Alumni Love, Philanthropy and Allergies

Hi all!

Some fun stuff has been happening around here.

I got my hairs chopped off. I’ve had long hair for quite awhile, but with the already hot and humid days we’re experiencing here in FL I couldn’t stand to feel it on my shoulders anymore. So off it went! I love it though…I really needed a change!

This past weekend was Eckerd Alumni Reunion weekend! I didn’t officially register (just didn’t have the $$$) but I was on a planning committee for a few of them and got to go to those those since they were open and free. One being the EC Night Out at The Hurricane on St. Pete Beach. I took my friend/neighbor/coworker Ashley with me who’s also an EC alum and we had a great time. I’m not a fan of The Hurricane’s food so it’s been awhile since I’ve gone there. The event was on the rooftop bar, which I never knew they had. It was so beautiful up there! It was a bit windy, the roof shingles kind of shifted below your feet but the view was wonderful and the drinks cheap.

The next day I planned to do my first outdoor run in my 5K training (I’m a treadmill runner) but because of a late night and cheap wine I didn’t think I had time to drive downtown so I just went down to the gym. Then it was off to EC Beach Day at Ft. Desoto. It was an absolutely gorgeous day out…perfect for the beach. I only stayed an hour, but wish I had brought Jon and my swimsuit to stay and soak up the beautifulness. P.S. BBQ food is so wonderful after a good run 🙂


That same night I had a team bonding event for work at a Lightning game. Once again I got to live it up in a suite which was fully catered with tons of yummy food, beer and wine.

Unfortunately, they lost, but it was a fun time all the same. After the game Ashley and I grabbed Jon and another work friend to keep the night going. We ended up at the new Wood Fired Pizza next to World of Beer downtown. I tried a few bites of the bianca pizza they got. The thin crust was really good. The pizza itself wasn’t too exciting, but I’d definitely give it another try. It’s pricey too! But they had a lot of cool sounding toppings including sirachi!

Sunday was a perfect day of relaxation that started with yoga at The Dali. It was a nice class with a great instructor. The atmosphere was neat, but since it’s not an actual yoga studio the space lacked a bit of the peacefulness that normally comes with a studio. Like people walking in during class and the sound of the cafe kitchen in the background. Still a nice experience though.

After yoga, Lora and I went to brunch at Cassis. I had a bellini with the smoked slamon BLT, which I’ve gotten before and it was just as good if not better. Cassis is one of my fav brunch places. It’s consistent and the atmosphere is so bright, airy and casual.

I’m a new member of the St. Pete Young Professionals, which is a part of the St. Pete Chamber, and they had a First Annual Philanthropy Fair yesterday. I ended up being “that person” who wore jeans and everyone else was in business casual…oops. Luckily, I’m not easily embarassed 🙂 What a great event though! As if I need another thing on my plate (I just want to say yes to every opportunity that comes my way). It was fun learning more about non-profits that I knew about and learning about ones I’d never heard about. I really do love volunteering. It makes you feel good while at the same time giving you added life/work experience. 

I did my first outdoor run on Tuesday, which actually went a lot better than I thought. 2.5 miles in 27:42 at a 11:13 pace. Not too shabby for someone who doesn’t run regularly right? I’m right about where I want to be. I know I’m not going to “win” the race. I just want the experience! Unfortunately, this week I’ve had post nasal drip, a scratchy throat and a hacking cough so that did not make my run fun. I went to a doctor yesterday though and found out I just have allergies. I never have allergies! Thanks loads of oak pollen flying around everywhere! I guess it’s really high this year so people who don’t even normally get allergies are getting them. Crazy.

Do you have really bad allergies right now? Do you like volunteering?

James Bond, Sports and Vietnamese

Howdy folks!

What a grand weekend…a whirlwind as usual.

Kicked off the weekend Friday with a James Bond themed birthday party at my good friend Lora’s. Best theme ever! Everyone dressed to the T and it was so nice seeing everyone fancied up.


My contributions to the party were the Pioneer Woman’s Zannie’s Black-Eyed Pea dip and Iowa Girl Eat’s Spinach and Sausage Pinwheels. Both were modified slightly.


For the dip I used greek yogurt instead of sour cream and I used fresh salsa instead of jarred. I also doubled the recipe. I felt like it was missing something but it turned out pretty well. I blame the fresh salsa since jarred would have been more tomatoey and I think that would have given it that extra flavor it needed.

For the pinwheels I made these puppies with Morningstar Farms veggie crumbles since Lora is vegetarian. I had some troubles with these. I accidentally bought the crescent rolls instead of the plain dough. I tried to smooth out the perforated lines but it wasn’t working and the dough tore while I tried to roll it up with the filling. Then when I tried to cut them into pieces it crumbled apart and was a big mess. I ended up making the others crescent roll style and that worked better. The dough itself is pretty sticky and hard to work with (I blame the FL humidity).

The good things is they both seemed to be a hit. 🙂

The full spread.

Saturday I spent my day at Rays Fan Fest for work. Getting excited for baseball season!

After Fan Fest I headed home to shower, change and eat dinner cause myself and my friend Ashley (who also works with me and lives down the hall from me, ha) got free tickets from work for the Tampa Bay Lightning game.

My first hockey game ever!

Of course Jon and her bf Matt got to come along 🙂 It was a great night. I definitely am a hockey fan now…I really liked how fast paced and exciting the game was. It held my attention, which says a lot 😉 And they won!

After the game we headed back to St. Pete where we stopped at Five Bucks Drinkery for a drink. I’ve been wanting to go here solely because of all the “gross” food they have to offer here. It’s their niche. And by gross food I mean a bbq pulled pork sandwich with mac and cheese on top kind of gross. I couldn’t help myself, I wanted to try something!

Bacon and cheese tater tots with a side of ranch.

Let’s just say I won’t be eating here again. Don’t think my tummy is used to handling such junk!

I totally regretted it too when our next stop was Vue, where Ashley and Jon got sushi. I had a few bites and it was oh so good. Also, really fresh tasting…something I wish I had waited for!

The next morning after sleeping in until almost noon (glorious) Jon and I headed out to Thuy Cafe, our go-to spot for Banh Mi. We were hungry hungry hippos when we got there…Jon ended up with one grilled pork and one speciality. I got the grilled pork and also a batch of these tapioca dumplings with shrimp and pork in them.

I looked them up later and their actual name is Banh Bot Loc. They were really interesting and good…just very chewy!

My partly devoured Banh Mi. The meat is SO flavorful and they use great French bread too. I usually pick off the jalapenos but I left them on this time. Hi spicy!

Luckily I had a Thai Tea Boba to help with the heat 🙂

I also recently found out that they’re opening a second location in downtown St. Pete, which we are ecstatic about since it will be much closer!

The rest of the day was spent taking a visit to our favorite European market, Marko’s Meat and Deli, Total Wine and a grocery store stop. We’re trying to get better at meal planning and were able to get what we needed for our next few meals.

For dinner Jon used up the rest of the butternut squash filling and made manicotti with a bechamel sauce. So, so, so good.

This week I actually have hardly anything planned so I’m going to try and get back on a hardcore workout schedule and try and get some other productive things done.

How’s your week looking? Are you super busy or is nothing planned? Any fun things coming up?