Rockabye Bucktown

Navigating motherhood beyond The Windy City

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Besides affordable cashmere and comfy tees, there’s something else that J Crew does well - their fine jewelry collaborations. Yesterday, they launched their Jennifer Fisher line. I’ve been a fan of her jewelry (by way of Barney’s) for awhile now and was excited to see what she had in store working with alongside Jenna Lyons.

While I wish there were more pieces to choose from, I was pumped to see her emblematic skull make an appearance (although sold out at the moment), amongst some other fun gems. Bonus: they are all ideal for layering!

[Skull bracelet and ring via Barney’s New York; skull charm via J Crew]

Filed under Jewelry Jennifer Fisher J Crew skulls

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Happy 8 months, Queen B!

This is quite possibly the sassiest little girl on earth…already! At eight months, she has it all figured out: she knows who she likes and who she doesn’t (and if she doesn’t, yikes, look out), she only wants to feed herself because baby food, yawn (I need a good gif of RHOC Vicki here), crawling is so last week (she will pull herself up to standing where she wants, thank you very much) and she will be chauffeured/held by her mother at all times unless sleeping/crawling/standing. And, guess what? I love it! While it’s a dramatic change from Burke’s personality, I am obviously so happy that she has her own. I’m even happier to see that (while still young), they are developing an adorable sibling relationship. Burke loves playing the nurturing “big brother” role and she is content playing the copycat “little sister” one.

Now to take full advantage of the indulgent mother role and enjoy all of the carefully curated tunics, leggings and booties while they last. I know someone will definitely have an opinion on what she’s wearing in the not so distant future…

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I affectionately call this “baby jail.” Both kids love piling all of their stuffed animals into Burke’s crib and jumping on top of them (especially MacGyver, I mean Blaine). Judging from the way this morning has started, they are going to be spending quite a bit of time in here today…

I affectionately call this “baby jail.” Both kids love piling all of their stuffed animals into Burke’s crib and jumping on top of them (especially MacGyver, I mean Blaine). Judging from the way this morning has started, they are going to be spending quite a bit of time in here today…

Filed under I'm only kidding sort of

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I’m not typically one for crustless sandwiches and Earl Grey in the middle of summer, but I am into checking out new hotels, eating things with buttercream and chocolate and, of course, catching up on life with some fellow busy mamas.

Sunday afternoon was a lovely day for tea at The Langham. I can’t even tell you what was on my plate to start because I was too busy talking about the children we all left at home, but the desserts (gluten free double chocolate pecan cookies, chocolate covered strawberries and blueberry buttercream macaroons) were worth every calorie! I can tell you that the hotel itself is beautiful and the service is outstanding if you are looking to host an event…or if you just want to get out of the heat with some girlfriends (and wear something other than a bathing suit cover up). A glass of champagne doesn’t hurt either…

Filed under The Langham Chicago tea time summer

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On my plate (as of late)…

Kale/romaine Caesar salad (topped with prosciutto-wrapped roasted asparagus): an easy weeknight dinner. I tossed the asparagus on top to “dress it up a bit” for a Friday night in

Crostini apps topple with ricotta and peaches and honey or roasted red peppers and herb dressing: easy to put together summer appetizer that even works well outdoors when it’s blazing hot (as opposed to an entire cheese plate that melts instantly!)

Seared tuna over a fennel, radish and cucumber quinoa salad finished with an herb dressing: Plated menu that I’ve recreated several times. It requires some chopping time, but it’s so worth it!

Homemade Greek salad - Romaine, tomatoes, red and green peppers, feta, kalamata olives, cannelli beans, cucumbers, artichokes, pepperoncini and Greek dressing: so many delicious things thrown into one bowl…

The fig and olive salad from Fig and Olive: normally I wouldn’t put these two together, but with everything else in the bowl, it just works. Also pairs well with a refreshing Sauv Blanc and a seat at the bar with a good friend!

Not pictured: a horrific gluten free “white” lasagna. Why I decided to make lasagna in the middle of summer is beyond me, but white sauce should remain on pizza. That’s for sure.

Filed under food summer recipes

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A day in pictures…

The thing about toddlers is that they can be elusive creatures. One minute they are dishing out hugs and sharing toys with their siblings…the next, they are refusing naps and running from you in a sea of hundreds of your closest neighbors.

This was last Thursday to a tee. Dare I say it, but Burke has really turned a corner lately. It seems like the closer he gets to three, the better he behaves (and the easier it is to reason with him when he decides not to). Well, so I thought…

Thursday started out just fine. We attempted storytime at Land of Nod, but when they botched the time (or the reader failed to show up), we opted to play with all of the toys on display. While Burke was looking forward to an old-fashioned animated book reading, he was just as thrilled to test out some new fire trucks. Crisis averted! Blaine also gave her stamp of approval, as she’s quite the truck expert lately…

A stroll through the outdoor mall to see the fountains, grab a quick lunch and breeze through the Nordy’s Anniversary Sale all occurred with little to no meltdowns with either child. We took our time and enjoyed the gorgeous day.

I should have known to quit while I was ahead, but seeing that it was so nice out and that both kids were refusing their afternoon naps (it was all downhill from there), I strapped them in the stroller and took a walk around town.

To make a long story longer, we stopped at the Uniquely Thursday concert on our way home and Burke made new friends like he does each week. He decided to follow said friends across the street (yep, that’s right) to meet new friends in the 30 seconds in took for mom to bend down and retrieve a bottle for Blaine from the stroller (not to be confused with the massive bottle of wine I needed later that evening after almost going into cardiac arrest when I looked up and saw no Burke). That’s correct, my child disappeared. The good news is that two nice moms took the time to successfully help me find him. The unfortunate news is that he didn’t even know he was lost until he saw the frantic look on my face and put together what had transpired. I can’t explain the panic I felt in that brief, yet intense ten minute span of losing my little guy. I was 60 seconds away from stopping the entire concert and having the band make an announcement about a very influential small blonde boy that was apparently trying to send his mother into a tailspin in front of the entire town (I’m sure I’m not the only one that’s considered this given the circumstances).

We’ve had many, many conversations since then about staying by mom’s side and the consequences of being hurt, taken by strangers, etc (mostly that he will never see his trains and cars again; whatever works, right?). In the meantime, I’ve been Googling child tracking devices and seriously considering those crazy backpack harnesses…

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The World Cup may be over, but this guy still has soccer on the brain! He recently started Mighty Tykes soccer and has shown some impressive dribbling and shooting skills if I do say so myself.

Of course, I’m comparing him to the other kids that run with the ball rugby-style (and throw the ball into the opposing net)…not to mention, he dribbles AWAY from his teammates and wants to score all of the goals himself, but team work is a process, right? We even bought a toddler-sized soccer goal to practice at home. Somehow, it ended up in our dining room. This does not bode well for that wedding china we’ve never used…

Filed under toddlers Mighty Tykes

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Tuesdays Tidbits…

Can you believe these hydrangeas are from my yard?! They are in full bloom and absolutely gorgeous! I obviously had nothing to do with it, but I love them in a large base next to my kitchen sink…

I used to think the whole “farm to table” concept was a lot of hype. But I admit, there’s a distinct difference in the food! I made this fresh salad today with my latest farmer’s market finds: leaf lettuce, raspberries and yellow cutie tomatoes (the blueberries, shredded carrots and walnuts arrived via Peapod).

We have a crawler! Albeit on the slow side, Blaine is now moving from one side of the room to another…terrorizing her brother and all of his toys in the process. This leads me to another observation: no matter how many “girly” toys I buy her, she just wants Burke’s cars. Her father is extremely pleased…

I can’t tell you how excited I am that gray knits are “in” for Fall. It’s basically my go to wardrobe every Fall; I need nothing! Haha, just kidding…

Related, today certainly felt like Fall. While it’s my favorite season by far, I’m not quite ready to give up my gladiators and pool time. Maxi dresses on the other hand? Ugh, please make those go away…

Mr. B and I like finding a show and watching together (versus him suffering through my Bravo checklist…Ladies of London, anyone?). Our latest is Power (50 Cent is behind it, I think?!). I don’t understand any of the dialog and ask a thousand questions, but like plotting how the characters and scenarios will play out (even though I know nothing about night clubs and drug dealers).

I’m trying to teach Burke the days of the week. Today I told him it was Tuesday and asked him what comes next. He enthusiastically responded, “Friday!” I wish!

Filed under Tuesday Tidbits