Saturday, July 24, 2010

Stix & The City

What a busy week its been!  First the dueling blog is now up and running.  You should check it out here.  Second the oldest came home this week and she brought her step sister with her!  So we have been running about doing very touristy things.  On Monday we took the girls to Navy Pier and on the Tall Windy ship.  However it wasn't that windy on Monday so it was a slow easy ride, but still fun.  The best part of the day for the girls was when they went through the "fun maze" on the pier.  This was also really fun for us because we could watch them on hte hidden cameras the whole time!  On Tuesday we got a little bit of a late start to our morning  so we met my other half for lunch at the Rainforest Cafe.  The girls had such a blast there (the baby did too!)  Afterwards we did the most touristy thing of all.  We took a double decker trolley ride around the city.  This was so cool and if you ever have people visiting Chicago for the first time definitely spend the money on this.  The ticket is good up to three days and while we were out and about we were able to see some of the filming of the new Transformers movie!

The next day, and last day her step sister was in town, we ended her trip with a visit to the Shed Aquarium and an afternoon at the beach.  It was exhausting!

On Thursday the girls and I packed up and went to Valparaiso IN to visit Ms. Ritter, one of my dearest friends.  While sitting on the porch with the Valpo girls something was mentioned about some places around here you could actually use your boat to go to and from the city by the connecting waterways.  I sent Him a message telling him about this and got a response saying if we find a house that would make it worth living in Indiana then we can do it.  Well that was all the girls needed to hear.  The search was on and before to long we found two amazing houses.  This is the first one I found.  Its on the lake with its own private beach.  He could literally boat to work every day.  So this house was obviously very cool for obvious reasons but then I found another house that blew my mind.

House # two.  This house is in Valpo.  It sits on almost a full acre.  It has an indoor heated pool.  It has an enclosed hot tub.  5 bedrooms.  Full finished basement.  The pictures intrigued me and it wasn't far so we took a ride to see it.  We passed the lane up twice because the house sits so far off the road.  When we pulled down the lane there was this little guy there waiting to greet us.  (I guess technically it would be a girl)  Either way, I completely fell head over heels in love.

The yard and location of this place blew me away!  On one side is a forest preserve with bike paths and zip lines going through.  On the other side is a butterfly park.  There are two mature apple trees growing in the front yard and the backyard is lined with raspberry bushes.  The house is located extremely close to all three schools.  The way the hot tub and enclosed pool sits I could foresee a huge patio with an outdoor kitchen for him complete with a brick oven and fire pit.  After that the yard is still large enough to have a giant garden and room for chickens.  In the corner of the yard is a playhouse already standing for the girls to pretend in.  I could see the oldest doing gymnastic tricks and having pool parties with her friends and the baby running around and exploring the outside world with that wide eyed innocent look that only lasts for a few years.

Unfortunatly it is an hour away from Chicago and he doesn't quite see things as whimsically as I.  So here are a few Pro's and Con's I came up with.


  • The girls will have a safe, clean environment to run around and explore nature in
  • We could have some bitching parties and great family fun nights at home
  • It is located in a great school district and close to all schools (elementary middle high)
  • I already have a good support system of other moms who really care about me and our family
  • We would be in a place that isn't hectic and it would be easier for us to slow down and enjoy each other
  • We could teach the girls how to garden to help them appreciate the food that they eat and teach them a valuable life lesson.
  • He would have the most amazing patio and man cave ever known.
  • There would be plenty of space for our friends and family to come visit us (and stay for a while) with lots of fun relaxing things to do right in our backyard.


  • Winters are a bitch
  • He would have to commute and it would take a lot of time off of family time
  • He would miss being around his friends
  • Getting the oldest to the train station to see her dad would be more difficult
  • We would have to get a car
  • He would hate his life most of the time.

I wish there were a way to pick this house up and move it here to our neighborhood.  However for what that house is listed for it would get us this awesome place here in Lincoln Park.

Last night I made some homemade bread and butter.  I've made bread before but never butter.  It was so much fun!  I found after the fact an easier way to make it then what I did.  I put heavy cream in a jar and shook it for about 20-30 minutes.  I then found this on the internet and will definitely try it the easy way next time.

I also made a delicious bread that was super easy.  However I find that its lacking flavor so next time I make this I'm going to try putting some more herbs in it.

Easy Schmeasy Bread

2 C warm water
1 package of yeast
1 tsp honey
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp salt
5-6 C flour of your choice

Prepare the yeast - Take two cups of warm (about 100 degrees) water and mix together with yeast until its well blended.  Add honey and let sit and rest for about 10 minutes.  

Once the yeast is frothy blend it with oil and salt.  Stir in one cup of flour at a time until  your dough has a bit of elasticity to it and isn't to sticky to handle.

Lightly flour a clean surface and start kneading your dough.  You'll want to keep at this for about 10-15 minutes.  You'll know its ready when you poke the dough and it springs back towards you without leaving a dimple.  Clean your bowl and grease it with some butter.  Put your dough back into the bowl and swirl it around to coat the outside evenly with the butter.  Cover with a damp cloth and let it sit for about an hour and a half or so.

(Literally) punch the dough back into its original form and knead it for a few more minutes.  Cut it in half and make either two loaves or braids with the dough.  (If you decide to make loaves make sure you grease your pan.)  Cover with a damp cloth and let sit for another hour.  Once its doubled  in size brush with melted butter and add any type of seasoning to the top that you want.  Bake at 375 degrees for 25-30 minutes.  



  1. Would Tyler be commuting via boat from House #2? If so, it has my blessing.

  2. How would He commute by boat in winter? And would this mean that Tyler would have to get a riding lawn mower AND a car? Or would I be hired on to maintain the grounds?

  3. I would like to note that con number 2, "He would have to commute and it would take a lot of time off of family time" is getting the same degree of attention as the pro, "Bitching parties." Commuting 2 to 3 hours a day, working 10 to 12 hours days, all for 1 to 2 hours with my family seems a little backwards. An indoor pool and a yard are very nice, but this post seems to have some priorities backwards.

  4. I would like to note that bitching parties are way more important than Tyler's whiney "I wanna spend time with my family schtick." Boo hoo. I wanna bitchin' party at an indoor pool.

  5. I mean, seriously... who wants to spend time with their family? D-u-m-b. Say it with me now:

    Indoor pool! Indoor pool! Indoor pool! Indoor pool! Indoor pool!


    Ahhhh. Nothing like a good chant.

  6. I would like it to be noted that I am also a fan of bitching parties. Who isn't, really? However... in Indiana?? Keep in mind this is coming from the guy who lives in Green Bay. I am trying to get a boat on which we can play beer pong, though.

  7. ^ Pot > kettle. Can you get to Indiana from Green Bay? Better question: why would you ever want to? Better question yet: what the hell are you doing in Green Bay in the first place?

    Why am I talking... I live in L.A.

  8. I would just like to note that the bitching parties and family fun nights at home really meant the oldest would have good times and we would have lots of fun stuff to do and never leave. There are no backwards priorities.


  9. p.s. it is just me dreaming and i love you. I never thought I'd be dreaming of becoming a Hoosier.