Bound to Happen Eventually

Helllooooo weekend!

Thank goodness you’re here. After all the “whomp whomp” stories you gave me yesterday, it really does seem like we’ve been ready for this weekend to finally get here. Am I right?

Heck yes I’m right. I’m always right. ;)

After getting HEATED in traffic (seriously, why does a 40-minute drive take 80 minutes once a week?), I destressed with some Jillian Michaels No More Trouble Zones. Pretty sure she’s my new outlet for such things.

My new roomie walked in on the workout.

It was bound to happen.

But not as awkward as you would think.

Or at least for her. I still felt weird doing my sumo squats in front of others. Hopefully it will pass because she sat and watched the workout video as I did it. And ate three hot dogs while doing so. Amazing.

To take the edge off of feeling awkward, I decided to just have wine with dinner.

Whatever. I wanted wine anyway. That was just my justification. If I really needed one.

Dinner actually took some effort because I am a little tired of my 10-minute fallbacks of salad or omelets. Clearly I am in a rut.

Because pizza Friday hasn’t happened in a while, I decided why not?A moldy jar of marinara almost stopped me dead in my tracks on that one. Thank goodness I’m a bit of a pantry hoarder and there was an extra jar laying around. Without the fuzz. Sick.

Anyway, it was fun playing “how many toppings can I get on top of this slice of beer bread pizza dough?”Turns out it’s a lot! Mushrooms, onions, black olives, artichoke hearts and a little cheddar cheese.

It was inhaled during another first for me- we watched Legends of the Fall. Yes, you read correctly. It was my first time fully watching that movie- and it was more because the roommate urged me to. You can pull your jaw off the ground now. I’m aware. It’s shameful. But I was bound to get around to watching it eventually, right?

The movie was ok. I mean, it made me feel horribly depressed- which I think was the point… 

But did no one else think Susannah was a little selfish for never being happy and feeling the need to get with all three brothers? I mean geez… all three? Excessive.

I can’t even get one decent date. And she’s all over an entire family.

Not cool, Susannah.

At least I now have something to dwell on as I head out the door for a run. So that’s something…

Moving Confessions

Today is moving day! Hooray!

Actually, it’s more like “thank God”. Because I’ve been stressing for quite some time. I mean, if you read my post yesterday, you know what my general outlook on life was the last few days.

Don’t worry- I AM quite excited. Excited to finally be living in a walking neighborhood and just in the city of Chicago in general. There are just things I’m going to miss about my ‘burbs…

Like plenty of parking.

And not having to pay $5 an hour for said parking.

My one-bedroom apartment with one mirrored and one blue wall. It had character. And our new landlord won’t let us paint (BOOOOO!).

The workout room (even with all the weirdness that walks through on a regular basis). Though it’s the size of a walk-in closet, I’m not getting a gym membership right away- so I’ll be losing the elliptical and stairmill by the end of this month. Jillian Michaels and I will probably become even better friends. However, I am gonna have to be more mindful of when I’m doing my dvd workouts. Now it’s not a random stranger living below me, but my roommate. With whom I’d like to stay friends with.

And the most obvious thing I’ll miss is probably being in such close proximity to these girls:If I wanted to bug someone, Annie was a short drive away and Mon was just a matter of cutting through a yard.

It was awesome.

But it’s not like we are all going to stay in the same place forever. Alas, it was my time to leave.

But, to celebrate the awesomeness one more night, Mon and I did what we do best.

Workout and then cancel it out with wine and pizza.

The run was nothing new/crazy/out of sorts. 3 miles at an 8:31 pace. Considering my general “ache” from lifting boxes all week (and crappy mood in general), I’m honestly quite surprised the gym trip happened at all. Because another carload of stuff had to be packed before getting into “relax” mode.

Why does “relax” mode take forever to get to?

Pizza and wine night- I have no idea how many times we’ve gotten together for it. Sometimes planned, sometimes on a whim (Pizza-making from scratch while under the influence is not encouraged, but will still turn out decently well if you happen to try it).

Just make sure you have everything necessary. I bought the pizza dough from Trader Joe’s, but forgot I’d need some flour and a rolling pin (already moved both to the new place) to creat a decent pizza. Mon saved me from buying some flour at the store (do you think she actually has it on hand?) and I got creative with wine bottles:One for rollin’, one for drinkin’.  :)

Toppings of the night were spinach, black olives, mushrooms and onion:Topped with shredded cheese and a corny red box flick (Just Go With It), and you have one decent night.

I feel like Mon and I will still have many similar nights, but one of  us will be taking the train and we’ll be ordering the pizza from the local joint down the street. Close enough. :)

If you’d like a little chuckle, here’s a list of things I learned from when I moved two years ago.

Or at least a list of things I should have learned. Clearly I didn’t really learn it all being as how the new place doesn’t have an ice maker (other than me, myself and I), I didn’t downsize- but actually acquire more shit, don’t drink during moving weekend (here I am the morning after wine), and I’m no longer in a one-bedroom (so alas, I will not be able to walk around naked and pee with the door open any longer).

So really… did I even learn anything?

Happy weekend, kiddos! I shall see you on the other side of the city limits sign!  ;)

Where was I going with that?

Happy Friday!!!

Guess what I did last night?

I went to happy hour. In the middle of the week.

I KNOW- rare occurence, right?

Well, there was reason for celebration. Tiffany from Simply Shaka is in town!She seems to be doing a road trip across America these days. So when she contacted me about her plans to wander through the midwest, I was more than excited.

After a few good recommendations and a viewing of online menus, we decided to do a little meetup at Coast Sushi Bar in Bucktown. I’m a sucker for a good BYOB restaurant. Mostly because I don’t really feel the need to pay $6 or 7 for a glass of wine when I can bring an entire bottle that costs that much (ssshhh… don’t tell Tiff I’m a cheap date!). I was the boring one with the Philly roll. Mostly because of a craving for something simple. And I heart avocado (duh).

However, to make up for my blandness, I did go crazy with the wasabi. If you don’t remember- we’re still looking into if my stomach is, in fact, made of steel.

All signs point to “yes”.

Overall, I really liked this place. A wee bit dark (I’m getting old and I can’t see!), but still a relaxing place if you’re just going for relaxation and conversation. Because let’s face it- bars/restaurants where you can’t hear a thing are just silly.

The food was fantastic. The wine was lovely. The conversation was unedited.

What? After reading about each other for months, it’s not hard to jump right into the good stuff.  ;)I really need to wear flip flops more often. Hence the reason I’m awkwardly leaning/hunching.

But it was a fun group of girls- me (obviously), Tiffany, Joanna and Stacie.

After dinner, I got to play hostess for the night:Excuse the boxes everywhere- I’m moving. And I suck at it

We then proceeded to chat past our bedtime. And finally decided to call it a night when every story started ending in “I’m not quite sure where I was going with that…”

Tiffany left this morning to meet up with more girlies and to head home. But I’m glad I got to meet her and know she’ll be visiting again soon. Because seriously… who doesn’t love Chicago?  :)

*And those of you who asked about my guy friend who is running with me during lunch on occasion…

He’s cute (I don’t have ugly friends- duh) and has a girlfriend. But that’s beside the point- we’ve known each other since freshman year of college and instead of the two of us getting together, we prefer to make fun of each other for hookups of college past.

It’s terrifying how much that kid knows about me…

Enjoy the weekend, kids!

Kicked to the Couch

I’m beginning to think maybe that I’m just not supposed to get more than four or five hours of sleep on the weekend.

Even when I go to bed at an acceptable time.

Fact: I do not allow the cell phone into the room during the week. I also don’t have a television in my room. Or a radio. Yes- that makes me one of those weirdos that believes in keeping minimal electronics in the bedroom. It’s my “rest” area and that’s all it’s used for. 

Only on the weekends is the cell phone allowed on the night stand. Yes, I get texts at all hours of the night on any typical Friday or Saturday. You’d think it would bother me. But it doesn’t. I’m glad my friends are cooler than I am- staying out way later and wondering where I am (thanks for making me feel special). Texts of the funniest thing of the night.  Sending me pics of their 3:00 AM fast food purchases (I play the “guess which drive-thru he’s going to” game with one of my guy friends).

Over the last few weeks, these texts haven’t woken me up. They’ve just been a reminder that I am yet to fall asleep once and it’s 3:00 in the morning.

At about 3:30, I said screw it and moved to my couch.

Slept like a baby. The couch didn’t judge me for my low key weekend. The couch understands me and my needs. Screw you, bed!

It was only four hours of uninterrupted sleep. But still. 7:30 is considered sleeping in around these parts.

The couch may quite possibly become my weekend bed.  Nothing wrong with that.

That has been the only unpleasant part of my weekend. Yesterday afternoon, Mon and I went to meet up with some of her fam to check out a winery in the western Chicago suburbs.

Yes, the weather was less than desirable. But I don’t require sunshine to drink wine.

Acquaviva Winery is located in Maple Park, Illinois, and according to the bartender who took care of our tasting, yesterday was the official one-year anniversary of their doors being open to the public.

When we started, she said the tasting would be of 6 wines (3 white, 3 red) and equal to about the same as one glass.

I promise you, it was more.The reds were very bold, but I ended up sticking with the more mellow whites to go with my meal. I will always be a chard girl at heart. Plus- when eating out, I tend to go towards seafood/fish/chicken. They just pair up much better.Whitefish with sautéed spinach and roasted potatoes. Mon and I both ordered this. It made us happy.Happy tummies. Even if we’re wearing long sleeves and sweaters. In the middle of May.

I’m still not over it. Stupid weather.

Steve and Angie, our partners in crime for the evening, also gave their food the “thumbs up”.After sufficiently stuffing ourselves, we made our way back to Angie and Steve’s for dessert (I’ll tell you about it later) and a little coffee to keep the food coma from taking over.

Their 5-year-old son had left his bucket of crayons out on the table. Angie tried to put it away, but I quickly stopped her.Their son came back downstairs and surveyed my work. The flower was nice, but I could still use a little work.

Five-year-olds don’t settle for anything but the best. Noted.

Now that I’ve gotten my four(ish) hours of sleep, I’m off to get a few things done. Starting with the gym. As soon as my iPod is finished charging. 

Gotta have my Florence and the Machine to get my run on.

Happy Sunday!

Turkey for you… Turkey for me!

Good morning! 

Did you make it through Tuesday?

I barely did… as always. I like to blame the weather on anything. Along with other things. Busy days at work. Exhaustion… you know… the usual.

But it’s cool. We survived and we’re here. And I have a Cubs game ahead of me. Weather permitting, of course.

Typical.  ;)

After a blur of a day, I came home with the promise of a wine night with my good friend Mon.

Of course, business had to be taken care of first. This included another night of The Shred. It wasn’t originally in my plan, but neither was having to charge a dead ipod.

Even though it’s possible, cardio without my ipod is rough. Some people don’t mind, but it’s the backup behind my thoughts. I specifically remember a time in college where I drove to the gym, then turned around to go all the way back to the house to get my music. Priorities.

So after another session of Level 2 of The Shred (my clear favorite of all workout dvds), I ran to the workout room for a quick 8:29 mile and cooldown mile with some ab work.

No, I still haven’t done more than just 1 or 2 miles at a time since the half marathon. If I keep it under 2 miles or stay on the elliptical, my leg doesn’t really hurt. Anything else? It aches a little. So I’m making an appointment with my trusty ol’ orthopedist.

I hate doctors, so you know this is a big step for me.

Until then? Keeping the mileage low. Almost nonexistent, really. But we’re going with the mentality that every little bit counts.

No worries, I’ve got my comfort food to make me feel better:I know. Holy avocado!

The avocado may or may not have been as ripe as it should have been. But still acceptable according to my patience level. And was a good addition to some of the turkey my mom sent back (let’s hear it for holiday leftovers! woot!), pepperjack cheese and salsa.

Before my drive back on Monday, my mom asked how much turkey I wanted. I said as much as she wanted to give me.

I think I got the whole bird. 

No complaints. Just the sudden urge to sing Adam Sandler’s Thanksgiving Song.

I also didn’t complain when Mon attempted to pour an entire bottle of wine into 2 wine glasses.What do you know? It fit! Although the glass required lifting with two hands for the first few sips.

REALLY big wine glasses are important for wine connoisseurs such as ourselves to have.

And my table needs to be cleaned. Noted.

But that will have to wait with the laundry. After the Cubs game.

Or after I get better from the pneumonia I will get while sitting in the rain at the Cubs game this afternoon.

Either/or.

Girl’s Night In: A Step-by-Step Guide

Sounds like we’re all down for a 5k in Hawaii! Now if only I could get the extra paid time off and possibly a free round trip?  Hmmm…

After a few days of cursing the stairs and wearing flip flops to work, I’m feeling much better. Enough so to play around on the elliptical a few days this week. Nothing crazy- baby steps…

Again, I cannot stress enough the importance of fitting some hill running into training.  Geeeez…

Or at least taking a friend up on their offer to give you an ice massage. That could have helped, too. Shoulda, woulda, coulda.

Because I’ve been out of town and busy over the last couple of weeks, it had been quite some time since I’ve been able to catch up with some of my favorite suburban girls. Enter last night:As much as I’m going to horribly miss my mirrored wall when I move, it sure will be nice to not deal with the lighting issues. Or the weirdness of watching yourself eat everyday…

Anyway, it had been forever since Danielle had been able to grace Mon, Annie, and I with her presence, so we had made plans earlier this month for a solid girl’s night. The dress code was sweats. No exceptions.

We ordered Thai food from AltThai- a cute spot in the Arlington Heights downtown area. Sure- I’m more of a person to eat AT the restaurant and also enjoy the atmosphere. But after spending an extra 50 minutes in traffic in the pouring rain? You couldn’t have pried the wine glass out of my hand and dragged me out of the apartment if you had tried. Word.Pad Woon Sen. It’s my newest obsession.

Well- Thai in general is my newest obsession. The glass noodles in this stuff? I could see myself easily going on a weekend bender with them. That good.

Mon would also like to let all the locals know, your first order online is 10% off. Yes- my recessionista ways have rubbed off on her. I couldn’t be prouder. *tear

Oh and I’m giving a shout out to Kelly right now- we chatted yesterday and she decided to virtually join in on the girl’s night in with us by having a nice adult beverage and Thai food up in DC!

After dinner, what girl’s night in isn’t complete without fun and games?

Some of you have probably seen the show Extreme Couponing, but have you ever seen it in practice?Danielle has her stuff together and we were all curious as to how she makes it work. She was happy to share.

We also did crafts- Amy style.You have no idea how long I’ve been waiting to make Oreo-Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies. No idea. This was the perfect night because I also recruited some help when it came to “stuffing” the cookies:I would highly recommend these ladies. They work for wine.Sometimes we’re not as mature as we should be.

I’m looking at you, Mon.

If you’re like me, most of the time the “projected yield” of the amount of cookies is way lower than what you actually end up with. I like big cookies. A cookie the size of a quarter just annoys me. So imagine how excited I was when these turn out so big that you can’t even get a reasonable amount of them on the pan:Seriously. I made a recipe and a half. Totally unneccessary. I realized this when I could barely stir all the dough together.

Which reminds me- I added an extra egg (after making an extra 1/2 of the recipe) to make it more manageable. The dough was way too floury, and I wanted to make sure the cookies turned out soft.

And I also took a hint from the lovely Andrea- ever since she recommended refrigerating dough for an hour for the best results, I’ve been a faithful follower of the rule. It hasn’t disappointed me yet!Heaven. The original recipe calls for double-stuffed oreos, but I found the regular oreos worked just fine. I mean… we’re already being a little excessive, don’t ya think? ;)I’m not one to pretend that 1/2 a cookie satisfies me. Or even usually just one.

But one of these will leave you spinning. Truth.

And that, my friends, is how you do girl’s night.

The end.

Adjustments

Hey kids!

I think I found the secret to making a gross and gloomy day not so bad…

See a movie!

Ok, so it’s not like it’s a really mind-blowing concept. And considering I just went last week, it’s not anything new in my little corner of the blog world. Acting out last week got a pattern started. Movie Wednesday anyone?  It works so well. Because Tuesdays are lame and it’s better to just keep your head down and hope they don’t get the best of you. Thursdays are close enough to the weekend to not seem so bad, plus you’ve got quite a tv lineup to keep entertained with.

But Wednesday’s sort of stuck in the middle. I love my Modern Family, but it has been nice to actually be out and about. Feelin’ semi-social (in a dark theater, but hey- I got outside!).

Plus, drinking too much wine on a work night is killer.

So Mon and I made plans to go see The Adjustment Bureau. Matt Damon can rarely do any wrong, so we were both excited.

And then some sort of rain/snow started. Texts were fired off right away. Adjustments to the schedule were made. We ended up staying in. And drinking wine. (roll eyes here) And watching How Do You Know?(Source)

My friend gave me the movie to watch and warned of how awful it was. So our expectations were low. Which worked out well because we both thought it was ok. Not good. Not bad. Just ok. My takeaways were a few quotable lines and the desire to hug Paul Rudd.

And because of the wine, we played a rousing version of marry/hump/kill with the lineup of Paul Rudd, Justin Timberlake and Jake Gyllenhaal. After a glass or two of merlot, I revert to the thought process of a 12-year-old girl. It’s a flaw and a talent all at the same time.

Feel free to leave your choices in the comments section. I ended up marrying JT. Out of the three, he seems like he’d be the most fun. Active and passionate without being too needy. Perfect.

Yes, we had an entire conversation about it. That’s just how we play.

And just to confirm- wine on a work night really does make the next morning a killer.

Earlier in the day, before the movie night festivities, I got another early morning run in. Another girl was already trucking along by the time I got to the workout room, so I just hopped on the ‘mill next to her and we ran in all of our crazy 4:45 AM glory together. 

Final stats? 4 miles at 8:35. Then I did a 10-minute cool down on the elliptical with tons of stretching. How did I feel? The left leg could be better.

It’s been a nag the last few mornings I’ve gotten up. Oh- is that maybe part of the reason I slept in yesterday? Yeah, it would be one of the reasons. You caught me. We’re not going to freak out at this point or anything because that would be just silly. But adjustments are being made. Scaling back a little until I’m feeling more comfortable again. There’s no way I’m going to blow it with approximately 2 weeks until the race.

Along with the knee problems Mon has, she may be right. We should really have a down payment ready for some scooters.  Matching of course.

Or at least color-coordinated. That would be better. No need to look nerdy.

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