The Positive Pledge

19 Sep

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Meredith attended a meeting this summer, and shared this with me.  It came from a speaker at their program, and she loved it and knew I would love it as well.  Apple.  Tree.  When you get down to it…we all need to be more Positive and surround ourselves with Positive People!  Life is too short to be around people who bring you down!     <3 <3 <3

The Positive Pledge

I pledge to be a positive person and positive influence on my family, friends, co-workers and community.

I promise to be positively contagious and share more smiles, laughter, encouragement and joy with those around me.

I vow to stay positive in the face of negativity.

When I am surrounded by pessimism I will choose optimism.

When I feel fear I will choose faith.

When I want to hate I will choose love.

When I want to be bitter I will choose to get better.

When I experience a challenge I will look for opportunity to learn and grow.

When faced with adversity I will find strength.

When I experience a set-back I will be resilient.

When I meet failure I will fail forward towards future success.

With vision, hope, and faith, I will never give up and will always move forward towards my destiny.

I believe my best days are ahead of me, not behind me.

I believe I’m here for a reason and my purpose is greater than my challenges.

I believe that being positive not only makes me better, it makes everyone around me better.

So today and every day I will be positive and strive to make a positive impact on the world.

http://www.ThePositivePledge.com

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Speaking of positive thinking (Here you go Connie),..How bout those Bears?!  I mean, my goodness!  I have to say, I was also tempted to go to bed at half-time, since they were down 20-7, and especially since Kevin and I had planned on going to the game, since it is our Anniversary Week, but something called “Life”, got in the way, and alas, we weren’t able to attend.  I was still a bit bitter, but I am who I am, and love my Bears, so watched till the very end!  It’s about the Power of Positive Thinking… and a tremendous second half come-back!  Way to Go Bears, and Way to Go showing your winning ways on national TV!

 

Dear Football Season

Fun week, commencing with my 24th Anniversary.  I posted this pic on Facebook, and as Tracy said, “it took on a life of its own”.  Nothing like posting a picture when you are young, to get people to rally around you.  And yes, the shoulder bows are tragic.  I’m aware, but thanks anyway.  #1990notknownforhighfashion

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Continuing with our exciting week (:) ) Patrick asked Mary to Homecoming, with what I thought was such a cute idea…”I would be BEARY happy if you went to Homecoming with me”.  I had a slightly different saying in mind, “Please BEAR with me and come with me to Homecoming”, but Paddy thought someone may have already done that.  Since it was my idea, and I do believe it’s an original, I think he just wanted to put his own spin on it. #likefatherlikeson

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Today starts the beginning of the Best. Weekend. Ever!  Zack arrives tonight for the weekend.  Saturday will be our last visit to the race track.  #Winning.  And last, but Certainly, not least, Sunday we will participate in the ALS Walk for Life, at Soldier Field.  And yes, on my Birthday! Sunny and 70 is the forecast  and we have over 60 walkers.  We have raised over $10,000.  Amazing.  Team Kourage. Love, love, love these people!

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What’s better than my birthday coming up?  Meredith’s just 4 days after mine!

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Song of the Day:  After All by Cher and Peter Cetera.  Our first dance at our wedding.  Circa 1990 <3

No matter what you do…You gotta have Style!

you gotta have style

 

My favorite line of the week, from someone very special to me.  And of course, since we  epitomize Positivity, we would Never whine! ;)

I was wondering if you were around and maybe we could share some wine…or just whine. :)

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Have a great weekend.  Go Bears on Monday Night Football and CANNOT Wait for our Team Walk!

xoxo,

T.

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Telling someone else’s secret, doesn’t make you appear knowledgeable, it makes you an Asshat!  #Zing

birthday day over fabulous

 

Someone sent this to me… and no, it’s not true, but I’m sharing it anyway!

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There are many people who this could apply to.

 

Happy Birthday to Me

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It's my birthday

Let’s, shall we? :)

 

 

The “Ultimate” Guide to Buying Fall Basics

12 Sep

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Typically I would be hesitant about posting more things about Fall, since it’s still not yet mid-September, and I’m just not ready for summer to be over, however this week in Chi-town, it was a cool, breezy 49 degrees.  Yup, that’s right 49 degrees.  So bring on the boots, sweaters, leggings and Fall basics.  Thanks to my friends at Huffington Post, for compiling some of these basics.  “Ultimate” guide?  You be the judge. ;)

The Ultimate Guide to Buying Fall Basics

Our favorite part about autumn is the fact that we finally get to layer our clothes again. That leads to one thing: stocking up on our basics.

Although a “fall basic” can be as plain as a white T-shirt, the pieces you choose have the ability to transform multiple outfits. That’s why it’s essential to have a wide selection of tanks, pants and accessories so you have a bunch of options when creating simple ensembles.

Stay true to classics with your jeans and neutral tones, but take risks when it comes to jewelry and updated silhouettes. Check out our suggestions for next season’s fundamentals and get shopping!

the bases

Top from left to right: Gap Favorite Crew Tee, Old Navy Women’s Sleeveless Tees; Bottom from left to right: Old Navy Women’s Jersey Tami 3-Packs, Lane Bryant Smooth Balconette Bra, H&M 2-Pack Tights

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Undergarments are the key to building the perfect outfit. You can never have too many tanks and tees, but when it comes down to it, white, black and neutral options are a must. Plus, a good bra to give you all-day support is not a bad idea either.

new tops

Top from left to right: River Island Navy Sleeveless Wrap Blouse, Nic and Zoe All Around Wrap Top; Bottom from left to right:H&M Lyocell Shirt, Gap Fitted Boyfriend Oxford Shirt, Merona Women’s Favorite Blouse

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Blouses and button-downs are great for fall because you can wear them in a variety of ways — roll up the sleeves, tie the tails or keep it unbuttoned with a tank underneath. Navy, black and white should do the trick, but pick some patterned numbers so you can mix it up every once in a while.

teacher bottoms

Top from left to right: Merona Women’s Ponte Sleeveless Fit And Flare Dress, 1969 Real Straight Jeans; Bottom from left to right: Silk & Cotton Straight Skirt, Crepe Cigarette Pants, Structured A-Line Skirt

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Simplify your early-morning routine with some staple garments that can carry you through the work week and beyond. Black pants always come in handy, but try getting them tailored to your shape and liking so you will always feel comfortable in them.

The little black dress can be dressed up with accessories, while a denim piece will subtly put the “casual” in casual Fridays.

teacher cardigans

Top from left to right: V-Neck Cotton Cardigan, Pointelle Short Sleeve Cardigan; Bottom from left to right: Merona Women’s Ultimate Long Sleeve Crew Neck Cardigan, Gap Mesh-Stitch Cardigan, H&M Fine-Knit Cardigan

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Cardigans deserve their own category, of course. They come in every color, lots of patterns and are great for layering.

the jackets

Top from left to right: Collarless Faux Leather Biker Jacket, J.Crew Schoolboy Blazer; Bottom from left to right: Zara Flowy Trenchcoat With Camouflage Lining, Gap Military Jacket, Helene Berman Wool Blend Cape

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Autumn has a wide climate range: one minute it’s nice and breezy, the next it’s freezing rain. To combat those rocky times, invest in some coats meant to deal with weather, like an updated trench, and lighter jackets that are more trend-focused, like a cape or leather bomber.

accessories

Top from left to right: Style&co Lily Envelope Clutch, Faux Gemstone Bib Necklace; Bottom from left to right: Timex Women’s Elevated Classics Bracelet Watch, R&R Leather Organizer Flap Leather Crossbody Bag, Nordstrom Woven Scarf

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Sure, you can get along wearing black and navy all of the time — but amp up your style with some statement accessories. You’re golden with a structured purse or dangling necklace. Add some sensibility with the coolest bag of the season: a briefcase.

the shoes

Top from left to right: Crown Vintage Sandy Bootie, DV By Dolce Vita Langely; Bottom from left to right: Audrey Brooke Cici Leather Flat, Lauren Ralph Lauren Mila Riding Boot, Aldo Ocaria Pump

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And…finally, it’s boot season! With that in mind, you can get different pairs at various lengths, including booties and riding boots. Additionally, it’s always helpful to have a pump here or there, and don’t forget about flats — because you know you’ll be wearing those most of the time.

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Some of my very fall looks

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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LG

 

Team Kourage – Well, our little Team has turned into the Team that Could… We have over 20 Registered walkers, and with kids and guests, we will be about 35 Walkers!  Did I mention that along with our t-shirts, we also have Team Kourage visors?  Thanks Cindy!!  Plus, we have raised $7500.  50% over our goal.  Walking for a Cure, that’s us.  Team Kourage.   <3 <3 <3

 

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Song of the Day: Lisztomania by Phoenix.  Compliments of my Finger Snapping Playlist, from Stephanie.

So sentimental
Not sentimental no!
Romantic, not disgusting yet

Friday Funday…having lunch with 2 of my favorites, Amelia and Joy.  And who said competitors can’t be friends?  Not us!

Have a very happy weekend, and Go Bears!  Sunday Night Football!!  We won’t even discuss that fiasco against the Bills. Ugh.  I mean, it was the Buffalo Bills!  For goodness sakes!

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Tracy posted this pic…and yup, it was accurate!  Hoping for a better outcome against the 49-ers!

xoxo

T.

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Another Royal Baby!!  Seriously, so excited.  :)

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Why?

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Seriously, I am so easily distracted.

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One down…205 to go. :)

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Always hoping.

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Who don’t I run into at Mariano’s?

Article Source:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/08/22/fall-shopping-guide_n_5662579.html?&ncid=tweetlnkushpmg00000035

 

Tis the season…I’m speaking of Football Season!

5 Sep

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Are you ready for some football?!  I most certainly am.  It’s been a long spring and summer.  Bring. It. On.

Clearly…I cannot allow the start of the regular NFL season go by, without a mention of my beloved Bears, or better yet… a blog about it…So, so excited it’s Football Season!   And, as excited as I am for Sunday’s game against the Bill’s, I’m also super excited for my first Dave Matthews Band (DMB for those in “the know”) concert! Truth be told, just a tad more excited about Sunday’s game.  Hence, this blog. Sorry Tracy and Mark…you can take the girl out of Chicago (for a weekend), but you can’t take Chicago, or the Bears, out of the girl.  I’m paying homage to your/our fav band with the song of the week.  #giver

Since this is a “fashion” blog, basically, I thought I’d share some outfits I may, or may not be sporting at games this year. But all appropriately sporting Bears blue and orange!

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I will NOT be wearing these.

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Nor these…but I’d be interested to see a gal try to wear these into Soldier Field, and walk to her seats.

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This has Mer’s name All over it.  The girl loves her maxi dresses.

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Disclaimer… none of the handbags shown above can be taken into an NFL game… Remember, there is a ban on large purses.  Or any purse, quite frankly.  Size does matter.

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USP OLYMPICS: FEATURES-SHOPPING FOR DEALS S OLY GBR

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CHICAGO BEARS 2014 SCHEDULE… another disclaimer…our playoff games nor our appearance in the Super Bowl are listed here.  #daydreambeliever.    Will be fun to end with the Vikings game in Minnesota…Kevin’s favorite team, so that will be interesting.  Bruce, get tickets, STAT! :)   #bloodymarysatlooncafe

bears schedule

My thoughts on the schedule, since I’m sure you are dying to know.  Why in the World do we only have one game in October…yet 3 in December?  Hello?  This is Chicago.  It’s gonna be around 8 degrees in December.  What happened to every team gets two home games each month?  Oh, and on another football note… Do rent the movie Draft Day… Mer and I watched it twice this week (#savvyrenters) and I’m looking forward to seeing it again!  Love, Love, Love it!

Bears Future Schedules

chicagobearsfutureschedule

Song of the Day:  Ants Marching, by the Dave Matthews Band… all for you, Mark Bice! ;)

Happy Birthday to my sweet, funny Critical Friend, Beth!

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A few of my favorite pics from Bears games…

mer and mom at bears 2

This was on my/our anniversary, Sept. 15, 2007.  Kev must be taking pic.

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Field passes!  Thanks Bob Donovan!!

Kev, MB and Wayne

Mary Beth, Kev and Wayne.  I believe this was 10 years ago, circa 2004.

DMB…here I come.  @tracylstein Thanks for saving the chard.  #flowerschardplease

Go Bears and Way to Go Seahawks!!  Way to beat the Pack!  Best night ever!! :)

xoxo,

T.

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Thanks NKO!

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“I no longer have patience”…

4 Sep

 

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I saw this quote by Merle Street…and I have to say, I love it!  I would like to add to this, but quite frankly, why bother?  How can you improve upon Merle Streep, anyway?

“I no longer have patience”…- Merle Streep

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“I no longer have patience for certain things, not because I’ve become arrogant, but simply because I reached a point in my life where I do not want to waste more time with what displeases me or hurts me. I have no patience for cynicism, excessive criticism and demands of any nature. I lost the will to please those who do not like me, to love those who do not love me and to smile at those who do not want to smile at me. I no longer spend a single minute on those who lie or want to manipulate. I decided not to coexist anymore with pretense, hypocrisy, dishonesty and cheap praise. I do not tolerate selective erudition nor academic arrogance. I do not adjust either to popular gossiping. I hate conflict and comparisons. I believe in a world of opposites and that’s why I avoid people with rigid and inflexible personalities. In friendship I dislike the lack of loyalty and betrayal. I do not get along with those who do not know how to give a compliment or a word of encouragement. Exaggerations bore me and I have difficulty accepting those who do not like animals. And on top of everything I have no patience for anyone who does not deserve my patience.” _ Meryl Streep

Yeah…what she said. (Robbed that line from Linda B.) ;)

Heading with my sole-sister, Tracy, to my first DMB concert this weekend in sunny southern California… Can. Not. Wait!

xoxo,

T.

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You are still wearing White, yes?

3 Sep

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It’s after Labor Day…and I do hope you haven’t put away your whites. I know my southern bell friend, Kathy P has just gasped.  But yes, you can wear white after Labor Day!  You can wear if before Labor Day, as well, btw.

But first, let’s see where this rule came from…compliments from our friends at the daily holiday blog (www.dailyholidayblog.com).

Originally, it seemed to start in the late 1800′s when the snobby upper crust needed another way to set themselves apart from the normal hardworking lower and middle classes.  The women who were currently the popular crowd made up a bunch of fashion rules that anyone who was anyone needed to follow.

A silly rule for the Upper Crust

Not wearing white outside the summer months was another one of these silly rules. White was for weddings and resort wear, not dinner parties in the fall. Labor Day became a federal holiday in 1894, those in the fashion industries eventually adopted it as the natural endpoint for summer fashion.

By the 1950′s, women’s magazines pushed this rule to the extreme to not only the snobby upper crust, but the average American housewife.  It wasn’t long before it became the accepted rule and whether or not you knew where the rule came from, it was the new fashion “law”!

Breaking Away from the Crowd

Of course there are some that buck the system.  Most famously was Coco Chanel who insisted on wearing white year round!  Coco Chanel was a French fashion designer and founder of the Chanel brand.  She is credited with liberating women from the corset and popularizing sporty chic clothing after World War I. And she particularly disliked this no white after Labor Day “rule”.

Here are some of my favorite looks for breaking that old rule!

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Song of the Day…from  Steph, who just gave me an Awesome playlist, called, “Finger snapping tunes”…and finger snap you shall.  And yes, Steph is one of my besties…and yes, I do have several, make that many.  I am lucky.  <3 <3 <3

So pardon me for asking, pardon me for thinking
Pardon me for asking, pardon me for thinking

All of Me, by Tanlines

Go ahead wear white after Labor Day…Let’s break some rules!

xoxo,

T.

Related Posts:

Yes, you can wear white after labor day

 

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True that.

 

Source:   : http://www.dailyholidayblog.com/2014/09/labor-day/

 

Pinch me… Summer Can’t Be Over!

29 Aug

 

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A Summer of Lobster Rolls

Cannot believe our summer of fun in the sun is coming to a close… Where in the world did it go?  San Francisco and Newport Beach, that’s where.  Don’t hate us, it couldn’t be helped.   And during our travels and back at home base , we became obsessed with Lobster Rolls.  Not low-cal, light sushi lobster rolls, but the sandwich kind, with lumpy pieces of lobster, smothered in mayonnaise, plopped inside a warm buttery roll…and usually served with a side of fries.  Not great if you are on a diet, but great if you forget you are on a diet.

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Because we spent much our summer on the west coast, and not the  east coast, where they truly are known for their lobster rolls, I’ve decided to mention where we have found our favorites, in the 3 cities in which we spent our summer.  I’m sure my friends in the NE will beg to differ, so we plan to do a trip to Maine, in the not too distant future, to check out their lobster rolls and hopefully one-up this blog.   Cannot wait!

Santa Monica Seafood – Costa Mesa, CA

Recommended by a dear friend… Fabulous.  Finding a great lobster roll in Orange County was easier said than done, so we had to rely on the advice of a local.  We were not disappointed.

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Shaw’s Crab House – Chicago

Meredith and I like to split one of these with 2 dirty martini’s.  Best Happy Hour Ever!!  Oh yeah, the lobster roll ain’t bad either.

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San Francisco Fish Company – Ferry Building on the Embarcadaro

This was the first lobster roll we encountered…we came across this little deli, and decided to split a lobster roll, as a little snack.   We promptly ordered 3 more.   And this is where our obsession started with lobster rolls.  And dark chocolate toffee as well.  The Ferry Building on the Embarcadaro is also where we take a ferry to Tiburon, to our favorite Mexican restaurant; where we sit outside for happy hour with the largest platter of a seafood appetizer known to man, enjoying carafes of not too terribly bad wine;  enjoying lattes and frozen yogurt, as well as fresh fruit from the farmer’s market on Thursday and Friday’s.  If you are headed to San Francisco, don’t miss the Ferry building.

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So, we decided we also wanted to make lobster rolls at home, so I searched high and low (or just googled best lobster rolls) and found a few options.   We tweaked the recipes, getting rid of the onion, lessening the mayo, and basically making them our own.  Oh, and we decided to come up with a lower cost version, since lobster can be upwards of $25 – $30/LB… which gives you almost No lobster meat.  So we found a less expensive option. Langostino lobster tails.  Found at Costco, for $23 / bag.  The bag makes about 6 good-sized lobster rolls.

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My Favorite Lobster Roll Recipe

1 LB package Langostino lobster meat (I get mine at Costco)

2 tablespoons Hellman’s mayonnaise

1 tablespoon lemon juice

kosher salt

fresh ground pepper

3 tablespoons melted butter

4 New England Style hot dog rolls, ones with a split top (you can use regular if you can’t find New England style, which we have never been able to find in Chicago)

4 tablespoons chopped fresh chives

Instructions

Chop the lobster meat into bite sized pieces and place in a large bowl. Whisk the mayonnaise and lemon juice in a small bowl and season with salt and pepper to taste. Gently toss the dressing with the lobster meat and set aside.  Chill in the refrigerator for 2 hours.  We like the lobster filling, cold.

Heat a medium skillet over medium heat and add two tablespoons of butter. Toast the outside of the hot dog roll in the skillet until golden brown. Flip and toast the reverse side. Repeat with remaining rolls.  Be careful not to burn the buns, as I tend to do more often than not.

Open each roll and fill with 1/4 of the lobster salad. Drizzle 1 tablespoon melted butter over each roll and top with 1 tablespoon chives. Serve immediately.  Doesn’t get better than this, unless you use real lobster meat, but this langostino version is pretty darned tasty!

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Our summer in review - featuring not only pics of us, but some of our favorite haunts and views.

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And the summer started with a girl graduating from college.

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Two girls, one Prom.  And no, we were not his date.  #spoilsport

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I have the Best story of patrons behaving badly, and ripping to shreds the restaurant manager, all over a baby buggy, which was blocking everyone’s path, and the German patrons had no intention of moving it.  #noclass

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This is Patrick’s happy place.  Mine as well.

 

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Still not over the Blackhawks not winning the Stanley Cup.

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Awkward family selfie.

mer's first day of work

 

Mer Mer’s first day of work…

 

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Dirty martini and seafood ceviche…happy hour of champions!

Alfred's

view in laguna

 

My favorite view in the world.

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We can do it!

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Cakebreak Cellars. The happiest place on earth!  And September starts my wine club with them!  #pinchmeIamsogiddy

 

terry and kevin donna's wedding

 

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Zack visited twice!

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Only thing missing in this picture is me!

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One of my favorite pics of the summer…with my high school besties.

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Combining pleasure with some work with some of my favorite people, ever!  We insisted on seeing the pictures the photog was taking, and had him delete the ones we didn’t like.  #controlling

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First day of Senior year!  But it was still summer!

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The girl likes to pose.

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Another angle of our favorite view.

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Enjoying some wine at lunch overlooking Fisherman’s Wharf.

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Just a girl and a boy in a bucket hat, enjoying the beach.  :)

 

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Arlington race track… lots of laughs, not too much in winnings.

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Murph does enjoy lounging on a lounge chair.

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AT&T Ballpark in San Francisco.  They service Stella and Napa Valley wines.  What’s not to love?!

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View from our home away from home, overlooking the Bay.  We left our hearts in San Francisco. <3

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Song of the Day:  Why Can’t I, by Liz Phair

Happy 2-year anniversary Murphy. She came to live with us 2 years ago today and has brought an additional element of  joy and love into our home.

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It’s gonna be a great fall!

Go Bears!!  Go Bronco’s (Barrington Bronco’s)

xoxo,

T.

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Oh cabana boy!

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crazy

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Life is Short…

22 Aug

 

 

casual friday

 

No blog today, because it’s Casual Friday, and I’m traveling…but just a reminder that Life is short.  Make the most of it.  It’s the only one you got.  Unless you’re a cat…and I’m not a fan of cats…so this is the only one you got!

because life is short

 

tomorrow is nevefr promised

 

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Life is short…buy the shoes. :)

xoxo,

T.

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Brain Trust Society

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