Last week, two coworkers and I were lucky enough to go to Austin Texas for the HOW Design Conference. We spent four days at the convention center, eating and drinking everything within a 4 mile radius. It was amazing. Let’s briefly review the conference…
Oops. That is actually the most delicious tomato salad I have ever eaten from the restaurant La Condesa.
Here are my travel buddies. They have appeared on Megagood before, and are responsible for bringing many people into the site who are searching for "blond curls."
Eeeegads, the trade show. Some people LOVE these things. I have never been a huge fan, seeing as how I don't like excess stuff or overhead fluorescent lighting. A word of advice to the vendors targeting designers at one of these things: Give away posters. That is all they are going to save. They will wait in a line that wraps around many booths to get your poster. They will put it up at work. The rest of the stuff is likely in the hotel garbage can. Just saying.
The most popular sticker at the trade show. Death to Papyrus, please and thanks.
The rest of the photos from the conference are taken from the inside of various 32 degree meeting halls. I can describe them to you. Picture several hundred people sitting on hard chairs listening to a speaker in the front of the room with a big screen. These people may or may not be taking notes, blogging, Twittering or Facebooking. Most likely they are freezing to death. They may or may not be inspired by what they hear. They will walk out if they are not. They will text their travel buddies to come join their session if they think it is awesome.
I attended a few sessions that were really worth it and I left feeling excited to be a designer. I also attended a few that made me glad that I wasn’t an in-house designer or freelancer. Many of the attendees seemed to fit into those two camps. Can we talk about food now?
Curra's. Best Tex-Mex food I have ever put in my mouth. I don't even have photos of the plate because it was devoured almost instantly. Our waiter was also insanely nice. We don't have that kind of service in Chicago.
Lamberts. Great gods of smokey meats with a side of macaroni this was fantastic.
Lambert's was on the fancy side barbecue by most people's standards. The atmosphere, server and food were just to die for though. I am in love with that Cuban pork sandwich.
Gorgeous centerpiece. These are my little buddies House, Hot and Mustard.
Another "best" to add to the list. This granola changed my life. I may never be satisfied by breakfast cereal again.
And here is some more eating. La Condesa this time. Authentic mexican.
I can't show you all the photos of what happened in between eating and going to bed. But here is our rickshaw biker. I think he is about to regret taking this fare.
WELL, then. That was the longest I have gone without posting since this thing started and it hurt me more than it hurt you. I am sure of that.
Where to begin? Last Saturday was wine club at my place. Attendance was good. Twenty bottles of wine were consumed, games were played, prizes were won, fun was had. I didn’t take a ton of photos during the event; I was the hostess and I was just plain tired from preparing for the party all day. However, my brother was in town and filmed with his fancy pants camera (now for sale), so those videos might surface someday.
Manikins enjoying the backyard
Amber's wine glass is roughly the size of her head. As wine glasses should be.
I had to thank Mr. Honeybear for providing the wonderful honey on top of our various cheese and cracker combos.
Catch Phrase. No explanation needed.
What do you do after you drink twenty bottles of wine?
Le Brunch to be specific. Le Creperie is one of my favorite brunch spots in the city. From its storefront on Clark street, you wouldn’t know that there was anything good going on in there. It is kind of dark and dingy at first glance. But after walking through the cave-like interior, you will emerge onto the back patio and feel that you’ve discovered the Atlantis of the brunch world. There are little red and white checkered tables under a canopy of leaves and twinkly lights. Flowers and trees are not something that generally flourish near the intersection of Clark and Diversey, so this place is golden.
This was Jordan's first time to Le Brunch. We took him there because he is being heavily recruited by me and my friends to move to Chicago.
This poor nutella and strawberry crepe had a very short life. It was quickly dismantled and consumed for dessert. Because you should always have dessert at brunch. The Splenda packet under the plate cracks me up. Who are we trying to kid?
I am really excited to post all about by trip to Austin, Texas. I was there for four days last week and had an amazing time. OMG THE FOOD. I can’t…even…
Here is just a sneak peek. You are witnessing a blurred flurry of food ecstasy.
I have so many photos to go through. This is a good and bad thing. It means I have a lot of DPH…more than usual. But I haven’t had much downtime in the last few days, so the pool of photos just keeps getting deeper and deeper. I am also about to go on a four-day trip to a design conference in Austin and the DPH pool will soon turn to an ocean.
When I surface, I will let you know. Bring your scuba gear for safety. I am predicting a tsunami.
“Johnny Depp was in town today. He was promoting that Dillinger movie.”
“Yep, and he said that he loves Chicago. Thinks it is the best city in the world.”
“Wow. Does he want to move here? If he needs a place to stay, then he can sleep in our bedroom.”
“I meant guest bedroom.”
I seriously meant the guest bedroom. No, really. I wonder if he is a good roommate. Does he like egg sandwiches and coffee? Would we eat on the porch? Does he put the seat down? Would he cuddle an insane banshee of a cat before bed at the expense of his ability to breathe? Would he go get me eggs in a blizzard? Probably not. I think that I will stick with the current roomate.
June decided to stop pretending to be April. Now it is pretending to be August. Because of this sharp change in mood, the storms hit today. And they hit HARD.
This is the one of the darkest mornings I have ever seen. This shot was taken from our corner office at 10:45 AM.
Though we may float away in flood waters or be swept up in a tornado, I can’t complain about the heat. I love it. The humidity can go away if it wants, but hot weather and I get along just fine. It is water drinking season, and you know how much I love the hydration.
These are more like paintings than photos. Back-lit droplets on back porch screens. I love them.
well, hello. we are so very tiny. we are potatoes, but could easily be mistaken for grapes or radishes.
hmmm. kind of creeped out now. something tells me that we aren't getting out of here alive.
Back in March, my spice cupboards looked like this. A few days later, I organized it so that it looked like this. Then I ordered a bunch of spice jars that look like this.
(…insert 3-4 months of procrastination here…)
TA-DA! I spy catnip, eyes, and cinnamon. All conveniently alphabetized. Yay, me.
My favorite jar is Mr. Honey Bear. He is glowing with his belly full of unfiltered Indiana honey.
Learnings from Spice Organizing Project of 2009:
- I should have done this sooner.
- Consistently shaped, clear, label-free jars make it easy for me to tell what I need to buy more of.
- Bulk spices from the bodega are perfect for refilling.
- Paper funneling is a must when transferring spices into the jars.
- I need to get a white paint-on-glass marker. The sharpie is rubbing off and is too dark to read properly.
- Cinnamon and cocoa powder want me dead. They might as well be anthrax in their airborne state. DO NOT INHALE.
Eat your greens.
Every morning when I get to work, these three things need to be on the left side of my desk. That bottle is with me 95% of the time while I am at the office. It comes with me to meetings, the bathroom, lunch, and random wanderings and visitations. Sadly, it is just drinking fountain water in a fancy bottle– but it reminds me of this. Funny how that was back in APRIL. June should take a hint.
Speaking of “summer,” the landscapers are gone, and we now have a completed backyard. It makes me happy every time I see it—even from the warm comfort of my enclosed back porch. If the power lines are removed from above that roof deck I will have a heart attack from happiness and likely post a picture of the deck for a week straight. What is Com-Ed up to? They are about 3 months late. Anyway, we are very lucky to have have such an awesome apartment and landlord in Chicago. The thought of ever having to move makes me nauseous.
Everyone seems pissed off or out-of-it lately. I am hoping that will all change when the weather improves.
The soaking-wet-steamy-bus-caught-in-traffic-late train-soaked jeans-wet floor-broken shoes-dark skies commute sent me into a funk. I thought the funk would leave once I arrived home and changed into warm pajamas. No luck. My mind not only held onto the funk, but then spiraled further into a dark cloud of stormy thoughts. Bad Thoughts invited Bad Attitude to play, and soon Pitiful and Bitchy showed up.
This is when I decided to stay mute for the night, because any vocalization of these thoughts would be ridiculous and regretful. I also decided not to type anything beyond a really hateful Facebook status and then went to bed. At 8 p.m.
During this mega-angry, mega-silent tornado, Justin’s highly-tuned wife radar told him to lay low. He quietly emptied the garbage, finished the laundry, did the dishes, and cooked the dinner that he found half-started on the kitchen counter (when I found out the meat wasn’t thawed I just walked away mid-preparation.) He even brought me a glass of wine to the bedside table…even though I didn’t touch it and only offered up a childish “Murp” as a thanks.
A few months ago, my coworker and blog buddy Alma, sent me a link to a list of things that a person should enjoy and appreciate while they are living the child-free lifestyle…like naps, personal sick days, and having a hangover. I am adding last night to that list. Because I’m pretty sure that kind of behavior will not fly when we decide to expand our family beyond just a couple of fatty cats and figurines of forest critters.
Last weekend marked my 6-month anniversary of this blog. It doesn’t seem like I have been posting for that long, and it has been fun. Because of this little project, I look at things in a different way. People I am hanging out with will observe a situation and be more than happy to suggest that I take my DPH right then. Or they will do little things like bring me strawberries at work and then expect the camera to emerge immediately (it does of course). I don’t mind the collaboration, and I am thrilled that anyone else is interested in this daily ritual. Last Sunday, my brother got very excited about finally having nice weather for a day. He filmed outside of his apartment, and composed his own little happiness film of the day.
So thanks for reading or just skimming and viewing. It has been fun so far.
This is a DPH left over from Sunday. We found another secret patio in Andersonville along the Clark Street strip. This one is at Frida.
Random street fair on Sunday. We weren't really planning on it, but you kind of stumble into them during the summer in Chicago. This food makes me laugh. And cry.
Alex brought us Michigan berries yesterday afternoon. He helped art direct this DPH. Note the favorite color of the berry basket. Well done, sir.
Herbs are planted in the tins!
You may have noticed that there are some new critters in the herb garden. Yes, I have gone completely nuts and turned into a grandma that collects figurines. What is happening to me?!?! Anyway, this is Elevator-Bottom Deer. If you are not familiar with "elevator-bottom," then you have probably never petted a cat.