Hi Friends!

So I’ve been thinking about getting Invisalign.


I never had braces growing up…my teeth aren’t terrible, but I’m starting to notice more alignment issues, especially on the left side of my mouth. Not sure if this has something to do with my wisdom teeth coming in.

I don’t think I want to deal with braces right now…or ever. I’ve heard nothing but painful stories. I’ve heard better things about Invisalign…less pain, less obvious, easier to eat…and a few bad things…smelly breath, hard to speak, expensive.

I have a 6-month cleaning next week, so I’ll ask my dentist if I would be a good candidate, but in meantime, I’m interested in hearing about everyone’s experiences with braces or Invisalign.


How long did you have them? Did they impact your day to day life? Worth it?



Chain, Chain, Chain

I have a rule about chain restaurants. If you’re visiting someplace new or just moved to a new city or town, try to stay away from them and check out the places unique to your locale first. If you’ve been somewhere for a while, or are a frequent visitor to one area that you’ve explored every inch of, then chains are fair game!

Anyway, it’s no secret that I can be all about the chain 🙂  Fun fact: I once met up with Tia and Joyce at T.G.I.Friday’s, not intending to eat because I wasn’t hungry, and ended up devouring an entire 3 course meal. That’s how I roll, folks. Yesterday, Chris and I stopped by another favorite haunt and American obsesity enabler, The Cheesecake Factory.


I had a ginormous plate of farfalle with chicken and roasted garlic, and then we split a Chris’s Outrageous cheesecake for dessert.

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This is how I can tell I’m getting old: I can’t finish a meal anymore and need to split dessert 😦   Oh, well – Leftovers mean second meal! I know what I’m eating tonight!

Helpful Cheesecake Factory hack: The tables in the bar area are seat-yourself. Can help cut your wait time down on crowded evenings.

How do you feel about chain restaurants? Love ’em or leave ’em?


Scallops n’ Greens

On Saturday, I saw that a Facebook friend posted a picture of a scallop salad, and I immediately developed a craving.

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I headed to the grocery store and picked up 6 large scallops…for almost $15! I got CJ a salmon filet instead since he’s not a huge scallops fan and it’s not worth spending that much money on something you only somewhat enjoy. More for me!

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I seared the scallops on both sides, topped them with a little pesto, and baked them in a 400 degree oven (along with the salmon).

This was served with baby lettuce and avocado and dressed with a rice wine vinegar and olive oil.

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Do you always make the same meal for yourself and your significant other/family/friend? Any substitutions or swaps? 


A Few Weekend Meals

Hi Everyone,

Hope you all had a fun and delicious weekend!

On Friday, CJ and I were supposed to go to his coworkers’ apartment (his coworkers are dating/live together) for dinner, but we were all so hungry, we ended up eating out at Yum Cha instead. We went there a few weeks ago for dim sum, which I thought was  pretty good, but I was less than impressed with their dinner options/prices. $3 for a tiny bowl of rice to accompany your stir-fry!

Ma Po Tofu

Ma Po Tofu

Sesame Chicken

Sesame Chicken

Eggplant and Shrimp

Eggplant and Shrimp

Chris’s coworkers have an amazing rooftop deck overlooking the lake and Navy Pier. Hopefully they’ll have us over BBQs this summer! 🙂

Today, CJ and I went to Yolk again for brunch.

I had a Kale Scrambler with egg whites, caramelized onions, and tomato…and burned potatoes.

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(I asked for another side of potatoes, and they obliged).

Sunday has been pizza night for us recently.

Tonight, we had a Margherita pizza and the Bianca pizza, which has prosciutto and arugula. And green juice. 

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Also…watermelon! The mini watermelons are so cute. This is my favorite way to eat ’em. Ask Tina…she’d always find half a watermelon with a spoon in the fridge when we used to be roomies.

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Any week night favorites? Pasta Tuesday? Taco Wednesdays?

~ Tia


Best News Ever

From Defamer:

“Is a Reboot in the Works for ABC’s Lost?

Everyone’s favorite smoke-monster-polar-bear-what-even-is-this television-show may be getting a reboot, if you choose to believe stray comments from some of its producers.

ABC still owns the rights to Lost, and with the network’s dismal ratings as of late, a reboot might not look so bad to execs. Rumors of the show’s return started rumbling last month, when co-creator Damon Lindelof told E! News, “I think there will be more Lost.” Adding to the rumor were executive producer Carlton Cuse’s comments to Entertainment Weekly last Friday in which he basically pitched the show to ABC all over again:

‘I think it’s likely that at some point, ABC will want to reboot Lost because it’s a valuable franchise, and there will be some young, bright writer or writers who will come up with a great idea that the network responds to, and that’ll be great. I do not begrudge ABC the opportunity to do something more with the franchise.’

Sadly, we won’t be getting any closure to the original show’s many mysteries (seriously, polar bears?) any time soon. Both producers, and co-creator J.J. Abrams, said that they are personally done telling their weird-ass story and that it’s a new staff or nothing. “We put so much energy into ending it,” Lindelof said, “that to put energy into kickstarting it again” would be a bit much.

Will the next plane-crash-on-an-island show be more coherent? Do showrunners secretly wish they’d actually explained half the things they put on screen? Not according to Cuse: “I feel like there’s not a moment where I certainly say, ‘Oh, hey, I wish we had told this story’ or ‘I regret that we didn’t get to do this or that,'” he told EW.

Look forward to Lost 2.0, featuring a whole new batch of writers who won’t regret any of their glorious failures!”


SAY WHAAA????? If this happened, I would diiiiiie of happiness! Best show in the history of ever.

That is all. Any other fellow Losties out there? If not, please go about your Saturday.


A Little More on CJ

Happy Friday! We’ve been blogging for over 3 months now!

Here’s a slightly different twist on our regular posts.

For those of you who have been reading, (thank you!) you might have noticed that there are a few a lot of mentions of CJ.

“CJ and I ate…”

“CJ and I went to…”

Sound familiar? Maybe it’s time to shed a little light on the guy.

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First of all, CJ’s name is actually Chris. That’s right.

When Tina and I first started the blog, we thought we’d give the boys cryptic names. I decided on CJ for my Chris.  Tina vetoed her Chris’s suggestions, so he’s just Chris. Some of you might remember that Tina’s name is actually Christina. So yeah, we’re Tia, Tina, (Christina) Chris and Chris. Not confusing at all.

Recap: Tina and Tia have boyfriends with the same name. No big deal.

I do occasionally enjoy yelling “Chris!” and watching them both look up. I’m 5 years old. It’s fine.

CJ’s Favorite Teams: New England Patriots and New York Yankees (long story for another day).  Meghan, a lifetime Cubs and Bears fan, always says “Why does he like the worst teams EVER?”

Favorite Snacks: Protein bars and popcorn…CJ has to have a snack approximately every 2 hours. Luckily, he has a job that feeds him all day long.

Favorite Activities: Watching football, biking, going to the gym, and videogames

Question of the day: Do any of your friends/family have the same name? Any team rivalries among your family/friends?


Chicken Enchiladas

Since my last post, I was lucky enough to somehow contract gastroenteritis (according to the doc), which has grounded me at home from work for the past 2 days. Although there are good things about missing work, there are also bad: terrible daytime television options and boredom, mostly. Also, the whole being sick thing wasn’t real cool.

The good news is that things are looking up and I finally got some of my appetite back. What better way to celebrate than by making a batch of chicken enchiladas?

I’ve made this several times before, but switched a few things up this time around. I made the filling in the slow cooker for the first time, and also tried this Old El Paso Chipotle Mexican Cooking Sauce, in addition to regular enchilada sauce which is what I usually use.


I got it free as part of a promotion at our old Dominick’s grocery store before it closed down (RIP) and haven’t had a chance to use it yet.

Anyway, I’m sure you’ve noticed that Tia is a big fan of her slow cooker. Mine was a hand-me-down from my older sister (whose birthday is today!!!!) and doesn’t have a timer built in, so usually I’m too nervous to use it if I won’t be home to check on it. I got a great tip, however, to plug it into a digital outlet timer so I can program it to shut off at a certain time. I ended up being at home today unexpectedly, but I’ll definitely start doing this more often!

Filling ingredients:

  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 large onion, diced
  • 1 can black beans, drained (some remaining liquid is okay)
  • 1 pouch of Old El Paso Chipotle Mexican Cooking Sauce (if I didn’t have this, I would have just used about a quarter of a can of red enchilada sauce, which can be found in most grocery stores)

I threw all that in the slow cooker and set it on low for 7 hours. When there was about 1 hour left to go, I dug out the chicken, shredded it with 2 forks, and mixed it back in the slow cooker for the remaining hour. It smelled incredible!

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Next, I set up a little assembly station and started putting it all together! I add a little filling, some enchilada sauce, and cheese to a tortilla, roll it on up and put it seam-side down into a baking dish. Once the dish is full, pour the rest of the enchilada sauce over all of them and then sprinkle a generous amount of Mexican cheese on top.

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Pop it in the oven at 350F for 20 minutes and then insert into mouth.

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Except for tonight, I usually make these with a pre-made rotisserie chicken and cook the filling on the stovetop. Either way comes out delicious! And you can make the filling with whatever you like!