First of all, huge congrats to my Aunt Jenny and Uncle David — IT’S A BOY!! The name is still to be determined (they are having trouble deciding on one they both like best, haha) but I could not be happier to have a new boy cousin. I can’t wait to pay a visit to count 10 little fingers and 10 little toes Fun fact: there are only FIVE girl cousins out of 20 in the entire “Bender” clan. We are the minority.
It has been a really fun and productive Saturday. I’ve been working on our wedding website — email me if you want to see the link, it’s quite fun!! — and tonight I’m attending a work event with Bobby at a great Chicago hot spot that I’ve always wanted to check out. It should be a nice time.
Another highlight of my day was breakfast. I met up with a good friend who reads the blog (and has blogged herself in the past!) named Kristie as she stopped through town for the day. She was actually the winner of the trivia contest during my Blogiversary Giveaway. It was so great to finally meet her in person after chatting back and forth via email for so long.
We originally were going to meet up at an intriguing new cafe but realized that it was actually part of a fitness center and wasn’t open for breakfast yet Instead, we wandered around for a while in the crisp fall air — it’s absolutely gorgeous in Chicago right now — and settled upon a market called Fox & Obel. I had passed by it before and it looked like it could be interesting. The foodie in me couldn’t resist suggesting we try it and, once inside, we realized there was also a cafe and decided breakfast was served.
Both Kristie and I decided to order the steel-cut oatmeal.
Doesn’t the sun make it look heavenly? This wasn’t just your average bowl of oats. It was topped with freshly sliced bananas, golden plump raisins and maple cream. I had never heard of maple cream before but it’s exactly what it sounds like: a creamier version of maple syrup that adds an entire new flavor dimension to the bowl. Click on that link above to see one way to make it!
Oatmeal never tasted so good. Between easy conversation — Kristie and I are a lot alike and coming up with topics to talk about was a breeze — and savoring each and every bite, breakfast felt more relaxing than it has in a very long time. The golden raisins lived up to their “plump” description — they were bursting with sugary sweetness that complemented the maple perfectly. The market also didn’t skimp on the banana slices: I had at least one in almost every bite right down to the very bottom of the bowl.
As if good food and good moods weren’t enough, Kristie then presented me with the ultimate gift:
GLO BARS!!!!!!!!! Kristie had placed an order with Angela recently and had a few to spare. I feel so, so fortunate for this gift. I can’t wait to try Angela’s creations — by the way, we were totally talking you up girly. We think what you are doing is amazing and so admire your courage to change careers.
After we finished our bowls, Kristie and I walked around the market, which was filled with unique and hard to find products. We both picked out a nice bottle of wine and a very special peanut butter, which I will be unveiling soon 😉 Let’s just say, I finally found it! Any guesses?
I’ve been snacking on a variety of hummus, veggies and pita for the rest of the day.
This is just the generic red pepper hummus from Whole Foods. A gigantic container for about the same price as a small Sabra container — and it tastes great. You can’t go wrong with fresh cucumber and WF mini pitas, either 😉 A fantastic, easy snack option.
The big feast will come at the work event tonight. Not sure if I’ll be able to take pictures but I’m going to try because I’m sure it will be fun to look at
As a Minnesotan at heart, I appreciate the efforts the town in the article went to in order to live better.
How are you “living better” this weekend?
I’m making it a priority to catch up with family and friends I have lost touch with due to my busy schedule these past few weeks. I need to know what’s going on in their lives. Yours, too!!