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

5 Food Spots I Can’t Wait to Visit This Summer

Now that the sun is shining and the weather is balmy, it’s about time I plan our summer in the city!

Any chance to get outside for some alfresco dining is a must. Whether it’s eating at a vendor’s booth or in a romantic courtyard, I’m in.

Here is a list just five of the oldies (and some new spots, too!) that I can’t wait to visit:

Now the question is: who is going to join us?!?

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