Monday, January 16, 2012

MLK Jr Day. (+deals)

Another day, another week, another Monday.  Happy MLK Jr. Day!  Especially to those of you that I’m envious of because you have the day off work and I don’t. According to the paper, that's 30% of US workers.

As usual, our weekend fly by.  Ben’s holiday party was a good time, as always.  We ate at Osteria Via Stato downtown .  Although we didn’t have a full menu (the menu had been limited to four entrée selections for the party), the food as awesome.  I’m usually on the edge about liking calamari, but this stuff was delicious.  For my entrée, I chose the Chicken Mario. Smart choice.  Chicken dredged lightly in flour and pan seared just enough so there was a think crisp layer. Ben ordered the braised short ribs and actually ended up liking my chicken more than his ribs.  There were two sides and I opted for the bacon butternut squash – amazing. SO good! 

For the gift exchange, Ben’s buddy ended up taking the remote control air shark.  I’m anxious to hear some stories about this thing flying through their office.  Ben ended up with 4 pint glasses and some Allagash White beer.  The perfect gift for him.  The rest of the night was fun and I was surprised that Ben was actually the one who called it quits, suggesting that we go home.

Saturday was a lazy day. This is too Saturdays in a row and I’m beginning to hate it.  I hate not feeling like I have atleast one product day on the weekends.  We hung around the apartment until it was about time for our photograph class.  We made three stops on the way.  1-Binny’s Beverage Depot.  Ben was looking for a hard to find beer, Bell’s Hopslam, that they supposed had.  Of course, they didn’t.  Stop 2 was a second liquor store, and they did have the beer and other beers that interested Ben as well.  15 minutes, $48 and 17 beers later (purchased, not drank), we were on our way to Stop 3 – Wendys. Does that give you a clue to how out of it we were feeling?  I don’t usually eat fast food….but my junior bacon cheeseburger really did taste amazing.

Photography class:  I’m kind of torn on what to think of the class.  Due to my red-wine induced night prior, I opted for one glass of white wine and that was all.  The class itself had 9 couples and the instructor.  Essentially we talked about the four settings for photography:
·    Shutter speed: controlling the amount of time for an exposure
·    Apature/focal length:  controlling the amount of light for an exposure
·    ISO setting:  quality setting
·    Amount of light available
From there, the instructor (a photographer of 47 years), we talked about small details and questions, but nothing really major.  While I had heard of the terms, I didn’t really know what they were or what they meant.  However, overall, Ben and I both agreed that we could have saved the $45 and learned just as much, if not more, from dedicated three hours to internet searches on DSLRs.  Oh well.

From there we dropped the car and camera at home and headed the our friend’s housewarming party.  It fun, but in some ways bizarre.  I’m not sure if this happens to a lot of people, but for us, usually when we get together with others, the large majority of us all are from the same hometown and went to the same highschool.  There were others at the party, but there were also people from our high school ranging from two years younger than me to three years older.  Weird weird weird.

But I kind of love their apartment.  It’s north of ours, in a still walkable, but not as nice neighborhood, refered to as Uptown and doesn’t have the granite stainless steel kitchen we have; but, it’s huge!! Like we could actually fit a dining table in it (yes, this is one of my life dream right now). I kind of want to look into moving there.  It’d save us about $2,000 a year; but it’s downfalls are that we’d lose our in-unit laundry, backyard (SO convenient to not have to put a coat and shoes on to take Oscar to go pee right now with the cold weather; that’d change), it’d take me longer to get to work, and it’s far from the gym (like we’d have to drive there).  We’re not really planning on moving this year.  Our lease is up at the end of April and in Chicago, you really can only start looking for apartments seriously, about 6 wks out, which is when we’ll be in Europe.  So, essentially, we’d have to find an apartment AND pack the last two weeks of April for a May 1 move in.  Sounds terrible.

Yesterday again was a bit of a struggle.  I am not made for drinking.  I woke up before Ben, but it wasn’t until 1pm that we were both up and moving (disgusting isn’t it?).  We walked up the street to Ann Sathers for breakfast.  It’s a chain Swedish café in Chicago that’s known for their cinnamon rolls.  My sister wasn’t impressed when we ate there with her (but she’s a food-snob) but Ben and I can usually always count on it for a decent breakfast, definitely a filling one!  The only downfall is that they appear to have changed their portions on the cinnamon rolls.  It used to be that each person got two cinnamon rolls with an order, which was perfect b/c I’d eat one and take the other to go so I can heat it up the next day for breakfast. Nope, just one per person.

After running to the grocery store and watching the Packers lose, we followed our Sunday Pizza Night tradition, but with a twist, we made our own pizza (to be posted in future). After that we watched Water for Elephants.  I read the book over a year ago (on our honeymoon), and since I just read Night Circus, I was worried I may confused the two plots, but as the movie went along, I remembered the book.  Overall it was pretty good, kind of slow at parts though.

Hope you had a great weekend! (and maybe a bit more productive than mine)

There are a ton of sales going on:
·    AT Loft: Last day for 40% off new arrivals and extra 50% off sale items
·    Banana Republic: Last day for 30% off regular priced items and extra 35% off sale items with code BRONSALE
·    Gap: Last day for MLK event: 30% off denim and up to 40% off other items; plus use code GAPEXTRA online to take an extra 10% off your purchase
·    J. Crew: Extra 30% off sale items, in store and online, with code MUSTHAVE
·    Macys: Through 1/17, extra 10% off, including sale items, with code SUPER
·    Michaels: 25% off entire purchase, today only
·    Mixbook: 30% off photo books through 1/23 with code BOOK30
· get $10 for $20 to use at via
·    Piperlime: One day sale: Fab 50 under $50
·    Pottery Barn: Today only: free shipping on everything (excluding furniture & rugs) with code FREESHIP
· Last day for $2/80% off gift certificates with code DINNER (plus get 15% back via
·    West Elm: Today only: free shipping on everything (excluding furniture & rugs) with code FREE2DAY
·    World Market furniture sale, up to 50% off

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