What I’m Grateful For

It’s never too late to be grateful.

As I sit here with a sleeping Frenchie on my lap, I can’t help but feel truly grateful.

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Grateful for my family, my friends, my husband, my pup–without them, my heart wouldn’t be as full as it is today. Life isn’t easy, but they make it a whole lot better.

Having this blog is also a blessing in my life. First, its a fun, creative outlet for me. But it’s always fun to hear from readers, see what they like, and I love when people want to participate on my adventures around town. I know I need to post more; I can promise you that I will try!

In the spirit of Thanksgiving weekend, I thought it would be fun to include some of my favorite Chicago places and foods I’m thankful for, too. They include:

-Fresh Straw & Hay Pasta at Piccolo Sogno
-Pizza from Lou Malnati’s (thick or thin ), Giordano’s (thin), D’Agostino’s (thin), Home Run Inn (classic), Eataly (Neapolitan)
-Going to the Walnut Room at Macy’s during the holidays
-Tacos al Pastor at Big Star
-Vegetable udon soup for lunch at Tokyo Lunchbox
-Chopped Salad or Prime Rib (or both) at Wildfire
-Searching for milk glass at the Randolph Street Market
-Ramen at BellyQ
-Getting lost at The Art Institute
-Ribs at Gale Street Inn
-Hot dogs at Portillo’s and Superdawg
-Finding the best stationary at the Renegade Craft Fair
-Pork belly and broccoli slaw at Green Street Smoked Meats
-Sushi at Butterfly Sushi

Well, now that I’m starving, I leave you with sincere gratitude and appreciation. Remember what you’re thankful for often, not just one day in November. And celebrate the people you love and the activities you enjoy throughout the holiday season and always!

XO

Spotlight: Austin, Texas

Well, I guess you can say I’ve been on a little bit of a hiatus. But, rest assured, I’m back!

I spent the majority of last week at a marketing conference in Austin (both informative and fun) with my boss, Amy.

While the conference kept us busy from 7:45-4 p.m. most days, we still found plenty of time to see Austin, do a little shopping, and more eating!

I asked my sister-in-law, Melissa, and co-workers for suggestions of where to go while in Texas (thank you!), but I have to tell you, the weather really hurt us. We wanted to walk and explore the city, but it was unseasonably cold (think 40 degrees, and envision me sheltering my head with a pashmina), so we didn’t get out as much as we’d liked to.

That said, let me share with you where we did go because we didn’t have a bad meal!

Roaring Fork
701 Congress Ave.

This restaurant was delicious for our first night meal, which started off with cute little corn bread muffins that were delicious. The restaurant staff was amazing, seeing as I left my phone there, and they had it locked up for safe keeping when I returned.

Stephanie – Slow-Roasted Pork Shoulder Carnitas, with Black Beans and Fresh Hot Buttered Flour Tortillas
Amy – Grilled Fish Tacos, Served on Corn Tortillas with Guacamole, Corn Pico, Remoulade & Salsa Verde

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The Backspace
507 San Jacinto

If you go anywhere in Austin, please go here. It’s small, cozy, and has delicious brick-oven pizza. Note: from 5-6:30 p.m. daily, Backspace offers a Happy Hour special of ½ off all antipasti, beer, and wine by the glass. (My mouth is watering remembering the pizza!) Backspace is the sister restaurant to Parkside, which also looks tasty!

Stephanie & Amy (share) – Roasted Beets (celery, lemon zest, pepperoncini), Spicy Cauliflower (caper, calabrese, lemon), and Margherita Pizza (mozzarella, tomato, basil)

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Manuel’s
310 Congress Avenue

We were freezing and craving Mexican food, so Amy used her Yelp app to find this amazing gem. It was packed (always a good sign), but we were seated pretty quickly. The staff was very friendly and accomodating, and the food is fresh, natural, and organic. Some of the best guacamole I’ve ever had (I guess I was so into it that I forgot to take a photo!), and loved how the flautas were grilled (much healthier).

Appetizer – Chips with Salsa and Guacamole

Stephanie – Natural Chicken Flautas, grilled enchiladas with salsa ranchera. Served with rice & guacamole.

 

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