Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Introducing... Travel Tuesdays!

I know that a lot of people out there hate Mondays, and I understand it's hard to go back to work after a nice weekend. BUT my least favorite day of the week (especially when working) has always been Tuesday. With Mondays it's like you're still getting used to being back to the grind and you sort of ease back into it, and the day seems to go by pretty quickly... before you have time to really hate it, but Tuesdays? Not so. They catch you off guard and just creep by so excruciatingly slow and it's sooo far away from Friday night freedom.

So my solution is, Travel Tuesday. I'll research and "plan" a vacation I'd love to take someday, looking for places to stay, food to eat, and the best experiences a city has to offer. I'm no travel expert, but I'd love to have a catalogue of vacation spots to use as a jumping off point if Sean and I ever get the chance for some travel. Hopefully, these posts at the very least will offer a mini-escape from the boredom of the dreaded Tuesday afternoon! :)

Chicago: St. Patrick's Day
My sister is taking a weekend trip to Chicago later this month to celebrate St. Patrick's Day, so I thought I'd create a little itinerary of my own since I can't go for real. :)
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The Chicago St. Patrick's Day celebration is famous for dyeing the Chicago River green which kicks off the parade (this year held on actual St. Patrick's Day, Saturday March 17). Make sure to wear your green and bring a snack... the parade lasts around 3 hours.

Where to stay
The Drake Hotel is one of the most famous hotels in the city, and has a rich history and claims to be "where the Magnificent Mile begins." It is located in the Gold Coast neighborhood near the city's best shopping, nightlife, and dining. The Drake has always been on the cutting edge of luxury experience since it opened it's doors in 1920.

The James Chicago is recommended by both Jetsetter and the Travel Channel's Samantha Brown. This contemporary and stylish hotel offers a convenient location just one block from shopping on the Magnificent Mile, the JBar lounge just off the lobby, and easy access to attractions like The Museum of Contemporary Art.

What to eat: 
If you're adventurous and looking for something unique, try moto, where chef Homaro Cantu and his staff offer a taste of inventive, futuristic "post-modern cuisine."The team at moto uses a combination of science and creativity to offer their guests a well-rounded experience at every step of their meal, including things like edible menus and reinventions like BBQ Pork with Cornbread and Baked Bean Spaghetti. Sounds pretty weird huh?

If you want to stick to the basics, it's easy to find a Chicago classic "red hot" (hot dogs) no matter where you are in the city. Try a hot dog from Byron's where you can choose from 11 toppings to add. Or hit up one of the Gold Coast Dogs locations for the best cheese fries in town to go along with your "red hot."

The Windy City is also famous for its deep dish pizza as well. If you don't mind venturing off the beaten path, head over to the Morton Grove neighborhood to Burt's Place, where they use fresh ingredients every day and even convinced Anthony Bourdain that there's more to life than New York style pizza. :)

What to do:
Check out the Map Room if you're a beer enthusiast and choose from 200 brands from around the world. (Just remember to stop at the ATM before you go because they are cash only.)

Get tickets to a show at The Second City and see where some of your favorite comedians and SNL cast members made their big breaks.
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Shop til you drop along The Magnificent Mile, or take a boat tour or ride the ferris wheel at Navy Pier for some magnificent views of the city skyline.
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Finally, no trip to the Chicago would be complete without a photo of your reflection in "The Bean" at Millennium Park!
Image via: Millennium Park
What are some of your favorite spots in Chicago?

What other places would you like to see featured on Travel Tuesday?

Monday, February 27, 2012

Favs and Fails: Academy Awards 2012

So, who watched the Academy Awards last night? Hugo took away multiple awards which was a little surprising to me, but makes me want to see the movie even more! The Artist was the big winner of the night which was not so surprising. And the other big winners were pretty predictable as well. But so much happened in the show, and I'd like to recap my fashion picks, my favorite moments from the show, and some of my criticisms. Enjoy!

The evening started off on the red carpet, and you all know how much I love that! E! started coverage at 5:30, which is a little ridiculous, but I'm not gonna lie... I watched most of it! Aaaaand my favorite dress of the night was: Michelle Williams. I thought the dress was red at first, but it's really a coral color. I always love her style, and I think she really stepped it up for the Oscars. I love the detailing on the skirt and the color looks so great with her skin, and the peplum skirt is so feminine and flattering.
Michelle Williams in Louis Vuitton; image via
Some of my other favorites were: Viola Davis, that green against her skin was so beautiful and I love the shape of that dress; Tina Fey (Yay Tina!) I love her but she never seems to have it fully together on the red carpet, but NOT so in this dress... it looks stunning and so do her hair and accessories; Gwyneth Paltrow, the simple lines on this white dress were beautiful on her, and the cape she had on outside added a unique element that no one else had; Melissa McCarthy, the last few things she's worn during awards season were a little boring for me, but I'm so glad she stepped it up and went for some color last night... it thought the jeweled neckline and belt were very flattering on her.
Viola Davis in Vera Wang; Tina Fey in Carolina Herrera; Gwyneth Paltrow in Tom Ford; Melissa McCarthy in Marina Rinaldi
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And, probably my favorite red carpet moment of the night was with "The Dictator" Sacha Baron Cohen and Ryan Seacrest. Ryan is so mad, but trying to conceal it and I thought it was hilarious... you gotta shake things up every once in a while on the red carpet! (It'll keep you grounded, Ryan.)

My favorite part of the actual Oscar show were the interviews with celebrities talking about film and the part it plays in there lives. It was so fun to see some other stars besides those nominated that night. I also like the short interview clips they played when announcing some of the nominees... I thought it added a little something for the audience for each film. Here are "Movie Moments" they have on, but I can't find the ones they showed during the show last night.

I was so excited to see that Bret McKenzie (Bret from Flight of the Conchords!) won the Oscar for Music-Original Song with "Man or Muppet". I loved him in Flight of the Conchords, and that was one of my favorite songs from THE MUPPETS.
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Another nice moment of the evening was Meryl Streep's speech. I know she started off as usual with her breathless shock at just the possibility of winning, but I think she really said some nice things to her husband and her long-time makeup artist (who won earlier in the evening). And she ended with a nice sentiment about all of the friendships she's made in the industry, and I thought it was just lovely and sweet. And I haven't seen Iron Lady yet, but I'm sure she deserved the win... she embodies characters like no other actor I've seen.

There were a few things throughout the evening that I didn't enjoy however:

The first was the microphone sound for the ENTIRE night... I don't think it was just my TV, but there was awful feedback and crackling on all of the mikes, and it was driving me nuts. This is the Academy Awards, you'd think they would have that under control in the first place and if not it should have been corrected early in the show. Did anyone else notice this?

The second thing that got on my nerves was Angelina Jolie and her leg (on the red carpet AND when she presented):
We know you have nice legs, Angie and yes, your dress does have a very high slit in it. But that means it's automatically going to show your leg... you don't have to intentionally bend it out for us to see. We get it. It's a nice dress, let it speak for itself. That is all.

What were some of your favorite Oscar 2012 moments? Let us know in the comments! Enjoy!

Monday, February 6, 2012

A little something for your Monday evening...

This weekend Sean and I found that even though we've been in Louisville for several years now, there are still tons of hidden gems to be discovered! We started off the weekend by heading to First Friday Trolley Hop downtown. We ate and drank at some new places, and discovered some great galleries and shops, and had a great time with friends. Saturday was spent reading and relaxing, and then we got some yummy sushi (at a NEW location of an OLD favorite--Oishi) with my sister who was visiting. We rounded out the weekend on Sunday starting the day with some heavenly doughnuts from Nord's Bakery. (And we even got a free "goodie bag" since we were new customers! Can't believe we've never gotten these before now!) We ended the day with our Anti-Super Bowl Super Bowl Party (none of us cared at all about the game) eating party food and watching two awesomely non-related movies: How To Train Your Dragon and Tucker and Dale vs Evil.

Hope everyone has a great week!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Happy February!

We are having some unseasonably warm weather here in Louisville for the past few days. And I think everyone is trying to enjoy it while it's here. I'm not sure how long this is going to last, but I have a feeling we're going to have to pay for it sometime down the road... hopefully this doesn't mean snowstorms in May! Here are a couple photos from my afternoon walk today:

Some bulbs blooming already!

A beautiful day for a walk
Hope everyone has a wonderful February!