Tag Archives: chicago

Chicago: Brimfield

I discovered Brimfield when I parked in front of it last summer with the Pickle.  It shares the block with Ann Sather–which makes the best cinnamon rolls in America.

When I went last summer they were moving everything around and the shop seemed a bit stuffy, hard to navigate. I still knew it was magical.  At Christmas though—it was stupendous. As soon as you walk in, it smelled of pine and then the senses of the eyes took over.  Everywhere you turned another picture: look at this one of AK & coco.  The presentation of the vintage goods was like breath taking…truly.

My favorite aspects of their Christmas displays: Punch bowl cup lighting fixture, Giant Airstream in the back with the collection of ugly Christmas Sweaters, the decorated elevator and elevator shaft, the dozens of Elves on a Shelf (we got one, we are first timers), the needle-pointed tennis racket!


I also loved the collection of clutches made from re-purposed ties, apparently made by an 80-year-old woman who lives in the neighborhood.  Once I knew that, my sale was complete!


Visiting Andersonville is a MUST for so many reasons…next time you’re in Chicago…please please please go!




Chicago: Wicker Park

On New Year’s Eve we went on a little field trip to Chicago.  After hitting The Boring Store, we headed up Milwaukee Ave. to explore all the cool stores we saw as we were driving in.  It was a frigid day, so we only managed to visit a few.

rudy roundup

Rudy’s Roundup was so inviting with it’s baby blue lettering.  Inside was a collection of treasures.  All the vintage clothing was 50% off.  I wanted to buy so many pieces, but I ended up sticking to the hats!  This year our church services are in the afternoon, which means I have a few hours in the morning to take the kids to the Easter Parade.  I am pretty excited.


These hats have so much potential for fun pieces, I am really excited that I scored them at such a low price. I also love getting something like this as a souvenir, because I will always remember that frigid day in Chicago when I found those hats at Rudy’s Roundup.

Transit Tees was cool. I wish I had bought this shirt with the embroidered train on it.  We also visited Lomography.  I heard the gal that worked there talking to someone about shooting with film and how it makes her more thoughtful about what she is going to snap a photo of . I REALLY need a dose of that. I take TOO MANY photos.

I WANTED to visit Fluevog and Free People and all the vintage resale shops on Milwaukee, but it was too bitter out and we had to head home.  Next time.


Chicago: The Boring Store

Lolly’s primary teacher told her about a super hero store in Brooklyn that has hero costumes and grappling hooks.  I had to look up what exactly that is.  For some reason the idea of a grappling hook really sold her on wanting to visit.

I did a little research and found out the Brooklyn Superhero Supply Company is a front for a 826 National, a nonprofit writing center for kids age 6-18.  AND, there are other locations besides Brooklyn.

Chicago’s is hiding out and in disguise as The Boring Store.  Since my Lolly is otherwise known as the spy Evil O, it was quite necessary that she visit The Boring Store, as it is actually a rendezvous point for all Secret Agents.


Having recently acquired a spy kit from Agent Claus, Agent Evil O wanted to make sure she had just everything she needed to flesh out her kit.  She was on the hunt for a grappling hook, but thankfully they were well concealed in an unmarked cardboard box. Dodged that bullet.

Instead she found some glasses that allow you to see behind you and a flashy camera that Isn’t really a camera….but whatever a spy might need it to be.

I think our entire party actually really enjoyed checking out the Boring Store. If you are headed to Chicago, put it on your list!



Chicago: American Girl Place

The Cousins got their first (let’s pray it’s their only…we have 4 too many!) American Girl Dolls from Santa, so Grammy treated all the girls to lunch downtown at American Girl Place. I was one of the first employees at the store, when it was located across the street, back in the late 90’s! Can you believe I saw 2 women there that I used to WORK with?

I used to wish to know if I would have a daughter someday so that I could take advantage of my discount and buy a few dolls before I left that job.  I seriously think I should be allowed the discount again.

I worked as a cashier and that job can be INSANE.  The cafe is such a nice respite from the rest of the store.  It feels safe and calm and I get it.  The food could be a lot better, but I enjoyed my lunch and of course the company.

Doesn’t Pickle look like a real doll? Even her fingers look fused together in this picture.


We took the metra train their and back and cabs once we were in the city.  I had an awesome NYC moment.  I observed the cab queue was veering in the wrong spot, and once I saw the cab queue guy starting to redirect the peops, I jumped the line about 12 people.  Then I spotted a van and just instructed everybody to pile in.  There were 10 of us in an 8 person van. It was epic.

Our second cab driver would most likely never have allowed us in without a belt per person.  Luckily we were 3 short because we parted ways with a few of our party, so it worked out.  She was awesome-Nigerian woman listening to her televangelists on the radio and driving slow because of the baby.  She even held our heads as we exited her cab.transportation

Loved seeing the tree at Union Station.  Chicago, my kind of town.

Best Photos of Christmas

I spent our entire school break plus a few days at my Mom’s house this December.  We had such a wonderful time.  I took a bajillion photos, but these are some of my favorites.PicMonkey Collage

I wanted to list some of my favorite parts so that I always remember:

Photobomb Challenge.  We got some good ones.

Accidental matching outfits: Dad and I in buffalo check, Pickle and Mom in Christmas plaid

Lots of plaid. Lots of Christmas Jammies.

Silas discovering the diet coke lights on the kitchen tree a few times–being surprised every time.

Daphne calling Pickle, MAGGIE.  Her little hand motions right by her face when talking to Pickle was repeated over and over again long after she left. D: “Maggie!” me: Her name is Pickle. D: That’s what I said.

Sleep training Pickle-you slept through the night most of the nights.

Eating! Pickle! You learned what eating is all about! It was so fun! Must have been Grammy’s cooking!


My walker from 1979 for the Pickle

Lots of singing and dancing and gaming

Target with the siblings.

When it was time to take the black coat picture, mom dropped everything and agressively got her black coat and got into position-so funny

Jason and Dad went on two runs each the day they ran together, so funny-so cold!

Dad sitting in his closet since his room was overtaken by grandkids.

The bed being delivered next door!

Introducing the cousins to Animal Jam-sorry Lindsay

Silas’ video. Girls are GROSS!

Mom’s EPIC all-day Christmas Party for the Grands

Finding the red velvet dress my Mom wore in 4th grade and taking Lolly’s picture in it: It’s ITCHY!

Making sugar cookies and cake pops-sweeping the floor multiple times while there-SO MANY SPRINKLES—we needed Chloe (RIP)

Violet passing me a handmade note during church thanking me for her hair and “all the things you have done.”

Mom taking the girls to the church to rehearse their christmas eve number…the girls in excruciating pain trying NOT to sing the song or tell the secret.

Christmas Eve: Trolley Ride was so cozy and epic, that homeowner and her hair, Santaballs made by Linz, the deelicious meal, really good crackers this year, Grammy & the Grammyettes, Daphne singing her little heart out, That VIDEO, Silas as Joseph in the Nativity pageant.  Having all hands on deck to help set up Santa.

Christmas Morning: Unicorn horn, Macbook Air, Spy Kit, Squinkies! T shirts for J: Shut up Legs and 26.2er and FREE Mr. BATES, footsie pj’s, love surprises.

Dad Calling Squinkies, Skankies. A very Skanky Christmas to you all.

Sam: “Another TREE PRESENT!” (he was astonished about the number of BIG GIFTS wrapped under the tree (razor, wii, monitor, kindle etc.), and not from Santa

Courtney crying at her California necklace

Mom and Dad surprising us with their monogrammed GRAMMY and PAPA pj’s.

Handcuffing Mom so she couldn’t do the dishes.

Seeing Les Miz with my honey since his flight was cancelled.

Watching Sam play Password with Lolly as his partner.  Playing games with her and Mom and Dad later when Phoebz went with the big kids to the mall.

Playing I doubt it with a big group–crazy different then one on one with Lolly.

Taking the train downtown to the American Girl Place. Rocking my city skeelz, jumping the queue to get a giant van for all 9 of us (we squished). Seeing coworkers I worked with 15 years ago! Yikes! still there!  Finding another van cab and an awesome Nigerian Mama Cab driver for the way back.

Going back and forth on whether or not to wake up early and go to the yarn sale. Getting the sistahs to go for it. We woke up at crazy early 6ish and had such a fun time adventuring the dark. We shopped forEVER and got some great finds. So glad we sacrificed sleep!

Seeing old college friends and THEIR baby girls.  Going to dinner with old HIGH SCHOOL girlfriends and catching up on their lives.  Time–it’s a crazy thing!

Shooting a music video with Sam, Coco, Jenn and Alex.  It was fun getting dressed up in the dresses Mom has saved for just such a purpose and doing makeup.  Good memories.

New Years Eve: Heading to the North Side to go to Ann Sather, Brimfield (this store is a picture every place you look), Dad’s first cousin twice removed’s statue of Lincoln, The Boring Store, Rudy’s Roundup, Lomography, & transit tees (I wanted this one, I totally should have gotten it.)

Playing cranium that night.  Winning. Gandhi! Gravity!

Watching the ball drop with my girls for the first time.

Knitting lessons with Jenn and Coco.

Fake praying just to see Pickle jump when we all said AMEN at the same time.

Ups and Downs and worries and concerns and loves and feelings and wanting everyone to feel joy and be happy and caring and cuddling and hugging and reading scriptures and praying and dancing and singing and gifting and being.

Chicago: Wrap Up

Before we left for Naperville Pickle had some facetime with her sisters.

Once we got there we had loads of fun….including one day downtown which included Pickle and me exploring Andersonville and the girls and Grammy going to Navy Pier to see Beauty and the Beast.  We also saw some cool sites in Downtown Naperville, including artists working on painting portraits of real people in an alley.

One of my favorite moments was watching the girls and my parents participate in impromptu Sled Hill Olympics.

I visited my Grandmother and went through some of her old photos. After seeing her Mother and Grandfather, I am convinced Pickle is pure Forsgren:

This year was perfect timing because the weather was incredible and the produce at its peak.  I think August is my new favorite time to take a trip home.

Our Trip: Navy Pier

We had a quick stop in Chicago on our recent trip to see Chicago Shakespeare’s production of Pinnochio.  They put on amazing children’s theatre especially for the price. The space, sets, costuming and talent are so worth a trip to the Pier.

Our cousins met up with us afterwards, so we went on a few rides.  I, of course, passed on the spinny spinny ride.  My brain moves around enough as it is, it does not need any help from a spinny swing.  It was hot there.  And it only got worse.