Monday, October 20, 2014

I ate ALLLL the Carbs. Part 1

Who missed me? I know you did. It's more like my mom and 7 other followers are wondering when I'm going to start posting again.

So, Kev and I are back from our tour-de-North, also known as "I ate all the carbs and now I have to detox for a week". They keep some dang tasty carbs up there and let me tell you, I tried them all. I also had a stomach ache most of the time because most delicious things have shortening and soy in them. I'll be honest and you know this if you follow me on Instagram, there are a LOT of pictures of food. And I'm going to show you all of them. You're welcome.

We took off Monday morning and headed to Long Island. It's far. There are a lot of tolls. Remind me not to complain about the .37 cent toll that I occasionally have to pay when I go to Cary. It's like $20 to have the privilege of going through Delaware. Seriously Delaware? I know you don't have much to offer in the way of tourist attractions (Rehoboth is nice though) but taking my $20 makes me far less likely to spend longer than an hour in you.

Kev was in charge of looking for road food and he discovered a cute farm stand / chicken / corn store in Maryland.


 Don't ask me the name because I forgot but LOOOOOOKKK at the pumpkins!!

I ordered a ham, cheese and fried onion sandwich which was hot and pressed on a pretzel bun. I don't really get the recent obsession with pretzel buns, they're nice but haven't changed my life. Foreshadow - I DID eat a food on this trip that changed my life.



It came with mustard dippy sauce.

Then we drove and drove and drove in the drizzling rain through Delaware (damn you Delaware), Jersey and New York until we finally got to out friend's house. By the time we got there we were starving and ended up ordering pizza.


It was pretty tasty and at that point I wanted to eat my face. The thing about Northern pizza vs Southern is the sauce (and bread and cheese) but there's something really special and different about the sauce. This is the right sauce. I can get the right sauce in Pittsburgh too.

The next morning we took the train into the city but of course before heading in, we needed to stop at the bagel store for some breakfast.

This is what I think heaven looks like.

I went with the bacon egg and cheese on a sesame bagel. I was able to make it through about half of the sandwich. Then I was sad because I was full and had to stop eating.


 Mmmmm fluffy bagel carbs.

That day we were pretty tired as we walked though the city. 13 hours in the car and several looooong weeks makes for some pretty sleepy people. We stumbled around for a few hours and decided to hit up one of the places on our bucket list, Katz's Deli. Katz's is known for their pastrami, we had a debate over roast beef vs pastrami and went with the pastrami. It's made in house and is unbelievable.

Those pickles? I die.

After a little rest, it was time to meet back up with our friends and headed to Peter Luger. It's seriously one of the best steak houses in the country and as you can see, one of Kev's very most favorite places.


Peter Luger is an old school steak house, complete with wood paneling and grumpy waiters. You pay cash, don't look at the menu and for the love of all that's holy, don't order a well done steak. They'll sneer at you and grumble. Besides, if you want well done steak it means you don't like steak and that's OK. Just get some chicken, at another restaurant.

We started with a round of bacon. Because that's what you do at Luger's, have a meat appetizer before the rest of the meat comes out.


There were five of us and we ordered steak for five, rare. God bless rare meat eating friends. 


That's steak for 3, there was a steak for 2 in front of me. Porterhouse deliciousness covered in butter. They bring out the steak, serve your pieces and spoon butter juices over it. Sweet heaven. I can really only eat about 3 of those pieces but that just means more for Kev and our friends and not a morsel remained.

We were thinking about dessert and saw there were "seasonal pies" on the menu. We asked fantastically old grumpy waiter which pies they had and he said, "NONE, you have the cheesecake." Yes sir.


Cheesecake and schlag. Schlag is their homemade whipped cream which they bring out in a 14 inch bowl and slap on your cake.

At the end of the meal he thew down some gold chocolate coins because that's what you do there.


Everything was amazing and the company was fantastic and it's ridiculously expensive and worth every penny. When you don't get there that often, you do it up right. Surprisingly for us, that was the only big dinner we had the entire trip, might as well make it a good one.

Weds morning we woke up and headed to a real diner for breakfast. I always tend to get eggs, a meat and dry toast. This was the size of a small child. 


This time we drove into the city and I let Kev show off his city driving skills. I was pretty pleased to see that neither of us had lost our moderately aggressive northern-driving abilities. 

The one place I wanted to stop this trip was the Diamond District. It's my happy place. Let me tell you, I love the Diamond District. As a sales person, I love a good haggle and great deal. If I can haggle my way to a better price, sign me up. Kev is the king of the hagglers, it's really one of his favorite things.


I was in the market for a larger pearl earring. Just a single pearl, no diamonds or accents. It had been a few years since we'd been to the district and I was really surprised at how much the feel had changed. There were a lot of shops that had closed and several of the kiosks weren't nearly as aggressive as they used to be. I expect to have someone try and hard sell me and they really didn't. Some people barely even looked up when we stopped by. Strange....

We ended up at Golda Jewelry and they did something no one else did. They built rapport. I was really impressed with their techniques. We came in, told them what we were looking for and sat down. The owner sent his guy to another location where he kept the pearls. While we waited, the owner chatted with us, gave us liquor and told us a story.

He came back with the pearls and we asked for a price to drill and set 14k gold posts. He quoted us something very reasonable and we said yes. I asked Kev why he didn't haggle and he said "I liked that guy, he told me a story and gave me booze." It's actually a really good sales lesson. Those 12 minutes of rapport was the difference between the sale and no sale.


We had to have them shipped because they wouldn't be ready before we had to leave. So pretty and I can't wait for them to get here!

All too soon it was time to leave the city and head to Jersey!


Bye Times Square! Next time we won't wait as long before coming back!

Have you been to New York City? What do you think?

Ever ben to the Diamond District?

Linky Linky with these awesome ladies!

http://www.blovedboston.com/

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Fall Swag Swap

Back at the end of August I was perusing some blogs and came across Candra at Camo and Lipstick who was co-hosting a Fall Swag Swap! Well, love fall and I love swag, so this sounded perfect to me! The rules were pretty simple, you had to spend $20 on at least 5 items and be a US Citizen.


The fabulous ladies at Camo and Lipstick, Macke Monologues, Beauty and the Baseball Coach and Homemade Happenings set all of this up and let me tell you, I had a blast. I was fortunate enough to be partnered up with Candra herself and had a blast getting to know her over the last month!

We're both runners, she's training for another half marathon and I'm seriously thinking about running half number 4. (Really really thinking hard but I also want a sub-30 5k and I'm not sure the 2 are compatible). We also both love coffee, chapstick and multiple water bottles. Shopping for Candra was pretty easy, I just bought things that I would get for myself. :)

I was really excited to break into the package she sent I have to say, she did a fantastic job with my swag.

DECORATIONS!! I've been needing to refresh my fall decorations for a while and these are absolutely perfect! I decorate with nothing but pumpkins and leaves and these go perfectly with the rest of my decor.


She also sent 2 little books. One that's a purse calendar that tells you which foods are in season and a slow cooker cook book! Seriously, just the other day I was talking to Kev about wanting to make more things in the crock pot. I pulled out a paleo cookbook and he poo pooed all the recipes. I had great plans to search Pinterest for some ideas and now I don't need to.


Ignore the sideways photo. :) I really really love the nail polish she sent, it's the perfect nude color and I can't wait to try it out! And that lip butter is really fantastic. :) Also un-pictured is the bag of Autumn mix that's already in my snack bag and I've already fished out a few of the candy pumpkins.



The swap was a great experience, I had a blast getting to know Candra and shopping for her. It's definitely something I would do again!

Don't forget to check out the rest of the swappers!

Have you ever done a Swag Swap?

What did you swap?

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Protein Powder Review and Faux- Mac and Cheese

This post is kind of a hodgepodge of things but hey, I'm pretty random too. 

Last week I got some pretty exciting KD news that I can't share quite yet but I'm super excited about it! Also I found out that I'm up for the Outstanding Greek Advisor award at NC State. The awards ceremony is October the 20th and even though I'm thrilled to be nominated, I still want to win. :)

A few weeks ago I received a tweet from Protein Milk Shake Bar asking if I would be interested in trying their protein powder. I'm always looking for a good protein source that doesn't bring sadness, and after I say it didn't have any soy, I was on board to give it a shot. There were a ton of delicious flavors like cupcake batter and ice cream sandwich. I decided to go with the Rocky Road.


I really liked that it didn't have any soy, the carb count was pretty low and it had a good bit of protein.


I mixed it with a cup and a half of unsweetened vanilla almond milk. I took a sip and I was immediately struck buy how much it tasted like rocky road, I could definitely taste the marshmallow and the nutty goodness. The other thing was how sweet it was. I don't add sweetener to anything any more. I drink my coffee and tea black and only have unsweetened seltzer. I think that's part of the reason why it was so sweet to me. If you like a protein powder that tastes like candy, this is for you!

So, something completely different. A few weeks ago I made a cheesy spaghetti squash casserole recipe I found here. Hands down, this recipe changed my life. I'm not even exaggerating, and I am prone to exaggeration... This is stupid good and you have to buy one of the 5000 spaghetti squashes that are out there right now and make this.


Ingredients
  • Olive oil cooking spray
  • 2½ cups (1 lb., 450 grams) cooked spaghetti squash
  • ½ plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly spray a 1.5-quart baking dish with olive oil cooking spray.
  2. If you need to cook the spaghetti squash, follow instructions 1-5 here: spaghetti squash recipe.
  3. Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl. Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish. Bake until browned, 40-45 minutes (it will smell wonderful!).
  4. Allow to cool 10 minutes, then carefully cut into squares
Just eat it now.

That's all for me! I'm spending the day cruising around NYC, check out my Instagram for all the details!


Monday, October 13, 2014

Road Trip Snack Bag!

It's Monday and Columbus Day! One of the things I love about being back in banking is the random holidays I get off now. Columbus Day, Veteran's Day and I think President's Day. That means having to use fewer days of PTO for my vacation! 

As you're reading this we're driving up to NYC and rapidly approaching the land of bagels and real pizza! You should check out my Instagram to see what I'm up to.

One of the things we always do is pack a snack bag. We do like to stop, stretch our legs and get coffee, so it's not like we're driving non-stop and peeing at rest stops. (Gross) Kev refuses to let me stop at rest stops, we have to go to the next exit and find a McDonald's. Apparently molesters and murders hang out at rest stops. 

And let's be honest, when we get to VA and enter the land of WaWa, we're gonna stop. Who doesn't love some WaWa and the WaWa coffee. Mmmmmm

Kev and I both have very distinct childhood memories of the car snack bag and how mom would parse out the snacks as we were driving. We were never able to eat the snacks before a certain point in the trip no matter how often we asked. For us we had to wait until Breezewood. Breezewood was the magical entrance to the PA Turnpike where you could pee, have a drink and finally get a Twizzler.

Also, I have food issues and most of the time gas station food is going to give me pain and sadness. Gotta pack my own.

So what's in our bag?

Gum! This one is for Kev since all gum now has aspartame in it which is BS. You need gum or mentos for when you go over the mountains and you ears get all clogged up. I got him grape. Who doesn't love grape gum?

(I got my nails done too)


Grapes! Grape flavored gum and real grapes! They're super easy to eat in the car and there's minimal mess. No juicy fingers like you have with other fruits.


 Let's be honest here, Peanut Butter filled pretzels are freaking amazing. They're salty and peanut buttery and again, not too messy.


Pretzel Goldfish - I only ever eat these on a road trip and they are fantastic.


I don't know what it is but I love Twizzlers on a road trip. I almost got the long ones but the bites are just better. 


Last but not least, Quest Bars! I love having protein bars on a road trip especially if you're on a stretch of road where there aren't any good food options. I'd rather pull out a Quest Bar than stop at a Wendy's. I also love having them in my purse when we're in AC. We don't always eat lunch there and I need a little something to get me to dinner.


Some not so good things to have in your snack bag. (From personal experience)

 - Sesame bagels. No matter how much you love a nice Sesame bagel in the morning, have it at a table, not in the car. Otherwise sesame seeds will literally be everywhere. EVERYWHERE.

 - Anything with powdered sugar. It will fall on the floor of the car and a tiny cloud of powdered sugar dust will fill the car. Everything will be white.

What's your favorite road trip snack??

Linky Linky with these awesome ladies!

http://www.blovedboston.com/

Friday, October 10, 2014

Whatcha gonna do on vacation?

FRIDAY!!! It's the last day of the work week before vacation!!

Kev and I moved to NC 9 years ago and we absolutely love it here but every few months we need to make a trek up North and re-set our Nothern-ness. (Yes, it's a real thing). The land of sweet tea and slow drawls is great but I need to see every other person wearing a Steeler's coat or someone calling another person a jag-off. I want a real bagel and to wear a track suit without shame.

We're heading to NYC, NJ and Northern VA for a North-tastic journey and I figured why not dedicate my 5 Friday things to what I want to see and do on our trip? Here goes.

1. Eat at Katz's or Stage Deli. There was a line out the door at Katz's last time we were in NYC and we didn't have time to wait. This time we will. I want a giant, piled high meat sandwich and a pickle.



2. Stop in the Diamond District. I love all things sparkly. So, so much. My engagement ring and band and my diamond studs were all purchased in the diamond district. The prices are SOOOOO much better than anywhere else. When I managed a jewelry store and got 50% off, the NYC prices were still infinitely better. Honestly, if you or someone you know is planning on getting engaged or looking for a nice piece of jewelry, it's worth the trip. The savings will easily make up for it. If you're a haggler (Like Kev) you'll get a great deal there.

3. Eat glorious steak with friends. We have reservations at Peter Luger's on Long Island with a group of old friends. The steak is hands down, the best ever and worth every penny. I love everything right down to the cranky old waiters. You don't ask for special accommodations there. You eat the steak and the sides and don't complain. But you won't because it's amazing. Kev is counting down the hours to his steak. 
Steak for 2, Rare please.

4. Slots! It's no secret that I want to be an old lady in a track suit sitting in front of a slot machine. I'm going to get my fix. I want a slot machine and a cosmo and to sit there and play and try to spot hookers. (They usually sit on the machines on the end and slowly play a line or quarter at a time. They hang out in the bars too. I've gotten pretty good at finding them.)

5. Jersey Diner! There are no, and I do mean no diners in NC. Yes there's Poole's diner but that's fancy diner food. I'm talking about a big ass plate of eggs and hash browns with never ending coffee so hot it will burn the skin off the roof of your mouth. AND I want the giant case of butter cookies when you come in the door.

And I realized that 3 of the 5 things have to do with food. This is why I can't lose those 10 pounds...

There are so many other things I'm excited to do, visit with Kev's aunts and uncles, see a good friend get married, see more friends at said wedding, eat a NY bagel, fend off street vendors, maybe go into the back room and look at knock-off handbags, revel in the Jersey-ness of Atlantic City, hit up the outlet mall for some leather leggings (it's going to happen), watch Kev develop a NY accent for 5 days. All the things.

I have a few posts ready to go so you won't miss me too much. I'm sure I;ll be updating my Instagram the entire trip so if you want to see pictures of all the food, that's where I'll be!

See you later!

Ever been to Atlantic City?

If you eat steak, what temperature?

Linking up!
http://meetatthebarre.blogspot.com/
Thursday, October 9, 2014

What's in My Halloween Bag?

It's October! That means boots and scarves and cider and pumpkins. Or you live in the South and it's 75 degrees and you pull out all your warm clothes anyway because DAMMIT IT'S FALL. And then you get a little sweaty because you really shouldn't be wearing a sweater.

Like most basic white girls I totally love fall. Growing up, this was my absolute favorite time of the year and one of the biggest reasons is Halloween. I loved dressing up and going door to door and getting all the treats.

Remember, I'm a child of the 80s when we went Trick or Treating in awful plastic costumes. And heaven forbid it was a little chilly out, them you mom made you wear your winter coat and it totally ruined the look of your costume.


Not me but it really could have been... And WHY do pictures from our childhood look so dang old now??

I don't know about you but I have some definite favorites and not so favorites that used to show up in my bag, well pillow case, because you can fit a LOT more candy in a pillow case! So, you get home and dump out the candy on the floor so your mom can look for razors. Yes, because everyone was shoving razors in apples in the 80s. Apparently that's the best place to hide a razor.

What used to get my chubby kid heart all excited?

 - Full sized ANYTHING. Seriously, how excited were you when there was a full sized bar in your bag? You get a full Snickers bar and your night was made. And you REMEMBER who gives out the good candy. Year after year, you know.

 - Treat Bags! The treat bags were awesome. Even if it was a bag of sweet tarts and a few pixie sticks, treat bags were the best. 

 - Name brand fun sized candy. Any Snickers, Twix, Milky Way, they're all awesome. 
 
 

Wanna piss off a kid? Put these in their bags

 - Money. It was the 80s so you'd get a dime, maybe a quarter if you were lucky. All kids hate change, I can't eat your change and I'm probably going to lose it. I'd rather have a piece of gum than have to ask my mom to drive me to the store to spend my dime.

-  Mallo Cups, WHO EATS THESE? I've never seen them in the store but they always appeared in your Halloween bag. You give them to your dad, he'll eat them.


 - Toothbrushes, We all had a dentist in the neighborhood and they ALWAYS gave tooth brushes. Not cool. I want to do bad things to my teeth, not clean them.
 
 - Apples or any fruit for that matter. We aren't going to eat it and because of the whole razor blade thing, mom was immediately throwing them away. Fruit is heavy and just weighs down your bag.

 

 - Granola bars. Don't try to be healthy, we don't want that. Give me a dang Blow Pop instead.
 
 - Pencils. We had a couple in our neighborhood who won the lottery. Legitimately won like a million dollars in the lottery. She was our old gym teacher too and after they won, they gave out pencils and 1 roll of Sweet tarts. I remember this because we were pretty pissed. You won the lottery! Give out a full sized candy bar!
 
 
Your turn! What did you hate seeing in your Halloween bag???
 

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Step on up to the Confessional

It's Wednesday! That means only a few short days until a much needed vacation! I can't even tell you how badly we need to go away and relax, but yeah, I probably will.

I was thinking about my confessions and realized I had quite a few this week and didn't need to stretch to fill the post. WOOO HOO go me!

Confession - I've only been to confession once. It was in third grade right before my First Communion. You had to confess before you could dress up in your white dress and head up with your class and get the Communion.

I remember it was a tiny room and the priest sat across a table from me. There was no wooden wall and a little slidey screen thing like in the movies He sat me down and pointed out the box of tissues in case I got upset. It was a struggle because I was 8 and had no idea what I was supposed to say. Finally I confessed that I fought with my brother and he told me to do better. No Hail Marys or anything but I remember him being vaguely disappointed that I didn't have more to share.

After that I got my First Communion but wasn't Confirmed. I like to say that makes me Diet Catholic. All the goodness of a real Catholic but without the guilt. (Some Catholics don't find this nearly as funny as I do.)

If only there was...

 - I kinda really want a pair of leather or faux-leather leggings. They're so darn cute and I love the edgy-ness factor. Problem, Raleigh isn't exactly a leather pants kinda town. I also think my place of employment would heartily disapprove. I would wear them in NYC and to Atlantic City. I think leather pants are more a northern thing. But I still love them a lot. Rachel Zoe is in her 40s and can pull of leather pants. I love her too but I want to feed her.

Let's be real, this is probably going to happen.

 - Taxes - We're terrible when it comes to doing our taxes. Since we have business expenses and all that fun stuff it's a LOT of information gathering, miles and expenses and receipts. So we put it off and submit extensions until it's October 7h and HOLY CRAP we have to do these immediately. Good news is we're finally DONE!!! YAY October 7th with 8 days to spare.



 - For a while now I've been suspicious that I might have a resting bitch face. For those of you who aren't familiar, Urban Dictionary defines it as:
resting bitch face
a person, usually a girl, who naturally looks mean when her face is expressionless, without meaning to.
 
I heard it recently from the college women I advise and pretty much my entire life. I asked Kev if it was true and he said it was but he still loved me. That's good.

I do think I skew several years younger than I am. This makes a lot of sense. I don't get wrinkles from excessive smiling.
 
 - I recently found Once Upon a Time on Netflix and I CAN'T STOP WATCHING IT. I don't know what it is about the show but I really kinda love it. I'm on episode 13 of the first season. Kev has seen a few episodes with me and he just wants to know when the evil queen gets her come-upins. He wants to punch her in the face which is probably the whole point. Also, Jennifer Morrison is the queen of the resting bitch face. I don't have anything on her.
 

 

- We all know I love my Doctor Who and David Tennant is my Doctor. Matt Smith was fine and I'm trying to have an open mind towards the new Doctor. I have a small problem though. Sometimes I don't understand what he's saying. I feel like such a dirty American complaining about not being able to understand a Scottish accent but I think he mumbles too. Ugh, I need subtitles like in Honey Boo Boo


- I have a Tablespoon measuring spoon that I keep at my desk to portion my peanut butter. I never wash it. I just lick the peanut butter off and put it back in my drawer. hangs head in shame. I might be a little embarrassed but I'm not going to get up and wash it every time. So, if you ever come to my office, don't ask to use my spoon.


What do you have to confess today?

You know I love my link ups!
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