Tag Archives: chicago

chicago chicago

#old #vintage #highrise #skyline #chicago #igerschicago #chicagoarch #city #chitecturephoto stolen from Okunola

Who knew posting one measly update a day would be so tough? Between love, work, friends, a dog, eyebrow waxes, beer, showering and sleeping I just do not know where the time goes.

Here are some amazing photos of our city shot by The Mister aka Okunola. He has quite an eye.

[@okjey on instagram]

#dusk #sky #commute #silhouette #cta #chicago #igerschicago#rust #metal #structure #bridge #decay #chicagoarch #igerschicago#chicago #igerschicago #city #neighborhood #pilsen#morning #sky #clouds #sun #skyline #silhouette #city #chicago #igerschicago#city in #motion...#driveby #citylights #lights #red #blur #skyline #chicago #igerschicago

(day FOUR.)

cookie monster: sugar cookies + cream cheese frosting

Trader Joe’s has the best packaging for cheap, don’t they? I just finished making sugar cookies for a Super Bowl party this evening. One of the problems that comes with working in a three star restaurant is that I am almost always embarrassed and nervous to bring food to parties where co-workers will be present. I can’t really cook. I don’t particularly enjoy cooking and I find it rather boring (although I have made a list of dishes for Okunola and I to cook this week and am rather enjoying the process).

I promised I would make something for the party and decided to try my hand at baking. I threw together some mean biscuits for Thanksgiving and figured I should be able to handle a simple sugar cookie recipe adapted from here. I was right. They’re delicious. If I eat another one I will hurl.

2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup butter, softened * really, really softened
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Stir together flour, baking soda, and baking powder. Set aside.

In a bigger bowl, mix together the softened butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in the egg and vanilla. Gradually blend in the dry ingredients. I put on gloves and used my hands after my arm started hurting for this part.

Roll rounded teaspoonfuls and tablespoonfuls of dough into balls. I left some the larger tablespoonful balls plain for frosting and rolled the smaller ones with blue and red sugar. Place the balls onto ungreased cookie sheets. If you do not have a cookie sheet like me, feel free to use a cake pan. I think I left ours in the oven when we moved out of the old place.

Bake 7-8 minutes in the preheated oven. They will look and feel soft but will harden a bit after cooling. Let stand on cookie sheet two minutes before removing to cool on wire racks.

The small ones are finished after that. The big ones still need frosting. I picked up a container of pre-made frosting and it was disgusting so I hunted around on the internet and found a great recipe for cream cheese frosting.

Cream cheese, check.
Butter, check.
Vanilla extract, check.
Powdered sugar, nope.
Thank goodness for the Polish corner store around the corner.

Cukier Puder, at your service. I also hadn’t softened more butter than I needed for the cookies overnight and so placed the amount I needed into a plastic bag and mushed it with my hands.

Further, I didn’t have the electric mixer the recipe called for and instead of putting my arm in any more pain, decided to break in the food processor I got for Christmas. The frosting turned out a bit more liquid-y than I would have liked but is insanely delicious. I could have quartered the recipe and had plenty. Anyone in the Chicago area in need of frosting?

Some silver sprinkles and we’re done. Super Bowl cookies. I guess the people playing wear red, white, blue and silver uniforms?

love peace & soul

Soul Train line!#soultrain line in #wickerpark last night#dancing #night #city #igerschicago #chicago #wickerpark #soultrain line#soultrain #wickerpark #chicago #igerschicago #city #night #dancing #hamburglar@urbancasita and @earthseed taking in the action...

At 4pm on February 1st, the day the great Don Cornelius passed on, we got word via social media that there would be an impromptu Soul Train line in his honor on Milwaukee Avenue at 9:30. About 200 people showed up to pay their respects and make their way down the line in thirty degree weather. You can view much better photos here and here.

Then read ?uestlove on Don Cornelius.

Soul Train started in Chicago. What a blessing to see its creator celebrated here in such a worthy way. Rest in Peace, Don Cornelius.

dovetail lamp + a peek of the dining room

I haven’t had a proper dining room since we occupied the mansion back in my mid-teens. That experience as a whole didn’t go so well. Maybe this is where my ambivalence towards any kind of formal area, be it for seating or dining or really doing anything other than sleeping since you kind of need a bedroom for that (unless you’re my dad, then the living room futon does just fine), stems from. You wanna eat? Do it in the kitchen, while sitting on a counter or at the table, your choice. Or maybe you’d prefer the back porch? Or the couch? Or the bed… while reading a magazine and swatting the dog away from the bowl perched perilously on your lap? Fine by me. Just clean up after yourself.

However, I now have a dining room. A tablecloth-covered desk may be acting as a table and the two benches that used to anchor our bay windows are standing in place for chairs but it’s worked for one gathering so far.

The tablecloth is a piece of fabric my friend Kate brought back from a trip to Curaçao a few years ago and the curtains are hold-overs from the old place. I’m sure I’ll figure out a way to update them soon. Any ideas? Maybe I could turn the tablecloth into curtains. Hmmm….

My favorite part of this room is the new lamp. It blows my $4 floor lamp out of the water both in style and price and was worth every penny thanks to a local vintage boutique. I had been out with Chernara all day looking specifically for a floor lamp for the dining room and I happened to pop into Dovetail while waiting for an order of Thai food from a neighboring restaurant. I pass the shop everyday on my way to work and loved a recent write-up of a co-owner from Time Out but this was my first time visiting. It also happened to be a day where every single item in the store was half off, making me a very happy girl.

And of course I love all of the built-ins! Perfect for the books that used to line the floor of our old abode.

So…who’s coming over to sit at the grown-up table?

Psssst… Chicago! Check out Dovetail!
1452 West Chicago Avenue
Chicago, IL 60642
(312) 243-3100

weekend indulgences

YumDay dating with @okjey

Saturday Brunch: Longman & Eagle in Logan Square
Three kinds of Bloody Marys
A Ransometta: Ransom gin, Carpano Antica, Luxardo Maraschino and Angostura bitters
Bar seating with Chad, an former co-worker to took great care of us
Biscuits and gravy, bacon, duck egg hash/duck confit, sausage, clam chowder with pork belly

#streetart #art #mural #colors #logansquare #neighborhood #igerschicago #chicago #cityCute, little @urbancasita.... #mural #art #streetart #blue #wife #neighborhood #logansquare #chicago #igerschicago

A walk around Logan Square


Viva Riva via Netflix Instant

Bacon doughnut !

Sunday Brunch: Nightwood in Pilsen
Tea for Zazzles, she’s on a cleanse
Bacon doughnut!

#architecture #chicagoarch #pilsen #neighborhood #city #igerschicago #chicagoBest. Hat. Ever.

Some light vintage shopping
Do you think I bought this hat?


Sunday Dinner: The reconcepted and reopened Tuman’s in Ukrainian Village
Skeeball, Pac-Man
Saison Dupont
Beet and goat cheese salad, panko-crusted chicken tenders, fries, so good the fries

Happy Monday.

paint stamped curtains

When we lived in Palo Alto I took an art class with this amazing abstract painter. I had to have been the only one who left each period with yellow and purple hair, paint embedded into my fingernails, paint streaking my jeans. I have no problem making a big old mess of myself.

I do, however, have a problem with plain white tab-topped curtains. And mini-blinds. The problem was that I had both: blinds in the kitchen and boring curtains in the Room Where Things Go To Die. I woke up on Sunday feeling exceptionally aggressive after a disastrous post-Thanksgiving dinner with my immediate family and needed to channel my energy into something. Anything! The curtains were screaming for attention, the mini-blinds were assaulting my otherwise coming-together kitchen and I had some blue paint and a red Solo cup.

So I tested a few stamps on some crappy stained white fabric. I liked it. Then I took my tab-topped curtains, ironed down the hems, and stitched a small seam so they wouldn’t be visible on a rod.

Next came newspapering my kitchen floor and laying my freshly ironed curtain down. And stamping. Stamping and stamping. I didn’t have much of a pattern in mind and thought I would do the whole thing until my wrist got tired and I realized how little paint I had.

I finished one and snapped a photo of it so I could check the pattern while stamping the second. Then I stared at it. Where in the hell was this thing going to sit to dry while I worked on the second piece? I left to buy– the horror– some tension rods and prayed it would be dry when I got back (Chicagoans, that K-Mart on Ashland and Milwaukee? Instant depression, stay away). It wasn’t. Where was it gonna go?

Onto the stove. I know this was probably dangerous, right? I couldn’t believe The Mister walked in without chastising me.

After three hours of drying, the first curtain was finally ready to be hung. It was too long. I half-heartedly measured before I started and I guess I got it way wrong.

So, I cut and hemmed. And wanted to cry a little.

Not many circles made it to the bottom. One of these days I’ll take them down to re-stamp. Why did I make it so short? My plants need sun, folks!

This is what they looked like around 5:30 in the morning on Tuesday. Don’t ask.

And there they are at night. Why the one on the left is leaning forward all weird is beyond me, I need to go adjust it. Also, flatware people: they’re up!

Overall, I’m satisfied. Not in love, but glad to not have to look at the mini-blinds. The tension rods pose the biggest problem but I don’t quite feel like drilling hardware into these walls just yet. We’ll see if I can stand them for a bit.

Sorry for the iPhone photos. My SLR isn’t behaving these days and I really just felt like blogging without waiting for some time to shoot the curtains in the daylight.

PS I took the cabinet doors off! The kitchen is my favorite room in the house these days.

i ♥ humboldt park

Wants to swimGood morningMiddle of the city #chicago

Chicago, I love you.

i’m allergic to my new apartment!

Screw you allergies. I got back up now. Yes, I am wearing a mask until this laundry is done.

This is a very long post. If you simply want to see some little images of our new place and don’t want to read a sickly gal blather on about feline allergies, scroll on down. They’re at the end.

Hello, SARS mask. The last time I tied one of these around my face I was angrily scraping pigeon shit of off our old balcony rafters wearing a t-shirt with FEMINISM LIVES emblazoned across the front. This time I am using it to sort laundry.

We moved into our apartment one week ago yesterday. That Sunday it was everything I dreamed of. I was exhausted by 8:00pm and determined to pass out (I took everyone’s advice and made sure our bedding and towels were at the ready immediately) but couldn’t take the clutter. Up I stayed, past midnight, organizing the kitchen until we had at least one room in the house that resembled normalcy.

There’s the bootleg before and after, as posted on Instagram that night. I went to bed content, excited to arise the next day and get started on making house into home.

And then I woke up.

Early, because of said excitement. I think I got a total of six hours after a grueling day and only receiving about four hours of shuteye the night before. I hurriedly started unpacking and unpacking and unpacking and half hour into it was completely overcome by sneezing. Sneezing and a runny nose and a fuzzy head that has lasted since… last night, with a brief break on Friday and Saturday and smaller fits of sneezing when I left the house for work. My nose is rubbed raw and slathered in Vaseline but I am finally starting to feel a little bit normal. More on that miracle in a bit.

Why all the allergies? A cat. A long haired cat. The former resident of this here abode, along with two indescribably filthy human beings, maybe even worse than the two who occupied our last apartment before us. Remember how when we were apartment hunting I told you how disgusting humans seemed to be? This apartment was one of the worst examples: we actually came back to view it a second time after crossing it off of our list early on. It was on the market for much longer than the other units we viewed, a fact I can only attribute to the layer of grime over every surface and the hairballs in every corner. Still, it never even occurred to me that this would pose such a huge problem. I didn’t even correlate CAT with ALLERGY on either visit to the apartment. I don’t even think I sneezed. I knew I was allergic to felines but didn’t imagine their dander’s staying power: six to nine months, maybe a year.

Even when the allergic reaction started, we chalked it up to high pollen counts in our area. An allergen-ridden fall was projected on every weather website out there. The Mister thought the dog was bringing in ragweed pollen after walks. When our local CVS was out of 75% of their allergy meds, we were positive that this was a simple seasonal allergic reaction that everyone was feeling– something I had never gotten before but maybe due to the stress of the move it had decided to manifest.

But it persisted. And persisted. Sometime in the evening of day 2 or 3, a lightbulb went off. THAT DAMN CAT. Duh. Why hadn’t I thought of that, I thought while my nose dripped onto my chest.

To spare you the long ordeal this has been– the crying-in-the-shower moments, the transcripts of calls to AJ and KB complaining and snotting up the phone lines (which have to be done at least 100 feet from my house since AT&T gets ZERO CELL SERVICE here), the contaminated trash can that had to be emptied once a day, the hours of internet research… let me just tell you what we did so you don’t have to go through the same thing.

Please work please work please work

1. bioAllers Animal Hair & Dander Allergy Relief. Hollar. These little drops of goodness have saved me in a way that Zyrtec, Allegra, Claritin, Alavert, and even good old fashioned Benadryl have not. Fifteen drops under the tongue every three hours or so and a world of difference. No foggy head, no dry mouth, no sleepiness, no side effects, period. They are a godsend. I started them on Friday evening and slept like a baby that night for the first time in days.

2. Allersearch ADMS Anti-Allergen Spray. YES. More, please. The Mister WORKED this place with this spray and certified elbow grease. It cannot have been easy to cart around our heavy assed vacuum and its short hose attachment; one that required him to actually lift the body of the machine up a step ladder to get each rafter, door molding and beam. I cannot stress how important it is to get the tops of everything in your apartment. The cleaning crew that our management company sent in did a nice job on the surface but once we looked a little deeper we knew where to find that pesky dander. It loves to settle atop high surfaces. He even found a decrepit luggage bag and cat poop above our new built-in hutch. That had to have been a major source for allergens.

4. Take the blinds down. If your rental agency or landlord provided blinds or curtains, get them out. Save the pieces, wrap ‘em up nice, make sure that you can put them back if you need to, but no amount of cleaning is going to get them allergy-free. My curtains may look a little bootleg right now due to the haste I made in getting them up but I feel so much better now that the majority of the yucky blinds are out of this unit.

4. I mentioned that Friday and Saturday were OK with the introduction of my bioAllers. Sunday was another story. The last thing I had to fully unpack were our boxes of clothing. Really one big box as we brought over everything else in luggage. The minute I opened that box: sneeze parade, again. I was heartbroken. Didn’t know why this was happening. Couldn’t believe it. I had washed every single item of clothing in that box before I packed it, knowing that the days of free laundry in our old building were behind me. Didn’t matter. 10 days in a box? A box I took from work that contained produce from a local farm? Not a good look. Here’s where the mask comes in. I learned my lesson last night. I’m not taking it off while touching those clothes until they come out of the dryer. Which should be… about now. The Mister brought home a dozen of the masks from work today and I plan to use them whenever I need to get into something dusty. I’m taking no chances. I’m sure the new neighbors loved seeing me have an entire phone conversation with one of these on earlier.

And that is my epic allergy story. I’m praying, in the way that I pray, that this is somewhat over. I can breathe through my nose for the most part and I’ll be sticking with bioAllers for awhile; the reviews around the web are mostly from cat-allergic people who choose to live with them as pets so I’m counting on it to keep working its magic. This apartment is probably the cleanest it has ever been and though we got off to a rough start, I think we’ll be just fine. Worse comes to worse: a HEPA Air Purifier, which run around $500-800. I know I can avoid that with positive thinking… right?

Here are some snapshots I’ve posted on Instagram this week, starting with one of our new block. I’ll be taking proper photos soon. It’s coming together fast!

New block #Chicago #ukrainianvillageNew living room!new apartment snapshotsUnpacking and unpacking and unpacking

before and after: our wicker park apartment front room

Bye bye crappy floors!

I planned to do an entire post of before and afters for each room. Alas, time is not on my side. This’ll have to do for now, and hopefully I’ll scare up the before shots from the other rooms this week. Onward, packing soldier.


summertime chicago: two things to do this weekend

I’m so sad for you if you don’t live in Chicago.

I know I profess my love for this city constantly but it goes into overdrive every summer. And August is no exception. We’re counting down the last of our warm weekends with very heavy hearts in this City of Big Shoulders and making sure we pack in the fun at every turn.

This specific weekend doesn’t disappoint.

Built Festival kicks off tonight at Milwaukee and Leavitt. The creators describe it as “a city being created out of shipping containers this summer in Chicago’s Wicker Park Neighborhood.” It’s been put together by the same folks behind Art on Track, one of my favorite artsy events of last year. Emmanuel Pratt, whose home I profiled back in the beginning days of this little blog, is representing the Hyde Park Art Center and his own Mycelia Project, a collaboration with Chicago Public Schools, Urban Gateways, the Woodlawn Community Development Corporation and others that promotes learning focused on food, water, soil and sustainability. I’m excited to see what he comes up with. Over 100 artists are expected to participate, it’s ten bucks and runs until 10:30 tonight and from 11am to 10:30 tomorrow.

Next up is an estate sale run by Ms. Lynne McDaniel, one of the coolest gals in all of Chicago. The Estate is that of of Yvonne Jackson Eskridge, wife of the Honorable Judge Chauncey Eskridge, attorney to Martin Luther King and Muhammad Ali. The first sale of Lynne’s I attended was that of Willye Tillman, the state of Illinois’ first Black chief nurse anesthetist. Her home was filled with gorgeous furniture, memorabilia, books, art, and history. I can’t wait to see Lynne and this home tomorrow. Her blurbs are always so much fun to read, so I’ll just have to copy some of her verbiage here:

Chicago has long been called the city of neighborhoods, but have you ever heard of this one? MARYNOOK! Lot of history in this community folks! Visit the home where Ali hung out! Where Dr. Martin Luther King signed documents and developed strategies! Where guest from all over the world visited. Can you imagine Ali chilling on the velvet green sofa? I saw a photo depicting the very scene. How about Coretta Scott King standing next to her husband in the living room?

They were all friends to Yvonne Jackson, globetrotter, educator, style maven & citizen of the world! HER EYE FOR MID CENTURY MODERN DESIGN WAS OUTSTANDING! EVERY PIECE OF FURNITURE IN HER 1960′S BACKSPLIT DENOTES QUALITY DESIGN & MATERIALS–all the way down to her exquisite choice of seagrass textured wallpaper!

Can you imagine how many Nobel prize dinners in Sweden she must have attended! Take home a piece of history folks. Opportunities of this magnitude are few and far between.

The sale started today but runs until tomorrow at 3pm. Address and more info can be found here.

Oops. I better get going! Now to decide what to wear…

Have a great weekend!