70 degrees in february on the farm

Never thought I’d utter the words! It’s unbelievable that it could be so warm. In the winter. In Chicago. But here we are. (And if you don’t believe this is global warming, I’m not sure what you do believe.)

We decided to take advantage of the beautiful weather and went to Nate’s family farm, where we were able to run around outside and play. I was also able to take a bunch of photos!

It was such a wonderful long weekend. I wanted to be sure to share some of my favorite pictures with you!


Week #48 – Spotlight: Christmas Event at Walnut Grove Farm

Three and a half hours southwest of Chicago you will find yourself in the quaint town of Knoxville, Illinois. This is where Walnut Grove Farm is. This is my husband’s family’s farm, where he grew up. This is where we were married. This farm has become such a part of my life, and although I’ve been here before, I am going to share it with you anyway. 🙂

This weekend is Walnut Grove Farm’s annual Christmas Event, the perfect place to get you in the spirit of the season. At the event, you can find decorative items like wreaths and swags to make your home festive–courtesy of my mother-in-law Jan and her good friend Ruby–as well as more than 20 local artisans to buy unique and extraordinary goods from.

Here are just some of the offerings at this year’s event:

  • Artwork
  • Candy
  • Children’s books
  • Crocheted hats, headbands, and more
  • Jewelry
  • Ornaments and garland
  • Pottery
  • Photography
  • Vintage
  • Woodworking
  • Wreaths, swags, and centerpiece arrangements

Need more reason to come out? We’re running a food drive, as well as asking for donations for those affected by the tornado in Washington, Illinois.

If you live nearby, stop by and enjoy the work and stories of the artisans. Get a candy cane from St. Nick (Do you recognize him? It’s Rich!), go on a carriage ride, taste Laura’s delicious food (yesterday I had goulash–yum!), and get in the holiday mood.

PS: Remember, today is Small Business Saturday, so whether you’re able to make it to the barn or not, support your local community.

We hope to see you this weekend!

Saturday: 10-4 pm
Sunday: 11-3 pm

Walnut Grove Farm
Christmas Event
1455 Knox Station Road
Knoxville, IL

20131129-215410.jpgMeet Jan and Ruby, and check out some of their designs. See St. Nick too!

20131129-215416.jpgDon’t miss the Vintage Broad and her eye-catching displays (not to mention her cool finds and creations!).

20131129-215423.jpgSee the barn and some handmade crafts by Nate’s Grandmother and Aunt!

20131129-215429.jpgTaste Pam Madden’s candy, buy one of Vintage Chic Crochet’s hats, and take home one of Chris Dokolasa’s ceramic pottery pieces.

Week #28 – The Bristol

My sister and nieces were recently in town for the past 3.5 weeks, which brought me to the burbs a lot (I miss them!). Needless to say, this Second City Gal majorly compensated this week with three nights-worth of new events (two restaurants and a concert). It’s a marathon, not a sprint, people! So here’s #1: The Bristol.

Nate and I couldn’t make it to our friend Jill’s kayaking party last Saturday (we had my niece Julia’s first birthday at Oberweis Dairy!), so Jill and I made plans to go out for dinner with our hubbies. Jill chose The Bristol, and a good choice it was!

I made a reservation for Wednesday at 7:30 pm, and it was pleasantly mellow when we walked it. The front windows were open to let the fresh, cool air of a beautiful summer night in, and the lights were dimmed to perfection.

I went to the restaurant with an idea of what I wanted to eat (lactose intolerants have to preview before arrival), but the cocktail menu caught me off guard. The drink combinations all sounded interesting to me, so I opted for the Ring the Belle (leblon cachaca, chartreuse, lime juice, honey syrup, fee’s peach), which was refreshing and delicious. Nate had the Lazy Suzanna (a bourbon drink), Jeremy stuck with Moscow Mules (my usual staple in that perfect copper cup), and Jill had a Dark and Stormy (looked pretty and tasted good!).

The Bristol is a shared plates restaurant with an eclectic menu of seasonal foods from Midwest farmers (here’s the menu). When we ordered our food, our waitress—who was very nice and attentive, by the way—suggested we get a bunch of starters, two pastas, and two main dishes. We opted for the apple salad, pork loin, cheese board, chitarra pasta, half chicken, and hanger steak. Oh yeah, and the duck fat fries! I think my favorites were the apple salad, the duck fat fries, the cocoa cardona goat’s milk cheese with this amazing marmalade pairing, and the chicken, which came with this perfectly salty spaetzle.

With this amount of food for four people we were all full, so we opted to skip dessert. When our waitress brought out four mouthwatering homemade Nutter Butter cookies and a candle for Jill, it was the perfect way to end a perfect dinner.

The Bristol
2152 N. Damen
Bucktown

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