Patty O’Furniture

It’s not much but that’s my little patio.  The weather is finally starting to get nicer–at least on a more consistent basis.  I love having that little (teeny tiny) bit of space outside, but really didn’t think I’d use it; that is, until David suggested getting some chairs to put out there.  Target had an excellent array of patio furniture and this ‘lil set was on sale–$80 for the lot of it!  Chairs here and side table here.

Three days later and I’m obsessed with it. Some days, if I’m working from home, I don’t actually get outside until I leave for lunchtime yoga, so having a cup of ginger tea (I am not a coffee drinker) and reading the news (or, ya know, lifestyle blogs) for 10-15 minutes is soooo nice.  Then, before dinner, swap the tea for for wine and the news for some David Sedaris essays, and it’s the same scene.

I never thought much about outdoor space, but now I’m really jealous of anyone (particularly anyone who lives in a city) with a yard or, better yet, a roof deck of their very own!

Also, after weeks of putting birdseed on the patio–a bird finally landed on it yesterday!  He enjoyed a little snack….until Burrito noticed and pounced thus causing the bird to flee.  She went nuts and has an even keener interest in watching the patio like, well, a hawk.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I think I’ll eat my lunch on the patio today.  Happy Friday!

Goodbye for meow.

Girl and the Goat

I think most Chicagoans probably went to Girl and the Goat when it opened seven years ago, but I was a Washingtonian at the time, so I only had the pleasure of visiting for the first time last week.  And it was, wow.

Two dear friends of mine gifted me a gift certificate to Girl and the Goat before I left DC and I tried and tried to get a reservation, but they seemed to be fully booked in perpetuity.  Last Thursday, on a whim, I decided to try for a Friday night (fat chance, or so I thought)–lo and behold, there was a lone reservation for 5:15pm.  Now, this is a little earlier than I like to eat, but I have a 10pm bedtime, so I jumped on it.  (The waitress said that’s how a lot of folks end up getting a reservation–so, if you’re in town or just want a last minute reservation–try OpenTable a day or two ahead of time, you may get lucky!)

The restaurant is on Randolph Street in the West Loop (when I was growing up there was very little in the West Loop, now it’s the epicenter of Chicago’s trendiest restaurants).  David and I were seated at the chef’s table, so we had a view right into the kitchen (it was a little toasty, but well worth it) and to see delicious dishes as they were prepared.

We ordered the goat carpaccio, roasted beets, oysters, grilled cuttlefish, and–the real show stopper–the sauteed green beans with cashews (in a fish sauce vinaigrette that was both amazing and indescribable).

Obviously, I highly recommend this restaurant.  Just what the Internet needed, another review of Girl and the Goat.

Goodbye for meow.


How Do I Spend My Days in Chicago?

A question I get a lot is, “So what are you up to in Chicago?” (Actually, not a lot of people ask me that–this readership is pretty minuscule at this point, but I’m going to answer anyway.)  Tomorrow marks four weeks since my husband, David, and I moved to Chicago.  These last two weeks or so, I’ve started to feel settled and gotten into a pretty good routine.  I’m definitely not as bored as I thought I would be, at least not yet.  I started doing some freelance writing, which I’ve really been enjoying, and really helps to give my days some shape, but also a lot of flexibility.
Come along with me and I’ll take you on a tour of a typical day…

7:30-8am–Wake up, Elaine!  This may sound late to a lot of you, but honestly, it’s about the same time I woke up when we lived in DC.  Except now I’m not feeling rushed to get ready and get out the door.

8-9am-Get ready for the day, watch Good Morning America (not ashamed, it’s my favorite morning show and I love it), and eat breakfast

9-9:30am-Watch the start of Live with Kelly while checking e-mail and doing some ,light online shopping (I bought these mules the other day because the ones I really wanted from Nordstrom were back ordered until May and the Go Jane ones were a third of the price and should be here by Thursday!)

9:30-noon-Buckle in for work time!  Research, writing, e-mailing with the client I’ve been freelancing for.

Noon-1:30pm–YOGA.  My favorite part of the day.  I’ve been mainly going to The Lab in the West Loop and occasionally Yogaview in Bucktown.  I also found a really terrific Pilates studio in River North called Amplified Pilates.

2-4pm–I go to our health club, get a late lunch or post-yoga smoothie and work for a few more hours.

4-6pm–Either run errands or treat myself to a massage, manicure, etc. (there’s a massage therapy school a few blocks from our apartment and student massages are $40 for a 60-minute massage!)

6-7pm–Make dinner (or, ya know, pick up dinner from a restaurant)

7-10pm–Wind down, watch tv, read, etc.

10pm–Lights out!  I’ve been trying to be better about getting to bed earlier.  The central time zone means all of my favorite shows are on an hour earlier, so I have no excuse to stay up until 11-11:30.

So, there you have it.  A day in my Chicago life, 4 weeks in.  Writing it out like that kind of makes it sound boring, but I really, really like it.

Goodbye for meow.

Spring Florals

It’s been so long since I’ve gotten really dressed up.  I so wanted to put on a nice dress and make my husband take a few pictures of me in the park near our apartment, but it’s raining (again) in Chicago today.  It’s been raining a lot here.  I usually don’t mind rain, but it’s starting to make me feel a little stir crazy.  So, here are some really cute spring-y floral dresses–and they’re all under $200!
Spring Florals

Happy hump day!

Goodbye for meow.

White cocktail dress
$110 –

Monsoon cut out dress

Topshop white prom dress
$94 –

Milly short dress

Ted baker dress
$250 –

Hobbs pink dress
$185 –

Chi Chi mini dress