February 28, 2013

Weekend Recap: Valentines Day weekend to now

I'm catching up on my weekend recaps so as not to have anyone miss out on their awesomeness. The last two weeks have been CRAZY with work and life, so I'm just getting around to this now (sorry).

So... two Fridays ago (ok, that won't  be going on throughout this entire post, I promise), we met up with BF's cousins for a Cousin sushi dinner at Coast in Bucktown! This place was BYOB and with two bottles of wine and a bottle of Saki, the night was off to a good start:
BF and I were the only ones brave enough to try the oyster shooters.
We got a little crazy with our order...
BF was growing a mustache, I think partially out of laziness and partially to piss me off, so I got him a special bag for his gift from Target :)
The Cousins out for a night on the town.
We ended up at Fatpour Tap Works after dinner, sticking to the neighborhood. I have to admit I may have been overly impressed with Uber, which I hadn't used before.
After quite the night out, BF and I managed to get up early for a breakfast at one of my favorite local joints, Orange. Then BF wanted to do Adventure Day up to Andersonville, which is just north of the Wrigleyville area. The below pics are from Brimfield, which was probably the NICEST antique store I've ever been to! I LOVED IT because it just seemed so pretty and New England, but it was ALL Midwest! They had these cool pillows that they'd made from old pennants they'd found, albeit a little pricey, these things were 'new' and cool!
One of the cool pennant pillows.
This is a cool pillow they made out of a Girl Scout uniform! They have the same for the Boy Scouts too!
After some light shopping, we ended up over at the JoongBoo Market off of 90/94. This is an authentic Asian market that BF started to explore and we got some awesome pot stickers to maker later and plenty of ingredients for BF to make his now famous pad thai noodles!

For lunch, since we were so close, we head down the street to Revolution brewery.
I'm a sucker for an awesome IPA and their Fistmas Christmas IPA was incredible (thankfully, we're lucky in the Chicagoland area to have access to these up and coming breweries through Whole Foods who support local).
That night we just kind of crashed.

Sunday, we inadvertently invited ourselves on an outing to the Field Museum with our friends Jenn and DJ. And thanks to my work ID, we got in free!
Me and Sue, the most complete T-Rex.
Me hiding to surprise the kids in the Adobe exhibit; can't you tell I'm making some sort of bread...
View from the dinosaur exhibit.
 After the museum, we all walked the half mile to explore this diner I had just seen on Chicago's Best, Eleven City Diner.
It's a Jewish style deli, and the owners make the letters appear to be in Hebrew, even if they're spelling English, it's pretty neat.
They have the look and feel of the old chalk board restaurants.
Fantastic old school, soda jerk counter, complete with Green River Floats!
I wanted to go here because of this! On Chicago's Best, it was listed as one of the best sandwiches in the city. It's called the 'Blank Blank', because it's supposed to be like the sandwich you used to be able to get in the Walnut Room at Marshall Fields, and it was called the Marshall Fields Sandwich. I think there was some sort of legality in the naming.
BF gave up meat for Lent, but as you can see, not cheese. He got the portabello burger.
Jenn got what I got, so this is DJ's classic Reuben with Slaw.
FAST FORWARD to this past weekend:
Friday night, I was supposed to go to this thing at the Sears Centre with my friend Amber to meet the Olympic Fab Five... well, it snowed Thursday night, and I don't drive in the snow if I can help it. So I picked Amber up and we went up there... only to find the place complete empty and blacked out. After a few phone calls and web searches, we learned the entire tour had been cancelled. So we decided to move to plan B to grab dinner and drinks and one of my FAVE restaurants, Seasons 52.
This is their Pomegranate Margarita Martini... I have to say, it would've been better with a sugar rim.
We got some delic flat breads while we waited on another girl to meet up with us.
After some Just Dance on Wii at Amber's, I dropped them off at John Barleycorn and headed home. I needed to got into the city fairly early on Saturday morning to get ready to celebrate BF's brother's birthday. BF's brother, David, found that the music theater where BF and I went to the Christmas Sing-a-long was playing a midnight showing of the Labyrinth. If you are a child of the 80's, you totally know this Muppets and David Bowie movie. We kicked the night off with a mad game of Cards against humanity, which is a lot like Apples to Apples, but less family friendly. We then made our way to Adobo Grill down the street from BF's apt for some great mexican dinner.
They make your guac at the table, fresh!
Their Margaritas are some of the freshest I've ever had!
Before heading to the theater, we went to Mystic Celt up in Wrigleyville, about a block from the theater for some beers to kill some time and meet up with some more of David's friends.
David in front of the Theater.
We all had a great night!
Sunday morning, apparently we all liked the double date so much the previous weekend, that DJ/Jenn were calling us and BF/I were texting them to meet up for brunch. We made our way down to the River North area to Meli's Cafe to grab some brunch.
I got the special, chocolate chip cookie dough pancakes... I mean, COME ON! AMAZING
Jenn got the gluten free pancakes with bananas and agave syrup.
Both BF and DJ got skillets
I was SUPPOSED to go out to the burbs to assist our fundraising committee in preparing for the JLKD Spring Fling in two weeks, but they said they had enough hands on deck. So I stayed in and we decided to make our way to the Nature Conservatory just north of the Lincoln Park Zoo. It's yet another free things the city has to offer, and it's INCREDIBLE! Such beautiful plants and they have plenty of benches, where if you wanted to, you could hang out all day. It's like you're in Florida.
A coffee plant... which looks much pretty than I expected
One of the many Orchids in the Orchid room!
BF & I
All the Azaleas reminded me of Home in the spring!
Afterward we made our way over to the Lincoln Park Zoo. Check out how close the Rhino was! She was just playing around in the snow. So Cute!
BF playing around.
HOW CUTE IS THIS! It's a pigmy hippo!
Jenn was most excited about the Giraffes
BF REALLY likes to play around in public... :) isn't he cute!
All the cats were out in the Big Cat House.
We made our way back to BF's to hangout and download movies to watch in preparation for the Oscars. We ended up watching Argo, which was pretty great, I don't know that it was the BEST movie I've ever scene, but it was good.

We then watched the Oscars, which I felt was better than some of the more recent years, but overall, lacking.

Ok, that was long, and actually probably took longer to type than actually doing it all.  I hope y'all have been staying warm this February!

Till next time!

XOXO, the Prep

February 11, 2013

Weekend Recap: Dying on my Couch

The last few days (and I mean 5), I've been dying on my couch with what my new doctor has labeled bronchitis. HOWEVER, even though I got my flu shot back in October, it's definitely felt more like the flu.
My doctor's office required I wear a SARS mask as I was there for a cough/flu-like symptoms.
I've contemplated over the last several days the best way to fight a cold... and I've come to the conclusion that the only way to do this is to wait it out.
So, I've been stuck on my couch waiting out this cold, and managed to actually make it outside Sunday. But seeing as how I've been on the couch, I've got nothing fun to talk about for this past weekend, other than maybe surviving.

I hope y'all had a wonderful weekend!

Xoxo, the Prep

February 4, 2013

Weekend Recap: Turning 21... round 7

This past weekend, I celebrated my birthday!
There's two things that one might think are great about celebrating your birthday during this time of year:
1.) It's always around (or on) SuperBowl Sunday
2.) Living in the North, there's likely snow
HOWEVER: I would state that snow is only nice when you need not drive, and the latter only makes it so people are actually celebrating something OTHER than your birthday.

But this past weekend was extra special.
It started out on Friday evening at Cooper's Hawk with some great friends and co-workers. It's been ages since I've been there. And I'm obsessed with their Malbec!
BF made the occasion extra special. He arranged an outing with Sarah & her husband Jimmy on Saturday.
We drove down to Bridgeport on the southside of Chicago to explore the area.
BF first took us to the Ferrara Bakery to pick up some cannolis for an after lunch treat.
Sarah & Jimmy
Some of the fantastic treats!
We grabbed lunch at The Pleasant House bakery which is connected to this little bar, Maria's Community Bar.
The ordering counter at the restaurant.
The Pleasant House is known for their 'meat pies'. Basically English style pot-pies. You can do as I did, and get them with a side of mint peas and mash potatoes with gravy, which is AWESOME!
We sat at Maria's bar next door and they even bring you your food.
Some of the unique cocktails at Maria's.
My Hornswagglers High Tea tottie
After drinks, we made a quick stop across the street at the Bridgeport Coffee Company for some caffeine.
We ended up hanging out and watching Groundhogs Day until our evenings facilities.
Saturday evening we went to dinner with Sarah & Jimmy and Jenn & DJ at Lucia's in Bucktown/Wickerpark.
I had the most amazing butternut squash ravioli! And there was BYOB with no corking fee, which was pretty incredible. ;) It was so nice though, because it was very much like a large dinning room in some family friend's house. And they had these great, tall ceilings and large paintings, and the the ceiling was lined with faux grape vines and grape-shaped lights!
BF did such a great job keeping his plans secret, and we then cabbed it over to Joe's on Weed for a concert by Clayton Andrews.
Which to BF's credit, was an awesome idea, EXCEPT for the fact that hell descended upon the facility in the form of Indiana Hoosier fans..... which, as a Purdue fan, I have an unreasonable despise towards.
The positive was...
So we shook our ba donka donks and had a great time, even with all that dreadful RED!

I've determined that 2013 is the year of the PJ parties! We spent Sunday with some great friends for a Sweat Suit SuperBowl Party!
Just an overall superb weekend!
Thank you everyone for making this year, EXTRA special!

BF: Twitter
And as always you can check out my other sites here:
Till next time...
XOXO, the Prep

January 30, 2013

My DVR is killing my Productivity

A few years ago, I caved and got a DVR due to my then obsession with Gossip Girl. I couldn't let my love for a show, control my social life. Well, that was a problem.. apparently a DVR is my downfall for productivity.

Over the last 3 years I've accumulated quite a lot of 'favorite' shows.... Below are in my current DVR Queue:

Current Shows:
Boardwalk Empire
Amish Mafia
Beauty & the Beast
Big Fat Gypsy Wedding (UK & America)
Buckwild (New)
Carrie Diaries
Catfish: The TV Show (New)
Cheer Perfection
Chicago Fire
Client List
Dance Moms
Downton Abbey
Drop Dead Diva
Game of Thrones
Good Wife
Hart of Dixie
Honey Boo Boo
Ice loves CoCo
Keeping up with the Kardashians
Law & Order SVU
New Girl
Once Upon a Time
Pretty Little Liars
The Americans (New)
True Blood
Vampire Diaries
X Factor

Watch online:
House of Lies

Gone but not forgotten:
Against the wall
Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Gilmore Girls
Gossip Girl
Jersey Shore
Make It or Break It
Pan Am
Playboy Club
Sabrina the Teenage Witch

The really sad part is, I'm a DVR hoarder.... that's right... I have an insane amount of movies that I keep on hand for the spur of the moment need to watch Annette Funicello and Frankie singing and dancing on a beach.That's right... I'm a 60's musical junky! ugh... that felt good.

Do you have any shows that are worth looking into? Or do you choose not to feed my bad behavior?

On a positive note, as I write this, I'm going through my DVR of back-up shows to clean up before the weekend.... to make room for the Anne of Green Gables Marathon on PBS on Sunday... DUH! :)

PS: As I wrote the post, and created the links for each show... it was a rude awakening to exactly how many shows I watch.... ugh.

And as always you can keep in touch with me through my other sites here:
Till next time...
XOXO, the Prep

January 29, 2013

Weekend Recap: Early Birthday Celebration!

This past weekend may have gotten a little cray cray...

Friday after getting out of work a bit early and testing some offers at the store on Addison, Dan managed to replicate an exact copy of Jim's Pad Thai! My BF, the chef :)

Saturday, we grabbed coffee at the Lincoln hotel's lobby coffee shop, around the corner from BF's apt. BF was so excited because he's been watching Dangerous Grounds, where this dude travels around the world trying to find the most exotic coffee beans. Elaine's Coffee Call serves some of the brews, so we grabbed a standard drip and an Americana with hazelnut to keep us warm on our way to the Green City Market at the Nature center in Lincoln Park.
The sad part is, I really wanted to go to grab some of the Cookies & Carnitas stew they advertised on Facebook. This place is too legit to quit! During the summer, I'm addicted to their porchetta, which they typically serve as a sandwich, and I had them convert to a salad for me.
BF and I also treated ourselves to some amazing canned veggies. Typically, I'm addicted to the salsa from Tomato Mountain, but this time I got canned beats (WHICH ARE INCREDIBLE!) from Bushel & Peck's. BF got the canned brussel sprouts, which I wasn't a huge fan of, but he seemed to really dig.

After the awesome trip to the market, I drove up Lincoln to Half Acre Brewery to pick up their donation to the JLKD Spring Fling. And while I was there... I may or may not have gotten a few growlers to enjoy of my own.

RANDOM NOTE: When I came back, I found not 1, not 2, not 3, but FOUR VW Beetles in a single block all of a different color! Did I miss some random Beetle convention?

Saturday evening we went out with our good friends DJ & Jenn for dinner and drinks. We ended up at Piece, because let's face it, I've been craving it ever since I first tried it.
This is the best pizza and I'm OBSESSED with their IPA, Camel Toe.... yes, Camel Toe. They name all their beers super awkward names. But it's Hilarious! :) There pizzas, as you can see, are GIANT! (ok, ok, I admit, I forgot to take the picture of our pizza(s), so this was our neighbor's pizza.)
After at least 1, maybe 2 periods of the Blackhawk's game...I'll be honest, I really wasn't paying attention.

We ended up walking around the corner to Violet Hour. I'd been talking with their manager this past week to see about a donation for Junior League's Spring Fling. After waiting in line to get in, I finally got to put a face with a name and she was wonderful to us! She gave us each a sparkling tottie to start our evening (which went fabulous with the warm fire we were sat next to).
This was so nice after waiting in the cold.
Their stellar cocktail menu is renowned!
My hot Tottie (Laird's Apple Brandy, Lemon, Spice Trader Syrup, Peychaud's Bitters)
DJ & Jenn enjoying their drinks and the warm fire!
Sunday I treated myself to an early birthday present, of a massage and hair treatment/trim at my local Mario Tricoci... A-Mazing... I now want a massage every week! Every DAY even... incredible. It was much needed, and I'll say it...  deserved :)

Just an overall great weekend with great friends! I am so blessed!

As you can see, mucho pictures... I might have pissed everyone off. But I realized this past year, that without blogging, I wasn't forcing myself to take pictures.... so needless to say it made my Christmas card especially difficult to create this year.

You may have noticed a common theme throughout this email... Junior League donations. I'm on the fundraising committee this year, and I just want to express my thanks and appreciate to the local businesses that have helped us out with our efforts this year. I can't wait to see what our league can do in our community in the coming year!

To learn more about the people/businesses in this post, check out the below links:

Elaine's Coffee Call (Facebook
BF: Twitter
And as always you can check out my other sites here:
Till next time...
XOXO, the Prep