Archive | June, 2011

Hello gypsy!

30 Jun

Wednesday was a day to go play and run errands. I had a Groupon to get my eyebrows threaded and let me tell you, it was much needed. The caterpillars above my eyes were back with a vengeance!

Ah sweet relief. The girl who did my brows was so quick, it took less than two minutes. That’s what I’m talking about! Then my friend and I went to my beloved Three Amigos for lunch.

Pretty sad that this will be my last trip there since it’s become my favorite Mexican restaurant in Charlotte. I mean come on, with guacamole like this, what’s not to love?

We ordered the lunch portion of the enchiladas verdes and soon were greeted with this

Yeah, that’s the lunch portion.

Good thing we split it because there was no way in hell I could have killed it. Plus since I am now homeless, I don’t have anywhere to keep it.

Later that night, we went to Solstice Tavern in NoDa for my going away party.

(source)

NoDa is my favorite neighborhood in Charlotte due to it’s funky eclectic vibe. Add a decent mix of people including hipsters, hippies, urban dwellers, preps and more, it’s my favorite place to be. While walking down Davidson Street, you will see all kinds of art.

 

Solstice has a great, spacious patio that’s perfect for summer time drinking. On almost every wall outside there is a mural and I just adored the one we were sitting next to.

Woof woof indeed!

Beers were flowing and we started off with the mini corn dogs

These should be illegal. I’ve never heard of mini corndogs before but I will be keeping an eye out at restaurants for these. I wonder if they will make a hit like fried pickles are doing lately?

I got some kind of sandwich with roast beef and turkey, it was pretty unmemorable.

It was great to hang outside, drink some beers and be with friends before I leave

Hmmmmm, where will life take me? Screw that, I wasn’t pondering life, I was pondering what my next drink would be!

 

 

 

Add that plus a late night run to 24 hour  Amelie’s for some sweets, it was a fabulous evening!

And today? Today I feel n to the asty. I only had five beers last night, what the hell is going on? Maybe it’s because I haven’t had beer in a couple of weeks? How am I hungover still at 6pm at night? This getting older thing just sucks. But I think I need to keep it at a two to three drink limit whenever I go out drinking because nothing good ever comes out of five drinks. On the other hands, four drinks is when things start to get difficult. Ugh, priorities…..

And you know what you shouldn’t do when you’re hungover?

Move.

Never ever am I moving again in the summer, I am so over it. Luckily, a lot of my things were out of the house but I still had some random stuff laying around and had to do a final cleanup. I better get my $800 deposit back because I busted my hump cleaning today. Clorox and a hangover are not an ideal combination by the way.

Goodbye home.

Hello gypsy!

So now I sit here at my friends place catching up on Real Housewives of New York. Oh how I’ve missed the shrillness that Ramona brings to the table! Her voice doesn’t help me in the state I’m in and neither does her drama. I swear every time I watch RH of NY, I want to confront one of my friends or talk about pecking order. For dinner, I grabbed some sushi at Harris Teeter

Do you have an art district where you live?

Do you have a lot of restaurants/coffee shops that are open 24 hours?

Dog Friendly Dining: Cool Beans

30 Jun

This post is inspired by my favorite doggie blogs out there—According to Gus! If you like cute dogs, you definitely need to check out their site. Gus is one of the most handsome dogs out there (excluding Lincoln of course) and I visit their site on the regular to get my daily dose of cute. Plus we have a similar story to share-they recently quit their jobs and are traveling around the country exploring! One of my favorite features on their site is called Dog Friendly Dining. Even though a majority of the places they visit are  in Texas and the midwest, it’s fun to see different establishments that cater to dogs as well as humans. Plus, who wouldn’t want a dog like this at their restaurant?

(source)

Ah Gus, I heart you!

When Lincoln and I were driving back from Indianapolis, we stopped in Knoxville, Tennessee for lunch. Knoxville is home of University of Tennessee, I’ve wanted to stop there a few times before but never had the time to so what better time?

As any college town is in the summer time, Knoxville was a ghost town that afternoon. We  drove awhile for 10 minutes looking for a non chain establishment that had a patio and soon came across  Cool Beans

 

Bar and Grill? Sold. When I walked in, it was a bit gritty inside. Completely dark with a few people in it, I wasn’t really sure it was open or not. I walked up to the bar and asked them if I could bring Lincoln out on the patio and they said I could and I could even bring him inside if I wanted. Hmmm….dogs in a bar? Ok. I got Lincoln and we went to the patio because it just felt weird to have Lincoln in a bar with me and a little light never hurt either.

They have a pretty huge patio complete with a corn hole station to play.

They brought Lincoln a huge bowl of water which he ignored. Sometimes getting him to drink water is a task and a half. Most of the time I have to reach over, stick my finger in the water then he will come over to see what it’s all about and know that it’s safe to drink.

I ordered the cheeseburger and fries since it was the special of the day for $2.99, they also had $.35 wings on Sunday—I miss college town prices!

The burger was quite tasty. I’m not a huge fan of well done burgers but it hit the spot and I finished 3/4 of it while Lincoln had the remainder. He had been such a good boy in the car he deserved a little treat.

All in all, a solid spot to stop at if you’re in Knoxville with your pooch. The only thing that would have made it better was if I had a human co-pilot with me so I could enjoy a cold beer.

Even though we were in the shade Lincoln was a hot mess when we got back into the car

We walked out of Cool Beans for under $4, not too shabby! I’m happy we drove around for awhile instead of settling for a chain place that I can go to anytime.

What kind of blogs do you read? Do you read blogs focused on one subject or a variety? According to Gus mainly focuses on dogs and traveling and I love that it’s a different focus than most blogs I read. I read health focused ones but also frugal living and travel blogs.

I ride solo

28 Jun

Today started out well despite it being 100% humidity outside. Don’t hold me to that though, I don’t know if that is a fact but it sure as hell feels like it. Scratch that, it just feels like hell but with humidity. Living in Phoenix was bad enough since in the summertime it felt like you were stepping into an oven anytime you walked outside. But at least there you didn’t sweat it out like you do in Charlotte. I give up doing my hair in the summer months and have been skimping on the makeup as well. I figure what’s the point? I’m going to sweat it off and I’m looking to meet a man in the next four days (because with my luck right when I’m moving I will meet the love of my life) so why not let my natural beauty glow? Or why don’t I just glow? Another thing that was great about Arizona with it’s lack of humidity was how my hair looked. And yes, vanity reasons are valid reasons when choosing a place to live. I grew up in Florida most of my youth so the frizzy mess that was my hair was the only way I knew it could be…..until Arizona. No frizzy, hot, wild mess. My curls would hold and wouldn’t fall flat after five minutes of being outside. Sigh, those were the days.

Oh yeah, back to today.

I ran a bunch of errands and hit up DD for breakfast.

Still not diggin the new flatbread and still haven’t wrote a letter stating my opinion. Maybe one of these days I will get to it.

When I got home, I went to town on my kitchen. I cleaned the oven as well as I could but there is still some grit showing in it and on the burners. I cleaned it yesterday as well and thought I would try again but didn’t make much progress. I cleaned my fridge and bathroom as well. I picked up some Mr. Clean Magic Erase things at Target this morning and got some scuffs off the walls. I wish Mr. Clean were a babe, he is hot and he is a man of his word—the magic erase worked!

I had a Groupon for Luna’s Living Kitchen to burn through. I’ve only been there once before and that was for breakfast so I was interested to see if their lunch would be better.

Since the Groupon was for $10, I looked at their menu ahead of time and had the game plan of getting the hummus plate and a smoothie. They have an awesome, unique selection of raw, organic and locally grown food that you won’t find at many other establishments in Charlotte. I love that. What I don’t love is the pricetag it comes with. Some of their lunch items are $11 or $12 and that just doesn’t work for a girl on a budget. Thank you Groupon for making it happen.

I sat outside and the server asked if I had been there since they changed their menu. I don’t know when that was so I told her no and she mentioned they added some quinoa burgers to the menu. Hmmm, I like quinoa. I like burgers. And god knows a hummus plate probably wouldn’t hold me over until dinner. I ordered the Fire & Brimstone Quinoa Burger topped with chipotle hummus, salsa verde, veggies and hot sauce.

Not gonna lie, I didn’t want to bite into it because it was so beautiful. A+ for presentation. I love pretty foods and appreciate when restaurants take time to work on presentation but taste is definitely more important. The burger didn’t’;t hold too well together and the salsa verde didn’t appear or taste to be salsa verde at all, it was more guacamole like. Nothing wrong with that!

I ate every last bite of it and even though I am a frugal girl, I would go back here again for this burger alone. If you are in Charlotte or ever in Charlotte, I definitely suggest this place. And the patio is dog friendly as well!

I had to get back home soon after since Salvation Army was coming over to pick up the last of my things. I went from this

to this

It’s very depressing and the only piece of furniture in my house is my mattress. I tried to donate it but they won’t take used mattresses. I tried to plea with them that it hasn’t sewen a lot of action and is in great shape but no dice. I guess it’s against the law to sell used beds in North Carolina?

Once they were gone, I packed my packs and went to the Y. I really wasn’t in the mood to workout. My legs were still a little sore from yesterday and just felt blah and icky from the heat. I did 8 minutes on the elliptical then got restless. I found a recumbent bike with a working tv and what do you know, Sex and The City was just starting so that’s how I killed 30 minutes of cardio.

Knocking that out plus watching a great episode, the one where Carrie and Aidan meet, left me in a good mood.

(source)

I just love them together. I wish SATC could be on forever and ever! Which reminds me, I need to backup my computer!

I brought my bathing suit with me and went into the whirlpool. And that’s when the weird stuff happened. I was the only one in there but it felt so good to stretch out and soak, I was moaning and may have screamed out “dirty bitches”  a few times because I was in seventh heaven. Mind you, I don’t have a bathtub just a standup shower so now when I get into a tub or whirlpool, it feels crazy good. I wasn’t being dirty or anything but 31 years is starting to take a toll on my muscles and it felt wonderful to ease the pain away. I was totally that girl in the whirlpool.

I showered, changed and then plopped down with a diet coke and some crackers and enjoyed the free wifi the YMCA offers to members.

Seriously, check out this lounge area, it reminds me of a cruise ship All they need is Isaac in the corner to make some umbrella clad drinks! I miss you, Love Boat.

I stayed there for a couple of hours then I went to Just Fresh since I had a coupon for a free sandwich or salad.

I definitely wanted to use this up before I left since it’s free. The best part is I didn’t even have to purchase the sandwiches or salads to get this car—my old neighbor left it in my mailbox when she was moving out!

I ordered the Mozzabella Salad-mixed greens, fresh mozzarella cheese, roasted portabellas, red peppers, tomatoes, pecans and balsamic vinegar dressing. The salad hit the spot-my only complaint was that it was drenched in dressing. I would order on the side next time.

Since I’m officially a country song-I have no job, no dog and no furniture, I may as well spent the rest of the night at the YMCA hanging out and maybe working out again, yes?

Do you do things solo? As you can see I have no issue going to eat by myself, go to bars by myself and have traveled to Vegas by myself among other cities. Last night when I was complaining to my friend about how bored I was, she suggested going to a movie. I’ve never been to a movie by myself before and it just seems weird to go alone, even though you won’t be talking to anyone. Who knows.

 

PS-And thanks to everyone for dealing with my incessant I-miss-Lincoln ramblings, I haven’t been myself the past few days and it’s all because of his absence. I can’t wait to see him next month!

Killing time

27 Jun

 The last few days I’ve been killing time. A majority of my furniture is gone and I am without cable so I keep watching the same dvd’s over and over again. I have two dvds on me and it’s getting quite old. And not like it’s movies or anything, it’s old Seinfeld dvd’s that I’ve already seen a million times. I’m just waiting for Thursday to get here so I can move the last of my stuff out of my house and be done with this place. That being said, prepare for an ultra boring post. I’m so bored, I don’t even want to think and attempt to be whitty…..the horror.

And you know what?

I  miss my dog.

It’s so lonely here without him, I can’t imagine not having a dog. I will be sitting on the couch, playing with my laptop expecting to see him right by my side. I even reach down to pet him but end up petting the couch which is a bit weird. But it my defense, it is microfiber and quite comfy.

Sigh, that was his last time on the blue couch. I’ve become crazy dog lady in the fact that in the past few days when I’m out and about I stop and want to pet and say hi to every dog I see the continue to tell them how much I miss my dog. Wtf am I gonna do when Linky goes to the other side?? I’m a wreck right now. They *may* have been incident at the DMV this morning as well. I was renewing my registration and the employee helping me had a picture of a white chihuahua in her cube. I asked her if her dog was full chihuahua, she said yes and I told her about dropping Lincoln off this weekend. She was all “Oh you poor thing” and I started to tear up and felt the tears coming. I held them back but I was that girl at the DMV—the girl crying about her dog because she misses him. Not crying about the fact that I don’t know where I’m moving. what I’m doing with my life, the fact that I’m going to be living with my parents for a few months but no-crying over Lincoln.

But I know he is having a  good time at grandma and popi’s house. He is a bit skiddish though so I’m hoping their yelling and screaming isn’t scaring him.

I took this picture when my dad and I  pulled into Starbucks the other day in Georgia. My mom stayed with Lincoln while we went to lunch since she wasn’t hungry. I was about to pee my pants from laughing when taking this picture, they look like a duo on the run or something. My mom doesn’t look that crazy usually so please disregard.

On the way home from dropping him off with the parentals, I cried and cried. I would stop, someone would call and ask me what I was doing then I would start crying again. But it was my shortest drive I’ve had in awhile compared to my trips to Florida and Indianapolis.

I reconnected with my old friend, Twizzlers.

I used to be addicted to these things and all of a sudden had a craving for them when we were at Wal-Mart in Commerce, GA on Friday night. The Wal-Mart was the place to be and we even got to see some drag races (with way too many confederate flags for my liking) in the parking lot.

I marveled at the goodies I snagged at the buffet at the Comfort Suites. Snagging stuff is one of the many reasons why I insist on carrying around a big purse everywhere I go. You never know what you’re going to run into it.

Also marveled at the price of gas in South Carolina

I’ve been cooling down with fro yo. When did TCBY get all trendy and jump on the self serve bus? I love it. My friend got mini chocolate raspberry truffles. I could have had an entire bowl of that alone. I got the orange crème and tar flavor and it was a great combination for a hot day.

I’ve been packing my balls off…..I don’t even know if that makes sense or not? I’ve been cleaning out my kitchen and going through the rest of the contents in my kitchen. Which has led to some interesting concoctions like this meal of raw cabbage and red pepper tossed in red wine vinegar, extra virgin olive oil, garlic, black pepper and salt topped with cooked pork loin. Funky? Yes. Surprisingly tasty yes? All this cabbage have me worrying that my bm’s are going to turn purple? Double yes.

I’ve been hitting up the gym each day mixing up cardio and strength training. I wish I could love cardio but I just don’t. I’ve been struggling to do 30 minutes consecutively while when I lift, feel like I can do it for hours on end. I was missing Lincoln last night and went for a  2.5 mile walk. I don’t know what I was thinking since it was sweltering outside but it felt good and it was a peaceful night. I got to walk through areas of my neighborhood I rarely walk through and check out the houses. Who knew walking burned as many calories as the elliptical?

And because I don’t have enough stress of moving cities, missing my dog and giving away all my stuff, I now have to deal with a damaged car. It was all my fault and just happy I didn’t get into an actual accident.  I was pulling into my friends driveway on Sunday and hit a metal squirrel sitting on a tree stump. The squirrel flew about six feet and that little db tore this part of the car apart (I have no clue what the technical name is since I’m not a car person). What gets me though is that I put in a claim to my insurance company and I have a $500 deductible for collision. I went to a few different body shops today and turns out it will be less than $200 to fix it so I canceled my claim as soon as I found that out. My insurance company was going to cover a rental car while it’s being fixed but the place I found with a reasonable rate told me that can get it done on Wednesday morning so I won’t have to postpone my trip. Hooray! Damn you insurance companies and your scam!

Meh. On one hand I’m happy I got my car inspected last week but on the other hand I’m not too excited with having one more thing to deal with on my last week here. 

Oi, this was a boring post, apologies friends. I keep waking up at 4am, am without dog, cable and tomorrow will be without furniture so I’m sure I will be a real treat for the next few days.

Please tell something exciting going on in your life!

Do you prefer cardio or strength training?

Around Athens

26 Jun

Attention all four legged friends and the people they own—Athens, GA is a very dog friendly city! Perhaps it’s the memories of penny pitches, fake ID’s or unhealthy food at your disposal any time of day…. but I love college towns. Especially college towns in the summer time when it’s not insanely packed and you can get a chance to walk around and check it out. A majority of restaurants/bars on Broad Street in Athens have patios right along the sidewalk where you can sit with your pooch. I guess I wouldn’t expect less seeing how University of Georgia’s mascot is UGA, the bulldog.

(source)

While looking for restaurants where I could bring Lincoln, I saw a few  places but when I looked at their menu, nothing popped out at me especially not at the prices they were offering. I read about De Palma’s and didn’t get a chance to check out their menu beforehand. When we stopped by there to check it out, we saw they had a lot of tables open on the patio with very reasonable prices.

We sat outside and thank god the patio was covered began the clouds were rolling in.

After sniffing out the patio, DePalma’s was Lincoln approved

We ordered right away since we were hungry and got some wine. A perfect way to spend a Friday afternoon.

We got some fresh bread out to us before we got our meal. There is nothing like fresh bread and olive oil!

Lincoln got a whiff of the bread right as the server brought it out. He wasn’t pawing at me or anything but you could tell he was intrigued.

Since it was June in Georgia and we were sitting outside, pasta or pizza was the last thing on my mind. I ordered the Insalata Cecilia-grilled shrimp, scallops, pineapple & tomatoes with feta over field greens with jalapeño–citrus vinaigrette

My mom and dad got a medium pizza with pepperoni and green peppers. As you can see, there is only half here. They brought it out that way. The reason being because my mom, Lincoln and I sat outside while my dad sat inside at the bar. No bad blood or anything, he was just hot. So was I but I had a fur baby to deal with. I guess he had prime seating location since he waved over the server when he saw them bringing out the pizza. So they gave him half and then brought out the remainder to my mom. This is how my family rolls. I tried a sliver of the pizza and wasn’t too impressed. The pizza was bogged down with sauce and make it soggy plus the sauce was very sweet.

Lincoln began to pout once he realized he wasn’t getting any food and wouldn’t respond to me when I called his name. So I did what any good dog mama would do and fed him a few pieces of pepperoni from the pizza. His admiration for me set in right away until yet again he realized he wasn’t getting anymore.

Torrential rain hit just as we were leaving so we walked Broad Street trying to find a patio to sit in until it passed. We ended up in the stairwell of a bar and watched the rain….and watched….and watched. 15 minutes later it finally started to let up and I saw something with the letters “YOG” I gave my mom my dog and bolted over there in hopes that it was fro yo.

Indeed it was fro yo, it was Yoguri.

I dug this location since it was a historic building just sooped up. However, I soon found it wasn’t my beloved self serve kind of place, it was a traditional fro yo kind of joint. Boo. It reminded me of a Pinkberry knockoff and I’m not a huge fan of the Pinkberry. But once I saw the fro yo, I had it on the brain and needed to get something there. I ordered the small green tea with blackberries and strawberries.

Ok, so they hooked up with the strawberries and blackberries but I definitely didn’t want all of that. When I have a fro yo craving, I want a little portion and craving gone, which is why I dig the self serve places. This SMALL portion cost $5.30. Mind you, it tasted wonderful but I could get a meal for that much (at a seedy place or the supermarket deli, not Ruth Chris of course)

I hope I get to go back to Athens one day…..with Lincoln of course!

If you went to college, did you go to a small or big school? I went to WVU, it has around 25,000 people when I went and the fact that it was voted #1 party school may have swayed my vote to go there just a little.

Red, White & Zink

25 Jun

On Thursday night, I attended my *teardrop* last Yelp Charlotte Elite event—-Red, White & Zink at Zink. American Kitchen

I wasn’t completely stoked for an outdoor event since it felt extra steamy and sultry this week but give me an open patio with cushioned chairs and lots of room and my vote can be swayed.

Since it’s an Elite event, we were presented with our ultra cool Elite gift of the year. Who knew there was a gift of the year?

I present……

Awesome red watches

Apparently,  I really enjoyed March 7th since I didn’t change my settings for a good hour (who am I fooling, I had someone change it for me since I’m not technical)Which matched my outfit, even better!

I shall take the watch along with me on my travels since I don’t own a watch.

Beer provided by New Belgium and wine provided by Three Girls

I instantly fell in love with their pinot noir

(source)

And as always, I said I was going to leave after one or two drinks but we know that never happens. Sigh, how I long to be a woman of my word!

We also had some live music by Jonathan Brooks. This guy rocked! Ok, so I can’t really name anything he sang but I know I was jammin that night.

As for the food? WOW.

Some servers came out with trays of appetizers when we were having drinks

Duck confit flatbread

There were a few other appetizers going around such as the flatbread, tomato, basil and mozzarella kebabs and pork bellies. The main feature of the evening was their sliders

Both of the sliders were amazing however I heard there was a turkey burger one and another beef one topped with pimento cheese but didn’t see them so in my mind they really didn’t exist. The lamb one was excellent thanks to the tomato jam and the fact that , hello, it’s lamb and lamb is amazing. The angus one was so succulent it just melted in my mouth. Add the fact that it was on a mini pretzel roll, the salty taste of that and juiciness of the meat was the perfect combination.

Zink used to be located in Uptown Charlotte but closed and relocated. However, I like to think they stepped up their menu game with the move. While  I went to Zink a few different times  when it was Uptown, I can’t remember it. The food was that forgettable that I couldn’t even tell you if I had a salad, sandwich, entrée, etc. However, this experience was a complete 180 from when they were located Uptown. Maybe it was the ambience of their patio, live music and oh yeah, everything was free? Color me surprised because I was blown away. They also handed out coupons for free desserts that are valid through the rest of the year. Score.

The one thing that made it a sad evening was that it was my last event as a Charlotte Yelp Elite member. I’ve been to so many awesome events that have introduced me to not only new restaurants and vendors in the are but have also introduced me to an amazing group of people. Thanks Charlotte Yelp for everything in the past year, it’s been a wonderful experience.

Until we meet again, See you on Yelp, Charlotte Yelpers!

So long, farewell

24 Jun

Happy Friday all! No Frugal Friday post since I am getting ready to drive to Atlanta this morning to meet my parents. Atlanta is about four hours away from here and I am going to give them a bunch of my stuff to store in Florida while I’m traveling.

Including this

You all know how much I love Lincoln. He’s my little baby and my PIC (thanks Leila for the term I love it. That’s partner in crime for those who don’t know what it means!)

Originally, the plan was to travel around with Lincoln by my side but the more I thought about it, the idea of him going with my parents is the best choice. He won’t have to sit in a car for hours each day and be in environments that he is not familiar with. Plus my parents have an older dog who does exceptionally better when Lincoln is there since Lincoln keeps him on his toes. As my dad said “My you giving us Lincoln, you’re helping keep Mickey alive” Touche, pops.

Lincoln definitely knows somethings up. I only got four hours of sleep and just packed up the car and now he won’t even look at me in the eye.

I don’t know when I will see him again but it will be sometime in late July. So a month…..without my dog. I’ve cried enough this week because I will miss him so much but this is going to be the best for both of us. Besides, he gets to go party in Boca Raton, FL with another dog, a pool and a house with people who are there to rub his belly. It could definitely be worse.

I’m not the only one who’s going to miss him, the paparazzi will!

But more to come on that later, I got to hit the road.

Hope you all are having a better Friday than I am, I’m a wreck right now. I’m going to miss my pup Sad smile