As fall is nearing to an end, I wanted to share some of my photos of fall. I think I was quite a bit obsessed with pumpkins earlier this fall and then into red tree leaves.
Yesterday, my coworker, Tasha, was nice enough to let me practice my photography by taking her fall family portrait. We met at 31st Street Beach off Lakeshore Drive. It was a cold and windy day, but I think we managed to get some good photos. Below is one of my favorites from the session. I tried to shoot against the sun. I used Lightroom to make some color tweaks. Overall, I am very pleased with how this turned out….now I need to learn how to shoot in RAW.
When I was in Santiago, Chile for work in 2010, I was told that Astrid y Gaston was a top-rated restaurant and one of the best in town. Unfortunately, I was not able to go because of my work schedule. Then I started to research about the restaurant and chef Gaston Acurio, and realized that I HAD to make it to one of his restaurants. We were able to dine at La Mar in San Francisco a few years ago and were blown away with the taste and quality of the food. So when I heard that Chef Gaston Acurio was going to open a restaurant in Chicago, I was very excited and knew that I had to dine at the restaurant!
We went to Tanta on a Friday night, our “parents night out.” We had reservations at 7:15, and though restaurant was very busy, we were seated within 15 minutes of checking in. Our waiter appeared very busy and wasn’t able to provide us with a thorough description of the menu, but Charlie and I were able to order some good tasting food. And through the process, we got to understand all the cultural influences of Peruvian cuisine, which makes me love Peruvian food even more!
The restaurant provided us with a basket of fried plantains with some spicy dipping sauce. It was very addictive so I had to pace myself. If I ate the whole basket, I’m sure I wouldn’t have been able to finish my main dish. I started out with a Pisco Punch that had pineapple in it. It was very good and not too strong, so I was able to finish it. Charlie had a Burbon-based drink called “Smooth Criminal.”
For our starters, we ordered the “Nikei Cebiche” (or ceviche), which was ahi tuna with avocado, cucumber and tamarind. I have to admit, I love tamarind, especially in candy form. We were told by the waiter to include the avocado, onion, cucumbers and tamarind sauce all in one bite. I thought the size of the tuna was big but when I ate the ceviche, the tuna just melted in my mouth. The red onion was sweet and the tamarind sauce was perfection. All the flavors worked well together. I think I could’ve eaten another order of the cebiche.
We also ordered the “Clasica Causitas,” which were crab meat with avocado on top of whipped Peruvian potatoes. This dish surprised us as we had no idea what to expect. The crab and avocado was very good and the whipped potatoes were so smooth. I thought it was the perfect combination…and the egg was a great addition.
For our main dishes, we ordered from the traditional Peruvian entrees. I got the Arroz con Pato, which was the crispy duck leg confit over a bed of rice. The duck didn’t come with just any rice, the rice had huge corn pieces and lots of vegetables. The serving size was very generous…I had to take some home. I considered this dish to be like a comfort dish. Charlie ordered the Seco de Cordero, which was the braised lamb shank. Needless to say, Charlie loved it and the best part was that he said he didn’t have to use a knife to cut the meat as it just fell off the bone.
I know I said that I wouldn’t purchase anymore Chanel handbags after I got the medium classic but this one was too cute and practical not to. So about a month ago, I called the Chanel boutique and was told they didn’t have any. Then I called Neiman Marcus and was told I would be put on the “waiting list.” Finally, I decided to contact my Chanel sales associate, Tovar, directly to be told I was on the “reserve” list. After reading on a purse discussion forum that the half moon WOC is in high demand and is somewhat hard to get, I figured it would take months to hear back, if at all.
Well…..last week I got a call from Tovar to tell me it was in. Just. For. Me!!! I got the black caviar with silver hardware. Needless to say that I was very excited that I got it so quickly. Below are my “reveal” photos. My review of the WOC is at the bottom of this post.
When I opened the box, my first thought was “Oh no, it’s kind of small.” But I then I started transferring all my credit cards and stuff from my old wallet to the WOC and realized, “Wow, everything fits!” I was able to also put my iPhone in the outside compartment and my keys in the inner compartment. And voila, I put the cross shoulder chain on and it was perfect! It felt like I had nothing. And when I hold Luke, the WOC is not in the way.
The half moon WOC is very versatile. I can put the entire chain in the wallet and it turns into a clutch or a wallet that I can put into a larger purse. I can also wrap the chain around twice and it turns into a shoulder bag. I took a picture of my iPhone next to the wallet to show the scale/size of the wallet to my phone.
In the week that I’ve worn the purse, I’ve gotten so many compliments. Not that I need compliments to tell me I made the right purchase, but it sure feels good.
Luke received an invitation to a Princesses and Knights themed birthday party recently. I was so excited when I received the invitation because it was handmade (by the mom) and so very pretty. The invitation came in a gold jewelery box and was printed on fabric as a scroll. I can tell the mom put so much me and energy into this project that I had to post some pictures.
I’ve been waiting a whole year for me and Luke to wear our coordinating fox sweaters. We were in Wisconsin last weekend and got to enjoy apples at the Apple Barn and went pumpkin shopping at Pearce’s Farm Stand. I’m so glad we were able to take a picture of our sweaters together. I’m sure this will not be the only time we will be wearing these sweaters this fall.
I got the idea from a blog called Making It Lovely a year ago. Luke’s sweater was from Target last year and mine was from Old Navy (similar here). I just love it when we match and who says mommy and baby boy can’t match? I think it’s the cutest. I hope Luke will too when he grows up…
I love the fall in Chicago…it’s a transitional time of the year. I get to wear all the summer sale clothes I purchased at the end of August, enjoy my pumpkin spice lattes from Starbucks, go to autumn festivals in Chicago, and breathe in the crisp fall air. Ahhh. As you can tell, I did a lot of shopping and had to wear my new outfits this month.
We finally made it to Cho Sun Ok Restaurant in Lincoln Square on Friday night. We got there early enough to get a table without having to wait. There is normally a line out the door, if you get there after 7 pm. We went with our friends Janice and Pete. It was also their first time there and first time eating some authentic Korean. I have to mention that they were nice enough to let us bring Luke along.
Overall, everything was very good. The bulgogi was perfectly marinated. Our kalbi came out already cooked so I think I ordered the wrong kalbi? Below are some pictures but I want to return to order some of the raw meat to cook and more of the sides. So here’s a little “preview” of what the restaurant has to offer. I promise my second post on Cho Sun Ok will have more pictures.
A coworker introduced me to the Chia Te pineapple pastry when she brought them to the office, after her visit home from Taiwan. She told me it was very popular in Taiwan and that I should taste why. I gave them a try and have loved them ever since. There’s something about this pastry that makes it irresistible. I mean, I can’t just have one. I have to savor every bite since there’s nothing like it here in the States. So when I found out she was going back to Taiwan, I asked her to buy me a whole box. She was kind enough to do so. She told me that because of the upcoming Harvest Moon festival, she had to wait in line for almost two hours for these. Needless to say I owe her more than the cost of the box…probably a few lunches, which I’m happy to do.
Before I finish off the whole box, I had to take some pictures and have a mini Harvest Moon Festival celebration with my very own box of pineapple pastries.
I’ve been wanting to eat at Hutch because they have been posting some tasty pictures of their food on their Facebook page. The restaurant is at the former Socca space and when Socca closed, Hutch took over the space and the Facebook page. That’s how I was able to see all the great food the new restaurant is offering.
We went to Hutch on a rainy Sunday morning for brunch. We parked in front of the restaurant and didn’t have to pay the meter because it was Sunday (yay!). And, we didn’t have to wait for a table, thank goodness as Luke can get impatient. I requested to be seated by the window so I would get good lighting. I just love the way the windows wrap around the restaurant so you can see all the action on Clark street. The restaurant is very kid-friendly. They were prepared with a high chair for Luke. The restaurant doesn’t have a “kid’s menu” for brunch but I don’t think that’s necessary as most of the side dishes are the perfect serving size for an 18-month old. Another reason Hutch is kid-friendly is because kids eat for free on Sundays from 5:00 – 6:30 pm, which is around our prime time to dine for a baby….Perfect! Overall, I was very happy with the attentive service we received even when the restaurant got busy.
Of course, we started our brunch with a pair of Bloody Mary’s. I ordered the vegetarian bloody and Charlie got the traditional. This is the first time I’ve ever had a green bloody and it was very good and refreshing. It wasn’t too strong so I consider that to be perfect. The traditional bloody had a smokey flavor and a kick, the way Charlie likes it. We were impressed that each bloody came with a chaser, which makes them “proper” Bloody Mary’s.
Charlie and I shared the shrimp and grits and croissant french toast. I have to admit the croissant french toast was my favorite because it was soft and filled with marscapone. It wasn’t too sweet, even with the syrup, and very easy to eat. Oh, it wasn’t messy either, meaning I didn’t get sticky fingers from eating it. I gave some for Luke to try and he loved it. He wanted more and showed it by using the sign language for “more” each time he finished a bite. The shrimp and grits dish was equally delicious. The restaurant gave us a generous amount of shrimp. The sauce on the shrimp complimented with the grits just perfectly. Charlie and I both agreed that this could easily be a dinner entree.