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Weekend Recap Part II - Lake Forest

Thursday, September 27, 2012
After a quick but quite enjoyable vacation in Chicago, it was time to kick-off the real reason that we were in Illinois-- Stacy & Eric's wedding! The weekend started off with a lovely cocktail party in downtown Chicago.

The next day we headed north to Lake Forest for the remainder of the weekend. After a delicious meal at the luncheon on Friday, I officially decided that I could be a lady-who-lunches... cheese souffle with tomato beurre blanc for lunch, sign me up!

The weather cleared Friday evening which made for a delightful dinner on Lake Michigan.

And then the wedding!!! Stacy was a radiant bride and it was just so much fun watching her and her new husband all night!

Weekend Recap Part 1 - Chicago!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012
Gah, it was hard getting back into the swing of things this week! We had a great trip to Chicago last week and it was back to reality on Monday. A wonderful wedding weekend got us to Illinois, but before we headed north of the city for the weekend, we took a few days to enjoy Chicago. It was Andy's first trip and we squeezed in a few sites!

First up, a boat tour of Chicago by the Chicago Architecture Foundation. It was very informative and quite enjoyable, especially since it was such a beautiful day.

The after diving into some deep dish pizza at Lou Malnati's, we walked off about one half of a bite of our lunch and strolled through Millennium Park. Of course, a flock of birds decided to take flight, right as dad was snapping our picture.

But they decided to leave mom and dad alone.

Of course I didn't snap any pictures because I was too busy eating and chatting but we had a wonderful dinner with one of my bffs from growing up who now lives in Chicago. Quite a treat!

Andy's only request while we were in Chicago was to go to a Cubs game so that we did. And we did it in style, bleachers style.

Next up, the wonderful wedding weekend!

Random Round-Up: Emerald and Lime

Friday, September 14, 2012

office image Sanity Fair // lamp Lucy Table Lamp // scarf Hermes Clic-Clac à Pois // reusable bag Baggu // sofa Jonathan Adler Kensington Sofa // shoes Tory Burch Patent Leather Eddie Ballet Flat // wallet kate spade carlisle street - stacy // vase Venini Fazzoletti Small Vase // earrings Kenneth Jay Lane Tassel Shoulder Duster Earrings // bike Public V7

The Boat

Wednesday, September 12, 2012
As I've mentioned, my parents bought a boat. I've been doing my best to learn the boating terminology, but in the meantime, I've been helping my mom with decorating (a bit more up my alley). Having a full time job, I'm a bit slow to execute, but we're making progress. Things have definitely changed along the way but a lot has stayed as originally planned. I had to work with all outdoor fabric which was a challenge, but I was pleasantly surprised by what was out there. I did get one exception... the multi-colored chevron fabric in the salon; it was just too perfect.

Smoked and Pulled Pork

Tuesday, September 11, 2012
Andy makes delicious pulled pork and since we hadn't had it all summer, I requested it for Labor Day. We hadn't made it since 2010 but had done a good job documenting and after making it again, I think the recipe is perfect (remember, it's not mine, it's Andy's so I can say that).

This makes a lot but the leftovers are delicious. We had sliders a few nights, then pork quesadillas and wish we would have made pork nachos. But the remainder of the pork was enjoyed by the boys while watching the Redskins. Perfect football food.

Andy's Pork Butt

Brine the Butt (Alton Brown’s Method)
2 quarts water
¾ cup molasses
1 cup salt

Mix ingredients together. Add the 6-8lb bone-in pork butt (aka pork shoulder). Brine overnight.

Make Barbeque Sauce
1 cup ketchup
⅔ cup cidar vinegar
½ cup brown sugar
½ cup tomato paste
1 T mustard
1 t cumin
1 t coriander
1 T chili powder
1 T onion powder
1 T paprika

Mix ingredients together. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Slow cook the butt in the crock pot.
After the butt has been in the brine for 12-24 hours, remove it from the brine and cover it in the sauce. Place it in the crock pot on top of some onion slices. Pour remaining sauce over the pork. Cook for 6-8 hours on low.

Smoke the butt
Brush off excess sauce. Smoke the butt for 2 hours (or less if you just don't have time but don't skip this step!). If you don't have a smoker (and we certainly don't... maybe when we buy a house!), you can make a make-shift one. Soak wood chips for about 30 minutes. Drain the wood chips and place them in an aluminum pan. Cover the pan tightly with foil and poke holes in the foil. Place the "smoker" over direct heat on the grill and put the pork butt on indirect heat. Cover the grill and let the smokin' begin (which will take about 10-15 minutes).

Boil sauce
Into a saucepan, strain the onion and little bits from the sauce and pork drippings in the crock pot. Boil the sauce until it reaches the desired consistency (about 30-45 minutes), skimming the fat as you can.

Let the butt rest for 30 minutes – 1 hour before shredding with two forks or your hands. Toast some buns (we love it with Sister Schubert dinner rolls). Serve with the sauce.

And I'm back!

Monday, September 10, 2012
Well, I guess I thought I was European and the month of August was a holiday month! I've proven that I'm pretty good at taking unplanned blogging breaks. Kind of nice to be able to do that, since I still haven't found a way to take a break from real life. But I've missed y'all (and hopefully you've missed me!). It's hard once you're out of the routine to get back into the routine (haven't you heard that commercial.. a body in motion, stays in motion? well, a blogger not posting, stays quiet), and I didn't want to start back until I was ready to be consistent.

Not sure what it is, probably the change of seasons, but I'm ready! I love fall. I dare to say it's my favorite season, although spring is a pretty close second. I love fall clothes, fall food and fall weather (and the leaves!).

So I'll leave you wth what I wish I was wearing to ring in the new season (yes, I know it's not technically fall but it is in my mind!).

sunglasses Tom Ford Raquel // earrings Carly Stud by Kendra Scott // top Las Palmas by Rag & Bone // scarf Fontaine Scarf by Ash and Anchor // handbag Cobalt Leather JF Tote by MZ Wallace // bracelets C Wonder Signature Enamel Bangle, Bold Bangle, Gold Circles Bracelet // jeans J Crew Toothpick Jean in Pitch Black Wash // flats Aadan Ballet Flat by Tory Burch