Monday, April 6, 2015

Runs and Restaurant Reviews

You know, it doesn't really matter how long the weekend is, you blink and it's 9pm on Sunday and damn, I need to write a blog post because I'm going to be a good blogger again. Posting regularly, taking pictures of my food and my Garmin after a run. Heck yeah, that's blogging 101.

Saturday we woke up a little later than usual and made breakfast. After sitting around for a while I decided to throw my shoes on and head out for a run. full disclosure, I thought about going to 10am Body Pump but I didn't get up off the couch in enough time to get there. And honestly, it had bee a while since I ran, I had to get some of my mojo back.

First I headed to JC Penny in search of a few things to round out my capsule wardrobe for the Spring GYPO challenge. I was challenged to find white pants that don't make my thighs look like a busted can of biscuits. But more on that later this week.

I went to my favorite trail, the Lake Shelley Greenway to do 3.5 miles. I like it because 1.81 miles in, there's a water fountain and a potty. That way if your morning coffee shakes anything loose, you can take care of things... and get a drink instead of having to ration your water for the entire run. I also like running down Strickland Rd and onto Falls of Neuse because there's a Kroger on the corner that you can refill your water, and potty if needed, but the workers always give me stank eye when I come in all red faced and panting. Now I go to the trail.

Since it had been a while since I'd gone for a run, I decided to ease back into the swing of things with some intervals. I set my timer to run 5 minutes and walk 1.5.


I was pleasantly surprised with my runt times, not too shabby. I also found that mentally knowing I only had to run 5 minutes made it a lot more bearable.


Queen of the positive splits, right here.

I don't know about other people, but while I'm running, I like to think about the food I'm going to eat after I finish. All I could think about was the best sandwich in the world, Breugger's Herby Turkey.


I asked the lady to hollow out the bagel and she sighed and asked if I wanted both sides done... Don't worry about it honey, one side is fine. Then she broke the cardinal rule, she added cheese. Cheese doesn't belong on the Herby Turkey! You don't need it and it's not part of the heavenly creation. 

I gave the cheese to Cleo. She appreciated the mistake.

Quick shower, then it was off to get my hair done. My greys were OUT OF CONTROL. Sorry no pix, I don't pay for a styling after the color because I'm cheap and it's $35 to have someone blow dry and comb your hair. Nope, I'll just have to wash it the next day and bye bye $35.

It was a good thing that I got my hair done because Kev and I had reservations at Saint Jacques. Saint Jacques makes practically every list of the most amazing restaurants in North Carolina and we'd never been. Since we're going to France in a few weeks, I thought we should get used to French food.

Let me just say, everything was amazing and the service was some of the best we've ever had. It's crazy expensive and worth every penny. However, there were a few things that were lacking for me. 

I lurve me some Steak Tartare and since my last tartare was gross, I'd bee craving it for a while. We didn't want to hike to Vin Rouge in Durham and there's an amazing French restaurant 5 miles from my house. 

I made the reservations before I looked at the menu. No steak tartare. Insert sad face. But I decided to soldier on. 

After we sat down, Kev was presented with the wine list, he made his selection and I asked for a Grey Goose Cosmo, only to discover that they didn't have a full bar. Just wine, Sad face number 2. I instead had to drown my sorrows in some Riesling.

I was looking over the menu and got a little nervous that there weren't any prices on it. Then I looked at Kev's and his menu had prices. I guess my delicate self can't handle looking at the prices. I just need to choose my dinner without having to concern my pretty little head with money and other things that men handle.

I guess it's a good idea when you're trying to take your mom out for a nice dinner and all she does is fuss about how much everything is. Then she wants to slip you some money or cover the tip. When mom doesn't know the prices it's just easier.

We placed our order and soon after were presented with an amuse bouche. This was a tiny cracker with apple and cheese with a tiny dot of wine sauce. I was delicate and stretched it into 3 bites. My bouche was amused. It was really good!


The we decided to split the cheese plate. There was a cheese that put hair on my chest, one that was soft and delicious and another that was tasty. It came with honey, grape slices and those little orange squares are the BEST carrot cake I've ever eaten. I just need a bowl full of that to die happy.


It was amazing, and uber French. I see a lot of cheese in my future when we get to France. 

For my dinner I had the sole which was wrapped around a crab / lobster mousse. There were also little fingerling potatoes and super tasty cauliflower. 


I made my way through most of one of the pieces of fish and was super full. Partially because the 2 glasses of wine,  But the manager came over and asked several times if I liked my meal and why I hadn't finished. She offered to make me another dish if I wanted something else. Please don't feed me anything else. Everything was awesome.

We were even so full that Kev didn't even want an apple yummy treat. That, my friends is impressive.

Would we go back, absolutely. It's more of an occasion restaurant but definitely worth a return!

I hope everyone made it through yesterday without falling into a sugar coma and are ready for an awesome week!

Linking up!




BLovedBoston
Friday, April 3, 2015

We Were the C&E Relatives

Happy Easter to all of you who are celebrating today!

Easter was always one of the bigger holidays growing up. Mainly because we were the C & E relatives. That means we only ever attended church on Christmas and Easter. My Grandma said that we could make it to church twice a year and dangit, Easter would be one of those holidays. Growing up in a half Catholic, half Protestant family means that you don't really have one place to go and you get exposure to both churches.

Every Easter we'd get brand new outfits, get up super early, search for our Easter baskets, not be allowed to eat any of the treats,  and head over to my Aunt's house for breakfast. All the relatives would be there and we'd go to my mom's church.

Let me tell you about church, The same preacher was there for as ling as I can remember. Every single Easter he'd do the same sermon and we'd sign the same three songs. Seriously, every dang year, it was the SAME three songs. Now I try to get Kev to add those songs into the service at the church he's the muscial driector for, and he won't do it. Rude.

After church there was usually lunch, then home to devour the best parts of our Easter baskets. For me, it also included taking all the candy out of my basket, sort it but type, then artfully rearrange it in my basket. I guess looking back, this was an indicator of my mild to moderate OCD. But you know what, I'd do it again today and if I had to make an Easter basket, that -ish would be so perfectly arranged.

Some things were always staples of the Easter basket.

 - Starburst Jelly Beans. When those things came out, it was like the heavens opened up and the gods rained happiness son us mere mortals, So flipping awesome.

 - Reeses Peanut Butter Eggs. Who doesn't love PB eggs? I look back on them with fondness.

 - Some sort of foil wrapped chocolate egg. I remember Crunch eggs, Butterfinger eggs (these were awesome) and sometimes plain chocolate (meh)

 - A colored hard boiled egg. Meh... No one wants those mucking up their chocolate.

One time my dad bought the Easter candy and it was nothing but white chocolate


Dad also loves those giant chocolate eggs that are full of some awful fruit cream. Every year he'd try and get us to eat them. Nope...

Easter dinner always followed, and always ham. Ham and scallpped potatoes or macaroni salad. it's what's for Easter dinner!

Holiday traditions are awesome and when you grow up you can choose to carry on the old or make your own.

Kev and I stink this year and Dinner might be frozen pizzas. Then again, it's not like we did a Seder for Passover either. I keep trying to get Kev to do one. One day...

Whichever holiday you chose to celebrate this weekend, I hope it was a good one, full of memories!

It is a Good Friday

I'm sitting here, blogging from my couch while bacon cooks in the oven. Why Because for the first time in my career, I work for a company who closes their offices on Good Friday. CRAZY! Don't get me wrong, I'm thrilled to have the day off and I've go plenty of things on my agenda today, I'll definitely take the 3 day weekend, but it's still odd.

I have big plans to get my nails done. I'm actually leaning towards a pinky, spring color, what? A departure from my usual darky dark colors? It just might have to happen. If I hate it, I'll get them done again in a few weeks. I need to take the dog for a walk, do the dishes, there's a 4:30 spin class I'm contemplating and I need to do a little shopping.

Today's post is kinda random but if we go with that whole 5 thing Friday thing, it works. Just roll with it. :)

Recently I've developed a small Kendra Scott obsession. I've been coveting the tassel necklace online for a while but I just couldn't pull the trigger. Tuesday I was over at the KD house for initiation and one of them was wearing an orange version of the necklace and I loved it even more in person.

Any who, that night Kev was off playing poker and when he does well, the poker fairy visits. Gambling winnings are always spent on fun things. Needless to say, the fairy visited and I headed off to Southpoint mall to the new Kendra Scott store that recently opened.

They were having a promotion where you opened an Easter egg and got a percentage off. Mine was 15% off and I walked put with these awesome earrings.


And of course, the necklace. I debated for a while which color to get. Black was really, really, high on my list but I ultimately decided that the mother of pearl was more versatile. LOVE IT. 


I also discovered that if you sign up for their e-mails, you get 50% off any 1 item during your birthday month. Thank you, I will. There's a pair of druzy earrings that I had a serious love for and are next on my wish list...

The other day, my brother sent me this video from the Onion. It questions if companies should discontinue unpaid intern fights.


I sent it to my interns.... By no means am I encouraging my interns to fight for my amusement, but I wouldn't oppose it. My interns asked if they did fight each other, would the winner be allowed to spin the wheel of gift cards. I'm OK with that, The winner can spin the wheel. lol I love having interns.

I really should start thinking about what I need to pack for Europe. Like, really, really need to think about it. I have no idea what I should bring. There's a part of me that really wants to get a black beret and wear it in France with a striped shirt, because that's what I think they wear there. My frame of reference is Bugs Bunny cartoons. Who am I kidding, I'm absolutely bringing a striped shirt. Probably several.

Since I really needs some help, I decided to sign up for the GYPO Spring challenge. Have you heard about this yet? You sign up for the Challenge, it's $29 and you get a shopping list to create a capsule wardrobe. There's a HUGE online community of women who are shopping and sharing their looks. I'm super excited to get started. We got the shopping list last night and now I need to pick up a few things to round out my capsule.

It's geared a little more towards the casual and I'll probably need to swap out some of the jeans for some dress pants. I could wear jeans every day if I wanted to but I think I should dress more professionally than most of my team, most of the time. Check out Allison's website here to learn more!

Unfortunately I have several things on the shopping list that don't quite fit my ass right now. I'm not buying new pants because of 7 stupid pounds. Instead it's back on the Whole 30 starting Monday, maybe Sunday depending on things... I started it at the beginning of Feb but not feeling well threw me off track. When you feel bad and only want to eat bagels and cream cheese, it throws a kink in only eating meat, veggies and fruit.

I've got 3 weeks until Germany, let's get as much of this gone as possible! Except on the 14th, we have a huge company dinner at the Angus Barn for hitting a big milestone. I'll keep it as clean as possible but I'm totally having booze.

Have a great Friday everyone!!

Linking up with Amanda!



Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Random Thoughts and a Swap


Lookie, 2 days, 2 blog posts! Who's on top of their game?!? Damn right.

Last week Kev and I finally had a chance to see the Imitation Game. (AMAZING). But since it had been a while since it was released, the only place we could see it was at Raleighwood.

For all you non-locals, Raleighwood is a theater were you order dinner. The tickets are pretty cheap, I think it was $9.50 for the 2 of us and you just order food. Sounds great, right? If I were a 15 year old boy and only ate pizza, burgers and potato skins, I would be in heaven. Since all of that gives me a stomachache, it's a little difficult for me to find something to eat.

Everytime we go to Raleighwood, it reminds me of OTB. That's Off Track Betting for those of you who aren't from the north. 


OTB is where your dad and uncle go to watch horse races on small TVs, bet on them, smoke and eat greasy food. Raleighwood is cheap movies, greasy food and instead of going with your day, your uncle brings his wife and they have some onion rings and a hot dog while watching the movie.


Both places smell like grease and broken dreams. 

Aside from the grease smell, the movie was EXCELLENT. Seriously, so, so good. For once I didn't spend the entire movie trying to figure out if Benedict Cumberbatch was attractive or not. Because he wasn't. Not once during the movie did I think he was attractive, They must have only filmed him from his bad angle. You really, must see it!

Let's see, what else do I need to get caught up on? A few weeks ago I signed up for the Mug O' Comfort swap. The idea is that you get hooked up with a fellow blogger, you get to know each other and send a box of goodies. 

I was matched with Jennifer over at Inner Workings of a Female Mind. Unfortunately for us we were both super busy and didn't have a chance to really converse much. Still, I was excited to bust into my package as soon as it arrived. 


There was a little travel mug and cold drink cup in shades of pink, socks, hand lotion, chapstick, gum, a pouch and there's a leopard print scarf underneath all of that. lol.

I see that Jennifer loves Target as much as I do. The funny part is that I sent her the same Chapstick. Cake batter for the win!

I'm probably not going to get too much use out of the mugs, it's just because I have an abnormal obsession with keeping my coffee as hot as I can for as long as humanly possible. I love me a good vacuum seal. Check out my new precious.


20 ounces of coffee AND it can keep your beverage hot for up to 7 hours. I made it 3 today but might have to test its limits.

A few weeks ago Kev asked me what the heck I ordered from Poland.
It's Mister TEA! Bwah ha ha ha.

I got it off Etsy and didn't realize it was coming from Poland. When I opened the package and showed Kev, he immediately understood why I couldn't control myself.

Hope you're having a great Tuesday!

Coffee or Tea?

Ever tried a Contigo mug? Best EVER!
Monday, March 30, 2015

Guess Who's Back!

Hey all! sorry about that extended absence, I really didn't plan on taking the month of March off from blogging, it just kinda happened. Hopefully more people than just my mother in law missed my posts.

It's been a crazy month. I spent the last 2-3 weeks not feeling very well and that culminated in an outpatient procedure last Tuesday. I'm definitely on the mend and will be fine. It definitely put a kink in my workouts, Whole30 plan and blogging. Add that to hiring 6 new people in the last month and sneak blogging at work wasn't happening,... Not that it ever did, really, just in case someone I work with stumbles across this blog, Really,  NEVER blog in the mornings before people come in and want me to pay attention to them. Neeeeeevvvvver.

Oh and March is a crazy KD report month. Budgets, Monthly reports, annual reports and CAB reports all due so grades can be calculated for Convention. At least THOSE are done.

Enough about all of that, let's chat about this past weekend. On Friday I left work and met Kev at the Angus Barn for some meat and boozy goodness. As usual we split the giant prime rib, Kev had a potato, steamed veggies for me, a Cosmo and the house Cab. It had been a long week, between me being out on Monday and Tuesday and going at full speed Wed - Friday, I needed to relax.

As usual, everything was fantastic, we left plenty full and all was right in the world. We needed to eat a little earlier than normal to give ourselves time to digest and get extra hungry for Saturday's festivities, the Beer and Bacon Festival!

Several months ago Kev bought us VIP tickets to the Beer and Bacon festival. For about 6 hours on the website, the VIP tickets were the same price as the regular ones, which was about a $30 savings. For $39 you got to enter the festival 2 hours earlier than the rest of the people and were treated to unlimited speciality bacon dishes from local restaurants. Shorter crowds and unlimited bacon? Why yes! Our beer and bacon loving friends Lacey and Rob joined us.


It was unseasonably cold on Saturday in Raleigh. 40 some degrees in NC at the end of March just isn't right. That's Pittsburgh weather and part of the reason why I left, End of March should be sandal weather, instead I'm still in flannel, jeans and boots. Not bitter though. Funny story, Lacey and I were surprise twinsies with our red flannels, jeans and boots. 


When you go to these festivals you get a glass to sample the all the delicious booze, I get it, you just need a taste, not an entire glass.... 


It was held over at the Koko Booth Amphitheater in Cary and as soon as we walked in Kev found some fellow bacon-loving folks. I think he was a Bacon pimp and these lovely ladies were his stable of bacon ladies. Kev was thrilled.


Like the beard? I LOVE the beard. We'll see if it makes it through the summer but I;m a big fan. #BeardLife

We immediately got to work eating the bacon. First up was bacon pizza. It was pretty good. Bacon, cheese, red onions, Yum. 


As we worked our way though that line, we also just got some bacon on a napkin.


It was literally, bacon off the griddle. There were 2 different bacon stations and Kev hit both up more than once. That man loves him some bacon.



We sampled some beer and booze and then saw a line for bacon, cheese and potato soup. Now, I HATE cream based soups, really, really, hate them. Bleck. Then again, I only like 4 soups. Not a soup gal. But THIS, THIS soup was AMAZING! I couldn't ever eat an entire bowl but this with some crusty bread thing, I could die happy.


 Then again, it was as cold as a witches titty and anything that gave off the slightest bit of warmth was a winner in my book.

I don't have a picture but my very most favorite moonshine dealer was there, Sugarlands Distllery. Their butterscotch moonshine rocks my world. If you can find it, buy it and thank me later.

We also found this station.


 How could you not?

The best way I can describe the Bacon Explosion is a sausage bacon meatloaf with bacon inside and out.

Not my favorite, I took a bite and gave the rest to Kev. He LOVED it. 

We also had a bacon potato casserole which was mashed potatoes with cheese, bacon bits and scallions. I've never really liked mashed potatoes so this was a big meh for me.

More beer and booze... Then there was a pulled pork slider with jalapeno bacon and slaw. I don't really care for jalapeno bacon but it was a quality slider.


Missing pictures of the BLT (ehhh), Fondue with bacon jam and focaccia (YUM), Creamed Spinach with bacon (needed a pita chip but surprisingly tasty), Bacon wrapped cheesy tater tot with a random jalapeno (didn't need the rando pepper). Then there were 2 fails, the bacon mac and cheese ran out and we never found the bacon potato wedges. We were supposed to choose our favorite and put out ballots in the box by 2pm. Sadly, no one had a pen and there weren't any pens at the table. 

As soon as the general admission opened at 2pm the place got super crowded and getting booze became next to impossible, By 3pm we called it a day and headed over to Bad Daddy's Burger Bar to split a burger and some tots. Let's be honest, Kev ate the burger and I ate his tots because I have zero self control when it comes to tater tots. It's one of the main reasons I love the Whole Foods breakfast bar, the tots. Heck, full disclosure, I had tots for breakfast and lunch on Saturday, 

Thoughts on the festival? I didn't get as much booze as I did at the Beer and Bourbon festival because we spent a lot of time waiting in line for food. However, the VIP was SOOOOO worth it. Fewer people and free bacon samples was absolutely worth it, The people who came after 2 had to pay for their food and most of the samples were gone. We'd definitely go again an would get the VIP in a heartbeat. It was a great way to spend a Saturday afternoon. Then we went home and napped. The End.

Alright, time to get ready for my FINAL 2 new hires! I have two contract employees starting today, Liam Khaki Pants and Joe Four First Names. I'll tell them they already have nicknames in a day or 2. 

Back to the linking up!


BLovedBoston
Sunday, March 15, 2015

Weight Watchers Cereal Review

A few weeks ago I received an email from BzzAgent asking if I would be interested in reviewing the new Weight Watchers Cereal. Who doesn't like cereal? I said, sign me up!


I received a box of the Frosted Shredded Wheat and the Oat Clusters with Cherries and Almonds. I received both of these for free along with some coupons to share but all opinions are my own.

I give both of these a big thumbs down. Weight Watchers has been trying for years to produce "healthy" foods that people can use on their weight loss journey. Weight Watchers advertises that for only 3pp these cereals fit into a healthy diet. 

I'm going to leave my opinion about Weight Watchers off this post, I'll just talk about the cereal.

When I opened the box of Oat Cluster Cereal, my initial thought was, "Damn this is sweet". Then I looked at the ingredients and saw why.

OAT CLUSTERS WITH CHERRIES AND ALMONDS INGREDIENTS

Corn, whole grain wheat, sugar, cherries(cherries, sugar, glycerin), whole grained oats, almonds,corn syrup, contains 2% or less of salt, malt extract, molasses, cinnamon, honey, natural and artificial flavor, baking soda, caramel color, bht(to preserve freshness). Vitamins and minerals: vitamin b1(thiamine mono nitrate), vitamin b2(riboflavin) niacin, vitamin b6, folic acid, vitamin b12, vitamin a, palmitate, vitamin c, vitamin d, reduced iron, zinc
Corn syrup, molasses and honey. When it comes to weight loss, maybe not having 3 different sweeteners is a good idea? Maybe that's just me. I was really disappointed in the number of junk ingredients listed. Ugh. I'm not a fan of eating high fructose corn syrup at all. All the GMOs and junk in our food is what's making us fat

After my first handful. I didn't try it again.

As for the Frosted Shredded Wheat with Protein, guess what the added protein is, soy. Yep, soy, so that cereal was a no go for me. Kev tried it and he was unimpressed. 

Sorry folks, I can't stand behind any of these products. Want a good cereal, go to Whole Foods and find something with less junk.



Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Raleigh Comic Con and Pondering

Does anyone else have a month that really, really sucks? As in, there was some sort of horrible loss(es) during the month and each year you just want to make through the month unscathed? That's what March is like for us. Please Lord, let us just make it out of March alive. Anywho, March started on Sunday and so far so good! Three days in but I don't want to jinx it.

OK, I have a few things to confess, well they aren't really confessions, more like things to ponder.

I started the Whole last week and so far so good! I decided to join a first timer group on Facebook and for the most part, it's been really interesting and helpful. But there have been some posts and comments that have just boggled my mind. I mean really, if someone chooses to not follow the program, chill out, but instead they're throwing fits on-line.


I posted this picture of Trader Joe's plantain chips to see if the oil was compliant. It wasn't and someone went on a tangent about "people" looking for a substitute for chips and anything chip-like wasn't acceptable.... First of all child, slow your roll and get away from the computer, If a question about a chip triggers that kind of response, you've got some issues. #LetItGo

I do have 2 other cats and they're both neurotic. You know how people have cats and sometimes cats have people? I am Godiva's person. Ever since we got her as a kitten, I was her person. I promise that if you come to my house, the cat will be about 5 feet from me at all times. No lie. You could also pet her for hours and hours and hours and she would be absolutely fine. She's also still pulling all the hair off her backside. I think the cone of shame is in her future again, Or kitty Prozac.


I had a great idea to put a cat sweater on her to keep her from eating her but fur, If she had a sweater or pants to cover the areas she won't leave alone, it would solve my problem. I can make this happen. #CatPants

My freshman year of college I went to a small all-women's college in Virginia, Sweet Briar College. The other day, the College announced that after 114 years, they would be closing their doors and the this year's would be the last class to graduate. I'm really bummed to hear that, even though I left after a year and ran away to Pitt, it was a great school and I have so many fond memories of that year. It's really unfortunate that after such a long and rich history, they were unable to keep the school going, It really stinks. #RIPSweetBriar

The last few days Kev has been watching Colombo on Netflix. I'm a little young to get Colombo but he really likes it. Here's the thing, I had NO idea how long those dang episodes were. Really, each episode is mini series length. The other day, I called him when I left the gym and he just started an episode. I drove to Whole Foods, shopped, ran into a friend, chatted, came home, took a bath, made dinner, ate it and Colombo STILL hadn't solved the dang case. It was like 3 hours later. #DangColombo

This month Raleigh is hosting it's first Comic Con. I'm not a sci-fi person by any stretch of the imagination but we're definitely going, WHY???


Because David Tennant!!! OMG YEEEESSSS!!!! Seriously, Doctor Who is the only sci-fi thing I give 2 shakes about and 10 was the BEST. Kev is totally down to go as well because you know who else is coming??


Shatner.YES SHATNER is coming too, Kev is a huge Trek fan and loves him some Shatner, Yes, we are going and will totally push anyone who gets in the way of our respective fangirling. I never though I would be excited about going to Comic Con...

Don't FORGET! The free shipping code for the cr2f Etsy shop is "cookiescardioclothes". I forgot to mention, I'm not getting anything out of the shameless plug, she;s my friend and you should go to her shop and buy her stuff, 'cause it's awesome!


Wednesday Link-Up!
Making Melissa


#Hashtaghumpday @ Life with Lolo