Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Polka Dots Challenge

I was a little slow on the challenge this week - I completed it at 4:30 this morning! Preparing Treat Exchange Invites, I went with this lovely Basic Grey Wassail paper that I purchased last year. Three different nesties, a button and to help closure and these were done! So easy peasy and quick to assemble for the 10 attendees.

Opened up! I just need to get my finishing touches inside the card with the details for the December 6th event. Chelsey & I attended a treat exchange six years ago and while we enjoyed the actual exchange, the treats were not of a quality that I wanted to repeat my attendance at the event (think pillsbury cookie dough, raw, as 'truffles'), so we chose to host our own! This is now our fifth year....tough to believe it's been that long. Mind you, MrP always makes a heck of a meal for us, so I continue to host =)

I'm so grateful for all of the people who continue to make this such a successful event. I only hope we can continue to keep it going!

Happy Wednesday, friends =)

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Day 2 in Chicago

Starting the day off right, we booked a walking food tour with Tastebud Tours, much like the ones we took in New York and San Francisco. This one, however, promised we would need a healthy appetite....and they weren't kidding. When you start off with two slices of Chicago deep dish pizza (which as it turns out features a heart stopping amount of cheese), you know it's gonna be one heck of a tour!

Pizano's for Pizza

Slice of Cheese and slice of Beef & Cheese

One of the purchased cows from Cows on Parade


A "Sarah's" Brownie (fudgey heaven!)

Palm Court - the Tea Room at The Drake
(one of the top tea rooms in the world)

Powder room of The Palm Court
 Powder room at the Palm Court was in the finals last year for the best rest room in America

Individual facility

Powder room hall

Powder room wall

Seating for High Tea at the Palm Court

MrP outside The Drake

John Hancock Center

We saw a couple of weddings having photos taken at this church

Waterworks building that survived the Chicago Fire
(it's literally a giant holding tube to prevent flooding)

Downtown Dogs - an apparent Chicago staple

All beef vienna sausage on a poppyseed bun with relish, onions, tomatoes, slice of pickle, peppers, mustard and celery salt.
The coloring of the relish is an old tradition that is still used today. Way back when, they thought the relish looked unappetizing, so they added green dye. (and they think this neon green looks more appetizing?!)

Chowing down
(MrP was terrified. Heck, I was terrified. Turned out it's damn tasty!)

Another Chicago Fire survivor. They pressure washed most of the building, but left a bit of the spire to show the char.

Next on our tour was Heaven on Seven, a cajun restaurant (subsequently we went back there again to try their pecan pie)

Huge hot sauce collection (free dinner for two if you can bring in one the owner doesn't have)
Gumbo (DELISH!) and Jambalaya (also very tasty!)

Funny hot sauce

with and even more hilarious description

Billy Goat Tavern

Tour Guide, Annalynne giving us the story behind the Cheezborger

Cheezborger at The Billy Goat Tavern

Love that architecture!

Outside of The Chicago Tribune features stonework from buildings around the world

Loved the look of The Allerton Hotel's second floor

Faces at The Allerton Hotel

Dessert at The Allerton Hotel (their pastry chef is amazing!)

End of Tour Photo with Annalynne

United Center

Mitika statue

Hull statue

Growing up, MrP loved Michael Jordan

Madhouse on Madison getting ready for some hockey

Ready to cheer on the Oil (while expecting a 6-1 game for the Hawks)

A whole lotta history!

Gametime, baby!

Retired numbers of some of the greats

RNH (Ryan Nugent-Hopkins) - seriously looks like he's 12 on the ice with the big boys!

Madhouse is right!

The Bulls also play at the United Center

The 'boulin Wall (or sieve as was the case that night)

We got very tired of hearing Chelsea Dagger, as catchy as it is, it's tough to hear six times!

MrP and The Math Genius(as we deemed him)
 from Medicine Hat, who's getting his PhD in Economics at Northwestern
All in all, a fantastic time. I'll more pics up soon (MrP is on me to get them up!) But now all I can hear is Chelsea Dagger in my head....