Monday, April 27, 2009

A Big Day in Iowa

Today is the first day gay couples can apply for a marriage license in Iowa! The local news reported this morning that couples are already applying in Scott county. One couple even came from Chicago and plans to come back to the Quad Cities to be married on Thursday.

I'm thinking of picking up a second career, Iowa gay wedding planner. I know of several gay firendly venues in the area, and it would be a lot of fun to do some further research. hmmmm, something to ponder! Congratulations to all the newlyweds!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Lovin My Yummy Pizza

Today Mike and I did our grocery shopping for the week at Super Target. I have been experiencing major food burnout and really needed to mix it up, I knew going to a different grocery store would help mix things up. I always cook a bit more of a carb loaded dinner on Sunday night, I'm not sure why. I think it's just a good way to end the weekend, with some good food.

At the store today I picked up some whole wheat naan I'd being eye balling for a few weeks. I thought it would make a good base for individuals pizzas. I picked up some tomatos, fresh mozzarella and some tomato basil pasta sauce, I prefer it to pizza sauce actually. I forgot to grab some fresh basil but it didn't matter the pizzas were awesome! I made a small amount of pasta with fresh red pepper and zucchini since I wasn't sure if the pizza would be enough for Mike and a fresh salad with avocado again. So good and healthy!

Hopefully this will give me the energy needed to wake up early and do my Shred video tomorrow morning. I could really use a loong weekend! Since moving here I gave up my annual 30 day vacation package I had for years. It's been really tough not being able to take little breaks and long weekends here and there. Hopefully it pays off in the long run!

What A Night!

Last night ended up being a super fun one! In the midst of drinking our Unibroues we cranked up the tunes and found our red lights. Our old living room in Chicago was red, around Christmas I hung these red lights, they were so cool we never took them down. They inspired a dance party or two while they were up. Last night when we found them I said "Plug em in!" and another infamous dance party began!

Mike and I have not had a dance party to this extreme since living in Chi, last time we danced and danced until 4am while making martini after martini. That Sunday morning was not pretty, or Monday, or Tuesday. I called in sick two days after that dance party.

Luckily last night we did not have two bottles of fruity Vodka and all the fixings for martinis. In fact, the house was rather dry! However, leave it to mixmaster me to save the day!

After we finished our beers I made a wonderful concoction out of the libations above. Luckily we had a can of pineapple juice and lucky only one! This drink gave us just the edge we needed for another hour of dancing.

The party ended up winding down around 3. We had a blast of course slept in a little too late today but o, well! We still got our run in and are hangover free!

I couldn't resist snapping a shot of our wedding picture glowing in our red dance party lights!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Our Saturday Night

Mike and I attempted to leave the house about 45 minutes ago. As soon as we left torrential down pours hit. I made Mike pull over since I am terrified of driving in the rain, he was not happy, and after about 20 minutes we decided we needed to head back home because our Big Buddy aka Finn was probably flippin out.

Well, turns out he was. We came home to #1 and #2 and a lunatic of a dog. Good thing he was in the basement, we'll slip him a xanax (prescribed of course) and he'll go into a blissful slumber.

Heading back home wasn't too terrible since we knew we had three Unibroues waiting for fav beer, Maudite specifically. As I poured my beer I found myself wishing I had one of the awesome Unibroue glasses that your beer comes in at a drinking establishment. This google search led me to the story of Maudite. I found it entertaining and thought I'd share.

We love Unibroue so much we decided we have to make a trip to the brewery in Quebec very soon!

OK, so there used to be these loggers in Quebec. They worked their hands to the bone like every day. And the pay sucked too. They really needed a vacation. Back in olden times, they didn't get two weeks off every year, so they had to take matters into their own hands.

The main logger guy tracked down the Devil and said, "Hey Devil, we really need a break so we can go visit our women. How about a little help, ya know? Flying boat, maybe?" (they didn't have planes back then). The Devil said, "Yeah, that's no problem. I'm the Devil, your wish is my command! But one thing, you gotta give me your souls."

The main logger was a pretty skillful negotiator, so he was like "OK, but lets make a wager first. If we can fly your cursed air canoe all the way to see our honeys without hitting any steeples or saying Goddamn, then you've got to do all our wood chopping for a week. If not, then you can have our souls."

Well, you can see where this story is going. The Devil won the bet, and he condemned all the Quebecois loggers to canoe around the skies for eternity. To commemorate this event, Unibroue crafted a delicious strong red ale, and this is the glass that goes with it.

Finn Excels...For Once!

This afternoon we took our babies to Scott County Park to hit some nature trails. Both Finn and Dixie has a blast and loved the walk and all the nature. I had to pick Dixie up to give her a break a couple of times, but Finn was a champ, he could have kept going all afternoon! Here are a couple of pics! We can't wait to take the babies back to go camping once the weather is a little better.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

54 aint no more

Tonight the lovely woman who brought me into this world, my mom, celebrated the big 55.

The fam had a nice dinner at Symposium and headed home for gifts and cake!

The cake was my own creation and I did get a few laughs out of it. Those are actually raspberries on the cake, and although the idea was good in theory, the final product looked a little silly. Regardless, it was good. I cheated a little as this was not a from scratch cake but I added my own twists with some shredded milk chocolate and some boiled, to get the right consistency, raspberry preserves to spread on the middle layer of the cake. All in all, a good piece of cake!

A Single Gals Dinner

Last night my sweetie had a meeting that I knew was going to go through the dinner hour. I thought about what I wanted to make myself for dinner all day and was excited to take advantage of the alone time and dine on one of my single gal favorites.

After a quick workout I headed to Target. Not exactly where I used to get my dinner when living in Chicago, but I was there on my lunch a few days ago and the prepared food section caught my eye. After some long debating I decided on a good old standby. A package of California rolls, yum. I was also craving avocado and knew that the small pieces in the Cali rolls weren't going to cut it, so I grabbed one to add the my salad.

Before leaving I picked up some Edy's low fat peanut butter cup ice cream. We'll see how long it takes Mike to realize it's in the freezer ;)

Saturday, April 18, 2009

My babies love the warm weather!

A Treat From Trader Joes

Mike and I picked these up last time we were at Trader Joes. I highly suggest you try them if you haven't yet! They can be served as an app or even dessert! I may try and make these on my own next time, we'll see if they are as good.

New Breakfast Fav

I found a tasty recipe on a blog that I follow Eat, Drink and Be Aware and have been waiting for the weekend to make it. The recipe is for Vanilla Date Flax Oats.

Vanilla Date Flax Oats

1/2 cup of rolled oats
1/2 Silk Vanilla Soy Milk with Added Fiber
1/2 cup of water

Cook for 4-5 minutes over medium heat. Remove from heat and top with:

1 tablespoon of ground flaxseed
2 chewy dates, diced
6 almonds

I had to modify the original recipe a bit. I ommitted the ground flaxseed simply because I didn't have any but I plan on picking some up tomorrow as I have wanted to incorporate this into my diet for sometime. I also used all vanilla soy milk rather than half water and used walnuts instead of almonds. I added a little splenda brown sugar too. Mike and I both really like this and can't wait to have it again tomorrow!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Counting down the days!

5 more days until the release of another treasure. Depeche Mode's 12th studio album will be out on Tuesday. Yiiipppiiieee!!! Couple of cool events taking place:

Depeche Mode will shut down Hollywood Boulevard in Los Angeles for an exclusive outdoor nighttime performance to be broadcast live on ABC's Jimmy Kimmel Live! on Thursday, April 23 (12:05-1:05 a.m. ET/PT). This will be Depeche Mode's first late-night talk show performance since announcing their upcoming "Tour Of The Universe," which will include material from their highly anticipated twelfth studio album Sounds Of the Universe (Mute/Capitol/Virgin) to be released on April 21st. The band's special performance will feature a multi-song set for the fans on the boulevard including two songs to be broadcast on Jimmy Kimmel Live! one of which will be their new single, Wrong.

Neo, o yes, the lovely Neo in Chicago will be having a listening party on Sunday. So sad I have to miss this.

April 21, I will be having my own listening party all day and all night!

Monday, April 13, 2009

The Easter Bunny Left Me Two Suprises...

2 pounds! I can't blame it all on the Easter Bunny. I don't think I cooked once this weekend, which is never a good thing for me. I usually try and balance my eating a little bit more but hey, once in a while what can you do.

Friday night I started off ok with a veggie burger at my parents, I ate a few pretzels, a little bit of potato salad and a small piece of turned into a carb fest although I did squeeze in a workout after work.

Saturday morning Mike and I got starbucks and then bagels from Brueggers. My plan was to walk it off but it was cold so we ate our bagels in the car while we looked at the river and watched some seniors feed ducks.

Saturday night we went to a wedding, the food was great! I will say I controlled myself too. I did splurge on the cheese and some great apps...thai chicken with a yummy peanut sauce, crab cakes. Then I kicked into strategy mode. There was a mac and cheese bar, it was pretty amazing. Mike went up for a fix and I snacked off his, I don't think he was too happy about it, but it helped me out! O, and the cake, I fought the urge to get a second piece and won! A rarity.

Despite my indulgance Saturday night I woke up Sunday pretty hungry. Mike and I went to Symposium for a kick ass breakfast! I'd never been before and was excited to find out that they actually take the time to make food great...not just mediocre, which I find to be the case a lot in this area. I had a Mediterranean omelet with fried potatoes, whole wheat toast and their breakfasts come with a free gourmet coffee! SO I went for a cappuccino, and it was served in a big mug, not a paper cup. Yum yum... all together our tab was only 22$. SO CHEAP for the quality. However, next time, when I am in healthy eating mode, I will change my omelet to egg whites only and substitute my potatoes for fruit :) But hell, it was Easter. (O, and they serve breakfast until 5! remember my beef with getting breakfast one the weekends in these parts?) Kudos to Symposium!

Last night we started off good, an organic tomato basil pizza, really tasty and a salad. Around 9:30 I opened my mouth with a great idea...McFlurrys! I hadn't had one for over a year! So yep, I had a small reeses peanut butter cup McFlurry and made my way to bed.

The weekend wouldn't have been too bad had I managed to squeeze in a workout Saturday or Sunday, I just didn't make it a priority.

All that being said, my eating extravaganza could have been subconscious since I knew today was my day to kick my workouts and diet up a notch to prepare for our trip to NOLA mid May. If I go there not at my happy weight I will not enjoy myself as much... this is just how I am, crazy or not.

I started off my morning with Jillian Andersen's 30 Day Shred. This is a 20 minute workout that follows a 3..2..1 philosophy.

3 minutes of strength training
2 minutes of cardio
1 minute of abs

There are 3 circuits of this then a cool down. The workout was really tough, but fun and if I see the promised results after 30 days, I will be ecstatic! This workout is meant to replace all the hours at the gym but I want to double my results, haha, so I plan on still hitting the gym 4,5 nights a weeks. We'll see how this goes!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Quick Yummy Recipe

Grilled Tuna with Pineapple Salsa

I found this on and made it tonight along side some curry potatoes. YUMMY!

INGREDIENTS (I halved everything for 2 servings)
1/2 medium fresh pineapple, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch slices
1 small onion, diced
2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and diced
2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons lime juice
4 (6 ounce) tuna steaks
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Grill pineapple slices, uncovered, over medium heat for 5-7 minutes on each side. Chill for 30 minutes.
Dice the pineapple; place in a bowl. Stir in the onion, jalapenos, cilantro and lime juice. Refrigerate for 1 hour or until chilled.
Brush tuna steaks with oil; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill, covered, over medium heat for 5 minutes on each side or until fish flakes easily with a fork. Serve with pineapple salsa.


Over the weekend Mike and I returned to our roots and had a blast! We checked into the Double Tree around 6 on Thursday, I was immediately impressed with the magenta wall in the lobby and modern decor. As soon as we got to our room we both hit the bed..hahah. The Double Tree is owned by the Hilton chain and have sweet dreams beds. AMAZING! As I laid there I seriously thought Mike was going to have to pry me off, but as luck would have it we were hungry and our friends Trish and Julie were on their way down!

Mike ran out to get some dinner to bring back to the room. I was super happy when he returned with Pockets! For about 5 years I lived a block from a Pockets, O how I miss it everyday! I had the Berry Blue Salad, a yummy combo of spring mix, cucumbers, edamame, dried cranberries, sliced almonds and blue cheese. DELICIOUS!

Next up Trish and Julie came to our room. We spent some time catching up and sipped on a bottle of champagne. It was FABULOUS!

Around 10PM we collected our Neo coupons(no cover before 11) and headed off for some drinks and dancing. I'm pretty bummed that I neglected to take any pictures all weekend but I did find an oldy buy goody on the web. This picture has lived on the internet since one infamous night, 10.26.2002 to be exact.

Those were the days, and they still are. Neo will always be my #1 haunt. I have already made a few people pledge to celebrate my 50th Bday there, in about 20 years!
We had a blast dancing to the great 80's music the dj was playing.

Mike and I got back to the hotel, ate some McDonalds french fries and PASSED OUT!

Friday I stopped into my dentist, no cavities! Then we headed over to Flat Top and pigged out. Mike and I both ate 2 bowls of make your own stir fry. It was awesome!

After we drove up to Evanston where I received a cut and color and then hit Trader Joes to get some goodies for a little party at Julies. When we got to Julies she had been to Whole Foods and bought some amazing cheese. We prepared everything and the peeps started arriving. It was great to hang and catch up with my bffs while drinking some yummy wine and EATING!

The next morning Trish, Julie, Mike and I headed over to the Coffee Studio in Andersonville. I have decided, officially, they have the BEST coffee on the planet. I ordered a latte and it did not let me down.

Mike and I hit Trader Joes one more time, to stock up on some goodies and then grabbed a couple flatbreads from Dunkin Donuts! I love these flatbreads and they are not bad for you either!

The weekend was a blast. We got to see our fav peeps, eat, drink and enjoy a little getaway!! Don't worry Chicago, we'll be back soon!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

i still crush

man, i am taking a trip down memory lane tonight. watching part 4 of the top one hit wonders of the 80's on VH1. i can't even begin to tell you how much i love the music from this generation. it was unique, told a story, had style, character, passion..something you, or at least i, don't hear too often these days.

matt pinfield, one of my high school crushes that I am still proud of, happens to be a commenter on the show. i have to admit, seeing him on the screen again gave me a couple butterflies. his love of music and endless knowledge really does it for me, and i also have a thing for a nice shiny head ;) i decided to google him an was ecstatic to learn he hosts a morning show on an alternative station in NY. not bad matt! i will be tuning into his show tomorrow via the internet!!

and yes, i still heart him!!