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Showing posts from August, 2011


blast from the past

growing up we had a tastee freeze in town, which was lovingly called Big T's.  
I went to visit one of my friends who lives on the logan square, humboldt park border last week and as i was riding my bike there i saw a tastee freeze.  i haven't seen one in YEARS!  one of the first things i told my friends was the whole story of tastee freeze.  we caught up at her place for a few hours and then took a little walk to big t's.  
it was so fun and a little blast from the past.  she listened while i reminisced on bunny birthday parties and freezies.  she decided to go for a cup rather than a cone for the calories and we decided it was a-ok according to the 98% fat free sign =)
that night i talked to jess and emailed my dad about this discovery and they both laughed.  and excited to reminisce.  i said tastee freeze to them both and jess said, "BIG T'S!!!!!"  we both gained a little look back to our childhood, which is always welcome.

summer of surprises

remember how i surprised dad for a father's day celebration.  well, my surprises for this summer didn't stop there.  karen's birthday was thursday and i mentioned her love of her birthday.  she really wanted me to come visit and kept telling me repeatedly.  i, however, couldn't get off work saturday and had to work until 6 so i didn't see the point.  but then the weekend before i had a breakthrough.  it's just money.  who knows what next year will hold and i can make it happen this year.  so i booked my tickets. and we had so much fun! saturday i called once i got to the airport in st. louis and said, "i'm at the airport.  will you come pick me up?"  first there were screams and then silence.  to the point i had to ask if she was even still there.  she said she was in shock.
sunday was fun day! we sat on her deck enjoying breakfast when she tried to decide what she wanted to do during the day.  i brought clothes to be prepared for anything so whatever…

thankful time

it's always nice to get a little closure on relationships, in order to honestly and completely move on.  this week i was able to talk through something again and lay things out a bit more calmly than before and with reflection time and friendlier.
it made me sad in some ways because we sort-of went through everything again (in a different way this time).  but.  it was necessary and at the end of the day i felt good about it.
after i told karen all about it.  she said, "oh that sounds like you had a good conversation."   that it was.
it's just nice to be able to move on...

special birthday girl

Karen is a huge birthday person.  Probably the biggest i know.  For several years, like 5, she's had birthday weeks, she likes her birthday so much.  This year is the first time in a long time she hasn't planned a birthday week... only 4 days.  And she is distraught she has to work on her bday.  But besides the extreme decrease in celebrations, i think she's going to have a great 4-day birthday.
i sort-of decided for her this was her year to try new places and things.  this evolved from the fact she's not a huge cooker.  she had 3 recipes.  while we were at borders picking up some awesome sales dad & i picked out two cookbooks for her.  a 4-ingredient one and a 5-ingredient one.  dad also picked a few recipes out where we thought she could start.  i made one recipe which she insisted she would not like.  later that week i got a text how much she liked it.  she called me sunday and was so proud of herself because she bought ingredients for

bike coveting

so you know i love my bike.  even though it definitely has it's problems.  exhibit 1.  exhibit 2.  that's kind-of just the start, it always seems to be something.

today i spent part of my lunch fixing my brakes.  (i don't have a wrench.)  the back ones hadn't lined up for awhile.  they still didn't work... well.

and then i see this.  i would like one of these so much.  so so so so much.
they're like $1000.  yuck.  #1 i generally am disgusted with people who spend that much on a bike #2 i had a bike stolen and have a fear (understandably so) that it will happen again.
i also like that my bike can't be taken apart.  this one most definitely can.  (people steal the parts)

i could spend some money to get my bike fixed up, but judging from the rust and tape (that's held up quite well) falling off and the number of parts i've taken off this summer alone, and it won't shift gears anymore.  and it's still super heavy (did you even know jcpenny made bikes…

summer cooking

so who wants to cook when you're having a heat warning, you don't use your window unit ac, and there aren't windows in your kitchen?  i don't know.  not me. for this reason this summer has been a lot of very easy meals for me.  vegetable pots, eggs, lots of breakfast for dinner, veggies and hummus.  delicious.
however, i have cooked a few things i'll share with you.  (they're not meals....  just little things)
when looking for a recipe i usually know what i want to make (not always).  and i just start scanning recipes online.   what is my criteria? 1.  Few ingredients.  i have the basics and i like to use them. 2. No blender.  I can usually find a way to fake whatever thing they want me to do, except blending.  For example, i don't have a pastry blender, but you don't have to have a pastry blender to do a decent job.
generally, i start with a basic recipe and i can add things in and modify as i wish.  it gives me more control and flexibility of the result.

air and water show recap

i went to a lot of air shows growing up.  my brother is an aerospace engineer.  he likes planes.  we went to a lot of shows. although, honestly, karen, mom, & i would usually meander around during the show while dad & jeff sat with their eyes peeled to the sky.  i think that's for the best anyway.  jeff would look at us "wow that was cool!"  we would muster a "ugh hugh."  kind-of a let down for him.  it's better he watched them with dad.
and i haven't been to an air show since.  until this weekend.  after the storms cleared i walked on over to the lake.  i didn't go to north ave., the hub, i had enough of that craziness on my run that morning, waaaay before the show even started.
i actually really enjoyed myself.  i really liked the little bubbles when the planes flew right over me, really fast.  i just really liked it.  i'd like it even more if i was in the plane.  that would be awesome!
i also enjoyed watching the family a little in front …

thankful time

i'm so thankful for the sunflowers my neighbor planted.  they're my favorite flower.  i even contemplated buying some from trader joe's this week to put in my apartment (i never buy myself flowers), but decided i'll just enjoy my neighbor's instead.

weekend fun

i know this is so late with the approaching weekend, but i want to do a recap from last weekend.  it was a good one.

after working a 15 hour day friday and a half-day saturday i made my way to the airport for my quick flight to missouri.  it didn't end up being quick in any form of the word, but i arrived.  i just don't seem to have luck flying lately.  i told my grandma the story and she even commented on how it seems to be a trend lately (for me).
we had all sorts of changes in our plans, but mom, dad, karen & i ended up at Winslow's Home, in U-City.  it's a farm-to-table restaurant so i was a big fan and i had a delicious Torta Rustica.  yum!

while i was looking up ideas of places to go in st. louis it was nice to see farm-to-table restaurants are taking on the scene.

sunday we checked out Duff's in Central West End, which took awhile to get our food, but was delicious.  we had a lovely walk around the neighborhood because it was too nice not to.
karen & i w…

reunited and it feels so nice

i used to take the megabus ALL the time.  it's not for everyone, but i love it.
i haven't taken it in awhile because i have such short trips now that it seems silly to spend 5 hours each way (although it sometimes seems to take that long flying... i've had bad luck lately).  their schedule is rather restricting though.  but man, is it a good deal.
which brings me to my most recent trip.  monday i was reunited with the megabus because of just that.  the price.  
i was pleasantly surprised to have my own seat and have a bus with the sky windows.  that's what i call them anyway.  the entire top of the bus is windows.  i really like those buses.  it was cold.  but that's my only complaint.  it usually is.  cold that is.
after napping, reading, listening to the girl behind me talk on her phone about her budding relationship (i'm happy for her), i popped in a movie and waited for my chicago arrival.
and bam we were here.  early.  another reason i like megabus.  it's u…

job search

and i'm at it again.  i'm not sure if i've mentioned i'm looking for a new job.  i'm looking at program coordinator positions.  i'm especially drawn to the non-profit sector and i love working with people.  i'm looking in new york city and chicago.
any advice on job hunting?   to call or not to call?  when it explicitly says no phone calls.  i've heard both yes and no.  people say it's good to build a relationship, but if you're in the running do you want to be the one who called. what to do to stand out when they're receiving 100s of applications.  i know they are.
if you know of anything, i'd love to hear about it.  =)

back to school

I KNEW this week was going to be insane before it started.

hence my tattoo for the week
No, it's not real.  
I've been on a bit of a tattoo kick lately.  I really would like one, but I'm definitely too indecisive for anything like that so I draw pictures depending on my mood.
This is tree pose.  I love that your feet keep you grounded, think of it like a tree's roots.  the things and people that are always there for you no matter what.  Then you have your branches and fingers to move around with what life sends you.  There's more to that description, but there's the short form.  
I wanted to keep myself grounded as I prepared for the week of insanity.

It started Monday at work.  (Yes, I work Tuesday-Saturday, but people don't always respect that schedule.)  We went to a school for their first day.  (track E CPS schools started monday) It went pretty well, just exhausting, as usual.  But the BEST part was what we saw roaming the halls as school was starting.
Yep, a…

thankful time

I mentioned I was going to the suburbs to see my sister and her friends Saturday night for a BBQ and I am overflowing with thankfulness for the hospitality of karen's friends, Lori & Jason, and... for seasonal fruits and veggies.

#1 my mom sent some homemade pickles and zucchini bread for me.  it always seems my parents receive lots of zucchini, tomatoes, and cucumbers around this time every year and zucchini bread has been one of our favorite recipes to use some of the zucchini for as long as i can remember.  it's just so good.
when karen & i got to my parents in july we saw zucchini on the counter and asked each other where the bread was.  i wanted a slice immediately.  we were surprised not to find any, mom makes a lot of zucchini bread considering they get lots of zucchini.  karen & i quickly (we have lots of practice) whipped up some bread for everyone to enjoy during the weekend.  which we all did.
one of my personal favorite ways to use the cucumber is to make …

week's recap

what a week!  the madness that was sunday seemed to continue throughout the week.

This week included attending the interns "community bash" at the Adler.  They were so proud and I was so happy for them.  I wasn't happy about going in to work on my day off (Monday), but I made myself go in and i was so happy i did.  i think it was important to them because they seemed very excited to see me.  so that's good.

i also got to catch-up with a couple girlfriends i hadn't seen in awhile.  one i met at urban vegan, somewhere i've never been before.  it didn't have anything on chicago diner, but it was nice to catch-up with nez.  
i had some chat time with emily before checking out beauty and the beast.  she found some crazy discounted tickets for $18 .  it was SOOO good to see her and catch-up.  it's one of those times when you glaze the surface of the things you've been up to so you can get down and dirty with real discussions.  beauty and the beast was good…

maxwell street market

oh this market was so much fun.  i met up with my friend who i, sadly, hadn't seen in awhile and we went to the maxwell street market on sunday.  it's a mexican market.  it was perfect.  i told cinthya i came back from mexico july 28, a year ago so this was a perfect flashback.  
we walked up and down the street aisles as i reflected on the similarities and differences from real mexican markets... -there was very little yelling.  of course there was still yelling, but it didn't quite compare the the yelling in mexico.  (there's a lot more in mexico.) -there also wasn't chicken and fish hanging everywhere and being chopped up right in front of you.  that was nice.  i think that might be illegal in the US. -there was such an extreme variety of things sold.  that's the same. -lots of spanish.  same. -the stands were further apart so we had more space to walk and chit chat.  i think that might just be because the road was wider.  this was nice because it was so hot...  (…

life in a day love

i hopped on my bike sunday night a teensy bit later than i planned.  i quickly remembered everything that was happening in lakeview sunday night.  first, the traffic was insane.  so i just kept going on my way until i got to halsted, where they blocked off the road and i remembered the paul mccartneyconcert at wrigley field.  i maneuvered my way around that and then realized summer on southport, the street festival was happening.  the music box is on southport, in the middle of the festival.
i parked my bike and had to explain i was going to the music box (so i wasn't going to pay).
i made it to Life in a Day, the documentary I mentioned before.
it was cute.  there were so many stories and lifestyles and days represented.  it was a little overwhelming, but i just think it means it can appeal to anyone.  
i guess i should say, sadly, this was my first trip to the music box.  it was super cute.  i really liked it's size (it's small) and quaint.  yeah, i moved once (one seat o…

marathon fighting through

sunday morning my alarm went off to get in my week's long run as i attempted to beat the heat.  oh, how i didn't want to get up.  what did this mean?  i started later than planned.  oh boy, did i regret this decision as i finished.  it was HOT.
i also used lots of mind games.  examples:  'what a beautiful day, i'm so happy i can be outside enjoying this.'  'you feel fine.'  'you'll be back at this point on your way back before you know it.'  i guess it made it a bit more enjoyable.  it's so weird because the weekend before sunday was a 16 mile day and it felt good.  seriously.  sunday was 17 and it felt awful.  i think part of it was i wasn't thinking enough about my dinner saturday, but the weekend before i planned it out.
i kept going and started feeling like i was running directly on the concrete.  i know i've worn my shoes out.  i also know how important it is to invest in good running shoes (for your body).  they're just so …

st. louis vs. chicago

following the cardinals vs cubs weekend and the fact that i visited 2 weekends in July.  i'm going to do a little city comparison for me...
st. louis (STL) & Chicago (CHI)
city food traditions STL ted drewes-my body isn't necessarily used to all the dairy and sweets i consumed over one of the weekends (it didn't really know what to do), but i still enjoyed it anyway.  but ted drewes is so fun.  it's such a fun tradition at any time, but especially after a cards game or muny show it's packed! gus' pretzels - these are just so good.  for full disclosure i should mention my tiny obsession with pretzels.  i think these are the pretzels they used to sell at stop lights in st. louis when i was little and sometimes mom would get them for us as a special treat.  they don't sell them at stop lights anymore, but they're still delicious. dad's cookies - i don't know much about this one, besides these are the cookies they use for ice cream sandwiches at ted …