Thursday, January 28, 2010

In 20 Years You’ll Be More Disappointed In What You Didn’t Do, Than By What You Did.

So this new show, The Buried Life, is the probably the most meaningful and productive reality show out there today. I really think it’s terrific how they decided once they’ve accomplished something from their list, they help a stranger accomplish something they’d like. If you haven’t read the full list of 100 things to do before Ben, Johnnie, Dave, and Duncan die, you should do so. I chose this title for my blog today because I feel like I should apply it to my life. Also, I feel that this is how most people should try live. It’s the only way. There are so many times where I (and many others, I’m sure) have skipped out on doing something, small or big, then later on wish so badly I didn’t; you don’t ever want to regret letting time pass you by.

Now, I don’t have a list wanting to pay off my parents mortgage, sleep in a haunted house, or sing the national anthem to a packed stadium but I have been very lucky in my life having seen some amazing places and met some marvelous people. My bucket list is to not DO 100 things, but GO to 100 cities (at least). I haven’t finished writing my list yet, but I will soon. I’ve been to quite a few cities but these following have been my favorite:

Florence, Italy. What a beautiful, historic city! I moved to Italy in August of 2007 and it was by far the best move of my life. I lived in a true Italian style apartment smack in the middle of Santa Croce church and The Uffizi Museum and around the corner from Ponte Vecchio (the photo below).

Amsterdam, Holland. Such an all around FUN city! The Dutch were, by far, the most friendly of the Europeans that I met. Amsterdam is also a beautiful city. The houses are definitely a sight to see (the photo below). Some are leaning left, some to the right, but either way the owners still live in their homes as if there’s nothing strange about them. Not forgetting to mention Amsterdam's beautiful 1,500 bridges and about 63 miles of canals.

Berlin, Germany. A super modern city with a super retro feel. Berlin was the city where my eyes were probably open the widest. Being that there is SO much history in Berlin, you could almost feel it walking around the city. I guess that feeling mainly came from parts of the Berlin wall standing on every corner. The Brandenburg Gate (photo below) is the only remaining gate of a series through which one formerly entered Berlin from the West.

Gstaad, Switzerland. Simply a fairytale town. When I visited Gstaad I was speechless; there were Clydesdales, story book houses, and about 1-2 feet of snow (depending where you stepped). I was fortunate enough to stay with my friend Carmen in a house just to the right of the castle-looking hotel you see in the center of the photo below. At night we would eat raclette (a warm dish of cheese, potatoes, cold-cuts and pickles), drink Jagermeister and run around barefoot in the snow. During the day we would eat schnitzel (fried veil with potato salad), drink beer, and take chair lifts to the top of the Alps to throw snowballs at each other.

If you get a few dollars and a few weeks to spare, travel. Forget about everything where you are, pick a new place to be and just leave.

Recipe For The Day:

Really Good Mexican Guacamole!

1 medium/large mixing bowl (this will also serve as your serving bowl)

1 small frying pan

4 avocados*

3 limes

1 bushel of cilantro (only need half)

1 red pepper (only need half)

1 yellow onion (only need half)

1 clove of garlic

Canola oil


Serves: a decent party

Prep/Cook time: 20 minutes

*4 avocados if they’re the small dark green ones. If they’re the large bright green ones you’ll only need 2. Begin by slicing avocados in half and scooping them into the mixing bowl. Keep 2 of the avocado seeds aside. Cut all 3 limes in half and squeeze every last drop of the juice into the bowl. This can be done easiest by sticking a fork into the halved lime and using the fork as a juicer. Using a fork, brush the cilantro off the stems (its okay if some stems get in the mix) kind of like you’d brush your hair. Use about ½ of the cilantro bushel. Using a whisk or a smasher, start mashing it all together. Make sure you get all the thick clumps smashed and everything all mixed and mashed.

Next, put about 3 large table spoons of oil in a frying pan and start to warm it on a medium low temperature. Cut the red pepper in half and slice thin pieces then dice itty-bitty pieces – set aside. Then, chop the onion in half. Same as the red pepper, slice thin and dice tiny pieces – set aside. Next, peel about ¾ of the garlic (or a little less of that, but I REALLY like garlic) and same as the above 2, slice thin, dice even smaller. Now toss the red pepper, onion and garlic in the frying pan with the warmed oil. At this point turn the heat up a few notches and continue stirring. Add lots of salt while stirring because the salt will cook into the oil and veggies. Don’t leave the pan because if the veggies aren’t continuously stirred then they’ll stick to the bottom of the pan and burn. You should stir until the veggies are lightly browned.

When it’s all done, pour all that is in the pan into the bowl with your other ingredients. Mix, mix, mix all together. Remember the 2 seeds you were to keep aside? Put them in the guacamole mix, it prevents it from turning brown if you cover and save it in the fridge. And TA DA! Real Mexican guacamole!

(don’t forget, it’s totally okay to add more lime, salt or cilantro if your taste buds tell you so!)

So, happy weekend to you all!

On Saturday we’re celebrating my Dad’s 50th birthday. Check back soon for stories of Dad’s “Over The Hill”! Maybe we can get him up on a keg stand?

Monday, January 18, 2010

Nothing you can do, but you can learn how to be you in time... It's easy.

Well, what a weekend it was! Kelli and Jeff finally share the same last name and the celebration to show was absolutely outstanding! Kel looked simply gorgeous in her dress, as well as her bridal party. She really put her ‘wedding thumb’ to work and did a fantastic job with her reception; the center pieces, lighting, music, food, guest list.

Who was my date, you ask? Only Miss Marjorie! And I must say, we must’ve been the cutest couple there (besides the bride and groom, of course)!

I believe when people find their other half in someone else that a marriage is a beautiful thing, a tough thing, but a beautiful thing. Unless you’re me, then a marriage is just not in store! It’s just something I’ve always felt and thought of. I don’t think married life is my kind of life; the stress, the struggle, the money, the growing up…the kids?! Ugh! That’s a whole other conversation. But really, even if I found someone I was happy spending loads of my time with, I wouldn’t want a wedding. I’d rather spend the $20,000+ on a bungalow in Tuscany or even a lavish trip around Europe all by train.

Bla bla bla. What’s more upsetting than spending 20 grand? The weather! Granted, the past few afternoons have been lovely. Last week? Well…last week equaled unhappiness. Not even my farm animals were content.

What happened to my REAL Florida weather?! 25?! What is that?! I guess that’s what I get for bragging about Christmas day being 75 degrees. Hmph. Did anyone notice my headband/ear warmer? Yeah, I purchased that in Switzerland when I needed something to protect my ears from being clogged with snow from diving into snow piles in the Alps. I did not purchase that here in Florida. Frankly, I wouldn’t have a clue where to even begin shopping for winter clothes.

Thank God it’s starting to warm up. What else to thank God about? Animals. Dogs in particular. You know those ASPCA commercials? Well, I cant stand to watch them just has much as the next sap next to me, but when it happens in real life – in front of your own eyes – I cant change the channel. Today I was driving home and I had just passed the World Golf Village exit going south bound on the inside lane when my eye caught something flopping around the middle of the interstate; it was a small Basset Hound. First of all, what sick bastard just hits a dog and keeps going? Secondly, how can so many hundreds of cars drive by and not one stop to care for this dog? Immediately, I pull over, go in reverse and I see the dog who is clearly still very much alive. I jumped out my car and suddenly could not control my tears, I felt so sad for this precious animal. Cars were flying past at 90 miles an hour as I took baby steps out into the road. After many honked horns and angry drivers, one kind mini van stopped her car which stopped traffic behind her and allow me to quickly run out to rescue the dog. Fortunately, I had a large beach towel in my car that I used to wrap the dog in (seeing how bloody she was) and quickly scoop her up and out of the road. I laid her in the median and called 911 who then sent Animal Rescue Control. Turns out, the dog was out with her owners on a hunting trip and she got loose. The owner of the dog ran across the road, claimed the dog and eventually called his father who then came in his truck to get the dog. Poor thing had a severely broken hind leg but everything else intact. I’m so happy I got to help little Ella!

On a lighter note, I worked my first bridal show this weekend with DeLand Entertainment and it was SO much fun! Katie was working with her mother in the Fantasy In Flowers booth. PS- if anyone needs a DJ/entertainment or flowers for an upcoming event you should know who to call! Katie and I wrapped up our whirlwind of a bridal show with a little cop-and-robber photo booth fun!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

If You Walk Without Rhythm You'll Never Learn.

Don’t you hate sitting on a toilet in winter? It’s actually quite shocking when you think about it; you wake up in your cozy, warm bed because your insides are telling you “it’s time”, you stumble into the bathroom and clumsily find the light switch. Well, if you hadn’t awoken yet on the walk to the bathroom, you surely were awoken quite rudely by the fierce chill of that porcelain chair on your bare bum. A real eye opener, right?

By A Show Of Hands, Who Else In Here Is Faking?

Now compare that rude morning situation to a “friendship”; you wake up thinking it’s time to hang out with your friends because it’s just that type of day. You clumsily stumble around to find where your friends are, and at this point your eyes are at half-mast...not fully seeing the real picture. Well, if you weren’t awoken by the chill of their gossiping whispers, then you surely were quite wide-eyed at the end of the day when the whispers of gossip turned into screams of truth.

…No More Monkeys Jumping On My Bed.

SO! fabulous you’ve been to me so far! I can only hope you become more and more generous as the year progresses. Unfortunately, most of us are wishing farewell to our last weekend of Winter Break as classes resume this week. Although, I am hopeful of one day becoming a college graduate, this never ending cycle is just something I have yet to get used to. Ugh. So, I’ll definitely be lying low this weekend, preparing for classes on Monday and deciding what I’ll be wearing to wear to Kel & Jeff’s Winter Wedding. I’m finding it difficult to put together something practical, cute, and warm.

January 16 couldn’t come soon enough for these two.

We finally gave Dunes and Panama Hattie’s a rest and a few of us ventured into historic downtown St Augustine. It’s always so much of a better time over there because it’s more laid back and “mature”… to say the least. To start the night I cooked a tasty dinner for Ash, Katie and I. I was craving a spicy chicken so I decided, “Hey, I’m going to make my own spicy chicken!”

[I’ll post the recipe below just incase anyone is inclined to cook! It’s super easy!]

After dinner, Chrys, James, Jeff, Ash, Katie and I played an eventful game of Power Hour chock full of an intense 80’s Power Hour mix. We thought it'd be a nice "pick me up" before we went out. (not to worry, James was our D.D. You can't see it, but his weapon of choice for the night was cream soda!) Power Hour Mix found at

Afterwards, we made our way over to JP Henley’s for a mature night of bonding and brewskies. This night, I must say, was very much needed; complete with Kesha’s “TiK ToK” and Hank’s “Country Boy Can Survive” playing on the jukebox.

Spicy Peach Chicken

3 boneless skinless chicken breasts

½ clove of garlic

1 lime

A few shakes of garlic salt

2 peaches

2 tablespoons of dry chopped red pepper

Your choice of hot sauce (I used Texas Pete)*

Preheat the oven to 420

Coat the bottom of a baking pan with canola oil and garlic salt and just smear it around with your hands. Lay the 3 breasts on the oiled pan.

Peel half of the garlic, chop one peach into chunks and put them in a Magic Bullet (or whatever food processor you own). Add some oil, the red pepper and hot sauce. *Add hot sauce to your preference of spice level. Blend all together until it makes a thick puree.

Using your hands (obviously I’m a very “hands-on” person) smear the puree upon the upside of the chicken. Peel the rind of the whole lime in bits and toss it on top on the chicken. Also, use all the juice from the lime and squeeze it all over the chicken. Chop the other peach into chunks and toss it as well on top on the chicken.

Bake for about 35-40 minutes. Around 30 minutes, slice a bit of it open to make sure it’s not still pink. If it’s not, it’s ready, if it is, let it bake for another 10 minutes or so. Just keep checking.

When it’s done, if you have extra lime juice, you can sprinkle some more on top on the chicken. You’ll have a spicy chicken with sweet baked peaches on top. Enjoy!

*Remember NOT to eat the lime rind!

** I added rice and broccoli as sides.

*Title courtesy of The Sophomore Attempt - Get Me An Exit

Friday, January 1, 2010

Adios 2009... Hola 2010!

Say it with me, “2010. 2010. Twenty-ten.” I mean, how fun is it to say?! Being that it’s a new day, a new year, and a new decade, I have quite high aspirations for what’s to come. I’m just really hoping that by 2020 I have some sort of college degree…and that I have more visited countries stamped in my passport. Did anyone decide on a resolution? Besides the obvious resolution, becoming healthier, mine is to study harder, procrastinate less, and have a smaller bar tab.

So, as for out with 2009 and in with 2010, I’m absolutely positive that we most definitely did it justice. Katie and I had a precious “mature” get together at our house where we were surrounded by our ever amazing friends. We set out hors d'oeuvres that consisted of my homemade French onion dip, typical cheese and cracker, veggies and dip, ect. Not to mention about 100 beers in our fridge and 6 bottles of champagne. Can’t forget about our lit candles all around the house! In the words of Chris Kohl, “candles are a sign of maturity.” A wild night at Panama Hattie’s followed our house fiesta. To say the least, we took over the second floor of that bar. As for my New Year’s Kiss…well, I wished just about everyone a Happy New Year.

I was a good little hostess this morning and cooked eggs and sausage for breakfast for those who remained. After a wonderful “next-day” clean up, Katie and I finally took naps and tended to our little friends known as Mr. Hangover. Anyway, to those of you who were with me to bring in this new decade- I’m very grateful for you and I couldn’t ask for a better, more spectacular, beautiful group of friends.

"I hope you don't mind that I put down in words
How wonderful life is while you're in the world."
-Sir Elton John