counting down

Two posts in one week, what what! Life is a little chaotic right now and that means I just gotta do the best I can – because not everything is going to get done all the time. Whether that be laundry, blogging, cleaning, etc. Anyone with me??

Even though life is chaotic, it’s also very, very exciting! 44 days left until Eric and I get married – eeeek!!! Now that we’re almost a month out, it seems like we’re at the turning point where we are bouncing around everywhere and talking about how time can’t go by fast enough.

Now, it’s just a matter of staying calm and making sure we’re ahead of the game in as much of the final stuff as possible – and continuing to freak out about just how dang close we are!

Aside from all this wedding shenanigans, here is a scoop of life Currently

{Cooking // More in general…}

Ok, well mostly I am being the chef’s (aka Eric’s) assistant. This guy is cookin’ up fresh salmon, cajun dishes, baked pasta, the list goes on…

This week though, I whipped up some of my own goodness. Granted nothing I make is the fanciest of dishes, but hey, everyone’s gotta start somewhere! How about some freshly seasoned chicken, veggies, and whole grain rotini pasta for ya??

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{Wearing // Still summer clothes?}

I think everyone’s been a little weirded out that we’re almost to the end of September and we’re still hitting up the 80s every day. I think everyone is also trying not to complain. As much as I want fall here (it’s my favorite!), I know after fall comes winter…and winter can mean polar vortex here in Chicago.

For now though, we’re still rockin’ the shorts, tanks, and dresses! You might’ve caught this white Target maxi on Instagram yesterday. I found it on sale for $12.99 in the Junior’s section and it’s pretty much my favorite sale find ever!

It was the perfect wedding shower dress and now I’ll keep wearing it until the weather says no.

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{Counting down // to a VACATION.}

As mentioned earlier, E & I are obviously beyond ecstatic about the wedding. Can it be November tomorrow? We are also sooo pumped for a real vacation and to be able to travel again!!

Without a doubt going home to Texas always makes us so happy, but this year we’ve missed exploring out of the country since we’ve saved up time and money for the big day. The morning after though, we’ll be jet setting off to Jamaica and we can’t freakin’ wait.

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The wait will totally be worth it and much needed after all these busy months. I remember people having said they needed the honeymoon after all this wedding stuff, and I used to be like oh sure, but it’s probably been so fun, they’re probably exaggerating. And it is SO FUN (I’m going to miss it so much!!!), but it’s also just tiring and can feel like a lot.

So I get it now…you really do need the honeymoon. It’ll be a well-deserved getaway with my best friend to celebrate our next chapter as Mr. & Mrs. WAHOO!

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And maybe most exciting of all?? We’ll get to add another pin to this pretty vintage market find. Ok, not most exciting, but it’s up there.

Days By Day

 

Saturday Mornings

Chicago farmer’s market Saturday mornings are what summer dreams are made of, y’all.

A few weekends ago, Eric and I set off to check out two farmer’s markets we missed from the end of last summer – the Green City Market in Lincoln Park and the Division Street Farmer’s Market. These markets run from May through the end of October, but prime time are these summer months when the sun is shining and everyone is out for some fresh goods.

We don’t go prepared to do all our grocery shopping (although we have aspirations to be that adult one day), but we love to chat with vendors, consume as many samples as possible, and get some fresh baked croissants or grilled cheeses we can munch on while walking around.

That time we picked up a chocolate croissant and coffee. There was also a crepe stand set up that I’ll be making a beeline to next time. I was pretending we were in Paris again, since pain au chocolat and banana-nutella crepes were basically our diet for the whole week we were there.

Saturday Mornings

Saturday Mornings

Saturday Mornings

We realized that come 12:00 pm, a lot of the vendors were definitely low on their stuff. If you’re set on having your range of choices, or getting some of those drool worthy mozzarella sticks that have people lining up in Lincoln Park, I’d aim to get there at least closer to 10:00 am!

Um, also, if you’re a dog lover like me – huge perk to attending a market is that there are literally so many dogs of all breeds and ages. It kills me. All the owners Eric and I went up to were so nice, we had to get our petting quota in.

We’re long overdue for our next farmer’s market trip – hopefully this weekend!

Days By Day

windy city eats

I recently discovered two restaurants in Chicago that I think have instantly become two of my favorites! These new Windy City eats involve pizza and waffles. What’s not to love?? I wanted to share these delicious hot spots so that if you’re in for a visit, or live here haven’t had them yet, you can get ’em on your agenda.

Eric and I had a date night at Homeslice. This place had been on our radar for awhile because it instantly made us think of the Home Slice back in Austin that we loved. The classic, cool neighborhood vibes are obvious from the moment you step foot inside this restaurant.

The space is adorned with unique interior design features – from polished, wooden tables to rose-gold colored light fixtures to a log bar. Then, when you didn’t think it could get better, you find the outdoor patio with more cool furniture, strings of patio lights, and wooden beams holding up windows that encase the whole area. This sign was my favorite, perhaps I’ve found a new life motto.

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We shared the bread sticks and goat cheese for an appetizer, and basically died because they were so good. You must try them. We had to keep telling each other to stop eating them so we’d have room for pizza. Basically, it was out of control.

For our pizza, we split the Bennett’s Beauty – a wheel of deliciousness complete with pepperoni, Italian sausage, mushrooms, mozzarella, provolone, and marinara. The crust is delicious! We left with happy and full bellies that were on the verge of exploding. I wanted to just roll into an uber, but thankfully Eric made us take the train home and I got to walk it off some.

windy city eats

windy city eats

The second place I fell in love with that weekend was Beatrix in River North for Sunday brunch. This is another place that’s just beautiful on the inside. High ceilings, wooden beams and light fixtures, and a variety of chairs and tables that give the whole place a unique feel. I felt like I walked onto the set of an HGTV show. It was totally poppin’ – very glad we had a reservation since we still waited for a bit.

Beatrix has the prettiest breakfast cocktails! Becca and Kelly tried the blueberry and strawberry mimosas, while Eric and I clung to our coffee.

windy city eats

windy city eats

The whole menu looked incredible, so of course it took me a long time to decide. The girls ended up choosing the Eggs Your Way and the Spicy Chicken Tinga. Eric went with a special migas buffet and I landed on the house-made Belgian style waffle. It ended up being four adorable mini waffles, topped off with fresh strawberries and sweet cream – best presentation ever. I also ordered a side of the brown sugar bacon.

It was all SO GOOD. Such a great meal with good conversation and company. I love brunch for that reason – eating yummy breakfast food with people you love is the best.

windy city eats

windy city eats

I hope you get to try these Windy City eats soon. If you’ve got another Chicago must-try, I want to know!

Days By Day

Snowy Valentine's

Now I didn’t want to make a post all about our Valentine’s Day, but Eric and I did some of our favorite things at two awesome Chicago spots, so I had to share and encourage you all to go check them out!

These things we love are eating tacos and watching live comedy, but before I get to that, I first have to address what an absolutely B E A U T I F U L day it was. Snow fell steadily the whole time. While it was definitely cold, it was also totally magical, because it was the first real morning to night snowy day we’ve experienced. I’m sure that’s just the non-native Chicagoan in me speaking, and if it’d been like that all winter, we would’ve been over it haha.

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We brunched, of course – I don’t think I know how to do anything else on weekend mornings – and as we sat looking out the windows of The Monkey’s Paw, we couldn’t help but talk about how much it kept coming down! While we originally were aiming to catch a bus home, the long walk back actually gave us time to squeeze in some photos. *Winter tip we’ve finally figured out – you must snap these photos fast or the cold will kill your phone, and you will be stranded if you don’t know where you are…*

Ok, now back to the tacos. Well to preface, Eric rocks at Valentine’s Day. He loves it, and I love that about him. Its always such a fun day for us, because we don’t make any overly fancy plans or have to get all dressed up, we just be our normal, ridiculous selves and run around town trying out new things.

He made reservations at a nearby restaurant called Barcocina – this beautifully decorated place with specialty tacos and awesome margs we’d been dying to try. We indulged in the queso fundido, Korean Short Rib, and Pineapple Pork tacos. YUM, y’all.

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Um, funny story though – we initially arrived at the restaurant and were given a $60 dollar set Valentine’s menu that  was apparently the only available option for the night. Eric and I looked up at each other, and begin to laugh with wide eyes once the nice waitress walked away.

It all sounded delicious, but four courses was so not our vibe, and as much of foodies as we are, we couldn’t validate spending $120 on food for one meal really ever. We also were so looking forward to finally trying out the tacos we kept hearing about!

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We were going to get drinks anyway, but the restaurant was so nice in letting us order off their normal menu in the end. We felt super reassured in our reaction to the set menu, as we ended up seeing every group/couple around us do the same – turns out the people just want to share their love and their tacos, cheers to that.

Barcocina’s food and service rocked – I definitely recommend.  I’ll totally be going  back for margs with the girls, or a big group to mix and match some tacos.

Post-dinner we made our way to one of our absolute favorite places in the city – The Second City theater. Eric surprised me with tickets to their 104th Revue – Fool Me Twice, Déjà Vu. This was definitely a full on couple hours of funnies. We loved how the whole deja vu aspect was so cleverly woven throughout the whole thing.

If you are in town visiting The Windy City, you must go – and if you live here, you likely already know what a must Second City is. I haven’t seen a bad show at this famous comedy spot yet. Did you know Amy Poehler and Steve Carell are Second City alumni??

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Before I wrap up for today, I’ve got to share my favorite Valentine’s Day tradition…for each one we spend together, Eric has added another rose to the bundle of fresh flowers I get – pretty crazy this year we were already at four.

Happy Wednesday, loves!

Days By Day

P.S. If you like what you find here, I’d love it if you shared the blog with a friend! You can also follow along with all the shenanigans over on Instagram – @daynareyna

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Eric and I flew in and out of Dublin, so we definitely had our best food in Ireland when we came back at the end for a couple days. For now though, I’m happy to share a couple places we ate at during this first weekend that we thought were quite delicious!

Our favorite meal of the weekend was at an adorable place in the Temple Bar area that had a great dinner deal called Brick Alley Cafe. We walked in on a whim after realizing how hungry we were, and not necessarily wanting a full on pub vibe. Eric ordered the Beef Lasagna, while I decided on the Shepard’s Pie. Both came with soup, ice cream for dessert, and were super yummy!

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Another gem we stumbled upon – a farmer’s market in central Dublin that looked like a feast for the tummy and was definitely feast a for the eyes. I’m sad we had just eaten before we stumbled upon it since we were too stuffed try anything, but I can only imagine how delicious it all was! I loved chatting with the vendors and snapping away some photos.

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The last place we stopped at in Dublin was this cute little cafe and pastry shop called Queen of Tarts. Eric ordered an English Tea, I got a cup of coffee, and we shared a tasty slice of Bailey’s Cheesecake. It was the perfect treat before we started our journey off to London that evening – which by the way included a beautiful ferry ride across the Irish sea since we were traveling by Megabus. Although busses are never the most comfortable option, the overnight choice didn’t eat into any of our daytime and saved us lots of money, so we weren’t complaining!

A little tradition we established early on was to take a photo on our way out of where had been staying, or at the metro stop near by we had been using, as we headed out towards our next destination. I’m excited to look at them progress as I blog.

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Ireland was such a cool country. The people were so friendly and I’m glad we took everyone’s advice to take a day trip out of Dublin to see the best part of it all – the Irish countryside. More on those last couple days we spent back in Ireland – including the Cliffs of Moher, a few small villages, and the BEST Italian food I’ve ever had – to come later on!

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