Weekend Update: Birthday Celebrations and Delicious Foods

After skipping last week in lieu of Mother’s Day, it’s time for another Weekend Update!

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1.

Friday night was my “official” birthday celebration (I had another great one on Wednesday as well!), and I had many wonderful friends come to help me celebrate. We began the evening at my favorite Mexican restaurant in town, That Little Mexican Cafe. The table shared 3 bowls of guacamole (and lets be honest I think we could have handled more) which was made fresh for us at the table. I also enjoyed a Mexican martini (margarita with no ice, served in a martini glass), and two extremely delicious tamales. Afterwards, I was very full but we ventured to Nevins to continue the celebrating.

At Nevins, we enjoyed the $3 Goose Island products and I played a game of darts.

I’m a very serious darts player

I’m pretty sure I hit a bull’s eye…or not..

Overall I had a very great night and I really appreciate all of my awesome friends who helped me celebrate. Thank you guys so much!

2.

Saturday was a very busy day. First, I signed a lease on my cool new apartment. Afterwards, I ventured to a Virag Jewelers to get my watch battery replaced. I have been without a functioning watch for over FOUR weeks. Those that know me well will recognize that this is an EXTREMELY long time for me to be without a functioning watch. I mean,I am that girl who (embarrassingly) wore a watch to her first prom (doh!):

Watch…not a pretty, sparkly bracelet

I think my mom even questioned me on that particular choice. Oh well you live and learn.

Anyway, it took me a while to locate a watch repair business near me, but this establishment came highly recommended on Yelp. I walked in had a new watch battery in about 15 minutes. They charged me $10, and guaranteed the battery for a year. Score!

3.

By Saturday evening I was craving some comfort food, so I decided to make chicken and noodles and mashed potatoes. It was DELICIOUS. I also paired the meal with a glass of Lambrusco (thanks Mom), and the movie Date Night. It was the perfect way to begin my evening.

After the movie was over, my friend Elizabeth and I decided to get milkshakes at Kafein. I had a peanut butter and chocolate milkshake and it was fantastic. Since it was a nice evening, Elizabeth and I sat outside on the patio. Although the patio is kind of small and the space is somewhat awkward (think fenced-in hallway), it was a still a really great way to enjoy our milkshakes.

4.

Sunday morning, I made myself some delicious chocolate chip pancakes. Combined with coffee and a magazine, it was a great way to spend a lazy Sunday  morning.

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That’s all for now, have a great week everyone!

Weekend Update: Cuatro de Mayo and Movie Night

It’s hard to believe another week has gone by already. This week was long and difficult at times, but I learned many important lessons and am hopeful that the coming week will be better. So, on this rainy Sunday afternoon (while I’m procrastinating on my homework) I give you my Weekend Update.

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1.

Friday night was the biannual MSE grad/undergrad party. Since the party was held on May 4 (i.e. Cuatro de Mayo), it was decided that we would also celebrate Cinco de Mayo. The means of celebrating varied from person to person (and on your ability/willingness to grow facial hair and shave it into a creepy mustache), and in honor of the occasion my friend Elizabeth made these delicious pinata cookies (she made them without the filling). They were so cute, and in looking at the recipe probably difficult to make. Nice job Elizabeth! Overall I had a good time at the party, and really enjoyed seeing all of my friends after such a long week. My only regret is that I didn’t have my camera to take pictures of some of the awesome mustaches my male friends were sporting!

2.

On Saturday night, I decided to stay in and watch movies with my friends Elizabeth and Kayla. We shared a bottle of wine, and watched one of my favorite movies, The 500 Days of Summer. After the movie, we also may or may not have watched an episode (or three) of Jersey Shore. I had never seen that show before, but now I can understand the appeal. Basically, it’s like driving by an auto accident…you don’t want to watch but yet you can’t look away. All in all it was the perfect way to spend the evening. Thanks for watching movies with me ladies!

3.

My favorite way to spend a Sunday morning is with a cup of coffee and a book in my sun-room. The book I’m reading currently, This Life is In Your Hands, is excellent. I’m enjoying every page, and I”ll post a review when I finish it. For the java lovers reading this, the coffee I was drinking is Starbucks Blonde Roast.

4.

Arg! Homework! I’m taking a biology class this quarter (for materials scientists who don’t know biology) and I’m learning a lot. I even enjoy sitting through the lectures, which is a rare thing for me. What I don’t enjoy are the homework assignments. And not in the “oh-em-gee I am soooo over homework” kind of way, but in the “is this paper even written in English!?!?!” kind of way. I mean really, can you understand this:

That’s o.k….I don’t understand it either. After some careful study, I’ll (hopefully) understand it well enough to finish this assignment. Wish me luck!

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I have many things to look forward to this week–namely my first visit to Wrigley Field to see the Chicago Cubs take on the Atlanta Braves. I also have a book review post coming soon! Have a great week everyone!

Weekend Update: Books and Birthday Parties

Hello again!  I hope everyone is having a good Tuesday! Thanks for all of the supportive feedback I’ve gotten so far!

As a busy graduate student, I look forward to the weekend. It’s a time for me to kick back and pretend I have a normal job…even if only for 24-36 hours. So, in the spirit of appreciating the free-time I do have, I plan to write a “weekend update” as a semi-regular feature on my blog. So without further ado…here is my Weekend Update!

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This weekend was very busy, even by my standards. Here are some images from the weekend:

1.

On Saturday, C and I went to two birthday parties. The first party was in the afternoon for his nephew, Nate, who just turned 1. We had a nice time at the party catching up with family, eating, and watching the baby get cake all over his face. After the party, we hurried home, changed, and hopped on the CTA for the second birthday party, which was being held in honor of C’s friend Rebecca.

The first stop of Rebecca’s birthday party was Lady Gregory’s for dinner and drinks. Lady G’s is a new(ish) Irish bar and restaurant in Andersonville, and it has plenty of seating and tons of character. Since I was still full from all the food I ate at Nate’s party, I just ordered a bowl of the baked french onion soup and a Metropolitan Iron Works Alt beer. The soup was delicious (and the perfect size for my diminished appetite) and I really enjoyed the beer as well. C ordered the Shepard’s Pie which was also tasty, although perhaps not quite as good as the Shepard’s Pie at Nevins or the Celtic Knot. Additionally, the table service was good, even though the place was absolutely packed. In fact, our waiter replaced a drink for a gal at our table who spilled it not long after she got it (which I thought was pretty classy). On the whole, I would recommend a stop at this establishment if you find yourself in the neighborhood.

After Lady G’s, we made at stop at the famous (and infamous) Hop Leaf. I have been to the Hop Leaf several times, and I have never been disappointed. The food is excellent, and they have some of the best beers on tap in town. However,  like any place that serves great food and drinks…it’s ALWAYS packed (word on the street is they are opening up a new room soon though!). This Saturday night was no exception, and the only table open was all the up on the 3rd floor. There is a small bar up here, and pictured above are two beers that C and I got–a Lindemans Framboise for me and La Fin Du Monde for C.

Happy birthday Nate and Rebecca!

2.

As I have mentioned previously, I love to read. So, when I heard of a new science book club starting at school I was one of the first to join. Our book for next month, pictured above, is Incognito: The Secret Lives of the Brain by David Eagleman. I also recently joined the local public library, and I picked up this book on Sunday. I’ll post a review after I have finished reading it.

3.

I have been unable to exercise for almost a year now due to a foot injury (which I am sure to blog about at some point), but I am trying to get back into it. Before I left physical therapy a few months ago, they gave me a “Return to Running” program which I have been dutifully following. To celebrate my return to running, I decided to buy a new pair of running shoes with my lovely friend Beth (who blogs over at Science and Cupcakes) on Sunday. We bought the shoes at Murphy’s Fit, which is a local shoe store in Evanston. I like the idea of shopping local, and I love the good service I get every time I shop there. It’s one of the few shoe stores left where the salespeople actually know things about shoes and feet. When you walk in, they have you take off your shoes and they watch you walk to assess the type of shoe most appropriate for your feet. They put all kinds of different shoes on your feet (and I mean they literally put them on your feet), and encourage you to go for a quick run outside to try them out. Pictured above are the shoes I finally settled on.

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Whew! That wraps up the weekend. I hope you had a great one too! In other news, I found out this evening that my fellowship was renewed for another year! Hurrah!