March Birthdays are the Best Birthdays...

      So last week it was my birthday and it was an interesting week indeed! My department has been interviewing new potential professors, so that has been a really exciting process to watch. There were three candidates who were present last week to give their talks and have lunch with us grad students. In addition to that, I was also doing research for a professor and coming up with a thesis for a paper I will be writing this up coming week. Woo hoo! All this being said, I really didn't have time for any kind of celebrations on the day of my birthday. Luckily, my husband and family came to my rescue, so last Friday night we headed up to see my family and just hang out for a while. For me, birthdays are all about people and not presents (I do like those too though...) so it was a great time. I thought I would post some fun memories from this past week of going out to eat and playing games, and just being chill in general.

     I had not really had a rum and coke before this past year and I am finding that this is probably one of my favorite drinks other than a Metropolitan. It looks so aesthetically pleasing in that glass and it almost tasted like Hawaiian sunshine and sand. Needless to say, I may make Mai Tai's this weekend for St. Patrick's day as a treat!

    This is my Drew, who had just bitten into a Beignet at the FABULOUS TokioPub in Schaumberg, IL (Get on your bike, hop into your car, fire up your Vespa and go over there for some amazing food and sweet music). Drew got chocolate all over his hand much to his family's surprise and hilarity ensued. I love the wily look he got as I took this photo- I think he will be wary of molten gooey goodness from now on.

    At TokioPub here are some great dishes to try: of course, Beignets, Pork Nachos, Dragon Roll, Fish Tacos, Pork belly and rice. It's a small plate restaurant but they do have entrees like the Pork Belly and rice plate. I am now wishing that I had taken a photo of it as it was the BEST pork I have had in such a long time. This place also has amazing cocktails like the Ginger Mojito and the In Bloom. If you love indie music, good food and a cool ambiance, this is the place for you. 

      My mother in law made this and both Drew and I nearly died of deliciousness. It's called "Monkey Bread" and it is super easy to make. You just place rolls in a round pan and sprinkle them with cinnamon, sugar and vanilla pudding mix and leave it over night with a towel covering. I'm sure there are probably lots of recipes out there- try Smitten Kitchen, she has to have one. 

    This photo does not do these justice! My sis bought these for me so naturally I love them. But these are truly gorgeous. They were purchased at Nordstrom in the newly opened TopShop section. Hooray! TopShop is now accessible to suburbanites! I wish we had that here... But I digress, I've been really getting into metals and jewelry that reflect a kind of mechanical aesthetic in a feminine way. These earrings really do that well. My favorite detail? The inlaid shock of orange in the transparent plastic.

     I am so pleased with this super-lame Instagram photo that I took at TokioPub (yes, I am that weird hipster that takes pictures of food and Instagrams them... I know...). It's just their plates stacked up before we got our food and that image really struck me for some reason. They reminded me of Donald Judd's pieces, so simple, so geometric.

  It was a very happy birthday for me. : )

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