Thursday, January 28, 2010

Wine Tasting

When a friend of mine called towards the end of last summer and told me about a wine tasting he was going to, I was quick to tag along. I love wine in the summer, and there is just something about a wine tasting that screams "classy" and "elegant" and "refined." He had been once before, and had a wonderful experience.

We showed up, were seated outside, enjoyed 6 different wines, 5 plates of small appetizers (including one chalk full of absolutely mouth-watering marinated meats that I will never forget for as long as I live) and great company. Plus, the wine rep knew his stuff!

I am telling you this because tonight, after a long hiatus due to a variety of things, I am going back for my beloved wine tasting. The tastings are sponsored by a great little beer & wine shop in the West End, just west of Georgia Tech's campus in Midtown, called Hop City. They have fantastic wines and a great selection of beers. The tasting is actually hosted at Figs & Honey Tiny Bistro, which is just across the street from Hop City.

I cannot rave enough about this event. The cost is $20 for 6 heavily poured wine tastings and 5 filling food pairings, usually including dessert. They are vegetarian friendly if that is your cup of tea, and the chef is extremely accomodating, explaining everything he makes and basically giving away his top secret recipes.

As you can see, I love love LOVE!!! this event, and it happens about every other week. You should check it out, I guarantee you will not be disappointed.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Who Should Pay?!

I was at a Bachelor viewing party with some girlfriends last night, and of course precious Jake and those crazy ladies took a backseat to girltalk. What else is new? We were discussing significant others and dinners, which led to venting about significant others and dinners, and then we finally moved away from significant others and dinner to dinner with others in general.

One of the girls mentioned that she went to dinner with her family to celebrate a birthday, and her significant other planned to offer to pay for dinner. Like, the whole dinner. We all had differing opinions about the appropriateness of when to offer, should you offer, who should offer, etc, so I thought I would ask the blogging world.

When you are out to dinner, do you offer to pay every single time no matter what? What if you are with family? Or someone else's family? Does it matter who you are with, whether or not you offer to pay?

One of the arguments was that you don't want anyone to just assume you were getting a free dinner. If you took someone to dinner and they didn't offer to pay, would that be your assumption?

I think it's different for everyone. For me, I rarely offer to pay. If I go to dinner with my family, it would just be silly. If I go on a first of second date, I am traditional enough that I feel paying is the man's responsibility. However, that gets tricky on later dates or once you are in an established relationship. I am by no means a taker and not a giver! Even if I go to dinner with a friend's family, I don't offer to pay, mainly because I know that if the situation were reversed, my parents would never accept money from one of my friends.

So, mis amigos, what do you do? Do you offer? What does it depend on? Or do you just offer every time, just because it's the right thing to do?

Thursday, January 21, 2010

The Dinner That Made Me Think I Died and Went to Heaven

I have been miserable sick for the last 4 days, as in not eating, sleeping more than I ever have, and sharp shooting pains through my abdomen sick. I have been in and out of doctor's offices and had too many blood samples taken. YUCK.

But, today, I sucked it up, went for my (hopefully) last doctor's appointment, and went back to work. I also decided I was going to eat whatever the heck I wanted because DAMNIT I'M HUNGRY!!!

So I decided on a hamburger. After starving for 4 days, I figured I could use the calories. Doesn't a hamburger just scream filling, satisfying, and utterly awesome?

I stopped at the grocery store, picked up some cheese, ground beef, and (accidentally) some cabbage. I left the cabbage out, I clearly meant to get a head of lettuce. Oh well, it was better without the lettuce anyway - who needs nutrients?!

I got home, put the 1 lb of ground beef in a bowl, added 1/3 of a packet of Lipton Onion Soup Mix, 2 tbsp. of Worcestshire sauce, and mixed. Then I divided into 1/4ths, smushed into hamburger likeness, and put 2 on the stove to cook. I let them cook on medium low for about 6 minutes on each side, plus an extra 2 after (sickness = not taking any chances with raw meat). I also mixed a DELICIOUS sauce: equal parts ranch, honey mustard, and BBQ sauce.

I toasted some Pepperidge Farms Sourdough bread, put a piece of provolone cheese on top of 1 of the burgers, lathered the sauce on one of the pieces of bread, and inhaled.

And dear God, was it good. If I was a food blogger, I wouldn't have been able to pause long enough to take pictures because I couldn't. stop. eating. I refuse to chalk this up to my starvation and instead give you the most delicious cheeseburger ever. YUM.
Best Hamburger EVER:
1 lb ground beef
1/3 packet Lipton Onion Soup Mix
2 tbsp Worcestshire
Divide in fourths, making each fourth into a small hamburger shaped patty. Cook on stove on medium low for approximately 6 minutes on each side. While cooking, mix equal parts ranch dressing, BBQ sauce, and honey mustard. Set cooked hamburgers on paper towels to de-grease. Toast bread/bun. Put cheese on toasted bread, put burger on top, slather sauce on other side of bread, devour. The end.

Monday, January 11, 2010

What's in your desk?

I got to work this morning, first one here, bright and early, unlocked the doors, turned on all the lights, set all my gear down at my desk, opened my bottom drawer, and almost cried when I realized that I was out of tea. This has been my morning ritual for the last week (I know, I'm dedicated) and I was devastated that I couldn't continue it. Thankfully, I remembered that I had put a secret stash (or maybe not so secret..) in the kitchen.

This got me thinking about what else I keep in my desk that I just expect to be there. I have enough food to feed me for a week, you know, in case I get snowed in at work or something. I have Chewy granola bars, copious amounts of Chex Mix, pistachios, and saltines. I have a small store's worth of lotion because I am convinced the water in the bathroom dries my hands out, especially in the winter. I have a picture of me & my sister. That one's just because.

In terms of actual things I need for work, I have more pens than I could ever possibly write with. This is attributable to the fact that one of the pens we have has been dubbed the exploding pen. I'll let you figure out why. We make indestructible phones, but pens... now there is a challenge. I have post-its galore, but I could probably use another legal pad or two. Right now the one I have is also acting as a mouse pad. Makes taking notes kinda tough when I am also navigating the interwebs.

What do you keep at your desk? Anything that maybe you shouldn't?

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Adventures In Odyssey

When I was little, I listened to books on tape or music while I went to sleep. My mom used to check tapes (like cassette tapes) out of the library and record them onto another tape for us. Now that I think about this, she did that a lot. A lot a lot. Kind of similar to burning cds, except far more complicated and probably before copyright laws. We even had a 2-cassette boombox for the sole purpose of copying tapes. Imagine mine & my sister's delight when, one, we actually got drive-through Chick-Fil-A for dinner, and two, the toy inside the kids meal WAS A CASSETTE TAPE WITH STORIES ON IT!!! It was an Adventures in Odyssey tape, and I have never forgotten this tape. There were others - one full of songs about Katie, several Frog & Toad tapes, and who knows what else, but the Adventures in Odyssey was always mine & my sister's favorite. Or at least my favorite, I'm not so sure about my sister. Plus, this had to be circa 1991 or 1992, so the fact that it has stuck with me this long must mean something, right?

Fast forward to last night, I'm babysitting overnight while the mom is on-call at the hospital, but my bedroom has no tv in it. I prefer to fall asleep with noise, especially when not in my own bed. After realizing I can't download any TV epsidoes on my iPhone without wireless connection, I go to the bottom of my barrel and start searching podcasts. They are free, and don't have to be downloaded, but I'm not really a podcast kinda girl. I've always thought of them as well, kinda boring. But, I knew I would fall asleep quickly, so I wasn't really concerned what I was listening to. So I'm clicking around and... can you even begin to imagine how excited I was when I stumbled across Adventures in Odyssey PODCASTS?! I ended up listening to like 4 and being so engrossed in nostalgia. It was awesome. This did nothing for my sleep schedule, but I'm okay with that.

In fact, it was so awesome that I might do it again tonight. Nevermind that these stories are intended for 7 year olds to teach them good Christian lessons... ok I probably won't, but next week when I'm babysitting again I'll surely be pulling those bad boys out!

What have you recently stumbled across that just tickled you pink?

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

None of Your Beeswax

Some people would be surprised to find out that I am a HUGE supporter of waxing. I have waxed just about everywhere there is hair on my body - face, legs, underarms, etc. People wax for various reasons - some are freaked out by hair, others, like me, have sensitive skin and the thought of shaving (literally) makes my skin crawl.

I have tried several different places for waxing - a couple of nail salons, Spa Sydell, Lady Bee Waxing, and Brazilian Wax by Andreia. Let me just tell you - the last 2 are the way to go. I was beyond impressed with the salons, the aestheticians, the time it took, and most importantly, the method and type of wax! Both Lady Bee Wax & Brazilian Wax by Andreia use the "hard wax method" to remove whatever hair your little heart desires. This means that they apply a thick layer of hot wax, let the wax cool, and then pull the wax off by itself. This method, in my opinion, is 100 times better than the strip method, where wax is applied in a very thin layer and then a strip of cloth is applied and quickly ripped off. The "hard wax method" seems a much better option for my sensitive skin, and it makes the waxing job last a little bit longer.

I understand that neither of these may sound pleasant, and so many people have asked me, "Does it hurt?" Well, the answer is YES!!! It hurts! But, it hurts for a few minutes up to an hour or so, and the end result lasts much longer than shaving.

Which method of hair removal do you prefer? Have you waxed? Let me know what you think if you have tried it, or if you plan to!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

It's Gameday!

It's the last gameday of what might have been the longest football season of my life (and of Georgia Tech's since I've been a fan!) While I am sad to see the end of football season, I am glad to have my Saturday's to do whatever I wish, and I'm glad that tailgating has ended (for more than one reason). I made it to all but one home football game this season, and traveled to Tallahassee, FL and Tampa, FL to see the Jackets take on Florida State University and Clemson (for the 2nd time this season)! What are your favorite memories from the 2009 football season? Some of my favorite (and not-so-favorite) memories of 2009 stem from football season -- rushing the field after beating #4 Virginia Tech, tailgating on the 5th Street Bridge, a pathetic loss to the University of Georgia, and a memorable weekend in Tampa.
So today, I am proud to be a Yellow Jacket and will say for the last time in the 2009 football season, "I'm a ramblin' wreck from Georgia Tech and a helluva engineer!" Go Jackets!

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Saturday, January 2, 2010

Two thousand ten.

I love the new year - it makes me feel like I have a clean slate and can start from scratch. I made a 101 in 1001 list that starts Friday, January 1, 2010 and ends sometime in September, 2012. I think it is competely do-able with some things that are a bit of a stretch. I guess that list is my resolution list, and I'm okay with that. Next year I think my resolutions will also be on the same list, because 101 things are a lot of resolutions for just 365 measly days.