Spring: The Good, the Bad, and the (b)Ugly

Maybe it’s gorgeous weather we seem to be having (on every day except the weekend), or maybe it’s the ever-thicker layer of pollen on my car every morning, but it’s DEFINITELY springtime here in the Triangle!  Who knows, maybe soon I’ll be bringing back No-Pants Wednesday soon! But, in the meantime, I figured I’d mention a few of my favorite (and not so favorite) parts of spring.

Grilling weather, baby!

The Good: Ahhhh grilling season. Though my apartment complex doesn’t allow grills on our property, they have a few by the pool. And let’s face it: food on the grill tastes MUCH better than anything coming from my George Foreman.


The Bad: Hey, morning glory…. Shut up. I’m trying to sleep. Or cook. Or watch TV. Or read. And there you are, outside my window, yammering away like you’ve got something important to say. Unless you’re giving me tips on filling out a March Madness bracket, I don’t care.

So fresh and so green

The Good: Salad time! Salads, I think, are just meant for warm weather. And, come spring time, I just wanna throw away my “comfort foods” and chow down on piles of fresh veggies, black beans, salsa, and greens!  MMmmm.


The Bad: Just like their birdy friends, the bugs decide it’s time to play. I saw this little monster-sized spider outside of my office this morning.  My hand’s there for perspective, but I didn’t wanna get too close to it.  Attacks and all.

Color me excited!

The GREAT: Colorful outfits!! I know that some people rock out their colors all year-round, but I tend to don the darks during the winter months.  NO MORE!! Bring it on, sundresses. I’m ready for you.

My old nemesis

The Bad: Then again, with the sundresses inevitably comes the massive amounts of shaving that need to be dealt with on a more regular basis.  When the gams come out, so do the razors.
A small price to pay, right?

Sweet treat

THE BEST! Free Rita’s Italian Water Ice. Because if you grew up in Delaware or the Philly area (or both!) you know that the first day of spring means ONE THING: A Free Regular Water Ice from Rita’s! Luckily, few folks in NC know about this delight yet, so I didn’t have to battle high school gangs for my cup of tasty.

And if you call it Italian ice in front of me, try not to be too offended by my exaggerated eye roll.

Happy Spring, everyone!!

What’s your favorite “spring thing”?

Faux Pas? No, Pas.

The countdown is so fully ON.  Two days left of work, and I’m headed up North for Christmas, New Year’s Eve, and all the fun in between. I’d like a Philly cheesesteak, a Capriotti’s Bobbie, and a TON of time with my family and beau. Until then, my mission to empty the fridge continues.  Today’s project?

Fully loaded omelet.

Slathered in goodness

Today’s omelet got rid of a lot of bits and pieces from the produce drawer!

  • 2 egg whites, one yolk (only one egg left!)
  • Red onion (sauteed in EVOO)
  • The last of a bag of spinach
  • The last of a bag of shredded mozzarella cheese
  • Some Boar’s Head Pepperoni (my VERY favorite kind of pepperoni)
  • All sorts of Frank’s Red Hot

It was delicious, and the fridge is looking emptier by the second. I also gifted two of the fancy beers I’ve been saving for my hop-head coworker.  The gift of choice was the Thomas Creek Brewery’s “Up the Creek Extreme IPA”. I’ve actually tried this beer once before and, though I don’t have a picture, I do remember being surprised at how much I didn’t like it.  It’s 12.5% ABV, and (though the site claims otherwise), I couldn’t help but taste the booze, and be turned off by the overly-sweet taste. Someone online compared it to a barley wine and, though I wouldn’t ever confuse the two (it’s still too “beery”), I can definitely recognize the similarity.  I’d bought this beer for my coworker a few months ago, and was saving it for a special occasion. Thank goodness for the IPA-fiends in our lives….

In other news, as I mentioned via Twitter, today’s outfit was one of those times where I’m fully aware that I’m not a “fashion blogger.”  I feel like I’d heard that navy and black together are a big “no-no” in the fashion world. But, when I tried on today’s outfit, I felt adorable and twirly, so I just ran with it.

Minus the belt-slippage, cute, right?

I’ve been spinning around all day, and feel certain that, faux pas or not, it’s comfortable and cute.  Big thanks to my NYC correspondent, Lee, for confirming that it is not the biggest fashion mistake I could make.  And the slouchy boots are consistently the coolest accessory I own.

On today’s agenda:

  • Get accustomed to my new computer at work (Christmas came early at the office!)
  • Facilitate a support group
  • HOPEFULLY grab a drink with the infamous Sierra from Posh Meets Pavement, my IRL college buddy who blogs about her jet-setting lifestyle and staying fit in South Africa!
  • Wrap presents/pack like a maniac

Luckily, I heard the latter two are always better after a drink…

Do you disobey any “fashion rules”?

I’m notorious for giant flip flops all the time (especially the least appropriate times…. like weddings.)  The burden of my massive feet.

Jack Frost Nipping at Your Channa Masala


It’s Thursday!

I know, I know, it’s not Friday, but I see the light at the end of the tunnel.   The light is probably Rudolph’s Nose, as Friday night is North Carolina Girls’ Pint Out’s First Annual Festival of BEERMAS!!  I’ve dusted off my hat and beard, and after today’s lunch, my belly is feeling particularly jolly.

Ho, ho, WHOAH!

As I nuked the Trader Joe’s Channa Masala, my tiny igloo apartment filled with the warm smells of Indian spices, and my tummy started rumbling. This was the first time I’ve ever tried this particular dish, and was so excited with how it turned out!

Since I didn’t have any rice on hand and, honestly, I kinda burned out on rice in my first year post-grad (rice, beans, cheese. all meals, every meal), I put down a solid base of spinach and just ladled the goods out on top. The chickpeas managed to not be too mushy as sometimes frozen foods can feel, and the base of spinach worked perfectly with the spices. While I actually wish there’d been more of a kick, spice-wise, I understand that, for the masses, sometimes you gotta tone it down a bit. It awakened the Indian food bug inside my belly, and I’m CRAVING some more, post-haste. Maybe I can convince someone to join me this weekend…. (or head over to TJs for some more of these goodies.)

In other news, it got COLD in North Carolina!!!

This morning, I was met with a 31 degree temperature and, when I stepped out to the car, a rude awakening of frost.  And, although I am the only member of my family that doesn’t own an ice scraper, I made due.

Ladies and gents: The Southern Girl’s Last-Effort Scraper!


Have you got an old Nickelback CD that you’d rather throw away than feature prominently in your car? Ashamed of that Baha Men phase in your life?  Collected a few too many of those free AOL CDs?  WORRY, NO MORE!  Your lame musical tastes and hoarding tendencies can be transformed into a practical and fun tool for the cold weather.

Toss on some gloves (because you’re getting up close and personal with this frost, no handles here!), and grab the CD, then get to scraping!!

Defrosters? I scoff at them.

You’d be surprised how fast you can scrape an entire car’s worth of windows when your hand basically becomes a scraper.  It’s much more flexible than a scraper with a handle and you can cover a lot of ground when you’re a long-armed scraping fiend like me.  For all you short folks with tiny raptor arms, I’m sorry and hope you manage to move to a warm location where your arm length won’t hinder your ability to get out in the morning.

Poor guy...

Now that the world’s thawed out a bit, I’ve got a lot on my plate. I’ll be baking some beer bread for the Festival of Beermas tomorrow, and hosting the Carolina Brewing Company’s Winter Porter glass night at Rockfish.  In the meantime, I’ll just be bundling up, thanking my lucky stars I found these fake rabbit fur earmuffs at Booth’s Corner in the summer.

Baby, it's cold inside

Do you ever MacGyver any of your belongings into new, handy contraptions? 

Other than the CD Scraper, best I’ve got lately may be using a can to crush up some graham cracker crumbs…

What’s your favorite food for when the weather gets chilly?

Chili for the chilly?

Why You Should Grocery Shop at Lunchtime

Hey there y’all, and thank goodness it’s Friday!

I’m blurrily celebrating No-Pants Friday, so excited that I clearly couldn’t even hold still!

Too fast, too furious for the camera!

And I have to say, I just enjoyed the most divine salad at lunchtime.

Festive Friday Fare!

Yesterday, I tossed 2 frozen chicken breasts, half a can of black beans and half a can of fire-roasted tomatoes and some salsa into the crockpot. By dinnertime last night, it was a wonderful shreddable chicken with a Mexican flavor. Though I wrapped it in a tortilla last night, today I bulked it up with some spinach, tomato, half an avocado, and cheese. Out of this world.

Now, you might be asking yourself, “How does Jordan afford all these avocados? She must be a zillionaire!” because avocados are notoriously pricey and that’s a bummer. But I’ll tell you how I get em.

Shop for groceries at lunchtime!

A beautiful bounty!

The aisles are almost empty and the food is ripe for the picking. Also, this is a PRIME time to pick up those battered and bruised veggies and fruits that are “priced for quick sale”. The losers of the produce aisle, these treats always finagle their way into my heart and, shortly after, into my grocery cart. And, honestly, if you’re planning on putting together food with the veggies in the not-too-distant future, what’s the problem?

Sure, maybe they’re not as beautiful as the beautiful bananas, the attractive avocados, and the perfect plums. But they’re delicious as all get out, and just made my day.

For $2.50, I picked up 4 avocados and 8 tomatoes. I’ll chalk that one up to a major WIN!

Plans for tonight include a very special (and RARE in NC!) beer!  Epic Brewing’s Brainless on Peaches will be tapped at Rockfish tonight, and I can’t wait to try a glass.  Yummy, yummy.


Jimmy Johns Customer Appreciation Day!

So, this’ll be short and sweet.

Once a year, Jimmy Johns hosts their Customer Appreciation Day. On this day, subs 1-6 are only $1 a piece!  If you know me at all, you know of my fondness for free or cheap foods. Heck, look at my birthday week!

Discounted slices of Klausie's Pizza? I melt (just like cheese).

So when I heard of this chance, I of course tweeted and emailed all my coworkers. Last year, they were cranking out a sub every 20 seconds.  This year, they may’ve been going even faster.  When we rolled up (4 deep), this was what we saw.

Hugs for Subs!

This type of crowd left some balking at the sheer size of the line. Not I, though. I had faith that the folks at Jimmy Johns wouldn’t disappoint. And, within no time at all, we were inside.

MAN, the gears were turning inside!

JJ Crew

I’m pretty sure the entire working force of Jimmy Johns was there! There were folks answering phones and, outside, people were taking orders to prepare for the checkout. It was a well-oiled machine.

$2.34 later, I was home with my goodies.


I went for the classic.

#4 Turkey Tom, no mayo, plus onions and oregano, side of Thinny Chips (WHOAH this is newish!! Reduced fat Jimmy Johns Chips!!)

I added some low-fat mayo at home, and paired it with my drink du jour, pink lemonade Crystal Light.


If you are in the Triangle area (read Cary, Raleigh, Durham, or Chapel Hill) before 3 pm today, GET YO’SELF A SUB!!

Are you aware of any killer food deals I should know about? 

Happy hours? Cheap eats? One-day deals?! SHARE!

Halloween Brainstorming

Happy No-Pants Wednesday, folks!

Thanks so much for your feedback on Group Fitness Etiquette, loved hearing your rules and habits!

However, I’m being a bit blasphemous today.  It’s just too cold.

No shame in that game.

Some pants are okay on No Pants Wednesday. If they’re comfy, cozy, and bought from Considering this chilly weather (I know, I’m being a bit of a pansy, but the mornings are freezing for this summer girl!), I wanted something hot hot hot for lunch.

Steamy... just how I like it.

Grilled buffalo chicken sammy!! Sharp provolone cheese on a sandwich thin with Frank’s drenched chicken. Perfectly paired with some steamed veggies. Just what my belly needed.

In other news, quite possibly my favorite holiday is right around the corner.


Honestly, any real reason to dress up in a costume, and I’m 110% down.


I have an entire GIANT bag of costumes that takes up more room in my closet than anything else.

Psychadelic fairy!

Wings, glitter, feather boas, cat ears…. the list goes on.


Last year, for a theme party, I was even a (sexy) Ewok.  I am probably not going to post EVERY picture of a costume I’ve been recently (there was that year I was a “superman’d ho” – my personal step back for all feminist progress, but hilarious in my eyes).

Jersey Girl: We Pump Fists, Not Gas

My senior year, I embodied my all-time favorite film, Dazed and Confused, trying to match the badassery of the Senior Girls.


And the ever popular Toga Party.

Just call me Artemis.

Or that time I dressed up as a Zebra for the Lady Gaga concert.

Little Monster

Last year, I was Patty O’Green from Rainbow Brite, my first time wearing a fancy store-bought costume (since I was a little girl, at least).

Luck of the Irish

This year, though, I’m trying to figure out what to be. I don’t even know what my plans are (other than UNC’s homecoming weekend with ClaireB) but I’d love to make a funky costume.

Here’s what I’ve thought of so far:

1. Hop Cone

This is an ingredient in beer. It is NOT a pot plant.

2. Redfoo from the Sexy and I Know It video

Animal print pants rocking outta control.

3. Bubbly

Pop champagne wooooahhhh

(I know this is a rerun from New Belgium’s Tour de Fat Durham visit…. But reuse-recycle, right? Green’s the new orange and black.)

4. Big Boss’ Angry Angel

My favorite Kolsch = my favorite costume inspiration?

Basically, since there’s no real character, I’d just take some creative liberty.

5. No Doubt Gwen Stefani

Remember the video for I’m just a girl?

I might not have the abs (yet!) but she’s such a rockstar. I’d just need a tank top, put some Old English letters on there saying GWEN, curl my hair, VOILA!

What’re you being this year for Halloween?

What’s your best Halloween costume of all time?

Here’s the Mail, It Never Fails. It Makes Me Wanna Wag My Tail….

Hey there friends and neighbors…

Before you do anything else with your day, pop over to NC Brewing to read my guest post Recap: NC Girls’ Pint Out detects good beer from the bad. By writing an article for them, I’ve basically become a superstar in the beer world and if you wanna catch me on the way up, make sure you keep tabs on me now.

Anyway, shameless self-plugs aside…

If you were drawn to this post by the title, you might be expecting this little friend:

MAILBOX! (click for Source)

Well, sorry to disappoint.  Looks like you’re stuck with me.

Yup. Stuck with me.

I’m home for lunch and SO excited because this time tomorrow, I’ll be headed to the airport for yet ANOTHER wonderful weekend in the North. I had a blast this weekend at my cousin’s wedding shower but barely got to see my better half, Ryan. Luckily, this weekend I’ll have a chance to split the difference and spend some time in his stomping grounds of Philly!! It’ll be nice to return after enjoying myself so much during the Healthy Living Summit… maybe I’ll even revisit Reading Terminal Market !

Today’s lunch is brought to you by: every single thing that could possibly go bad in over the weekend!


It was random as all get-out and included about 1/5 of a sausage cooked with spinach, egg, and some cheese as well as steamed veggies on the side. Yummy and filling!

The reason I’m stoked to write especially for today’s properly labeled post is that, in the past few days, I got some SERIOUS mail swag!!

Today, I picked up a massive set of boxes from my apartment complex office. Well, after digging into those bad boys, check out the goodies!

More and More MUIR!

I won the Muir Glen Organic giveaway from the effervescent Kaitlin over at For Love of Carrots, and now have a pantry chock FULL of amazing tomato products (and soup to boot!) This couldn’t come at a better time considering the squash love of my life, spaghetti squash, AND pizza dough are on sale at my local Harris Teeter this week!  I know what I’ll be making when I get back from PA!

Also in the mail?  Something I’ve been waiting for with bated breath since I signed up for Foodie Pen Pals through Lindsay’s blog.

The best things in life are VERMONT!

Allie from Healthy Balance, Healthy Life sent me a package so chock-full of maple syrup goodness, I almost choked. But honestly, I think I choked more on the granola that I spent the past two days virtually gargling (only then, I swallowed).

Seriously, I’ve knocked granola in the past but this…. this is ethereal.  Luckily, there wasn’t too much, so now that it’s gone, I’m just working my way through the cookies. Speaking of which, I think there’s just enough time to have a Puppy Love peanut butter chocolate chip cookie before going back to work.

EDIT: I ended up eating a banana and saving the cookies for when I visit Ryan tomorrow. You’re welcome, boyfriend.

These Are a Few of My Favorite Things!

Happy Thursday, folks!

It’s an especially happy Thursday for me, as I leave to head up to Philly for my cousin’s wedding shower tomorrow (yay short weeks!)  I’ve been working overtime this week so I have to take less vacation time, which has resulted in a bit of a stressful week. Add that to a VERY busy set of evenings with volleyball on Monday, a beer tasting on Tuesday, and Girls’ Pint Out last night!! Oi vay. All that stress left me a little grouchy this morning, so I thought that I’d whip up a little comfort food for my luncheon.

Omelet of Glory

This particular Good Karma omelet  (filled with tomato, green pepper, spinach, turkey, and cheese) was intended to bring me out of my funk and, as I was nibbling on it, I decided to share with you a few of my other favorites of my life. What could bring me better karma and vibes than being a share-bear?!

Exactly. Nothing.

Worth its weight in crystal

As I mentioned on Twitter, this little box of Crystal Light pink lemonade has been dominating any sugar/soda cravings lately. LOVE the color of the pink lemonade, and I especially love the sweetness and tartness combined. Perfect way to break up my day with some sweetness, and only 5 calories, to boot!

Silky and Smooth

This one’s for the ladies (or gentlemen, if they shave in the shower!)

I’m the QUEEN of lousy leg shaving. I always seem to miss a strip, or the hair manages to grow back 10 minutes after I shaved, or I forget to do it all-together for three solid weeks. Whatever my issue, the Satin Care: In-Shower Moisturizer has made me a better leg shaver and, perhaps, a better person.

Seriously, though, slather this stuff on after you shave your legs (whilst still in the shower) and I’ve found that my legs stay smoother, longer, AND despite having that horribly sensitive skin that turns into a valley of red bumps if you even consider putting lotion on after shaving, using this moisturizer has left me bump-free!  Absolutely LOVE IT!

Why so serious, Octopus?

Fact: My hair has Medusa-like tendencies. Fact: This Double Dutch Apple Suave Detangling Spray (for kids)(for ME!) keeps it smoother and silkier than anything else I’ve ever tried. It’s better than conditioner, it’s better than dry stuff, it’s better than wishing that it wasn’t tangled. It’s the best (and it spells fantastic!)

Stress Bustah!

Despite being 24 years old, I have the skin of a pimply, pubescent 12 year old boy. The stress that I’ve been dealing with lately has only worsened that. Enter: Clean and Clear‘s Advantage Acne Spot Treatment. While I still have the occasional breakout, this stuff is AT LEAST keeping my face from erupting like an archipelago made entirely of Mount Vesuvius-esque zits. I know, I have a gross way with words.

Finally, and most importantly:

Hall of Fame

Talk about a killer lineup. This row of Autumn Seasonal beers will all be consumed in the not-too-distant future, as I intend to do an EXPERT review on my favorites.  Keep an eye out.

What’s keeping your spirits up lately?

What are your favorite products? Come on, spill, it’s good karma!!

Also of interest: This Article about the Best and Worst Products at Trader Joe’s ALSO inspired today’s post!! What are your favorites? Or least favorites?

Thank Goodness for Bloggers!

Hey there everyone!

I’m so happy that you all enjoyed my Live Tweeting: 30 Day Shred Level 1 post! I’ll admit, I’m more than a little proud of that one, and the idea of all of you laughing along with me just brought a smile to my face.  We laugh so we don’t cry from the pain, sweat, and tears, right?

Since I’m getting ready to fly home this weekend for the wedding shower of my cousin (the one that was postponed due to stupid Irene), I’ve been playing catch-up with my produce drawer and trying to eat every veggie/fruit in sight!

Dinner last night

I put together a monstrous sammy on a Sandwich Thin full of spinach, tomato, and chicken. On the side, grapes and a few cucumber slices, though I ate most of them by the time this picture was snapped.

Salad monster. Goodness, I hate knee shots.

Both of these meals were brought to you (er… me) by the masters of pre-cooked chicken.

Truly a short cut

These Perdue Short Cuts were actually purchased a week or so ago via a tip from a local coupon blogger and some Harris Teeter Triple Coupons, ringing up for nearly free (like…. a dollar?) Awesome. They’ve been making up the protein of my past several meals as of late. Not too shabby.

Also, this is the first time in a long while that I’ve eaten spinach right off the stem.  Guess what the result was?

Yummy? Yummy.

I also just wanted to take a hot second to thank a few bloggers who have inspired me lately.  I can’t really give too much away why, secret events and such, but here goes nothing:

Jessica from How Sweet Eats for inspiring my first from-scratch baked good as a one bedroom broad

Other Jessica from Healthy Dairy Land for always being supportive

EVERYONE who writes at Thought Catalog  for writing some of the funniest, most thought-provoking pieces I’ve read in a while

The Bloggess, who tried so hard to Put a Bird On It

Sierra of Posh Meets Pavement for proving to me the power of blogs, even across oceans and continents, in reuniting friends

Are there any bloggers lately who’ve inspired you, taught you, or made you laugh?








Shredding for the Wedding

Hey there friends!  Today’s a glorious Wednesday and you know how much I love Wednesdays! The Changing of the Sales was celebrated in full force this morning and, of course, my favorite: No-Pants Wednesday is currently being celebrated!

Wednesday, pantsless Wednesday!

I should also explain the other reason that I love to come home for lunches.

Oh, hey Vitamin D! (that's the one you get from the Sun, right?)

I just love to come home and open the sliding glass door and enjoy the sun, even briefly, during the day. While I love my job, I’m unfortunate enough to be the proud owner of one of the only windowless offices in the building. Drats.

Oh well, I also got my fair share of other tasty vitamins in the form of this tasty Mexican salad.

Spinach, black beans, tomato, green peppers, cheese, salsa, and chia seeds!

With a dessert of half a slice of the small cheese pizza from Mellow Mushroom last night (there’s still time, if you live near a MM, to get a coupon for a free small cheese pizza with purchase of a drink. Trying to spread that freebie love, even if it’s not your birthday!)

But now, tasty treats aside, time for some focus.

Shredding for the Wedding

I’ll lead into this section by saying that, if you aren’t aware, since March 2010 I’ve lost approximately 40 lbs. I’m incredibly proud of my progress and, for the most part, very happy with my body. That being said, the past few months have been full of lots of travel, lots of  fun and, going hand in hand with those two, lots of food. Visits home, birthday freebies, weddings, holidays,and all that jazz, quickly resulted in a little bit more cushion on my body than I’m fond of. Enter: Jillian.


After reading past folks reviews of the program (such as Meghann from Meals and Miles) and having started it (briefly) at the beginning of the year, I think I need something to whip my booty back into fighting shape. For the past 8 days, I’ve shredded 6 of them (one day was an “off” day and another I did Zumba for an hour). Though I haven’t noticed much of a change physically, I think it’s mostly because what I’ve been doing in my living room hasn’t been supported by what I do in the kitchen (or restaurant…. or at the tailgate). Here’s where the big change comes in.

My cousin’s wedding is the first full weekend of October (read: Columbus Day weekend. Mark your calendars, that’s a holiday, folks!)

I credit the first 20 lbs of my weight loss entirely to Weight Watchers.  When I got to a point I felt good at, I laid off and just rested on my laurels and the knowledge I had about what was good for me and what was not good for me. But with this whole “craft beer” thing becoming a super fun part of my life, and wanting to enjoy myself and wear the clothes I want to wear at my cousin’s big weekend, I’d like to kick the last 10 lbs that have been weighing me down (literally).

Starting tomorrow, I’ll start following the Weight Watchers plan again. I won’t be quite as strict as I was in the past, but I wanna rid my home of all the junk food that’s been lingering around and focus on what got me to where I am in the first place.

Know it, live it, love it.

I’m stoked to be shredding with some of my favorite fellow bloggers (like Jessica, Carly, Sadie, and Holly)  , and I’ll be tweeting along the way. The Weight Watchers thing, well, I’m hoping that’ll come back to me like riding a bike.

But on that note, it’s back to work.  No more slices of pizza as a lunch dessert (it was tiny, though, I promise) and it’s time to get back to my roots. Goodbye sunshine, see you later comfy pantsless time, and ta ta to y’all. At least until later tonight.

Have you ever followed a 30 day (or 60 or 90) day program? What’d you think?

How about Weight Watchers or some other type of diet?

OR for folks who haven’t ever tried either of them, what’s the craziest thing you’ve ever had for a dessert?