Thanksgiving Weekend

Thursday, December 1, 2016

I hope you had a great holiday weekend filled with lots of family time and yummy food. Loren and I hosted our first family Thanksgiving. I didn't manage to get very many pictures since I was busy cooking and cleaning most of the time but I wanted to share a recap the best I could. I wore my special turkey chef hat for food prep on Wednesday. :)

We grabbed a nice dinner at Rock Bottom once my sister's boyfriend got picked up from the airport. A fun night out with good drinks and food!

I'm so grateful for these few cell phone pics my sister-in-law took of people during dinner. I didn't get any pictures myself so I'm happy to have these for the yearbook. After dinner I got some snuggle time with my favorite girl.

The majority of our time the rest of the weekend was spent watching football, but we did manage to venture out to the Naperville Christkindlmarket. It was fun to see the Christmas lights and have some mulled wine...even though no one in our group really cared for the mulled wine, the mugs are sure cute!

That's pretty much a wrap! I've spent this week watching the Gilmore Girls Revival and getting our Christmas decorations out. I'm hoping to get the decorations finished up today so I can share those photos with you next week. So crazy that it's already December, I can't believe it! Happy Holidays friends!


Morton Arboretum

Thursday, November 10, 2016

We live near this beautiful place called The Morton Arboretum and since they recently had a doggie day, we finally went for a visit. Our visit was quick, we didn't realize that we arrived with only 30 minutes until closing but we strolled around and tried to make the most of our time.

My favorite area was walking near Meadow Lake. The reflections on the water were really pretty and it was a nice way to spend a Fall evening.

Ruby enjoyed herself too! :) She loves going to new places and all the attention she gets from people walking by. After walking near the lake we decided to head back towards the entry to get ready to leave.

Right near the entrance, there were gorgeous Fall displays. I don't think I've ever seen so many pumpkins outside of a pumpkin patch! And I loved the trees with mums tucked into them, they sort of remind me of a Muppet or Sesame Street character!

We barely scratched the surface of the arboretum and I'd love to go back and spend more time exploring. But, it was still a fun family excursion and an easy way to tucker out our little pup!

A photo posted by Kristen Ayotte (@kristenayotte) on

Have you ever been to an arboretum before? I didn't know what to expect but it was pretty neat to see all the trees and plants (and for Loren to be able to read about them!). Thanks for checking out today's post, have a great day!


Cubs Celebration Parade

Monday, November 7, 2016

In case you were unaware, the Chicago Cubs won the World Series. They haven't won in 108 years. Now, I'm the first to admit that I'm not really a baseball fan but all the excitement in the area over the last few weeks had me on the Cubs bandwagon. We were able to go to the parade on Friday and it was incredible. The streets were absolutely jam packed and the river was blue.

The actual parade went SO fast! First there were trolleys with Cubs staff members (?), or other people we couldn't identify and then came the double decker buses with the players.

We decided to skip trying to get to Grant Park for the celebration rally and instead went to my favorite place to eat and drink in the city...Rudy's Bar & Grille. For some reason I didn't expect it to be jam packed (not my smartest thought) but it was really fun to hang out there. We were at the bar having a drink and they played the National Anthem before the rally started. Slowly, the entire bar started singing along to the Star Spangled Banner and it brought tears to my eyes (I took the picture before the anthem started).

We watched the rally while we ate lunch and it was really quite a scene. People watched the TV's with tears in their eyes, so happy that the Cubs had won it all. I don't know that I'll ever forget the experience and I'm so happy that we were able to be part of the fun. Now if I could just get the Go Cubs Go song out of my head. :)

I'll go back to my usual football watching and cheering now!


First Light Book Signing

Friday, November 4, 2016

Yesterday I got a last minute ticket to a local book signing with Bill Rancic for his debut novel "First Light". The book signing was hosted by Anderson's Bookshop, our local bookstore but held at the Marriott in town. I didn't really know what to expect going in but it was a really nice event.

Giuliana Rancic introduced Bill and then he came on stage to chat a bit. He talked about how he came up with the idea to write a novel and how it was a little intimidating since it's not something he'd done before. After talking for a few minutes, he took questions from the audience. I can never think of questions that don't sound idiotic at times like these so I just listened. He was so friendly and answered all sorts of questions whether they had to do with the book or not.  Giuliana stayed and would pipe in from time to time with stories, they seemed sweet with each other. It was nice to feel like what I'd watched for some many seasons on their reality show was actually reality.

After the discussion, it was time for the actual signing. It was very organized, and Bill was kind and spent a few minutes talking with every guest while signing their book. And yes, he really is that handsome!

Giuliana was hanging out talking with people and signing things as well, so I got to talk to her for a minute and get a picture.

She was decked out in Cubs's World Series fever here in Chicagoland! It was a lot of fun and I'm glad I went. I'm looking forward to getting into the book seems like it's going to be a good story. If you've read the book I'd love to hear what your thoughts are!


Halloween Recap

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Holy smokes, it's November! I can't believe how quickly this year has gone by. Loren and I were talking about it last night and I believe this year more than ever I understand the saying "the days are long, but the years are short". Today, I thought I'd share a quick recap of our Halloween weekend.

We hosted a little Halloween party on Friday...little being the key word. But we had so much fun the guests that did come over and it was great to spend some time with new friends. Our family dressed up as Uhara, Spock, and Captain Kirkette from Star Trek.

Our buddies had great costumes as well! Costume parties are so fun. :)

Since we're in a new neighborhood this year, I was sort of nervous about how much candy we'd need for trick-or-treaters but we had plenty! I'm actually pretty surprised by how few kids came to the door. We had fun sitting on the porch greeting the kiddos as they came to grab their candy.

Worst picture ever but I had to capture cute little Ruby in the background keeping an eye on things. I'm moving on to full Thanksgiving prep around here but I'm already itching to get the Christmas decorations out! Hope you and your families had a fun Halloween!

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