Thursday, July 30, 2009

Race Judicata!

Tonight was Race Judicata -- the 5K for lawyers benefiting Chicago Volunteer Legal Services. It always takes place downtown in Grant Park and along the lake front path. The weather was pretty awesome -- nice and cool and breezy, and it didn't start raining until we were finished with the run. This was a nice dress rehearsal for the half marathon on Sunday. I sure wish I could shake this cold (thanks a lot, John) so that I can run well on Sunday.

In the park before the race.

My assistant, Patrick, and me after the race.

Kristen and me after the finish -- it was her first race. Yay!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

I Have a Cold (sniff sniff)

John came down with a cold last week, and despite all my warnings to the contrary ("please don't double-dip your egg roll in the sauce" and "please don't drink any of my diet sprite"), he gave it to me. Ugh. It wouldn't be so bad except that I have a half marathon this weekend. Hopefully it will clear up before then!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Weekend in Tulsa

We made a whirlwind weekend trip to Tulsa for my cousin Lyndsey's wedding. I had a really great time seeing family that I haven't seen since our wedding, or even longer. I also randomly ran in to one of my oldest friends, Kelsie, and her mother, Lee Ann, who babysat me from infancy until I started school. Kelsie has the most adorable baby girl named Clara -- I literally thought my mom was going to steal her!
Anyway, the older we get, the more we enjoy our trips home -- it's always so great to see family and old friends. We just wish we could stay longer!

John and me at the reception -- I raided Steph's closet and found that fabulous
dress (and shoes and purse and earrings)

The fam

Monday, July 20, 2009

Go Sox!

Tonight Kristen and I headed down to the South Sii-eeeede for a White Sox game. It's actually not that south, but more south than I have ever been on the red line. Anyway, U.S. Cellular Field, or "The Cell", was really nice and new, and even though we were up in the nosebleeds, we still had a pretty decent view. We left in the bottom of the fourth -- I just can't get in to baseball. It's just too boring, and people watching at The Cell was definitely not as good as at Wrigley. There's something about the old charm of Wrigley Field that makes Cubs games more entertaining. Now all I have to do is go to a Bulls game and I will have attended all of Chicago's professional sports teams events.
Self-portrait. I tried to wear something Sox-ish.

Blurry view of downtown from the Cell.

Busy weekend!

This was a crazy busy weekend in the Beck household! Saturday started with six miles with my running group, then breakfast with John, and going into the office while John played golf with Jared. We ended our busy Saturday by going to see Harry Potter 6. On Sunday, I ran the Fleet Feet Women's 5K. The weather was awesome, which definitely helped. And although I did beat my last 5K time (still not terribly impressive, but I'm just doing this for fun), I would have finished a lot better had my stomach not been so icky -- the dinner of popcorn and Dots at the movies was probably not a good idea... After the race, we ran a ton of errands and got ready for our busy week! I am ready for a relaxing weekend soon. But with traveling next weekend, and family in town for the next two after that, I'm not sure that's on the horizon for us any time soon.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


For my B-day, we celebrated at Topolobampo for dinner. It was incredible. You may have seen the chef, Rick Bayless, on PBS. He has a couple cooking shows where he cruises around Mexico finding authentic recipes and eating really good-looking food. He has two restaurants, Frontera Grill and Topolo. They are connected, with Frontera being the more causual of the two. But you gotta go fancy on your birthday, right? Yes. Check out what I had:

Crema de Elote, estilo callejero –
Three Sisters Garden sweet corn soup with powdered chipotles, fresh lime mayo, garlic chives, queso anejo. That's what's in the bowl, then they pour the corn soup on top. It was even more delicious than this photo could even hint at!

Ensalada de Atun en Escabeche –
Sashimi-grade Hawaiian ahi tuna with farmer's market vegetables (Spence Farm Japanese turnips, knob onions, carrots and beets)in tangy, sweet-spiced escabeche.

Jaiba de Concha Suave a la Tumbada
Pan-seared Chesapeake soft shell crab over silky "paella" infused with roasted tomato, jalapeno and cilantro. Pickled jalapeno vegetables, roasted cauliflower, Living Waters cherry tomatoes. This one was a surprise - but you just pop the little legs in your mouth. They have a light crunch then dissolve in your mouth! Yum!

Carne Asada al Guajillo –
Grill-roasted Tallgrass grassfed beef ribeye with red guajillo chile sauce, cheesy chilaquiles, fresh tomatillo salad (roasted knob onion, lime, cilantro, bacon). This was my favorite. The beef was perfect and the sauce was amazing. It was served with the best warm white corn tortillas.

Pastel de Chocolate con Fresas –
Devil's food cake with Mexican chocolate crema, strawberries three ways (fresh from Klug Farm, in crispy meringue, freeze-dried), vanilla "bubbles." My piece of cake was bigger than this picture thank goodness!

Megan had the Torta de Elote: "Three Sisters" Iroquois white corn torta with black bean sauce, roasted summer squash, puffed amaranth, Gary Comer baby lettuce. Unfortunatly, there are no pictures of it online. But she says it was great! We also had some great Margaritas and Mojitos. Bottom line: not somewhere you can afford to go every day, but man, what a meal!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Happy Birthday, John!

Today is John's 30th birthday! I can't believe that he's 30! (Meaning I will be 30 in 2 short months -- eek!) We haven't finalized any big birthday plans yet, but we are going to celebrate tomorrow night at Topolobompo, Rick Bayless' restaurant here in Chicago.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Historical Couture

Today my friend Sarah and I went to the Chic Chicago exhibit at the Chicago History Museum. The exhibit featured couture gowns owned by notable Chicago ladies, mostly socialites who I have never heard of. The exhibit was really nicely done -- lots of gorgeous clothing! Some of the dresses were as old as the teens or early 1920s, and there was also some newer pieces worn by Oprah and other current Chicago women. The exhibit closes at the end of the month, so I recommend seeing it soon if you're interested! Below are some pics of a few of the dresses on display:
A 1978 Halston dress. Who knew that Halston was from Iowa of all places, or
that he attended the Art Institute of Chicago?

The "Butterfly Gown" by Charles James. It apparently weighs 17 pounds!

Probably my favorite dress there. It's circa 1928 by Callot Soeurs.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

July update

John and I have been so busy these days that it's been hard to do any "blog-worthy" activities. In fact, it's 3:00 on a Saturday, and I'm blogging from my office. No fun! I've actually had quite a productive day so far -- ran 11 miles, billed 3.5 hours of work -- but it seems like I will never see the surface of my desk again! John is playing golf with his friend, Jared, in Wilmette today, using the new driver that his dad and I got him as an early birthday present. I can't believe that John will be 30 in two days! That means my 30th is just around the corner -- eek! Hopefully we will get to squeeze in some fun during the weekend, because the rest of the summer is looking like it will be just as crazy busy!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Happy Birthday Nannie!

Wish we could be there to celebrate with you! Love you!


Simon is tired of the non-stop Michael Jackson music playing at our house these days.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Best. Doughnuts. Ever.

We love us some doughnuts! We went to this amazing doughnut shop in Seattle called Top Pot. Our Starb's in Chicago actually carries a few of Top Pot's flavors, but they were sooo much better at the real location. We loved this place so much that we went two days in a row -- it definitely ranks among our favorite Seattle experiences.

Seattle: Day 3

We made a little day trip from Seattle on our third day there. We headed (read: hobbled) down to the pier and caught a ferry to Bainbridge Island. Bainbridge Island was super cute -- lots of neat shops and restaurants. Very peaceful and, as my mom puts it, "quaint". We also headed back to Pike Place Market during actual open hours to see some of the stalls. Of course we saw the famous fish throwers, but the best part was the gorgeous flowers! Although our trip to the island took up a big chunk of the day, we weren't very productive on Day 3 because of all the stiffness and soreness from the race.

The main drag on Bainbridge Island

Mom and me on a dock on Bainbridge Island

The ferry

View of downtown from the ferry.

Us on the ferry - very windy!