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Chicago

I was recently invited to a private dinner event at Little Goat here in Chicago and I must say, I am entirely obsessed with their private rooftop space.

Here’s the table all set and ready for us.
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I love the glassware on the right. It matches my dishes and I wanted to steal a set of 8 or 10.
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They had some fun goat pictures on the wall next to our table and the painting on the floor *gasp* I am obsessed.
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We had a great family style meal. I honestly have no idea what we ate because I didn’t order anything and I didn’t ask a lot of questions. I mostly just ate what was put in front of me. Great character trait, I know.
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We had our own little personalized welcome sign and if you look closely at that same picture, you might notice that the wall behind the door is very lightly painted like the floor in the dining room. I love the subtle detail! All the character of the space was just amazing from the mixed and matched, rustic silverware to the wall of pots…and that AMAZING chef’s kitchen.
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I couldn’t get enough. I didn’t want to leave. Here were are two weeks later and I’m still telling people I want to live there. I hope I have the chance to go back and drool some more another time.

Last year, after moving to Chicago and settling in, I remember looking into 5Ks the hubs and I could run. Well, he would run them, I would whine and struggle and pant and wheeze through them (and maybe walk for a minute). I found the Hot Chocolate 5K, which is one of the largest 5Ks in Chicago. It was sold out last year when we tried to sign up, so I was really looking forward to signing up this year.

The hubs and I met up with a friend the morning of the race (she snuck up from her holding area a ways behind us) and we all ran together. Here are some shots of the crowd, the start and a before picture of the three of us.

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I struggled through the first two miles with them and walked for a minute during the third mile. I have no endurance and I hadn’t run a single time since the Run10Feed10 10K I ran (half of) in October. We ran through some of the Loop and ended in Grant Park, close to where we started. The trees were SO pretty the weekend of the 5K and I snapped this picture below (you can see the lake way in the background) along with some after shots of us ready to eat all the yummy goodness you get after the run.
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You got chocolate fondue, a banana, a Rice Krispie Treat, a marshmallow, a brownie (which I couldn’t eat – too much chocolate), and some prezels. We also got hot chocolate, obviously, but it wasn’t the best I’ve had and I stuck with my fondue…and the fondue of those who were with me…
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This is a panoramic I took of the whole finisher’s area including the downtown skyline. Wasn’t it a pretty day?!?
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Here we are all together after! The two who ran the whole way and me! I had a great time, but next year if I do it again, I can’t do it with absolutely no running leading up to it. I need to be able to run the entire 5K…it’s not that far.
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Earlier this summer, a couple of our friends from New York came out to visit and stayed with us. For brunch on Sunday, we went to a restaurant we hadn’t been to before called Eleven City Diner. It has such a great atmosphere! It reminded me of the Jewish diners we used to go to for brunch in New York. Of course, we sat down and the hubs immediately ordered a coffee and matzah ball soup. He seemed happy to have found a good place to get matzah ball soup here in Chicago.

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This view is looking down onto the first floor from where we were sitting. I loved the bar and how grand the room was! Like I said, it had a great atmosphere and it reminded me a lot of NY (but more spacious!).

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Right near the entrance, there was a little candy shop with all the candy I loved as a kid. It was so fun and colorful. I would definitely go back here again!

Since moving to Chicago, I’ve heard talk of this magical place called the Randolph Street Market. It’s common that 20-somethings here frequent street festivals filled with art and vendors selling things, but people mostly go just to drink their faces off. Turns out Randolph Street Market is not one of these street festivals, but actually a place where vendors all come together to sell lots of super cool items. It’s a combination of jewelry, furniture, vintage, new, art, etc. and it only happens once a month. A couple weeks ago, a friend of mine was going and asked if I wanted to join. The hubs was out of town at a bachelor party and I needed things to do to get me off the couch, so I jumped at the invitation and I am SO glad I did.

We spent a few hours working our way up and down the aisles of goodies in each of the booths. Some were amazing and some were amazingly fun to joke about. One of the very first booths we visited had this pretty gold Trifari bracelet (I may or may not have a weakness for bracelets…) which I bought promptly. We later checked out a shop that had pretty much nothing except this super cool old bottle case which I thought would be a fun decoration somewhere in our apt. Finally, right at the very end of our exploration, I came across this amazing old pitcher (which I will probably use as a vase). It looks very Mad Men to me and I instantly loved it.

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Pretty cool find, in my opinion. There were so many other things there that I would have loved to come home with.

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I can’t wait to go back again and see what treasures I can find! Surely I’ll buy things I don’t need just because they’re pretty.

The other night I went with my team from work to Niketown where we were able to make custom sneakers. It’s been a while since I did this and I’m definitely in need of some new running shoes, so this came at a great time. As I’ve mentioned, I’ve been longing for spring, so I think that coupled with Easter being this weekend really influenced my design and color choices.

I knew I wanted something that was good to run in and I wanted something that’s not ordinary – otherwise, what’s the point of designing your own shoes?! I chose to customize the Nike Free and here’s what I came up with:

Barney Shoe Side

Barney Shoe Front

I can’t wait to bust these suckers out when I’m running along the lake this summer!

I wrote this post out last week and through some terrible glitch, when I tried to post it, not only did it not post, but it lost everything I had already written. So, here I am trying again!

I recently went with some people from work to this great little jewelry store in Lincoln Park called Erin Gallagher. I had a great time there and I loved shopping and hanging out. I really could go back daily – there were so many pretty pieces of jewelry I wanted!

This is a shot of the outside of the store. Isn’t it already super cute?
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Then you see on the inside that there is jewelry for you to select from or you can create your own works of art.

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I love the vases of pearls and the hydrangeas and the chevron. So much character and so many pretty things!

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I ended up getting three necklaces, but believe me, that was not all I wanted! I’ll be making a trip back, for sure. Below is one of the necklaces I got – it’s made of beautiful swarovski crystal. Like I do, I put it on thinking it was super over the top and gaudy and instantly fell in love with it. (I did this with a wedding dress too [tried is on as a joke] and almost got it!) I can’t wait for spring to come when I can wear this with a tshirt and sandals and just really dress it down. You can already see in my daily outfits that I’ve worn it a couple of times.

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I also go the necklace that is below on the right minus the smallest hoop. That’s actually a second necklace and I was playing designer, which you can see is something you can do…see all the pretty gems? I love delicate gold necklaces and I know I’m going to wear this all the time.

They also had this amazing antique ring that was an estate sale find. If I didn’t already have so many rings I wore regularly, I’d have considered snapping it up. So pretty!

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Unfortunately, I don’t have a picture of the third necklace I bought, but it is gold with gem stones on it that are orange, fuschia and lime green. I can’t wait to wear it!

Does anyone else ever fantasize about what else you would do if you decided to quit your job? Among thoughts of Lululemon, teaching fitness classes, and Starbucks, I have now added Erin Gallagher to the list. Go check it out – you’re sure to find something amazing to accent your wardrobe.

This weekend, the hubs and I ran the Color Run 5K in Grant Park in downtown Chicago.

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Here’s a before and after and a picture of us waiting at the starting line and then at the finish.

They started waves of 1500 people at a time to keep everything from getting overly crowded, which was nice. Too bad they didn’t start all the runners first and the walkers later. That would make for less dodging later on. In this pic you can also see people looping back around and coming through the first color zone – orange. The color zones were at each kilometer and were orange, yellow, blue and pink.

I do have to say, the finish line was the most anticlimactic organized race finish ever. No one was cheering and everyone who had finished before us was just standing at the finish line, in the way. I surprised myself and finished the run in 25 minutes. I’m happy with that. In the first mile, there was a girl who ran by me and I was like – I can keep up with her. I can totally keep up with her! Pretty sure she was running way faster than I should have been and I paid for it in the third mile.

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At the finish line there is a color “festival” with a DJ and music where everyone hangs out and every 15 minutes they throw color packets. Looks super cool, doesn’t it? It was definitely cool to watch, but I’m glad I wasn’t in the middle of it.

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And here we have the obligatory “after” photo. I stayed cleaner than the hubs…mostly because I dumped my red color packet on him. All in all it was a fun time. I would definitely do it again. I’m sure it would be even more fun with a bigger group. Friends? Who wants to run next year? I’m down for NY, Chicago, Austin, whatever…

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