Sunday, March 29, 2009

Chocolate Tour!!!!

Really, I have more than the chocolate tour to report, but all the pictures are from the chocolate tour.  On Friday, Chad dropped off Jordan and me at our friends, the Garneau's.  Our friends Marc and Kathy had a great idea for Marc to take care of Jordan for the day so Kathy and I could go have a girls' day out!  It was fun!  Chad went to work, Jordan stayed with Marc, and Kathy and I went downtown.  

Jordan got to go to Dunkin Donuts with Marc and Maddy, they got to play at the tree at Northbrook Court, they took pizza lunch to Daddy at school, and then went back to Maddy's house to play and take a nap.  It was fun!  I do have one picture of Jordan playing at the tree:
Kathy and I made it downtown with minor traffic issues.  We went through Washington Library just to look around, then stopped at Dick Blick, Urban Outfitters, and Old Navy on our way to Macy's.  We wandered around Macy's, looked at the Tiffany ceiling up close, and then ate a mid-morning lunch.  

Finally, it was time for our Chicago Chocolate Tour to begin!  We met at the fountain in Macy's and our first stop was Sarah's Pastries, right inside of Macy's.  

It was a cute little space and everything look delicious!
Next, we went downstairs to learn more about Frango and sample the newest flavor: Dark Chocolate Pomegranate was awesome!  I had to buy a box!  We also went to their chocolate/candy section and tried some of the Queen's chocolate.

Then, we went upstairs to see the old Frango-making machine...which they, unfortunately, don't really use any more.  All Frango production actually moved to Pennsylvania when Macy's bought out Marshall Field's.  (tear)

This cool piece of Chicago art is actually made entirely of chocolate by chocolatier Joseph Schmidt:

After that, we left Macy's to hit a few other stops to try more chocolate!  The next stop was probably my favorite and I am already concocting a plan to either make this treat myself or to figure out where another Lavazza is.  At Lavazza, an Italian coffee shop, we had these yummy gelato creations.  The woman brought out a tray of mini-coffee cups with gelato...and then she poured the thickest liquid chocolate I have seen right over them.  It was awesome!  I definitely recommend it!

Next, we went to Hannah's Bretzels...but we didn't have Bretzels (the German word for pretzel), instead we marveled at their chocolate wall and got to try lots of samples.  This place definitely had some funky chocolate.  They did also have Kinder eggs, which I remember from when I went to Italy in high school and had to get some!  They have over 200 different kinds of chocolate bars.

Our last stop was Argo Tea where we had Chocolate Tea Lattes which were pretty good...their brownie I didn't care for, but the tea was yummy.  

And that was our Chicago Chocolate Tour.  They have other tours on the Mag Mile and I think I would definitely do that one!  Afterwards we went back to the Garneau's house to find Jordan sleeping and Marc, Chad, and Maddy hanging out.  When Jordan woke up we all went to eat dinner at Michael's and then went home.  We had such a fun day!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Treadmill Trouble

Man, I got busted on Facebook for using a Jonas Brothers song on my movie!  I didn't know it was considered copyright infringement...anyway, I switched it up.  Now it's just a random song that iMovie provides.  It better be okay otherwise I'm gonna be mad.  Enjoy!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Spring Break Day Four

Today we didn't do much, it was kind of nice.  We hung out this morning and had a kind of late breakfast.  We went to Crocodile Pie for story time.  This story time was way better than the Barnes and Noble story time from Monday morning.  I had never been in Crocodile Pie before but it was a cute store and I will definitely go back again.  As far as book stores go, it didn't seem like they really had that many books, but they did have a nice collection of books.

Jordan loved saying "Crocodile Pie" a million times.  They had two big crocodiles (stuffed) that he liked talking to.  Here he is coloring at this cute coffee table they had.  These little beanbag seats were perfect for him.  
For the actual story time, they had a guest reader: Terry Weppler, candidate for mayor of Libertyville.  Jordan had a little bit of trouble sitting still for the story time...
...but he was much more attentive once this dude came out with his guitar.  He had fun listening to the songs.  This afternoon he was singing Wheels On the Bus to me and doing the motions.  
We bought Skippyjon Jones in the Dog House.  I love Skippyjon.  We came home, had lunch, Jordan took a nap, Chad came home, we ate dinner, we went to Dairy Queen for chocolate dipped cones, we played at the park, we came home, we went to bed.  It was a nice relaxing day, but it was really nice.  One more day of spring break!!

Spring Break Day Three

Chad was home yesterday for day three!  We went to the Kohl's Children's Museum.  It was pretty crowded, but not too bad.  Jordan had a lot of fun.  We played in the grocery store for a little bit, and made sandwiches at the pretend Potbelly's.  

Jordan spent a lot of time in the water area.  You can kind of see a few drops of water floating in the air in this picture:
He was fishing for boats in the water!
He loved grabbing the boats out of the water.
It was fun to push the buttons and see what happened when he did.  I could tell it was totally about thinking about how things work for him. 

This is my favorite part!  I love seeing the little chicks!  They were really fluffy and so cute!

We ate pretzels at the cafe in the museum and then rode a little train they had outside before we headed home.  Jordan fell asleep in the car but kept sleeping after we got home so Chad and I could relax a little.  When he woke up he played outside with Chad and we grilled pork for dinner.  It was a fun day!

Spy X: The Code

Most Recently Read Book:

Spy X: The Code

By Peter Lerangis

I picked up this book because Peter Lerangis is the author who is writing the third book in The 39 Clues series and I wanted to see what his other books were about.  This book completely reminded me of The 39 Clues because there is a mystery and the characters are sister and brother twins, but the story is that their mom, a spy, has disappeared and they need to help save her.  I liked this book a lot even though they haven't found their mom yet because it's a series.  I'm excited to read the next book though!  

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The Opposite of Invisible

Most Recently Read Book:

The Opposite of Invisible

By Liz Gallagher

This was a nice book about a girl kind of growing up about her life and boys, especially.  I liked it.  I may be reading too many books because I can't think of anything extraordinary to say about this book.  I think a teen would like it...maybe, it's not all that exciting.  I feel bad!


Most Recently Read Book:


By Holly Black

The cover looks freaky, right?  It was pretty freaky.  I definitely think this is a book for a high schooler...but that's just me.  There were some graphic parts, but overall, not too bad.  This story is about a girl who ends up involved with the faery world...but these faeries are bad faeries.  It made me think a little bit of Fablehaven which I love.  That has a pinch of "badness" to it, but this book was way more intense.  I love fantasy and this book was pretty good.  Some of the writing was a little bit confusing, but the plot was decent.  

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


Spring Break Day Two

Today was a great day!  Maybe I had too much scheduled yesterday, because today was much more fun and relaxing.  We hung out at home in the morning for a little bit and then left to go to the Children's Neighborhood Museum which is really close to where my parents live.  Jordan played for almost two hours!  He had a great time pretending with all the cool stuff they had there.  It was fun.  Here he is in the workshop:
He loved the kitchen and made all sorts of food.  

He dressed up like a mail-delivering firefighter:

And banged on this giant drum (once I convinced him he wasn't supposed to stand on it)!

Afterwards, we went to Panera for lunch.  Yum!  It's one of my favorites!  Then we went to play at Papa and Gama's house!  Papa and Jordan played with the trains...and then, yes, he did take a nap!!!  I did some reading and took a mini-nap myself before he woke up again.  My mom came home from work and we all played with the trains and ate dinner.  We even did some drawing. Jordan loves markers!  Jordan didn't want to leave!  

One False Note

Most Recently Read Book:

The 39 Clues: One False Note

By Gordon Korman

This is the second book in this series.  I love the fast paced-ness of this series.  Of course, there are going to be 10 books so I get to the end and am ready to read more, but that's okay.  I really think a 4th or 5th grade boy would get a kick out of these books!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Spring Break Day One

Man, oh man, oh man!  I survived my first day of spring break.  I know this may sound crazy, but being a stay-at-home mom is really a hard job.  I admire everyone who can stay home with their kids and still stay sane.  Maybe I would get used to it, but it is really a lot of work.  I love Jordan to pieces, and we had a great day together, but I'm pooped!!!  

We hung out at home this morning and then were at the library at 9:00 when they opened.  We played puzzles and checked out some books.

From there we headed to Barnes and Noble to play with trains and do storytime there.  (Yeah, totally disappointed with the B&N story time...I'm sure they can't all be that bad, though.)
For lunch, we went to Chad's school to eat lunch with him and to see his co-workers.  
We came home after lunch to take a nap...BUT Jordan didn't actually take a nap.  He hung out in his room for about 30 minutes talking and singing to himself but then he started calling me and that was the end of naptime.  

We played a little bit and then headed to the mall to play with our friends and eat dinner.  Jordan always has a ton of fun with Chad at the mall!  Today he had his bouncy balls with him.  He loves his two bouncy balls!
And then, finally, we came home for bedtime.  You'd think he'd be so tired he'd be asleep before his head hit the pillow, but, think again!  It was hard for him to go to bed just because he was so tired.  He cried and cried and then finally settle down.  He's a sweet boy, but I'm exhausted.  

(Mini) Roadtrip!!

Yesterday we had a fun mini-roadtrip to Woodfield.  We were going to go to Ikea for free breakfast...but the line was crazy out the door wild!  Instead we did breakfast at Sweet Tomatoes and then headed over to Woodfield Mall to play in their new (to us at least) play area.  Jordan had so much fun running around.  There was tons of space compared to Hawthorn even though it was a little crowded.  

Jordan is totally at the stage when it's impossible to get him to take a picture!  He'll say "Cheese!" but he doesn't look at the camera any more!  I did get a couple.  Here's Jordan and Chad.
We came home and Jordan took his nap and then I played with him outside on our little mini-deck.  We used up all of our sidewalk chalk.  It's kind of hard to see in the picture but I traced Jordan.  It was fun!
Here are Chad and Jordan drawing bugs.  

Sunday, March 22, 2009

The Prophet of Yonwood

Most Recently Read Book:

The Prophet of Yonwood

By Jeanne DuPrau

This book is the third so far in the City of Ember series.  I really liked the City of Ember.  The second book in the series I really didn't like as much...and this book was okay, but it doesn't compare to the first book.  I read the City of Ember without really knowing what the book was about and it was great.  This book actually is a prequel and goes back to before City of Ember and it explains how City of Ember came to be.  It's a cute story, but it wasn't all that relevant to City of Ember for me.  I like the series, but this book was definitely not my favorite.  

Boy Meets Boy

Most Recently Read Book:

Boy Meets Boy

By David Levithan

I really enjoyed this book.  I talked to my students about it and they all seemed kind of uncomfortable about it because the main character is gay.  When I talked about this book I got back lots of giggles.  I think even though gay people have come a long way in terms of social acceptance, there are still so many people who are uncomfortable about gay issues because they may not know any gay people.  For me, this was the first book I had read with a main character who was gay and it struck me that my students probably haven't read about gay characters either.  (I did recently finish a book where the main character's brother is gay, and it focuses on his relationship(s).)  

What struck me as being so great about this book was that once I knew the characters in the book it really read just like a teen issues novel about dating and love and broken hearts.  I think it is important for readers to understand that gay relationships are just like straight relationships.  This book does a great job of not making the story about being gay, but truly about teen relationships.  Bravo!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Happy 3rd Birthday, Maddy!

We celebrated Maddy's birthday with her today!  She had a princess party and her mom, Kathy, made this cool castle cake!  

All the kids got personalized crowns when they arrived.  Jordan actually wore his the whole time...until he switched it our for a fireman's hat. 
Maddy was so excited to open her presents! 
The kids played fun games!  They dropped beanbags into a bucket and played hot potato!
Jordan liked playing downstairs with all of Maddy's toys.  I wrangled him in  to take a picture with me!
Here is the beautiful Princess Maddy with her crown and sceptor.  She had fun changing us all into animals...poof!

Muffni Man

Jordan is my little muffin man.  He loves muffins.  We hadn't made them in a while so when Chad suggested it this morning I whipped some up.  These were from a box, but I love the recipe for lemon-blueberry muffins and the applesauce muffins from the Jessica Seinfeld book so I may be making those later this week on my stay-at-home-mom spring break!

Picture Perfect Placemats

Here are pictures of my latest sewing project.  I had to get my sewing machine back from my mom because I left it there when we were working on Jordan's pants a few weekends ago.  I had a lot of fun working on these fun placemats for Jordan's friend, Maddy.  They were fairly easy to make, just lots of little steps.  It was a nice project I could get done in one sitting. it is:

First I had to cut all the pieces for the placemats and the little pockets for the silverware.  I also had enough extra for little napkins.  

Then it was off to the ironing board.  Ironing is so important in sewing.  I've come to realize that lately.  I ironed all my pieces.  I even did a cool iron-on transfer thing to make the flowers for the pockets.  It was cool!  I ironed the folded over pieces for the pockets and the napkins which mad sewing them super easy.  After I got the placemats put together I went back to sew them once they were turned inside out.  

Ta da!!  (You have to imagine the little pink napkins that I tucked in the pockets with the silverware.)  
I made four placamats.  I put ribbon on one side so they can be rolled up and then tied up.  They are picnic ready!  I had so much fun making these and I think they turned out great!