Weekend: Piano Bar, Brunching & Running

What more does one need?

I guess an extra day in the weekend to recover from all the fun, but don’t we all wish that…

Matt and I started out the weekend by heading on an impromptu trip to Milwaukee on Friday night. First stop: Transfer Pizza for dinner. We’ve eaten there twice and both times loooved their pizza. My favorite so far is the “Katalina Pizza” — it has a garlic cream sauce, cheese, artichokes and salami. Definitely not a healthy option, but oh-so-delicious. So delicious, in fact, that I didn’t even take the time to snap a pic before devouring it…

After chowing down, we met up with my friend and then cabbed it to Lucille’s Piano Bar in downtown Milwaukee. This is our favorite place to go when we’re in Milwaukee. Dueling pianos are theeee best! If you have never been to a dueling piano bar, basically two people are playing at pianos/singing across from each other. The audience can take up their song requests (with some money to speed along their place in the queue). It’s popular for birthday parties, bachelorette parties, etc. because you can make the guest of honor sit up on stage while the piano players sing and play them a special song. You can imagine how this can be interesting (and hilarious) for the bachelor/bachelorette parties! Ha

Funny moment, off the bat, was when someone paid them $5 to play “Oh, Canada”—then someone brought up $10 to make them stop and play the US National Anthem instead. And because this is Milwaukee, you bet everyone stood up, put their hand over their hearts (with beer in their left hand) and sang along. Haha!

Singing the National Anthem at Lucille's Piano Bar

Singing the National Anthem at Lucille’s Piano Bar

We were out late, so Saturday morning had an equally late and slow start. Nursing some slight headaches, we headed out to brunch at a new (to us) place: Café Centraal.

Brunch in Milwaukee at Cafe Centraal

Uhhh, amazing brunch! I mauled the Chile Rojo Corn Cakes: Cornmeal pancakes topped with fried eggs, chorizo, white cheddar cheese, chile rojo, salsa verde, housemade pico de gallo, and chipotle sour cream.

Brunch in Milwaukee at Cafe Centraal

Sooo tasty. Kelsey got a yummy omelette, but Matt’s French Toast stole the show and we helped him eat it: Fresh berries on top of cinnamon coated challah French toast, layered with creamy mascarpone cheese and topped with basil.

Brunch in Milwaukee at Cafe Centraal

Last vestiges of the best french toast ever…

OMG, best french toast any of us had ever had. Go. Try it.

After brunch, Matt and I headed home for some errands and grocery shopping. We made dinner (Matt’s specialty, beef stroganoff) and then watched American Hustle. WOW, what a funny and great movie! I know it’s gotten all sorts of acclamations but it really is all it’s cracked up to be.

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And I love J Law. And Bradley Cooper…

Ended the night reading some of my latest book, A Thousand Splendid Suns.

032314-thousand-splendid-suns

Had to force myself to put it away to go to sleep!

Snoozed away until this morning, then I spent a little over 3 hours (!!) getting in my long run for the week. Rest of the day’s forecast: Eat, take a nap, and relax! I’ll just leave all that house cleaning for, uh, tomorrow I guess… Why can’t the weekend have three days in it?

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What was the highlight of your weekend?
Favorite book/movie of the moment?

Return to the Land of the Living

I spoke too soon earlier this week when I thought I was finally beating my cold.

After leaving work early on Monday (I was exhausted by lunchtime), I started coughing, coughing, coughing. I woke up Tuesday with a brick on my chest. Luckily, my doctor squeezed me in last-minute that morning and, guess what…. I have bronchitis. Joy!

Thankfully, my doc said it was literally just starting, so with the antibiotics she prescribed + the all-powerful Mucinex, I should be feeling relatively back to normal in just a few days. Phew! I actually felt a bit better last night already (maybe it was all in my head)—but I was so glad to feel like I was back in the Land of the Living. I actually had an appetite and was super excited for some pancakes as a late lunch…

banana pancakes

banana pancakes

I was even excited that I had the energy to do the dishes and some laundry. Sad, I know. Ha!

I’m feeling better just in time to welcome my fiance’s brother, coming from the UP of Michigan, to our house for the next several days. He’s in need of a little vaca because he’s been working a TON lately, so we’re excited he’s coming to spend some time with us! We have lots of plans in mind. He just started running, so I’m hoping I feel well enough to take him to my running club Saturday morning. I think we’re also going to Milwaukee for a day; doing some shopping; possibly taking the train to downtown Chicago (I don’t think he’s ever been there); and just spending some much-needed time relaxing and catching up. It will be fun!

Any recommendations on things to do in Milwaukee or Chicago this time of year? I usually only visit during the summer months or right around Christmastime, so I have no clue what to do in the fall when it’s a bit chillier.

Speaking of chilly, to warm myself up today, I got my first spiced apple cider of the season. Mmmm. Delicious. I’m usually a hot cocoa girl, but I’m supposed to be drinking “lots of clear liquids” while I battle this cold stuff, so apple cider sounded divine. Uhh, hopefully that counts.

mmm...spiced apple cider! first of the fall

mmm…spiced apple cider!

Good thing that Kleenex in the background of the pic is censoring my notebook cover. Twice. 😉

Stay warm & healthy, friends!

Hot cocoa or apple cider? Things to do in Chicago & Milwaukee?? Go! 

Pig Wings & Comedy Clubs

This weekend was a whirlwind!

I kicked it off with my usual exciting Friday night routine.

Saturday, I woke up at 5:25am to go run my 17-miler. It was an okay run, besides my knee hurting me for the last ten miles, and I’m proud I finished it.

After my run, an ice bath, scarfing down some eggs, and a 45-minute nap, Matt and I headed out for the farmer’s market. My weekend is incomplete without stopping by there! This week’s haul was light because I have a lot of veggies left from last week (I’ve been lazy on the cooking front), but we got: sweet corn on the cob, heirloom onions, peaches, apples and…a coconut turtle cookie bar. I thought 17 miles deserved a sweet treat, no?

After that, we met some friends at a local BBQ cook-off. I love me some BBQ but I was hot and tired, so I didn’t feel like chowing down too much. However, I did enjoy a “pig wing.” What is a pig wing, you ask? I asked too: It’s made from the shank of the pig, so it’s just one bone with a big hunk of tender, tasty meat on the end—thus looking like a chicken wing, but tasting like a BBQ pork rib.

Matt was eager once again to take a flattering picture of me eating a pig wing:

eating pig wings

Verdict—DEEEElicious!

I tried a few bites of pork from several competitors, and left feeling pretty full and sleepy.

When we got home, the food coma took over and I took another nap for 30 minutes. I was trying to bank some rest, because we had plans for the night, and I did NOT want to conk out before 10pm like I have the last two weekends.

We went to a good friend’s house in Milwaukee for some grilling out & drinks around dinnertime, and then hit up Comedy Sportz Club in downtown Milwaukee at 10pm. We had a BLAST! It was a lot of fun and we were constantly laughing. It was only $10 for the show, and the drinks there were relatively inexpensive too. I definitely recommend it for a fun night out, any local people out there. 🙂

We had such a good time at the 10 o’clock show that we stayed for the midnight “adult” show, but it was kind of a letdown compared to the first show. I think they relied too much on crude humor, so it wasn’t actually that funny (to me), but still, we had fun.

We didn’t get to bed until almost 3am—YAWN—so Sunday was a sleepy day. I went to my running club’s summer family picnic, where I ate some yummy food, had a beer & just chatted with everyone about running, life & fun stuff for a couple hours. When I got home, I must have been tired, because I conked out on the couch for 45 minutes. Ha! I never nap, but this weekend was full of them.

We topped off the weekend with a cheese plate to much on in the early afternoon:

cheese plate

Dill Havarti, Sweet Smoked Swiss, Aged Vermont Cheddar (I forget the fourth kind, but it was tasty!). We paired the cheese with some whole grain crackers, honey (so good with the cheddar), and apple slices. Our eyes were bigger than our stomachs!

We followed that up with Matt’s special lasagna a few hours later—complete with homemade family recipe sauce. Mmm. It is my favorite meal in the world. We finished out the night with two of our favorite TV shows right now: Breaking Bad and The Newsroom.

Hope you all had a great weekend!

Did you do anything fun? What’s your favorite way to end the weekend? Any favorite TV shows?