The key to a good road trip? Good company. The key to a great party? A killer theme.

The one thing I like about living away from family and some friends is the opportunity for them to come visit.  I love when people come to Chicago and I can show them around some of my favorite places in the city. If you’ve been keeping up with my blog, you’d know that a few weeks ago, my mom drove out to Chicago to visit me. She’s been to Chicago a bunch of times; however, she’s never really got to just hang out and relax here. Most of the time when she’d come visit it would be just for moving me in or out, or if she did get a longer vacation, it’s was all about running around trying to hit all of the touristy spots.

Now, the touristy spots in Chicago aren’t bad at all – I mean, you have to see the bean, get deep dish at Lou Malnati’s, check out the Willis Tower (ahem, Sears Tower) and some of the incredible museums – especially the art institute or the field museum. But for my mom who has already seen and done those things, it was really great to show her parts of the city she hasn’t seen before. We walked around my neighborhood, Logan Square, got to check out a bunch of delicious restaurants in the area. When we weren’t going out to eat, we would walk down to the grocery store a few blocks away to pick up food for some nice meals at home. Whenever we are together, we love to cook and try different recipes.

After her two-week visit, I decided to drive back with her to Connecticut to see my dad & brother before heading up to Boston for the weekend. The drive is a pretty long one, so of course you need to have some pretty great road trip snacks. My mom and I try to be healthy overall, but we also like to have some easy snacks that won’t make too much of a mess. We decided on yogurt covered blueberries, salted caramel flavored popcorn, pretzels, and grapes.

My mom and I have done this trip back and forth just the two of us several times now and it’s always a good time. We usually alternate between talking about what’s going on in our lives and singing loudly and proudly to Billy Joel, Huey Lewis, and The Beach Boys to name a few .

This time, we had decided to split up the trip into two days to make it a little more manageable. This also made it possible for us to get back early enough on the second day that I would be able to spend some more time with my dad and brother. We decided to head to one of our favorite classic Connecticut hangouts, Joey Garlic’s. Whenever we got there, we love to split their awesome eggplant fries, a citrus salad, and a pizza. All of their food is delicious and the portions are huge!  Leftovers are a regular occurrence – even when splitting these dishes between 4 people!  I truly love this place, and love to go here with friends or family when I’m in town. My family has been coming here for years now and it’s fun being a regular somewhere.














Saturday, My uncle, Dan, drove me up to Boston for a themed party at my aunt’s apartment. I haven’t been to a lot of themed parties, so when Catie invited me and it happened to coincide with going back to Connecticut, I was absolutely thrilled. The theme for this party was Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries. If you haven’t heard of it, I strongly suggest after you finish reading through my blog ( 😉 ) to immediately go watch it on Netflix. It’s about a kick ass female detective in 1920s Australia. Crime, action, humor, & a little romance. What more can you want from a show?

Catie really knows how to throw a party. Music from the time was playing, champagne was flowing, and the show was playing in the background. She also decorated perfectly.

There was a bucket of props to use as we posed in front of a fun sparkly gold backdrop. The three signs we held (albeit in the opposite order) are from a song called “Let’s Misbehave” written by Cole Porter. It’s also in a scene from the show.

There’s something wild about you child; it’s contagious
et’s be outrageous; let’s misbehave.

In addition to that, there was a string of lights that surrounded the bar area and photos that were hung up that were either quotes from the show or photos from an old photo album she had. One of my favorite decorations was actually an old theater program.

It was also so much fun to see how everyone dressed up. I really loved searching for clothes that would be on theme. My outfit – the hat & dress – were from target and happened to work perfectly for the theme on a budget!

The next day, was the Oscar’s. I’m not usually one to watch award shows; I just like to get the highlights the next day. However, this year, I watched it with Catie and two of her friends. It was actually really enjoyable to watch. I loved seeing what everyone was wearing at the pre-show, but it was also great to be able to learn about new movies and make a list of ones that I need to see. It was also great to see Emma Stone win an oscar. I just really love her in everything that I’ve seen her in. This year was also the year of a major faux pas. We all know what happened, but in case you didn’t hear – the final award – Best Picture – was awarded to La La Land, BY MISTAKE. Halfway through acceptance speeches, they corrected the mistake and awarded it to Moonlight. It was a bit cringe worthy to watch. It was really fun to watch, especially with some champagne and delicious food!

This weekend has been really great. I loved getting to go back to New England for a weekend and spend time with my family. Hopefully it won’t be too long before we visit each other again. 🙂