Monthly Archives: September 2011

Dog walker by day, PI by night

I’m currently amidst The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo trilogy and I am obsessed. One of the main characters–Lisbeth Salander–has latched onto my love of information and knowing what makes people tick (okay, I admit it, I am at times a gossip fiend), and my immediate desire to be a private investigator. I can see it now: dog walker by day, private investigator by night. And making millions all the while, no?

I have one book left in the trilogy, and then I will be eagerly anticipating the first movie (of the American kind by David Fincher), due out in December. Which got me thinking. What are some of the best movies I’ve seen this year? Crazy, Stupid, Love, which I absolutely loved and Drive. Hands down. Go. See. Them. Now. And my guilty pleasure: No Strings Attached.

What movies are you looking forward to?

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A step back in time

I came across these photos several weeks ago, and was instantly charmed. I’m always drawn to black and white or old, vintage photos and this was no exception. I’ve wanted to live in Chicago for forever (hello, suburbanite), and will be the first to sing its praises (as well as faults), but there’s something about New York City that just doesn’t compare. I would give anything to go back in time.

photos via

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Entertaining n00b

In college, I didn’t often host guests for dinner because it was always easier to meet friends out at a new restaurant, an old favorite (Panera), or for coffee or drinks; not to mention my kitchen became crowded with more than one person in it. Since moving home and starting work, however, there is something equally appealing as inviting friends and family over, cooking a meal together and enjoying each other’s company in the comfort of your own home. Last week, our family friend came over and I promptly put myself in charge of dessert. I opted for this recipe, and was pleasantly surprised.

And if you’re looking for your own entertaining ideas, check out this video from one of my favorite blogs, cupcakes and cashmere.

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Sunday that wasn’t

Yesterday I had a date with my pooch. We were scheduled to head downtown and join hundreds of other pups for the PAWS Chicago Run For Their Lives event. Unfortunately, I have been fighting a cold for the past week, and when Sunday morning rolled around, I just did not have the energy to get out of bed. And that’s saying a lot, since I normally roll out of bed for Frasier much earlier than 730am. I was beyond disappointed that we missed our chance to spend time together (and seriously bummed about not being able to collect my prizes), but I feel somewhat content knowing that together we raised $135 for a good cause. Now that’s something to bark about.

Hoping Frasier was just as disappointed as I was on the “inside”

Nothing gets in the way of a sleeping pooch

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Run for their lives

On Sunday morning, Frasier and I will be awake far earlier than anyone should ever have to be awake on a weekend. We will head North into the city toward Montrose Harbor. And we will be participating in the 11th Annual PAWS Chicago’s Run for Their Lives 8K Run/4K Walk (obviously, we’ll be doing the walk).

There are many rescue groups in Chicago and I’ve only just begun acclimating myself to all of them. But in light of recent events earlier this month, I’m more anxious than ever to determine which ones are the best. So far, with their mission to make Chicago a No Kill city, they’ve got my vote. And Frasier’s too. Visit their website here, if you want to learn more about who they are.

And if you really want to support their mission, consider donating toward mine and Frasier’s fundraising page!

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Hyde Park, round 2

I first wrote about Hyde Park here when I toured the neighborhood earlier in the summer. Since then I’ve ridden through the area during the Active Transportation Alliance Four Star bike ride, but I had never truly experienced the neighborhood, until last week. After attending a training conference on Local First Chicago, a co-worker graciously showed me the “real” Hyde Park through a delicious lunch at Z & H, a local café, 57th Street Books, an underground bookstore and the University of Chicago campus – gorgeous in the autumn sun and filled with students.

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West Lawn Fashion Show

While it pales in comparison to Fashion Week in New York City, the smaller, and infinitely more tame fashion show hosted by the West Lawn and Archer Heights Chambers of Commerce last week was equally entertaining. Held at the Mayfield Banquet Facility in the Archer Heights neighborhood on the southwest side of Chicago, the venue was perfectly appropriate for the evening.

Check out the video below to hear from the director of the West Lawn and Archer Heights Chambers of Commerce.

Even better? All fashions modeled, all jewelry on display and all raffle prizes were from local shops and small businesses. All in all? A perfect tribute to these southwest neighborhoods and their merchants. Unfortunately, I was at the worst angle for snapping shots of the models and had to focus on the banquet hall itself instead.

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