Sunday, 29 January 2012

Livin the good life

yukgaejang- spicy Korean beef and vegetable soup
Interestingly enough, now that I've started eating my mom's home cooking, my stomach pains have magically disappeared! :-) I definitely think I can attribute my problems to eating most of my food out and choosing the wrong things to eat!
oreo's mcflurry
Since eating better I've also felt my appetite return slightly. Before, I didn't want to eat anything in particular and everything tasted a bit bland.
spicy fish and salad
tilapia made with Korean spices, radishes, and onions.
We made a solo trip to Chicago last Friday and stopped Manny's Deli in Chicago. Did you know our President eats there? he he he..
They have sandwiches as big as yo face- fo' reals! T and I split a corned beef sandwich and I went with a side of Chicken noodle soup which was just Ehhh (too much noodle, not enough broth!). After lunch I went to scout out some apartments and found one with a lot of potential; great neighborhood (Bucktown), close to public transportation (blue line), close to highway, parking (available for extra but maybe negotiable), 3 bed/2 bath, and modern kitchen. The only downside is that the only entrance to the property is through a side entrance AND T doesn't think its been maintained very well. I'll be going back to look with another agent this Tuesday so if I don't find anything better, we'll be making our offer!! **Fingers Crossed!!**
Sonoma's really been loving the extra attention these days. Here is my mom's failed attempt and teaching her to play the piano. Who does she think Sonoma is... Uggie or somethin?

Last night, my dad made his first meal back!
We all waited very patiently.. .some at their feet and others catching up on episodes of CSI :-)
We had grilled meats with dipping sauces, lettuce, and spring onion. Yuuumm!!!
Life is good!

Thursday, 26 January 2012

Rockford musings

My time spent here in Rockford has been really wonderful so far. I think I've missed so much of the conveniences of suburbia life that I've hardly thought about missing the busyness of London. I'm sure I'll begin to miss it eventually, but I'm hoping we'll be out of Rockford by then and moved into Chicago. I'm currently looking for places online and am in the process of scheduling multiple viewings.

Necessities in an apartment:
  • 3 bed/2 bath- T and I, babes, and guestroom
  • indoor parking- I really don't want to be lugging around the babes in the cold and snow outside!!
  • pet friendly- for Sonoms
  • family friendly area- unlike where we lived in London, I'm not looking to live right across a construction site!!
  • square footage of 1200 plus- I can't imagine living in a place smaller than our old flat!
  • laundry in unit- Welcome to the land of washer and dryer units sold separately!!
  • updated kitchen/bathroom (stainless steel appliances, granite countertops)
  • fireplace
  • balcony
So far, we've spent our time here eating, watching TV, and relaxing. The other night, we tried a new sushi joint in Rockford called J.W. Marc's Fusion. The only other sushi place we ever go to is JMK but my family decided that this place offers better, bigger cuts of sushi. While everyone dug into the delicious looking raw platter, I stuck with a lemon garlic shrimp dish which was pretty good. The only problem I had was there was too much sauce.

I helped myself to a couple pieces of the cooked rolls; sometimes all you need is a bite to satisfy a sushi craving!

Breakfast this morning was a trip to the good ole' Cracker Barrel. What more could a girl want other than a crackling fireplace, country music playing in the background, comfort food, and good company!

I had a bite of T's candy like sweet potato pancakes. I could only manage a small bite it was that sweet!
I also picked up a little something for the babes at the Cracker Barrel store. You know you're in Illinois when....
We also stopped by Petsmart to pick up a bigger coat for Sonoma. Unfortunately the other coat we bought was way too small. This one ended up being a bit bigger than I would have liked but at least she doesn't seem uncomfortable walking around in it!
 She ain't amused.
2 pairs of boots for momma from Shoe Carnival- yippee!

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Chicago trip

Yay! My baby boy is growing!! As of January 19, he was 1lb1oz. Here is a cute picture frame my mom got for the babes.
2 nights ago, I accompanied Tarek into the city for his interviews. We stayed at the Hyatt Regency because we got a really great rate on Priceline's name yo own price but we ended up getting screwed in parking; it was 53 BLEEPin dollars!!! Thankfully we were only staying there one night before moving on to the Day's Inn (much better and cheaper stay) in Lakeview. 
As if spending money for parking wasn't enough, I had T order us room service for breakfast. I don't know what I was thinking since I wasn't feeling too great from the other nights food. I could barely finish my breakfast :(

On Tuesday, I checked in to the Day's Inn while T was at his interviews. I was super stoked to find a Trader Joe's across the street from the hotel since I haven't been to one in TWO YEARS!! Sigh.. it feels SO good to be back!!
Unfortunately, this is one of the few times where choosing healthy isn't necessarily better. To be honest, everything tasted like crap!
I just wasn't feeling this "Super Spinach Salad". All the ingredients were fresh but it all just tasted too cold (if that makes ANY sense) and really unflavorful.
Ewww.. these spicy California rolls were pretty disgusting. The brown rice was hard, chewy, and had a really weird vinegar taste to it.
Sigh.. the only redeeming quality to the lunch was a few chewy chocolate chip cookies. I swear TJ's usually doesn't let me down!! After eating, I laid down with a stomach ache and before I knew it, T was back and ready to eat dinner.
Kalbi and shrimp tacos
We managed to sneak out to a new place for dinner called Del Seoul in Lakeview, a Korean street food restaurant that opened up after we left London. My tastebuds weren't all there but from what I could make of it, everything tasted pretty good!
pork dumplings
On our last day in Chicago, my appetite finally returned and I was craving a sandwich/soup combo. Luckily there was a deli within walking distance to our hotel. I ordered a really delicious pastrami and chicken matzo ball soup. Yummy!! 
Matzo ball as BIG as yo head!!
For your viewing pleasure... Sonoma's back! We got her a new coat while we were in the city.

Sunday, 22 January 2012

We're baaaack!!

.... and it feels so GOOD!!
Sonoma got her first walk last night by my mom. Needless to say, T and I were spent and crashed at 11.
She lovada snow!!!
It's freezzzing outside and so much more colder than it is in London. I have no idea why I was complaining about the cold in the UK, lol..
Now that we're back at my moms, I have a fridge full of fresh veggies and healthy Korean food!!

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Week 22

Let us see my life without pictures in a nutshell: Had food poisoning this past Tuesday, yes that's two cases of food poisoning throughout my pregnancy!! On Day 1 of food poisoning, (Night 1 was when all the symptoms started), I laid in bed all day with stomach pains and many trips (some false alarms) to the bathroom.

Day 2 aka Mover Day, I was struck with severe heartburn symptoms which I put off as being "normal" and then by Night 2, I decided F*it, and I had T bring me some heartburn medication. To top it all off, I couldn't sleep last night because each side I chose to sleep on felt increasingly uncomfortable as the night went on.
Phew.. Seriously, can my little guy cause me any more trouble? At least I got a chuckle out of the hubby as he gave me a condensed Simpson's version of my life lately. Ahhh food poisoning ! Ahh stomach pains!  Ahhh Itchy rash!!!!! Ahh food poisoning!!! AHH Heartburn!! Guess you had to be there :-)

Our movers came yesterday at 8 am and pretty much took everything out of our apartment so it's looking very bare. I didn't lift a finger and legitimately started having chest pains starting at 10 a.m. I holed myself into my room and did the only thing that made me feel better; I laid in bed!

Today we have our 22 week anatomy and growth scan. I'm praying everything turns out alright since it's been 10 holy moly! weeks since our last perfect 12 weeks can.

Monday, 16 January 2012


On Sunday afternoon, T and I finally managed to make it out to Barrafina, a Spanish tapas restaurant that we've been wanting to try out since we basically moved here. The only reason we haven't gone any sooner is because it's a first come, first serve restaurant, so that pretty much deters us if we want a guaranteed seat for lunch/dinner. We also thought it would be a great way to end our days here in London.

When we first arrived, there was a decent size line but the wait was only 30 minutes so we toughed it out and ordered a couple appetizers.
We started with olives- green and kalamata (the green had much more flavor whereas the red was really bland!)
olive oil and tomato spread on a toasted baguette- it was juicy and delicious!
The wait went by really quickly and we were soon seated at the bar. There isn't any other seating, but I actually preferred this intimate setting where you face the cooks and wait staff. 
One look at the glorious raw bar and my mouth was already wet in anticipation! T and I agreed that Spanish tapas, especially seafood is by far my favorite cuisine. Nothing else gets me this excited to eat!

The clams tasted very fresh but something was a bit off about the flavor that I couldn’t put my finger on. A tad bit disappointing since the waitress raved that they were her favorite! Different strokes for different folks I guess!

All the Spanish cured meats were fantastic!
lil shrimpies! Actually, these were decent size and really yummy!
A classic Spanish tortilla- it was egg based with a potato cheesy gratin in the middle. Yum!
2 juicy and garlicy tiger prawns cooked from the raw bar.
I decided we needed some veggies in our life so we had the massaged kale in olive oil and slivered almonds.
Quail egg on top of a huge slab piece of chorizo. This was my least favorite dish since the chorizo was a bit overwhelming to eat with the delicate quail egg. 
We ended the meal with the perfect piece of grilled quail with aioli dipping sauce. All I can say is you must order this dish- it was muy delicioso!!!