Sunday, November 29, 2009

and before the tree

I hope everyone had a great holiday weekend!! I spent time with family and ate plenty of delicious treats and figured I'd share my favorites.

The hubs and I, along with our dogs headed off to Iowa Wednesday evening. We waited until 7 to beat, or wait out, the traffic. We managed to get there in just under 3 and 1/2 hours. Not bad!! We spent Wednesday night at my parents and then headed further into Iowa Thursday morning for a traditional Thanksgiving feast at my Grandparents. I was able to finally eat Tofurkey, it was so good, along with mashed potatos, corn, salad and good ol' green bean casserole. Mike was the opposite of me and my tofurkey. I believe he had ham, turkey and pork! What a carnivore!

There were several pies for desert. Apple rhubarb, pumpkin, caramel apple, and my gma's infamous chocolate pie. I also brought an oatmeal pecan pie from The pie was delicious and healthier than a regular pie. I am already planning on making another one this week!

The other eating highlight of my weekend was getting my parents to go to Le Mekong. I blogged about Le Mekong a while back. Everything was as good as ever on Friday. We got a little crazy after dinner and headed to Jumers Casino and then to the Lodge for my fav lounge singer.

Which leads me to the pizza I ate Saturday evening while I laid on my couch and veg-ed. We ordered from Chicago Pizza, before Mike and I moved in together Chi Pie was my neighbor for years. I ordered half light on the cheese, this is a little trick I have to save some calories. It was delicious.

Despite all my eating, when I stepped on the scale this morning, I lost two pounds. I managed to squeeze in two workouts over the long weekend but honestly, my body confuses the hell out of me. For the past week and a half I'd been eating low carb and been miserable without the scale budging! I'm not complaining but it makes me wonder why I bother!!

a first at 31

Yes, it's true. This is my first full size Christmas tree! I don't know what got into me, well yes I do. I stumbled upon a line of holiday accessories that were all purple and silver. The line was also named "Twilight" and that's all it took to get me into the holiday spirit! I even thought about watching the first Twilight while decorating but restrained myself. All in all I am very happy with my Twilight Tree.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Basements Taste Good

I have a new requirement in my wine, red in particular, it must taste like a musty basement. I'm sure there is a proper term for this, so please, share if you know! It's actually very ironic that I now associate this taste with good wine because I have a vivid memory from when I was 22 years old. I had just started to drink wine, I had graduated from keg parties in college and my palate was becoming slightly more refined, basically I was drinking Chardonnay and Zinfandel. I opened a bottle of wine that my Dad had received as a gift, it was red, I spit it out after taking a sip and remember saying "This is bad, it tastes like a musty basement, it's spoiled!" What I didn't say out loud just to myself was, "I bet this is what good wine is supposed to taste like, and I bet I'll get it when I'm older."

Well, I FINALLY get it! Last week my friend Erin and I went to a wine bar by my place called Volo. I tried a Malbec from Argentina, since that region is known for their Malbecs. It was good, but then, I tried a French Malbec and it was AMAZING. Erin and I both said, it tastes like a basement. When I looked up the wine the next day, one of the reviews said it was reminiscent of grandma's basement! My palate was right on!

This week I picked up two different Malbecs. One was French and good but the other was from Argentina and jackpot, basement again! I've learned that Malbecs from 2005/06 are so, so tasty. Must have been a good year for the grapes!! Below is a review for one of my new, favorite, basement wines!

Cueva De Las Manos | Malbec | Argentina | 2006

Deep red/purple color, expressive notes of ripe cherries, plums, violets and chocolate. Full bodied with chewy black fruit and spicy oak. Good balance and finish.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

You're Never Too Old

To learn to use public transportation!! After 10 years of living in Chicago I broke major ground today. I took the train to work, and then to the gym after work and then home from the gym!! I have only been on the train a handful of times since living here for many reason, #1 it scares me, #2 it gives me anxiety, #3 it confuses me. Today, however, I was enlightened.

Monday, November 16, 2009

I loved my remote control

Tonight while at the gym, listening to my Ipod and zoning out to CNN on the tv screen, a headline flashed before me on the bottom of the screen that caught my attention. It read " Ken Ober host of MTV's Remote Control dies at 52." Instantly my childhood idols from MTV flashed before my eyes. Tabitha Soren, Kurt Loder, Dave Kendall, Steve Isaac, Riki Rachtman, Downtown Julie Brown, Colin Quinn, Kennedy, Duff, Martha Quinn, Adam Curry, Ed Lover, Pauly Shore and my all time fav Matt Pinfield. I could keep going too. Thinking about his death, I was reminded of how much I loved MTV and how much I loved the show Remote Control. MTV was so different in the 80's and 90's than it is now. I understand all things evolve over time, but it truely was music based back in the day, edgy, inspiring. I miss it!

Hearing of Ken's death made me sad. Sad for him and sad for the good ol' days of MTV. I went digging on you tube for some old clips, my homage to Ken Ober, had to get the theme song in! RIP.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Pug Party!

This evening the pugs, Stella and Lola, came over for a play date with Dixie. The pugs are pretty mellow and Dixie has recently become an aggressive, territorial spaz which made for a chaotic play date. We spent time in the backyard, took a long walk to Starbucks, and then came home and had dinner with Julie and Trish. Dixie is absolutely pooped now and I've learned she really needs help with her issues. Next week I am signing her up for half days at doggie daycare. I hope this helps her get back to being a non-socially ackward dog!

Last Night In Noho

Phew... It's over. I completed my training in Northampton on Friday and have been catching up on life all weekend. I've slept a lot, spent time with the hubs, caught up with friends, did laundry and grocery shopped for lots of vegetables and fruits. My last night in Noho was one that I will remember for a while. After much, much stress it was nice to let loose and have a nice dinner with coworkers and play some trivia and karaoke at the World War II Club aka le deuce. I paid the next day, completing my training text with a hangover and then having to fly, but, it was worth it for sure!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

A trip to corn country

Last weekend I took a break from Noho and visited my fam in Iowa. My nephew Eli and brother were in town from Arizona, I hadn't seen my brother in over a year! It was a much needed visit. I managed to capture a couple of photos!

Adios Noho

This past month has been the most stressful time of my life. Being away from home, learning a new job, being in a new town, being sick for weeks, living in a hotel and the list goes on and on. I have three days left of training before I head back to Chicago which I am absolutely thrilled about. One thing, or person rather, that has helped me make it through the last month is my new, dear friend Margaret.

Margaret and I arrived for training on the same day, her from NYC and me from Chicago. Not knowing what to expect, we made it through the first day and had our first of many dinners later that evening. After many long chats, glasses of wine and new restaurants Margaret and I are not only co-workers but friends.

I am excited to head home but sad to leave Margaret behind, she still has one more month to go. Lucky for us we have technology on our side. We may not be sitting across from each other any more but we'll always have g-chat! I hope you get to leave early girl!

Monday, November 2, 2009

I am alive!

I've been neglecting a lot of things in my life lately. My home, my pets, my hubs and my blog! I am still in Northampton Mass training for my new job, two and a half weeks in and two weeks to go. It has been pretty stressful being away from home this long and still trying to well, manage things at home. Luckily I have a great hubs who is taking it like a champ and spends most of his time making sure I am ok. I've had some crazy experiences while out here, my tire flew off my rental while driving on the expressway, I seriously could have died. I came here with a cold and picked up another one a few days ago, a cancelled flight and sprinting through the airport all on top of learning a new job. OY!

The plus side is I've made a couple new friends out here and have enjoyed spending time with them. I was also able to experience a New England fall. The colors have been so beautiful. Once I get back to my "normal life" I'll pick back up on the blogging again.