quality time

Let me start by saying, other than holiday time, I haven’t taken a week off in years. In addition, I’ve never taken a week off…to stay home!

Whether you stay at home or go to work, you enjoy spending time with your children. But my time with my girl is limited, so I always try to make the most of it. I try really hard not to be on the phone. Not to turn the TV on. To be present. And that’s what I planned to do for the week we shared together.

I also know it can be exhausting to watch a child, 24 hours, seven days a week. Frankly, I was nervous about it. Could I handle it?

But that’s what Ellie and I did. And it was FANTASTIC!!!!

Memorial Day Weekend was packed with al fresco brunches…


long city walks…


family friend reunions…


 graduation parties outside on a lake…


and we kept the party going all week long with lots of family time. We were blessed to have excellent, sunny weather.

It was a time to slow down and enjoy the small things in life. Hanging out in my sister’s backyard, watching the kiddos run around the yard together, walking my nieces to school, meeting their teachers. On Thursday, my niece Emma asked if I could drive her to school, just me. It made my heart do cartwheels!

The highlight of our week was Wednesday, our city day. My mom drove into the city in the morning (something that’s special in and of itself), and we headed to Lincoln Park to visit the Green City Farmers Market and the Lincoln Park Zoo.

The strawberries were sweeter and more delicious than any I’ve ever purchased at a store…


and we spied the cutest succulent arrangements!


After picking up strawberries and rhubarb, we went to the Zoo, riding the carousel…


 and enjoying the animals.


We also walked through the Lincoln Park Nature Boardwalk. It’s become one of my favorite gems of the city, my urban oasis. 


Ahhhh…

On our way back to the car, we stopped back at the farmers market for a loaf of bread, and headed home to eat lunch and get Elle Belle down for her nap.

It may seem simple, but it was perfect. To share my city with my mom and my daughter was perfect. I had two of my favorite people to share the morning with, and it was lovely. 

There’s something to be said about parenting and time. I may not have the quantity, but I’ll be damned if I sacrifice the quality. My little girl is a gift, and I am so grateful for our time together. It also reminded me that I need to find more work/life balance, to make sure I don’t miss those special, simple moments. Xo

Signature Scents at Aroma Workshop

Before I started junior high school, my sister Lauren told me I had to have a signature scent. I chose Banana Republic W. Fast forward almost 20 years (oh my gosh, that’s crazy!), and I still have one: Jo Malone Wild Bluebell.

But a desire for change and a LivingSocial deal with a looming deadline recently brought my friend Gina and I to Aroma Workshop! After brunch with the gals at Cafe Ba-Ba-Reeba, we sat down at the counter of this quaint garden-level establishment ready for some fun.

In front of us were probably 50 different scents, from light to floral to bold to musky. Sierra, the nice woman who created and mixed our perfumes for us, said to choose about 5-10 scents that we liked. Gina and I were all across the board with our choices, and even had shared some favorites.

Then, Sierra created four fragrance combinations made up of three or four different scents. I’ve included my combinations below. Once we each had four options, we focused on smelling them indoors, as well as outside. (During our appointment, someone in the back was eating lunch. Now, I’m not one to deny anyone of a meal, but it did make it tricky to smell our fragrance options over the food. The staff was very apologetic about it. And it didn’t keep me from making a good perfume choice!)

And that combination is…drum roll, please…pomegranate, white tea, sky, and white lily! It’s so light and refreshing, perfect for spring. My runner-up included sage, which smelled divine, but a little heavy and wintery.

Gina’s scent features fig, rose morning, and baby, and smells light and feminine. Good choice, girl!

So, with the LivingSocial deal, we also received cute glass bottles for our signature scents. We also were asked to name our fragrances: Gina’s is Gina Jo, and mine is Mrs. King.

To sum it up, I had a wonderful time and would definitely do it again! The shop keeps your scent on file, and you can also use it to create custom lotions, oils, sheet sprays, etc. that are available at the store–or pick something entirely new. Special thanks to the staff for their expertise and making our experience one-of-a-kind.

Aroma Workshop
2050 North Halsted Street
Lincoln Park

PS-Don’t miss out on Gina’s blog: Bacon, Bubbly & Boys! So fun!

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Week #10 – Anthropologie Lincoln Park

So, I’ve been to Anthropologie before—it’s one of my favorite stores! HOWEVER, I’ve never been to one of their store openings before…

When Bridget invited Lauren and me to the opening of Anthro’s new store in Lincoln Park, we couldn’t resist. The shopping trifecta was back in action! (See Lincoln Antique Mall and Architectural Artifacts postings for our past shopping trips.)

As we walked in, women stood by the door with clipboards to check our names off of a list (exclusive!). We then made our way to the cocktails; the signature drink of the party was a Moscow Mule (one of my favorite drinks) served in a Mason jar. I must admit that I’m a huge fan of serving drinks in jars; we used them as water glasses at our barn wedding (which means I now have 160 Mason jars in my storage unit and my mother-in-law’s home). They also passed appetizers, and had tasty little cupcakes from More Cupcakes, and a delicious spread of cheeses, roasted nuts, jams, crackers, and fruit near the cocktails.

We walked around the new store, ogling the gorgeous spring clothing line (Bridge purchased a denim top and Laur bought a cute dress for her husband’s graduation from his master’s program). And I couldn’t get enough of the uber-creative, inspiring displays. (Kudos to their design team!) Good tunes played in the background as we chatted throughout the evening.

I have to admit, the funniest part of the night was seeing all the boyfriends and husbands cramped on the chairs and sofas, looking like they were about to die of boredom. Ladies: If you want to get some serious shopping done, leave your man at home. You’ll be doing yourself—not to mention your significant other—a huge favor.

I’d like to end this post by stating: if I could outfit my entire home—and myself—in Anthropologie merchandise, I would. Their luxurious bedding, delicate glassware, statement jewelry, stand-out dresses, impressive book collection—do I need to go on? Actually, have you ever smelled their candles? Yum.

Next time you’re shopping for groceries at Whole Foods, picking up home goods from Crate & Barrel, or grabbing a bite at Uncle Julio’s (which we did after the store opening!), be sure to stop by and check out the latest Anthro location.

Anthropologie
1548 N. Fremont Street
Lincoln Park

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