Rockabye Bucktown

Navigating motherhood beyond The Windy City

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Mr. B and I are convinced that there are subliminal messages in Burke’s favorite show, Thomas and Friends. How do talking trains with bizarre names generate the cult-like following that has captured every male (and even female) toddler we know? When I saw that Thomas and Friends would be at the Illinois Railway Museum, I had to find out (and put up a solid bid for mom of the year!)…

Thomas’ Day Out this past Sunday was a huge hit! We took the entire family - grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins - everyone was there to ride on Thomas, see old trains, chat with fellow Thomas enthusiasts and hit up the Thomas store for rare trains (because obviously we have every.single.one and need more…). Burke was in heaven! Even Blaine (who is showing an interest in Thomas now…) loved it. Ironically, though, I think the grandparents had more fun than the kids watching them have the time of their lives.

The Thomas theme song has been in my head since Sunday (and given the crowd of people at the event on Sunday, I’m still convinced there are subliminal messages), but it comes with good memories so I guess it’s not so bad after all…

Filed under Thomas' Day Out family time

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Notable neutrals

Contrary to what I post, I don’t always wear neon and pattern. While the “basic” look has been earning some (questionably) bad press lately in defining a simplistic wardrobe, there’s no reason a little laid back style can’t be chic. Black, white, gray and leopard. They blend well and are the basis for endless outfits with little thought required. Throw in a textured cable knit, oversized cardigan or buttery leather in a neutral hue and your style is nowhere near basic. I can’t wait to cozy up in these looks this Fall…

[Images via Intermix, Nordstrom and Barney’s]

Filed under basic neutrals Intermix elizabeth and james IRO Vince nordstrom Barney's gray black and white leopard

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This time last week Mr. B and I were overlooking a beautiful golf course with a cocktail in hand “rehearsing” for my best friend’s wedding ceremony in Kohler, Wisconsin. After being sick and cooped up the week prior, I was ready to get out, enjoy a little sunshine and have a few cocktails (in no particular order, of course). Fortunately, the weekend festivities coincided with said agenda.

The bridesmaids surprised her with yoga on the beach the morning of the wedding. I’m not a huge “yogi”, but it was so relaxing; to actually take an hour, breathe, focus on the things I am most grateful for and be present - maybe I should do this yoga thing more often?

A stunning lake view, scenic course and moonlit backdrop made for a gorgeous event. Hanging out with old and new friends (and never leaving the dance floor) was just a bonus.

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Love this for shark week! Swedish fish are potty training “rewards” at our house. Maybe some fins on my nails will make the task (and handing out these gummy guys several times per day) a little more interesting…

Love this for shark week! Swedish fish are potty training “rewards” at our house. Maybe some fins on my nails will make the task (and handing out these gummy guys several times per day) a little more interesting…

(Source: kieljamespatrick, via splendid-simplicity)

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Finally some smiles after a week of being cooped up and quarantined! We all got hit by nasty colds, but are on the mend. Here’s to a tissue-free weekend!

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You can’t officially call yourself suburban until you’ve fed a barnyard animal out of your hand at a petting zoo! At least that’s what we told our children…

On Saturday, we headed to a neighboring burb for a birthday party and introduced our (former city) kids to the animals they only read about in books. True, they have been to the Lincoln Park petting zoo, but that’s “city petting”…as in, you look but don’t touch (and rightly so in most cases).

This time, it was undeniably authentic. Burke was nervous to allow the animals to nibble carrots from his hand so he tasked mom with that one (yum). Blaine entertained herself with multiple staring contests (I think she won).

I think it’s safe to say they prefer the house-trained type of pets…

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A day in pics…

Trying to manage two kids’ schedules sometimes requires sophisticated strategy. I was warned about this prior to having Blaine, but I’m not sure I fully understood. Getting to school, classes, play dates, etc on time with all of our necessary gear warrants a big ass trophy (or glass of wine, I’ll take that, too). Not to mention getting everyone fed, dressed in acceptable attire and out of the house in under an hour is like competing in a sprint triathlon…at any rate, when I can make it happen, I take full advantage and cram in as many “together” activities as possible.

Wednesday was one of those lucky days where each had their own activities, I had a little one on one with both Burke and Blaine and they were able to play together…

Some favorite shots of the day: Dusty rose accessories (my new favorite polish is OPI’s “Don’t Bossa Nova Me Around”), blowing bubbles for Blaine outside (and a sweet moment of brother/sister bonding), my favorite pear and brussel sprout salad (with a few stolen chicken nuggets), and cookie baking for a post dinner treat (someone is auditioning for the pastry chef role at papa’s restaurant!). If I could only make this happen everyday…

Filed under a day in pics

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For simple summer dinners, I’m really loving this homemade bruschetta I’ve been throwing over grilled fish lately. It’s so easy and so delicious! 

Chop Roma tomatoes, a few yellow (Heirloom or cutie) tomatoes (to give it some color), red onion, minced garlic, basil, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, Italian seasonings, salt and pepper. Let it sit for a few hours and top fish (or chicken). I then take the remaining tomatoes (that I haven’t eaten while chopping), basil, olive oil and balsamic vinegar and layer over fresh mozzarella for a light appetizer. Also not too shabby with your favorite rosé…

For simple summer dinners, I’m really loving this homemade bruschetta I’ve been throwing over grilled fish lately. It’s so easy and so delicious!

Chop Roma tomatoes, a few yellow (Heirloom or cutie) tomatoes (to give it some color), red onion, minced garlic, basil, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, Italian seasonings, salt and pepper. Let it sit for a few hours and top fish (or chicken). I then take the remaining tomatoes (that I haven’t eaten while chopping), basil, olive oil and balsamic vinegar and layer over fresh mozzarella for a light appetizer. Also not too shabby with your favorite rosé…

Filed under summer healthy recipes bruschetta homemade