monthly dinner club: the bedford

One of my good friends, Kathy, started up a dinner club with a few other ladies. Due to my charm, good looks, and great sense of humor, she obvi invited me to join. As mentioned, this is a monthly dinner club and is for ladies only. Each month, there is someone in charge of picking the restaurant. The only rule is that the restaurant you pick has to be somewhere you have not gone before. My plan is to provide a review of each place we go, which will A) let you know my thoughts on the place, & B) make you aware of new places to hit up in Chicago :)

With Kathy being up first, she chose the Bedford.

The Bedford
1612 West Division St.  Chicago, IL 60622
(773) 235-8800

Located in Wicker Park, the Bedford is a bank turned rustic chic restaurant. Sounds crazy, right?

When you walk in, you don’t immediately see it. BUT once you sit down, you start to see remnants of an old bank everywhere. Most notably is the vault.

{ both via }

We sat at a booth. Behind us were the old safety deposit boxes. I wonder if anything is left in them?

As you can see the environment is amazing. There’s even an area set up for a live band to perform!

The service was great. I don’t recall the name of our server, but she was sweet and didn’t bug us. Her hair was adorable! Not that that matters, but she gave us recommendations of salons to go to. Big deal for girls :) The rest of the staff was great as well. My water was refilled the instant it was half full.

As for the food, it was okay. I had the chicken. It was served with cornbread stuffing, glazed root vegetables, maple and cider chicken jus. At $24 for the plate, I thought it was going to be a large meal. Instead it was a small sized meal that wasn’t filling nor worth the $24. Everyone else, however, seemed to really enjoy their meal. For the table, we got a fancy mac & cheese. It was very good. For alcohol, I had a glass of Villa del Borgo pinot grigio (Italy 2009). Not my favorite, but it did the trick.

A great environment for happy hour or a special date with average food. I’d give it a shot :)

Until next time
<3 jenna


weekend recap

Only a few more weekends until Christmas :) :)

This past weekend was full of celebration. My brother-in-law and sister-in-law, Ryan and Katie, were in from Colorado for Katie’s birthday. Friday night, we all met up at Club Lucky in Bucktown to celebrate her 30th birthday. Food was delish. Totes recommend it if you haven’t been! Afterward, we all headed to Trader Todd’s in Wrigleyville. It’s become a birthday tradition of Katie’s to always celebrate there. If you haven’t been, you should. It’s a great laid back karaoke bar.

{ birthday girl belting out a tune }

{ is it love? }

{ or is it abuse? ha }

Saturday night, some of my friends were throwing a Christmas party at their place. I LOVE Christmas parties. Everyone was dressed up looking so nice. Christmas music playing. Lights strung. Rain falling from the sky. Wait, that’s not very Christmas-y. Best part of the party? Photo set-up. I mean… just look at this and tell me you’re not impressed…

I can’t wait for more Christmas celebrations. I love this holiday :)

Sunday, per the usual, was NFL all day long <3

How was everyone’s weekend?

Until next time
<3 jenna


thanksgiving weekend recap

As usual, my days became crazy after Thanksgiving finished up and just now am able to post. Nothing like a Friday recap about the weekend before :)

Thanksgiving was awesome! It was Jake and I’s first Thanksgiving as Mr. and Mrs. :) We went to see my family on Wednesday and stayed through Friday night. Then we spent the rest of the weekend at Jake’s family’s place.

While in my hometown, I conquered a DIY serving tray project with the help of Jake. Turned out awesome…

{ DIY serving tray project }

This Thanksgiving, as I said before, was the first Thanksgiving where I was an official adult, an official wife :) SO with my domesticated adultness, I pitched in to make dinner. I made 3 dishes:

1. Scalloped Corn

* The picture below is NOT mine. Obviously mine looked way better looking and was way more delish!

2. Homemade Mashed Red Potatoes

3. Pumpkin Cheesecake Bites

It was really my first time cooking for anyone on a serious scale, not to mention it was my first time with any of the above recipes (except the corn – a fave <3). Everything turned out great. I received many compliments on how good it was. Even my sister was shocked to compliment me on how delish my homemade mashed potatoes were :) The pumpkin cheesecake bites were a massive hit. It made so many that I was able to have it at my house, Jake’s house, AND bring the rest to work. YUM :)

BLACK FRIDAY – A favorite sub-“holiday” of my family <3 This is what my mom, my sister, and I look forward to all year long. Once my sister and fam arrived at my mom’s Thanksgiving afternoon, we immediately began to scour the ads and strategize a plan for the night. In years past, we’ve ALWAYS been out at the stores before doors open. Usually we go out around 3am. Last year we went out at midnight. This year? More stores decided to open early. We contenmplated going out early, BUT this was the first year we didn’t have a door buster so we decided to wait until 3am. That was until 10:30pm when my sister found a computer deal for my mom. We proceeded immediately with no sleep to pack up, grab some snacks, and get in the car at 11:00pm for Best Buy. It was a very successful day. It wasn’t nearly as crazy as in years past. We got every deal we sought out to get.

That evening I took a 30 minute nap, then we packed up around 7pm and left for Jake’s. The rest of the weekend we spent hanging out with Jake’s bro and wife (Ryan and Katie) who came in from Colorado. We had fun cooking, laughing, looking at bulldog puppies (<3), watching sports, etc. Sunday, TONS of people came over for a football game in the back yard. Afterward, another huge meal.

It was an AMAZING 6 day weekend full of family time and laughter. I love my family beyond words <3 Here’s a few pics from the weekend…

Until next time
<3 jenna

diy project: serving tray

While in my hometown for Thanksgiving, I FINALLY conquered one of my projects I’ve been wanting to do FOREVER – creating a DIY serving tray. Here’s my $6 tray before… It looked super cheap and unattractive.

Initially I hoped to find tons of colorful mosaic tiles to smash up for this. The design was similar to this but more colorful…

{ via }

After scouring the home improvement stores, I came to realize that I would have to go to a specialty store because Lowe’s doesn’t carry anything colorful. I didn’t have the time or patience, so I took a new direction. Instead I bought backsplash tiles that are matted together.

Not as colorful as I hoped, but I love it now! It has a mix of different colored glass tiles and then stone tiles. So pretty and classy!

I decided to stain the wood a dark brown to match the rest of our furniture. I used Rust-Oleum’s wood stain. Turned out a little darker, but provides a nice contrast.

{ via }

After staining it Wednesday afternoon, I let it sit overnight. Thanksgiving morning once I was sure it was dry, I applied the cement then the tile, then finished with grouting it. The biggest challenge with this project was the grouting. Typically you use grout on flat surfaces with no edges to work with. I kept running into my finished wood and getting grout all over it. It was a constant grout, then wipe clean, more grout, wipe more off, back and forth all day. Then wiping off the grout and cleaning the tiles was another thing :) I ended up having to touch up the wood again because the stain had worn away from all my wiping. Once all was said and done, this was my finished product :) ….

Love it <3 It looks great on our couch ottoman!

One project down, a million more to go!

Until next time
<3 jenna