9 DAYS UNTIL CHRISTMAS?!?!?!?!
Some of the questions I am you might be asking:
- How does time work?
- Why does time go by faster when you need time the most?
- How am I going to get my Christmas shopping done?!
As you can probably guess, this year’s holiday celebrations crept up on me and I’m feeling a bit…unprepared. I’m going to spend this weekend writing Christmas cards and making my credit card squeal and yell for mercy. It’s going to be fun Good thing we have our tree:
I’m quite proud of it, if I do say so myself! Bobby and I picked it up right before Thanksgiving on sale at Target. Who says you can’t be frugal and festive? We added a white bow and matching ribbon to the early beginnings of our ornament collection. Most of the ornaments are from years past — we’re looking forward to adding more in the future!
Another great find? This fantastic tree skirt also from Target:
The skirt originally had red sparkly sequins hanging down off the edges, but in order to protect Bobby’s masculinity spruce it up, we removed them 😉 Seriously though, it was too cute not to buy and do a little DIY fixing up to create something we truly love!
And you can’t forget about the Abominable Snowman — courtesy of Rudolph and claymation!
Surrounded by silver and gold bells — fitting, no? Oh yeah, and a stack of magazines and soup samples in the background. You caught me in one of my disorganized moments.
It’s truly beginning to look a lot like Christmas in the Bender abode! I love it!
I also shipped off my Bloggie Secret Santa package today. I hope she likes it!
When I last left you, I was waiting anxiously for Mama Bender to come to town for the weekend. As usual, we had a blast and the trip was way too short!
We had a very low key weekend that included walking around Michigan Avenue to see the holiday lights, eating delicious dinners at some of our favorite Chicago eateries and watching several DVDs of Ally McBeal. Odd show, but we like it so far! My mom bought all the seasons so it’s our project for when I come home for Christmas. Anyone else seen it? It’s a 90s child!
During our holiday walk, we also stopped by the Marshall Field’s Macy’s storefront:
The windows were filled with moving Christmas decorations. The one pictured above was of Santa’s workshop, receiving the letters from children with their list of what they want 😉
I love the Christmas decorations outside of the big store in Chicago. So festive!
The highlight of our weekend food-wise was our trip to Wildfire for dinner.
Oh yeah We started out with a round of cocktails. My mom got a raspberry cosmopolitan and I tried the Stormy Night (the recipe in that link is similar to the one on the menu). It was SO. GOOD! The watermelon, black cherry and blue cocktail mix made it look like a storm cloud (hence the name) and it tasted a bit like liquid candy. Watermelon candy is my absolute favorite, so I was obviously a fan! I would really like to try to recreate this at home.
Another wonderful thing about Wildfire? Their rye-raisin bread. Soft. Doughy. Warm. Yum.
This is hands down my favorite part of the meal! It’s always fresh and the raisins are plump and sweet additions to the already perfectly moist roll. Yet another dish I’d like to recreate myself!
Whenever my family goes to Wildfire, we tend to be creatures of habit. One such example of this is the Spinach Salad, which we get every time we go (click here and here for proof). It’s topped with egg, mushroom, red onion and a mustard dressing. Perfectly light and fresh.
For dinner that evening, I decided to go with the soup of the day: tomato basil. It was a broth- and tomato- based soup with only a hint of cream (as opposed to the more ridiculously creamy varieties you find in some restaurants), so I was very happy with it. Tomato soup is one of my favorites — it’s a toss-up between that and black bean — and they did a great job with the flavor here.
I also ordered another favorite: chicken and portabello mushroom skewers! These are amazing and a perfect complement to a soup or salad. It comes with two skewers and a peanut sauce for dipping. The portabello mushrooms (and chicken, for that matter) are grilled to get that “just right” char consistency and are packed with rich flavor. Two thumbs up!
We thoroughly enjoyed our trip to Wildfire and girly time. I can’t wait to see my family again in just a little over a week! This is such a fabulous time of year when you live far away from “home” — there are many opportunities to visit and spend time with the ones you love. Have you heard me say that before? Probably only 1,000 other times!
I’m so excited because tonight I will be seeing the fabulous Mara! We haven’t gotten together since before her wedding so you KNOW we will have a lot to talk about. Speaking of weddings, can you believe that Joe and Betsy are getting married this weekend? Woohooooo!! Congrats, you two (P.S. Check out those scrumptious looking cookies in her post.)
“See” you all later! Have a happy hump day!