Monthly Archive: September 2012

Saturday

22

September 2012

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Playing Catch Up

Written by , Posted in Chicago

Good Morning!  It is a cool, crisp, beautiful Fall morning here in Chicago and I thought it would be the perfect time to grab a hot cup of coffee, settle in on our porch, and write a quick post to catch you up on my life!  The last couple of months have been pretty crazy for Mike & me…and we’re not slowing down quite yet-a wedding, a Bears game, and an anniversary party at our gym, Kru Strength + Fitness, are still lined up for this weekend!  I’ll come back to all of that soon-but in the meantime, here’s what we’ve been up to…in a nutshell…

We visited Lawrence, KS (Mike’s hometown) for the KU Home Opener football game!

Rock Chalk Jayhawk!

I absolutely love Lawrence!  From the cute little shops, bars, and restaurants that line Mass St to the friendly, down-to-earth people I’ve met there, it didn’t take long for me to fall in love.  Our visit to Lawrence and KU really deserves its own post…but I guess we’ll save that for the next visit!

Next up…the BEARS home opener!  I’ve decided that my love for the Bears really deserves its very own dedicated post…but I’ll give you a quick sneak peek to hold you over…

Somewhere along the way we also visited Kingston Mines-FINALLY!  Kingston Mines is one of  the more popular (in my opinion, the best) Blues clubs in Chicago.  Mike and I have been talking about going here pretty much ever since we met 4 1/2 years ago…so we finally got the chance to check that off our Chicago bucket list!  Between the unique atmosphere and the FANTASTIC music, I have a feeling we will be returning very soon!  We were also there the same night as Mikey Roe, a Travel Channel host, who has a new show called ‘Feed The Beast’ coming in December-can’t wait to watch the episode featuring this Chicago gem!

Mikey Roe

Guess what?!?  There’s more!  Ever hear of a guy named Bruce Springsteen??  Oh yes…we got to see The Boss at Wrigley Field and it was a seriously ridiculous show…ridiculously awesome.  With cameos by Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder and Rage Against the Machine’s Tom Morello, it was the concert event of a lifetime.  Bruce roared through 28 songs over 3.5 hours and kept the 5-song encore going even after Wrigley turned its lights on.  Here’s the ridiculous set list from http://www.setlist.fm…

  1. (With 78 Intro)
  2. (with Tom Morello)
  3. (Jimmy Cliff cover)
  4. (with Tom Morello)
  5. (with Eddie Vedder)
  6. (Tour Premiere)
  7. (with Tom Morello)
  8. (with Tom Morello)
  9. Encore:
  10. (With Tom Morello & Eddie Vedder)
  11. (The Isley Brothers cover) (With Tom Morello & Eddie Vedder)

My brother sporting an All-American look for the concert

Fast forward to our Barbeque day!  I bought Mike a Weber smoker for his birthday a few years ago and the art of smoking meat has now become one of his favorite hobbies.  Ribs, pulled pork, brisket, chicken…he does it all…and he’s really good at it!

That brings us to our final event…a beautiful wedding at Chicago’s Carnivale.  Carnivale is an amazing wedding venue and we were super impressed by the food, atmosphere, and really just everything about it.  One of my favorite new wedding trends is the Photo Booth and Shutter Booth provided us with some great entertainment over the course of the night…we had a lot of fun with it, so I’ll leave you with a little peek into our shutter booth antics!  Thanks for sticking with me in my attempt to quickly recap the last crazy couple of months!

Wednesday

12

September 2012

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Whiskey + Cola Gummies

Written by , Posted in Recipes

If you’ve been reading for blog for awhile, you might remember my post right around this time last year on “How To Make Vodka Gummy Bears”….or Chicago Drunken Gummy Bears.    Let me just say…I had no idea there were so many people out there in the internet world that were interested in how to do this!  This post has led many visitors to my blog and is by far my most popular post to-date.  So of course I had to do a follow-up!

Fall is here (yay!)-which means football season has arrived-which means Chicago Bears Football is back in action-  which means it’s time to TAILGATE!!  Fall is far an away my favorite season, for all the reasons previously listed, and what better way to kick it off than with some gummies infused with a little alcohol?!

I started with a 5 lb bag of Haribo Cola gummies, 2 1/4 cups of Jack Daniels, 1 3/4 cups of Maker’s Mark, and a giant plastic container with a lid.

There is no rhyme or reason as to the amounts of the different alcohol-that was basically what we had in our liquor cabinet and I didn’t feel like going to the store, and luckily I had the perfect amount!  In my drunken gummy makings, I’ve found that you really just need enough liquor to cover the gummies in whatever container you choose-so just go with that.

All I did was dump in the liquor, stir my gummies around a bit, cover the container, and stick it in the fridge where it sat for the next 5 days until Gameday.  I was tempted to add a little Coca-Cola around day 3, but decided it would probably end in my gummies being completely melted away, so I left it as is.

The above is a picture of the gummies right before I stuck them in the refrigerator-pretty much entirely covered, but with a few sticking out here and there.

The first most important things to do while “curing” your gummies is frequent STIRRING!  I put mixed these babies up at night and the next morning when I went to stir them it was like one giant gummy blob-the liquor kind of melts the gummies and then they all stick together.  On the first day after the mixing I had to put some time into separating the gummies and mixing them.  After the first couple days I would just take the container out, shake it up a bit, then stick it back in.  They were still somewhat stuck together at the end, but there isn’t a whole lot you can do about it unless you want to get in there and separate every one.

So day 5…gameday…I pulled the gummies out and like the bears I made last year, the bottles definitely increased in size.  Notice they are also a lot slimier as well!  To deal with the sliminess when serving, I brought small dixie cups and toothpicks so nobody had to get their fingers all sticky!

In our haste to get to the South Lot at 8am when it opens, I forgot to take a good picture of the gummy container with all the whiskey soaked up-it was probably completely soaked up after 2-3 days, so if you’re crunched for time that is probably all you would need.  These were pretty strong-Mike is a whiskey fan and he enjoyed them, but I’m not-so I didn’t.  If you want to tame them down a bit, just add less whiskey.  So…here is a picture of the final Whiskey + Cola gummy product, amongst our other tailgating goodies…

Remember above when I said the first most important thing is stirring your gummies?  Well the second, and arguably equally, most important thing is to KEEP THEM COOL!  While soaking your delicious little bottles in liquor, make sure to refrigerate, and if you’re taking them somewhere-make sure to keep them cool or eat them fast unless you want to see this….

…a giant, melted blob of gelatin and whiskey…I suppose I could have divvied this up and served it as jello shots, but it really wasn’t very pretty.  So lesson learned…Keep ’em Cool or Eat ’em Fast!  Hmmm…wonder what gummy concoction I can come up with next?!

Monday

10

September 2012

0

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LUSH Love!

Written by , Posted in Beauty

Although I’ve only written about them once before on my blog, I am a HUGE fan of LUSH cosmetics and lately I just can’t get enough!  If  you haven’t heard of LUSH Fresh Handmade Cosmetics, I highly recommend stopping into one of their shops if possible, but if not you can head on over to their webpage and check them out.  They carry all sorts of fantastic, natural products from handmade soaps to face masks to their new Emotional Brilliance line of cosmetics.  When you stop into a store they’ll lather you up, give you a quick hand massage, and send you home with fun products to try.  Needless to say, it’s always a little dangerous on my pocket book when I stop in!  Recently I received a couple new (to me) products from LUSH that I love and just wanted to spread the LUSH love around!

The first product is their Ocean Salt scrub, here’s what LUSH has to say about it:

“Back in 2005, our inventors had come up with a number of fantastic cleansers but there was one category they had yet to conquer: The scrub! A sea salt scrub! With that, they whipped up (our now enormously popular) Ocean Salt. Washing with Ocean Salt is like taking your face on a trip to the seaside for an invigorating splash in the water. We mix in fresh avocado and coconut to hydrate thirsty skin, while the antibacterial effects of lime and vodka is ideal for blocked pores, blackheads or blemishes. The minerals in sea salt soften as it scrubs away dirt and blockages.”

I just loved the clean, sea-salty scent and the gritty but not too harsh texture of this scrub.   This scrub is very smoothing and also very hydrating and I love using it all over my body whenever I feel the need for a good sloughing, but especially before applying a self-tanner-it makes the application flawless!

Next up is a product I’d been itching to try FOREVER and was so excited when it finally arrived on my doorstep-their Seanik Solid Shampoo bar.  I know what you’re thinking, because when I first saw this product I was thinking the exact same thing…solid shampoo?!  But trust me, this little bar does what tons of shampoos could never do…and believe me, I’ve tried a lot!  LUSH says:
“Soften tangled locks and add oceans of shine with this mineral-rich, sea salt volumizing shampoo. Like a trip to a blue lagoon, Seanik is made with the best ingredients from the sea; softening Irish moss seaweed, and Japanese nori seaweed to make your hair soft as silk from root to tips, and sea salt to give body and volume to hair that’s fallen flat. One seriously sexy shampoo, we added lemon oil for extra shine, and the exotic far eastern fragrance of sensual mimosa and jasmine oils to bathe you in the heady scent of tropical flora all day long.”
The bar lathers up super quick and a little lather goes a long way.  The scent stays with me all day and it just makes my hair feel so fresh and so clean!  This is also a GREAT product for traveling as  you don’t need to worry about fitting any liquid into a 3 oz. bottle for the plane…pretty convenient!  It may seem like a bit of a weird product at first, but after the first use I think you’ll see what all the fuss is about 🙂
Bottom line, check out LUSH and pick out a product or two that tickles your fancy…I’m sure you’ll be a Lushy like me in no time!
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