Wednesday, March 28, 2007

March 28

Today Chad came over for Chili and LOST! We are all LOST addicts. Actually, maybe Chad is more of an Evangeline Lilly addict......

March 27

Tonight my friend Cory was in town for a training (he is learning to communicate effectively! So exciting! haha). So, we went to Joey's Brickhouse, my new favorite restaurant. It's half a block from my house, and the menu is so freaking diverse and good. There really hasn't been anything where I think "This is the best X I have ever had!" but all the food is pretty decent and it's just sooooo close and you can seriously get anything you want. Pizza? Check. Burgers? Check? Healthy salad or grilled chicken and veggies? Check. Homemade pasta? Check. Steak? Check. Anything you feel like, it's there. I haven't repeated a meal once, and I'm not done trying out all the stuff that I want to.

We did the all-you-can-eat salad, pizza, beer, and rice krispie treats deal for $15. Such a great deal! And I got blackened chicken and spinach pizza, which was great. This is a pic of the rice krispie treats, and I used a trick I read about on the internets for the flash. I just held a tissue over the flash to soften the effects of the light, and it worked great. I am considering taping a coffee filter over the flash for good, the picture turned out so differently with the different amounts of light.

The only bad thing about this place is that the service is so-so. The servers are all super-nice and friendly, but they are always just a bit behind the pace on everything. You know, everything takes at least 5 minutes more than you think it will, they tend to forget a lot of things (didn't get bread this time, and glasses get empty without being noticed, etc) and you always have to flag them down to get your check. But they are generally good-natured and attentive.... they just seem a little scatterbrained. So whatever, A for effort.

Also, I a lot of my pics during the week are food! Maybe that will change a bit when the weather gets better outside during the week. Chicagoans do a lot of hibernating in the winter/monsoon months!

Monday, March 26, 2007

March 26

Tonight I popped into the oven the meatloaf I had pre-prepared last night. I meant to tkae a picture of the meatloaf when it was done, but somehow it quickly hopped into Mike and I's bellies. Therefore you only get a picture of the before-cooking phase. Mike's evaluation of the all-ground-turkey meatloaf: 1.75 thumbs up. He says I'll never get two full thumbs from a turkey meatloaf, but that it would help if I took the small bit of mustard out of the glaze. The boy, he hates tasting even a little bit of something that he dislikes - and his dislikes are severe. He recalls one day when he was little and he bit into a McDonald's hamburger right into a pickle, looked at his Dad and said, "Oh no, a pickle," and promptly vomited all over the table. Anyways, I thought the meatloaf was tasty... and super lo-cal - the whole thing was 1270 calories. With 8 pieces, that is only 159 calories a piece.

Mike's quote, "It's not quite the same as beef, but I'll give it to you, it's good!"
I am a dork, I like to cook for Mike. I hate to cook for myself, but I like to cook for other people. I guess when it's just me it's far easier to just break out the lean cuisine.
As a random sidenote, the meatloaf is in my new find: my red polka-dot casserole dish that I bought for myself at TJMaxx. It was $7.99, but I have never had a casserole dish before and I love it. Bobby Flay says to make meatloaf in a bigger dish so that you get the nice crunchy crust on the sides too (am recently obsessed with all things Food Network!)

Mom Stratton's Meatloaf, adapted by Apes:
1.25-1.5 lb ground turkey
1 c bread crumbs (I used the seasoned Italian ones)
1 egg (or 1/4 c egg whites)
1 c skim milk
1/2 tsp onion salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
2 tbsp worchestchire

Topping/glaze - 1/3 cup ketchup, 1 tbsp yellow mustard, 1 tbsp brown sugar, 2 tbsp worchestchire
Cook for 60 minutes at 350 degrees

NEXT UP TOMORROW: Eggplant parm

March 25

Man what a productive day. Check out that refrigerator full of good, healthy food!
I was so productive this weekend! I did laundry, hung out with my gals, went to the grocery, went for a walk (the breathing is getting better everyday, thankfully), we went and picked out a bike for Mike, cut all the ribbons for the invites.... the list goes on. Now I just need another weekend of chilling the heck out to get caught back up to my rockstar lifestyle of health food and working out :c)

Sunday, March 25, 2007

March 24

On Saturday we met at State for the basketball games. State is BYO, and it is smoke-free. I really liked it, it was really busy too! Good food :c) Here are a few pics from the afternoon

Tracy and her fiance, Tojy

Choater, me, Emmy, and Tracy

March 23

Tonight we went to our friends' John and Francesca's for some Pizza DOC and hanging out. I meant to take a picture of their pimp condo, but I was certifiably narcoleptic, so all I really saw was this:
(Artistic rendering of what I think the inside of my eyelids look like)

Friday, March 23, 2007

March 22

My heart monitor thing turned my finger red! Ah!
Please note 42" plasma in the background ;c)

Happy Birthday, Katie!!

Today is my little sister's 22nd birthday. Man, saying that makes me feel so old!

Katie is one of my nearest and dearest friends, and although sometimes I luuuuuurve to call her out and be a bossy-a$$ older sister, I hope she knows that I love her more than a fat kid loves cake!
Some of my other friends do this thing "Ten things I like about so-and-so" on each person in the group's b-day (They actualy stand around and each person names off something they like about the birthday girl or boy), and I'm going to start doing it now!

Ten things I like about Katie:
  1. Katie loves the hell out of everyone in her life, regardless if they deserve it or not
  2. Katie loves the ghetto. I can always count on her to accompany me to a Kanye concert
  3. Katie wears my clothes. I love it when other people like your clothes enough to actually borrow them
  4. Katie has the prettiest hair and eyes. She hates her hair, but I think it's great.
  5. Katie is a great eyebrow-plucker. She does my eyebrows when I see her.
  6. Katie says things like "Playing the tambourine is exhilirating!" or "Oh, no, she diiiiin't!"
  7. Katie has a job where she helps people everyday and loves contributing to society like that.
  8. Katie is not the kind of girl to turn down a cupcake
  9. Katie enjoys the both the fun of a night out on the town and a night in watching movies
  10. Katie is the best sister EVER

March 21

This is the door handle of my Ear-Nose-Throat Doctor's office. Cool, huh? When you are leaving, you have to pull on something, and it's not that apparent that there are indentations in the upper right and left hand corners of the door, so alot of people grab the nostrils. Hey I grab the nostrils, because I think it is funny. But some lady stood there and looked at it and was like "EW!! Do I have to grab the nostril?!?" Cracked me up.

March 20

My boy made me dinner tonight. Soup and grilled cheese, he is QUITE the chef!

March 19

My new best friend

Sunday, March 18, 2007

March 18

Sometimes, you just gotta stand by your man.

March 17

Check out the beer goggles on this guy!

March 16

On Friday we were at Joe's for the March Madness games and then hit Mystic Celt, where I took this pic!

March 15

Happy Birthday to Jay! On Thursday, we went to Messner's and watched the IU game. So fun!

March 14

On Wednesday, I came home from work and started in on the cookie/cupcake making and final housecleaning chores that needed to get done before our guests came into town. Because, you know, the DUST BUNNIES, they were growing some massive fangs and had to be conquered.

And then Mike came home and said those magic words, "Want to go out to dinner?" So we went down the street to Joey's Brickhouse (currently becoming our favorite place!) and had a nice little dinner and I had a big Stella and was feelin' so nice.

This is a pic of my leftovers... I would highly recommend the one pound burger stuffed with brie. So freaking good.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Today is the day....

...that I have been looking forward to since almost New Year's. My little brother Jay is flying up (I am praying to the sweet, sweet Baby Jesus that his flight is on time) and we are kicking off the St. Patty's Day Fun with the IU game. Tomorrow we are up bright and early to watch all the games. Let me just lay it out there: Mike and Jay will be there to watch the games with and there are no other two people I would rather have by my side at a sporting event. Mike explains everything tirelessly (although I am pretty good with the basketball knowledge by now.... oh how far I have come from "Tom Coverdale is such a jerk, he never lets any of the other guys bring the ball down the court!!!") and Jay is always good for random comments, heckling, and IU comradery. Katie is cool, but she's more into the gossip, dancing to ghetto music, and social interaction than sporting-event smack-talk and screaming "DEAR LORD why can't the guy in the red outfit just making a freaking shot already?!?!?!"


In other news, today is Jay's Birthday! Happy Birthday, Jaybird!! 25! I know we made a hella big deal out of Katie last year and I feel like we totally neglected your birthday. But this year is your year, baby, Katie turns 22 and that is NO FUN at all. So this is your BIG-BIRTHDAY-CELEBRATION-in-Chicago weekend. I even made two sets of cupcakes, brownies, and oatmeal cookies. Get ready to eat plenty of snacks, houseguests.

An advance apology:
To Jay and Katie, I apologize for an extremely lame round of birthday presents this year. You each only get a 20 spot for your birthday, as I am broke as hell.
Love, Your Big Sister

Mike pretends to push Jay from the lookout point on Mackinaw Island

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

March 13

On Tuesday, my Dad had heart surgery, and had a device put in his heart to close a hole between his two ventricles... the cool thing was that they went in through a vein in his leg instead of opening up his chest. It's a very interesting medical procedure, and they had to travel to Saint Vincent's in Indy because the procedure is not conducted in Evansville. It all went really well and it was good, as always, to spend time with my family. It was really hard to see them wheeling my Dad away to surgery without any of us to go with him, though.

Dad hams it up for the camera before the surgery

The surgery board! Just like on Grey's Anatomy but with less stuff on it!

Jay pops a wheelie in Grandma's wheelchair
The sibs pose with Dad... we were all hella relieved it went well!!

March 12

On Monday night, I drove down to Indy to be with my family for my Dad's surgery on Tuesday. On the way, I am thinking "Aw, hell, I didn't take a picture today. I should just take a picture of 65, since I feel like half of my life is spent traversing this freaking highway." So I did: It's a little blue, but allright for driving on a highway at dusk. Then, right as I was taking this picture, this cop flies by me, doing what had to be far over the speed limit. I got a nice little shot of him flying past me. Am I the only one that is terrified of getting pulled over, even if you are doing the customary 5-7 miles over the speed limit? Everytime a cop goes past me, my stomache does flip-flops thinking of getting a ticket and having to pay for it.... I guess I would rather just spend my money on cute shoes. Which is not so wrong, eh?

March 11

Hallelujah, I cleaned my kitchen.

NOW people can come visit this weekend. Enjoy the fruits of my labor, peeps, although I cannot guarantee it will be clean by the time you all get here: Mike and I, we like the eating.

As a sidenote, the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser REALLY IS magic.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

March 10

Tonight we went out to eat at Morton's in Schaumburg. Let me tell you, that place can really cook a steak. YUM!

The occasion was our friend Adam's b-day... he turned 30. Happy Birthday, Adam!!

March 9

On Friday, Choater scored us tickets to the Big Ten tournament and we went to watch the heartbreaking IU loss. So sad :c( But the cheerleaders doing the flag cheer with the IU logo on the jumbotron was pretty cool :c) Regardless of the loss, I had a great time.

March 8

I spent my first night in Chicago, ever, in this hotel. It's the Fairmont by the AON center, and I stayed there for my PwC internship interview. I can't even describe how impressed and in awe I was of the city.

March 7

OK, it happened. I forgot to take a picture. But to be fair my day was hella boring: Work, eat, gym, sleep. Nothing interesting.

Below is a funny picture Mike sent me, and is the reason why we call people "morans" instead of "morons" when they are being dumb. Just a little insight into the quirkiness that is Me and Mike :c)

March 6

My first go at a protein shake. Not too bad!

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

March 5

Today I took lunch with Mike and ordered my wedding band! It is so very pretty and I am so excited to wear it. Every day brings something new that makes the wedding and being married to Mike more real. And it's not scary, but exciting. Now if I could just be excited enough to start addressing all those invitations.....

I also had a Subway cookie and then looked it up online afterwards... just SAY NO to the Subway cookie. 210 calories? What is in that thing, pure lard? It wasn't even that good :c(

On the way back to work, I saw this ad that I like. I don't know, I like Diet Coke. It is my homey, and made many early morning classes and wakeup calls in college far more bearable.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

March 4

I took this picture of my brother Jay and I after midnight last night, so I'm using it for my picture of the day. I love the look on Jay's face. Check out his rockin' black blazer. Jay is one stylish mofo.

March 3

My favorite cocktail: Beer & Boone's Farm.

Don't knock it til you have tried it!!

March 2

Katie poses in her new bedroom in Avon with her dalmation calendar. The dalmations always make us feel a bit nostalgic for our dog Lucky that had to be put down last summer. He was a great dog!! He smelled AWFUL but was great all the same.

March 1

My view on the way to the el each night.

I tried to focus on the sky in the background, the clouds looked really cool in the sunset and even though I like the picture, it didn't quite capture it.