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! 😀

Back to Childhood

One thing that’s great about being an early riser and waking up before everyone else?

Ample time to blog! 😀

I am blogging from the comfy couch of one of my very best friends from elementary school. How surreal!

And We’re Off!

After work yesterday, my sister drove to Orlando to meet up with me and head to the airport to fly to Chicago for the weekend for Part Two of my bacherlorette party!

We said a sad goodbye to Ryan and Sadie before heading to our gate. We were able to sit next to each other (in the second-to-last row on the plane) and spend the entire flight gabbing away and entertaining ourselves with random activities.

First, we attempted to make origami chairs by following instructions we found in the Southwest Airlines magazines.

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No such luck. We even got the guy sitting next to us and a girl across the aisle into it, but none of us could figure it out. It’s harder than it looks, trust me!

We didn’t let that get us down though and took our paper-folding talents onto a task we knew we could accomplish.

Remember these?

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We used to make these little “fortune tellers” all the time in grade school!

Apparently flying to our childhood home of Chicago makes us want to relive our childhood!


Once we arrived in the Windy City, my wonderful friend Leah picked us up at the airport and drove us to my friend Kristen’s house in Palatine, a northwest suburb of Chicago where we all grew up.

We were greeted by yummy food, drinks and an adorable bachelorette party weekend itinerary!

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As you can see, we have a busy and fun weekend ahead of us!

A scavenger hunt + a progressive dinner + a night out in Chicago! Woop, woop!

After two of my other best friends, Carrie and Michaela, joined us at Kristen’s house, we spent the night catching up, reminiscing, talking and laughing about the bazillions of crazy memories we have together. I’ve been friends with all of these girls since elementary school, so just being in their presence makes me so unbelievably happy.

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Kristen’s dad made all of us the most delicious mud slides to drink which tasted like alcoholic milkshakes and were delicious! Along with mah drink, I enjoyed lots of snacks, including multiple chocolate chip cookies and excessive amounts of Pringles.

It really did feel like childhood again! 😀

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Now I think I hear some people stirring! I’m off to get ready for a fun day of exploring my childhood hometown, eating and drinking lots of food and partying it up with some of my favorite people in the entire world!

Catcha later!

(Side note: Ryan called me this morning saying he felt like quite the celebrity when he was walking Sadie this morning and one of you amazing  readers ran by him saying “I know you! I read your girlfriend’s blog!” I love you guys. Thanks for making Ryan feel awfully special. 😉 )