Tag: errands

Weekend Things {06-17-2013}

1. Sorry things were a little bit sponsor heavy on the blog last week. I had two posts waiting in queue and unfortunately was asked to post both in a row. The Malibu sweepstakes is still open but I did want to announce the winner of the FrogFuel pack…Mike Dalton! I will be e-mailing you to figure out the deets.

2. Spring is a hectic time to work in academia. I feel like every important deadline happens to fall between May and the end of June. I really felt it this past week and even with going in early most mornings, I still had to stay late on Friday… boo. By the time I got home, I had no desire to do anything but lounge on the couch and hang out with my boys.

fridayngihtA lot of this type of playing happened. Sonic gets to play and I get to sit on the couch. Win-win for both us.

3. I woke up early on Saturday and headed out for a solo 3-mile run before Ian and I left Chicago to drive to the Run for Boston 5k. Unfortunately, about three-quarters of the way there, Ian had car trouble and we had to call for a tow.

carbrokedownIt was raining, so we hung out in the car for a few hours while we waited for the tow truck to head our way. As luck would have it, after waiting five-ish hours, we found out the tow truck had decided not to come and we had to wait for another one. Thankfully, one of Ian’s friends had taken pity on us and picked us up to grab lunch but we were all pretty stir crazy after waiting around at a Shell gas station all day.

carbrokedown1Look! Ian got a new watch!

carbrokedown2Eventually the tow truck came and we were able to get a ride home. Whew!

4. Fortunately, we weren’t stranded in the middle of nowhere and I was able to find a Target within walking distance. Hello, cheap new work shoes!

shoesI did feel much better about the stranded situation after spending money on myself and yes I do have absurdly large feet for my height.

5. We made it back to Chicago with just enough time to shower, change, and head out to The Vic to see The Tenderloins, the comedy troupe behind Impractical Jokers (if you haven’t watched the tv show, you need to ASAP because it’s absolutely hilarious). The show was really funny although a little bit short which worked out perfectly because Ian and I had plans to grab Taco Joint for dinner!

margaritaMargaritas were much needed after the day we had. I tried the chile mango and Ian had the guava and while both were tasty, we agreed the chile mango was the better choice.

tacosWe split an order of rojo guacamole and then I had two tacos, the camaron (grilled chile and garlic spiked shrimp, garnished with avocado salsa and crispy flash fried spinach) and the cochinita (Yucatan style pulled pork garnished with picked red onions and spicy habanero salsa). Taco craving satisfied.

6. On Sunday, after an early longer run, Ian and I headed out to run our errands. We grabbed Starbucks, went to Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods, and even visited the animals at the Anti-Cruelty Society. Ian was craving a sub for lunch so we stopped into an Italian bakery and deli near our apartment where I found the world’s largest cannoli.

cannoliGet in my belly!

7.  I also started a new book that I bought at the Printer’s Row Lit Fest, The Beautiful and Damned, and happened to find this written on one of the pages.

bookIsn’t that amazing? There are also notes and underlined passages throughout the book. I can’t wait to figure out what or why certain parts of the book were noted.

8. In Sonic news, he now believes that our kitchen rug is a large bed for him. He used to sleep in one of his beds (yes, plural) placed throughout our apartment but recently he’s started laying on the rug. He also refuses to move when we’re in the kitchen…

bubsTerritorial much?

9. I’m working on a post about the training plan I’m using for the Chicago Marathon including why I chose it, how I’m adapting it, etc but I thought I’d ask you guys if you had any specific questions that you’d like me to address. If you do, let me know if the comments!

Obviously, my weekend was kind of lame (outside of my control…) so what did you guys do over the past two days?

The Publican {Brunch}

I should have known better than to try to go for a training ride yesterday morning. I made it about 15 minutes before reaching my first NATO barricade: about 50 City of Chicago snow plows lined up blocking access to an open road. Ridiculous! I spent a good 10-20 minutes trying to find a big enough gap to fit my bike through so I could get to a road leading to Lake Shore. It was incredibly frustrating. Then, once I got on the path, it was extremely crowded and I had to weave between zillions of runners. I am the biggest hypocrite. When I run, I get annoyed by bikers and when I bike, I’m annoyed by runners. Who am I? Anyway, after about 20 minutes, I became frustrated, headed into the city and biked side streets home.

Chicago triathletes/cyclists any recommendations on places/times to cycle? I want to get a few good training sessions in before my race but I can’t seem to find a good location for it.

After my bike ride, I locked my bike up and headed out for a run. I decided to complete two miles instead of one after my sub-par biking experience but when my Garmin would not connect with a satellite (maybe it was the helicopter that hung out over my building all day yesterday?) I just took off. My guess is I ran 1.75 miles but I’m not sure. It would have been two but I had to use the bathroom (thankfully TJs has open restrooms) and then lost all motivation to continue. What can I say, yesterday was not my best day of workouts.

While my workout may not have been amazing, brunch sure was! This past Valentine’s Day Ian took me to The Publican, a beer-focused, farm-to-table restaurant. We loved it and have since been talking about returning. The Publican is well-known for their brunch and we had to make a reservation earlier in the week. We also knew our server (friends of family) and were treated like royalty which very sweet and generous.

I started out with a coffee and Ian had fresh squeezed orange juice. While we were looking over our menu, our servor brought us out complimentary rhubarb-almond coffee cake. See, I told you we were spoiled ;)

Next, we split an asparagus salad that came with a poached egg, parmesan cheese, and a lemon vinaigrette.

The salad was light and crisp, I want to recreate it at home!

Then, we had our mains. Ian ordered smoked arctic char with a side of bacon while I had the chachouka (tomatoes, feta, pinenuts, & baked eggs).

It was amazing and completely unlike anything I usually order. I loved it!

The Publican’s brunch menu was so tasty that I joked with Ian that we should go there every weekend. But even if we could afford it, going every weekend would make it less special. We decided to reserve The Publican for brunch with family or friends when they’re in town and looking for something a little bit nicer. That will definitely keep the “special factor” alive ;).

With the impending NATO summit, we decided to knock some errands out right after brunch rather than on Sunday like we usually do. We went to Target (I bought some shirts!) and then Trader Joe’s to do our grocery shopping. By the time we got home, I was full of food and exhausted and happily curled up on the couch for a long nap. It was awesome.

When I woke up I had a quick costume change and then Ian and I headed out to a BBQ at our friends’ home in the suburbs.

We sat out in their fenced backyard, played with their pups, sipped some adult drinks, and feasted on hamburgers, hotdogs, and smartdogs (for me). We also walked into their little downtown for local ice cream. It was a great time and I wish I had taken pictures but I was honestly having too much fun to even think about it!

Surprisingly, Ian and I made good time getting back into the city and even watched an episode of Mad Men before crashing. Everyone keeps saying the first season is the slowest and I already like it, I can’t wait to get to the 5th!

What have you been up to this weekend? Anything exciting?


Happy belated St. Patricks day! If you celebrated yesterday I hope you had a great time!

Yesterday, after a 30 minute session on the elliptical and a mile swim (finally did some intervals), Ian and I grabbed a quick and hearty lunch at Jaffa Bagel.

Given that we were planning on day drinking, I made sure to really carb it up and had a jalapeno chedder bagel with veggie cream cheese.

It was so good and made me wonder why I don’t eat bagels more often.

After devouring our lunch, we met up with our friends and headed to the bars. One of Ian’s buddies plays the bagpipes and showed up with his pipes and wearing a kilt, it was awesome! He played all day long and often got free drinks/ money from the bartenders. He even let me try them!

And, it was sooo hard! You have to blow enough to fill up the bag and more. I made a little noise but couldn’t keep the pressure in the bag high enough to actually play anything.

Around 7:30, Ian and I were done for the day. We were tired, hungry, and sweaty (it was 80 degrees yesterday), so we said goodbye to our friends and picked up some dinner at a random thai restaurant.

We shared crab rangoon to start

And then I had pad kee mao with shrimp.

I’m pretty sure it was actually good, but I would have eaten anything at that point!

After our late dinner, we took the el home, and promptly passed out in bed before 10 p.m. What can I say, we’re classy like that!

This morning I woke up early because I had an intense workout planned (not so smart after yesterday’s shenanigans). Luckily I felt fine and had the usual pre-long run fuel of a piece of toast with peanut butter.

I added banana, walnuts, and chia seeds because my stomach can handle a wider variety of food if I’m ellipticaling rather than running.

Then I hit the gym for a 20 mile elliptical session. Yeah, you may think I’m kidding but I’m not. Julia had mentioned to me that when she was sidelined from training for a marathon, she substituted a 20 miler with the elliptical. At first it sounded absolutely crazy to me… almost 3 hours on the elliptical? No thank you. But the more I thought about it the more I realized that it made sense. While swimming and biking are great to do for cross-training, the elliptical is the closest thing to running without actually running. Plus, by doing 20 miles on the elliptical, I was forcing my body to keep my heart rate up for a long period of time while also doing the same motion over and over again.

So, I ellipticalled the first 10 miles, took a bathroom break and stretched out my toes, and then hopped back on for the last 10 miles. It was tough but I’m glad I did it. Plus, I’m now super caught up on the news, so win-win?

When I got back to the apartment, Ian was up and ready to eat, and as our apartment is still really really warm, we decided to check out a new breakfast spot, Waffles.

After all of the carbs & beer yesterday, I wanted something a little healthier for breakfast and ordered a spinach, mushroom, & gruyere omelet with eggwhites.

Ian had the cheddar and short rib waffles

The best part of either of our dishes was the side of potatoes. Yum!

After brunch we ran our weekly errands by foot and are now relaxing on a couch in front of a fan. Plans for the afternoon include working on my capstone (thesis) for a bit, making dinner (it’s been so long since I cooked) and trying to wear out the furball who has been full of energy lately.

Have a wonderful afternoon!

A Busy Saturday

Yesterday was extremely busy but in a good way, I was a little productive, had a little fun, and relaxed- everything you’d want in a Saturday!

During the early afternoon, I ran errands. My first stop was a local running store to pick up shoe inserts. I found a pair that will hopefully pad my heels more, support my arches, and help with “shock absorption”, I’ll let you know how they work out!

I also stopped by lululemon and spent waayy too much money on running clothes (granted, I did need new stuff). What can I say? I wanted everything!

I ended up getting the cool racerback extra long, the back on track tank, and a pair of the turbo run shorts.

After shopping, Ian and I were hungry, so we stepped into a nearby diner for some food.

The Salt & Pepper Diner didn’t have many options of vegetarian fare for lunch, so I ordered a veggie wrap with sweet potato fries. I was extremely hungry by this point so I ate up, but the wrap was seriously lacking vegetables. The sweet potato fries were pretty good though.

After lunch we went grocery shopping, did laundry (I told you we were productive!), and then headed home to get ready for dinner.

Unfortunately, by this time my heel was starting to really hurt. I’m not sure if yoga upset it or walking (I wore my running shoes with my new inserts so I don’t think it ws my shoes) but I had to lay on the couch and ice it for a bit. I’ve decided to just swim and take a cycling class (as long as that doesn’t hurt my foot) today and skip the short run I was also planning.

A month or two ago, Ian went to P.F. Changs with one of his friends and was given a red envelope with an “unknown coupon” inside to be redeemed at his next visit to the restaurant. Well, he realized yesterday that the coupon was going to expire today so even though we had pan-asian on Friday night, we decided to take advantage of the coupon and went to P.F. Changs last night.

I wanted to celebrate being out on a Saturday with no long run to wake up for in the morning (and I was frustrated with my foot), so I ordered one of their cocktails, the Dark & Spicy.

It tasted really good but was really weak. If I’m going to splurge on a mixed drink rather than wine, I want it to have some alcohol in it!

We also split a bowl of egg drop soup. Note, the following picture indicates the size of a bowl at P.F. Changs, if you order one, plan on bringing at least two meals-worth home!

Crazy right?? But… it was the same price as two tiny cups. Pretty good deal right?

For my main, I ordered the shanghai shrimp with garlic sauce.

It was okay, I ate about half and plan on mixing the rest into my more flavorful Joy Yee leftovers. I must say though, I love that P.F. Changs has brown rice!

Ian ordered the SIngapore Noodles and was disappointed as well! I guess you can’t always expect great food (or maybe we ordered the wrong thing??), but we should have just stayed in or gone somewhere else.

To make up for our lackluster dinner (and because we were in the area), we stopped at Pinkberry for dessert.

I ordered a small peanut butter with dark chocolate crisps, banana, and granola. It was AMAZING! It was so good that I ate it slowly and savored every bite :)

We ended our night by watching the movie Hugo. I liked it but fell asleep and missed the last quarter of the movie, darn! From what I did see, if you like fantasy, Harry Potter-esque stories, you’ll like Hugo ;).
I woke up early to eat before going for a swim and then to a spinning class.

Alright, I need to go get ready, have a great Sunday!

A Saturday of Good Eats

Wow, my winter break is ending with a bang, today Ian and I went to not one but two great Chicago restaurants :)

After blogging this morning, I crawled back in bed with Ian and slept for another hour. I haven’t done that in years! And while it felt good at the time, I also felt like I was wasting my morning :(. Needless to say, by the time I got up, ran, and showered it was already noon and after only snacking through breakfast, I was hungry!

Ever since seeing Panozzo’s on Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives, Ian and I have been wanting to check out the Italian market. Well, today was the day!

I ordered the Vegetarian- grilled eggplant, roasted red pepper, fresh mozzarella, with tomato, mixed greens, red onion, and pesto.

Oh. my. goodness. This may be the best sandwich I have ever eaten!

My original plan was to eat half of the sandwich and save the other half for tomorrow but I couldn’t even fathom putting it down. Every part of the sandwich was perfect, from the bread to the pesto sauce. My mouth is watering just thinking about it!

Ian and I also split some broccoli rabe to get in some greens.

It was good but it didn’t hold a candle to my sandwich (not much really could though ;))

If you are ever in the Chicago area and need a lunch spot, please check out Panozzo’s. Your stomach will thank you :)

After lunch Ian and I ran some errands including some clothes returns and a trip to Starbucks. When 6 rolled around, we couldn’t believe it was time for dinner.

Both Ian and I have been craving sushi ever since our trip to Mirai last weekend, so today we decided to go to Toro Sushi, our favorite more casual sushi place in the city. The wait is always really long so we put our name in and then headed to a nearby bar to grab a drink.

I ordered a glass of chardonnay, my go to drink.

The restaurant called us earlier than expected (45 minutes > 1 hour) so we ended up finishing our drinks in a hurry and rushing over to the restaurant.

By the time we were seated I was ready to eat, so I started with a side salad with ginger dressing.

Ian and I split two rolls the Midway Monster roll (pictured first) and the Holla Jalapeno (second).

I’m sorry the rolls are half eaten. I totally forgot I was a food blogger until Ian looked at me and asked if I was going to take a picture. Whoops!

Now Ian and I are in our pjs and ready to watch A Walk in Paris and relax for the evening.

How did you spend your Saturday night? Did you eat anything good this weekend?

15 miles in the morning!