Pure Michigan

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Grand Haven Pier November 2015

This morning I woke up in Michigan and threw on warm clothes and ran out the door to meet my parents for a walk. A stop for coffee at a place that my best friend and I used to go to every Friday morning before our summer jobs (Traverse City Cherry coffee for the win) and we were on the water, walking, talking, having those conversations that just don’t happen on the phone. I don’t know if it was the coffee, our brisk pace (strollers our family is not!) or the unexpectedly warm-ish day but layers came off and we took a longer way back to the car because it was so enjoyable, being outside and being together.

And then I stopped to see my 98 year old grandmother who was in the beauty parlor in her assisted living home having her nails done. #priorities

And then I had lunch with my mom at a diner that still has the best chicken rice soup around.

And then I drove home to Chicago, belting out every song from Hamilton 1.5 times because the trip takes longer than the musical does but you don’t have to twist my arm to rap battle Cabinet meetings multiple times.

It was a really good day. Family can happen anywhere and today it happened in my hometown and I really loved it.

Grand Haven Lighthouse

Link Love

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This colorful coat is perfect for the chilly weather that seems to be here to stay.

Or you could just warm up with a pumpkin old fashioned.

Isn’t this guerrilla wedding at the Art Institute the sweetest thing ever?

I cannot wait for our table at The Dawson in a few weeks- it is definitely my most anticipated restaurant opening of the year!

Every single one of these treats look amazing and make me wish I was hosting something for Halloween.

Speaking of treats, have you been to Dinkel’s? We went there on Sunday, it was packed, I had an outstanding pumpkin donut with cream cheese frosting and I think it’s probably best that they make my Thanksgiving pies instead of me.

Speaking of balance, I made a version of this kale and bean burrito tonight and it was the perfect mix of comfort food warmth and nutritious virtue, with the kale and all.


Perfect Saturday

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It’s mid-October and 70 degrees outside today. Chicagoans, now is the time to spend all day outside- go for walks, run on the lake, maybe do some day drinking in a beer garden- and tuck this day away in the memory bank to bring out when it’s frigid in February. Winter is coming but it ain’t here today. Today is perfect.

Happy Saturday, friends.

October Link Love

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We are having house guests in a few weeks and I see us all drinking coffee while hot loaves of these breads come out of the oven.

To add to that cozy hosting fantasy, I should probably make this Masala Chai.

This tote made me laugh and reminds me of my friend Megan.

I DVR’ed Hocus Pocus last night- there are so many reasons why it’s the best Halloween movie ever.

Counting Crows’ August and Everything After is 20 years old and still one of my favorite albums of all time.

I have my eye on these wedges that would be a nice alternative to boots or heels this Fall.

Happy 1st Day of October!

Baked Apples

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The big question of fall cooking,
for me, is “Will this make my house smell amazing?” and if the answer is yes, I consider it a done deal. Apples halved with a little butter, cinnamon and brown sugar, baked at 400 degrees for 30 minutes and topped with vanilla bean ice cream hit the smell requirement and was the perfect treat to end a lovely weekend.


That Shit is Going to Look So Seasonal

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“I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait to get my hands on some fucking gourds and arrange them in a horn-shaped basket on my dining room table. That shit is going to look so seasonal. I’m about to head up to the attic right now to find that wicker thing, dust it off, and jam it with an insanely ornate assortment of shellacked vegetables. When my guests come over it’s gonna be like, BLAMMO! Check out my shellacked decorative vegetables, assholes. Guess what season it is—fucking fall. There’s a nip in the air and my house is full of mutant fucking squash.” McSweeney, c/o Colin Nissan

I first read this a month ago and just died. Then, despite the vulgarity, sent it to my Mother. I figured there was a 50% chance she would be offended (when i was growing up, our house never met a season she didn’t decorate for) and a 50% chance she would also think it was hilarballs. My phone lit up and it was confirmed- Karen could hardly breathe she was laughing so hard. After all, “it’s fall- either you’re ready to reap this freaky-assed harvest or you’re not.”

Click here the rest of this McSweeney’s post. I mean, it IS decorative gourd season…

Dearborn Hearts Halloween

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If you live in Chicago, you have got to take a walk down Dearborn, starting at Schiller.

Ryan and I found these Halloween loving town-houses while on a little stroll this morning and these people went all out.  The town-houses themselves are just insanely gorgeous so to add some holiday garb cements its status as one of my very favorite neighborhoods in the city.

I mean, look at this guy- is he doing the Thriller dance?!?

A Week in Highlights

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Hi there, deadbeat blogger here.  An update on what’s been going on.

  • Luna Bell has gotten even weirder lately.  She is exhibiting a deep commitment to family time- as I am posting this, it’s Ryan on the iPad, me on the laptop and LB, all sitting in a line on the couch.  I bet she would be in the iPod Touch if she could, just to be a part of the gang…
  • I got an iPad.  I am not entirely sure what it does yet but I love it.  I mean, c’mon- the Christmas countdown app makes the purchase nearly pay for itself!
  • Michigan State beat Michigan.  In football.  For the 4th straight year.  Click here if you want to fist pump along with me.  (Sidebar: I take this game way too seriously but winning just feels. so.  GOOD.)
  • Made a trip to Michigan this past weekend for a wedding.  There was a ridiculously amazing dessert bar and this:

DUELLING PIANOS!  Best idea in the history of weddings, right?!?  I mean, don’t threaten a girl with dancing AND a sing-a-long– I will step up to the plate.

Hope you all had stunning fall weekends- it really has been October at its finest, hasn’t it?

Days Like Today Are My Best Friend

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Luna Bell faked an injury, Ryan had to submit a last minute job app, we got on a bus that did not take us on Inner Lake Shore but all the way up to freaking Belmont…to say we got a late start to the day is an understatement.  But we finally made it to the Green City Market, finally got an order of apple cider donuts and finally had some coffee.

And then we looked up.

It is Fall.  So perfectly, crisply Fall.

Lincoln Park was packed with people with sweaters and jackets on.  Babies were bundled to a fault, and there was a lot more hugging and snuggling going on- it’s cold, people gotta stay warm!

We walked all the way home, holding hands and our bags filled to the brim with straight from the farm goodness.

Days like today are my best friend.