Monday, August 31, 2009


i'm at school...again? funny how that happens.

I made it all the way to the bus stop this morning before realizing that I had left not only my chicago card but also my upass at home. pay cash or run back home to pick them up? running (and praying that I wouldn't be late) it is. now would be a good time to mention how annoying it is to carry a book bag. once i finally got on the bus i was in such a fowl mood, i put my bag on the seat next to me and glared down incoming passengers. i dare you to try and sit here. i double dog dare you. then i started to feel bad when an old lady came on, so i moved it. she did not sit next to me. sniff. whatever.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

La Cocina de Frida

So I pretty much love mexican food. And I pretty much believe that it is hard to go wrong with mexican food. I'll take la pasadita late on a saturday night or el tapatio for dinner. Its all deliciously wonderful. and this probably biases my I thought I should be upfront about that.

My mom wanted to take my out to celebrate my first week of graduate school and we decided to check out La Cocina de Frida. She has been here a bunch but I'd never been. It has been on my radar for a while, but I just never had a reason to travel so far up north for food. Now that I'm going to Loyola, it is much more convenient :) Anyways...thats just the back story that you probably don't care a whole lot about. Let me get down to the nitty gritty.

+We ordered the nachos w/ chorizo on an indulgent whim. While we immediately regretted the order, I actually enjoyed them the most. I don't know if it was just because I was ravished, but the sinfully delicious combo of sour cream, guac, chorizo, chips, etc was just excellent. Very balanced. I wanted to dive right in.

+The margaritas. We were told that they don't use a mix, so we each ordered one. I'm not a huge margarita drinker and so the drink seemed particularly strong to me when they first arrived, but I persevered :) By the time the glass was have empty, I was very content with my drink.

+The main dishes. Plantain enchiladas with mole sauce? omg. yes please. Delicious. My mom ordered a chicken dish in a peanut sauce which was ... just not what my mom thought it was going to be. My mom mentioned this to the server (in response to being asked if she wanted to take home her leftovers), and they took it off the bill! We were both really surprised and thought that was extremely generous of them.

+Only flan for desert. I was going to order it, but I had already maxed out so I had to pass.

+Service. i could see where people thought it was a bit slow....but for some reason it wasn't bothering me that night.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

texts from last night

(+27): I feel fat after drinking my meal replacement shake.
(+27): I added chocolate sauce, a bsg of m&ms and a crushed up brownie to make it taste better.

ooooooh this is so my life.

The Map Room

This place is far less pretentious than I thought it might be. In fact, I am embarrassed to admit that I've avoided this place for years for fear of being burned by some serious beer snobbery. Well, jokes on me because I've been missing out.

The Map Room has a lovely neighborhood pub vibe and it happens to have lots of yummy beers. I'm not a huge beer drinker so I had my companions pick some out for me, and I was really surprised with how much I enjoyed them. This is true drinkability :)

I am definitely going to be coming back here!

Friday, August 28, 2009

as promised

I am currently sitting in my office trying to convince myself to continue reading my statistics text book. snooze. I've already ready about 40 pages AND sat in on the lower level statistics class that I TA so my brain is on stats overload. Fine. Before I move on to my next task, I wanted to share with you the awesome things my awesome statistics teacher said at my awesome first class. Note: This may be the only time I have refer to statistics class as awesome. But, it was truly an inspiring and motivational class. Who knew that was possible where math was concerned?

"Statistics are a gift from God!"

"Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is interesting, but what they conceal is vital."

"You're going to look mahvalous dahling. And it is better to look good than feel good." (In reference to how we will look when we understand statistics)

"Move towards the stuff you don't know and attack it . . . or caress it."

"SPSS. It's sassy!"

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

super woman

classes attended? check
homework started? check
hardcore sweaty workout? check
wedding planning details attended to? check
e-mails returned? check

I can do this. At least for today.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

should have thought of that before we kissed

Gosh I don't know what happened to me. I've been so mia! I'm sure my five readers have missed my lively updates, right??? haha. Well if you are really jonesin for some alisha info you can check out my new TWITTER. yes. thats right. twitter. I did it. I'm still figuring out how to work it and such, but so far I like how quick it is!

I would say I promise a long update soon, but I don't know if I can really follow through on that. I have so much work! It is cray cray. I have my first advanced stats class today and I'm sure my piles and piles of "to do" are only going to increase. Actually, so far, I only have "to do" for 1 class (as the first day was yesterday) and it already feels full time....not a good sign.

my only non school related piece of update is that Heather Hoffmann from Knox came and stayed with me and Neill last Tuesday. She was leaving for the IASR conference on Wednesday and needed a place to crash Tuesday night that was semi-close to O'hare. Enter us! Being off the blue line, we are prime o'hare crashing space. We went out for yummy noodles at Zen Noodles on North Avenue (delicious) and then checked out The Map Room. Sweet! I had two awesome beers there that definitely need to be had again. On Tuesdays they have an international food buffet for people and I really feel as though we need to get on that wagon. Free yummy food and great delicious beer within walking distance??? Um how have I not known about this? (well . . .actually I have known about it, but I just was ignoring it.)

Schedule for today?
-squeeze in some laps before class. if i decide that i can fit it in. pool opens at 11:30 and class is at 1.
-class 1 to 3:30
-lab meeting at 3:45 to 5:15
-laps if I didn't do them before

note to self: must pack lots of food so that i do not eat gross vending machine crap.

Thursday, August 20, 2009


brain. is. fried.

not. used. to. this.

what. the. fuck.

mmmm peanut butter

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


so. Neill's younger brother Jayson and his gf are having a baby. Which means they will be a mommy and daddy. But since this blog is about me, what it really means is I'm going to be aunt!

I'm already excited to:
+meet this litte girl (or boy) as I feel related to them...even though i won't be a blood relative and neill and i aren't technically married yet, im an aunt gosh darn it.

+baby sit with a wee little baby and practice baby magic for when neill and i have our own

+Some years down the line, I get to take him/her shopping and to the movies and what not and never really have to yell at them or discipline them or whatever. Wooohoo! FUN aunt alisha!

More on this later. I'm off to be second day of orientation!

Monday, August 17, 2009


what is with all of these creepy white people with guns trying to intimidate my homeboy (and our President), Obama?!? People are straight crazy showing up to the town hall meetings about health care strapped as if they are going to hold up a bank. shit.

i hate white people

Sunday, August 16, 2009

in another life

In another life, I would like to be a chef.

Neill and I checked out Julie & Julia on Friday and it was so amazing to see delicious food blown up on a huge screen. And to think about butter. And flavors. And how fucking amazing it is to cook and meld flavors and then to chew chew chew chew your food. (because chewing is seriously the best part, isn't it?) So mark my words people, if and when I have a midlife crisis (and I think we all know I will), I will become a chef. Or maybe start some new kind of therapy that involves lots of steak cooked in butter.

On another note - apparently only people 40 and older go to the movies on a Friday night. Sometimes being unhip is fun :)

p.s. here is the link to the blog Julie & Julia is based on. I hit the back button many many many times so that I could link to the very first post. you're welcome!

Home Goods (Bucktown)

Better than Marshall's. Better than Target. Better than Khols. It is  . . .  dadadadaum . . . HOMEGOODS. Are you in need of things that no one really needs, like a statue of a rooster? Or are you looking for the perfect body products to give to someone as a faux high end gift? Or discounted sheet sets? Or a coffee table for 90 bucks? Or mismatched plates? Or random assortments of nonparishables? Or perhaps you need some holiday themes schlock? Or maybe you just truly need a trivet or a tea pot or a mail organizer or . . . .all the little random things that come together to form a home .... a home filled with lots of stuff. This is the store for all of that and more!

Toast Two

nom nom nom nom

I must have been very very very good lately, because this morning I found myself in breakfast heaven.

I've wanted to try Toast for a while now (okay...probably a few years) and this weekend was the perfect opportunity. Scared of the tremendous wait, our party of three decided to try and beet the brunch rush. 10 am must be the sweet spot, because there were empty tables when we arrived and we were seated right away. By 10:30, people were lining up outside. Suckers.

I checked out the Yelp reviews before going (naturally) and  I was tempted to take Jessica B's advice and order the two eggs so I could try a little bit of everything. But, I could not fool myself . . . .I was there to dive head first into a big luscious gooey buttery fabulous stack of pancakes. And that was exactly what I did. I ran a train on those pine nut and mascarpone pancakes with lavender sprinkled on top. IN YOUR FACE.   These pancakes were so good that at dinner time I was kicking myself for not taking my left overs home. Seriously.

I will be back.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Caro Mio

Once again, Yelp has pointed me in the right direction. I wanted to find a restaurant near my friend's house that we could easily walk to  . . . not always an easy task around those parts. So, of course, I went to Yelp and found Caro Mio. I'm pretty sure everyone that night was glad we decided to give Caro Mio a try despite its unassuming location :)

I'm not sure if I can add anything to the reviews that hasn't already been said . . .
+Big delicious portions (the food definitely isn't cheap, but you get a lot for the price!)
+BYOB and no corkage fee
+really cute, small, independent restaurant

We went on a Wednesday night and it was pretty busy. Apparently it was only *us* who had never heard of it!

I'm definitely going to suggest hitting this place up again. And when we do, I'm ordering the creamy pesto sauce . . . with some pasta. YUMMO.

Thursday, August 13, 2009


Sorry I've been MIA lately. I've been a baaaad blogger. I can't help it! I'm too anxious about the start of school to really say anything worthwhile. The what-ifs are endless . . . and painful. I'm thinking that once I actually start the anxiety will go down. I don't usually get anxious over school - it is more of the unknown.


Oh - a big shout out to Liz and Aaron! I'm so excited for them :) Aaron is such a romantic little bugger and planned a surprise proposal. nom nom nom nom. they are just so freaking cute!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Luxe Events

I'm super excited to be the first person to review Luxe Events!

I heard of Luxe Events from snippetandink aka the wedding planning blog bible. I figured that if they were being featured on my favorite wedding blog, they would probably be pretty awesome. I'm happy to say, I was right!

I had my first meeting with Katherine and Morgan (the two brains behind the operation) a few days ago at Alliance Bakery. Bonus points for picking a meeting spot that was not Starbucks! Both of them are super friendly and warm so it was easy to be myself around them. We were meeting to talk about their DOC service, so they asked tons of questions about my plans and had lots of thoughtful suggestions.

Awesome tidbits:
+Both of them will be helping out on the big day. That way, one can be at the venue and one can be helping out where people are getting ready. Awesome!

+Guaranteed quick phone and e-mail replies. Its in the contract!  

+And perhaps the best one, THEY HELP GET YOUR RSVPS! As in, they will actually call people who have not responded! Talk about above and beyond :)

Katherine and Morgan really stand out as a capable, organized, and easy to work with team!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

take me home to my family

Off to West Virgina for Jared's White Coat Ceremony and to visit with Neill's side of the family!

Adobo Grill (Wicker Park)

Over Priced.
Over Rated.
And too much attitude.

It is my personal pet peeve when restaurants treat large parties like a pain in the arse. I understand that dealing with lots of hungry and celebratory people might be a strain on some servers, but seriously - the bigger the party the bigger the bill the bigger the tip, so at least you could smile and pretend not to be annoyed that it took us a bit longer than normal to order. Especially considering the restaurant was EMPTY.

I've always heard such nice things about Adobo Grill so this was a serious disappointment.

Monday, August 3, 2009

birds of a feather flock together



Oh and don't even get my started on how wonderfully whimsical birdcage centerpieces are . . .

Charlie's Ale House

this place is a-ok. I tried one of the flat breads, which was basically like a personal pizza with very crispy crust. My mom had a hamburger that was pretty decent. Everything about Charlie's -- from the decor to the service to the food -- is unoffensive and mildly pleasant.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

secret garden

Swoon. Maybe if I concentrate really really hard I will be transported to my own secret garden? Pretty please?

{all photos by Katie Stoops via the bride's cafe