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We Fancy : One GORGEOUS February Weekend

This weekend Alex and I got gussied up and headed to Madison! Because, why not?

Um, this weather is insanity. I know that I should be wanting winter to hang around a bit longer… but right now? I’m ok with it!

Alex’s week off concluded with quite the send off–a formal cocktail party throw by our cousins in Madison, Wisconsin… simply for the sake of throwing a fun cocktail party in the midst of what typically is the doldrums of the winter.  But first, let’s back up a few days!

Thursday night, we rewarded ourselves for working on our taxes (blegh) with a fantastic dinner at Beacon Tavern with friends. The meal was incredible, the company the best, and with a little stop into Dylan’s Candy Bar afterwards, all was VERY well in my world!

The Beacon Tavern burger is one of the best burgers in Chicago! Put it on your list! @suzlyfe

Friday

Friday was more like a Saturday because I didn’t have any early clients and I had run-muted to therapy the day before. So instead I took an hour-ish nap at 10 (LOL) and then had a short workout following a client. Alex and I had a date to walk the pup in the magnificent weather! 

And walk her we did! She was EXHAUSTED after, so we let her rest while we went to the gym for Alex to workout and me to workout other people. 

Dinner was simple, but awesome. We used up the last of the pork tenderloin from Valentine’s Day dinner (seriously, this was the gift that kept on giving. We used it for 4 other meals!). I made a hash with sweet potatoes, onion, garlic, apples, spinach, pork, mustard, and herbs, topped with a runny egg! (which you all know is the only way that I will eat egg yolk)

Pork, sweet potato, apple, onion, spinach and egg hash for dinner! Delicious! @suzlyfe

Mouthwateringly delicious. If I had done a better job with the egg, it would have been yolkporn for sure. 

Alas. Hey, what that hash did do was fuel us up for our run the next morning!

Saturday

We met one of me Team Challenge runners at the usual spot for 5 miles in the glorious GLORIOUS weather before heading home for showers and packing for our trip to Madison! 

Early morning run in Chicago! @suzlyfe

If you are wondering, I remembered everything but my running shoes, which we then turned around to go back and get and ended up not even needing because of a change in our plans the next morning. The change in plans ended up working out because I had also forgotten socks. Oh boy.

Anyhoo, we dropped Ridley off at boarding for the night, picked up our traveling companions (cousins) in Evanston, and then headed out to Madison! 

We love Madison Wisconsin! @suzlyfe

I adore Madison. It is seriously one of my favorite places to visit, explore, and eat around. Speaking of, first order of business was lunch/brunch/whocareswhatyoucallitfeedme.

We went to Graze, which had be recommended to us, and I can see why! OMG the cheese curds with vodka batter and homemade ranch were… beyond words. They weren’t squeaky cheese curds but rather mozzarella like cheese curds and um… we may have ordered a second round. 

The cheese curds at Graze Madison Wisconsin are a must get! Incredible! @suzlyfe

I got the Eggs Benedict and Alex got the breakfast sandwich, our cousins got the chicken and waffles (which I then helped with) and the bagel and lox. Everyone’s food was delicious, the setting was light and airy and perfect for a sunny winter morning, and I loved watching the bartender create the cocktails! 

The Eggs Benedict at Graze Madison! Amazing brunch @suzlyfe

Graze Madison: HIGHLY recommend!

The cousins hadn’t been to Madison before (well, one had, but barely), so we walked Capitol Square and down to the frozen lake. I let them be stupid and walk out on it. I don’t like ice (cough car accident and running accident due to ice in the past 2 months) so I documented. 

Then it was time to head over to our cousin’s house for an afternoon of drinking, chatting, and helping them set up for the party that night! 

Oh, and I got my Spotted Cow. It is in my top 5 favorite beers, and you can only get it in Wisconsin. Think cross between a lager and a wheat. It is made of magic.

Wisconsin Style Old Fashioned and New Glarus Spotted Cow

From a wedding a few years ago

February Formal

I love this idea: Every February, Alex’s cousins hold a February formal cocktail party, and invite all of their friends to dress up and come over for a good old fashioned evening of socializing, sans kids (because they all have kids), like they “used to”! The hosts create all the food (and then we helped), come up with the drinks and hire a bartender (who they know personally) to mix drinks for people.

Check out the awesome charcuterie plate that we made for the February Formal cocktail party! @suzlyfe

The spread of foods were delightful, and largely allergy friendly (the wife is gluten and dairy free), so accessible to all. The cocktails were fantastic, and we all tried different ones to pick our favorite (the Vieux Carre won out for Alex and I). 

The crafted cocktails at the February Formal cocktail party! The Vieux Carre was my favorite! @suzlyfe

Best of all? They hold the party in their home, so you feel like you can get comfortable and really connect with people. We are definitely going to try to come back for the subsequent years! 

All dressed up for the formal cocktail party! @suzlyfe

Sunday

We had to set out early Sunday morning to get back in time to drop the cousins off in Evanston and pick up the pup before we got charged with overages. Instead of going to the gym and grocery store, we decided in favor of brunch (for me–I hadn’t been that hungry after eating so much the night before that I had a little breakfast and got hungry earlier), puppy snuggles, and a solid nap. I let Alex and Ridley go out for a walk while I caught up on some emails, and then we headed up to the gym to pretend to workout (but I’ll be honest, I wasn’t feeling it) before having a simple dinner at home with an episode of Game of Thrones.

This week… it is back to the shots! I have my baseline ultrasound this morning (Monday). So I am going to enjoy my running in the gorgeous sunshine while I can, and then return to walking at the end of this week. 

What is your favorite beer/beverage of choice?

Have you been to Madison, Wisconsin? Have you had cheese curds? (I don’t even really like cheese, and I love them)

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