Family Resemblance

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Fun fact: my great grandfather Giuseppe was once arrested because the police thought he was Al Capone. I love this big image of Old Scarface at Untitled because while my great grandfather did not peddle illegal booze or run an organized crime ring, I’d like to think he’d appreciate us having prohibition-style cocktails at an underground bar with live jazz. Sorry about the arrest thing though, G.

The Internet Wins Today

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There’s a lot of negative we can say about this age of immediate information, immediate communication, the now-now-now that we live in due to technology. And I agree with it a lot of the time. But not today. No, not today.

This is a picture of my friend Rosemary and her husband Mark at our apartment when they came over for coffee last December. I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone who likes Rosemary- people LOVE Rosemary. In fact, to say that I love her is about as original as saying the sky is blue or donuts are delicious- loving Rosemary is simply a matter of fact. She is kind, an exceedingly generous listener and time with her is like one big hug that reminds you that the world is good and good people are in it. She is the good people.

Rosemary created a blog several months after being diagnosed with ALS this winter to share her experience in this new path but also to share the love stories of her life- her husband, her children and her friends. This blog is art. It’s real and raw and honest in a way words can only be when they come directly from the heart with no filter, no ego, no edits. Just a drive to share her love and her stories.

Yesterday, a family friend who is building a Chairiot so that Rosemary can enjoy the hiking trails she loves when she is no longer able to walk started a Fundrazr page to raise money to cover labor and materials for this special project. When I donated 4 hours after the page was launched, nearly 50% of the goal had been reached. Now, only 24 hours later, double the goal has been raised. As I said before, people love this incredible woman and through the power of the interwebs and ability to immediately know what could be done to support, her community was able to put their love into action. 24 hours and people quite literally from all over the world sent hugs and love to this amazing woman. Rosemary will have her Chairiot and, more than likely, an army of people wanting to share a hike (and wine and cheese) with her.

I guess that’s the thing: when you love life as much as Rosemary does, life has a way of loving you back. Which it did. Today. Fiercely. In the form of an idea, a website and a whole lot of beautiful people.

Fingers Crossed

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We put an offer in on a condo this weekend. It’s amazing and exciting and also makes us want to throw up. I always thought that when I went to buy a house, it would be all “Here’s my money” and the owners would go “omg, thank you Nina!” and that would be that. Instead, there’s competition, offer deadlines and waiting on pins and needles to see if this dream home, a place where we can see ourselves putting down long term roots, is really going to become ours.

Ryan and I got home after our millionth walk this evening (sitting still is impossible!) and I had received this picture in a text from my Dad. He and my step-mom literally have their fingers crossed for good news for us and I received similar sentiments from my mom and best friends today. It’s pretty awesome to know that condo or no condo, we have people in our corner rooting for us. It’s actually better than getting the house- we have our home team and that makes us the luckiest people in the world.

However, if we DO get the condo, we can invite everyone to uncross their fingers and come over to our bamf new rooftop deck for celebratory bubbly. Just sayin’.


Some (Sparkly) News

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Just wanted to share something rather big that happened in our lives exactly one week ago- Ryan and I are engaged! Details on the proposal later but it resulted in an impromptu trip to Michigan to break out the bubbly with my darling 96 year old grandmother and we couldn’t be happier.

A friend told me yesterday that now is the time to celebrate and never stop. So cheers to that, Friday and all of the champagne.

Sunset from the Other Side (and what I’m missing in Chicago tomorrow)

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On the other side of the lake, the sun sets vs. rising on the Chicago side.  Pretty change of pace.

I am enjoying my time with my family but I just remembered that in Chicago tomorrow is Dose Market day!  I had a blast in August at this monthly food and fashion market and am slightly bummed that I’ll be missing its September installment.  So go and nosh on some of Sweet Cakes’ brioche for me, ok?

Easter Sunday 2011

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After a beautiful mass at Holy Name Cathedral (snagged one of the last seats-yes!), my handsome man and I took in a lovely brunch at the Ralph Lauren Restaurant.  I love the classic feel to RL- the deep navy colored walls, mahogany paneling, portraits and books everywhere.  Since we were all gussied up for church, it felt like the perfect spot to toast the holiday.

Over a bellini, Gold Coast Omelette (a potato pancake topped with an herbed omelette topped with smoked salmon, aka perfection), bloody mary and lobster club sandwich respectively, Ryan and I told Easter stories from when we were kids and mused over how proud my grandmother would have been that I was in a Catholic Church today (I’m “Catholic Light”-aka, Episcopalian).  It was a wonderful morning and I’m so grateful for days like today.

In related news// my new heels had an excellent inaugural voyage.

Crab Cake Express

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The best thing about dating a boy from Maryland?  Crab cakes.

Okay, there’s lots of other things that make Ryan rock but you’ll have to excuse me- I just finished the most glorious, huge, meaty, to-die-for 12 ounce crab cake and I can’t think of those other reasons right now.  All I can think about is how I lived 25 years before having a real crab cake.  Our first Christmas together, Ryan had crab cakes from G&M, his favorite, sent to Michigan for my family’s Christmas dinner.  We were blown away and declared it a tradition right on the spot.

So imagine my delight when we received a big, dry-iced G&M box labeled “Crab Cake Express” from Ryan’s parents yesterday- an Easter gift!  So generous, so thoughtful, so very, very, very delicious.

You can take the boy out of Maryland but you can’t take Maryland out of the boy…and when it comes to crab cakes, thank God.

(Menu: G&M crab cake, sweet potato w/ brown sugar and green bean sauteed with EVOO, onion and tomato.  And a 312– gotta throw some Chicago in there too, of course!)