Uncle Remus Hits The South Side…..

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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….

Addictions…

reese cupsWhen you say you are addicted to something, it means you have to have it and can’t control the desire. (My definition)  Based on this definition, I have realized that I am addicted to sugar.  No matter how much discipline and self control I have, no matter how much attention and time I give to eating right or exercising, no matter how HORRIBLE I know this is for me, I find that I can’t help myself.  And, as a result, I am carrying around some extra pounds.  This here must stop!

At my annual physical, I was told that I need to figure out a way to control the sweets.  And, even though I care deeply about my health and always listen to good medical advice, I found that I could NOT really give up the sugar.  I would tell myself that I was having a “treat day” or that I desired whatever sugary treat I was having because I’d had a “rough” day.   Even on a detox, I was sneaking a few mini candy bars or Frappacinos in.  And, I realized that I just would not stop.  It became upsetting to me.  This realization has been exactly what I needed to make myself stop.  I am officially not having sweets until I reach my goal weight.  As of today, it’s been 5 days. Now that I’m really working on this, I have noticed just how many sweets I have all around me.  Candy, carmel popcorn, cupcakes, banana pudding, well really anything I can think of.  Between work and my weekly trips to Target (which is another addiction I need to give up), it’s no wonder I have had such a hard time. But, it’s ok. I think I can do this.  Being healthy is really important to me.  And, now that I recognize that I’m only making excuses with these “treat” days, I am focused.  Goal weight, here I come! Adios, Reese Cups…. See you later! Lol *God help me*

My friend, Matthew…..

high school 94

Matthew Williams is not a rare name.  But, my friend, Matthew Williams of Chicago, IL is a unique, and rare person.  He’s kind, calm and steady.  He doesn’t jump around in his career, has been married for twelve years, and remarkably, has been sure and steady since he was 14 years old when I met him.  When I first saw him, well….he was hard to miss.  First, he is over 6 feet tall.  Next, he wore these glasses that had a reddish tint. (Where do you get those?) Finally, he was one of those folks that always gave a bright smile and hello in our high school halls. (Kids just weren’t friendly like he was) You just couldn’t miss him!

Matthew came into high school as a star.  So humble, he would never admit that he was.  But, I am a quiet observer, and was especially so, our freshman year of high school. I remember it well. Besides being tall and friendly, there were a few things about Matt that made him standout amongst our class.  Matthew can sing.  He has one of the sweetest, confident voices I’d heard. And as someone whose family attended his church, I would hear him sing on Sundays. Second, he was committed to Christianity and shared his love for God amongst friends. In high school, that can either tank your popularity, or pull closer those who are the same way.  But, Matt happened to have friends across the board.  He was the type that could fit in with various groups of people.  He was unapologetically Christian,  but not in your face and not stuffy about it.  It was just who he was.    Matt was even featured on our local news for being ‘someone you should know’.   It was a segment that highlighted his kindness and potential for greatness. How could he have just the right mix of cool and steady? Over the years, I would come to find out.   Continue reading