The Blue Hour

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Blue Hour

One of my favorite things about growing up in Michigan was the blue hour. Defined as the “period of twilight each morning and evening when the sun is a significant distance below the horizon and the residual, indirect sunlight takes on a predominantly blue hue”, this time each day felt like magic. With the incredible about of snow Michigan gets, the blue is so noticeable and I remember sitting in my mom’s living room when the blue hour would hit, as if time stood still for those few moments.

I was in the Mitten last weekend and was soaking up some sweet family time when I looked out the window of the restaurant we were at and there it was- blue hour. The snow had stopped falling, the lake was frozen solid and everything was just still. It was such a special evening, my entire family together, toasting to the future and the past and everything we have created together, with the support of this team, team family. If there was a moment to stand still and take in the blue hour, this was it.

I am bringing that with me into this week. I notice the blue hour far less back home in Chicago, I stop and pause far less on a daily basis here so the plan this week is to bring the blue hour into my days, regardless of whether the color is actually there or not.

Happy Monday, friends.

Home

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cuff links

Chicago is home. And last week, my husband made a big career decision that pretty much keeps us in our favorite city forever (cue the high fives, fist pumps and marching band!).

And then he came home that night with a new pair of cuff links. Not just any cuff links, Chicago Flag cuff links. It was almost enough to make a girl cry, all of this goal crushing/husband/Chicago pride.

This is Our Kind of Town, without a doubt.

 

Link Love

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A New Leaf

It’s cold. Go to a greenhouse or flower shop to remind yourself of humidity and things that are alive. A New Leaf will do beautifully.

Since we already talked about napping this week- this is the best onesie of all time.

Johnny Cash wrote really good love letters.

I have wanted to take the Chopping Block’s Culinary Bootcamp for awhile now and this interview with Shauna Niequist intensified that.

“It’s all a part of your story and your story is allowed to change.” Adored this article featuring Jordan Reid from Ramshackle Glam, one of my favorite blogs- smart women in business, yes.yes.yes.

Have you ever had knish? Bread AND potato…how did I miss this?! This has Sunday cooking written all over it.

How One Stupid Tweet Blew Up Justine Sacco’s Life” is the thing I read this week that made me think the most. Her tweet, and the other examples of people making very public mistakes online, made me nauseous…and there’s something to examine in the public flogging that we do to one another these days. Really interesting read.

Cold Days | Hot Yoga

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yoga

There has to be some scientific study that says yoga is the cure for winter. Cold mornings = hot yoga…it’s just science, right?

I practice pretty consistently throughout the year but there is something about this season, every time it comes around I find myself craving my mat. When it’s this cold, getting warm from the inside out just sounds like the best move. And then there’s the whole breathing thing. Tis the season for the scrunched up shoulder walk while holding your breath until you get inside. On my mat, I breathe from movement to movement and if I forget, there’s a teacher literally saying “breathe in, breathe out” for an hour. Which is helpful.

There is this yogi duo called Go W/ The Flow from Dayton, Ohio that travels the country teaching classes- Tori leads the yoga, Ben plays the guitar. It’s not so much of a class as it is an experience- the music is perfectly synced with the movements, simultaneously so much fun and deliciously meditative.

I was on their website today seeing when they were in Chicago next and came across some tracks of Ben’s music. Super chill…AND there is subtle ocean-sounding-like breaths worked into the songs! Which sounds weird but it works and is awesome. I worked to it all afternoon and am so excited to have it when I need to do a few sun salutations at home. Check it out.

More about Go W/ The Flow here.

Quotable

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naps

File this under great Valentine’s Day cards and the ultimate truth.

I like naps so, so much. This lady behind me in line at Starbucks was explaining (err, negotiating) to her toddler why it was so important to take a nap today and I just wanted crouch down to be like “Look, kid- this nap gig whenever, wherever you want doesn’t last forever. Grab your blankie, get your nap on and be damn grateful for it.”

 

 

Link Love

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Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

Girlfriends always make the best Valentines- who else would appreciate a “What Would Beyonce Do” pencil?! (If you’re looking for Vday goodies, Michaels was the jackpot for my little packages I sent- garland, cocktail napkins, cheese-y but fun heart necklaces…and they are always on sale + coupons!)

The Saint Bernard in this list of dogs who have no idea how they got on the counter just killed me!

I am absolutely in agreement with this list of 5 restaurants in Chicago that are perfect for various occasions. (Recognize Erica from 5 Questions With…?)

Speaking of 5 Questions With…if you’re in Vancouver, go to Hearts of Gold on Valentine’s Day. All proceeds go to supporting Megan’s Runser‘s fight against Hodgkin’s. Stateside like me? You can still buy a ticket to make a donation.

“Brave means listening to the still small voice inside and DOING AS IT SAYS.” – this post from Momastery is the best thing I read this week.

I think this tea towel is perfect.

On Broadway and Babies

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My best friend had a baby yesterday. !!!!!

When I got the word that I was an auntie and saw the little nugget’s perfect face, I promptly burst into tears and in a mix of emotion over how much I love my friend and how much I already love her daughter, I thought about who I will be for this brand new person on the planet.

The usual: Unconditional love. A devoted cheerleader. Travel itinerary consultant. Deep dish pizza provider.

And musical theater educator.

My mom raised me on a steady diet of the classics; one of my first memories was at our local theater belting out “O-K-LA-HO-MA” as a touring troupe performed and movies at home were almost exclusively Broadway musicals; who needs Disney when you have Camelot, The Music Man, Cats and Phantom of the Opera?! Musicals made me feel alive and inspired and like playing full out.

In college, there was a fall when new baby girl’s mom and I would sing the entire score of Wicked in the car when coming and going from our hometown. We would each take a part and just sing our little hearts out. Excessive hand motions and/or car choreography included. In a conversation last week with colleagues about what our “pump up” playlist was, well, let’s just say I was the only one to offer up her Spotify playlist full of selections from musicals. I can’t sing worth a damn, as hard as I try, but this music is one of those things I don’t have to be good at to love with all my heart. Which is something I have to remind myself: being good, achieving isn’t always the point; sometimes the point is loving something (or someone) with your whole heart.

So, sweet baby girl, your parents are going to adore you within an inch of your teeny little being and I will come bearing deep dish, high fives and Broadway showtunes. 3 Wise Men in one, if you will. And the one thing I can promise is your entire home team, your family and all who come with it, are going to love you with their whole, whole hearts. We’ve got you.

When I got in the car this morning, Sirius radio’s best station “On Broadway” (Channel 72) was playing “76 Trombones” from The Music Man (beyond classic) followed by “I Can Do Better Than That” from The Last 5 Years (it breaks my heart so much and it is so great- can’t wait for the movie), followed by “One Song Glory” from RENT (I hate to play favorites but this show has had my heart for years). I could not have wished for a better trifecta of musical gloriousness to start my day. So, for your listening enjoyment, see below.

With love, jazz hands and big hugs for my best friend’s new baby girl.

(and lots of congratulations for my best friend and her darling new family!)