Friday, February 29, 2008

Brigid's wedding

Poor little neglected blog...where oh where is your writer? Oh, here she is! Finally! Ready to do a recap on Brigid and Dan's lovely nuptials.

First, I just took this's a little grouping of some favors from the wedding. The invitation (wrapped in the pink bow) was beautiful. If you click to enlarge you will probably be able to make out the large letters that spelled out the bride and groom's names. The large print - wonderful! To the right of the invite is a program for the whole weekend that came in the large white box and was waiting for guests at the hotel. The program included an overview of Friday/Saturday/Sunday, and had suggested dining/entertaining/shopping options for the out of towners. It should be noted that the box contained other delightful treats - a sampling of famous Chicago popcorn, home baked treats done by the bride herself, little dove chocolates, Chicago's favorite gum. To the right of the program is the actual church program...also very pretty in its pink cover. Note the monogram on everything....well, let me just say that every detail throughout the whole event was included, and this was one.

Before proceeding with pictures, a disclaimer: I wish I had more/better pictures from the day. We tried to capture everything, but once I got home I realized how much we had missed with the camera. That happens with weddings, right? You are so taken with every detail it's easy to miss recording them.

Anyway, let's begin with this shot of the wreaths on the doors of the church, which is located in Chicago's Old Town neighborhood.

A view from inside, at the back of the church.

Up front and taking in the scenery. For those of you unfamiliar with St. Mike's, it is very big, and as you can see, very beautiful.

Here comes the bride! My husband tells me that I bumped his elbow (I was on his right) as he was taking this photo. Too bad, I think I prevented you from seeing the bride's father. Can you see Brig's dress? It was strapless and quite beautiful with lace detail. The bridesmaids wore strapless black gowns that buttoned up the back, just like Brig's. They all wore pearls, as she did.
This shaded shot shows Brig and Dan exchanging their vows. The priest marrying them was Dan's uncle, who came in from Africa for the event. He had a comfortable and sincere presence. The happy couple was relaxed and seemed to enjoy themselves while up on the altar.

On their way out, joined as "Mr. and Mrs." for the first time.

The reception! Please, you must look at the site for the Union League Club. It is fantastic. Cocktails were at 6 p.m. followed by a dinner reception at 7:30. Outside the cocktail room we all stopped to take in the Monet hanging on the wall (that was fun.) Inside we enjoyed a sampling of fine spirits, with this cute menu to guide our bar choices.*

*note the historical fun fact included under "something blue". You didn't really think they call Chicago the Windy City because of the weather, did you? No, of course you didn't.

Voila! The towering wedding cake. The reception room was was late, the walls are a dark navy, the lighting was dim....okay, enough with the disclaimers. I just hope you can see it all.
At each table, a towering bowl of roses in the softest pink/cream, and green hydrangeas underneath. No concerns about flowers blocking the view as we sat at our round table. It was dramatic and very fitting of the occasion. Gotta say it again - just gorgeous!

There's me and my guy. We are doing well with our New Year's resolution, no?

The big band...they were great. They played EVERYTHING and had 3 female singers with cordless mikes that would swing and sway to the music. A favorite moment is when they played songs from the years when Brig and Dan were born. They also played "Livin' On a Prayer" - quite the surprise. My request was played, it was the second to the last song. Who doesn't love "Dancing Queen"?

This is a shot from when Brig and Dan made their appearance formally. Do they look happy or what? They sure enjoyed themselves!

Another attempt at capturing the beautiful flowers.

Brig and Dan's first song. I am not sure but believe it was "Lovely Lady".
They had a ball out there.
He did a little jig...or was it a jog? out there as she danced along. At the end he dipped her, too. Very sweet and romantic.

All in all, a wonderful time was had by everyone. I have more 'people' pictures, but I don't doesn't seem quite right to put them out here without asking for permission first. Brig and Dan hosted us Sunday morning for brunch, and that's when I got the okay for my blog from her.

And, aren't you glad I did! It was a beautiful day, a beautiful night, and lots of fun for me to share it with you.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

details to come

Thank you to everyone who wrote in with their comments, or should I say, VOTES, on my last post. I had no idea there was such a range of opinions about legwear!

It must be stated that before seeing last week's Oprah show that brought my attention to the going bare option, I had been planning to wear very sheer black hosiery with my comfortable (yet chic) black velvet heels.

But, the more I thought about it, the more I became intrigued by the idea of bare legs. And then several of you, I believe Jilly was the first, suggested the idea of a spray tan to combat the white leg dilemma. So that's what I decided to do. Spray tan! There's a first for everything, isn't there?

Friday evening was my appointment and I chose the lightest shade possible. And the result was just what I was hoping to achieve. As the girl at the salon said, I looked just different enough that people might have wondered what the difference was, but it certainly didn't look like I had just gotten home from a trip to Jamaica. I do believe I had a glow.

So, anyway, I'll be back next time with a proper recap of the wedding. But the picture at the top is a little tease. These beautiful flowers were the centerpiece of each table at Brig & Dan's reception. Imagine this at the top of a beautiful candelabra, surrounded by towering tapers. Can you see it in your mind? It was gorgeous!!

More next time, but thank you again for speaking up last time. It was extremely helpful!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

legwear advice needed

Remember Brig? Her wedding is Saturday, and we can't wait. This is the dress that I'm wearing. I found it a few weeks ago and was so pleased to snatch it up for a mere $69. I mean, come on! $69!

But, I've got a question for you.

Earlier today I was watching Oprah's show about shlumpadinkas. Did you see it? Did you see Lloyd Boston's fashion tips & advice at the end (and how about those no-iron shirts from Brooks Brothers)? Ok, did you hear what he said about don't need it except for conservative office environments, it's better to use some bronzing cream and/or glimmer-shimmer on the legs and go bare for an evening event.

So my question is...bare? Really?

It's about 100 degrees below zero in Chicago this week, and I am of Irish descent. I'm going to need an entire bottle of glimmer-shimmer-brozing-magic for these pale legs. What do you think?

Advice, ladies. Advice!

(also, what is glimmer-shimmer-bronzer? Is that just another way of saying self-tanner?


Tuesday, February 19, 2008

is this your kitchen?

Is this your house?
I saw it online a few weeks ago and my husband found it today, and if it is yours, I must tell you that I love it. LOVE it! I would move right in tomorrow.

Can you save it for me?

Hello there...and welcome back to my blog. I must explain that I've been away only because I haven't had much to say. You saw the last post, written in a moment of angst. I finally had to delete it because it was bringing me down. But I have not nor will I forget your supportive comments. Thank you, thank you for those.

Not saying much leads me to believe that I'm happy making this forum about my house, and a bit about me, and of course my neighbors and friends, and how could I forget my hair and all the memes...but probably not about my son. I will mention him from time to time, as I have in the past. He is a part of me and a huge part of my heart, so you will still see him on the screen and in my words. Over time maybe I'll tell you what's going on with us right now. But maybe not until we've reached the other side and I know how this uncertain time is going to settle down. On the other hand, maybe not. I hope you'll stay with me, regardless. Knowing you as I do, I'm sure you will.

I'm glad I have an outlet here that is a happy place for me to go, and quite frankly, a light & breezy place to go. Right now that's all I can promise it will be.

So anyway, this house...what a beauty! I know I have only showed you one picture. But trust me, it's a winner.

Monday, February 11, 2008

thawing out

Yesterday's scare with the broken heater was - thankfully - very short lived. Longtime readers may remember that our furnace was installed about a year ago (what a Christmas present! For as long as I live, I'm sure I'll never get another that will compete with its scale.) So the tech came and installed a new part while we made a speedy exit. Our poor house warmed up quickly, and we were able to come back a couple of hours later with no problem.

But overall it's been a tough few days for the house. We've been having some trouble with the paneling above our mantel over the past several months, and the recent bitter cold seemed to make the problem worse. Just when we thought a panel or two was going to split completely, Rick the handyman got us on his schedule. He came over early Saturday morning and started ripping out the old wall, and installed a new one in its place:

And...ugh, what a mess! But it had to be done, of course. Rick is coming back today to sand and paint us back to a pretty yellow backdrop.

Between the house and what's going on with my son these days, I'm feeling a bit strung out (is that even possible, since I'm not a drug user?) My youngest and I are heading to the gym today. There is a great pilates class on Monday mornings and I intend to be there. Time to recharge a little bit.

Have a great day, ladies!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

stay warm!

I'm posting from up my son's room, the sunniest one in the house. We woke up this morning with cold noses. I said to my husband, did you turn the heat off? no! He did not! aah! It is broken! The thermometer says 49 degrees in here.

Friends, today's high is -1. Currently it is -2. We have just had the heat tech arrive. As soon as things are squared away with him, we're outta here!

Friday, February 08, 2008


Hello! Long time, no write. Where have I been? I've been here.

Well, actually, I haven't been here all week. My husband and I took the kids late last week to visit the school that we are looking at for our oldest son (more on that later.) We got back around midnight on Monday night. So I've been here all week, just being quiet.

The way I see it, if I had posted about our snowstorm this week, me shoveling (husband was traveling), my son not sleeping and therefore me not sleeping, or just my general boo-hoo feelings (I have diagnosed myself as a sufferer of this) you may have been hard pressed to check back in with me.

But, hubby returned last night and, as always, the world has righted itself again. I've heard many people describe their special person this way, and it's true for me, too: he's my rock. My knight in shining armor. I just can't function right when he's not around. If he had a job where he traveled all the time, I don't know what I would do. We have so much going on here with our son, and I need him every day to help me make sense of it all. He makes me laugh, he keeps me sane, he keeps me going. Also, he is so kind, so sweet, so sensitive. Oh, I could talk your ear off about how good he is to me. I'll wrap it up for now, but just know that I'm happy he's back.

So, on a lighter note, here are some pictures that describe what's been going on in the Little Cottage this week. First of all, Mary stopped by. Mary, Mary! It's a great day when Mary is here. She came by to pick up this piece:
...which actually belongs to my mom. After seeing and hearing so much about Mary's work, my mom has become interested in joining the Mary fan club and having a piece painted by Mary for her very own. Let this serve as the official "before" photo, because you know I'll be back in a few weeks with some great after shots.

Of course I couldn't let Mary walk out the door without giving her something of my own as well. This mirror has been hanging above our mantel, and its time has come. So Mary will be working her magic on it, too.

Another highlight of the week: baking with Big Pink. We love her! The boys have even started to call her by name. Last night while they were eating I started mixing up cookie batter and they became so interested that they came into the kitchen and helped me finish the job. I didn't take a photo, but I had them sitting in their barstools over by the counter so they could peer into the bowl and see how things were mixing. They were thrilled to see the transformation. Little guys! I need to foster this interest in the kitchen so that maybe one day they'll take an interest in making dinner. You never know.
Today I have lunch plans with a neighbor who has become a very good friend, but unfortunately one who I don't see as often as I would like. We are treating ourselves to some time alone and I can't wait.

I hope you have a very nice weekend, and I promise to be back soon. Ta ta!

Friday, February 01, 2008

snow day!

It started snowing yesterday afternoon and ended around 9 a.m. this morning. From the various reports, it seems we got somewhere between 10-12 inches.

This morning the school district called with a prerecorded message around 5:45 a.m., letting us know that school would be cancelled for the day. When my husband got dressed and headed outside to fire up the snowblower, it was like a party outside. All the men on the street were out there in their gear, doing the same thing.

I thought maybe the kids would be too small to appreciate school being cancelled...but lo and behold, my oldest shouted "no school today!" as he was coming down the stairs for breakfast.

Even though it already was a fun day, I thought they both deserved an extra treat. So for lunch I made them their favorite: macaroni & cheese (of course) and hotdogs. And today was a first, they actually helped me make it!

Hope you have a great weekend...happy February!