Friday, May 25, 2012

Daily Travels - Chicago! (Part 2)

Continuing on our travels...I hope to have the last set of photos from our Chicago trip taken care of this weekend to share next week.  Meanwhile, heading on over to Millenium Park, which in itself has a wide variety of stuff to see.

We loved the Gehry designed pavilion, which seems like a beautiful place to sit outside and watch a concert (weather permitting of course as this probably isn't as much fun under 3ft of snow).  The pavilion stretches all the way back,and I can certainly see lawn chairs and picnics in the summer!

Then of course, we needed to take Bean to see "The Bean".  Ultimately, the best place to take strangely obscure pictures and put your finger prints on top of a million other people's.


Crown Fountain is possibly the coolest place to just splash around in hot weather that I've seen!  Two gigantic blocks spewing water into the space between them, complete with images projected on the blocks that change.  I had no idea what to make of it at first, but such a great feature for a park in the middle of the city.

In the meantime, any fun plans for Memorial Day weekend?  It's time for me to start working on the nursery...and by that I mean clearing space.  Let's see how far I get this weekend!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Daily Travels - Chicago! (Part 1)

In an effort to get in a short trip while I'm still able to travel comfortably (i.e. not hauling around an extra 30lb of baby, water and blood volume), husband and I decided to take a long weekend in Chicago.  Neither of us had been before and I do love a good adventure in a new town.

I will say that TSA was surprisingly helpful.  Both LAX and O'Hare have the new back-spatter x-ray machines, which I was electing to avoid so as not to subject Peanut to any weird radiation.  At both airports, I told the TSA agents that I was pregnant and would like to bypass the machine, and they nicely obliged both times letting me go through the regular x-ray machines with not so much as a pat down.

First stop was actually doctors orders - get some deep dish pizza!

 Then we went straight on to Wrigley Field.  I'm only familiar with Dodgers Stadium, which is massive in comparison.  The game was relatively uneventful, but a nice experience to check out the stadium.

Day 2, we hopped over to the Skydeck at Willis (formerly Sears) Tower.  I'm not afraid of heights, but when you're suspended in a glass box, 1,300 feet in the air, it is vertigo inducing.  In fact, you almost have to question the sanity of whomever thought it was a good idea to build said box and, no matter how big the rivets that are holding it together, it's unnerving!  There is another picture of me standing and kinda freaking out (which husband found highly entertaining), but I discovered that sitting and then scooting backward on my butt was better.  Looking down was absolutely not an option. The views were truly amazing though, despite it being a little hazy.

After grabbing a Chicago staple - an Italian Beef Sandwich - for lunch, we headed on over to Lincoln Park.  Walking through that area really reminded me of some of the neighborhoods in London, and definitely seemed like somewhere I could live (months with several feet of snow, and other months with hot, humid weather notwithstanding).  We decided to check out the zoo - one of the oldest zoos in the country, with the added bonus of being free to visit!

We'll leave that as the end of part 1 for now.  We saw a lot in the 72 hours we were in the city, and I have 350-ish photos to process, so another installment to follow...  :)

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Daily Dish - Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

I've been wanting to make some oatmeal raisin cookies for a while, although with recent pregnancy-induced exhaustion, I never quite got around to it.  However, my baking was requested at work last week, which gave me the perfect excuse to find the perfect recipe.  (I should add that if you'd told me a year ago that my baking would actually be worthy of request by others, I'd have laughed at you...but now I'm just very proud of my learning curve!)

If any of you are foodies and not familiar with Smitten Kitchen, I recommend checking it out.  Not only do the recipes sound delicious, she takes gorgeous photos which may cause drooling (you have been warned).  When I found her recipe for thick and chewy oatmeal raisin cookies, I knew I'd found a winner.  Sure enough, they were moist, with a really nice texture, and overall quite delicious (even if I say so myself!)  I do need to get myself a cookie dough scoop though, after using one of my plastic measuring spoons to scoop the dough and successfully breaking off the handle.  If I'm planning to buy supplies, I must be feeling good about this baking thing....who knew.  :) 

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Daily Craft - and so it begins...

Ever since finding out my preggo status, I've been wanting to get started on making a million things for baby.  I even resigned my position as a sample knitter for Plymouth Yarns, knowing that I'd much rather be making stuff for my own little one, as wonderful as it's been to be knitting for them the last couple years.

I still won't know gender for a few weeks at least, so decided to opt for something delightfully gender neutral to begin Peanut's clothing stash and made this Noggin hat.  The advantages to making tiny things for little babies as that they really come together quickly.  I think this took half a skein of Lion Brand Wool-ease, and just over 2 hours to finish.  

I can't wait until I have an actual baby head to put it on, rather than a kitchen bowl.  :)