More java, please!

One thing I’ve heard many times in the last year was “sleep when the baby is sleeping.” No one tells you what to do if you are not a napper and you have homework to do. Well, all I know is that when I’m tired, I could rely on my old friend – coffee.

I enjoy coffee in every form possible – espresso, drip, french press, instant… I love drinking coffee alone, with company, while studying, driving and when I go for a walk with Sofia.

My friend Ashley likes coffee even more than me. She is constantly in a search of the perfect cup of  java, and goes to all the neat neighborhood shops on her quest.

I met up with Ashley last week and asked her about her recent coffee house experiences. She told me about a little shop in Bucktown. How perfect, I love going to Bucktown!

IMG_1333

According to Ashley, the Wormhole is a retro-style coffeehouse decorated with movie posters and vintage knick-knacks.

“They make their own syrup for the flavoring. I totally recommend you going there. The people are awesome and everyone is really friendly. Go there for the experience, ” said Ashley.

She also assured me that “the place is really laid-back and chill.” Just what I like!

I decided it was time that Matt, Sofie and I break away from our Starbucks habit and try the Wormhole.

The first thing I noticed when we walked in was the real-life size DeLorean time machine car displayed on a platform. Suddenly the coffeehouse name started to make a lot of sense. The owner is a sci-fi fan who likes “Back to the Future”.

Just as Ashly had mentioned to me, the walls were covered with artwork and framed “Ghostbusters” and “Star Wars” movie posters. To complete the ’80s theme, a vintage Nintendo console connected to a large wooden-box TV gave the patrons the option to play “Super Mario”. Talk about a trip back in time!

As far as the coffee, I got the homemade vanilla latte and Matt ordered a cup of drip coffee. Both were absolutely delicious! The vanilla flavoring was nothing like the out-the-bottle sugary fake syrup I’m used to. 

The next time I visit the Wormhole, I’ll be even more adventurous and order the banana pudding- style latte named “The Cosby Special”. If you’d like to do the same, here is the Wormhole website link.

If you’d like to read about Ashley’s coffee adventures, you could do so on her blog Coffeehouse Corner.

Enjoy! 

The queens of brunch go to Old Town

Brunch is the most fun meal of the day, especially when enjoyed with friends and family.

This past weekend we decided to catch up with Sofie’s uncles Jason and Andrew. They suggested we try a place called Nookies located at the north end of Wells Street in Old Town.

IMG_1301Happy Sofie with uncle Jason

The restaurant had three separate rooms. I was glad that we got seated in the back with all the other families. It took away any concern of disturbing our table neighbors with Sofie’s enthusiastic attempts to “talk”.

The menu was filled with a lot of delicious offerings. I ordered the egg-white veggie omelet, and Matt got the banana walnut waffles. May I just say that this was the best veggie omelet I’ve ever had! Light and fluffy, with an abundance of variety of veggies, this delicious omelet was big enough for two meals. 

By the time we were leaving, the line of poeple was out the door. I would suggest getting there by 9 a.m., if you’d like to get seated right away. But if you have an early raiser munchkin like us, you do that anyway.

Here is the link to Nookies website.

Urbababy

Hello again!

It has been a little while since the last time I shared our adventures with you. I’ve been mostly a busy mommy lately 😦

With the end of the semester approaching (yes, I know… a student, mother, etc.), my school work has been piling up. Of course, I still set some time aside for Sofie’s late afternoon neighborhood stroll.

urbababy

The place I want to tell you about today I discovered on one of those walks. It’s called Urbababy.

It is the most adorable little boutique. Don’t be alarmed, it is totally affordable, despite the fancy name. They have everything from preggers’ fashions, to the cutest little onesies and toddler t-shirts.

The store’s selection of Chicago ware for the lil’ ones is the largest one I’ve seen. My niece and nephew will definitely be getting cool T-shirts when I see them this December.

The toy and book section is carefully selected by the owner herself. I want it all!! 

One of the things that I absolutely love about this store is that it is family-owned. Also, they support local artists by carrying some brands made right here in our lovely city. Other, more popular lines are Chewbeads, Ju Ju Be, Belly Bandit (I swear by this thing!), Rock These Socks, Boon, and many more.

The staff and the owner are so friendly, they even let me do my video story project on the store. So, brace yourselves… Here comes the link to my video Urbababy.

I actually had so much fun talking to Lori, that her interview ended up too long for my project. If you’d like to hear more about the fashions and the fun classes they have, take a look at my extended interview.

For more information about the store’s hours, class schedule and the addresses of the Wicker Park and Lincoln Park locations, here is the link to Ubrababy’s website.

Happy shopping!

Brunchin’ in Logan Square

Hi, all!

You know how your mom always told you to eat your veggies? Well, now you can, without even knowing it. 

I’m talking about the delicious zucchini pancakes with maple marshmallow and candied walnuts I had this past weekend. 

IMG_1141Yes, this is a toasted marshmallow on top of my pancakes

As parents of little munchkins you know that we have the monopoly over the 9 am brunch in every single restaurant across town. Yep, I had no idea that breakfast places open for business before noon (aaaahhhh, the good ol’ out-till-2am-sleep-till-nood days).

My newest top pick for brunch is called  JAM RESTAURANT  , and it is off the corner of Logan Blvd and Milwaukee ave. 

We got seated right away, and Sofie’s car seat got placed on one of those pedestal stools right by the window, so she had plenty to look at.

The menu was somewhat limited, but everything on it sounded delicious. 

Just a side note, if you are a scrambled eggs and bacon type of person, this might not be the place for you. Unless, just like my loving husband, you don’t mind a whole meal made up entirely of the sides. 

 I ordered the zucchini bread pancakes and my husband got eggs benedict.  To avoid committing a complete carb-icide, I got a side of scrambled eggs, which were also delicious. 

I would definitely go back to try the malted custard french toast. And, I will definitely remember to get there by 10 am again because as we were leaving at around 11:30, the line of people waiting was out the door.

Here is the restaurant’s website.

As we were leaving the restaurant, we realized that right across the street was the park where the Logan Square farmer’s market takes place. Here is the link to the website for the market in case you decide to make a morning out of it.

Enjoy!

What’s better that 2 for 1

This past Sunday Sofie, myself and our family had a big reason to celebrate. Sofie’s uncle officially became a Master of Arts in Marriage & Family Counseling. Thank god people like him! The world needs more of them. I’m so proud of Sofie’s uncle.

His “rite of passage” ceremony was in one of my most favorite places in Chicago- the  Chicago Theater. 

IMG_1050I just love that sign

Just like most of the public buildings downtown, the theater was accessible for wheelchairs and strollers. However, we had to check-in Sofie’s stroller with the nice lady at the coat check.

Sofie and I made a quick bathroom check and, just as expected, it was nice and spacious.

After the ceremony we went to a celebratory lunch at a Italian restaurant in River North called Maggiano’s. Talk about big portions! No, talk about double portions. This place actually gives you a second order of their signature pasta dishes to take home. You could even mix and match. What a steal!! 

IMG_1051Ready to go home

And the chocolate cake was as big as Sofie! Seriously, how does this place stay in business.

The portions were not only large, but everything was absolutely delicious. Piece of advise from me, do not wear snug-fitting clothes if you go there. 

The “icing on the cake” was the service. I haven’t seen such a helpful and caring group of people in a long time. We had two strollers with us (yes, Sofie has a munchkin cousin), which the hostess parked by her station. Our waiter brought those crafty stands to set the two car seats atop, right next to the table, so the lil ones could be a part of the celebration.

I’m not usually the family-style Italian restaurant type of girl, but this one certainly is one of the good ones. I love the neighborhood as well, so being located on the corner of Clark and Grand puts it within the range of my comfort zone.

Here is the link to Maggiano’s website. Hope to see you all there!

Brazilian dinner in Chicago

Hello, everyone!

One good thing about having a newborn is that you get to see your whole family. Like it, or not, they are bound to come by for the “meet the baby” visit.

In my case, I have to admit, I like it very much. This past weekend my sister came in for a quick visit. After her promised 24 hour marathon of holding Sofie and endless kisses, we decided to go out to dinner.

My sister lives in London with her family, but currently is in San Francisco for her husband’s two-year work engagement. Needless to say, finding a place to impress her with, was a mini-challenge. Luckily, we live in a city known for its restaurant scene. 

IMG_0966 Sleepy Sofie

“Fogo de Chao” is a Brazilian steakhouse in the River North neighborhood. If you are a major carnivore, but haven’t gone to a Brazilian steakhouse, you have got to go! They do not joke about grilled flesh on a long skewers. For a flat price of about $50 you get access to the salad bar, unlimited sides, and all you can eat meat, brought to your table side on demand.

When we arrived with Sofie in a stroller, they were extremely accommodating to the fact that we required more space. On a Saturday night, the place was full with couples and families with kids of all ages.

We got seated immediately at a table in the corner of the dining room, so the stroller was not in the way, and people did not bump into it constantly. Sofie liked that very much :).

I am pescetarian which, although it sounds like a weird religion, just means that I don’t eat meat, but I eat seafood and fish. I had to dine on the salad bar and the side dishes brought to the table. 

After two shameless trips to the salad bar, one strawberry caipirinha, and a few bites of fried polenta and bananas.  I was as happy as could be. I am not afraid to say that this is, hands down, the best salad bar in all of Chicago. It was beautifully presented, with a bountiful of delicious salads, veggies, cheeses, and charcuterie. 

A little rule I have is, when in a steakhouse, always order a dessert. They always have the most delicious desserts. And “Fogo de Chao” did not disappoint. After a  Tres Leches and a Chocolate Mousse Cake (both shared between my husband, sister, and I), we were stuffed to the nines, and ready to call it the night. 

“Fogo de Chao” made my  “absolute favorites” list. If you haven’t had the pleasure to dine the Brazilian way, you have to do it at least once in a lifetime. Take a look at the website for locations. 

Obrigado!