Week #41 – One Strange Bird & Innjoy

Jill and Erin, my friends (and co-workers!), and I bought Groupons months ago for One Strange Bird, where they have tons of art classes available. After the lace plate classes Jill and I did earlier this year, I’ve been eager to find more new ways to be creative.

The store has many different class offerings, from painting to drawing to stationary making and fabric printing. But we wanted to take it one step further. Enter: jewelry making.

After some delicioso tacos and chips and guacamole at Big Star, we walked over with our chocolate and wine (did I mention the classes are BYOB?!?). One Strange Bird has a super cute storefront with a little shop when you walk in, and they had fresh white canvases set up on easels for a painting class that night. In the back of the store was another studio where our jewelry class was held.

Now, one might think that making earrings and necklaces is easy, but I beg to differ. Our teacher was awesome, and taught us two wire techniques to create wire earrings and necklaces.

If you’re Jill, you pick up on accessory making with ease. Erin’s designs were unique, and she listened and took the time to get them just right. I, on the other hand, was a hot mess.

First of all, I thought it would be fun to do chandelier earrings. Why not, right? I struggled a bit, but with Jill and the instructor’s help, I made assisted in making a pretty hot set of earrings. Because they took me almost the entire class to make, Jill kindly helped me made a long necklace so I would leave with what we were supposed to make. Ha!

The moral of this adventure is: Don’t bite off more than you can chew. I’d love to try another class at One Strange Bird, but I think I’m going to leave my accessory making to the experts.

After the class, Erin, Nate, and I headed over to Innjoy, a fun local bar, for a few drinks outside. I think it was College Night because we got free tequila shots, a Coors bottle, and a free t-shirt. I’m not sure if this made me feel young again or really old! But it was a fun way to end a great evening.

One Strange Bird
2124 West Division
Wicker Park

2051 West Division
Wicker Park





Week #40 – Spotlight: Jackson Hole

Nate and I have been looking forward to our Jackson Hole trip for months, and what a trip it was!

Our friends Brad and Sandra surprised us the morning of, and came with us for the first half of the trip. Because it was their sixth time to the area, they were the best tour guides we could have asked for.

We stayed in a great condo in Teton Village, right by the mountains. We flew in at night, and I’ll never forget how excited Nate and I were to see the landscape when we woke up our first morning–it was like Christmas! Teton Village, Jackson, and the parks are unreal: breathtaking mountains, wide open space as wide as the eye can see, animals everywhere (we saw buffalo, elk, bald eagles, bears, a moose, and lots more), and peace and quiet.

We explored almost all day, every day, going on walks and drives and even a scenic float trip through the Grand Tetons. One of my favorite parts of the trip was visiting the brewery in Victor, Idaho, too. Here is a list of some of my favorite eats and drinks:



One of the best things about Jackson Hole is your proximity to the national parks! Make sure to spend at least a day exploring Yellowstone. We only had time to do the bottom loop (the park is in a figure eight), but we were glad to see Old Faithful and other crazy cool geysers, as well as sulphur pots and lots of buffalo (right next to the car!) and elk. I really enjoyed our time at the Grand Tetons though. Probably more. It was so close, and we saw so many animals and lots of beautiful scenery (Jenny Lake!).

I highly recommend going to Jackson sometime in your life. I really enjoyed going in the fall, but the summer and winter are really popular too.

These photos below are only a few of the pics from my phone, we probably have more than 1,000 on our camera. Let me know if you need a tour guide…

Now, it’s time to plan our next adventure!