Saturday, January 30, 2010

sharing is caring

We eat healthy here too...don't get us wrong!


Doggieman says "I am just helping Mommy out here... I bugged her and she had a second 'nana to share with me! "

What your dogs don't eat Bananas?! Phssh!

Hope you all have a lovely weekend! I did a little damage shopping last night and will probably head out again today! *squeal*I got the most amazing shoes last night! (show and tell soon!)

Friday, January 29, 2010

we eat meat here


A couple nights ago the Man and I went and registered at Crate and Barrel. (I think I enjoyed it a little bit too much....planning out dinner parties well before we have a table to seat four and any of these things!)

But anyways, afterwards we decided to continue the date night and go try out a new restuarant we have been really dying to eat at. (So much so I am almost afraid to speak of the place!) But alas, here I am! I can't keep from sharing with you. (all three readers!)

We went to go and try out Kuma's Corner. Our first attempt to eat here was foiled a few Friday night's ago (A wait of over two hours), so we said what they hay lets try on a week night. And boy I am sure glad we did.


Kuma's is not fancy, it is not fine dining. But what it is...it is good, it is a bar with Jack and Jameson on TAP (yes, you read that right!) that happens to serve some killer burgers and some really good other stuff. This try we only waited about 15 minutes, almost snagged two stools a the bar (which is first come first serve) but alas no luck. While we waited I enjoyed the ambiance, I really like that small neighborhood feel, while sipping my Jack and coke.

Kuma's is a bit grundy, a bit rock and roll and tons of attitude. Check out this clip from their website:
But, first, Some information for when you get here, to make your trip enjoyable for all. Including us:
1) We do not take reservations.
2) We will not “put on the game, bro”
3) No music requests.
4) No Minors after 10pm.
5) Our kitchen is only 16×6. Please be patient.


The Man and I decided to start off by splitting the Mac N' cheese (hey folks, don't judge - this is why I work out so much, so I can eat like a fat kid on occasion). The two toppings we choose were bacon and caramelized onions. Come'on Bacon, we think that is a silly question too!

And for our burgers.... I went with the Iron Madien (same thing Lady Gaga got a week ago when she was eating here) and the Man got The Clutch. There were only about.. umm ALL of them I wanted to try!


My burger was delish! Not to spicy, but with a tiny kick. The avocado cooled it right off. The Man described his as the perfect amount of cheese, not overwhelming but just right. The meat is suburb (good quality) and the pretzel roll bun YUM!

We brought home half the mac n cheese, and we each took home some fries and half a burger. (Best leftovers  EVER!)

We will surely be back!!! As much as I like trying new places, we normally go to a solid few over and over! Must go explore this city.

(sorry for the crappy photos, taken with an ailing Crackberry)

Thursday, January 28, 2010

in case you didn't know

Today I am feeling ho-hum...so I thought I would share so random factoids about me.

- I like to eat bananas. B-A-N-A-N-A-S...go Gwen!  - but I really only like them barely yellow, NO spots!
- I LOVE to dance. By myself, with a group, doesn't matter...I've been known to rock the dance floor by myself!
- I have a national title in Ice Dancing, back from my glory days. And since I stopped skating I haven't touched the ice. (My old skates and medal find homes in the back of the hall closet)
- I would have a small zoo of animals if I could. City living and allergies hinder that!
- My favorite color is orange. Random and quirky yes.
- I love to wear skirts and dresses, though constantly find myself in pants.
- I am addicted to HGTV, Food Network, BBC and Discovery Health TV channels.
- I will grow my hair for a couple years, only to chop it all off....it is a vicious cycle I can not break (much to my Mom's demise)
- I miss watching music videos...you know those things that used to play on MTV and VH1 with people dancing to the latest songs (Especially Pop-Up Videos on VH1)
- I love sushi and Mexican, though not together.
- I would pack up my bags and head off in the sunset to travel for as long as I had money for, I would explore every nook and cranny of every foreign country (if time and finances allowed)
- I miss being able to run, run loooong loong distances (cross country runner in my youth)...I tend to get injured when I do nowadays, guess all those years of ice skating, ballet and gymnastics are cathcing up to me, I have faulty joints, knees and ankles now.
- I love to read.




Ok that should do it. Hope you enjoyed ME. Or should I say learning about me!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

HOLY jhfal%ds#kjhfasdknflizv*t!

HOLYHEIDIMONTAG!

I am a celebrity gossip-whore. I am sad to admit it, but it is true. I read the smut magazines, by into all the trashy TV shows. Don't get me wrong, I love me some 20-20 or Sunday Morning.....hey it is people like me who make them famous, right?!?! (or maybe it isn't...oh I don't know!)

But somehow I missed the landslide...I mean announcement of the Hills, reality star, Heidi Montag's most recent plastic surgery debacle. HOLY Joan Rivers much, yes?!?!  I don't know where I was, maybe in wedding la-la land. But wowzas I missed a doozie! I am not against a nip and tuck or lift if that is what you choose, when aging starts to get you down. (key word in that sentenace is AGING, in case you missed it...AGING, like 60's!) But come-on a doctor that will perform a face-lift...excuse me brow lift on a 23 year old should have his license taken away! No joke.




Somewhere this poor girls wiring got screwed up, insane in the brain, loco... and now looks like a fake version of herself. It is tragic. When I stumbled onto these photos late Friday night, I was like who are they comparing her to in this article...read fine print, jaw hits floor.



I am still shocked. I even had to pull the Man to the coputer to show him when he got off work on Saturday, I was still shocked. He replied, 'Wow that is so sad, she was kinda hot before.' (She was I ain't gonna lie, her body was good looking) But I can't get passed the new face. GROSS! And I almost forgot the TRIPLE D breast job....puke, I seriously puked in my mouth.

Have you all seen this?!?! Oh wait and her interview, where she claims God understands...shortly followed by her responded, I can't really move my face yet. SAD!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

style file - SAG awards 2010

'tis the season for Award shows, this past weekend it was the SAG's.

Again, I din't watch the actual awards, but def tuned in pre-show to check out the fashion!

Here are my FAVS!!!!

WOW to Diane Kruger.....Yummy!!!! (by Jason Wu) A little Michelle williams, but different enough that I am in love. The asymmetrical neckline, the draping. I really loved it...Can I wear for a wedding dress?!?!


Thankfully Kate Hudson got it right this week! I LOVED the Pucci gown (straight from the spring runway!) the backless and jewels!!!!!


And I know I may be the only one, but I really enjoyed the dress Sandra Bullock wore (Alexander McQueen). It was not the same old black number. The sequins and cut-outs around the neckline, really did it for me. So I may be going against most critiques, but I TOTALLY DIG IT!


I also really like Christina Applegate (baby blue dream!!! and the jeweled back + perfect hair!), Penelope Cruz (Black stunner again!), and Anna Paquin (may not have been the best for the SAG's but she definitely knows her body and what works for her, but I still really liked it!)


And again on my WORST dressed list is Drew Barrymore...Drew, Drew Drew! (Monique Luhillier) (It would have been a hit, if the horrible thigh length layer was hacked off). The color did wonders for her, and the bodice was perfect...but as a whole - YUCKY! Me no likely!!!!


Did you guys have any major YES's or NO's from this event???

I am really excited to see the fashion of next week's Grammies!!!! They are always a little more fashion forward, daring and fun! I wonder what will walk down the red carpet, and who will be wearing it!

Friday, January 22, 2010

dying....

I am dying over these pink shoes. D.Y.I.N.G.

I think I may die without them....no seriously. DIE WITHOUT...I am just saying! (Oh, and the girl on the right...so copying that outfit!!!! SO. Love the mix of colors!)



From the Sartorialist.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

clicky clack!

Some new SHOE LUSTS!

I wish these shoes would come live with me!!!!! (if only they would come over on their own- with no credit card slip following them, or buyers remorse when I realize how many meals they would pay for! Must stalk more sales!)











(Buy these Beauties at Nordstrom)

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

style file - golden globes 2010

Now I will admit I did not watch the Golden Globes this past Sunday (there was a certain football game on that could not be missed, but I probably should have), but you know I jumped online first thing Monday to check out what everyone wore! There were more misses than HITS this year for me.

Some of my favorite, or is that least favorite misses.....

I love me some Drew Barrymore, her adventure and casualness in her personal style is inspiring....but her in the Atelier Versace not so much! The dress would have been best suited without the large tumors, especially the one on her HIP!!!! Why, oh WHY would you wan to make your hips look like that!



And OH MARIAH!!!! Bad, bad bad bad bad BAD! Seriously come-on now! (there isn't enough room on the page for those girls!) It was like trying to fit 10 pounds of sugar in a 5 pound bag! (sorry for the directness, but it was not a good look for her!)

A few others that were not chart toppers for me were: Kate Hudson (the white statue dress), Tina Fey (little Miss Muffet?!), and Fergie (too bridesmaid-y)

On to my favs!!!!

I loved Maggie Gyllenhall. The folds, the pleats...sigh... almost oragami-esque. Along the ruffle trend without adding visual weight to her petite frame. And the color was divine. Her hair and accessories were not over done, just perfect!



Then there was Jennifer Garner (in Atelier Versace). Always so classy! Loved the asymmetrical neckline and sparkle!!!!



Emily Blunt....HAWT! (in Dolce & Gabbana) Well minus the hair, but I won't fault her it was rainy, lets just blame that part on the rain...k? I love the blush color. I love the chiffon, floaty-ness of the bust. A+ in my book. (Maybe it was because I fell head over heels for a Vera Wang dress soo similar to this this weekend while trying on wedding gowns!)



And lastly....Anna Paquin! (in Stella McCartney) I LOVE THAT DRESS! The GOLD, the sequins the plunging, yet classy v-neck. Just the right amount of cleve. The sleeves gave it air of sophistication and playfulness. Very rarely so you see a sleeve like that on the red carpet, and I loved it!



A few other favs were: Cameron Diaz, Jennifer Aniston, Penelope Cruz, Julia Roberts, January Jones (Minus the headband....but she had a migrane, so like the rain forgivable!) and Ginnfer Goodwin.

What did you rate the stars??? What do you want in your closet?!

looking up

a little pick me up....since I am still moving so slow after a loooong weekend!

Today I am all about.....

My freshly painted, HOT PINK NAILS!



My online shopping delivery.....



Planning our bedroom make-over!


Do you guys have anything exciting on the agenda for this week???

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

dangerous lunges

Dangerous lunges...not to be confused with the luge, the dangerous luge (you know that winter sport where you hurl your spandex-covered body down and icy track to gain as much speed as humanly possibly). I recently incorporated some dangerous lunges into my work-out repertoire.

They are not dangerous for you to do, don't' get me wrong! They are the day-after dangerous kind! You will completely understand...just give me a moment!

They were very easy to complete so I threw in a few extra laps of them around the gym yesterday. And today, they are dangerous! I feel muscles in my rear I wasn't sure I owned (wait did I sign a lease for you?!). And even a couple deep in my inner thigh that may have grown out of no where over night! They are dangerous....dangerous when I walk down stairs - tingles and burns run galore! They are dangerous for when I bend over..... there is a chance I may not make it back up! :) They are dangerous, because now I am addicted!!!

You guys should try 'em! Take your standard lunge, and instead of stepping directly in front of you, cross the front foot. Stepping diagonally across your body, then bend. Repeat. Take it easy at first, but beware if you keep it up you are bound to be a hottie by swimsuit season (or so I keep telling myself!)! (I do my lunges holding 10-15lb free weights)


(I don't bend over like this photo, I keep my back upright and arms by my side - like a traditional lunge) 

Personally I love this tingly-burning sensation! LOVE IT!

Monday, January 11, 2010

hrmmph!

The gym is currently worse than a LA freeway at rush hour! (And if you don't know what that is like....then be thankful! Very very thankful!) Worse than prying a bottle away from a crying baby. Worse than...you get my point, right?! It is bad! I understand all the 'resolutioners' are trying to get into fitness mode and get fit 'n all. But seriously come on!

I enjoy going to the gym on the weekends. The crowd is a bit thinned out, verses my normal after work crew. The machines are open, the ab room isn't packed. You can run or do cardio for over 30 minutes and no one looks at you for 'hogging'. Well, this weekend everything changed. Everything.

I arrived at my normal Saturday morning, lie in bed, putz around the house then gym-time time.... around 11am. There was not a treadmill, elliptical or bike free. NOT ONE! So I stretched and started with weights. I watched an out-of-shape over-weight gentleman move through 3 different weight free weights (Dude, obviously the last time you were here....circa '93 you were in shape and could lift some thing...anything!) before finally realizing he couldn't curl more that 15 lbs. After one rep, he called it quits with the free weights. Thank gawd, one fatty down! (have I always been this rude?! ;) )

Now, please don't get me wrong, I am proud of these people (well somewhere, deep inside, and hidden far away) that they are trying to improve their health. The first step is always the hardest! Getting there! I should know, I can talk myself out of heading to the gym in like 0.2 seconds....slight, minute headache - HOME! too much laundry - HOME! So I give them credit for going.

But for the rest of us gym-goers, who have been sweating our rears off pre-NYE (year round for that matter) they need a system. Give me a wrist band, come up with a fast pass (like Disneyland! ohh now that is good, the gym is like Disneyland!), anything.  Come up with a system so we can use the equipment, work out like normal and not wait while you take 20 minutes to figure out the appropriate weight at the lat pull down or squat machine. I mean it would help us all!

Ok, I will stop now. But if the gym gods are listening....a fast-pass is the way to go! I will cut in line work-out real quick and be on my merry way!

Has anyone else experienced this frustration at the gym lately?!?! (I can't be the only one!)

Friday, January 8, 2010

one of those days

Today has been one of those days! TEAR! I am coining it a CRAPtastic day!

Let's see....walking to the bus stop I was sprayed with yucky dirty slush by a speeding car (if you didn't know, Chicago was inundated with snow yesterday and through the night). Startled I looked up and saw a bus, so I desparetly tried to hurry an catch it....but no! Waited for over 30 minutes for the next one.

While on the bus had a lady step on my foot over 10 times - one would think that she would have felt my evil glare, or noticed the ground all of a sudden got higher and bumpier, but NO! Arrive at work LATE (a personal pet peeve!) to a jam packed inbox (topping 30!)

I can't even seem to find anything to buy online to make me happy! I think I am treating myself to a mexican feast at lunch....Mexi makes me happy!




How have your Fridays been going???? LOL :)

Thursday, January 7, 2010

winter wonderland

We have been under a winter storm warning since late last night....a total of 8 inches of snow is expected in the city of Chicago!!! yay...NOT!

I snapped these photos on our 'potty' walk (with the dog...not me!) this evening.











Brr!!!!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Cooking Files: Pasta, with Goat Cheese, Asparagus and grilled Chicken

Sometimes when you need to get warm from somewhere deep...you should make a super easy & tasty pasta dish! I did just this tonight!

It was freezing cold today. The first Monday back to work after a wonderful and long holiday weekend....and because pasta makes everything better! :)

This is a super quick and easy recipe for a simple and hearty creamy pasta. I have seen this recipe on the web before, but this was my on the fly version.

I hope you try it and enjoy it as much as I did!!!

Ingredients (ONLY 5 FOLKS!):

- Box of you favorite noodles (I choose shells, but you could do penne, or the swirllies (is that a technical name?!) or even better the healthier wheat version!)
- Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
- Spices for your chicken - On creamier, subtle pastas or with mashed potatoes I like to add a bit of flavor, but feel free to season them as you like (maybe a lemon-garlic, simple salt and pepper...you name it!) I used Lawry's, Chicken grill seasoning, garlic salt, and a sprinkle of cajun
- Asparagus (one bunch should do!)
- Alouette - a creamy goat cheese normally used for crackers or appetizers (I used the garlic and herb version)

This makes about 3 meal size servings....dinner for two and a lunch for work?! You can easily make it dinner for 4 with a nice leafy salad and crunchy garlic bread!



Okay here we go!

1- Start your water for the pasta

2- Season your chicken...to your likening! (You could also do boneless chicken tenders or thighs what ever tickles you!) I also drizzled in a little EVOO for some extra moisture.


3- Once your water is boiling go ahead and toss in the pasta!


4- Now I would start heating your grill pan, or outdoor grill for the chicken over med to med-high heat.

5- Rinse and dry your asparagus. Then slice it up! Make sure to chop off the tough bottom ends. I did about 1.5 inch slices on the diagonal.


6- Put the chicken on! And cook it! ABout 3-4 minutes a side, all depending on what type you chose.


7- Now to cook the asparagus! You can toss into the pasta for the last three minutes or like I did, blanched it in about an inch of water in a small saute pan. For about 3-4 minutes, until fork tender.



8- When doen, drain both the pasta and pasta!

9- Pour them both back into the pasta pan.


10- Now add in the Alouette. No rhyme or reason here folks....I started with a scoop, and added a bit more. The heat from the freshly cooked pasta and asparagus will melt it into a delicious goodness!!! (As soon as this happens you can smell the goodness of the cheese!) I used between 1/3 and a half of the container...don't judge! I like it creamy and hey it iis Monday and I could if I wanted too! (And I did!!!)




11- Slice up the grilled chicken.

12- Now time to EAT! Pasta into the bowl, and the chicken on top....EAT, NOSH, and ENJOY!!!


GO TRY IT!!!! (yes, Mom I am hinting at you!!! You can do this!!! so easy - tastes like alfredo and the boys will like it!)

Sunday, January 3, 2010

2009 ...through pictures

Sorry this is little recap has taken longer than normal to post...I am blaming the couch and its magnetic force, as well as the weather gods for making it so darn cold, I can't leave the blankets!

However, here is a mini recap of my 2009....it was a good year for me! I had a lot of personal "a ha" moments, growth and acceptance of who I am. I also achieved a workout plan that fits me, and was easily obtainable....with only a few bumps (those months without running and barely being able to walk due to stress fractures and swollen joints and ligaments from my hips down!) But I am back and the results are quite obvious (down whole sizes folks!)

And the year couldn't have ended any sweeter.....The Man asked me to marry him, so you know that was the cherry on top! I can't wait to see what 2010 has in store, because from what I already know it is going to be AMAZING!!!! (stay tunned!)


NYE 12/31/08



Puerto Rico - 03/09



Puerto Rico - 03/09


4/09



5/09


6/09



7/3/09



7/4/09



Coldplay Concert, Apline Valley WI 7/25/09



Coldplay Concert, Apline Valley WI 7/25/09


10/09



11/09



11/09



Savannah, GA 11/09



Christmas Eve 12/24/09