Archive | December, 2010

To love, to be loved, and to be a banker

21 Dec

So yesterday went by quickly whereas today dragged on. And I effed up big time at work. I noticed my mistake I made at the end of the day, had to stay late and discuss with a manager and still have to deal with it tomorrow. Plus I found some more issues with an account after I spoke with a manager and will have to figure that out as well tomorrow. I have a huge knot in my stomach since I will have to face more of this crap tomorrow and am not really looking forward to it. I know it’s not the end of the world but I hate that I don’t know what I’m doing with my role and am not confident of my abilities. The sun will come up tomorrow and the day after but I hate this feeling of dreading going into work.

  Just once, I would like to have a job that I acted liked and was semi passionate about. I hate waking up at 630A each morning, dreading the day and counting down the hours til 5 o’clock. I hate that I feel sick any time I’m about to call a customer with bad news. I hate that I work for a bank yet hate numbers. I hate that I’m too empathetic to do my job whereas other people are fine with practically driving customers to file for bankruptcy. I hate that my job (and former job) mentally exhausts me so much and has made me so bitter that I don’t have the energy to look for a relationship yet maintain one. I hate that I work for a corporation I don’t believe in. I hate that due to most of my experience within the bank, I can’t find anything else, even though I have a degree in journalism. I hate that I’m seriously considering withdrawing some of my 401K to live on for awhile so I can figure out what I want to do to with my life. I would just like to wake up Monday-Friday looking forward to something and not be completely miserable, I don’t think that’s asking for too much right? And huge brownie points for anyone who knows where the title of this post is from.

My package of goodies I ordered last week  from Sephora arriving at my door step didn’t even lift my spirits. Retail therapy, makeup and a surprise package in one?  Nope, didn’t even form a smile while opening so yeah, today wasn’t the best day.

Thank god I had a dinner plan in mind because I couldn’t handle another funky meal like last night. Since I am an emotional eater and all, I really wanted to just order take out and enjoy an insane amount of MSG from the local Chinese takeout joint but I stuck to my original plan–crescent rolls stuffed with onion and chive cream cheese and sandwich steak.

I cooked up the steak on the stovetop and seasoned with Spike seasoning. I didn’t even use oil or butter, the seasoning was the perfect thing to season with.

Then cut into little strips. Of course Lincoln got the leftovers.

I rolled out the crescent rolls to stretch them a little further than normal then spread cream cheese on them

Topped with steak bits

Then rolled up and let bake at 375 for 14 minutes.

I had broccoli on the side with a touch of spray butter and bam–quick, savory meal to end a horrid day.

Anyways, that was my day in a nutshell. Sorry if it was a bit of a downer but nothing wrong with some honesty right?

On a happier note—the winner of the Chobani giveaway is…….

Comment #13—Emily from “A Nutrionalist Eats”

emily (a nutritionist eats) December 16, 2010  “I’m liking chobani on facebook!”

Congratulations Emily! Please email me (simplyshaka @ gmail dot com) your mailing address so Chobani can send those out to you!
Thanks everyone for participating in the giveaway (if anyone knows how I can copy the damn random number generator into a post, it would be much appreciated!)

I’m going to zone out to Family Guy and get some puppy kisses from my little guy.

Hope everyone’s Tuesday was better than mine!

Unheard Of!

20 Dec

Wow, what a Monday! Ok, so not really but I just wanted to say that for once because you never really hear someone say that. The only exciting thing that happened today was that it went by super fast which is usually unheard of on a Monday. I also started my day with no Starbucks which is also unheard of. I must have a Starbucks fix each day and if not, must drink two regular coffees to get the buzz that I get from one of theirs. Some say that their coffee tastes burnt but I absolutely love it. Some also say that I have an addiction but I like to think of it as stimulating the coffee economy.

I tried a new flavor of Kashi Crunchy Bar for breakfast today–Cinnamon Coffee Cake.

I found it on sale at Harris Teeter a couple of weeks ago for $.89–unheard of! These go on sale every now and then but I’ve never seen them for less than a buck. I was a little apprehensive about trying this flavor because I like cinnamon, coffee and cake but never had the trio all together. It could either be really good or really bad right? The verdict was that it was absolutely delicious! I loved the sweet glaze on top and it wasn’t hard or crunchy like other bars often are. The only thing that disheartened me is since it was on clearance, it may be discontinued soon. I need to investigate this because if it is going to be discontinued-I need to stock up! I do this now anytime I learn of something I love about to be discontinued, ever since Ulta took away my favorite lip stick shade. That was three years ago and I still haven’t found a shade like it.

I had a coupon for a free Like It size creation at Cold Stone Creamery so I walked over there after lunch with a co-worker and got a Sinless Sweet Cream Sans Fat with raspberries–unheard of for me since I can’t pass up their mint chocolate creation they have their.

Dinner was a random one. I was craving red meat and my thoughts automatically went to my stand by of stir fry but I was being lazy and didn’t feel like cooking brown rice. Yet I continued to cook up some peas, onion and mushrooms along with soy sauce, red pepper flakes and black pepper with no idea where I was going with it. Then I threw in some sliced sandwich beef and still had no clue what to do with it.

So I thought what to do with it and thought and thought and thought. And nothing. Since I had no clue what dinner would actually turn out to be, I heated up some tomato soup and sprinkled grated parmesan in it when done.

Delicious yet but you don’t get more random than tomato soup with a side of veggies and beef or veggies and beef with a side of tomato soup. It was tasty which is unheard of since the two would never be paired up together in my mind before tonight. Tasty but I wanted something a little more filling and wish I would have gone a different route for dinner-something hot, hearty and filling. And this my friends, is why you plan out your meals. I need to start planning out meals again but I didn’t buy alot of produce this week since I’m going out-of-town on Friday for a long weekend. Not having any fresh produce in my house is unheard of and frozen and/or canned veggies just don’t cut it in my book compared to it’s fresh counterparts. Oh well, there’s always next week.

I went for an invigorating 45 minute walk after dinner. I absolutely love working out when it is cold out and it’s like my own little outdoor gym since no one else seems to be out there. Unfortunately, I looked like Randy from A Christmas Story since I had a tank, two long sleeve tops, a sweatshirt and a coat on.

Too bad I can’t watch that movie anymore. I loved it as a kid but TBS showing it 24 hours straight absolutely ruined it for me. I also need to make a note to wear long socks when I go out for another walk because half way through my walk, I could barely feel my ankles.

When I got home, I did a mini kettlebell session working mostly on my legs

Kettlebell 20 lbs

Kettlebell (20 lbs)

Plie Squats (13 reps, 4 sets)

Squats (13 reps, 4 sets)

One Legged Deadlifts (13 reps, 3 sets)

Side Bends (20 reps, 3 sets)

Cardio and weights in one night? Unheard of!

I also had to say goodbye to a good friend tonight, Mr. Wal-Mart Pepper. A house with no pepper is a HUGE unheard of in my book.

Dear friend-you’ve been with me for a year, we’ve made alot of tasty dishes, lived in two homes and I finally went through you. You were exactly what you claimed to be-a great value.

Besos,

Tiffany

Is anyone going to BlogHer Food ’11?? It’s in the ATL in May and that’s within driving distance so I am definitely looking into it. I’ve never been to a bloggie conference before and one that I can drive to is….yes, you guessed it…..unheard of!  I totally want to roll into the ATL blaring “Welcome To Atlanta”. If anyone out there is, let me know, we can be roomies 🙂

Less than 4 hours to go in my Chobani giveaway so get your last entries in!

Operation Triple R

19 Dec

So, my weekend started off with a stake out. Not a fun boy-stalking stake out as I had hoped nor was it filled with coffee, cigarettes and discussion about life however it was my friends stake out and I just was there as the getaway car. She had a psycho woman follow her into the YMCA parking lot last weekend after a little traffic dispute then the woman blocked in her car, harassed and I believe threatened her. She wanted to get the womans license plate number just in case anything further happened. My friend asked if I wanted to tag along and of course I said yes!  The fact that she had an awesome name for the stakeout-Operation Triple R (Redneck Road Rage) may have swayed my vote a little as well. I wake up early on the weekend so I don’t mess up my sleep schedule too much and am always looking for something to do when nothing seems to be going on. We went to Dunkin Donuts, got some coffee and three munchkins for me (which the boy gave me for free–thanks DD boy!) and went to the YMCA to stake out. Originally, I had the idea of getting out of the car and hanging out in disguises in front of the Y. I wanted to dress up as a homeless person sitting outside the Y with a change jar and hidden walkie talkie. But she shot that idea down and said it wasn’t necessary-boo. So, we waited….and waited…..and waited.

We even had a canine friend in attendance

Yes, that would be Lincoln in my friends purse. Fear not, he wasn’t in there the entire time. I was in awe with the size of her purse since I believe in the mantra-bigger is better-and was joking around that Lincoln could fit in there so we packed him in. And you know what? He loved it! He was absolutely calm, appeared to be comfortable and am 99% sure he don’t go potty in there. It turned out to be a waste of time since No 1980’s something brown pickup truck was in sight. Oh well. At least I had a morning of good conversation and coffee right?

Saturday afternoon consisted of a lot of this:

While I updated my resume and searched for jobs, Lincoln napped and eventually I did as well. It snowed for about 10 minutes in Charlotte and I went out a walk but the afternoon mainly consisted of job searching. I got four inquiries about my resume between Saturday and Sunday so hopefully I am on the right track!

Saturday night I made tuna casserole. It’s been foreeeeever since I’ve made it and it’s a fantastic meal for when it’s chilly out. Nothing says comfort like noodles, fish and cheese. Ok, put like that it doesn’t sound good but combined together and baked, it’s super!

I took three cans of tuna fish and drained

Along with that ingredients were

 Half a package of No Yolk Egg Noodles (that I cooked earlier in the day)

 One can Cream of Mushroom soup

 1/2 shredded Monterrey Jack Cheese

 Chopped onion

Chopped mushrooms

 One cup frozen peas

1 tbsp chili powder

1 tbsp black pepper 

1/2 tbsp garlic

Then mixed together in a large mixing bowl.

Then transferred to a casserole dish, topped with 1/3 of shredded Monterrey Jack cheese (if you are not a huge cheese fan, you can use breadcrumbs instead) and let it bake for 35 minutes

Delicious! Plus it gives me a couple of meals to bring to work for lunch this week (yes, I am the annoying co-worker who heats fish in the break room) and it’s perfect for freezing as well.

I may have watched this movie one two three times afterwards.

What can I say, when I like a movie, I really really like a movie.

On Sunday morning, I woke up had some breakfast and went for a 45 minute walk. It was just cold enough that I felt comfortable all bundled up but not sweating and I felt terrific afterwards.

I put some ingredients in the crock pot to make chili and then headed out to go to see Black Swan and shopping at Costco. Black Swan was absolutely fantastic, it was very theatrical and thought-provoking, a nice change from what I usually dig. My friend has a Costco membership so I wanted to tag along with her so I could get some goodies. I also wanted to try one of their churros since I hear good things about them and it was out of this world!

I was expecting it to be absolute madness on a Sunday afternoon but it was pretty tame for Costco. I will have to hit her up to see when she is going again since I found some great deals but didn’t get too much stuff since I’ll be going out of town for Christmas. For $44 I got  all of this and a bottle of wine:

Holla, I heart Costco!

When I got home, my house has the spicy aroma of chili in the air and I was ready to chow down! I don’t have a set chili recipe but mixed it up a little this time.

Ingredients:

One can diced tomatoes

One can tomato paste

One can dark kidney beans

One can navy beans

One cup Morningstar Veggie Crumbles (browned with tabasco sauce)

1 tbsp Chili powder

1 tbsp Cumin

1 tbsp Garlic

2 tbsp Black Pepper

1 onion chopped

3 Hungarian Wav peppers, chopped

It turned out great. However, the Hungarian Wax peppers made a world of difference! They were spicier than expected and that along with the tabasco Veggie Crumbles made my eyes water. Luckily, I like chili that hot but I think I will stick jalapenos in the future.

Everyone have a fun weekend? I hope more exciting with mine regarding the nightly activities, I am so lame some weekends.

If you haven’t entered yet–remember to enter my Chobani giveaway–it ends Monday night!

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!