These biscuits!

I didn’t know I cared about food as much as I do. But, since so many of my posts are related to food…I guess I enjoy it and talking about it more than I thought! LOL

Delicious!
Delicious!

That said… You MUST try Grands Frozen Biscuits! Am I the last to know?  You pop 2 (or 4) of them out of the bag.  Throw them in the oven on 375 degrees for 20 minutes or so.  And, OMG you have hot, fresh, soft in the middle, biscuits! I tried the buttermilk kind. But, they have a variety.  I love that I can have a couple of biscuits and they are hot right out of the oven (instead of wasting a can that will not be eaten while hot).   This is the perfect thing!  Thanks to my BFFF, Tam,  who is always putting me on to something great! ;)

Do you see this?? YASSS! lol

Losing….. Learning…..

dancebliss_in-formI’ve taken on a project that has required me to purge, clean and trash a lot of things.  As a result, I am coming across things of mine I haven’t seen in many years.  Sunglasses, old ID cards, my driver’s licenses from years ago, school report cards.  I am kind of surprised at the number of things that have transitioned with me from my move from Chicago to ATL in 2006, to my move back to Chicago from ATL in 2010.  From one place in Chicago in 2010, to another in 2012.   I have carried along a hodgepodge of things that I have held on to over the years.  As I began to look through photographs, and review artifacts and memories, I realized how much I lost between 2009-2013.  I don’t even think I realized at the time that it was a very low, dark period.  I remember hanging on to friends, drinking (a lot), dating (despite being ill equipped for relationships), and going through the motions of life.  But, I was empty.  And, I went through a lot of emotional turmoil.  Besides losing my mother (which of course was a defining period of devastation), I actually ran through a few relationships that looking back were simply “the broken leading the broken”.  One ended with a police report for harassment when he couldn’t handle my breaking up with him.  Another ending with me as a single parent.    Rather than really let any of these things get me too far down, I have constantly fed into my spirit and my happiness.  I embraced my journey as a new mom.  I recognized that my daughter was a gift of joy.  I embraced her birth as a light for myself, but also for her dad as both of us have separate sources of deep mourning and emotional wounds. I have celebrated my career journey and began working toward my doctorate.   As pain lingered along my path, I kept my head toward the sky.  Toward the sun. I searched, and jumped around.  But, I kept going.   I realized this weekend that I can officially say that as of mid-2015, I feel at peace.   I am embracing me.  I am adjusting to my new life and new normal/s.  I am disposing of past things that will not suit the new me.

I am moving forward and, embracing the idea that my pain as a stepping stone toward my future.  I am going to be restored.  This is my focus.  And, it is a good feeling.  2015 is halfway done.  I’m so ready for what’s next, let’s go….

Uncle Remus Hits The South Side…..

image1
My six wings, fries, hot and mild sauce. It comes with two rolls. July 2015

I pass by the new Uncle Remus on 47th and Cottage every day.  A family staple on Chicago’s West Side since 1963, it has long been compared to the South Side’s Harold’s restaurants (1950).  I learned that Uncle Remus was founded as G&G chicken.  Knowing that the first Harold’s was called H&H, I can see why some folks have long compared the two chicken spots. Anyhow, now that Uncle Remus has ventured to the South Side, it has been welcomed with open arms!  For the past three weeks or so, when I would pass by, there were people both inside and out of the place!  So, when I finally passed by and saw that there wasn’t a line, I decided to grab dinner.

The first thing I noticed about the Uncle Remus store was the beautiful menu.  It’s clean, easy to read and huge. But, the next thing I noticed were the prices! After all, there aren’t many things I order at a chicken place.  Wings and fries namely.  So, I check out the wings section.  SIX WINGS for $10.99? OMG.  If there are lines with these prices, this chicken HAS to be good!  So I went for it.  (NOTE: They have daily specials. The special for the day was 8pcs of dark meat for $8.99 so there are deals if you want what they are offering as the special)

When I stepped up to order, the friendly cashier asked was I a first time customer.  Since I was, the entire staff greeted me with a loud “WELCOME”!  A nice touch to show their friendliness I thought.  I decided to try both hot and mild sauce so my order came to $11.98.  For me, I was eating 4 wings and my daughter 2.  Therefore, I wasn’t as put off by the price.  But, for one person, I did feel this to be pretty pricey for chicken wings.  I got the order to go, waited about 10 minutes.   In the 15 minutes it took me to get home, my order did not lose any of it’s heat.  The wings were large, crunchy, HOT and fresh!  Now to me, the sauces were just OK.  But, I do feel I may have missed out on the experience because I did have the sauce on the side instead of on the chicken. But, for this meal, I award them 3.5 stars out of 5.

I do love to support black owned businesses, and will go back to try something different.  Check them out if you’re in Chicago and let me know what you think!

P.S. Six wings are $8.99 on Wednesdays! Check the website for the specials each day: http://www.uncleremususa.com/

Elite Core Sliders…..

Once upon a time when I paid a kajillion dollars for a personal trainer, she would have me place these covers over my shoes and slide from side to side on this slippery board.  I didn’t really like it then because I felt like half of the gym was looking at me like one would look at a chick who can’t walk in heels…. :(

Now that I am slimming down, I really am focusing on hardcore exercises for my core and lower body.  I want to do crazy cardio to accelerate the rest of my weight loss, and am tracking movement and calories burned along with changing my eating (no sugar–really no dessert–remember?).   Enter my Elite Core Sliders.  These round discs are super core workers!  You use them to either lower yourself with your hands or your feet and basically slide up and down getting the most intense core workout EVER! I love them because I do NOT want to do a single sit up, and they challenge me to build muscle in my arms, legs and glutes while certainly rocking my CORE.   They aren’t very expensive.  And, with a toddler and everything else I have going, I need several different work outs and tools that I can use at home at my convenience.  Now that my toddler is in bed for the night, I just did a quick 15 minutes that wore me OUT! I’m excited to add this to my collection of at home workout ideas/tools….  Check out this video to see these things in actions (with a real trainer).  SCORE!

Aidells….. My new favorite thing!

I was in a store I frequent much to often (that shall not be named), and ran into a chicken sausage that seemed interesting.  Throughout life, I’d never been a sausage person.   I decided to try a couple of turkey sausages with some eggs one day and now, I’m hooked! I won’t quite eat pork sausage.  But, the turkey–so far so good.  When I saw the chicken sausage I figured…eh…something has to spice my breakfast up…why not?

chickenandappleThe next morning, I threw half of one in my toaster oven for 10 minutes while I got dressed. Packed it up with my tupperware of scrambled eggs on my way out of the door and hit the road.  By the time I got to work and prepared to eat, I was really hungry.  I noticed when looking at the sausage that it had speckles of something mixed in.  One bite, and it really didn’t matter.  THIS SAUSAGE WAS DELICIOUS!  I realized later that it’s a chicken sausage with small apple pieces.  That makes this tasty sausage fit into TWO categories of new things I am eating.  The first being sausage.  The second being cooked fruit (no, I do not eat apple pie or any other version of cooked fruit…gross)!  This Aidells chicken apple sausage has turned me all around!

garlic and basil

Based on the sausage, I decided to try their garlic & basil chicken lunchmeat.  No nitrates, no hormone fed animals (lol), just good flavor and delicious meat.  I’m hooked!  Am I late to the party? I am so happy to find these options for some good ol’ lazy (meaning I ain’t cooking) eating.

Online Dating? Nah. About FACE!!!

What is this? Geeze
What is this? Geeze

When I was in my 20s a couple of years ago (lol), I used to love dating.  Online dating is a space I joined when AOL introduced LOVE @ AOL  many years ago. I was a techie  and loved to try new online innovations.  So, I was probably one of the first of my peers to do so.  It wasn’t anything I would take seriously, and to be honest, I met some great guys.  In fact, I still have two male friends who I have had for years,  that I met through an online dating site.  Anyway, it used to be that people like me were online dating.  Just looking for a fun way to meet people, chat and perhaps hang out without having to actually go to a club or party to do so.

My how things have changed.  First of all, I revived my profile on match.com and decided to use this 7 day free trial code I had to see what would happen.  I’m single.  And, for the first time in a couple of years, actually have some time set aside after working, school and moming to date.  Imagine that. So, I figured, let’s kick this thing off! I activated this profile at 9:00pm.  By 9:18, my inbox was flooded! OMG! What is this? There must have been hundreds of men online because ten of them were winking or saying hello.  As I sifted through the profiles, I realize things have changed.  There aren’t nicely posed pics with clever words on these profiles any longer.  Instead, there are pics with men peeking from the corner, obscured by sunglasses and who knows what else.  The profiles don’t have any descriptions, just a few words.  AND, I received 3-4 phone numbers from men who asked me to call them.  *SCREECH*  Stop this train.  I’m OUTTA HERE!  *Subscription CANCELLED-PROFILE-BACK into obscurity*   This is such a different experience.   Or, perhaps I am just different.

I realized I was overwhelmed by the thought of hundreds of men looking at my photos, barely reading my cleverly crafted profile (heh heh) and wanting me to call them that evening. I still like a little bit of the get to know you that comes along with dating. And, online that used to translate into a few emails being traded back and forth!  I enjoy the asking questions, talking back and forth, casually getting to know each other for a while.  I love being asked for MY number, and then being asked on a nice date.  Maybe I am old or just old school.  But, what I am NOT is the online dater that I used to be.  Luckily that was easy to figure and easy to fix. C’est La Vie, huh?

Trying Costco….

costco

I’ve had a Sam’s Club membership for years.  And, at times, it has served me well.  Great to pick up things for parties, good prices on tires and photos and a variety of brands that I enjoy.  But, as a single person living alone, I just haven’t used the membership as much as I could.  Now that I have a toddler, I can see how many things I buy repeatedly on a regular basis.  So, perhaps buying in bulk will serve me a little bit better. We will see.  And, there is a Costco close by, and the membership is less expensive.

So soon, I will be a member of the Costco crew.  Standby to see how that works out….