Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth of July

Hiya eaters!

Long time so talk. How are you?

I’m…bleh. Leon and I got home from our Virginia Beach vacation last night and I’m feeling a little lazy and unmotivated. Oh well, I guess that’s what happens after a short vacation.

And since that laziness extends all the way to my blogging, I figured I’d just do a photo-dump. Also, I totally blanked on taking photos of most things, so this is the best I can do.

Car selfless with Charlie on the way up to Virginia Beach.

Car selfless with Charlie on the way up to Virginia Beach.

He's rejecting my love.

He’s rejecting my love.

This really is #nofilter.

This really is #nofilter.

We're making the same face!

We’re making the same face!

(Insert all the pictures that I didn’t take on the 4th.)

On Friday it was Leon's birthday, so we went out to dinner at Chick's Oyster Bar.

On Friday it was Leon’s birthday, so we went out to dinner at Chick’s Oyster Bar.

I ate two, which brings my lifetime raw oyster count up to three.

I ate two, which brings my lifetime raw oyster count up to three.

I love crab cakes!

I love crab cakes!

Leon requested apple pie for dessert.

Leon requested apple pie for dessert.

On Saturday we went for a family walk down by the water.

On Saturday we went for a family walk down by the water.

vacation12

vacation14

vacation16

vacation17

Charlie and Papa's dog, Toby, were exhausted after we made them exercise so much.

Charlie and Papa’s dog, Toby, were exhausted after we made them exercise so much.

An interesting, almost champagne-y beer to round out the weekend.

An interesting, almost champagne-y beer to round out the weekend.

Your turn, eaters:

What did you do this weekend?

What’s your favorite kind of seafood?

Later eaters!

Cowfish and Dropkick

Hellooooo eaters!

Boy, have I got a great night to tell you about.

Last night Leon and I had tickets to a Dropkick Murphys show in Charlotte. Leon introduced me to Dropkick when we were first dating so I was jazzed to finally get to see them with him.

Also, there’s a chance Leon and I are moving to Charlotte at the end of the summer so we were jazzed (correction: I was jazzed, Leon was excited) to spend a little time in our prospective future home.

First stop: dinner!

I had heard about Cowfish from Caitlyn’s blog forever ago and I’ve wanted to go ever since.

Come on, it’s a restaurant that serves burgers, sushi, and burgushi. How could that not be awesome?!

Well, it was!

To start we split a spider crab roll.charlotte nc1

I haven’t had sushi in more than a hot minute and this was pretty good. I could have gone for a little less rice and a little more tempura, but who couldn’t all the time, so it was fine.

To eat I took the waiter’s suggestion and went with one of their bento boxes.charlotte nc3

This came with a double stack of the featured mini burger (which had pimento cheese and some kind of peppers), Thai cucumbers, sweet potato fries, edemame, and a blackened tuna roll.

A massive mini burger.

A massive mini burger.

Can we talk about this blackened tuna roll?

It.Was.Stellar!

It was like this awesome, creamy orgasm in my mouth.

(Let’s not talk about how awkwardly sexual that was, okay? Okay.)

Also, those cucumbers were oddly perfect. It was like your traditional vinegar cucumber salad, but it had this sweetness that kept the vinegar from being overpowering. They were pretty magical.

Leon got the Stringin’ the Blues burger.charlotte nc4

It was massive and awesome. The blue cheese was really balanced (and I don’t like blue cheese), but it could have used a slice of bacon to even out the flavors.

Oh also, Cowfish is in South Park mall and I really kinda want to live there. It’s fancy.

After dinner (and getting a little lost) we ran through the rain and made it to the Filmore.

The venue was pretty great with big crystal chandeliers all over the place and not too big.

Oh, and a women took off her pants (and maybe her underwear) in the ladies room. That’s fun, right?

Dropkick took the stage at 10 sharp and they were great.charlotte nc6

They played a really nice balance of their old favorites and stuff off their new CD and I only had to kick one guy in the knee (because he elbowed me in the boobs, asshole).

And when they played “Kiss Me I’m Shitfaced,” which is when they let ladies come on stage, I did not get on stage and look trashy.

#Winning!

So yeah, a beyond awesome night.

I can’t wait to go back to Charlotte and explore some more (and take Leon to Ikea).

Your turn, eaters:

What was the greatest concert you’ve ever been to?

Sushi or burgers?

Later eaters!

Holiday Photo Dump

Hi eaters!

Sorry for completely disappearing these last few days. Between a date night and then a traveling day I haven’t had the material or time to blog.

So to make up for it, here’s a lovely photo dump with my attempt at humorous and informative captions.

1) This is what I read while waiting for my brand new tires to be put on. 2) If you enjoy humor and essays, this is the book for you.

 

An ornament from Sur la Table that I really wanted.

 

For all you Greensboro people, Crafted on S Elm is so good.

 

This is a sign that a restaurant is trying too hard.

 

Scrambled egg and chorizo tacos with avocado, pico, queso, and potatoes.

 

Leon and I celebrated Christmas on Wednesday night.

 

Egg nog with a splash of rum is delicious. Egg nog curdling because I didn't drink it fast enough is not.

 

My amazing boyfriend got me a very luxurious flavor of coffee from a local roaster.

 

The puppy nest I made Charlie in an attempt to help him feel better about being at my mom's house.

 

Lunch.

 

One of my all time favorite candies — Cadbury milk chocolate Easter eggs — is now in Christmas form!

 

Mom's boyfriend got someone to send him a real Christmas pudding all the way from Tesco grocery store in England!

 

I had no idea that you're supposed to pour brandy on a Christmas pudding and then light it on fire.

Your turn, eaters:

What’s your favorite candy?

How do you feel about drinking out of mason jars?

G’night eaters!

Ten-Cent Tour: Weekend Edition

Sup eaters!

I got back from Georgia last night and was so dileriously tired that I immediately stuffed my face, said lots of nonsensical things to Leon, and then fell asleep.

It was kind of glorious. Well, except for the part on my drive back when I hit a bunch of traffic, ate possibly bad beef jerky, and almost fell asleep.

So now I’m here to dump the contents of my phone onto the screen and call it a post.

(Ya know, because now that I have an iPhone it’s pretty crazy easy to do that.)

Friday night I went with my mom and her boyfriend to do paddle board yoga. That’s yoga on a paddle board.

Of course, I thought I was going to spend the whole hour falling in the lake. But somehow, I didn’t fall in once and it was a lot of fun.

Hell, I even managed a three-legged dog.

Saturday morning Mother and I hit up my absolute favorite antique/thrift store — Payne City Antiques!

I have a laundry list of things I’d still like to get for the house — another accent chair, table lamps, another floor lamp, little dishes to hold our crap, etc, etc.

I, of course, just ended up taking a bunch of pictures of silly deer things and sending them to Leon.

I did almost get this chair, which would have matched the blue chair I got a few months ago, but it was pretty wobbly and not worth it for $45.

Saturday afternoon I went a few towns over to spend the night with m’bestie, Coco, and go to a festival-thing.

We both wore sequins. We ate lots of cheese dip. We drank lots of beer. I only saw a few people from high school that I don’t like.

Then we woke up on Sunday super hungover.

Don't you miss the days when I used to post ugly morning after photos?

So, of course, the only logical thing to do was to stuff our faces at Waffle House.

I drove home and then woke up this morning bound and determined to beat the junk out of my system at Crossfit.

A 10-minute AMRAP and series of heavy overhead squats later, I declared myself junk free.

And that’s the ten-cent tour of my last fall break weekend.

Your turn, eaters:

What’s your favorite hangover food?

What was the last kind of adventurous thing you did?

G’night eaters!

Trader Joe’s Stock Pile

‘Ello eaters!

Today has been freaking fantastic!

I overslept and went to the 10am Crossfit session. I ate a late, leisurely brunch. I took a shower and then put my pajamas back on. And then I did numerous other relaxing but still mildly productive things.

It was awesome!

And speaking of awesome, I really have to show you my haul from Trader Joe’s this weekend.

If you don’t know, let me inform you a bit about my love for Trader Joe’s.

I love it. I really love it. I love their selection of unique products. I love their prices. I don’t care one little bit that a lot of their products have just been re-branded. I really wish that there was a location near me (though the Winston-Salem store opens Oct 26!), but since there isn’t one, I stock up whenever I can. I usually only come across a TJ’s when I’m in Virginia Beach.

That’s about the gist of my relationship with one.

Oh, and I almost got kicked out of one for taking pictures. The manager was very unfriendly and treated my like a little kid.

But I didn’t let that ruin my relationship with Joe.

So, this past weekend I stocked up, possibly more than I’ve ever stocked up before.

I got my usual, staples.

2 tubs of animal crackers, 3 bags of almond meal, 2 jars of coconut oil, 2 jars of black bean dip, nuts, 2 jars of a fun dip/spread (this time it was roasted red pepper sauce), a fun nut butter (cocoa almond meal), and a curry simmer sauce.

And then I veered off the path a little to try some new things.

Kale chips!, dried mushrooms, smoked paprika, 2 cans of LIGHT coconut milk, toasted sesame oil, pureed butternut squash soup.

And, because I occasionally have some forethought, I even reserved a few things for Thanksgiving — dried wild mushroom medley, roasted red pepper sauce, and pureed soup.

And the most impressive thing is that I managed to score this $65 haul in less than 20 minutes at 2pm on a Friday (read: crawling with soccer moms pre-carpool).

Yup, I am a gosh darn Trader Joe’s champ.

And now I’m eating animal crackers dipped in leftover ganache, because I can.

What do you think, eaters:

Do you love Trader Joe’s?

What are your staple, favorite TJ’s products?

G’night eaters!

A Vermont Wedding

‘Ello eaters!

Boy do I feel like a new person! A couple of days of unplugged relaxation sure does a girl good.

But now I’m back to the real world, full of homework, meal planning, driving, and being a little too plugged in all the time.

Oh well, it was nice while it lasted. And going back to all of that also means going back home to my baby puppy, Charlie, who I left overnight for the very first time this weekend.

Leon would like me to point out that he's in the background.

If you didn’t know, Leon and I went up to his parents’ house in Eastern Vermont this weekend for a wedding. I went last summer, so if you want to oogle tons of gorgeous Vermont greenery you should check out my posts from that week.

I’m a Flatlander, Part 1

I’m a Flatlander, Part 2

We got up there on Thursday night and the four of us spent Friday relaxing around the wood stove as it rained outside. Leon’s brother, Silas, and sister-in-law Lindsay (who’s wedding I went to last summer) got in Friday night and we all ate fondue. The rain kept up Saturday, so we lounged around the house some more until it was time to get ready for the wedding.

Silas’s best friend growing up, Jesse, and his girlfriend of ALMOST 10 years, Jackie, were getting married at their house, so we showed up amid a light drizzle at 4:00. We stood around chatting with everyone. We checked out the two massive rolled roasts that were slow cooking for dinner.

And then we walked over a hill and through a field to the ceremony site.

It was still drizzling as we sat waiting for the bride, but it stopped just as her bridesmaids were walking down the aisle.

The Catholic ceremony was lovely, with only one up-down. (If you don’t know, Catholics services are infamous for lots of sitting, standing, and kneeling.)

Please ignore the annoying photographer.

After they said their “I do”s and exchanged rings, they walked back down the aisle to Jack Johnson’s song “Do You Remember” and we all made our way back over the hill to the reception tent.

Leon's parents.

There were the usual first dances and introductions. And then we ate.

Oh boy did we eat!

Rolled roast, mashed sweet potatoes, roasted potatoes and carrots.

The rolled roast was phenomenal, as were the roasted potatoes. And Leon just informed me that I missed some really good mushrooms cooked in the roast drippings.

But I think that star of the meal might just have been dessert.

Apparently, the groom’s mother makes the best whoopie pies in the whole world. As soon as Leon’s whole family saw them they started gushing. And then a random person heard me say that I’d never had a whoopie pie and he freaked out that my first whoopie pie was going to be the best whoopie pie.

So of course, the logical thing for us all to do was to hoard whoopie pies at our table to insure we each got one.

And I’ve got to say, they were pretty dang phenomenal. If you don’t know, they’re an excuse to eat not overly sweet frosting sandwiched between two almost cakey cookies.

Yup, ah-maze-ing!

They're so wonderful.

Jesse and Jackie cut their cake, fed it to each other without smashing it, and then the real party began.

After going to two weddings and a large party with Leon’s family it has become very clear to me that no matter how many (or how few) of them there are, they will always monopolize the dance floor. And it’s awesome.

A blurry photo of our dancing.

We spent the rest of the night dancing like crazy (seriously, I looked crazy and my flailing only got worse/better as the night went on). The men snuck off a couple of times to eat meat trimmings and smoke cigars, but we still managed to get them on the dance floor plenty.

At the end of the night I was a hot mess and absolutely exhausted, but it was a hoot and a half.

And today, despite the rain and my lingering hangover, Leon and I went for a little leaf peeping walk around town.

The official, stereotypical leaf peeping photo from Leon's town.

Yup, I love Vermont.

What do you think, eaters:

Do you dance at weddings?

How do you feel about whoopie pies?

G’night eaters!

27 Hours

Hello eaters!

Leon and I got back not too long ago from our little vacation.

We spent right around 27 hours up on the mountain. But it was 27 hours with no phone service and very little internet and plenty of puppy play time and reading and napping while it rained and grilling sausages and talking.

And it was ah-maze-ing.

I’m not yet ready to dive back into plugged-in city life, so here are a very few snapshots from the past 27 hours.

Enjoy.

A proper Southern never shows up to someone's house empty handed. So I brought hand pies. (Recipe tomorrow.)

Wildflowers are the best flowers.

Drying firewood.

Can you spot the puppy?

Wonderfully clear and perfectly crisp water.

After a lot of coaxing, we got Charlie in the river.

Charlie does not like water.

G’night eaters!

Vacation

Hi eaters!

I’m back from my Virginia Beach vacation and I can’t say I’m at all happy about it.

I would like to go back to the beach and bum around and have a washer and dryer in my house and a gas stove and to have all the time in the world to read. But since I can’t, I’m going to show you the few pictures I have from my little trip.

Some fried, play food. Plenty of simple, fresh fruits and vegetables. Avocado on almost everything.

Being that disgustingly cute couple on the boat before parasailing.

This isn't us, but it's about what we looked like.

Beer, beer, and kombucha.

My men.

And that's the end.

I’ll see you tomorrow with a special Friday post.

G’night eaters!

Beach Snapshots

Hi eaters!

Did you miss me?

I missed you!

I unplugged almost completely (save for a few instagrams and tweets) this weekend and it felt really great. And all in all, this little beach get away was pretty darn great, too.

Ready for some snapshots?

Hokai…

Happiest pup around.

To dig to China you'd have to start in Argentina.

Those big, webbed feet did not make him a water lover.

Charlie was not into the whole water thing, no matter what we tried.

Isn't there a proverb about carrying someone to water?

What about pulling someone to water?

Beach yogurt bowls brimming with fresh fruit.

This should be a postcard.

I managed to eat crab three ways. In three days.

The leftovers of crab crusted swordfish with wasabi mashed potatoes.

The leftovers of a crab cake hoagie with avocado and bacon, and a few sweet potato fries.

Splitting a salad and a fried soft-shell crab BLT with m'man makes for a pretty great last meal.

And one final thing…

Charlie loves Cheetos and couches, two things we don't have at home.

Your turn, eaters:

Any snapshots from your weekend?

What’s the one food you always have to eat when you go to the beach?

G’night eaters!

Climbing Paris

‘Ello eaters!

To say my life has been hectic these past few days would be an understatement.

I’ve flown across 6 time zones (including a nice little 2 hour stay on the tarmac — thanks for that, British Airways), partied like the college kid I forget I am, and eaten and drank more than I care to remember.

FYI — Champagne goes down easy, and so does a mini bottle of peach Smirnoff when you’re pissed at the flight attendant.

But now I’m back in the good ole US of A, recovering, and counting down the days until I’m back in my favorite ‘Boro (with a certain someone).

It feels weird. Really weird. But since I’m still digesting everything, I’ll spare you my awkward attempts at waxing poetic just yet. I’ll also spare you my waxing poetic about my relationship with Paris.

Instead, let’s talk about something real and tangible.

And what’s more “real and tangible” than the Eiffel Tower?!

Now, let’s get a couple of things straight. First, when the Eiffel Tower was built, the French hated it. They thought it was gaudy and unnecessarily tall. Which brings me to point number two — the Eiffel Tower is not that tall. It’s 312 meters tall (without the antenna). That’s roughly 80 stories.

Sure, that’s big. But it’s not that big.

And considering there are three observation levels that let you decided just how much Eiffel you want to Tour (that’s a pun because in French it’s “La Tour Eiffel”), it’s even more manageable.

So manageable, in fact, that my aunt, Mother, and I climbed it!

Now before you go envisioning my in a Spider(wo)man suit, there are stairs, so I wasn’t swinging from the side. And we didn’t climb the 1671 stairs to the top.

Instead, in just about 11 minutes we climbed the 669 steps to the second observation level.

And it would have been a lot faster, but it seems every toddler and old man decided to take the stairs that day, too. I’m just going to call it an interval workout, though.

Once the three of us got to the top, we paused briefly for pictures.

Aunt.

Mother.

And then I continued my workout.

How's my form?

20 tricep dips on a bench next to some German tourists. 10 push-ups on the gum-stained floor.

A few more pictures followed where Mother and I advertised our exercise attire.

This epic feat was brought to you by The Sports Factory and Clemson Triathlon team.

And then we finished our workout with some reverse push-ups.

These were done in front of the restaurant window. We were watching. We didn’t much care.

This was Mother’s first time at reverse push-ups and while it took her a minute, she got it in the end.

And this is the woman who says she can’t even do a regular push-up!

So in about an hour the three of us walked the mile to and from the Tower, walked up and down, oohed and ahhed over the view, and did all of these body weight workouts.

How about that for a workout?!

And since a strenuous workout needs refueling, we then made our way over to the Jewish neighborhood, Maris, for falafel (from the restaurant that just happened to be recommended by Lenny Kravitz).

There was a sign in the window that said this was Lenny Kravitz's recommended falafel restaurant.

These baby was packed with tons of falafel balls, three kinds of slaw, tons of eggplant, hummus, and two kinds of sauce. And I ate every bite.

Mmmmmfalafel.

And this (plus plenty of packing) was my last day in Paris. I really couldn’t have asked for more.

Your turn, eaters:

Have you ever done a destination workout like this?

Do you like falafel?

Later eaters!