Tuesday, May 29, 2012


Well, the word is out - Todd and I are engaged!

He proposed while we were in St. Thomas, USVI celebrating four years of being cute, being gross, being hilarious and being in love. (That's just a little sampling of the "cute" and "gross".) And yes, he did ask my dad's permission before hand. And yes, we did look at rings together before hand. And yes, he still caught me completely off guard!

It was the end of our first full day, and Todd had just made a delicious dinner that we ate on the balcony. I told him how lucky I am that he is good at so many things that I am not good at. (Like cooking and carrying luggage, among other arguably more important things.) And vice versa. He agreed, saying - as he always does - "We make a great team." A few minutes later, he cleared the table and returned to the balcony with his hands behind his back looking a little suspicious. I laugh-cried through the whole thing. The next thing I knew, we were engaged!

We had actually been looking at rings online for awhile. A lot of the things we looked at were very gorgeous. Very sparlkly. And very not-me. We finally went into a couple stores to try things on a week before the trip. Some good. Some bad. One perfect. He didn't buy anything while I was with him because he wanted the final decision to be a surprise. But I was really hoping he would go with a certan option. So, when he opened the box and the yellow gold "rope" style ring was inside, I thought to myself "HE KNOWS ME SO WELL!" And also, "OHJEEZE WE'RE GETTING ENGAGED RIGHT NOW!"

Instead of a larger sparkly ring, Todd and I came up with the idea of a small stack of skinny rings that I can mix-and-match after we're married. The day after we got back from our trip, Todd took me to get "Part 2" of our engament ring.

I know, I know. I'm a brat. (A brat with gray hair.)

I love them.

And this is what the final stack will look like. I am so excited about what Todd chose that I just want to wear them all now! He says if I want the third ring, I'll have to marry him to get it. Oh, darn.

Monday, May 7, 2012

the chicago family expansion project.

Don't get crazy. Nobody's pregnant. I'm talking about The Chicago Cousin Ratio, which has reached 5 out of 9! That's right. We're the majority. Which can only mean that one of my baby cousins is moving to Chicago!

Okay, so she's not a baby. She's a grown up. A college graduate. She can vote and buy beer and cigarettes and porn. She's got a job and an apartment. (Okay, she's got a job. We'll work on the apartment part.) And she'll be here in SIX DAYS!

Stefanie, Taylor, me and Annie. 2008.

This picture is so old now. It was taken four years ago, after Taylor's high school graduation. There we are with our pretty sisters, Stefanie and Annie. Stef was the Chicago Cousin pioneer. She's coming up on 11 years in the city. (Holy crap. Eleven years.) I'll hit my 8 year mark at the end of the summer. (Holy crap. Eight years.) It's been at least 5 years since we conned one of our cousins into moving here, so we were definitely due. Good thing she's moving during the summer when Chicago is at its best. (Nobody tell her about the winter. Shh.)

Welcome to the city, pretty girl!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

vitamin d-lightful.

Well, that was quite a hiatus. I'd go into details, but why dwell? Let's move on with some nice weather, impending vacations and recent purchases!

planning central.

As is our tradition, Todd and I planned a trip around our anniversary. (Four years! Yikes!) So in less than two weeks, we will be basking in the warm St. Thomas sun and snorkelling with the tropical fishies. I am making huge strides in my effort to turn Todd into a beach bum. He is so excited for his return to the water (and eventual SCUBA certification!) that he bought himself a legit mask and dive fins. It was a very proud day for me.

underwater safari. chicago, il.

And of course I was not to be left out of this purchasing party. I have been on a search for a better, more flattering, more comfortable bathing suit all spring. I wanted something easy. Plain, low bottoms and a top that hooks in the back. No more ties that make you bulge in places you don't really even have bulge. No more tiny tops that slip up and/or down whenever you get hit by a wave. I'm a grown-up, damn it, and my bathing suit needs to be functional. Have you ever tried scuba diving in a triangle bikini? It is not as easy as they made it seem on Baywatch. Let me just say, thank goodness for rashguards. But I digress, my search went on and I looked at a lot of swimsuits on-line, mostly on J.Crew. (I know. Go figure.) They were all really cute, but I kept coming back to this mix-and-match two-piece that I saw in the Victoria's Secret catalog. I've never bought a swimsuit from VS before, for the sole reason that it hard to tell what a swim suit is going to look like on my body compared to the models' bodies, since they are not human bountiful on top and pretty non-existant in the hip department. And I am the exact opposity body type. Think of me as a reverse Victoria's Secret model. But I thought this one had potential. And in a moment of total spontanaity, I stopped in VS on Michigan Avenue as I was walking buy to see if they had it in the store. They did - and in the color I wanted! So I bought it. Without even trying it on. And miracle of miracles, It. Fit. Perfectly. And best of all. It did not break the bank. So I did what any person in their right mind would do... I ordered it in a second color. Obviously.

VS Madi Bandeau Top - $28 | VS Cheeky Hipkini Bottom - $18 | Neon Coral & Maldive

I also got super TJMaxx lucky this week. His&Hers Cole Haan Sunglasses and a Pucci (Yep. Pucci.) beach kaftan. It was so sad, half on the hanger, pushed back on the rack behind the jersey knit maxi dresses. Like it was just waiting to be recued. By me. Let me tell you, I feel fancy.* And like I got the deals of the century. And I'll probably never get that lucky again. So, shout-out to TJMaxx.

shout. out.

P.S. My doctor literally perscribed Vitamin D. I prefer to get mine naturally.

*EDIT: I caved. I returned the Pucci kaftan. As great of a deal as it was, it was still a little too rich for my blood. And let's be honest, when I go to the beach, how often do you find me lounging in a chair in a kaftan with a floppy hat and giant sunglasses. I do not go to the beach with the Kardashians or Beyonce. And I had already bought a striped tunic from J.Crew that I forgot about and rediscovered while cleaning the bedroom. Which, even without seeing, I think we can all agree is more my style. See you in my future Pucci. Maybe in the form of a gorgeous silk scarf or minidress.