Wednesday, June 30, 2010
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
So, when the whole crew trooped off to The Swamp for dinner the other night I was really excited, because A-Everything on the Swamp's Menu is fresh and local(ish) and B-they rock the salads!
Southwest Shrimp Salad Fresh gulf shrimp dusted with southwest seasonings, grilled and served over crisp romaine lettuce with tomatoes, avocado, roasted red peppers, black bean and corn salsa, crispy tortilla chips, salsa verde and avocado-ranch dressing.
This salad was delicious but HUGE I ended up picking through this bad boy and eating the goodies like shrimp, tomatoes and avocado. Well, and I may have shared a basket of seasoned fries with the table too. hehe. So tasty with that avocado ranch dressing! :)
Love to all,
~the salad picker-througher, Jess
Well, this city mouse returned to the country has been in for a real rural awakening this year (since August 2009 I mean). I have been struggling to get into some kind of consistent workout regiment ever since I turned in my keys to my sweet little St. Pete Condo.....le sigh. I went from 2-3 days of yoga every week plus walking/running with the puppster everyday to...well, much less than that.
When you live in the world of no street lights, no paved streets (hello twisted ankle in my driveway if you zone out!), 45 minute drive to the gym, hour trek to the yoga studio AND no bike lanes, effective workouts get really rough. Especially when Standard Time aka, why the freak is it dark at 5pm?, starts up again in the fall.
The lucky news is while I haven't technically gained any weight, lets just say my clothes don't fit so cute any more. (And yes, I know muscle weights more than fat....I'm not unaware of what happened here. Naive and innocent just sounds so much better right? Moving on....)
Anyways, while I'm still optimizing getting my monies worth out of the gym in the summer time I do have a new little project to start working on in July (that's only 2 days away loves!)
As I mentioned, my soul sister is encouraging me to pick up running again (or really for the first time, since I never broke the one mile marker last year!) and was so kind as to send me a beginning runner 5k training program from the book Run Less, Run Faster which helped her recover from an injury from her last marathon.
I know I'm being stupid and starting a running program in the middle of the freaking summer, again, but I have my eye on some fun Disney races in October and figured no time better than the present, right?
Love to all,
~the chubby little country mouse, Jess
Monday, June 28, 2010
See, Dad has been getting pressure not only from me to visit Stubbies, but also Ryan, one of his now graduated students (Dad is a college professor), who I met at Stubbies only to learn we had a very close "mutual friend" if you will. But Dad is very brand loyal when it comes to beer: He's a Budweiser man through and through and it's hard to get him to budge. He usually sips my beer and then makes some rude comment (he thinks it's funny, but hey, I'm a beer snob....don't knock my beverage literally or figuratively, thank you very much!)
But finally after 6 months of
So off we trucked to downtown Gville and after settling into one of my favorite hightops (not the one in the window, aka the hell table!) we ordered round one of the night.
EDITED TO ADD: I was right: Fort Collin's Scotch Ale
Sunday, June 27, 2010
This was filmed over a month ago, so the progress is actually much further along. I'll do another update before we paint (which is very VERY soon now! Yay.) since we now have all the drywall hung and nearly all the mudding finished, just checking for any spots that need a touch up here and there.
Now the Countdown until Finished List looks more like this:
- Finish mudding details
- Paint Ceiling
- Install Fans/Lighting/woodtrim (that's all Dad's Department)
- Paint walls, etc (Mom and I can do this while Dad tackles the ceiling details)
- Install plumbing/run water lines/install septic tank and drain field/gray water system (yay green technology!)
- Install Flooring
- Install Kitchen-appliances and cabinetry.
- MOVE IN.
Love to all,
~the sometimes I do get my way with technology gal, Jess
Saturday, June 26, 2010
Of course I want to join your Mom and you for dinner
The way ya'll cook is so good you know....
So, I've been putting off this post for a few days now....and for a totally lame reason: I'm having a hard time putting into words what my new found soul sister Becca means to me without sounding like a crazy, sappy, stalker; this condition is commonly known as CSS, if you were wondering.
But CSS be damned, I can't put this one off any longer! So, long story short(ish), while Bec and I both write blogs, we didn't really met because of our blogs- I actually work with Becca's wonderful mother, who became my informal mentor this year. Us teachers ate lunch together everyday and she kept saying "Oh my gosh- you sound like Becca" or "Becca would die...." AND then the long distance book club started.
See, Becca and her mom are avid readers and started
Anyways, Becca is an amazing woman, who is such a supportive friend, not to mention she cracks me up! She pushes me to expand my reading choices (which makes me a better writer- I hope!) and is
That being said, can you believe we had never met in person until this month? Becca lives and works in D.C., but when she planned a visit to spend time with family we knew a meeting was a must! Enter Mother/Daughter night! Becca and Mumsy cooked my Mum and I a wonderful vegetarian dinner of veggie lasagna and a beautiful goat cheese salad.
I know the photo quality isn't fabulous....I was having some lighting issues and was far more interested in spending time with 3 of my favorite women, not fussing with my camera. Mea culpa. Something I'm not sorry for (or guilty of, whichever translation you use!) is randomly choosing the tasty Malbec in the background of the salad shot. (Not to be confused with a salad shooter!). I wanted to bring Boom-Boom Shiraz, but Publix doesn't carry it and ABC isn't open on Sundays....so I went with my favorite wine: Malbec and choose this one because I liked the purple label. See? being random is so worth it!
You know what else is worth it? Worth every little calorie? This tasty after dinner treat:
Fresh-from-the backyard blackberries marinated in red wine and sugar, served a top a short-cake cup, and Almond D'lites. Oh my word. Heaven!
As amazing as the food and drink was, the best part about this night was gabbing until early morning (!) with my soul sister and our wonderful moms! I can't say how much I LOVE these women!
Love to all,
~the proud to have CSS because my soul sister is worthy of cause a disorder gal, Jess
PS. Can't wait to visit D.C. later this summer....stay tuned for details!
Friday, June 25, 2010
Go ahead...try my little experiment.....I'll wait!
How did it go? I'll bet that if you listened to the radio for just 10ish minutes you heard mostly love songs, no matter the genre: pop, rock (even hardcore rock), country, hip-hop, folk, big band, you name it....they sing about IT- "it" being love. (well, maybe not electronica....does that even have words? Whatever, if it did, they would compose songs about love, too.)
This girl is not so mushy-gushy, lovey-dovey though, so a lot of the "typical" love songs make me want to yak
Thank God for Max Bemis, the front-man for one of my favorite bands: Say Anything.
I thought I'd end up beside a princess bride
You're an artist, I'm a silly jerk.
Thursday, June 24, 2010
Monday, June 21, 2010
The Bench to Bedside program (BtoB) is a year long initiative that supplies the participating teachers with the support and materials (and graduate credit!) to establish a biotechnology program in their classrooms used to educate students on the process of drug discovery at the bench through the clinical trials process and finally treatment at the bedside.
All of the teachers come from different backgrounds, so our first "lab" today was to practice working with the micro-pipetters, or "pipette-men by pipetting colored water into the 96 well plates.
From all my work in the developmental and immunology labs I can do this in my sleep....and I'm modest about my skills too! hehe.
Our "protocol" only instructed us to pipette certain volumes in to what seemed like random wells.
When we were done, a "magic picture" appeared! My benchmate and I got the DNA base pairing rules, but it wasn't all science-y stuff around the lab......
Sunday, June 20, 2010
In addition to the chopping, boiling, shredding and shouting of obscenities as I burnt myself with chicken stock I also had time to make Daddy-dearest a snack of dips.
Well, ok, "make" is taking things a bit far....I doctored up some guac in a tub (so shameful when my homemade version is divine and this was...well, edible by my father's garage disposal eating habits), put out an new container of Sabra's Jalapeno hummus with some pretzel crackers, pita chips and multigrain tortilla chips (the little stinker got into the hummus before I could snap my picture!)
While my Dad and I often buttheads and bruise each other's egos (because we are really the same stubborn yet sensitive slobs in different packaging) I love my Daddy with all my might and cherish all the lessons he has taught me and how much he supports
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
Yes, we have all had those nights where the beer goggles got the best of us and we have a drunken bar make-out sheesh that would put most Jersey Girls to shame (or you have a friend who has done this....hi, I'm the friend. Ok, so now we all know what's going on here, right? Good.)
BUT said alcohol infused lip-lock, or heaven forbid hook-up, is not worthy of a song. Especially a song that just repeats "You look better when I'm drunk" twenty-six times, give or take a drunk. Not that I took the time to count or anything. The lyrics "A little less thinkin' and a lot more drinkin/That'll work for me tonight" and "Hey DJ spin the soundtrack to bad decisions/And these drinks, make me, lose my self control" the only other gems in the whole damn song.
I'm not a music snob, really. Yes, I listen to mostly hardcore rock and many people of that "genre" (if such a thing really even exists anymore....I'm over labels really, but you have to explain it somehow, right? Stupid catch twenty-two!) are pretty damn snobby about what they consider "mainstream music"...I'm not one of those people. I LOVE the top 40 and club music scene. I'm currently beyond obsessed with all things Gaga, Your Love is my Drug by Kesha (or is it Keshramous?) and Bulletproof by La Roux.
This is just a plea to the radio stations....please don't play crappy-crap, ok? And that includes song that aren't historically accurate. Yes, Taylor, I'm taking to you, girl.
Love to all,
~the this is why I usually just listen to my ipod gal, Jess
PS. Even if I've accidentally peaked your interest about this song, please-PLEASE do not go listen to it. It does not need any more "hits"! mmkthanks.
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
I mentioned that we went to a Cuban Restaurant for dinner one night, but what I didn't tell you was George is Cuban, so we went to a very authentic Cuban place in Uptown called A Piece of Havana. And since it was really a late lunch/early dinner we were the only patrons. AND it turns out George is a frequent customer, so the server greeted us like long lost family.
I honestly wasn't super hungry and most of the menu was serious meals, so I got the "standard":
Monday, June 14, 2010
We explored Uptown Charlotte and had dinner at a fabulous Cuban restaurant (stay tuned for details on those), and caught a late night showing of Russel Crowe's Robin Hood (if you like epic war movies than you will love this. I happen to be a fan, so I was very entertained, even if a two hour plus film is a bit excessive, no matter the theme).
But mostly we just chilled together: by the pool, on the couch, lounging in bed with Miss Shadow (Ab's Pomeranian, whom I adore and missed seeing all the time. Love you Sha-Sha!), oh and did I mention over food? Yep, us girlies love some food and we found ourselves having wonderful conversations over breakfast, dinner and you guessed it, LUNCH!
And honestly, if you had this spread out before you, to enjoy with your best girlfriend you would take an accidental two and a half hour lunch, too. Don't believe me? Check it out:
"Stinky cheese and sausage" (said by the hostess with the mostess, Abigail, not this crazy gal- the stinkier the better in my book!), tomatoes and avocado drizzled in olive oil and spices, black olives, the best cantaloupe of the season, whole wheat saltines and oh-my-orgasm homemade chocolate truffle balls. So divine. Washed down with a glass (or three) of strawberry spiked white zinfandel- usually I prefer dry white or spicy red, so I was a little hesitant when Ab pulled this out of the fridge, but it was perfect for a summer lunch.
A lunch which lasted until George walked in the door from work at 5:15pm! Whoops. Now that is what I call a "lunch break!"
Love to all,
~the extended summer luncher, Jess
Sunday, June 13, 2010
- Organic Spring Mix
- 2 tubs of grape tomatoes
- A pound of cherries
- Pretzel Chips
- BOGO Publix Deli Red Potato Salad (so good, don't knock the mayo!)
- Publix Fishmonger Seafood Salad (this is very light on the mayo surprising and that's why I LOVE IT)
- Roasted Garlic Salsa
- Avocado in a Tub (cheaper than whole 'cados right now, sniff-sniff)
- Multigrain Tortilla Chips
- BOGO Deli Turkey (Black Pepper and Mesquite)
- Munster Cheese
- Raspberry/Cranberry Juice
- Sam Adams Blackberry Witbeer
- And the intented Wine and Flowers
Saturday, June 12, 2010
Just a quick post before I board my flight back to the Sunshine State....I've been enjoying a fabulous time with one of my college roomies and her fabulous hubby up in the Queen City.
Abigial is a blog and HTML whiz, so she helped me spruce up my blog BIG TIME. Check out my new blogroll, layout and "About Me" pages!
Let me know what you think!
Love to all,
~the it's about damn time I did something with my white walls gal, Jess
Thursday, June 10, 2010
And trust me my loves, I'm going to enjoy as much gulf seafood as I can, before the entire ecosystem is totally destroyed by this on going oil spill. So, so sad.
Love to all,
~the seriously in favor of green energy because I love the gulf coast gal, Jess
Tuesday, June 8, 2010
My lovely dinner date and I enjoyed an great evening out on the patio, watching the gators swarm around, gossiping and munching on some of the best Thai food in "gator city."
I started the night off with 2 small sushi rolls. Honestly, these were nothing to rave about, a common side-effect I've found about ordering sushi at primarily Thai restaurants. And yet I keep doing it. Silly I know....my only explanation is my love of sushi began when I worked at a Pan Asain restaurant called Tai Sui, which sadly is now out of business. So I know it IS possible. Anyways, the rest of my meal more than made up for it.
I got a spin on the classic noodle dish: Pad Thai but with tofu and veggies, instead of the traditional chicken or shrimp. (Chopstix has tons of great other dishes, I was just really craving pad thai that night) You can see Steph's amazing sweet and sour chicken in the background. I snitched a few peppers of her plate and it was very tasty!
Speaking of goods, Steph talked me into splurging this lovely thing with her:
Sunday, June 6, 2010
Enter CPK's Greek Pizza-vegetarian style: Mediterranean spiced grilled chicken and Mozzarella cheese topped with a chilled Greek salad of cucumbers, red onions, fresh tomatoes, Greek olives, Feta cheese and a lemon-herb vinaigrette. Served with our homemade Tzatziki sauce and chopped Italian parsley. Vegetarian Option - Substitute avocado for grilled chicken.
Or in other words, divine. Check it out!
I love the cool, crisp chopped cucumbers, onions and olives, paired with tangy feta cheese and the healthy satisfying fat of the avocado atop the warm, chew crust. I use the Tzatiki sauce for dipping and never leave disappointed.
Now that is what I call a summer pizza. I think I'll be trying to create this at home ASAP.
Love to all,
~the in-need of cool summer snacks gal, Jess
Friday, June 4, 2010
So, when one of my darling 9th grade Biology Students asked if they could make S'mores with the bunsen burners, well I actually said yes, and made it into an anatomy lesson. Well, and with the condition that they supply the supplies....I'm getting smart here in my "old age"...have the kids spend the money, not me! Horray.
Love to all,
~the soaking up the summer school teacher, Jess
Wednesday, June 2, 2010
Pros: came out fast (but so did our whole lunch!), the dipping sauce was good, and they are cheap ($2.89? whatev).
Cons: they are just chips. period.
My actual lunch- the 1/2 and 1/2 dealio:
Love to all,
~the naughty little American Girl, Jess