Girls and Baseball

Happy Monday, ya’ll!

This weekend I was lucky enough to have one of my best friends fly in to hang out with me and get in on the Cards/Cubs action going down in Wrigleyville!

We didn’t get tickets, but instead opted to watch at a bar outside the game and meet up with some peeps after it was all over.

It was a money-saver. We’re so saavy like that.

We were also so saavy by opting to eat at home for most of our meals. Mary had been traveling the last week and was ridiculously excited when I suggested it as one of the options.Sometimes it’s just refreshing to eat a normal meal. I had also been out more this last week than usual, so I was happy to oblige.

PS- sweet potato tortilla chips are some of the best things I’ve bought at the grocery store as of late. Get some. Today.

PPS- also, as long as I continue to drink Goose Island Summertime, I will refuse to acknowledge fall being just around the corner.

Word.

After getting some food in our systems, we walked our way over to Wrigley and kicked back until it was time to hit up the last Wrigleyville Block Party of the summer with my roommate and Megan.Look at that- Cardinals fans and Cubs fan can hang out together and be civilized. Sort of.

Or at least we were. That doesn’t go for everyone. There was a dance-off during the concert that got pretty intense. I swear people were THIS close to breaking out the worm or something of equal humiliation.

At about this time, Mon came down and joined in on the fun as neutral ground- she’s a Sox fan.Yes, a Sox fan. We were a group of random assortment, indeed.

The Block Party only went through the early evening (lame), so we wandered along and secured a table at Red Ivy.

The table was necessary. I needed to switch out shoes.This new pair of shoes has been waiting to be broken out for month (sad but true). They were fantastically comfy, but after 5 hours, it was time to retire them for the evening.

Tip of the day- wear a big purse. That way, you can sneak a pair of flip flops for emergency usage.

It’s much easier to wander from the table and take random strolls onto the dance floor that way.

Another tip of the day- never forget to eat dinner. Yes, we forgot to eat dinner. Sure, the lil’ power lunch held us over relatively well. But it’s a marathon, and after 8 hours of silliness with nothing of nutritional value being consumed, you’ll have a problem.

We solved ours with a late night visit to a mexican spot by my place. Funny enough, it was one of the multiple spots I attempted just a few nights before.

Second time’s the charm?

I drove Mary back to the airport yesterday, and now another standard week of work is really all I’m looking at right now.

Whomp whomp.

However, before I leave, it should be noted that today is the birthday of a good friend of mine:Excuse our appearance. 8 hours in Wrigleyville can do that to you.

But not to get off subject- today is Megan’s (Braise the Roof) birthday! We’ve known each other for a year now and I’m so glad to have found such a great friend in this city of mine off the interwebz who isn’t creepy… at least most of the time… ;)

Murphy’s Law

Hey kids.  Sorry I’ve been missing for a few days.  I promise I’ll be back to normal soon!  :)

I had a great weekend with my college girls and friends downtown in Chicago this last weekend.  Pretty much everything that could go wrong did.  But that’s ok- it still turned out to be one of the best birthday weekends!

Here’s a quick rundown of what happened.  Feel free to laugh a bit, I know we did…

- My friends hit every single traffic jam in the state of Illinois to get here.  This put them over two hours behind schedule.

- We missed our first train into the city because of said traffic.  The train we did catch was a half hour late. Original plans were to get checked in at the hotel around 6:00.  We got to the room by 10:30.

- It rained like CRAZY all Friday night.  Any time spent on hair and makeup was pretty much wasted.  But we still had a great time.

- We ended up staying at Allerton Hotel after doing name your price on Priceline.  It was a GREAT location on North Michigan Avenue.  Although us three girls did get stuck  with one bed (when we requested doubles).  Good thing we really like each other.  And no one has horrible morning breath.

- We didn’t go watch the Cards/Cubs game in Wrigleyville.  But I did hit a sale on some  killer boots at Zara

- It was country night at Rockwood Place (our planned destination) on Saturday night.  If you know me, you’ll know how much I dislike country music.  We relocated quickly to Red Ivy before my guy friends also got there.

- My friend Mary’s toe was smashed and she may lose the toenail. 

- Do NOT open the mini refrigerator at the hotel without reading the sign.  You will get charged for doing so.

- Do NOT carelessly keep your clutch under your arm unzipped.  It will fall onto the dance floor and you will almost lose all of your prized possessions without even realizing it.  Thank goodness my friends are good at dance floor scavenger hunts.

- My car wouldn’t start once we got back to the burbs.  One of the reasons why I’ve been MIA- AAA coming to jumpstart it and tell you that you need to replace the battery does take more time than you’d prefer.

- I dropped my phone and a piece popped off again.  But I did find it back.  Phone still works (whew).

- My cable and internet weren’t working when I got home.  This leads to a very long phone call and arguing with the customer service rep that I can’t update my info on my account online because I can’t actually get online.  Idiot…

- Random weekends lead to random eating.  Stuffing five mini cupcakes into my face at 3:00 in the morning should be mentioned here… along with an unaccounted for number of Kit Kat fun size bars.  I’m trying to figure out how I can justify this as carb loading.

- Do not say “I don’t care, whatever shot you want to buy.”  It will lead to chugging an Irish Car Bomb.  Disgusting.

Anyways, that was my weekend in less than 500 words.  Trust me, it was exhausting.  But I loved every minute.  I have wonderful friends.  And I love them all very very much.  They are too good to me.  And kept me from diving into the birthday blues or a quarter life crisis.  Thank you all!

And here are a few pics for your viewing pleasure to sum up the weekend properly.  :) 

Anyways, Happy Monday!  This is a pretty easy week (training-wise) because we are in the HOME STRETCH!  The Rock n’ Roll half is less than a week away!!!

Any tips for the routine I’ll be going through the week before?  Training/eating/etc?

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!

What just happened?

Excuse my grossness.  And the makeup I’m sporting leftover from last night.  (I don’t want you to think I attempt the smoky eye look specifically for the gym). I just got home from my two-mile run (what what!).  This is what I discovered when taking my shoe off.  What did I do?!?!  First I was like, “huh.  How is my sock stained?  I didn’t notice that earlier.”  Then I got smart and was like, “holy cow, how is my toe bleeding?”

Let’s rewind, shall we?

Could it have been from my Guess heels?  NO!!!!  Maybe???  I do remember some weirdness going on in my foot as we were walking back to my friend’s house from the Seven-Eleven.  And to be clear, I don’t party at Seven-Eleven.  A night of dancing until 4:00 at Big City aka Big Shitty requires refueling in the form of a krispy kreme donut.  Yes it does…  Not my idea, but it was a good one.  Cathryn and I split it.  We argued a little about the amount of donuts we needed to acquire.  I was very assertive about only getting one.  We had an appointment for hangover food at Stella’s Diner in the morning.  I did not want this to ruin it (I highly recommend the Firehouse special, but their hashbrowns are a little bland for my taste).  Donuts are an interesting departure from the hangover food of my college era (probably half a pizza from my beloved Gumby’s- with ranch).  But I kind of like it.  In my fiesty-ness, I tried to get a discount from the man working at Seven-Eleven.  I thought it mattered if these donuts were fresh as in just brought in, or if they were nearing the 24-hour mark.  He told me they were fresh.  Right…

Another poor decision under a slight influence of vodka clubs.  Red Ivy can be blamed for that one.  Not Big City.  By the time I got to Big City I was done drinking.  Red Ivy was where I decided to donate the majority of my money.  So we could do things like this:

Yes, if you didn’t know, I am 24 going on 12.

So now here I am.  Hungover. Bloody foot. Waiting for my girls to come over so we can burn down the kitchen in attempts to make some homemade caramel.  Should be interesting.

I had considered doing The Shred again (slightly addicted), but because I was eyeing the nearest trash can throughout the majority of my little run, I’ll pass.  Instead, I’ll just have to do my best at not being one of those people who eats their weight in food during the Super Bowl.  Which is a shame.  Because I do enjoy some good deep dish.

Friday Night. Saturday Morning. Same Thing…

How do we change facebook status to "engaged"?

How do we change facebook status to "engaged"?

It all started out innocent enough.  I headed out to Jaime’s house after work.  She had taken the early shift and I the late so she would be there when I got there.  As I was stuck in the most amazing Friday/Holiday Weekend traffic of all time, she texted me to see where I was because she and Scott were going to run some errands.  I told her she had plenty of time and that I’d call when I was parked.  One slow crawl down Addison later, I was parked in a spot pretty close to her house.  They were just getting back and said they’d run down because Scott needed to give me a pass and they needed to walk the dogs.  As soon as I got out of the car, Jaime wasted no time in showing me her new accessory on her ring finger.  Scott had just popped the question.  We all knew it was coming.  But we didn’t realize it would be that night…  The “errand” was running to Crate & Barrel to pick up a present for an upcoming wedding.  This was conveniently located next to the intersection where they had their first kiss.  In the rain.  (Yes, the gag reflex of how ridiculously adorable this is is completely normal).  So he got down on one knee.  She cried.  The ring is beautiful.  The two are meant to be together.  That’s how I met them and that’s how I will always know them.  And I couldn’t be happier for them!

So we had even more reason to celebrate.  But we had to eat first.  And I like when I eat with Jaime.  She makes sure I increase my cheese and grease consumption.  One of the reasons why I love her.  Scott probably enjoys that little factor as well.  Quesadillas from Ranalli’s.  It was a truly difficult decision being as how they make pretty much anything you will ever have a craving for.  Anything.  That and Jaime and Scott own an entire portfolio of carry-out menus.  They forgot to add the chicken to the chicken quesadillas, but I really didn’t mind too much being as how I was able to load them up with guacamole and salsa.  Yum… 

First stop of the night was the new Rockit that opened on Clark (they also have a River North location).  The bar area we were in was perfect- small and cozy feeling.  But still big enough to grab a table.  Perfect!  Cathryn and Rob (a guy we work with) met up with us there.  The alcohol started flowing pretty easily.  Cathryn said I could stay at her house so I could avoid the awkwardness of attempting to sleep through all the newly engaged excitement.  We decided to leave Rockit when Jaime and Scott decided to go home.  They turned down the street and Cathryn, Rob, and I continued on to Red Ivy.  It was pretty packed, but Cathryn and I pushed our way onto the dance floor.  Yeah, it was definitely that time.  We pouted a little when we discovered last call was at 2:00.  But Rob informed us of another bar.  This one didn’t close until 4:00.  Only problem was it was a bit of a hike.  We waited a few minutes for an empty taxi, but didn’t see any.  Then I saw the rickshaw.  Cathryn had reservations.  But we needed to dance and we needed to get there as soon as possible.  So the three of us jumped on.  Cathryn asked if she could “smoke inside” the rickshaw.  Awesome.  She also showed her new fantastic shoes to anyone we passed.   And I was pulling a Miss America by waving at anyone who looked.  Good times…  Until today I did not know the name of the 3rd bar we went to.  Couldn’t remember for the LIFE of me…  then someone said Big City and it all started coming back!  We got there and immediately hit the dance floor.  And danced until we couldn’t anymore.  Actually that’s a lie- we danced until they made us leave at 4:00.  Boo….

But you know what is a glorious thing at that time in the morning?  Watching the sun finish rising out of the window at IHOP.  As you finish a monster bacon omelette.  A-mazing.

Overcast, but still a beautiful view from Cathryn's balcony!

Overcast, but still a beautiful view from Cathryn's balcony!

We got back to Cathryn’s around 6:30ish.  I got to see the view from her balcony.  That is also amazing being as how she has a great view of the Lake from her high-rise.  We tried to go to bed.  But we were both at that point where we were so exhausted and slap happy that we were wired.  Coffee was also not a good choice at the restaurant.  I blame Cathryn on that one.  So we stayed up and giggled like 12-year old girls.  Not sure which one of us fell asleep first. 

The whole two hours of sleep I got at Cathryns did no good.  I’m pretty sure it actually contributed more to my feeling like crap.  I’m also pretty sure the doormen in Cathryn’s apartment think that she’s a lesbian as I chatted it up with them in the middle of my “walk/taxi ride of shame” to Jaime and Scott’s apartment.  Either way, I made it back to Jaime’s one huge hot mess.  As soon as I walked in she handed me coffee and Visine.  After changing into clothes that hadn’t been worn for over 12 hours and getting some much needed java, I felt much better.  The three of us stumbled to Salt & Pepper Diner.  I just took down glass after glass of iced tea as the other two ate.  I was still pretty full from the omelette I had a few hours earlier.  Unfortunate- because Jaime’s turkey burger looked yummy.

After that, Jaime and Scott took me to buy my first official cubs shirt in Wrigleyville.  I’m going to a rooftop for an upcoming game and need to make sure I’m properly attired.  I found one at Sportsworld- right across from the field.  Success!  One more baby step towards becoming a true Chicago girl.  :)  Scott was also looking for something to get his nephew for an upcoming birthday.  I told him to get something he thought was really cute.  So then their kids could wear the hand-me-down’s.  Probably shouldn’t have said that.  Jaime’s eyebrow started to raise on that one.  I got her thinking again… uh oh!

As tired as I was the ENTIRE next day, I had so much fun.  I love my work family.  Those girls have quickly become some of my closest friends up here.  Good thing- somedays I really need them.  When I first moved up here, I had two job offers in one week (thank God because I really needed a job).  Needless to say, I think I chose the right one.  I’m one of few to be able to say that my first job out of college wasn’t a hellish experience.  Yea for me!

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