25 January 2009

Key Learnings, family visits, cupcakes and cold!

By: Jessica B.

Whenever family comes to town, it feels like the longest day(s) ever. There is a lot of prep work in coming up with things to do and back up ideas in case the plan has be changed, mapping out where to eat, what to see, etc. That said, it’s still great to have visitors :)

So while I put my apartment back into normal shape now that my brother and SIL are gone, let’s check out my key learnings.
Key Learnings:
  • Ice skating is a fun idea until you strap the skates on and realize you have zero idea what you’re doing
  • Zamboni’s are still entertaining to watch as an adult
  • $3 mimosa’s are a great Saturday night companion
  • You really love your family when you spend an entire -11 degree day outside showing them the city
  • Entertaining guests all weekend is exhausting!
  • It takes a lot of tolerance to watch people unknowingly dirty up your apartment and not immediately clean up after them
  • Long underwear is never a fashion faux pas, especially when it’s cold
  • You know you’re just like your brother when you both eat an entire mini-cupcake in one bite and don’t judge the other person
  • Dancing in restaurants near closing time is publicly acceptable
  • It’s okay to leave barely a 10 percent tip when your dinner in a non-busy restaurant takes 1.5 hours due to poor service
As I mentioned on Friday, my brother and sister-in-law were in town this weekend and it was fabulous. Now that he’s married, I don’t get to see him as much as I want to, so getting nearly two days with him was a real treat. And because he doesn’t spend a lot of time in Chicago, we covered a lot of ground Saturday, full of food, drinks, sight seeing and trying to win lottery tickets to Wicked (which closed this weekend.) It’s fun to be a tourist again. 
We didn’t get lucky on tickets, but my brother and I did throw caution to the wind and went ice skating at Millennium Park, which did not turn out as expected. We’re more “summer sports” people and both of us looked ridiculous baby stepping around the rink (while holding the bars for support) so that we wouldn’t fall. After two slips and an hour in the freezing cold, we called it a day, but had plenty of laughs and one great picture.

Forgive the picture. At this point, it hurt to smile because of the wind
Andy and I also checked out a new cupcake place, Sugar Bliss Cupcakes, which is located across from Macy’s downtown. What I love the most about this place is that they have full-size and mini-cupcakes, which is perfect if you want to try several kinds at once. Below is a picture of our bounty. I definitely want to go back for the full size Texas Red Velvet cupcake (yee haw!) and frosting shots. Those just sound awesome.
Clockwise: Chocolate peppermint, chocolate/vanilla, chocolate/milk chocolate
Finally, the best part of having my brother in town is that we sat and talked about anything, from movies to politics to news. We have a lot of the same interests so we never run out of things to talk about, which is probably why we were up until 1:30 a.m. on Saturday morning. Oops. And he’s the only guy I would let yell “keep dancing woman” at me at dinner Saturday night, when I couldn’t control my dancing groove to Rihanna’s “Disturbia.”
How was everyone else’s weekend? Tonight is the SAG Awards so check back tomorrow for my fashion recap. The response was so great from the Golden Globes, that I’ll keep it going!


  1. Rebekah says:

    Frosting shots?! How can you bring that up when my pants already don’t fit?

    Hm. But I guess if they don’t fit now, there’s no harm in a few frosting shots since they STILL won’t fit. In for the penny, in for five more pounds.

  2. alexa - cleveland's a plum says:

    i want cupcakes AND mimosas!

  3. Jamie says:

    Hahaha, yes, you must really love them! that’s cold!!! And, 3 dollar mimosas…yum!

  4. Ashley says:

    Now, see. Frosting shots are a concept I can get behind.

    I’d totally love it if bars served cupcakes and frosting shots.

  5. surviving myself says:

    I thought Tina Fey looked bad. Thoughts?

  6. Katelin says:

    did you say $3 mimosas and cupcakes??? i’m coming to visit, stat!

  7. thatShortChick says:

    sounds like an awesomely fun weekend!

    especially when it involves mimosas and cupcakes – yes, please!

  8. Melissa says:

    So nice to know I’m not the only bumbling fool when it comes to skating – I feel like everyone I know loves to do it and is good at it! Oh, well – I’m the one mixing a killer hot chocolate for everyone while they freeze their buns off. ;) Glad you had such a fun weekend!

  9. Megkathleen says:

    Sounds like it was a great weekend! That was a very cute picture of you guys at the rink – your eyes looked very blue!

  10. The Modern Gal says:

    You’re right about ice skating. It always seems like so much fun and a great idea until you get those skates on. Then it’s like ‘What the heck was I thinking?’

  11. Miss Grace says:

    I love ice skating! And those cupcakes are gorgeous.

  12. Katie cat says:

    he he, I do that too – put on the skates then realize I don’t know what I’m doing, and I’m terrified to actually go ice skating!

  13. Kyla Bea says:

    What a fantastic hostess you are! My goodness, hope you’re warming up!

  14. PoisonIvy068 says:

    mmm..those cupcakes look delicious!!

  15. Kate says:

    Texas Red Velvet cupcake? That alone is worth the trip downtown. I’m in!

    Also, I agree, it’s really hard to control your dancing groove when Disturbia comes on the radio!

  16. Maki says:

    Oh my, those cupcakes look delish!!! I’ve never been to Chicago, but I want to visit the windy city more than ever because of you!!!!

  17. Maxie says:

    I had a cupcake today! It was delish, but those minis have me drooling. So cute!

  18. bianca says:

    That sounds like so much fun! I’m dying to go ice skating in Millenium Park. I love when people come to visit because you get to play tourist with them. It’s the best when I’m Chicago because I have such ridiculous Chicago pride that I have to show them EVERYTHING. I’m glad you had a great weekend!

  19. Bobbie says:

    You are so cute! And I want those cupcakes. Love the little flowers on top.

    And frosting shots do sound very awesome.

  20. Mandy says:

    Frosting shots? I have never had one, but now I really want one. Im glad that you had a fun weekend with your brother! I am looking forward to the fashion rundown…

  21. Deutlich says:

    Oh, man… frosting shots? Sounds like a sugar attack in a glass. haha

  22. LBluca77 says:

    Chocolate peppermint cupcakes sound fantastic. I could so go a cupcake like that right about now. And your entire weekend sounded like a blast visiting with your family.

  23. chickbug says:

    Having company always drains me! I get so excited and crazy before they come, go non-stop while they are here…and then just crash. But, it is always worth it! Glad you had a nice weekend.

  24. Heidi Renée says:

    Cuuuupcakes. I can’t really focus on anything else.

  25. Rebecka says:

    Sounds like fun!

    Those cupcakes look yummy!

  26. Blaez says:

    family visits are always fun!!

    can’t wait to see your fashion reviews!

  27. Hi! I'm Erin says:

    I think I need to have you pretend I’m a tourist and show me all the places to take people when they visit. I feel like I’m never going to learn anything about the city. Granted, I’ve only lived here 6 months, but still.