The Repeats: Mozella

Hey all. So glad you came back for another of The Repeats. This song has been on my iPod and consequently on repeat for a couple years now. It has some real staying-power. It's a cover of Weezer's "Say it ain't so" and I absolutely love it. Possibly more than the original. Which I realize, in music, is like the ultimate sin. My apologies. But it's that good.

I generally prefer linking to the video posted by the artist, but I couldn't find one. The song is available on iTunes so you can go pick it up there and thank me later.

Enjoy and see you next Saturday for more Repeats!
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June Instagram Roundup

So far, June has been my favorite month all year. Possibly this is because work has ended and I am relaxing.

1) My little nephew Lalo learned to get on his brand new (maybe  a little big for him) bike.
2) Chicago Blues Fest.
3) Strawberry basil italian soda at the Italian Fest
4) Mid week mojitos
5) Obama announced a change in immigration policy. (Read more about it here)
6) Adrian strung up lights in the backyard, making lingering in the yard even better.
7) Road trip with Paul and my sister in Vermont.
8) A pile of clam shells, remnants of a steamed clam family dinner.
9) A boating adventure in Chicago.

You see why June has been so good? A bit of everything. Fabulous dinners and drinks, festivals, adventures and of course, good company.

Here's to even more excitement and relaxation in July!

How have you been spending your summer? Leave your instagram user name so I can follow you! Interested in following me? You can find me @ohhelloemily.
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Midweek Mojitos.

So I know I already shared a strikingly similar photo and a similar color palette, but I love love these colors even more than the first palette so I just had to share. Ideally my home would consist of these colors and these colors only.

Also, this was the beginning of a weekly summertime tradition: Midweek Mojitos. This consists of mojitos, friends and my backyard. Are you getting the sense that we spend a lot of time in the backyard? We do. Mostly because it has just become so easy. Tray, couple of glasses, straws, napkins.

Adrian and I are loving these kinds of easy summertime get togethers.

How are you making the most of these beautiful summer days?
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The Repeats: Ximena Sariñana

I always find myself listening to more music and at a much higher volume during the summer. I think it can be traced back to my high school days of driving around with music blasting, for lack of better entertainment options. Maine offered few of the excitements Chicago offers.

So I wanted to share with you The Repeats. These are the songs that have been playing on repeat this summer. And by repeat, I mean a good five to ten times a day. Since I'm sure my neighborhoods now loooooove these songs, I figured why not share with all of you as well, no?

First up, is one of my favorite favorites. I've talked about Ximena Sariñana here on the blog before, but I absolutely adore her and her music. She has such a unique sound and such a pleasant personality. Adrian and I caught one of her shows a few months ago and loved it. She is from Mexico and has a bunch of songs in Spanish, but she also now has an album out in English, which we also love.

You can find my favorite of Ximena here on Youtube.

Enjoy her and come on back next Saturday to catch more of The Repeats.

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BBQ Love.

As I mentioned earlier in the week, Adrian and I have been eating dinner outdoors a bunch this summer. And one of my absolute favorite favorites of summer is barbecuing. Luckily, it's also one of Adrian's favorites. This works out well because mostly I just like the atmosphere and the food. Not so much the actual barbecuing part.

And after almost four years together, I have finally convinced that Mexican of mine that cheeseburgers are completely and truly worth the barbecuing effort.

Also, I love love love fruit salad.

What's your favorite favorite of summer?

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Colors of summer.

I recently did yet another blog redesign. I've felt unsettled with my designs and finally feel like this one might stick for awhile. The colors were inspired by the colors of my summer. While they didn't come straight from the picture below, that picture certainly inspired the change in tones.
Adrian and I have been eating out in the backyard a whole lot this summer and I am absolutely loving it. We're mixing little lemonade drinks and barbecuing corn (and sweet potato!). Adrian even strung up some lights across the backyard, making it even more magical. This summer is shaping up to be our most favorite summer yet.

What have you all been up to? How are you making this summer your best one yet?
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The Vintage Bazaar Goods.

Can we start by discussing how much I adore when Adrian does a blogpost? It doesn't happen often but I am always so interested in hearing his perspective on things. To see what he chooses to highlight and how he describes events.

In his recap of his weekend off, he talked about how we hit up the Vintage Bazaar and picked up a couple things for the apartment. So of course, you know I had to take pictures to share with you all.

First up, my absolute favorite. One of my old buddies from high school used to despise when I would use the word cute to describe inanimate objects. But I don't care. Because this camera is not only cute, it is downright adorable! They say it works, but again, I don't even care. Such a cute little guy. I'm contemplating starting a little collection. We'll see. Depends on how many other cuties are out there.

My mom and dad and my grandma (Hello all!) sent Adrian a little birthday cash and he was super psyched to have some money to snatch up some goodies. This was one of his picks. A little clock/radio combo. And it works!

Next up is the fan. And hey, it also works! It's in need of a good clean up and I would looooove to spray paint the base a lovely lime-y green color but Adrian isn't totally sold on the idea yet. We'll see. I'm sure I can win him over right after we spray paint a lamp in the living room lime-y green, too.

Adrian loved these bottles! They had regular cork stoppers in them but he took them out and is now on the hunt for the perfect toppers. I think they will look fantastic in the little bar in the living room. They are interesting pieces to say the least.

Lastly, I picked up a blue mason jar for any future peonies that might find their way into my home. Here's to hoping!

Thanks to the fam for the birthday funds to make our purchases possible!
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Five things i once hated about my dad.

I had promised my dear old dad a post back around his birthday and I failed to deliver. So since it's Father's Day, I figured I oughta give it another shot.

Five things I used to hate about my father that I have come to appreciate:
1) My father's taste in music.
Paul has a rather eclectic music collection, including but certainly not limited to: 60s pop and rock, house music (this still annoys me though), blues, 70s rock, 80s pop, and of course, Guster (our collective fave). His iPod on shuffle is like no mix you've ever heard. It's mind-blowingly unpredictable.

I used to find this quite annoying because while on long road trips, his vote often trumped mine. Which meant out went New Kids on the Block. At that time, this was (and, given their recent resurgence, is) devastating.

Now that my own musical tastes have matured somewhat, I appreciate all those hours upon endless hours of listening to most every kind of music. Adrian and I like to play a game on Pandora called, "Who sings this?" I win. every. time. Thank you Paul for giving me victory over my husband!

2) My father's use of proper English.
Paul speaks like he walked straight off the set of some BBC program, minus the accent. Though he does pronounce the "h" in "white." This annoyed me to no end.

I'm now an English teacher. Umm, yes. People are often surprised by my knowledge of English grammar and while some of that is due in part to having learned Spanish grammar, much of it is because of my father's impeccable English. These lovely words stringed together in such a way that you can actually hear my voice as you read them? You can thank Paul.
Intimidating bunch of Italians, no? 

3) My father's sense of humor.
Paul has a truly off the beaten path sense of humor. Again, his humor resembles something out of a BBC program. He loves his humor likes he loves his champagne, dry. Hah. He doesn't even drink champagne. But his humor is dry. And sometimes it takes people a while to understand when he's joking and when he's serious. Which of course caused me years of embarrassment as a teenager.

Little did teenage Emily know that she would grow up to be just like him! Jokes on you, 15 year old Emily! Also, I now see the wisdom in continually embarrassing your teenage children: it forces them to grow a thick skin and roll with the punches. Which brings me to...

4) My father's endless supply of fatherly sayings.
Let me list out a couple for you before we begin:
- Almost only counts in horse shoes.
- Piss poor planning leads to piss poor performance.
- Lack of planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part.
- Anything you want, you can have. In your imagination. (This means "No, I will not buy that for you.)
-  Anything worth doing is worth doing well.
Ok now that you have an idea of his mottos, let's continue.
Did I love all these sayings when I was a kid and had forgotten some project until the very last minute and was begging for him to take me to the store to buy supplies? No. Because he didn't take me. And it made me so mad. I used to tell him that it was his job to help me. (I also may or may not have told him on numerous occasions that when I grew up, I was going to live alone with my mom and we were going to kick him out. It could still happen...assuming my mom doesn't mind if Adrian comes along too!)

Thanks to my father, I now have an arsenal of clever sayings to use against my nephews and my future children! Hizzah! To give credit where credit is due, my father actually learned all this from his father, who was equally awesome. My dad posted this on his facebook wall about his father: "He had a way of motivating us kids that is not seen much these days but successful nevertheless. It took a while to finally realize what he was up to but when the light went on for me it was a revelation."

I feel strongly about doing things the right way. About putting in my absolute best effort. About letting everything I do and create be a reflection of who I am as a person. It's a lot of pressure I put on myself, but in the end, I know that I will be proud of who I am becoming. And I owe a lot of that to my dad.

He also taught me that sometimes, even your best efforts won't bring about the result you were hoping for. And in those instances, you can relax in the knowledge that you did your best. A longtime friend of the family once commented to my sister that what he admired most about my family was our roll with the punches attitude. We understand that in life, you win some and you lose some. And when you lose some, you just keep putting in you best effort because it's the right thing to do.


5) My father's seemingly never-ending wallet.
Hah! Who are we kidding? I never hated my father's wallet and I continue to love his generosity to this very day! Some call me a financial leach, but I prefer daddy's girl.
What has he bought me? You'll have to wait til his eulogy to find out.
(Backstory: Thanks to this here blog, my father came to realize that I have mediocre-to-excellent writing skills. So he asked me to give his eulogy someday in the faaaaaaaaaaar distant future and I promised I would. Then I devised this plan to turn the eulogy into just a long list of all the things he's paid for that no one ever knew about. Starting with my teaching certificate...)
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An announcement from DHS.

I try to keep things relatively positive over here at Oh Hello, Love!  However, I sometimes blog about the more difficult aspects of life because I think those are the parts of life that reveal much more of our true character. I'd like to think that if one day we were blessed with the opportunity to meet face to face, that you wouldn't be shocked by the person sitting before you. That this blog would have given you a true sense of me. Not just the optimistic, laughing loudly girl but also the deeper, more pensive and sometimes struggling girl, too.

A little piece of that sometimes struggling girl has a heart that breaks for the undocumented immigrants who live in and contribute to this country. And so, while it might break all of the "Good Blogging" rules, I want to share with you all some news and my thoughts on that news. Before commenting (particularly in a negative or hurtful manner), I would invite you to ask yourself the following: 1) Have I done all my research on the topic? Am I as educated on immigration policies as I can possibly be? and 2) Do I personally know someone in this situation?. If your answer to both of those questions is no, then perhaps you may want to consider that you may not have all the knowledge you need to make an informed opinion.

That being said...

President Obama has announced today that he will no longer be deporting DREAM-act eligible immigrants and will grant work permits to some of those who qualify.

This is huge.

But this is not amnesty. And this is not a path to citizenship. It is relief for those who qualify. Requirements include:
1) Having arrived in the U.S. prior to age 16
2) Currently residing in U.S. and with five years of continuous residency
3) A high school diploma, GED or military service
4) No criminal record
5) Be younger than 30 years of age

(For more information, get it right from the source: Department of Homeland Security)

The Obama Administration has deported more undocumented immigrants than any other administration in history. Furthermore, the number of people crossing without papers is also at a record low. If ever there were a time to address the 11.5 million undocumented people in our midst, now would be that time.

It, then, makes sense to begin with those who committed no crime themselves. Those who will be granted relief from deportation are people who came as children, many of whom were so young that they were unable to even voice a simple "no" had they been asked their opinion on whether to cross or not. Assuming of course that they had the mental capacity to understand such a complex system. These, too, are students and servicemen, ready and willing to make contributions to our society. Many have put themselves through college.

My having been born in the United States was and continues to be a gift. I often wonder had I not been given such a gift, would I meet the guidelines set forth in this announcement? Would I have had the self-motivation to work full-time and go to school full-time to get a degree I wasn't sure would do me any good in the end? Doubtful. Would I have fought for the freedom of a country which continually pushed me to the margins and refused to recognize me as a contributing member? Definitely not. The truth is, had I not been born here, I doubt I would make the cut.

I think that when we begin to see U.S. citizenship as a gift rather than a right, our reactions to others may change. Truthfully there are very few of us who did anything to deserve our citizenship, other than having been born within certain geographic boundaries. And really, we have our parents to thank for that. And perhaps their parents before them. But for others who were perhaps not quite so lucky on the geographic front, this may be their one chance at a decent life. A life that you and I often take for granted.

So for those who have worked hard, put themselves through school, fought for our continued freedoms, committed no crimes while here and paid taxes, it just seems like the right thing to do to extend a reprieve. Perhaps not the easy thing, but the right thing.

If one day you found yourself in their situation, would you not wish and pray and hope every moment of every day for that same outcome?

Ultimately it comes down to that age-old kindergarten wisdom: Treat others as you wish to be treated.

For more on my thoughts on immigration and freedom, please read: The table and Freedom and Fireworks.
For stories of mixed-status married couples living aboard due to lack of immigration reform, please read: Corin in ExileThe Real Housewife of Ciudad Juarez, and Us, After America.
And of course, to get it all straight from the horses mouth, please read: USCISDHS, and ICE. (If you don't know what all those stand for without thinking, I urge you to do some research on immigration policies.)
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Last weekend's adventures.

I wanted to do a recap of this past weekend since it was just so good. I figured though that since it was Adrian's weekend off and we did mostly things he wanted to do, I would let you hear it all straight from the horse's mouth. So I present to you my husband!

Hi everyone! This is Adrian. My wife asked me to write something about last weekend. Maybe many of you don't know that I work most weekends, but once every five or six weeks, I am able to take the weekend off. So it's kind of a big deal for us and we have to plan what we're going to do to make most the most of it.

This last weekend was different because one of my coworkers asked me to switch weekends. So even though we had planned for this coming weekend, I changed it to help him out. But that worked out really well since last weekend was the Chicago Blues Festival.

Let's backtrack. We started our weekend Friday evening by going to my brother's house. We hung out with him and his family Friday night and stayed over. That night I had the opportunity to try Krispy Kreme doughnuts. Mmmmm doughnuts. The best ever.

Saturday morning, I woke up and I started making breakfast with my nephew. We made stuffed french toast, potatoes, eggs, and bacon, which was awesome.

Later that day, my brother and I put together a bicycle that he had bought for my youngest nephew Lalo.

As soon as we finished putting the bike together, Lalo was so excited to jump on it and start riding. My brother had to teach him how to get on the bike. And let me tell you something, Lalo is a fast learner!

Saturday afternoon, we said bye to my brother and invited his oldest son to hang out with us in the city. We grabbed dinner at Panera and we went to Grant Park to enjoy the Blues Festival.

I love Blues so it was awesome to relax in the grass and listen to some good blues music.

The next morning, we slept in a bit then we got up, made some coffee and walked to the bakery down the street to get some conchas.

We had breakfast, got ready and headed out to the Vintage Bazaar on the north side of the city. It was awesome. They had food trucks, drink booths and lots of vintage treasures. We bought some goodies for the apartment and we tried Korean tacos. It was kind of strange, but good.

(Emily note: I will have an upcoming post sharing our purchases!!)
(Adrian note: Em, I'm blogging, not you!)

Since my nephew was with us, we took him to one of my favorite places in Chicago, Skylark bar, where you can have the best tater tots in the world and the second best burgers in the world. Sorry Skylark, but the best burgers are in Mexico.

Even though I went back to work on Monday, our "weekend" continued Monday evening with a boat ride through the rivers downtown with some good friends, guacamole, sangria and a beautiful night.

So people, I have spoken. I hope you didn't get bored reading my blog but I just had to share that I had a great unplanned weekend with my wife and family! Hasta luego, peeps!

Thanks to that one guy, Adrian, for doing the hard work for me. He would also like you all to know that he took the picture of the conchas.

What do you think? Should we let him share more around here??
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On my shelf: Top Five...for now.

In my pre-marriage/pre-blog life, I used to be quite the little reader. I had less job responsibilities, no husband and no blogs to distract me. So I read. Like a machine. Being that I taught some of my classes in one of the public libraries, I had access to bunches and bunches of books all the time. And I took great advantage of that. It was like stealing candy from a baby. Except that when you don't return the candy, the library-baby charges you a hefty fine. (I know, I often ask myself why if I worked in the library, how could I have managed to NOT turn books in on time? All I can say is this: I was young and frivolous with money. Oh and there was no app to renew my books on my phone.)

Ok so time machining to this week. I got into a lovely little discussion via e-mail with the fabulously hilarious Vicki Christine who is also a book lover. (Someone used that term at work today and it made me  giggle so I thought I'd recycle it.) I asked her for her top five books. And promised to send her my top five. And then I thought I should just share them with everyone because really, who wasn't wondering what my top five books are??

I should preface this by saying this is a list of my five favorites of recent memory. And not in order.

1) The House on Mango Street.  I love this book in English and I love this book in Spanish. I use it in my classroom every year and it is always a favorite. Beautiful writing. Plus it's about my peoples. Mexicans in Chicago. Love that.

2) To Kill a Mockingbird. Honestly, who doesn't love this book? My mom read it to us when we were kids, as previously mentioned here. She would like me to point out that she skipped parts that were over our heads. Doubt it though since that would have been like the entire book. Nice try, mum. Regardless, I plan on reading it to my kids.

3) Love in the Time of Cholera. I think it took me two or three tries to get into this book, but once I did, I loved it. A bit off beat and a bit imaginary, but such a splendid style he has.  Also do not attempt this in Spanish. I had no idea what was going on.

4) I Know This Much Is True. Such a beautiful story. I read this in like two or three days during the summer a few years ago. One of those books that I just could not let go of.

5) Anything by Jen Lancaster. I would wholeheartedly recommend any any any book she writes. She is  laugh-out-loud-by-yourself-at-the-beach funny. I know because I did that. So funny. Also, be careful with these books on an airplane. People don't appreciate maniacal laughing on a plane quite like they should. Almost like they don't appreciate the sweet sounds of baby screeches. People are so very sensitive.

Sometime soon I should share with you my top brainless reads, no?

Until then, share with me what you're reading!! Oh, and find me on Good Reads please so we can play like we're in a long-distance book club, thanks!

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Pasale, pasale. Come in. Come in.

Hey all.

A lot has been happening here at Oh Hello, Love lately.

First off, I wanna say hello and I'm so incredibly excited to have you all here! I am thrilled to be interacting more with other bloggers and to be finding a bit more of that community that I've always heard about.

Also, if you're checking out this blog from a reader, click on over because I've made some changes to the design. I added some buttons on the right side that link over to some of the things I blog about most. I'm hoping that will make it a bit easier to find posts you might be looking for or to just explore whatever interests you. And because I do my own design and don't have an ounce of knowledge about computer coding or whathaveyou, I change it up from time to time in futile attempts to get it just right. Which of course never happens.

Annnnd, I've been adding more to my facebook page. So if you haven't liked me, go ahead and like me. I generally use facebook to share videos, links, exciting things from around the internets. And I share the occasional photo.

Which brings me to my last point: follow me on Instagram, no? I'm @ohhelloemily. There you can find all the little lovelies that make up my day to day life.

Oh and of course, if you have not properly introduced yourself, please do so. That way I can find out all about you too. And that would just be splendid, would it not?
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Around Chicago: Highball Lounge

As I mentioned in my Instagram Roundup, May 2012 was filled with firsts. My first peonies and our first trips to check out a couple of restaurants/bars that have been on our list for a while now. At the top of the list was Highball Lounge. It opened up last December (I think) and I read about it in Time Out and have been wanting to go ever since. But winter makes me not want to go outside so it took until the weather finally turned summerish for us to hit up this little bar.

Ok so then, we walked in and aside from a rambunctious crowd towards the front, the place was completely empty. I figured it would be somewhat empty since my friends and I had planned to meet at 8:30. I was totally surprised that when we left at around 10:30 (don't judge, people had to work the next morning), it was still empty.

But don't let the deserted atmosphere deter you. This place is my new love. I would move in if I could.

First off, let's take decor. I read somewhere that this place is like if your classy grandpa had a basement in the 1960s. That's what sold me on it in the beginning and it lived up to my expectations. Manly tufted booths line one wall and high top tables and stools line the opposite wall. At the far front are two sets of couches and armchairs and floor to ceiling windows overlooking the streets. Ahh. If I could change my entire home to a bar, this would be it.

Ok next, drinks. The waiter handed me an extensive (and a bit expensive) menu and came back three times before I was ready to order. So many quality options. This place is making a name for itself on cocktails (selling point number two. This girl does not like beer). When I finally settled on one (and then two...), I was quite pleased. Adrian tried the punch and that was what I'd expected, too: fruity, punchy and 1960s fab. Later in the evening, the bartender came over with free shots because he was bored. Apparently these particular shots won second place in a contest in London and with good reason. I'm not a shot taker, but I enjoyed these. I have no idea what it was called but it tasted like a mini mixed drink. And it was free. Sold.

Music was excellent as well. IPod hooked up to dj equipment with the perfect mix at the perfect volume. I didn't have to shout to have a conversation but I could still enjoy the musical selections. Love that.

Downside? Slightly creepy 1960s slow-mo movies projected on the wall, understandable only under the influence of some heavy drugs. Being that I'm not one for drugs, it was mostly incomprehensible to me. But quirky. And you know I enjoy me some quirky.

So yes, Adrian and I will be back. With more friends. And possibly a birthday party. Because we need this place to stay in business. I adore it.

Congrats, Highball Lounge. You are Oh Hello, Love approved.
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On my shelf.

Chicago has about a million libraries. Honestly. So I like to utilize them. Also, the books I like generally aren't popular in my neighborhood which means I can always find them.

So here are my current picks.
Design *Sponge at Home by Grace Bonney

Falling Together by Marisa de Los Santos

Photoshop CS5: The Missing Manual by Lesa Snider

What are you reading? Any summer recommendations?

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Ten things you'll hate to know about me.

If you haven't heard the news on the block recently, my darling sister (of "Straight Shooting with My Sister" fame) has finally started her own blog. And because bossing me around in person wasn't enough, she has extended her bossy reach into the blogosphere by demanding I share ten things with all of you that you may not know about me. And since not having a backbone has always been my forte, here I am caving in.

Without further ado, ten things you may or may not have known about me:

1) I am super unathletic and I hate sweating. Hence why I used to (and from time to time still do) swim. I loved being on the swim team. My mum says I had good technique but I was painfully slow. Which brings me to number 2.

2) I do everything slowly. Everything. This annoys the bejeeeeezus out of my husband who prefers working efficiently. When I was little, my babysitter used to call me Poky Little Puppy. As in The Poky Little Puppy, a classic book and totally worth the $8.99 Amazon practically gives it away for.

3) I speak Spanish pretty much fluently. I miss words every now and then, but mostly I speak Spanish. Don't be misled by my strikingly pale skin and saucy blue eyes. I use Spanish daily for work and for mocking the husband. My use of colloquial Mexican phrases has been known to both astonish and amuse the masses. Assuming the masses are Mexican and speak Spanish. Which around these parts they are and do.

4) While my wardrobe consists primarily of polos, button-downs and pearls, I think a little tiny hipster resides in me and occasionally screams to be let out. All my favorite places in the city are quirky, eclectic and have the official Yelp "hipster" rating. I honestly don't know where it comes from.

5) I hate camping. My sister did an excellent job explaining why so I'll leave it at that.

6) My sister and I are much more alike than I care to admit. For years, I always thought we were complete opposites. But when Adrian met Erin for the first time, he said it was like listening to two of me. We have a lot of the same mannerisms and expressions. Except she's republican and I'm democrat. But we won't get into that.

7) I am much more eloquent on paper (or in this case, on screen?) than in person. My dad says I use way too many likes and Adrian says he doesn't know which thing I want him to put on the other thing. He says further, more precise words are needed.

8) On the other hand, I think I'm much funnier in person. Perhaps I'm just one of those self-laughers though. I'll have to pay attention next time and see if anyone else is laughing at my jokes.

9) I'm quite booksmart but I lack any and all common sense. Adrian is very common sensical so this also makes him crazy. Luckily, he's here to solve all my common sense dilemmas. (Bt dub, are you getting the sense that I am awfully lucky my husband puts up with me? Yes, yes. I am, too...)

And finally for the last and quite possibly most controversial:
10) I am not an animal person. <<Collective blogosphere gasp>> I know, I know. I'll probably never see you around this here blog again but I just am not into animals. Sure your puppy is cute across the computer screen, but as soon as he jumps up and licks me, I am less than impressed. I don't like sudden movements and I don't like germs. And I will literally cry if there is a mouse/hamster/gerbil/chinchilla near me. Literally cry. As in tears streaming down my face. And you will feel bad. (Excepts to the no animals rule can be found here.)

Come back again, anyways?

I knew this was a bad idea. Curse my sister and her bossy ways.

Oh and I'm not in to telling you all what to do. But if you do decide to share your deepest, darkest secrets, please be a doll and let me know? I like a good secret as much as the next gossip.

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Peony palette.

I love love peonies. They're my absolute favorite. And they finally showed up in my home. Courtesy of my husband. I went from hangry (typical post-work emotional state) to ecstatic in 0.3 seconds. Peonies'll do that to ya.

Also, can someone paint these colors in stripes on my living room walls? Thanks.
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May Instagram Roundup

I loved May this year. Mostly because I got my iPhone. And we checked out a bunch of places we've been meaning to check out for a long time.

So from top-bottom, left-right, here are my instagram pics of May 2012:
1) My first bouquet of peonies. There'll be more on that this week!
2) A cocktail from Highball Lounge. I had been dying to visit this bar for a while and am so glad we finally went.
3) A (slightly feminine) cake for my nephew's birthday. It's what we had on short notice. Heh. The perfect 11 year old boy cake. More on his birthday here.
4) Strawberry shortcake for breakfast. I love my friend Haley's family for making this happen.
5) I visited Haley's parents in Michigan and this is the view from their porch. Heaven. Also, looks a lot like Maine, right?
6) I begged Haley to take me to a classic Wisconsin bar. She delivered.
7) Adrian on his birthday at Honky Tonk BBQ. We will be returning for sure.
8) Dinnnnner. I love my husband because he cooks.
9) Did I mention my husband also buys me peonies? So excited I had to include them twice.

How was May for you? The perfect start to summer?

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The playlist.

My nephews came over tonight. The older of the two, Jerry, had a birthday this week. He turned eleven, which apparently is now a teen. Or so he told me. Anyways, Adrian and I bought him a little iPod shuffle. He was pretty pumped. So today he came over so we could load some music on to said iPod.

Lucky for him, I have the musical collection of a 27 year old Mexican-Italian-American girl raised in the woods of Maine. Mostly because that's what I am.

So while deep inside I really wanted to load Meat Loaf, Backstreet Boys and a little Dean Martin on to his iPod, I refrained for fear of an inevitable schoolyard beatdown involving my poor nephew. Meat Loaf is not as widely accepted in 99% Mexican-American inner city schools as it once was.

Turns out, I would do anything for love, but I won't do that, wherein that is equivalent to "allow my nephew to get beat up for listening to Meat Loaf because the current generation does not appreciate great music when they hear it." I love my nephew too much for that.

Instead, I did my best to play it cool and stick with more universal classics: Michael Jackson, Santana and "Eye of the Tiger".

So while I had the draw the line at Mariah Carey (circa 1990), rest assured that I do indeed have standards.  My nephew will soon be enjoying the musical genius of Journey.

Kids these days. Don't know a good song when they hear it.

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