Jam Packed Weekend

Hi there! How are you all? Have a good weekend? A productive Monday? I hope so.

Once again, it’s a self fulfilling prophecy: I post about my weekends. I promise my posts will get more interesting in the future.

I did have a great weekend, though, and I did a lot! It was all fun stuff and left little room for grading. While this does mean I will be scrambling a little to get the last batch of personal narrative essays graded by tomorrow night, it was worth it.

Friday Night
Two teacher friends (from when I worked at a different school) and I still get together. We made plans to grab dinner and then see Jersey Boys at the Overture.

We met at Graze as Nicki had never been. After Lindsay and I gushed about it, she had to agree.

This map of Wisconsin in the lobby shows all of the farms they use ingredients from. I love how so many Madison restaurants support local businesses and buy local.

We had drinks at the bar and shared an order of cheese curds. They have some of the best in Madison, up there with those from The Old Fashioned.

For dinner, I knew what I was going to order before I had even walked in the door: the bibimbap. This delicious concoction includes a fried rice block, shredded raw vegetables, green onions, tofu or pork (I chose tofu), a runny egg, and chili sauce. You mix it all up and dig in.

Not the prettiest meal, but the flavors and textures all meld perfectly together.

Lindsay and Nicki both got the pub burger which comes on a homemade English muffin as the bun and with double-fried French fries. Like the cheese curds, these are contenders for the best fries in Madison. I believe they are cooked in duck fat, which explains it.

With about fifteen minutes until show time, we headed to the Overture and found our seats. We were in the top balcony but only a few rows up and in the very center.

It was an amazing show, and I was surprised how many songs I knew (however, I am not the type to sing along). The story line covered a lengthy span of time, but it was really the music and amazing singers who made this musical what it was. Even though it was incredible, I still enjoyed Wicked more. I’m not sure why – maybe a stronger plot? That’s probably the English teacher in me thinking that way.

Towards the last half an hour, I got sleepy. If I had my druthers (Brody used this expression on Saturday, and I thought I should use it too), I’d be in bed by 9:30pm on a Friday. Yup, I’m a grandma. But, I had so much fun catching up with Lindsay and Nicki at dinner and getting all cultured (ironic diction there), it was worth the late night.

Saturday Morning
Mel asked if I was interested in volunteering with her for the Girls On the Run 5K in Waunakee.

I ran this last year with my sister-in-law and thought its be fun to help out and run again. Mel and I arrived at 8am and helped people register for the run. The time flew by, and before we knew it, we were listening to the National Anthem.

We all had the same bib numbers! We are all winners.

Picture courtesy of Mel

The run was fun, and SO cute! All of these little girls running with their moms, dads, and mentors. It was a hilly course, and due to the volume of people and walkers, Mel and I didn’t break any records. At the end, we did see and hear the overly supportive/forceful parent yelling for his kid to sprint to the end. As she passed us, I heard her say, “This hurts Dad.”

Saturday Afternoon
Three major events happened: I took the dogs to the park, I napped, and I went shopping. It was epic.

Saturday Evening
Brody and I were invited to the annual DAIS (Domestic Abuse Intervention Services) Gala. It was a swanky, black tie optional event at The Madison Club. There was a silent auction (we lost out on some photos of New York) and a live auction after dinner (Brody put his number up once).

The meal was incredible: mushroom soup with a small salad; fried braised short ribs, a piece of steak, puréed rutabaga, and fall vegetables; and a chocolate mound with cake, peanut butter mousse, drizzled with a raspberry caramel sauce. Unfortunately, it wasn’t the time or place to take photos, so you’ll just have to imagine this three-course meal.

DAIS is in the midst of a Capital Campaign, as they are raising money to build a new facility. It is an amazing cause to support and there is a great need for a larger space. It is heartbreaking to hear how many women and children they have to turn away because their beds are filled. If you live in Dane County, I highly encourage you to look at their website and consider donating.

I could’ve used a rest day after all of that activity, but we had more plans. I made it to the park early with the dogs and did a little grading before heading to Fredonia. My sister, the music teacher, directed her district’s musical. We saw the matinee of The Wizard of Oz, and she did a great job. It sounds like it’s A LOT of work with choreographing, coordinating practices, dealing with kids from elementary school through high school, etc. Ugh, I am exhausted just thinking about it. Good work Laura!

Happy Monday!

What’d you do this weekend?
Did you run or have a race this weekend?
What’s the best musical you’ve ever seen?

Good Eats from the Weekend

Welcome to Monday (evening) people! (Do you ever wish there was a punctuation mark of the intensity between a period and an exclamation mark? I do.)

My day felt a little off today because I took off of work on Friday. If you are a teacher, you understand the disarray you can come back to after a sub, even if the sub is great, the lesson plans go accordingly, and the kids behave. When I first started teaching, I would think about school the whole day; I would even call or email teacher-friends to check in on my room. Now I am able to let go and trust that everything will be fine.

Thinking back over my weekend, I realized how much amazing (and kind of unhealthy) food I ate. With friends in town and it being my birthday weekend, I didn’t show much restraint. Plus, running gives me good reason to take in a few more calories.

1. Dairy Queen Butterfinger Blizzard
Once my friend Rena, her mom, and her sister were all in town, I suggested Dairy Queen. Luckily, they all agreed! I saw Kathleen’s Butterfinger Blizzard sometime last week and it stayed with me. It was the perfect birthday treat.

*still not good about bringing my camera places…will get better, I swear

2. Scrambler at Bluephies
After Crazylegs, my grumpiness was soon cured with a coffee, a horseradish Bloody Mary, and an egg scrambler. I ordered the Popeye (spinach, tomato, and feta) with Egg Beaters; it came with wheat toast and shredded potatoes. They let me in despite all of my sweatiness, stinkiness, and saltiness (although I did have a wardrobe change in the bathroom of the vodkatorium).

3. Bibimbap at Graze
Brody has gotten this dish many times before and raves about it. It includes crispy rice, sautéed spinach, winter vegetables, bean sprouts, sunny-side up egg, chili paste, and marinated tofu or pork. Mmmm…this was so good! I ate it all but saved room for dessert. My friend Rena and I chose the chocolate peanut butter cheesecake for the table to split, but after everyone else (four other people) took a bite, Rena and I polished it off. Oh, and my drink! While I don’t drink a lot of liquor, I do enjoy anything with gin and grapefruit juice. I ordered the Marquez Collins which obviously had those two liquids but then topped with red wine, all over ice. It was a lovely dinner experience, as it always is at Graze.

4. Steak and pie at home
Brody was MIA for most of the weekend eating due a hockey tournament, but he made up for it Sunday night. I requested steak for my birthday dinner and the best place around us is Jacobson Bros (they also make killer potato salad). We picked up two bacon-wrapped filets before swinging by Market Street Diner for a sweet treat (Brody doesn’t bake). I chose a slice of turtle pie and Brody got carrot cake. When we ate around 7:30, we accompanied the steak with roasted veggies (potatoes, sweet potato, onion, and fennel).


After a weekend of indulgences, it is time to clean things up a little. Fortunately I have frozen mango in the freezer, which as I’ve said, helps me avoid chocolate at night.

See you again soon!

What were some of your yummy eats from this weekend?
What tricks or strategies do you have for cleaning up after an indulgent weekend?