Mariano’s, Puppies and other weekend things

Hope everyone had a great weekend!  I had good intentions of posting yesterday but then I got lazy.

I did manage to make a trip to Mariano’s yesterday though!  For any of you Chicagoans, you probably know about this grocery store.  I used to go all the time when I worked out in the burbs, and now they are popping up downtown too.   I am one of those weird people who just loves grocery stores.   And this one definitely tops most others.  The produce section is similar to Whole Foods, and they also have a ton of pre-made foods with different stations and a salad bar just like Whole Foods.  You can also get fresh vegetable juices, fresh sushi, etc.  But the interior aisles of the grocery store are more like Jewel or Dominick’s, but better.

They have bulk bins too with tons of great mixes–I picked up a nut and dried fruit mix that had chocolate covered espresso beans mixed in.

The salad bar is not as extensive as Whole Foods, but it is cheaper (4.99/pound vs I think 8 dollars/pound?).   This is quite possibly the randomest salad I have ever made and I say that a lot but this really is…

It had fruit, lettuce, hard boiled eggs, olives, seafood salad, tuna,  chicken, croutons, marinated shrooms, kale, cucumbers, a tiny bit of blue cheese and walnut salad, feta.  I mean, could I not have picked a theme and stuck with it?  Nope, I was too excited about everything they had.  Obviously my life is just never ending excitement if a salad bar is the highlight of my day.

Anyways, I totally got carried away and ended up buying a bunch of really random stuff….but I did get the ingredients for a new soup which is cooking as I type.   Hopefully it will be good so I can post the recipe!

And word to the wise, do not go to this store on a Sunday.  It was insane and that part was sorta miserable.

Other highlights of my weekend:

I went to meet a couple of girls on Friday for a happy hour.  We had plans to go to DOC wine bar but it was closed for an event so we ended up at across the street at Vapiano.  4 dollar glasses of house wine and they are heavy pours.  We had plans to stay for a drink or two and ended up staying for 4.  4×4 huge glasses of wine-you do the math on that one.    It definitely was a fun night!

Saturday was almost 70 degrees so I took advantage and went running–I had to run my lingering wine headache away.  3 miles in shorts and a tshirt–it was the perfect running day and I got home within minutes of a crazy downpour.

I also hit up the Macy’s sale and then went over to my friend Alex’s for drinks and dinner.  Her and her husband are fostering a puppy from PAW’s and I have about 1 million pictures of him on my phone…

He is the cutest puppy ever and can entertain for hours…if you couldn’t tell.  We finally broke ourselves away from him and headed out.

All in all, it was a great weekend!

In other news, I am starting to look for recipes for our Thanksgiving dinner.  Any ideas?

I definitely want to make these sweet potatoes and thinking of making this for my brother who loves cheesecake.  I have never made a cheesecake before so not sure how that will go.  Anyone have a good cheesecake recipe?  It doesn’t have to be pumpkin.

Speaking of pumpkin…I noticed a lot of bloggers had been talking about the pumpkin greek yogurt from Trader Joe’s so I bought it yesterday.  I usually love pumpkin things but I thought this yogurt was nasty and way too sweet.

Plus it reminded me too much of pumpkin pie which is the one pumpkin thing that I hate.    So if you like pumpkin pie, go buy it soon while they still have it!

I’m thinking of doing a post with holiday round up recipes later this week.  Let me know if you have anything specific you want to see!

What was the best thing you did this weekend?


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