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

January 25, 2013

A Love Note to Chicago Drivers

Dear Drivers in Chicago (and the surrounding suburbs):

Just because you have a license and/or license plate from a Midwest or northern states does NOT mean you automatically (through telepathy) inherited superhuman driving abilities. You are NOT, not going to slide off the road or into other vehicles if you accelerate quickly in slush/snow/ice.

Also, having a 4-wheel drive vehicle does not mean you have a godlike ability to avoid any an all weather related accidents.

I just wanted to point out these facts, as you are sharing the road with me. I would like to get to my destinations safely. And your plain STUPID behavior is endangering me, even as I am driving as slow and safe as need be to meet my objective: to STAY ALIVE.

In conclusion, cut it the heck out! Drive like a person who understands the gravity of the situation, and be cognizant that your actions also effect those around you; ergo: ME!

XoXo, the Prep

NBC Chicago - Morning Snow Creates Messy Commute

January 23, 2013

Weekend Recap: Sorry for being Tardy to the Party

I know, cheesy title, but one, I am tardy in reporting my Weekend Recap, and two, I now have Kim Zolciak (Real Housewives of Atlanta) "Tardy for the Party" stuck in my head... which is just scary.
And now you can have it stuck in your head too...
You're Welcome! :)

So back to the original purpose of this post: THIS (PAST) WEEKEND!
As you already know, I did manage to get all my grocery shopping accomplished and my cooking started. What you don't know is how INCREDIBLE homemade Chicken Noodle Soup is with homemade chicken broth!!! 
BF did end up going to his Bike Swap (thingy), but thankfully only to get parts to rebuild his bike, and not all the bikes he finds on craigslist.
When he got to my place he was hungry, so I de-fatted the broth and made soup(where you've refrigerated the broth over night and skim the fat that floats to the top off, and throw it away).
I took the broth, and started warming it up; chopped up carrots, celery and onion and threw that in. And then I threw in the the noodles and chicken I had cut up the night before. Once the noodles are done, it's all piping hot to serve! I even had these adorable heart shaped noodles that I'd picked up from World Market!
He then was so sweet and put on Mary Poppins! ABC Family/Disney Channel has been doing what they should've been doing all along, and running all the original and awesome Disney movies!
In the last two weeks, I've watched:
Lion King
And probably a lot more that I'm blanking on right now... but either way, it's awesome! Kids really are missing out these days, because Disney in the 90's was too legit to quit!

After the movie, BF really was set to watch the Hockey season opener, so I caught a nap. We ended up going to see Gangster Squad Saturday night.
It my have been my totties which I confiscated into this appropriate post-prohibition era movie, or just his general hotness, but Ryan Gosling made my night in this movie! Overall, I really enjoyed it!
Sunday, I met up with some amazing Junior League ladies, and mini-leaguers, for lunch in Naperville. We plotted and strategized, before breaking out to rally the local businesses for sponsorship of our Junior League of Kane & DuPage Counties Spring Fling!
We're currently selling event and raffle tickets HERE. You need not be present to win, so PLEASE check out the awesome opportunities!

These are tax deductible and we hope to raise over 75% of our community project budget at this event.
Our organizations produces great events such as:

Done In A Day: We plan and implement short-term, hands-on volunteer projects in response to community needs and requests as they arise. Past projects have included collecting school supplies for children in need as they head back to school, refurbishing a teen center, and sorting food at a food bank.

Story Wizards: A project that encourages a love of reading and promotes literacy for children at risk in the community. Our trained volunteers involve children in read-alouds and literacy activities, providing positive influences that the children need to succeed and become future readers.

Kids In The Kitchen: We support this initiative and are committed to improving the health of today’s youth by empowering them to make choices that lead to healthy lifestyles. We provide informational materials, lessons, and demonstrations related to preparation of healthy meals and snacks that are both tasty and affordable.

Just overall is an awesome group of incredible ladies working to do life changing things in our community!

I'd like to thank the below organizations that have already provided or have committed to provide donations to our event/league:




It's not too late to be apart of this wonderful event/organization! Contact us at fundraising@jlkd.org if you'd like to make a donation!

I wish you all a FABULOUS rest of the week!

XOXO, the Prep

January 18, 2013

Kicking off the weekend

And so it begins... 
Tottie is made, and broth is on the burner!
Playing this by ear, I put in the following:
Celery, black pepper corn, rosemary stalk, thyme stalk, baby carrots, and water to cover the chicken bones.

Have any of y'all done this before? How has it turned out?

XOXO, the Prep

January 17, 2013

Weekend Plans!

This coming weekend I'm planning on sticking fairly close to home.
I'm really hoping to get some cleaning and cooking done, and just overall get organized.
I'm by nature an organized person, but that doesn't mean it's like germ-free/sparkling clean.

BF has said he may be coming out to go to a Bike Swap in the area.
He's been all about bikes the last year or so, and this past summer was buying bikes off craigslist to rebuild and resell. 
Although he's not stating it, I get the impression he plans to stock up his working material... meaning less space in his tiny apt to hang out with friends :(.

Anywho, what I'm planning to do, other than cleaning, is cook!
Last Sunday, I hung out with BF's mom who is an amazing, seasoned, instinctual cook.
We specifically were talking about how to make a stock and soup.
Which kind of gave me the itch.

So here's my plan:
I'm going to go shopping tomorrow after work for grocery to make,
1.) Aunt Joan's Chicken Salad (below)
2.) Pot Roast
3.) Homemade Chicken noodle Soup

My hope is two fold. One, that they all come out edible, and two that I can ration and freeze this stuff for meals for the next week or so.

Do y'all have any comfort recipes you enjoy making during these cold winter months or just in general? Please share! I love to cook, but am typically just cooking for myself and stick to simple single serve.

AUNT JOAN'S Chicken Salad
Mix Dressing:        Set aside and pour on salad 1 hour before serving.
2 pkgs of chicken ramean seasoning
3/4 C oil
1/3 C white vinegar
1/4 C Sugar
1 12 oz. Broccoli Slaw
2 apples diced
1 C sunflower seeds
1 pkg dried cranberries
1 bunch green onions chopped
1 bell pepper
1 C slivered almonds
1 Rotisserie Chicken cut-up small pieces
2 pkgs noodles crunched up top right before serving.
XOXO, the Prep

January 16, 2013

To Welly or not to Welly...

If you don't already have a pair and you're any kind of 'Prep', I'm sure you've heard of the famous Hunter Boot.
Whether you're roaming the hills of the country side, marching through the muck on the farm, shopping at your local farmers market, or walking in the snow down Michigan Ave. you're bound to spot a pair keeping some lucky girls feet and calves dry and warm (and in summer, maybe just comfortable and stylish).
Here's where I run into a jam:

There's a killer sale going on, on the Hunter website for their Original Tall boots for $79 (a steal!). And Mom has said she'd go in 50/50 with me for my birthday.

However, being the former cheerleader I am, and that I hate running, my calves are not what you might call 'slim'.
Being the savvy consumer that I am, I know this since last night I went to Nordstroms to be sure of the size before ordering.
The nice gentleman there, Jermaine at the Woodfield store, assisted me and showed me that Hunter, being the smart company they are and knowing not every girl has the same size calves, makes a different boot called the Huntress. This shoe has a slightly larger mouth to it, allowing for plenty of room for my cheerleader calves.  


My dilemma is this: Am I really going to wear these often enough to justify spending $135? I can't wear them at work (which is like 36% of my time; the rest being split between weekends 31% and sleeping 33%). And yes, I'm a numbers girl, so I did just calculate my time that I would/could be wearing these boots.

Here's where you come in:
I need you to vote Y/N, if you think I should get them. 
Either by leaving a comment below or (preferably) clicking the survey link HERE.
Here's where they really real me in... They have ADORABLE socks to go with the boots!
I mean how cute are these!

On the Hunter site they also have these on sale for 50% off!:
And fun British flag ones:
Anywho, that's my little style decision for the day. I greatly appreciate your input!

XOXO, the Prep

January 15, 2013

1canoe2 Letterpress - Print has arrived!

Guess what arrived yesterday?!?!
My BEAUTIFUL print from 1canoe2 Letterpress!
I'm so excited and can't wait to frame and hang it!
I did end up going with the Georgia print as it is my roots.

You can check out more about 1canoe2 Letterpress below:

Thanks again ladies for the incredible print!

XOXO, the Prep

January 14, 2013

Champagne Toasts & Tons of Laughs

This past weekend my BFF Sarah S. came to visit me!
She got in fairly early on Friday evening, and of course we had to make our way to Giordano's for some Chicago stuffed pizza.
I know there's some debate over not only which city (NYC or Chicago) does pizza best, but even in Chicago they fight over which pizza is supreme. Some people like Giordano's, while others prefer Lou Malnati's... still others prefer other small hole-in-the-walls around the city. I feel like this is a divided city over so many things: hot dogs, pizza, beers, and baseball... thank god hockey's back as they can at least agree on that.
After dinner and a few margaritas, we made our way home for an evening of shenanigans and Pitch Perfect.
This is my current movie obsession. If you haven't seen it... DO!
I asked Little Sis to get this for me for Christmas, and I swear I've watched it like 10x since.
 I think I love it so much for 2 reasons... 1.) the music is AMAZING! and 2.) I want to pretend that the main characters are me and BF: 
Jesse: "You're one of those acapella girls, I'm one of those acapella boys, and we're gonna have aca-children. It's inevitable."

On Saturday, we made our way to the city.
We had purchased tickets a while back to go see Book of Mormon.
We had gotten tickets to the 2pm show, which actually worked out pretty perfect, not too late and allowed us fun time after the show.
IRONICALLY, Benji from Pitch Perfect was our lead!
He was really good! The whole play was pretty clever, however coming from someone who isn't easily offended, I wouldn't say I got uncomfortable, but I don't know that I'd see it again.
The sets were awesome, and the characters were well developed. I did like the actors voices a lot!

Afterward, we were looking for a fun cocktail bar we could have fancy martini's at. We happened to stumble upon Pops for Champagne. This place was great!
It was all so sleek and shiny, with fashion shows on the tvs, and nothing but champagne on the menu!
These are the 'Start Wearing Purple' and the 'La Vie en Rose' Champagne Cocktails
We did get some lite appetizers to hold us over till we figured out dinner... Turns out there's a huge difference between east coast oysters and west coast oysters. PS West coast is WAY BETTER!
I also treated myself to an early birthday treat of a bottle of champagne. Tots worth it!
Cheers to you going there soon! Let me know and I may meet up!

Afterward, BF was so sweet. He drove us down to Little Italy for some 3 Aces!
We got to enjoy ourselves with some crazy pool while we waited on our table:
And I got all artsy... I blame the champagne...
Maybe had 1 too many totties
And BF was nice enough to take us home :)

Sarah had to head home the next day, and I will miss her until we can plan another fabulous adventure!

Sunday BF helped his brother move and I hung out with his Mama.
We ended up going to Rosebud's for lunch in Naperville before hitting up several fund shops.

Just overall an INCREDIBLE weekend that will not soon be forgotten!

To learn more or interact with some of the places and people mentioned here, check them out below:
Giordano's Twitter & Facebook
Lou Malnoti's Twitter & Facebook
Book of Mormon Twitter & Facebook
Pops for Champagne Twitter & Facebook
3 Aces Twitter & Facebook
Rosebud Twitter & Facebook

the Prep

Till next time...

XOXO, the Prep

January 10, 2013

New Wish List Item

Found a new wish list item...

Some of you may or may not remember a project I did a while back for my bedroom wall:


Well, I just saw on the Lilly Pulitzer facebook page that they now make a duvet and sham set in the same Impressions print at Garnet Hill!!!

OMG just died!

Now, the only reason I'm not getting it IMMEDIATELY, is that I just can't justify it right now...
BUT, should you feel so inclined:
The Duvet Cover is between $128-$188, and the Shams vary based on size, but there's free monogramming.
I found a coupon code for $20 off $75! (K3SAVE)

PLUS: BF already thinks my place is too 'girly'.... but I think it's ADORABLE!

To see more of Lilly Pulitzer, you can check them out here:

XoXo, the Prep

January 8, 2013


I received an email this afternoon from 1Canoe2 Letterpress:
"Congratulations on being a winner of the 12 Days of Southern Weddings Christmas Giveaway! We are so excited you won and can't wait to send you your free state print from our collection."

My first reaction... "OH MY GOSH, OH MY GOSH, OH MY GOSH!"
My second reaction... "Crap... I CAN'T CHOOSE WHICH print I want more!"

Check out the prints below, then go to the link and check which one you think I should get!


I really appreciate your input!

If you'd like to purchase a print, just click through to their hyperlink. Each print is available for $16 on their website, plus you can check out all their other neat stuff!

As always this blog isn't just about what I find and like, it's about my readers!

How YOU can help:
  1. Introduce yourself!
  2. Recommend things/places you think I should check out and feature
  3. Tips on how you think I can better myself and this blog

XoXo, the Prep