Food, Sweat, AND Beers! Solid Valentine’s Day.

Oh, it is love.  Love of a day dedicated to love, and love of my friends, family, and studly boyf.  Bust mostly just love.

I apologize if your day was made sadder by my Debbie Downer post yesterday.  If you’re lucky, it really was the Most Depressing Valentine Story you read all day.  If not, you need to stop reading such sad stories on Valentine’s Day, seriously!  I tried to fill my day with productivity at work, listening to romantic songs or scenes from romantic movies, and a solid lady date.  But, really, I just tried to jam pack as much of the good stuff in as possible.  You know the stuff: Food, Sweat, and BEERS!!

Mission: Accomplished.



A sublime spinach salad with black beans, avocado, yellow pepper, salsa, and cheese. Perfect lunch.

Homemade tastes much better

I DELIGHTED my office-mates with my white chocolate-covered strawberries that I whipped up on Monday night. The strawberries tasted much juicier than the ones that I recently had from some caterer.  Thus proving, yet again, that when something’s made with love, it’s gonna be dank.

Not'yo Nachos!

Spanky’s in Chapel Hill, the very first Chapel Hill restaurant I ever visited, delivered quality appetizers tonight for my lady-date with Melissa. The nachos were just the first course.  The quesadilla was so delicious that I didn’t even bother snapping a shot before wolfing down my share. What a feast!!


Tonight’s Zumba class was a class of LOVE!

I got super sweaty, and my Garmin Connect even showered me with hearts my heart rate.  All the songs played featured love (or being sexy and knowing it….)  It was fantastic to get my sweat going.  If that hadn’t gotten my heart pumping, though, I’m sure that the last aspect of the night would’ve…


Rose beers!

Not only did we get to enjoy a cask of Rustic Plow Farmhouse Saison from newcomer Haw River Farmhouse Ales, featuring rose hips and hibiscus petals, BUT that little number in the bottom right (by my OTHER hand) was a pint of Foothills‘ infamous Sexual Chocolate.

As described by the brewer:

A cocoa infused Imperial Stout – Opaque black in color with a dark brown head. Big chocolate aroma with notes of espresso, blackstrap molasses, dark sweet toffee and dark fruit. Smooth dark chocolate backbone with complex notes of coffee, dark toffee and dark fruit.

SRM: 70
IBU: 85
ABV: 9.75%

Translation? Delicious! This beer, like almost all my favorite winter warmers and chocolate beers and stouts and whatever, got better the longer it sat out.  If I ever ask you for chocolate in my life, I probably just mean a glass of this beer, served in a pint glass and let to rest for a little while. There was initially a sharp taste to it, almost like burned hot chocolate, but the longer I let it sit (and focused on my nachos), the more the taste smoothed out to a sweet, creamy chocolate taste.

Get this beer if you can.

All in all, considering my Valentine was over 400 miles away, it was an ideal Valentine’s Day. Hopefully, he thought so too, as I sent him a surprise pizza for his V-Day dinner.  I hope you felt the love as well.  And, if you’re like me, you wore your heart on your sleeve. Or maybe your chest.

to remove the giant black thing from my teeth)”]because I had a GIANT black thing in my teeth)”]Just make believe that I showed up to your door bearing love gifts. I’d be singing, too.  I’d make a GREAT singing telegram.

What was the best food you ate or drink you sipped on during V-day?

The Most Depressing Valentine Story You’ll Read All Day

If you’re still reading this post after that uplifting title, I give you props.  I originally wrote most of this piece last year on tumblr (which is the hottest spot for dumping all your emotions on the internet), but would love to share it again with a little more, as my “readership” has changed drastically in the past year. Also, I am currently hopped up on all the chocolate that I melted and didn’t manage to ooze onto my strawberries, so what better way to spread this sugar high than an emotional post?

That's a fraction of the chocolate and berries that were consumed whilst whipping up my treats.

Ok, time for the feelings.

Once, when I was in fourth grade, I went to a small Quaker school in Delaware, in a class with about 14 other kids. They were all just 9-10 year old students, like myself, just looking for love in this crazy mixed up elementary school of ours (not really… but you get the idea).

It was Valentine’s day, 1996, and being the overzealous, overachieving, and over-emotional girl that I was am, I didn’t skimp on Valentines. I didn’t just mention to mom that I liked Power Rangers and expect her to pick up a few of these:

(click image for source)

Nope. I had a very mature vocabulary and a fantastic grasp of the notion of rhyming, so I decided I needed to go balls deep (though, at 9, I didn’t know that term, I think the concept is timeless.)

I bought real, grown-up sized cards and wrote individual couplets for each of my classmates.

On the scale of one to ten,
you reach the top, again and again!


Roses are red, the ocean is blue,
I’m lucky to have a friend like you!

You get the idea. No big deal, right, there were only 14 of them? I’m fairly certain they had little lions on the front of the card, and I worked really hard to make sure that my 9 year old handwriting looked its best…  In the morning, I was so excited to hand them out, and I made sure to put one in every other students’ box.

The saddest moment in the history of my personal Valentine’s Days is when I saw several of those cards, cards that I’d painstakingly planned, written out, sealed, and labeled, crumbled in the trashcan. I always complain that I don’t use the word crestfallen enough.  Here’s a primo opportunity to use it: I looked crestfallen.  Looking back, a shot of those cards would’ve made perfect instagram fodder.

Maybe they tossed them because I didn’t tack on some giant piece of candy (it was a fairly wealthy school district, the kind where full-size Kit Kat bars might show up on the mandatory classroom Valentines), or perhaps I just wasn’t very cool with the other kids.  That was actually more likely the case, as I found out later that I never totally fit in there.  Whatever the reason, it broke my tiny little fourth grade heart into a million pieces.

Imagine the dust created from crushing up an entire box of conversation hearts…

(Click image for source)

Well, it’s 15 years later, and I’ll be honest, I don’t think I’ll ever forget that day.

Luckily my negative emotions towards Valentine’s day have been replaced, instead, with a love of my friends (who are basically family), a love of my main squeeze, Ryan, and a love of my family (a special shout out to my brother, Somers, who turns 23 today!!)

Love that boy

Just keep in mind that the things you do in your life (not even necessarily on Vday, try EVERY day) resonate in people’s minds, no matter how trivial they seem at the time.  We’re not 9 years old anymore, but the human heart never really gets all that tough (in my experience).

Here’s my challenge to you: Try to do something today that someone will remember 15 years from now for how GREAT it made them feel!

And if any skinny little blonde girls stare up at you optimistically, holding out some sort of glitter encrusted construction paper with hope in their eyes and a big, dopey grin on their face, take that Valentine and put it somewhere she can see it.  Trust me, it’ll mean the world to her.