Who are you calling vintage?

I had the pleasure of taking a few hours this weekend to hang out at Chicago’s Randolph Street Market.

It was a perfect weekend to do it! Great weather, beautiful sunshine, and that soft Chicago breeze that comes every once in a while.  Booths lined the market with vintage treasures and trinkets.  A live band played in the background. The ambiance was perfect.

As my friend and I browsed the vendors we stumbled upon a couple of vintage clothing tents.  I’m a sucker for vintage clothing. My entire undergrad garb came from endless hours of thrift store shopping.

I was in heaven! Rows and rows of clothing were creatively laid out so that one could see the beauty in each piece.  How lucky I was to have found a dress that I immediately fell in love with!

I had to buy it. It’s going to go great with my red shoes.

I forgot how much fun it is to “dig” for the perfect look.

It’s because of the heat!

Image courtesy of: www.FreeDigitalPhotos.net

My mom lives on the south side of Chicago with a one air-conditioning unit to cool her house. So, I asked her if she would want to stay with us knowing that the temperatures will be (and are currently) in the 100’s.  She gleefully accepted and has been here since Tuesday.

I forgot what it was like to live with  someone addicted to extreme weather conditions. My mom is in love with Tom Skilling, our local weather forecaster, and watches his forecasts religiously. During the winter months, she even goes so far as to telephone me and repeat his forecasts word-for-word.

Well, Chicago’s heat is breaking all kinds of records. This is fantastic news for my mom. Yesterday was the hottest day, with temperatures reaching 103 F and heat index of 112. She loves talking about the extremities and is now continuing to blame everything on the heat.

Act I

Me: Oster isn’t eating as much as he usually does for breakfast.

Mom: It’s because of the heat.

Me: But it’s cool in the house.

Mom: It doesn’t matter. It’s hot outside.

Act II

Me: I think I put too much salt in the egg salad.

Mom: It’s because it’s hot out.

Me: What?!?

Mom: Yeah, your body loses salt in the heat so you should eat more of it to make up for it.

Me: Ummm…what? That doesn’t make any sense.

Mom: Yeah, well…whatever.

There is never a dull moment when my mother is around. She knows her weather obsession is over-the-top and allows us to laugh with her about it (although she’s 100% serious).  She has mentioned the heat at least 25 times since she’s been here. She even changes the subject of whatever we are talking about just to talk about the weather.

With most sincere love, I seriously think my mother would be a great Saturday Night Live character.

Eat Your Heart Out

As most of you know, Oster is allergic to dairy. My dad is staying with us for the week (from Georgia) and it’s taking him awhile to get used to our “no dairy” policy.

Every time my dad visits, he carries-out not one but two or three Italian beef sandwiches during his stay.  This is a problem in our house since most bread has some sort of milk content.

Well, I didn’t want to deprive my father of his beef, so I let the rule slide yesterday. I even let him bring fries into the house.

My dad was amazed at all of the precautionary measures I had to set up before I let him open his wrapped sandwich.

I was quite pleased that my father was understanding and really followed the rules (he tends to be a rule-breaker when he stays with us ). We were on high alert with the sandwiches and extremely careful in washing our hands and mouths after eating them.

Yesterday’s lunch just proved to me that I can put a little cream in my coffee sometimes and even enjoy a chocolate cake with real chocolate and real butter. I’ll just indulge in these luscious dairy treats when Oster is asleep, like right now…it’s 6am and I’m eating chocolate cake.

Larry Gets Lost in Chicago – Book Review

Larry Gets Lost in Chicago is a light-hearted story of a dog (Larry) that tags along on an adventure with his owner’s family. The book begins by introducing Larry and his owner (Pete…a little boy) taking the Metra into the city.

The family walks around the Magnificent Mile, grabs a Chicago-style hotdog at Navy Pier, and waits for a train on the platform. As the family enters a train, Larry gets distracted and does not get on it. As the train leaves, Larry boards a different one in hopes to find his family.

Major Chicago landmarks are presented in a colorful and unique way. Larry looks for Pete at Wrigley Field, while Pete looks for Larry at US Cellular Field. Pete ends up at the John Hancock Center at the same time that Larry is in the Willis Tower.

As the story unfolds, you also get to read about (in caption form) what the Chicago icons are all about.  And, yes, Larry does eventually find his friend.

Author Michael Mullin uses a poetic pen to tell this series. Other places Larry gets lost in: San Francisco, Seattle, Boston, New York, and Los Angeles.

Take me out…

If you were to ask me what my favorite baseball team is I would tell you, “The San Francisco Giants”.  They are really the whole package: great pitching, good teamwork, they play to win, they have a beautiful ballpark, and they are in a great city. Not to mention, they have sweet uniforms and the garlic fries they serve at AT& T Park are delish!

Because I am a Chicagoan and a lover of baseball, I’ve always told people that I love the Giants, but I am also a Chicago fan.  There was a time when I truly believed in both the Cubs and the Sox. I cheered for them both (knowing full well that the Cubs would never have a good season in my lifetime).

It was last season when I finally gave up on those lovable losers. Why? Well, for one: they aren’t a cohesive team; second: it’s exhausting sticking up for them in any discussion; third: the ballpark isn’t really kid friendly.  Sure, people take their kids to the historic Wrigley Field. But it just doesn’t have quite the same “vibe” as other kid-friendly ballparks.

US Cellular Field (I still call it Comiskey) is entirely kid-friendly. The park is designed so it’s easy to walk around, there are several activities for children to participate in (Kids Day, Dog Day, autograph signing, run the bases, speed pitch machines, and a rain room), it offers kid camps and you can even enroll your child in its kids’ club.

Dog Day: You get to bring your dog to the ball park! Some of the players even participate.

My husband surprised us Sunday morning with tickets for the afternoon game. I haven’t been to a ball game since I was pregnant. So this was such a great treat for me. And, even so for it to be Oster’s first ball game!

Although we only sat for one inning we stayed for four! We had such a blast walking around and introducing him to the ambience: the crowd, the laughter, the sounds of the bat hitting the ball, and the music.

Mr. Serious watching the ball game.

He received his first certificate (Guest Relations hands them out for free with your child’s name on it). It reads, “Congratulations for attending your first game at US Cellular Field”. Now that’s definitely going in his scrapbook, along with the following photo:

At the Park

Okay, so it’s 78 degrees in the middle of March and I’m at the park.  In Chicago.  The temperature has been this way for the past week and I’ve totally taken advantage of the sun.

Oster has been going to the park this whole week and enjoying the fun that goes along with it.  He has inspected each piece of grass around him, went down the slide (with me) for the first time, and lounged in the swing that now has his name on it.

Tomorrow is St. Patrick’s Day and there will be no need to wear layers.  It’s shorts and t-shirt, baby!  This is going to be the best St. Patty’s Day EVER!