Everybody’s Doing It

Everybody's Doing It

Social Media that is. I am still way behind in this area. I am still not on Facebook, but that’s from fear really. I have a hard time with the idea that there are people who I just don’t want to friend. The concept seems crazy to me. I think I would spend too much time worrying about hurting someone’s feelings or letting someone back in my life that maybe isn’t a healthy decision. Of course most of my friends give me a hard time about this understandably. If I had children, maybe I would do it to share more with my family. My sister likes to pick on me about starting a blog when I can’t even find the courage to have a facebook account. I like the anonymity of blogging. I like to visit people face to face. From the time I was old enough to ride a bike I was out visiting. By the time I turned 16 it was all over for my poor family because I was gone. Those were the good ol’ days with no cell phones and you could really get lost. I miss those days sometimes. Other than I drove an MGB that sometimes left me stranded. I like to call it character building when you have to walk miles to find a pay phone and call your parents collect to come pick you up. Yep, good memories. Besides, sometimes the memories of times in your life should be left alone and untouched from the reality that we all change. Change isn’t always bad. I’d like to think that I am a better person now. I certainly try to be better. I start each day praying that I become a a better wife, a better sister, a better daughter, friend, co-worker, aunt and so on. Isn’t that the point in life to try to be better? So for now, I am going to continue to boycott facebook and stick to my happiness blog. Even though everybody’s doing it.

Dang it’s Hot

Dang it's Hot

So hot. Can’t breathe. I have to do this. That was what was going through my head during last nights 5K run. I am just not a great runner, especially outside. I can run much better in the AC on my treadmill, but racing is exhilarating. I may be addicted to these short races. I just don’t have a lot of “finish lines” in my life right now, and they feel so good. Part of me is always surprised that I have made it to the finish and then after my wine and food tastes so amazing. Everyone looks so happy and everyone is glowing. I was really excited to be a part of the debut of the Esprit de She social fitness time “happy hour”.
One of our good friends Jocelyn Drye of Journey Lockets let us know about the event as one of the sponsors. She had t-shirts made for all of us because she’s cool like that. She had a Journey Lockets booth set up with a few other great booths like Glo Minerals, and the Goat Lady Dairy Farm. We were provided amazing food, wine, beer and champagne after the race at no additional cost. This was definitely a new thing for me. The run was at the Koka Booth amphitheater in Cary and the 3 miles took us around a beautiful lake. Also, the Koka Booth is beautiful. I was lucky to see Ray Lamontagne about a year ago and there’s nothing like it. They even have hammocks there. It’s like watching a band in a beautiful back yard amongst trees. Anyway, I digress…I am just saying Esprit de She has set the bar really high for my 5K standards. I can’t wait for the next one! Now to drink a little water and take a motrin. It’s time to get serious and get to work. Get outside this weekend and enjoy the heat!

So Much Fun!!

So Much Fun!!

I am a planner. Whenever I go on a trip I download everything I can about where we are visiting, including coupons, addresses, hours of operation and so on. It makes me feel safer. Have you ever been on a trip and felt lost as to what to do? I have and it was the worst. I don’t have a lot of vacation time so when I do I want to make the most of every minute. Don’t get me wrong, I plan for lots of reading and down time, but I like the options if I get antsy.
Last week when we met our friends at the beach, a beach that I have only once been to before, I had a folder of ideas. My friends have children, too, so I like to think about family things we can all do together. First up, the 70’s water slide. I haven’t been on one in more than 20 years and it did not disappoint. My husband was highly amused at the amount of laughing and screaming that came out of me. One of my friends is a bilateral amputee and she put on her water legs and went more times than I did. We spent 90 minutes together laughing and enjoying every moment of it. The owner was so impressed with our group that he came out to watch us and posed for pictures with us. Remember that smiling and having fun is a contagious thing. Put your smile on folks and have fun! Life is too short!

A Rose’ You Say?

A Rose' You Say?

Last night at book club we tried a Rose’. It was really light and refreshing. Barnard Griffin’s 2012 Rose’ of Sangiovese was our choice. I follow grapefriend’s blog on wordpress and she is featuring Rose’ this month which in turn started the conversation last night. Thank you Grapefriend for opening my mind and taste buds to something new for the summer. We all loved this one.
As usual we overdid it on our cheese and charcuterie plates, but it’s so easy to fall under the spell of the cheese monger. She has never let us down with her picks. We had our usual smoked salmon and prosciutto, but we always let her choose the cheeses. We had a wonderful Dijon cheddar, a boucheron goat’s cheese and something else that eludes me right now.
Our book was the new David Sedaris book, “Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls”. His books are always fun. I would not suggest his books to my mother. It’s not all “clean humor” in his books. I personally love his books. Anyway, it was an awesome Tuesday and I look forward to reading more, drinking more and eating more with the girls. Thank goodness for awesome writers who write great books.

Sandy Britches and Good Beer

Sandy Britches and Good Beer

The hubs and I joined some of our wonderful friends in Holden Beach last weekend and had a blast. The beach is beautiful and clean. Mr. Sugarbears was able to run after sea gulls and chase little girls, too. And no, Mr. Sugarbears is not my husband, it’s our dog. Haha. I made Paella one night. Our friend Bill made Fish tacos with Mahi Mahi and grouper another night. We ate Shrimp burgers from a grill that were delicious and us ladies drove into Southport one day for a little shopping and I ate a fantastic shrimp and oyster Po’ Boy. Yummy. I ate a lot of fattening and yummy foods and had a lot of beer and wine, also. I am on a mission to be very good this week to make up for the grease and alcohol consumption. But there is something to be said for just enjoying life and not worrying about calories and fat. The hubs and I feel refreshed. Sometimes just playing on the beach and drinking beer with friends is all we need.

Celebrating the Summer Solstice

Celebrating the Summer Solstice

How did you celebrate the first day of summer? The hubs and I were lucky enough to be with some amazing friends at the beach on that day. I picked up sky lanterns for everyone to send off. Each family separated into private groups to talk about their hopes and dreams and sent a lantern off together. It was really magical and beautiful to witness. It was also fun to hear the hopes and dreams of the kids. I braided flowers into the girls hair for a little extra magic. I think everyone had a special time. I know we did. I feel renewed and ready for a new week. Have a beautiful day everyone!

Love My Daddy

Love My Daddy
I hope everyone was able to spend time with the special father’s in their lives yesterday. Unfortunately, I was unable to see my dad yesterday, but we celebrated a couple of weeks ago. I did have a brief conversation on the phone with him to tell him how much I loved him. He has been an incredible dad. I have spent most of my adult life thanking him and apologizing to him. He sacrificed so much to be a good dad and if you ask him about it he’ll tell you he didn’t do enough. It takes a special man to be a dad. I am so glad that he wanted the job.

Friday Night at the Park

Friday Night at the Park

My husband and I live across the street from a beautiful park that has a small amphitheater. Last night I settled into my screened-in porch to have a lovely cocktail when I heard awesome music from a distance. The hubs and I decided to walk over to the park to check it out and we were not disappointed. Of course Mr. Sugarbears was really happy to go visiting, too. We heard a great local band and got to see a few friends while we were there. It was a lovely evening. The Dickens Band did a great job mixing the music up for us! The night was even better since we just had to walk across the street to get home. Happy Saturday everyone.

Terrible Picture of a Wonderful Salad

Terrible Picture of a Wonderful Salad

I absolutely cannot stop eating this salad. I have seen a lot of variations of Black Bean, Corn and Avocado salads and none have let me down. This is my version and I hope you like it.
Black Bean, Corn and Avocado Salad
Ingredients:
16 oz frozen sweet whole kernel corn
2-15 oz cans of Black beans rinsed and drained
1 tsp sugar
Juice of 2 -3 limes
1/2 chopped Serrano pepper with seeds
1/3 bunch of cilantro chopped finely
2 whole avocados cut into small chunks
1 large clove garlic minced
2-3 tbsp of olive oil
Salt and Pepper to taste
Boil the corn in water for 2 minutes and then drain and run cold water over the corn. Throw everything together in a bowl except for the avocado. You will want to add this within 30 minutes of serving to prevent the browning. You may notice a little browning in my picture since this picture was taken a day later as I continued to eat this at every meal. This will easily serve 12 unless you have a crazy avocado addiction as I do. It’s a great summer side dish. I ate it by itself for dinner last night and it was perfect for me. 🙂 Bon Appetit!

Tuna Cakes With A Black Bean, Corn and Avocado Salad

Tuna Cakes With A Black Bean, Corn and Avocado Salad

One of the things I found out quickly when I started dating my now husband was that his mother was an extraordinary cook. His eyes would almost roll back into his head as he would retell of her fried chicken. I knew early on that I was going to have to learn how to cook. For years the poor man endured all kinds of monstrosities that I prepared for him. I collected cook books and recipes and all the while hoping that I would become a good cook. In fact, I did learn to cook and love it. It’s now one of those things that I look forward to in my day. I find it incredibly relaxing to put a meal together. Last night I made tuna cakes in hopes that my husband would enjoy them as much as his mom’s salmon cakes and he did. Yay! Here’s the recipe I put together in case you want something easy and inexpensive to make for dinner.

Tuna Cakes

Ingredients:
3-4.5oz cans of tuna in olive oil
1/2 Serrano pepper chopped finely with seeds left in
12 whole wheat triscuit crackers shredded
2 tbsp cilantro diced
1 whole lemon squeezed into the mix
1 garlic clove minced
2 eggs
salt and pepper to taste
drizzle of olive oil
Combine all ingredients together in a bowl. Heat a large skillet with olive oil to medium high heat. Make 7-8 small patties and gently lay each one in the pan. I cooked 4 at a time to keep from packing things in too tight. I cooked them for 4 minutes and then turned the heat down to low and covered for 2 minutes. I then gently flipped them over and did the same thing. After frying these I put them on a plate with a paper towel to get rid of the extra oil and served with a sriracha mayo. To make that just add 1 tsp of sriracha to 1/4 cup mayo and mix together.

I hope you enjoy these as much as we did. I make a lot of good things in my house to eat, but no doubt, I will never make fried chicken like Mama Ann does, and that’s quite alright with me. Some things should be reserved as special between a mom and son. 🙂