Week #39 – Spotlight: Barc’s French Bulldogs

For as long as I’ve known Nate, he’s wanted a pup of his own. I, on the other hand, have never had a dog in my life, so I never really felt a desire to get one. Until I met George.

When our rent was increased drastically at our old apartment in July, I knew by the end of the summer we’d be out and in a dog-friendly unit. We were lucky to find another place in our building that accepted dogs, and the search began.

I let Nate take the lead, because of his knowledge and extreme interest, and I knew he would find us a great dog. He wanted a male French Bulldog, and I wanted him to be black or brindle. Nate would get so excited when he’d see Frenchie puppies–I was so excited for him to finally have one of his own.

So the week before we went on vacation, Nate told me he found a puppy, and not too far away in Michigan. It was all happening so fast! Four days later, after our dinner at Davanti Enoteca, we headed to the home of Alison and Nick, owners of Barc’s French Bulldogs.

My friend Sarah warned me that if I was going to see a pup, I wasn’t going home without him. Man, was she right.

When we pulled up, a pack of Frenchies came running from the backyard. I was smitten. We were able to meet Baby, his mom Sunny, his brother Aries, and many more members of his family. Seeing the way Baby interacted with his brother melted my heart.

We spoke with Alison and Nick for hours, learning about them, how they breed the dogs, why they do, and how to care for Baby. We found out we have a lot in common: Alison and I are both Polish, and she even hosts weddings at the barn on their farm–just like Nate’s mom. I asked a ton of questions, but I trusted them, and I believed this puppy was loved and well-cared for, and we would bring him into the same environment in our new apartment.

We agreed on the name George Barc King, and I tell you, he has changed our lives so much for the better. Nate is amazingly happy to have the dog he’s always wanted, and I feel that motherly instinct kick in when I see that little 11 lb. bundle of joy. (Don’t get too excited, people. I gotta let this feeling soak in…)

Below I included some photos from our time with Georgie so far. I hope you get a chance to meet him! He’s the sweetest, most loving dog I’ve ever met, and I’m so glad that he’s our little guy.

Barc’s French Bulldogs
Vermontville, Michigan





Week #38 – Davanti Enoteca

My apologies that my posts have been so late in the week, but there are reasons, I swear. You’ll have a better sense of what’s going on at the end of this post. (Oh, sounds juicy, because it is!)

Little did I know that this meal with our good friends Brad and Sandra was going to be my last meal before one of the busiest and most exciting weeks of my life.

I’ve heard of Davanti Enoteca from friends before, and I was excited when Sandra suggested it. Nate and I arrived a few minutes early (that’s a first) and had some cocktails (prosecco for the lady and red wine for her man) before our friends arrived and we were seated. I should mention that the decor in this restaurant is romantic, but comfortable, like you’ve been going here forever.

We sat down and the waiter was lucky because we were starving. The restaurant serves small plates, so we ordered a little bit of everything: pizza and salads and seafood (I tried octopus!) and meat and more. I have to tell you, this creamy polenta dish we ordered with short ribs was one of the best dishes I’ve had in a while (and you know how often we go out!). The savory goodness just melted in your mouth. Even if that was the only thing I enjoyed–which it wasn’t–I’d return just for that plate.

We were able to eat pretty much everything, but didn’t leave room for dessert. Next time…I promise!

So, what happened the next day? We got our bundle of joy: George, a French Bulldog puppy who has stolen my heart. Photos to come soon!

But that’s not all. Brad and Sandra surprised us less than a week later and joined us on our trip to Jackson Hole! (Even more pics to come!)

Stay tuned, friends…

Davanti Enoteca
1359 West Taylor
University Village




Week #37 – Impressionism, Fashion and Modernity Exhibit at the Art Institute of Chicago

My Ciocia (“aunt” in Polish) Andrea has worked at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago since I can remember, for many years as the Dean of the Fashion Department. So when she offered to show me around the museum’s new fashion exhibit, I couldn’t say no!

The exhibit pairs Impressionist paintings with dresses and accessories from the time period in a way that is both reflective and inspiring.

We couldn’t take photos, so I’ll tell you a little bit about what I saw and learned:

  • Each room has a theme. My favorite was the park room, with faux grass, park benches, and outdoor sounds. Not to mention beautiful garments.
  • Just like today, women dressed to stand out. The elite would go to milliners and have their clothes custom made to mimic the latest fashions from Paris.
  • When you look at the exquisite detailing of the dresses, notice the petite size and construction. The dresses don’t allow women to raise their arms above their shoulders…because they didn’t have to. Also, notice how the dress shape accentuates a tiny waist.
  • There’s something for men too! One room dedicated to the sophisticated suits and military wear.

That’s all for now because I want you to experience it for yourself!

Please, don’t miss this exhibit, open until September 29. I went over my lunch hour and felt rushed, so give yourself a bit of time. Enjoy!

(Thanks, Chuch!)

Art Institute of Chicago Impressionism, Fashion, and Modernity Exhibit
111 South Michigan Avenue
The Loop