It’s possible I’m being a little dramatic…

Well.

Since we last talked, the high I was riding on wore down significantly.

Mizzou football disappointed once again and the Cardinals game was evidence that this will be a long and trying series.

My heart really can’t take this, guys. I’m losing years with every game I watch.

At least this means comfort food is involved.Sort of. Pulled pork nachos are an awesome idea. However, having an entire jar of jalapenos on top may make my stomach want to give out before my heart does…

The nachos were enjoyed and deserved. Not just to make a girl with shattered dreams feel a lil’ better, but also because my running friend and I knocked out a solid 6 miles Saturday morning without any issues at all.

It was his idea. I was just along for the ride. Not quite sure if he’d even show up at 9:00 that morning like he said he would. But he did. And off we went.

The neighborhood was still pretty quiet at that point (really, how many crazies are actually out doing stuff at 9:00 on a saturday morning?). It was mostly just us and the people who own dogs. The fun people (aka- not me) were clearly still sleeping in from the night before.

Normally I stick to running in the Lakeview neighborhood. I know that area relatively well and prefer running through residential streets. This time, we ventured to Bucktown/Wicker Park. Along with the few hipsters doing the walk of shame here and there, I noted about 20 bars/restaurants I have yet to try. This was clearly counterproductive in our efforts of health and fitness.

Anyway… this was yet another run that he claimed to be unprepared for and then ended up sprinting the end. Only to leave me in the dust. Jerk.

There was one trip downtown yesterday. I had errands to run. Unfortunately, my errands had to coincide with the Chicago Marathon.

No spectating for me this year. But I still dealt with the masses of people spilling into the downtown streets.

Even that wasn’t so much of an issue until the ride on the el back home.

I was exhausted and not quite at 100% (Mizzou day games spent at the bars really do a number on this girl). There are people packed into the train like animals. These people ran the marathon. They ran 26 miles in unseasonably warm weather. Not showered. Or even changed.

It was hot. It was smelly. And I was approximately two stops away from nausea getting the better of me.

Traumatizing.

However, I did eventually perk up. And seeing all the runners made me want to get my carcass up and off of my couch. Nothing like guilting my way into a workout.

Whatever works.

The pleasant surprise was that the gym was ridiculously empty on a Sunday night. Not have to wait for a stairmill? Ok… awesome.  20 minutes- check! Watch a little football during a quick 1.5 miles on the treadmill? Check!

Saying I did something more productive than spend the whole day on the couch like the week before?

Priceless.

And now it’s time to get this show on the road. I’ve got a busy but short week of work before peacin’ out of Illinois for an extended weekend.

Don’t get too excited. It’s not anywhere exotic. Unless you consider St. Louis, Missouri to be “exotic”.

If you do, I may laugh.

No offense to St. Louis…

Toodles.

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.

That’s My Cue

We might as well talk about Black Swan first.

Because I’m still kind of feeling weird. And just uncomfortable in general.

Mon and I went to see it last night.

We both agreed that it was pretty good.  Natalie and Mila NAILED their parts. Impressive for sure. 

But it is definitely one of those movies where you leave feeling really “blah” about life afterwards. I got the same feeling when I left the theater after seeing Revolutionary Road.  And on the way home, all you can say is, “wow… that would really suck”.

And that’s all I’ll say about that.

Because I was feeling good for the rest of the day. Not that I did a whole lot. I took my Christmas tree down.  Does that count as productive?  Even if I should probably have put it away earlier? Considering one year, we kept the decorations on the tree through most of February (Valentine’s Day tree?) and the tree was still in our living room until April (couldn’t make this up if I wanted to), I thought getting the tree down yesterday was quite the accomplishment.

Do you have anything like that?  Where, at some point, you just don’t notice how obnoxious it is?

One thing I do know is that my dinner last night before the movie was obnoxiously good (like how I did that?  Corny?  Oh yeah…).Hey James!  Not diggin’ the mustache so much, but since I heart you, I’m willing to let it slide…

Guacamole, salsa, corn, sharp cheddar and sour cream.

The guacamole was part of a two-pack bought from Trader Joe’s a little while ago.  It suggested to use one and freeze the other.

Um.  It’s not as good after being frozen. Still alright- just not fantastic.

You heard it here.

Off I go.  It’s been one of those mornings of piddling around.  So in attempts to jump start my day, I put the “No More Trouble Zones” workout in.  Now it’s a matter of pushing play.

Oh yeah, before I go (I’m procrastinating again)- I’ve been working on integrating my 8-lb weights into The Shred. 

Whew.

I knew some of the moves would be simple. They could have used heavier weights in the very beginning.  Others?  I may have done one repeat with the 8’s and one with the 5’s.  The rest I didn’t even bother trying to switch it up.  Baby steps. There’s no need for me to pretend I’m stronger than I really am… 

Ok fine… the workout music is repeating over and over.  That’s my cue.  I need to go and face the music. 

Peace out!

Unexplained Injuries and Nachos

First off, let me just say thank you to everyone who commented about the race Annie and I did on Sunday.  We both walked away pretty happy with it.  I keep telling Annie her next step is a 10k. She keeps looking at me like I’m crazy.

Just wait…

Mondays are usually spent running, but after my speedy 8k on Sunday, I gave myself a bit of a recovery day and spent more time on the elliptical.  No worries- I’m not really feeling that much soreness (except what I would call a “good sore”, not “bad”).  I just wanted to be nice to the body (so to speak).  So I did 25 minutes on the elliptical, did some ab work, and finished off at home with Level 1 of The Shred.

Oh and I’m probably the only person I know to ever injure myself getting either on or off the elliptical.  I’m honestly not sure when it happened.  But I go over to the mirrored wall in our gym to stretch and notice that I’m bleeding from the front of my shin.  A sassy and decent-sized gash had occurred.  But when? And how?  It’s still a mystery…

I never said I wasn’t accident-prone. 

It’d be pretty sweet if you shared a good “clumsy” story as to make me feel better… :)

I made sure to keep one eye on the clock as to make sure I didn’t miss the start of the BEARS game!  So you can bet that I was done working out, showered, and parked in front of my tv ready to go with proper eats for the game:I’m sort of obsessed with making my own nacho chips now out of the Trader Joe tortillas.  I just sprinkle them with a little olive oil and garlic salt and throw them in the oven until they’re crispy.  Simple.

Then I topped it with black beans, corn, and red onion that I had sautéed really quickly on the oven with taco seasoning.  And added cheese (um, duh).  And topped it off with lettuce and salsa. 

This is how you can cover a wide variety of your nutritional needs.  And make it pretty with all the colors.  Can I get an amen???When I was little, my Aunt Anne used to say that it’s important to have a rainbow of colors at every meal.  I think she mostly said that because I’d often just chew on crescent rolls during holiday meals (while pouting) because I wasn’t a fan of ham and hadn’t quite developed a palette for things like stuffing or seven-layer salad.  Luckily, my veggie love finally kicked in and no one has to worry anymore.  :)

What’s something you’ve learned to love in the last few years that you hated growing up?  I’d say asparagus would be a big one for me.  My parents used to have it growing in our garden every year, but now they don’t and I’ll actually eat it.  Now that’s just bad timing.

It just might be Tuesday.  But since I’m not a fan of Tuesdays, we’re just not going to acknowledge it as such.  Is that ok?  Yes?  Ok.

Have a good almost-middle-of-the-week day!

The Chicago Bloggers Do Brunch

It’s much like a first date once you think about it.

There’s an awkward feeling as you head to the restaurant you decided on.  Will I recognize them?  What will we talk about?  Am I underdressed?  Overdressed?  Oh god… it’s raining, I’m going to look like a hot mess!

My plans to walk from the metra to Yolk were quickly changed when I departed the station into a downpour.  After about two blocks of fighting the elements with my umbrella, I took shelter under a random building.  And would like to give a sincere shout out of thanks to the navy seal that stood in the rain for a good while to hail a cab for me.  Thank you, sir!  Your mom (who was standing there) should be very proud.

Of course the rain slowed once I paid for the cab ride.  Figures.We ate at Yolk- a place popular for breakfast (um… duh).  They have a few locations, but Heba was sweet enough to set it all up at the one on East Ohio in the River East neighborhood.  It was pretty crowded, but after a small wait, we were accomodated nicely with a large round table. The waiter may have been a little annoyed that we were way too busy chit chatting to order…  oops! 

Yolk has a fantastic menu- the selections are seriously endless.  I couldn’t even narrow it down to if I was hungry for sweet or savory.  So I cheated.

Megan and I split two dishes to make the decision a little easier…Cinnamon french toast.  If you think you can’t make cinnamon rolls even more decadent, you’re wrong.  Dip it in egg and fry it like french toast.  Then we’ll talk.The Santa Fe Frittata.  Because we wanted bacon. So we scoured the menu for it.  And found a winner that also included potatoes, avocado, jalapenos and cheese.This could be one of the few times I wasn’t the only one taking pictures of my food.

Everything was delicious.  The salsa on my fritatta was spicy- which I LOVE.  And I made sure to have every bite of the cinnamon roll with icing on it.  Happy faces AND tummies.  A winning combo.Let’s see if I get this right… ;)

Front Row: Kate, Katie and Heba

Back Row: Tracy, Kelly (avid reader!), Megan and me

This was such a fantastic group of ladies.  Sure, it’s a little strange at first- since we sort of “know” each other.  Some of us have met, some of us hadn’t.  Some of us blog, some of us don’t.  Some of us blog about fitness, some about health, some about food, some about life, etc.  But the conversation never stopped- or even slowed down.  I loved meeting you guys!  :)

Afterwards, Megan and I had planned a “wander” of the city.  The rain kept us a little nervous, but it cleared up enough for some window shopping on Michigan Avenue. 

Then we got thirsty.Jefferson Tap is conveniently located near the metra station.  It’s a casual neighborhood spot we ducked into for a while to watch some college football and chit chat.

Three hours later, the hunger hit again.  So we decided to split something (again).The Irish Nachos.  This was a gigantic plate (that could have fed a family of four) of waffle fries with all the toppings of traditional nachos.  I couldn’t stop raving about the sour cream.  It’s one thing I don’t keep in the house.  Not because I think it’s unhealthy and shouldn’t eat it.  But because I would find a way to incorporate it into every single meal I make.  No good.

I’m horrible about catching trains.  I usually make them, but it’s a down-to-the-wire ordeal every time.  This was no different.  We walked (err… speedwalked?) to the train station and it was literally me yelling over my shoulder “nice to see you again, let’s hang out soon!” as I jump onto the train.  They closed the doors behind me.  And I was off. 

Whew…

Even with the weather, it was still a fun day in the city.  But this is Chicago- when is it not fun?  ;)

Welcome to Sunday, everyone.  At some point today I’ve got to get myself moving.  I have a long run to do.  Which clearly has to be scheduled around the Chicago Bears game.  So I should probably get started.  Like now. 

Enjoy your day!

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