Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Adventures of Cara & Nate

It has been months & months since my last post and I thought I'd catch everyone up to speed on my crazy, hectic life full of weddings, road trips, home purchases and other life adventurers.

After traveling to a few cities to see if we could live somewhere other than Chicago, we submitted Nate's Match List for Residency. It was by far the hardest thing we had to do in our first year of marriage. I woke up several nights panicking and eventually it was time. I stood on stage with Nate as we opened the envelope to see where we would be living for the next 5 years. Gasp, so nervous. And, my rock star husband landed his number one choice ... which happens to be in Chicago! Phew.

March didn't end there. I hit up Palm Beach for a Bachelorette Party Weekend for one of my best gal pals. Enjoyed boating, poolside yoga, shopping, dancing and a trip to a fortune teller and flew directly to a work trip in NYC. Two days later I made it to Virginia Beach (via flight from Chicago to D.C.) for Nate's Sister's Wedding. Drove back (what?!).

We enjoyed a little Easter shindig at Grandpa's and officially decided to move out of our apartment with two weeks notice and nowhere to go. In the middle of packing, I drove  to St. Louis for Nate's brother's wedding. I don't do road trips, but do you see a theme emerging?! We drove back the next day.

At the end of the month, I witnessed my husband officially become a doctor, drove immediately back to the city for a wedding down the street and began moving the next day.

During the move, I got trapped at a storage facility with Nate, my sister and her boyfriend and stayed calm. I stayed calm again when Nate and I began camping out in her studio, while her and the boyfriend moved into our roomy one bedroom. Our studio adventurers helped us get our act together to buy our first home. In less than a month, we were pre-approved to buy a condo, found the condo and went under contract.

In June, we ventured to Madison for my baby sister's graduation and then drove (yes, another road trip. not sure what has gotten into me.) to Charleston to stand up in my friend Claire's wedding. Charleston was adorable. Claire was beautiful.

June was also a month for Grandparents. We rang in my Grandma's 90th with a surprise party (damn she looks good). And, we also found a weekend to visit Nate's Grandparent's in Detroit; most adorable grandparent couple ever.

We moved in with my parents, and my baby sister moved into the studio. Nate began his residency, I got promoted and we worked like mad people to figure out our first mortgage (warning: this is not easy!).

In the middle of this hectic month, we were featured on Style Me Pretty. What a great reminder of our special wedding last October.

We moved into our first place, in our dream building! The street and condo building also are home to lots of family memories (daddy/daughter dates, my parents rehearsal, my childhood home). With three sisters a few blocks apart ... watch out, Chicago!

A week later, a few of us girls put together one of the best bachelorette parties ever for my best girl, Ashley.

We had an amazing time at my best friend's wedding (she also looked beautiful)! And both started working crazy hours. We made another trip to Detroit to visit Nate's Grandfather, as his Grandma had just passed. Seeing Nate with his Grandfather is special; I know exactly what he will be like at the age of 90.

October (So Far)
I watched both of my sister's run the Chicago Marathon. They qualified for Boston and made their big sister extremely proud!

Made it to our first anniversary (today)!

Reflecting on the last few months (and our first year of marriage), I've learned I can conquer almost anything with the man I walked down the aisle with a year ago. While I am hoping the car trips are kept at a minimum, I know life with Nate will be one big adventure!

I Love You, Nate!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Saturday & Sunday Simple Pleasures

This weekend was the calm before the storm. With so many Spring weekends committed to travel, weddings, medical school ceremonies and bachelorette parties, I made sure to soak in some of life's simple pleasures. It was perfect.

Saturday started the bridesmaids dress quest for Ashley's wedding at Jenny Yoo and Bhldn. Happy to say our style is very similar and I loved our options. Despite none of us finding a dress at Bhldn, I must say we were all impressed by all the beauty in the store - fabulous dresses, unique accessories, an amazing pair of shoes for Ashley's wedding and unbelievable decor.

{I was convinced I was going to roll up the rug and walk out the front door with it! Yes, it was that special ...}

{A pit stop at Tory Burch had me loving the glam fireplace ...}

Later in the day, Ash and I indulged in some more of the good things in life. A Sprinkle's cupcake in our favorite flavor {hello bananas and chocolate ... my wedding cake was this combination} and afternoon bubbly at Fred's.

{Um hi ... aren't these the most amazing trays you've ever laid your eyes on? They are lace! They caught my eye when walking out of Fred's.}

Sunday started with walking the door to one of my Chicago special places, a New Leaf. I walked out with pink tulips, gorgeous white hydrangea and Queen Anne's lace before heading to yoga.

Afterwards, I picked up some new hand cream {please tell me why my Winter dry spell is just coming now}, shopped and enjoyed a long walk home before taking the Phoeb to the park!
It's weekends like this that remind you that life is good ... Happy Monday!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Some things I'm looking forward to this weekend...

{images via We Heart It}

Catching up with a bestie over wine, cooking, a movie and wedding planning ...

Framing my new Leigh Viner print and finishing up my radiator grill project ...

Playing outside and cuddling with my favorite little nugget ...

{images via Pinterest}

Fresh flowers, leftover homemade veggie chili and yoga ...

Happy Friday everyone!
I'm so excited for a weekend of normalcy before the weddings, bridal showers, bachelorette parties, medical school celebrations and work travel begins.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

A Project ...

What do these two spaces have in common? 

Radiator grill. And, I'm obsessed with it.

A few weeks ago, Nate and I snatched up a large frame at a resale shop and painted it white. We then ventured to Home Depot to pick up some gorgeous radiator grill in a quatrefoil pattern like the one below.
All images above via Pinterest

It's taking some time for me to figure out whether it will end up look more like this ...

{a jewelry organizer found on Lost Button Studio}

OR this ....

{an entryway organizer found on Brooklyn Limestone}

Any other suggestions for it? 

Monday, February 27, 2012

Breakfast Cookies

Would you ever allow yourself to eat cookies for breakfast? I do! It all started a few years ago when my love for Potbelly's Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies was at an all time high. To say I obsessed, would be an understatement. It dawned upon me that they would be even better if they had banana flavoring and hence the birth of breakfast cookies.

Bananas + Oatmeal= Breakfast

So here is what I do. I take a standard oatmeal chocolate chip recipe {I think last time I took it straight off the box} and replace the butter with mashed banana. It's a lot of work! Smart ladies make their guy do it while he is watching the game. Make sure the monitor the cookies while they are baking as it will vary from the original recipe.

Last night, Nate and I used this recipe and the addition of walnuts made them even more delicious! Try it out and I guarantee you will be eating cookies for breakfast ... yum!

Friday, February 24, 2012

A Tale of Tiburon

It's been two weeks since I returned from exploring Northern California ... Napa, Tiburon and San Fran to be exact. I plan on posting my review of some new wineries I visited. But, until then I'll share with you my experience in Tiburon, a quaint town near the northern base of the Golden Gate Bridge.

Remember this fabulous view I posted not too long ago? It was from the Water's Edge Hotel in Tiburon, a mix between a boutique hotel and B&B. Next door to the hotel is a ferry service that will take you to Angel Island or San Francisco {only a 25 min. ferry ride}.

Nate and I enjoyed fabulous views from our room and deck of the marina, San Francisco skyline and beautiful Angel Island. We were treated to in-room breakfast and evening wine and cheese. The hotel was rustic, simple and clean marrying natural woods, modern linens and furniture and wood burning fireplaces.

The outdated {although clean} bathroom, terrible hair dryer and fake orchid {I despise fake flowers ... realize I have issues} left a few things to be desired, but overall we had an absolutely lovely experience.

Highly recommended for a romantic weekend! I did not have that luxury as Nate was working, so I spent the day reading on the peaceful roof deck {not too shabby}!

I spent a few hours strolling through the shops in town {the town is really tiny} and stumbled upon Christopher Home & Salon. The home store caught my attention with its natural, rustic and vintage selections - beautiful shells and coral, horn flatware, vintage plates from the navy, lovely candles, ginger jars. In short, it was just dreamy. Attached to the store is a salon that is just as beautiful. Sigh, I wanted everything at Christopher Home & Salon.

Tiburon feels like one of the best kept secrets. Go enjoy the beautiful scenario, pretty shops and fabulous seafood!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Last Sunday's Crostini: Dinner

I realized I never posted my final crostini recipe from last Sunday, so I'm back with one last crusty bread creation! After our unique breakfast and lunch variations, we moved to a play on bruschetta for dinner. We topped the crusty bread with ricotta, roasted tomoatoes and balsamic and served it up with a fresh salad to round out our light dinner!

  • Ricotta
  • Cherry or grape tomatoes
  • Olive oil
  • Salt & pepper
  • Aged balsamic vinegar

  • To create roasted tomatoes:
    • Preheat oven to 300 degrees
    • Coat tomatoes with olive oil and sprinkle with salt
    • Bake for 30 min
    • Allow time for tomatoes to cool to room temp before assembling
  • Spread thin layer of ricotta on bread and sprinkle with salt & pepper
  • Layer on roasted tomatoes
  • Drizzle with balsamic
There you go ... a day's worth of crostini recipes to enjoy! Warning: you will wake up the next day still feeling full!
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