Photos: Ali’s Birthday








This post is so belated that if this were 20 years ago, Ali would already be declaring herself twentysevenANDAHALF!

Editing and uploading these photos made me so happy – lobsters, champagne, birthdays, smug cats and family… what could be better?

Wait, there might be one thing! This gif of a look I have been on the receiving end of many a time. “Seriously, Laura?” Love you, Al!



Randolph Street Market

Randolph Market Scene


Last weekend Laura and I made our second appearance at the Randolph Street Market, home to Chicago antique dealers, indie designers, vintage collectors and unique crafters.

I think it’s important for us all to acknowledge that I was having a really great hair day that day.


But I digress.  We marched ourselves through rain, wind and the west loop and headed to scoop up last minute Christmas presents and hopefully score some jewelry while we were at it.  We had only been during the summer when the parking lot was jammed with vendors and empanada hawkers, so while we weren’t quite sure what to expect.  The pared down, indoor-only venue was certainly less overwhelming, but we still had a great time perusing vintage Chanel and pawing our way through bins of antique necklaces.  Can’t wait until next time!

Randolph Market Jewelry


Happy Friday

Holiday Party

This weekend is our family’s annual holiday party.  After taking a brief hiatus last year, the festivities are back in swing and we couldn’t be more excited!  While Mom has a full suite of holiday foodie favorites in the line up, this year Laura and I plan to force our homemade contributions into the fray as well (I think there’s an unspoken, general prayer that Laura doesn’t revisit pumpkin cheesecake underway, but I digress).  Though outfits are yet to be determined, we can promise chicken liver pate, grapes crusted with goat cheese and pistachios and spicy hummus – look for recipes soon.

Have a great weekend


Life in Pictures


A new furniture rehab project making it debut in the near future!


A Cupcake ATM in my neighborhood you say? Check out the sprinkles by you for this awesome creation.


A view of the harbor from the south-shore on a typically windy Chicago day.


A quick canoe pitstop for a glass of smuggled white wine.

Candyality Chicago style truffles – so cute!


Quite possibly the biggest tree I’ve ever seen….and quite possibly the only plaid shirt I own.

Stuffed shells with ground turkey, sun dried tomatoes and parmesan cheese, topped with a white wine and lemon cream sauce.

A long hike on a warm fall day – yes, that is a murse I’m wearing.


A beautiful bridge at sunset.

Our chilly (I can’t believe it just snowed in early- [okay fine, mid-] November) skyline.

London: Borough Market and The World’s Best Grilled Cheese

I found it extremely difficult to choose where to spend my precious free time while in London. How do you see the highlights of one incredible city between 6:30-10pm on weeknights and in just one single weekend? The obvious answer is that you can’t. I could have spent months in London and still not have even scratched the surface.

For me, though, there was one no-brainer. I did some of my own research in the few days before my trip and read about Borough Market, and then it was hammered home when pretty much everyone I met told me it was a must-see for anyone with the slightest interest in food. Safe to say, I have a SLIGHT interest in food. Lucky for me, it was right up the road from my flat in the London Bridge area, so I was up and at ‘em bright and early Saturday morning to beat the crowds.

Borough Market lived up to the hype,  and then some. It was opened in 1851 (dates like this are pretty rare stateside!) and sits off of Borough High street just south of the river at London Bridge, twisting its way through multiple buildings and open areas. Vendors sell flowers, fresh produce, meats and poultry, fish and seafood, cheese, baked goods, more cheese, and then more baked goods amidst restaurants hawking their best of the best – chorizo burgers, fish and chips, English sausage rolls.


If I hadn’t done my research, I most likely would have been paralyzed by indecision on the food front and possibly have ended up in bed all day with a fish and chips induced stomach ache. And in all transparency, when I say “research,” I mean noticing this interesting little Google nugget when looking it up:

Grilled cheese, you say?

So THEN I did some research and found rave reviews by foodies all over the world, touting the toasted cheese at Borough Market “the world’s best grilled cheese.” I was armed with a plan, a latte from Monmouth Coffee Co., and prepared to wait in any length line.

I found my way to the Kappacasein stall after a few loops through the market both by the identifying the long line and the smell of cheese from about 50 feet away. I paid my 5 pounds, was handed a ticket, then spent about 5 minutes considered changing my order to the raclette, a melted cheese that they were burning and shaving off into big gooey piles of it onto roasted potatoes.

I managed to hold strong only after noticing the sign stating that they add grilled leeks and garlic to their grilled cheese, and then noticed the case of “raw” sandwiches, waiting to be grilled – shredded sharp white cheddar on sourdough with tiny hints of purple peeking out from the leeks.

Like the market, the grilled cheese met every single ounce of my expectations… buttery, crunchy, salty, gooey… and I’m pretty sure I’ll never again want a grilled cheese without the added punch of leeks and garlic. I will find SOME way in this lifetime to return to the Borough Market to experience this glory again.


Life Lately

sunrise over the lake // homemade chicken tortilla soup // teachers strike // super authentic in my new Guinness tee straight from Dublin

date night outfit // “wig shop” at Untitled // Moscow Mule, fave drink ever

Wrigley! // coffee in one hand, vino in the other // skyline and el tracks

Randolph Street Market


Randolph Market_Life is Beauty-full

I think I comfortably speak for both of us when I say that the Randolph Street Market far surpassed our best expectations.  Though it was quite a trek (trains, planes and automobiles…no joke) and possibly one of the hotter days of the year, we spent hours perusing the incredibly diverse stalls and pressing our eager little noses against cases of vintage Chanel and crocodile Temporis watches.  We made a few fun purchases, avoided the luring temptation of crystal chandeliers and walked home happy.  We’re already looking forward to next month.

Randolph Market_Laura

Randolph Market_Gypsy Roads

Randolph Market_Softballs

Randolph Market_scene

Randolph Market_frames

Randolph Market_Jewelry Case

Randolph Market_antler decor

Randolph Market_CTA style

Randolph Market_Jewelry Spoils

This Weekend in Pictures

August Weekend_1
Clockwise from top left: Baha’I Temple, Belgian Waffle with over-easy eggs and applewood smoked bacon, Wilmette Beach, bright purse on a fun night out, the park at Belmont Harbor, perfectly ripe green mangoes.
August Weekend_2
Clockwise from top left: Bridgehouse tavern for mimosas and brunch, fresh flowers from the farmer’s market, Laura’s drop-back dress, summer sky, churros from Xoco.