champagne, cheval, chicago

Oh hi! I missed you! 

Not going to lie, stepping away for a little bit was a beautiful feeling. I've been so crazy-busy and on-the-go lately! Moving, weddings, friends in town, and now packing and prepping for a European has been frantic in the best and worst of ways. Given that I finally have a little space to breathe again, let's hit rewind to a couple weeks ago for Jonathan's graduation! 

Mom, Dad and I hit the road at the ungodly hour of 5am the Thursday before Jonathan's weekend festivities, with the plan to spend the afternoon and stay overnight in Chicago! I was crazy excited - Chicago's one of my favorite cities and is home to many of my very favorite people! That said, coop me up in a car with nothing to do but work for six hours, and you get a lot of this... 

Clearly I missed my calling to be a Snapchat Emoji artist. Slash this is just the first of many that I sent to my patient, long-suffering group of favorites. Thanks for not blocking me, know who you are :) 

We pulled into Chicago a little after 1 and checked into the Palmer House, which I am convinced is heaven on Earth. That ceiling! Will never get old. 

After a little room-shuffling and some much-needed freshening up, we did what Schwegmans do best and hit the lobby bar to start the afternoon right...with champagne. 

Or, if you're Papa Bear, a classic Manhattan. 

Hilarity ensued with various luminaries of the Chicago legal sector, and as soon as we were sufficiently bubblied up, we headed out to hit the town! 

Our first stop was the Art Institute, where I totally thought we were actually going to go in and, you know, look at the art. Little did I know that Dad's preferred method of visiting the Art Institute is to begin and end in the gift shop, with a nice interlude of more gift shop in the middle. Really, I should've guessed, ha! I was appalled for about 30 seconds before we all agreed that it was way too nice out to spend the day indoors. With that, we headed a few blocks up to the Park for an obligatory stop at the Bean. 

This is candid, and I'm obsessed with my precious, totally in love parents. 

The photo below may be one of my all-time favorite photos of my dad and me. He proceeded to make jokes about the bean-counters at the Bean, and I laughed because a: we are ridiculous and b: I always laugh at my dad's total dad-jokes. 

Strolling up Michigan Avenue with a stop to revisit one of my favorite quotes and admire the various rock/stone chunks at the Tribune building...

...and pausing to admire the tulips, which were at their peak the weekend we were there. I absolutely adored the different colors and how gorgeous it made the entire stretch of Michigan look! Apparently New York does it with daffodils, which in my book would be even better because they are, obviously, my undisputed favorite. 

Water Tower Place's drifts of white tulips, for example, made me incredibly happy. As did the blue skies, sunshine and warmth...our last dose of seasonally-appropriate weather for the entire weekend! 

There were various other stops made...a bathroom break at Michael Jordan's bar, a chocolate binge (on Dad's part) at Ghirardelli, and a little window-shopping at Gold Coast Motors...but we had our priorities straight and soon hopped a cab to the day's real destination...

I've been hearing about how amazing Au Cheval's burgers are for literal years, and we decided to make it a must-stop on our trip! We arrived around 5pm to, as we had been warned to expect, an hour wait. No worries here...we quickly topped up our champagne buzz and enjoyed the people-watching at Haymarket Brewery (which I visited with Laura last June!). 

Speaking of Laura......!!!!!

My beloved life coach and dear friend has continued to be completely the best this year - she's leveraged her standing as a total rockstar to try to help Jonny get in with her company, she's talked me off more ledges than I could possibly enumerate here, and she's kept me inundated with a steady stream of precious puppy pics and moving commiseration. Who better to house a burger with? Bonus: this was the first time she really got to meet my parents...the Frozen Four in 2011 totally doesn't count. Unsurprisingly, they adored her, because the Schwegfam knows good people when we find them, and Laura is GOOD people. 

You know what else is good? 

The Cheval burger, with thick-cut Duroc bacon. Drenched in cheese, dijonnaise, and with the perfect amount of pickle crunch. The single burger is actually a double, and the double burger is actually a triple, and the bun is perfectly seared. Bottom line: the Cheval burger is completely worth the hype...and the consensus at our table was universal. 

We also split a couple orders of these obscene fries...served covered in melted Gruyere/mornay fondue, with a side of garlic aioli and a fried egg crown. It's really a small miracle I didn't need to be rolled home. (Also: proved my theory that champagne pairs perfectly with burgers!)

Full and happy, we headed back to the Palmer House bar to rendezvous with yet another Notre Dame love, Marina! 

We were shamelessly those girls...champagne and Negronis abounded as we girl-talked about everything under the sun. Hot current guys, exes we regret, work frustration and awesomeness, and best of all, hopefully a Minneapolis trip for these two in the next several months! 

Days and nights like these are why Chicago IS totally my kind of town. Best possible way to kick off a fantastic weekend! 

moving dazed/hamilton crazed


I'm going a little bit insane this week. Really, I've been going a little bit insane for close to a month now. I wrote at the beginning of the year about how I wanted to say yes to everything, wanted my life to feel full and rich and varied, and that resolution is being realized with a vengeance. I'm exhausted. 

Last weekend we celebrated Jonathan's graduation, and I can't wait to share photos and stories from the weekend. That said, I got home to Minneapolis on Tuesday and found myself facing down a three-day turnaround before, oh right, MOVING. I feel like a bit of a fool for being stressed, given I'm moving less than half a mile, but the logistics (and ensuing emotions) of packing up my favorite home have left me a little bit leveled.

For the last several weeks I've been sad and stressed and not sleeping well or really, at all (what else is new)...and I feel like I need a lifeline, or a day to just recover from the frenetic pace I'm setting for myself.  Between the first weekend of May and the first weekend of July, I haven't had/don't have a single weekend "off," and that in and of itself is enough to make me want to crawl into bed and bury my head under the covers and quietly groan a little. Everything coming up is spectacularly fun and exciting...weddings, parties, galas, oh and a trip to Europe (!)...but a BIG part of me wishes it was all going to be spectacularly fun and exciting and a little tiny bit more spaced out. 

I guess this is just the season of life I've created for myself right now...and I really, truly am loving it. 2016 is flying by, with all the highs and the lows and in-betweens a girl could possibly imagine, and I kind of feel at this point like I'm mostly along for the ride. A passenger on my own personal rollercoaster, to leverage a totally hackneyed cliché. I've been listening to "Hamilton" pretty much non-stop since Monday, and the number of lines that hit me directly in the heart is off the charts. This one in particular, from "Wait for It," is looping through my brain on repeat today: 

"I am the one thing in life I can control...I am inimitable, I am an original. I'm not falling behind or running late...I'm not standing still, I am lying in wait." 

It's Aaron Burr, overwhelmed and stressed out by his frenemy Alexander Hamilton's seemingly meteoric rise, and it's resonating with me hard this week. Expect a lot more "Hamilton"-life parallels, fyi - I'm hooked. 

So I'm going to grit my teeth and control myself and get shit done. Apologies in advance, it's going to be sparse these next couple days/weeks--send happy thoughts my way and if anyone has a burning desire to lift heavy boxes at any point, I can totally help you out! 


Off to Ohio...happy graduation, Jonny D!

Just under five years ago, I celebrated my graduation from the University of Notre Dame...

And just under three years ago, we celebrated my sister Emily's graduation from Miami University of Ohio...

...but the reason I'm in a moving vehicle at 5:00 in the morning today is this little stud, who is about to celebrate HIS graduation from Miami University in just two short days! 

Jonathan will be graduating from Miami's Farmer School of Business with degrees in marketing and supply chain management, and we are all SO incredibly proud of him. In his four years at Miami, Jonny joined a fraternity, worked as a tour guide, and studied abroad in Luxembourg for a semester. He's traveled extensively, made lifelong friends, and seen more than his fair share of sloppy nights at the bar. In short, he's made the Schwegs 3 for 3 in totally dominating and loving the crap out of our college experiences. 

While at times he made it look like Miami life was all play and no work...

...and racked up the bar tabs to match, ha!...we all know he went above and beyond to excel, and this weekend is going to be the perfect celebration of his success. My mom, dad and I are off to Chicago for the day today before heading to Cincinnati tomorrow and up to Oxford for a weekend of pomp, circumstance, and Beat-the-Clock...god help us all. 

So fun to look back at this tiny little high school senior...

...who I'm sure thought this day and weekend would never come. 

Congratulations, Jonny D! We can't wait to go bottoms-up and toast to you, kiddo! 

Puppies and Pints

Lately it seems like Minneapolis is on a mission to ensure I'm constantly surrounded by two of my favorite things...craft beer and cute dogs. The second the weather heats up, it turns into brewery season for my friends and me, and I couldn't be happier about it. 

A few weeks ago, Kelsie organized a fantastic Northeast pub crawl with a bunch of her college friends, and invited me along, obviously. We started the day at Lakes and Legends, the new-to-me hidden gem in the high rise directly behind my apartment. I somehow had never made it over there...I blame their December opening date along with my desire to never be outside when it's below freezing...but now, knowing there's amazing Belgian-style craft beer less than a hundred yards from my apartment door is a bit lethal. 

From there, we hopped in an Uber and headed off to Northeast to continue the party at Sociable! (All Snapchat photos are screenshots from Kelsie's Snap Story. Thanks for being the kind of friend who lets me rampantly screenshot EVERYTHING, Kelsizzle, love you!!)

The weather was beautiful, and our crew snagged one of the giant picnic tables outside to soak up as much sunshine as we could. I tried the Bitter Lemon cider and hated it...fortunately Kels is also the kind of friend who will share heavenly lavender-infused cider with the kind of friend who is a dumbass and thinks bitter lemon cider will taste good. 

I got really distracted the second these two English black lab pups showed up. Turns out they were siblings, or cousins, or were from two litters at the same breeder, or something...bottom line, they legitimately recognized each other and were adorable and freaking out and being the most precious babies ever. I cooed and petted them and generally made a fool out of myself, and decided an English lab is in my top 3 "Lizzie's Future Dog" breeds. (Rach and Brian's adorable Minnie is also a major contributor to that dream...she's the sweetest dog in the world!)

We took a brief break from beer after Sociable and headed to my all-time favorite place to get my drink on in the entire Twin Cities...Tattersall! Yes, aware that that's high praise...but I absolutely adore Tattersall's innovative, quirky cocktails and the atmosphere couldn't be cooler. Tucked away in a warehouse with a parking lot that will seriously jeopardize the suspension of any car, I love the speakeasy vibe and soaring, light-filled space. 

I started with the 18th and Central, my favorite, while EVERYONE else ordered the Humdinger, a basil-strawberry-balsamic dream. The second round, though, I made everyone switch it up...

...Clover Clubs, Negronis, Mules, Manhattans, and Bloodies abounded. My absolute favorite! 

Sufficiently tipsy, our next destination was Bauhaus, where the light in the bathroom is perfect for selfies. (Provided you're buzzed and basic enough to think bathroom selfies are a good idea, which we were, obviously.)

Their giant, covered outdoor patio was absolutely rocking. We settled in for a long time, FINALLY getting around to eating courtesy of the My Burger food good! Those fries were life-saving. 

More selfies were taken. Apparently that's all Kels and I do. You can tell how far into the day we are by how squinty my eyes have gotten...unfortunate Schwegfam trait that my dad, brother and I all share is that we suffer from a severe case of "disappearing eyes when we smile." 

With food in our stomachs and more beer in our futures, we ended the evening at my favorite brewery, Indeed

I accidentally ended up double-fisting a Mexican Honey and an L.S.D. when I realized that they had L.S.D. on tap...which goes a long way toward explaining the facial expression below: 

The outing ended with an ill-starred attempt to go to the all-night party for Prince, more beer at the Bulldog downtown, and staying up all night being a general idiot. Good times, Kels - let's make it a monthly event! 

The very next weekend, my Lakeville crew decided to replicate our bar crawl, having heard how fun it was! I met up with Zach, Kellen, Claire and Mike at Indeed...because when you know where your favorite place is, you don't mess with it. We sat in their new taproom, which is lovely! 

Love these guys. Particularly love Zach's "sunglasses indoors" level of cool. 

I hit the L.S.D. again...the lavender-sunflower-date brew is only on tap for a couple weeks from late April to mid May, so I always get it when it's there! 

We spent several hours at Indeed...I met Claire's favorite partner from the office, we met up with a few new friends, Tom and Samantha, and we mourned the absence of Colleen, who was living it up in Chicago with her family. After finishing up, we strolled the two blocks down the alley to Able Seedhouse, a new-to-me spot with the coolest industrial feel and coasters that made my heart happy. 

What REALLY made my heart happy, though, was this love: 

No, not Claire...although she makes me happy all the time...

This 7.5-week old pupper, Prince James Murphy aka Murph, was the indisputable highlight of my entire month. All he wanted to do was nose around, meet as many people as possible, and be cuddled and petted. I was all too happy to oblige, and now I follow him on Instagram (@princejamesmurphy) to assuage my sadness that I didn't actually sneak him out with me when I left. PUPPY FEVER YOU GUYS, it's REAL. 

Are you thirsty yet? Do you have a tiny and adorable (or adult and adorable) dog that I can come love on? Let's get together, it's brewery season in Minneapolis! 

Derby Derby Derby 2016

Let it go officially on record: Rachel and Jubs throw a damn good Derby party. I can think of few things better than getting all dressed up with friends, drinking outside on a gorgeous day, and two minutes of sports! 

These two, though, went all out. From the adorable decorations, which I wish I had taken more pictures of, to the insane food spread, which I took NO pictures of, they completely decked their beautiful house out and I loved all the details. 

Didn't hurt that their backyard was gorgeous, either...

...I think every combination of people there took photos by this giant, blooming lilac bush. Their space gave me serious renter's envy. And now I'm on Zillow telling myself I should totally buy a house just so I can have lilacs in my backyard. 

More lilac pictures! (Claire, your arms DO look so good in this photo.)

Fun fact: J.Crew Factory carries this dress all the time basically, and I got it in four colors for $29.99 apiece on insane promo. Obsessed. 

The fabulously sassy hostess with the mostest. I had severe shades-and-hat envy. 

Rachel and I go all the way back to second grade Brownie Girl Scouts, so naturally we had to take a Girl Scout Law picture. 

And the award for Derby Best Dressed went, hands-down, to these two. How are you both so freaking adorable at all times? You essentially need to move to Churchill Downs and take up permanent residence just so that suit can see the light of day on the regular. 

Old roomie pic! 

Fabulous hats, gorgeous dresses, juleps and cornhole. Basically the day in a nutshell. 

Um, hi, the sunglasses game is so strong with these men. I'm also dead-dying-done obsessed with the suspenders/gingham/Neuzy's shorts action. 

We ladies didn't clean up half badly either, though! I'm incredibly glad we took at least a couple nice photos...

...before the above and below happened. 

The photo booth props made my day. Just another total attention-to-details thing that Rachel and her sister and Jubs knocked out of the park. 

Things rapidly took a turn for the tipsy when I hit the champagne bottle-first. 

And the race! You can kind of see on Rachel and Jesse's mom's backs that we all had bought in and gotten horses with odds, in keeping with the race. Molly ended up with Nyquist and won...which means I expect at least 15 extra minutes of open bar at their wedding in JUST THREE WEEKS! ;) 

Colleen's hat looks so good on Rabes. 

And Colleen just looks so good always in general. (I, on the other hand...yikes.)

Favorites, right there, encapsulating basically how the night ended: blurry but still fairly attractive ;) 

Inaugural Derby Party: straight success. Can't wait for next year: someone hide the juleps!