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.
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!
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.
A couple of weekends ago we had the opportunity to visit Hunky's little sister - who is becoming a Sister - at her convent in Indiana. What an adventure we had! We set out from the city at 6 am and drove for hours to the middle of a field... Where - low and behold - there is a beautiful piece of land and old brick building that house Sister Laura and her fellow first years.
In the past we had visited her at the Mother House in Ann, Arbor MI - where the nuns gather for holiday celebrations. It was really neat to see Sister Laura in her "natural habitat." The convent is very well organized and everyone has jobs that keep the place running like a well oiled machine.
During the afternoon we got to catch up on all things family and life. We also got to show her our new favorite You Tube Video - How Animals Eat Their Food - and give her many many hugs and smiles. While in the convent we can only communicate with her through letters - which is fun reason to feed my addiction to stationary and stickers. We try to send her one letter a week and she is able to send and receive her letters most every Sunday.
Here Sister Laura poses with her parents - my in-laws.
Whenever we visit I am always so curious about what a normal day looks like for the Sisters - with a day beginning at 5 am these ladies sure to complete a lot each day! See what a typical day looks like.
We were surprised by the arrival of Hunky's sister, Bethany, and her boyfriend, Mike, from Pittsburgh. The visiting days for the sisters are only a few times a year - we all try our best to make it to each time! In the event that siblings are unable to attend we do a group phone call - I wish I had photos of us all sitting around a picnic table outside talking to Rachel and her husband, Nick, as well as Father Mark (Hunky's oldest brother.) Even though we aren't able to physically able to be together it's great to communicate by phone!
Now if you haven't picked up on this before Hunky does have a sister who is a Sister - and - a brother who is a Father. We are blessed to be part of such a devout family. You can learn more about Hunky's brother, Father Mark, on his blog: Campion Project
They always serve us a delicious meal before kicking us out at 4 sharp. After a fun filled day of visiting we prepped to get back in the car and drive home before the rental car place closed at 7. Sometimes this time limit on Sundays causes our return trips to be a bit frantic. Thank goodness we gain an hour heading back!
** After this post you're going to think that all that Mr. Hunky and I do is run around on the beach with dogs. Well after being crammed in a one bedroom apartment together all winter, we'd only be so lucky to get to do that all the time! **
Happy Easter 2013! We'll call it Easter at the last moment... Which is what happens sometimes when you work in retail. We started out the day by attending mass at 9:30 - aka - the most crowded mass ever! We were standing 4 people deep - in the cathedral - it's a HUGE church - wouldn't it be great if the church was filled like that EVERY Sunday!? Anyway after a mass decorated with the most beautiful tulip displays (still kicking myself that I didn't snap a picture) we headed home and made some brunch. I guess it was probably breakfast - although I do feel the first meal of the day on Sunday should always be referred to as brunch. After that we picked up Mocha's friend Webster and headed on a long walk.
We walked and walked and walked - until we arrived at North Avenue Beach.
As you can see the weather was interesting... I don't usually dress like this in real life. In fact those of you who acutally know me must be gasping at my footware. Yes, I do own tennis shoes and no, they don't sparkle.
So, in good fun, let's take this outfit down What I Wore Style: