Archive | February, 2011

Free antioxidants

17 Feb

 Since things were so crazy with my allergies last week, I completely forgot to post about the wine and chocolate pairing at Petit Philippe courtesy of Yelp that I attended. Petit Philippe is a “small, locally owned and operated wine and chocolate retail store with tasting room”

I’ve driven by this place a few times but wasn’t sure what it was about. When I heard they had both chocolate and wine, I got excited super quick because I love both items and the two together would be my idea of heaven.

On the wine menu:

*Trevisiol Prosecco Extra Dry

*Kermit Lynch Sunflower Cuvee Cotes de Rhone

*Esca Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

*Venge Silenciuex  Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

We gathered around and started off with the white wines. They told us about the company that makes it and what sets it apart from other vineyards. I was listening and sipping, well more sipping but I was waiting for the chocolate to come out and play.

Hold on, is that what I think it is?

CHOCOLATE!! It finally made an appearance!

There were four different kinds of chocolates offered-I wish I would remember what chocolates these were but give me some wine and no way to notate what it is and yeah, I don’t remember much. I remember a mojito one (sounds disgusting, surprisingly good though) and a salted caramel chocolate (my favorite). All the chocolates were fantastic, rich and made by a chocolatier in house….I think, I didn’t get that part but I did see someone’s card with the title of chocolatier. How did I miss out on choosing that career path? Once again, my advisor in college did me wrong.  My favorite wine of the night:

You can tell I like it by how I’m throwing it back like it’s a beer!

Sophisticated I am not. I can’t tell you if a wine is full-bodied, has certain aromatic characters, etc. I can tell you if I like it or not and that’s alright with me. Now if I could only put my damn pinky down when I drink….

Second runner-up

Definitely more of a red girl.

  All in all, it was a fun evening but I am not sure I would stop by Petit Philippe on my own.  They didn’t have a menu of different pairings for chocolate and wines, didn’t have sheets of paper and pens to write down what you liked and didn’t offer a lot of seating. They did offer a huge stock of wines to buy so it would be a great place to stop by to pick up something for a special occasion but that’s about it. I just don’t know when I would go there and what for if I don’t know what type of pairings they have.

Also, when I went to their Facebook page on the info section, the owners say “btw, we’re married”  Really? You’re business owners, act professional and stop talking about your marital status. If it were a personal page it would be different but on a business page?  That kinda turned me off.

I am definitely appreciative that I got to stop by there for a fun, free evening courtesy of Yelp and Petit Philippe but don’t see it as my new go to place for wine.

PS-Love Chick Fil A? I do! But definitely not as much as Christina from Hungry Meets Healthy. Homegirl slice should be the Chick Fil A ambassador wearing a cow print tiara and sash at all times since she is always pimping Chick Fil A out. You all should show her your love of Chick Fil A!

What I’m Loving

16 Feb

After seeing “What I’m Loving” posts on Soak and Simmer and Big City Baby Carrots, I started to think about what loving this week….

*Color coordinated meals

I took this hummus (which I thought would be spicier,  it was very bland for chipotle pepper but I guess I should have noticed the mild part on the lid?) and mixed with chopped onions and crock pot chicken from Saturday to make a different kind of chicken salad and had sweet potato fries on the side

I loved this protein pack wrap! 

*New Trader Joe’s finds

I added half a can of tuna to it to give it a little protein umph

This was a huge portion and quite tasty for a frozen meal, I will definitely be buying this again!

I’ve never tried lentils before but read about them all on the time on Ashleigh’s Slice of Life so I was intrigued when I saw this. Add to the fact that I’m trying to add more ethnic cuisine to my line up, I had to try this.

Ok, so it kinda looks like poo but besides that it was very good. I was expecting more flavor but it reminded me of a vegetarian chili. I wish I would’ve had some naan to dip into it with!

*Old school jams

 Thanks Melissa for bringing this song up!

*$1 Taco Tuesdays!

I got to indulge in this yummy goodness from Qdoba for $3.24 plus I got to see my burnout cutie. I think my co-workers could tell I was checking him out while we were in line. I was just staring at him and licking my lips all LL Cool J style but then again, maybe they just thought I was really hungry?

Speaking of LL, he is someone I would buy a workout DVD from—I mean, cmon, DAYUM!

*Random searches they bring people to my blog

  • has anyone bought ocean ritz resort unit 401 off craigslist
  • fun clothes for the rocker chique girl on a budget
  • “tuna the wonderfish” commercial actress

Sorry I couldn’t help any of you there!

*That I don’t read Us Weekly religiously anymore

Ali whateverherfaceis from the Bachelor is one of the Top Transformations by losing 10 lbs. Really?

*Mint.com

As you all know, I am forever on a quest to save money and Mint.com is the perfect tool to do so plus keep my money and budgets in check!  It is similar to Quicken from what I hear and you can import your checking and savings accounts along with credit cards, student loans, car loans, investment accounts, 401K’s etc. You can create budgets for different things such as food, entertainment, healthcare, transportation and they will email you reminders of when your bills are do. I just discovered it this weekend and want to curl up with Mint.com at night because I love it so. Plus it’s free, how could you not dig that?

What are you loving this week?

Dude……sweet.

14 Feb

(source)

Sigh, I want to go bowling.

What’s a single girl to do on Valentine’s Day weekend?

Eat a ridiculous amount of sweets of course.

The madness started on Friday night.

I made mushroom pizza for dinner

It wasn’t huge or anything (that’s what she said) but it was enough to put me to sleep soon after. I woke up at 9pm and wanted to do something but wasn’t in the mood to drink or spend a lot of cash. Enter Amelie’s French Bakery. Amelie’s is a wonderful yep-you guessed it- french bakery and coffee-house here in Charlotte. Not only is that concept itself fabulous but it’s also open 24 hours so that itself makes it one of my favorite spots to go to. Seeing something open 24 hours in this city that isn’t named Waffle House is quite rare. I went there and ordered a Chai Latte and a salted caramel brownie.

I’ve never had one before and it was good but I think it would’ve been better if it was warmed up a bit. The Chai was one of the best I’ve ever had and it was nice to relax with some sweet stuff and a hot beverage while catching up on blogs. I felt like such a hipster but hipster sans fedora.

On Saturday, I was driving through downtown Fort Mill. When I heard Fort Mill had a downtown, I was surprised to hear since I’ve never heard anything going on there. I stumbled upon Krystal’s Eat’s & Sweets

When I saw the name Eats & Sweets, I was instantly intrigued since I like eats and I like sweets. I was in the mood for a drink so I went in and found a cozy, local establishment. Krystal’s has breakfast and lunch items that are the eats and then delectable goodies such as truffles, cupcakes, cakes, cookies, etc that complete the sweets end of the name.

When I walked in I saw Oreo and peanut butter truffles, rice krispie treats and chocolate covered strawberries along with trays of cookies and cupcakes behind the counter. I grabbed a hot tea (various Celestial Seasonings bags) for only $1.25 and decided I should try some truffles since I like to support local establishments and didn’t want to be cheap and only buy a drink. And then I grabbed a rice krispie treat because you know…..supporting local business! The truffles were absolutely amazing and pretty cheap—3 for $2. My bill came to just over three bones, can’t beat that!

The rice krispie treat sucked–it was hard as a rock (that’s what she said again–cmon too good to pass up) but the truffles were out of this world! I even liked the peanut butter ones and if you know, you know am not a huge pb fan.

Another thing adding to the sweet factor? A cute Valentine’s Day package from my sister.

Fannie May’s—my favorite!!!

Some Nutella–since I’ve never owned a jar I’m looking forward to experimenting with it. I love the note on the container…..

Seriously, how sweet of a package is that?

I made some cupcakes for my assistant and a thank you for all the hard work she does.

The frosting ended up in here

Frosting is my kryptonite so it was absolutely necessary that it went in the trash instead of lurking in my fridge because one of these days I will come home stressed from work, grab a spoon and go to town on that can.

 I had other things to do after that, like fixing my bed…again.

This bed is really starting to get on my last nerve. Even Lincoln doesn’t want to jump on the bed, he knows something is up and that it’s faulty.

And since it’s Valentine’s Day and all, I serenaded my bed with a little Al Green

Seriously, can you please stay together shitty Ikea bed??

So I think it’s sturdy for now but I guess we will see how long that lasts. I am not wanting to fix this on a weekly basis.

Afterwards, I went to Panera to get some lunch and free wi-fi. I always order the same thing at Panera but switched it up today–I got the french onion soup and mediterranean veggie sandwich since it’s meatless Monday and all.

I really enjoyed this combo! The sandwich was fresh and fantastic with a good amount of basil and feta. If you have both of those, you win my heart. I really enjoyed the french onion soup as well, instead of having the entire cup covered with a piece of bread and cheese, it was covered with bits of cheese and croutons.

I went to the gym afterwards and a very productive workout. I did 45 minutes on the Precor AMT then did lower body sets (leg press, seated leg curls, hip adduction/abduction, leg extension)

Then I came home and hung out with my Valentine

It was such a gorgeous day out—65 and sunny, just like spring! It was nice to have the windows open and get some fresh air in the house, it reminded me that spring is near. I don’t mind spring at all–if it was 65 and sunny year round I would be happy girl but when it gets into the 80’s and 90’s is when I get irritable.

I made baked spaghetti for dinner.

I started off cooking spinach and leftover mushrooms from yesterday in extra virgin olive oil with garlic, oregano and red pepper flakes

I cooked four servings os thin spaghetti earlier today and microwaved that with vodka sauce for a few minutes in the microwave

Added half a can of tomatoes and chopped parsleyand 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella to the spinach and mushrooms

The only measuring cup I had, was not trying to be cute with the hearts...

Why hello colors of the Italian flag!

Added the spaghetti to the spinach mix

Then transfer into a casserole dish

Top with more mozzarella cheese (about 1/3 cup) and   bake for 15 minutes at 400 degrees

This was enough for dinner tonight plus three other meals this week and it freezes well-holla.

Great Harvest Rosemary Garlic bread

And apparently, I need to get my booty up to Boston–it’s the top city for single women-go Boston, it’s your birthday! Pittsburgh is also on the list which is positive since that’s one of the front-runners for cities I am going to next.

What’s your kryptonite?
Any creative ideas of what to do with Nutella? Recipe wise, not kinky wise…..

Creamy

13 Feb

Doesn’t the word creamy just sound dirty sometimes?

I think  my inspiration for meals this weekend has been because I’ve had this song in my head the past few days

Unfortunately, nothing too saucy like that going on here but that’s a different post for another time.

Creamy described my dinner last night. I was out and about the entire day running errands and such and when I got home, I was in the mood for something quick and warm.

I put some chicken with wing sauce and water in the crock pot when I left in the morning and when I got home, the smell of chicken was in the air. I took out and pulled apart and store for use this upcoming week.

I took some chicken, cream cheese, shredded cheese, red onion, Cholula, garlic and black pepper and mixed together in a bowl

To make chicken enchilada quesadillas

 I needed all that creamy, warm yummy goodness because it was time to do my taxes thanks to Turbo Tax. I’ve used H&R Block online the past few years but this year, they changed the format and just seemed more difficult to navigate through this year as opposed to less. And H&R Block was trying to give me $350 less back than what Turbo Tax gave me so yeah, I’m officially a Turbo Tax girl now.

I also watched The Town

(Source)

I’m still conflicted if I liked it or not. I feel like it ended with some loose ends that I thought would be wrapped up but never were. Lincoln felt a little conflicted as well but at least he was warm

Anyone else see it-thoughts?

I slept in until 10A this morning which is pretty much unheard of, I love sleeping in!! I’ve been sleeping in more and more on the weekends which is wonderful since I tend to wake up at 4 or 5A and then have nothing to do for a few hours. I made a breakfast wrap grabbed some coffee to go and was on my way out the door!

The mission for this morning was to find a new bed frame. I thought all the bed frame drama was done with after last weekend but it broke again. And I really don’t feel like fixing it every week because that is going to get annoying very quickly plus I am frugal but not so frugal that I won’t buy a new one. But then again, if I end up moving to a different city this year, I most likely won’t take my furniture with me so if I were to buy a new one it would be a waste of money. I checked out a few thrift stores this morning and found nothing, went to the Sears Outlet and all they had was California King frames and went to Value City Furniture and they don’t carry any full mattress frames. I may have a gentleman friend coming into town next month and I am really going to look like a hooker if I have a broken bed. Ugh.

I met up with a friend at the gym afterwards. I’m finally starting to feel better again and had enough energy to work out and we killed it! I did 40 minutes on the elliptical, 10 minutes on the bike then did various upper body exercises

Can I get a hell yeah??!

And can I get a hot tub?!

Speaking of hot tubs….kinda…..my friend and I went into the sauna after our work to sweat everything we didn’t sweat out out. I am all for being comfortable with your body but what is up with the 60+ year old crowd flaunting what they got? I am talking boobs down to the knees, it was very uncomfortable trying not to stare at that since I fear I’m going to be like that one day. I loathe you gravity.

Instead of going for protein packed smoothies, we chose to go for $2 mimosas instead

Look at how big they are! Plus, they weren’t shy with the bubbly and only $2. I could’ve had at least six more with how smooth they were and hello-cheap but we settled on two a piece. This is going to be dangerous for future Sundays, I love mimosas and I love getting my vitamin C in along with booze!

Creamy was the word for dinner again tonight. I made stuffed mushrooms yet again but this time I stuffed with spinach dip!

I saved the stems to use this week, I have no clue how I will use them but I figure I can chop up and cook and add to rice, pasta, etc.

Let the mushrooms marinate in extra virgin olive oil

I mixed thawed frozen spinach, parsley, cream cheese, shredded mozzarella and spike seasoning in a bowl

Then stuffed, lined up on a baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes

They turned out even better than the last batch!

I know it’s not Frugal Friday but if you have an Earthfare near you, sign up  to get a free dinner with a $10 purchase!

Are you watching the Grammys? I had no clue it was on but feel like I know what’s going on thanks to the Twitter. And what the hell is up with Gaga–she arrived in an egg or something?

The little Frugal Friday that could

11 Feb

Not gonna lie, this edition of Frugal Friday almost didn’t make it. I tend to put together Frugal Friday posts ahead of time and the fact that I wasn’t feeling too hot this week didn’t help. I woke up this morning at 5A. Naturally, I woke up this early since I planned on going to work a little later than normal. I was going to write it then but wasn’t too coherent and the coffee was taking its sweet time kicking into my system.

So without further ado…..Frugal Friday!

1) Coffee to go

When I was at Panera on Sunday, I got my coffee for free thanks to My Panera rewards. So I got my fill and had about two cups while there and then took a coffee to go. It’s free and you can use it the next day for iced coffee at home!

Soon after that, I had to say goodbye to my Dunkin Donuts plastic cup since I had been using it for a week or two. I don’t know what it about their plastic cups but I love them. I wonder if I could buy in bulk from their wholesale distributor?

2) Free Bagels!

I signed up for Bruegger’s Bagels email list some time ago and got this email last week. Three bagels for free–no purchase, catch or anything? Sign me up. Even if I didn’t feel like having bagels in the days after that, I could always freeze them and that’s what I ended up doing. Click here to sign up–if you do, you’ll also get a free bagel and cream cheese just for signing up!

3) Taco Tuesdays!

Lately, Qdoba has been offering $1 tacos on Tuesdays. They are located in my building so it’s very convenient and not to mention- cheap for me. Plus one of the guys who works there is way cute in a wrong side of the tracks kind of way—I represent corporate America and he looks like a burnout so at first glance we wouldn’t be a likely match. He is my forbidden fruit. Why do I love burnouts and bad boys so much? I guess that is a different post for another time.

 Back to the point, yeah, I like going to Qdoba. And I love Mexican food on the cheap so when I heard about $1 tacos I was there in a heartbeat.  I bring my lunch to work most of the time in an effort to save money but you really can’t beat $3.24 for three tacos. Just be sure not to get guacamole or a drink, that’s where they get you price wise!

4) Athenos Greek Yogurt

BOGO free Athenos greek yogurt coupons–woohoo! I can’t wait to use this!  I kinda want to scour my neighbor’s trash just to see if they got this coupon but threw it away.  I have lots of soap and a hot shower, I don’t mind dumpster diving for coupons. I’m sure you don’t read that alot from sorority girls. Always on a quest to be different, I am. And apparently, I like to talk backwards like the Yoda….even though I’ve never seen Star Wars somehow I know that.

5) Harris Teeter deals

I found some pretty sweet deals at Harris Teeter this week via their cart sales and advertised sales

Tomato soup for $.62/can

VITA TOPS!!! I feel like I’m the last blogger to these since I am always reading rave reviews about these things on the blogs. I’ve wanted to try them but thought you could only get them in select stores or online and i wasn’t wanting to try them enough to pay for shipping. These babies were BOGO so I got two boxes for $5.19–not too shabby. Reviews to come soon!

4 cans of Progresso soup for $4.58. I saw that they were BOGO plus I had a $1 off coupon so I stocked up. I like how none of the labels are the same. Whatever happened to just a selection of labels instead of label over load–what does “Now even better!” mean and how does “Traditional” soup fare against “Non traditional” soup? So many questions.

Perhaps, I shall call Progresso and I can be in a commercial……except in a smaller kitchen…..and not in a purple satin robe.

Kashi Island Vanilla cereal for $2.19. Ok, it is expired and can either be really good or really bad but I’m willing to try it.

Can we just talk about how Friday was the day of Lincoln? He was featured not once but TWICE in the blogosphere! Check out Katie’s post featuring me and Lincoln for her new Feature Friday series…..think #FF (Follow Friday) but blog-style! Then he was featured on Tina’s Blog Dogs series today! If you’re having a bad day, check out the Blog Dogs series, if it doesn’t bring a smile to your face something is majorly wrong with you…..unless you hate dogs and had a really traumatic experience. If that’s the case, don’t look!

Do you bring your lunch to work or eat out?

What were some fabulous deals you found this week?

Return of the Sinii

9 Feb

Is it weird that I’m 31 years old and have never seen Return of the Jedi?

(source)

I keep meaning to watch the original Star Wars but just haven’t gotten around to it. Whatever happened to Billy Dee Williams?

However, Return of the Sinii is in full effect and unfortunately, I am all too familiar with it. I thought my sinus problems went away but they crept back up on me Sunday afternoon and I have been miserable ever since. I finally went to the doctor tonight and he doesn’t think it’s an infection and I tested negative for strep. He prescribed me some zyrtec (so my company would pay for it with my health reimbursement card) and nasal spray which I’ve been having a ball with.

Not really, I seriously feel like crap.

I was calling people today and sounded like a sick 5-year-old valley girl….and I think I even got some symphony from some people which was a nice change of pace. Too bad I can’t remember the conversations though since I  was drugged up. We have to document every conversation we have so I am looking forward to reviewing those notes when I’m in a better state of mind. As long as I didn’t call anyone a f**tard, I think I’m clear.

I would love to show you all exciting, food creations I’ve made but this is all  I got, so enjoy.

Yeah, nothing exciting.

I think this is the most boring post I’ve ever posted so apologies but I’ve got nothing……just sinus problems.

That being said, I’m going to enjoy some new tea I got on sale at Target

LOVE individually wrapped tea bags. Celestial Seasonings-I’m giving you the stink eye. You trying to save the earth but not individually wrapping the tea bags is the main reason I don’t buy your product. I’m a hippie on the inside and everything but cmon, I need it so fresh and so clean clean

I’m going to cuddle with this little love

And see if this vaporizer is worth the money

I just want to be able to breathe again

Sing it Toni. Such a good yet forgotten song.

This one is my favorite though

Must download soon.

And her and her sisters have a reality show now? Has anyone seen it and if so, is it actually watchable?

While we are taking a trip down memory lane with songs that remind me of my glory days in college

What songs takes you back to college or your early 20’s?

Green+Googling+Gaffigan=Great

8 Feb

Maybe my company isn’t that bad of a place.

Seeing they gave me a pretty sweet bonus and all.

That’s right, I’m raising the frickin roof (and well aware no one has used that term seriously since the early 2000’s) I changed roles late last year and thought my yearly bonus would be in jeopardy because of that but I guess not since my old manager decided to give me the bonus. Thanks boss!

I still can’t believe it. They put out a notice saying they were having  quick touch base meetings with everyone individually and automatically, the number one thing that went through my head was “I wonder if we’re getting laid off?” then I started doing the math in my head about how much severance I would get (it would be a pretty sweet severance given my length of time with the company) When I stepped into the meeting, they handed me a sheet of paper and there it was–the number. They told me I did a wonderful job last year and that I will be seeing the bonus in my paycheck shortly. I probably won’t see a good deal of the bonus due to 401K, taxes, etc. but who cares—it’s a bonus! And a bonus that I worked my ass off for this past year so I am going to enjoy it. Who am I kidding–I am going to put some into my travel savings account, put some aside to get my hair did and buy some pajama jeans!  I just had to share since it was a complete surprise to me and just what I neede given my attitude towards work lately.

There’s going to be a couple of meatless Monday options up in this piece…..

 I was craving something warm and carbalicious the other night.I cooked spinach and mushrooms in extra virgin olive oil, oregano and red pepper flakes and cooked a couple servings of penne while that was cooking.

I added both together then added shredded mozzarella cheese and mixed

I transferred to a baking dish then since the penne wasn’t enough carbs for me, I topped with torn up pieces of Great Harvest Rosemary Garlic bread then poured a little extra virgin olive oil on it and let back at 400 degrees for 15 minutes.

Success  with that meal. Next time I make it, I think clam sauce or some kind of seafood would be a nice addition!

When I got home from work tonight, I seriously had no idea what to make for dinner. So when that happens, I do what any rational person does: I take almost every item out of the fridge, place on the counter and stare until something comes to mind.

Don’t laugh, it works.

I thought of a  black bean quesadillas but was too lazy to reach up to get the can opener. Add baking chicken tonight for Lincoln as treats because I was too lazy to drive to Target to the list of things I do because I am lazy. I can’t help it.

So no go on the quesadillas. But I guess I wasn’t too lazy because I mustered up the energy to whip up stuffed mushrooms and kale chips.

I started with cream cheese and parsley. I microwaved it for about 30 seconds to soften up then mixed together.

Added black pepper and mozzarella cheese to the mix

I took some extra virgin olive oil and let the  mushroom caps swim around

Then stuff!

I also prepared a sheet of kale chips, brushed with extra virgin olive oil and Spike seasoning then let the shrooms and kale cook at 350 for 13-15 minutes

I love meals that taste great. I love meals that taste great that don’t require utensils even more! A great end to meatless Monday!

Something amusing: I was looking at my site stats and one person found my blog by googling “bj jokes” and another found it by searching “Bj’s”. Immediately, I found this funny since I have the sense of humor of a 14-year-old boy. Then it made me think of this old school jam (um, disclaimer, please do not click on this at work, if easily offended, a prude, holy roller, etc.)

Which of course I sang “Put it in my bin” last week  when one of co-workers asked me where he should put some files for me to the tune of that song. I can’t help it–why must I turn everything into a song??

While on youtube, I had to search for this skit, one of my favorite comedy bits:

I love the Gaffigan.

And my other favorite Gaffigan bit

My ex boyfriend and I used to think of outrageously gross Hot Pocket creations and try to top each other. I thought Fish n Chips Hot Pocket with malt vinegar dipping sauce would always be a winner but I still haven’t seen it happen yet. I shall write them one of these days.

What’s the nastiest Hot Pocket creation you can think of or what would your dream Hot Pocket consist of?

What’s the most random phrase that someone entered to get to your blog?

If you want to show off your dog, head to Carrots N Cake and submit a picture of your four legged friend to be featured on Blog Dogs!

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