Living Local

How was everyone’s weekend! Mine was fun and busy, just the way I like it 🙂

Friday

Potluck Day at work! Unfortunately potluck days are loosing steam. hardly anyone brings anything in anymore 😦

There was still some goodies though!

It was a LONG work week so when it came to dinner we took the Chinese takeout route.

General Tso with the last of my woodchuck cider.

Saturday

Saturday was my first day “on the job” for a freelance project I’m working on. I got to go around interviewing local business owners, which was both fun and interesting. Definitely learned more about what it’s like to own your own business and also the history behind some popular St. Pete places.

The morning started off with Cafe con Leche at Pipo’s.

I normally stay away from coffee and espresso because I get heart palpitations (I’m fine with tea), but I needed some caffeine and cafe con Leche sounded so good.

I slurped it down like it was my job. De-lish.

Lunch was at Ferg’s. Never actually eatten here and it was pretty good!

Meatball sliders with a side of apple. I love how they cut it into slices…I like it so much better then having to bite into one. Weird I know!

Later I attended St. Pete’s first ever Cash Mob. A cash mob is basically where a group of people all gather and then hit up a local store all “flash mob” style and buy something to support that business. We ended up at Haslam’s. I love bookstores. There’s something so peaceful about them. I had 3 different books in my hand at one point, but finally settled on one. Which I’m embarrassed to say…I can’t remember the title! Eek I’ll let you know later.

I was ready to keep the busy-ness going and Jon and I had dinner and a party on the schedule, but only ended up with dinner. We were half tired and half too full to do anything but lounge on the couch.

Dinner was at a favorite, Cafe Vienna.

Jon insisted we try something different this time (I’m such a creature of habit) so I got the Pork Alfredo. It was really good and exactly what I was in the mood for. Pork stuffed with goat cheese and spinach. Some kind of gravy on top? Veggies and potatoes on the side.

We both got a hankering for something sweet later in the night.

So I whipped up some 5 minute chocolate chip cake. Love this stuff! So easy and it kicks the chocolate craving. However, this batch didn’t get mixed too well (oops) and I used a different recipe which wasn’t as good as the first one I tried.

Sunday

After such a busy Saturday and a long time since we had a weekend by ourselves at home, we totally just sat on our butts Sunday.

That is, after we made a trip to Halong Bay for dim sum, another favorite place of ours 🙂

BBQ pork steam buns, dumplings, lotus leaf rice and custard buns just to name a few.

About a year ago Jon had gotten the flu…he thought he was feeling better so we went to get dim sum and ordered one of our favs, salt and pepper calamari. Needless to say he was not better and all that food made him worse. Ever since then we haven’t ordered the calamari because it brings up some not so nice memories. Well…we ordered it Sunday cause Jon wanted to give it a whirl.

Unfortunately, it still made him think of that dreaded day 😦 This stuff is so good though. It’s rich and crispy, and with all the cracklings on top it’s very addictive.

After a whole day of lounging Jon pulled together a last minute dinner of curry lentil soup.

Lentils with pureed chic peas and spinach, curry and probably some other fun things I missed 🙂 So good and so healthy!

Monday was nothing special, but I did try out my new heart monitor watch! Separate post on that to come.

View of the Water

Hello friends! Hope everyone had a wonderful weekend. Mine was filled with fun, fun, fun so let’s get started 🙂

Clay and Cabernet

After work on Friday my friend and I headed to the Morean Arts Center for Clay for an event put on by the Morean Arts Center Ambassadors called Clay and Cabernet. The Center for Clay is located in an old historic train station and is one of the coolest buildings (in my opinion) in St. Pete. I love old buildings, especially brick ones. I’ve heard of this event before and always wanted to go so I was excited to finally see what it was all about.

We explored the center.

  

  

Ate some yummy appetizers.

    

  

Had some wine.

  

Watched some clay demonstrations.

There was also live music, which was a nice touch and set the mood for the event. It was fun to look around as I’d only been there once before. Our only complaint was that we were expecting to get down and dirty with some clay ourselves, which was promoted. However, we weren’t sure how to go about it. There were demonstrators there, but they seemed so intent on their pottery wheels it seemed awkward to disturb them.

We only stayed for about an hour and then headed back to my friend’s place to snack on cheese and champagne. We ended the night with a drink at Mandarin Hide with more friends. We didn’t stay out too late since we had to get up early in the morning for…

Blogger Brillance Conference

I was so excited for this conference since there don’t seem to be many blogger conferences in the Tampa Bay area. And this was my first blogger conference in general!

  

There was a good crowd. A mix of fashion and food bloggers. The morning consisted of a panel of bloggers talking about creating the right content, there social media preferences, how to work with brands, etc. Most of the info was stuff I already knew, but I did learn a few new things and it was nice being around other bloggers and hearing their experiences.

There were more events later in the day, such as a food tasting for the food bloggers and a fashion show (with Tim Gunn!!!) for the fashion bloggers, but alas I couldn’t go because of our friend’s wedding that night.

Since my friend had other things to do as well we had a leisurely lunch at Datz. LOVE Datz. I can never get enough of that place and want to go there anytime we’re in South Tampa.

  

I had the new Salmon Burger. The salmon could have had more flavor. I loved the dill mustard that it came with and the addition of cucumbers. But the salmon itself could have had some more flavor to it. And the bread was SO good. So fresh tasting and nice and soft. It also came with Datz’s signature chips that are drizzled in a blue cheese sauce…mmm.

  

Paired it all with pomegranate iced tea. I’m not a big iced tea person, but this was very refreshing!

Wedding Fun

Later that night The Chef and I had the honor of attending our friend’s wedding. It was held at The Rusty Pelican. Don’t let the name through you or mistake it for The Sloppy Pelican. I’d never been here, but this place was SO nice. The ceremony was outside and the couple was married in a cute gazabo with violins playing.

  

There was a cocktail reception with some awesome looking hors d’ouevres.

  

Complete with beautiful water views.

The reception was gorgeous. Their colors were blues and purples.

  

The bride did the flower centerpieces herself…beautiful!

Surf and turf for dinner.

Then dancing and fun times!

  

  

This is one of those couples who you just know belong with one another, and they compliment each other perfectly. We’re so happy for them!

Dim Sum Sunday

The Chef had to work unexpectedly Saturday. That paired with working until 1 a.m. the night before and the wedding, he was beyond pooped. We enjoyed sleeping in and then heading to one of our favorite places, Halong Bay, for dim sum.

We haven’t been here in for-ever…ever since we found Pho Quyen, we’ve just abandoned Halong Bay for a bit.

The dim sum was so good and fresh tasting today, though I hope we start coming back more often!

We always start with a pot of jasmine tea.

The dumpling cart came to us first…the pork and shrimp dumplings are our favorite. We also tried the pork and bok choy dumpling. It was good (nice and light) but not my favorite.

Something else new we tried were the potstickers. These were awesome…full of flavorful pork with a hint of smoke.

We also got my favorite…BBQ steam bun! Seriously SO good. Chock full of BBQ pork goodness.

Lotus leaf sticky rice is another favorite.

And we ended with the custard bun, which is pretty much like an Asian doughnut 🙂

The best part? All of this for $20. SO cheap and we’re always stuffed to the max.

The rest of the day was pretty uneventful. A trip to Home Depot and then some lounging at home. Dinner time quickly neared so we headed to the store and stocked up for the week.

The Chef had a genius idea for dinner…sloppy joes!

Ya…I swear I eat healthy most of the time 🙂 There’s nothing wrong with a little comfort food! Paired with Cape Cod salt and vinegar chips.

And cider. I’ve been seeing so many fellow bloggers springing into fall while enjoying pumpkin beers. And while they sound good, I know my taste buds won’t agree (I just hate beer). Fall drinks to me are cider, so I celebrated fall today with a cider. (Even though here in FL we’re far from it.)

That about wraps up the weekend! Here’s to Monday 😦

Conversation Starter: What were some of your weekend highlights?