Baby Takes Manhattan

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As a child, Easter was many things: The end to a bitter winter and layers upon layers, sun, warmth, a pretty new dress, giving up something for lent, really long masses, a basket full of treats- giant beautifully wrapped chocolate eggs, bunnies, baci’s, Ferrero Rocher and Cadbury for days, Nonna’s Italian Easter bread, lots of food, laughs and Easter egg hunts.

As an adult, I associate Easter with: Renewal, brighter days, better spirits, bold colours and cleaner closets. Much like Christmas, I enjoy various activities leading up to Easter, crafts, dyeing and decorating of eggs, baking and discovering the perfect treats to fill up our Easter baskets. It’s especially fun to incorporate traditions and carve out our own each year.

Easter Picks
I am a huge fan of the pj’s from Chasing Fireflies. They are bright, festive, wash and wear well and the kids love them. Not to mention, they’re super cute! For the baskets, I source a lot of stuff from Target! You can’t beat the dollar bins- fab finds such as the Hello Kitty basket (pictured), crayons, pencils, colouring books, flash cards, magic markers, dinosaurs (pictured) & straw fedora! Home Goods also always has great stuff!

1. Mudpie Carrot Easter Basket
2. Pete the Cat: Big Easter Adventure
3. Jellycat Bunny & Ballerina
4. Eggwalk Chalk 
5. Janod Rabbit Puzzle 
6. Italian Chocolate Easter Eggs- i’m planning on picking some up from 
Eataly, but you usually can find them at your local Italian market.

Disclaimer: I was given a gift card from Chasing Fireflies, but all opinions expressed are genuine and my own.

Liking Lately- 5 Senses Edition

Sight: Catching up on Oscar Nominees- Blue Jasmine & Dallas Buyers Club were great, but yesterday I tried a few times to watch 12 Years a Slave and wasn’t really feeling it.

Hearing: Songza is my go-to, do you have a favourite station? Also, love listening to the Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me podcast.

Taste: Last week, loved Smitten Kitchen’s Kale Quinoa Salad w/ Ricotta Salata, the Milk Punch at Celeste, and the Stroganoff as suggested by this lovely!

Smell: This Jo Malone scent is spring in a bottle!

Touch: Nothing can beat snuggles with the kiddos…but I have to say, wearing something other than sweaters would be nice. 

What are you liking lately?

Foodie Happenings- Chicago

I’ve been terrible at blogging these days, but these openings/closings in the Chicago area caught me eye over the past week & I thought I would share:

  • Umami has plans to open in Wicker Park (awesome)
  • Dinosaur BBQ is also coming to Chicago - (they’re all over Upstate NY and have a Harlem location, good wings!)
  • Scoozi is closing after 28 years! This is our local joint, huge location, good food and super child friendly. I’m hoping LEYE fills the space soon, because it’s right next to our park, and child friendly options are slim in River North! 
  • DMK is opening in the LAO18 space on Hubbard, yay!
  • Celeste is a great new drinks spot, the milk punch is amazing and apparently they altered Ben Franklin’s recipe. 

Thanks everyone for the gift suggestions, incredibly helpful! I always try to find unique ideas, but sometimes crowdsourcing helps procure some really good ones. Case in point, a really great anniversary gift. 

We’re celebrating our five year anniversary next month, and I know the traditional gift is paper while the modern is silverware. A friend brilliantly suggested getting a personalized copy from the restaurant where we celebrated, Eleven Madison Park. I just rang over and ordered” I Love New York”, and Chefs Humm and Guidara will personalize it.

A perfect combo of traditional and modern - thanks to my A&M for the respective reminders :)

Photo Credit: First Two Images are mine, the last image via Epicurious. 

Gift Ideas

I have so many gifts to buy this month and I am looking for suggestions. Please help me out :)

  • 4 year old girl birthday gift: newish friend, so don’t want to go all out….BTW. what do you spend on gifts for people you don’t really know? 
  • 2 year old boy birthday gift -he loves Curious George, but probably has all the paraphernalia. What do 2 year old boys dig? 
  • My nephew’s baptism
  • 5 year Wedding Anniversary gift for the Mister…….this is the hardest one.
  • Easter Baskets for the kids: They will have plenty of candy, but what non-candy items do you fill your baskets with?
  • This weather is really wearing on me. Sick of sweaters, layers, and hibernation. Hopefully we get a taste of spring very soon. In the meantime, these are a few things I am loving:
  • Broadway in Chicago just announced its new season: my standouts being, Charlotte’s Web and Annie! Can’t wait to check them out later this year! 
  • Tomorrow is paczki day….after 2 years in Chicago, I may finally track one down! Do you guys have breakfast for dinner on Fat Tuesday? 
  • Belatedly finished reading last month’s book club book "The Engagements". Verdict: I tried to read this book three different times and really struggled. The history of the diamond advertising campaign and Frances Gerety’s diamond is forever tagline was the most only interesting thing. The book was very choppy, and I found that bouncing from the different characters/story was a disservice from the intended connection the author was trying to weave. 
  • Our next selection, is one of my favourites, so I am now going to read something engaging and something mindless.
scholasticreadingclub:

Can’t believe we’re already adding something to the summer-to-do list, but how could we skip a Madeline exhibit? (It opens on July 4th.) 

To celebrate the 75th anniversary of Madeline’s publication, the New-York Historical Society will honor the beloved schoolgirl and her creator Ludwig Bemelmans with an exhibition of more than 90 original artworks.

More info at the New-York Historical Society site. 

Cool! Hope it makes its way to Chicago.

scholasticreadingclub:

Can’t believe we’re already adding something to the summer-to-do list, but how could we skip a Madeline exhibit? (It opens on July 4th.) 

To celebrate the 75th anniversary of Madeline’s publication, the New-York Historical Society will honor the beloved schoolgirl and her creator Ludwig Bemelmans with an exhibition of more than 90 original artworks.

More info at the New-York Historical Society site

Cool! Hope it makes its way to Chicago.

Weekend Highlights

  • Visit to Eataly which was surprisingly & pleasantly quiet on Saturday morning. The kids devoured some pastries, we picked up some delicious meats, cheese and vino!
  • Trip to Nordstrom since both kiddos feet suddenly grew overnight. Feet measured & new shoes procured!
  • Dinner with good friends and their kiddos at a very kitschy, touristy Chicago institution, it was interesting(to say the least). Who wants to venture a guess?
  • Sunday supper: Tried out a new meatball recipe courtesy of the geniuses from the Meatball shop. Verdict: Delish!
  • Vino, Downton and finishing my book club book.