I had a pretty low-key weekend planned. In the office, my team is currently enjoying the calm before the storm. Next week, work is going to get real busy real fast. In preparation, I am trying to rest up and get all of my ducks in a row.
|Vincenzo's Pizzeria and Sports Bar
On Friday night, Adam and I met up with friends Eric and Sarah, plus their adorable children, at Vincenzo's. It's one of my favorite neighborhood sports bars. It's laidback and has fantastic thin-crust pizza (this means a lot coming from a deep-dish diehard such as yours truly). Normally it's not insanely crowded, but the place was packed with NCAA basketball fans when we were there. (Disclaimer: as you might guess, the above picture was not actually taken on Friday night.)
|Practicing my public speaking at my bi-monthly Toastmasters meeting
On Saturday morning, I went to a Toastmasters meeting. I love Toastmasters! It is priceless to be able to regularly practice my public speaking and communication skills in a safe and supportive environment. To me, public speaking is like a muscle that needs to be continually worked and challenged to stay strong. I've been a Toastmasters member for over ten years and I intend to be a member for life.
I've also met so many wonderful friends through the club. Thanks to my friend Kim for taking this photo of me at the meeting - and congrats also to her for making a magnificent skydiving speech at the meeting!
|Top Left: Artful creations at Sushi Pink
Top Right: Exploring the menu at Olympic Meat Packers
Bottom: Newly-installed Fulton Market District sign in my neighborhood
On Saturday afternoon, Adam and I went for lunch at Sushi Pink, which is our go-to sushi joint in the West Loop. I had a mad sushi craving and this really hit the spot.
Our plans for the night included relaxing at home and watching the Blackhawks and Penguins games. Therefore, I decided it would be fun to make an at-home steakhouse dinner. After lunch, we stopped by Olympic Meat Packers to pick up some fixings.
While walking the long way home, I came across a newly-installed Fulton Market District sign. My neighborhood is changing so quickly that I can't keep up with all the new additions!
|Left: Stretch-work and strength-work
Upper right: Blueberry blintzes
Lower right: Animal print accessories!
Quick update on Operation Eliminate Janky Stride: it is not going well. My left knee began bothering me a few days ago. I had been looking forward to logging some miles this weekend, but decided I didn't want to push things. Instead, I spent a lot of quality time with my foam roller, my offending Stick, and some hand weights.
On Sunday, Adam and I trekked out to the suburbs to see my parents. We went for a nice brunch, of which blueberry blintzes were a big highlight. Note to self that I need to add homemade blintzes to my list of recipes to try!
These days, I have a mild obsession with anything animal-print. Weeks ago, I saw an animal-print purse that I loved but didn't purchase at the time. This weekend I finally decided to go for it. I made a quick stop at a nearby mall on the way home from visiting my parents. (Credit to Adam for not rolling his eyes while he was being dragged along. =D )
|The goods from my latest visit to the Chicago Public Library
Over the weekend, I finished up One Day, which was this month's book club selection. (For those of you who have read it and/or saw the movie, I enjoyed the story and its premise but I was not thrilled with the ending.) I'm already looking forward to reading next month's pick, How to Be A Parisian Wherever You Are by Anne Berest, Audrey Diwan, Caroline de Maigret, and Sophie Mas. Has anyone else read it yet?
And now, cookbooks!!!
I've been to Lidia Bastianich's restaurant in Pittsburgh, so I was excited to peruse some of her published recipes.
The Parthenon is a popular restaurant in Chicago's Greektown, so I jumped at the opportunity to try some of their recipes at home. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the book includes some interesting details on the history of Greektown. For example, the owner of the nearby Rodity's Restaurant originally wanted to call their restaurant The Pantheon. Given how similar the name was to The Parthenon, the matter went to court. It resulted in the Rodity's name that remains today. Who knew?!?
I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend! Cheers to a great week ahead!