Randomness (Small Indulgence Edition)

Sometimes you just need to indulge. Or all the time. Either/or.

I prefer to discuss it in a list of bullet points (i.e. it’s the weekend and my attention span is low).

  • Indulgence purchase of the week? My new pillow. I call it a late birthday present to myself. It’s quilted. It’s down (ahem- down alternative). It was $10 (WOAH, big spender…). It’s all about the cheap thrills, my friends. And no, I will not share it. MINE.
  • It was another long week in the world of Amy and her friends. We had a girls night planned, but because of a series of unfortunate events, it came down to just me and Mon. She was also having a rough week (what is the deal???), and a dinner in with wine on a nice Friday evening wasn’t going to cut it.Sometimes bar food is what the doctor ordered. Especially when I’ve been loading up on the garden vegetables all week (seriously- who needs sweet corn? I think it’s repopulating in our refrigerator…).And you’re crazy if you think we had bar food without beer. Come ON, people!
  • I’ve also been indulging in some serious “me time” on the lakefront. My coworker and I had plans to run together. But on a day where I’m getting out 30 minutes early and he’s staying an hour late? Yeah… I’m gonna go ahead and call it- I’m running solo as soon as I get home. So I did. Selfish? Maybe a little. But he didn’t mind. I didn’t get the 6 miles in that we had planned, but 5.1 was still a decent solo attempt.
  • Because I have no intention of wasting away inside an office for the lingering days of summer, I randomly asked for next Friday off. There may or may not be other reasons this particular day was chosen (oooohhhhh I’m giggling like a school girl), and I could not be more excited just to have a lazy day off.
  • Sleeping in was NOT an indulgence I participated in this morning (sadness- work is ruining me), but to make up for it, I used this post as an inspiration for the dessert french toast that happened for breakfast.

You may think, “geez Amy, candy for breakfast? Talk about no self control….”

I say, “yeah, this was the last of the bag of reese’s from my baking efforts a couple of weeks ago. And this may be the longest span of time a bag of candy has lasted in my household. Truth.”

We’re just gonna go ahead and pat ourselves on the back for that one.

That previously mentioned coworker and I are trying to get a run together this morning, so I should probabaly be off.

But you can bet anything I’ll be indulging in a nap afterwards.

I DID get up way too early, after all.

Justified.

Bar Food At Home

Thanks for the comments on Thursday’s post…  Turns out we’re all pretty hormonal, huh?

Hilarious.

And I did feel better as the work day went on yesterday (after quite the wine night). Thanks for asking. I knew you would.

It doesn’t hurt that I’ve started every other day this week with a cup of coffee and a call from Hottie McHotterson. What can I say? My office is really really needy when it comes to ordering office supplies…

Anyway, I do apologize for my disappearing act yesterday. There wasn’t much to say. I worked, ate leftovers and watched tv. Then yesterday morning I got up, moved around, and made the call to go back to bed. And sleep in for 20 minutes past my alarm. I guess I could have told you this (just like how I did now), but I didn’t even have anything sarcastic or slightly entertaining to say about it. Let’s just do how we do- blame the weather and move on.

Anyway, last night some of the neighbor gals (Mon, Bailey and I) decided to get together and have a chill night in. Back story on that would include letters from the leasing office went out this week to a good portion of the residents. We’re angry.

You would be, too, if your rent was getting raised $120 a month when you resign the lease.

Yeah. You heard me. And no- the zero is not misplaced in that one.

Needless to say, we’re all moving (more on that later). And trying to save some cash money on the weekends. (holla’) So we decided to take what we would have destroyed in the bar and remade it at home. Which means we also saved on cab money. Woot! 

Well. Mon and I did. Bailey got a head start at happy hour and ended up not making it over. Fair enough. I’ve mastered the art of loaded nachos, but have yet to really develop my margarita-making skills. To be fair, she probably made the right choice on that one.

There were several reasons I tackled making nachos. One is because I love Mexican food. Two is because I love bar food.

The other girls like these things, too- don’t think I’m that selfish.

And the third reason is because I got these in the mail:I’m part of the FoodBuzz Tastemaker’s program and they occasionally send me things. Which is nice. And this time, they sent me Tostito’s Artisan Recipe tortilla chips. They sat and started at me all week. Hilarious how I have discipline when it comes to chips and such, but will sniff out chocolate that is within a 100-foot radius…

That’s probably an issue for another time…

Anyway, I had made sure to have everything necessary to build up the nachos after laying them out on a cookie sheet.Cheese is clearly the most important thing. I put it on first and last. Because you can never get enough.All the goods. Ground beef seasoned with taco seasoning, jalapenos, black beans and olives. Throw the last bit of cheese on them and throw in the oven until they look like this:Yeaaahhhh buddy. But wait- there’s more.Nothing says “let’s turn on the game and boo Kansas for a couple of hours” like cheap beer and nachos. Am I right or am I right???

And then, when Kansas wins, have another beer. It’s mandatory.

Side note- I even bought shredded lettuce to go with the nachos. I swear it. But forgot to get it out as we were constructing the final product. Sigh… I guess the guacamole is the only “green” I got for dinner last night.  Oh well. At least black beans counted towards the veggie quota- and because it was homemade, it’s totally healthy, right?  ;)

Yeahhhh…

Anyway, to conclude, we really did love the chips. Especially the fire-roasted chipotle. The flavor is subtle, but definitely there. Mon even compared them and said they may be better than doritos.  I KNOW.

Rarely do I eat just plain chips, so I liked them because they were flavored, but it wasn’t too strong to use them in something like this.  I approve, Tostito’s.  :)

Enjoy the day, kids! I’m off to the gym at some point soon. Moving my long run to tomorrow so I can crosstrain today and test out the leg before I throw it to the wolves in a 10-mile run. I’m trying to be smart with the “better safe than sorry” thought process on this one. Meh.

Laters.

In a can!

Why hello there…

Good morning.  I hope you all slept well.  I did (again) and am feeling much better about tackling this Sunday Funday I’ve got ahead of me.  I’m pumped about the Bears game, but on Friday, my energy levels were a little suspect.  As in, I thought Sunday Funday would most likely be the end of me.

Thankfully, that is not the case.

That’s partially because us girls were all yawning a little (or a lot if we’re being honest) by the end of the night and made the executive decision to cut the night short by about an hour.

I blamed the Mexican food.  We chowed.

Like I said yesterday, we wanted to hit up a Groupon spot, but the only open reservations were at 4:30 and 9:30.  We didn’t feel like eating with the denture crowd and surely would miss the show with the later opening, so we found Las Palmas- not as nice, but friendly to the wallet.

I was sure a margarita would be way too filling, so decided to find a decent Mexican beer.  Tecate anyone?When he brought the can and set it down in front of me, I was like, “what is this? A coke? I wanted beer…”

I don’t see beer cans in restaurants much.  Nor do I drink much Mexican beer.  Oops.

Either way, it was delicious. And I learned to love the can.Bailey was the only one of us who ordered a margarita.  And I was super jealous.  More so of the fine glassware they served it in.  I wish I had a frosted one for my beer…After we were sufficiently full, we drove our way up to Mickey Finn’s in Libertyville for the 80’s tribute done by Rock City 7. This was the second time I’ve seen them play and the first time I saw them do all covers from the 80’s.

You just really can’t beat decent 80’s tunes.  They even covered 99 Red Balloons. Psyched.

Little known fact about me- I went through a ridiculously huge 80’s phase at the end of high school. I never adopted the fashion, but if you asked, I would swear up and down that Guns and Roses was one of my favorite bands. Axl Rose was my homeboy. Before he went all crazy with the plastic surgery and braids (dude, what were you thinking???).That’s us posing… in front of the coat racks. The seats were a little hidden in the corner, but I like to think it’s because we were VIP. Obviously.

Time to get moving once again. Bailey is a Packers fan. I’m a Bears fan. Yet we’re crossing enemy lines and deciding to watch the game together. So we’re hopping a train into the city this morning and going wherever the wind takes us.

Or to a bar that isn’t already packed.

Either/or.

Enjoy the end of your weekend!

Hey Ma…

Happy weekend everyone!  Was it just me or was that one of the slowest work weeks of all time?

Either way, I’m excited to finally have some rest and relaxation.  And most importantly, get some quality time in with the parental unit who came up to visit while my cousin runs the Chicago Marathon:Hey ma!

As I was uploading this pic, I said, “hey mom, I like this picture.  It turned out well.”

She inspected it (after pulling out her glasses of course) and said, “eh.  I guess I look alright for an old lady.”

Psht.  Now I know where I get my critical eye from…

She and two of my aunts roadtripped their way up yesterday (living on almond joys and gossip- or so I’ve been told) and my mom was waiting for me at my place by the time I got home from work.  So then it came time for our turn at catching up until I finally said I’d need something to eat or an arm would go missing.

Originally we had planned to go out to eat somewhere that at least had real silverware, but I wasn’t in the mood for anything too heavy and she had eaten a later lunch.  Solution?

Why Jason’s Deli, of course. I was craving deli.  This has happened a lot as of late.  Not sure why.  My mom did soup and a salad, while I tried something new to me from the “Lighter Side” part of the menu:I had the turkey wrap- which was filled with turkey, sprouts and guacamole (yes!).  Sans tomato because I’m crazy and don’t like tomatoes in my sandwich.  Also, it came with chips and guac (double yes!) on the side.

Sadly, the Goose Island beer didn’t come with it.  I supplied that on my own.  This was my first time trying the Harvest Ale and I have to say it’s not my favorite.  I still like Goose Island’s Summertime much better.  Maybe it’s just because I prefer lighter beer and not so much the malts, or maybe it’s because that’s me being in denial that summer’s over.  Either/or.

Quick- name your favorite beer!  Or if you don’t like beer- your favorite beverage to relax with?

Anyhoo, this is a quick one because clearly us girls have shopping to do.  With very little time to do it before we travel downtown to meet up with the rest of the gene pool for an evening out. 

Have a great Saturday!  And for all you kids running, GOOD LUCK!  I’ll be in the crowd.  Most likely with a bright yellow scarf.  If I see you, don’t be surprised if I’m jumping up and down like a maniac.  It’s sorta what I do.

My First Wrigley Experience

So as I probably mentioned earlier (I’m sure I did- so freakin’ excited about it!), Jaime and Scott were taking me to a Cubs game for my birthday. The game came this last Wednesday. Jaime and I got to duck out of work early in order to get to her house before traffic for the game became insane.

We changed into our cubs gear and waited until about 6:00 to head to Murphy’s Bleacher’s for their traditional hamburger and beer before the game. And yes, I wore a cubs shirt. My friend Adam has had quite the shit-fit about this one. He saw it in pics from when Christy and I went to the Rooftop. He was severely disappointed in me. And said I am not allowed to do so again. But I decided to wear the shirt anyways. I am aware I am a cardinal’s fan. But the Cubs were not playing St. Louis. I was simply attempting to blend in with my surroundings. And I had on red underwear. So really, it was like I was incognito…

Chuck had said earlier that he and Anne were probably going to the game. I told them to meet up with us at Murphy’s because their seats were not even close to where ours were.  So Scott navigated us through the back alleys of Wrigleyville until we came upon a side entrance of Murphy’s.  Good job, Scott- we completely avoided the mass of people beginning to appear in the streets.

Now I’ve started this new thing online that has a food and exercise counter in an attempt to keep myself working towards that elusive six-pack (just kidding, we’re more going for a “generally healthy lifestyle”) so I spent my free time that day working around what I was allowed to eat all day so that I could fully enjoy a Murphy’s burger.  Jaime and I split one, which was just enough.  Even though I really have no concept of portion control, so maybe a whole one would have been  “just enough” as well.  I’m not really sure.  She warned me ahead of time they like to keep them a little pink in the middle (we’re both chicks who prefer them well-done).  And it was just like she said- but that’s ok.  I didn’t mind.  We found a spot at the bar to put down our beer as we noshed on grease.  (And yes, I took the beer into account for my day along with the burger)  Chuck and Anne showed up and we got to talk to them a little while.  Anne just moved up for a new job and Chuck is looking to buy a place in the city- so I had a lot of catching up to do.

Scott asked me if I needed a sippy cup for my beer.  I took that as it’s time to leave…  Ahot dog mannd just so you know, Scott- I am not usually the biggest of beer drinkers.  So I finished it (yea me!) and we winded down the alleys again until we popped out right at the gate.  We ran right into a guy dressed like a hot dog passing out coupons.  He was short and the suit consumed him, so we wanted to take a picture.  At first he tried to make us pay to take a pic with him, but we worked it out.  That was bullshit otherwise…  He made me nervous.  Little hands…  And when Jaime posed with him, he whispered “eat me eat me eat me” in her ear.  Reminded me of Sex and the City where Miranda gets harassed by a sub sandwich…

walking inJaime and Scott walked in ahead of me.  They wanted to take pics of my entry into the stadium.  So when I walked in and looked up, there they were- goofy grins, taking pics.  If they had been frantically waving, I would have sworn they were like my parents on my first day of kindergarten.  But I didn’t make fun too much- I was seriously excited about getting to see Wrigley.  So I appreciated someone helping me document the trip.

Our seats were three rows back in upper deck with a fantastic view of the entire field.  This was good to have.  So we could see every single play the Phillies made to completely stomp out the Cubs that night.  Seriously.  It was somewhat of a bloodbath. Scott even took his eyes off the game enough to make friends with the guy sitting next to him- a Phillies fan.  A crazy one at that.  His wife was pregnant at home on their anniversary.  Guess where this dude was…  I assume there was some sort of compromise for him to get to go to the game.  I also assume I don’t want to know what it was.  I did get to see some good stuff.  Foul balls came back towards us alot.  In every section.  But ours.  How cool would that have been?  First game I see AND I catch a foul ball?  That was also the night Johnny Macchione spilled beer on Victorino.  Classy guy that Johnny Macchione…  view in wrigley

We stayed until the end.  Not many people actually did.  But I wasn’t about to cut the night short.  I was hoping it would work to my advantage- traffic filtering out earlier so that by the time I got onto the road it wouldn’t be too bad.  It didn’t.  We slowly walked back to their street in the mass of disappointed and slightly intoxicated fans.  That’s when we ran into a group of four street performers playing the buckets.  I love the street performers.  We joined the crowd to watch and then Scott told me I should ask to play.  Then he said I should play.  I really wanted to, but was slightly embarrassed.  Those two both know how to push my buttons, so when they used the phrases “once in a lifetime” and “think about the stordrumsy you’ll have for your first Cubs game”, I was in.  Scott tipped them, Jaime did some sweettalking, and one of the guys jumped up to let me have a seat.  I can’t play the damn bucket to save my life.  I can’t even begin to say how horrible I was.  The guy next to me was pretty nice- showing me how to keep the beat.  I picked up a little bit on that- on and off.  I was laughing so hard that even if I did start picking up the right tempo, it quickly stopped.  Can I blame it on all the beer?

I didn’t make it home until pretty late.  Work the next day was rough.  But worth it.  Even if I looked like a wreck.  All I had to say was “Cubs game” and they understood.  The worst thing was Jaime and I had been offered free tickets to a private Howie Day concert at Aloft hotel by the airport.  I’ll admit, I googled who Howie Day was.  I had no clue.  But I can say, I do know the song “Collide”.  And who can pass up a free show?  We almost did.  The last hour of work was spent weighing pros and cons of going.  But who can pass up a free show?  Even if you do have to google the artist?  So, also for the sake of being “spontaneous” on a pretty summer day, we went.  And I’m glad we did.  It was a nice hotel and we just spent a couple hours lounging around listening to music in a little patio area they had.  It was a small crowd.  So I felt special.  I spent a decent amount of time crushing on a boy and chatting it up with him.  Jaime and I both decided he was worth pursuing.  Wasn’t too happy to find out he had a girlfriend.  Unpleasantly surprised with that one.  But you  live and you learn I guess.  It was a fun hour of butterflies in the stomach.  Dang…  I guess I should have focused my attention on Howie Day instead…  Then again, maybe not.  The next day, a girl at work said he hooked up with a girl from her high school after a concert.  And then they stumble upon a blog about all the “moves” he uses to lure girls onto the tour bus.  What a man whore.

Anyhoo- back to the Cubs game.  I had a great time.  It was cute because Scott’s mom texted him during the game asking if i was enjoying myself.  Loves it!  :)  I want to go again sometime soon.  But I may just wear neutral gray (as to avoid any more hostile comments from my friend Adam).  The End.  :) three of us at Wrigley!

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