Entries in Friends (7)


Brain Dump!

Due to my absolute lack of blogging lately, I have a lot of things to share.  These are all things that I originally planned to dedicate an entire post to, but that just is not going to happen.  So, here are the Cliffs Notes!

My mom, sister Nen & friend were in town the weekend before we went on vacation.  We typically shop, eat & drink sangria when they are here, so it was a treat to do something different this time!  Million Dollar Quartet has been calling my name for some time & we all went to the Apollo Theater (where my amazing friend is the GM) to see it.  It was so much fun - everyone gets involved and sings, claps & even dances around.  It's a pretty incredible story about the night of 12.4.56 when Jerry Lee Lewis (my favorite in the show!) Johnny Cash, Elvis Pressley & Carl Perkins got together for an impromptu recording session & the awesomeness that ensued.  Go see it! 

Next Up: OPRAH!

Finally!  My mom & I have been wanting to go to Oprah for YEARS! It finally worked out & I was able to surprise her with tickets!  She was having a bad day & said that this definitely cheered her right up :)  My mom & Petey Quiche came to Chicago at the tail end of our vacation, so when we got back I was able to hang out with my mom again!  Yay.  & so soon after their last visit (see above).  The taping was a classic Oprah show - updates from past memorable guests.  Some were sad, all ended up happy.  I am surprised that I didn't cry considering the tears were falling yesterday while I was watching from my sofa!  When Stephen Paletta, the winner of Oprah's Big Give, came on the audience was surprised with $1,000 Visa cards to start our own foundations via  Now I WILL write a separate post about that.

I need to take a screen shot of my mom & I together in the audience.  This is one that a friend posted on FB.  The girls that sat next to us in the THIRD row (hello bright yellow & pink!) were really sweet.

Okay, moving on to concerts...

A few days after the Lady Gaga concert, we were back at the United Center to see BON JOVI!  Livin' on a Prayer (and Pour Some Sugar on Me by Def Leppard) is one of my first favorite songs that I remember & that wasn't something we sang in music class.  My friend Micki & I would listen to it over and over...  Bon Jovi is hot & so was this concert.  So glad I was able to check him off of my concert list!

So far for this spring/summer we have tickets to see: William Fitzsimmons (go see him. seriously), Ray LaMontagne, Maroon5, Carrie Underwood, some 80s bands (ask my husband, I can't remember!), Zac Brown Band & Kenny Chesney.  To name a few ;)

And finally (because this post is getting waaaay too long), St. Patrick's Day!

The Chicago River is dyed bright green every year on the weekend of the St. Patrick's Day parade downtown.  You can see the difference in the middle row - the beginning of the dye & after (love me some Shamrock Shake!).  It was my first time going to this parade (the South Side Irish Parade was an entirely different experience..) & we had front row spots.  It was freezing, but we huddled together & really enjoyed it!

There! I have set a goal & schedule to help me blog more regularly, so thanks for hanging in there!


Valentine's Brunch!

Our annual Valentine's Day Brunch is a favorite party each year.  Ted and I spend days preparing the house (me) and food (Ted) for 30 or so friends to gather on the Sunday closest to Valentine's Day.  It isn't a couples party by any means, just a day (& night) for us to eat great food and hang with friends.  This year was no different!

There is so much prep work to be done.  We like to chose dishes that can or have to sit overnight so that we can get them all together on Saturday & pop them in the oven on Sunday.  That way, we really only have to get appetizers &  more perishable things ready the day of.

The menu featured numerous quiche (shocking!)/egg casseroles, baked french toast with strawberries and bananas, hash brown ridiculousness casserole, bagels & lox, cream cheese, capers, fruit skewers (pictures of those below!), cheese & crackers, and lots of desserts.

I found these adorable heart picks at the dollar store.  I wasn't sure of their food-safeness, so I skewered the fruit right before everyone got there ;)  They were so cute!

A mimosa and bloody mary bar awaits the guests as they walk in.  It is always a big hit!

We had around 35 people this year.  When we first started out 6 years ago, we served sit-down brunch complete with strategically placed name cards for friends to get to know one another better (yep, hooking people up).  This year we had 2 toddlers and 2 babies join us - my how things have changed!

I sewed table runners last year when I couldn't find any that I liked - I love them!

With 2 of my favorite girls - Nicole & Anu.

As the clock started ticking towards 7 o'clock PM ("brunch" lasted until 10 p.m. this year!), the guitars came out, cowboy hats were donned and an eventual Dance Party USA ensued!

We have quite a group of talented musicians & there is nothing I love more than ending the night singing and playing with friends.  

This is truly one of the favorite events of the year & one we all look forward to!

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