Garden Update – Here Comes Spring!

We had snow this week! Actual snow! And I’m not very happy about it! Now, I am fully aware that we’ve had a very easy winter for the most part. There has been very little snow and the temperatures have been fairly mild. I think that that’s why this week’s snow seems like such a giant leap backward. I thought that we were done with winter. Although, this year, it seems as though we were done with winter in early January……


The front yard is starting to wake up. There is new growth popping up everywhere. We did a lot of work in the front yard last summer. We moved a lot of plants and planted many new ones. I’m excited and anxious to see how all of the new plants do this year.


My Own Christmas To-Do List

It’s a well-known fact that it is very easy for me to overdue Christmas. There is just so much that can be done during the holidays in and near Chicago! How can you choose? So, well, I don’t choose and instead try to do everything. That might be why December is so exhausting…..well, that and I teach preschool so no matter what December is going to be exhausting. But, if you too are wanting to have a Christmas crammed with activities, here is my list of must-do’s during the holidays. (Close to Thanksgiving, I usually send Ryan a bunch of invites on Google calendar so that he knows what I’m planning.)

Mag Mile Lights Festival -This one is a great way to kick off the holidays, in my opinion. Plus, it combines two of my favorite things: Disney and Christmas decorations!

Christkindlemarket – It’s fun just to walk around but it’s even more fun if you buy some snacks. Since they are right across the street from each other, we usually combine going here with dinner at the Walnut Room.

Walnut Room – One of my all-time favorites. Ryan and I have been doing the Walnut Room since before we had kids. But, it’s even more fun now that we have kids. The girls love seeing the “Christmas fairies” and I love seeing the windows and the giant tree in the middle of the restaurant.

Holiday Magic (or “lights at the zoo.”) – Lots of zoos do their own version of zoo lights. We go to Brookfield because we are members there. But, I have many friends who go to see the lights at Lincoln Park Zoo and they love going there. So, I think that you are probably ok with picking a zoo and enjoying their lights. 🙂

Renegade Craft Fair – I love this because it offers a chance to purchase some interesting gifts for people.

Christmas Around the World at MSI – This has been one of my favorites since before I even lived in the Chicago area. The trees are beautiful and you still have time to check out some of the other exhibits after you see the trees.

Garfield Park Conservatory – This one is a new one to the list. But, it’s not a new one for a list of my favorite things to do during the winter. This really is one of my favorite places to visit in the winter. Walking in here in January, you can forget that it’s 2 degrees outside and just enjoy the tropical temperatures, sights, and smells. This was, however, the first year that we went during the Holiday Flower Show.

Walking (or Driving) Around And Looking at Lights – This one isn’t necessarily a “destination.” However, I do like to walk around downtown Chicago to see the lights. The big tree at Millennium Park always looks nice. But, I also enjoy taking a scenic route home from Target or the mall to check out neighborhood lights. And, a big part of our Christmas Eve tradition involves driving around and looking at lights. That’s what we do following Christmas Eve Mass. 🙂


What are your must-do activities at Christmas?

My New Best Friend

So, my lovely readers, you already know that I am training for a 10K. You can check out my fundraising page here. Well, the 10K is in Florida. Which is great because it’s in February and a February 10K would only be doable (for me) if it was somewhere warm. The downside? I don’t live in Florida.

I was very concerned about how I would keep up with my training. One of the first cold-ish days in October, I went for a morning run. Let me just say, it was awful. Just awful. I’m guessing that once I’ve done more training, my lungs be a bit more prepared for…um…October. But I needed to continue my training without it being, well, awful.

So, here’s my new best running friend. Yep. A treadmill. It’s definitely not a fancy one but it does the job that it needs to do. And it folds up so it’s out of the way. It was also a lot cheaper than trying to get a gym membership.


Once spring has returned, I can get back into running outside. But for now, it’s nice to be able to keep up with my training without setting a foot outside. 🙂

Winter, Winter, Go Away

I love the big tree in our front yard.  It looks so nice in the summer.

Winter, go away! You're ruining my tree!

Winter, go away! You’re ruining my tree!

We have a deck and I am so looking forward to sitting on it this summer with a beer in my hand.

Winter, look what you've done to our deck!

Winter, look what you’ve done to our deck!

Summer means time for hamburgers and hot dogs on the grill. And we have added seating with the picnic table in front of the garage.

Winter. You are such a jerk.

Winter. You are such a jerk.


Spring Break! Woo!

Spring Break is finally here!  The never-ending snow is finally melting! The first day of spring is quickly approaching!  Can you tell that I’m excited?!?  This winter has really worn me down and I’m looking forward to seeing the first signs of spring.  Cabin fever has hit me really hard this winter and I’m ready to get outside.

So, now that I’ve got a week at home, I do have some projects to get caught up on.  This week will be a very social week as we have someone to visit almost every day but there are some things around the house that I do want to complete.

In no particular order:

  • Transition little girl into her big girl bed.  She picked out her new sheets and blankets yesterday.  This weekend we will hopefully move the crib out and move the twin mattresses in.  We won’t set up her actual bed yet as it is pretty tall but the mattresses will be a good start.
  • Plant some succulents.  I’ve been holding on to some small planters and some miscellaneous mason jars that I had planned on using for succulents.  Well, I think that this week is as good as any to complete that task.
  • Move some furniture into the garage.  This is one that I won’t be able to do on my own and Ryan may not be able to do on his own but we’ll figure out a way to get it done.  That one dresser that we never painted?  Yep.  It’s still not painted and it’s actually empty right now so it’s just taking up space.  We also have a bookshelf that isn’t being used at the time and it’s in a place that in a couple of months will be taken up by the pack ‘n play. 🙂
  • Potentially take in some more art to be framed.  We still have several prints that we didn’t have framed before we moved.  I finally think that I know where a few of them will go, they just need to be matted and framed.
  • Sleep.  Sleep as much as possible!

So, that’s my list.  I’m keeping it fairly short so that I can hopefully get most of the completed during this week.

Wish me luck!  🙂

A Scarf for Ryan – #8

Although the temp might be in the 90s this weekend, right now you definitely need a jacket when you go outside.  Since this might be the last time in quite awhile when a jacket is required if you are going outside, I made the decision to finish this scarf tonight!


Finally! Finally I am finished with this scarf! It’s actually kind of a good thing that spring has decided to take a vacation away from Chicago because Ryan might actually be able to use this scarf without having to wait until November.