Posts filed under ‘Dating’

Hey, I put some new shoes on and suddenly everything was right…

Retail therapy, much? (Mr. Paolo Nutini sure knew what he was talking about)

image

I’m thinking I like ’em. They’re a little funky/unusual for me, but I kinda dig em. The only issue is that, while you can’t really see it in the photo, they’re feeling a tad bit large. When my foot moves back into that little molded heel-cup thingie, there’s a lot of space between my toes and the rest of the shoe, and I hate how that looks (do you know what I’m talking about? Where there is too much…sole showing…?)

Thankfully, I have this hideously pukey-colored green carpet to walk around on and test em out :)

My other “therapy” plans for the night? Seeing Mr. Ray LaMontagne in Millennium Park with one of my best buddies in the world — my big bro! I CAN’T WAIT!

Ray Lamontagne “Jolene” (Directors Cut) from Ben Unwin on Vimeo.

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June 7, 2011 at 2:20 pm 1 comment

Cliffhanger

Hi guys.

Sorry to leave you hanging with my last post. It has been a rough few days.

The fella I have previously mentioned a handful of times (not going to link to everything, but the butterflies post may have been particularly memorable) and I broke up on Thursday. It wasn’t really anticipated at all, and it happened while I was at work over the course of a conversation over text message. Needless to say, I was very upset and angry about how it went down. We had only been seeing each other for three months, but we both agreed that we felt close to each other pretty quickly, and cared about each other quite a bit. Even as I’m writing this now, I’m getting sad and tearing up a bit. For the moment, things still feel very unresolved and painful.

Men boys suck.

maybe I should re-read this guy?

source

In true Laura fashion, I drank way too much all weekend (this is both a good and a bad thing, hah) and didn’t really take the best care of myself. I also spent a decent amount of time crying and moping around.

Thankfully, I have some seriously incredible friends that not only talked me through things over and over again, but also put up with my moping, late night phone calls, and tearful moments in completely inappropriate places. One friend, whom I have just met recently and barely know, sat with me late last night after I had had a few too many drinks and smoothed my hair back while I slowly dozed off on my bed. You  know, while I had five or six people over at my house. (I’m a great host).

She is a wonderful person, and I feel lucky to have met her!

I know things are still fresh and that in time, the pain will fade and I will continue to do all the fun things I normally do. And I know that three months isn’t a very long time. But damn. This hurts a lot. I can’t help but feel pretty down on myself right now, even though I know that sometimes often, people just aren’t 100% compatible and need to acknowledge that and move on. But it’s hard not to take it personally. It’s also hard, and very saddening, to suddenly realize that the person you’ve spoken to every day for the past several months is going to be abruptly removed from your life. I miss him.

Did I mention that he gave me that complete bullshit about how incredible I am, and how much he values having me in his life? And still wants to hang out all the time? As friends?

Yeah, dude, I know I’m amazing. I don’t need you to validate that for me. But if you think you are going to still experience that, after some of the shit you pulled here, you are out of your damned mind.

Despite the constant sadness and crying fits, I actually had a pretty fun-packed weekend. Fun-packed doesn’t necessarily mean you’re enjoying every second of it — it just means you know you’re supposed to be. I went out with a few girlfriends to a great bar called Delilah’s (Lady Gaga stopped by there when she was in town last summer!) and had a drunken, singing cab ride home with a best friend. I went to the aptly-named “Sausage Fest” and drank some icy beer and ate some steamy…you guessed it, sausages. And I spent a lot of time with some truly wonderful people who care about me.

Sorry for the long, picture-less, totally bummed-out post. When I get a chance in the next day or so, I’ll share some fun pictures (look out for a sausage made of out a not-so-typical creature…) of my weekend to bring the mood back up around here.

Three weeks until my very first 5k that I am now officially registered for — yippee!!

Now I just need to, you know, be able to run 5k. *GULP*

June 6, 2011 at 2:17 pm 2 comments

Have you ever noticed…

…that trying to hide your tears at work just makes it more obvious that you were crying?

I’m not sure what to do with myself right now, I just know that I need to run immediately after work. Fast, and far.

June 2, 2011 at 12:58 pm 2 comments

Flip flop

I’ve been doing just that…flip-flopping…a LOT lately. But it’s all gonna stop today. Take a deep breath and prepare yourselves, ladies..

…cause the gym clothes were packed and brought to work today.

Yeah.

What’s that? You’re not really impressed? Well, hmph. I know Carrots ‘n Cake and FoodFitnessFashion are talking about signing up for marathons, but can’t we just be the tinest bit excited that I got my ass up off the couch?

Please?

In slightly more exciting news, I hit up the new Trader Joe’s on Diversey yesterday. I figured the crowds might have died down after being open for a little while, but the 15-deep line at each register proved me wrong.

source: Nibbles of Tidbits

Trader Joe’s Begins Tradin’ in Lincoln Park – Now Open – Racked Chicago.

Regardless, having my beloved purveyor of all things goat cheese in a much more convenient (and bus route-friendly) spot made me a happy girl. I walked out with just shy of $100 in loot, and can’t wait to scarf down every bite of it.

Well, except for the package of organic strawberries that had mold on them when I opened the package at home! Have you guys ever had that happen? I never know what to do, because I often throw out the receipt, or forget to bring the stuff back before it’s pointless and/or too late. But really, shouldn’t somebody be checking this stuff? I don’t think I should have to make sure the fruit I buy isn’t moldy, but maybe I’m wrong…

I also picked up some of these:

source: Girl with the Red Hair

In case it wasn’t obvious….these are. so. good. Omigod.

I have a pseudo-date tonight with my aforementioned fella. We’re still seeing each other, but have yet to reach that ever so elusive “title”… yet we talk every day, have confirmed we are seeing each other exclusively, and see each other very regularly. I don’t understand men. What the hell?

Anyway, this certain fella has several close friends that are ladies, and I will be meeting one of them tonight. She seems to be concerned that he does not spend enough time with her lately (although she has a boyfriend, as I’ve been told). I can’t help but worry that my eyes will be clawed out.

If they are, expect some really awesome typos in my next post :D

June 1, 2011 at 12:59 pm Leave a comment

Busy bee

To say that this month has been crazy would be the understatement of the year.

After telling my roommates that I would officially be moving out at the end of the month a few days ago, so began the mad dash to find and secure a new apartment. The two that I had considered subletting both fell through, and I was beginning to worry that nothing would work out. So I took a huge chance and decided to sign a one year lease on a studio apartment.

That’s right folks, I am finally going to be fulfilling my dreams of becoming a cat lady living in a studio apartment with two cats. This should be interesting.

The plan is to sublet my new place (the apartment company actually lets you put someone else on the lease, so it would technically be a re-let) when my friend Amy and I find a new apartment when her current lease is up. I feel like I’m playing a giant game of musical apartments!

But now the thought of packing my entire apartment up in a week and moving, all while starting my new job, is daunting to say the least. I am a seriously stressed girl right now. But I know that this will be the best thing for my sanity, or whatever is left of it. So…wish me luck!

Yesterday was my last day of work at my old company, so they sent me off with a lovely tradition called “B&D,” which stands for beer and Doritos. BEER AND DORITOS!!! Really, how awesome is that? The office gets together around 4 o’clock and socializes with a few cases of brew and bags of chips. After the beer ran out, we decided to keep going and headed over to a nearby brewery for a few more beers. I spent some time chatting with my former boss about the power structure at the company and had to hold in the laughter a few times — it’s always so interesting what goes on behind the scenes among the higher-ups at companies!

After that, a few of us split off to go meet Amy for more beers (are you seeing a pattern here?) and get dinner at DMK, an AMAZING grass-fed beef burger place that also happens to have incredible fries. I would have snapped a picture, but my phone was long-dead after a day at work (I tell ya, smartphones are great, but you REALLY need to carry an extra charger around with you if you want to be able to use it!).

I got the incredible #2, which had onion rings, blue cheese and their house made ketchup. The way the cook their burgers leaves them super crispy around the endges and…oh…I can’t go on, I’m drooling here.

source

As if I hadn’t had enough at that point, we decided (after drinking since 4, save for Amy) to go to another bar! But as we were leaving, I realized that my coat had disappeared! We looked all over the restaurant, but it seemed as if someone had either stolen it or taken it by mistake. Fortunately I only had my mace (hah) and my Chicago Card (public transit pass) in the pockets and not keys or my phone, but it was a nice coat and now I have to pay to replace my card, which I use multiple times per day. So frustrating!

At this point, I was upset about the coat and, again, had been drinking since 4….I had half a dreamsicle martini, spilled the other half all over the bar, then was given a free replacement by the very nice bartender — I thought that was so sweet! She probably shouldn’t have given me that second one though, as I proceeded to spill it all over my pants. Oy.

After getting shoved into a cab to ensure my safe arrival home, I stumbled into my bed and passed out.

Hi, my name is Laura and I’m a hot mess. Nice to meet you! :)

I’m off to do some shopping with my friend Allison in the hopes of finding a dress for a concert date I have tonight. Wish me luck, and please don’t call an intervention on me just yet!

April 16, 2011 at 1:16 pm 2 comments

Mama’s date night steak!

Hi loves!
So for a date night awhile back, I made flank steak.

It had sugar…

Spice…

…and everything nice…

Mama’s Date Night Flank Steak

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup canola oil
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice (you can use bottled but it won’t taste as good!)
  • 1 cup green onion and tops, chopped
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp honey
  • 1 1/2 tsp garlic powder (I didn’t measure this, just poured it in)
  • 1 1/2 tsp ginger (I’ve used both fresh and dried – I think fresh tastes better though)
  • 1 flank steak (mine was just under a pound)

Instructions:

Combine all ingredients (except steak) and mix well. Place steak and marinade in rectangular dish or large ziploc bag and marinate for 24-48 hours in refrigerator.

chillin'

I had a little helper

Can I have steak too?

To cook on the grill, cook for 4 minutes, turn 90 degrees, flip and repeat. To cook indoors, heat a cast iron grill pan slowly over medium heat. Grill steak for 6 minutes, flip and grill for 5 minutes. Let rest on a plate covered with tinfoil for five minutes (both methods), then slice against the grain at a slight angle and serve. Bravissimo!

I didn’t take a picture because…well…it was date night! ;)

And remember my crazy caprese?

That’s some pink Himalayan sea salt right there!

Is that gorgeous, or what?!

Here’s the maple mustard chicken I had with it.

On the side, I had a New Glarus Spotted Cow.

And some strawbs + dark chocolate for a little sweetness :)

I have another dinner date tomorrow, and I’m still up doing laundry and cleaning — and have NO idea what I’m going to make! Any ideas?

Night, all!

April 4, 2011 at 11:45 pm Leave a comment

Ultimate hangover [+ easy peasy caprese]

Hi friends! I hope you had a lovely weekend, full of relaxation time or crazy time. Mine was a strange combo of both.

My “ultimate hangover” had two parts — food and booze. Let’s just say I was not so good to my body this weekend…

Last week was one of the most stressful weeks  in recent memory. I was waiting to hear about the fate of my current job and whether it would be continued, and if that wasn’t in the cards, whether another position I had interviewed for would give me an offer. My plans for a date were also rescheduled twice then canceled, which not only bummed me out, but brought out some serious insecurities that I struggle with whenever I’m dating someone. I’ve been lied to too many times (in my opinion, once is too many), so I was feeling very vulnerable.

I wouldn’t call myself an emotional eater. When something bad happens, my first urge is to swig a glass of wine, not eat a piece of cake. (Hmm — does this make me an emotional boozer? Haha). Luckily I’ve leaned that a trip to the gym is usually a good substitute that will usually, at least temporarily, chill me out. I am, however, much more inclined to go totally lax on my eating habits when I’m stressed. I tend to tell myself that I don’t care, or that at this point that bowl of pasta bathed in cheese is necessary. Or I’ll go out to eat instead of making something healthy at home.

This was one of those weekends.

Thankfully (and I am thrilled to announce) that I got a call Friday morning with an offer for a new job! Unfortunately, I had stressed myself to the breaking point by Friday, and was in bed with a seriously congested head and a fever when I got the call, but it made my day nonetheless. While I was thrilled (and officially called back to accept the offer a few hours later), my stress levels were still through the roof.

I can say with near complete certainty now that I rarely get sick unless a) I pick something up from riding the bus every day, or b) I am completely stressed out, which is usually coupled with little sleep and not enough fruits, vegetables and other healthy stuff. Alcohol is sometimes thrown into the mix as well. This weekend, my main sources of “nourishment” comprised of mac and cheese, shrimp and cheese grits, buttermilk fried chicken, a steak sandwich and a giant bowl of pasta. There were no vegetables to be seen. But there was lots of beer. LOTS of beer.

Thankfully, these weren’t all in entree size and were instead enjoyed in tastes and sharing sizes, but needless to say, I still felt like…well, shit. I also dealt with two serious hangovers.

Are any of you emotional or stress eaters? How do you get yourself back on track?

After sleeping in to catch up some desperately needed Z’s, I finally got myself over to the gym. Since my cold is still lingering around and preventing any use of my nose, I kept it light to 20 min on the recumbent bike (set on random hills at level 10) and 20 minutes on incline intervals on the treadmill (speed 3.3-3.5 with inclines from 1.0 to 11.0). I tried to complete one of my WH workouts, but after one superset, I realized that there was no way I could do these without doing them half-assed, and that just seemed pointless to me, so I plopped down on the mat and stretched out instead.

And then…Trader Joe’s happened.

While Chicago has gloriously acquired a new Trader Joe’s pretty close to my house (and on my way home from work) on Diversey, it hasn’t been completed yet, so I have to rent a Zipcar if I want to buy more than a backpack’s worth of food and take two buses to get there.

Yesterday was a Zipcar day, and boy did I stock up.

How can you not get completely excited and overwhelmed at TJ’s? They have a zillion new things every time I go, and they have my favorite foodie finds at ridiculously low prices — things like goat cheese (in spreadable, sliced, medallion and every other form you can think of), smoked salmon, frozen shrimp, endive, pre-cut and washed leeks and more. Their produce isn’t always the best but beyond that, TJ’s is essentially my dream come true.

My bill (take a deep breath) was $170. I was almost ashamed of myself, but after a particularly veggie-deprived weekend, I felt good looking down at the four-bag bounty in front of me, full of fresh lemons, avocados, fresh basil, salad fixins, peppers, salt-free spices, white bean chili and even some frozen (!!) brussels sprouts. I also had some goat cheese in there :)

Last night, I was craving something light and fresh since Chicago experienced a freak evening of seventy six degree weather!!! It was damn near balmy outside, so while I cooked some of my mustard maple chicken with the porch door open, I threw together an incredible caprese salad. Into the mix went:

  • 2 vine ripe tomatoes (that needed to be used ASAP)
  • a crap ton of fresh basil, torn + chiffonaded (new word?)
  • good olive oil, as much or as little as you like
  • a good sprinkle of sea salt
  • red wine vinegar
  • balsamic vinegar
  • white balsamic vinegar
  • 4-6 asparagus spears sliced into 1 inch pieces, sauteed in cooking spray and blanched in cold water immediately after
  • 1/2 of a red bell pepper, chopped
  • as much fresh mozzarella as you like

Mix everything together, add more olive oil if you like and DIVE IN. You can play around with the ingredients and portions in this recipe as much as you’d like, because I imagine it would be delicious in nearly any combination (for example, some chilled grilled zucchini or some cukes), but any way you spin it, it’s unbelievably easy, fresh and light. YUM!

Pictures of dinner to come later tonight!

April 4, 2011 at 12:05 pm 4 comments

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