Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Happy Hour Happenings #2- Eddy's & Iggy's

A week ago today a few of my Lakewood gals and I decided to hit up Eddy's and Iggy's which opened up recently after it's owners renovated the old bar Cronies that used to be there.  We chose Eddy's and Iggy's for this Wednesday night happy hour for a number of reasons.

One of the reasons was we used to frequent Cronies (even before we were supposed to!) and wanted to see what changes had been made.  But, more importantly, it was LADIES NIGHT! 

Now here's the dirt on Eddy's and Iggy's Wednesday Happy Hour:

Drink Deals:
On Wednesday's- for ladies- you are given 2 tickets for 2 FREE drinks.  They put no restrictions on us.  I had a Vodka Tonic (my drink of choice), a friend had a rum and coke, another had a pear cider, and one chose Strongbow!  Awesome-sauce!  As there were no men with us we did not inquire about any other drink specials- though we were told there were Margarita's for $2- which makes me now wonder if those would have been given to us for free with our tickets.  Hmmm.

Food Deals:
We had mostly all eaten, but they do have a menu and on Wednesday's serve 50 cent tacos!  We plan on going back to try them.  For $3.50 my friend R got a good size bowl of macaroni and cheese (she took some home as leftovers).  She said it was good but needed a little salt and pepper which were not on the table.

The Atmosphere:
When we got there at seven the bar had a few other patrons.  We grabbed a tall bar table without any problem.  The later it got the more the place filled up.  On the wall there is St. Ed's and St. Ignatius memorabilia as well as seemingly random sports paraphernalia from professional teams.  It's a good size bar and was pleasant to be at. 

We can't wait to go back (not tonight as I'm headed to Vegas) but soon to try the tacos and get some more FREE drinks!  Also, from what I understand Thursday is Karaoke night if you love to croon to some classic jams!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

On Sara's TV: Cardioke

A few weeks ago my best friend, K, told me about this exercise phenomena that her sister (I think) had discovered on her free OnDemand called... Cardioke!  I tried looking for it but apparently was looking in the wrong place- cause tonight I struck gold.  I too have Cardioke on my OnDemand!  Let me just say it is AWESOME.

If you are looking for the perfect mix of cardio, dance, and kareoke, then look no further!  Billy Blanks Jr., the son of Billy Blanks- the tae bo master will lead you through several great routines!  There are also plenty of back up performers that will make you feel way better about yourself!

I couldn't find a shorter clip that gave you the full experience.  My favorite are the guys.  Also the woman with the short black hair to Billy's right is his wife- they're quite the team.

And, in case if you were wondering no I didn't do the routines- at the beginning there is a warning to consult your physician before starting this or anyother exercise routine.  I can see that conversation now:

Me:  Dr, I'd like to start doing cardioke.  Am I healthy enough?
Dr:  Cardi-what? 
Me: Cardioke
Dr:  blank stare

What's your favorite work out?

Monday, December 20, 2010

Feel Good News Out of Cleveland

A friend had this posted on Facebook, and it's a great feel good story around the holiday's.  A family in Lakewood, my hometown, has revealed that their wife/mother was the woman who donated her face to the first ever face transplant that took place at the Cleveland Clinic.  The article can be found on here.

This article touched me for a number of reasons.  Growing up my family had a great family friend, J.R.  As a Type 1 diabetic he had his share of health problems, and he had three different transplants that allowed him to live a longer and easier life than if he hadn't.  He has since succumbed to his illness, but was always so appreciative of the people who donated their organs to him.  In the spring of 2008 my aunt died unexpectedly and as per her wishes she was an organ donor.  We will never meet the people who benefited from her donations, but I am sure that they are appreciative as well.  It's nice to read an article about a family who did get to meet the recipient and to again be reminded how much of a gift this can be for people.

I am proud to have the organ donor stamp on my license, have a living will that dictates what I want done should I find myself in a brain dead state, and have discussed it extensively with my family.  None of us have plans to leave this earth early or soon even, but as life is unpredictable it is important to think about these things. 

Have you considered becoming an organ donor?

Monday, December 13, 2010

Snow Day!

My dreams came true at 5:30am this morning when I got an automated phone call from my school telling me that there was a SNOW DAY!!  Now, I enjoy my job, I love the kids-- but any unexpected day off I will take willingly!  Snow days are perfect for relaxing and getting little things done just for yourself- I refuse to use them for anything too useful- like chores. 

Here's how I spent today's Snow Day!

1.  When back to sleep till 10!  So glorious.
2.  Watched a good chunk of my DVR'd shows including the season finale of Dexter, and The Real Housewives of Atlanta.
3.  Made myself a homemade cafe mocha.
4.  Finished reading Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
5.  Made myself chocolate chip pancakes with vanilla soy milk
6. Wrote a blog post
7. Texted friends
8. Relaxed.

I couldn't have asked for a better day!  How did you spend your snow day? 

One Touch of Nature: Photography

I've been fiddling around with photography for years- ever since I took some classes at the Cleveland Institute of Art during high school. Back then I was shooting on black and white film and developing my own pictures- which I loved. Since then I have moved into the digital world, and last summer finally was gifted a new DSLR- a Canon Rebel XS 10 megapixel- with a standard lens and a pretty standard zoom lens. I love it. Eventually I'll want to upgrade to a nicer one, but I want to earn the money to do that by selling some of my photography on Etsy.

I have reserved the name One Touch of Nature for my future Etsy shop based off of this Shakespearean Quote: "One touch of nature makes the whole world kin."  I just love the sentiment of it!  Now I just need to decide which images to start with!

Grass Lake near Lake Tahoe
North Lake Tahoe
North Lake Tahoe

Tahoe Region of California
Here are some of my favorites- I have the first and third ones up in my apartment blown up to 16x20.  Which is your favorite?  Do you think people would consider buying prints or note cards featuring these images?

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Happy Hour Happenings #1- Merry Arts Pub and Grill

Since I love happy hours, and go to at least one, and often two a week, I figured I should start a new series of posts... Happy Hour Happenings henceforth abbreviated as HHH.

On Thursday, I was invited by some of my new coworkers to go to Merry Arts in Lakewood with them for happy hour. Not only is it close to my house, but I really wanted to get to know some of my new colleagues better.  I'm so glad I went.  We ended up being there from 4:45 till 9:45.  Awesome.

Now here's the dirt on Merry Arts' Thursday Happy Hour:

Drink Deals:
Well drinks were $1.75!  I ordered a vodka tonic, and one of the other girls ordered a rum and coke- both of us felt like our drinks were strong.  Most of the other ladies ordered beers, and I want to say the domestics were $1.50.  I thought these prices were fantastic. 

Food Deals:
We were so hungry when we got there but were informed that on Mondays and Thursdays the only thing on the menus is Tacos, and they don't start serving them until 6pm.  At approximately 6:02, the 6 of us ordered 18 tacos! At 2.00 a pop, they were a great deal and really good.  Their shell was a fried shell that reminded me more of a taco salad bowl than other hard taco shells.  We ordered them with medium salsa- and it was good, but there was a little more salsa than I preferred.  They were good size and really filling.  I can't wait to go back again for the tacos.

The Atmosphere:
When we first got there the place had just a few other patrons.  We snagged some tall bar tables without any problem.  As the night wore on the place filled up.  There were young professionals, blue collar workers, business men in their 50's, and even families.  With plenty of seating ranging from seats at the two bars, bar tables, booths, and couches it never felt over crowded.

Overall I had a great experience, and am hoping to return soon!  Oh, and Wednesday's are BOGO Burgers!  So I might have to try that one night as well!

Merry Arts Pub & Grille on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Product Review: OPI Shimmer & Shimmer

The Wednesday before Thanksgiving I got my first manicure since my first one when I was 13!   I chose a gold color from OPI and it held up splendidly.  The girl who did my nails was wearing Shimmer & Shimmer from the Burlesque collection, and I loved it- so when I spotted it in Giant Eagle for fifty cents less than I saw it at Ulta, I snagged a bottle.  

On Sunday night I gave myself the manicure pictured above, completely forgetting that I was going rock climbing with my class the next day!  This picture is from tonight, two full days after I first polished, and a full day after I rock climbed.  This polish has really held up well.  (I also used a Sally Hansen UV top coat that I had laying around.)  I've been getting plenty of compliments on the color.  I think the sparkles make it perfect for the holiday season without being too literal and the color makes it appropriate year round!

What's your favorite nail color/brand?

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Moving From Denial to Acceptance

My relationship with my dairy allergy has been a long and arduous journey.  You see, I haven't always been allergic to cow's milk.  In late high school I started feeling as if when I drank milk my throat felt thick.  My mother, however, assumed I was just trying to get out of drinking the three glasses of skim milk she'd been forcing down my throat my whole life.

Cut to college, my throat starts to feel very thick and close up a bit, making it hard to swallow when I'd eat certain ice creams.  I couldn't have Malley's ice cream, but could still eat Dove Ice Cream.  At this point I was thinking there was a stabilizer or preservative that some dairy products had and others didn't.

As I moved through college I had two major reactions and finally started to accept I couldn't have any cream, milk, or ice cream.  But I could still eat cheese.  Then Cheese started to bother me so I'd pull it off of pizza, put the pepperoni back on and eat it that way.

Then Friday happened... My students at school earned a "goal day" and requested pizza.  It was piping hot and looked delicious, and since I'd forgotten my lunch for the day I couldn't resist.  I grabbed a piece of pepperoni pizza and performed my normal pizza ritual of removing the cheese and replacing the pepperoni.  Within minutes of swallowing the last bite I felt the tell tale signs of my throat closing up.  Immediately I went downstairs, found the school nurse, and took two Benadryl.  It stopped the reaction from getting worse, but it doesn't reverse what has already happened.  So from about 1pm till I went to bed at 10 I felt like I had a huge lump in my throat.

I've come to the realization that I cannot deny that I have a full blown dairy allergy anymore.  I must accept it.  Luckily earlier this week when I went grocery shopping for the first time in a month I made a few new dairy free purchases.

1.  Silk Soy Milk in Vanilla - Up until now I'd only been drinking the chocolate, but I heard from a few people that using the vanilla in cereal is great so I tried it and I'm hooked.  I'd missed cereal.

2. Purely Decadent Chocolate Coconut Milk Ice Cream, by Turtle Mountain- I believe I tried their soy ice cream before and didn't like the after taste, but this coconut milk ice cream is delicious.  Super creamy and rich.  It does, obviously, have a strong taste of coconut, but I like that so it's great for me!  I'm thinking I need to buy some Malley's hot fudge to pour over top to really make it amazing.

What are some great dairy free products or recipes I should be trying?  Nut free too, as I'm also allergic to tree nuts!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Online Dating- Yikes!

So as I may or may not have mentioned, I have a few online dating profiles- on free sites.  Needless to say I attract winners.  Since I am not finding Mr. Right I figured I might share some Mr. Wrong's I've come across... (No handles or pictures as I'm not out to "out" anybody)

Plenty Of Fish by far has the worst messages:

32 yr old
You look good in your pictures. Your profile looks like you put all of 5 minutes into writing. How do you expect to attract a good man when you write 2 sentences about yourself?

- For the record I did put approximately 5 minutes into writing it because PoF is kinda weird.  Also, insulting me is definitely the best way to spark my interest.

40 yr old
what about a married man? :)

-Yup, you almost got me with that one... nothing a single girl wants more than a man already taken.  I should note he attached a picture of his decidedly average chest and stomach (no face).  Winner. 

35 yr old
I've had other dates where we saw each other initially and got a room right away to..that was the best.

-What woman isn't swept off her feet with prose like that?  He didn't even use the right "to." 

Sometimes it's not the messages it's the profiles...

Exhibit A: 
Age: 34 yrs old
Profession: Lion Tamer/Jesse James Impersonator 

- Really?  Really?  Sometimes I wonder what I've hidden in my profile that makes these guys think they're my type. Though I have never met a Lion Tamer/Jesse James Impersonator before so maybe they are exactly my type.... hmmm

Have you had any great online dating experiences? 

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Lebron Returns to "Believeland"

Well, tonight's the night we all knew would come.  Lebron is back, with the Miami Heat, to take on the CAVS at the Q.  This should be interesting.  I don't follow the NBA, so I am unsure who is favored to win.  What I do know is this: games with this much back story are completely unpredictable.  Will Lebron be shaken by the fans who will be undoubtedly cruel?  Will the Heat and Lebron come together to prove they're the better team?  Will our fans lose control and create some sort of mob or riot scene?  Only time will tell.  I for one will be waiting the storm out on my couch while sporadically checking out the coverage of the game on TNT. 

For Cleveland, I hope we win.  Our city can use all the good cheer we can find, and it'd be a great way to bring us together! 

Are you watching the game?