Tag Archives: Lincoln

Whatcha gonna do with all that junk?

15 Jun

Happy hump day humpers! This week has flown by, with packing, tying up loose ends and getting together with friends. I say this every single time that I move, this will be my last move. And it never is and I have a feeling it’s not going to stop anytime soon so I better get used to the smell of boxes and moving tape.

And can I just say you all rock? Thanks for all the words of encouragement and support on my last post, it is much appreciated and each comment made me smile and reminded me why I love the blogging community. Teardrop.

On Monday, I had a bunch of errands to do before meeting a friend for lunch. But before I left, I set an easy meal in the crock pot. It only had four ingredients:

Along with half a chopped onion. I set at low and let cook for eight hours

However I forgot that I was going for Mexican food for lunch so it was going to be Mexican food twice in one day. Awesome way to start the week if you ask me! I met my friend at this restaurant called Casa Grande in a sketchy strip mall, like the kind that has a laundromat and check cashing. Thank God we went for lunch because god only knows what it would have been like during night time. Casa Grande was authentic, like menus all in spanish with no english whatsoever and no pictures authentic. I took four years of spanish and grew up in South Florida so I like to think I can get by with my espanol skills. I can understand it somewhat and read but speaking spanish doesn’t work with me. For those who know me or have talked with me, you know I talk fast so it seems like it would be a match made in heaven. I think the problem is the language is too fast for me. But not too furious.

They have specials of the day and I saw pollo y arroz so I had a semi understanding of what lunch would consist of. But peep this-all this food for only $6!

The chicken was delicious and anytime I can get a serving of potatoes and rice, I’m a happy gal. I finished half of the plate and took the rest to go so really it’s two meals for $6, my kind of place!

I stopped to get a new leash for Lincoln since he broke it on Sunday. I went to two different Ross’ and nothing. I always go there for dog accessories and toys and was disappointed they didn’t have them in stock. Disappointed not only because it was a waste of time but because when I bought Lincoln’s leash there, it was only $7 or $8. Petco doesn’t roll like that. I stopped there and got a cute, lime green leash for Lincoln for 22 bones. Ugh.

At least he will walk in style.

The chicken turned out wonderful and the chicken melted off the bone. I topped with cheese and served with leftover spaghetti and veggies.

On Tuesday, I went to Dilworth Coffee to get my wi fi on. I was sitting there, working on internship stuff, catching up on blogs when suddenly, I heard The Strokes first  cd “Is This It?”  The Strokes are my favorite band and I get giddy whenever I hear their music in public or hear people talking about them.

(Source)

I told the barista he made my day by playing that. We started talking Strokes but he seemed taken aback that I liked them. Maybe it was the Vera Bradley headband or Life is Good t shirt I had on that had my looking like a yuppie who likes Colbie Caillat?

Gah, I love that headband and so. And love that I got it for free at the thrift store since the cashier was too lazy to look up the price and didn’t know who Vera Bradley is.

Anyways, back to the Strokes. I asked him if he heard the new cd and he said he hadn’t had a chance to listen yet so I went to my car and they played it-score!

Afterwards, I dined al fresco since it was a gorgeous day out and I needed to work on my tan. I made two chicken, hummus and hot sauce wraps with sliced apple

and Lincoln did as well

And catch up with Jen Lancaster

I wasn’t feeling the book at first because it’s her first fiction piece of work and it’s based off of her life as are the two main characters, Mia and Mac. Which is weird that I say that because she is my favorite author but I guess I was expecting something different from her normal work. I just have to embrace the whole notion of write what you know, even if it does apply to fiction.  A few chapters in, I couldn’t put it down and can’t wait to finish it!

The rest of the afternoon was spent packing, cleaning and cleaning out purses.

I don’t know how I have so much random crap in my purses, I’m talking random like soy sauce, chopsticks, pens, splendas, Yelp swag, aspirin, lip gloss, maracas and more.

When I cleaned out a majority of my purses that I’m giving away to the thrift store, it was enough to fill up two purses, wtf?

Do you use one purse or switch it up all the time? If you do switch it up, do you clean them out often?  As you can see, I definitely need to start cleaning them out more. I’m a hoarder when it comes to the contents of my purse.

PS–If you haven’t entered my giveaway, it ends tomorrow night!

Tame and lame

13 Jun

Yep, that would describe my weekend. Friday night was exciting but the rest was pretty tame and lame.

Saturday morning was solely dedicated to packing and getting rid of junk. I had someone from Craigslist come over at 11am to look at my tv stand and they bought it—woo hoo! One item down, a whole lot left to go. I paid $100 for it last year and got $60 in return so I think that’s pretty good plus that can be a credit card payment for next month.

Of course, I put on Twitter about how if no one ever heard from me again, it was because I’d been killed. I never used to be weird about it but then this guy had to go ruin it for everyone.

(source)

The rest of the day was nothing to write about, errands, cleaning, gym. Fun.

I went through my freezer and saw that I had some shrimp that should be used soon so I decided to make shrimp, veggies and pasta. I cut up red peppers, onion, zucchini and shallots and seasoned with

I seasoned the shrimp with pepper and garlic then cooked with extra virgin olive oil on the stovetop until cooked thoroughly. I topped with parsley and grated parm. The best part was that this didn’t even need any kind of sauce since it was so flavorful and absorbed the extra virgin olive oil that I cooked the shrimp in.

I wanted to do something on Saturday night but nothing was going on. No one was around or responded to my texts if they wanted to do anything (nice) and no one asked me to do anything and I didn’t want to spend any money. Around 8pm, I got up and went to Freedom Park with Lincoln since there was still some light out. we walked around the lake, canoodled with other dogs and enjoyed the night. I t started to turn dark and the rain was coming in so we went home and hung out. The rest of the evening was spent with this guy

I’ve been trying to make Lincoln rock a faux-hawk but he isnt having any of that.

I woke up bright and early Sunday morning but not my choice. I didn’t get to bed until midnight and couldn’t take Lincoln out since it was down pouring. What does that mean? I woke up to him on my chest

I made an awesome bowl of oats—chocolate banana chia oats. These were bomb. I was just going to add the banana and chia seeds but had a little left of a bag of morsels to use up and most definitely didn’t want to be wasteful.

I went to Target to grab a battery and left with a battery and three tops. So typical

I also picked up my dad a Father’s Day card. I love my dad but I feel awkward picking out a card since they are too sappy for my taste like “You picked me up when I fell and now I pick up my kids when they fall” and other lame stuff like that. I just want a card that says “Happy Fathers Day, love you” but apparently Hallmark and the other big shots don’t want to produce stuff like that.

 

By the time I got back from Target, it was 9am and I was bored….again. So I got on my sneakers, grabbed Lincoln and we went for a mile and a half way and then to the park

Lincoln was chasing so much squirrel that his chain broke! His retractable chain went out 15 feet and now the string won’t go back in. So now we have to use his old leash which only goes six or seven feet out and when you have an energetic pup, that just doesn’t jive.

And something else broke apart but with the help of a wrench

Sing song the bed is dead!!!!!! That was my independence day and while everything didn’t break completely apart, it’s dismantled. Thanks Nic for the tool tips—I appreciate it!

Lunch was leftover mushroom flautas from Vida and kale chips. I believe in making the most of what you got and definitely when it comes to cooking, why use to sheets when I can use one?

I got creative with dinner on Sunday night. I had leftover spaghetti from Saturday night so I halved the leftover portion, added two tablespoons of cottage cheese, thawed frozen spinach, red pepper flakes, garlic, spaghetti sauce and mozzarella cheese

Took one portabella mushroom, cleaned it out, sprayed with extra virgin olive oil from my Misto then stuffed with the pasta mixture

Topped with more mozzarella

Bake for 15 minutes at 375 and then top with parsley and done!

This was a fun way to make spaghetti interesting as opposed to just the blah leftovers it sometimes can be! Plus if there’s an opportunity to get some mushrooms into my belly, I won’t pass it up.

Also this weekend I’ve been trying some new smoothie concoctions thanks to my friend, frozen mango

Berry, mango, coconut water, chia seeds and greek yogurt

Mango, coconut water, chia seeds and greek yogurt

I’m out of protein powder and in limbo regarding what flavor or brand I’m going to buy next step. So to get my protein in the meantime I’ve been adding greek yogurt along with coconut water instead of milk and I love the consistency, it’s still thick but not as heavy.

 

Does anyone else feel me on the wanting a non sappy Father’s Day card?

Do you sell stuff on Craigslist/Ebay/Amazon?

Random question-anyone familiar with Google Analyticals? I have the code to add it to my site but I’m not sure where exactly to enter it in since I do everything by posts. It keeps telling me to put it anyone on my site, please help if you know where I should put it!

Great Day

6 Jun

Before 1pm today I accomplished quite a bit and had some random musings (mostly with help of my dear friend, Mr. Insomnia who wouldn’t let me sleep past 530am):

*Took Lincoln for a mile and a half walk

*Packed a bunch of stuff up that I am giving to charity

*Re-listed a bunch of stuff on craigslist and starting gathering clothes and purses to sell on Ebay

*Had breakfast

*Went through my mail and found that not only did I get a free drink from Starbucks but my parents sent me one as well.

*Realized I have no clue who Terri Ewing is and now curious as to how they got the free drink card to send to me.

*Start to think of crazy stories of how they know Terri Ewing, My favorite one being they knew Terri and killed him or her for a free drink coupon so they could make me happy.

*Wonder if Terri is a man or woman

*Realize it’s spelled with an “I” so most likely a woman.

*Thought about how much I hate unisex names 

*Thought of names for the made for tv movie about the murder and liked “Will Kill For Starbucks: All She Wanted Was Java” the best.

*Start singing “All That She Wants Is Another Java” to the tune of “All That She Wants” by Ace of Base

*Laugh about the notion of this whole idea that someone would kill another for a Starbucks drink

*Stop laughing since I’m sure people out there think that I would kill for Starbucks

*Think that I can ponder about Terri Ewing all day so I better go to the gym

*Had an awesome workout of 30 minutes on the Precor AMT along with upper body strength training

*Come home and attempt to run to shower first thing since I am literally a hot mess.

*Am stopped by Lincoln because he wants to lick the sweat off my face

*Wonder why dogs are so loyal and like gross things

*Finally get in shower

*Portion trail mix into single servings so I don’t go buckwild and eat the entire bag in two sittings

*Flip though Michael Chiarello’s book “Bottega” that I won over at All Kinds of Hungry

*Think that asking for a man who can cook, has a nice smile, straight, gainfully employed with no mommy issues shouldn’t be too hard to find.

*But then come to the conclusion it is

*Get sad about that

*Am hungry from flipping through Bottega

*Make a random lunch

*Wonder what was up with my intense protein craving for lunch

Indeed Paul.

How’s your Monday going?

What’s your story of how my parents got Terri Ewing’s free drink card?

Going back to Indy, Indy, Indy

6 Jun

After breakfast with Kelly on Friday, it was time to get back to Indiana. Yes, I’m a lady of leisure at the moment but a few reasons I wanted to get back:

*See my baby angel

*Get back on track with my eating and working out

*Go back to Eastern standard time, central time zone was just trippin me out

*Um, have some clean undies. I only brought enough with me to last for the number of days I’m here and was in desperate need of doing laundry

I stopped in gorgeous Lake County, Indiana AKA my old stomping grounds. Ok, not really. I was born in Munster and we lived there then up and left to Florida when I was seven but even so, I always considered it home. While driving through Hammond (if someone actually knows these towns, I will be quite impressed), I got a good look at the locals there. One word comes to mind: scuzzy. I always thought Indiana was so great and in a way resented my parents for moving us to Florida all of a sudden. We were in a place that was a complete 180 with people of different background, nationalities, etc. along with hot weather. Apparently, I’ve never been a fan of hot weather because I loathed it then but have gotten a little better about it. But then seeing these people who looked like life had not been kind to them made me wonder what would have happened if I stayed there. Would I have gotten involved with the wrong crowd, went to college, get married and have kids or what? So many questions, I tell you.

But my eye was on the prize. Literally. I was trying to win some dough at the Horseshoe Casino.

I just wanted to stop in for a few minutes to see if this place would actually be nice or not. There was a ridiculous amount of people there for Friday at noon, which kind of made me sad. In Vegas, it’s one thing for a casino to be packed but for Hammond, IN, is this all that people do? Do they just get their paycheck and gamble it away in hopes of winning big?

Good thing I know when to walk away from the slots

Or not. I started out with $20 and played the nickel slots and luck not be a lady at the Horseshoe Casino in Hammond.

While making my way back to the car, I caught this gorgeous view of the marina. If you look closely, you can see the Chicago skyline faintly in the background.

I stopped in West Lafayette for lunch at the Parthenon Grill. I went into the city looking for something local and non-chain. I was getting a bit discouraged since all I saw were chain restaurants. I finally started to make my way back to the highway when I saw this which was perfect since I didn’t have any Greek food while in Chicago.

Annnnnnd, I was the only person in there. I guess that’s what happens when you go into a restaurant in a college town during the summer time. It was kinda nice though, I felt like I ruled the roost! They have standard Greek food on the menu and I went with old faithful of a gyro, fries and a drink for under $10.

I hate when I go to a new restaurant and not sure what the protocol is. I ordered then they gave me a tray where I got napkins and condiments. I wasn’t sure if I just waited there or go to one of the many open tables. After a few awkward seconds of me just standing there looking at the cashier, he finally told me I can go to a table and he will bring me my food. Thanks dude. And look, they had toothpicks aplenty, perfect for my next stuffed chicken adventure!

The meal came out and I was overwhelmed with the amount of meat.

I could barely fold the gyro over because there was so much meat. That’s what I’m talking about!

I ended up taking a good chunk of the meat off and putting in a to go box for my pup and went on my way with wolfing down the sandwich. The meat wasn’t seasoned too much but it was cooked just right. The tzatziki lacked flavor as well so that was a bit of a let down. The fries were piping hot though so I’m happy everything was made fresh. All in all a good spot to stop if you’re ever in West Lafayette, Indiana.

By the time I got back on the road, I was spent. I woke up at 5am that morning and was around 4pm. I just wanted to get back to my sister’s house and crash. When I got there I saw this nice surprise……

Linky has a girlfriend!

So many questions, I tell you.

Do you go to casinos in your area? We don’t have any in Charlotte but I used to go to the ones in the Phoenix area all the time.

She’s gone country

28 May

The drive to Indiana started out ok.

I got my traditional breakfast of Dunkin Donuts egg white turkey sausage flatbread along with a cup of joe (but with an extra shot of espresso)

And I gotta say, not a fan of their flatbread they’ve been using recently. I noticed they changed it in the past year. The bread now seems tougher and lacks the flavor of the previously one used. Thank God, Lincoln was the only one in the car with me while eating this because it was one of the unsexiest things I’ve devoured. I was practically gnawing at the sandwich just trying to get one bite. I must write DD soon and voice my opinion because unsexy flatbreads aren’t good for anyone.

Homeboy looks confused why I am trying so hard for a little bite of food.

So, I drove. The drive heading west into Tennessee moved very slow due to the rain in the mountains but once we went across the TN border, it turned into a gorgeous and peaceful  day.

Until I turned on the radio.

All country, all the time. Ok, I lie, all country and Christian rock music. These Christian rock folk are sneaky too. I would be jammin to the song then all of a sudden I listen to the lyrics and hearing about sacrificing, loving Jesus, etc. I am all for the J man but not with music. Especially when I was listening to Nine Inch Nails “Closer” a half hour before. So the country came on and  I listened Mostly because I was too lazy to grab a cd or turn on Pandora. I like torturing myself like that. Then “Strawberry Wine” by Deanna Carter came on. I haven’t heard that song in ages and wore out the cd “Did I Shave My Legs For This?” when I was in high school. I actually still use that saying whenever I have a bad date. I’m not a country music gal at all but I did go through a small stage in high school and time after college where it’s all I listened to. I blame this on working at Roadhouse Grill as a hostess and dating a guy from Texas, respectively. I listened to the country station after that and heard a song and thought it was cute. I was thinking to myself “Please don’t be Taylor Swift, please don’t be Taylor Swift” and yeah, it turned out to be “Mean” by the Swift bunny. Grrr. I don’t like that girl. I don’t know if it’s because she is so tall, lanky, looks like an evil bunny rabbit (I affectionately call her Donnie Darko), that we share the same birthday or that she does the love sign with her hands all the time when I was doing it way before her but I just don’t like her. Yet, I was jammin to her song and contemplated downloading the song.

Maybe I can get on board with country music?

Not only was the music a let down, the snack department was disappointing. I grabbed this Oikos greek yogurt from the fridge since I  could always use a container of protein loving


I think I’ve been spoiled by Chobani because no other greek yogurt comes even close to theirs. Like the Yoplait yogurt I tried a few weeks ago, I wasn’t a fan of the Oikos.

I brought a coconut water with me

Nasty as well. I struggled just to choke down 1/3 of this and poured the remainder out at a rest stop. It wasn’t overly sweet or tart, it was just nasty and not like other coconut water I’ve tried. I will be staying away from the passion fruit flavor in the future.

In true Frugal Friday fashion, lunch was free! When in Kentucky, I stopped for gas and when I went in to go pay for a Diet Coke, I saw this sign

Oh, it was on. Gas station pizza may not be the best option for lunch but I’m not one to turn down pizza.

Look at those mini puddles of grease sitting on the pepperoni, yum.After a few blots of a napkin, Lincoln and I shared the piece then went on our way through Kentucky.

The drivers in Kentucky were crazy—the speed limit was 70 mph and I was going 80 mph but I felt like everyone else was going at least 90mph. I kept getting over in the right hand lane to let people pass and I’m not going to go off on a rant but some people out there really need to learn that the left lane is passing lane. You don’t just sit there and hang out. If someone is behind you, move over and let them go. I cannot stand the coasters.

I was getting a bit worried because I had a coupon for Chick Fil A that I wanted to use for a free dinner but didn’t see any in the state.

I kept thinking to myself “What is Kentuckys beef with Chick Fil A?” and then bam-I saw a billboard for it. And the angels were watching over me because I saw there was a Starbucks at the same exit and believe I raised my hands in the air while exiting saying “Praise Jesus” which I never say. I blame this on Melissa from Real Housewives of New Jersey and her Jesus talk. I got my salad to go, along with a cup of ice to keep it cold since I wouldn’t be eating it until later then got some caffeination.

For those of you who want to see what Louisville looks like, here you go:

 

 

That cup of ice that I got at Chick Fil A came in handy big time. When I was an hour south of Indianapolis, traffic came to a dead stop and went to one lane then slowly started to move again and went back to two lanes. Why not do construction on a major road leading to Indianapolis on not only Memorial Day Wknd but Race Wknd as well (Indy 500 is on Sunday) So, we were back at two lanes but 20 minutes went by and we didn’t move at all. I start to get a little agitated with this, not only do I have to pee, my butt was asleep and there was a creepy trucker next to me waiving at me. I looked up traffic online and turns out that there was a big rig carrying hazardous materials heading south on I-65 that overturned and went into the northbound lane, so northbound was completely shut down. We sat there for another hour before traffic returned to normal and I could do the minimum speed again. All I could do was stare at Lincoln and wish that I could have someone driving me around (and that I had a furry bed like his)

I got to my sisters house and took a bubble then enjoyed my salad.

 

I was disappointed with the salad. The lettuce didn’t taste fresh and it was meh at best. And don’t think just because I was on the road I didn’t score some condiment loving

 

 

 

I leave you with two items that I can’t wait to try:

 

Do you like country music?

What do you do to pass time when you’re stuck in traffic?

The long drive home

23 May

Driving 11 hours sucks. Driving 11 hours alone sucks even more. No matter how hard I try, I get anxious the night before leaving for a long trip and end up getting almost no sleep which makes for a cranky beginning to the day. Lincoln and I packed up early on Friday morning and started out with a light breakfast of a banana and Nature’s Path Lotta Apricotta granola bar

Boy, that bar was sweet. Like almost too sweet to eat and I love me some sweets. It took a good 15 minutes for me to down. I think it would be really good cut up and sprinkled in greek yogurt though to even out the taste. While at the gas station (which we won’t even begin my rant on gas prices), I found this Seattle’s Best Iced Latte

I love Seattle’s Best but rarely see it anywhere so I was stoked about this. It was like any other iced latte out there but I didn’t find it to be too strong.

I had to go through Gainesville, home of University of Florida, on my way back and it was around lunch time. I was in need of something hearty and Lincoln was practically dying in the car from the sun beating on him

I did a quick search to find dog friendly restaurants in the area and found The Book Lover’s Café, located in Books Inc, a used bookstore a few blocks away from the campus.

They serve lunch items, coffee and tea but what I really liked about it was that their menu consists of vegan and vegetarian treats. I am neither however when you’re on the road, it’s difficult to eat healthy. I try to back food and snacks and sometimes want to sit down and eat but most of the selection seems to be fast food. I ordered and looked around the store for any books that might have been of interest to me. Can we say score?

Only $3.99! Perfect since I just finished The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. I can’t wait to start this one. I got Lincoln and we sat on their patio and waited for the food to come. They brought him a water bowl and we just enjoyed the day and the freaks walking by. It’s a college town so you are going to have some weird people there and I saw a few people walking by singing and one guy (yes, guy) dressed like Rainbow Brite) it was very funkalicious.

I ordered the Hummus wrap and you can either get a side salad or soup with it-I got the salad with was hopping with veggies-just like the wrap

  

The hummus wasn’t flavored, it was just regular hummus and tasted homemade. It was flavorful but gritty in texture.  All of this for only $7! Plus I get a majority of my veggie servings in for the day while supporting a local business-win win!All in all, a great place to stop, relax, peruse the book selection and hang out. Even though we were in the shade, Lincoln was still panting like a whore in church

I think it’s sweating like a whore in church but I like panting like a whore in church much better-hello saucy!

The rest of the drive through Florida was boring. I took a less traveled state road back to Jacksonville so I could hop on I-95. While on the road, I kept seeing these billboards which was a bit disturbing

I guess Florida is trying to get rid of over population? I must have seen this billboard at least seven times.

And can someone tell me what this is? I despise personalized license plates and despise ones that I can’t figure out even more.

Of course, I pronounce OCRACOK as Okra Cock. Maybe he did have one? I don’t feel bad about saying this since he was the slowest driver ever.

And I finally figured out my cruise control after a year and a half of owning this car—clicks to that!

Lincoln was absolutely pooped by the time we got to South Carolina. So much that he felt the need to jump in my lap and rest while I was driving. Thank God I was just going straight.

While fueling up in South Carolina, I found a new goodie that is going to be on my next shopping list

Hooray for Skinny Cow candy! I love Skinny Cow products so much so this had to be tasty. There were only six clusters in the package and they were quite small but it was a nice, little treat to indulge in.

As soon as I knew it, I was back in Charlotte.

Yay. Can you read the sarcasm?

I came home to a couple of surprises though……

a bunch of mail

Then a couple of packages….hmmmm….what could be in them? Happiness! Well happiness to me because there was food and a book.

First was Lance Cracker Creations that I won over at The Food Snob

Oh Monique, your note made me smile, much needed at the end of the day Smile

The second thing was Jen Lancaster’s newest book, If You Were Here. It’s different from her books since it’s a novel as opposed to her memoirs she writes so I’m very interested to read it and see how it compares. One of my sorority sisters went to the book signing in DC and got a copy signed for me since she wasn’t coming to Charlotte this year. Oh well, at least I got to meet her last year.

What’s your favorite part about getting home from a long trip? Mine is my bed and clean clothes!

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….