some unique decorations and crafts
A 2′ section of the ceiling at Butch McGuire’s

Jump

Its easy to lose perspective in our hectic lives. I know I’m lucky in so many respects and incredibly grateful for the blessings I have in my life. But – an overwhelming day can send me running into the nearest pity party for one, complete with tiny violins.

Ali and I took advantage of a Groupon to trapeze this summer with friends and for me it came at a particularly crazy time when a lot was changing. I remember climbing the ladder and wondering why, on earth, I had wanted to do this!

And stepping off that platform… that was the worst part. I’d hover there way longer than my time probably allotted – I’m pretty sure the only reason I ever ended up jumping was out of guilt for the people waiting to go below me and also because climbing back down the ladder seemed equally scary.

But then…

I’d be flying.

Talk about perspective.

Sometimes, you just have to let go and jump into it, whatever it is. Going backwards or doing nothing is just as scary and once you take that little hop or step or jump, you’re weightless and your own momentum carries you farther than you ever thought it could.

Now Ali - she was the pro. She let GO of the bar and got caught by the real trapeze artist. There’s a blog about trust in there somewhere, huh? :)