May 26, 2010

Words for Wednesday

Ahh, the serenity prayer. I can specifically remember this posted in the front of my 6th grade classroom. Never hurts to have a reminder on this one, so easy to forget there are some things we just can't change and have to let go.

spring in da backyard

I kind of missed the boat with this post, considering we've suddenly arrived at Summer in Chicago. But better late than never...

I was so thrilled when the bulbs my neighbor and I planted last fall came up in full force this Spring! When I first moved into this place the grass in the backyard wasn't even growing, so just to have grass coming up nicely is so exciting. I know, not a big deal to those of you not in the city. But it is pretty crazy to be right in Chicago and have a backyard -- unheard of! So I'm pretty happy about even the little things back there.

Humor me as I post these simple Spring pics that bring me oh, so much joy, to look at from my back windows.

Giddy about the trees too, we had a landscaper come in last year to plant trees, so this was the first time we were able to watch them bud in the Spring. It's the little things...

Man oh man, love the smell of hyacinths! It's unfortunate they're so low to the ground because I practically had to lay down to smell them!! I'm sure my neighbors thought this was perfectly normal...

And last but not least -- let me introduce you to this guy, Andy. He enjoys summer weather the best, but he stayed out all winter keeping gaurd of my deck and the backyard. Dedicated little guy isn't he?

May 25, 2010

Steal of the week: Nordstrom's half yearly

I consider myself to be somewhat of a bargain hunter and lately I've been collecting these "deals" in my head and wanted to share them with the blogosphere!

Of course I also posses a problem where upon hearing of a sale (any sale!) I feel compelled to run over and buy something (anything!), regardless of how much I actually need the item. Yes, sometimes I buy simply because it is on sale and seems like a "good deal."

With that said, I'm starting a new series so I can post good deals when I see them. Some will end up being specific to only Chicago, others will apply anywhere. I know, you guys are excited, right? Without further ado, this week's Steal of the Week....

Tomorrow at 9 AM begins the Nordstrom Half-Yearly sale!! I think I've mentioned this before, but I work literally across the street from the back entrance of Nordstrom and sadly for my wallet, pretty much live there. I get my chai latte for a special treat in the mornings, I eat lunch there, I shop there, I've gotten my makeup done there after work - you get the point.

It's a darn happy morning when I have this at my desk...

Anyway, enough about my obsession, its time to make it your obsession too with all the great deals! For the half-yearly they will have summer items on sale/clearance and also bring out entirely new items that will be marked down.

And if you don't happen to work across the street from Nord's or live near one -- no worries, the sale will be going on online too. Let me know if you find any awesome deals!

May 19, 2010

Cosi does summer

A few weeks ago Cosi was offering free drinks, featuring their new summer line up. I was pretty impressed. There's a sangria (sans alcohol) and a sort of spicy lemonade number.

They even came with real fruit skewers! Kind of felt like a little escape in the middle of my work day. Mid-afternoon work-safe happy hour, if you will. Although, I'm thinking about keeping a little flask in my desk drawer to really spice these up...  Just kidding boss! :)

Words for Wednesday

Literally giddy that the sun is out today! What a gorgeous day. And I'm not going to lie, my own personal soundtrack to life, sometimes starts playing this Keith Urban song in my head. It's like I'm walking across the street over lunch and I just want to bust out...and the sun is shinnnning!

More good times on the way in Chi-town...supposed to hit the high 80s this weekend. Can't wait to get planting around my place and do some fun brunching with friends in the nice weather!

Picture from vacation in St. John, overlooking Trunk Bay.

May 13, 2010

A night at the ballet

I recently experienced my first real ballet! Now that I've been in Chicago for a few years, it was high time I experience some of the great shows we have visiting Chicago.

My friend Diane is a big ballet fan and was so nice to set up a girls outing to Swan Lake at the Civic Opera House, performed by the American Ballet Theatre. We went after work one evening last month and had dinner and drinks before the show, so much fun!

I snapped a few pictures from outside. The Civic Opera building is just amazing! I wish I would have taken some from inside. It was built in 1929 and from their website, "considered to be one of the world's most beautiful venues." I don't know if I'd go quite that far, but it is quite stunning on the outside and when you walk in.

Looking up from right outside the building...

And a nice shot of the outside from their website

May 12, 2010

Words for Wednesday

In response to the past few gloomy and rainy days in Chicago...

May 7, 2010

Spring planters in the city

Time for the Spring edition of the sidewalk planters! I feel like all I talk about these days is flowers, but I can't resist -- these are gorgeous. We may not have huge yards with green grass everywhere in the city, but I do love watching the changing planters. And Spring of course, is one of the most exciting. Yay for tulips and bright colors after the long, gray winter. Funny to notice "trends" in planting too, definitely a lot of branches and pussy willows incorporated this year.

Really love this combination in front of the Omni Hotel.

You can't go wrong with tulips...

Oh, Hydrangeas... Don't you just love the blue??

One of my favorites. The blue, the orange, the willows, the ivy. Love it

The Trump just won't be love affair continues.

Classy little number over at the James Hotel

And we'll finish with a massive collection off of Michigan Avenue. The foxgloves in here look awesome!

Aren't these great? Gives us city dwellers a little reason to stop and smell the flowers.

You can check out the other seasons' planters here: the Winter collection and the Fall '09 group

May 5, 2010

Words for Wednesday

In honor of Mother's Day this weekend...

And speaking of becoming your Mother, I was both frightened and amused when I saw this picture of me and Mama from St. Thomas. I thought we looked so much alike. Basically, I can look at her and see where some of my wrinkles will be :) Of course I can also look at her and hope that I am half as good a Mother as she is. Here's to you 'Sugar', can't wait to see you this weekend!

May 4, 2010

Let the renovation begin!

This is what the lobby in my building looks like today. And let me tell you, this, in its unfinished state, actually looks better than what was there before!

I'm heading up a project to renovate our entryway, stairwell and do landscaping in the front. Kinda like one big curb appeal package. Lately I've been pretty absorbed in all the details that go into a project like this. I'm working with one other lady in the building and it took us a few months just to get two estimates together and compare everything by line item and get things in order to present to the building. We finally presented our proposal and got enough votes to move forward! And now, work should be done on the inside in another week. I'm excited to share the before and after pictures with you! Nervous to see all our choices go up, but I think (hope!) it will all look good.

Blooms in the desert

This week's blooms are coming to you from Arizona! I was happy to see the pots my sister and I planted in December were still going at it. Gotta love a climate that lets you grow annuals pretty much all year round.

A shot of the Four Peaks...see 'em?

And because sister is infinitely better at taking pictures than me, here's a better one of the Four Peaks and the loveliness that is the pool. It's clear who wins in the point and shoot vs. Nikon DSLR battle.


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