Thursday, March 23, 2017

Thursday Things

1) I am not exaggerating at all when I say that the school nurse called me at least once a week from the end of January up until the week before Spring Break.  My kids were sick on and off since then.  Fast forward to Monday and guess what?  J had a stomach bug and headache, K2 was running a fever so they both stayed home from school.  Then, by 9:45, I had a call from my BFF "Karen from the clinic" and K1 was also sick.  SERIOUSLY?!?  These kids had perfect attendance last school year!

2) I mentioned in yesterday's post that I had mall food court pizza on Friday.  I need to discuss this pizza because it was pretty amazing.  Here's the deal: I didn't want pizza.  I'd already had Aurelio's and Uno's.  I was kind of pizza'd out.  It's what the kids wanted, though, so I went with it.  I ordered THE BEST SLICE OF MALL PIZZA I'VE EVER HAD.  It was chicken, bacon, and caramelized onions and the sauce was Alfredo rather than Marinara.  SO GOOD.

3) While in Chicago, we stayed at the downtown Hyatt Regency.  We stayed there because, well, we had to.  It's where Mark's seminar was held.  Honestly, it was a pretty awesome downtown hotel.  With one exception: we had kids with us.  It was not really a kid-friendly hotel.  Meaning . . . no pool, luxury hotel so there was no continental breakfast, there was a mini-bar that was SOOOOOO tempting to the children.  You get the idea.  Overall, though, we enjoyed the hotel.  And especially the Big Bar on the second floor that provided amazing views of the city!

4) Tuesday was my . . . anniversary?  I mean, it was the anniversary of the day I got married but I'm no longer married to that dude.  So what do I even call that day?  I have no idea.  Anyway, earlier in the day I realized the date and thought, "oh man, I wish I could go back in time and tell that girl to RUN."

Later in the day, though, my K2 was home from school as she wasn't feeling well.  I walked into my bathroom to catch her with my lip gloss.  And I realized . . . I'm glad that girl didn't run.  Because, if so, I wouldn't have this girl and these moments.
 

5) I recently cancelled my Birchbox subscription.  Anyone else think it's kinda gone downhill?  I think I'm going to give Sephora Play a try.  I'm not a huge makeup person but I like the samples so I can try new things.  And, not gonna lie, I originally went with Birchbox so I could build an army of moisturizers without breaking the bank.  Anyway.  I received this eye shadow sampler in my latest box and I LOVE it!  I can't do a smoky eye but I love the colors and how well they stay on.
 

6) Mark and I went on the coolest "school night" date Tuesday night.  Russell's son is a music major at U of M and the music department performs at Newby's every third Tuesday night.  We decided to check it out to cheer Curtis on and it ended up being too.much.fun.  These kids were SO FREAKING TALENTED.  Oh my goodness, so talented.  We saw one group that was a "big band" sound -- guitars and drums but also trombones, trumpets, a sax, and a flute.  I can't get over how great they were. 

7) SWEET SIXTEEN this weekend!  IN MEMPHIS!  Unfortunately the tickets are priced at "go to the game" or "buy your daughter a birthday present" so we will not be able to make it to either of the games.  However, if we can secure a sitter, we will be making our way to Beale to mess with some Kentucky fans.  Welcome back to Memphis, John Calipari!

8) Speaking of the NCAA tournament, my bracket is pretty much completely busted.  Thanks a lot Vilanova and Duke.  I also picked Middle Tennessee to make it to the Sweet 16 and Wichita State to knock off Kentucky.  So, yeah, bus.ted.brack.et.  Arkansas almost busted it further but if my Razorbacks are good at anything it's snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.

9) I feel like this has been the longest week everrrrrrrr.  My last final of the year is May 3rd and, not gonna lie, that's my "eyes on the prize" at the moment.  Let's just get to May 3!

10) Ummmm . . .

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Uno Pizzeria and Grill

Not gonna lie, my very favorite thing about visiting Chicago is THE FOOD.  Before I met Mark, that meant pizza.  Now my horizons have been broadened: Chicago dogs, Italian beef sandwiches, gyros, burritos.  Ahhhhh.  Chicago is an AMAZING city for a foodie! 

So, yeah, he's broaden my horizons when it comes to Chicago eats.  Yet today I'm talking . . . pizza!

Last Wednesday night, the kids and I went with their aunt and cousins to Pizzeria Uno.  Monica said she hadn't been there in ages but it's what everyone recommends when you have visitors in town.  "Go to Pizzeria Uno!"  And, I mean, I'm never one to say no to Chicago deep dish.  Let's give it a try.

The place was packed, even on a Wednesday night, but we only waited about five minutes for a table.  And, really, that's unfortunately the only good thing I can say about the whole experience.  We just weren't that impressed.


The kids each ordered a pasta while I went with the individual size of the numero uno deep dish.  It was described as "sausage, pepperoni, onions, peppers, mushrooms, chunky tomato sauce, Mozzarella, and Romano."  Um, OKAY!  Yum! Yeah . . . about that . . . not so much.  The flavor was pretty good and there was a generous serving of each topping.  But the crust, no lie, tasted like a frozen pizza crust.  And not even, like, a DiGiorno crust either.  A cheap Kroger pizza crust.  I was disappointed.  I ended up eating about 1/3 of the toppings but only a bite or two of crust.  Monica ordered a thin crust for herself but had the same complaint: the crust ruined the whole pizza.  Honestly, the kids and I ate mall food court pizza on Friday and it was better than Uno's.

We also were not crazy about the service.  Our waiter . . . I'll stop short of calling him rude . . . but I will say he was very rushed and kind of brusque.  When I told Mark this he said, "you're not in Memphis, babe . . . "  I know that and I don't expect southern hospitality when I go north.  But I do expect just basic . . . niceness, you know?  Especially if you're in the service industry.  If you're rude, don't work with the general public.

That was our Pizzeria Uno experience and it's doubtful we'll be back.  I'll stick with Gino's East from now on!

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

"Spring" Break Part Two

Friday was our last day actually in Chicago.  We gave a lot of thought to going to the Shedd Aquarium (I've never been!) but, in the end, something else won out . . .
 
 

I discovered the museum when looking through a magazine at our hotel and knew it was a MUST for the Boy Child.  The museum is small and part of Harry Caray's restaurant (so A LOT of Cubs memorabilia) but it was only $6 per person and too much fun.  We had a blast and the Boy called Friday the best day of his life.
 

We really loved seeing all the exhibits and memorabilia . . . this is Refrigerator Perry's Super Bowl XX ring. The boy didn't want many pictures the whole trip but on this day?  "Take a picture of this!"  "Get my picture with this!"
 

 
The most fun part for us, though, was the interactive area.  We hit baseballs, threw footballs at targets, and had a major trivia tournament (I won!)  Seriously, so much fun and absolutely perfect for a 12-year-old sports obsessed boy!
 
 

Walter Payton . . . Mark's favorite player and, by proxy, the boys all love him as well . . .
 

THE destroyed foul ball from the 2003 NLCS . . .
 

And a dedication to the Cubs 2016 World Series win (this is a VERY small part of what all was displayed!)


If you are a sports fan - particularly a Chicago sports fan - then this museum is an absolute must.  It's small enough that you can tour it in no time.  Unless, of course, you make the trip with a kid you can't pull out of the interactive area.  ;)  We are tentatively planning to head north for our summer vacation this year and I've already told Mark he needs to take all three boys to the museum if we do a day in the city.  And now the Boy Child has been bit with the Sports Museum bug and wants to plan a trip to Canton, Ohio.
 
After the museum, Mark scooped us up and we headed out of the city.  His brother and sister recently opened an arcade in a mall in the 'burbs and invited us to come and spend the afternoon and evening playing. 
 

Both Mark's brothers, their kids, and his mom were all there.  The kids had too much fun.  As did the big kids!  We were playing for free so pretty much everything became a competition to see who could dominate.  I beat all the kids at, well, everything.  We were there for several hours and everyone just had a blast.  It was the perfect way to end our trip.

We headed home Saturday morning - it was 39 degrees when we left.  We stopped in Effingham and it was 42 with bitterly cold winds.  By the time we crossed the Missouri border, it was 70 and then it was 75 when we got back into Memphis.  Ahhhh . . . much more like it for "spring" break!