Thursday, June 28, 2012

Pictures of Recently Enjoyed Things

Movie in the park :) Soaking up as many downtown activities as we can can before our move to suburbia. L wasn't able to sit through the entire 20 minutes so although we had to leave early it was still such a fun experience and the movie seemed actually really funny and would def try to watch it again. & I can't wait for the August showing of HUNGER GAMES!
Beautiful Chicago in the summer
My little fishies.
Poker night with friends :)
On our morning walk along the lakefront
Yoga in the park.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Spinach Artichoke Dip

My infamous spinach artichoke recipe is finally up! There's not been one single time I've made this that I wasn't asked for the recipe, it is hands down the best dip you will ever eat or make and it is really so so easy and quick to do. And it is HUGE. Great for a large get together, parties, or holidays because it will easily feed about 10 or more people. I like to pair it with fresh veggies (cucumbers, celery, green beans, carrots, broccoli, & cauliflower) and of course goes well with pita or other chips. *Sidenote: I would also have to say that after looking at several other spinach artichoke recipes, this one seems to be much healthier than most others that are made with mayo and more cheese.

What you will need:
- 1 bag fresh spinach (or 1 box chopped frozen)
- 1 jar alfredo sauce (doesn't matter the kind, I've used all different types of brands and they all taste great. The last time I made it I used a light parmesean alfredo which came out amazing).
- 1 packet cream cheese (I use 1/3 reduced fat but doesn't matter)
- 2 cans of artichokes
- 1 bag (4 cups) of shredded mozzarella
- 1/2 cup shredded parmesean (optional)
- Garlic salt
- Pepper

1. Chop up fresh spinach or drain frozen spinach.
2. Chop artichokes.
3. Combine spinach, artichokes, cream cheese, shredded cheese, & alfredo.
4. Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes. Half way through, stir.

5. Add garlic salt & pepper to taste & enjoy!!

Monday, June 25, 2012


"Anyway." I found this prayer for thought recently. It was found on Mother Teresa's wall in her room in Calcutta. That fact was published in 1995 and since then the poem has grown in popularity worldwide and many people attribute the poem to be written by Mother Teresa herself. It turns out that the work was originally written by Kent M. Keith in 1968 when he was 19 years old and a sophomore at Harvard. He titled this poem "The Paradoxical Commandments" and was actually a part of a greater book he was writing at the time. Mother Teresa's version was titled "Anyway" and was missing 2 stanzas. Below is the original. I truly adore it and wanted to share the love with everyone.

              People are often unreasonable, irrational, and self-centered.  Forgive them anyway.
            If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives.  Be kind anyway.
            If you are successful, you will win some unfaithful friends and some genuine enemies. Succeed anyway.
           If you are honest and sincere people may deceive you.  Be honest and sincere anyway.
            What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight.  Create anyway.
            If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous.  Be happy anyway.
            The good you do today, will often be forgotten.  Do good anyway.
         Give the best you have, and it will never be enough.  Give your best anyway.
         In the final analysis, it is between you and God.  It was never between you and them anyway.

Have a wonderful week :)

Friday, June 22, 2012

let's go to the movies.....

We took Landon to his first movie on Wednesday (on his actual birthday) to none other than Madegascar 3 :) For those of you who don't know Landon very well, Madegascar 1 & 2 are his absolute faves. & A nice little unexpected surprise was that kids under age 3 get in for free :) We went to a 5:00 showing and Landon was sooo good the whole time minus the last 15-20 minutes when he started to get a little antsy. He sat in his own seat the {almost} entire time and pretty much took an entire medium bag of popcorn to his face and laughed out loud during funny parts and parts that weren't meant to be funny at all. I do love his random outbursts. The movie was actually really good and we will definitely be owning it when it comes out to watch again and again and again and again and again. It was a really good time had by all :)
On our way to the big screen. Landon snuck in a sippy cup & I prepped him for the AC with a comfy sweatshirt. Of course the escalators were the reason he thought we brought him here...he's obsessed.
Clearly couldn't wait to dig into the popcorn. I've been a crazy health freak lately and uber concerned with Landon's eating habits and I really didn't want to give him movie theatre popcorn but Chris convinced me since it was his first movie experience & that we had to. Point well made. A few pics of the walls of the AMC River East theatre....There are so many amazing photos of classic movies covering every single wall of the theatre but I took a few of my faves, Marilyn & Audrey obv.
 My favorite pic -- Landon stuffing his face and Chris way more excited than L, which pretty much sums up the entire experience.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Carrot fries!

Yum! Peel, rinse, & cut carrots into "fries" and place on baking sheet. Sprinkle on some EVOO & sea salt & bake at 425 for 15-20 minutes. So simple!

Homemade Garlic Bread

This homemade garlic bread is super easy and quick to make and the perfect compliment to spaghetti night or pizza night :) Most of the ingredients you will likely already have in your home, minus the fresh parsley and fresh bread. You don't need to measure everything exactly you can just eyeball it, but measurements are below for reference or for your first time making this. & of course there are lots of ways to doctor it up, but this combination of garlic, butter, & parmesan is soo yummy....Buon appetito!

What You Will Need:
- 6 large cloves of garlic minced or crushed
- 1/4 cup fresh italian parsley chopped
- 3/4 tsp sea salt or garlic salt
- 1/8 tsp ground black pepper
- 6 tbs softened butter (or butter substitute)
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 loaf fresh bread (ciabatta, french, baguette, sourdough). I used whole wheat french bread which was delicious.
- 1/4 cup parmesan cheese grated (plus a little more to sprinkle on top at the end)

- Preheat oven to low broiler
- In small mixing bowl combine all ingredients minus the bread and whisk together
- using a butter knife spread mixture evenly over non crusted portion of cut bread
- Set bread spread side up on baking sheetand boil about 3-5 minutes until spread is melted and turns golden brown. (Watch closely - it cooks fast!)
- Remove from oven and enjoy!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Wordless{ish} Wednesday

Happy Summer Solstice & Happy 2nd Birthday to my sweet baby Landon, the greatest blessing of our lives 

Monday, June 18, 2012

Landon's 2nd Birthday

Here is a quick photo recap from an awesome weekend --- Two of my girlfriends (& Landon's Godmum) flew in on Thursday and stayed with us until Sunday and it was so great to have them here with us. Thursday evening we went out to Giuliana & Bill Rancic's new restaurant, RPM, and thoroughly enjoyed the posh atmosphere, fun cocktails, & delicious food. Friday was pretty low key, spent the day at Navy Pier and had Mexican night back at our place that evening. Saturday was Landon's big Second Birthday Bash so we got up eary to go to yoga & pilates in Millennium Park and then bought a helium tank and blew up balloons for the rest of the day pre-party. His party was an absolute blast, minus the 40 mph winds that ended up losing us a lot of food, chips, cupcakes, and decorations, but regardless, we had so much fun and are so thankful for everyone that came by. My bro & sis in law kindly offered to take Landon for the night so that we could continue celebrating with our friends and have a night to ourselves. We took our "after party" to a bar called Snuggery, which looked like a total hole in the wall but ended up playing the best {90's} music and we broke out in dance party mode all night. Yesterday (Sunday) we went out for breakfast and sadly bid my girlfriends adieu at the airport, and then we celebrated Father's Day at the Spring Awakening Festival at Soldier Field for the rest of the day. Of course, I was so busy and barely took any photos all weekend, so all these photos are courtesy of my girlfriend Shelagh.
me & meg post dinner @ rpm
just a lil breakfast in bed
Thomas ride @ Navy Pier..apparently not too thrilling
bam bam
the birthday boy with his new bubble lawn mower
kickin it poolside
party peeps
a crowded cab
my sweetheart 

Thursday, June 14, 2012

homemade father's day gifts from the kids

Just made this for Chris for Father's Day from Landon. Landon's index finger came out a little messed up, but it just wouldn't be Landon if it wasn't a little messy anyway ;)

This is what "Landon" made Chris for last year's Father's Day. My plan is to make some new handprint art each year and keep inserting in the same frame so that ultimately he has a collection of Landon's handprints for like 10 years in a row. The poem I used above can be found here, but there are a ton more you can find just googling "father's day handprint poem".

In other news, I just picked up two of my girlfriends from the airport who are spending the weekend with us so probably won't be on here at all for the next several days. We have dinner reservations @ Bill & Giuliana Rancic's new restaurant RPM tonight and Landon's big Second Birthday Bash is on Saturday which I'm totally stoked for :) Hope everyone has a great weekend and will post lots of pics upon my return to the Corner next week!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Chicago Summer bucket list

I'm done with work (@ least my temp doc review) and I have big plans to enjoy the summer with my babes before we move out of our beloved home at the end of August. I am so excited to have some time off to do fun stuff with Landon, cook some new healthy recipes, enjoy the weather, go for our nice long walks like we used to, cloth diaper again, and just spend quality time with my minime and be in control of what he's eating and his activities and help him with his learning, speaking, development, & potty training. Here's what's on our bucket list to do before September 1:
Sidenote: I just reread this post before I hit publish and noticed there's an awful lot of exclamation points everywhere. I was going to fix it up so you don't think I'm one of those drunk moms but I really am that excited about all of this. !.
- Wiggleworms in Millennium Park! For the past 2 summers we would always pass this and look forward to when he was old enough to actually partake & enjoy in some of the activities. And now's that time! Everyday starting in July they have 10am wiggleworms class: dance, sing-along, & finger games, then 11am story time, and 12pm live children's entertainment. We're pretty pumped.
- Sign up for "swimboree" at the British Swim School. I would love if L could learn how to swim this summer. Just read that the #1 cause of [accidental] death in children under 5 is drowning. Plus I'm sure it'll be tons of fun for him plus a good way to meet some more mommy & tot friends.
- Sit outside and have a picnic @ one of the free concerts at the Pritzker Pavilion.
- Make homemade bread.
- Go to yoga & pilates in Millennium Park.
- Bike ride along the lakefront. Here's what our adventure looked like the last time.
- Make a baby brother or sister for L ;) I'm ready!
- Go to a movie in the park. This summer we've got Puss in Boots, Transformers, & Hunger Games right in our Lakeshore East backyard park!
- Find a new place to live! This is kind of bittersweet for me but I'm really excited to move into a bigger place with more storage, and hardwood floors (after two years of white carpeting and a toddler, they are no longer white). Haven't been very diligent about searching but I think we're looking to rent a house or town home in a northern/western suburb.
- Go to a petting zoo.
- Downtown summer festivals!
- Make homemade hummus.
- Farmer's markets!
- Potty train. Wishful thinking? I've heard a lot about the diaper free baby practice and met one mom who did this and her daughter was potty trained at 3 months old! Lando can totally do this. Plus, they say that children in cloth potty train much sooner than children in disposables because they can actually feel when they wet themselves. We got this.
- Paint all our bedroom furniture white.
- Go on the Architectural Tour on Lake Michigan. I knnnooowww, so touristy. But I live in Chicago and I wanna do it. Plus I've heard nothing but raving reviews from all my touristy friends.
- Teach L how to give big hugs and sloppy kisses. I die!

a Pinteresting Monday

A few Pinterest images for a few smiles on a Monday morning :)

Sometimes you just gotta pick yourself up & carry on

Have a great week!!

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