Tuesday Tidbits – The “New Stuff” Edition

  • New ‘do!  I used to play with the color and change it up quite often, but I’ve been the same plain brown for a few years now, only varying the shade slightly with the season.  I was totally ready for a change.  Something a little funky!  We darkened the color and added some red streaks.  I love it!

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  • “New” outfits!  I’m trying to keep the shopping to a minimum for my winter wardrobe, so I’ve been trying to put together new outfits out of what I already have in my closet.  I threw this one together last weekend and thought it was super cute–a dressy lacy tank top from Ross with an army green American Eagle button up with Michael Kors skinny jeans and knee boots.  I love putting together things that don’t really match.

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  • New restaurant!  Going out to eat as a vegetarian was no problem, but since going fully plant-based a couple of years ago I’ve found it more challenging.  I’ve been saying this whole time that I wish we had more options in this area, and then I very recently found out that there’s a vegan restaurant called Living Well only about a half-hour from here!  (They call themselves a “vegetarian” restaurant, but the owner said the only non-vegan thing under their roof was honey and that was only on-hand for people who ask for it with their tea.)  It’s been there for THREE YEARS, and I’m just now finding out about it?!  I went last weekend, and I hate myself for not knowing about it sooner.  It was AMAZING!!!  And SO CHEAP!  I had a salad, appetizer (tofu balls), and entree (roti), and my bill was $13.  I will be going back every chance I get.
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I had never heard of roti, but it was delicious!
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That salad dressing was to DIE for. I could have drunk it right out of the bowl.
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  • Off topic for a second…On my way home from the restaurant I passed this and had to stop to take a picture.  I thought it was simply beautiful.  The “southern snow” went on as far as the eye could see.

11-9-2014 - Cotton field

  •  New beer!  I went to pick up some more of my favorite seasonal beer, Blackstone Brewery’s pumpkin ale, a few days ago, and this one caught my eye too.  After Leinenkugel’s fall brew flops, I was a little skeptical, but I had to try it.  It’s greatt!

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  • New iPod!  My several-year-old shuffle has been gimping along on its last leg for my last few runs.  It’s getting hard to get it to come on and even harder to make it stay on.  I can’t stand running without music (it’s dangerous to leave me and my thoughts alone together for too long haha), so I knew I’d best be procuring backup.  I know these things are pretty cheesy and old school, but if I’m gonna fall and break something or let something get ruined by rain or any of that other stuff that’s likely to happen on a run, I’d much rather it be an iPod that I bought on eBay for $40 than my Samsung phone!

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An Obnoxiously Perfect Weekend

Not to sound like one of those annoying “life is great, everything is perfect, I fart rainbows” bloggers… but this weekend was pretty great.  We didn’t do anything special at all, but I just had this really content feeling all weekend.

When I got home Friday after my track workout, D wanted to go grab something to eat, so me and the dogs rode with him.  It was a really pleasant evening, so we stopped by the park to walk the dogs for a bit.  Usually when I’m walking the dogs, it’s at a brisk pace with me keeping them on task, but Friday we just made one slow, leisurely lap around the 0.75-mile loop, enjoying the beautiful weather and letting the dogs stop every few feet to sniff.  It just set the pace for a relaxing weekend.

Saturday morning, started off earlier than I’d have liked thanks to three STAAAARVING animals.  But if they hadn’t got me out of bed, I’d have missed this.

Besides, once all the furry bellies were full, I ended up falling back asleep on the couch anyway.  D went to the shop, so it was just me and the critters the rest of the day.  I was kind of in domestic mode, and we got lots done around the house.  C.C. even helped me fold and put away towels.

I’ll just make sure this stack doesn’t fall over, m’kay?

I texted my friend Suzan (the one I trade out dog-sitting with) to see if she wanted to take our dogs to the water since this may be our last weekend warm enough to do it, but she was stuck teaching a Common Core workshop (I can’t think of a worse way to spend a Saturday! haha) and couldn’t go.  So me and my two went to the state park at the lake not far from here, but that was pretty much a bust.  The water where they could have waded into the lake was sooo nasty and stinky.  There’s no way they were getting in that mess, so we just walked around the lake and enjoyed the day again.

Bella, my little co-pilot

And on our way home, we saw this sign!  I only caught a glimpse of it when I passed it the first time, so I had to turn around and go back to make sure I read it right.  We’re getting a brewery!!!!

Perrylodgic Brewing Co will be opening in November!

During my conversation with Suzan earlier in the day, she mentioned that she had almost called me to see if I could keep her dog that night because after she got out of her workshop she was only going to be home long enough to let Gnash out before she had to go to another event that evening and felt bad for leaving him so much that day.  I told her that we had no plans and to please bring him over.  He’s such a good boy, and he and my dogs are wonderful together.  They play and wrestle until they just crash.

After they’d worn each other out and settled down, me and D went out to dinner and had a nice night together–something we’ve had far too few of lately.

Sunday I slept till almost 8(!!!), which means it was already full sun and warm, so I decided to wait until the evening to do my long run.  That domestic mode I was in carried right on over into Sunday, so most of the day was spent doing house things including lots of time in the kitchen.  I was already tired when I started running at 5, so I didn’t expect much, but it turned out to be a great seven miles!

And to top it off, I found out it’s National Beer Day!  Who am I to refuse to celebrate that?!  What a perfect way to end a perfect weekend!!

Beer Me!

One of my favorite parts of the change in seasons is the release of seasonal beers.  It’s not something I’ve talked about much (at all?) here, but I REALLY like beer.  I don’t know a lot ABOUT it.  I’ll never use all the beer geek language.  (I still giggle when someone talks about “head.”)  But I still love drinking it and trying all kinds of different brews!
A couple of weeks ago, the Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Co. announced the release of a new seasonal fall variety pack.  The search was on.
We’ve only got one place in this little one-horse town that carries many craft beers, so I figured that’d be the place to go.  They didn’t have it, but the guy working said he’d talk to the distributor, and he took my name and number so he could call me if they got it in.  I couldn’t leave empty-handed, so I grabbed up another Leine that I hadn’t tried before, Hoppin’ Helles, and a Blackstone Brewing Co. Pumpkin Ale.
Since the Leinenkugels were already cold, they were the first ones I tried.  As the name suggests, it was pretty dang hoppy!  It wasn’t bad, but it had a rather bitter aftertaste.  
The next day, after the Pumpkin Ale had been in the fridge overnight, I cracked one of them open.
DUDE.  This. Stuff. Is. AMAZING!!!!!!!!!  It’s so smooth and creamy and just freaking delicious.  I dare say it’s my new favorite.  And, bonus, it’s local!  I didn’t even notice when I bought it that it’s brewed and bottled in Nashville.  I’ve since learned that they have a restaurant and pub and now I really want to go!
Then couple of days ago, the clerk at the liquor store called and said the Leinenkugel variety packs were in!  I picked one up right after work and immediately put one of each in the fridge.
Because I’m a pumpkin freak, the Harvest Patch Shandy was naturally the first one I tried.  It is absolutely perfect!  Unlike the Blackstone Pumpkin Ale, this one is a shandy, so it’s light, crisp, and refreshing.  It’s kind of perfect for these early almost-fall days when it’s still warm outside but close enough to fall that you’re ready to break out the pumpkin-flavored stuff.
So much YUM in one little can
Next I tried the Cranberry Ginger Shandy.  I did not like it.  At all.  Which really surprised me.  I like cranberries and cranberry juice (especially if it has vodka in it), and I like ginger, but this I didn’t like.  I’ll drink the others that came in the pack because DUH it’s still beer and you don’t waste beer, but I wouldn’t ever buy it again if sold by itself.
So much disappointment in one little can
And lastly there was the Old Fashioned Shandy.  I liked it better than the Cranberry Ginger, but I don’t think I’d buy this one again either.  It’s flavor was… interesting.  I didn’t know really how to describe it, so I googled for reviews and I saw the word “oak” come up a lot when talking about the flavor.  I think that’s a good description of the flavor.  
I really hope Leinenkugel will ditch the last two and start marketing the Harvest Patch Shandy on its own.  I would totally buy it again.  But as much as I love it, I won’t buy another 12-pack variety box for only four cans of the one I like.
Do you drink beer?  Any craft brews that you would recommend?

Three Things Thursday – Fall Arrival Edition

Three reasons I’m ecstatic to see fall arrive!

1.   Hopefully this week will be the last time I end a run looking like this for a while.  Yes, I stand outside and towel off and drip dry before I walk in the house…

2.   Fall Brews!!!!  (More on this later)

3.   Goodbye, bugs!!!  We’ve battled mosquitos and ticks and gnats (OMG THE FUCKING GNATS!) all summer long but things hit a new level last night when the dogs and I came up on a freaking hornets’ nest while walking last night!  First one I’ve ever seen!  haha  We walked away as quickly and quietly as possible, then I drove back to it to take this picture from the safety of inside my truck.

Picture doesn’t do size justice.  This thing was at least a foot and a half tall!