Thursday, July 31, 2014

Awesome: Day 31

So today is the last day of Awesome July. I received two paychecks (I received my first paycheck from my new part time job!) and booked the hotel for my trip to Vegas later this year! I'd say both of those things were a great way to wrap up a month of pointing out, creating and doing awesome "stuff". 

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Awesome: Day 30

I attended a rather odd, but not to me odd, eventDespite running late and having nothing but turkey jerky for dinner, it was totally worth it. The doctor was amazingly compassionate, respectful and yet powerfully passionate about his work. It was totally awesome. 

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Awesome: Day 29

I received an award at work.

I got a belated birthday present.

I had lunch with one one of the coolest people I know (Fireball P.I.).
Total awesome-sauce day.

Thank goodness I know where MY Fireball is!

Monday, July 28, 2014

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Awesome: Day 27

I did the bare minimum to survive today.
Nothing planned. No where to be.
And it was awesome.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Awesome: Day 26

I took my chances today. I didn't make an appointment for the much needed oil change and maintenance my car needed. It is Saturday. Saturday "walk-ins" don't happen at my dealer. But, add in the picture below, and guess what? I got in! Donuts are awesome! Now if donuts just worked on making smaller invoices, that would be even more awesome! Sweet treats aside, I have to believe the power of a positive attitude and a nice smile go a long way in helping make someone else's day. And that is pretty awesome. 

Friday, July 25, 2014

Awesome: Day 25

It's Friday, and that makes today awesome all on it's own. But Friday is even better when spending time with awesome people over dinner and drinks, and especially dessert.

PS) I had my midyear review at my full-time job and it went well. Fingers crossed that my boss achieves her goals, because that would directly and positively impact me! And that would be AWESOME!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Awesome: Day 24

Being awesome is sometimes hard work.
Working hard is sometimes awesome.
That is all.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Awesome: Day 23

Being a part of a team that gets results...
Being a part of something bigger than yourself...
Being able to see and feel the difference you make in others' lives...
It's pretty awesome.

~ Two Reactive Dogs Being Not So Reactive ~

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Awesome: Day 22

Today, I did one of the things shown on the list below.
Hopefully I made someone else's day awesome.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Awesome: Day 21

Great weather.
Outdoor concert.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Awesome: Day 20

Today was international ice-cream day. I didn't quite get to an ice-cream shop, but hope this counts. It's the first time I've ever had a Slurpee, and was even given instructions on how to consume one. Must use "spoon" straw. Must tap cup to get Slurpee contents to settle properly for maximum consumption. Must not drink, or slurp, too quickly at risk of getting a brain freeze. Umm, yeah. I didn't realize there was such a Slurpee, not to be compared to an Icee, following! While I can't say that the Slurpee itself was all that awesome, I can say, sharing in someone else's fun was! 

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Awesome: Day 19

 I got to play with these cute, Pug puppies today. 
Puppies of any kind are pretty awesome. 
Getting paid to play with puppies is even more awesome.
(But of course, I would have done it for free!)

Friday, July 18, 2014

Awesome: Day 18

Girls night out.
Margaritas and movies.
That is all.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Awesome: Day 17

Today I started my new (part-time) job. I love it. Lots of new freedoms to get used to, however, and I feel semi institutionalized from my past years in a retail training environment. Wow. All I can think of is the movie Shawshank Redemption and wondering how I will ever acclimate to the "outside". Don't worry, I won't be hanging myself from the rafters. I thankfully have a good friend to help me navigate the waters just like Andy!

In other awesome news, I received these at work today. 
Absolutely gorgeous.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Awesome: Day 16

Today is the 16th day of July which finds me just half way through my 31 days of posting about awesome stuff, one item or event per day. Today's awesome comes in the form of taking time to read outside. I don't dedicate enough time to reading as I would like, so being able to double up and enjoy the sunshine too, definitely puts this session in the "awesome" category! Ironically on this sunny July day, I'm reading about the diphtheria outbreak in frozen, cold, snowbound Nome, Alaska and the race of a lifetime which is now known as the Iditarod. 

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Awesome: Day 15

Instead of taking the obvious food picture of my awesome Thai dishes, I thought the ceiling of the restaurant was far more interesting. Awesome day 15 included trying a new dish at Royal Thai. Yummy yellow curry, veggie fried rice, chicken pad Thai, and shared appetizers rounded out a great meal, with great company. Yum!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Awesome: Day 14

Shoes are awesome.
Finding a pair of shoes that are on sale is even more awesome.
And ya know what's even awesomer? Coupons.
Oh happy day!

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Awesome: Day 13

Today was totally awesome. Of course, I use the word awesome a lot, but sometimes there just are no other words to describe an event or situation. Today's awesomeness included pairing up with my "seemed like a good idea at the time" friend, Melissa, and heading to Cooking Fools for a pasta making class. 

Upon arrival, we washed our hands, donned our aprons and were instructed to measure out 3.5 ounces of each, Semolina and white flour. Okay, so my ingredients were more like 4 ounces of Semolina and heaven only knows how much white flour, but hey, I like to color (and measure) outside the lines, apparently! Flour and eggs in tow, we headed to our prep stations and awaited farther instructions. 

Our chef began the dough making demo and it seemed "easy" enough, but could pasta making really be an easy thing? I mean, after all, there are so many expensive gadgets and pasta making utensils that it MUST be difficult, right? I mean, little old Italian women spend days in the kitchen perfecting their cuisines! Pasta making can't be simple.Yeah. Right. 

Soon we were wrist deep in mixing our flours together and scrambling our eggs in hopes that they would not escape the flour well that we had created. Laughing and joking along the way, the mixing and kneading of the ingredients commenced and soon we had dough balls. Yes, we made pasta balls! And it only took perhaps 12-15 minutes! Our pasta dough, now able to bounce back when you squished it, was ready for an olive oil coating, and a 30 minute rest.

During the dough resting period, our instructors and some class volunteers worked to create two sauces (tomato vodka and basil-pesto) and a ricotta cheese and roasted red-pepper filling for the pasta and ravioli we would be making. Nothing had even been cooked yet, but the combined, fresh ingredients smelled heavenly! As the sauces began to simmer, we were instructed on how to roll out our dough. Don't forget the Pac-Man step, we reminded each other!  

Numerous turns of the pasta machine's crank later and lots of teamwork, we had long sheets of dough that were ravioli ready! We folded the sheets in half in order to create a seam as a guideline for the filling. "Don't over-stuff your ravioli, these aren't calzones - that's a different class!", we heard our instructor say. And with that, we began spooning our ingredients onto the dough, keeping a two finger distance between each clump of filling.
After coming to the end of our dough-line, we then folded the pasta over itself and began to press out all the air and seal our pockets for proper cooking. All that was left was to cut and trim the edges to allow for the picture-perfect pasta pillow.

With the ravioli completed and ready for boiling, we took the second halves of our dough and began to roll it out the same way we prepped the ravioli. Only this time, we folded our end product sheet of dough into quarters and cut it into wide noodles. From there, we layered the noodles, heavily floured, onto baking sheet for temporary containment until their final journey to the boiling pots. 

While we cleaned up our hands and stations, the chefs boiled our pastas and finished the sauces. After a quick purchase of a bottle of wine, we were ready to eat! Our pastas were sauced, allowed to soak up the flavors, and then re-sauced before serving. Paired with a balsamic coated salad, we plated our lunches and were seated for consumption! All I can say is, it was awesome and relatively easy! The laughs, the learning, meeting other people, and enjoying a day of pure fun all added up to awesome! And. Well, the desire to buy my own pasta machine! 


Saturday, July 12, 2014

Awesome: Day 12

Today is a rainy Saturday which thwarted any ideas of a morning bike ride or catching the sunrise, so I made the most of this "lemon" situation and made lemonade. Well, actually I watched a Lemmon. Jack Lemmon, that is, in the 1960 movie, "The Apartment". 

Of course, what's a movie experience without the concessions, right? So, with that thought in mind, I made a breakfast sandwich, and enjoyed both it and the movie from the comforts of bed! Thank goodness for i-Pads, Netflix and Sleep Comfort. And, I must say, my sandwich was better than any theater snack! 

What's awesome about this morning is that it was enjoyable downtime which didn't require having to go anywhere, or be anywhere at a certain time AND, I now get to check one more movie off of the AFI's Top 100 list! The movie was pretty awesome, and I highly recommend it! So glad I took the time for me. The Apartment. And breakfast. It all added up to awesome!

Friday, July 11, 2014

Awesome: Day 11

Today's awesomeness is sponsored by Sleep Number!
I slept in this morning, and 
man, did I need it. 
I am so in love with my Sleep Number bed!

Oh, and of course while I putzed around and enjoyed my slow morning, I made breakfast and took the time to appreciate my orchid, which is now in full bloom! While this may not seem very awesome, I've waited (I think) about 4-5 years for this plant to re-bloom! Here she (yes, she) is with all five buds in full bloom! Awesome, right? 

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Awesome: Day 10

Awesome, day 10 of July was participating in a 5K with no calf issues and perfect weather! 
Can't wait for the next race! 

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Awesome: Day 9

Day 9 was a planned wine tasting, however fate had a different idea. Like, for my car battery to die on me and cause a bit of a change in plans. Don't worry, I still got my wine in and loved an enjoyable meal and complimentary wine tasting, but what I really found awesome was the out pour of love and support from those around me, willing to help me fix my car. Cheers to wine, friends, and awesomeness!!!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Awesome: Day 8

Sometimes awesome is all about helping others. 
So that's what I did, in the form of a reference letter. 
I'm hoping this helps someone else find their "awesome"!

Monday, July 7, 2014

Awesome: Day 7

Chicago Theater Marquee Tour!!! 
Below are just a few photos of awesomeness day 7!

The Lobby 

The lobby ceiling

 Hallway ceiling



But one of the best parts of the day was receiving this surprise in the mail from one of my awesome clients who shares in the bucket list, dare and fun factor experiences in life! I can't wait to read it, and see what new mischief I can get myself into!

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Awesome: Day 6

Day 6 of awesome July found me a little tilted! 
Check out the John Hancock's newest experience, Tilt!

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Awesome: Day 5

Awesome day 5 was full of pampering! 
Mani, pedi, massage, and a fresh "do" for a new year!

Friday, July 4, 2014

Awesome: Day 4

Independence day filled with love, fun and fireworks at Arlington race track = awesome day 4!

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Awesome: Day 3

Day 3 of awesome was spent at Naperville Ribfest, amongst beautiful weather, eating awesome ribs and seeing an awesome band! I think I finally found a hot-sauce that was too hot! Johnson's Thermonuclear BBQ sauce - yowzers! 

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Awesome: Day 2

Awesome is sharing the best things in life, with the best people!

Bacon Brownie Sundae with a Chocolate Pecan Brownie, Guinness Ice Cream, Milk Chocolate Ganache, Toasted Pecans, and Bacon Brittle