What You (or maybe I) Missed Thursday

Whoah, jam.  Sometimes, everything in life seems to hit you at once.

Between volleyball, beer events, exercise, work, personal care, meals, and sleep, my plate feels pretty full at the moment.  I wouldn’t go so far as to say that it’s overflowing, but I think I see a bit peeking over the edge of that plate.

I loved hearing what you all had to think about the Dr. Pepper Ten advertising campaign. While I still haven’t tried it, Serious Eats: Serious Drinks reviewed the three Doctors together, and Dr. Pepper Ten apparently tastes more like Dr. Pepper.  So, my personal jury is still out, at least until I try it, but I still don’t feel too fond of the campaign.  Oh well.

In other news, here’s what you’ve missed in my life (or, conversely, what I missed blogging about).

Girls' Pint Out repping it so hard!

NCGPO  rocked a table at the Casks for a Cure event hosted by Rockfish, and the event raised $2400 for Susan G. Komen for the Cure!!

Pink beer by Mystery Brewing!

HUGE crowd chomping at the bit for some Cask Beer!

My friends over at NC Brewing did a great job of covering this event, so I won’t bore you with my recap, but it was a blast to spend time with my favorite beer friends, drink new (to me) beers, andddd win some goodies.

This is probably when I won $30 to TJs.... or a brewery tour.

Winnings included:

  • Tour and Pint Glasses from Red Oak
  • $30 gift card to TJs in Carrboro!!

Not too shabby, eh?  The perks of buying raffle tickets…

In other news, No Pants Wednesday has, at least temporarily, been replaced with Giant Warm Pants Wednesday.  Adjust your calendars accordingly, it’s chilly out there!

Ole Miss on Top, UNC on the bottom, school spirit abounds!

I’ve also been eating a steady stream of spaghetti squash without getting sick of it one bit.  I’ve been adding different mix-ins including, but not limited to: cauliflower, broccoli, steamed carrots, pizza sauce, cheese, red pepper, oregano, spinach, pepperoni.

Variety is the spice of squash.

Fourth bowl in four days? Yup.

As far as what else I’ve been up to…. well, it mostly centers around Halloween prep.

Remember when I was brainstorming not too long ago?

I think I settled on something.

Hmmmm. Pretty easy.

Any guesses? I’ll give you a hint, this is the easiest game ever.

What are you being for Halloween?  

Since it seems to be THE weekend to celebrate, are you going out once, twice, thrice?  

I have the costume I’m making, as well as a backup, just in case.

You never know when you gotta throw on a full Santa suit.

How to Eat Free All Birthday Week Long

Hey there friends!

True Story: I’ve been an Absent Agnes.  Sometimes, after I take weekend trips, I immediately hop in my car and drive an hour or two for work. And then I work like a worker bee and stay in a swanky hotel (which I’ll write up soon, because it was a blast.) But then it’s back to reality, the house a little roomier (minus one beau) and the laundry a little dirtier. It’s times like these when I think that the best thing I can do for myself, and for you, my readers, is to share a (not-so-)secret secret! The secret is how I ate, for free, all last week. And that secret starts with a little thing called a Swag Bag.

Swiggity Swag.

Now, I know what you’re thinking: Jordan, if you paid for the Healthy Living Summit (which I recapped here and here), you technically paid for the Swag. Well, if you’re thinking that:

a) you’re a stickler

b) you might be right, but just roll with me on this one.

Snacks from this bag are MORE than enough to serve as breakfast every day for a week (if not more!) There’s coupons for cereal and yogurt, granola to sprinkle on top, Clif Bar, granola bar, nuts, you name it. So I’ll admit, for breakfast, I enjoyed swag e’rryday. Maybe that’s a cheat. I’m not mad.

For Monday lunch, I thanked my lucky stars I’d joined Moe’s eWorld! If you sign up, on your birthday, you get a totally free entree, just print up a coupon sent to your email. You also get a little treat just for signing up. But I don’t remember what that stuff is. Regardless, I picked up this taco salad fo’ free!

Delicioso!!

Romaine lettuce, chicken, black beans, tomatoes, salsa, onions, cucumber, jalapenos (GOODNESS I always forget how hot they are fresh!!) and a little cheese, just for good measure. No need for dressing, the salsa takes care of that, and the salad is crisp, fresh, and tasty! I made my order, I handed the fellow at the cash register a piece of paper, and VOILA. And they say there’s no such thing as a free lunch.

For dinner, I enjoyed a most-excellent Cajun grilled flounder stuffed with crab and drizzled with Pontchartrain sauce. It was served with grilled asparagus and black beans (I nixed the normal rice pilaf base).

So fancy. It's like the date you take yourself on.

How on EARTH did I get this freebie? Simple.

Rockfish Seafood Grill strikes again.

When I first signed up for their email club, I just did it to keep abreast of what was going on (since I’m there so frequently, anyway). Then I realized I got a free dessert just for receiving emails. Bread (as in croissant-bread) pudding with bourbon sauce, anyone? (yes, yes, a thousand times yes.)

Enjoyed with a Fullsteam, of course.

Full of fish, crab, and birthday joy, I slept easy.

Tuesday lunch, very appropriately, was sponsored by none other than Ruby Tuesday’s So Connected email club. Sign up, and you get a few more emails than most. But most I just delete without glancing at them. Come birthday season, though, you get a free “burger” with fries. However, the burgers include grilled chicken sandwiches, and you can get ANY of their sides instead of fries (They offer Spaghetti squash as a side!! WHO DOES THAT?!)

Also with a side of celebrity gossip!

The chicken sandwich was topped with lettuce, tomato, bacon and avocado. The bread was really thick and tasty, but I still tossed most of it away. SO FILLING!

For dinner, I decided to go off the beaten track a little and head to Chapel Hill. School had just started so, of course, I spotted about a thousand Jack Rogers sandals within moments of parking my car. Despite my rampant shoe envy of the cult of co-eds, I had my eye on one prize. A meal from the infamous “noodles” courtesy of the Noodles & Company Noodlegram!

When you sign up for this one, you can get a BOGO coupon and then, come your birthday, pop goes the freebie!

Sweet coconut curry, broccoli, carrots, red pepper, onion, mushrooms, a light portion of rice noodles, served on cabbage with black sesame seeds and shrimp!

Their Bangkok Curry is bang(kok)ing. Seriously, a nice little bit of spice (not too much), light, and the shrimp was cooked to perfection (well, fast perfection). I loved the extra crunch of the sesame seeds, and this was swell with my first pumpkin beer of the year.

For lunch… technically it wasn’t free, BUT it was discounted from my favorite pizza-mobile, Klausie’s. Coming from a food truck, I’ll take it.

Oh, Klausie's, you know my heart.

I already discussed my dinner of beers, appetizers, and THE GIANT ORGASMIC BROWNIE SUNDAY from my LivingSocial birthday crawl.  What I didn’t tell you, though, is that my LivingSocial adventure was FREE because I encouraged my friends to buy through my link.  Best. Deal. Ever.

And best friends, too.

For Thursday, I’d recommend getting other people to buy you meals.  That always works, too.

Vegetable Pizza a la Brixx

Gyro platter thanks to the BEAU!!

Handsome fellows don't come free with meal

There were a number of other email freebies that I got emails for that I just didn’t manage to get to (birthdays are only so long, right?) BUT for an excellent list, check out Goob’s COMPREHENSIVE list at HeyItsFree!!

I hope that you, one day, can live the glamorous lifestyle of a birthday recession-ista (and moocherama).

 

 

 

Squeezing it all in….

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Rough lunch break

My best friends wedding is on Saturday. Before then I need to be Supa tan, Supa fit, and Supa prepared for travel.

To do: lunchtime suntan session (check), oil change in the ol’ car, workout, eat clean and yummy, and pack. Oh, and help host a baller Girls Pint Out first event (at Tyler’s Taproom in Durham, at 7:30 pm on Thursday!! Come join us if you love beers! and ladies! or are a lady even if you hate em!!), and a glass night at Rockfish (at 6pm on Thursday, then caravan to Tyler’s? Duh.).

Then drive 8 hours on Friday from NC to Pittsburgh. no big, I got this.

Big Boss Monkey Bizz-Ness: This SH** is Bananas!

Happy July, ladies and gents!!  First of all, I’d like to thank everyone for the warm words and amazing response from my last post about my personal Wake-Up Call to change my lifestyle to a healthier, more active one.  It’s great to hear about other people’s wake up calls, or what gave them the drive to change their lives.  Inspiring, right?

Since we hit up a rather heady topic last night, let’s try something a little light-hearted, shall we?  And honestly, what could be more light-hearted and appropriate before the holiday weekend than…. BEER?!

Last night, Lauren and I hosted yet another amazing glass night for the Tri-Beer Meetup group (only THE group to be in if you live in the NC Triangle and enjoy hops, ales, pilsners, and people!) The beer of the evening: Big Boss Brewing Company’s Monkey Bizz-ness.  I’m no stranger to Big Boss Beers, and have toured the brewery before as well as attending a food-truck round-up once or twice.  I’m a HUGE fan of their Angry Angel, and many friends are hopelessly devoted to Bad Penny.  But that’s beside the point.

Monkey Bizz-Ness in a glass!

This beer poured a cloudy hazy gold color that was beautiful to look at on a sunshiney evening.  Only available on draft in June, this beer is described by the brewer:

Monkey Bizz-Ness is spiced to complement the fruit, yeast and malt notes present in this complex, rustic Belgian-style ale. Monkey Bizz-ness is aged for months to blend the bold flavors into a seamless presentation.  9% ABV.

In my opinion, while the smell was divine, it was a little too powerful in flavors for my liking.  It might’ve be the powerful alcohol percentage, but the fruity flavors had me feeling like I was inhaling a tropical mix of produce and flowers, and not in the best way.  I feel like there was  mix of citrus, maybe peach (though that could’ve been the peach I ate earlier tricking my mind), and floral tastes… it was just too much for me.  That being said, my co-host loved it, and it has a very loyal group of followers (who followed us right to the bar!), so clearly my tastes are not similar to everyone.  While I’m glad I tried this one, I think that I’ll stick to their Angry Angel Kolsch in the future as my go-to brew (though their Harvest Time Pumpkin Ale is something I look forward to all autumn!)

A beer, for little ol' me?!

Loyal Tri-Beer member, Will, surprised me by getting my first beer of the night, and it even included a free (BEAUTIFULLY ETCHED) Big Boss Glass which you can buy at their Merchandise Store. The glass normally runs for $3.50, and the beer AND glass cost a mere $2 (or free, if you have a dapper gentleman treat you!), further going to show that Rockfish Seafood Grill at Southpoint truly has the best deal on craft beers in the Triangle (at least that I’ve seen, I challenge you to find me a better one!)

After finishing my Bizz-Ness, I switched over to a beer I honestly didn’t expect to love…  but after one sip of Lauren’s, I knew I had to try it.  Lonerider Brewing Company’s Deadeye Jack, a seasonal porter, infused with… COFFEE! Holy moly.  If you’re someone who likes beer but thought to yourself, “This doesn’t have enough coffee in it!!” this is the brew for you.   It’s deep and rich and full flavored, dark brown in color, aromatic as any mug o’ joe, and easy to drink I would suggest that Starbucks grab a hold of the Lonerider PR person, and work with them on some sort of Brew-Ha-Ha event combining this beer and tasty coffee, and… I don’t know… stand up comedians?  I’m obviously not a PR whiz kid.  alas.

Speaking of alas, the only image I got of this brew was in the side, during an impromptu photo shoot for the Women of Craft Beer NC Calendar:

We'll be taking pre-orders next month...

That’s me on the left (the tall one, shock.), Lauren, and Johanna Kramer, aka the finest  food loving, brew sipping ladies of the Triangle food and drink scene.

After enjoying a delicious night of great talks, lots of laughs, and tasty appetizers (half off from 4-7), I went home to open up my package…  More on this later, but I’ll give you a hint.  This is what I looked like when I opened it.

Like a kid on Christmas morning!

Off to enjoy the tail end of the work-week before the long weekend!!