The Friday Five, 9/1/23: 5 things I've been up to this week

Well that month went by fast—welcome to September, where apparently I have decided to schedule ALL of the things. I got back from a Chicago work trip on Wednesday night, two hours late after we had to deplane at Midway and change gates, and we are going to Grand Haven tomorrow through Monday with some friends to take advantage of Labor Day weekend. After we get back, six days later we leave for Vegas for a week, and at the end of September, I am heading to the East Coast (MA/RI) to sightsee and see family.

Tiramisu at Volare, Chicago
Tiramisu at Volare, Chicago

What I've been up to this week:
  1. Chicago for work. This was the second iteration of this show (conference) that I attended this year—the first time was in Destin, FL in February, which was a fabulous location, but it was hard to leave the hotel since you needed a car. This time was in Chicago so it was much different, since of course Chicago offers a variety of food, entertainment, etc. within walking distance. I had about 20 meetings a day (think "speed dating" style, like 10 to 20 minutes each) and breakfast and lunch were served at the conference, so I only got to leave for dinner; on Tuesday, I met a coworker friend at Volare nearby, and we had a pretty good Italian meal, and on Sunday, my boss and her wife picked me up at the airport and we had "tavern-style" Chicago pizza (no deep dish for me this trip, surprisingly!) from Aurelio's, which actually ended up being very good—it's more of a thin-crust, cracker-y type of pizza and what the locals eat.
  2. Getting a manicure. Last Friday, I went to Southfield/Lathrup Village area to get a gel manicure—I looked around at the WB/Farmington area, where I am a lot, but couldn't find one that a) let you make an appointment online AND b) had their prices listed, so I ended up getting a Groupon for a place in the SF/LV area. The Groupon was $20 on sale and then with tip my total price was $27, which was a pretty good deal IMO—it seems like a gel manicure is normally $40+. The lady I saw did a great job, also. 
  3. Visiting Ann Arbor. On Saturday, before I left for Chicago the next day, I went to Ann Arbor to have lunch with a friend, and we went to Blimpy Burger, one of my favorites. I also visited Cherry Republic and Kilwin's to get a gift for my boss for the next day, and ended up buying a delicious caramel-dipped Rice Krispie on a stick for myself, too, at Kilwin's.
  4. Cooking. We had Dinnerly last week, and this week I pre-ordered a Factor box, since Factor is like an upscale microwave/oven meal; however, I forgot to skip a week on my EveryPlate account, so I got a surprise box (thankfully at a discount, it was $19.99 for the box), and we ended up cooking two meals yesterday (or rather, my boyfriend cooked for us during lunch since I was playing catchup at work, and we cooked together for dinner). For the three "stock" meals (I assume most popular ones?) that they chose, they were actually pretty good—a chicken sausage pasta dish, which my boyfriend ate; sweet chili chicken; and sweet chili pork tacos. 
  5. Binging The Ultimatum on Netflix. I found out right before my Chicago trip that there is a new season of The Ultimatum, on Netflix, and I definitely downloaded a few episodes for the plane, even though it's a short plane ride (about one hour). I watched a bit of it when I had time during the week, too, and ended up finishing it all; it was a good season but not QUITE as much drama as season one. 
View from my room at the Sheraton Grand, peep Navy Pier in the back!
View from my room at the Sheraton Grand, peep Navy Pier in the back!

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