Week #43 – Spotlight: Pumpkin Carving

My friend Gina and her husband Clint recently moved back to Chicago after spending two years in New York (yay!). I was excited when Gina invited me over to their new condo for pumpkin carving on a warm fall afternoon.

I arrived with two pumpkins, some pumpkin doughnut holes, and lots of excitement (I haven’t carved pumpkins in years!). Gina had a well-rounded spread of fall goodies, including hot cider, chili, and lots of cookies.

Gina’s sister Lauren and our friend Jill were there when I arrived, and Gina’s friend Danielle joined us soon after.

We headed to the backyard to carve pumpkins, and I had an idea in mind from Pinterest: pumpkins designed using a cordless drill! I asked Jill to bring hers, and let me tell you, I think this is the only way I’ll “carve” pumpkins from here on out.

A cordless drill is not only easy to use, but it’s precise and clean. On my small pumpkin, I chose to drill our monogram and a heart. On my large pumpkin, I simply drilled holes all over for a polka dot look.

When I got home, I put battery-operated tea lights in the pumpkins, and I’m so pleased with the outcome.

If you haven’t carved your pumpkin yet and have (or can borrow) a drill, try it for yourself!20131027-140723.jpg20131027-140751.jpg


Week #43 – Pork Chop

During my freshman year at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, I lived in Scott Hall (Six Pack is the best!) and quickly made friends with Linda, Molly, Stefanie, Laura, and Alexis. Julie and I lived together during that year, and knew each other since middle school. We made some unforgettable memories that year, and remained close throughout college.

We recently reunited at Molly’s wedding, and my dinner at PorkChop with Julie, Laura, and Stef was our first chance to sit down and catch up. Stef was moving back to her hometown of Winnebago in just a few days…better late than never, right?

Located on Randolph St. in the West Loop, PorkChop is a BBQ joint with a bit darker twist. The decor included saws hanging from the ceiling, taxidermy animal busts on the wall, and dark wood.

Many of us ordered hard cider to drink, and I ordered a pulled pork sandwich for my meal. Our waitress wasn’t the most prompt, but it didn’t matter because we had lots to discuss! Boyfriends, family, babies, moving–a lot happens in eight years!

Everyone was pleased–and stuffed!–from their meals, and I was able to say goodbye to Stef before she moved. Wishing you lots of joy and success in Bago, Stef!

PorkChop Chicago
941 West Randolph Street
West Loop


Week #42 – Chicago Theatre

Well, who doesn’t love to check an item off of her to do list? That’s how I’m starting my week after a recent trip to Chicago Theatre to see one of Nate’s favorite comedians: Bill Burr.

We (Nate and I, plus my brother- and sister-in-law and our friends Scott and Katherine) started off the evening at one of our neighborhood favorites, Butterfly Sushi, and then headed straight to the 7:30 p.m. show.

There’s something I love so much about this theater. The iconic sign (which is almost six stories high) and all the lights outside just give it that special touch of excitement. We walked in and the place was packed, but it didn’t take away from the beauty of the lobby. (Did you know the theater is almost 92 years old?!?)

Nate and I had separate seats from the rest of the group because we decided to go last minute, so we navigated through the theater and found our seats right away. The seats were great–on the floor and easy to see. An even funnier surprise was that my friend Amy from grade school sat right next to us (Nate bought the tickets from her friend!). If we weren’t laughing at Bill Burr, the guy in front of us who had a comment after every joke provided constant entertainment as well.

Our time at the theater was brief, but lovely. The show was good, and it’s even better to know that we will be back in December to see JERRY SEINFELD!

Chicago Theatre
175 North State
The Loop

PS-On a side note, I have 10 weeks left in this blog project. The countdown is on! Anywhere you want me to go? Let me know!