sails and stripes: a themed party

What’s not to love about unnecessary diy themed parties?! Christine and I had fun planning and organizing a fourth of July nautical themed party. After doing an initial search on pinterest, we quickly found so many cute nautical themed parties. I guess the nautical theme was partly inspired by our recent trip to Newport!

Christine is actually the crafty and creative one, and I just did what she told me to. We even had our own #hashtag and diy photo booth with props that we created. The dress code, in case it was not obvious were stripes or navy blue, which almost everyone followed. ūüôāDSC_0997DSC_1020¬† ¬†DSC_1006DSC_1013¬†¬†DSC_1012¬†DSC_1005DSC_1001DSC_0993¬† ¬†DSC_1009DSC_1030DSC_1033 DSC_1036 DSC_1071DSC_1089

city girl meets country

My friend Melody told me that she was excited to show us her village in Michigan, which I naturally assumed would be similar to the village I grew up in the suburbs of New York.

When we finally found the Welton mailbox, after a few u-turns in the middle of the night, it led us down her long dark driveway, which her mom actually named, we ended up in the driveway of a small house. After a few minutes of pondering whether this was the right house, we got the sense that it might be the bigger lighted house with cars on the driveway, further down the road. We arrived at the correct house, and as I got out of the car, I was amazed.  Stars. The city girl in me welcomed the rare, simple, and stunning glimpse of stars that flooded the sky.

Our trip to Melody’s home would not be complete with out eating lunch at the only restaurant in her village, seeing the log cabin that was actually built by the hands of her father (it really does exist), and exploring her sister’s farm down the street. Yes, it’s a real farm had two cows, endless corn fields and a rugged red tractor in the barn. I felt a bit like Paris Hilton in the the Simple Life, as we endured the lovely smell of the cows and witnessed them going to the bathroom in front of us without shame. Of course we had to have a mini-photo shoot in front of the big red barn and corn fields with all three of our dslr cameras.

A big thanks to Melody and her generous family for hosting us. ¬†I enjoyed catching up with Melody, experiencing the place she calls home, and seeing parts of her big family spend time together, made me want to have a lot of kids, but maybe 9 is a bit too ambitious for now. I think 3 or 4 will be more than enough. That’s what a few days in the country does to you.

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i {heart} chicago

Next stop on my great American tour was the midwest, starting with Chicago. I had the best tour guide, Jane aka Ms. Cho. I honestly don’t remember the last time I went to Chicago, but I did go a while ago. Once I saw the “beach” with the Chicago skyline in the background, I was in love. I loved how there were so many people outside running, biking and hanging out at the beach. However, I was kindly informed by my friend Joe that it’s pretty cold and miserable during the winter.

Besides the amazing weather and timeless architecture, I enjoyed all the good Chicago food. In case you missed my gazillion instagram posts, I had the signature Chicago-style deep dish pizza from Lou Malnati’s and a Chicago-style hot dog from Portillo’s. I definitely found the food to be a bit too salty at times, but it was still satisfying.

I enjoyed Little Goat Diner which was started by Stephanie Izard. She was the only woman to win Bravo’s Top Chef. We actually did see her at the restaurant to come out and talk to some fellow diners. I was so surprised to see Korean food like kimchi in some of her dishes! I had to try the ¬†kimchi & bacon & eggs & pancakes. They were surprisingly good and the kimchi was ripe as I like it. I heard that they actually make the kimchi there. I wonder where she gets her recipe from.

In the short time I was there, I definitely felt like I ate my way through Chicago. I also happened to be there in time for the taste of Chicago, which happens once a year, which meant a lot more eating. Chicago, I’ll be back again sometime. You’ve got a piece of my h e a r t.

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Stay tuned for more on my midwest travels to Michigan to see Melody!

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road trip to rhode island {part 2}

“A friend is one before whom I may think aloud.” –Ralph Aldo Emerson

Day 2 of our road trip was packed with adventure, whimsy and laughter. We went  on a sailing excursion in the afternoon. Then, we went to the cliff walk which had breathtaking views of the Rhode Island coastline. Of course in between all the sight seeing there was plenty of time for good food, laughter and taking photos, of course.

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road trip to rhode island {part 1}

” You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.”

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My summer adventures continue on to Newport, Rhode Island, with my girls that have stuck by my side since childhood. We stayed at Forty 1 North in Newport, Rhode Island, which was the perfect location. We were in walking distance to all the cute restaurants, stores and pier. We enjoyed a late lunch at The Mooring which was one of the waterfront restaurants that I highly recommend. After lunch, we had fun walking around and seeing the sunset and small stores. Here are some of the photos from day 1 of our trip.

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