Bits and Pieces

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Mid-August! Hi! But how is this possible? And how do I always ask how we got here this time of year? My teacher friends are back in school, and I'm seriously wondering where July went (if you ask B, he'll tell you we spent in the car, driving from Wisconsin to Chicago. And back again. We're heading to Michigan this weekend, so B and the Civic are probably ready for it to be fall ;). We've been having such a good time in the Midwest this summer, I really don't want it to end. This feels like the first summer in ages that we're not planning for something, and its been so nice to savor everything. Its been a jam packed one, but every moment has been so sweet. We've still got a lot to look forward to in the next few weeks (we'll hopefully squeeze in an outdoor concert at Millennium Park, a visit to our neighborhood public pool, a beach dinner or picnic at the park, and long bike ride) and we have a big trip coming up to kick off fall that I'm so, so excited about.

We haven't been taking our camera anywhere (I want to start doing that more), but I've been snapping on my phone as much as I can. Below are some sweet summer moments if you care to see :) Hope you're having a good one and have some exciting things to look forward to! And happy almost Friday!!!

Random Little Brother Visit

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

My brother came to the city yesterday and spent the night with us. We went to the Takashi Murakami exhibit at the MCA and ate yummy drive in fast food (I looooove their steak bowls). I think he comes over mostly to play video games and watch funny videos with Brian, so that happened, too. We all wish summer wasn't ending, that he wasn't going back to school and that every weeknight was this fun :)

Side note: How is it only Wednesday?

Combined Birthday #19!!!!

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Over the weekend my friend Emily and I celebrated our 29th birthdays together (our 19th birthday combined birthday celebration!!! Here's a throwback pic for good measure). We had the yummiest Italian feast at Sappori Trattoria (my favorite Italian spot!) and talked all things baby since Emily is due this fall :) I love this girl and love this tradition. Can't wait for #20 and the big 3-0 next year! Ah!

My New Bike!!!

Monday, August 14, 2017

Isn't this almost a legit blogger pic? Like, don't you almost want me to link to my ($4.99 Walgreens) sunglasses? 

Happy Monday!!! Today I'd like to introduce my summer highlight: Beatrix Potter. My new bike. My obsession. I've posted some sneak peaks on Instagram and Instagram Stories, but it's time for a full post because I'm truly in love (only the most important objects in life get named, you know).

If you've been here before you know that I love to bike. But my previous bike has seen better days. It was an eighth grade graduation present (15 years ago and also a Raleigh!), and while I love it dearly, it's a bit too bulky. Its been nice to take on long rides (we love this path) and on muddy trails when we travel to Wisconsin or Michigan, but it isn't what I want to bike to the lake, work or grocery store (and, so shallow I know, but it just isn't very cute ;). We are keeping it, though — too many memories to let go of — and hopefully mounting it to the wall in our storage closet. Labor Day project, stay tuned.

Anyway, upgrading to something was in my imminent future. I was on the hunt last summer but between our wedding, honeymoon and moving, there was never a good time to shop around. When I started to get serious a few months ago and reached out to friends,  I was getting recommendations that cost thousands, and while that was outside of my budget, I was also afraid to splurge since Chicago bikes get stolen often.

Enter my Superbe bike from Raleigh. It's affordable, practical and the prettiest bike I've ever seen. It has the look of a gorgeous cruiser with the functionality of a road bike, and the best part is that because it's a step-through bike (the middle bar is lower than usual, so you can step right through it without lifting your leg above your waist), you can wear a dress while riding it! It also has a chain guard, so you don't have to worry about your clothes getting caught in the chain (my old bike's specialty was ruining jeans during my high school years).

Other favorite features: seven speeds (as someone who's terrified of all things, I love city biking and find myself able to zip through lanes so much faster and smoother with this bike than before), no hassle assembly (they have partial and full assembly options you can check out here; Raleigh also works with local bike shops in your city — I got mine shipped to and assembled here), beautiful leather accents (!), a bell (!!), a detachable basket (!!!!!!!!!!!!). And, very important, the price point is great. I couldn't find anything like this for a similar price, and since I know Raleigh bikes last, this really is a great deal.

The bike comes in white, hunter green, black and pink — inspired by famous shopping districts in different cities. The white is inspired by Chicago's Magnificent Mile, so it only made sense :)

Overall, I'm thrilled with the bike, which is cute, comfy and smooth to ride. If you're on the market, two thumbs up for the Raleigh Superbe.

P.S. Still love this cute bike bag.
P.P.S. This can never be a style blog because, really, my sunglasses are from Walgreens, but I do want to share that I swear by these helmets and this work bag, which turns into a backpack in case you don't have a bike basket and want to wear your bag (+ it fits a laptop and is super durable, I've used it every day for five years)!

(I received the Superbe bike complimentary from Raleigh. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Make the Most.)

A Camping Weekend!

Thursday, August 3, 2017

We spent last weekend camping, hiking, swimming, eating a million s'mores and having long chats by the fire in Wisconsin with some dear, dear friends. It was such a relaxing weekend and a great way to celebrate turning 29 (eek!). Midwest summers can't be beat, and this one was a really good one. We're actually heading back to Wisconsin today with Brian's family (currently procrastinating packing, feels like we're living out of suitcases lately), and while I'm not really looking forward to the drive (either I'm rusty or just kind of over it these days, last weekend's three hour drive felt like torture by the time we were 20 minutes from home), I'm excited for a few days of disconnecting and eating all things cherry flavored. And fudge. And reading this book.

We stayed at this state park, which had everything we wanted for the weekend (long hiking paths, a lake to cool off in, bathrooms!).

I'm not a big birthday person, but I felt special all weekend (and on such a sugar high!). One of my goals this year is to check out more, take time to truly unwind and relax, and this was the perfect way to kick that off. 

We ate so well and so much all weekend. Camping food is just so, so good. And when you're traveling with people who take food just as seriously as you but cook 100x better than you, you know you'll be satisfied all weekend long. We didn't forget at all about drinks and I'm now obsessed with this hard seltzer (the blackberry flavor is amazing) and wine spritzers (wine and ginger ale!). 

I have quite the collection of Brian-looking-at-map photos from the past seven years. He seems to always be in charge of directions (my parents love him for this), which is good since I'm no good at that stuff. That said, we did make a mistake during this hike and accidentally went 10 miles. Still feeling it.

Post hike vibes :)

We were sitting around the fire chatting, playing games, and I asked why we never listen to songs like Macarena. People go nuts for organized dances, why don't we just do them with friends randomly? A little bit later someone randomly put it on and it FELT SO GOOD. But look at Megan's face, judging us! Haha!

Such a good dinner. The guacamole in that burger was the weekend MVP. Or my socks and Birks look, which I proudly rocked all weekend, in the car on the way home and at the restaurant we had breakfast at in Madison Sunday morning.

Such a fun time. We want to try and go once more before it's too cold this fall. Do you have any favorite spots to camp in the Midwest? We're all ears :)