Ridin’ in Style

Things definitely got a little crazy last night in the Windy City!

After sufficiently stuffing our bellies during the progressive dinner that had us eating from 1 to 7 p.m., we drove to my friend Kristen’s apartment in downtown Chicago to kick off the nighttime activities.

We walked into an apartment that was fully decked out in bachelorette party decor.

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My sister made decorative wine glasses and pins for everyone which looked adorable!

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After poppin’ open a couple of bottles of champagne, we started the lingerie party and I opened frilly lil’ numbers from all of my friends.

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Then it was time for games!

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Before leaving for Chicago, my sister asked Ryan a series of questions and I had to guess his answers!

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For every one I got wrong, I had to take a Jello shot. For every one I got right, I had to give out a Jello shot to the person of my choice.

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At first I avoided the yellow Jello shots, thinking they were lemon. When I learned that they were pineapple… well, that was a whole ‘nother story! 😀

I actually did pretty well guessing Ryan’s answers, but was stumped a few times as well.

It was such a fun game!

After enjoying a few more drinks and gettin’ a little silly, it was time to hit the town!

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Little did I know that our transportation to the downtown bars would be so swanky…

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My mom and sister made arrangements for our group to ride around in a limo for the night! Safety in style. 😉

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We made stops at two different bars, the first of which was filled with people who were bustin’ moves on the dance floor. We weren’t about to let a good opportunity for some dancin’ pass us by…

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Our next stop took us to a bar called John Barleycorn.

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Apparently I attack my friends to show them how much I love them. 😉

At John Barleycorn, more dancing ensued, though I’m pretty sure this particular bar wasn’t really a dancin’ kinda bar. Well, it was a dancin’ kina place last night fo sho!

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My camera’s battery died about halfway through our time at John Barleycorn, so the rest of the evening went undocumented and failed to capture our late night pig out on big pieces of pizza, including a pizza topped with macaroni and cheese!

We got to bed around 4:30 a.m. with bellies full of pizza and leftover cupcakes from the progressive dinner.

This morning we woke up and hung out at my friend Leah’s apartment for a bit before my sister and I had to head to the airport to catch our flight back to Orlando.

It was sad to leave all my girlfriends behind, but I’m so excited to see them in two months for the big day. (Michaela, Carrie, Leah, Kristen and Leslie, thank you all for making this weekend unbelievable. I felt so loved and grateful for such a great group of girlfriends. Love you all!)

Our flight to Orlando was quite turbulent, but that didn’t stop both of us from sleeping for the majority of our time in the air. We were pretty exhausted!

Once back on the ground, Ryan picked us up and took us back to our apartment where the three of us enjoyed made homemade pizza, using the 15-minute pizza crust recipe we love.

Now we’re relaxin’ on the couch before hopefully getting into bed a little early. I don’t want to fall asleep at my desk at work tomorrow!

G’night all. 😀

Scavenger Hunt + Progressive Dinner

What a whirlwind of a weekend!

I cannot believe how fast this weekend flew by, but I guess I shouldn’t be surprised because time with my best friends from grade school always seems to pass too quickly.

Let’s take it back to the beginning of the bachelorette party weekend festivities, shall we?

Scavenger Hunt

Saturday morning started with a quick breakfast of Honey Nut Cheerios with milk and a sliced nectarine (x3… I can put down amazing amounts of cereal).

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Post breakfast, my friends surprised me with a wonderful scrapbook that doubled as a clue book for a scavenger hunt around my childhood hometown of Palatine.

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The clues were absolutely adorable and the pictures in the scrapbook were really entertaining and highly humiliating, as many were from our awkward years in junior high and high school. I laughed a lot as I flipped through the book that was filled with amazing memories.

Each clue took our group to a different location, including my best friends’ houses, Birchwood Pool where I worked as a lifeguard during the summers, and our elementary, junior high and high schools.

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My house growing up:

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The basketball hoop that my dad made:

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Outside Birchwood Pool:

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At our elementary school:

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Outside our high school:

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These girls made my childhood and high school years wonderful.

We called ourselves “The Mighty Five” and have seen each other through many ups and downs, heartbreaks and successes, and though we went to different colleges, we remained close and connected. There’s something so wonderfully comfortable and amazing about friends who know absolutely everything about you and your family. I’m so happy these girls will be standing up with me on the day Ryan and I exchange vows. 😀

Progressive Dinner

After driving all around Palatine, my girlfriends and I headed back to my friend Kristen’s house for the first stop of a progressive dinner that took us to all of my friends’ houses.

Kristen and her dad prepared a delicious spread of appetizers including crab dip, tortilla chips and queso, grapes, cheese, Pringles and mini Twix bars. 

(We missed you, Mrs. Bauer!)

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While chatting it up and munching on the goodies, we sipped on wine and relaxed a bit.

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Check out this amazingly cute painted bachelorette party-themed wine glass I received to enjoy my wine!

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We tried our best to pace ourselves so we had room to enjoy the selection of salads at our next stop on our progressive dinner at my friend Michaela’s house.

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The chopped salad featured in the picture above was fantastic. It was filled with veggies, pasta, bacon and cheese. So tasty!

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I loved chatting with Michaela’s family and absolutely fell in love with their new puppy, a goldendoodle named Riley.

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How cute is she? She looked like a little stuffed Build-a-Bear and was so cuddly.

Once we were done eating our salads and catching up with Michaela’s family, we headed to my friend Leah’s house for one of my all-time favorite dinners I used to enjoy at their house in Palatine when we were growing up…

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Portillo’s Italian beef sandwiches! These things are unreal. Chicago-style Italian beef is where it’s at!

Leah’s parents also served us pasta and chicken Parmesan which I enjoyed as well.

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As a special treat, Leah’s mom made me a fresh batch of her homemade granola which I dug into immediately!

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This stuff is fantastic. I ate several handfuls on the spot and foresee it disappearing all too fast.

After hugging Leah’s family goodbye, we were off to our final destination of the progressive dinner, my friend Carrie’s house for dessert!

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Aren’t these cupcakes gorgeous?

Please note that the bottom row of cupcakes are red velvet. Any guesses which flavor I chose?

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Carrie’s mom also made all of us special drinks garnished with cherries that made us feel oh-so-fancy!

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All of the indulgent and unbelievably delicious food and drinks put me in a bit of a food coma! Luckily I was able to sit back and digest a bit during our drive into downtown Chicago where we kicked off our nighttime shenanigans.

Stay tuned for pictures and a post on our lingerie and cocktail party and bar-hopping adventures in a bit!

Ryan’s Guest Post

I couldn’t sign off this post without mentioning Ryan’s wonderful guest post on my blog that he secretly posted without me knowing yesterday. I must admit when I talked to him and he told me he published a surprise post on my blog, I got a little nervous! What on earth was he going to say!?

When he told me he did a mock question and answer post, I just about died laughing. I give him all the credit in the world for creating such an entertaining and thoughtful post and wanted to thank those of you who commented and made his day with your positive remarks. Thank you! 😀