2014 Weeks 50, 51, & 52 + 2015 Week 1, 2, 3, & 4: Electwee Boogaloo

Hey, hi. I haven’t written in awhile. It’s busy around these here parts. Z and I are still settling into our condo. My hurdle is the craft room. It’s 80% done, but that 20% left has been hard to find time to do.

La De Blog - Oh, Christmas Twee
Oh, Christmas Twee

Weeks 50 – 52
Berea, OH! Melt with Kate & Marikka. My parents drove up from Alexandria, VA to spend Friday through Sunday with us. D’Agnese’s. Dante Next Door. Started the drive back to Chicago and picked up Amanda & Derek outside Toledo. Kimmi bday @ Pot Pan/Rainbo. NYEE party @ Linsey & Scott’s. NYE celebrations @ Austin & Annie’s, Eliza & Mike’s, and Shanleys.

Films watched 50th, 51st, and 52nd week of the year:

Troop Beverly Hills
A Christmas Story
Big Eyes
The Frighteners
Big Trouble in Little China

Troop Beverly Hills is every bit as amusing today as I found it when I watched it as a kid. So happy Z shared my love for it. I freaking loved Big Eyes. I don’t know why the film was not nominated for a Best Picture Oscar. It has my vote and that’s all that matters.

+

2015 Week 1:
NYD brunch @ Amanda & Derek’s and collards @ Nick & Erin’s. Got updated DL at DMV. IKEA/Sushi Station with Z, E&M, A&D, and Juli.

2015 Week 2:
Dropped Bean Baby onesies off at The Fig Tree. Quesadilla & movies with Eliza & Juli. Alison/Kim hang. Eliza Bday Pizza Party. Emily bday dessert & drinks party. Ground Control with Heidi. Review revue.

2015 Week 3:
Steve Niketopolous fundraiser @ Shaman. St. Sebastian Day @ The Peacock. Lunch with Sarah J. @ Takito. Ginny bday karaoke @ Spynners. Three Movies with Z @ Logan. Dinner with Z & Ed @ High Dive. Kathy M.’s bday @ Emporium.

2015 Week 4:
Quesadilla with Erin & Alison. confirmation that I am more blind than before with beloved Dr. Ortiz @ Eye Appeal. Little Goat lunch with Rachel! First condo association meeting for us. Pet Baths. Movies @ Logan.

La De Blog - Sushi Station
Sushi Station, Mountain of Plates Consumed

Films watched 1st, 2nd, 3rd week of the year:

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Breakin’
Spring Breakers
21 Jump Street
An Easter Bunny Puppy
To Be Takei *
The Skeleton Twins
Chulas Fronteras *
Roman Holiday
Foxcatcher
The Theory of Everything
Wild
Baggage Claim
Captain America: Winter Soldier
Small Soldiers
Finding Vivian Maier *
The Emperor’s Nightingale (Jiri Trnka)
Selma
Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo

* documentary

A mix of fantastic and fantastically terrible movie films so far this year. This MIGHT be sacrilegious, but An Easter Bunny Puppy might be even better than A Talking Cat?!? Speaking of best pictures, the Oscar Best Picture nominees I still need to see: American Sniper, Boyhood, and Whiplash. Selma struck the chord I was looking for. Truly a bummer that Ava DuVernay was not nominated for a Best Director. It was a beautiful & riveting film, with the best ensemble cast of the year. I thought the timing of this release was very smart – hopefully it will inspire everyone to get out the vote; something that people risked their lives for and died for. Let’s do this!

2014 Week 45, 46, 47, 48, & 49: new condo, I like you elotes.

La De Blog - i like you elotes card - Rhymes with Twee
i like you elotes card – Rhymes with Twee

La De Blog - Veggie Vampire Tea Towels - Pippi Kale & Husko Corn
New Veggie Vampire Tea Towels – Pippi Kale & Husko Corn

Whirlwind life! I have good reasons to be weeks behind on the La De Blog. Even though I have been SO busy, I managed to make four new products for the winter fair season: 2 new VV tea towels, the elotes greeting card, and hedgehog gift labels. Z and I have been getting used to being homeowners. Our neighbors are nice. oving from Ukrainian Village to Logan Square has been a big adjustment, but we’re getting there.

Week 45:
First week at the new place. Dropped off at new stockist Blue Door Farmstand! Music Box. Sold at DIY Trunk Show. Had an indoor yard sale. Fat Willy’s/City North with Z, Ed, & Heidi.

Week 46:
UVNA member meeting. Picked up pies at Hoosier Mama. Friendsgivings at Jess & Dave’s, Kirstie & Jason’s, and Jen L.’s. Christkindlmarket. Sold off last of yard sale stuff. Mega cleaned the old place.

Week 47:
Picked up Letters to Santa letter from the USPS. Sold at Renegade Craft Fair Chicago Holiday @ Bridgeport Art Center. RCF After party.

Week 48:
Letters to Santa shopping. Lunch with Eliza. Printed a hell of a lot of Veggie Vampire Tea Towels! Alison’s Bday dinner @ Chicago Diner. Picked up wine rack to use as tea towel display! Z work holiday party at the Gage. Got everything ready for the Boohaus holiday/housewarming party. Party! Leah & Tim’s party. Sold at Revolution Craft Show @ Revolution Brewery. Ian’s going away potluck.

Week 49:
Letters to Santa shopping with Amanda. New Jason Anderson album dropped and you should go download it now – Cold Cold Rain http://jasonanderson.bandcamp.com/ ! Made no bake cookies for holiday party and dough for Kimmi’s cookie party. House Theatre’s The Nutcracker at Chopin Theatre. My work party at Aberdeen Tap. Made cookies Friday night and dropped them at Kimmi’s Saturday morning. Sold at Hideout Holiday Sale. Drove straight to USPS. Z and I ate dinner at Urban Vegan. Went to Kimmi’s and met more of her lovely family and picked up cookie booty! Lunch with Dan Somen @ Honey Butter Fried Chicken. Erranding. Reba hogtorial. Wrote our holiday cards, wrapped all of our gifts.

Films watched 45th, 46th, 47th, & 48th, 49th week of the year:

Slither
Pulp: A Film About Life, Death and Supermarkets *
The World’s End
My Neighbor Totoro
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1
Back to the Future Part 3
Stranger than Paradise
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
A Talking Cat!?!
Chef
Santa Claws

So many good movies. All of these were enjoyable to some degree, even Santa Claws, though Z would tell you otherwise.

* documentar

2014 Week 43 & 44: Rest in peace, Katniss Everdeen Kelsey-Hansen

La De Blog - Leigh, Katniss, & Zack
Me, Katniss, & Z

I’m blogging from Thomas apartment in a sea of boxes. It is Thursday night/Friday morning. We got everything packed up and this should be a fairly quick move tomorrow morning; Friday morning. I believe Z and I are the most tired physically and emotionally that we have ever been. Last night, on the same day that Laini died 7 years ago, Katniss let us know it was her time to go and we drove her to BluePearl, which is our vet Chicago Exotics during the daytime. We talked to the vet and the means to keep her alive weren’t a guarantee and we didn’t want to put her through any stress, so we decided together to have her put to sleep. It was crushing to say those words, but in the end, we knew it was time. She’d had green poop for awhile and when we had mentioned it to Dr. Horton, she said it could happen, but that she was perfectly healthy and happy. She had started losing weight, but was still eating, but in the last week, she took a turn for the worse. She stopped eating, so I had been force feeding her since we had our vet appointment coming up Saturday. When we took her out last night, her butt was cold to the touch even though she’d been on her heating pad. I put her on my belly to warm her up and it didn’t seem to be working like usual, so I gave her a bath and it was clear that she was spiraling downward. While I was crying and holding her tiny barely moving body in a towel, Z said, “I think we should take her in.” I had the sweetest voicemail from our favorite tech at Chicago Exotics this morning. I am glad we took Katniss in when we did, but the timing is just about the worst it could have been. Happy to know she is up in Hog Heaven, as Aimee (David Bowie, Lady Hedgehog’s mom) said: “I am so sorry to see this. Nothing makes this time any easier, but just know that you guys gave her the best little hoglife she could have asked for. She is up in HogHeaven crunching meal worms with David Bowie doing spin class. Sending so many hoghugs. xoxox.” Hog moms are the best moms. I texted in a PTO day to work. I wear my heart on my sleeve and I can’t talk about this without starting to cry. I would have been useless at work, but being home, I slept in and then was working most of the day until 12:30am packing nearly every last thing up. A new chapter in our life starts tomorrow and we are very sad not to have Katniss with us on the page.

Week 43: Took T-dog to vet. Voted. Eliza picked up a onesie. Had a DIY Trunk Show employee pick up my DIY Trunk Show goody bag items! Spontaneous dinner at Smalls with Linsey after going to Lincoln Antique Mall to look for a coffee table. Z’s parents came to town and helped us check off about 18 items off our 20 item bucket list.

Week 44: Dropped off Stacy’s bday present. Picked up money and music that Reckless didn’t buy. Dropped $ off. Dinner with Rani and gave her the plates back that I hadn’t been able to sell. Drink at Rainbo. Sarah J. came by and helped us pack. Next night Jen L. helped us haul stuff over to the new place. Drove Katniss to BluePearl. Pack, pack, pack.

Speaking of emotional, it was really and truly fantastic to see Rani alive and in such better spirits. She drove up to get the rest of her stuff and her beloved cat Mieko. We both got teary a few times, but happy tears. Just so happy to see my friend moving forward in her life. ALIVE. When one year ago, it seemed so bleak, silver linings are showing.

Films watched 43rd & 44th week of the year:

The Lego Movie
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

TLM was really fun and yep, I have the song stuck in my head. I don’t mind because I need things to be awesome. THG:CF was great a second time. I love these films so much and it was fitting I watched this within a week of Katniss passing. <3 <3 <3

2014 Week 42: End Cat Calling Halloween Costume & First Vegan Food Swap Chicago

La De Blog - Feminist Halloween Costume End Catcalling
My Feminist Halloween Costume – End Catcalling

The last few years, my Halloween costumes have been memes, but this year I couldn’t think of anything until two days before our party and came up with this one. Probably the most topical costume I’ve done so far, as the viral video of a woman being catcalled (over 100 times in 10 hours in NYC) has been all over my feeds this week. This year I went as no catcalls/end catcalling. Z and I both have been sapped of energy since it feels like we eat, sleep, and breathe our move these days and we skipped two parties we really wanted to go to.

This week: Boxtrolls @ City North. Made Rhymes with Twee ad for the DIY Trunk Show program. Cooking Up Change event @ Bridgeport Art Center. Made chili for Vegan Food Swap. Z & my Halloween Party. Errands at Home Carpet 1 and then Floor and Decor. Dropped Bean Baby onesies and ‘bean a great year’ cards at Neighborly. Afterwards, I made pierogi for the food swap. Rachel & Adrianne’s Halloween Party. Made truffles for the food swap. Friends helped Z and I carry boxes to our new place – we have the sweetest friends. Vegan Food Swap @ Read/Write Library. Was too freakin’ tired and I ate my ticket to Allo Darlin’ at Schubas. LAME. Cannot WAIT to just be moved already.

La De Blog - Vegan Food Swap Chicago 2014-11 Truffle 01
Salted Caramel Peanut Butter Truffle

La De Blog - Vegan Food Swap Chicago 2014-11 Truffle 02
Salted Caramel Peanut Butter Truffle – inside

For the first Vegan Food Swap Chicago, organized by buddies Alison & Ian, I made the potato&onion pierogi, black bean + butternut squash + kale chili, and the Salted “Caramel” Peanut Butter Truffles from the Minimalist Baker recipe. I was most proud of the truffles and they were fairly time-consuming, actually, but they were my least popular item. I know it to be true that savory nearly always wins, BUT I still like to challenge myself and make something new, which most often is sweet. As I took a first taste of the dates mixed in with coconut oil, my first thought was “oh, man. vegans thinking this tastes like caramel be crazy,” but once you drape the “caramel” in peanut butter and chocolate, it goes a long way in convincing me that it does taste something like caramel. My fave things I swapped for were Betsy’s vindaloo tofu, Reba’s quince preserves, Bob’s cauliflower kalamata olive thing, and can’t remember swapper who brought the elderflower tea. I had multiple lunches/dinners for the week. It was great going to a swap where I knew I could potentially eat everything! Alison, Ian, and I are still taking part in the regular swap, but this is a nice breakout swap for the Chicago vegetarian/vegan community.

La De Blog - Vegan Food Swap Chicago 2014-11 what I swapped for
Vegan Food Swap Chicago – what I swapped for

Films watched 42nd week of the year:

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
The Boxtrolls
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze

Yep, only kid movies this week. I think I watched something without Z, but I can’t figure out what it was. The Boxtrolls was tremendous. I have always been entranced by stop motion films, but this one had a great deal of heart and a nice message of being yourself, even if you’re a weirdo.

2014 Week 42: Flux capacit-derp

La De Blog - Leigh & Codex
Farewell, Sweet Codex

This week: Sara and Chris came to pick up Codex – I was happy she went to a great home, but the sadness kicked in a day later. Takito Kitchen with Stacy. Finally sold off nail polish supplies on Craigslist. Farewell LAK Lacquer – you had such a short life. Dinner ate Bite with Z and Frank. Closing. Hoosier Mama/Yuzu with Teresa. Squasht 10 Year Anniversary Celebration with Stacy. Snack at Authentaco. Handed out candy with Amy at Boo-palooza. Podhalanka with Z and then House Theatre’s Season on the Line @ Chopin Theatre. Sold at Halloween Vegan Vortex at LAMA Chicago. More packing!

Films watched 42nd week of the year:

Back to the Future
Back to the Future Part II

Z and I have started down the slippery slope that is our favorite childhood films. On the plane home, our flight attendant made a joke about a flux capacitor and the girl he made it to did not get it. SHE HAD NEVER SEEN BACK TO THE FUTURE. I mean how do people like this exist!? The first one remains such a classic, but I remembered loving II when I was a kid, but it is not very good, except for the fuel made directly from trash, which remains an excellent idea.

2014 Week 41: A happy boo weddiversary! & Swap #4

La De Blog - Wedding Boo-versary 1
After being together for 8.5 years, it was bound to happen that we’d get a nearly identical card for one another and it turns out this happened for our one year wedding anniversary card. :)

La De Blog - Greenhouse Bed & Breakfast in Kempton, IL - Breakfast
Breakfast @ Greenhouse Bed & Breakfast – HUBBA, HUBBA

This week: Celebrated our anniversary at our beloved Greenhouse Bed & Breakfast in Kempton, IL (30 minutes outside of Kankakee, the same place we had our mini-moon last year. It is the best best & breakfast that we’ve gone to and we love Mark and Guia and their pups Tinka & Apollo. It is the best place to forget about the stress going on in our lives packing and getting ready to move. Truly feels like a home away from home. And the food that Guia makes; probably about 90% grown in their gardens, from their chickens, or from their neighbor Mint Creek (sustainable meat farm), is better than most restaurants we have eaten at. Pictured above is breakfast: savory kale oatmeal, poached eggs and tomatoes, cornbread, persimmon pudding, zucchini bread, fruit, and bacon for Z. Guia does not mess around with food. You can pay additional to have dinner there since it’s rather remote and it is completely worth sticking around because dinner is just as good. Basically, everyone should go there. Tell Mark & Guia we sent ya.

La De Blog - 2014 October Chicago Food Swap - what I made
What I brought to swap:
potato & onion pierogi. black bean, kale & butternut squash chili. popcorn eyeballs.

La De Blog - 2014 October Chicago Food Swap - my haul
My swap haul

After missing a couple Chicago Food Swaps due to being out of town, it was fantastic to make it to this one! Lots of veteran swappers and a few new faces. Some faves were coffee beans from elhurst coffee, two different dilly beans, vegan pancakes, fig bars, maple ginger soda, lime curd, and amazing caramels. Freakin’ tastiness. I feel like this was the most winning combination of stuff I made. Everyone went WILD for the pierogi. I used this recipe from Isa Chandra and then froze them for swappers to cook them with whatever they wanted. Mods made: Adding the magical Epic Spices garlic pepper.

Films watched 41st week of the year:

The Hangover Part III
ParaNorman
Harry Potter & the Half Blood Prince

THP3 was terrible. The opening scene is the only thing worth watching. ParaNorman was brilliant – I’d guess that others felt it was similar to Frankenweenie as well. Pretty cool. HP&THBP excellent re-watch.

2014 Week 40: Canadian Thanksgiving Weekend!

La De Blog - River Farm
View at River Farm

This week: Got into Renegade Craft Fair Chicago Holiday – HUZZAH! Lunch with Betsy @ BDP. Flew to DC. Dinner with Jen, Matt, and kiddos Max & Luke. Brunch with Alison, Ron & kiddo Hannah. Dinner with family @ Cedar Restaurant. Carol & Russell’s Wedding at River Farm with reception at China Garden. Monday = Brunch with Nancy & Les @ Woodlands Vegan Bistro. Flew back to Chicago.

It was so great seeing so many buds in such a short time. Also, it was pure serendipity that Nancy happened to be in town over the weekend also. Such a happy weekend. We also got to meet my parent’s new dog Gracie. Even though she’s also a berner and looks nearly identical to Shadow, Gracie is the polar opposite.

Films watched 40th week of the year:

Obvious Child
Gone Girl
A.C.O.D.

It’s obvious why most people I know who saw it loved Obvious Child – quite a film. Gone Girl was really good. I tried not to hear any spoilers about the book – I only knew that there was a twist, but oh boy, it was a doozy.A.C.O.D. was alright. I love Adam Scott, but I don’t think I’d watch this one again.