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Month: February, 2011

150th International Kennel Club Dog Show–THIS WEEKEND

Coming this weekend! International Kennel Club Dog Show, February 25th-27th at McCormick Place.  What an awesome way to spend a dreary February day with the whole family.  And, if you are considering getting dog–check it out and talk to people that really know what they are talking about FIRST.  There are pure breds and breeders galore but also lots of rescue groups so you can get acquainted with a breed that’s right for you AND a rescue group that will pair you with the perfect pet for your family.  At the very least check out the website which lists the schedule by breed and lists great breed specific sites.

Oh, and it’s a cheap day of indoor fun too! Here is a coupon.

Friday – Saturday – Sunday

Show Hours: Friday 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM

Show Hours: Saturday & Sunday 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM

Friday (Blackhawk Kennel Club – Unbenched)

Adults $15.00; Seniors $12.00; Children under 12 FREE with paid adult admission

Saturday & Sunday (International Kennel Club – Benched)

Adults $18.00; Seniors $12.00; Children under 12 FREE with paid adult admission

If you are interested in adopting a dog but can’t make it to the show and aren’t sure what breed to choose, check out this site: Dog Breed Info Not only does it give you very comprehensive information about every breed, it also has a quiz to help you choose a breed based on your lifestyle etc.  Good training tips and it’s always fun to look at the pictures too.  Dogs are a wonderful addition to a family – IF you are responsible owner from the start!

Rescued from Great Lakes Mastiff Rescue at 2 years old, Rocky is a wonderful part of our family! Here he is watching over his "sister" while she plays with her blocks.

Happy Valentines Day! and an awesome local restaurant find….

Happy Valentines Day!  Not being big on super sappy, romantic Valentines,  I’ve decided to share a few of my favorite pick up lines, courtesy of Pepe Le Pew.

Ice Breaker: “Permit me to introduce myself. I am Pepe Le Pew, your lover.”

“You are my peanut, I am your brittle!”

“Ah, my darling, I love you. Where have I been all your life?”

“Where are you, me leetle gumbo of chicken? Your French fried shrimp is sizzling for you.”

“One nice thing eez, the game of love eez never called on account of darkness.”

“Sometimes I ask myself, “Eez eet really worth eet? And I answer myself. ‘YES!'”

Try some of those over your dinner/drinks tonight to keep it fun and lively!  I’m sure everyone already has their dinner plans for the night but for future romantic dinners and cocktails you MUST check out my new favorite spot! 694 Wine and Spirits.  It jsut so happens that my mother’s birthday is the 17th and my sister was in town to celebrate early with us.  We started out at one of my old standbys, The Tasting Room, which is always fun because you can sit in nice cozy couches upstairs. We enjoyed their “Night in Paris” platter of yumminess which included baked brie, pate, foie gras and accompaniments.  The Tasting Room remains a standby and is a great casual after work place.

But, my new favorite place, 694, blew me away.  As you may know from a previous post, I LOVE champagne.  Well, we arrived at 694 to find it quite crowded. Apparently there was a private party upstairs so I didn’t get to see it and we waited a couple of minutes while they prepped a table for us.  We sat and took a look at the menu even though we had really already eaten our main meal–a couple things jumped out at us.  First, the pie tasting sampler–three seasonal pies to taste. Yum.  Second, the creme brulee chocolate cake.  Then we got to the champagne options and although they have the really good stuff I like–Perrier Jouet–the $350 price tag wasn’t in the night’s budget.  So, our server came by and we asked for a recommendation–I told him I really like the PJ but don’t want to spend that much.  I almost fell over when he said “Well, I have Bellicart-Salmon…”   That is my absolute favorite that is usually impossible to find!! It wasn’t even on the list because it’s so tough to get but he had a few bottles hiding in the basement. I jumped all over it.  He asked if we were eating and we told him we were going to stick to champagne and dessert. At which point he proceeded to tell us about the HOMEMADE CANDY BAR tasting flight. Really?!?! I announced I was moving in to the restaurant for good.

Chris, our server whom we later discovered is actually the owner, came back to let us know that the Bellicart-Salmon was not quite chilled enough for his liking–and to pour us a complimentary glass of another champagne while we waited.  Somewhere along the way we mentioned it was my mom’s birthday.  When Chris came back with our perfectly chilled bottle, he also had an enormous knife with him. Why you wonder (as did we)?  Because he didn’t have his sword handy, that’s why.  He proceeded to literally slice the bottle open–yeah, just like in the movies!  Wow.  I always thought that when they did that in movies, it really just popped the cork out with the side of the sword/knife. Nope–the cork stayed in the bottle and he actually sliced the glass bottle open, nice and clean.  It was awesome. Everyone was very impressed–and not just at our table!  I now have the cork as a souvenir.  We had the creme brulee cake which was really good, although we would have liked a thicker layer of creme brulee!
So, I have already looked through my calendar to find a time I can go back, it was that good.  If you are staying home tonight, how cool would it be to spend Valentines Day drinking a nice bottle of champagne while you practice the knife trick on several cheap bottles?  Very cool I think! Here is some instruction and history so you can impress your sweetie (or friends or family or pets or whatever)!   Have a happy Valentine’s Day!

Things to do this snowy weekend.

As you probably know, the Garfield Park Conservatory is near and dear to my heart and this weekend is the kickoff of Sweet Saturdays!  There are treat stations through out the conservatory that highlight the plants and trees that provide essential ingredients to our favorite sweet desserts! And, if you are a member (or become one) you can relax in the members only chocolate lounge and enjoy a chocolate tasting.  A great opportunity to get out of the house and enjoy somewhere warm and inviting.

Don’t forget that February is the last month to take advantage of the Park District ice skating rinks.  A full list and details here.

How about going snow-shoeing?  You can head to Northerly Island and trek around the 91 acre peninsula or go cross country skiing. We’ve certainly got enough snow for it!

Handmade Market event at the Empty Bottle (1035 N. Western Ave) : 33 fabulous sellers, with jewelry, purses, knitted items, clothing, paper crafts, and more. FREE, Saturday, February 12 from noon to 4pm, 21+ and parents with kids (same goes for sellers).

If nothing else, go out and play in a snow pile!!

School closing for snow?

What I am about to say makes me feel like an old lady BUT…”In my day they never closed school no matter what! We walked miles to school–uphill both ways wouldn’t you  know–in three feet of snow and never complained!”  Ok, so the uphill both ways may be a slight exaggeration, but still. It’s true though, Shaker Heights NEVER closed school. It was ridiculous.  The entire city would shut down except for all of us grumbling complaining students. In High School we came to school in fuzzy pajamas as an act of rebellion against the administration’s crazy refusal to close school no matter what.

Now, thanks to Facebook and a former classmate who now works at our old high school, I am regaled with the current snow policy amusements.  Apparently they have softened somewhat but are still tough as nails.  Now, take my daughter’s school, St. Mary’s here in Chicago.  I got an email at 10:26 this morning telling me that school is canceled tomorrow. Huh? It wasn’t event snowing yet! And they are already forewarning about possible closure on Thursday. Well, its snowing pretty bad now so I can’t be quite as snotty about the whole thing as I would be if it were already past but I still think we shouldn’t count our snowflakes before they fall.

When I was a kid, we listened to the radio for school closings, oh the anticipation as they read the list! While they still broadcast them on the radio, you can also check online–of course. Here is the website for the most current school closing information, updated every 15 minutes. Well, anyway, enjoy the snow day!

Snow Angels!