A Wine Festival

23 Oct

Wine Festival

YES!!  I had the pleasure of attending a wine festival this year with one of my girlfriends and how lovely it was.  I’d never been to a wine festival before and was a little excited as to what was might lie ahead.

Well, I can tell you WINE IS DEFINITELY EVERYWHERE!!  So make sure you eat a double cheeseburger and fries before you attend one of these shindigs, people!

This particular wine festival was being held on the grounds of an estate and tents were set up all around it.  Most of the tents had different vendors from various places selling bottles of their assorted wines and giving away free tastings of them all.  So—WHOA!  That’s at lot of wine going down your insides.  There were also other tents that were selling and giving away free tastings of different snacks of food—and you know I had no problem trying them ALL!

When we first arrived, we had to get wrist-banded so the vendors would know we were at least 21 years of age!  First things first, you know.  Then we were given our very own personal wine glass to enjoy all the tastings.

I’ll tell you—the lines to some of the tents were RIDICULOUSLY LONG!  I couldn’t believe how long we stood in one line just for a tasting!  So needless to say, we opted to go to tents with shorter lines—which were few and far between.  I mean, we stood in one line for 35 minutes at one tent just waiting our turn for a tasting!

Pumpkin Coffee Cake

Pumpkin Coffee Cake

And OH, I found a coffee cake tent!!  HEAVEN!!  And pumpkin coffee cake at that.  It was so amazingly good I had to buy a whole one just for myself to take home.  I swear I’m going to stalk this company and order more throughout the year.

In the end, all the food and drink tastings were awesome and I came home with one bottle of sweet red wine, one bottle of sweet white wine, pumpkin coffee cake, and a big jar of yummy apple butter.

So, if you have nothing else to do today, attend the next wine festival you can find in your town.

Take-Away Life Lesson:  If you don’t eat a double cheeseburger and fries ahead of time, you won’t be able to make your way around to all your rounds of wine tastings like you want to—if you catch my drift.

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A Lovely Charity Event

27 Sep

Me

All dolled up and ready to leave for a charity event.  I had never been to a major charity event before this one and always wondered what it was like to attend one.

All the donations for this charity event went to one of the local hospitals for cancer research—always a good cause.

I arrived there early enough to see the stage being set up for music, a lady practicing her aerial stunts, and the tents being set up with tables, chairs and whatnot.

And, oh my.  Food was EVERYWHERE!!!  So many different restaurants had their own little areas where they were giving away samples of their food to all the attendees all night unlimitedly.  I just loved seeing so much food surrounding me.  It was a dream come true—to be surrounded by various types of food and unlimited eating!  Heaven!

Everyone was dressed in their finest attire.  The men were, oh so, very dapper in their suits and ties and the ladies so lovely in their cocktail dresses and 4-inch stilettos.  It was all very high-society, dahling.

So, if you have nothing else to do today, find a local charity event in your hometown and attend it while dressed to the nines in your finest attire.  You’ll have lots of fun and help out a good cause at the same time.

Take-Away Life Lesson:  It’s always nice when you can give your money to attend a fun event while at the same time knowing your money is being put to good use and was well worth the cost to attend.

Time For A Festival

24 Sep

Ferris Wheel

So I took myself to a festival a few weeks ago so I could have some fun and get out of the house.  I have to say I actually enjoyed myself even though I went by myself.

I chose to go bright and early in the morning to this festival and arrived right at opening time.  That’s the best time to go, you know, because there’s not a lot of people everywhere yet.  You know how I roll.

It was fun to people-watch and eat up a storm.  You know how I LOVE food!  Festivals are some of the best places to eat to your heart’s content.  There were food tents everywhere!  I mean, how do you even begin choose?!

My first stop was for potatoes and onions.  They were pretty ‘meh.’  As I sat on a bench eating my bowl of potatoes and onions, I looked up and saw a FUDGE sign through a window that was directly across the street.  Oh, MAN, you know where I headed next!!  A piece of plain chocolate fudge was all I needed.

I later headed towards the carnival area.  You know a carnival is not complete without funnel cakes, cotton candy, and corn dogs.  So, since there was really no place for me to sit, I sat on the street curb and ate a corn dog and funnel cake.

The only thing I was baffled by was why they’d be selling hot chocolate at a carnival when it was almost 100 degrees outside!  Really?!

At some point, I made my way to a COBBLER booth.  No way was I passing that one up.  I chose the pineapple flavored cobbler.  It was to die for.

This was also the first time ever that I stopped at a psychic booth.  I really just did it for grins.  It was only $10 I was losing.  It was hilarious though because the very first thing she told me to do was sit down and take $10 out of my purse, put it into my right hand, and ball up my fist.

Then she proceeded to open my fist and take my money.  I couldn’t stop laughing on the inside because she was being so dramatic about it.  Even I saw that one coming!

I mean, why is she pretending the money in my palm is part of the psychic act of my palm reading—as if the spirits need the money in my hand first for my future to get predicted?  Just take my money and read my palm already!  Who are we really kidding here?

So, if you have nothing else to do today, take yourself to a festival full of fun, food, and laughter—even if you just go by yourself.  You’ll have lots of fun, trust me.

Take-Away Life Lesson:  A psychic is obviously only there to give you a generalization about your future life—not specific details like you’d hope for.  Saying you’ll have “happiness in your future” is something you can probably predict yourself.  In that case—we’re ALL psychic.  But giving detailed dates, times, places, and names of people and things that are going to happen in your future—now that’s a psychic.

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The Non-Date From Hell

12 Sep

Onion Rings

(I swear this is all I wanted.)

There are all kinds of people who are “accepted for who they are.”  Even Charles Manson had people who “accepted him for who he was.”  He continued to hang around these people who “accepted him for who he was,” in part, because he could treat them any way he chose to since they allowed him to do so.  Doesn’t mean it was right.  It just means he found people that let him treat them that way.  At what point do you say, “Hey, this is really WHO this person is and I know I deserve WAY better than this—especially when you’ve HAD way better than that before?”

I have gone out from time-to-time with gentlemen suitors on occasion that run the gamut of all nationalities, shapes, and sizes with ages ranging from 20’s through 60’s.  I mean, I don’t discriminate—if you’re nice, you’re nice.

But the men vs. women world can fascinate me at times and I’d LOVE for anyone to give me their honest opinions on this because I, for the life of me, can’t figure it out.  And, by all means, if you think there may be something wrong with my way of thinking—please feel free to let me know or explain your side of it to me.  I’m all ears and won’t take offense.

Three weeks ago, I had two different dates lined up with two different people:

A.  The first guy—I had formally met just the day before the date and is someone in his mid-20’s and from a foreign country.  He told me he remembered me from a whole year ago when I made a brief stop at a store he worked at part-time but I hadn’t really seen him since.  He told me every item of clothing I had worn that day when I came into the store and it triggered my memory.

Long story short—he called me the very next day and wanted to go for a run in a park that afternoon.  The weather was beautiful, people were all over the park, and I thought it was an awesome first-date type thing to do—with the exception that we decided to walk around the park because I get winded too quickly.  Seriously?  Run?!  Who are we kidding?  Let’s get real.

Two hours later we parted ways when he had to go to work and only 15 minutes later after he arrived at work he was kind enough to call to thank me for meeting him out.  A SIMPLE AND UNCOMPLICATED DATE, I TELL YOU!

B.  The second guy—I have known for a few years and is much older and in his mid-50’s.  I’ve been out with him several times before—off and on. It’s nothing serious and we’ve talked on the phone many times.  He always asks me what types of things I like.  Since he doesn’t like to “guess” what a woman likes—he’d prefer women tell him straight out.  So I’ve done this on several occasions.  I’ve also mentioned things I like or want to do even when he doesn’t ask me what I like.  He’s generally smart enough and pays attention.

BUT HERE’S WHAT HAPPENED IN A SPAN OF A WEEK WITH THE SECOND GUY:

Continue reading

A New Sports Bar In Town

30 Aug

Chicken Tenders & Macaroni & Cheese

Chicken Tenders with honey mustard & barbecue sauces and a side of Macaroni & Cheese.

I love meeting girlfriends out for lunch any chance I get.  You can always get in good food and good gossip all rolled into one.

We decided to try a newly opened sports bar in midtown—and, boy, was it loaded with some good food.  I really couldn’t make up my mind what to try on the menu. (Story of my life.)  But after hours of analyzing it, I ended up going for the basic chicken tenders and—OH—they were amazingly good and crunchy.

It doesn’t take much for me to fall in love with a food item.

I always seem to order macaroni & cheese everywhere I go, too.  I just like trying out different mac & cheeses because some definitely taste better than others—and, who are we kidding, it’s one of my favorite foods ever to eat in life.

So, if you have nothing else to do today, meet your friends out for lunch at a newly opened food spot.

Take-Away Life Lesson:  Anytime macaroni and cheese is on the menu any place you go, definitely get a side order to go along with your meal.  You can’t go wrong.

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Mexican Food With A DJ

23 Aug

Strawberry Margarita

Frozen Strawberry Margarita

Oh, how I LOVE when I discover a hot spot I am absolutely coconuts about.  This Mexican restaurant was absolutely fun and amazing.

A girlfriend and I were gallivanting in the ritzy part of town and stopped by this joint on a whim Friday night for some girl time and good eating.  We had never tried this place before and, you know, I like trying things I’ve never done and going places I’ve never gone to before—so I’m always game for trying something at least once.  I’m all about livin’ life, baby.

Apparently they have a live DJ on Friday nights—and, boy, was he rockin’ it out!  I couldn’t stop dancing in my chair!  And you’d think, as it was a Mexican restaurant, that there’d be Mexican music playing—but, no, he played a mix of everything BUT Mexican music.  Go figure!

People randomly got up from their tables to dance—even though there was technically no dance floor.  But I love when people just dance wherever they can find some space!  It’s a restaurant, after all—not a club.  But it sort of turns into a restaurant/club on Friday nights.

The DJ was so good at DJ-ing, I couldn’t help but go ask him who he was and how often he played there.  I had to get up another time to go ask him the name of a song he played that I had never heard before but found myself chair-dancing to.  (I’m a good chair-dancer.)

He was kind enough to tell me the song name and that song is now my new favorite song of the moment as I keep playing it on repeat on YouTube while I’m in the house messing about and I find myself house-dancing all day.  Oh, the little joys of my life—I tell you!

Mushroom Quesadilla

Mushroom Quesadilla with crimini & shiitake mushrooms, jack cheese, spinach, and crema; Gaucamole & chips.

Needless to say, the restaurant filled up with more and more people as the night went on.  It’s obviously the “happening” spot.

So, if you have nothing else to do today, take yourself to a restaurant that turns itself into a “club” with a “live” DJ for some good eating and good dancing all wrapped into one.

Take-Away Life Lesson:  For goodness sake, it’s probably not a good idea to try to drink a margarita on a completely empty stomach.  (There was a reason that quesadilla HAD to be purchased as an afterthought—but that’s neither here nor there.)

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Love That Costco Shopping

17 Aug

Costco Shopping products

Don’t you just love shopping at Costco?  Everything comes in super large bottles or packages and it lasts you forever!  The only problem would be—you have to have some kind of storage area for bringing Costco purchases home.

Thank goodness I have a little storage area I use for my bulky Costco purchases.  If you don’t have space specifically for these items, it could really start to make your home look cluttered with everything piled up everywhere.  I mean, look at the size of everything!

If you don’t have the storage space, I wouldn’t suggest shopping your heart out at Costco unless you’re going to split things with a friend.  Then again, if you can find a nice little corner of your home tucked out-of-the-way somewhere—feel free to stack everything against the wall.

I wouldn’t suggest doing this for everything though.  I only do this for a few select items that make more sense to get at Costco.  Everything else I pretty much buy as I need it at other stores—because who wants a home full of stuff cluttering up the place?

So, if you have nothing else to do today, shop to your heart’s content at Costco and stock up on your favorite products in bulk—but only after they send you those coupons in the mail with all your favorites marked down at a lower price.

Take-Away Life Lesson:  Buying products in bulk that you use over and over can save you from having to buy them again for a few weeks or months—and that’s always a good thing.

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A Day In The Park

9 Aug

Park

It’s been forever since I’ve actually been to a park.  I may have been a wee one the last time I went (who knows?)—but today I had an opportunity to go with an acquaintance unexpectedly.  It was a pretty hot day today so I decided to wear shorts, a t-shirt, and my tenny shoes/trainers.

I walked around the entire park chatting up a storm and looking at all the people who came out to enjoy a day in the park—whether they were walking, running, or playing sports.

I came to a spot during the walk where I was looking out into a sea of beautiful greenery—green grass and green trees for miles it seemed.  The picture definitely doesn’t look as beautiful as my eye remembers it.  Ahhh, the beauty of nature with its calm and sereneness.

After a couple of hours of a hot and humid day, it was time to head home.  I can only be without air conditioning for so long—let’s get real.

So, if you have nothing else to do today, get out and enjoy a walk in the park and enjoy the sights and scenery around you.

Take-Away Life Lesson:  You can learn so much from other people out of a good two-hour relaxing chit-chat session surrounded by beauty.

Cooking With Wine

1 Aug

If you’re going to cook with wine, I’d suggest you get a cheap brand of wine—because it’ll all just probably go into the pot anyway.  I got mine at a local Walmart browsing the alcohol aisle—and I didn’t have a clue what I was looking for.

I mean great googly moogly—there are so many to choose from!  What’s the big difference between all the different types and brands anyway?  The recipe called for “white wine”, so I grabbed a white wine once my eyes could zero in on any particular one.

I’m not very experienced with wine or wine-cooking, but I remember when I first came across a recipe I wanted to try that called for a white wine.  Though I went to the store to get the necessary ingredients for making the recipe, I couldn’t help but think my food was going to have a strong taste of alcohol and reek of the stuff.

How wrong I was, indeed.  I mean, I even had one recipe that called for a whole bottle of wine and had the fish floating inside an entire pot of it boiling away—but when it was all said and done I couldn’t taste any alcohol in the fish at all.  Go figure.

So, if you have nothing else to do today, give cooking with wine a try and see how you like it—whether you put the wine into a recipe or whether you drink it as you cook along makes no difference—it’s still “cooking with wine.”

Take-Away Life Lesson:  Makes you wonder why a recipe calls for 1/2 cup wine during the cooking process if you can’t really tell a difference from if you hadn’t cooked with it at all.

It Was A Murder Mystery Night

26 Jul

Murder Mystery Dinner

This was definitely a night I’ll never forget.

Let me start by saying, a friend and I decided to go to a murder mystery dinner since we had never been to one before.  I love trying things I’ve never experienced before so I was all for it.

The first thing that threw us off guard was the location of this place.  We didn’t really pay much attention to it until after we purchased the tickets.  The cross streets threw us off a little because neither of us could figure out what was in that location other than old buildings in the “rough” part of town.

Come to find out, we were right!  Omg.  I’ll never know how they can get people to come to this location in the first place other than the fact that these people don’t all know about this part of town—until they get there and it’s too late by the time they realize it.

Homeless shelter.

There’s a homeless shelter across the street one way and there’s a park across the street the other way where the drunks and crack-heads mingle.  It’s definitely a part of town I wouldn’t think to go to for a dinner theater.

On the night of the dinner, the amazing part was when I pulled into the parking lot behind the building where the dinner was held and saw the cars and people all fancied up in suits, ties, and dresses—but look directly across the street and you see a complete contrast.  WHAT?!  Two different worlds side-by-side.

Don’t get me wrong—I’m not opposed to the homeless shelter—and the drunks and crack-heads have a right to mingle where they want to.  I just didn’t expect to pay so much for a dinner ticket to a play in this area in an abandoned building turned into a dinner room that looked like a big warehouse of a bingo hall.

When we arrived there, we all waited in line to get our picture taken in 1950’s-style accessories they dolled us up into since it was a 50’s-themed play.  But they weren’t going to charge us 50’s-themed prices for the pictures though!!  They seriously were selling the photos for $20 a piece after the show was over.  I could have had someone take a picture for me with my digital camera for free!

And don’t get me started on the food!

I don’t have a clue almighty what in the world I was eating.  (Anything you see in quotes is strictly because I still don’t know if you can even call it that!)

  • Let’s start with the “bread basket”—a loaf of generic bread sliced down the middle.  Seriously?!   Did we really just pay for this?!

  • Let’s move on to the “second course”—the “salad & dressing.”  First of all, the dressing was in packets.  Packets, I say!  Where am I??????  To top it off, my favorite dressing only came in fat-free and the other two options didn’t look so appealing.  So I grabbed the fat-free Ranch and toppled it onto my salad.  Let’s just say the entire thing tasted like grass with water.  So I only ate one bite and I pushed it to the side.  Done.
  • By now I’m scared to see what the “main entrée” looks like.  A person came to “take our order” at our table.  I ordered “chicken parmigiana.”  CAN YOU SEE THE SLOP THEY BROUGHT OUT ON A PLATE TO MY TABLE!!  No way!  I can make a dinner plate at home better than that!  It tasted just like it looked, too.
Me

The bread and salad I couldn’t bring myself to finish.

During this whole time, the “play” was going on.  I was completely lost as to what was happening at all.  We could barely hear them talking on the microphones.

This was an interactive “dinner theater.”  Each table was a team of 10 people.  I refused to be our team captain because I was so baffled as to where we were in the first place!  Someone else volunteered.

We were supposed to get up and ask questions and discuss the play with the other diners and the actors to find out “who dunnit.”  We could “bribe” the “actors” with fake money, too, for more information.

I didn’t get up to interact with anyone since I didn’t know what to ask anyway because I could barely hear anything that was going on or keep up with it all.  Come to find out—one clue was that the “killer” did not even know they were the “killer.”

My friend and I only stayed for two hours because we just couldn’t take it anymore.  We had no idea how long this play was going to last—so, needless to say, we never did find out who the “killer” was since we left early.  AND WE LEFT HUNGRY!!!

My friend and I did have some good laughs throughout the entire thing though because we just couldn’t believe the entire experience we just encountered from beginning to end.  All we could do was look at each other and laugh.  Let the good times roll!

So, if you have nothing else to do today, give a murder mystery dinner a try if you’ve never been to one before—especially if you like the interaction of trying to find out “who dunnit.”  You may come across a pretty decent one—and, if not, just laugh your way through it like we did.  At least it gets you out of the house.

Take-Away Life Lesson:  You never know what life is going to throw at you next, so try to find the humor in it all.

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