Tag Archives: dogs

Pancakes, stank and parfaits

22 May

Some of you commented on my last post that my sister and I look alike which I find hilarious since everyone says that but I just don’t see it! Oh well, she is cute, so I will take that as a compliment Smile My second day on the west coast of Florida was a much needed beach day.  Before that, my sister made breakfast-chocolate chip pancakes! Now that’s what I’m talking about. The fact that they were Mickey Mouse shaped made it even better.

We left the dogs to their sunbathing to do some of our own.

We made our way over to Manasota Key to rest, relax and get some sun. However before any of that, the first mission was to find coffee. My sister and her boyfriend don’t drink coffee, which is a completely foreign concept to me. They had soda at their house but soda just doesn’t give me the same jump as coffee does. Seeing that on a normal day I have two to three cups in the morning, no coffee in my system is not a good thing nor does it make me a happy camper. My sister went to Places on her phone to see where we could get some java goodness and soon found a Dunkin Donuts and all was right in the world.

I almost made her stop at this shopping center when I saw the sign

 

Then we arrived at the beach, it was serene and had a good number of people but it didn’t seem crowded at all. And what the hell is up with the creepers on the west coast of FL?As my sister and I were getting our stuff out of the car, this old man walked past us and said “Hope you girls brought your bikinis’” We just smiled and did a nervous laugh but I really wanted to say “No, creeper, I didn’t bring my bikini. I think I’m being nice by not doing so because the amount of cellulite on my ass would give you a heart attack!” In the first ten minutes we were there, we saw a group of people crowding around watching the water. At first I thought it was a situation like on Seinfeld where the whale washes up on shore with a golf ball stuck in its blow hole but no go. We soon found out that a dolphin was swimming near the shore—it was so cool to see one up close!

The water was more shallow and calmer that on the East Coast of Florida not to mention cooler. It wasn’t blistering hot yet, which made for an enjoyable day at the beach. After that, we went to The White Elephant Pub.

My other sister has been here before and said the food was good but the atmosphere was gritty. I said hakuna matata for I love bar food. But bar food  in a beach atmosphere? It’s go time! We walked through the indoor portion of the restaurant and found a table on the patio. But that I found out what my sister meant by gritty—- it smelled like some concoction of hot trash, bad cheese and homeless. Yes, all three co-mingled together in a funky harmony. No matter what I didn’t I couldn’t escape the smell and it just reeked.
As unpleasant as the odor was, the food was great! They had a sweet selection of seafood baskets and entrees, burgers and appetizers. I got the fried grouper finger basket which came with a generous portion of crinkle cut fries and cold slaw.

White Elephant is not all about saving the earth as they don’t have condiment bottles at the table–just packets.My sister and I went to town on them!

And if you don’t think I swiped any, you would be wrong. The food plus the view we had definitely outweighed the negative of the stink in the air. Peep the gorgeous view we had from our table!

By the time we left, it was really starting to get hot out. I told my sister I wouldn’t be opposed to stopping by a Dairy Queen for a cool refreshment. Sadly, the Dairy Queen went out of business but we found something even better—a locally owned establishment called Swirls-N-Curls Ice Cream!

They had pretty much everything any other chain place can offer such as ice cream, soft serve, their version of the blizzard, shakes, parfaits, etc. I got the strawberry parfait and it hit the spot! Seriously, how delicious does this look?

I kept digging into it and it seemed endless and then bam-it was done. Sadface. Parfaits make everything right in the world and anyone who doesn’t like parfaits is a communist in my book. They have a cute little patio area with chairs, tables, games with oldies music playing in the background. The fact that they are doggie friendly and serve doggie ice cream treats made it all the better.

 

The rest of the day was very relaxing-I took my obligatory nap after being in the sun, had dinner then hung out and watched tv. You would think that after a day of being in the sun, I was tired but nope, Lincoln appeared to be even more tired than I was by practically perching himself on my shoulder.

 

 

Right before I went to bed, I found a plain, gold band sitting on the kitchen counter. I know they are planning a wedding but I thought it was weird to see one sitting out in plain sight. So I did what any 31 year old single girl would do and tried it on.

Felt very constricting, hmmmmm…..

What’s your favorite summer time treat?

Beach: Love it or hate it?

Flop it like it’s hot

21 May

I packed up on Wednesday to go to the west coast of Florida. Even though we moved to Florida when I was seven years old, the west coast is pretty foreign to me. We vacationed there a few times and I remember it being more mellow than the southeast coast of Florida with not as many NY/NJ people and not as much to do. My sister recently moved to the west coast of Florida and I wanted to see her before I trekked back up to Charlotte so on my way I went. While I was making multiple trips back and forth between the house and car (with a lot more stuff than I remembered bringing), I saw this huge turtle sitting up my car.

And when I came back he was gone. At least I have visual evidence he was there and that I’m not losing my mind. I had to make sure I had all of Lincoln’s stuff packed up and treats ready to go.

I had to say my good bye to this guy

Oi vey, that face. Mickey is going to be 13 this summer and I don’t know how many more times I will see him since he his health isn’t what it once was. This is one of the saddest good byes I’ve ever had to say. I know he is a dog but in my family, dogs are family. He has been there with me through college, mini, breakups, happy times, sad times, etc. I held him in my arms, rubbed his belly and said good bye. It was so emotional that I had to put Lincoln in the car beforehand so I could have some time with my Mick.

After that heartbreaking scene, we were on our way ready to go west side. It only seemed appropriate that we jam to Tupac not Biggie

 Like his momma, Lincoln is all about the east coast and not west,. RIP Biggie Smalls. Mental note to self: Must download Get Money by Junior Mafia, that used to be my job!

I got to my sisters place is no time then we took a drive over to Punta Gorda

 

 

Yes, I most definitely think I need to move to a city near the water. I miss it so much! What I don’t miss? The sketchy creepers that come with the beach. As my sis and I were walking onto the pier our dresses were flying everywhere with the wind and this creeper in daisy dukes walked past us andleaned over and whispered “Beautiful dresses” then walked to the end of the pier. We were in the middle of the pier at that time and we stopped there to take pictures because we didn’t want to become a CSI episode.

We stopped by a few stores and shopping centers, tried samples of fudge and perused shops

We stopped for a drink at the Wyvern Hotel roof top bar, which had an amazing view of the water. Give me a nice view, cold drink and cushioned seats and I really don’t need much else in life!

We had a great bartender who was quick with a pour (or twist of a cap) and gave us the 411 on the Punta Gorda area with solid restaurants and spots to check out and others to stay away from.

One of his recommendations was Asuka Japanese Steakhouse in Port Charlotte.

We sat at the sushi bar and when we came in there were two people making sushi then it dropped down to one right as the dinner crowd was coming in. Sushi chef was helpful but seemed a bit in the weeds cranking out the sushi. I don’t like when you go to a sushi place and there is a roll on the menu with no description—especially if it’s an obscure name that doesn’t give you any clue as to what it is such as the Snow White roll. WTF is a Snow White roll? Could it be white and black or full of seven dwarfy things? The sushi chef seemed a little irritated when we would ask him what something was then he finally got one of the waitresses to bring a menu. Annoying people is one of my strong points so push me to and I will. They had your traditional rolls along with special rolls for the evening. Most of their specialty rolls feature avocado which makes me shimmy since I heart omega three’s! I got the Chili Roll and Port Charlotte Roll—I love seeing both made right in front of me and both were on point with freshness and spiciness!

My sister go the Dynamite roll and a salad

I don’t know what’s up with Florida but the main thing that irked me was watching the sushi chef make all the rolls…..without gloves. Do food prep workers not have to wear gloves in Florida? I should know this but I have no clue. I saw him wash his hands a few times but it still skeeved me out.

How many siblings do you have? I have two older sisters but always wished I had an older brother.

Feels like the first time

19 May

We have a Whole Foods near my house however  I rarely go since when I’m back home I am usually without car. So when I’m without car, my parents drive me around like I’m 14 years old again which is lots of fun seeing that I’m over 30. To add to the fun of that, my dad got into a heated argument at WF last year around Thanksgiving or Christmas time and according to him “is banned” from that WF location so he is never down for going (parents getting me drunk, think I’m dating Samoans and this—do you see where I get my eccentricities from??) But this visit I am with car so I drove around to pick up some goodies. I was greeted by the wonderfulness that is Whole Foods. However after three or four minutes of being there, I went into overload. Did I want a salad bar, hot bar, sub, sushi, noodles? Can we say too many decisions and all look wonderful? As I was perusing the hot bar, I saw a dude walk by with a slice of pizza and problem solved!  However, I wanted a salad and knew a piece of pizza wouldn’t fill me up so I got the smallest size salad. I had nowhere to be so I dined outside with the salad and Honest Tea.

 

I feel like a legit blogger with my WF salad! I always see pictures on everyone else’s blog who lives in a normal city that has WF not in some podunk city like Charlotte. And I get a bit envious. Yeah, I can get salads somewhere else but there is just something special about a WF salad. Maybe it’s just me but this was just as good as the first time I tried their salad bar. I got some type of cole slaw on there so I didn’t need too much dressing but all in all in was delish.

I picked up some coconut water and Pop Chips as well then had my slice of Florentino pizza

 

All of that for $21, not too bad at all.

I had a little help from my guys while finishing the pizza so it went quickly

I don’t know why I’m tying in feeding pizza to the dogs with Jon Hamm but a few of you commented on how you will see Bridesmaids after I said he was naked. He was kinda naked, like shirtless but no full frontals–boo! However, he is furry on top so that was good enough for me! Didn’t want to mislead any of you.

After dinner, I stopped by Cupcake Couture for a sweet treat. I  went to Couture over Christmas and tried their Boston Couture but wanted to try something different this time around (ok and I was feeling lazy and not in the mood to crack open a cupcake)

They were recently voted Best Dessert so that was a reassuring sign to see sitting in their window. I love their cupcakes because they are a) massive and b) all named after designers. Some examples:

Oscar de la Raspberry

Jean Paul Peanutier

I’m not even a fashionista but I want to buy one just after hearing the names!

I ordered a latte and the Dolce & Banana cupcake—banana bread cupcake with banana buttercream frosting.

I was a good girl and saved it until I got home. Still pleasantly full from dinner, I had 1/3 of it just to see how it was and left the rest for the next morning because there is nothing like buttercream in the morning. The buttercream was the winner of the cupcake but I wasn’t too crazy about the banana bread portion, it was dry and lacked flavor.

Oh well, you can’t win them all.

I have to show some  blogger love here after reading the  Lazy Girls Guide to Men by the wonderful MelissaNibbles. She is dead on with all of the examples she uses and could not stop nodding my head while reading! If you haven’t checked out Melissa’s blog, I encourage you to do so. She is one of the bloggers that comes to mind when I think of people who truly speak their mind and doesn’t make everything seem like sunshine and butterfly farts.  Kudos Melissa!!!

Whole Foods-Heaven sent or evil empire? What are your must haves when you go?

Do you like coconut water? If so, what brands do you like?

The only routine with me is no routine at all

18 May

Even though I’m on vacation, I feel like I’ve been getting a routine of my own while down in Florida. I know, I shouldn’t have a routine when I’m supposed to be relaxing and enjoying my time but it’s been working out well and not a stressful one at all. It seems like each day I’ve been meeting up with one of my friends for a meal, coffee or get together. I went to a bbq the other night and made a creamy Greek pasta salad as opposed to a Tysonlicious pasta salad.

The star of the pasta salad was gorgonzola cheese. I rarely buy the gorg because I love it so much and can make a container disappear within 12 hours. Yeah, I don’t even say 24 hours because it really doesn’t last that long in my house. So when I saw it on sale, I bought it as a perfect add in to the pasta salad along with artichokes, black olives, zucchini, parsley, red pepper and Light Greek dressing.

This turned out awesome! I don’t like to make creamy pasta salads too often because hello, creamy isn’t too good for you but it was a perfect dish to bring to a bbq for all to share!

I met up with my friend for breakfast on Monday morning. She is a writer so she tends to be busy at night and on the weekends so when she suggested breakfast, I immediately jumped since you know, the most important meal of the day thing. Plus hello, I love seeing my friends! We went to First Watch, a breakfast and lunch spot in Boca.

I ordered coffee as I waited for her and when they brought out a vat of it, I couldn’t have been happier. Well until I saw these beautiful babies that is

Don’t think I didn’t swipe a few for the road!

I liked how they had traditional breakfast and lunch fare and also a good selection of healthy options.

I should have gotten something off that menu but the meal was going to be both breakfast and lunch for me so I went with something hearty and savory to fill my belly-Key West Crepegg-A thin, sweet crepe combined with fluffy whipped eggs filled with Turkey, avocado, bacon, tomatoes and Monterey Jack cheese with a side of potatoes and an english muffin

A delicious meal (as is anything that involves avocado!) add that to catching up with an old friend and that is priceless.

I’ve been getting some good gym time in also. There are a number of gyms to go to here so I don’t think a lot of people patron the YMCA which is fine with me—more machines for me! On the downside, most of the machines are older versions of ellipticals and treadmills. They don’t even have my beloved Precor there, it’s a brand called Star Trac which I’ve never heard of.

Of course, I’ve been hanging out with a couple of handsome fellas as well.

Mickey and Lincoln are getting along terrifically! Lincoln is still a little protective of me but he has to realize that Mickey is the OB (Original Baby) I have a feeling I’m going to end up with two pups soon.

I’ve been spending my afternoon’s laying by the pool reading and swimming.

Thanks to all who recommended this book—I can’t put it down! It’s such a page turner and I can’t wait to see how it turns out.

Lincoln has done some swimming too and was all too happy to get out of the pool and sun bathe with me.

The parentals have been providing dinner and entertainment we went to see Bridesmaids on Monday afternoon. This movie? Holy effballs of fire, it was hilarious! However, I really wish I could skip over the sex scene parts when I’m sitting right next to my parents. It’s a bit awkward. But on the other side, I don’t want to live in a world where I don’t get to see Jon Hamm naked. Seriously, how is he so handsome?  We  went to dinner at Kyojin Sushi Buffet in Fort Lauderdale right after. I was starving by the time I got there since I really only had the big breakfast and a few snacks.

The first plate of sushi was fantastic. However right after eating it, I didn’t feel right. I felt like there was a brick in my stomach so I switched over to soup while my dad helped me with the rest of the sushi. I’ve never had a bad sushi experience at a restaurant but I felt like I was going to throw up on the way home. We’ve been going to Kyojin for the past three years and it just seems like the quality of their sushi is going down the drain.

For the first time ever, South Florida is growing on me. I was born in Indiana then we moved here when I was seven. I resented my parents that we would move somewhere that’s a completely 180 from Indiana and just wanted out. And you know what?  The first chance I got to leave here, I did. I picked out WVU on a map and moved 18 hours away. Now that I have lived there, Phoenix and Charlotte, I’m not so much if I like it up north of not. I always thought I was a cold weather girl but I am quite enjoying the warm weather for the past week and a half. I know a lot of people down here and my friends have already told me I could them my resume so a move to Florida may be in the future.     

 Random question–Who the hell names a business Hair on Fire?

As someone who has had their hair caught on fire, this disturbs me. I won’t get into the story but it involves freshman year in college, a cigarette, Bon Jovi and Natty Light.

How many places have you lived?

Anyone else have any fun, hair catching on fire stories?? Crickets, crickets….

Happy hour, hot babes and humidity

12 May

While hanging out here in Florida, I feel like I’ve been quite productive. Yes, the days have consisted of napping, hanging by the pool and beach and spending time with these pups

but I feel like I’ve gotten a lot done besides that.

I found the local YMCA branch in Boca Raton and dropped in the other day to see if I could work out there. I asked my local branch if they knew the rules when visiting Y’s in other cities and they said it’s at the discretion of the specific branch. So when I went to the branch here, I was pleasantly surprised when they told me I could visit 14 times in one month! woot woot! The place may smell like old people and they don’t have the latest machines like my Y in Charlotte but it is definitely useable. I went the past two days and had some decent workouts.

And holy hot babes at the Boca YMCA batman! I don’t know what these men do for a living but they are gorgeous—kind of like a toned down version of Jersey Shore-current and in 30 years. These men are out of control hot so it’s awesome to have some eye candy while working out.

The dbag wearing a wool hat to the YMCA when it’s 90 degrees outside? Dude, stop trying to be Colin Ferrell.

My mom really doesn’t cook that much anymore and my parents are always going out to eat. I am usually fine with dining on someone else’s dime however I do not want to be going out to eat every single meal since that just spells trouble. I told them instead of going out for every meal, let’s do one meal of lunch or dinner at home then go out to eat for the other. This has been working well except for the fact that my parents keep trying to get me drunk.

Don’t worry, they aren’t trying to take advantage of me anything. Or maybe they are trying to get me drunk so they can steal my car and my dog. Add the fact that I am unemployed to that and I’m a country song!

Ok, maybe not so much but Florida has happy hour specials whereas North Carolina doesn’t. So that means that here they do BOGO drinks from 4 to 7pm or whatever hours they do happy hour.  My parents keep pushing me to get a drink when I go out in a very ABC afterschool special kind of way. They don’t tell me that all the cool kids are having drinks but they are a step away from it. So, with that, more Blue Moons that normal have been consumed.

We went to The Quarterdeck on Tuesday night since we had a coupon for a free half rack of ribs

Yep, frugality runs in the family

We went in and sat in the bar area however once I sat down and saw the sketchers sitting at the bar, I asked the parentals if we could sit outside. I’m all for people watching however these guys were giving me the heebie jeebies! One of them had an eye patch on. I’ve never met a normal person with an eye patch so there has to be a story there, one guy was taking up three seats at the bar and looked like he brought his own pillow to sleep there and the others looked like they just got their sweet freedom from the Broward County Pen.

I ordered the fish and chips with a side of two Blue Moons.

When the fish and chips came out, I was stoked. Nothing like some fish and chips, especially when you’re near the beach but to put it nicely…..it sucked. I don’t know if the cod was past it’s hey day or what but it didn’t taste fresh and squeezing a few lemons and dousing it in tartar sauce didn’t even help. If I ever go back, I will stick to their conch fritters as I have in the past.

I met up with some of my sorority sisters on Wednesday for lunch at Rocco’s Tacos. Even though I went to college in WV, a few of them moved to FL after college and have been here ever since. I love getting to visit family and friends while I drop by.

Seeing friends and eating Mexican food? Count me in! My parents told me their guacamole was out of this world and they make it tableside for you. When we sat down, I was secretly hoping that we would order it and my friends told me we had to get an order. Success!

I could have ordered a bowl of the guacamole and been happy. Seeing that it was $12, it could have been a meal itself! Instead, I went with the blackened mahi taco platter with rice and salad.

The mahi was fresh and flavorful so I was happy with the 180 degree change of fish from the other night. However, instead of little pieces of mahi, they give you one huge chunk so it’s not as messy as potentially could be. A good time had by all though, it’s crazy to think that I’ve known these girls for over 10 years.

Other random things?

*I am totally down for being a Cicada bug. I think I could sleep for 13 years!

*I have a new love and it goes by the name of Temptations by Jello Strawberry Cheesecake

Yes, it may be gone after only three bites but it’s absolutely delish!

*I’m started to develop an unhealthy habit for Dunkin Donuts.

I went to three different DD’s within a 24 hour time span.This can’t be a good thing for anyone.

*I had Cool Whip for breakfast the other day. But then the adult in me spoke out and told me not to have Cool Whip…..put some fruit under it to get my produce in!

*Ross sells Philosophy for only eight bones!

*I thought Charlotte had bad humidity. I was wrong. I forgot how bad it is here and am finally just starting to dry off after being inside for 20 minutes. Gross.

*And how is Charlotte out of eggplants when Florida is selling them for $.99? Why is the Sunshine State hogging all the eggplants?

*The Coconut Mocha frappuccino is a gift from the gods. I really didn’t need to know that something so delicious existed but oh well, at least I got it half priced.

What’s your favorite frappuccino?

Do your high school or college friends live in your hometown? A lot of my high school friends still live there but since I went to college 18 hours away, not too many of my college friends?

Bark for Life

10 Apr

I like dogs and hate cancer so on Saturday, Lincoln and I woke up early to do the American Cancer Society Bark for Life walk. The walk was being held to raise money for cancer and until the day of, I wasn’t sure if it was for doggie cancer or human cancer but regardless, raising money for any kind of cancer is a good thing. You could register as part of team or individually, which I did since I didn’t know anyone else who was doing it.

We were one of the first ones to arrive, which gave us a lot of time to check our the different sponsors and vendors plus get some swag!

My first time trying Cake Batter fro yo–amazing!
You can bet your sweet butt, I stuffed as many as I could in my purse then took a couple of trips to my car to drop off!

Soon, the area filled up with all kinds of dogs

There were big dogs

…..and small dogs

….and even dressed up dogs!

I thought of my favorite dachshund Basil when I saw these dolled up pups

Lincoln wasn’t doing too well with the outrageous number of dogs and people there, he can be a bit skiddish at times

But once I grabbed him in my arms and carried him around like a baby he was fin

Dog has me wrapped around his finger paw I tell you.

Soon, we were off walking, the walk was a 1.57 mile walk around Uptown Charlotte starting across the street from Bank of America stadium

(source)

When I took this picture, I had to stop myself from laughing. All the dogs were going crazy sniffing everything in sight. I pictures one of e dogs finding a human hand or foot and cue in the Law and Order music–it reminded of a situation that would kick off an episode. Anyone else? No? Just me? Ok.

It was the perfect day for a walk! There were a lot of bitches for Lincoln to hit on, sights to see such as the Carolina Panthers practice field, skyline of Uptown Charlotte and Bank of America Stadium, where the Panthers play when they decide to show up.

Continue reading

Calling all dog lovers!

21 Feb

 Recently Build A Sign approached me asking if I would be interested in making something off of their website. I was intrigued instantly since I’ve never heard of Build A Sign before.  What is Build A Sign you ask? They’re an on-line site that offers an array of products such as duh….signs but also banners, magnetic bumper sticks, license plates, flags and more. What sets them apart is that you can design your product in a matter of minutes with their custom-made backgrounds, pictures and text and have it to you the next day if your heart desires.

I wasn’t sure what I was going to make though. It would be pretty cool to stand on the corner with a custom-made sandwich board with my name and number on but maybe that’s not the smartest or classiest thing to do? I decided to design a magnetic bumper stickers—classic and fun, can’t go wrong there! 

So hooray, I figured out what I would make but what was I going to put on there?  At first I thought I would do something about being a frugalista. But then I played around with their online design system and wasn’t crazy about any of them. Then I saw a paw print and that is where my design came into mind. I think you all have read about my love for my dog Lincoln before, yes?

Since I give him love, attention, hugs, kisses, shelter, why not make a magnetic bumper sticker proclaiming my love for him.  I designed my magnetic bumper sticker, submitted the order and soon they were waiting for me at my doorstep.

Adorable right? I am beyond happy with how they turned out and keep telling everyone about my experience with designing them online. The kind people at Build A Sign sent me extra magnetic bumper stickers and I think you all know what that means–a giveaway!  I have 16 magnetic bumper stickers (3″ x10″) up for grabs with multiple ways to win:

*If you have a dog, tell me something interesting about them!

*Link this contest to your blogroll (leave a comment letting me know you did)

*Tweet about this contest “Win an “I love my dog” magnetic bumper sticker @tiffanynico http://wp.me/pMfHm-WF ”  (leave a comment letting me know you did)

Thank you Build A Sign for giving me this opportunity to make my own magnetic bumper sticker!

Contest ends at 12:01AM  on Monday February 28, 2011. 16 winners will be picked at random (you do not need a blog to enter just an email address where I can reach you)  I will announce the winners on the 28th as well!

Disclaimer: I was not paid for my opinion of Build-A Sign’s product or services. Opinions in this post are of my own.