Monday, May 16, 2011

Perfect Day

Hi everyone! :)

I hope you had a fantastic weekend! Mine was SO SO great!

This was my graduation weekend, so there was lots of family & celebrations going on up in here.

Friday night, as you know, we were super old fogies.  We stayed in for some leftovers & Dateline on NBC. Yep, we're cool.

Saturday, my mom got into town and we went out to dinner at Paramount Room.

I feel like this place is such a hidden treasure.

Where else can you find a Kobe Beef burger + fries for $9!?! Amazing.

That's what Justin ordered, and I ordered this lovely little number:

Grilled chicken + fresh mozzarella sandwich and tempura fried green beans.  {This sandwich was too messy to eat sans bun as I normally do, so I just portion-controlled-it by cutting it in half and saving the other half for a snack another day.}

My mom also had an incredible sandwich, the Cuban, which had pulled pork, ham, pickles, and melted Swiss cheese.  She loved it!

We all left happy campers, and headed home for a Netflix marathon that included 2 movies: The Good Heart & Young @ Heart. I'm not sure what was going on with the "heart" theme, but both movies were excellent.  I would definitely recommended checking either of these out if you haven't seen them -- The Good Heart is a drama, and Young @ Heart is a hilarious and heartwarming documentary.

Saturday we were up bright & early to get ready for my law school graduation.

We took pictures before because they take the RIdiculous gowns from you as soon as you walk off stage.

Quite the outfit.  Go ahead, laugh it up! ;) 

Under the gown, I originally planned to wear these super cute wedge sandals with my New Year's dress to dress it down, but Chicago forgot it was Spring, so I had to pull out my panty hose & high heels.

Dress: BCBG
Sweater: Nordstrom Rack
Lovely lady to my left: My Beautiful Mom! :) 

Justin's parents & sister arrived shortly after pictures, so I didn't get any with them, but they all looked very schnazzie. 

I was so happy to have his family & my mom there for the ceremony -- it really made it the perfect day. 

The ceremony itself went well, other than the fact that I forgot to eat lunch, or even a snack, before it started, so the speakers were all starting to look like granola bars to me.  Apparently my guests shared the same sentiments, so we skipped the outdoor reception (on the river, in 40ish degrees, no thank you!) and headed of to one of my favorite Chicago restaurants: Kinzie Chophouse.

I'm not much of a steak person, or someone who enjoys the stuffy atmosphere of many of the better-known steakhouses in Chicago, but this place is off the charts. The prices are relatively reasonable, the service is impeccable, and they have something for everyone, including lots of options for non-red meat lovers.

Our linner (lunch/dinner) was seriously one of the best meals I think I've ever had.  We split 3 appetizers (calamari, bruschetta, and crab cake) and then all ordered individual entrees (which were to die for) and 2 sides (mushroom risotto and broccoli fondue).

While the salmon sounded good pretty good, I decided to treat myself to another big-o-bowl of pasta: 

Bowtie Pasta + Chicken, Prosciutto, Tomatoes, and Peppers w/ a Fresh Basil Cream Sauce.

I devoured about 1/2 of the dish before we moved onto dessert: Key Lime Pie, Flourless Chocolate Cake, Butter Rum Cheesecake, and this little treat for me: 

I "awwwed" and felt very special! :)

If you live in or are visiting the Chicago area, I highly recommend trying out Kinzie Chophouse for a special dinner.

It was really the perfect celebration, and it now finally feels real that I am DONE with law school. Crazy, crazy, crazy (amazing!).

After all of those "treats," I'm trying my best to fill up on veggies today:

Every vegetable salad (lettuce, red & yellow pepper, corn, cucumber, with a side of hummus & balsamic)
{+ 0% Vanilla Chobani on the side}
...and I am going to head straight back to the gym for a spin class tonight after work.

Countdown is on to the post-Bar exam bikini, and I am ready to do the workouts up big in the upcoming months.  It is now on like donkey kong! ;)

For your Monday "happiness," as if that hilarious picture above is not enough, I wanted to share with you an upbeat song that ALWAYS brings a smile straight to my face.

Check it out here and download it over on iTunes to get you going on this Monday, it might even make you say "TGIM!"

I hope you all have a happy & healthy day!

**Something to talk about: Any reader requests for posts this week? Playlists, workout suggestions, recipes, other topics? I'd love to hear from you! :)