Tuesday, March 30, 2010


Spring fever is definitely in the air and this past Friday night it led Mike a me to a blast from my past. "The Killer Margarita" When I first move to Chi I lived about a block from this place and would go quite frequently. I have never lived more than a few miles from Killer but I find when I leave or move to a new neighborhood I rarely go back to my old spots but rather, find new ones.

Once I learned Mike had never been I was on it! For our first round we got the jumbo size, aka medium, this isn't even the large! I got a strawberry banana and Mike got a mango. I am usually a rocks margarita drinker, but the frozen at Killer are the way to go, unless you're eating. Then stick with the rocks to avoid getting too full. That's my strategy at least!

After some major arm twisting, haha, we ordered a second round. This time we ordered smalls. I got a banana and Mike loved my first strawberry banana so much he ordered one for himself.

These were so good, we are already planning another trip back!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

A Big Day For The USA

I have to admit I never thought this would happen in my lifetime, at least not until I was old enough that it didn't really matter. BUT it has, and we are well on our way to universal healthcare thanks to our prez, Obama. I will never understand why certain people out there don't believe that everyone should have the right to see a doctor if they are ill, or to prevent illness. Why are people upset that the healthcare insurance industry who takes as much as from you as they can while you are healthy and looks for any reason to drop your coverage when you need them the most will finally be held accountable? I just don't get it! I'm sure there will be growing pains with this plan, but how can anyone argue that isn't the right step for our country? I guess that's politics!

I saw this "letter" from Michael Moore online, I couldn't say it better(granted it's a little swayed). It's time to put the argument to rest, move forward, and celebrate this monumental day!

To My Fellow Citizens, the Republicans:

Thanks to last night's vote, that child of yours who has had asthma since birth will now be covered after suffering for her first nine years as an American child with a pre-existing condition.

Thanks to last night's vote, that 23-year-old of yours who will be hit one day by a drunk driver and spend six months recovering in the hospital will now not go bankrupt because you will be able to keep him on your insurance policy.

Thanks to last night's vote, after your cancer returns for the third time — racking up another $200,000 in costs to keep you alive — your insurance company will have to commit a criminal act if they even think of dropping you from their rolls.

Yes, my Republican friends, even though you have opposed this health care bill, we've made sure it is going to cover you, too, in your time of need. I know you're upset right now. I know you probably think that if you did get wiped out by an illness, or thrown out of your home because of a medical bankruptcy, that you would somehow pull yourself up by your bootstraps and survive. I know that's a comforting story to tell yourself, and if John Wayne were still alive I'm sure he could make that into a movie for you.

But the reality is that these health insurance companies have only one mission: To take as much money from you as they can — and then work like demons to deny you whatever coverage and help they can should you get sick.

So, when you find yourself suddenly broadsided by a life-threatening illness someday, perhaps you'll thank those pinko-socialist, Canadian-loving Democrats and independents for what they did Sunday evening.

If it's any consolation, the thieves who run the health insurance companies will still get to deny coverage to adults with pre-existing conditions for the next four years. They'll also get to cap an individual's annual health care reimbursements for the next four years. And if they break the pre-existing ban that was passed last night, they'll only be fined $100 a day! And, the best part? The law will require all citizens who aren't poor or old to write a check to a private insurance company. It's truly a banner day for these corporations.

So don't feel too bad. We're a long way from universal health care. Over 15 million Americans will still be uncovered — and that means about 15,000 will still lose their lives each year because they won't be able to afford to see a doctor or get an operation. But another 30,000 will live. I hope that's ok with you.

If you don't mind, we're now going to get busy trying to improve upon this bill so that all Americans are covered and so the grubby health insurance companies will be put out of business — because when it comes to helping the sick, no one should ever be allowed to ask the question, "How much money can we save by making this poor bastard suffer?"

Please, my Republican friends, if you can, take a quiet moment away from your AM radio and cable news network this morning and be happy for your country. We're doing better. And we're doing it for you, too.

Michael Moore

Sunday, March 21, 2010

another lovely whole foods trip

Today was possibly the best Sunday ever. I laid in bed until around 1:30 then hit the gym getting 3.5 miles in and some butt lifts before heading off to Whole Foods with Erin for an afternoon, turned evening indulgance. First we hit the wine bar and each had a flight, then we ordered a glass of wine and a french mountain cheese plate. It was all amazing per usual. Before leaving we picked up a few groceries. I headed to the gelato bar and tried a sample of the salty caramel gelato Erin recomended. It was, how do I say this, freakin amazing!! I picked up a pint and took it home for me and my sweetie aka mike to indulge in. That pint was gone in a matter of seconds, it was seriously one of the best things I have ever tasted!

I didnlt take as many pictures tonight but when we headed out to the parking garage I couldn't help myself, the skyline was so gorgeous!

Friday, March 19, 2010

I felt like I was cheating

One of my best gal pals, Erin, and I have a new favorite past time. We like to go to the new Whole Foods, have flights at the wine bar, and check out men while they grocery shop, lol. Don't worry I fessed up to my hubs tonight, surprisingly this is not the reason I felt like I was cheating..but rather because I went there with him instead of Erin! I felt like I was letting him into my secret life!

Anyways, I took some pictures with my blackberry, unfortunely I forgot my camera. After a long week we had a nice dinner together at Sushi Luxe then headed off to Whole Foods. This Whole foods is new, and not like the others that exist in Chicago, I'll just let the pictures speak for themselves. Let me start off by saying...sigh, xanadu

After the wine it was really hard to decide in one treat to take home for dessert. We browsed the vegan treats a while, gelato, bakery and finally decidede to get a few cookies from the cookie bar.

We came home and shared a few marzipan macaroons, almond crescent cookies and a butterscotch cookie, all sooo good!

Back on track

This week I really tried to be creative with our dinners and get us back on track after our monster muffin extravaganza. After traveling I always feel bloated and sick so my goal for the week was to keep things fairly low carb without cutting us off cold turkey. I thought I'd post a few of the highlights from the week:

My breakfast of choice this week was an egg with a whole grain piece of toast, rotating with a bowl of special k cinnamon pecan crunch.

Next up, I finally made a great stir fry! I have tried for years and failed but this time it worked! I cut and cubed my tofu baked and flipped on 400 for about 20 minutes. Then I sprayed a skillet with a nonstick spray and threw in a bag of fresh veggies I picked up at Jewel. Next I added three serving of a delicious sauce I also picked up at Jewel. I let the veggies and sauce steam, covered on low heat for about 15 minutes, stirred in the tofu and magic! Served ontop of brown rice made for a great meal!

Another great new favorite. Tilapia has been a weekly staple in my diet for years but just recently I started cooking it differently. Mike loves it and thinks it is the best he's ever had. Start with a mix of flour and sea food seasoning, I use Chef Paul Prudhommes blackened seafood seasoning. I used about 1/8 of a cup of flour mixed with 2 tablespoons of the seasoning and lightly coat the fish. Next up I spray the pan and throw on the fish. Cook for about 3-5 minutes on each side. Serve along side some asparagus cooked at 400 for 15 minutes coated with a little salt and pepper and nonstick spray and some parmesan cous cous... YUM!

I also have to give props to the organic Jewel herb green blend salad, honestly the best blend I have ever had!

After some healthy eating and logging in 14 miles in 4 days at the gym I am ready for the weekend and splurging a little!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


After another day of training and my work holiday party Friday, we went to bed fairly early. I was so beat and I knew that we had the drive to Rhode Island ahead of us in the morning not to mention DAVE's COFFEE which I'd been looking forward to for months!

Saturday morning we had set the alarm for 8am, but I swear, I was like a kid on Christmas morning. I woke up before 7 and said to Mike "Let's get ready and go to Dave's" and that we did!

We got to Dave's around 11. This place is nostalgic for Mike because it is right next door to the house he grew up in! Unfortunately his parents moved just a few years after Dave's opened in 1997.

Dave has delicious coffee and muffins that are literally to die for!! As we ate them Mike and I discussed how the heck they get these giant muffins to be so perfect. I am not sure what the secret is, but I sure wish I knew!

After our fix we went to Mike's parents. We relaxed a little bit, went to an antique store by their house then headed back to a different part of Massachusetts to have dinner with his Aunt Bernice, Aunt Linda, his Uncle Arnold, and Mike's parents too of course. It was great to see his fam, they are much smaller than my side and don't get together as often so when we do, it is very special.

The next day Mike ran back out to Dave's and brought us all muffins and coffee. Yum, again! We did a little shopping with his parents and then had to head out to the airport. It was a quick visit but nice because living so far away we don't get to see them too often.

Our flight was on time and we were home by 7. Thanks to my Dad, our babies were waiting for us when we got home. After a love fest and many sloppy kisses we ordered Pockets and passed out!

kickin it in the EC day 2

I won't bore you with the details of my training, but after a long day, I got back to the hotel. Mike and I decided to hit the gym. With all this travel in my life lately I have to FORCE myself to work out on the road, otherwise I will blow up! After our work out I gave Mike a few choices for dinner. It was between Sierra Grille and Mama Iguanas. Neither of us could decide so he flipped a coin and Mama Iguanas it was!

I had shrimp tacos which were tasty, light and pretty healthy.

Mike, well day 2 of non healthy for him. He has a massive steak burrito.

And then it was bedtime.

East Coast or bust

After a few days without our babies Mike and I were ready to get out East. We were missing them a lot and the house just didn't seem the same. We headed off to Northampton Mass again where my company is located. I had two days of training and a work party Friday evening. Mike was able to come out with me since he was on Spring break, lol, it's no Cabo, but at least I had a travel buddy. I worked all day Thursday and Friday but we managed to have some fun after hours.

Wednesday evening, after we arrived, we walked around the town. I was able to show Mike where I lived for over a month of my life lol. After we made the rounds we decided to hit up the brewery. I had the forty love brew, and Mike topped off my red head discrimination day(for all of those on FB you know the story) by ordering a red headed step child brew. For those of you who don't know, the short of it is, an airport employee asked me if Mike was my husband, then asked him where his red hair was and said he thought we were supposed to stick to our own kind... ummm IDIOT is all I will say. Both beers were delicious and exactly what we needed to shake off the jet lag.

Later in the evening we hit up Spoleto's. A local italian restaurant. I had some sort of pasta and mike chicken parmesan.

After our dinner we met up with a coworker of mine for a drink and then headed off to call it a night.

From the Midwest to the East Coast and Back Again

Most of you know Mike and I were out East last week, but with two dogs and a cat the planning has to start much sooner. Needless to say the past two weeks have been a little cray cray. Our fun kicked off two weekends ago. Friday night we ordered one of my staples, Pockets, it's a salad fast food joint if you will. My favorite is the Berry Blue salad, mixed greens, dried cranberries, cucumbers, edamame, sliced almonds and blue cheese with fat free raspberry dressing. I went for the large and enjoyed every bite!

The next morning we got up around 6am to head to Iowa. We had to get there early to take Finn to his old vet. He'd been having several problems with his ear, eyes and skin. We had to make it before they closed at 11, so we hit up Starbucks first! After a relaxing afternoon and Finn got his meds we headed to Dubuque, Iowa, another hour and a half drive, to celebrate my grandparents 60th wedding anniversary. Can you believe it? 60 years, that is a LONG ASS TIME! We had dinner at an interesting restaurant called Morocco. To my disappointment it was not Moroccan food, but the family picked it because it's been around forever, so long that my Dad even went there when he was a kid!

My Dad and his parents aka my gram and gramps! The gorgeous and delicious cake was made by my aunt Renee.

The non Moroccan Morocco

Mike's din

After dinner we celebrated with cake and puppy chow(yum alexis!) and headed back to Davenport. The next morning we got dropped Finn off at the boarder, left Dixie with her grandparents and headed back to Chicago. I also received a blingin text that happened to be my cousin Alysia's engagment ring. Her boyf popped the question Sunday morning, we are so happy and excited for them!

Phew, and then it was Monday!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

The friend that always wants to hang out..

Wine? Ok, maybe wine and I have become a little too close lately, but I blame it on old man winter. I love a good glass of wine on these cold Chicago nights as much as I love a cool, crisp beer on a hot summers day. Tonight I just finished off an excellent bottle that I purchased Sunday at Whole Foods after and evening of, well, wine tasting.

My friend Erin and I have a new favorite past-time. We like to go drink flights and try new wines at the new Whole Foods on Clybourn. This is not your ordinary Whole Foods, as Erin put it, "It's like a little town" inside that is. There is your normal salad bar, bakery, cheese section ect. BUT this Whole Foods also has a full out bar, and a wine and cheese bar, in other words pure bliss!

After we both had the "Pacific Flight" and a glass we headed off into the aisles for some shopping. I had two purchases in mind, a sweet and a bottle. I will be the first to admit that after a flight and a glass my decision making powers were not at their finest. I saw a women who knew what she wanted walk into the department and pick up 4 bottles of a Cabernet Sauvignon from Brownstone Winery in Cali. I quickly snatched one up before heading to the bakery and picking up a slice of vegan cookies and cream cake from my fav, The Chicago Diner.

Neither let me down. Mike and I shared the slice of cake two nights in a row! It was a delicious and umm, big!

I am partly noting this wine to share with you all and so I don't forget in the future. I prefer a deep, rich (basement) flavor in my wine versus a grapey fruity flavor. As my palate continues to refine I'm sure I will be able to tell you the specific grape variety but for now, well here is the description straight off the bottle. "Blended for maximum flavor and color, this wine has rich cherry, tobacco and oak components with supple tannins and smooth finish", I am starting to see a trend here with "oak" maybe that is the basement flavor I am so found of. At any rate, if you see this wine, pick up a bottle, at $10.99 it is a bargain for the deliciousness it will dazzle your palate with!