Posts tagged ‘weekends’

Last weekend of August recap – sadface!

Hi lovelies!

I hope you had a great weekend. I’m exhausted after mine, even though it wasn’t too crazy. There wasn’t any gay Twister involved.

The weather in Chicago has been breathtakingly beautiful lately…it’s almost comical. You wake up every day and it’s sunny, 78 and breezy. What is going on?? I don’t want this to end!

On that note, I can’t believe it’s almost September. Holy crap. Where did the summer go?!?

I spent the weekend with my friend in distress, hoping to cheer her up even the tiniest bit. I think it helped, but it still feels horrible to see a close friend hurting so badly. We spent Friday night out in the suburbs where she was playing guitar and singing in a benefit concert. A bunch of our friends came out to watch and I saw some old friends/teachers/acquaintances, which was mostly fun. I saw a few people that I had no interest in ever seeing again after high school as well, but eh — what are you going to do?

We picked up some beer after the concert and headed back to my friend’s mom’s house, where we used to hang out all the time in high school. We even drank in the same spot we used to sneak booze into way back in the day when we were rebellious teenagers, hahaha — it was such a goofy flashback! Talk about memory lane.

Saturday I spent the day with her for her birthday. I was invited to her grandparents’ house for an old school Italian home-cooked meal, which was amazing. I didn’t want to be rude and snap pictures, but her grandmother made roasted peppers, tomato + cuke salad, roasted lamb, and fried green tomatoes. The best part was that it was all fresh from their garden!!! What a treat! The meal ended on a perfect note with coffee, presents and cake. I hope it made her rough week a little better.

 

After our wonderful meal, I had to leave to go to my company’s summer picnic. I had high hopes for it, but it turned out to be somewhat of a bust. I know you’re probably like “Duhhh — all company picnics are lame!” But I work for a pretty neat company, so I expected more! Oh well…it was a nice excuse to be outside and sip a free beer! I was pretty stuffed from the birthday lunch, but I managed to nibble on a few bites of a veggie burger (not very good, so I tossed it) and a hot dog (same), plus some pasta salad (mediocre, but over oily. I ate it anyway, which I wish I hadn’t). I felt pretty overly full afterward, and wanted to get in some walking, so I decided to head to the Sprint store to get my sporadically functioning phone fixed. I got off the bus about a mile from where it was and walked the rest of the way, which felt pretty good after so much food.

Too bad I had to sit in the freaking Sprint store for two and a half hours. Argh. I could feel myself getting worked up and frustrated, so I had to keep reminding myself to adjust my attitude…

There is this crazily cheerful bus driver I encounter on my way to work about once per week, and he is always shouting cheerful “mantras” at passengers on the ride (silly, I know) — but often they actually can make a difference. One of his favorites is, “Don’t expect good things to happen if you’re walking around with negative thoughts. Adjust your attitude and keep things positive, and the good stuff will come.”

I find this such a refreshing and inspiring thought. Isn’t it crazy how just saying things like that can make them come true? Walking around with a scowl on my face is not going to bring any positive energy my way, no matter how bad of a day I’m having. When I normally get off the bus for work, I’m already irritated because my stop is one of the most tourist-heavy spots in Chicago. There are out of towners everywhere, which can make it frustrating when you’re trying to hurry and people aren’t paying attention because they’re walking while looking up at the buildings (this is how us “natives” spot you!) or asking me to take pictures of them. But instead of being irritated, I should be thankful that I get to walk past such a beautiful and picturesque spot every day. BAM! Attitude adjusted!

Anywho, I had to keep that kind of thinking going to get myself through 2.5 hours of phone-service hell. I think the issue was finally resolved, but considering how my phone has worked so far, I wouldn’t be surprised if it acted up again. Only time will tell I suppose!

After the phone store marathon, I headed back up to my friend’s for BFF duties, armed with red wine and pizza. We stayed up late talking, goofing around and watching a movie, and I ended up staying over.

We had brunch Sunday, and I rolled with the classic eggs, hash browns, toast bacon. It was greasy as all hell, but pretty tasty. The “toast” they gave us was actually brioche bread, which was super sweet. It’s definitely not something I would order on my own (I don’t like sweets too much), but it was a nice change of pace.

 

source: That Dog's Blog

 

By the time I got home, I actually felt ill from being so exhausted and having not been home since Friday morning for more than an hour. I canceled the rest of my plans for the day in favor of resting and going for a loooonnnnnng walk. My knee has still been feeling very finicky, so I nixed the idea for a run in favor of a longer walk, and turned on an audiobook to entertain me. My route went over to the lake and all the way down past Belmont harbor and back around, which ended up being a little over 3 miles. The best part of the walk by far, though, was the fact that I saw a rap video being filmed in front of the lake. Like, this kind of rap video:

 

I wish I had brought my phone along with me to snap a picture. Needless to say, it was hilarious and incredibly ridiculous.

The rest of the night was spent grocery shopping, cleaning and watching True Blood. I stayed up way later than I should have because my sleep schedule is all wonky, and now I’m exhausted. Need to get back on track!

Catch ya later!

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August 29, 2011 at 12:23 pm 3 comments

Lessons learned at 3am

  • If you don’t have a dishwasher, wash your dishes immediately after you use them. Don’t ask, just do it.
  • The smell of curry will linger in a studio apartment for longer than 24 hours.
  • No really — NOTHING MAKES IT GO AWAY.
  • Organic canned pumpkin does not stay in the fridge for as long as you’d think it would.
  • When kiwis go bad and get gooey on the counter, they leave behind a strange, pinkish color.
Hmm. I’m gross. I could say, Yeah, but life got busy! It was the weekend! Yadda yadda yaddah, but no — my kitchen was looking pretty janky. Let’s not let that happen agin, mmkay?
——
On that note, I have some pictures of gay Twister that are coming up next. I also had a pretty ridiculous weekend involving a bunch of boys from Wisconsin.
——
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Hold on to your seats, gals. When did my life get so crazy?

August 16, 2011 at 6:30 am 3 comments

Things not to do with donut holes

This is what I do with my Friday nights. Especially when hanging out with my best friend Laura.

Warning: if you don’t like dirty words and or inappropriate usage of kitchen tools, you may not want to watch this video. Over and out.

Untitled from Laura on Vimeo.

July 23, 2011 at 2:32 am 6 comments

Trashy TV and junk food

Why am I still up?

Oh I don’t know, because I’m super cool and am home watching Keeping Up With the Kardashians. Alone. On a Friday night.

Yeaaaaaah. Livin’ the big city life, fo sho.

In other news, keep your eyes peeled for a guest post tomorrow on one of my favorite blogs ever: FoodFitnessFashion!!! I am so excited I can barely contain myself — maybe that’s why I’m not asleep yet :)

Babysitting all morning tomorrow, so I won’t be around to tweet as usual, but be sure to check it out and leave me some love!

xoxo

Laura

PS — I totally had a glass of Jam Jar sweet shiraz and a few squares of Vosges chocolate for dinner. Whoops.

July 9, 2011 at 12:54 am 2 comments

Some like it hot

…I don’t. Well, I kinda do. But right now, it’s too darn hot out.

Isn’t it strange how it can be 90 degrees out, yet your office’s AC has you shivering at your desk all day? I still find this so strange.

I had a pretty great weekend despite Chicago’s gloomy, wet weather. I’ll post an update with details later tonight if I can get my butt in front of the computer.

I’m trying to set up the wireless router in my teeny tiny apartment so I can use my laptop somewhere else (cough cough… my bed) besides my awkwardly small couch, but I have no idea what I’m doing. Any tech savvy readers out there?

I just looked at some of my bills for this month and almost had a heart attack. Working for free for five months really set me back, credit card wise, so I have a lot of balances to pay off that will take who knows how long. I really need to cut back on the taxis and restaurants that I always seem to throw my money at…I suck at budgeting. Major sadface.

Still need to go to the gym. It’s getting a little ridiculous at this point. Amy, I’m counting on you for some motivation…

Hope you all had a great Memorial Day weekend!

May 31, 2011 at 1:35 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

Currently listening to…

To Make You Feel My Love – Adele

and

Three More Days – Ray Lamontagne

 

…on repeat :)

 

Anyone else glad that it’s Friday? I need a damn beer.

February 18, 2011 at 4:10 pm Leave a comment


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