The Changing Times

IMG_3397I’m so happy it’s staying lighter later… but what is up with all of this cold weather?? My sinus’s are going crazy and caused my poor little body to go into an over the counter medication over load… anyone else?

IMG_2711I’m pretty sure people at work thought I might have a problem–whatever. All I have to say… Nyquil is a god-send. Taking 2 days off work; however — not so great.

IMG_2651I am very ready for moderately cooler weather so I can spend more time with this little guy outside.

IMG_2704Life has been super busy with LOTS of travel. We took the scenic route home 2 weekends ago and it was wonderful AND we saved on the gas mileage even if it was a little bit longer. But anything is better than being on I-65 for 4 hours!

Things I’m looking forward to in the next 2 months: Birthday weekend, upcoming birthday spa appointment (gift from my parents!), boyfriends spring semester ending, an awesome May Wedding, and a getaway to Europe… in 47 days. I’m ready for everything to hurry up and get here!

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Upcoming Posts: Top 10 Spring Make-up Must Have’s from Mary Kay, The Best Chicken Salad Recipe — ever, AND a Healthy Blueberry Muffin Recipe. Keep an eye out for ’em!

PLTW

 

 

 

 

We’re Farming, y’all!

Well kinda. I don’t know if I have mentioned it… but I’ve been trying to start a new hobby – GARDENING. I spoke to my boss about it, and we’re going to create a company garden! Here’s a before and after shot! It’s going to be completely organic and its humongous! Or rather, it’s a mini-farm.Hanschen Klein- Farming

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Y’all know me, I had to create a plan. We’re designing the first of a few (I hope) LEED platinum houses in a small development area and we’ll be able to plant a garden next to the pool house. Look at what all we’re planting!! I can’t wait to see the big sunflowers and all those TOMATOES….

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Do y’all have any tips for “gardening” or farming?? We have our farmer’s almanac and we’re going to do a soils report… but what is the best way to organically put nutrients back into the soil without using fertilizer? All I know about gardening is that MiracleGrow is a god send… go figure. And we’ll compost… but that just doesn’t seem like it’ll be enough.

IMG_3392Happy feet.  Happy planting, y’all.

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Today I am thankful: that my father is not in the Emergency Room. Poor daddy.

Pirates Cove: Josephine, AL

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Just yesterday I took my bestest friends to a local spot I’ve been hearing about. My friends down here have called me a Yankee because I didn’t know what the hell a Bushwacker was. For God’s sake, a yankee of all things. So we went to find out what it was indeed! And Pirates Cove is apparently the place to go.

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Bushwacker: Cream of Coconut, Kahlua, Bacardi, Cream de Cacau, Half-and-Half, and Vanilla Ice Cream.

It was pretty tasty. And in the summer I’m sure they could be quite dangerous! Needless to say, I’m looking forward to the summer. I must find a boat. I digress… Pirates Cove has de-lish-ous burgers and you can bring your four legged friends! They keep a beautiful bull mastiff on staff who can do many tricks like shake and beg. She was lovely. I hear that in the summer you can wait upwards of an hour and a half! We enjoyed it a lot.

Today I am thankful for: my best friend being in town. All the way from Vienna. We have vegged-out all day and watched the first season of Downton Abbey. We’re only slightly obsessed. Love it!

Date Night

That’s right. My wonderful boyfriend took me on a date. Of course we didn’t take any pictures of ourselves… but I did take some sexy pictures of our food! He took me to the lovely Camelia Cafe in Fairhope. I know what you’re thinking… aren’t you suppose to be in Beaufort? I somehow managed to come home late Friday night. ON WITH THE PICTURES!! WARNING: food porn…

Appetizer:  Tomato salad with peas, okra, corn, nueske’s bacon, balsamaic vinaigrette and herb aioli.

Appetizer:  Crispy Georgia quail stuffed with Conecuh Co. sausage and goat cheese with tiny green beans, green tomato chutney and pomegranate molasses. This comes highly recommended. I was only allowed one bite and it was amazing!

Main:  Grilled 8 oz fillet of beef with creamed spinach, roasted fingerling potatoes, poached egg, truffle oil, parmesan and sauce bordelaise.

Main:  Leg of Lamb with asparagus, roasted fingerling potatoes and more deliciousness that I cannot remember or find on the menu online.

Dessert: Fosters Jubilee with flambe bananas, cherries jubilee, candied nuts and vanilla ice cream.

Today I am thankful for: my love. I love that boy. He gets me.

My View…

Yep, I really can’t complain. Yesterday I was sitting on the dock of the bay, watchin’ the tide roll away. Oh oh oh. Thank you Mr. Redding, I understand completely. Internet is officially being installed tomorrow and things will finally start getting settled. But tomorrow, I’ll be off to Pensacola for a meeting with clients. Get excited–there may be arguing…

Today I am thankful for: my sweet boy being in town.

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.

7th Annual Sloss Furnace : Stokin’ the Fire BBQ – Day 2

What a fun weekend. The shot above has to be one of my favorites. It was taken during some of the down time that we had while things were cooking. That was the worse part… the wait. Why is it that Ribs take 4 hours? Oh the anticipation. Look at what our finished product looked like!!

The chicken.

The ribs.

The pork butt.

The man with the plan. And “The Dave” behind him. You see that bear claw he’s holding? Wolverine wanna-be.

The job that gets the most respect because the least amount of people want to do it. Garnish Queen. We were in charge of making everything look beautiful. It’s apart of the scoring process. It’s time consuming, tedious, and requires a lot of patience. Lord, help us.

One of my favorite picture of the boys. [Left] Chicken Cooker [Right] Official Meat Turner-Inner.

And the happy couple. Who’s Dave you ask? Look behind the man with the bear claw. It’s the cookin’ machine! What a great weekend we had. More pics to come of Sloss. And we took some really good ones.

Today I am thankful for: getting to see my dad! We’re in Gulfport. I have an interview tomorrow in Fairhope! Wish me luck!

 

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!

On top of the World

I ate on top of the world of the world tonight! Okay, maybe not for real — but it sure did feel like it. We had dinner in one of those super cool revolving restaurants. This one sat on the 38th floor of some building around People’s Square. That’s about all I know. I let my friend, TR, choose the restaurant and he chose oh-so-well. He was kind enough to take my bro and sis on a tour of the city AND they are going to a water town tomorrow. That sounds pretty freakin cool. He’s awesome. Here are some pics from the evening.

I love that TR is wearing  a Kappa Delta (KD) shirt because that just so happens to be the sorority that my sister-in-law was in. What are the chances, huh?

 

 

One of the dishes we had this evening. Somehow, Julia wasn’t too fond of these things looking at her… but they were really quite tasty. AND I’m super proud of her for trying. They are just little fried fishies. I think my father would have loved them. He’ll eat just about anything.

One of my favorite pictures from the evening. Très beau, Julia! — All in all we had a wonderful evening — as well we should. 13 course meals don’t come very often in Alabama… well, unless it’s BBQ time with all your fixin’s and whatnot — I digress. We were all full and had big ole food babies in our bellies. It was so delicious. We had braised pork ribs, and yummy beef in a peppery sauce, and a wonderful fruit salad with some kind of yogurt on top, the little fishies, some other stuff that I can’t remember the name of, taro rolls, noodles with beef, pork, some other things, some glutinous rice with duck, and this absolutely dE-vine wonton soup (but we were so stuffed we couldn’t possibly eat it all). Oh my goodness. It’s a good thing we don’t eat like this every day! Just for the next few days 🙂 OH, Food Baby!!!!!

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In other news… guess what’s growing in the backyard back home?

Did you guess Mator’s? Cause you’d be right! My mother has gone on a gardening rampage this year and she will soon have a house full of mators. Oh, I can’t wait for Momma’s Sauce!

She also planted some wild flowers. These have grown to be over 6 feet tall!!! When they sway in the wind, Mr. Porcini barks at them because he thinks they are trying to attack him! What a baby. I love that little guy. But doesn’t everything look so beautiful? Good job mom. You’re about to have a full house!

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Today I am thankful for: my big old food baby AND getting to see the best view in town… my family.