Friends forging a course together through the unexpected

Date Night: The Bavarian Lodge November 19, 2014

Filed under: Karla — Uncharted @ 6:53 pm
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Remember that passport I made Matt for our first anniversary? We finally started putting it to use this past weekend! After doing lots of inside and outside work with our house we decided to try a new place for the both of us. Turning to the restaurant portion of the passport, we chose the Bavarian Lodge in Lisle.

We arrived at 6 p.m., prime dinner time. And we learned our lesson, that will not happen again. There was an hour wait. We both really wanted German food so we got a number and headed towards the bar. Our friends had mentioned before that the beer list is quite impressive, and after seeing the draft and bottle list, boy were they right. The Bavarian Lodge definitely gives Palmer’s Place in LaGrange a good run for a spectacular beer selection.

Beers in hand, the time passed by and 45 minutes later a table opened up for us. Our waitress was simply delightful. She walked us through the specials, her favorites and recommended we get our orders in quickly since the kitchen was a little behind. Following her suggestion we ordered an appetizer of potato pancakes, liver dumpling soup and then our entrees. Even though the place was packed, our meal was perfectly timed and we didn’t feel rushed.

For dinner, Matt went with the German sausage platter, featuring three different types of sausage and a slice of meatloaf. For my choice, I decided on the pick two option with a schnitzel and thuringer sausage. The portions were very hardy. I saved my whole sausage and even Matt had leftovers. But I wasn’t too full for dessert. We split an almond poppyseed strudel that was outstanding! The dessert arrived nice and warm and was the perfect end to a perfect night.

Matt and I both decided we want to go back. Good thing my parents wedding anniversary is coming up next month. Now, we know just the spot we’ll take them to celebrate!


Back Off Christmas!

Filed under: Kelly — Uncharted @ 12:28 am
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I’m just going to throw this out there.  It isn’t time for Christmas yet.  Thanksgiving hasn’t even happened yet.  There will be plenty of time for Christmas trees, snowmen, stockings, and Christmas music.  Right now it’s time for turkey, pumpkins, pilgrims, and giving thanks!  I cringe when I see Christmas lights up, I have to avoid 93.9 on the radio, and my Christmas boxes will continued to be stored in the closet until at least November 28th.

fallIt drives me nuts every year that Thanksgiving gets skipped over.  Guys, it’s a holiday based around eating an amazing meal {and hanging out with people you love}!  I just don’t get it.  I suppose I understand how you might be a bit confused.  We’ve hit negative wind chills here in Chicago and of course there has been a little bit of snow blowing around, but that’s no reason to rush it, okay? There will be plenty of time for Christmas in December.  Don’t get me wrong.  I love Christmas.  I just hate the idea that Thanksgiving is skipped over when it is such a quality holiday.  I’d actually have to say it’s my favorite.  Getting to spend time with family, eating great food, not to mention having time off work.  These are all great things about the day.  The older I get, the faster time seems to go.  I’m just trying to live in the moment and not rush things.




Cold Down November 12, 2014

Filed under: Karla — Uncharted @ 8:37 pm
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IMG_2092[1]The cold season is upon us. Last weekend I found myself a victim. With a pounding headache, runny nose and sore throat, the sofa quickly became my new best friend. The only good thing I’ve found about being sick is catching up on your DVR. I think I freed up about 15% of the space on ours. Thankfully, after a few days, I made a successful recovery but I shared it with Matt… oops!

To help overcome the cold, here’s my top ten list that make me feel better:

  1. Zinc lozenges – doctor recommended
  2. A box of tissues, two if I’m being honest
  3. Vaseline – since I can’t breathe through my nose and my lips get really chapped
  4. Tea
  5. Anything on Masterpiece – yay for public television
  6. Sinus cold relief medicine
  7. Comfy hoodies and sweat pants
  8. A snuggle buddy – our black lab Porter worked out well
  9. Chicken noodle soup
  10. Lots of blankets

A week later I’m feeling much better and can almost breathe through my nose. I did go see the Doctor to get my flu shot, so there shouldn’t be any future posts about battling the flu. At least I hope so!


Decorating Quest November 11, 2014

Filed under: Kelly — Uncharted @ 11:44 pm
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I had been searching for the perfect lamp for my bedside table for quite some time.  I loved my last one, but it was apple green with a white lamp shade and it didn’t go well in my new room.  {Not to worry that lamp found a home in one of my offices at work.  Everyone teases me for it, but I think it really personalizes a pretty drab space.}  I found a lovely gray base with an exposed teal wire from Target right away that was just right, but the lampshade was proving more difficult for me.  I literally bought 3 different ones before settling on this chevron pattern with gradients of turquoise.   I would buy one, bring it home, put it on the base and hate it.  Then I’d take it back and start over.  When I saw this lampshade in the store I did a little dance in the aisle.  It was perfect!

lamps side by sude

Left- No Light/ Right- Light On

That was until I took it home and turned on the light. Ugh!  I thought I would cry.  Maybe you aren’t as picky as me, but I hated the way the shade looked with the light on.  The color became way too bright and lime.  Right now I’m guessing you are either nodding along with this story saying, ‘This is something I would go through!’ OR you think I am crazy and should really get a life.  Well all I have to say is sorry I’m not sorry for loving details!

I left the lampshade alone for a few days because honestly I couldn’t handle taking back another thing to Target.  I’m guessing by now they have me on a list of suspicious people.  Then I remembered David Hopkins!  My sister and I attended an open house he hosted a year and a half or so ago through the Airbnb website.  One of the main things I remember David saying was that lights should not be too bright.  He suggested choosing lampshades with black interiors.  A light bulb went off in my mind {horrible pun, but I couldn’t resist}!  I could create a black interior for this lampshade!

I set to work with some black paper and some tape.  I used my handy paper cutter and just patched together the paper until it covered the entire inside.  It’s not pretty, especially with all the tape, but you really can’t tell when you turn on the light and stand back.  I’m so relieved my search for the perfect lampshade is over.  It just took a little persistence and DIY on my part.



Hiking in DuPage County November 5, 2014

Filed under: Karla — Uncharted @ 8:16 pm
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When we had a burst of warm weather a few weekends ago there was no way I was going to let it go to waste. Sunny and 65 degrees equals spending time outside if you’re with Matt or I. So we decided a hike would be a perfect way to enjoy the weather. I packed PB&J sandwiches, apples and water for us and Porter’s travel bag filled with snacks, water bowls and a few treats for him. With our gear set and dog ready to go at the front door we  hit the road to Blackwell Forest Preserve.

We drove into the preserve and entered on the northside off of Butterfield Road in Warrenville. The small lot immediately on the left thankfully revealed 2-3 open spots. I was surprised how few were available on a Sunday afternoon! Once Porter was leashed, we started on a hiking trail and headed north.

The trail wound us through the woods, over streams, and around ponds with beautiful fall colors. Even Porter took advantage of the water and went splashing around.


The quietness of the outdoors was perfect. You couldn’t hear any major highways or airplanes. Instead it was just the occasional hello to a few hikers or bicyclists also enjoying the fall scenery.


We walked up to Mack Road which ended up being a little over two miles. On our way back we found a bench and enjoyed our lunch.

In total we hiked almost four and a half miles and we had one tuckered out black lab by the end. We  are going back soon to explore the north end of the preserve and check out the off-leash dog area. Although the next time we go there will probably be a foot of snow on the ground….


Go Vote! November 3, 2014

Filed under: Kelly — Uncharted @ 11:16 pm
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Go Vote (if you haven’t already)!  I don’t  prescribe to the old adage, ‘Vote early and often,’ but I believe in voting so strongly that I am posting this a day early.  That is unheard of for me, but if I can encourage just one more person to go vote, then it was worth my lack of sleep to get this posted.  I can proudly say I have voted in every presidential election since the time I turned 18.  Unfortunately, I have to admit I haven’t always voted in every election I’ve been able to vote in.  My excuse is that I don’t vote strictly according to party lines and if I haven’t had time to research the candidates, I feel it would be irresponsible to vote on people I know nothing about.  Luckily I found a tool that can help!  It’s a website called: ISideWith.com. This what the site has to say: Based on your political beliefs, this is your personalized voting guide to the local candidates and state ballot measures you should vote for in the 2014 midterm elections.


First off you choose what state you are voting in.   Then it takes you through series of questions in the following categories: Social, Environmental, Economic, Domestic Policy, Foreign Policy, Healthcare, Education, Immigration, and general items specific to your state.  It asks a couple questions in each category with multiple choice answers.  The coolest thing is that you can expand the choices to more than a simple Yes or No.  This sounds so simple, but it takes the tool from somewhat helpful to AMAZING.  I am not a yes/no person.  I am a ‘sometimes’, ‘depends’, ‘let me explain a little more’ type of person.  There is also an option to mark each question anywhere from Least to Most Important which I’m guessing affects your results. When you are done you click a button and it spits out a list of candidates for each office (US Senate, House of Representatives, Governor, etc.) in order of who you agree with the most to the least (given in percentages).  I feel way more informed now and confident about my vote.  Now I just have to get up early enough to vote and get to work on time.



DIY Rustic Pumpkins October 29, 2014

Filed under: Karla — Uncharted @ 9:25 am
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Last fall I spotted these adorable rustic pumpkins on DIY Swank and immediately pinned them to my “fall” board on Pinterest. A few months ago, Matt and I were talking about getting back into the habit of making things. We did so much for our wedding and fell in love with finding something on Pinterest and then adding our own special touches. I thought the rustic pumpkins would be the perfect project for us to get back on the DIY track!

We decided we would make three pumpkins: 1 large, 1 medium and 1 small. We followed the directions on DIY Swank with a few adaptations. We stopped by our local ACE hardware and picked up two 2X4X10 foot pieces, white spray paint and orange spray paint. Here how we “carved up” the wood.

Large Pumpkin

(1) 7″, (2) 9″, (2), 10″, (2) 11″, (1) 12″

Medium Pumpkin

(1) 7″, (2) 9″, (2), 10″, (1) 11″

Small Pumpkin

(1) 4″, (2) 5″, (1) 6″

Matt got to work cutting the wood while we were still up north. He had a gorgeous background and didn’t mind working one bit!

Rustic Pumpkin Carving


We brought the wood home and did the first round of sanding on the cut pieces. Then Matt spray painted the large and small one orange and the medium sized one white. On the stems we used green spray paint that I had leftover from another project for a pop of color.

After the spray paint dried (we waited a day) we sanded all of the spray painted pieces once again to achieve a more distressed/rustic look. Happy with the results, we began the assembly process.

wooden pumpkins


Instead of using wood glue and clamps we decided to use wood screws. Very carefully starting at the stop and working our way down, we screwed each piece to each other.

Rustic Pumpkins

I think they turned out pretty cute! Now onto the next holiday DIY project…I’m thinking snowmen but you’ll have to wait and see.



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