Monday, October 31, 2011

And then this happened...

Luke and I have always been big fans of Halloween. What's not to love? As a kid...free candy. As an "adult"...excuse to dress up and go out.

For the past several years, we've deck out our apartment with spooky decor, filled candy bowls to the brim, and invited pals over for a fun time (costumes required). However, this year, Luke spent most of the weekend studying for his first round of midterms, so we decided to responsible adults and not throw a party.

Still, it was Halloween, so we donned our first "couples" costume and headed out for our first Halloween in Chicago.


Luke's 'Ron Burgundy' 'stache was definitely a hit.

Monday, October 17, 2011

A Sweet Alliance

I hate to brag, but Wicker Park is pretty much the best when it comes to 'hoods in Chicago. Every day, I discover new reasons to love this place, including the perfect neighborhood cafe: Alliance Bakery. You cannot walk by without stopping to admire the jaw-dropping cakes in the window. 


After walking past (and drooling) several times, I finally got around to trying the amazing treats, thanks to the suggestion by Luke's sister. The bakery features European pastries and desserts, each one looking more delicious than the last. After a few minutes of deliberation, we settled on a carrot cake cupcake, topped with creamy cream cheese frosting and a chocolate salted caramel ganache cupcake...and a ginger snap...and a walnut raspberry cookie. (For the record, that's pretty much how we ordered, too. "Is there anything else I can get you?" "Um, yeah, we'll take a ginger snap." "And a walnut raspberry cookie." "And we'll try that salted caramel cupcake, too." We were thisclose to ordered a vanilla cake pop and pumpkin spice macaroon but decided to wait until next time.)

Friends & family...next time you come to visit, we are going to Alliance. You'll thank me. 

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Running Chicago

My parents were here in Chicago this weekend, because my dad ran the Chicago Marathon on Sunday. He has completed over a dozen marathons now, but after every race, I'm still amazed by his strength, determination and endurance.

Plus, as someone who has completed three marathons, I truly respect the effort that goes into each race. Since I wasn't running this year, I decided to make a sign the night before--not only for encouragement, but also so that my dad could see us in the sea of spectators. He seemed to appreciate it at mile 18!


When my dad passed, I turned the sign around to reveal my words of "encouragement" for the other runners: Run like you stole something! Lots of people had a good chuckle while others were 100% zoned in on finishing and were barely looking around at that point. I've been there. I get it.

The marathon is really an incredible feat. It feels weird to not be training this fall (I continue to recover slowly from a nagging foot injury) but I hope to be pounding the pavement come spring. In the mean time, I really enjoyed this video with footage from last year's Chicago Marathon (which both of my parents completed!). It truly conveys the sense of excitement and anxiety you feel before, during and after the marathon. Take a peek: