Day 4 of Christmas fun is brought to you by a great group of moms (and dads) working to organize the 2019 Advent Market at Saint Clement School on Sunday, December 8th from 9am to 12:30pm! The Saint Clement School and Parish are a wonderful community hosting this event to bring family and friends together to celebrate the Christmas season. Come and join the fun - all are welcome! Not only is this an opportunity to meet Saint Clement parishioners and families, several local artists and retailers will be at the market on Sunday selling great items that may be the perfect gift for someone on your Christmas list! You can even take care of your holiday decorating needs and buy Christmas greenery and flowers (even your tree!). Kids will have a great time jumping in the bouncy houses, making crafts, and visiting Santa for a photo. And so you don’t get hangry while having all this fun, there will be light breakfast items for sale and a bake sale. Hope to see you on Sunday!
Coming home for Christmas: Why you need to go to The Dock at Inwood and why it is like a Hallmark Christmas movie!
The Dock at Inwood restaurant and bar will celebrate their one-year anniversary this Christmas time on December 20th which is fitting for owners and brothers, Rick and Mike Trafton and their wives, Julie and Melissa. Opening The Dock at Inwood was all about coming home. Their story could be a Christmas Hallmark Channel movie! Tony and I moved back home to Joliet last year with our twins because we wanted to be closer to our parents, friends, and this amazing community. Rick had a restaurant in New Lenox, the Charleston back in 2007 and learned the restaurant and bar business during tough economic times. He then had The Dock Rotz in Minooka and gained more experience about what makes a restaurant and bar special. When the space became available at Inwood last year, Rick knew it was time to come home, just like a Hallmark movie.
Rick and Mike wanted to create a warm atmosphere where family, friends, sports teams, community partners, and colleagues could gather. I asked Rick about they unique location with the skating rink and he shared that the hockey families are awesome and are all in! The park district team has become like family. They opened up walls and enhanced the interior. In the spring, I would run on the treadmill at Inwood and watched The Dock patio transform and expand. This summer it was so great to see the patio packed with softball players and locals enjoying great food, great camaraderie, and great sunsets. I loved seeing the vibrant art added to the patio walls. I learned that not only was Nicki Schultz a fantastic manager for The Dock, she was a gifted artist and did all the patio designs and artwork by hand. She also decorated the restaurant windows for the holidays! So highly talented!
I asked Rick why they came home and picked this location. He talked about how Mike and he were retired Joliet cops and how this community is so important to them. They knew the could create a restaurant that provided a great product with outstanding service and have an opportunity to help the many non-profit organizations in the area. Rick and Mike knew first-hand how hard the non-profit organizations work in Joliet and Will County to help so many people in need. Rick talked about how with The Dock they had an opportunity to provide a way for groups to fundraiser in a different way. He knew that often the same people are donating and supporting the many causes that serve our community and that it would be nice to have another opportunity to make an impact.
I had already seen on Facebook the great Shop for a Cop event last week that raised $2,060! Rick shared that Big Brothers Big Sisters were at The Dock Tuesday night for a fundraiser and had Big Brothers Big Sisters celebrity bartenders! So heartwarming how The Dock team is helping so many organizations raise money that will help so many people during the holiday season and beyond. What great heart and great impact! Check out The Dock Facebook page for upcoming charity events and activities!
It was clear to me that Rick and Mike care deeply about our community but what about the food and drinks? I had been to The Dock a few times and was impressed with the menu. I told Rick I wanted to order the guilt-less goad pizza because it was so good and showed a great healthy option. He shared that they tried to have something for every age and range of healthy to indulgent. I asked a ton of questions about the menu and learned that they enhanced and reorganized the menu about six months ago. Everything is made from scratch except for the iconic Milano bread, of course. The salmon salad was the most ordered salad! I think the BBQ is the best in the area and I even got to go in the kitchen to check out the smoker and meet the fantastic kitchen team! The dry rub on the pork the night before delivers incredible results. We all like a great deal and the weekday $5.00 lunch menu is great! The chicken tenders are the top seller and be sure to get the special mango habanero sauce! While I loved my pizza, Rick new best and had ordered the BB! pulled pork grilled cheese - whoa! This sandwich was amazing and you must order next time you are at The Dock!
The Messy Mommies love a good cocktail and in this case four! Rick told me about the epic Flight Deck margaritas and shared the punch card with me. Talk about festive - so many flavors and so cute! Rick, Mike and the amazing Dock team knew they needed a way to count the number of flights order. The result is a massive scoreboard that is hilarious and so fun! They have sold 6,171 flights since January! We can't wait to come back with our Messy Mommies tribe and try out the different flights! Come out to try the fantastic flights this holiday season and add to the scoreboard!
Back to why The Dock is like a Hallmark Christmas movie. As I chatted with Rick, he constantly was jumping up to cheerfully greet customers and it was straight out of a holiday movie. Shaking hands with current cops, chatting with a businessman who had ordered lunch for his co-workers, visiting with a group of women out celebrating the holidays, and joking with staff from the Park District. Mike was in constant motion and his holiday hustle was impressive! Nicki and and Angie were filled with holiday cheer as we talked about the restaurant, the warm community, and Mike learning to never touch the elf in the chandelier. The kitchen team swiftly worked their magic and was cheery as I was in awe of their talents. We even had a messy movie-like mishap as I spilled my Diet Coke all over the table and my laptop while trying to take pictures. Rick saved the day with my spill and continue our interview with good cheer. Throughout it all, he talked about how great it was for their families to bring this restaurant home to Joliet and how grateful they were to have an opportunity to help our community organizations in such a fun way. I'm sure I heard Christmas bells ringing in the background. Please support local, come visit Rick and Julie and Mike and Melissa and the fantastic team at The Dock and come out for the community events. The Messy Mommies will see you there! On Monday, Dec. 9 come to The Doc for Christmas cocktails and Milano cookie decorating! Merry Christmas!
The Dock at Inwood is located at 3000 West Jefferson Street, Joliet, IL. Remember The Dock for your holiday catering. Pick up a $50.00 gift certificate and receive a free $10.00 gift certificate!
Messy Mommies are excited to bring you day three of holiday inspiration! Candyality https://candyality.com is a must go to this holiday season and another great female owned business in our area! Terese McDonald, also known as the candy lady of Chicago and owner of Candyality, has some great gifts and stocking stuffers for your favorite people this holiday season!
I am so thrilled to highlight this local candy store again on our blog. Candyality is a very special place that has been open in Chicago since 2007! There are three great locations, and each store has its own personality:)! You can visit Chicago's candy store Candyality in the Southport Corridor, in Andersonville or on Michigan Avenue in Water Tower Place. Each store is amazing!
To get a sneak peek of the latest candy craze, Candy Charcuterie, tune in to catch Terese McDonald, our local candy celebrity, share some fun candy inspiration on Thursday, December 5th on Chicago's Very Own WGN9 @11:30am..
Next up, Terese will share her sweet ideas on Friday, December 6th on FOX @9:45am.
Just last week I ordered this latest craze of Candy Charcuterie! I stopped in one of my favorite Candyality locations, 3737 N Southport Avenue, where one of the wonderful gals who works in this shop greeted me with the most amazing candy board. I ordered this sweet treat to take to my daughter's teachers to snack on in between their parent-teacher conferences. Clarissa presented me with a festive creation of holiday sweetness! It was a big hit with all the middle school teachers - they loved the variety of treats! I highly recommend candy charcuterie for either a gift or to serve at your next gathering - so many candy options are available!!
Visit Candyality's website to find additional delicious and fun gift ideas for all the people on your gift giving list at https://candyality.com/product-category/gift-sets.
The Messy Mommies had a busy weekend. Meg and I loved celebrating Thanksgiving on Thursday! We are grateful for the time we had with our family and friends to savor a wonderful meal, but most importantly enjoy the time with everyone! We also got to meet Sadie West of Posh West Boutique in Shorewood, Illinois. She is the energetic, creative owner of Posh West! She welcomed the Messy Mommies into her store and allowed us to host my first cookbook signing of Together on Sunday! Be sure to check out Posh West Boutique for your Cyber Monday shopping! We had a great time and loved seeing family and friends (old and new!). We also did a little Black Friday Shopping (against my wishes)!
Don't get me wrong, I do love to shop, just not on Black Friday. While I was in high school and college, I worked in retail to earn extra money for school. Because of working late nights, weekends and extra long hours during the holidays in retail, I now have no desire to go out shopping on Black Friday. However, having a tween who has been counting down the days until Black Friday, I had to change my tune. She has been saving her babysitting money and making lists of places to shop and items to look for in anticipation of Black Friday! She woke up early on Friday, got dressed and pulled her hair up into a pony tail ready to head to the shopping mall (Woodfield of all places, and yes, I drove her there!)
Living in Chicago surrounded by great shopping, the last place I wanted to be on Friday was in a mall. Of course wanting to spend the day with Eleanora, I too got up early and got ready to head to the mall. While I was happy to check out what some of the national retail stores had to offer this holiday season, I am trying to shop local and look for unique items that may excite my gift recipients.
For those of you who skipped the hubbub of being out with black Friday shoppers, but are ready to check out what Cyber Monday deals may be available, I want to highlight another amazing mom, Jennifer Bennett and her female founded online shop, Rey to Z, https://reytoz.com.
A friend of mine recently shared the Rey to Z website just in time to order gifts for the holidays! You'll find fun gift ideas for babies, tweens and adults! Rey to Z is a female founded, mama owned company in Chicago! These initial caps are awesome and perfect for our Cyber Monday Hair! If someone on your gift list would love a Letter Baseball Cap, use this discount code BLACKFRIYAY for 20% off your order. The hats are super cute, high quality and can be personalized! Check out Jennifer's darling pictures on her Instagram at @reytoz Happy shopping!
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Together: Recipes to Bring Family and Friends to the Table! https://www.blurb.com/b/9645370-together
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