An update

22 Feb

Hey all–glad you all  are entering the I Love My Dog bumper sticker contest—I absolutely love hearing about everyone’s dogs so keep em coming! Lots going on so I am going to attempt to categorize this and make it light and easy

On the food front: A whole lotta randomness has been happening. With the weather getting nice out (you know, since it’s February and all) I’ve been craving less than stellar stuff….like nachos. However, it’s rare that I have tortilla chips at home seeing that I can plow through an entire bag in one sitting. So what to do when a girl wants nachos and doesn’t have tortilla chips? Make her own!

Instead of brushing with extra virgin olive oil like I normally do, I sprayed with vegetable oil non stick spray then sprinkled black pepper on them. I popped them in the oven and cooked for about 12 minutes at 350 degrees.

This was a terrific way to make nachos in a pinch and did the trick for me!

Friday was a stressful day at work. I was running late plus we had a two-hour training to get to from 10A to noon–who does that? What kind of masochist schedules meetings and trainings on a Friday? I just don’t get it plus Friday is my day to catch up on stuff and tie up loose ends. I turned to old faithful to relieve some stress—a gyro and crinkle cut fries from Showmars.

Oh Beatles even though I love you so, I beg to differ, sometimes all you need is grease.

A new sweet treat I’ve been having lately is a chocolate Vita Top topped with Pumpkin Spice topping from Smuckers.

I bought the topping some time ago on clearance and completely forgot it. When scouring my cabinets I found it but had no clue what I was going to do with it since I rarely have ice cream at home (their fate ends the same was as tortilla chips)

Do I need to say how delicious this is or does the picture do it justice?

Another sweet treat that I indulged in this weekend?


Can I get a holla?

Yep, that Shamrock shake didn’t live to see five minutes of life on this earth. I slurped it down in record time….and without brain freeze thank you very much. Last year, I didn’t have success with finding a Shamrock shake so you can imagine how excited I was to find one this year! When going through the drive thru, I told the employee at the window how happy I was about the Shamrock shake and he told me that he was happy for me and I quote “Your hair looks good, boo” Just what I needed to hear after getting my hair done. Love. Now the question is, when am I going to have my next Shamrock shake?

Shortly after, I had plans to go day drinking so my friend picked me up and we had plans to go to Angry Ale’s since I had a Groupon for $20 worth of food

We thought it was a little odd when we drove up no one was out on the patio on such a beautiful day. I guess we didn’t hear about the fire that happened there back in January. Oops, sorry Angry Ale’s! And for those of you who know how frugal I am, don’t worry, I already contact Groupon and got a refund!

We ended up going down the street to Brazwell’s.

There is when we had some real nachos.

Those nachos but my mock nachos to shame.

I went with the buffalo shrimp as my main course. Why am I saying main course? It was 3pm on a Saturday on a patio where I was enjoying $2 Coors Lights. I guess I am too lazy to change it, yes, that’s what it is.

The crowd started to get a little too early 20’s, pastel colored popped collar crowd (i.e. the reason why I cannot date in this godforsaken city)  soon after so we headed to Dilworth Neighborhood Grill to let the day drinking commence.

I guess Coors Light is currently the “it” beer because there too it was only two bones. Or maybe they think Coors Light just sucks and they were trying to get rid of it. Lucky for them, I will drink cheap beer. I actually prefer Natty Light over some others.

I was just really happy to be back in dress-wearing weather. It felt nice not having to bundle up in layers and rocking some sandals.

I love day drinking, I prefer it over night drinking actually. Of course the sad thing is that day drinking must come to an end at some point unless you live in Alaska. I hate the transition from day-to-night drinking like when you’re at a bar day drinking, a couple of hours pass, you walk outside then boom, it’s night-time. It always catches me off guard as if I don’t know the night is coming or something.

I indulged in some shrimp pad thai with shrimp from Noodles & Company. I wasn’t too impressed with their pad thai, it was more meh than anything. But then again, I really wasn’t expecting anything authentic from Noodles & Company when it comes to Asian fare. I got the shrimp pad thai and there was some chicken in it–good for me, bad if I was a vegetarian.

I had some oats with Pumpkin Spice topping + baked apple+cinnamon+flax seed

Holy deliciousness!

Roast beef sub with potato salad

On Sunday night, I made an interesting new dinner!

First I cooked some baby carrots in the crockpot for five hours on low with water and 1/4 cup brown sugar

Then the main event–cooking a whole chicken

I’ve never cooked one before so this was a new experience. I took it out of the packaging and just stared at it—what was I supposed to do with it?

I quickly googled what to do with an entire chicken and realized I had to reach inside and pull out the innards. Gross. Don’t worry, no pictures of that b.c I put on some gloves, grabbed it then tossed it in the trash.

I patted the chicken dry then rubbed with extra virgin olive oil, garlic, parsley and green onions

I cooked at 400 degrees for a little over an hour. Having a meat thermometer would have been extremely helpful

Such a beautiful bird! Luckily, it was cooked all the way through just right.

Dare I say, this was one of the best chicken dishes I’ve ever made. Having the bone in makes such a difference with the flavor and makes it more succulent. The seasonings I added were simple but just enough to make my senses come alive!

Exercise wise: I went to the gym on Friday night and did 45 minutes on the Precor AMT then did some upper body exercises such as lateral pull down, chest press, row and deltoid row

On Sunday, I attended  a free  Combat Cardio class at Dick Harrell’s Martial Arts studio courtesy of Yelp.

I was a little nervous to go to the class after watching the videos–this looked like another CrossFit type of class. But I am always up for a free class and mixing it up from my normal regime.

We started out with a little jog then ran in a circle inside while people with in the middle individually and practiced kicks, jabs and crossover jabs.

Then we partnered up (I had the same partner at my CrossFit class so it was good to work with someone who I’ve worked with before) and there were five station rotations-burpees ,  sit up passes (with a 12 lb medicine ball), wall squats (with a 15 lb medicine ball) sprinting (with a resistance band while your partner pulls against you) and kicking. Not that that is exhausting enough but we did that set four times in a row which totally kicked my ass. I can say with certainty that I hate burpees and surprisingly enough, the sprinting was my favorite. I now have parts of my body hurting that I never thought could hurt but it’s a good hurt if that makes sense? Plus I had a pretty sweet calorie burn–thanks Yelp for sponsoring this–I am looking into going to more classes there!

Job wise: Work still sucks. Even though Monday was a bank holiday I went in for a couple of hours just to get stuff done. I will be putting in my two weeks notice in April so I can get a good reference (hopefully?) then ride out the rest of my lease. I have plans to check out Pittsburgh at the end of March. I have a bunch of friends who live there, hear it’s a fun city, near WVU where I went to college and is cheaper to live than Charlotte. I’ve been looking into what I will do financially and think I am going to take out some of my 401K–just enough that I will be able to live off of and then still have a nice portion left so I can roll over into a rollover IRA. Still working on paying off my one credit card I have and paying extra on my student loans and car loan.

So yep, that’s what’s going on over here–a busy and full weekend!

Have you ever cooked a whole chicken?
Anyone else having gorgeous weather?? I am confused how it’s 70 and sunny in February but I’m actually enjoying it!

54 Responses to “An update”

  1. TheSceneFromMe February 22, 2011 at 6:43 pm #

    Your hair does look good in that Shamrock shake photo 🙂 So what flavor is a Shamrock shake? I like eggnog shakes during the holidays!

    I have never cooked a whole chicken. It skeeves me to eat off of a bone. It’s like fingernails on a chalkboard.

    We got ice last night and snow today. Spring is wanted!

    • simplyshaka February 23, 2011 at 11:07 pm #

      I love that you said skeeves you out. I say skeezy all the time!

      Its like a mint shake but not too minty. You must try one!

  2. suki @ [Super Duper Fantastic] February 22, 2011 at 6:45 pm #

    We’re eating a whole chicken on Wednesday! A friend of ours is preparing a chicken Zuni-style. Zuni is a local restaurant in SF known for their roasted chicken. 🙂

    • simplyshaka February 23, 2011 at 11:05 pm #

      Ohhh sounds interesting I will have to check it out!

  3. Amy @ Second City Randomness February 22, 2011 at 6:47 pm #

    Very rarely do I day drink, but Mon and I did Sunday and it was just fabulous! You enjoy the afternoon, feel fabulous, and can still wind down by 8:00. I don’t see the downside to any of this???

  4. genesis February 22, 2011 at 7:10 pm #

    boo, your hair is good looking! lol. that would make my day too.

    ive decided to suck it up at my current job too and wait til after i graduate to really move. im afraid of moving across state lines or even cross country but so far i aint found shit in my area which really sucks.

    • simplyshaka February 23, 2011 at 11:04 pm #

      Thanks 😉 I swear I’m a gypsy so I get a moving bug every three to four yrs and I’ve been here for five years so yeahhhh…

  5. Jenn L @ Peas and Crayons February 22, 2011 at 7:24 pm #

    bahahaha! you didn’t get me this time girl! I have a full belly and am not hating you for this food photos this time around =) Though of course it all looks AH-MAZING! and Those nachos would send me into a happy cheese coma for sure!

    How many groupons do you have!? ohmygosh! you really are the queen of groupons! love it!

    • simplyshaka February 23, 2011 at 11:03 pm #

      Haha good to hear ill get you next time! I have way too many Groupons, I can’t help myself!

  6. spabettie February 22, 2011 at 7:42 pm #

    good LORD that pumpkin topping looks GOOD !! and… no… I am afraid of chickens. ew.

    yours looks good though 🙂

  7. Amanda February 22, 2011 at 7:42 pm #

    I need to get invited to some cool Yelp events. So jealous!

    I really like day drinking too. Especially when it’s on a patio and it’s warm outside. That’s the best.

    • simplyshaka February 23, 2011 at 11:02 pm #

      It is….its like a perfect day to me.

  8. This Italian Family February 22, 2011 at 8:15 pm #

    Buffalo shrimp??? Are you serious? That is like… a beautiful marriage of wonderfulness. Yeah… amazing.

    Oh, and super cute sunglasses!

    • simplyshaka February 23, 2011 at 11:02 pm #

      Thanks I think I got them at Rainbow.

      Um yeah, I snarfed those suckers down!

  9. christina February 22, 2011 at 8:16 pm #

    all i can say is HOT DAMN to your highlights. you are sexy.

  10. Diana@mymarblerye February 22, 2011 at 8:34 pm #

    Dude I ate at shomars when I was there! Greasy fab! Anyways did u know Philly is one of glenns cities?! If u move to the pitts we can be friends. I has no idea they made the pumpkin spice thing!!! Gahhh anywYs love the whole chicken action! What does the shake taste like?!

    • simplyshaka February 23, 2011 at 11:01 pm #

      Its like minty delicious goodness try one!

      I hope you move to Philly, we can Yelp the eff outta stuff!

  11. Euniece February 22, 2011 at 9:08 pm #

    ahh pumpkin spice topping! i never knew there was such a thing but i am soo glad there is! i must make a trip to the grocery store asap! i seriously love everything pumpkin no matter what time of the year! i mean i am still drinking pumpkin spice coffee and we are coming up on spring now!

  12. Ashleigh February 22, 2011 at 9:30 pm #

    I love to make my own tortilla chips because I can really go overboard when I buy them. Store bought is usually better though!

    I love day drinking, but I can’t do both!! It’s either fun afternoon drinking or all night drinking… I can never continue!

    • simplyshaka February 23, 2011 at 11:00 pm #

      Me either, maybe ten years ago but at some point I need to call it a night. I definitely prefer day over night!

  13. Krista @ Journey to a Healthy Berg February 22, 2011 at 10:37 pm #

    I’m always so impressed when I see bloggers do things like make their own tortilla chips. I would NEVER think to do that! Such a great idea.

    I’ve heard good things about those shakes 🙂 Glad you finally got one!

    • simplyshaka February 23, 2011 at 10:59 pm #

      Its so easy and quick to make, I really need to do it more often!

  14. vixter2010 February 23, 2011 at 3:10 am #

    Wow that’s some good food, it’s making me hungry! I’m so jealous u have good weather, it’s grey and dull here. You’re hair looks lovely!

    • simplyshaka February 23, 2011 at 10:59 pm #

      Thank you hopefully you will get some sun soon!

  15. terri February 23, 2011 at 8:27 am #

    i love love love day drinking! in a dive bar! or on a patio!
    your hair looks absolutely freaking adorable! i love the colors of it!
    yes, i have cooked a whole chicken. one of my favs was beer can chicken, but it called for a whole stick of butter….so what’s a girl to do???? ummmm, eat it!!! xo

    • simplyshaka February 23, 2011 at 10:57 pm #

      Thanks 🙂

      I LOVE your way of thinking!

  16. Alexis February 23, 2011 at 8:53 am #

    I’ve just started following your blog…loves it!! I live in Charleston, WV and adore football season cos we get to spend so much time up in party Motown!! 🙂
    I also moved to Charlotte last summer…I lasted 4wks before I headed back here…country roooooaaadddssss! Lol

    Nice to hear familiar places…I loved Amelies coffee shop! Mmmm! Prob a good thing it’s 5hrs away now though 😉

    Have a lovely day!!

  17. Carly February 23, 2011 at 9:28 am #

    I am loving this warmer weather! It was 75degrees here yesterday but has chilled down today. The high is only 60degrees. I shouldn’t complain, but something above 70 makes it dress and flip flops weather!

    • simplyshaka February 23, 2011 at 10:57 pm #

      You know it hooray for easy and cute attire!

  18. Kristen @ That Hoosier Girl February 23, 2011 at 9:37 am #

    Ah! Love your hair…and the sunglasses! Too cute!

    Whenever we buy a whole chicken, I make the husband cook it…and tear my part off of the bone. I have a thing with not getting close to parts of food that aren’t edible – like I can’t eat an apple straight because of the core or meat that’s still on the bone. Eeeee!

    • simplyshaka February 23, 2011 at 10:56 pm #


      That’s interesting about the apple…I’ve never heard anyone say that.

  19. Stephanie @ The Cookie Battle February 23, 2011 at 10:06 am #

    Day drinking ROCKS.

    I have never cooked a whole chicken, but it’s on my to do list…guess I better buy a meat thermometer just in case!

    The weather is not gorgeous in Boston, but at least I know it’s on it’s way. I just have to be patient (easier said than done).

    • simplyshaka February 23, 2011 at 10:55 pm #

      Nothing like it huh?

      I have a lot of clients in the Boston area and all of them gripe about the weather. Sending some sunshine your way….

  20. Monique February 23, 2011 at 10:47 am #

    i had my first whole chicken experience last weekend for dinner. I made a dry rub for the chicken and it was amazing.
    You look beautiful in that black and white number. I need to embrace dresses more… i dont know why i dont. (oh yea, chub rub!lol)

    • simplyshaka February 23, 2011 at 10:54 pm #

      Girl you have skinnier legs than me ao you can do it! I only started wearing dresses this past year.

  21. leashieloo February 23, 2011 at 12:03 pm #

    That pumpkin spice topping looks amazing, I’ve never seen this!

    • simplyshaka February 23, 2011 at 10:53 pm #

      Its fabulous but I found it on clearance so not sure if they make it still 😦

  22. Erin February 23, 2011 at 12:06 pm #

    I seriously need nachos right now. GET IN MY BELLY!

  23. janetha @ meals and moves February 23, 2011 at 4:08 pm #

    Off topic: I adore your hair in the car shot.

    • simplyshaka February 23, 2011 at 10:52 pm #

      Compliments are never off topic……thanks!

  24. Stephanie February 23, 2011 at 4:47 pm #

    It WAS so warm here and then it went and got frigid again. Boo. You hair looks awesome. 🙂

    • simplyshaka February 23, 2011 at 10:52 pm #

      Thanks! Its chilly tonight I’m so confused with all these weather changes going on.

  25. Natalie @ Will Jog For Food February 23, 2011 at 4:51 pm #

    Oh man! Those nachos look really really good (all of them!)

    I’ve always wanted to make a whole roast chicken… I think I’m going to attempt it in my slow cooker very soon 🙂

    • simplyshaka February 23, 2011 at 10:51 pm #

      Let us know how it goes! I was going to try to cook mine that way but wasn’t sure what I would add to the mix.

  26. Whitney February 24, 2011 at 8:35 am #

    I am playing blog catch-up like whoa. Can I just say that your eats look delish??

    And I have been aware of the return of the shamrock shake but refuse to indulge just yet. Oh so good. So so good. Okay, maybe later I will indulge!

    • simplyshaka February 24, 2011 at 2:32 pm #

      Thank you ma’am! I think you should get one….one can’t hurt right?

  27. Brittney February 24, 2011 at 10:52 am #

    I LOVE Showmars gyros! YUM! Now I want one…

    • simplyshaka February 24, 2011 at 2:33 pm #

      Its the yummiest and so cheap….gotta love it!

  28. squigglefloey February 25, 2011 at 5:39 pm #

    Never cooked a whole chicken by myself 😦 Costco $5 roasted whole chickens are where it’s at for me =/ haha. I love your hair by the way! I need to catch up on your posts!!


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