January 18, 2011

Back to the Nice Winter Weather

We returned from a trip to Illinois today. We went to see my nephew. We stayed every night until 9:00 p.m., when visiting hours were over. It was great to be able to spend a lot of time with him. Our flights were pleasant and I was able to read on the plane while Alex and Gabe napped. I finished Cross Fire by James Patterson. While Alex was napping at home, I started reading The House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer. It is the January selection for my book club.

I am behind on organizing. I need to play a little game of catch-up tomorrow. I need to do the medicine cabinet, under the bathroom sinks, the spice cabinet, my freezer and fridge, the laundry room, and organize toys. We also need to take down the Christmas tree. We started before leaving but had to abandon that project for more important things like packing. I am hoping to catch everything up this week. Really I would like to do it all tomorrow, but we will see how that goes.

Since most of our time was spent either in Jimmy's room or a hotel room, I don't really have any pictures from our trip. Here is one of Alex looking at the airplanes.


January 16, 2010


On Tuesday we went to the Lakeview Museum of Arts & Sciences. There were a lot of interesting pieces of art. Alex had a fun time playing in the science section.


After the museum, we headed out to the Luthy Botanical Garden.

On Wednesday Alex and I went to my parent's house. Gabe's parents met my Dad half way and Alex and I switched cars.

Alex liked playing the piano.

On Saturday morning we left early to catch our flight back.


We are back in Arizona and now we have to unpack!

January 11, 2010

Not 70 Degrees

We spent Friday getting ready for getting ready for my Southern Living at Home Party and getting ready for our trip to Illinois.

We left for the airport at 5:30 a.m. on Saturday morning and by the time we made it through security and the security check for all of my liquids for Alex we walked to the gate right after our group had been called. Alex was okay on the flight. We received comments on how great he was. We had lunch at Pancho's and we stopped by my old place of work before heading to Gabe's parent's house.

Alex and a suitcase at the airport.

Yesterday we all went out to a German Restaurant for dinner to celebrate Gabe's birthday. Today Gabe's sister and I made cookies. Okay, we were both supposed to make cookies, but it ended up with his sister making the cookies and I held Alex the entire time. Tonight we celebrated both Gabe's sister and Gabe's dad's birthdays. I will be heading to my parent's house soon. Alex will be going with me and Gabe will be staying so he can work the rest of the week.

On a side note, I think that Alex misses the 70's.

February 10, 2008

It is Cold

It has been pretty cold today. Before the windchill factor it has been around 0 to -3. With the windchill it has been around -25 to -30. Despite the cold temperatures, we still ventured out TWICE today. The first time we ran a few errands including going to the library. We picked up a few travel guides for our trip. Tonight we went to Taco Bell. We were the only people in the dining area. Inbetween the trips, we watched Night Listener. It wasn't at all what I thought it was going be like. Robin Williams sets out to determine the validity of a "relationship" that he has with an adolescent. I don't even think that I would call it a renter. FYI...if you are thinking of watching the movie the relationship wasn't will understand why it is in quotes if you watch the movie.
Currently, I am watching the Grammy's. The Foo Fighters were my pick for Album of the Year, Record of the Year, and well, let's face it in any category that they were nominated.
I made myself a chocolate cake shake tonight. It sounds a little odd, but it is really good. I got the idea from the chocolate cake shake at Portillo's. I think that I need to add malt to mine to get one more like Portillo's, but I am convinced that mine was healthier (I used fat free ice cream and skim milk). The milk and ice cream obviously countered the chocolate cake. The chocolate syrup that I added just doesn't count :)

February 9, 2008

Not Much

There have been so many things that I have been doing this week that I don't actually remember all of them. We watched Perfect Stranger. It was a different type of role for Halle Berry, but it was good movie with several twists and turns. A temp (Halle Berry) tries to expose her employer (Bruce Willis) as her friend's killer.
Right now we are watching 300. I really wanted to see the movie, but it isn't really holding my interest right now. Gabe seems to be into it more than I am...obviously, I am sitting here writing a blog entry.
Wow, I don't really have lot to write about. Gabe has been sick lately, but he is doing much better. I know that I have done more than watch two movies these past few days.
Oh, on Thursday I met a friend from school and we had lunch at the Claim Jumper. The food was pretty good. She will be filling in for me while I am on vacation. I am really looking forward to my vacation...look for some more interesting blog posts.
Well, I guess that there wasn't a lot to catch up on. I am going to do some laundry.

January 21, 2008


Weekend catchup time. It has been cold lately. When I left for work on Saturday morning it was -4 degrees F. With the wind chill it was around 20 below zero. I know that it may be colder elsewhere, but at some point cold is just cold. After work on Saturday Gabe and I hung out together.
Elsa has been sick lately. She is throwing up, moving slowly, and just not her normal perky self. A week or so ago, when we took Elsa and Clara to get their rabies shots, the vet suggested that we put Elsa on the sensitive stomach Science Diet food. So, we decided that it might help her stomach. At the point Gabe and I decided to venture out to buy the dog food on Saturday night, it was around 25 below zero. Oh the things that we do for Elsa. While we were out we stopped off at Ikea...hey we were already out.
Sunday we watched an episode of Pushing Daisies. The episodes that we are currently watching are from October. They have been recorded for a while and we are finally catching up with the show. We took a nap and it was a HUGE mistake. When it came time for bed I wasn't tired at all, so we went to the store around midnight and bought the supplies to make Tiramisu. Gabe likes it and I haven't made it for a while. So, I came back and at 1:00 a.m. and I made it for him. I finally made it to bed around 2:00 a.m., but I don't think that I actually went to sleep until after 3:00 a.m. So this is why the nap was a huge mistake. At least I didn't keep Gabe up (plus he didn't have to work today).
Today I worked, so Gabe met me near the office and we had lunch at Topa. It was a little pricey for lunch, but it tasted pretty good. Today the weather was a toasty 28 degrees. It feels like a sauna when you have been used to negative temperatures. The dogs appreciate the double digits. When it is really cold you have to carry Elsa to the door. She stops, looks up at you, and then turns around and walks back to the bedroom. She looks at you with an expression that says "you want me to do what, where?" You pretty much have to force her outside and shut the door. It has been pretty cold. Yippee...I get a day off in a couple of days!

January 18, 2008


Gabe and I went out for dinner tonight. We tried a new sushi restaurant. It took a little bit to find. We actually did not believe how close it was to our house. It is called Aodake and they are also a steak house. We didn't go for the steak, so we sat at a regular table. We had several different types of sushi, but we couldn't pass up trying something called the "Chicago Roll". I actually liked was deep-fried and artery clogging. So, we probably won't be ordering it again even though it tasted good...I attribute that to the deep-fried flavor. Leave it to us to take something relatively healthy and then deep fry it.

July 23, 2006

Mall Weekend

I made cinnamon rolls for breakfast. They were very good even if they did come out of a can. My mom makes good cinnamon rolls and they don't come from a can. We were going to see a movie, but by the time we were ready to go, it was too late. Instead we went to an outlet mall in Indiana. It was fun to walk around (it was an outdoor mall). After shopping we decided drive to Michigan since we were really close and neither of us had been to Michigan before. We stopped off at a rest area and walked around a bit. Then we decided to come back to Chicago. We just finished dinner, and think that we are about to watch a movie. This weekend turned into a lot of shopping, but I must say not a lot of purchases came from it.

July 2, 2006

On the Way Back

We are on our way back to Chicago. This morning wasn't too crazy. We watched a movie and ate some lunch. On our way out of town we stopped at my Dad's office and picked up some beef from the last cow that they purchased. We now have two coolers full of beef that we are bringing back with us. They have another shipment coming in October, so I have a feeling that we will be kept well stocked. I think that we are going to look for potential places to live this weekend. We only have a few weeks left at our current place and then we will be off to the suburbs. Just thinking about it makes me want to rent the Tom Hanks movie "The 'Burbs". That may be something fun to do tonight.

June 25, 2006

Recovering from Vegas

Today Gabe and I slept in until 11:30. We were both pretty tired from the trip. Gabe spent most of the day studying for his Monday and Tuesday exams. I cleaned and watched Nanny McPhee. I have wanted to see it for a while. It was entertaining. There is something funny that I forgot to mention. It happened in Vegas. Gabe was "studying" for his Monday and Tuesday exams while I was in classes. He said that he tried to study but he was hungry, so he went to the cafe to purchase a sandwich. Then he said that the slot machines were right there, so he put in some cash. I guess I can't complain too much, he won $200.

King Tut, Take II

Gabe and I purchased tickets to the activities at the Luxor. We watched the IMAX movie Mystery of the Nile. Then we went on a Dracula IMAX ride. I honestly expected to be scared a little more. Search of the Obelisk was the next IMAX ride we tried. We decided to call it quits...none of the IMAX experiences were that great. We decided to try the King Tut Museum. There was a brief five minute movie introduction and then an audio tour guide. The museum would have been a good addition to the exhibit at the Field Museum. Leslie Neilson was the star for the next Luxor activity. We watched Pirates 4-D. It was cute and funny. We went for lunch in the Stratosphere Hotel's restaurant the Top of the World. Tony went with us for the view from the top. We shared a cab to the airport and arrived back in Chicago around midnight.

May 28, 2006

On the way back to Chicago

Today we just hung out around the house with family. My sister, Kyle, Gabe, and I finished our card game and all I have to say is that Kyle didn't win. :) We are on our way back to Chicago. We left around 6:00 p.m. and we should be arriving around 12:00 a.m. I have a lot of things to accomplish tomorrow before going back to clinic on Tuesday.

May 19, 2006

Back in Chi-Town

Well, the vacation is over and now we are back in Chicago. We checked out from the resort and had lunch...I'll give you a guess where...the Olde Towne Oyster Bar and Grill. I ordered fish, but it wasn't exactly as I had imagined. They left the head on. I am not a big fan of my food staring up at me while I am eating. Afterwards, we walked to the beach and sat under the gazebo on the pier (it is the first picture). We headed to the airport, had a layover in Miami where we purchased some overpriced airport food and found our way back to Chicago. We haven't unpacked a thing yet...I am going to bed.

April 22, 2006

Happy Earth Day!

Today Gabe, Tony, and I are going to eat at the Hancock Building. To celebrate Earth Day, we will take the mass transit system instead of driving. Okay, we would take the train even if it wasn't Earth Day. Parking downtown is expensive and a pain. I do however recycle paper, plastic, and various metals. I attempted to find an Earth Day celebration downtown today. I was not successful. Apparently Chicago, keeping with its normal tradition of every other holiday, celebrated Earth Day early and not on the actual holiday.

April 12, 2006


Yesterday I did something that I would consider to be pretty interesting. I went with my friend, Tony, to Filbert's. Filbert's is a family run soda business just a few minutes from where I live. They offer a large variety of flavors, and you can mix and match a box of 24 bottles to suit your own taste. The internet sells Filberts from $30.00 to $40.00+ for a case of 24, but if you actually go to the bottling facility it will run you $9.00. I have not tried any yet, but I plan on sampling them all at my parent's house. I bought a case to take with me next time that I go and visit. If you plan on seeing me and you would like a case, let me know and I will pick one up for you, otherwise here is a website where you can order them. I don't believe that Filbert's has an official website, or if it does I couldn't find one. The flavors that they offer are (since no single website lists them all): black cherry, blue raspberry, cream soda, cherry, cola (which I was told by a worker contains triple the caffeine of a regular cola), diet root beer, fruit punch, ginger ale, grape, grapefruit, lime, Mr. Newport, orange, peach, pineapple, root bear, strawberry, watermelon, and sparkling that was a lot! Just for fun, filbert belongs to the hazelnut family and received its namesake because it ripens near the celebration of monk with the same name.


I have a had a fairly decent week, minus the test. However, I had an extraordinary day a few days ago. I heard from a couple of friends (actually 3). It always makes me happy to hear what is going on in their lives, since I no longer get to see them on a regular basis. Also, we had an extra-credit quiz in one of my classes, and I got the problem right. Oh yeah, and the weather was great. I am really looking forward to grilling again this summer, and I am not talking about the George Foreman that we have used all winter.

April 4, 2006

I Just Can't Get Enough...of the Post Office

Well, I had to send something media mail again today. They were some DVDs that were sold on Amazon. Due to my last adventure at the post office, and since Gabe was with me this time, I decided to let him mail the package. There is one thing that I have left out...the post office ladies LOVE Gabe. I have never seen so much flirting going on (the ladies, not Gabe). Needless to say, no one questioned what Gabe was actually mailing. I have noticed that a lot of ladies in our neighborhood like Gabe. There is a particular grocery store near our apartment, that when we go to the deli one of the workers hides in the back. Then another worker will help him and go back in the back room and say things like "You are right, he is cute. You should have helped him." Well, I will say one thing, the ladies of the neighborhood are much nicer when he is around.

April 3, 2006

The Dan Ryan

Construction has begun on the Dan Ryan in Chicago. They are going to be shutting down six lanes of traffic and IDOT is asking that cars use alternate routes and leave the remaining open lanes to the trucks. Well, people did a pretty good job of this today, and the alternate routes were backed up while the Dan Ryan was clear. So, as you can imagine, cars were taking the Dan Ryan. IDOT issued a statement saying that their goal was no cars on the Ryan and they were disappointed with the cars that were taking it. Well, I can't say that I blame the cars. If my commute time were going to be less taking the Ryan, then I think that I would take it over the alternate routes. There is also construction going on on at least one of the alternate routes and, in my opinion, it is not equipped to handle the extra traffic flow. Gabe said that most of the trucks were not taking the Dan Ryan, but instead were taking the toll road. I guess the toll system made a lot of money today. The Dan Ryan is the road that I take to school everyday, and unfortunately the alternate routes take about twice as long. Okay, so my commute is 20 minutes instead of 10, but a lot people have it worse than I do.

March 31, 2006

Post Office...Again

A few days ago I went to the post office to mail some books on CD for Gabe. Because they fall under the definition of media, I was going to use the much cheaper media mail service. I went up to the counter and the postal employee weighed my first package. She said $18 something. I told her that I wanted to mail the package media mail. She quickly asked me what was in my package. I told her it was a book on CD. She said that I could mail it that way if that really was what I had in the box. I said that it was. She was essentially accusing me of lying to her about the contents of the package. She said that it could be inspected (this is what they normally say). I said fine. I had a second package to mail as well. Both of them together were under $4. So, I could see why people might abuse the media mail system. I will say that my classmates and I did get a few good laughs out of the situation.

March 24, 2006


Well, Gabe and I went to a restaurant that I really like tonight, J.C. Georges. If you ever get a chance to go, you should really try the Grecian chicken tenders with the Greek-style potatoes...yummo! Anyway, when we walked up to the hostess to ask for a table she looked at us and said, "I can't remember if you like smoking or non-smoking." She actually remembered us. I think that means that we are eating there too often...the food is so good. Okay, when it gets to the point that when I walk in everyone turns, looks at me, and says "Steph!", then I might consider cutting back on my J.C. Georges addiction, but until then Grecian chicken tenders here I come!

February 17, 2006

Dumb Laws

Finals are over for the quarter...yippee!!!! So, last night I decided to have a little fun and I went to a website that lists some dumb laws. I am not sure if these really are laws, but they are still funny. Since I am currently in Chicago, I figured I would list some dumb laws that are specifically for Chicago.

1. Law forbids eating in a place that is on fire - really?
2. It is illegal to give a dog whiskey
3. Kites may not be flown within the city limits - has anyone told the cops about kite day at the lake?
4. Spitting is forbidden
5. It is illegal to take a French poodle to the opera - I hate it when people take their French poodles and they bark along
6. It is illegal to fish in pajamas. - that is my favorite way to fish

Here are couple from the Chicagoland area:

Cicero: Humming on public streets is prohibited on Sundays.

Orland Park: No pool tables are allowed in a public establishment, because it supports gambling.

For my friends from Minnesota...Hamburgers may not be eaten on Sundays.

And, my favorite, you may not take a picture of a rabbit during the month of June in Wyoming.

February 2, 2006

Chinese New Year

I went to the Chinese New Year Parade this past Sunday. Though this is my third year in Chicago, this was my first time attending the parade in Chinatown. It was a lot of fun. Instead of attempting to dine in the very crowded Chinatown either before or after the parade, we chose to eat an Asian-inspired lunch in the comforts of our home. We did however, make the mistake of attempting shop in the stores following the parade. HUGE mistake. You could barely manuver through the tightly packed isles. I spied a pair of shoes that I really liked, but I went back this Wednesday with one of my friends (Nicole) and purchased them then. Check out the pics of the parade. Since it is the year of the dog, I thought that I would add a pic of my two dogs, Elsa and Clara.