Foodie Fridays: El Jardin de Ninette

My aunt won a certificate at a charity event for a tasting menu at El Jardin de Ninette in Ajijic. It’s a cute little indoor-outdoor restaurant with only six tables! The chef/owner checks in on each table, and they also have live music – not mariachis, thankfully. The food was so good that I actually ate things I don’t normally like, like tomatoes and gorgonzola cheese. I didn’t like the tuna, but the tequilla shrimp made up for it. Delicious. Check it out:

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I’m a big fan of tasting menus because I love trying as many things as possible. I may have to start splurging on them in Chicago. Speaking of, I’M BACK HOME.

I want that Wednesdays

They have all these great painted tiles, dinnerware and flowers here in Mexico. Since I can’t really get any of that home easily, I found these great knobs and made them mine:

They remind me of Anthropologie-style handles, like these, but at $8 a pop, they’re not cheap (like everything at Anthropologie). I bought nine of these handmade knobs for $18 US, while the Anthropologie ones would run me $72 for that many! Not too shabby. Now I just NEED A NEW PROJECT TO USE THEM ON!

Conquering my fears

I’m scared of horses. That’s just a whole lot of power under a person. (Insert joke here about being a power bottom.) Plus, last time I was on a horse was more than 10 years ago, and my cousin’s horse got spooked and took off, eventually throwing her. She broke a couple ribs. Keep in mind that she’s been on horses since, and I – the unharmed bystander – have not.

So I decided it was time to overcome my fear and get back in the saddle again. Why in Mexico of all places? I have no idea. Anyway, it went ok. I survived. I still don’t think I’m destined to study equestrian in the future (I’ll take up one of the other snooty sports like golf or racketball instead), but at least I did it.

My horse wasn’t a smooth ride either. Porky liked to stop and eat and saunter along, but she didn’t like it when she realized she was half a block behind everyone else, so she’d gallop to catch up. On cobblestone paths, this did not feel so great. I’m HURTING WORSE THAN SPIN CLASS…

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Weekend Rewind: La cena en Chapala

I arrived in Guadalajara on Saturday morning (after starting the journey at O’Hare at 4 a.m.!), leaving behind six inches of snow for 80 degree temps. Don’t be surprised if most of my entries this week involve food because I may end up eating my weight in tacos while I’m here. The food is amazing!

My first dinner in Chapala (where I’m staying, about 45 minutes outside of Guadalajara) included ceviche, cucumber salsa, guacamole (possibly the best I’ve ever had) and steak molcajete (a lava stone bowl with meat, onions, peppers, mushrooms and cheese). It’s making my mouth water just thinking about it all.

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One thing is for sure: Chicago has a lot of great things, but they really need to STEP UP THEIR GAME WHEN IT COMES TO MARGARITAS!

Foodie Fridays: Cheesie’s

With how crummy it is dealing with the snow today, I could really go for a warm one of these from Cheesie’s

Cheesie’s only serves different takes on grilled cheese. Yep, that’s right. There’s actually two grilled cheese-only restaurants in Chicago now. This particular sandwich above is The Frenchie – American cheese, mozzarella cheese, thick-cut fries (yes, between the bread), bacon and chives on sourdough. And tomato soup – not at its best presentation-wise, obviously.

I’m not going to lie: It’s a little much. But it bills itself as a late-night haunt, and I can definitely imagine (a few years ago) hitting Cheesie’s after the bars close to SOAK UP EXCESS ALCOHOL.

I want that Wednesdays

Guess what came in the mail today? The 2012 Victoria’s Secret swimsuit catalog. And what’s the only thing on my mind (well besides the fact that I’ll never look that good in such a small amount of fabric)? Mexico. But luckily I’m not going to a beach resort. Instead I’ll be soaking up the sun in my aunt’s hot tub with no one to impress but her doggies, so last year’s swimsuit will work just fine (Full disclosure: it’s actually two seasons old). That’s not to say I haven’t looked around a bit…

I have a little crush on this Miu Miu bikini. I’m really digging the retro feel without it being too costume-y (seems like there’s a lot of that going on this year). But at the cool price of $245, I’ll have to keep looking. Maybe this itsy-bitsy-teeny-wienie yellow polka dot bikini from VS will do. Looks like I better start SAVING UP FOR SUMMER!

Big News

Hi guys, sorry about my hiatus from the blog. I hope you all had a very merry Christmas and a fun New Year’s Eve. I will catch everybody up on my holidays this week, but one of the reasons why it’s been particularly crazy around here is because…


I’ll be the assistant managing editor of a collection of luxury magazines. I’m a little nervous about not being fashionable enough to work there, but otherwise, I’m very excited. Granted, this won’t change my mission statement much – it’s still a low-paying J.O.B. (thanks a lot, journalism), but at least it won’t be as time consuming. And that means more time for DIY projects! Yay! I’m excited to be downtown again; I know it’ll be much more inspiring than the deary west side. And I’m (very) grateful for the opportunity to wear jeans to work!

Only one week left at my current position, then a week in Mexico and then the new endeavor begins. 2012 is looking bright!