Teaser

I’m exhausted.  Long weekend.  And Mizzou’s just getting started in the NCAA tournament.  So I need to focus my attention on that and eating my weight in food because I am seriously a garbage disposal right now.  So… I’ll be posting a full recap of the race later (it went pretty well!).

Until then- Enjoy the rest of your Sunday and GO MIZZOU!!!!! 

Anyone see that KU loss last night?  They’re our biggest rival, so it was a double sweet game for us to catch the end of as we were waiting for our table.

Here’s a teaser photo after I picked up my race packet at the Expo being held at Navy Pier:I was pretty giddy with excitement at that point.  This race meant a lot to me because it’s a huge event in Chicago (my semi-new home), my parents were here, and it was my first race since I spent two months away from running because of my stupid injury in my leg.

Ok, more later.  Enjoy the end of the weekend!  :)

Don’t touch my camera.

I need this. That lost hour from daylight savings would have been very much appreciated.  It seems so no matter how late I stay out the night before, I can’t seem to sleep in at all!  Yuck!  The corporate world has ruined me!!!

Last night Annie and I headed into the city- still with destination unknown.  She had friends in town as well, so we knew we’d hit at least two spots.  We ended up meeting up with the Mizzou boys first at McFadden’s.  I’d put up pics of the group of us crazy kids, but Chuck was a little booger and acquired my camera at one point and decided to delete all pics of him.  So there goes quite a few of the group shots.  This is one thing that annoys me to no end.  I am totally OCD about my pictures, so I take it really seriously.  And my feelings on camera etiquette are you are NOT allowed to delete even one picture on someone else’s camera.  Not one.  Ever.  I do not post every single one, and you can tell me not to post something and I won’t.  But the picture stays on the camera.  So Chuck’s getting a little bitching out later.  Because there was one pic of the group that I really liked and wanted and now it’s nowhere to be found.  GRRRR!  Seriously.  Who does that??? 

I hope he knows next time we hang out there will be a ridiculous amount of pictures taken of him.  And posted.

Can you tell I’m bitter?  Is there a way I can possibly recover them?  I’m all ears…

But here’s one of me and Annie (since Chuck wasn’t in that one, I was still able to salvage this):I wasn’t wearing green.  Shhh…. St. Patty’s is Wednesday, so I didn’t feel too bad about it.  This was right before we left McFadden’s and then headed to Rockit downtown.  Nothing super crazy (thank goodness, I’m glad I don’t feel too horrible this morning!).  Just a fun night of catching up with everyone.  My friend Jeff (the one who flew in from St. Louis for work) said he had a pretty complete Chicago experience and had a lot of fun.  Success!

*I also forgot to mention this in my last post- a little warning when making caramel.  When you’re making caramel, it can get a little messy.  This can get you into a sticky situation (ahahaha- get it? I just kill myself sometimes…).  Make sure to not let the caramel get all over your stovetop and ranges.  Because the next time you use the stove, the burning off of the caramel can create a bit of smoke.  A bit of smoke that causes your fire alarm to go off.  Under normal circumstances, it may not always do this.  But because I have a smaller apartment and an unfortunate placement of the fire alarm, it does.  I’ve set it off before by just roasting veggies.  Not one thing was burnt, but there I was running to throw open the sliding door and fan the air under the alarm like crazy.  Annoying…

More details of shenanigans  later… I’m off to pick up the lovely Ashlee!!!!  Watch out Chicago- the Missouri girls are combining forces today!!! 

Have a good Sunday!  Be lazy! ;)

Productive Saturday

After the last post, I definitely got moving!  I had to grab some stuff at the grocery store, go to the bank, etc.  You know how it goes.  Then there was time for this:No, I wasn’t drinking at that point.  I really don’t like Guinness that much. 

I had cupcakes to make!  Jaime’s bridal shower is tomorrow night and she raved about the Car Bomb Cupcakes I made for Mardi Gras last month.  Since I still have a lot of the materials (aka untouched liquor), I decided to do a repeat (which I don’t normally do).  Since it’s for a shower where people were asked to bring appetizers, I figured there’d be a million different things to choose from and went for mini cupcakes.This was rough.  Mini cupcakes from a regular-sized cupcake recipe = a crap ton of cupcakes.  Probably should have halved the recipe.  I wasn’t thinking.  I just got home from running errands and started up the work in the kitchen.  I had planned to have a few around for Ashlee’s visit and to give away here and there, but the amount I ended up with was endless. Dozens upon dozens.  At least I know they freeze decently well- I’m probably going to hold some back for my parent’s visit next weekend.  And take some to friends.  And take some to work.  And feed half of China….

So I’m sure you’re wondering about the run?  I ended up doing a 5k in a little over 26:30.  I spent alot of time at the 9:00 pace just feeling it out before I started into my normal stride.  I also hit the elliptical for a 12:00 cooldown.  So far I’m feeling just peachy.  :)  I also did The Shred.  Because I was feeling like a hard ass.  I iced the cupcakes between running and The Shred.  This was a no-no.  Being as how I’m a taster as I’m creating pretty and chocolatey goodness, I was a little on sugar overload for the dvd.  Tummy aches develop when you do this.  Just a warning.

Now I’m getting ready for a trip to see some college peeps with my friend Annie.  So excited!  I’ve been playing it pretty low key when it comes to the bar scene, so I’m definitely ready to get a few vodka clubs in me and enjoy the company of fellow Mizzou kids and celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in Chicago properly.  Holla’.

Don’t look them directly in the eye!

This morning I walked out of my apartment building and stopped dead in my tracks- absolutely terrified.  I was confronted.  By these bad boys:I hate geese.  They scare me.  I think it’s because they’re so damn uppity and don’t give a crap.  Have you ever had to stop your car for geese crossing the road?  They. Do. Not. Care.  I swear at some  point they stop and look at me and are like, “whatcha gonna do about it biatch???”  And I’ve heard stories.  My mom said she grew up with a lot of geese around and sometimes they’d start to chase you.  Uhhh… chase you?  Oh my god! 

So I walk out and they’re just standing there blocking my way.  And won’t move.  So I just keep standing there not sure what to do.  Should I try and scare them?  Do they bite?  I don’t want them to chase me!  Finally, they sauntered off to the side enough for me to slip by unharmed.  Thank goodness.  But as soon as I got through, they posted up to blocking the walkway again.  Probably enjoying terrifying all the residents.  Great.  This better not be a morning ritual from now on.  Otherwise, I’m gonna have to start getting crafty…

It was another rainy morning for me yesterday.  Apparently Wichita was experiencing rain and stormy weather as well.  Ashlee’s flight got delayed because of lightning.  So I didn’t get to pop over and meet her for lunch after all.  :(  But that’s ok.  Sunday afternoon through Tuesday morning are dedicated to quality Ashlee/Amy time.  I can’t wait! 

I was taking care of some errands and such after work, so I got home later than usual.  But I still managed to squeeze in The Shred.  The leg wasn’t really telling me not to, so Level 3 it is.  Do you know what walking pushups are?  They’re torture.  But I kinda like them.  Rockstar jumps repetitively?  Not so much.  And sorry Jillian, I can’t do a jumping lunge for the life of me.  But, I will however, top the beginner adaption by doing regular lunges but with weights in hand.  Take that!  I’m not doing the beginner because I’m slacking, but simply because my coordination is not up to par.  Yet. 

Of course this means I’ll be catching up on Grey’s Anatomy tonight with my usual glass of Trader Joe’s wine in hand.  I sound soooooo disappointed, right?  :)  I’m planning for a lazy night because I have another friend in the city for a little work and play, so I’ll be heading downtown on Saturday night to hang out with some of the good ol’ Mizzou kids!  As I’m sure many of you know, college friends in town for the weekend = crazy weekend shenanigans you need to be properly rested for. 

Will I work out before said relaxing night?  I plan to at least do another round of The Shred.  At this point in the morning, I would say I may do a little running or elliptical, but I’m not sure.  It all depends on how I feel after walking around all day.  hmmm.

Well, we made it to Friday.  Good work, kids.  I don’t know about you, but this week seemed to be a slow one.  And what do I do after miserably slow weeks?  I make dessert oatmeal.  Yes I do.  I’m that girl who thinks a little chocolate goes a long way.  Why?  Because it freakin’ does!Oatmeal, TJ’s almond butter mixed in, coconut, a little Special K for texture, and Trader Joe’s white chocolate chips!  By the way, if you haven’t picked up on it, I make breakfast my time for comfort food… :)  Along with some green tea, of course.  I can’t believe my mom never let me have chocolate for breakfast.  And I can’t believe I never thought to use white chocolate chips vs. semi sweet chips?  It was lovely!  Of course it was much sweeter than I am used to (the almond butter vs. peanut butter also adds to that factor).  I think I took care of my sweet craving for the day- very early on. So that’s pretty neat.

How do you do your oatmeal?  Plain?  Savory?  Sweet?  Mine becomes a monster creation on most days, but it seems to work well for me.  I usually get through the morning until lunch without much hunger.  I think it’s the nut butter that gets me through.  Maybe it’d be smart to break up the hours between breakfast and lunch with a snack, but this works just fine for me.  And that’s what matters, right?  I feel like everyone’s different in this category…

Ok, time to wrap this up and get myself moving.  Have a good weekend everyone!  And I won’t lie- I’m a little jealous of all the springbreakers out there… so enjoy!

Lunch Club goes Greek

It’s that time of the month again.  No, I don’t have cramps.  I had a date with my three fellow foodies for our monthly lunch outting!  Cathryn picked the place- Melanthios Greek Char House in the Lakeview neighborhood!

Believe it or not, Mid-Missouri doesn’t have a large selection when it comes to authentic Greek food, so this was one of my first experiences in a Greek restaurant.  We were welcomed with this lovely sight:

Luckily, I did not have the full view of this the whole meal.  It’s kind of a little much for me.  I mean, I ordered the lamb.  Because I’ve never had it.  But I don’t think I would have if I was looking at this the entire time.  Ignorance is sometimes bliss in this case.  We started out with saganaki as an appetizer.  I love it.  But I also love anything with flames involved…  I didn’t catch it when the waiter lit it up at our table, but luckily, I still got a shot of the action when he did at the table next to us:

OPA! 

Fried cheese is not for the faint of heart.  And when I say that, I really mean you can feel your arteries slowly dying inside as you eat it.  Is it worth it?  Sort of…

And here’s the run down of the meals.  Obviously, they had some rotisserie lamb going on, so we took that as a sign to try it.  Three of us ordered it.  Jaime and I both got it with a side of green beans :

It was good.  But lamb is probably not a thing I will order often.  Plus, there was no way I could eat it all.  I’m not used to meat taking up 2/3’s of my plate.  Very intense.  But I cleaned up those green beans- holy cow they were awesome. Nom nom nom…

Scott mixed it up by having Greek potatoes with his… 

And Cathryn decided to go against the grain and order moussaka.  Which I luckily got to try and decided I need more eggplant in my life.

The things we chose really were from the dinner menu.  Ironic, since we’re the “lunch club”.  But we went with it.  And of course, if you’re doing dinner, you need to have a proper dessert.  We were going to get one thing to split four ways.  But couldn’t agree.  Jaime wanted baklava, Cathryn wanted chocolate, and I was pulling for tiramisu.  So what’s a lunch club going to do?  Get all three- with a side of homemade ice cream.

My favorite by far was the tiramisu.  Clearly- I was craving it.  But everything was amazing.  We did a little take a bite and pass it around until it was all gone.  My stomach cried happy tears.

Can't talk now, I'm busy!

Luckily, I got to walk some of this food coma off.  After lunch club, I had a date with some boys from my hometown who were in the city for the weekend.  I caught up with them at The Spread to watch the Mizzou basketball game against Nebraska.  GO TIGERS!

After that, I played tour guide and took them to my fav stomping grounds – Wrigleyville of course.  We hit Sluggers, Red Ivy, and Merkles.  Merkles was the place they had randomly ended up at the night before, and they really liked, so that’s how we rounded out the night.  The waitress and bouncer remembered them.  Is that a good thing?  Depends on who you ask.  I’m so glad I got to catch up with them all- and I really miss my friend Brian- he’s one of the few that puts up with my friendly sarcasm.  And shoots it right back.  I need to be kept on my toes more often.

Today I woke up a little sore thanks to Jillian’s Level 2 workout yesterday.  Not sure what this means for the rest of my day.  I also didn’t get to bed until 3:00 last night- so slight fatigue may keep me from hitting the full four miles I’m allowed to do.  A chilled out run might be necessary.

Plus, I’m getting a workout hopefully later when Mon gets back.  We both have some energy that needs to be let out and think batting cages might be the solution.  This is what I  like to call passive aggressive behavior.  Is it healthy?  Probably not.  Will it help?  Who knows.  But I do know, however, I am going to have a hell of alot of fun in attempts to get it out of my system.

Opa!

Surprise Via Snail Mail

Last week, my friend Ashlee asked me for my address.  She had asked for it once before- to send me a Twilight Halloween card (which I kept up until December because it really freaked people out).  So I was curious as to what I was getting this time.  I really love getting mail that doesn’t require tearing off part of it and returning it with payment enclosed.  Well, it came today.  And in the card was a nice note and request for me to be in her wedding!  I said OF COURSE and did a little happy dance in my living room.  I dance in my living room often- just because I like to dance.  This hobby fully developed into what it is today thanks to the “Hit List” music channel provided by my friendly local overpriced cable company.  But anyways, this was a sassier dance than usual in honor of the exciting occasion.  Ashlee is one of my awesome friends from St. E (St. E represent!).  We started hanging out on a regular basis in junior high.  But she’ll never hesitate to tell you stories of elementary school- she swears she was amazed by my abnormally big head when we were five.  I wonder if she really thought it was that big- but either way, I like to think I grew into it if it actually was.  Here’s a pic of us from when we hung out at Mizzou together:

Nowdays, since she lives in Wichita, Kansas (I know, I sometimes feel sorry for her, too.) and I live in Chicago, we mostly go back and forth via text to amuse ourselves.  We’re a little kooky (hence the Golden Girls post), but that’s also why we’re the coolest small town girls you’ll ever meet.  She just recently started blogging about her wedding planning, which you can read about here.   Then you’ll get to see the sassy dress I get to wear! 

This will be wedding #6 for me.  My friends sometimes give me a hard time that I’m becoming Katherine Heigl in 27 Dresses.  My opinion?  Hell yeah I’ll be Katherine Heigl- do you know who she ends up with at the end of that movie? Do you?  James Marsden.  Yeah- remember him?  Google that sexy beast if you don’t (just “james marsden”, not “sexy beast”.  I don’t know what would happen if you combine the two.  Please don’t.  Or if you do, it wasn’t my idea).  Get a refresher…  That’s all I’ve got to say about that… they only WISH they could be like me.  Please…

Anyhoo… after all that excitement died down (and I finished up my little jig), I did make it to the gym for weights and work on the Core Challenge  (update today – 230).  I didn’t get to my yoga because a got hit with a migraine later on.  Which sucked- I spent most of the Mizzou/Kansas game with my eyes closed- just listening to us get our ass kicked.  Maybe that was better in the long run- since I didn’t also have to suffer watching the whole thing.  Lame.

And, if you’re at all interested, my slimming down of the pantry is going well.  But I’m getting a little nervous  because my peanut butter stock is getting very very low… I don’t know what’s going to happen when I run out.  I might start getting the shakes…

It’s almost here…

Yes… it’s about that time!  I’m officially able to run in three days!  Weee!

I’m sort of terrified.

What if it starts to hurt again?  What if my endurance has been completely ruined (don’t judge me for that pack of cigarettes I bought when I was having a bad day…)?  What if I can’t get ready for the Shamrock Shuffle in time? 

What if I don’t love it as much as I used to?  Running and I have had a lot of time apart.  People change.  People sometimes move on… 

Ok, really I’m mostly nervous that it’s going to feel sore after a sad two minutes.  I know building the endurance back up will take patience.  But then again, so will building up my mileage according to my doctor’s orders.  So I don’t know… I’m just freaking out.  Having a pin thrown in my leg is not something to look forward to.  And neither is not running for another couple of weeks. 

My workout buddy said she’d think it’d be hilarious if I pretended like I’ve never ran before, jumped on the treadmill, call it quits after two minutes and exclaim, “whew!  what a workout!” and walk out like I am the most physically fit person in the room.  It could be amusing…

More yoga and Core Challenge tonight as I watch Mizzou take on Kansas.  Go Tigers!

Mid-MO Weekend

A few highlights from my weekend:

1. Sonic!!!!  Yes, we have one up in Lake Zurich now… but I’m yet to make it.  I grabbed the iced tea on the way to Columbia for my little brother’s Mizzou graduation.  Just a tea- but oh how I miss their crushed ice!!!

2. Quality time spent in my car.  By the end of this weekend- I just wanted to get OUT of it!  And I get to do it all over again next week… Great…  Between my crutch episode (not able to carry hardly anything with those things) and this trip, my front passenger seat looks like a trash bin.  Water bottles and shoes all over the place… (don’t worry- I recycle!)  The trip back up took a little longer than  usual because I hit a mini snow storm outside of Lincoln, IL.  I actually stopped right when it started.  I knew I’d have to take a break if I was going to face slipping and swerving everywhere.  Thoughts of running off the road and dying in a cornfield in the middle of Illinois creeped into my head.  That is certainly not the way I’d prefer to go…

3. My little brother’s all grown up!  And starting law school in the fall… What a smarty pants.  And I’m so proud of him!  Of course, a December graduation is an unfortunate event- it’s SO COLD!!!  We took pictures around campus and my toes were officially frozen by the time we were done. 

4. Mental preparation for Christmas.  I got home on Thursday night and was looking for a little something to fill my tummy since the Subway sandwich I had on the road had disappeared quite some time earlier.  I open the refrigerator to face container after container of Christmas candy.  Oh dear…   I’m trying hard to only eat the seasonal goodies- and to limit myself.  Slow down and think next week, Amy!  Slooooowwww down….

5. Decorating cookies with my mom.  After I found out I’m practically banned from the gym for six weeks, I asked my mom to not send her usual box of cookies to me this year.  The girls at work found out and were very upset.  So, when I was at home, my mom made sugar cookies especially for them, and I helped ice them.  I think they turned out ok- even though Jaime broke at the waist when I picked her up.  It was pretty touch and go for a while, but I glued her back together with chocolate.  Good as new!

6. Semi-reunion in St. Louis with the Columbia kids!!!  It was so great to see everyone- even a couple chicas flew in from Philly!  We went to Side Bar on Washington Avenue.  I’m a big fan of that place because it’s one of the more casual bars in that area.  Plus there were plenty of seats- and I needed to stay off of my leg as much as possible without being too much of a pain in the ass to everyone else.

7. I got back to work to find a Christmas present from my friend Cathryn on my desk!  A mechanical pastry bag from Williams-Sonoma!!!  SUPER EXCITED!  I’ve been talking about how I just need to pick up a cheap one for the next time I make cupcakes.  But this is waaaaayyyy better.  I think she’s counting on my excitement having it will mean more cupcakes in the near future…  Again- another reason I’m going to have to prepare myself mentally for the holiday food goodness!

M-I-Z…. Z-O-U! Good Ending To a Great Holiday Weekend

Earlier in the week, I had mentioned to Chuck that we should try to watch the MU vs. KU game somewhere. So we chose The Spread, which is one of the biggest Mizzou bars in the city. I had also scored a $25 gift certificate on Restaurant.com for food there, so we were good to go!  They had some decent bar food.  I had “The Banker”, which was a chicken sandwich with buffalo sauce.  Very hot and spicy- just the way I like it.  ;)  I had the sweet potato fries as well, which I didn’t realize was an acquired taste.  I had plenty leftover, but only Kyle was willing to even try one.  Maybe boys are just picky. 

The game was a long one. And intense. The entire bar was going crazy for most of the fourth quarter and erupted with cheers as we ended up winning with a field goal, four seconds before the end of the game.  We all danced around a little to the fight song when the game was over.

The game was good- but there are problems with a long game when you watch it at a bar. We set the foundation for a solid night of drinking when we took out quite a few $3 stadium cups of beer as we watched. We went back to Chuck’s and took a break before we headed out to Wild Goose to eat a late dinner and start the party again. $6 Bud Light pitchers helped us out (I had more beer last night than what I probably drink in an entire month!)  I had spent some time at the gym in the morning before we went to Chuck’s (elliptical still- no running yet), and I don’t eat bar food nearly as much as I used to, so I had no problems with chowing down on the cheesy greasy awesomeness.  But, the chicken quesadillas at Wild Goose kind of sucked.  I still ate them (girl’s gotta eat!), but had plenty left over.  They could have been thicker.  And they didn’t come with guacamole (HUGE gasp).  Who serves quesadillas without guac?!?!  Or sour cream for that matter?!?!  Shame… 

On a side note, I am simply amazed at how many wings and fries my guy friends can go through.  Simply amazed.

We weren’t into the band playing at Wild Goose that night (you can only take listening to Dave Matthews acoustic covers so many times…) so we headed to Wrigleyville (my favorite!). We hit Moe’s Cantina first. It was ok. There was alot of us just standing around looking at people, so we took a few shots to get things rolling.

Maybe that was a bad idea.

Casey Moran’s was next on our trek up Clark. I always get deja vu when I got there now because it was the first bar we went to in the city when Jessica and I first moved up last year when a bunch of my friends were in town. Chuck knew one of the waitresses there and she really hooked us up. This includes a round of tequila. I don’t do well with tequila. Apparently, neither does anyone else in our little group.  We were all pretty simple by the time we got back to Chuck’s to crash.  Chuck and Abel extended their night a little longer and were quite entertaining when they returned at 5:30 in the morning.

I think the 5:30 wake-up really disrupted my good night of sleep.  Crashing on a futon really didn’t help much either.  Nor did drinking for a 12-hour period.  I sense that a trip to Redbox and a nap are in my near future.  Question is when I’ll get my butt up to hit the gym.  It won’t be pretty, but I feel like all the cheese and grease are still sitting in my stomach like a brick.  And as good as it was, it needs to go…

I really have sucked it up at taking pictures these days.  Something I am sure to fix in the near future.  Promise!

Rainy Tuesdays…

So I had plans.  To run.  I found someone I can drag out into the colder weather with me.  And that is awesome.  I think he’s just being nice, because not many people are that crazy…

Anyways… this is the second week in a row that this has happened:

Depressing.  And yes, I’m aware that I may have to do the race in less than ideal conditions.  But I’m not about to give myself pneumonia the week before.  Plus, my left leg has been feeling less than 100%.  I’m feeling like an old woman when I crawl out of bed these days.  I think I’ve been slacking on the stretching because it just feels a little tight in a certain spot.  Lesson learned.  Or maybe I could blame the soreness on the rainy weather?  But that just makes me feel even more like an old woman.  I just can’t win!

At least not all of my plans fell through due to the weather.  I met up with my friend Jon for lunch.  We went to grad school together and ended up working about five minutes away from each other.  Randomness!  We went to Jason’s Deli.  I usually hate going to the same place on a regular basis.  Especially if it’s a chain.  But I cannot stay away from this place.  They sucked me in!  And I’m pretty sure they need to start compensating me for my word-of-mouth advertising.  I drag my friends to lunch there on a regular basis and am currently nagging several of my friends to go try it because it’s that good.  And when I take care of office catering, guess where it comes from?  They hook it up…  Anyways, I tried their Turkey Wrap today.  My fav part is that it has guac on it.  I’m such a guacamole whore.  Yes, the turkey itself was good, too.  But the guac made the sandwich.  It was delish.  Subway’s got nothing on Jason’s!

Now that I’m all excited about how good lunch was- it was also a good conversation.  We discussed holiday plans (how I’m staying here over Thanksgiving and he’s staying here because he’s on call over Christmas) and reminiscing about good ol’ Mizzou.  I can’t wait to go back there for my brother’s graduation in a few weeks!  I also can’t wait for the big game agains KU on Saturday… go Tigers!

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