Archive | December, 2010

Oh yeah, this past week

18 Dec

I got all wrapped up in my posts about my birthday trip, Chobani giveaway and Frugal Friday, I really haven’t mentioned what’s been going on this week.

Sadly, not alot’s been going on. Just getting back into the swing of things at work, eating, going out and relaxing with my pup.

I did get to take a picture of something very random, that I am sure Amy will appreciate

I saw a picture of a computer chair in a parking garage that Amy snapped in her post on Wednesday. I commented saying how it reminds me of the extra chair in the handicap stall of our bathroom at work. Why an extra chair in there? No one knows why it’s there and I find it a bit odd. I like to think that some high-powered VP put it in there and makes her assistant sit in there with her while she does her business and spats out things that need to be done ASAP to her assistant. I drink a lot of water hence I run to the bathroom a number of times during the day but never heard anyone talking from that stall. Regardless, I want to get to the bottom of this because it makes me scratch my head each day.

Just ate some quick meals

I did a little bit of cooking since I had no frozen meals or anything on hand. I can do a frozen meal here and there but not every day. I made whole wheat spaghetti with a ground pork, spinach and onion sauce.

I browned the ground pork then carried over to a different pan where the spinach and onion were cooking with garlic, red pepper flakes and  extra virgin olive oil

Added the sauce to the mix to warm it up

And voila–dinner is served–topped with grated parmesan of course. Everything is better with grated parm!

I received some Christmas goodies from business partners I used to work with on Wednesday. I thought it was an adapter I needed for my second monitor but it turned out to be a huge basket full of chocolate. I automatically put a majority of the contents of the basket in the middle of the room for all to enjoy but had to take the non pareils and Coffee Go!

I went to Dolce Vita Winebar on Thursday night. They have sushi on Thursdays and Saturdays and it’s some of the best I’ve had in town. However, I don’t think a lot of people know about it which is totally fine with me–less time I have to wait for my fishy fish! I ran into Jessie after parking my car as her and her husband were just leaving from there and said the Avant Garde roll with spicy tuna was excellent (they put regular tuna on the roll) so I went in with an idea of what to order. I tried the Hawaiian Tropic roll last time I went but am always looking to try something new. Seeing it was Friday Eve and all, wine was definitely in order. I have two glasses of their Merlot. Umm, I seriously just typed it out as Merlow. Wow.

Hit. The. Spot. The thing I like about Dolce Vita is even though they are a wine bar, the selection isn’t overwhelming. They tend to carry one brand or each wine which is perfectly alright with me since I tend to spend a long time deciding on one thing.

I went with Jessie’s suggestion and ordered the Avant Garde Roll with spicy tuna on top along with a Salmon Avocado Roll.

Both were absolutely delicious and very fresh. You could tell it was good because pre-sushi the conversation was flowing and our table chatting up a storm. The food came and we all went silent except for a few “Oh my Gods” thrown in there.

On Friday, I met up with one of my old co-workers for lunch since I have a BOGO coupon for Qdoba.

I am trying to be more aware of what I take in as of late since the last few months have done nothing for my physique. I don’t even want to talk about how much weight I’ve gained but point is….I’m not happy about it. Looking at recent pictures of myself brings me down a lot and I am starting to see the girl I don’t like.  So, no more nachos, beer and other bad stuff that I’ve been indulging in lately and I am going to start tracking my food again on Livestrong.com so I can get a better picture of what my intake is each day. When I did this, I lost weight. I stopped because I thought I could handle it but my gut (literally my gut, not a gut feeling) says otherwise.

I ordered a taco salad with grilled chicken, black beans and guacamole. So I know I just said I am going to be more aware but I laid off the sour cream and cheese and avocados have the good fats right??

With another week under my belt, I was excited to do absolutely nothing on Friday night but relax with Linky. But I has a super surprise waiting for me at my door–my secret santa gift from Tina’s Blogger Gift Exchange!!

My secret santa was Anna from Active Fingers! I was excited to see this b/c I’ve never read her blog before and love finding new ones!

I wanted to rip  through everything to see what kind of goodies I got but I read her notecard of course where she told me what everything was and get this—all home made—love it!!

The first item was a gorgeous green scarf that she crocheted herself. I love love love scarves and green is one of my favorite colors (if you can’t tell by the shirt I am wearing or the background of this blog)

I’m not afraid to admit it ….I’ve worn it since last night with the exception of showering. It is that comfortable.

Then I saw a jar of homemade salsa—maybe she saw I make Mexican all the time? I am so happy to have some new salsa with me and love that it is fresh.

Next item was chocolate granola. I imagine this being gone very soon!

Then I saw some gifts for my little man! This makes me happy because he is the apple of my eye.

He scarfed that bad boy down in less than two minutes.

He also got a tiny ball to play with that jingles. Yay for distractions!

We love our gifts—thank you sooooo much Anna for putting together such a kind, home-made gift basket for us!

The rest of Friday night was pretty blah. I have some funky sinus thing going on right now so one side of my nose is stuffed while the other is runny along with a scratchy throat and watery eyes. It’s hot. I turned to instant gratification for dinner and went with an easy meal of soup and crescent rolls.

Such a fabulous combination and took no time to make. Yay for easy meals!

After that I watched some tv and then got motivated around 9P to clean out closet with stuff that I am donating to Good Will or Salvation Army.  I donated alot this summer when I moved but apparently, I have more crap that I don’t use. I wound up with this beauty of a pile:

Along with a vacuum and a shoe rack that aren’t pictured. Now to itemize everything and pack it up, ugh!

Do you make donations to thrift stores? If so, do you write it off on your taxes or don’t bother?

And remember, Monday night is the deadline for my Chobani giveaway–if you haven’t entered–what are you waiting for?? Unless you’re lactose intolerant of course or don’t like yogurt.

Frugal Friday

17 Dec

You all know I am a frugal gal. I get excited by the possibilities that thrift stores hold, coupons for items that are already on sale at the supermarket not to mention the coupons in my Citipass book that offer Buy One, Get One. Seeing that I like to share with others when I find deals. Diana threw out the genius idea that I should do a Frugal Friday post and when she mentioned it, I loved it.

So I present my frugal finds for the week:

BOGO Palermo’s Pizza at Harris Teeter 2 for $7.49, which equals four meals for me.

Tip: If something like frozen pizza is buy one, get one, I will buy  it 99% of the time. Frozen pizza is perfect in a pinch when you don’t have the time to cook (or just don’t feel like getting creative in the kitchen) and  for when you have unexpected company over. To get the most use out of it, I will bake in the oven, have half and eat with a salad, veggies or some other kind of side dish so I will have a full belly and the other half to enjoy the next day.

Emerald Trail Mix–$1.29 a bag. I’ve never tried these flavors before but for that low of a price, I am willing to give it a go

Tip: My supermarket has cart sales every now and then where they put discontinued or seasonal items in carts in the front of the store at discounted prices. I always make it a point to sift through the items and see what they have, you never know what you may find. I try to look for items I am familiar with or ones I am wanting to try. I never buy items that I have no clue how to use or don’t think I will use but if it’s something like trail mix, it’s the perfect food to portion out into single serving baggies and carry around with you!

Rice A Roni Whole Grain for $.74. Perfect to pair up with chicken and a veggie which in turn, I can get two meals out of.

Tip: Piggybacking on the tip above, if a staple like rice or pasta is on sale (and doesn’t cost more than the regular priced ones that aren’t in the discontinued carts), I will buy it. You’ll be able to use it in a meal at some point in time.

Various bars—all under $.75 a piece. Instead of spending $1.50 or more per bar, I buy these in bulk and eat it with yogurt  for breakfast or snack while on the go.

Tip: When buying items on sale like I do with the cart sale, be sure to check the expiration date. There’s nothing worse than thinking you got a good deal only to see the item is past its expiration (don’t worry, I checked these!)

Lean Cuisine $2 a piece. I am not the biggest fan of Lean Cuisine due to their portions and lack of flavor but I adore their pizza and sandwiches. These are great when you forgot to make lunch and don’t have anything in the freezer (which has been happening to me  lately due to the holidays and traveling). When I have their meals, I like to add extra veggies to them or have a salad on the side.

Tip: Cross reference your local supermarket circulars! Nothing pleases me more than going through the Wednesday (the day that supermarkets typically start their sales) or Sunday papers and seeing what is on sale. Along with that I look through my coupons to see  if I have any coupons for those items. Bonus if you’re supermarket does double or triple coupons!

Coupon from Food Should Taste Good for a free bag of chips. All I had to do was like them on Facebook and voila-they send anyone who liked them a free coupon. Their chips usually run from $3-$4 a bag so this will save me some money in the future.

Tip: With the world we live on, social media is crucial to companies in their success and getting the word out about their product. If you like a product, restaurant, etc.  like them on Facebook or follow them on Twitter. They tend to out  push out special offers more often to their fans or followers.

Free Pastry or Sweet coupon from Panera via their MyPanera program. They have a mini card that you put on your key ring and each time you make a purchase you earn points

Tip: Many companies out their have incentive programs for your every day purchases plus give you a little something something on your birthday. Coldstone Creamery, Starbucks and Panera are ones I can think of at the top of my head but there has to be tons out there! Sign up for their email distribution of specials and offers, you never know what it can bring your way!

And there you have it, the first edition of Frugal Friday. I am passionate about saving money and finding the best deal out there on every day items. If you like idea for a post, please let me know and I will happily continue on with the deals I find throughout the week along with tips. I hope this and my tips help you get your frugal on! Another way to get your frugal on? Enter my Chobani giveaway–ends Monday!

 

Big Apple Birthday Weekend Part Deux

16 Dec

After the cupcakes on Sunday, Mo and I headed over to Little Italy and Chinatown.

Embracing my Italian roots by resting my leg on the fire hydrant-classy

It was also a bit of a dreary day out. It rained on our way there but didn’t hit too much rain after that. But damage was done, my hair was starting to do some funky wave thing.

 I was stoked to get some good grub but more excited about the street vendors. I’ve heard fabulous things about the purses but after checking some out, declined since I didn’t want to pay their asking price.  Oh well, like I need another purse. But want another purse-hell yeah-I could never have too many purses. We didn’t hit up any Italian places but Mo had an idea in mind of where we should go to in Chinatown-a Vietnamese restaurant….you know just to be random like that.

We ordered the Beef Pho and some stewed beef cubes over white rice (not the technical name of course). Umm, yeah, both were out within 10 minutes and absolutely delish.

 The Pho was pho real the best I’ve had. I like to add the sriracha to it to make it super spicy but it had tons of cilantro in it which is quite alright with me. It kept me warm and filled my belly…..loved it!

The beef was some of the best I’ve ever had and I’ve had a lot of beef in my day. When I first took a bite, Mo looked at me wondering what the verdict was and I think I smiled…or moaned I have no clue what the marinade was but I would likely ask for the marinades hand in marriage if possible. The cucumbers and tomatoes on the side were a nice touch to contrast the sweet flavor of the beef.  I didn’t want this meal to ever end. Only $14 bones for two peeps which made it even better.

Afterwards we did a little shopping at Pearl River and Sephora then we kept walking. My knee was starting to bother me a bit so we took a break and had coffee. Well, she did, I just sat there. Why I didn’t want coffee though is still surprising to me. The next stop on the agenda was Shake Shack. Mo raves about their burgers and fries and says some people say it’s even better than In-N-Out Burger. Say it ain’t so! How could something be better than In-N-Out??  I had to try asap. When we got there it was dark but it was hopping. It’s nestled outside full of lights and tons of seating.

It looks like a hamburger ridden fairy-tale!

I got the Shack Burger with a side of cheese fries. If I was there, I was going to go all out.

Mo’s beautiful patty

I’m sad to say………… it lived up to my expectations 110%!! The burger was juicy, big, orgasmic and gone within two minutes. And their cheese fries? If I could just get a tub of their cheese sauce with a straw that would be superb….I guess also just tap an IV to my hips because that’s where it would be going but totally worth it. It started to rain but I said screw it.  I’m finishing my meal and continued to happily nosh on my burger and fries. Meanwhile, Mo took out her umbrella and continued to nosh on hers. When the cheese fries were gone, I may or may not have kept pawing on the left behind cheese sauce still on the container–seriously what are they lacing their cheese sauce with?? Me love Shack Shake long time. However next time I am saving room for their custard!

And that was the end of the day of food filled fun. The last stop was to Mo’s place to pick up her pup, Mickey Girl. I’ve been reading about Mickey for the last year and have had the idea in my head that she would be a perfect mate for Sir Linx-a-lot. After all, he does like the voluptuous girls.

Then the three of us walked over to Mari’s house. Mari was studying all day so she didn’t get to join us but lucky girl, she was warm….and dry!

Then we proceeded to watch “Marry Me” on Lifetime–did anyone else watch this?? It was super cute 🙂

Perfect end to a great day!

I’m happy to say that on my birthday I slept in…..until 11A! I don’t know when the last time I slept in that late was (especially without the help of my dear friend liquor) but I felt like a million bucks. I woke up around 8A, piddled around when motivated Mari went to the gym but then decided why not go back to bed? It was my birthday after all! When I woke back up at 11A, Mari whipped me up a batch of banana chocolate pancakes topped with peanut butter and syrup

These were heavenly! I am not a huge fan of the pb but like them on pancakes for some reason. She also made pumpkin cream cheese muffins and they were fabu as well (note they are no pictures because they were gone so quickly!) We hung out for a while after that, then got ready and picked up a light, late lunch at Dani’s House of Pizza.

We sat at the counter at each got a slice of mushroom pizza–so many mushrooms that we had to eat with a knife and fork-yum! When we walked out, it was starting to flurry a bit. My birthday wish in the making! Afterwards we made our way over to the city to do a little window shopping before dinner.

When we got off the subway, we passed by a kennel and they had the cutest pups in the window!

Look at those pics and tell me you don’t like dogs, I dare you.

Soon we met up with Mo and Missy for our dinner reservation at Serendipity 3.

I’ve been wanting to check this place out ever since seeing the movie, of course. Plus I heard through the grapevine that they had bomb ass desserts, so yup, perfect place for birthday dinner. And look at one of their coffee drinks!

Fate I tell you….or one may say it’s serendipitous!

I ordered the Summer Bries sandwich-smoked turkey, sliced apples, melted brie and alfalfa sprouts, served on raisin pumpernickel with Russian dressing yet they forgot the other slice of bread since I didn’t see anything about it being served as open.

Mo and I went splitsies since we both were looking at the sandwiches–she ordered the Haight-Ashbury-sliced turkey, tomato, avocado and alfalfa sprouts with melted muenster on raisin pumpernickel with Russian dressing

They were good but nothing memorable. Soon enough, it was dessert time! I really was stuffed after the sandwich and a pre-dinner Starbucks Raspberry Soy Mocha but took a few sips of Mo’s Frozen Peanut Butter Hot Chocolate

Missy and Mari’s Cinnamon Fudge Sundae was absolutely gorgeous and tasty! I would order this if I were to go back there.

All in all, I wasn’t impressed with Serendipity 3. I was stoked to go there for my birthday dinner but the food was entirely overpriced (plus sandwiches don’t even come with a side), lacked in service (our water boy paid more attention to us than our server) and left feeling meh.

The last stop of the evening was to see the tree at Rockefeller Center-it was so gorgeous! I loved that they had different colored lights on it opposed to the traditional red. Rocky Center was a complete 180 from the summertime when I visited, this time everyone was bundled up and they had ice skating. Last time I was there, we were fanning ourselves off while sweat was dripping off every inch of us, yeech.

And that’s all folks! My birthday wknd in NYC was absolutely fantastic and I couldn’t have asked for more. Thanks Mari for being a great host,  letting me crash and being so accommodating. Mo–thanks for the walking food tour (happy I brought my fat pants!) and Missy-nice to meet you! May the memories shall stay longer than the weight I gained with all the tasty food (we can only hope!)

PS–If you haven’t checked it out already, I have a Chobani Greek Yogurt Giveaway going on!

Chobani Giveaway!

15 Dec

I’m a loyal girl—to sports teams, nail salons, friends and even food.  Once I tried Chobani Greek Yogurt, I was a keeper. I found it to be thicker than other greek yogurts, love that it’s gluten-free, has no artificial flavors or preservatives and has twice the protein than regular yogurt. I’ve even professed my love for Chobani  here, here, here, here, here and here.  And sometimes I  like to emulate 50 Cent and his G-Unit by singing Cho-Cho-Cho-Cho-Chobani. And it’s not just me, even Lincoln likes Chobani!

What’s my Chobani talk leading up to you ask? Well, the kind people at Chobani got in touch with me are offering up some Chobani loving for one lucky reader!

The prize is their 12 piece club pack with 4 containers of three flavors: Strawberry, Blueberry, Peach.

Pretty cool yes!? So if you would like to win this coveted club pack there are four ways you can enter to win (you don’t have to have a blog to enter):

1) Mandatory to enter-Like Chobani on Facebook (leave a comment letting me know)

2)  Follow Chobani on Twitter (leave a comment letting me know)

3) Tell me your favorite greek yogurt creation

4) Link this comment back to your blog (let me know when you link it back)

Easy peasy! Deadline is Monday December 20, 2010 at 11:59 PM EST and I will announce the randomly drawn winner on Tuesday December 21st. Good luck!

Big Apple Birthday Weekend

14 Dec

Hello everyone! Hope everyone is doing super fabulous! I got back from NYC today and am trying to catch up on everything. Thankfully I cleaned my place before leaving so that is one less thing to worry about.

I got into JFK around 3P on Saturday bright-eyed and bushy-tailed and Mari was there to pick me up. She was gracious to host me for the weekend and I owe her a big thank you! It was cold but nothing unbearable but I was safe with packing layers and layers among clothes plus winter accessories. I just had a big purse and a carry on with me which is 99% of the time unheard of with me since I like to have options. But with it being winter and all, I took a couple of sweaters, one pair of sneakers and pair of boots.

(source)

The first place we went to was 5 Burros in Queens. I’ve been reading about this place on the blogs since the beginning of this year and it was one of the places I insisted on going to during my visit.

 I ordered a mango margarita and was hoping that I would get some cute, crawly, critter on my drink like I’ve seen in pictures.

The margarita was everything I hoped for and more. When I took the first sip, it was all tequila. That’s a good thing. When I pay for a drink at a restaurant, I want to taste the liquor. We were going out for drinks afterwards so I didn’t want to order anything too heavy but needed enough food in my tummy to get my drink on so I went with the grilled shrimp salad

Absolutely delicious. The only thing I could suggest was them taking the tails off. I hate when I forget to cut one off and spit spit goes the tail.

Me and Monique (Mo)

After that, we went to the bar to get some liquid goodies. Mari’s man was DJing that night and we found a table right near him. He was awesome! He played such a good mix of songs from current stuff (which I had to keep asking everyone at the table who sang it) to stuff from college, which made me super happy and giddy.

Mari brought her Crystal Light to mix with a shot of vodka and water. I absolutely love this idea and it’s a great alternative to calorie heavy, sugary drinks!

(source)

Mari, Missy, Monique and Me. Yay for blogger meetups!

Monique keeping dry at the bus stop.

The next morning I met up with Mo to take on the city!

First stop-Sugar Sweet Sunshine Bakery. Just typing that name out makes me smile. It’s becoming habit that anytime I visit a new place, I have to visit a cupcake place in the area. This can either be a really good or really bad thing. Probably really bad but I like to think really good.

I got an iced coffee (which didn’t even need Splenda added to it–unheard of!) and I got the Kissable Cupcake-peppermint chocolate with a buttercream frosting since mint + chocolate is my favorite combination out there. I saved it for a later time though since we had an agenda.

We split a Sexy Red Velvet Cupcake

Hello lover.

And we split a Chocolate Pudding. Mo was raving about their pudding and while I would never order pudding anywhere, it was delightful.

Not only was it chocolate pudding but it also had pieces of chocolate cake and frosting too. It was a chocolate party in my mouth. I may have moaned during a few bites because it was damn tasty. Too bad we couldn’t finish the whole thing. We let the sugar soak into our system and then went to…..

 

 

Well, you will have to stay tuned. This girl is super tired!

When I was 30

10 Dec

I’m turning 31 on Monday-how the hell has this happened? I am an adult and not a fresh, new 30 something anymore. I am an actually adult and have been for a number of years now and not as young as I once was. I can’t say 30 anymore, it’s going to be 31 for 365 days and then, eek, 32. And 33. And, well, I like to think that you all can count so I won’t continue.

I called one of my former co-workers who is originally from NYC this afternoon and told him I will waive hi to the city for him. When he asked why I was going to NYC, I told him for my birthday and he asked “Wasn’t it just your birthday?” I feel like it was just yesterday that I was telling him about my upcoming cruise that I was going on for my birthday since I wanted to sail away from the fact I was going to be the dreaded 3-0. Then I thought, where has this year gone? It’s gone by too quick and I am not digging that. Why is it when you’re young, time seems to drag on but once you are an adult, have responsibilities, work, bills, etc, it goes by fast (excluding the 40 hours of work each week which seem to drag on). I don’t like where time is going and don’t want to think that the next nine years will fly by but in reality, I am sure it will and will bring along alot of life changes. In my 20’s, I lived in Florida, West Virginia, Arizona and North Carolina. Will I spend my entire 30’s in North Carolina? If I have any say in it, hopefully no. But sometimes I wish I had a magic eight ball that would tell me where I will be in a few years.

This time last year, I flew down to Florida to head out for my cruise. Luckily my parents are still down there so I could kill two birds with one stone by going there and seeing them along with leaving on the cruise.

I brought in my 30th yr with friends from high school….with the help of red velvet cheesecake from The Cheesecake Factory.

Then had drinks at the Hard Rock Casino in South Florida with friends from college and high school

Then enjoyed a week long cruise to the Bahamas and Grand Turk with besties and my sister

The rest of my 30th year? Well, you can read the rest on here. I started this blog in January and the rest is history.

Some highlights of the 30:

*Went on trips to DC, NYC ,Indiana and Phoenix.

*Ran my first 5K after thinking the only way that I would ever run was if an axe murderer was chasing me.

*Met my favorite author….again.

*Lost some skin to a mountain

*Got a new job

*Ate lots of sushi….here, here, here, here and here

*Went on some bad dates and some good ones but nothing transpired, oh well.

So yes, that my was my 30 in a nutshell. What will 31 bring? I have absolutely no clue what’s coming my way but I sure am anxious to see. To the younger chickadees-don’t worry 30 wasn’t bad at all. I was expecting breakdowns and meltdowns to occur but it didn’t at all and it was a lot of fun. I still feel young (most days at least) and thanks to Olay, still get carded. Please don’t stress as much as I did about turning 30 because it’s the new 20 right??

I’m bringing in my birthday on Monday with Mari and Mo and am stoked to see the city in its Christmas festivity. That being said, you won’t see me on here at all since I will be out having fun on my winter vacation! Please be sure to check back on Tuesday or Wednesday…….HUGE contest going on and you will not want to miss it 😉

Thanks all for enjoying the ride with me and sharing my experiences—peace out 30!!

Cheapskating It

9 Dec

I’ve been a cheapskate when it comes to food this week.

Leftovers have been the theme. I usually don’t mind leftovers but I’m scraping the bottom of the barrel with food from my freezer that needs to be consumed. I am going out of town on Saturday and don’t want to buy alot of groceries to either see it A) Go to waste or B) Be used later when I can save the money for something more useful. Why not venture into the freezer and see what’s available?

If it hasn’t been leftovers,  I’ve been eating at places where I either have a BOGO coupon or a free entrée coupon. I hit up two places on Wednesday and all I spent was $6 the entire day. $6 for two meals is absolutely fantastic, especially when it’s good, quality food.

The first place I went was Mortimers at the EpiCentre in Uptown Charlotte. I’ve heard fabulous things about their menu and after hours specials but didn’t think anything of it until I saw the BOGO coupon in my Citipass book. They have a huge selection of unique sandwiches offered on a variety of breads, a pretty sweet salad selection and some entrees. I went in intending to have a salad but after walking there in a windy 40 degrees, I wanted something hot.

I got the WWIII–spicy turkey, bbq sauce, jalapenos, cole slaw, Texas Pete sauce and melted pepperjack cheese on a roll with a side of the potato salad. This sandwich? Out of this world!!!! I scarfed it down and was sad to see it go from a huge, beautiful sandwich to a few crumbs scattering around in the basket.

Warning….blurry pics….

My friend got the nachos-unfortunately they looked a lot better than they were. Normally, I never have a negative thing to say about nachos (since it’s kinda difficult to mess them up) but these were less than stellar. The chips had a funky cheese and the cheese was a cheese sauce like Velveeta. I love Velveeta but it was more along the lines of not fully melted Velveeta and hard, ick. Very rarely do I have nachos that don’t meet my low standards on the nacho scale but these were at the bottom of the totem pole in my book.

They have cutesie names for a number of items, they are a pub and have Rat Pack memorabilia on the walls so I am still scratching my head with what their theme is? All in all a good spot but still a bit perplexed by the concept.

Next deal for me was dinner on Wednesday night. I went to Phat Burrito since I had a free entrée + drink coupon that was going ot expire soon. After four years in this city I finally decided to give it a shot. I’ve always been curious about this place with its eccentric outside decor, bars on the windows plus I like with things starting with F but are spelled out PH (however I hate when things that start with C are spelled out with a K but that’s besides the point). I went right after work and there were only two other people in there….unheard of! Part of the reason I’ve never been is because the parking lot is full and I can’t find anywhere to park so I was pleased to know I would finally get my Phat on. When I walked in, it was very colorful with a lot of dirty tables. Eek. But I saw their sanitation score and it looked safe so ordering I went.

I got a chicken burrito to go and it was ready in less than 5 mins. It seemed like there were two people working that shift so I was surprised with the turn around time. When I got home and sat down to eat, I unwrapped the foil around the burrito and holy crap—it was bigger than Lincoln’s head!

See-told ya!

Super tasty and I didn’t have to add any salsa or hot sauce. It was perfect just the way it was. It wasn’t too dry but at the same time wasn’t sopping wet and falling apart. Perfecto.

Since I have no food on hand, I went to Harris Teeter to pick up some fruit for the next few days. I got some pretty sweet deals on different bars. They were marked down on clearance and the most expensive one cost $.69

I also picked up two bottles of Fruit 2Day. They were on sale for $1.50 plus I have a $.60 off coupon and figured now would be the time tro try it.

Each bottle has 2 servings of fruit up to 120 cals per container with real fruit bits in them. I was pleasantly surprised with this product, I tried the Strawberry Peach this morning. Usually these drinks either taste too artificial or the fruit bites are too big and you have to choke them but this was absolutely fantastic. Plus right there I got in two servings of fruit. I don’t think I will substitute this for fruit (which sadly some people will) but when I want to get something fresh and need fruit when I don’t have it I think this will be a nice alternative.

While waiting for my morning java at Starbucks, I saw some of the Starbucks and building employees going back and forth between the Bucks and the lobby. When I saw the huge vats of coffee being transported-it hit me-tenant appreciation breakfast! I’ve worked in my building for the past four years and they do a morning of breakfast and coffee in December and an afternoon of ice cream in the summertime. This time around it was various Bojangles breakfast sandwiches, Bojangles sweet tea and Starbucks coffee. Free breakfast and free coffee? Count me in! I had my travel mug in hand and filled up with their Bold coffee and picked up a chicken biscuit.

Dinner tonight was another free meal. I have a coupon for a free small sub or salad at Sub Station II. I really wasn’t feeling a sub but salad sounded good since it was 30 degrees outside. I opted for the chicken breast salad with honey mustard. It was ready within 5 minutes and on my merry way, I went. When I got home, I was so excited. It was a big size salad and I could smell the onions, pepper and oregano they topped it with. Plus it didn’t look too shabby.

Mmmmm, tasty salad, right? Wrong. Apparently Sub Station II doesn’t like to put chicken on their chicken breast salad so while it had a variety of toppings, it lacked something substantial. Plus the lettuce was chopped up into little pieces. This was the most ghettorific salad I’ve ever had. Albeit, I scarfed down the entire thing but I was still upset about the lack o’ chicken. Sadness.

I also visited the Christmas mart they have open downstairs in our building today. They have a number of local vendors with candles, soaps, fresh produce, nuts, apparel, hot sauce and honey! I like honey but would never feel compelled to buy it (since I am ghetto and just ask for extra honey packets at the Bucks) but when I saw the whipped honey offered by Cloister Honey, I had to try it out.

They had a variety of flavors like original, pumpkin and chocolate. I tried samples of them and they were just delightful. They are natural and only 16 calories per serving and perfect on top of crackers or even alone! I bought one jar along with a bottle of their chile pepper honey marinade.

I love supporting local businesses and it’s even sweeter when it’s a tasty product!

So, that has been my past few days. Unfortunately nothing too exciting but we can’t all can’t have exciting ones can we? I am proud to say through eating leftovers and using my coupons, I’ve spent minimal money, cleared out my freezer and kept my checking account balance in tact.

Thanks all for your love on Ugly Christmas Sweater party + moo moo. I was too lucky to find an atrocious moo moo but the question is, how will I trumph that outfit at next years Ugly Christmas Sweater party?? 

PS–Win some free Alouette cheese over at Fashion Meets Food!

Ugly Christmas Sweater Party

8 Dec

 I attended the Yelp Elite Ugly Christmas Sweater Party last night and it was a super fabulous time! When I heard about the event back in November, I got off my butt and went to Value Village to find an ugly sweater. I could’ve asked my mom for an ugly sweater but then she would ask what it was for and I didn’t want to hurt her feelings. So I found an ugly Christmas sweater…..and an ugly Christmas moo moo.

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I heart any soiree that requires drinking bracelets. Makes me feel like a young pup again!

The event was at Dressler’s and had tasty libations from sponsors New Belgium, Country Vintner & Palm Bay International plus a few complimentary appetizers like hot sausage and spinach and artichoke dip to nosh on while socializing. 

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There were many ugly sweaters

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 And some people wore the same sweaters!

Or as I like to call it a Christmas miracle!

Yours truly won 1st place in the Women’s Tacky Sweater Contest and won a nice swag bag 

Such a fabulous time, I can’t wait to attend another Ugly Christmas Sweater party and find something even tackier!

 And the winner of the Einstein’s Free Bagel coupons …..

nic – the auspicious squirrel December 7, 2010 at 9:45 pm Edit #

I used to eat at Einsteins whenever I could… which wasn’t nearly as often as I wanted b/c they never seem to be close to me. Now there is one up the street and I haven’t visited because I’m a vegan now… figures. I know that, obviously, the schmear isn’t vegan… I wonder if the bagels are… oh cool, just looked up the ingredients, many of them are milk & egg free.

Favorite Christmas song… “Carol of the bells”, both with words or just instrumental.

I also like one (I don’t know what it’s called)… that’s instrumental also, and there are sounds of horses hooves and the cracking of a whip at specific spots in the song.

Least favorite… While I’d have to agree with the hippopatmus song being a non-fav… I really can’t stand “All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth”. Ugh.

Congrats Nic! Please email me your address so I can send them out to you 🙂 

 Thanks all for participating!!

Can You Dig It?

7 Dec

Nothing too exciting going on around these parts.  I could talk about

-Lincoln  (I could talk about him all day but I am trying to expand my horizons)

-Food (which sadly hasn’t been too exciting since I’ve been feasting on leftovers)

-Work (when is that ever exciting??)

So I present:

 What I’m diggin!

1) Mail

To be more specific…..

When companies take your opinion into account when you’ve had a bad experience

Even if that means, I am addressed as “Valued Guest”

 2) Bloggie Love

Erica from Fashion Meets Food sent me these awesome smoothies coupons after I responded to a post of hers on the FB offering them out. 

Has anyone tried them before? Good, bad?

 Thanks Erica for sending these to me 🙂

Is anyone else participating in Tina’s Blogger Gift Exchange? I got the name of the person I am buying for and too excited! I’ve never done one before I want to go all out but have to remember there is a $$$ limit. Dear blogger who I got–from reading your blog, I think you will be happy with your gift!

3) New flavors that make my mouth do a happy dance!

4) Cold Weather

Cold chills invigorate me. I don’t know why but I am happier when it’s cold out and love layering up and getting out there.  I just wish it would be cooler longer. I do more when it’s cold out and oddly enough, lose more weight in the winter. When it’s warm out, I get super lazy. I don’t want to go outside to do anything and just want to be in the A/C or outside on a patio enjoying a cold one or four. When it’s cold, I can sport all of my winter accessories like hats, scarves, gloves and dress my dog up in sweaters. Can you say win-win? That being said…..

5) Caribou Coffee’s Hot Apple Blast

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i.e. Heaven in a cup. I’ve had four in the past week and at $4 a pop for the smallest size, this habit needs to come to a halt asap. But it’s just so yummy……

6) Christmas Songs

`I love Christmas songs. I am going to share my favorite but with that I am sharing my most loathed…..

Favorite:

Even though Im Italian, I got introduced to this song by an ex-boyfriend in college. PIcture it: Morgantown, WV 2002. Said ex boyfriend made me a mix cd for Christmas. Youngins, this is what peeps did before MP3 players. It was cheap but sweet and as much as I don’t want to admit, am a pretty sentimental person. He made me this cd because I was making an 18 hour drive to Florida alone for Christmas to see the parentals. I thought this was a very sweet gesture…..until I heard the first song….”Hoochie Mama”. Umm, excuse me? Homeboy slice couldnt even make a move on me however the first line of the first song on my cd is “Big booty hoes — up wit it!”??? Say what? Luckily for him, I am a South Florida girl raised on 2 Live Crew (which explains so many things). But still, it threw me off a bit. Then I heard Domenic The Donkey and fell in love with it…… yet unfortunately did not fall in love with him. I would go around the sorority house singing and braying over and over again like a mad woman. Ahhh memories. Lately, I’ve been singing and braying to Lincoln and I think he is realizing that  I’m not all there.

Least Favorite:

Cannot. Stand. This. Song. One of my sorority sisters in turn would sing this song in an even-more-voice than the girl in the song. And why would one want a hippopatmus for Christmas? Can’t we think of something more festive like a reindeer or a clydesdale?

7) Aaron Hernandez and his tats!

‘Nuff said

So, a little giveaway action for those still reading since this post was all over the place:


Two coupons for a free bagel at Einstein’s. They expire 12.31.10 and I’m not going to use them by then so thought I would share the love.

Love the circular carbs and want to enter?

Leave a comment with your favorite or least favorite Christmas  holiday song. Couldn’t be easier. I’ll pick a winner at random and announce in my next post.

Cupcakes, Chili and Sanchez

6 Dec

Happy Monday (oxy moron if I’ve ever heard one). This is going to be a little weekend recap of a post. I feel like I was on the go all weekend and really didn’t get a chance to relax. I complain about that but I kinda like it that way because then I can relax on the week nights and don’t have to worry about getting anything done. Hope everyone had a great weekend and is staying warm! It’s supposed to be 17 tomorrow night and I am stoked. I am one of the weird ones who digs the cold weather since I can keep layering clothes on until I can’t put down my arms and have an excuse to hunker down on the couch. Before I forget— thanks for everyone for commenting on Lincoln’s post on Saturday. He had a super fabulous birthday and appreciates all the warm wishes!

I had a Groupon for The Blushing Bakeshop that I’ve been waiting to use. They are located on the side of town and never really make my way down there however when I took Lincoln to get groomed on Saturday, I thought, why not and stop by. I’ve read reviews about them on Yelp, both good and bad and wanted to chime in. And let’s be honest, I just wanted some  cupcakes. There I said it. 

They have little cutesie names for them which I found endearing but at the same time confusing. I like my cupcake names to be straight up: Carrot Cake, Red Velvet Cake, etc. Who knew that Dan meant Boston Crème? I know I didn’t. I got 4 (of course can’t remember the technical names) but they included: birthday cupcake, carrot cake, apple cake and boston crème.

 I tried the carrot cake one which was delectable and everything I hoped it would be along with the birthday one. Their buttercream frosting was out of this world and almost as big as the actual cupcake. I will be going back there for the frosting alone.

Their cupcakes were a bit pricey (I believe $2.75 a pop) but think this would be a special treat kind of place. The size of them reminded me of Georgetown Cupcake  , which is a top-notch cupcake place. I had to place the remaining two in the freezer before I demolished them but my tummy was definitely happy after trying The Blushing Bakeshop!

 Right before I picked up Lincoln, I passed by Lorenzo’s Pizzeria— Another spot I’ve been itching to go to. Any time I think of Lorenzo’s, my mind automatically flashes back to the Van Buren Boys episode on Seinfeld (one of my fave episodes!) Lorenzo’s is also on the other side of town and I knew I wouldn’t be in that area again for awhile. I’ve heard this place is out of this world and has authentic NY Pizza so I stopped in to see what it’s all about. Mind you I’m going to NY this wknd so I won’t need to wait long to have some NY style [pizza (since I didn’t get some this summer) but any excuse for pizza right? I got a slice of their pepperoni to enjoy later but I saw they offered slices of Sicilian pizza which made my heart jump. I never see any places with single slices of Sicilian pizza so this is a good thing this place is 25 mins from where I currently live because that would just be dangerous.

The pizza was terrific just as I expected. I don’t know if it was the cupcakes, the pizza or all the excitement of Lincoln’s birthday but soon after I was in a mini coma and I couldn’t stay awake for the WVU-Rutgers game. Big boooooo to that. It was WVU’s last regular scheduled game of the year and I tried desperately to stay awake but kept falling back into sleep.  But then a few hours later I awoke to the smell of chili. I was competing in a chili cookoff on Sunday and made me chili in the crock ahead of time on Saturday. It was just about finished cooking and I enjoyed a bowl topped with shredded cheese and sour cream.

 I try to go all out when I make my chili and don’t have a set recipe but this time, I just didn’t put any heart into it. I have just been exhausted this past week with doing stuff around the house and trying to get everything done before I leave next weekend, I didn’t plan out what I would put into it and just used the stuff I already had–Morningstar Veggie Crumbles, kidney beans, onions, jalapenos, Tabasco sauce, cumin, chili powder, garlic and black pepper. Next time I want to add more beans like cannellini or black beans instead of the standard kidney beans. I made it extra spicy this time around by adding slices of jalapenos and more Tabasco sauce than normal and you know what? I won 4th place at the chili cookoff  went to on Sunday! Yeah, 4th is nice and everything but  I am making a vow right now that next year I will place higher.

 Getting pinned with my 4th place chili  boutonniere.

Why do I look like a coffee toting mannequin?

There was a pup that’s smaller than Lincoln! Percy was absolutely adorable.

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 Sunday night  I went over to my friend’s place so Lincoln and I could get our Christmas pictures taken. We had a mini photo shoot and decided on three pictures for our Christmas cards. Lincoln was loving his Santa Paws shirt and even wore it to bed! It’s so sad though because when I bought the shirt it looked small for him but it ended up being too big. Poor little petite doggie. Here’s a few good photos we had.

 Every year I order them on Walgreens.com and they are ready the next day and can pick up there instead of having to worry about shipping +delivery. If you go to Walgreens.com and enter in the code CREATIVE you can get $10 off any $20 photo gift order through December 11! I picked them up tonight and am super excited—you gotta love a place that can make holiday cards in less than 24 hours!

I know many people out there are talking about the big Jets-Patriots game tonight. I love me some football but really don’t care about either team so when people have asked me who I want to win my response has been “Well, I am going with who I think the hotter quarterback is”

Or

 Verdict? Sanchez all the way baby.

 Go Jets.

PS–Win some VS snazzy PINK gear at Fashion Meets Food!