Sunday, February 9, 2014


I've seen several bloggers writing "Currently"-themed posts, and I always enjoy reading those posts. Here is my take!

Current mood: Upbeat. Things have been crazy busy in the office, but the most stressful period of deadlines has now passed. It feels good to see the light at the end of the tunnel. And speaking of seeing light, I was also absolutely thrilled to notice last week that the sun was still up at 5:00 PM! I can't wait to get up in the morning to complete daylight, too. Wooo!!!

Currently drinking: Water, straight up. As much as I love fruit juices, especially orange juice, they can be so high in sugar. Therefore, I've been making a conscious effort to drink more plain water instead.

Currently craving: Guacamole (especially after reading one of Lauren's recent posts where she had avocado pictures!) I just picked up a couple of perfectly ripe avocados at the grocery store, so never fear - I am about to kick the craving. Major gorge-age on homemade guac will be ensuing in the next 24 hours.

How good does that look!?!?!?

Currently looking forward to: The 2014 NHL Stadium Series game at Soldier Field between the Blackhawks and the Penguins on March 1 (more info here). The experience of watching a hockey game outdoors at Soldier Field is going to be absolutely amazing. Yes, the game is going to be the proverbial doom matchup between my two favorite hockey teams. Even though I will be clad entirely in Blackhawks gear, Adam will be clad entirely in Penguins gear, and we'll be cheering for the opposite teams that night, I am very excited.

Currently wanting to try: Three things in particular:

1) Universal Sole's Pizza in the Park Fun Run Series. Basically a group fun run followed by pizza brought in from a different pizzeria every month. How have I never heard of this event until just recently?!? I probably won't be able to make it to the February event on the 12th, but does anyone want to join me for the March event?

2) Eataly. I watch a ton of Food Network, and Iron Chef Mario Batali is one of Eataly's owners. Additionally, I'm a fan of Lidia Bastianich (I've been to her restaurant in Pittsburgh twice with Adam's side of the family), and she is one of Eataly's business partners. Very cool. When I do go to Eataly, the first thing I want to check out is the Nutella Bar!

3) La Casa del Pueblo. I love checking out local neighborhood grocery stores, especially in ethnic neighborhoods (this place is in Pilsen). Vanitha gave this place two thumbs up for high-quality, affordable selections. I hear they serve very tasty, authentic prepared foods, too, particularly tamales. Sounds good to me!!!

Current running revelation: I always thought that I preferred very soft, cushy running shoes. But I'm starting to think that I may actually prefer shoes that feel a little firmer underfoot. Case in point: I am really loving my Mizuno Wave Rider 16s - so much that they are threatening to give my long-time favorite Asics Gel Cumulus shoes a run for their money.

The Mizuno Wave Rider 16
(The red color makes me very happy)

Current new find: My hair has been extremely dry and straw-like, especially amidst the harshness of winter conditions, so I was looking for a really good conditioner. After reading rave reviews on Amazon, I decided to try an argan oil leave-in conditioner. It has done wonders! I've already got a second bottle on the way in the mail.

Current indulgence: Skinny Cow ice cream sandwiches. Adam and I demolished a package of six within about 2.33333333 days last week. But, in making sure I keep a well-stocked pantry at all times, I just bought another two packages of six. My over/under on how long the two new packages will last is 5.75 days. If even that.

Current pet peeve: People who don't recycle and/or who waste natural resources. I've posted about this topic before here, but I get very irritated when people throw recyclable items into the garbage when the recycling bin is right next to the garbage bin. I also dislike seeing the constant usage of disposable everything. Come on, folks. Reduce, reuse, recycle!

Current fashion trend: Not really a trend so much as something that is new to me, but I used to rarely wear yellow or orange. This was because I never thought either color was very flattering on me. My closet has historically been filled with red and blue (my two favorite colors), lots of black, and hints of green, pink, purple, and the various other neutral colors. I've recently broken through my hue barriers and have added some yellow and orange pieces to my wardrobe. I am really enjoying the versatility that these two new colors provide.

Currently reading: Things have been so busy in the office that I haven't really had time for any kind of reading, but I have been going through The Best of the Best from Hawaii Cookbook. Every time I visit Hawaii, one of the many highlights is enjoying the local food. After my most recent trip there, and in the midst of this polar vortex, I wanted to bring some of that Hawaiian spirit back home. What better way to do so than by cooking some Hawaiian dishes? I'm in the recipe reconnaissance phase.

Current recipes: I've got two on the brain:

1) One of Anne's healthy recipe roundups included a recipe for tilapia and quinoa with feta and cucumbers. A few weeks ago I needed to make something quick and simple for a potluck gathering with Vanitha, so I gave this recipe a try. I loved it! Especially the quinoa - the flavor combination of feta, lemon, and dill was perfect and I could not stop eating it. I've already got plans to make a second batch of that quinoa very soon.

2) Chia seed pudding. Light, healthy, and the preparation is ridiculously quick and easy. I made this for a different potluck gathering with Vanitha and we ate it with some fresh blueberries on top. Incredibly delicious. In the coming weeks I am also going to try this version that Irina posted with her highest recommendations!

Currently not looking forward to: Going for my semi-annual dentist checkup. My appointment is next week. Also, having to practice for an upcoming presentation.

Current things on the to-do list: We'll break this up across a few categories:

From a health/fitness perspective, go to the eye doctor to get examined for new glasses/contacts, get started on attending the Pure Barre classes I got through a Gilt City deal, and schedule an Aerial Fitness class that I just won from Erin (thanks again, Erin!).

From a travel perspective, I need to book my airfare to Anaheim for the Disneyland Half and NAAAP Convention, plus book a hotel in Panama (in the country of Panama, not the city in Florida) for a cruise that Adam and I are taking next month.

From a home perspective, I desperately need to organize the contents of the kitchen cabinets and shelves (they currently look like a Tetris game gone very, very wrong).

Your turn! I'd love to hear all of your "Currently" items!


  1. Oooh, I want to hear about what you end up making from that Hawaii cook book! I was so hooked on all the island flavors after our trip - pineapple and mac nut EVERYTHING! Hmm that reminds me, I need to order more Mauna Loa nuts (thank goodness for the internet - can't imagine not being able to get this stuff!).

    I'm glad you liked the tilapia and quinoa - I loved how easy it was, and it was so tasty! basically anything with feta cheese is probably going to be good in my book :)

    And wow, a cruise in Panama?! That sounds like an awesome break from winter weather.

    1. Thanks, Anne! Isn't Hawaiian food addicting? The pineapple in Hawaii puts all the mainland pineapple to absolute shame. Seriously, folks from Hawaii that come visit the mainland probably never want to eat the imported pineapple. I really, really want to be able to make homemade poke but so far the biggest challenge is getting the sashimi-grade fish. And YES on the Mauna Loa nuts! I pretty much filled up my entire carry-on bag with macadamias to bring home. =D Once I finally get a chance to try out some of the recipes, I'll definitely let you know how they turn out!

      That tilapia and quinoa recipe was the BEST. I didn't mention that I also tried the shakshouka recipe that you posted, too, and also enjoyed it. Please keep your recipe roundups coming!!!

      Thanks, I am looking forward to the Panama cruise, too! Time to brush up on what little Spanish I know!!!

  2. Do you read The 20 What? She does a currently post and she's my favorite. If you don't already read her, I think you'd like her blog!

    Three cheers for water straight up. That is my drink of choice. In part because I'm cheap, but also I find it really refreshing. I go through phases where a cold Sprite with the good kind of ice sounds really good, but it usually passes. No juice or coffee or wine or any of that nonsense for me. But I do love my weekly frappe and the occasional grape cream slush. So I'd say I'm 85% water, 15% treats in the beverage department.

    1. Oooh! I am always on the lockout for new blogs to read, and I do not currently read The 20 What. Your recommendation is big in my book, so I'd love to check it out! I tried searching for it and couldn't find it. Do you mind sharing the URL, please?

      I am glad that you like water straight up, too! And I am dying to one day try that grape cream slush after hearing your rave reviews! Incidentally - I know several people who are literally addicted to drinking Diet Coke. They go through like 8 of them a day. Yikes! Even though they are drinking "diet" - I think it's crazy to drink that many of them. It can't be good!

  3. Sounds like this are great and like you are keeping a good balance. Keep it up!

    1. Thanks so much, Katie! By the way - when I watch the Olympic figure skating competitions, it reminds me of you!!! You must be really getting the hankering to put on the skates after watching some of those amazing performances!!! =)

  4. I heart guac ;) I love eating and making it :) YUM

    I'd love to hear more about the Hawaiian recipes. Something tropical would bring your mood right up in this polar vortex.

    Yes. You need to go to Eataly. L and I go there almost once a week for beers at their awesome bar and then buy ingredients like fresh ravioli to cook at home. It's all delicious! You will love it. It's like ikea for Italian foods :)

    1. Guacamole is scary addicting, isn't it? We'll have to exchange our guac recipes one of these days. =) And once I get a chance to actually try out some of the Hawaiian recipes, I would love to share! I am also getting inspired to check out Three Dots and a Dash, maybe when the weather gets a little nicer. OMG, so cool that you and L enjoy Eataly so much! Ikea for Italian foods could be downright dangerous!!! Add that to the list of places that we'll have to get together and go to sometime!!!

    2. Yes on all points above :)

      You need to get a fruity drink and go to 3 dots and a dash now. Because it transports you into a happier warmer place-at least for an hour or 2 and makes you forget the polar vortex outside :)

      I'll let you know the next time we go to Eataly. I love that place so much :)

      And I'd love to hear your guac recipe. Mine is a bit spicy mmmm

    3. Ahhhh, fruity drinks with little umbrellas on top. What could be better? Sigh!!! Please do let me know the next time you go to Eataly. That homemade ravioli that you mentioned sounds divine, and I've already got ideas for other great Italian ingredients to shop for! I'll go ahead and share my guac recipe here. It's pretty simple and classic - avocado, lime and/or lemon juice, garlic salt, maybe some red pepper flakes, onion powder, or parmesan. Can't wait to hear yours!

  5. WHAT?! You cannot leave the Cumuluses! You sl*t!!!!!! JK. Ha ha.

    Ahh, that cruise sounds amazing! And I am so happy to hear things have been better at work!

    1. I knew that I'd hear from you about the Cumuluses. =) I'm wearing the 15s right now after retiring my second pair of the 13s (I skipped the 14s altogether). Admittedly I liked the 13s better than the 15s. How do you think the various models compare? Either way, I still do like the Cumuluses very much! =)

      Thank you for the positivity on my upcoming vacation plans and the beginning of the work taper!!!

    2. I am STILL on the 13s! Can you believe it? I got a ton on Amazon for a steal :) 15s... someday! :)

    3. Wow! I will have to look and see if any 13s are still available on Amazon for a bargain price. I wouldn't mind stocking up on them, myself!!!

  6. I need to investigate that leave in oil conditioner as I have rather straw-like hair right now too! Mmmmmm guac! Just bought a big fat avocado. The Caveman bought a bag of macadamia nuts. Holy deliciousness!

    1. If you do end up trying the argan oil, let me know! I would love to hear what you think of it! Yay for big fat avocados - such a wonderful ingredient to have around the house. I could eat avocado with almost everything - on top of sandwiches or chili, with eggs, the list goes on and on. And HOORAY for mac nuts!!! They are incredibly addicting, aren't they!?!?!?

  7. Ahh so much to call out here! First of all, you must go to Eataly! I've only been to the one here in NYC but there's no doubt it's just as amazing in Chicago.

    I actually tried the Mizuno Wave Rider 17s a few days ago and they destroyed my shins/calves! I'm pretty sure it's because the drop (~11mm?) is much higher than what I'm typically accustomed to (~6mm). But I've also read that people loved the 16s and hate the 17s.

    I'm so excited for you to make that chia pudding!! My suggestion is to grind the chia seeds into a flour-like consistency before mixing/soaking the mixture, and then of course blending everything together again. This will help ensure the consistency will be as smooth as possible, especially if you don't have a powerful blender. Can't wait to hear how you like it!


    1. Ooooh, I'm sure the Eataly in NYC is really awesome since it's the flagship! Did I miss you mentioning a visit there and/or any pictures of it from your FFTW posts?!?

      I read your post today and was sad to hear that you didn't like the 17s! I've also heard folks on both ends of the spectrum, some loved the 16s but not the 17s and vice versa. But those Saucony's look great! I have a pair of the Saucony Kinvaras and really like them.

      Thanks so much for the tip on the chia seed pudding! I need to go find some of those medjool dates from the ingredients list (where do you get those? Whole Foods?) I seriously can't wait to try the recipe out!!!

    2. I've seen medjool dates at Mariano's! They're typically in a box near the nuts and spices section just past the produce.

    3. Erin, I know exactly what area you are referring to! Excellente - thanks for the tip. New chia seed pudding recipe, here I come!

  8. It's been years since I've been to La Casa del Pueblo. Girl, when you want to go just let me know.

    The Universal Sole's Pizza Series sounds like fun.

    1. Yay!!! Let's do it! Have you been to La Casa del Pueblo before? Maybe we can go either next weekend or the following weekend? And do you want to go to the Pizza Series next month!?!?!?