A Berry Good Day

Back in May, when Scott and I planted our first vegetable garden, we had also talked about planting raspberry bushes. Unlike Scott, who grew up picking wild raspberries in his backyard, I was deprived of this simple joy. As an adult, I had always wanted some sort of berry or fruit plant/tree for the simple pleasure of being able to pick ripe fruit without having to spend any money. After planting our garden, we decided to hold off planting the berry bushes – we had heard that once you plant them they are hard to control, plus they have pickers!

Well a few days ago, I saw an older couple stop to pick berries off of a tree just beyond our property line. I had always known that there were berry trees in the area but assumed they were poisonous – too many castaway movies where people would get sick from eating bad tropical fruit! After talking to the couple, I learned that the berries were actually mulberries (ie, here we go round the mulberry bush…) and they had been eating them for YEARS! Come to find out, that our whole street, which borders a golf course, is loaded with mulberry trees just ripe for the picking! OK, and it gets even better than that. A few days later, my brother-in-law, who is quite the outdoorsman, was walking along the same street bordering the golf course and noticed we had several wild raspberry bushes. He picked a few and we ate them just to see if they were good. OMG, they tasted just like the black raspberries from the store!

I can’t believe that I’ve lived here for almost 9 years and have never once attempted to eat our local berries. And the best part is that with so many berry bushes just steps from our front door, we won’t need to plant any ourselves!

BTW – those are the first snap peas picked from my garden – woo hoo!

Happy and Healthy 4th of July

Happy 4th of July everyone! Hope you’re outside enjoying a BBQ instead of inside reading this post 🙂 I’ve had a packed weekend so far. It started on Friday with another trip to Arlington Park for the horse races. This time we were in box seats in the grand stand courtesy of Scott’s uncles. The box seats were so comfortable and super relaxing – a much different feel than being on the main level.

Then, after a ton cleaning, my sister arrived with her family on Saturday. So far we’ve spent hours in the pool, made a trip to the mall, and enjoyed some awesome food! Last night, it was Italian chicken, grilled veggies, and parmesan orzo. This morning, I made Ina Garten’s yogurt lemon cake -soooo good! I paired the bread with some super fresh watermelon and blackberries – perfect.

Tonight, it’s bbq pork, roasted corn, and grilled potatoes = oh my! Also hoping to see Letters to Juliet tonight – we’ll see 🙂

Vacation is Here!!

(Photo Source)

Happy July 1 Everyone!

As of 5 PM today, I am officially on vacation for 10 days! Woo hoo! I can just feel the stress starting to melt away. I take vacation around this time every year because after the week of July 4, my world becomes even crazier due to work projects. Seriously, I am not a very friendly person from about July 15-November 1 – stay away! I do promise to be happy at the Healthy Living Summit!

The first part of my vacation I will be entertaining out-of-town guests (Yay, my sis is coming to visit!). We have plans to make at purse at 1154 Lill or at least take in the Chicago sites. But beyond that, I don’t have any hard-core commitments for my “staycation”. I have to admit, I’m a little apprehensive of staycations. For me, they end up being days to run errands, clean, make appointments, etc. Not very fun or vacation-like.

But this year, I’m going to try to make my July vacation different. Due to my out-of-town guests, all of my in-house cleaning and yard work will be done before my guests even arrive – fingers crossed 🙂 . So with all of my “house work” complete (although I’m sure I’ll find something to clean!), I’m left with just fun things to do, including:

  1. Spending time in our pool – Give me a frozen drink and plenty of sun and I will be just fine!
  2. Browsing at some of Chicagoland’s boutique shops – at my own leisurely pace of course
  3. Trying a new restaurant sans kids
  4. Attending my first Hot Yoga class – finally!!
  5. Going to Great America with the kids
  6. Eating tart frozen yogurt – just because it’s awesome!
  7. Going to the movies – I want to see Letters to Juliet before it leaves the theatre!

Many of these things may seem like everyday things to some of you, but for a person who has 2 young children, a husband, two blogs, and full-time job, actually doing any of these things will be a major accomplishment!