happy birthday, Chicago!

I would be crazy not to wish my love, Chicago, a happy 180th birthday today!!! (Not to mention it was my handsome hubby and his twin’s birthday on Thursday!)

In honor of the Windy City’s big day, I thought I would share some (13, because it’s my lucky number) of my favorite city moments in the past year:

Celebrating our buddy Graham’s first birthday at A Little Photo Studio.

Chicago farmers markets! Any and all!

Having pear sorbet for the first time at Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream.

Impromptu lunch at Green Street Smoked Meats! One of my favorites.

Breakfast dates at Summer House Santa Monica.

Checking out the street art in our neighborhood.

Moving! (Ok, not my favorite at all, but a big moment nonetheless…)

Watching my brother run in the Chicago Marathon!

Trick or treating with Wayne and Snow White on Halloween!

Taking in the view from the rooftop at our apartment building.

Celebrating the Cubs winning the World Series with my friends/co-workers!!!

Visiting the beautiful Christmas tree with friends — a tradition! — at The Walnut Room.

Parents night out at a private holiday party at Publican Quality Meats!

Happy birthday, Chicago. Can’t wait to see what this year has in store for us! Xo

a beautiful day

Although I didn’t take Ellie to the women’s march in Chicago today, we did go for a walk so we could have our own march on this beautiful day.

Pardon the scowl. She just woke up from a nap.

I march because I work too hard and won’t let anyone bring me down because I’m a woman. And I won’t allow it for my daughter either. I want her to grow up in a world where opportunities are endless, and she feels happy, strong, confident, optimistic, and empowered to be her best self and achieve greatness.

I am so excited and grateful for all who marched for me and so many others today. I am grateful that I am surrounded by so many wonderful women in my life, in my family, my circle of friends, and at my workplace. 

Just this week, I went to an event for work to support the march, sponsored by GoAbroad.com and the International TEFL Academy. It was a great gathering to empower and support women and international education. 

Here are some of the amazing women I work with every day at the event:

I want to live every day as an example for my little one and for all. An example of love and passion and strength and resilience and hope. 

No matter what party you align yourself with, let’s all believe in equality for women. Always remember…

Who run the world? GIRLS! Xo

Fall Activities: What a Difference a Year Makes

I love autumn. Around this time every year, we get together with friends for some seasonal fun. Last year, we were getting our Oktoberfest on at Revolution Brewing and picking apples at County Line Orchard. This year, we opted for chili, spiked hot cider, and pumpkin carving with the kiddos at our friends’ house yesterday. (There was still Oktoberfest beer…)

Here is a photo of our fall fun group from last year and this year, as well as some more photos from the carving session. 

What a difference a year makes! Last year, on this day, I found out I was pregnant. It changed my life forever. Fall fun will now be baby friendly, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.