Beach, 60s Fashion and Baseball

Did anyone else’s weekend just fly by? Holy moly.

On Friday I had a rare occurence of actually wanting to go out. Normally I’m so pooped from the week that I just want to bum around home on Fridays. Maybe it was the 4 day work week?

So I put on a cute dress, we leashed up Maddie and headed out to La V for dinner. They are still making excuses for being slow in service since they just opened. Which is funny because they were a lot faster than last time we were there. I decided to try the Fusion Fried Rice this time. It was a-ok, but not the best. Jon and I think we need to stick to banh mis and boba tea here.

After dinner my Friday night slump finally showed itself and instead of going to a bar we headed home. With a pit stop to pick up dessert.

These are just as good as they look/sounds. Oh. so. good. The delightful belgium chocolate. The creamy vanilla ice cream. And the sweet oozy caramel. definitely a once in a blue moon kind of treat that’s oh so worth the calories.

Saturday our friend Nick came up to visit. I love impromptu visitors!

We decided to head out to the beach.

It was a beautiful, sunny day with a nice big breeze so it didn’t feel too hot. And although the waves were crashing in, the water was a really nice temp.

We brought Miss Maddie along and hung out on the dog beach. Her first beach trip! We tried to get her to swim in the pool, but she wasn’t too crazy about the water. We thought she’d do better at the beach, but she was still kind of hesitant about it. By the end of the day she started to go in by herself, but then backed off when a wave came near. We’ll have to come back when it’s calmer!

After our fun in the sun we grabbed a quick and yummy dinner at Taco Bus. After our bellies were full I picked up my mom and we headed to ARTPool for their fabulous 60s revolution party.

Every month ARTPool puts on a fun themed event complete with art, music, food, drinks and a fashion show. This month’s theme was the 60s.

We looked around the shop and my mom found a really pretty necklace that I ended up getting. Then we snagged some seats outside and listened to the band playing while waiting for the fashion show to start. The band was really good and played some original songs mixed in with some 60s throwbacks.

The fashion show was really neat. Lots of vintage clothes from ARTPool, MisRed and a pair of designers who sell their clothes on Etsy. Since my mom lived the 60s she had a lot of fun, but talked about how there will never again be a time like the 60s. If you think about the 50s and 60s it really is crazy to think how haywire everything went.

Sunday I spent the day at the Rays game for work. Still got to see a few innings of an awesome game! 6-0 Rays win! I came home to Jon cooking away making turkey meatballs and homemade pasta…mmm mmm mmm.

Now, don’t be surprised if I disappear for a week. It’s a majorly busy week at work…wish my stamina luck!

 

Baseball, Burgers and Oatmeal

Whew! It sure has been an eventful week so far.

Every year, as a thank you to their employees, the company I work for usually comes up with a fun outing. This year one of the choices was a Rays game, where we’d get to hang out in an executive suite. Yes please!

My friend and neighbor, Ashley, and her boyfriend all work together (Ashley is in my same department!) so we carpooled.

Great view!

We were greeted with some yummy food. I had a mini pulled pork slider, which was awesome, and split a hot dog with Ashley. I eventually went back for more pork, it was so good!

There were a lot of people there and we got to meet some employees we had never even met before. That’s the best thing about company gatherings isn’t it? We were so busy chatting with everyone we barely watched the game. But it also wasn’t the best Rays game…we lost 😦

Due to a late night I fully ignored by 6 a.m. alarm, which was set so I could get my run in before work. So after work, it was straight to the treadmill, then after cleaning up, straight to dinner with Lora.

We had a Junior League meeting last night and there’s yummy burger place, the Avenue, just down the street from where it was so it was the perfect excuse to meet for dinner. Lora had the Mac and Cheesy with a vegan burger, which looked good. I got the Rasta Monsta, which had bacon, mango pineapple chutney, pepperjack cheese and a spicy sweet jerk sauce. I’m drooling just thinking about it again!

We also had another Junior Leaguer join us and she ordered the fried pickles, which were also really good. I haven’t had too many fried pickles in my day, but I’d have to say these were the best I’ve tried so far.

Luckily the meeting was short and sweet so I got to have a decent amount of downtime at home. Jon and I watched some Louis CK standup.

He’s one of the very few comedians that we like. It takes a lot to make me laugh and Louis CK does it for me!

Tuesday night I decided to give overnight oats in a jar another go and whipped up a batch for the next morning.

The first time I tried OOIAJ I wasn’t too impressed. I’m still not completely sold, but this batch was better than the first I made.

1/2 cup rolled oats

1/2 cup plain greek yogurt

1/2 cup skim milk

Few dashes of cinnamon

A little vanilla

A couple handfuls of blueberries

And of course the yummy peanut butter at the bottom and around the edges…that is the best part!

Later that day I got another fabulous haircut at Number 9. I’ve been seeing Morgan the last few times and she rocks. Afterwards my mom and I had a nice dinner at Tijuana Flats and drinks at Starbucks. I’m not a coffee fan, but a chai tea latte always hits the spot 🙂

Tonight I’m looking forward to my only non-eventful night this week. Then tomorrow is a girls night with dinner and Brave! Also on the agenda is going to see Cabaret at freeFall and a Yelp Elite event. Going to be a fun weekend!

 

Eat, Run, Repeat

That has pretty much been my life recently. Eating and running. I’m still amazed that I am now a “runner” when I used to loathe running and couldn’t even fathom running a 5K. And now I’ve signed up for my second one! I’ll be doing the Iron Girl 5K in Clearwater and I am SO excited. The race includes running over a huge bridge so not sure how I’m going to handle that, but the whole race experience sounds really fun. This one is also in the morning so will be interesting to see how my body reacts.

For my first 5K I followed a simple couch to 5k plan that worked you up to 3 miles. It mixes walking with running and you add distance each week. This plan really worked for me and I was able to run my first 5k easy breezy. This time around I wanted to see how I can run faster and better. I came across a few plans that have you do a mix of runs each week…one short and easy run, a tempo/speed run and a long easy run. I’m sure this is no surprise for you seasoned runners, but remember I’m still a beginner 🙂

I came across this plan from Fit Sugar and thought it sounded like a good one. Since Iron Girl is only a few weeks away I just picked up on Week. Saturday I was scheduled for a 5 mile easy run. This seemed pretty daunting to me. Hello, I’m still getting over the fact I can run 3 miles straight! But now 5? It makes sense because it builds up your endurance, but…oh boy. For an easy run though you’re supposed to go slower than normal so that definitely made it easier. I just had to keep reminding myself in the beginning to slow down. And guess what? I did it 🙂 5 miles straight! I did stop a few times for a few seconds, but only to check my MaptoRun app to make sure I was following my route correctly. SO proud of myself!

I will say though that when people say running is a mental sport, they are not kidding. Running outside and distracting yourself with your surroundings will only take you so far. It is mentally exhausting to keep telling yourself not to stop and that “you can do this”. But wow, talk about a confidence booster!

Ok, enough about running…last weekend Jon and I went down to Cape Coral just to hang with his fam.

 

 

  

As you can tell the weekend was full of good eats 🙂

There was also a rousing game of Pictionary, which I love playing with Jon’s family. They all get very competitive and loud and it’s hilarious.

 

This past weekend was a fun one.

Saturday morning I volunteered at the Junior League’s Jelly Bean Fling. It’s so cute seeing all the little kids dressed up in Easter outfits and collecting eggs during the Easter Egg Hunt. This one little girl had shoes on that squeaked and at one point she was running and it was all I could do to hold it the laughter. So cute!

 

Sunday my mom and I had tickets to the Rays game! I now understand about 90% of baseball so I enjoy it a lot more than I used to. We had great seats right behind the Rays dugout, with a great view of home plate.

 

I had a late breakfast so I wasn’t super hungry, but knew I should eat something. A pretzel and mustard sounded awesome so I got one and a bag of popcorn for my mom. I had to stop eating the pretzel a few bites in. It was so salty that it was inedible. I ended up sharing the popcorn with my mom, which was also salty but not so bad. This then led to me getting a soda, which I NEVER drink, but it sounded good at the time. And it was 🙂 Every once in a blue moon I’ll have one, but that’s the thing about “bad” foods/drinks right? As long as they’re not a constant in your life.

After the game we had dinner at BellaBrava, which is always good. I got the Chicken Piccata, which I got last time and it was just as good. Paired with the Pinot Blanc and a side salad with a lovely vinaigrette. For dessert we walked down the street to the Cassis Bakery. I had this tart that was loaded with fresh cream and a few cream puffs. Ya, it was as heavenly as it sounds 🙂 I tried a bite of my mom’s chocolate ice cream too, which was also really good. It was also the perfect weather outside. Right before the sun sets now there’s that slightly cool breeze that gives you relief from the hot sun. Wish that would stay around year round.

This week is going to be a quiet one, but I do plan on trying to use a week pass to a gym I’m thinking of joining. Plus, I really need to cross train. I haven’t been and my muscles miss weights!

What’s on your agenda this week? What fun things did you do this weekend?

Tampa Bay Hits a Homerun

I have to say that I am very proud to be a part of the ‘Burg, and Tampa Bay in general. We live in such a wonderful area full of culture and community. St. Pete is not too big and not too small…it’s been the perfect place to launch new projects. And everyone here seems to have a common interest in…well…everything. From our food to our shops to our sports teams. We see people come together when a favorite restaurant is closing or when a team is on their last leg.

Like last night…

(Source)

(Source)

The Chef and I had just finished watching X-Men and I didn’t even realize the game was still on until I saw the overload of Rays comments on Facebook. Then I found out it was 7-0 until the 8th inning…8th inning! And now they’re tied and in the 11th? The Chef couldn’t grab the remote control fast enough to switch it to the game.

We sat biting our nails all the way until Longoria became the superstar for the night. Watching his team player’s reactions from the dugout was pretty priceless. The Chef jumped up and screamed victory, while I laughed with happiness.

And then that sense of community surged through me…seeing the players rejoice and the fans cheering…it made me think of how proud we all are of not just our team, but our city as well. Too much? Ah, well…

Another reason to celebrate Tampa Bay? The food, of course.

We had take out from Taco Bus last night, which was perfect since the Tampa bus was being featured on Man vs. Food! I really wanted to watch it, but we were in the middle of X-Men and it wasn’t going to happen. I’ll have to catch a re-run. But just another reason to be proud of Tampa Bay and all we have to offer!

Wednesday’s special is chicken mole so I got a chicken mole burrito. De-lish. I would have gotten an inside picture if I hadn’t been continually stuffing my face…sorry 🙂 Doesn’t beat our hole-in-the-wall place in Cape Coral, but it was still a damn good competitor. I tried ordering their Butternut Squash Centro also, but I could only half understand the man on the phone when I was ordering so he may have said they didn’t have it? Either way we ended up with guacamole, which is okay. I love guac, but this is not the best. Needs some salt and lime juice and a bit more pizzazz. But I love that it comes with full crispy tortillas.

Not pictured is the amazing Horchata I finally decided to try. Seriously. If you have never had this you need to either track down someone who makes it or make it yourself. My first thought after my first sip was “F$*k that’s good”, which tell you something right there (I hardly ever swear, even in my head). Creamy and full of cinnamon flavor, it’s the perfect pairing to a spicy Mexican feast. Thank goodness the The Chef helped me because I’m pretty sure I could have downed the whole humungous cup they give you.

Something to read

Health Magazine’s Food Awards: The Best New Eats of 2011

Conversation Starter: Do you have a sense of community where you live? What do you love most about the area you live in?

Giving Back

Hi friends! How was everyone’s weekend? Mine flew by, but was filled with so many rewarding experiences. I have always tried to be involved in the community one way or another, but I mixed up my involvement a bit this weekend and it definitely makes me want to get more involved in even more things 🙂

Rays

On Friday a volunteer opportunity was organized through my work with the Tampa Bay Rays. A bunch of employees signed up to help “sell” scratch off tickets for the Tampa Bay Rays Shirts Off Our Backs Campaign. For a small donation game goers could get a scratch off card that has a prize. One of the big prizes is a chance to win a jersey right off one of the Rays’ backs 😉 Hence the name. All the money goes to The Rays Foundation, which funds a lot of youth and education programs. We were given 100 cards to go through and had to sell up until the 4th inning. It was a lot harder than you probably think! Let’s just say I’m glad I’m not a salesperson at a mall kiosk because having people blow you off and ignore you is terrible! The good part is that we got a free meal and we got to see the rest of the game for free!

Too bad we lost 😦

Walk to End Alzheimer’s

Saturday was a big day. This was a day where I wanted to not only give back, but to get some kind of closure for myself. My dad’s death has not gotten much easier and I know that I will hurt for a long time. I felt like doing this walk though, would help me feel productive towards my healing. I don’t really feel any different, but it was wonderful to have the support of The Chef and my friends as we took a leisurely walk through downtown St. Pete, along with hundreds of other people who were effected by such a debilitating disease. I found out about the event a bit last minute so I didn’t get to raise as much money as I wanted. We only made it half way to my goal, but that’s better than nothing! Next year I will be more prepared.

 

 

  

 

Some Fun Extras

Later that day, after yet another delicious meal at Pho Quyen, The Chef and I made a trip to Total Wine.

I have seen so many mentions in blogland about pumpkin beer. I’m not a beer drinker, but damn I’m kind of jealous I’m not with all this pumpkin beer talk!

They even have a whole end aisle devoted to it at Total Wine.

But wait…what is this…

Pumpkin Cider!?!? Rejoice!

I popped this baby open last night…it was not my favorite Woodchuck cider, but it was tasty. I also grabbed one of their Fall flavors to try. I never even knew they made seasonal flavors! I feel like a cool kid now that I can have seasonal drinks like beer drinkers 🙂

After we stocked up we decided to feed our sweet tooth. I suggested Yogurtology since The Chef had never been there. I love this place because of the different flavors and all the toppings you can put on your fro yo. Unfortunately, The Chef is a purist and just loves his plain fro yo so he wasn’t too into the toppings.

We both mixed vanilla and chocolate. His only topping was some Heath bar pieces. Mine was marshmallows, graham cracker crumbs, peanut butter chips and a drizzle of caramel. I think I need to instill a 3 topping max when it comes to my mix-ins…any more and I feel like flavors get lost.

The week is going to be filled with a lot of work and not so exciting errands. I probably won’t catch up until this weekend after the Race for the Cure. I’m on friend’s team, Blondie’s Boobies! Ha, love that name 🙂

Hope everyone has a great week!

Conversation Starter: What’s your favorite seasonal beverage?