Sunday, July 29, 2012

A Beautiful Life

Sometimes, you have to take a moment out of your crazy busy life to just be thankful for all you have. It's as simple as that.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Missing Family & Friends

With my family (missing my sister) at Miletta Vista Winery for my birthday.

I've been in Chicago for nearly 2 months and it's been nothing but great; but I can't deny I'm missing my family and friends. One of the reasons I chose to move to Chicago was because it was a quick trip home. Luckily I'll be traveling home mid August to graduate from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln with my Master's! But what I'm really anxious for, is to see and spend time with my loved ones. 

(Sadly, Miletta Vista had a tragedy and was burned to the ground by lightning shortly after we visited. Please send prayers to all who were affected.) 

And of course, after my family I'm missing my dear friends. I have to say I'm a pretty lucky girl to have the friends I do. Luckily for Skype, phone calls and Facebook, my friends don't seem near as far away as they are; that is my friends in Nebraska anyway. Below are some photos from my birthday/going away party at James Arthur Vineyard. Funny, I'm beginning to see a theme here with my love of winery's and parties.

My long time best friend!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Taste of Chicago

The Taste of Chicago was the perfect chance for Michael and I to get some "tastes" of different restaurants across the city. We were happy to attend the festival with Michael's sister, brother-in-law and nephew. 

And boy oh boy was this quite the experience. To give you a little background info, Chicago has had an unusually hot and dry summer. We've been here for a month and a half and it has yet to rain! Well, of course it would decide to not just sprinkle, but down pour while we were at the Taste. The Taste is held in the middle of the streets with no cover. And for some reason, I decided to leave my mini umbrella, that I usually always have in my purse, at home.

In the end we were all laughing at the situation. Everyone was completely soaked and a little cold, but we couldn't help but laugh at the fact that none of us looked at the forecast before we left. Isn't it funny how the best memories happen when things seem to go wrong? In the end, we tried a delicious Brazilian steakhouse  called Texas de Brazil, some chocolate covered bananas from a mom and pop chocolate factory called the Fudge Pot and some not so good gelato from Franco's Ristorante (I'm on a serious mission to find gelato in Chicago that can compare to Rome's tasty ice cream). 

In front of the Buckingham Fountain.
These were delicious! I may try to make my own at home!
(Note: This was after we got down poured on!)
Despite the rain, there was a good crowd!
The not-so-good gelato :(
Michael's nephew seemed to sleep through a lot of the excitement! haha

Lincoln Park Farmer's Market

The other weekend, Michael and headed to the Lincoln Park Farmer's Market early one Saturday morning. I had read up on the best Farmer Market's in the city, and this one received great reviews. Lincoln Park has a beautiful little running/walking/biking path that we took to get there. It's covered by trees and we even rode by a driving range that I'm sure we'll be checking out before the summer comes to an end. 

It was a quick ride for us to get to the market on Armitage Ave & Orchard St. Coming from a farm family and farm community, I am always excited to get fresh veggies and fruits; and of course to give back to the "farmers." To my surprise they were serving crepes and fresh bread. This reminded me of Europe, and Michael or I couldn't have been more excited. Unfortunately we left feeling a little disappointed. Maybe I had too high of expectations after reading the raving reviews and from being a reoccurring customer at Los Angele's farmer's market at the Grove. If you've never been, LA's farmer's market is absolutely huge and wonderful. 

In the end, we came home with some amazing peaches and fresh bread for bruschetta. We plan to scope out other farmer's markets Chicago has to offer; so I'll be sure to share what we find!

Harley will be receiving this for his upcoming 21st birthday at the end of the month :)
Notice the bite out of the bread in my basket, Michael couldn't wait till we got home (haha)

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Lincoln's Zoos

Michael and I are always on a mission to find fun things to do in the city without breaking the bank. When we found out the Lincoln Park Zoo was free, we were excited to spend a Saturday there with new friends. It turns out Chicago’s weather isn’t much different than Nebraska’s. It was beautiful one minute, and then when we decided to leave, a sudden storm came in. Luckily it only lasted for around 30 minutes. The zoo isn’t far from our apartment so we enjoyed the walk through Lincoln Park on the running/biking path. The zoo was super clean and had a lot of great attractions. My personal favorite has always been the monkey exhibit.

Spending the day at the zoo made me miss my family. Earlier this summer we visited the Lincoln (Nebraska) Children’s Zoo with my niece and nephew. I thought it was kind of funny that we move to a different state and visit another Lincoln zoo. Nonetheless, going to the zoo, whether it’s with good friends or family, has always been one of my favorite summer activities!