Thursday, July 14, 2016

Restaurant Review: Los Dos Gallos

There is a buzz about Los Dos Gallos in the Toledo area.  Naturally, we had to check it out.

Atmosphere:  Something is to be desired...for real.  This place is in a run-down strip mall on Dorr St. west of Reynolds.  Inside, it's the same-ish as it was when the restaurant was Amigos.  It was less than clean, food splattered on the wall next to our table.  Dusty centerpieces of fake red roses in an odd little vase, and the table was covered with green satin fabric then topped with plastic - like a davenport in your Grandparent's house from 1950.  Not in a good way.  The bathroom was horribly unclean as well including un-flushed toilets and beat-down stall doors.

Service:  Also less than average.  We were greeted somewhat promptly and were served drinks in a timely manner, but mine was gone before we even ordered. Several tables arrived after us and received their meals before.  Since we were not in a hurry, it was not a big deal, but it led to a devouring of chips and salsa.

Food:  I listed above some negatives, but let me just tell you, it is all worth if for the actual meal.  This food is legit and we would absolutely go back.   Here is the menu.

We started with complimentary chips & salsa.  Chips were warm and crispy, more of a golden brown than a white corn.  Not too salty and on the thicker side.  Not sure if they were house-made but definitely a local source.  Salsa was fresh and house made with a little zing but not exactly spicy.  See below**.

Appetizer was Firecracker Shrimp.  This giant shrimp (prawn-like) was smothered in cream cheese, topped with a roasted jalapeno, swaddled in bacon and then most likely deep-fried.  Served with an cinnamoned orange slice.  If that doesn't sound good to you, stop reading.

Danny ordered the LDG burrito, if you could even call it a burrito!  It was 3.5 lbs and JUST ENORMOUS.  It made a Chipotle burrito look like a hot dog bun.   Stuffed into this mega-burrito was shredded pork, beans, rice, lettuce, tomato, avocado, cheese, sour cream and topped with red sauce, green sauce and cheese sauce in the middle.  It was just gorgeous.  Tasted even better.

Molcajete is not a dish you see in the Toledo area often.  In fact, we have only had it in Colorado and Florida.  I had to get it!  A screaming hot stone (think mortar and pestle - no pestle) filled with onions, red and green bell peppers, topped with cheese, rimmed with steak, chicken, shrimp and a roasted jalepeno.  Orange slice.  Seriously.  This was so delightful. The meat was as good as a brazilian steakhouse and seasoned perfectly.  I ate maybe an 1/8th of this massive bowl (see chip eating above) and can't wait to have it for lunch today.

It's worth it to mention the **green hot sauce as a surprise delight in our culinary outing.  You have to request it, and it comes in a tiny little ramekin.  The sauce is light green and creamy, leading me to belive that it was mixed with pureed avocado.  DO NOT scoop this out and eat it like salsa.  Danny did that and has a stomach of steel.  Immediately his eyebrows shot straight up and started sweating.  I took it a little easier and just dipped the edge of my chip in it.  It's flagrantly spicy, but the taste is incredible.  Roasted jalapenos is your front taste followed by a rich heat that is a perfect.

As Ben Stiller says in Starsky and Hutch, do it....do it.......


LDG burrito

Molcajete



Monday, July 11, 2016

9021 OH YEAH

Today I will watch the final episode of Game Of Thrones.

This is a big deal.  I am OBSESSED with this show.  And not like the dramatic on Facebook, OMG obsessed with these mini lip sticks!  Dumb.  Truly - this show has taken over my thoughts, dreams, conversations and all social media searches.  I thought about Jon Snow for an hour during my workout.  I realized that I didn't even have music on halfway through.  Ridic.

I am on IMDB several times a day and have looked at ALL 1 million cast members, read their background info, other movies/works, and Game of Thrones Wiki - pssschhhht, forget about it.  With maps of Westeros, House lineage, timelines (AHHH!).  It's amazing.

So what I am telling you is that I need something else to fill the void until 2017 when the next book arrives.

It's only appropriate that I go from an emotional, intense, visually stunning show to another....

90210

This show was a guiding force in our teen years and our world REVOLVED around it.  Like  my current GOT obsession (note*not lipstick obsession), we NEVER missed a show.  This was before *binge watching* was a thing, but back to a simpler time when we just NEVER scheduled any activities on Thursday nights because Dylan was just too cool to miss.

On my DVR is no less than 50 episodes.....HAHAH!  FIFTY?  I hope this will keep me occupied until 2017.

These two.....nerd alert! But as a parent, I totally feel for them now.  Even if they are squares.
Never liked this guy


Always liked this one.  The smoking, being French.  Brenda and Dylan forever.

Donna - don't act like a bimbo.

A gun in a bikini?   Really Aaron Spelling, were you even trying?

Special guest star psycho, jersey-stealing, U4EA slipping crazy

No words necessary

Most improved

Love this guy

Special guest star, woman beater, and embarrassing singer

Not a Kelly fan.  Just so perfect and blonde.  #teambrenda

Also thought she was a nerd, but now, really think she's the only one with a brain on this show.




Thursday, June 16, 2016

Crustless Quiche

I wish I had a pic for you - I really do.  Pictures make words more interesting, right?
A link to a recipe would be helpful, right?  Well, I cannot find my sources so here it it from memory.


Een's Muscle Quiche (like the name?)

Ingredients

  • 12 eggs
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1/2 c cottage cheese or cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup sharp cheddar
  • 8 oz breakfast meat (I used turkey sausage (bacon, ham, ground beef all would be good here)
  • Veggies of your choosing (I used red onion, mushroom, red bell pepper and dill)
  • S&P of course

Instructions


  • Whip cottage cheese or cream cheese with a hand mixer so it's really smooth
  • Whisk eggs, milk and combine with cheeses, meats and seasonings
  • Stir in veggies 
  • Pour into a greased 9" pie pan (I used glass)
  • Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes uncovered


You cannot believe that there is no bread in this magic egg dish.  It is so delectable and also nice and firm (but not dense).  TRY IT!

The cream cheese is like a secret weapon and I do believe that it has magical powers.

Let me know how you do.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Mercury Glass Project

My project:  Create centerpieces for my cousin's graduation party.

I have seen Mercury Glass before in Pottery Barn and other fancy-schmancy stores and it reminds me of my Nana's house at Christmas time.  So, basically, it's awesome.  Here is my DIY Mercury Glass project.  See below for my YouTube inspiration/education.

Items needed:
  • Paper towels (for covering and blotting)
  • Sprayer
  • Water
  • Vinegar
  • Looking Glass spray paint by Krylon (you have to use this exact paint or else yours will turn out like my first batch....crappy!)

Instructions:

  • Tape off glass
  • Spray INSIDE with Krylon in short bursts - let dry (30 seconds)
  • Spray inside with 1/2 vinegar 1/2 water solution
  • Wait a few seconds
  • Blot with paper towels (for a few of the taller items, I used a swiffer duster on a stick)
  • Repeat until you have the look you want


Tape off glass

Used the WRONG paint

See how it's crappy?

Craptastic

Messy -I'm turning into the tin man

Ok, now we are talkin!  $12 at Hobby Lobby

Better, right?



My favorite one





Here is how I learned:

Friday, June 10, 2016

I'm getting cats

Danny and I catered The Victory Center's fundraiser weeks ago at The Parkway Place on the trail.  This organization supports cancer patients, survivors, and their loved ones.

We offered the fantastic Southwestern Eggrolls that everyone loved and raved about.  YAY Danny!

It was a nice evening, lots of food vendors and desserts, a caricaturist (The talented Bil Barrett), a live and silent auction, a photo booth and.....fortune tellers.

I was so intrigued.  It's been a while, but I've had my fortune read before and while I don't take the advice literally or verbatim, I think it's a whole lot of fun.  And interesting.

I waited all night to see the astronomer.  I circled her table like a shark.  I tried to make eye contact.  I waited.  And waited.  Aaaaand waited.

FINALLY!

There was a break in the action and I excitedly bounced up to her table.

She puts a  hand up (What?  NOOOOOOO!) and tells me she is all done for the night.  I. Was.  Devastated.  I most likely acted like a kid who missed Elsa at the Ice Capades because she softened up a bit after seeing my tears my disappointment.

"Wait," she said dramatically and grabbed my hand.  OH BUDDY, this is it!  She is going to read my aurora and reveal secrets to me that I have never known about myself.

"I'm getting cats....yesssssss, cats.....lots of cats....."

I was confused.

"Oh, ok, great.  What kinds of cats are you getting?"

"No, I am not GETTING cats," she replied.  Slightly annoyed, maybe annoyed?

"Ok, huh, well, um....."

"For you I mean.  I see cats.  Do you have a cat?"
No...
"Do you want a cat?"
Still no...
"Do you love cats?"
Well, better than dogs...
Have you ever seen a cat?
Come on now.  You aren't even trying!

Guess I should have paid.




Thursday, June 9, 2016

SUPYO!

Stand Up Paddleboard YOga is a really fun and unique way to get your Zen on.  My sister, Sally Dandar Lyons, has made her hobby a business and her true passion for yoga,nature, and inspiring others really shines through in her classes.  Sal will make you feel comfortable and welcome, no matter your experience level.  It's honestly one of the best ways to challenge yourself, love yourself, learn a new skill and enjoy the beautiful world though our earth's elements (especially water).

Yesterday's class at the Quarry on Albon was a delight!  It was a little chilly (YAY) and we wore sweatshirts on the boards.  However, the sun was shining and the water was absolutely stunning, as it sparkled with the wind and waves.

I always feel more balanced after yoga and particularly outdoor yoga.   It's a good reminder to be thankful for what we have and that message of gratitude will spread to others as you believe it yourself.  

Want to try a class?  Check out Sweet Water Yoga



 




Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Nosy

Something I have learned about myself over the years is that I ask a lot of questions, just like my mom.  She has always been a question asker (3rd grade teacher) - sometimes rapid fire- and sometimes not. But usually rapid fire.

Questions come naturally to me.  So, naturally, I am a very extroverted, inquisitive person paired with a loud voice.  What does that mean?  I will give you an example.

Today I was in the office and there was an empty desk.  So I inquired about said desk because I was curious who sits at that space.  I didn't want to move in there or measure for redecorating.  

My buddy says to me, "Why, aren't you nosy?"  I laughed (loudly) of course and agreed.

When I went to my desk, I wondered - AM I NOSY?  FOR REAL?

nos·y
ˈnōzē/
informal
adjective
  1. 1.
    (of a person or their behavior) showing too much curiosity about other people's affairs.
    "he had to whisper to avoid being overheard by their nosy neighbors"
    synonyms:pryinginquisitivecurious, spying, eavesdropping, intrusive

This definition is a little harsh, right?  I wouldn't say I'm PRYING or SPYING (although....if we are being honest, I do love to spy a bit but it's a non-threatening spy).  I'm just observant!  Is that a crime?  Maybe I should MYOB but I don't really want to.  It's who I am.

My stance on questions and general inquisitive nature is that it shows that you are listening and really engaged in conversation.  Can you imagine a lack of response from your discussion partner?  Studies show that people need verbal feedback.  So there!

Questions make you an active listener.  Plus, I cannot just hold my questions to the end (was REALLY bad at that at school)!

Are you nosy?

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Riding the train at the mall

Trying on her Elsa suit

Having a blast at Butterfly World in Boca Raton

Crashed out

Enjoying her ice cream at Mayberry

Do the chickens have large talons?

Birthday cake - destroyed

Pick me! With Ernie and rubber duckies

Front facing finally!

A hot a sweaty sweet pea at Maplewood 

My little TNT is TWO

I'm a bad mom because I didn't write this amazing happy birthday blog to my little peepster.

Here's why:
1)  Honestly, it's just too long
2)  I get all choked up when I write it
3)  I have a monthly journal that I am keeping for myself/her that is extensive already
4)  It's hard to put into words just how much you love your child

SO!  Here is a picture of TNT on her birthday (May 15):
Stats:
Healthy
Happy
Funny
Crazy
Sweaty
Adventurous
Smart
Intuitive
Creative
Vocabulary!

Loves:
Food
Food
Food
Quesadillas are still her favorite
Sesame "guys" Elmo, Cookie, Bert, Ernie, Grover
Dirt
Frozen, Cars, The Little Mermaid

My baby!
Love your MOM

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Face In or Face Out?

This is a serious question...is there a protocol for facing IN or facing OUT when you have to climb over people at a concert, performance, or anywhere else you are jammed in like sardines?   Also, why are people so weird about letting you out?  Like it's some enormous inconvenience to stand up and let them by?  That's something else - PEOPLE, please stand up (...please stand up), for God's sake don't swing your legs to the side as if that helps.  Because it DOES NOT.

Face OUT:
This means you are facing the stage and your rumpus is facing your opponents
Pros
You can grip the seat in front of you for support
You can still see the stage

Cons
You risk an opponent butt grabbing your duppa (intentional or not)
You cannot see your opponents
You may grab the hair of a snarky teenager in front of you and get tweeted about #mylifeisover


Face IN:
This means your tuckus faces the stage and you have to look at your opponents
Pros
Honestly, I cannot think of a singular one

Cons
You might fall face first into the lap of an opponent
You might grab an apendge of your opponent because you have nothing to brace with
Eye contact with your opponent is entirely possible

VERDICT
Face out if you have to at all.  Most times I will only purchase an end seat because of this debacle.

What do you prefer?

Monday, May 9, 2016

Restaurant Review: Chick-fil-A

Everyone on the planet knows that Chick-fil-A is the best of all fast food places.  We all respect your right to be closed on The Lord's Day, but MAN, I crave chicken on Sundays.

Have you eaten in the dining room recently? Let me tell you - a whirling dervish with an appetite of Andre the Giant is sometimes difficult to control in public.  Chick-fil-A is so amazing - they are built to help and make your experience a fantastic one.  Here are some of their amenities:

1.  A bounce house/indoor playground
2.  Incredible food with healthy options.  Grilled nuggets are so good and the fruit cup is more delicious that the waffle fries (well, I'm lying but the fruit is still fresh cut and a nice alternative)
3.  The nicest employees ever.  EVER.
4.  High chairs that are clean and on wheels
5.  Little stuffed cows for the kids.  That someone brings to your table!  Really nice interactive outreach by a manager to make sure everything was good for us.
6.  The bathroom has diapers and wipes and a door handle that you don't actually have to touch.
7.  Chick-fil-A has this little plastic place mat of sorts.  It has adhesive on the back so you can truly just put your food on the table.  And eat it!  And cut it!
8.  Magic knives that actually cut food but not your finger.

I  know some people are creeped out by their motto, "My pleasure," but I like it.  I am not impressed when you thank someone and they reply, "No problem," or something like that.  I appreciate the MY PLEASURE and I probably say it back to them.  Like a weirdo.

Anyway!  Go eat at Chick-fil-A for a great experience.  It will be a ....pleasure.


Saturday, April 30, 2016

The Art of Overcompensation


o·ver·com·pen·sate
[ˌōvərˈkämpənˌsāt]

VERB

  1. take excessive measures in attempting to correct or make amends for an error, weakness, or problem:
    "he was overcompensating for fears about the future"
Overcompensation is an art.

You must engage in frequent overcompensation to master it.

My friend Kristin and I talk about being overcompensators quite often, as we are both second generation OVCers and card carrying members of the club.

Example A:
When you feel uncomfortable about another person's behavior
If you have bad service at at restaurant and your dinner partner tips little or nothing, you, as the classic OVCer, will constantly tell the waitress that she is doing an amazing job and eat the coldest burger on the planet citing - it's fine!  Plus you will leave an obscene tip - like 90%...and a smiley face on the receipt.  Looks like I will never dine at that place again.

Example B:
When you feel stupid about what you just said
I stopped at McDonald's to order Chicken Nuggets and an ice cream an iced tea (priced $1) and handed the cashier a $2 that was a gift from Grandma for my first communion.  As the cashier took my bill from 1985, she said thank you....as if the transaction was over.  So, I OVCed and said, "That's actually a $2 bill..."  She looked at me like, yeah lady, I have eyes.  So I OVC once again and said, "Right?  Like, WHO carries a $2 bill," and roll my eyes at myself and laugh a little weird laugh.   And proceed to tell her that it was my first communion money.   Now I can never go back there.

Example C
When you feel stupid about what you just did
After dinner, TNT and I were taking a walk in the neighborhood.  I saw a friend way down the street and waved and also YELLED HELLO, as in SCREAMED to reach someone three blocks away.  You will find that you have to OVC often when you have a loud booming voice.  So the 16 year old boy that was about 20 feet away from me, jumped and said, "Oh, uh, hi (?)...."  So OVCed and I said, "Oh hi, I just loooove your yard."  Come on,  The yard?  Like he cares about the yard.  I have obviously changed my after dinner walk route.


Thursday, April 21, 2016

I'll slap you. I don't care if you ARE 5.

I took my sweet pea (who will be 2 next month) to the playground at Pacesetter yesterday.  Taylor LOVES the playground and zooms from slide to slide, swings, sea saw and enjoys spinning and banging the extras on the equipment.

In the young kids' section, there is this little tube that goes up, connects with a semi-open cube, and then goes down in a similar tube/slide.  She loves it.  It was the first "slide" she rode.

There were two little boys (probably brothers, probably 4ish and 6 ish) in the connection, just sitting there.  As Taylor climbed up the tube, they were blocking her way to the slide.  I politely said, "Hey guys, would you please let her through."

Do you know what?

They said no.  NO.  NO TO AN ADULT THAT WAS NICE.

In the meantime my sweet, angel, ASS KICKER, just said excuse me and pushed her way past these two little boogers.  I was insanely proud.  GO GIRL!

If you have experience with 2 year olds, you know what's coming next.  AGAIN.  So up she went and guess who was there to impede her success.  Those two little hooligans.  THIS TIME they would absolutely not let her through.  WHAT!!!!??!!  So again, my bass-ass bull-baby, just went down the same side she came up.  What a champ.

AGAIN.  So this time, as Taylor climbs up - these two little SHITS threw wood chips down on the slide so it was hard/slippery to climb on up.  Taylor was slipping and not making it up.  When I heard these boys yelling at her - "YOU DUMB BABY, GO AWAY,"  naturally, I freaked out.

As I slapped the shit out of both of them - no wait, I didn't but you can imagine that I gave them the dirtiest, dirty looks of all time.  So instead of accosting a 6 year old, I just grabbed my little amaze-ball and said, "Ok peeps, let go where the kids are nice.  I see only mean bullies here."

Guess where their parent was?  Can you guess?  Well, I'm still guessing.  Keep an eye on your kids, people.

Moral of the story - my girl is confident, relaxed and clever.  And I'm so PROUD.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

If you could choose to be a car, what would you be?

I have been working out for what seems like forever.  We had a memebership to the UT Rec center in gradeschool and it was brand-spanking sparkly new then.  It was like a giant playground.

In high school, softball and basketball (CYO, definitely not Varsity) kept me busy and on to college where I returned to my beloved Rec.

After college, Lifestlyes for Ladies Only was my new home.  Filled with ladies only, you could wear cut off sweatpants and a giant Frat T-shirt because you didn't  know better....plus no one cared!  My love of spinning started there and my obsession continued.

After Lifestlyes closed (NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!), I searched for another place to call home.  I wound up at LA Fitness (formerly Urban Active) and while it was a new sparkly gym, I never really liked it there.  It was like CLUB PICKUP and all the pretty people were there.  The music was so loud (hello, I'm 80) and now my cutoffs and Pi Phi rush tie-dyed T-shirt was antiquated.  Sigh.  How am I supposed to wear tight pants when my thighs touch...down to the knee?  WTF.

I jumped ship and joined a no-frills gym called Fitness 19 - it was $19 dollars a month and I found myself enjoying this simple gym because again, no one cared and you were there to just work it out.  Plus, I saw a LOT of Fratty T-shirts there.  Ahhhh.....these are my people.

After we moved to Sylvania, I needed a closer gym and I really missed the group exercise classes.  I tried the Y and didn't love it but then....I discovered Wildwood Athletic Center.

Angels sang and doves fluttered out the doors as I entered this amazing, open, beautiful place.  It was just so...impressive.  And clean.  And state-of-the-art.  And it smelled really nice.  All the amenities were attractive to me - sauna, steam room, group classes varied in schedule and type, you can even get a massage there!  WHAT?!?!?!  Yes, please.

Needing the extra help as always, I signed up right away to work with a trainer and got some new workout gear, a heart rate monitor and awesome new neon shoes.  My trainer was AMAZING, she was a college athlete and we shared unwieldly curly hair and love of cussing...we were gym besties.  She moved because a great job opportunity and I had to start over.

She recommended a new trainer that she knew personally.  He was totally different.  Military guy and it took a while to get a groove.  Finally we bonded over Deutsches Bier and metal bands.  We laughed and I felt better about our trainer-trainee relationship.  He even was able to crack jokes with me about being short (me, not him) and I've always enjoyed a good laugh at myself for being short...because that's who you are!

One day he notices that I am excessively short in the extremeites area.  "You have the shortest arms I have ever witnessed."  Really?  Even babies?  What about grade school boys?  "And your legs are especially short, which is why you are an excellent squatter."  Ok, that's better..

He thinks...."You are built like a...."  Say athelete...say international business woman superstar...say body builder waiting to emerge.....

"Buick."

Not was I was hoping for.  However, at least American-made Buicks are cooler, reinvented vehicles now.    Right?  Right?

I would have hated if he said  Toyota Tercel.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Back it up, back it in, let me begin....

We are pretty lucky in Toledo, OH to have such ample and wide parking spaces...not to mention mostly free or otherwise relatively inexpensive. Have you been to Chicago, NY or LA? My husband lived in Chicago while we were first dating and so I journeyed through the never-ending boringness of Indiana twice a month to see him. Traffic was....well, a nightmare for an Ohio gal. Parking was almost non-existent and while parking and walking with a travel bag in the summer is all fun and games, not so much in the winter. Gah!

Parallel parking in a big city is honestly something you could add to your resume under "superhuman skills." Pulling in backwards at a crazy precise angle into a space as big as a baby bassinet with cabs, Ubers, dogs, cats, road raged folks, and cyclists, is really no small feat. I digress as usual.

So! I was thinking about parking in a big open lot and wondering why people choose to BACK IN.  Here are my theories:
1) You are demonstrating that you have mastered reverse
2) Reverse in a manual VW is extra fun because you get to push down on the stick
3) If necessary, one could make a hasty escape from eminent danger - Jack Bauer style
4) Your parents were back in it people...wait.....not like that
5)  Your automobile is just that sweet that it needs the respect of facing out

Are you a backer in-er?   Try it today and see if you command more respect.

"Who you tryin' ta mess with ese? Don't you know I'm loco?"


Thursday, March 31, 2016

Butt, I thought you said....

I have been sick for over a week.  This super-morphing cold took me in all directions and ended with an ear infection and a sinus infection.

Not cool.

One week of an antibiotic didn't work (surprise, surprise) so I went back in to the doc to get a steroid shot (which they should have administered in the first place!).

I head in and see the nurse right away since they were ready for me with the doc's orders.  The nurse is a friendly, kind lady and thank God she has a sense of humor.

"This shot goes in your bum, " she says cheerfully.  Bum...haha!  Right Govn'or!

So I turn around and literally drop my pants, exposing my entire keester.  I don't know why I did that.  I really don't know....I still am wondering why I did that.

She sticks the needle in my the upper quadrant behind, but honestly, I had on workout pants and the injection goes right above the pant line.  So in retrospect, dropping trough ENTIRELY was ENTIRELY not necessary.

I left the office feeling like Magda from There's Something About Mary, with all this crazy roid energy, but really...

Why did I do that?

Bum's the word, Gov'nor.

Monday, March 28, 2016

And a I made a noise like this......

I hope everyone had a happy Easter!  We had a nice but busy day as usual visiting family, hunting for eggs, eating too much chocolate & kolbasz (alternating chocolate and kolbasz...), and watching Peepster having the time of her life running around with her cousins.

In between one of many stops, we landed near the Dave White Chevrolet in Sylvania.   A car sped into the lot and came screeching to a halt.  The car was barely stopped when out of the passenger side tumbled a woman.

She immediately leaned over and braced herself on the pole in the parking lot.  AND BARFED.  At 10:30 am.  This poor lady was just puking her guts out.  I could see her doing what looked like a standing cat/cow but I know all too well that forceful barfing motion.  She vomited for what seemed like 10 minutes.  That poor lady!

I could only assume she was pregnant, and then I thought....well, what if she is really  hungover?  Ha!  Or drunk still?  On the way to church perhaps?  Puking in the holy water font is probably frowned upon.

Thinking further about our barfing heroine, I wondered if Dave White's security cameras picked this up.  Monday morning the surveillance reviewer will get quite a little show.  Poor lady is probably going viral.   Or has a virus.  Or a baby.

HAPPY EASTER!

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Hello TNT!  

Happy 18 month birthday - you are a year and a half old.....time sure flies.

How about this little track suit?  


Monday, November 16, 2015

Pizza Tour of Toledo: Maumee Bay Brewing Company

Maumee Bay Brewing Company, Downtown Toledo, in the Historic Oliver House
In the many times I have been to MBBC, I have never had the pizza, so we thought we would try it...
Crust - I thought the crust would be thinner.  It was pillowy, medium thickness.  Just average.  I like a thin or a really thick - the medium is just sort of well, average.  

Sauce - Needed more sauce.  It was light on the sauce and I should have asked for sauce on the side or for it to be saucier.  Sauce.  Tasted good though.  

Overall Pizza Score - I would say B.  It was nice pizza with fresh toppings and you can tell it is truly baked to order.  It didn't blow me away but it was good (how can pizza be bad?).

What did ya eat?  We ate with friends so on the table was a mushroom, onion and pepperoni pizza, then the classic Marghertia pizza and the third I think was sausage, pepperoni and artichoke (but I didn't get to that one so I cannot be sure).  I also had a side salad that was pretty nice - it had fresh veggies, a sprinkling of cheese, and romaine lettuce.  It's nice to be able to have a salad with your pizza.  Here is the kicker and their secret weapon as far as I am concerned.  THE GIANT PRETZEL!  Dear Lord, the giant pretzel.  This baby is house-made (probably by magic elves) and you can really tell.  It is soft, buttery and garlicy with a salt top but nothing is overdone.  All flavors compliment one another into a fantastic masterpiece pretzel.  BONUS:  it arrives with three ramekins of dipping sauces - beer cheese (yes please), whole grain mustard (ja wohl!), and cream cheese (die of happiness).   This pretzel is $15 but, honestly, I believe it is worth it. 

Other items of note -  This is wood-fired pizza, but it didn't seem to have that wood or smoke flavor to me.  Which isn't necessarily a bad thing, but I just thought it would be more obvious.  You cannot go wrong with a brewer's sampler as this place is, after all, a brewery.  They were out of a few flavors but we got the paddle and tried 6 brews.  We tried Ruchy's Revenge, Total Eclipse Breakfast Stout, and a few others that I didn't hear my husband order.  They were all mostly good.  I didn't get to sample the Blitzen or the Bourbon Barrel - there's always next time :)  List of beers here.  

Atmosphere - Downtown Toledo has a lot of history, and the Oliver Building has done a great job of cleverly adding eateries to it's structure.  I love all the exposed brick and wooden features.  Lighting and decor are nice and not overly done (hence, you don't get that "bar" feel, but a little more casual than a restaurant.  Nice mix.    
 
Service - Pretty good.  She was fast and nice.  I wanted some popcorn though....

Next stop:  Village Idiot (need a sitter for this stop....)

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Which Wich

Everyone that knows me knows I am forever on my weight loss and healthy me journey.  Everyone also knows that I have a passion for food and beverage (but also don't mind getting down on some weird low-class food favorites) so this is quite the daily battle of the bulge.

At a convenience mart in Whitehouse (there are no restaurants in Whitehouse):

Devil Iris:  Go on....those hostess cupcakes aren't going to buy themselves....

Angel Iris:  Fiji water!  MMM!  What a treat!

Devil Iris:  Those Snyder's of Hanover Hot Wing Buffalo pretzel bites sure do look good....

Angel Iris: How about a nice glass of ice for your Fiji water??  Refreshing!

Dang it!
Today I really did need something to eat (because my day was crazy and I was not prepared) so I settled on.....

A Cheesewich.

Seriously.  I don't know what I was thinking.  My usual beef jerky was not in stock.  It is exactly what you are thinking.  Two slices of pepper jack cheese with a piece of salami in between said slices.   God.  Come on!  It's better than the Twinkies I was eyeing or the Chex mix I would have rather crunched all the way home.  At that moment, the Cheesewich was perhaps the healthier option?  The weird part was I was actually having trouble deciding which flavor Cheesewich to get - pepper jack or colby jack.  Spicy is better for your metabolism, I heard in my head.....which wich....which wich?

At the register I continued to justify myself to the cashier.
Me:  "Have you had this?"
Her (a cute young cashier so of course not):  "What?  No...."
Me:  "Yeah, well, it's not for me anyway...gross!"
Her:  Weird look that says she doesn't believe me.  She shouldn't.

Let's hope she didn't see me eating it in the car.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

M' Osteria review

Finally!

M'Osteria has been on our restaurant list for some time now and we were able to check it off the list last week (or was it two weeks ago?).  I found out several things before we even started our meal.

1)  You say:  EM OSTA RIA, not MOIST AREA.  Much better and more appetizing.

2)  An OSTERIA refers to an Italian place serving simple wine and food.

Now that that's settled, on to the more important matter....the FOOD.

We ordered:
Osteria meatballs
Arancini
Margherita Pizza

My thoughts?

-Meatballs were just ok - the sauce was excellent. Simple and not over garlicky or oily.  Great sauce, or gravy as my New Jersey family would say.

-Arancini was just incredible.  Something rich, creamy, savory, with a crisp crust that you would never have at home.  A real treat.  A+++++

-Pizza did not disappoint.  Handmade, thin and crispy crust with great flavor, fresh ingredients and cooked to perfection in that beautiful, wonderful oven that made the entire restaurant smell inviting.  Love it. Did not feel bad about eating my fair share of the pie.

Also had a Curious Traveler grapefruit shandy, which while delicious, a red wine may have paired better. But really?  Beer goes with everything in my opinion.

Would have liked to have seen a chocolate option on the dessert menu.   Interesting that there is only one option and I should have ordered it because if you only offer one dessert, it must be amazing.

Atmosphere was nice.  Relaxing and decor was well done.  Happy to see a downtown place with new life.  Service was a bit slow but we dined late on a Tuesday night and I am sure they we understaffed and truly I was just happy they were open that late.  No big deal to us.  All servers and staff were friendly though and that is always a huge plus in my book.

Next time I would like to try a sandwich and a pasta dish.  And the dessert :)  And wine.  And more pizza.

See menu here.

Great job Osteria.  Arrivederci!


Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Husband Perspective

My last post was in June you guys.

JUNE.

What is happening!!!???  We are busy.  Busy with a sweet peepster baby (toddler?!?!?) - I have no pics to upload right now so I will save her update for later.  For now, I will tell you the tale of just another day in my life.

The TJ Maxx on Airport is a little sketch - you know it is - but you shop there anyway.  Admit it.  I was on my way into the store when all of a sudden, a giant red SUV sped into the lot and I mean it was coming in HOT.  It came so close to me (and remember, I was on foot), that I am sure the driver of this vehicle did not see me.

As he squealed to a halt, I was about to yell at him when I noticed the immense bass and overwhelming treble along with a familiar melody from my grade school days.....

"It's so haaaaarrrrrrrrddddddd, to say gooooooooodbyyyyeeee......."

What?

I looked at this car and noticed the license plate read "ROMEOO." Stop it.  Two Os?  Like some kind of bad Top Gun reference?  The plaque for the alternates is in the ladies' room.....
So Romeoo almost killed me to a Michael Bivins' song that everyone slow danced to in the 8th grade.
The moral of the story came to me when I recounted my pedestrian peril to my husband.  His reply?

"When you're in a Bell Biv DeVoe slow jam, it's hard to concentrate on anything else."

Husbands.   Making perspective simple for the rest of us.

Monday, June 8, 2015

ONE and other stuff

My sweet pea is ONE YEAR OLD!  I cannot take it!  She is literally the light of my life.  Let me just spread some joy to you as well.  I don't have any pics but will get some soon.  I am disorganized right now.  You guys know how it is. 

Big in the peepster world:
She ate her first cupcake.  Ha!  Well, she did.  She was a little timid to begin, but then got into it, chomping it and smearing icing all over her high chair like a baby VanGogh. 

But seriously, this baby can take steps on her own. She's walking.  How!?  When?!  We marvel at her greatness constantly.  She is wobbly and will take just a few steps on her own when distracted but she's determined. And funny.  And happy (and adorable, and perfect, and amazing......).
She can walk quite a distance holding on to bigger hands for guidance.  Which is my favorite. 

Other traits:
Her voice.  Her little voice is fun and babbling quite a bit now.  She is imitating sounds and her favorite word is NO!  I am not sure if she knows what it means, but she says it often and proudly and we adore it.  Lots of mamamamamamamama, and other things that sound like "shoes" or "yeah, I did," all incredible.  Better clean up my language and quick!

She can be LOUD which I am sure is no surprise to anyone reading this.  She laughs all the time.  What a sweet pea.  She loves to blow spit bubbles and slurp zerberts....like a lady.  Ha! 

She is the fastest crawler.  She will take off and zip away then stop, plop down and stare back, just to make sure we are looking.  Of course we are, baby. 

TNT has started to wave, a little, but the waves look more like saluting.  Pretty funny.

Clapping - still not so much.

Eating - cannot.get.enough.FOOD!!!  She loves all food.  Eats everything.  Wants all food.  Her transition to milk went perfectly.  She still loves her bottle and does not prefer a sippy cup.  Ce st la vie.  I am picking my battles. 

Sleeping great.  If she wakes up too early on the weekend or when I don't have to be into work until later, I pick her up out of her crib, bring her into the spare room with me and we both fall back to sleep.  Sue me.  It's the best time of my week.  She is so sweet.  SO SWEET.

This is an amazing baby.  She is happy and social and is good in public and at restaurants.  LOVES other kids.  I couldn't be more proud of her.  My sweet little peepster. 

Monday, April 27, 2015

The Amazing Race: Read for Literacy

On Saturday, we did something a little different. 

We dressed up like the Blues Brothers and went on a 2-hour scavenger hunt in Maumee.  For charity.

Read for Literacy is a wonderful organization that hosted the Amazing Race event as a fundraiser - and how fun!  Not your normal thing.  It was a total blast!!!  We started out at the Pinnacle where we got our clues.  Each team got their packets and off went.  25 minivans tore out of the Pinnacle, each like a bat out of hell.

The clues were not terribly hard per se, but there were SEVENTY SEVEN of them...and they were sentence format.  I guess they were making us read..... 

Anyway, we went all over, performing ridiculous stunts, taking pictures with the correct clue numbers, asking strangers to help us with odd tasks and my favorite, pumping a stranger's gas. (!) I will give all the credit in the world to my friend on that one because he had the nerve to approach someone.  I would have just skipped that one.

We returned to the Pinnacle in the same fashion - bats out of hell - tires squealing - and onto dinner, drinks, silent and live auction while the judges counted our clues.   I seriously could not believe we didn't win.  We even counted our points at the bar later and decided that we were only a few points away and must have been 4th place.  Then we plotted our course for next year because we had maybe had a few cocktails and are overly competitive.  Just maybe.  Besides, we were the best dressed for sure and people sang SOUL MAN to us all night.  Pretty fun.  We did make the slideshow - take a peek here: http://www.readforliteracy.org/events/the-amazing-race-for-literacy/

If you don't know about Read for Literacy, I would encourage you to take a look at the website and find out more.  This is a great organization that is working hard here in our community to support children and adults in their goal of literacy.  Pretty noble stuff.

Have you participated in a scavenger hunt as an adult?

Friday, April 24, 2015

11 Month old Peepster

My little peepster is 11 months old.   She is even more amazing every month, every day, every minute.  Each month I look back and cannot believe how much she has grown, how much she has changed, before our eyes.  Making progress and learning by leaps and bounds.  My sweet pea, peepster.  My love.

Eating:  Oh man - this baby is the champion of all eating.  She.eats.everything.  Anything.  What a good girl!  Spinach?  Yes.  Eggplant?  Yep.  Mushrooms?  You bet!  It's so great.  Now that she's actually eating cut up food and not pureed food, she's like a living experiement.  That sounds bad.  But, I mean, she likes it all!  It's so cute to watch her pick up little chicken, little grapes and little pasta with her teeny little hands and SHOVE IT INTO HER MOUTH.  Such a lady :)

Sleeping:  Overall good!  She will sleep about 12 hours a night unless she is sick or just feels like being a pistol.  Napping is not that good.  She will nap for 5-120 minutes once or three times a day.  Ha!  We are not as consistent about naps as bedtime.  Such is life.

Teeth:  Bottom two have been alone for so long but the top ones are juuuuuust poking through now.  Whew!  What a champ.  TNT has been teething for - well basically her whole life - and handling it well. She gnaws on everything and drools a lot.   I do brush her little teeth with this teeny-weeny brush that has winnie the pooh on it.  It was a gift from my dentist and I think I can take her to the dentist soon!  So cute.

Walking:  We are almost there!  She cruises the ottoman, the couch, me, the chair, her wagon, whatever!  She's excited.  She will bounce on the floor and can actually stand up on her own but then doesn't know that she can take steps so she plops back down.  And laughs.  And LAUGHS!  

Personality:  Honestly - this girl kills me.  She is amused by her socks daily.  Today she actually stuffed her sock in my mouth.  And laughed.  And I laughed.  It was muffled because of the sock but man did I laugh.  She sticks her tongue out when the wind blows.  Like a dog.  Like the most adorable dog with the sweetest little tongue you have ever seen.  She loves bubbles and peek a boo and all the silly stuff.  She LIGHTS UP when someone walks into the room and says hi to her.  My social little sweetheart.  She is wonderful in restaurants and in the grocery store.  She is a bit on the loud side (ha!), but it's usually screams of delight and expression.  The crying usually only happens when I don't give her food fast enough or she dive bombs into something head first.  Whoops!

There is so much more - I will leave it for next time.  Everyday I thank the Lord for this wonderful angel of mine.  We could not be more proud or more blessed.  

Easter Time!

The tongue!




She is so curious about fabrics and textures.  Why, yes this is a leaf of Lorien.


Her friend, the Mouse.

Ponderous little Peeps.





Walking behind her Lion.  Bridget her babysitter calls this the "Bitter Beer Face."  LOL!


Cruisin' the ottoman.

How do you guys get these amazing pics with these on?  This was ripped off in two seconds.

But the orange!  She was in love with the little orange.




This is her favorite blankey.  You know you had one just like it.
Look what's next.......