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?

 

New Finds FTW

Hello all!

Last I left you I was about to enjoy this yummy thang…

That would be 2 ounces Pinnacle Whipped vodka, 1 ounce orange juice and 1 ounce club soda. Yum. I don’t think I could do more than one of these at a time. It is sweet, and definitely tastes a lot like a creamsicle! But may be a bit too sweet for a second round.

And WOW do they have a lot of recipes on their website!

Saturday night we took it easy.

Wine was poured…

And crab cakes were served!

I LOVE crab cakes, and was so happy when the guy suggested them for dinner 🙂 That and pasta salad made a great Saturday dinner.

Sunday I had a work event at a Rays game. I never realized how much went on in the Rotunda before a game! So many booths, music and activities. I was there during lunchtime and wasn’t in the mood for the typical ballpark fare. Luckily Tropicana Field has added many new food vendors that offer a variety of options. I chose a Boar’s Head deli sandwich.

Roasted chicken, pepperjack cheese, lettuce, tomato and Dijon mustard on pumpernickel. It was $10(!) But was definitely a hefty size and hey, Boar’s Head is quality meat!

And, um, this is kinda funny.

Saw this on the way back from my car…

Yay for Murals for Mutts! If you haven’t heard of them before, check them out. It’s a great organization combining art, community and awareness.

Yesterday I did my weekly grocery shopping at Earth Origins. My goods included this baby.

I plan to use it for dry brushing, which is a new concept I just learned about. So many different benefits!

I joined my friend for a quick workout sesh at her building’s gym. Then we headed out for dinner to Central Avenue Oyster Bar.

She ordered the Oysters Trio and a caprese salad. Oysters are not my thing and I ended up with the Shrimp and Crawfish Pasta.

It was flavorful and creamy, but the pasta was a bit overcooked and the shrimp were a bit chewier than I prefer. Probably not the best dish to choose at this place, but overall you can’t go too wrong with a creamy pasta dish 🙂

After dinner we were in the need of a sweet treat. Off to Yogurtology!

That would be oatmeal cookie with graham cracker crumbs, white chocolate chips and drizzles of caramel…mmm…perfection. It’s so hard to not fill up those huge containers they give you, but we did a good job of not letting our eyes grow bigger than our stomachs.

Today I came home to this.

If you haven’t heard of Open Sky, check it out! Most things are out of my price range, but it’s a neat site. I got this SunWarrior Protein Powder when Gina Harney (a.k.a. Fitnessista) had a sale on it. It took them 2 weeks to ship it ( 😦 ) but I’m excited to finally try it. I’ve never tried a protein powder, but Gina raves about this stuff. Going to hop on the smoothie train!

Update: I did not realize at first that this was the “natural” flavor instead of the “vanilla” I was supposed to get until I got an email from Open Sky. They explained that they sent the wrong one, but would be sending me the correct one free of charge. In other words I got two of these huge bags for the price of one (which was $42 on sale). AND they were going to give me a $5 credit on my Open Sky account. Talk about great customer service!

Conversation Starter: Do you have new products you’re excited to try this week? Any great customer service stories?