Tag: Coffee

Four for Friday {03-01-2013}

Hey guys! Happy Friday and happy March 1st! Hopefully this means spring is right around the corner… I’m going to try to forget that it was snowing out on my morning run today :P. Anyway, this week was long and my brain is almost fried so let’s get to Friday things!

1. I love that pets have routines. Every morning when I wake up, Sonic gets up with me and keeps me company while I change and have a snack before working out. On most mornings, right when I’m about to leave, Sonic trots over to the “treat drawer” and I slip out the door while giving him a few treats. However, when I get back from working out, Sonic is usually nowhere to be seen. Why is that? He ALWAYS steals my spot in bed and when I walk in the bedroom he looks at me like, “sorry sucker, you wanted to get up early to work out”. The other morning, he had actually wedged himself under the sheets and was up near my pillow. Crazy kitty.


2. Ian surprised me this week and brought me home some Starbucks Dark Roast coffee. You have absolutely no idea how happy that made me! After I finished off my Blonde Roast and the two tins of TJs pumpkin roast, I’ve been drinking some old samples and a blend that tasted like burnt coffee. Yuck. The Dark Roast is a new to me fave so I’m super excited to enjoy a few cups today!


3. Last night, Ian and I had a pre-weekend date night and went out to dinner at DeColores, an upscale Mexican restaurant in Pilsen. Ian had actually been there before and enjoyed it, so when he saw the Groupon go on sale two weeks ago, he scooped it up right away.


To start, we split some made-to-order guacamole and fresh salsa with chips. I was debating between tacos and fajitas and ended up ordering the chicken fajitas with corn tortillas and a side of their famous mole sauce. Ian enjoyed their carne asada with chimmichurri sauce for dinner and then had a piece of famous Kristoffer’s tres leches caramel cake for dessert (I tried the caramel sauce- amazing!)

4. After dinner, Ian took me to City Winery to see Howie Day live. Neither of us are huge Howie Day fans but boy, was he awesome live. He had great openers and played a nice mix of new and old music. It was really fun! The venue was really cool too. All the musicians sounded fabulous, they had wine on tap, and we had assigned seats so we didn’t have to stand up for three hours. It was perfect :).


Have a great Friday!

What are you up to this weekend? I’m doing lots of the usual + book club!

Five Things Friday {02-15-2013}

1. I know, I know I just posted a Three Things Thursday but this week has felt super long and my brain is only able to think in bullets right now. Sorry!

2. Last night, Ian and I celebrated Vday at Mirai, one of our favorite sushi places in the city. Their menu is pretty extensive, the fish is always super fresh, and the restaurant has a great trendy vibe. The one downside? Awful Romantic lighting that made it difficult to take any pictures of food.


See? Totally looks like Ian is just chillin’ in the dark. Rest assured though, while I don’t have photographic evidence, Ian and I made sure to dine on salads, rolls, and lots of nigiri. Sushi is one of those foods that just doesn’t fill me up and we made sure to have quite the feast :).

3. You may have noticed that I’ve been adding some core work into my workout schedule. I know I’m bad and don’t generally strength train so I’ve been trying to find ways to squeeze 30 minutes of core work in 2-3x a week with a goal of completing 2 workout DVDs and taking one strength class (or swimming 1x) at my gym each week. Of course, this isn’t going to be easy. I feel like I already workout a decent amount … even if it’s just running… and I need to balance working out with many other things in my life so we’ll see how it goes. I think doing more strength work will make me a more balanced runner though.


Trust me, I’d love to be able to go for a medium-long run and then take a strength class every day but I do have a kitty mouth to feed at home and unfortunately, I have to work to make the money to buy the kibble :P.

4. Are you guys big coffee drinkers? I go through phases where I’ll drink a lot of coffee and then I’ll cut myself off and only drink tea for a bit. I’m approaching almost a year of full on coffee drinking though and am starting to really explore the different varieties. For example, I used to really like milder coffees but lately I’ve been enjoying Starbucks’ Dark Roast.

What’s your favorite type of coffee? Do you have a go-to order at coffee shops?

5. Is anyone planning on registering for the Chicago Marathon? Well registration for the 2013 Chicago Marathon opens this coming Tuesday, February 19 at 12 pm. Considering how fast the race has sold out in the last few years, I’d highly recommend registering early! I’ve been alluding to the fact that I was thinking of registering but haven’t officially said anything because I wanted to see how I felt jumping back into training after the Goofy Challenge. Well, I’m feeling good *knock on wood* and because the Chicago Marathon will be taking place basically in my backyard, I’m planning on registering for it again this year! I also plan to run it for a charity but there will be more on that in a later post.

Have any fun plans this weekend? Ian and I might go to the auto show and we’re planning on grabbing lunch at the French Market but besides that, my weekend is looking to be pretty chill.

Restaurant Week {Le Colonial}

Last night Ian and I took advantage of Restaurant Week and went to Le Colonial for dinner. For those who don’t know, Restaurant Week is an awesome event where for 10 days, over 200 restaurants in the Chicago area offer prixe fixe menus started at $22 for lunch and $33 for dinner (there is also usually a $44 menu). As most of these restaurants are usually pretty pricey, this is a great deal!

Our dinner reservation was pretty early because we wanted to take our time and enjoy a leisurely Sunday dinner but even still we arrived a little early. The restaurant was great and offered us a seat on their heated balcony.

It was really cool to sit up there, but I bet it would be even more amazing in the summer when the windows are open!

I started with a glass of chardonnay and then opted for the $33 menu for dinner. There were pescatarian options on both, but I thought the $33 had better choices overall.

(Just for reference I had the #3, #47, and the macaroon.)

First course was the spring rolls with peanut plum dipping sauce.

They were SO good and the sauce was to die for. They were also surprisingly heavy so I split them with Ian.

Ian ordered off of a different menu and had a beef salad. He loved it and said he’d order it again in a second.

My main was the tofu curry and when it came out I couldn’t believe how big it was. No skimping on food for Restaurant Week at Le Colonial!

It was really good and the tofu was cooked perfectly. It was also really interesting to have asparagus, sweet potatoes, and mangos in curry. I really enjoyed it and can’t wait to dig into my leftovers!

Ian ordered the trout. The presentation was really cool but when it came down to it, the meal was really just a lot of fish, no extra veggies and hardly any noodles. It was tasty but pretty one note.

The best part of Restaurant Week is that they force you to order dessert (obviously). It’s so easy to say no to dessert when you’re fairly full after dinner but when it’s already included in your meal, you have to at least try some and will almost never regret it ;).

I ordered the coconut macaroon.

And Ian ordered the fried banana wanton.

They were both really good and I don’t think I could pick a favorite if I tried. I will say though that Ian’s came surrounded by this light banana-flavored glaze that was AH-mazing!

I also enjoyed a cup of decaf coffee with dessert. I love how coffee cuts the sweet!

Overall we had a great experience at Le Colonial. The service was good and the food and ambiance were both great. I hope to be back again someday, there are so many things on their main menu I want to try!

Boston Marathon: Cut-back Week 2 {13}

Good morning and happy Sunday! This week was another training cut-back week so my schedule called for a 13 miler this morning.

Before I left I snacked on a small tortilla with sunflower seed butter, chia seeds, and raisins.

It wasn’t as tasty as toast with peanut butter but it sat a lot better in my stomach! Maybe I should switch my pre-run fuel?

The weather was perfect today, no ice or snow in sight, and despite my sore legs, I felt really speedy :).


It felt so good to run fast. Especially since my last few long runs have been after (or during!) snow storms or I’ve had to deal with ice. It was so refreshing to not have to spend my entire run staring at the sidewalk looking for hazardous ice patches!

Breakfast was my best version of oat-less oats yet.

I whisked together 3 egg whites, 1/3 cup unsweetened almond milk, 1/3 cup pumpkin, 1/2 smashed banana, 1/2 tsp vanilla, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice, and 1 tsp maple syrup. I heated it on the stove and stirred in raisins.

I topped the oat-less oats with cashews and cookie butter. I even went back for more cookie butter, it just tasted so good!

Dinner last night
Ian had to run a late errand so we didn’t eat until after 8:30. It ended up working out nicely because he offered to order Thai and pick it up on his way home. Fine by me!

I ordered the Pad Ped Paak with tofu. It was supposed to have a lot of vegetables but mine came with some cabbage, a few pieces of broccoli, a couple baby corn and snap peas, and tomatoes. Not exactly what I was expecting.

It was also very tofu heavy. I ended up eating all of the veggies and saving some of the tofu, it was just way too much!

Dessert was the Sprinkles we picked up earlier in the day.

Salty Caramel on the left and Raspberry Chocolate Chip on the right.

A sugar coma quickly ensued.

I’m off to bake some cookies for a Superbowl party and then get some homework done. Have a great Sunday!

Do you have any Superbowl plans?

Boston Marathon: 17 miler

My schedule called for a 17 miler this weekend but I wasn’t sure it was going to happen. The weather did not look like it was going to cooperate (think snow, wind, ice) and in my opinion it is really unpleasant to run 17 miles on the treadmill. So, I kept a back up plan in mind in case the weather decided to prevent me from running outside.

When I woke up though, the skies were clear and there was basically no snow on the ground, it looked like my run was actually going to happen.

I fueled in the usual way, a piece of bread with some sunflower seed butter and chia seeds,

Said goodbye to the kitty,

and headed out the door!

My luck ended there though. My garmin crapped out (apparently I can run a 40 second mile?) and I got hit with a flash snowstorm around mile 5 that left a nice powdery covering over the icy sidewalks. As a result, I had to shuffle over random ice patches and drastically reduce my speed to avoid falls.

Not having a reliable Garmin also really bothered me. It kept telling me my pace was way out of normal range and I didn’t know how  accurate the distance would be. I had mapped a route on gmap-pedometer.com and followed it exactly, but still it undershot by a mile (according to the Garmin). I ran the extra mile for my own sanity, but I don’t know if I actually ran 17 or 18 miles today.

It was so frustrating! Even though my marathon is not until April, I’m getting nervous that I will be slow on race day because I haven’t been able to train at marathon pace yet. Ugh.

Anyway, I don’t have any splits today because of the Garmin fail. Sorry guys!

All I wanted to eat post-run was something warm and comforting. Yoatgurt to the rescue!

I cooked 1/2 cup of oats, 1/2 cup water, 1/2 cup almond milk, 1/2 scoop vanilla protein powder, and 1 egg white over medium heat. Once the mixture thickened, I added 1/3 of a banana and some cinnamon, I then topped it with 1/3 cup plain greek yogurt, blueberries!, cookie butter, and some crumbled mixed berry scone.

I also had some coffee with my new favorite peppermint mocha creamer.

Last Night
The last thing I wanted to do last night was cook food. I was super antsy from being cooped up in the apartment all day and felt really uncreative food-wise. So when Ian suggested we grab a quick bite to eat somewhere, I didn’t protest :P.

We went to Villain’s which is much of a bar than a restaurant, but they also just happen to have amazing food.

Take a look at the beer menu, it’s front and back!

I tried the Slumbrew Happy Sol and Ian got the Golden Monkey. I was jealous that his was served in a challace and kept stealing sips.

For dinner, I ordered the Garden Delight wrap: roasted portabella mushroom, guacamole, roasted red pepper, grilled red onion, lettuce, swiss, and thousand island dressing.

I haven’t had Arby’s fries in maybe 10 years? But these fries definitely had similar seasonings. Villain’s knows what they’re doing ;)

After dinner we made a Walmart run. I know that everyone has mixed feelings about Walmart and I am in no way supportive of their policies or their effects on local neighborhoods, but everything these is just so cheap! And for a couple trying to save some $$, you can’t beat the prices in terms of cleaning supplies etc.

Some of the loot

We also picked up this for the little guy.

He obviously didn’t like the cat on the box though, look at his puffed up fur!

Once it got out of the box though, he was a big fan.

My little furbaby is a climber!

Sorry for the long post, but lots to catch you up on!

Have a great Sunday :)