Post Christmas Review

My Christmas actually started a little early… well at least this gift did. I got a new computer at work, with all of the lovely accessories. I’ve been meaning to share this with all of you and have only now gotten around to it.

There has been so much going on, it seems as though there should really be a lot to say. My Christmas has only halfway happened–my bro and sis come into town tomorrow so we’ll do my families Christmas over New Years. We did Christmas with the BF’s family on Christmas day, as well as part of my family (grandparents + aunt), and then my adopted family (BFF).It was good to see 1/2 the family over Christmas but I’m ready to see my family when everyone gets into town.  Life is good in Fairhope. We’re just trying to settle in, but we’re finding out that we have already outgrown our little house. Looks like we’ll be moving again soon–its inevitable. I’m trying to get creative about storage but I just don’t want to pay for organizational racks. That kills me. There should be an easier way. I digress… here’s some Christmas pics.

I needed a little help opening my presents. Milly was so helpful.


Needless to say… I ate a good “healthy” helping of food that entire day.  This was the first of 3 large meals that day.  We got a call in the middle of our first meal to find out that my grandfather had a car accident.  Thankfully everything was fine. But what’s worse than getting one car stuck in the mud… getting 2 cars stuck in the mud… and then needing a 3rd to get the 2nd out. It was an eventful Christmas to say the least.

We’re headed back to B’ham this weekend and we’ll have a small family reunion when everyone gets into town. I’m ready to see the fam. Did y’all have a good Christmas? Was it eventful? Hopefully not.

Today I am thankful for: having a Blake in town. Did I mention we’re going on a company bike ride this afternoon? Oh yeah, this should be interesting.

Chick-fil-A’s First 100

Well, you’ll never guess what I did in the past 24 hours. I participated in Chick-fil-A’s First 100. What is that, you ask? I’ll tell you. When Chick-fil-A opens a new store, they have this thing called the First 100.  The First 100 get to celebrate the Grand Opening of a new Chick-fil-A by pressing their luck in a raffle that takes everyone who shows up 24 hours before the grand opening, selects 100 participants + 10 alternates, and then they camp out on the lot for 24 hours, get fed 3 meals throughout the 24 hours, and then if you stay on site for the WHOLE 24 hours; in the end you are rewarded with 52 free combo meals!!! Which equals to be one free combo meal a week for a whole year, total contest winnings equal approximately $250!!! Ummmm, heck yeah!

We showed up at around 5:20 am in Five Points, Birmingham, AL to see that there were already 50 people in front of us. What we has assumed is that they take the first 100 that show up… no, no, no. They take everyone that shows up (in our case we were lucky, there were only 124 people), and then line everyone up (see above) and then they give them all a ticket. Then the raffle begins. I was the 3rd person called!!

After they call your name they place a bracelet on you, give you a cup, and put you in a group. They have check-in’s to make sure that you are on site when they feed you and they do that by making sure that you have a bracelet. A lot of random people kept showing up asking where they could get the free food and drink and we would have to let them know that they just weren’t cool enough, sorry. j/k

And then it was time to set up camp and get ready for our 24 hour stay. They set us up based on how many people we would be camping with. Some people had groups as large as 9. They tried to keep us within the parking lines; however, some people just have really big, ridiculous tents.

Yep, that’s a really ridiculous tents. One tent was called the Vacation Home Tent… obviously these people have never been camping in the woods. Tents should not come with a case with wheels. But that’s just my personal opinion.

So I’d be curious about what they feed people if they were to stay on site for a whole day — so I’ll tell you.

  • Morning: Chicken Biscuit
  • Lunch: #1 Combo Meal: Chick-fil-A chicken sandwich, waffle fries, and soft drink
  • Dinner: 8 piece chicken nugget with a side (btw, we tried their chicken salad – DELISH)
  • Desert: IceDream with toppings 🙂

People brought tons of junk with them. We just brought each other and the bare essentials: small tent, pillows, sleeping bag, book, iPod and iPad. That was it. We didn’t brings food or board games (although, maybe we should have) but we also try to travel light.

Before we knew it, there was a DJ, a hula hoop contest, a dance contest, a Miss Chick-fil-A contest and many other fun games throughout the day. It was a good time to be had by all. And then it was time for bed. Now, something funny about camping out in the middle of downtown Birmingham is that there are a A LOT of bars in the area, so at 12, 1, 2 a.m. … etc. we heard them. There were also fire trucks, police cars, dump trucks… we heard those too. But oddly enough, I slept pretty well. It was probably because I was fed so well.

We had a 5 a.m. wake up call and then it was show time and the Grand Opening began and the ribbon was cut.

And finally, what we worked all night for, the 52 free meals. I can’t thank Chick-fil-A, or CHICKY as we have all come to know it, enough. We had a really good time. And there really is something to be said about good people and good food. And it CAN be found in fast food. Standards can be set and followed when it comes to quality of food and Chicky follows great standards and excellence in customer service.

The First 100 has a bit of a following. One man in The Group; this was his 15th Grand Opening that he has attended! The couple in front of me, this was their 5th. A girl who knew me from high school told me that she had been to one other opening and people there recognized other contestants from past Grand Openings, “Oh, I remember you from the Dayton, Ohio opening” – “Weren’t you at the Louisville opening?” Hilarious. Advice: DO IT. It’s rare that you’ll ever do something silly like this again.

And nothing beats a good sunrise.

Today I am thankful for: being apart of the FISRT 100.

Day Break

After a very productive morning, we decided that we needed a break in the middle of the day… so we took our two favorite girls and headed to our new favorite spot on the Cahaba River. And usually I’m so excited to say this, but this year I’m not, I think fall is right around the corner. The reason why its our favorite…there’s a  rope swing. We can’t really do any cool tricks off the rope swing because the water is really only 7′-0″ deep. We’ll have to wait for a storm to come through. It kinda reminds me of when we were here. Okay… maybe that was a little different.

The best river buddies you’ll ever find… Miss Milly (front) and Miss Abby (back). Look at how happy they are!!!!

Today I am thankful for: talking with one of my best girlfriends from graduate school. It was so nice to catch up. I miss you Jilly!!!

7th Annual Sloss Furnace : Stokin’ the Fire BBQ

So I took a little break from blogging. It takes a little while for me to readjust to the US when I’ve been out of the country. Until last night, I was happy to report that I was sleeping regularly through the night… until my allergies woke me up at 3 a.m. It’s amazing what you can get done between the hours of 3:30 a.m. and 5:30 a.m. Anyways… tonight was the kick-off to the 7th Annual Sloss Furnace: Stokin’ the Fire BBQ Festival. Our team: Blue Creek BBQ will be entering in Chicken, Ribs, and Butt. We had a test taste tonight and it was DE-LISH. The day of the competition is always a different story… tension is high and adrenaline is pumpin’. I am, of course, there for moral support. And I do it so well. A longer photo-filled post is to come. I thought I would leave you with a few goodies from the night.

Today I am thankful for: seeing Uncle David. He’s one of my favorite people in the whole wide world. There’s nothing better than a good old Southerner cookin’ you some mighty-fine BBQ. Oh I can’t wait for tomorrow. Come out and see us if you are in the area!

A Wonderful Weekend

So, I must apologize for not blogging… life has been hectic — mid-term reviews, and all — and as I’ve always been told, “School comes first”. Anyways, you might remember that sometime last week I had one of the best weekends ever. And it lasted only 24 hours. I came home for a friends 40th birthday party and had so much fun at this totally cool venue and restaurant called the Cantina (where I must go with Food Team). I got to catch up with old friends and coworkers. There was a DJ, awesome food, and an open bar — Need I say more???

Then my Boyfriend and I were invited to a Mountain Bike Race by one of the sponser’s of the race, Red Mountain Rovers (and they are some totally cool guys). The race was at Stoney Lonesome, check it out here.  We had sooo much fun, even if it did involve waking up at 5 a.m. in the morning. I never voluntarily wake up that early — that would be miserable. Here are some pics from the event. I think I might want to give it a try during the next go-round.

By the way, this car is pretty BAD–in a good way – ya know?

Pre-race talk (+/- a few participants). They even had a canon to start the race.

Our new friends, post race, discussing the difficulties of the course. I love that they have beverages 🙂 — but the beverages started shortly after arriving — it was just that kind of day. Hearts of a champion 🙂 After the race and race activities we caught lunch at an awesome place on Highlands called Rojo. Might have to be a new weekend favorite 🙂 Gosh, I sure am happy, look at all of these smiley faces.

After we went to Rojo for 3 hours we were exhausted, water logged from more beverages, full from a delicious lunch, and yet we wanted more… So we went to Railroad Park. It was just such a beautiful day. And the park was packed–it was beautiful–who ever thought that an urban park would be successful–hmmmmm?

You know I had to find some street art.

Then after Railroad Park we went to both our momma’s houses. The first was planting tomatoes for the coming summer! At the second, we met up with neighbors and drank more beverages until it was dark. The neighbor’s girls’ were still playing on the tire swing, the dog still wanted the ball/frisbee to be thrown, and there were still good conversations to be had — and after an hour or so we had to go home and crash. What a good weekend! But alas, it had to come to an end… and I had to go back to Clemson the following day – bright and early.

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Today I am thankful for: getting to go by one of my favorite sushi restaurant’s – DOZO.

Birmingham, AL: The Mountain

 

Y’all. You have to check out this new radio station that’s local to Birmingham, AL. They play some of the best music EVER. Some of it’s underground, some is 90s, some is local stuff, some Indie Rock, and some alternative music. Do you remember Reg’s Coffee House? He’s on there too! Oh, it’s the best EVER!

The Mountain

Birmingham's Best 2010

The Mountain was actually nominated as the BEST radio station in Birmingham. AND they aren’t even on the Radio! They are only online. GENIUS. Check out all of Birmingham’s Best here. I agree with some of the list, not so much with others. Nonetheless… It’s still a pretty good list.

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Today I am thankful for: Awesome new music found by my boyfriend.

 

I am a Cake Fairy, Dammit.

Yeah, I bet you never would’ve guessed it. But… I. AM. A. CAKE. FAIRY. I deliver cake when people least expect it and I brighten their day–I am like sunshine on a cloudy day. I bet you wish you had a cake fairy. If you live near me… you could be next. Hmmm…. I LOVE CAKE. Now, I have a story to tell:

Once upon a time in fairy land, there was this little girl named Libby. Libby loved cake almost as much as the cake fairy. She had been working very hard helping out the elderly and writing a Big Bad Dissertation. On a cold winter day the fairy decided that she would visit this little girl and give her a gift–The Gift of Cake (see below).

The fairy dropped off the cake at Libby’s home and was greeted by a very big friendly kitty named Mr. Harrison. He greeted the cake fairy and gave her a story of warning–there were evil creatures lurking in the forests and they were furry and wore masks. They looked something like this… (see below). — hoodlum’s…

This description made the fairy a little weary but she gave Mr. Harrison the charge of protecting the cake. Next thing the fairy knew, the little girl was crying over STOLEN CAKE (see below). Poor Mr. Harrison, I’m sure he did what he could.

And the cake fairy received a message from the little girl: Dear Neighborhood Cake Fairy, I’m sure the cake was delicious. The [masked bandits] thoroughly enjoyed it before I got home. I very much appreciate the thought, wish I could have tasted it! Much Love, Libby

The masked bandits made away with the precious spice cake with beautiful white whipped frosting. The fairy came up with a plan. She would construct a protective barrier around the cake (see below).

The cake had to remain protected (see below).

And she left the cake with a warning message (see below).

The protective barrier worked and the enchanted cake made it inside the little girl’s home —  safe and sound!! The towns people cried with joy–“YIPPEE” they said. The little girl could have her cake and eat it too! All rejoiced as the cake made it safely inside the little girls home (see below). The cake fairy did her job. And everyone lived happily ever after.

THE END.

This is what happens what when people are used to an 18 hour schedule and then find themselves with nothing to do.

I’m off on a short Va-cay to the Farm (which we all know has my heart) and then off to the lovely state of Mississippi. I’ll check in with y’all soon!

Sol y Luna — The Best Margarita in Town

This is SOL Y LUNA. It’s the best tapa’s place in town AND the best Margarita Bar in town. If you want to call it a bar. It’s an amazing hole in the wall restaurant. You can find it here at: 2811 7th Avenue South, Birmingham, AL 35233. You’ll definitely want to call for reservations.

Sol y Luna: Dinner Menu

Sol y Luna: Tequila Menu

This is the Sol y Luna Margarita. It is sooooooo yummy and it’s spicy. It has this really great heat when you drink it. I could have a dozen of them… but then I definitely wouldn’t be able to walk out of the restaurant. For my 21st birthday I had the tequila sampler. It was sooOOOoo good. Everything here is wonderful. And while I’ve been talking a lot about their top shelf delicious drinks… their food is wonderful too. Apparently there is a list of 100 things you must eat in Alabama, and their Lobster Soft Taco’s are on the list. It’s what I always get and its the best. AND oddly enough…. I don’t like South American food. Or at least I thought I didn’t. Try it. You’ll love it. And get a Margarita!!

p.s. It’s icy cold here.

SNOW — in Alabama!

Can you believe it? SNOW… and it’s in ALABAMA no less. Or at least the image above is what we call snow in Alabama. It uncharacteristically cold here in The South. I woke up this morning and the thermometer was reading a mere 19 degrees. Now, let’s get something straight, the reason we Southerner’s live in The South is so that we never ever have to see temperture below 32 degrees. It was miserably cold. Monster Dog was nipping at snow flakes.

So instead of staying inside and moping all day long — Mom and I decided to have a girls day and bare the wintery weather. We went and got a massage and then we had a lovely dinner at Whole Foods. I got their vegatable plate with Fried Green Tomatoes, Collards (yum!!), and Goat Cheese Grits. It was soooo yummy. We also got a Bottle of Bubbly.

I love the graphic that they have stamped onto their corks.

Are y’all surviving the cold? Stay warm and remember to pass on the good word : PEACE AND LOVE THROUGHOUT THE WORLD