Sunday, January 31, 2010

A little nostalgia...

When Mike's parents were here over Christmas his mom mentioned, when looking at our gas fire place, that she had a green ceramic pot that would match just perfectly. I didn't think to much of it at the time, until she recently sent it to us.

According to Mike this is a very special pot. This pot sat on his stove his entire childhood. His mom would fill it with water and cinnamon sticks or other good smelling treats and the aroma filled their home.

Once we received the pot in the mail, along with cinnamon sticks, Mike filled it up and put it on the fire stove. Within a matter of minutes our home smelled lovely and Mike said "This is really reminding me of home" awwww, it was truly cute the way he said it.

I love the Mike has this little piece of his childhood now. It reminds me of how hard it must be for him living so far away from his family. Little reminders like this are fun to have around.

O, and again, my little nosey shadow had to pose.

Blue Additions

A while back I blogged about one of my favorite artists, George Rodrigue and a project I was working on to incorporate some of his artwork into my home without busting my bank account.

Well, I am happy to report I did finish this project a few months ago! I ended up ordering two art books to get the final result that I wanted. It took me a while to decide which prints I wanted to use. I wanted to make sure there was an element in the 5 that I chose that tied them all together, I also wanted to make sure the ones I chose would pop on our light blue wall.

Take a look:

Surprisingly I didn't end up using my favorite print.

I thought that the blue based prints would blend in to much with the walls and the rest of the room. I opted for yellows and pink so that these doggies would really stand out!

This ended up being a pretty simple project. I scanned in the prints I chose, printed the small ones off on photo paper and ordered the large one from Shutterfly. For the framing I bought them all at Ikea and used the mats that came with them the small frames. The large print didn't quite work with the mat that came with the frame so I went to a framing shop and had them cut a mat in the size I needed. All in all this project cost around $150 including the books! I hope George doesn't mind that I am borrowing his artwork. I mean I did pay for the books, and I plan on buying a print or an original someday!

O, and the little ham wanted to pose with her blue dog friends!

Sunday morning tweets

Mike and I Tweeted this morning, not as in Twitter but as in Tweet the restaurant. We meet up with Julie and Trish, this was their recomendation, we had actually never been before! Let me tell you, I did not think anything this weekend was going to beat the buffalo chicken(seitan) wrap I had at Handlebar Friday night, but my brunch at Tweet sure did!

First things first, ordered the drink:

I could have had 2, or 3 of these, but I settled for one and practiced self control.

After much, much debate, because there were so many great options, I picked my entree. Veggie Country Benedict. Being a vegetarian this was quite a treat!

It came with a yummy fresh fruit cup

This was definetly a bit of an indulgance for me. An opened face bisquit with two veggie sausage patties and 2 poached eggs smothered in a meat free gravy. Delicious! I am happy to say, even though I polished off the bisquits and gravy, I hardly touched the hashbrowns! Woo hoo!

Mike's Irished out and ordered the corn beef and hash. He liked his as well. Now on to enjoy a lazy, gym free Sunday!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

I'm feeling quorny

I was a vegetarian for about 10 years, took a year off to dabble with meat, reconfirmed that it is not for me and have been eating vegetarian for the past several months again.

I have been a little burnt out lately when it comes to meal ideas so this week when I went to the g store I made a real effort to buy some new things.

I tried Quorn products a few years ago when they first came out(in the Chicago area) but they quickly fell off my radar. I noticed them again in the freezer aisle this week and decided to give them another try. I remember the products being good but just being leery of what the products were derived from.

Tonight I made Quorn Chicken along with some seasoned veggies and brown rice.

Dinner was great! So I decided to do a little research and figure out just exactly what Quorn is. Believe it or not Quorn comes from a fungi, you know like mushrooms. The website states that "The principal ingredient in all Quorn products is mycoprotein (“myco” is Greek for “fungi”). The mycoprotein comes from Fusarium venenatum, which was originally discovered growing in a field in Buckinghamshire, England. In the late 1960s, initial product development began, soon recognizing mycoprotein’s potential as an efficient and nutritious protein source."

I checked out the back of the box and sure enough, these are packed with protien! I will definetly be adding this product into my diet. It opens a lot of options up for me since meat is just not for me. Give it a try and let me know what you think!

O and P.S for all of you with access to Trader Joes. Their organic brown rice saves my life! I eat a lot of veggies, but everyone needs a little bit of carbs to stick to the ribs, these come in microwavable packets and take just 3 minutes. LOVE IT!

Squirrel Meet Skunk!

Most of you have had the pleasure of meeting my perfect little angel bug, Dixie. She is the sweetest, possibly the loudest, 10 pound bundle of joy I have ever come across. Well, that is most of the time. When she gets around her toys she turns into a crazy little monster bug!!

Dixie's Grandma Mashl bought her an amazing toy for Christmas this year. For all of you dog people out there you will appreciate this. Dixie received a stuffing free toy! It's a toy with none of that tempting stuffing to pull out which causes the toy to be destroyed in a matter of minutes and also makes a mess BUT is still has the squeakers. I cannot say enough about these clever toys! They are called Skinneeez and I found a link to a site that sells them!

Unfortunately squirrel did meet his match, Finn got ahold of him. You can see he is still intact, just not as cute and squirrely as he once was. Fortunately, last weekend Gma Mashl sent skunk!! Skunk is a total upgrade, and even though he was meant for Finn, Dixie claimed him as her own!

Check out some great action shots:

My Impromptu Breakfast

Sunday morning I was his by the food bug. I decided to raid my cupboards and see what I could pull together. Turns out I did a decent job.

I made apple, banana, oat muffins, I kind of just made them up
as I went:

1 egg
3/4 cup milk
1 cup flour
1/3 cup brown brown sugar
1 cup of oatmeal
3 tsp baking soda
1 tsp of salt
1 medium apple chopped
1 banana mashed
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
2 tablespoons oil

Bake on 400 for 20 minutes. I made 9 muffins out of this, but I like my muffins big!

I wanted some protein to go along with the carb fest so I whipped up some eggs:

I opted for a scramble rather than my normal omelet and these turned out just great.

I beat about 6 eggs, added in 1/2 a cup of pressed and drained spinach, a little garlic powder and some pepperjack cheese.

All in all this was a healthy breakfast for me. I only indulged in one muffin. Funny how as of this morning they are all gone...I wonder who else has been indulging!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Chi Town Situation

This weekend Mel and JJ came into town! We had a weekend of many firsts, Mel lost her fist pump virginity. We battled it out at Black Rock and definetly vibed off one another. O, did I mention we watched a Jersey Shore marathon? LOL.

We had a great time though. We spent some time at Dave and Busters:

Had a great dinner at D'Augustinos and all experienced the deliciousness of sweet tea and vodka. YUM. Sunday we did a little shopping at Trader Joes, hit up the Crate and Barrel outlet and grubbed on Chipotle while keeping up with our marathon.

Now, if only I can get them here more often!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

just what i needed!

If you have or haven't talked to me recently you may or may not know that I have been very stressed and burnt out. I spent most of the Fall training for my new job, then the holidays kicked in and then my job got CRAZY!! I told my husband recently that I feel like I haven't talked to him in forever, I've just been on auto pilot lately and not really by choice.

This weekend was all about resting, relaxing, having some fun and, most importantly, being at home!!

Friday night I had a kick ass dinner at one of my favs, The Chicago Diner an all vegetarian diner. I worked an 11 hour day in the burbs and when I got home at 7 I was starving. I had the radical reuben, Mike had the philly cheese steak and for dessert we split a piece of vegan carrot cake that was so, delicious. While we were dining we learned that on Monday TLC will be at the diner doing a segment on the radical reuben for a new TV show. Looks like I chose a winner!

Saturday we slept in as much as Dixie would allow. I made my way to the couch where I watched bad TV I'd DVR'd and took a nap. It was wonderful, I was seriously so tired and really needed the extra sleep. Around 9 we got a little stir crazy so we went out for a drink at Late Bar. It was 80's night so we even danced a little, mostly just me.

Sunday Mike and I were super hungry when we woke up so we decided to try out a neighborhood restaurant Mike had been eyeing for some time, John's Place. I had the Roscoe Village omelet which had leeks, tomatoes, goat cheese, roasted garlic and zuchinni. It was great! Mike had the omelet of the day and he enjoyed his as well.

After brunch my sweetie was nice enough to chauffeur me around so I could run in and out of a few stores to pick up some things I've been wanting. First, I made a stop at the Coffee and Tea Exchange. I have really been getting into tea lately and wanted to buy the loose leaf type. I spent some time with the great saleswoman sniffing teas and making some concoctions. I also purchased a diffuser. I selected three types to try: chamomile and lemon peel, mango organic green tea and apricot orange herbal. So far I have tried the chamomile and the apricot and let me tell you, these are AMAZING. Never will I buy a bag again. If you go on their website you can take a look at some of the tasty tea concoctions!

Next stop was the Body Shop were I picked up some new lotions that I was in need of. I chose a raspberry body butter and hand lotion and a almond spray lotion. I love the Body Shop. The fragrances are not as overwhelming as Bath and Body.

After a much needed grocery trip to Trader Joe's Mike dropped me off at home and he headed out to watch some football. I have very much enjoyed my alone time today, I baked some cookies, drank my new tea and even watched a movie, Revolutionary Road, never mind that it was a downer.

All in all this weekend is just what I needed. Let's just hope this work week is a calm one!!

Friday, January 8, 2010


I am crashing fast so I am going to make this a quicky. It's been sooo long since I've been able to blog and I REALLY miss it! This past week was a crazy one. I worked over 60 hours, which is INSANE for me. I am a 40 and under work week kinda gal.

I have been so busy working that I have nothing fun to blog about. However I never posted my NYE pictures, so have a look! NYE was fun, but as predicted, I spent the next day recovering from just a few drinks. What a light weight I've become in my old age!