• Best Thing Ever,  Confessions,  Favorite Things,  Food,  Fun in Chicago,  Pretty Pictures

    Let Me Be Frank.

    Yesterday I wrote about how more isn’t always better and how, although I miss Chicago immensely, I really do have everything I need in Knoxville. Then we took my parents to Portillo’s for lunch today because there was NO FREAKING WAY that I was going to be in the area for two full days and not go to Portillo’s, Thanksgiving or not. I decided that the answer to the question with which I ended yesterday’s post, “Who could ask for more?” is “Me, and I’d like a Knoxville Portillo’s, please.” THEN I’ll have everything I need.  

  • Blessings,  Confessions,  Favorite Things,  Food,  Fun in Chicago,  Travels

    Abundance

    One of the things I love about coming back up north is having the ability to stick up on things I can’t get in Knoxville. Being in Kenosha for this holiday meant a mandatory trip to my favorite grocery store. Woodman’s is a Wisconsin-based chain that is employee-owned and has the largest selection of products I have ever seen, as in four whole aisles of candy, one entire corner of the store devoted to soda pop and other beverages, and an aisle the length of the entire back of the store full of every kind of chip you could ever want, just to name a few. Unlike other stores which…

  • Food,  Fun in Chicago,  Travels

    This Is (My) Fifty, Part 2

    I have to say, for being as distressed as I was about turning fifty, I sure had a memorable day. We got up at 4:00am, showered, and headed to the Knoxville airport during the worst part of a line of thunderstorms rolling through the area. It was a white-knuckle drive and wet leaves were blowing everywhere (as well as covering the streets), which added insult to injury because I knew that traction wouldn’t be good if I had to brake suddenly. I even drove over a downed power line (oops) before I realized what was happening. It wasn’t live though; I’m pretty sure if it was, I would not be…

  • Fun in Chicago,  Random Thoughts

    Bring Your Favorite City Home With Modern Map Art

    The fine folks at Modern Map Art (affiliate link) provided me with a Chicago map poster in exchange for this post. All opinions are, obviously, mine. I’ve been furiously collecting Chicago-themed stuff lately. It’s for my new home office: I intend to surround myself with items inspired by my hometown. A few weeks ago I went to the One of a Kind Show and Sale at the Merchandise Mart with my friend Natasha, bringing along all the great intentions of buying holiday gifts for loved ones. Somehow I ended up with just a couple of gifts for others and three–THREE!–Chicago-themed things for myself. Oh well. With my eye and adoration…

  • Childhood Memories,  Family Fun,  Fun in Chicago

    Oakbrook Center is the Place to be…Right Now!

    This post is sponsored by Oakbrook Center. Full disclosure: I have loved Oakbrook Center (on the corner of Route 83 and Cermak Road just off of Interstates 88 and 294) for all the days I’ve lived in the western suburbs (that’s more than twenty-one years). I love it for many reasons: the shops, the restaurants, the environment, the outdoorsy element of it all, and especially because it reminds me of Park Forest Plaza, the shopping center of my childhood. These shopping centers that aren’t enclosed were the mothers of modern malls, and I think they’re totally fun. While you might think that the best time to visit Oakbrook Center is…

  • Childhood Memories,  Favorite Things,  Fun in Chicago,  Pretty Pictures

    There’s No Place Like State Street for the Holidays

    For some unknown reason, it’s been a couple of years since I have gone into the city and visited State Street when it’s all dressed up for the holidays. I’ve visited the city itself in December, but I’m typically at the Christkindlmarket, on Michigan Avenue, or at some other area of town for a blogger event. Over the weekend I was invited to see the group Straight No Chaser (they were amazing, by the way), Because the weather was supposed to be rather hellacious, I kept an eye on my weather app all morning and chose to head in much earlier than I needed to be in order to miss…

  • Friends,  Fun in Chicago,  My Friends Have Mad Skillz,  Pretty Pictures

    Cubs Day

    One more about the Cubs and then I’ll shut up about them…until next Spring. Let me tell you about Cubs Day. MY Cubs Day. After the Cubs won the World Series for the first time in 108 years, most of the city of Chicago was on a crazy baseball high. (Some of us still are.) The team even had a special day (Friday, November 4) designated as World Series Champions Chicago Cubs Day by Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner. That was the day of the parade and rally, the one whose estimated crowds of 5 million people made it the seventh largest gathering in human history. I had to work on…

  • Family Fun,  Fun in Chicago

    TGIF!

    TGIF, you guys. I don’t have much today, but it’s Friday and I’m feeling some relief even before the day is over. My life lately has looked like this: stress exhaustion stress worry exhaustion stress stress overthinking exhaustion OMG TIRED Cubs Cubs Cubs Cubs CUBS CUBS! CUBS!! CUBS!!! stress exhaustion Cubs stress worry exhaustion overthinking CUBS!!! TIREDDDDDD stress stress OMG IT’S FRIDAY! TGIF! I’ve already written about the Cubs twice this week so I won’t say another word about them…except to say that today is Cubs Day in Chicago and I sobbed like a baby watching the festivities on TV. Dylan took the train downtown to watch the parade and…

  • Amazing People,  Best Thing Ever,  Favorite Things,  Fun in Chicago,  Something That Could Change Your Life

    Superstitions Be Gone: Cubs Win the 2016 World Series!

    Chicago is a very happy city today. I am a very happy person today. I am nearly too exhausted to write about this but I’m going to give it a shot: bear with me. I was up until 2am and slept in a most terrible manner for the duration before my eyes sprung open again at 6:45am. I suspect it was because internally I sensed that “Good Morning America” was coming on and I didn’t want to miss the World Series recap, which I enjoyed immensely. Let me back up. Chicago Cubs. Cleveland Indians. What a World Series: a real nail biter. Game 7, though? I literally thought I was…