Archive | September, 2010

Quarter End

30 Sep

Yay my last quarter end I will have to go through again is over. Well, last one on my side at least. And in true quarter end fashion, I was there for a good 11 hours. Ugh. At least I got some over time which is great…..if they want to pay me time and a half bring it on! AND I just found out one of my best friends from college will be in Charlotte tomorrow since she is flying out Friday night. That means I can leave work early, meet up with her and catch up!

We had our team building outing at work yesterday. I was kinda hoping we would do the whole cross-your-arms-and-fall thing, you know the trust test? But no dice. We got to go bowling instead at the newer swanky Strike City.

Yeah, not your typical bowling alley. There were only a few people eating there and we were the only group bowling, which I thought was a little odd since it was lunch time and at the EpiCentre.  In a never-ending search to find the best nachos in Charlotte, I had to try theirs.

How could I not be a happy girl with a plate of nachos like that?? They were loaded and yummy. However I hate when they load up nachos with too much stuff that they get soggy and really don’t have a crunch. But on the other hand, I don’t want naked nachos. catch 22 I guess?Sadly I couldn’t finish them but with some beer and a nap after wards I could’ve!

I’m actually going to miss my team (excluding one person) when I leave, sigh. And wtf is up with my arm? I feel Carrie from “King of Queens” in that one episode where Deacon and Kelly get a portrait of Doug and Carrie painted and she has a monster arm and one puny arm.

I really need to invest in a good foundation. I shouldn’t be this shiny. But I am Italian and cursed with greasy skin so I guess it’s in my genes. Ulta is on my trip list!

Last night, I seriously did nothing. It was rainy and gross outside, which I love, so when I got home I changed into my comfy clothes. And once I change into comfy clothes, there’s no turning back for me. 99% chance I won’t get back into normal clothes and go out. Even though I was in comfy clothes, I ventured out to Chick Fil A to redeem a free combo meal coupon that’s been sitting in my wallet.

Oh Chick Fil A, you never fail me. And whenever I ask for something your employees always say “My pleasure” in a sincere way and you have flowers at your tables. I love you Chick Fil A.

I would love to say I had a really exciting Wednesday night but it consisted of me, Lincoln, the ABC Wednesday night line up and the couch. It was bliss. Very seldom do I unplug and just be but it was a nice change of pace. Lincoln got a belly rub for a full four hours so I think he was a happy camper as well.

And ok, it may consisted of a Cookies N Cream sundae as well

Maybe not the smartest idea at 10P but 100% worth it. And wtf is up with the tv this fall? I am loving every single show I watch, which is not a good thing. I really don’t need to be sitting at home tuning in each night but that’s what’s going on.

Since it was quarter end, we had lunch catered to us. We were supposed to have Carabba’s but our order somehow got “lost” (how an order for 60+ people gets “lost” beats me) so they ordered Jason’s Deli last-minute and it was a success. We all got to choose a sandwich with a pickle, chips, drink and dessert

Naturally, I chose a brownie and it was delectable


After being at work for 11 hours, I needed one two of these bad boys

And a carbolicious meal

And yeah……that’s all I got. Life is pretty boring at this point and need to mix it up a bit. Any suggestions?

Beef, it is NOT what’s for dinner

28 Sep

You know what’s not fun? Waking up at 445A for no reason whatsoever. ARGHHH! I was planning to wake up at 6A but kept tossing and turning and finally surrendered to the day. I made some pumpkin oats topped with cinnamon and almond butter. My motor skills weren’t in tact yet so I went with quick oats in the microwave. And wow—I can taste such a difference after eating rolled oats yesterday. These tasted like mush and was just blah. I picture that they serve this kind of stuff in an old folk home since I really don’t have to chew at all, I could’ve just slurped it up. 


Oats fail. 

Even Lincoln was unhappy with the final product. Or maybe he just didn’t want to be up at 515A doing nothing, me either Linx, me either. 


I met up with Brittney for lunch and we went to Blynk Organic. I’ve been wanting to check out this place for a while and am happy I finally was getting the opportunity to do so.They have a variety of sandwiches, salads coffee, tea and smoothies that you can nosh on in the seating area to the side of it (pretty retro-esque too, I like) We decided to dine al fresco since it was absolutely perfect out. Brittney showed me a secret patio on top of the Dean and Deluca building. I like secret places. Ok, maybe it wasn’t so secret but I never knew about it so it was secret to me! 



I got the Saladena sandwich—roasted red peppers, artichokes, mozzarella, balsamic and spinach on a tomato basil roll. It was absolutely fantastic and fresh! I love when I actually get away from my desk, it’s such a nice way to break out the day. 

I really had nothing to look forward to for the rest of the day. My workload was pretty light but I snuck in a mile walk in there so yay for productivity! 

But then I had a dilemma . I started contemplating things in my life and the main thing I was thinking about I couldn’t settle on. What was it you ask? Well, it’s a very deep and important question that I am sure many of us have had to face at one point or another in life—should I buy cheese for dinner? I was planning on making a rice bowl with black beans, red onions and peppers for dinner but no cheese. Cheese makes everything better but do I really need cheese? Answer-No.  But then again, would I be eating this for dinner and think to myself “Yeah, this is good but it would have been great with some cheese”. I mulled over this for a good 30 minutes and went to my co-workers asking what I should do about my situation. I thought one of them was going to throw a stapler at my head since this was the biggest issue I was having today while some of them are dealing quarter end issues like interest being paid out and libors. 

And you know what? I ended up getting my cheese……and it was everything I dreamed of and more. 

Rice bowl sounded good but surely, I could make something better and a tad more creative right? Then I remembered Mo’s post on making Skinny Chimichanga’s and felt compelled to make a baked chimichanga/burrito hybrid of sorts 

I made boil in bag brown rice last night to save some time today then mixed half the bag with black beans (half can), shredded cheese (1/3 cup), Habanero peppers, red onion and chile powder then filled the tortillas 



I sprayed with canola oil spray and baked at 400 degrees for 15 minutes 



This was terrific and a nice alternative to tacos or a rice and black bean bowl. Now looking at everything I noticed that I was a vegetarian today, rock on with my bad self. Thanks Mo for sharing!! 

I got home thinking I was going to have dinner and fit a nice nap in afterwards. I was going to draw the drapes, turn the lights off and snooze while watching Family Guy. I forgot that there were men working on my roof today so constant banging and yelling for a good two hours I got home. Ugh. Good thing I was so tired that I ended up zonking out anyways and woke back up at 730P but felt like I slept for so long thought it was 730A, I hate when that happens! 

When I finally realized what time it was, Starbucks was the first thing on my mind. I wasnt  in the mood for coffee but for cold tea and seeing I don’t have anything here but coffee, water and hot chocolate, off to Starbucks I went! 

I got a Venti Shaken Iced Green Tea.Lemonade with two splendas–so tasty. 


 And for my coffee lovers out there–tomorrow is National Coffee Day—hooray! Check out this link for specials to see if any places in your hood are giving out free stuff. I don’t recognize some of the coffee places 

And with that, I feel like I need to go run to tire myself out again.


27 Sep

Yesterday was absolutely nasty. But I will put down that this was the first weekend in a loooooong time that I haven’t been hungover so that’s an accomplishment for me! Wow, writing that down it sounds kinda sad but whatev….non hungover weekends don’t happen too often during football season for me.

I woke up and made scrambled eggs with peppers and avocado with a sandwich thin topped with cranberry reservesthen had a killer kettlebell session.

Kettlebell-20 lbs

Halos (13 reps, 2 sets)

Shrugs (13 reps, 2 sets)

Squats (15 reps, 2 sets)

Upright Deltoid Row (13 reps, 3 sets)

Swings (13 reps, 2 sets)

Side Bends (20 reps, 3 sets)

Dumbbell-15 lbs

Curls (13 reps, 2 sets)

Shoulder Press (13 reps, 2 sets)

Lateral Raise (13 reps, 2 sets)

Dumbbell -10 lbs

Tricep Extension (13 reps, 2 sets)

Tricep Kickback (13 reps, 2 sets)


Donkey Kicks (13 reps, 2 sets)

Pushups (15 reps, 2 sets)

And today I hurt.

After that, I was still feeling ambitious and decided to walk over to Festival in The Park. I forgot that they were calling for a 50% of rain that day and thought I could get there in time since it’s only a 15 minute walk from my place but overestimated myself. About ¾ of the way, it started drizzling so I headed back and when I was somewhat close to home, it started raining cats and dogs. Which, how amusing would it be if it actually did start raining cats and dogs one day? I wouldn’t want those cute babies to get hurt but for visual sake it would be amusing. On another note, I am still waiting for it to rain men.

Damn you Weather Girls for it most definitely does not rain men in Charlotte.

So, like I was saying. Raining cats and dogs but not literally. I had to hang out on the stoop of a vacant condo for it settle down a bit and even then, it was still coming down consistently.

 And I absolutely hate when I am wearing my flips and my feet get wet. I was sliding all over the place and I think it’s just a gross feeling in general. Kind of how I imagine it would be to get a tongue foot bath. Nasty.

And then it rained and rained and rained some more. I had lunch and  watched movies and napped the rest of the day.

 It was perfect. Little Lincoln was comfy as well and was happy to partake in cuddle time.

I had an eggplant to use so I made roasted eggplant, red pepper and artichoke penne for dinner. I am not a big fan of the red sauce so I tossed with butter, grated parmesan cheese, red pepper flakes and oregano.

Yummy. Nothing beats butter and grates parm I tell you.

I brought back an oldie but goodie for breakfast but with a new twist—pumpkin oats. I’ve seen bloggers adding pumpkin to their oats and never tried it. Um, why did I wait so long? I cooked on the stovetop with almond milk and added a few dashes of apple pie spice then topped with brown sugar when done.


And apparently there’s been a shortage of pumpkin this past year but USA TODAY says it’s over. Go figure why I couldn’t find canned pumpkin the other night.

There was yet another bake sale going on this week but for American Heart Association instead of Breast Cancer like the other week. Goodies this time were a bit cheaper—only $1 for anything on the table. I went with a decorative rice krispie heart.

 Again, my rationale that since my money is going to charity, calories don’t count (not a good rationale to have by the way)

I didn’t make anything for lunch last night but brought a simple lunch of a sliced chicken breast sandwich with buffalo cheddar cheese and tomato on a sandwich thin with a side of apples and cucumber. Look at me being all healthy.

Then my co-worker bought over his leftover French fries from Bojangles. I can’t turn down French fries and especially can’t turn down Bojangles fries. They had a super salty Cajun seasoning on them that in turn, makes me eat them only once or twice a year. I contemplated throwing them away but there are starving kids out there so that would be wasteful, yes?

Also, it’s quarter end week which means they bring in ridiculous amounts of sugar ridden snacks in hopes that hopping us up on sugar and caffeine won’t leave us too bitter about being here.

Nice view eh?

I got to leave work a little early since I had a Doctors appointment. And not a fun doctor like the OB GYN or dentist—my laser tattoo removal session.

My tattoo is almost completely faded so this should be my last session to get rid of the color (tip—green is the hardest color to remove so if you are thinking about a tattoo with green in it —make sure you really want it)

My next session will hopefully be them scraping it down since the scar has risen a bit from all the sessions I’ve had. It’s a painless procedure for the most part but they give me seven to eight shots of Novocain to numb the area so that is the worst part. After that, I just have to wait for the area to numb up completely and then they get to work. The actual laser part only takes a few minutes and then they bandage me up and I am good to go. The longer in between sessions the better they say because of something with the pigments and the treatments being more effective.

I love their retro waiting room.

I got home pretty early despite the slow drivers on the road because people here can’t drive in the rain and hung out with Lincoln for awhile. For dinner, I made the biggest slice of pizza ever.

Ok, so it kinda looks like a scroll. Don’t judge.

I topped with leftover eggplant, red pepprs and artichokes from last night and mozzarella cheese

So big, I have to cut in half so it would fit on my plate

Served along side with some fresh strawberries

C’est Magnifique!

And with that, I’m out. It’s not even 7P and I feel like I could fall asleep. Hope everyone had a happy Monday!

PS—Check out Prevention RD to win a mandolin!!

Better The Second Time Around

25 Sep

 I met up with some friends at Matt’s Chicago Dog for lunch on Thursday. I’ve never been there before but heard rave reviews about this place so I was long overdue for a visit. So many hot dog selections and combinations to get! Being a first timer I  got the Chicago Style Dog combo.

I’ve never had a dog with peppers and tomatoes on it before so it was a bit different but tasty none the less. Kinda bummed that they didn’t put ketchup on it as I’ve recently discovered ketchup is super good on dogs but still–I dug!

That night I really wasn’t feeling the leftover pork chops I had from the other night so I scraped the cranberry preserves off then cut up and heated up in the microwave for a minute and had some pork tacos

This was a simple, quick meal to make and was wonderful but tacos aren’t tacos without dairy (in my book at least). I was hoping to have some plain greek yogurt on hand so I could mix with the salsa but no go.

After I finished those, I laid on the couch and was about to zonk out. But it was only 7P so that was just unacceptable so I had to get started on a project. I saw an intriguing Pumpkin Bar recipe on Hungry Meets Healthy and decided to go for it. I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again-I’m not a baker so when I decide to bake something, it’s kind of a big deal in my world.

I couldn’t find canned pumpkin so I used pumpkin pie filling instead (and cut down on the brown sugar amount she used for hers)

The result? Scrumptious!! Tasting these made me feel like fall is right around the corner (despise the 90+ degree weather outside) and I will be making these bad boys again! I even brought some into work so I wouldn’t eat the entire pan so I only have a few left sitting in my fridge. Thanks Xtina for sharing the recipe!!

What I didn’t love? The mess that came with it

I’m not used to multi tasking in a small kitchen and disaster after disaster kept happening

1) My xanthan gum fell out of the cupboard and it had no clip to close it so all over my microwave and blackberry it was.

2) I had a mini explosion of pumpkin pie filling that ended up on my shirt, toes, baby ghetto girl earrings and hair. It looked like a baby spit up on me and then Lincoln started licking it off my toes. Ew.

3) Add a flour explosion to that as well–not fun.

When I was buying the ingredients for the pumpkin bars, I made a stop at the deli and noticed something new (or maybe it just never caught my eye before?) Buffalo Wing Sharp Cheddar Cheese. I love all things buffalo wing  so I had to get a few slices to try out. I had visions of grilled cheese with Laughing Cow bleu cheese wedges in my head but started out making an egg scramble with the cheese folded in. Eek, horrible picture quality.

I had a BOGO coupon at Qdoba to use by the end of Friday one of my coworkers went splitsies on it and both got nachos and a drink (only $5 each not too shabby) and the new guy on our team came down and met us there to chat.

It’s sad because I like all the newer people on my team and will miss them. As many of you know, I rarely take lunch breaks so getting out for an hour and enjoying the day like a normal human being was special for me. We noshed on our food and bitched about work and some of the idiots there-it was fabulous!  I will be a bit sad to leave them on my last day (except Stinkalicious-I hate that smelly bastard) but they already let me know they are taking me out for drinks on my last day-holla!

The hippies were out for one of the last Fridays of the year (they usually leave early October) and I stocked up on some goodies-all for under $7

To celebrate my new job and my friends new job (which she started this wk), I met up with some friends at Mac’s Speed Shop on Friday night for beers and yummies

Even though I got the brisket last time, I had to go for old faithful this time. I got the Little Pig sandwich with a side of their mac n cheese. This is the only thing I ever order there and last time I wanted to try something new and the brisket was amazing but didn’t hold a candle to the Little Pig

Can we say heaven in unison?

For lunch today, I hit up The Common Market. It was another day in the 90’s and I just didn’t feel like being outside at all. I need this weather to go away for the sake of my sanity. I hate working out outside when it’s hot out and would love to start walking (maybe even start running) again on the regular. It’s annoying. It’s fall wtf is up with 90 degree weather? Anywho, Common Market. Last time I went, I got the Mid Eastern Wrap but needed something more substantial this time around. I got the Jack Kennedy on sour dough bread—egg salad with bacon and horseradish mayo. Did he really like this sandwich? No clue but why not give it a shot. I was famished by the time I got it and had to break into it in my car so I would drive safely and not be a raging bitch on the road.

Holy yum batman! I’ve never had an egg salad sandwich with bacon but bacon always makes everything better. But the star was the horseradish mayo—I don’t even like horseradish but it added a huge kick to the sandwich and I loved it!

I haven’t made pizza rolls in a looooooooooooong time and thought with WVU playing against LSU at 9P tonight, it would be a perfect opportunity to make them. I would normally go to a bar to watch the game but don’t feel like spending money and being hungover tomorrow. A one beer drinker I am not.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. I use the Pillsbury Pizza Dough…..which apparently posting a picture of the packaging is in violation of Photobucket terms? I had one up before and now it’s saying that….hmmmm. Anywho.


Roll out pizza dough on a greased pan and cut into eight pieces (you can make bigger or smaller pieces if you want but eight has always been my magic number when making these)

Take four slices each of salami and provolone and cut in half and place on pizza dough

Then I take turkey pepperoni and cut into halves and place on top of the cheese

Roll each piece from corner to corner -I also stretch out a bit once they are rolled

In a separate bowl, mix extra virgin olive oil (about three to four tbsp), oregano, red pepper flakes(if you like spice) and grated parmesan cheese then brush over the rolls

Pop in the oven for 14 minutes (or when golden brown)

I also heat up some marinara sauce in the microwave for a minute for dipping.

After that enjoy!

Seriously, this weather needs to get cooler. I am so off the ball with my work outs…if you have noticed the lack of them, yeah so have I. I just don’t feel like doing anything and really need to cut down on my eating out which is clearly occuring a lot more than normal. I chopped a bunch of veggies this morning so they will be easily accessible to me throughout the next few days and am going to cook up a storm tomorrow to have meals on hand for the week. I need to get back into the swing of things because I don’t like not working out, eating out more and  spending more money while my waistline expands. Happy weekend everyone!

OH! I forgot….I finally joined the Twitter! If you want to follow me, there’s a button on the side bar. Let me know what your twitter is 🙂

(Almost) Free Eats

22 Sep

Thanks everyone for the kind words regarding the new job! I am so excited to be moving into something different and am very much looking forward to it. Many of you know I have been wanting to get out for a while so this is long overdue and I am a little nervous about starting something new but also excited, like in a first day of school kind of way!

Lunch was on the cheap today. I didn’t make anything ahead of time but had two coupons sitting in my wallet, one for Chick Fil A and the other for Einsteins

The Einsteins Coupon was for free Pretzel Poppers with a beverage purchase. I only paid $1.87 for the drunk which made me smile since saving money has that effect on me.

Excuse my man hands in the picture—they look ginorm! These babies were really awesome—they came with a dijon honey mustard dipping sauce and were so soft and scrumptious! The only down side was that they had WAY too much salt for my liking but it was easy to brush off.

Chick Fil A is next door to Einsteins so I went there to redeem my “Free Fruit Cup and Water” coupon. I didn’t think pretzel poppers and fruit would be a substantial meal so I got an order of chicken nuggets when I was there. Luckily, the guy who likes to give me free fat free honey mustard was there and he hooked me up with a packet of that and then some. Never hurts to shake your tail feather for free sauce.

Christina would be proud!! I love Chick Fil A but I am not in her league regarding the eat more chickun establishment.

All of this for $4.90-nothing wrong with that!

This morning they made the announcement in our weekly meeting that I would be leaving and everyone was freaking out. Happy for me yet freaking out. Is it wrong that all of that made me happy? They were all like “Oh my god, what are we going to do without you?” and word caught on fast and soon I was being bombarded with IM’s, emails and calls asking if  it were really true. Business partners kept telling me again, how happy they were for me yet how was our team going to operate without me (I try to tell you all how big of a deal I am but no one wants to believe me! Ha!) and how I am their favorite person to work with. Again, it made me smile. It’s nice to know that I appreciated and will be missed.

Damn you leftover baby shower cupcakes. How cute is this??

I got out of work a little early for a change and walked over to Roly Poly where I had a coupon for a free sandwich. I’ve never been there before so I was excited to try something new! I got the Turkey Applejack-Turkey breast, melted jack cheese, apple butter, bacon, onion, mushrooms, fresh basil mayo, with a side of spicy honey mustard




Fan-flippin-tabulous. I wasn’t sure if I would go there again since their prices are a bit high for my taste but after tasting this, my vote has changed!

I paired up with peach bites and pretzel sticks

Modern Family is back! Modern Family is back! Modern Family is back! 

Did you know that Modern Family is back tonight? I am fully aware and went for a 3 mile walk right after dinner so I would be able to watch it without being lethargic from the big dinner. I’m happy to know I burned off the cupcake I inhaled earlier.

I was only going to go for a mile walk but just kept going. I went on a new route that was longer AND hillier than expected. I never noticed these hills before while driving but I would be steadily be walking then started to slow down a bit, get to the top of the hill, get excited because I was going downhill and then what do you know-another hill. This got my heart rate up there and it was nice to mix it up a bit.


Nothing like some frozen banana soft serve after a workout!

Also, I haven’t been tracking my food lately and I’m ok with that. I’ve been tracking on for the past three years and it hasnt been working lately. I would get a tad neurotic if I didn’t track every single thing in and be bummed if I went over my calorie count for the day. I am still trying to stay aware of all that I eat but feel alot better mentally that I’m not tracking my food. We’ll see how this little experiment goes……

What some free food for yourself? For all my Mexican food lovers, click here to get a BOGO coupon at Qdoba, must use by 9.24

Happy hump day all!!

Well, it worked

21 Sep

I got the job that I applied for last wk!!! I was waiting for the bus after work and got a call from the recruiter and they decided to extend an offer to me! I will still be working for my company but for a completely different department doing a completely new job function and I even got a raise! I start October 18th and cannot wait. Thank you thank you thank you everyone for your warm wishes and thoughts, it worked!!!! I’m free!

Some notables from the past two days have been:

Roast beef and provolone on a sun dried tomato wrap courtesy of the deli at Bloom. They have $2.99 sandwich specials for 6 inch subs and for wraps each day. This was a fabulous meal for super cheap. I love Harris Teeter because they also have a $2.99 sub of the day and you get a point for each one you buy then when you get 15, you get a free footlong sub however I may start patronizing Bloom more often now that I know they have this deal.

I finally caved in and bought a microwave on Sunday. I thought I could get more creative in the kitchen by not having one but some days when I get home from work I just don’t feel like cooking so I am psyched to have one again.

Spirutein Blueberries and Cream Protein Powder. Yay for new protein powder that isn’t vanilla!

Leftovers for lunch. What is about Chinese and Mexican food that makes it even better the second time around?

For dinner last night, I make pork chops with a cranberry sauce made from cranberry preserves, water and agave nectar. As that was finishing up on the stovetop, I added some xanthan gum. I added a little more than desired which kind of made it into a jellylike substance but it was still tasty.

I had some shroomies and spinach cooking on the side while the pork was baking and then paired it up with quinoa on the side

I am sure everyone has heard about the Police Chief’s Daughter that went missing last week in Charlotte . This story really hit home since the bar that she was last seen in is one I frequent quite often and sometimes go alone (I know not a smart move on my part). I just can’t believe that it happened here and especially in a part of town I know so well. One of my co-workers is really concerned about me since she knows I go out all the time and started crying yesterday when she was talking about it and didn’t want to see my wind up like her. Given, I’m not 23 years old anymore, I wasn’t the smartest 23-year-old when I was. I *may* have left the bar a few times with guys I didn’t know too well which again, not a smart move on my behalf. But now, I am ultra paranoid.  I live in a very nice, happening area right outside of the Uptown area and have never felt like I had to question my safety while walking around at night. But last night I went on a walk and couldn’t help with checking over my shoulder a few times when I thought I heard something behind me. I stayed on a route I know that was well lit with a heavy traffic flow and didn’t wear my headphones but hate when things like this happen and make me question my safety. I was watching her dad on GMA yesterday morning and it was just horrible. I can’t imagine being a parent and losing a child like that but thank God they found the guy and I hope he gets what he deserves.

I was dragging this morning and apparently so was Lincoln. I didn’t even have the energy to wash out my coffee pot however I had enough energy to make a green monster-wtf?

I made one with strawberries, spinach, almond milk and my new Spirutein Blueberries And Cream Protein Powder.

Can I say how much I love this stuff? Their Cookies And Cream is my absolute favorite but I usually made fruity smoothies so it wouldn’t taste too good with the Cookies And Cream. But now I’m thinking about more savory green monsters combinations such as with that, Chocolate almond milk and peanut butter. Hollar!!

Anywho, me without coffee is just no bueno. When I rolled into work, people could tell I hadn’t had my coffee yet and when they tried to talk to me, I was just wasn’t comprehending anything said to me. Thank God Starbucks is in my building —I quickly went down and had my morning java and all was right again with the world.

I went to visit my hippies this morning and stopped by Einsteins because I had a coupon for a $.50 pretzel bagel that is expiring this week. I love pretzels and love bagels even more so the two together are just a heavenly combination for me.

While walking back over to the hippies, I noticed a bake sale going on. A couple of girls who I used to work with were running it and everything was $2 —we’re talking cupcakes, brownies, cookies, etc and ALL proceeds were being donated to the Susan B Komen for the Cure. Eating sweets for breast cancer research? Yes please! I ended up getting a bag of cookies since I didn’t want to be walking around with a cupcake (let’s be real though, it would’ve been gone in three bites). When I got back to my desk, I made one of my co-workers take one so I wouldn’t scarf them all done in 60 seconds.

I like to think since my money is going towards a good cause that the calories don’t count. Sigh, I wish. They were absolutely delicious and I hope they do it again!!

I was at work later than normal tonight (but it’s all good b/c I got a new job!!!!) and was starving when I got home so I decided to the try the pretzel bagel from Einsteins. When I opened up the bag, I was kinda bumbed  because it was a bagel with the salt on top like a pretzel and not so much a bagel. I topped it with sliced chicken deli meat, provolone, mustard and baked in the oven for 10 minutes to create some ooey-gooey goodness

On the side, I threw in some Jay’s Potato Chips—-the best potato chips in the world. We had these in Indiana when I was growing up and then we moved to Florida and never could find it there. I don’t know what it is about these chips but they bring me back to my childhood and put a spell on me.

On another note, anyone know how to add a video into a blog post? I keep trying to upload a video from my files on my computer and it won’t recognize ir and tried adding it to my media on wordpress but same thing. It’s a tad frustrating.

That being said, I’m exhausted. And kinda dirty. I haven’t washed my hair since Saturday and my dry shampoo only works to a certain extent so I gotta go lather up.

I got a new job—–ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!! Sorry, happy and in shock still!

Vida Mexican Kitchen y Cantina

20 Sep

I had the opportunity to attend the soft opening for Vida Mexican Kitchen y Cantina, a new restaurant located at the Epicentre in Uptown Charlotte on Saturday night. I’ve never been to a soft opening or first look celebration before so I was excited to check it out before the public. 


When we walked in, a server was right there to fetch a drink for us and asked what we would like. I figured since it is a Mexican place, they had to have good margaritas so I ordered once and he asked what kind and I was at a loss. I asked him what he recommended and he said The Millionaire’s Margarita—” a handmade margarita with corzo blanco tequila, gran marnier and freshly squeezed lime juice served on the rocks”. That sounded like a perfect way to start the evening so we opted for that and he told us he would find us so off we went to find a table in the bar area. 

I absolutely loved the atmosphere–very modern and swanky with a touch of old school Mexican influence. The music was pumping but not so loud you couldn’t hear anything and for a minute I could’ve sworn I wasn’t in Charlotte (a good thing). I felt like I was in a big city restaurant or lounge so I am happy to see we now have something like that. 




They had what looked like comfortable booths on the left and the bar area to the right along with the patio and upstairs area. We found a table right near the window  in the bar area and another server promptly greeted us with hors d’oeuvres 

Shrimp Ceviche


Mushroom quesadilla, braised beef and shrimp ceviche


The server found us and brought us our Millionaire Margarita 


The verdict? 


We went to check out their patio, which is absolutely beautiful and spacious. I can see myself sitting on the patio enjoying a margarita or mojito in the near future.  This place is located smack dab in the middle of Uptown Charlotte right across from the Bank of America headquarters and across from the Ritz Carlton so there is a lot going on.  Oh and I didn’t mention how the Lady Gaga concert was going on down the block that night did I? Let’s just say it was absolutely AMAZING people watching. I can’t believe how balls to the walls people go out to dress up like her….from high school girls who looked like street walkers to 40 something year old woman who *may* have looked like trannie’s. Good times. 


Give me the green light………… 

After that we went back inside to flag down a server for another drink. We found one but we think she forgot about us  and at that time they were unveiling the Skinny Margarita. They brought out the Skinny Margarita girls and they were very excited about toasting to the new Skinny Margarita yet no one passed out Skinny Margarita’s so I was a bit confused on how we were supposed to toast to it? W e ventured upstairs to try the guacamole bar that we kept hearing about after that.  The upstairs area is more of a bar/lounge area but cleared out of furniture for the night so I’m not sure what it will look like when they open. 


Ok. Let’s talk guacamole for a minute shall we? I’ve had lots of guacamole in my 30 years on this planet. I don’t allow myself to make it at home since I can down an entire bowl in one sitting so when I see guacamole when out, I get happy. This was some of the best guacamole I’ve ever ran across. It was rich, creamy with a hint  of spice with fresh tomatoes. When we got to the guacamole bar, it was almost empty and the guy (Guacamole extraordinare?) told us he would be making some soon so we took what we could get in the almost empty bowl. When I saw him making a new batch, I was tempted to steal the bowl and run outta there. Again, another thing that entices me to go back there again. 


One of the servers brought us some flan for a closing taste of their food. I like the taste of flan but I am not a huge fan of the texture but it was damn tasty. 

View from the top


All in all, I had a spectacular time. I have a feeling this place will do very well with its location, menu and service. The best I could describe it is authentic Mexican food with a modern twist in a trendy setting

I Like It

18 Sep

Happy Saturday! I had a fabulous Friday and a little something something to look forward to.  Diana was in town from Texas visiting her boyfriend who is doing a month-long rotation here at the hospital and we had plans to meet up. Lily was also in town and was staying with Diana overnight so they could wake up and do the Rock and Read 5K in the morning to support our local library system. Thanks out of towners for supporting our public library!!

We had plans to go to Soul Gastrolounge for drinks and sushi but when we got there, saw it was packed with over an hour wait. No thank you. One of the beautiful things about Plaza Midwood is you can walk to different shops, restaurants and bars so walking we went. We decided to try out Dish (mostly b/c Diana wanted me to decide and once I told her it was on Food Network, she was sold)

Ok so it looks a little hood but it’s a great place……really.

We started off with the black eyed pea hummus with a tangy chutney on top (excuse the back and forth pictures with flash and no flash). I thought it was fabulous–I’ve  had black bean hummus but never black eyed pea hummus and I loved it!

Once again, I was flip flopping on what to order, they offer southern dishes but surprisingly offer quite a bit of vegetarian dishes as well such as veggie burgers, veggie plates and more. I couldn’t decide on something so I decided to go with the old standby of a cheeseburger but jazzed it up by getting a Pimento Cheeseburger with mashed sweet potatoes

Great burger all in all but it could’ve used a bun the size of the patty and you can’t go wrong with mashed sweet potatoes.

 Diana was talking about ordered dessert  and while I love me some dessert, I never really order it. I told her that if she ordered something I would definitely have a bite or four. She ordered the Chocolate Pecan Pie and we all split it.  From the picture, I think you can tell it was absolute delicious.

Lily, me, Diana

Ugh, I feel like my belt was going to pop off from all that food.

All in all, a fabulous evening. It was so great to meet this ladies and enjoy a nice meal on a beautiful night! I’ve been reading Diana’s blog for a while so it was nice to see her face to face and see what she was like. She is leaving on Sunday though which sucks b/c I would have loved to hang out with her some more!

I started the morning off with a green monster with almond milk, banana, spinach and vanilla protein powder

So fresh and so green green!

Let’s talk about the deals I got this morning

All of this? $25! Harris Teeter had double coupons up to $1.98 so I went through their circular to see what was on sale then went through my coupons that are over $1. I got quite a number of this stuff for free such as the Activia Yogurt, Kool Aid Mix and Pillsbury Pizza Dough. I got the 2 Best Life Butter products for $.17 each and Food Should Taste Good Chips, Terra Chips, Ritz Munchables and Lactaid Cottage Cheese were all $1 each. I stocked up on beans and soup since they all came to under $.60 each as well. My total was $60 but with the coupons and specials brought it down to $25–holla!

So…….the Ritz Munchables. I’m a bit perplexed by the box and stared at it for a few minutes in the kitchen today. What does the picture of the two dudes grabbing hands have to do with the munchables? Are they enjoying them but just not pictured and somewhat implied? Is the unity of the two different skin colors similar to the combination of pretzels and Ritz crackers? Confused.

I went to Ulta after Harris Teeter and got a concealer, lip liner and nail polish for $7

All that shopping made my hungry! I got home just in time to watch football and made a turkey pepperoni and artichoke pizza on Trader Joe’s Whole Wheat Pizza Dough.

Nom nom.

Friday Eve

16 Sep

Happy Friday Eve! This week has moved so slow I cannot wait for tomorrow 430P to be here so I can enjoy the weekend and then, sadly, do it again.

I like to get creative with my meals but sometimes nothing beats a sandwich and chips for lunch.

So simple yet so good.

It’s still crazy business at work but I snuck out early yesterday. My friend had a Groupon for La Paz so I joined her and we got our Mexican on! They had $4 Mojitos and Margaritas which always welcome in my book.

Along with that, any place that offers chips and salsa is a friend in my book. I think more restaurants should give free carbs before a meal, I would definitely patronize more.

They had a wide selection of dishes and after flip flopping between items I settled on the chicken and spinach tamales

Holy tamales. These were huge and too much for me, I finished 1/3 of them with a little of the rice and beans and took the rest to go. The tamales were good but the tusks were a little thick for my taste and it could have used more flavor but regardless, I will nosh on them in the near future. Leftover Mexican food is just the best!

Afterwards, I finally hit up Trader Joe’s. I haven’t been in two months which is just sad. I love my new place but I miss the convenience of being able to walk five minutes to Trader Joe’s to pick up goodies on end. I was happy to go there and re-stock plus get some goodies for a blogger trade I have going on.

Breakfast was an egg white, ham, cheese and avocado sandwich on a sandwich thin

Along with that, I brought back an oldie but goodie this morning thanks to a bag of baby spinach I got at TJ’s……

Iced Coffee Green Monster! And loving the three layers of color. Which reminds me, I need to get some protein powder soon because the vanilla whey I have is just not cutting it for me.

There’s a new restaurant called Wok On Fire my co-worker and I have been wanting to try. Each time I see the sign, I start singing Kings of Leon “Sex on Fire” but “Yeaaaaaaaaaah, this WOK is on fiiiiiiire” I love any restaurant name that I can incorporate into a song. They had a pretty nice setup inside with a spacious seating area but my friend ordered at the same time and we both got the General Tso’s but only one came out. So we waited for mine. And waited…..and waited. I got up when I saw the waitress coming by (it’s one of those joints where you order in the front and theygive you a number and bring to you) and I said “Excuse me” and she looked at me and walked away. Ok??? I heard her speaking english before and I am not a quiet girl so that annoyed me so I went right to the front and found the manager who alleviated the situation right away and got me my General Tso’s.

It was good but nothing to write home about. I would go there if I wanted a quick (well hopefully next time it would be quick) fix for Chinese when I am work but don’t think I will be saying “Oh, I need some Wok on Fire stat” anytime soon.

I brought back another oldie but goodie for dinner —pizza! I picked up some whole wheat pizza dough from TJ’s last night and was so happy to have it sitting in my fridge again. They have the whole wheat dough at Harris Teeter but it’s $1.99 and for some reason, I just don’t want to spend the extra dollar on theirs.

Not being a big pizza sauce girl, I used TJ’s Marinara sauce since it is light, thin with bunches of flava

I sliced some eggplant and artichokes, brushed with extra virgin olive oil and baked for 15 minutes to tenderize them the loaded them up on the pizza along with a sprinkle of garlic and red pepper flakes

Magnificent! Yet another vegetarian meal that wasn’t planned at all to be one but turned out great. I really need to incorporate eggplant more into my world.

I served with a random salad topped with tomato, red pepper and avocado with a new dressing to try–Newman’s Own Light Honey Mustard.

Really diggin this dressing! It’s no Chick Fil A Fat Free Honey Mustard but it was damn tasty and more of a dijon style honey mustard than anything. I hate buying new salad dressings since they can sound good but then when you try them they don’t live up to your expectation. That being said, when I find a dressing I like-I stick with it.

Aside from the fact that tomorrow is Friday, I have a fun reason to look forward to tomorrow. This girl is in town and we are hanging tomorrow night with another blogger from the area who I haven’t met! I’ve only met some Charlotte bloggers and my favorite NYC bloggers so this will be a treat to meet Diana since she is one of my favorites! She keeps telling me that’s she’s quiet in person and not to be shocked but I can talk for hours on end so I think I can bring her out of her shell. Operation Make Her Talk is so on! And I am taking her to one of my favorite places in Charlotte that I am sure they will enjoy.

Lincoln gives kisses and says Happy Friday Eve bitches!!

Happy Thoughts

14 Sep

This morning I was up at the crack of dawn to get ready and make a huge breakfast

Why big breakfast on a weekday you ask? Because I had a job interview today! Edit–I had three job interviews in a row for a position within my company. It was at 9A but I usually get in around 845A so I went into work a bit early and needed something to hold me over. I think the interviews went very week and I have a great feeling however all I can is wait it out at this point. I am supposed to hear back within a few weeks and hope that the days don’t go unbearably slow. Soooooo…..any good vibes you could send my way would be appreciated!

I have the funky sinus thing going on that everyone has caught the past two weeks due to the weather changing. I just feel nasty and my throat is swollen. I hate how I never had allergy problems until I moved here but oh well, just gotta suck it up at this point and hope I get better soon. The fact that we had two people out of the office (yeah, we are a team of five) and that I’m training our new guy didn’t help either.

I had my stuffed peppers for lunch and they were tasty!

Thank God I like hot stuff because these had my mouth on fiiiiiiire! I blame it on the chile powder and jalapenos but it was all good.  don’t mess around when it comes to my spice.

I haven’t had stuffed peppers since I was young and think I was scarred by them. My mom used to make them all the time with just rice, ground beef and cabbage doused in tomato sauce. Don’t get me wrong, it was tasty but having that meal one week for weeks on end that turn into years gets a tad redundant. How do you make your stuffed peppers or what do you stuff them with?

I picked up a new book at the library–thanks Amy for the recommendation! After her sending me cookies and recommending books, I just feel like this is the wk of Amy.

I didn’t feel like cooking tonight so I made some ghettolicious nachos for dinner. They were pretty boring but tasty. By boring I mean just jalapenos and shredded cheese on top with salsa on the side. I didn’t even have the energy to open up a can of black beans and drain there, sad huh? Again, blame it on work.

I tried a new product for dinner last night-Trader Joe’s Tokyo Style Soba Noodles Kit.

Even though I’ve never been to Tokyo and have no clue what “Tokyo Style” included, I was psyched to try these. They’ve been sitting in my cupboard for a while and perfect for a lazy night (which is starting to be the norm) when you don’t want to cook.

While I threw the noodles in to cook-I cooked up some red peppers and water chesnuts for some crunch along with chicken seasoned with ginger, red pepper flakes and black pepper

It really did only take 10 minutes like the box states-shocker! I never believe products that say something is done within a certain, unbelievable time frame (eyeing you Miss Rachael Ray) so it was a nice, Monday night surprise.

I tossed the noodles in the sauce from the kit then topped with the dry seasoning (seaweed something or another) that came with the kit. All in all, a quick, delicious meal. It was a bit salty for my taste so I’m not sure I would buy it again but it was something fun to try

I brought back an oldie but goodie for a snack tonight-Fage Greek Yogurt with a diced peach and flax-seed. And wtf—why didn’t anyone tell me that Fage is pronounced “fah-yeh”? I never knew that until I read it on the packaging tonight.

And with that, I am out. I am about to have dreams of unicorns and Burt Reynolds thanks to Benedryl…..ok maybe not unicorns and Burt Reynolds but I once did have a dream about Oscar the Grouch and Jerry Orbach so go figure. As long as I don’t have a dream about three ex boyfriends in one sleep session like I did the other night, it’s all gravy.