So May was kind of awesome. It was my first month at home for the E.N.T.I.R.E. month — no work or personal travel of any kind — and it was lovely. I’ve been soaking in the smaller joys of life as we prepare for the summer months and hopefully a steady stream of visitors. The weather in Chicago is still very March-ish to me, but summer is slowly beginning to show its face.
I’ve been reading Marina Keegan’s The Opposite of Loneliness (review coming soon here on the blog) and Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird. I started and finished the entire Divergent series when we were on vacation last month and so my book completion rate has multiplied exponentially this quarter.
I watched all the finales (I think) but most of them were so forgettable that I can’t even remember which ones I enjoyed. Which is saying something. Game of Thrones has been excellent though — this season is the best yet.
And I’m bummed about Mindy Kaling’s show, Mindy, being canceled — it wasn’t a show I anticipated from week to week, but I enjoyed its light-hearted take on romance. I missed the last half of this season because I was doing other things, so I’ll be catching up on its ending when it becomes available for free. (Comcast we pay A LOT for onDemand, so you really should have given me time to watch this season before taking Mindy off the free replay list. I mean, seriously.)
This month was H’s birthday, and we did some fun things around the city to celebrate. First up was a unique Ben Folds concert at the Fourth Presbyterian Church here in Chicago. The Church was right next door to the hotel we stayed in when we first came to Chicago to look for an apartment, and it was a fun little date. It was also totally weird to see and hear Ben Folds rocking out in his special way inside a church. Every time he said a curse word the crowd murmured with awkwardness. “Can he say that here?” (In case you are wondering, yes. No obvious repercussions.)
Then, we had the most glorious birthday dinner at Stephanie Izard’s restaurant The Girl and The Goat. For H, there is nothing better than a fancy restaurant with a menu created by a Top Chef contestant. (It cost a lot more pennies than my favorite place, Burger Bar. And I had to wear a dress, so I’m just saying burgers and beers remain superior in my book.)
This month H has been grilling a lot and we’ve been eating grilled chicken, veggies, and quinoa every single day for lunch. (Well, not every day but you hear me. I made lentil soup one week.) I’ve also decided that my ideal Summer beverage is a 12 oz. can of Shiner.
We’re working hard to not over-purchase groceries, which means we are meal planning and using up things in our freezer. We had a strawberry-cherry crisp one weekend for breakfast to use up some yummy frozen strawberries we had (thanks Mom!) and we’ve eaten up all of the green beans from my parents’ garden last summer. I’m not sure why I’m such a hoarder of freezer things, but I’m working to change that. As the kids say, #yolo or whatever, right? So we are eating our delicious frozen goodies.
Seeing the Midwest
We made two fun day trips up to Wisconsin. (We are trying to make Wisconsin my new West Virginia. Although I do not love it like I love West Virginia. Country roads, take me back to Harper’s Ferry please.)
We spent a Saturday afternoon and evening in Milwaukee where we enjoyed delicious frozen custard and visited the Bronze Fonz. We took a brewery tour and we attended a Milwaukee Brewers baseball game. I actually really loved Milwaukee and would like to visit again — and I have an important question for any Milwaukeeans out there: why are there SO MANY clocks on the buildings? I mean, that is a lot of clocks.
And then we took a longer drive up past Madison to Devil’s Lake. We hiked, fished (I caught the first fish and it was the largest!), enjoyed the scenery and ate cheese curds. Because Wisconsin. It was my first time fishing from a canoe and I hated how wobbly it was. But otherwise it was super fun.
What I’m Wearing
Clothing during the Chicago not-winter-not-summer is super confusing. Some days I’m in sleeveless dresses and sandals in the morning and then a rainstorm comes in and it’s freezing on the way home. Other days I still need sweaters, long pants, socks and boots. There is no consistency and it is completely unpredictable and I generally have no idea what to wear. Fortunately fashion is not a high priority where I work.
However, there is one thing I have been consistently wearing that I can heartily recommend: Tarte Lipsurgence Liquid Lip Shine, in Exquisite. I am terrible at lip gloss, lip stick, lip-anything. Terrible. But I ordered a Tarte makeup kit from QVC and this is the greatest and best lip product I have ever owned and I am wearing it all the time. (I mean, not every day because I forget, but I do really like it.)
On the Internet
It’s been a few months since I’ve really been paying attention to the internet (I’ve missed you!) but there are a few things that I’ve been loving. I started following a few new blogs/websites, including Hollywood Housewife and Darling Magazine. And I really enjoy the writing at Grantland.com even though its geared toward sports fans. (Looks like my husband is wearing off on me!) I’ve also been listening to a lot of podcasts, and am particularly enjoying Happier by Gretchen Rubin and The Right Reasons (it’s all about reality TV and it is HILARIOUS).
I’m falling hard for the writing and editing team I’m working with at The Mudroom. I’m still learning who each of these strong women are at their cores, where they are from and what makes them tick, but it’s a wonderful community and I’d love for you to check it out. Here are two of my favorite posts to date: one, two.
And, suddenly I’m really into Pinterest again. Follow me here if you want to.
Have you been doing anything awesome this past month? And: how are you? It’s been ages.
To check out more monthly wrap-ups and get tons of book and music recommendations, head over to Leigh Kramer’s What I’m Into link-up! I always find really good stuff there.