Happy Monday, all! Can you believe there are only nine more days until Christmas? And seventeen days until little Miss C’s due date?!! Eek. I just can’t believe it. So many different emotions now that we’re in the home stretch. Mostly, we’re just so excited to meet our little lady, but I’d be lying if I didn’t say I was a little nervous as we anticipate her official debut. All we can do is just take it day by day and embrace these last couple of weeks together as a party of two. It’s just been the two of us for the past 14 years so it’ll be a welcome change as we transition to a family of three. My last day at the office is this coming Friday and I’ll be on maternity leave until spring so I’ll have a couple of weeks to myself to get situated and get some rest (hopefully). We’ve been uber busy these past few months, as you can imagine, and the holidays are always full of social events. Pregnancy (or my swollen feet) have not slowed me down. Also, I’m so thankful to John for getting the majority of our Christmas shopping done for us this past weekend and really going above and beyond this entire pregnancy to help me out any way he can. Kuddos to the best husband and soon-to-be dad. Seriously. He’s been so amazing and I can’t wait to see him with our sweet girl.
A few weeks ago we shot our winter maternity photos that we used for our Christmas cards this year and I’m so happy with how they turned out. A special thanks to Sheena Ann Photography for capturing our last Christmas photos as a party of two. I’ve also linked both of my dresses below (the white sweater dress is non-maternity).
Hey guys! I hope you all had a terrific Thanksgiving and enjoyed your long weekend, as well as snag some awesome Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals. If you didn’t get any shopping in over the weekend, there are plenty of sales still happening so make sure to check out my list of Black Friday Deals from last week.
This past Sunday, my lovely girlfriends and I got together for our Annual Girls Christmas Party; a tradition our girlfriend Jen started about 15 years ago with only a handful of girls that has now grown to a group of 12. Each year we get together during the holidays for brunch or dinner and a gift exchange/grab bag. It’s just a fun excuse to kick off the holiday season with one another since it’s a lot harder to get together as often as we used to due to busy schedules, careers and families, although we do get together for important events and celebrations whenever possible. Most of us have been friends for over a decade (or two), and have seen each other go through many different stages in life. It feels so nice to be surrounded by such a wonderful group of women you can have fun with, but who also support you, love you and encourage you without any jealousy or drama.
This year we hosted our Annual Girls Christmas Party at Beatnik Chicago in West Town, a restaurant with an eclectic mix of furniture and decor from all over the world that offers flavorful dishes made up of ingredients from Asia, Mexico, the Middle East and South America. If Beatnik wasn’t already the perfect choice for Sunday Brunch, the restaurant was beautifully decorated for the holiday season with lit-up Christmas trees, candelabras and crystal chandeliers which has inspired me to compile a list of 18 festive restaurants and bars to visit with your friends or family during the holiday season.
1. All Chocolate Kitchen: Located in Geneva (about 41 miles west of downtown Chicago); serves chocolates, cakes, pastries, house made gelato, coffee and other savory bites. They also make life-size candy and cake installations for the holidays.
2. Beatnik Chicago: There are two locations; one in West Town and one on the river in the loop. Beatnik On The River is closed on Sundays, but both locations are open for lunch and dinner. Our bill came out to $46/pp. with mimosas and cocktails.
3. Club Lucky: Cozy Italian eatery located in Wicker Park/Bucktown.
5. Happy Camper Pizzeria: Pizza place that also serves cocktails in a warehouse setting with tire swings and Airsteams. There are two Chicago locations; one in Old Town and one in Wicker Park. There’s also a location in Denver.
6. LUXBAR: Located in the Gold Coast. Had brunch with a girlfriend last year and it was very cozy and festive for the holiday season.
7. Meson Sabika: Mansion with eight dining rooms decorated in traditional Spanish decor located in Naperville; serves Sunday Brunch and tapas style dinner (had brunch with a couple of girlfriends last year). Super cozy and charming for the holidays. Cost of brunch is $34.95/pp which includes a mimosa; $16.95 for children 7-12 years old. Great venue for weddings and other events.
8. Miracle at Sable Kitchen & Bar: Restaurant/cocktail bar in River North decked out in holiday decor, offering ten Christmas-themed cocktails, a DJ and games.
9. The Lobby at the Peninsula Hotel: Beautifully decorated this time of year; John and I are going for brunch this coming Sunday. Brunch is served from 11am-2pm and The Lobby is also where the celebrated Peninsula Afternoon Tea is served.
1. Butch McGuire’s: One of Chicago’s most popular bars located in Gold Coast at Rush and Division; famous for its over the top Christmas decor.
2. Frosty’s Pop-Up Christmas Bar: Holiday season pop-up in it’s third year. Super fun and completely decked out for the holidays with four different bars on three levels. They serve Christmas-themed cocktails, have a DJ and a singing Santa Show every hour. Open from 4pm to 4am and tickets are $15-$30. Runs through January 5. An added bonus: Some of the bartenders are models and a lot of them are good looking.
3. Happy’s at Chicago Athletic Association: Pop-up bar located on the hotel’s ground floor, open for the third year in a row. Serves top-notch holiday cocktails and snacks with Christmas tunes playing in the background, festive decor and plenty of twinkling lights. Located at 12 S. Michigan Ave. Closed on Sundays.
4. Rudolph’s Pop-Up Bar at Casey Morans: Sports bar in Wrigleyville with several themed spaces and character appearances with plenty of holiday decorations and cocktails. Food is also available.
5. Santa Baby at Deuce’s and Diamonds: One of the largest and over-the-top Christmas bars located in Wrigleyville. Offers multiple themed spaces and bars. Free on weekdays; $20 on weekends.
Left work early today and I’m looking forward to spending Thanksgiving tomorrow with our family! Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday and this year I’m feeling extra grateful and thankful for the biggest blessing coming our way. We keep it pretty casual and spend the day at my in-laws just hanging out with the immediate family before we sit down for dinner. In the past, John and I would make our rounds and visit both families, but after my aunt passed away and with my dad’s poor health over the years, my side of the family no longer cooks so my mom has joined us the past couple of years, and I typically spend Black Wednesday with my dad since he prefers to stay home. How do you celebrate your Thanksgiving holiday?
Also, as we all know, with Thanksgiving comes one of the biggest shopping days of the year, which in recent years has begun the day of and now lasts an entire week (I never shop in stores on Black Friday and always prefer online) so I wanted to share several Black Friday Deals already happening so you can get a head start on your shopping and avoid the crowds. You can skim through my Lookbooks for some inspo. and click on the images to shop or just click on the links of each individual store. I’ll keep adding to the list as new deals happen. I hope you all have a great holiday and enjoy your day however and with whomever you choose to spend it. xo
With five weeks left until we meet our girl and only four more weeks until Christmas, today I’m sharing my first holiday gift guide of the season for anyone with a little one on the way!
Even though we still have quite a bit to do at the house in preparation for little Miss C’s arrival, I feel better knowing that a lot of the big things have been crossed off our list such as getting our car seats installed, putting the crib and bassinet together, washing her clothes, and knowing that any essentials we might need now or in the future, we can easily purchase at our local Walmart or Walmart.com. Walmart’s shop online, pick up in-store option and their free 2-day delivery makes shopping (and life) so much easier and less stressful, especially with a newborn on the way.
Happy Hump Day, all! I can’t believe Thanksgiving is one week away! It’s my favorite holiday of the year. We get to spend the day with loved ones and savor a delicious home cooked meal. All. Day. Long. My two absolute favorite things. Also, it’s a four day weekend for most of us so I always look forward to the short work week. With Thanksgiving just a week away, I wanted to share a roundup of some fall looks that I posted on my Instagram over the past couple of weeks to give you some inspo. for the upcoming holiday. As always, I’ve added clickable shopping links below. xo