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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A Beautiful Victorian Mansion

19 Jul

Victorian Mansion

How I just LOVE the Victorian era.  The first time I ever laid eyes on an actual Victorian mansion it overwhelmed me with so much emotion.

Though I’ve been to this mansion many times before, the very first time I saw this house a few years ago was the first time I’d ever laid eyes on a Victorian home in person.  I was so nervous on the drive up I could barely contain myself in the car.

I remember as I rounded the corner and saw this massive beauty for the first time, it almost brought me to tears.  I was frozen and couldn’t move.  My eyes were trying to take in so much.

Not only was it HUGE, it was Victorian—built sometime in the 1800’s.  Oh, my word how I fell in love—and that was just with the outside of the home.  I still hadn’t made it to the inside of the house yet.  I could only imagine what was in store for me.

Be still my heart.  Pure beauty!!

As much as I’ve read about this era over the years and collected Victorian pictures and had anything Victorian I could possibly get my hands on—you
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Chicken Bacon Cheddar Philly

12 Jul

Chicken Philly Sandwich

Made with chicken, bacon, cheddar cheese, onion, peppers, and ranch dressing; served with onion rings.

Today was a bright, beautiful, sunny, and fabulous day!  Though I didn’t have the highway all to myself today, I enjoyed my drive nonetheless as I was on my way to enjoy some much-needed girl time.  With drinks, lunch, and a good game today—how could I go wrong?

I tried something new on the menu today—a chicken bacon cheddar philly sandwich.  Once I smothered the ranch dressing all over it, I pretty much devoured the entire thing.  It was that good!

So, if you have nothing else to do today, have a day out with friends and try a chicken philly sandwich out on the town or get creative and make yourself one at home.

Take-Away Life Lesson:  There’s nothing like introducing yourself to a variety of new menu items that pop up out of nowhere.

I Love Seeing A Rainbow

5 Jul

Rainbow

It rarely happens but when it does I’m just in awe at the sight of a pretty rainbow—and this was HUGE one!  It looked even better when I was a few miles away on the highway because there was this fabulous view of the entire thing.  Wow!  As luck would have it, I was headed right for it bright and early on this particular morning.  I’m getting closer and closer.

But, of course, by the time I get where I’m going, park, and get out of the car—the rainbow is right there and the view is not the same.  So it doesn’t have quite the same effect when it’s all up in your face and then there are buildings and whatnot everywhere—because you can’t get an entire picture of it.  But what I did see was gorgeously pretty nonetheless.

So from this angle, I couldn’t get the entire rainbow on camera.  Naturally, from the highway further back it would have been a magnificent shot—but I wouldn’t suggest doing something like that.  It’s just a tad dangerous.

So, if you have nothing else to do today, head towards the nearest rainbow—or any beauty of nature, for that matter—and enjoy it every chance you get.

Take-Away Life Lesson:  There is no pot of gold at the end.  Don’t think I didn’t check.

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Two Games In One

4 Jul

Sports Bar

Today was a beautifully sunny day and the weather was perfection.  So I decided to go out gallivanting to watch a game or two and have myself a nice lunch late this morning.

Low and behold, I found the perfect spot at this sports bar right directly at the bar itself (rather than a table)—front and center of two televisions just for me.  A soccer game on one and a little bit of a Wimbledon tennis match on the other.

Could life get any better for me at this moment other than having the food I ordered in front of my face?  Ahhh, the loveliness of life.

So, if you have nothing else to do today, I’d highly suggest you take some time out for yourself to get out of the house on a glorious day and enjoy watching a sport or two or three all at once with a few tellies surrounding you—and your own personal bartender to top it off.

Take-Away Life Lesson:  Nothing like having a nice and somewhat quiet bar practically sans people all to yourself while you enjoy a few matches and food.

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