Before the holidays even began, a friend asked if I could make her a birthday themed “table dot”. I was flattered she wanted one and was willing to wait after the Christmas season. It was perfect to jump into a craft project- I think this is my favorite one so far. I aimed to keep it simple and concentrate on using wool felt and use “heat and bond” with fabric I had from my stash.
Unfortunately I didn’t take a lot of time to set up shots of the completed dot. The weather is crappy and we haven’t seen sun in days, so the prospect of a nice shoot is “zero”. But I managed to take sections and photographed them so I can remember for next time…I think I may make a few to sell at my sister’s specialty shop and maybe on Etsy. What do you think?
Oh, and the rick and rack is a new element that I totally adore. Note to self: make one for yourself.
Last week was my birthday. It’s always weird having a birthday 3 weeks after Christmas (although, as a teenager I loved the money I would get and then hit all the sales!). People get out of the habit of celebrating a birthday after coming off the craziness of the holidays…I get it. Also, the reality of life hits most of us and the winter “blahs” are in full force.
A challenge we had last week was that our refrigerator went out (Happy Bday to me!). At first, I was slightly excited because I have been yearning for a bigger fridge…what were we thinking 7 years ago? Oh yeah, one extra kid later and growing kids…you can’t really imagine what that means in so many ways.
ANYWAY, we shopped around and were stunned with how expensive they are and did not want to go in debt. With school tuition for our 3 kids still an issue we are stretched to say the least. Nathan checked out Craigslist- found a perfectly suitable and larger fridge and we paid cash…I admit, I moped. But, I’m not one to mope for long given that I am a pretty fortunate person to live where I do and have a healthy family…(Happy Birthday to me!). So, one of the lessons of “growing up” and “growing wiser” was to cancel our hotel reservations in Chicago so we could feel at peace with not going into further debt. So this post is to show that you can still have fun and get a new/used refrigerator at the same time!
We took the express train into the city and listened to one of my favorite programs on NPR. It was fun sitting side by side enjoying a great story sans kids. This story was what we thoroughly enjoyed and found relatively familiar!
We basically spent the day prioritizing food and art. Once we arrived, we took a cab to XOCO (Rick Bayless’ new place). We arrived just as they were closing for breakfast and only were serving coffee, cocoa and pastries. Hardly a problem. We sat in the cafe and enjoyed churros, coffee, and I had the Aztec Cocoa. We learned that they roast and process the cacao beans on site which gave the cocoa an extremely fruity and wonderful taste! I was in heaven, really.
Nathan was a good diabetic and ordered a lovely salad. I was the birthday girl and ordered whatever I wanted without a care…
Check out this torta… Chicken, pepper jack cheese, pickled jalapenos, and cilantro crema.
I was sad once lunch was over. We hustled to Michigan Ave. and paid homage to the Apple store and dreamt of an iPhone and Nano. We checked out The Gap and were blown away with the sales. I bought 2 skirts (I’m good, but not that good) for about $6 a piece…man alive! Nathan and I both agreed we are terrible shoppers and bore easily.
It was time to head on over to the Art Institute and visit the Modern Wing. We couldn’t resist an obligatory “couple shot” with the river behind. And, what are we looking at? A nice passerby asking if we want her to take the photo. We let her, but like this shot best! Can you believe we have known each other over half our life? We were 18 and now- ahem.
The Modern Wing is GORGEOUS. So different from the older part of the Art Institute and basically all windows. They have a great area of studios for families and it’s free- you don’t even have to pay admission to create art. I love that and it’s totally accessible for all.
We decided to eat early and good thing. The place we went to was on the previous night’s news and quickly filled up once we were seated. The food was so GOOD and we will go back for sure (shaved brussel sprouts with pecorino, salted/roasted beats with goat cheese and pistachios, milk braised pork shoulder, chicken kebobs with tzatziki and a great bottle of wine…Happy Bday to me).
After dinner, we dashed to a cab and we were off to the train station making an earlier train. It was lovely to arrive home with no kids to have to tuck in (sure, we missed them) and watch a movie and be totally “Nathan and Carol” and not “Poppy and Mama”.
Thanks for reading a pretty long winded account of my birthday. Should I mention that on my actual birthday my sister had a nice lunch for me at work (I share a bday with another cook, and do you know how many other people are born on the 15th? A LOT) and my mom and sister hosted a wonderful dinner…we grilled burgers in the dead of winter. LOVED IT.
So- yep, I had a nice time and we saved some money…imagine!