Friday, December 31, 2010

2011, Here You Come!

Dear 2010 ,

you were an exceptional year. there were certainly some highs and lows but for the most part you were very stable. this year was filled with plenty of cupcakes, veggie pizza, dagwood sammiches from chicago diner, lattes, brunch dates, turkey toms from jimmy johns, plenty of guacamole, lovely bottomless cups of frozen yogurt topped with fresh fruit, smoothies, endless bags of potato chips, bowls of candied yams and mac & cheese, and a constant spin on the elliptical at the gym. {you didn't think I could get away with eating all that without a reality check at the gym. ha} not to mention the many awesome trips throughout the U.S. including louisville, savannah, atlanta, nashville, and los angeles! {oh, the memories}

in spite of the high taxes, crappy weather, and whatever else that can make you go blah, getting to know the city of chicago again has been surprisingly a blast. from all the walks and all the eye candy in the great neighborhoods i adore to finding hidden treasures whether it be in my next favorite foodie place to eat or a thrifty boutique housing the glorious styles of clothing that take my breath away. oh and how could i forget, i got a new set a wheels this year. what a blessing that has been. every time i get in that truck, i give thanks for continuing to put in hard work on a daily in exchange for the blessings that have come my way.

enough of my chatter {ha} here's a look back on 2010 in photos:

cupcakes...did i say this already but i love love love 'em!

i love a green smoothie! next fave flavor on the 2011 agenda: pumpkin smoothies

this picture was taken from my sister's party at rumba in late january.

all the brunch in its glory! getting hungry right about now:)

shopping my butt off!

told ya i had a million cups of frozen yogurt!

road trippin' it! aaaaah, nature.

so this past summer, we (mom, sis, niece, and moi) took a bomb trip to the south stopping in nash-v, atlanta, savannah, and south cack-a-lackee! fun freakin' times were had! one of the best moments of 2010.

pit stop for pancakes in tennessee


can't take a trip to savannah without heading to lady & son's

what's hilton head if one didn't go to the beach!

this past october, our family celebrated grandmother's 75th birthday with a surprise party. oh she was pretty shocked. yet another memorable moment.

that following weekend after her party, i had my first experience with cali:

LA, that is!!

2010, i gotta say you've been pretty amaze. i look forward to what 2011 has in store for me...BRING IT!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Praline Pumpkin Cake with Whipped Cream Topping

Need I say more:

Havarti & Blackberry Preserves Grilled Cheese

Man, with a little inspiration from Giada in the latest Real Simple mag, who knew I could throw this number together:

This was so easy. I heated some olive oil in a non-stick pan, sprinkled some basil and thyme in the olive oil, and laid a slice of bread atop my little oil concoction. I then sliced some havarti cheese and placed that on top of the bread. As that was starting to heat up in the skillet, I went ahead and took my other slice of bread and slathered it with plenty of blackberry preserves (mmmhmmm). Once I slipped that baby on top of the cheese, I flipped the sandwich a few times to get that brown, toasty finish that I oh so love. Then I took it out the skillet, sliced it in half, and voila! It was amaze. Will definitely be making this again. Now off to have my fix of chai!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Better Than Starbucks Chai

My new addiction...guess I won't ever have to buy one from there again!