Thursday, May 09, 2013

Citygirl Bites: Milagro Modern Mexican

After falling my ass down our basement stairs last Friday and spending some time at our friendly neighborhood urgent care, I was sore, traumatized and tired. I needed a treat. And, thanks to my fairly new job we had enough cash to go out to lunch at a place that didn't reek of fryer grease and stale buns: Milagro Modern Mexican.

The food was so good that after one meal there, it's already become our new favorite Mexican restaurant.

We had a good portion of their thick, non-greasy complimentary chips and smoky/sweet salsa, and then dug into our appetizer: Carne Asada Fries.

Oh! The toasty carne asada. The seasoned fries. The well-distributed cheese so that every bite has some. The mounds of guac, sour cream and pico. Perfect and very difficult to stop eating.

HUBS feels the need to order chili whenever he has the opportunity, so we got a cup of their Statesmen Chili to share. I simply am not exaggerating when I say that this was THE BEST RESTAURANT CHILI WE'VE EVER HAD. Upon finishing one bite I declared that the next time we're there I'll be ordering a full sized bowl of it for my ownself, and if he wants some he'll have to get his own. I mean, my God, they put chunks of steak in it!

My main course was the Tacos al Pastor, featuring chile marinated pork and grilled pineapple in a soft shell. When it first came to the table I thought the tacos were a bit small, but they turned out to be the right size considering how much pre-food I'd already eaten. Plus, they really mounded up the side orders of Cilantro Rice Pilaf and Jicama Slaw (not shown). It was all so good I die a little thinking about the fact that it's not in front of me RIGHT NOW.

HUBS fell for the Cochinita Pibil Street Tacos. Yucatan style pulled pork, orange habanero salsa and hibiscus pickled onion. What is that, even? Doesn't matter if it's good! I was so full I didn't try his tacos, but I did try his side of Charro Beans. If you've had Southern style beans, these were basically that...but smokier and somehow more Mexican. Amazing!

I really can't rave about the food - all reasonably priced, by the way - enough. If I could eat there every day without feeling bad about not cooking any of my own food, I WOULD TOTALLY DO IT.

What cool places have you eaten at lately?

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Tuesday Tip Day: Surviving The Suck Cluster

Julia's been there. We've ALL been there.

Sometimes life is pretty good. You like your job, you make good money, you have fun with your friends and stay healthy and happy.

But, you know, every now and then (or maybe more frequently than that) you feel fortunes turning against you. Everything seems off, wrong or downright bad and sad and hard to get through.

You know it when it happens.

You can tell it's coming.

You've hit what I like to call The Suck Cluster.

Unfortunately, I'm in one of these right now, and really? I've been in it since 2009. Sure, I've got a job that's going well now, so some of the pressure is off. But life has felt like a long bout of one-step-forward-two-steps-back for years.

Most recently? HUBS and I realized that our house is falling apart around us (rotten bathroom floor, rotten sill plate, flooding basement, screwed up kitchen...) and can no longer wait to be fixed. I'm having some mental issues that are affecting normal...marital functioning. My mom called me crying last week because her aunt (who she'd gotten very close to since my grandmother passed) is dying. And, on Friday, I fell down my basement stairs and needed x-rays and a few days of recovery to feel just somewhat back to normal.

Yeah, welcome to my Suck Cluster.

As with most things in life, what really matters is how you handle stuff when your own personal Suck Cluster comes calling. Here are some things that can help you navigate the tough times.

Surviving The Suck Cluster

1) Rest: You might be sad or depressed a lot from feeling the weight of the world on your shoulders. The best thing to do? NOTHING. Sleep later, nap when you need to, lay around and read, watch a funny movie...Do whatever you need to in order to relieve the pressure. If you're a control freak or simply like making plans and getting things done it'll probably be hard but you'll need to reign those tendencies in a bit to get through without wearing yourself out.

2) Do A Little Something: Whatever the issue (dying relative, illness, injury, house foundation that's rotting away under your feet...) you'll need to get something done or decided on a regular basis so you feel like you're taking care of things. For me that means seeing my therapist every two or three weeks, taking my meds, checking up on my mom and slowly re-tiling my new bathroom floor, among other things.

3) Talk: If you keep the suckiness bottled up inside it'll fester, I honestly believe that. This is what friends, therapists, spouses, parents and journals (no, those don't involve talking, but they work all the same) are for. Get all the crap that's happening and your feelings about it out so you can get on with your life. Ruminating does no one any good; it will stop numbers 1 & 2 in their tracks so that you simply can't make progress or relax. The last thing you need added to your Suck Cluster is a panic attack or worry-related sleep deprivation.

4) Release: Prepare yourself. There is no anger like the anger of a Suck Cluster. With every disappointment and bad thing that comes your way in quick succession, you WILL feel like the universe is piling on for no good reason. You're being punished. You've been forsaken. Whatever sentiment the anger is related to, you need to get that aggressive energy out before you explode all over someone who doesn't deserve it. Exercise, watch violent movies, cheer audibly as terrorists die...figure out what works and do it as often as possible.

5) Remember: If you're online a lot, and most of us are now, it can seem like you're the only one having any problems. Well, you're not. Never have been and never will be. Simply keeping that in mind can help with number 4.


You'll deal. Because you can. Because you have to. Because, even if you don't know it, you WANT to.

What do you do when everything seems to go wrong at once?


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