force of nature

we had a hell of a commute today – 2 1/2 hrs. to go 50 miles – but I’m just glad we made it in to work safe & in one piece. there were plenty of accidents on the road ahead of us on our way in, and we took a scary little spin in the middle of the road, but we miraculously got to work without hitting or getting hit by anything. my boss wasn’t as lucky: his car did a 360 on the stevenson, hitting the concrete divider with both of his fenders. luckily, he wasn’t hurt and the car, though seriously damaged, was still safe to drive in, but he said that it sure was a wake-up call & that he had to pull over to take a few deep breaths before continuing on.

the weather wasn’t even anything too terrible – just cold with last night’s snow loose on the ground – but it was still a beast. today was a good reminder that nature is a force to be reckoned with & anytime you walk away with no or slight bruising is a victory to be thankful for.

stay safe & warm out there, wherever you are!

places I love | greer chicago

greer1 greer2photos from my instagram

I could spend hours in a stationery store. I love things that are beautiful both in form & function, and with stationery, that’s often the case. I love the feel of good quality paper – thick & crisp – and the feeling of writing with good quality pens – no dragging, just smooth & easy. I also love sending stationery, especially now that sending cards & notes through the mail is becoming more & more a thing of the past. it takes so much more time & effort to do it that way, so whenever I receive a card in the mail, I really take the time to read it & appreciate the message.

a friend of mine gave me a notebook for Christmas, and she mentioned that she had purchased it at greer & highly recommended me to check it out. I finally made my way over there last week (it’s on Wells just north of North Avenue for my fellow Chicagoans), and it did not disappoint. various stationery items were on tables, beautifully displayed. their selection is fantastic – so many of my favorite stationery brands were there (rifle paper & co., crane & co, snow & graham, sugar paper, kate spade) as well as other brands I hadn’t heard of before but was happy to get introduced to. the front room led to a little hallway that had an incredible collection of unique greeting cards for every occasion, and I took advantage of the opportunity to pick up some cards for birthdays & events coming up. I also picked up a bunch of these pens (photo above), which have quickly become a new favorite. I’m digging the extra fine point nib.

if you love stationery and beautiful gifts, I highly recommend you go & check it out!

the friday five

hopleaf

this week’s the friday five is coming at you solely from our dinner at hopleaf, a bar in uptown/andersonville. in all the years I’ve lived in chicago, this was my first time, and man, was I missing out! we snagged a four-course meal with beer parings on how about we last month and scheduled it for memorial day evening. it was the best meal I’ve had in a long time. the food was delicious and a little more sophisticated than you would expect from a bar. the beer was excellent, and the pairings were spot on and well thought out. it was most definitely the highlight of our week. we’re already plotting our next visit.

I hope you have a lovely weekend!

dinner highlights

mussels

| mussels in white wine with shallots and peas |

frites

| frites & aioli, round 1 |

cider

| one of my favorite drinks of the night: vandermill‘s ginger peach cider |

salad

| a decadent arugula salad |

steakandfrites

| medium rare grass-fed ribeye with ramp butter and frites & aioli, round 2 |

p.s. we had a delicious lavender infused panna cotta for dessert, but I had long hit the food wall by that point and didn’t take a quick snap. they rolled us home shortly after…