A few amazing things happened this weekend, including a blogger event, christmas party, and an engagementaversary celebration.
Let me start at the beginning, though. Ann Taylor Loft had a 40% off sale and I gladly crashed the party on Saturday morning to stock up on winter essentials. I left with a few pairs of pants, a few sweaters, and yet another chambray shirt (they are all kind of different... right?).
I squeezed in a 6 mile run before heading to the Chicago Healthy Living Bloggers' monthly book club. Naturally, I did not read the book (I read a few others, but always manage to avoid the assigned book because I am a rebel like that).
I loaded up my plate with plenty of "mostly healthy" goodies. Included: chocolate banana bread, sugar and cinnamon pretzels, a random salad I made, "special salad," frank's red hot hummus, some amazing fig jam and goat cheese, and some rice crispy peanut butter chocolate and marshmallow bars. Everything was amazing and I easily cleaned my plate.
We also had a white elephant-esque gift exchange. I brought a bottle of homemade candy cane vodka (recipe to come), and ended up with two snickerdoodle LaraBars, an iTrain gift card, and a box of farm fresh meal recipes, from Veggie Next Door. I am so pumped for this and I'm pretty sure I won the game.
After book club, I headed home to refresh myself (and change into some of my new wardrobe) for my girlfriend's Christmas - slash - housewarming party, affectionately titled "Holiday Mix and Mingle."
As usual, everything about her loft party was perfectly styled. From her Merry Christmas sign to the Eiffel Tower tree topper, I was pretty much ready to move in for the holidays.
She had also made a very festive punch with cranberries floating on top, which was a huge hit.
There was also a lot of delicious food. Basically, she bought all the good stuff at Eataly and hosted her own mini Eataly party. Cheese, meat, crackers, and desserts. Delish.
In true form, I had to take a Christmas Party selfie in the bathroom. I tried to be festive with a red undershirt, but mostly I was just too excited to wear my new sweater and jeans, so I went with it.
The next day, we had a slow morning and a hearty recovery breakfast at The Breakfast Club. After a bit of cleaning and some consulting work I had to do, I headed out to Arch Apothecary to get ready for a very special date! It was the anniversary of the day my husband proposed, so I made us dinner reservations and scheduled a blow out and makeup application so I could meet my husband at the restaurant all glammed up for him.
We started with a blow out, and then I had my makeup done. I had a gift card to spend there, so I made sure to ask a whole lot of questions about the hair and makeup products they were using so that I knew which items would be most important to take home with me.
This was my haul at the end of my two hour appointment. I went with Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray, which is pretty much a triple threat of amazingness: (1) it works like dry shampoo but is clear, (2) it also works like hair spray that gives you great hold but maintains flexibility, and (3) it is a texturizer and helps give you that voluminous texture and body you desire. I also got Terry Mascara, which is a mascara serum that also promotes lash growth, and an RMS cream eye shadow.
I had brought an outfit to change into - it is actually the exact dress and heels I was wearing when my husband got down on one knee - and changed in the bathroom at Arch Apothecary. It was fun to have undergone a complete makeover there - from hair to face to outfit.
Eventually, I found a cab and headed toward Two, where I met up with my husband. I had made us reservations there because, on the night we got engaged, my husband had orchestrated for the photographer, my parents, and his parents to all meet us at this restaurant.
I made us a reservation for the chef's tasting menu and wine pairing, so we didn't have to make any decisions. We just sat back and enjoyed the bubbly.
This meal was amazing. We started with a deliciously fresh salad (top left), which included fried ricotta balls, jicama, and bacon. Next up were some delicious mussels in a port wine sauce (top right). I had never tried muscles before, and neither had my husband. I was worried he would be grossed out, but we both really enjoyed them. We also had some tasty skate fish (not pictured) and some bacon and cheese risotto (bottom left), which was my husband's favorite. Last, we had a bruleed banana bread with caramel sauce and ice cream for dessert.
We left properly stuffed, and walked home in the snow. My husband actually carried me at the end, because I was in heels and it was snowing heavily. I was impressed to see that my hair and makeup were still intact when I got home.