Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist, January 2014 Visit

Happy New Year All!

This past weekend we went back to the Mitten to visit Hunky's sister who is a novice in the Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist.  It was great to see Sister Mary Andre and get a sneak peak into her life at the convent.  She spends her days in prayer and study with a dash of free time and group activities.  They are such a devout group of joy filled women - it is inspiring to see the sisters in their element.  It is always lovely, yet rare, to have the group of usual family members together.

There were so many beautiful crush scenes all over the convent.  They had kings traveling all over the place - we found them propped in window panes, under tables, and traveling through hallways.

The beautiful alter in the chapel - just breathtaking!

I married into a family of very intense board game players.  Here is a new one we are addicted to, called Hedbanz.  It is meant for a much younger crowd - but we have such a great time trying to ask rapid fire questions to determine whether we are bacon, a horse, or some other random object!

The weekend seemed to end as quickly as it started - it was so much fun to all be together for a brief moment.  Rachel, Nick, and Baby Joseph headed home after dinner to beat the coming snow.  It was nice to get in so many baby snuggles!

Hunky's sister, Bethany, and her fiancĂ©, Mike came from Pittsburgh for the visit as well as to celebrate Christmas and the New Year.  It was great to see them, hear about wedding plans, and catch up as we do not get to see each other as often as we would like. We all had to leave pretty quickly on Sunday to beat the Polar Freeze.  Our normal 3.5 hour drive took nearly 5 hours --- which is such a looonnggg time to be in the car.  Mocha Bean and I were going stir crazy, enough to get out and bound around in the snow at the gas station. 

Visit weekends are always a whirlwind - leaving us feeling like we need a long nap to recover.  It's fabulous to get our Laura fix... I mean Sister Mary Andre fix.  We are still getting used to her new name. :) 


Monday, January 6, 2014

Happy Polar Vortex!

My friend Chan and I prior to the Polar Vortex
Yes, we bundle up like this usually, today it just came in handy.

Happy Polar Vortex Day!
We have been experiencing temperatures that feel like -40 degrees and snow, oh the snow.
There is just so much - but that had stopped yesterday before the official start of the Polar Vortex.

While dressing to leave my house this morning at one point I was wearing 4 scarves.  A little panic ensued after I listened to all of the facts about frostbite on the news... 

The floor was covered in pee pee pads when we left today as poor little Mocha Bean was not going to be subjected to the elements. She was such a good girl and didn't go in the apartment until I took her out when it was a bit more manageable out in the afternoon. Last night before the cold really set in I put her in her coat and boots - the city salt irritates her little paws so much.  We truly think she get embarrassed when we have her wear these things - but much to Hunky's delight - this did make her evening walk go quickly.

Here's to staying warm - where ever you may be!  Throw an extra blanket on the bed for the next few days and layer up!


Sunday, October 27, 2013

Stunning Fall Baby Jackets

It's jacket season!!
I've been having fun making some sweet little baby car coats --- although my girlfriends keep asking me to make adult size... 

More to be posted soon!

Monday, April 29, 2013

April Critical Mass Bike Ride

 Since we moved to Chicago in the late summer of 2011 every now and again we would see a group of hundreds riding bikes around town yelling at the top of their lungs "HAPPY FRIDAY!"  The young, old, hipster, business man, and homeless alike joined forces to completely block the roads and celebrate gorgeous weather and the art of traveling by bicycle.

 Upon further research Hunky discovered Chicago Critical Mass. A group who gathers together on the last Friday of every month to ride a different path - and this past Friday we joined them!

Here I am in Daley Plaza - the gathering space for the event.  It is suggested that you show up at 5:30 - but I believe that we didn't get going until 6:30.  Getting such a large number of people on bikes to cooperate and get on the road was interesting.  We started circling Daley Plaza like a swarm of bees. After about 6 laps whomever was in charge decided that enough people were ready and we took off.

 So many bikes!  I never knew there were so many creative ways to attach children to bikes... I wish we would have gotten photos of all of the creative vehicles - but - Hunky and I are pretty clumsy and I value my life more than a few photos :D

 Several people had fabulous sound systems attached to their bikes playing everything from pulsing house music to Seal...

 Although it looks like all fun and games - the ride from our apartment to Daley Plaza during afternoon rush hour on a Friday was terrifying.  Hunky had to talk me down several times on the way when I was threatening to turn around and go home. I honestly don't know how anyone rides their bikes as a form of transport around here - it is quite scary - seriously - no matter how cautious we are if a car is not paying attention we don't stand a chance.  Critical Mass tries to bring awareness to this issue and reclaim the streets for cyclists one Friday a month.


Friday, April 26, 2013

Jim Gaffigan, Rearranging the Apartment, and a Mustache Dinner Party

Not to knock how we spent two weekends ago...

- BUT -

This past weekend was awesome!!

On Friday night we went to see Comedian, Jim Gaffigan.  I'm not going to lie - before Hunky asked if I wanted to go see the show I had never head of Mr. Gaffigan.  He is HILARIOUS!  The great thing is that the humor isn't profane - this is NOT one of those shows where you are just wiggling around in your seat waiting for it to be over!  This is a show that could have gone on all night and I wouldn't have noticed!  The stories about his family are fantastic, how he talks about his wife is totally adorable, and his take on seafood cracks me up! You may enjoy Jim's take on Cinnabon.

 Saturday was spent rearranging the apartment.  We had been kicking the idea around for a good three months and finally had a day and a half, as well as a deadline, a dinner party the next day, so that the project couldn't carry on for months.  Lucky for us to only big piece of furniture we have in the couch - a sectional - which conveniently is able to break a part into smaller, easier to move, sections!  My new favorite space is the designated and contained area for Anna's crafting!  Hooray for not being a slob and taking over 50% of the space with my sewing! If you are considering rearranging your place I would strongly recommend taking an evening or couple of weeks to discuss and plan - we would still be living in a huge mess if we hadn't had a well thought out plan.

Sunday - we went to mass and then spent the morning preparing for a dinner party we were hosting.  I usually hate to walk down Michigan Ave. it is usually quite crowded with people who aren't paying attention to anything.  A lot of unsuspecting tourists get mugged walking down the Avenue.  Needless to say, that's a major reason why I avoid it.  Although on a Sunday morning at 10:30 it seemed safe.  I'm certainly glad we walked that way - we were able to enjoy Tiffany's Great Gatsby themed windows!  I am sooo excited to see the movie and plan on attending it in my fringed flapper dress!

Now, doesn't every good, Catholic couple go to stock up on wine and beer before 11 am... That's what we were thinking with our cart full of dinner party essentials at Trader Joes 8 minutes before 11 am... the legal time to sell alcohol on Sundays. On a side note - my mom is all about owls these days often saying "Owls are hot."  Well, it's true, they are hot enough to be on Japanese beer!

Part of our rearranging included moving the dining room table to a room lacking a ceiling light fixture, but on the plus side it has a whole wall of windows.  After we argued for half an hour, walked to Home Goods, thought about poverty inflicted by purchasing a Crate & Barrel lamp, and considered throwing one another in front of a bus, Hunky made a quick trip to Ikea to avoid a dinner party of darkness, and came back with this gem.  Yes - sometimes that's how decisions are made - and we like to think it's perfectly normal. :)

My lovely spring colors table-scape - enhanced by the fabulous flowers Hunky gave me earlier in the week - and of course - our under kitchen cut-out bike.  We have a lot of bikes in our place lately.  Hunky has a new hobby and is really running - errr- riding with it...

 We had fun playing around with the mustache drink markers Hunky's sister gave him - thanks Beth!  The mustache selection process was quite intense...

"Should I go with my dream mustache or the one that I would probably have if I were to grow one?"

... and then we figured out they would stick to our faces...

Sometimes when we cram 100 million things into a weekend it's a blast!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

What I've Been Making Lately

Honestly I have been making a lot lately.  I recently left my high intensity job on Michigan Avenue in search of a better work/life balance and to take time to help out with my newborn nephew, Joseph. (I have boatloads of pictures for a more in depth Joseph post in the future.)  For the first time since I was 14 years old I am unemployed in the traditional sense.  I am sewing and designing like crazy - hence to launch of my children's collection Stunning Baby. For the first time since we were married I am able to see Hunky on the weekends - we are no longer like two people sharing an apartment who overlap for 4 hours - on a good day - we are actually a pretty happy and cute little married couple. My state of living has improved dramatically and for the first time in a while I can say that I am truly happy...

 Miss Mocha has been excelling with her new job - Quality Control Manager and Design Assistant!
Actually she is quite good at barking at me if/when I get off task - this girl hates when I take breaks to catch up on my favorite TV shows...

 Here's a sneak peak of what I've been working on lately...

 A certain pretty Momma and her darling daughters will be sporting these in the future...

Hunky and I spent all day Saturday rearranging the apartment.  This is my new cutting station - moved away from our kitchen table!

Our lease is coming due in the fall and we are trying to decide whether we would like to relocate... after a whole day of rearranging - which was pretty much as labor intensive as a move - we may be staying put!

My dear friend Hannah will be having a baby girl any day now!  This is the little outfit that I made to welcome Miss Emma Joy to the world!  I just love this fabric - yellow and gray is such a happy combination.

 I am somewhat of a fabric hoarder - I buy it and then hang on to it until the proper project presents itself.  I have a bit of this floral stripe left over and am half tempted to make myself a little spring skirt or dress.  This week I started to expand sizes over at Stunning Baby and this is my first Trouser and Bloomer set available in 9-12 months and 12-18 months.

Here's to a creative week!