Ten Facts About My Life Recently

I can’t believe break is almost over. Even with those two extra days, it has flown by. Good thing I’ve got a couple big things to look forward to!

Today I have lots of random thoughts and pictures to share.

1. We had a nice Christmas with my mom, my sister, her boyfriend, and Brody’s mom. It was pretty low-key and we barely left the couch or kitchen table. Brody cooked two rib roasts (long story) Christmas Eve. We opened gifts Christmas morning while eating Sara Lee butter streusel coffee cake.
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After presents, my family (except me) went to church, and we spent the afternoon watching movies. Oh, and we ate – a lot and often. ‘Tis the season!

2. Brody got me a fabulous gift: a babymoon! Over my Spring Break in March, we are going to New York for four days!!! We’re staying in Soho, and the only thing set in stone as of now is we’re going to see The Book of Mormon. Any restaurant recommendations?

3. Moose and Frankie have been loving the snow. Those first few days were hard on their paws, though. Snow packs easily between their pads, so every few minutes, they are licking at them (which only makes it worse). Both dogs also LOVED the bull pizzle (aka bully stick aka bull penis). Unfortunately their stomachs didn’t love the pizzle, and we’ve been dealing with some nasty bathroom issues. To let everything work its way out, we switched the dogs over to rice and boiled chicken.
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Frankie was not happy about his rice breakfast.

4. Our friends, Barret and Kelly, parents of Owen, sent us our first official piece of baby clothing: a Blackhawks onesie!
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It is so adorable – even Brody said so with a big smile on his face. Whether this kid is a boy or girl, it is already determined he/she will play hockey and will be a Blackhawks fan.

5. Real Simple failed me. I know – I am still in shock.
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Normally their recipes are great, but this one (pasta with sausage, arugula, and bread crumbs) missed the mark. Brody thought the arugula was too strong, but I tasted lots of thyme from the toasted bread crumbs. We both didn’t even finish our meals. I had a small bowl of Cedar Crest vanilla ice cream and Brody made nachos. Healthy alternatives around here.

6. I went to yoga yesterday! It was my second class at Bliss Flow Yoga on University Ave. Groupon had a deal a while back: $20 for 20 classes. Even if I only make it a few more times before it expires in April, that’s still a good deal. I felt comfortable doing just about everything as my belly isn’t getting in the way yet.

7. Post yoga, I met Brody for lunch. We went to Gates & Brovi, a newer restaurant on Monroe St. We both started with soup: roasted cauliflower for me and clam chowder for Brody.
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For the main course, I chose the chick pea tuna sandwich. Obviously it had tuna and chick peas but also included slices of hard boiled eggs, pepperocini, capers, kalamata olives, tomatoes, cucumbers, and lettuce. It was salty and delicious.
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Brody had a classic burger and was very happy with it. Besides the good food, the decor is very inviting and casual with lots of reclaimed looking wood and high ceilings.

8. Real cream in coffee is SO much better than milk or flavored creamer. I bought half and half for the mashed potatoes on Christmas Eve (which you need to have with a roast), and there is at least half a container left. Yum!

9. It hasn’t all been eating and relaxing around here. I made it to work for four hours on Thursday and got lots of work done. My teaching license is set to expire in June, and in order to renew it, I need to finish my PDP (professional development plan) and submit it to DPI (Department of Public Instruction). Sidenote: The number of acronyms in education is incredible. I worked on my PDP for two hours and then planned lessons and emailed parents for the last two. At home I finished lots of grading on my two snow days and then yesterday I began grading research papers my juniors wrote. My goal for today is to finish one class, which has only seven papers left. I can do it!

10. My weekend plans involve the dog park (of course), the gym, Best Buy (to pick up a camera, a new point and shoot, Brody and I ordered), grading, watching a video about Huck Finn, seeing Django Unchained, and definitely some couch time.

Have a fabulous Saturday!

Questions:
What was your favorite gift? The best gift you gave?
What good restaurant have you been to recently?
What do you have planned for the weekend?

Umami (Restaurant Review) and Farewell to Nicole

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What does this picture say about Moose? I wonder what he’s contemplating. Moose often assumes this position looking out the front windows in either the living or dining room. You’d think he was tired from running around at the dog park or chasing Frankie around; no, this was at 6:15am right after he woke up.

Tonight I met my friends Mel and Nicole for drinks, appetizers, and dinner at Umami. Yah, we went all out, and my belly is full and happy as I type this. Nicole, who has been in Madison for a couple years now but who we just met this winter, is moving to New York this weekend. She took a job working for Tory Burch! I can’t wait to visit her in New York.

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Mel’s coworker and her husband own Umami, and she has been there multiple times. We started with drinks and sipped them at a table on their patio overlooking Willy Street. Nicole, who will miss Wisconsin’s delicious beer, ordered an Ambergeddon, Mel had the White Ice Sakatini and I had the Umami Lychee. Their cocktails were amazing!

For appetizers, Nicole and I let Mel take charge; she chose the pork buns and vegan dumplings. The pork buns’ had great texture: squishy and slightly sweet dough, warm and fatty pork, and crispy cucumbers. The chewy dumplings had a great sear on them (much better than my sear on the Costco dumplings). I would definitely recommend both of these appetizers.

All of us ordered a ramen bowl for dinner. This was fantastic! The broth had deep flavor; I could’ve had a whole bowl of just the broth! My bowl came with noodles (duh), chicken, bamboo shoots, green onions, and a little seaweed. I ate as much as I could but couldn’t polish it off.

Besides having delicious food, the three of us chatted about everything from running (surprise, I know) to New York to work.