Coworkers — the in-person daily outfit raters

25 Nov
My coworkers are no dummies when it comes to fashion!

My coworkers are no dummies when it comes to fashion!

My coworkers are the best beta testers — at least when it comes to outfits.

I enjoy fashion, but it doesn’t always come naturally to me. In middle school, it took me a good two years before I agreed with capri pants, and a big part of me not-so-secretly wishes someone could just bring back the bell bottoms.

Some of the outfits that I wear are winners; others are more of “I loved what you were wearing yesterday” kind of outfits. But whenever I get a new outfit, I know that wearing it to work will be the true test of my inner Stacy London and Clinton Kelly.

My coworkers – like all coworkers – see me more than my husband, my family, and closest friends combined. We spend dozens of hours per week together, and, in an office of fewer than 20 employees like mine, we know a lot of things about each other. Not only do we know about everyone’s family and pets and minor coughs, but we seem to have memorized each other’s outfits.

Consequently, when I wear something new, I’ll know within a few hours if I made the right choice or if I should have left it on the fitting room floor. “Wow, cute top!” “I love that color, is that new?” “Look at you wearing a sweater poncho! Is that leggings underneath?” WIN! “Cute outfit, maybe add a necklace next time!” Almost win! And other days – new outfit, no word at all – oops.

So here’s a big thank you to my awesome coworkers who are always honest, better than a mirror, who rate my clothes.

Post-wedding nightmares

14 Nov
What's my Dream Director trying to tell me?

What’s my Dream Director trying to tell me?

A few months ago, when I wrote about my pre-wedding nightmares, many of you offered your concern and your best wishes for a good wedding and peaceful nights of sleep.

“Try not to be stressed,” you said. “Something will go wrong, but the wedding will still be perfect.”

But what would you say to me if I said that over the past two weeks, I’ve had at least three more wedding nightmares?

Subconscious, I totally understand the purpose of the pre-wedding nightmares. When my dream (incorrectly) predicted that I’d pull my wedding dress out of the box and it was salmon-colored, it taught me to make sure to double check all of the wedding details (especially my dress color) before the big day. My subconscious thought of details that could go wrong before the rest of me did — how efficient, I’m even wedding planning in my sleep!

But now, several weeks after I became Mrs. Goldfarb, the dreams are still here. They mostly revolve around the hair and makeup artists not showing up and me having to walk down the aisle as regular-old-medium-level-of-makeup Lia (what a tragedy!).

Is there a way to contact my Dream Director (I’ve seen “Inside Out,” so I’m kind of an expert on how these things work) and remind her that not only did our wedding happen, but it was everything we hoped for and more, a perfect day full of the best people, and, can I just say, beautiful burgundy flowers? There’s no need for these dreams anymore! It happened! It’s done! Adam and I are moving on to “married people problems” like figuring out our health insurance and car insurance. Quit it with these dreams!

Maybe it’s like the people who still have the dream that they are late to their math test and show up in their bathrobe. Why do those dreams still happen when these dreamers are well past their math-test-taking days?

Here’s hoping for dreams about rainbows, butterflies, and sunshine?

A sugar fix(e)

11 Nov

I recently noticed a funny similarity in two Chicago businesses:

The first is one I frequent often:


When I saw the second, I laughed.


In case the pictures aren’t clear, we have Sugar Fixe, a macaron shop in Lincoln Park, and Sugar Fix, a dental office in Lakeview.

I don’t have a lot to say here other than just sharing this important piece of knowledge with the world, but it’s really exciting to me that you can get your sugar fixe with my favorite type of cookie and then undo the damage to your teeth with a sugar fix dentist.

They should probably go into business together … buy 10 macarons (of course, then you’ll have to take out a mortgage to pay for them) and get a free dental consultation!

Which type of sugar fix(e) do you prefer?

Is a mini-moon the same as a solar eclipse?

4 Nov

The newlyweds are back from their mini-moon! Oh wait, what’s a mini-moon? I’ve recently learned that many of you out there have never heard this term before, so I will take this opportunity here to explain.

A “honeymoon” is a post-wedding trip that newlyweds take to relax after their wedding and enjoy some time together. Often, couples go some place exotic or particularly far, as it’s a “big deal” type of trip. Because these exotic destinations are often far away, these trips frequently become longer than the average trip.

Adam and I decided to go on a honeymoon to — you guessed it! — Hawaii. However, we decided to go over winter break instead of immediately after our wedding for the following reasons:

  1. Our workloads are much lighter over winter break, which allow us to take a longer trip without worrying about who is covering for our jobs (Adam’s office literally closes from Christmas to New Year’s Day, and the majority of the families in my organization are away on vacation)
  2. End of December — what a GREAT time to leave the Chicago winter for paradise (end of October — still a beautiful time to be in the Midwest’s fall colors)
  3. Many friends had told us that after the wedding, the newlyweds are exhausted. It takes a full day to bring in boxes and flowers and extra chocolate-covered pretzels from the wedding; you’re tired from a full day of photos and smiling and being the center of attention; and, honestly, you’re exhausted from a full year of planning a wedding. Not necessarily the best time to do a European adventure or a Hawaiian expedition.

For these reasons, we decided to wait to go to Hawaii for a couple months. But that doesn’t mean we don’t need a few days to relax after the wedding! Hence the mini-moon.

The mini-moon is an opportunity for a couple to get away for a few days after the wedding, usually somewhere closer to home, for a brief relaxing getaway. A few months ago, we found really cheap airline tickets to Tampa, so we decided to spend three days following the wedding in Clearwater Beach, Florida.

There isn’t a ton of things to do in Clearwater, but we got exactly what we wanted: Sunshine, a pool, and no more banquet event orders.



From Tuesday through Friday of last week, we enjoyed sitting by the pool, swimming, reading, walking to restaurants, renting movies, exercising, and eating ice cream (in order to maintain the equilibrium of the universe, you have to exercise AND eat ice cream). We definitely felt relaxed.

And now … accepting all recommendations for favorite things to do in Maui and Kauai!

Love from our mini-moon

28 Oct

From this …


To this …


And now this …

2015-10-28 12.03.00

What a week … and weekend … and year it has been!

Sending love to all of our friends and family from our Florida “mini-moon.”

Go Cubbies! But really, please win it in six.

21 Oct

cubs-win-2-e1369798506721-560x378Author’s Note: I drafted this blog last Friday, before the playoff series began. It was a hopeful time, five days ago, a time of optimistic dreams. Now, Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2015, when the Mets lead the series 3-0, our days have less optimism and hopefulness. I have decided to publish this blog in its original form anyway, to represent my thoughts and dreams from before this current reality.

Our wedding is this weekend. OUR WEDDING IS THIS WEEKEND! The i’s are dotted, the t’s are crossed, and we’ve tried to think of everything.

We’ve planned for sunshine and rain, we’ve planned extra time in case people are late, we’ve planned a ceremony rehearsal in advance. We thought about what the bridal party will eat while getting their hair done and we’ve thought about an equally tasty but gluten-free alternative to our breaded chicken main course. I’ve even had nightmares, spending my sleeping hours dreaming about what else could go wrong.

The one thing I never, ever, not in a million years would have ever thought to worry about: Will the Cubs be on the brink of the World Series on the night of our wedding?

According to the current National League Championship Series schedule, if the Cubs and the Mets require a seventh game of the pre-World Series playoffs game, it will land on Sunday, Oct. 25, 2015 — the magical day I’ve been dreaming about since … always.

I’m as much of a “Back to the Future” fan as anyone, but really, even for the most optimistic Cubs fans, did anyone think this would happen? More likely than a potential Cubs World Series would be Doc Brown becoming a real person and finding enough gigawatts of plutonium to take all Chicago residents back to that school dance in 1955.

My nightmares have now become … is “daymares” a word? I have visions of a playoff series tied, Cubs won three, Mets won three, and it all comes down to Game Seven. Instead of guests arriving in cocktail attire, guests are wearing Cubs jerseys (and the eight or nine New Yorkers coming to the wedding are decked out in their Mets gear). Oh wait, half the guests are still at home, in a trance watching the game and not realizing what time it is. During the ceremony, there are shouts of “HOME RUN!” and “Where are our outfielders?!” and in the reception, crowds huddle around the largest cell phones and iPads broadcasting the game. And then … people are either in really great moods or really terrible moods for the rest of the night. Oh, did someone get married here tonight? Forgot about that!

The day’s timeline is finalized, the kippot are in place, the groomsmen’s ties have been purchased. The only thing left on the list — cheer so hard for the Cubbies to win it in four, five, or six games!

Eating like a kid

14 Oct

Okay, guys. Brace yourself. This is big.

Or, rather, not so big. More like kid-sized. But amazing.

I have recently discovered that even if you are, in fact, 28 years old, you can be a kid again and order from the kids menu at a restaurant. This changes absolutely everything.

This is what I have learned.


  1. The food is obviously better than the regular menu.
  2. No more “I can’t eat at this restaurant because the food is too fancy for me!”
  3. Cheaper. Most of the time, it’s under $5.
  4. Usually comes with apple slices or grapes.
  5. Always — not usually, but always — comes with chocolate milk.

It all started a few months ago, at L. Woods, a restaurant I visit often because it’s in a good location, but a place where the only menu item I enjoy is a flatbread pizza. This flatbread is so flat that it always feels like I’m eating nothing but air — which is fun, but not filling.

“One of these days, I’m just going to ask for the kids menu!” I said to a colleague in her 50s.

“Waitress, we’ll take a kids menu!” she yelled, hands in the air.

Even though the kids menu said that it was for kids ages 10 and under and not for “jealous” adults, I asked the waitress very nicely if I could possibly order something from the kids menu. She agreed, I ordered, and my 50-year-old colleague said she’d have the same. Minutes later, out came a delicious meal of grilled cheese, French fries, and a bowl of grapes plucked from their stems. THIS is what heaven looks like.

Since then, I’ve been on a quest to learn more about these kids menus. This is what I’ve learned so far.


So far, Potbelly has been the least impressive of the kids menus. I enjoyed a delicious mini version of the PB&J sandwich (it was like a finger sandwich at a tea party!) for under $4, but it did not come with ANY side dishes. Come on, Potbelly, what about my balanced meal? I’m a growing girl!


Slightly outranking Potbelly is Panera. I ordered a grilled cheese that came with a choice of apple, baguette, or yogurt. This didn’t impress me because all meals come with a choice of apple, baguette, or chips, so this didn’t make me feel special or kid-like.

2015-09-25 12.36.47

My friend who is around my mom’s age got excited and ordered a kids Greek salad along with a side of apple.

2015-09-25 12.36.58

It was good, but this is pretty inauthentic — I mean, seriously, what kid orders a Greek salad?



I very much enjoyed my kids meal at Subway. It sadly does not come with one of their amazing cookies, and you don’t have a choice of bread (just white or wheat), but you get a mini sub (if a 6-inch is their small sub, this must be a 3-inch) plus apple slices and chocolate milk.

2015-09-10 11.59.22



Ahh, Chipotle. I didn’t even think there was anything I could eat here until I learned about their secret kids menu. If you’re a kid at Chipotle — or just an adult who asks for the kids menu really nicely — you get two cheese quesadillas, two or three sides (I got different answers depending on the location), either grapes or chips (depending on the location), and, of course chocolate milk. At the time of this picture, I enjoyed the quesadillas with rice, grilled vegetables, grapes, and chocolate milk. I do not understand why this place does not have a Michelin star!

2015-09-16 12.30.54



The winner of my kids menu research is definitely Culver’s. It’s hard for me to imagine any kind of competition that Culver’s would lose, because I’m so in love with their frozen custard, but I’d say this is pretty fair. In the Culver’s kids menu, while taking a break from a long drive from Chicago to Minneapolis, I enjoyed a grilled cheese sandwich, applesauce, chocolate milk, and a scoop of vanilla custard. And I’m pretty sure that they gave me back my change from a $5 bill. The custard there is so delicious but it’s even more delicious after you know that you’ve earned it — you’ve eaten your protein (cheese in the sandwich), fruit (applesauce), and calcium (chocolate milk), so there’s really no guilt. :)

2015-08-07 12.55.28


I challenge all of you to go out there and see which places have the best kids menus — you’ll save money, eat healthier, and you’ll feel like you did in the good ol’ days.

I’m hungry … I wonder what they serve to kids at Alinea!


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