Friday, July 30, 2010

Day 211

Operation de-clutter is back on!
Here's to hoping our place is back to "normal" yet missing a lot of junk by the end of the weekend!

Biograph Theatre:

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Day 210

I love bikes. Everything about them. I think I could take one bike (one with character mind you- nothing new and shiny!) and take an entire "roll" of shots.
It's not just how they look. It's more than that. It's about what they represent: A simpler way of life and a cleaner way of living. In the world we live in today these two things are few and far between.

Pinks and Pedal:

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Day 209

Hump day. Halfway. Over the hill.
How does this happen? I feel like the week just started and yet tomorrow is already Thursday!
Late night working tonight so me and the boys are headed out for a late night walk.
Oh, how lucky is this. I go to Sephora today to pick up some moisturizer I've been meaning to get. When I get to the register they tell me I'm due for my birthday gift. Half paying attention I say "ok", pay and am on my way. Once I'm halfway home I realize I completely forgot to pick up mascara as well. Ugh. But, once I arrive home I check out the "birthday gift" that's in the bag and low and behold a new tube of mascara awaits! It must be my day!

Trash Hole:

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Day 208

Expressions I heard today:

Fuddy Duddy
Kit and Kaboodle

Weird - what have I done for the last 10 years without these? It's a wonder that of all the aspects of the English language that have failed over the years that these two have managed to survive.

We live literally around the corner from one of the oldest blues clubs in Chicago and yet haven't stepped foot in the door (subtle hint for the husband)!


Monday, July 26, 2010

Day 207

Monday. Errrr.
It wasn't all that bad. I got a decent amount done at work and then came home to two wired dogs so we went for a long walk. I LOVE SUMMER!!!! Got home, made some dinner and now I'm settling down to relax a bit while I post the blog.
It's supposed to be hot tomorrow and I've got a busy evening full of conference calls tomorrow night so I think we'll try to squeeze a walk into our morning schedule.

Ummm......I was desperate for a photo tonight. Not really sure what I was thinking with the angle here. I couldn't even manage to correct it in PS. Owell.

Civic Building:

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Day 206

We are 75% of the way through our organization project!! I have to say, we're GOOD at reorganizing and getting rid of crap we don't need! It's absolutely amazing how long we've been carting this stuff around from place to place over the last ten years. But it's even more amazing how good it feels to get rid of it! Yay!!

Hope everyone is having a great weekend!


Day 205

Last night we went to our good friend Becca's 30th birthday party. Happy (early) Birthday Becca!!
We had a great time but I really didn't feel like doing the blog when we got you get two posts today. :)

One of Becca's friends brought the cake - it was amazing. You know those mad hatter cakes that you always see done on the Food Network? Well this was one of those, but even better. As a cake topper it had a mini martini glass! So cute!

We had a great time!

29 No Mas:

30! (Not a great pic, but I wanted to show the cake off!)

Friday, July 23, 2010

Day 204

Watching a movie with the husband tonight. We're watching The Runaways. So far so good.
It's an interesting story.
We have a busy weekend ahead full of brunches, birthday parties, and trying to finish up our GIANT organization project.

Along with lazy night we enjoyed a not-so-nutricious dinner (there was salad involved as well). :)


Thursday, July 22, 2010

Day 203

There are so many things to love about summer. Drinks on patios, afternoon baseball games, the beach, grilling out, ice cream, gardens.....I could go on forever.
But my favorite thing - my ALL TIME favorite part of summer is the sound of locusts. Just as the sun starts going down and the street lights come on a summer chorus begins. I love how it transports me back to being a kid. To days spent riding bikes and lounging in pools and nights spent catching lightening bugs.

I hope you all are having a great summer - whatever your favorite part may be!


Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Day 202

How is it possible that we are already nearing the end of July? Where has this summer gone? In just a couple of short months I'll be unpacking those oh-so-familiar winter coats, gloves and scarves. Ugh.
But for now we'll take what we can get! And considering my tomatoes STILL haven't begun turning red we clearly have some time left!


Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Day 201

Happy Tuesday!
Glad everyone enjoyed the post yesterday. I thought it would be fun to change things up a bit.

The boys and I have a long walk planned for the morning so we're headed to bed early. Have a good night!


Monday, July 19, 2010

Day 200

As my good friend Anna pointed out to me today, my birthday actually falls on Day 200!! Happy Birthday to Me!!
So tonight's post is a little different.
I'm having a blast with this new tool in PS5. I can basically remove things from a picture and PS automatically fills in the background for me! Probably the best tool ever created! I mean c'mon, who hasn't wanted to remove someone from a picture - especially those obnoxious people in the background that you don't notice until later. Or maybe ex boyfriends? EVERYONE has a reason to use this tool.

So for my bday, I have created a present for all of you - a game of sorts - to say thank you for keeping me going over the past 7 months. This is an ode to my days in college sitting in front of the megatouch after a shift at Carlos. It's called Photo Hunt, and the object is to identify what is different about the two photos. There are five differences total. See if you can find them all! If you leave a comment I'll post the winner in tomorrow night's post. Hint: A bigger scale may help.....I didn't say it would be easy! (I can't take all the credit though, my husband actually had the idea a while ago - Thanks T)
Did I mention how much I LOVE this new tool??

Photo Hunt 1:

Photo Hunt 2:

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Day 199

I love summer! Especially my birthday in the summer.
Troy's in NY this week so we celebrated tonight at Table Fifty-Two. It was excellent, but I have to be honest....MK is still our favorite.
We spent the day performing spring cleaning (on steroids). Our whole house is torn up right now with piles of crap that we've been carting around with us the past 10 years. Now we just have to decide where to take it and how to get rid of it....ugh.
Then mid Operation Declutter our neighbor Susan came down and kidnapped me. We made a quick trip down to the Gold Coast neighborhood for the annual Garden Walk. Although for a good cause the walk itself wasn't great. I'm not sure what we were expecting, but it wasn't this. Owell, it got me out of cleaning :)

Now we're back home and lounging around enjoying some R&R after a busy weekend.

Sidewalk Art:

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Day 198

My birthday weekend is off to a great start!!
For starters I got another great present from my mom to go along with my new nook! Thanks Mom!
Then, Troy and I spent the evening with two great friends! Thank you Becca and Eric for exactly the relaxing kind of night we needed! We had a great time (aside from the fact that I can barely breathe because I ate so much).
We did a little cupcake taste off as well. We had 6 cupcakes from 2 different shops in town.

Banana Split
Red Velvet

Sweet Mandy B's
Orange Creamsicle

I think we all agreed that Sweet Mandy B's had the superior cupcakes and overall the Orange Creamsicle took the cake (pun intended)

Bday Cupcakes:

And of course a trip to the Taylor's is not complete without Clifton!

Mr. Clifton Taylor:

Friday, July 16, 2010

Day 197

I have the best husband in the world. Seriously.
I come home from work a little bit early today to find a not scrolled on the bathroom mirror giving me a clue as to where I can find my early bday gift (my birthday is Monday).
So, I take off in search of a "message doll" not knowing exactly what this is. What I find else where in the house is a little Japanese made figurine where messages can be hidden. In this message doll I find a note from my husband giving me another clue. I find my gift cleverly hidden along with the books on our bookshelf. I got a Nook!!!! And a fancy red cover for it! I'm so excited because since I've borrowed Troy's I've been kind of bummed on the train when I need both hands to turn the pages. Not that easy to do on a moving train. I also got a coupe new magazines, and some of my favorite snacks!
Thank you to my wonderful husband!! I love you!

Tomorrow night our good frineds' Becca and Eric are having us over to grill out and then on Sunday the hubby and I are headed to Table 52 (or so I think - he keeps telling me we're going to McDonald's). Great weekend ahead!!

BBQ This Way:

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Day 196

Finally Friday - well almost.

Doesn't this photo make you just want to sit out on the patio with a few friends on a nice summer day? Well that's exactly what I did. Only substitute wine and instead of "nice summer day" please replace with "muggy as hell". And, it was late tonight when I finally got a chance to step away from work so take away the sunshine as well. Ugh.
Thanks Susan and Aaron for the impromptu drinks!

But all is good, tomorrow is Friday and I have a great weekend ahead!

Sunshine Martini:

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Day 195

Super early call in the morning so I'm headed to bed early.
This is all you get. Sorry!


Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Day 194

2 days down and about 3 days worth of work completed already - the week is going even better than expected so far!!

Plus I got a few exciting pieces of news the last few days:

1.) My best friend Erika got engaged over the weekend. Her and her fiance started dating about a year after Troy and I did. I'm so ridiculously happy for them!!
2.) Anna, one of my best friends and roommate from college also got engaged last week to a great guy. Yay!! Now we just have to talk her into moving to Chicago :)
3.) My brother is moving from south Texas to Seattle which is WAY more appealing to visit. Bring on the Indie rock and green living!

Anyone else have any good news??

Cartoon City:

Monday, July 12, 2010

Day 193

It was really hard to go back to work today. We had such a great weekend with Mom!
But today flew by, so there wasn't much time to be sad about going back.
I'm aiming for an uber productive week - here's to hoping that

Britanica Building:

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Day 192

Another fantastic day with mom!
It started off with an amazing breakfast - we have to make sure she eats well while she's here! This morning it was crab cakes benedict, bacon and fresh fruit.
After breakfast we went downtown and went on an architectural river cruise. Troy and I have been meaning to do one since we moved here. So we drugged Mom up on Dramamine and the three of us set out. I can't believe how much we learned. It was a great way to spend a summer afternoon and it goes to show that those touristy things can sometimes be a lot of fun!

Tonight's shot is what energized us for the day. I know, this seems to be turning into a food blog lately!

Mom's Breakfast:

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Day 191

What a great day!
Mom and I chummed around downtown for a while and went shopping. Later, Troy met us at XOCO for lunch. One word - amazing. This place is Rick Bayless' newest creation. It's a take on gourmet street food, and he does it well.
Then, we came home and had a great dinner with a lot of good laughs - mostly due to the impromptu game of catch phrase.
And, a night of outdoor cooking isn't complete without some s'mores!


Friday, July 9, 2010

Day 190

We had to introduce mom to our recent obsession - tacos. Tonight we did grilled shrimp tacos. They were even better than last time. Troy has a serious gift in the kitchen.
But, we took a slightly different approach - an IA State Fair approach to be exact. Shrimp tacos.....on a stick, and vodka lemonades!!! YUM! Ok, so the tacos weren't exactly a good stick candidate but it didn't stop us from trying. :)

Taco on a Stick:

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Day 189

Well Mama Loftin made it safetly to Chicago so we had to go celebrate with Mexican food and margaritas! Then of course some ice cream :)

Calling it an early night so we have plenty of energy for tomorrow.

Water Fountain:

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Day 188

Wednesday! The week is officially half over!
Looking forward to tomorrow. Not only is Thursday my Friday this week, but Mama Loftin is also making the trip to Chicago!

Didn't turn out exactly the way I wanted. Really needed to bring my fingers more into focus.....but I think you get the point. :)


Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Day 187

Wow, today flew by! Not what I expected. But unfortunately a day off doesn't come free. I'm still drowning in emails.
Troy is home for the week on vacation so we're sitting down to enjoy dinner and a movie.

Sweet Tooth:

Monday, July 5, 2010

Day 186

A little sad tonight because the long weekend is over. But, another long weekend ahead and only a 3 day work week!

We finally made it to the dog beach today. The boys haven't moved since we got home. We had a blast! It was packed - there had to be over 100 dogs there. This is such a great place in the city.

I love, love, love this picture!! I've had the hardest time trying to get my shutter speed right for action shots. Not only did I get them in focus, but I did it with two of my favorite subjects! :)

No editing. I swear.

Hope everyone had an equally amazing weekend.

Beach Boys:

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Day 185

Happy Fourth of July to everyone! I hope you all had a fantastic day with family and friends while celebrating our country's independence.
Our day didn't go exactly as planned, but it was a great day nonetheless.
The plan was to get up early and head over to the dog beach, but after waking up late our plans were thrown awry. But, we headed over to the dog beach anyways only to find out that all of the beach entrances were being blocked off and there was no way to get there. We turned around and unloaded the dogs and the picnic gear and put in a movie and took a nap. I know, I know, naps are becoming a regular thing around here. But hey, we're on vacation!!
Tonight we headed over to the lake to watch the fire works at Navy Pier. They were just so-so. But, it was still nice to set up a picnic and watch them over the lake against the city skyline.
I tried to snap a few shots but forgot my tripod (rookie mistake). Ugh. Sooooo...instead I played around with the shutter speed.

Green Fireworks:

Multicolor Fireworks:

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Day 184

What a great day! And something tells me that tomorrow is going to be even better!
Started out with a visit to the gym and then a lazy late afternoon including a movie and a nap. :) Once we were rested up we made a trip to our favorite fish monger (Dirks Fish Market). We've been in a taco mood lately so tonight we did shrimp tacos and tomorrow will be wreckfish tacos. Both with a corn/pepper/mango/onion salsa, lime juice and shredded cabbage. The shrimp version was's to hoping the wreckfish are even better....if possible!

Shrimp Tacos (sorry, I couldn't help tasting them!):

Friday, July 2, 2010

Day 183

Oh how I love days off. No alarms, no email, no meetings, etc.
Highlights from today include a strawberry shake from M Burger, a trip to the apple store and while there checking out the new 4G (I'm sticking with my 3G, but Troy's getting one!), an uninterupted nap (that went WAY longer than planned), and a movie night with the husband. Great day!


Thursday, July 1, 2010

Day 182

Want to know what's so great about today?

1.) My wonderful husband gets home tonight
2.) It's beautiful outside making for a great night for a long walk
3.) It's the first day of July - the best month of the year!
4.) I have a vacation day tomorrow which makes this the start to a four day weekend!!!!

I'm cheating tonight and using a photograph from the "archives". I'm sure you'll all forgive me. :)