Tag Archives: 2011

five good things: ring in that new year edition

Chickens, it’s gonna be a quick one today, since I have an apartment to clean, dishes to make, and family and friends to usher in the new year with tonight.

I thought, since it’s a time of reflection, I might give December 31st the old Five.Good.Things treatment, focusing on the things that were good about 2011. Here we go:

1. JW and I had an awesome, super fun wedding. Also, we’re married now. And even though so far, being husband and wife feels just like being Nikki and Jon always has, I’m glad we got to make it official with all our friends and family and also, a giant party.

2. Tobin was born! I laid eyes on my godson yesterday, and I could not be excited that he’s here!  Sometimes, all it takes is a little baby to remind you of how good life really is.

3. JW and I took a trip to Martha’s Vineyard, where I reconnected with all my island-y, east coast foods and sights. It was the perfect trip for us, and I know we’ll be back now that I’ve got JW hooked on the lobsters and nature walks.

4. Also, I got to go on an adventure with CJ to JK’s wedding in Montana, one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been. I wish I could go there once a month to take a hike and clear my head. It was, as I like to say, a life changing experience.

5. The fifth good thing about 2011 is all the rest of it: good health, good friends & family, a job, and all the other little things that make my life what it is. 2011 has been a year of ups and downs, but I think I’m ready to take what I learned from it and move into 2012 full of positive thoughts and excitement.

I hope everyone has a safe, fun, and excellent New Years’ tonight. I’ll be posting about what we’ve done over here, and I can’t wait to see how everyone else makes out- bon anni chickadees!


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goodnight all you moonlight ladies

Morning, chickens.

I’m a little late to it today, since I’ve finally been putting away presents and dealing with laundry and also, maybe, cleaning up my house just a bit.

Dust elephants have taken up residence because of my negligence.

This morning I’m headed to get my paws on my godson and his siblings, and then I’m headed out to prepare for our New Years’ party tomorrow night.

My sister, mom, and I have decided on 13 different dishes, including, but not limited to clam dip, bacon wrapped dates, and BBQ whiskey sliders.

We’ll probably have too much, but that’s a family tradition around here, so I’m not too worried about it.

Also left on my list is another 2011 workout, and coming up with some resolutions to start the new year with.

2011 was a big year, in all the ways it could be, good, bad, and everything in between, and I’m looking ahead to 2012 with ambition, promise, and to be honest, a little bit of relief.

It’s nice to feel like you’re restarting, even if you know you can’t really restart.

And with that, I am off to enjoy this second-to-last day of 2011 (or as JW would say, “New Year’s Eve Squared”) with all the right people and in all the right places.

Hope someone’s seeing some sunshine this morning, chickadees!



Filed under Chicago, Good times, Reflections, Things that are delicious, Weather

sticking to it.

So far, the majority of this holiday break has been spent eating, drinking wine, and laughing like a crazy person.

Six more days of that to go, chickens.

I have plans to work out again with my brother, who works out twice a day and makes me look like kind of a pansy.

I got in an extra 1.5 miles on the treadmill yesterday waiting for him to finish. Then I promptly went to my parents’ house and ate my weight in holiday treats.

I’ll be eating kale only in the new year, chickadees.

Also, my little sister gave me a new yoga mat (extra sticky so I stop falling over in puddles of my own sweat), and I’m anxious to test it out.

Preferably before she leaves so she can adjust my poses, which I’m assuming are pretty outrageously wrong.

Last week I (finally!) pulled myself into crow pose only to tilt too far forward and topple over, straight into my television.

Something tells me I had one of my limbs in the wrong location, but luckily, the fall didn’t hurt and I was too excited I had almost done it to even care.

Maybe the sticky mat will keep me where I need to be.

Here’s to hoping, anyway.

And with that, I’m off to start another day not in my cubicle (I’m assuming this is going to be a pretty brutal trip back to the office next week though, judging by how much I like not being there). Have a lovely day, chicks!




Filed under Chicago, Did I really do that?, Good times, Near Disaster, Things that are delicious

good tidings and cheer.

Good morning chickens!

I think I’m finally recovering from the mountain of shrimp, smelts, crabs, clams, and mussels I ate my way through on Christmas eve.

And then again on Christmas Day.

The Palluzzis have been pretty low key, eating and taking long walks around the neighborhood before retiring for some more eating, movie watching, and game playing.

Game playing if we’re feeling particularly ambitious.

Yesterday the whole crew made our way to the Museum of Science & Industry, where we spent over five hours wandering through all the exhibits.

We hit the new Dr. Seuss exhibit, which was pretty cool (although, I confess, not as cool as last year’s Jim Henson exhibit), and then made our way through the coal mine and the fairy castle, and of course my favorite, the U-boat.

I’m a sucker for WWII exhibits.

And I’m the right size for submarine living, it turns out.

Below is one of the trees from the Christmas Trees of the World exhibit- my sister and I walked around the whole planet looking for Italy, but didn’t discover our Italian tree until we were pulling into the coal mines.

But the one here is pretty cool too.

Up today, my little brother and I are headed back to the gym to get back to a routine (and yes, I have my membership card back, so hopefully my entry will go smoothly), and then I’m off to the ‘burbs to spend the day with friends and family.

I could get used to this life, chickadees. Except I’d be in danger of eating until the point of no return.

I hope everyone is having a lovely holiday, or a smooth transition back to work!

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secret santa

Chickens- it’s Christmas Eve!

The sky in Chicago is bright blue, and I heard a delightful chorus of chickadees on my walk home this morning.

And it’s the most delicious food-day of the year.

I’m in pretty holiday-y spirits this morning.

Last night we watched movies, shopped for some more fish, and took a long Christmas walk which involved stopping at a bar and ordering “mystery shots.”

That was my dad’s idea, I’d like to point out.

This morning I woke up early, realized my phone was missing, and went hunting for it in the car.

Except as I stepped toward the car, I noticed that the phone was actually sitting on the ground.

It wasn’t alone though. There was also a dollar bill lying next to it.


But a stroke of luck, since the phone could have been stolen, and instead was just cold.

And I made a dollar off the whole transaction.

After warming up my phone (does that even help? Who knows?), I took off for a kettlebell class.

I’m planning on eating a lot of dinner.

I needed the workout.

There were only five people in class today, so aside from jumping around, proclaiming we were Spartan warriors, and laughing at us (out of love, I assure you), our instructor also took the opportunity to introduce us to TRX, something even more insane than kettlebells.

I didn’t think this was possible, but apparently it is.

It looks like this:


I certainly was not smiling, I will tell you that much.

But Gene was, while yelling “I’m the secret santa! This is the secret!”

A secret I could live without knowing, my friends.

It basically involves using those straps to do push ups, bicep curls, squats, and whatever else Gene could drum up.

I nearly crashed to the ground several times.

However, my shoulders feel great, and I’m feeling pretty fit on this Christmas eve morning.

Now it’s off to the showers, and then off to the races.

Merry Christmas eve to everyone- have a wonderful day (and night!)


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Filed under Chicago, Did I really do that?, Near Disaster, Reflections, Things that are delicious

whacking the lobstah

Hey there chickens!

I’ve just roused myself from my warm bed to enjoy another day off.

I could get used to this kind of thing.

Yesterday, I cleaned my house, wrapped my gifts, did yoga AND went to the gym (and no, that terrible man was not there), finished a book, took a bath, and watched Love Actually.

Productive day, if you ask me.

Also, my mother and I went on a lobster adventure.

Stemming from our Italian heritage, our Christmas Eve is seafood-centric. We usually have lobster tails, and my mom likes to use raw lobster bodies to start her sauce.


We headed to New England Seafood Company and hoped we’d find what we were looking for.

She asked the fishmonger if she could get lobster tails, and then asked if he had any lobster bodies around, but he only had cooked ones, which would not do.

Then my mother proceeded to explain to him that she could use whole lobsters, but she just didn’t think she could stab the lobsters to death.

I wanted to be brave at this point and volunteer to do the lobster murdering, but I just couldn’t drum up the sentiment.

In fact, I agreed with her wholeheartedly.

We appeared to be at a lobster impasse.

Luckily for us (but not the lobsters), the man agreed to be our lobster hitman, and not only whacked the lobsters, but cut them up for our Christmas Eve feast.

All while we enjoyed fried clams and lobster bisque.

I suspect I should feel guiltier than I do.

And now I’m off to get in one more gym run and hang out with my sister, who has made it in from LA. I hope everyone’s having a lovely day!

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new movies and bad decisions

Morning, chickadees.

I’m a little late this morning since I had the day off and decided to instead sleep until the late hour of 8:30.

Last night JW and I were out later than usual for a school night, checking out the new version of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.

I really liked it, but will say that it’s definitely an American movie. The Swedish version was pretty much a play by play of the book, which was great, because I loved the book.

But this one was also good, and Daniel Craig in the leading male role certainly didn’t hurt. I think if you have an open mind and are a lover of the book series in general, you’ll get into this movie.

But make sure you have three hours on your hands, since that’s how long it was. I will say that I sat through the whole thing without getting bored, which is rare for someone with a fairly short attention span (for instance, still haven’t seen Benjamin Button because its run time frightens me).

Again, Daniel Craig.

What wasn’t awesome was that I spent much of the night up feeling pretty sick, and I think I’ve narrowed down the suspects.

I am movie popcorn lover, despite knowing that it’s disgusting and not real food. In my own home, I won’t even eat microwaveable popcorn because it sketches me out.

Also because I don’t own a microwave.

I know that’s weird, but I’m my mother’s daughter.

But at the movies, all bets are off. Which means I regularly get a giant tub of popcorn, salt it, and butter it.

At this particular movie theater, I noticed the the spouts that the “butter” come out of are labeled kind of strangely.

“Popcorn topping” is its official title.

Leading me to believe it’s made out of motor oil.

Or something.

In my popcorn-fueled hysteria though, I just looked at JW, shrugged, and pumped it on.

I deserve the 2 hours of rumbling stomach for that, I’d say.

Don’t eat the popcorn topping, chickadees.

Up today is tidying up my home, finishing up some work among my Christmas carols and mistletoe candle, wrapping presents, and getting in a workout.

I’m thinking about hitting the gym, but I have some fears after yesterday’s showdown.

Stay tuned, chickens.

And have a lovely Thursday!

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