Sunday, September 23, 2012

No Queso

Last weekend I ate an entire block of cheese myself. Combined, Brandon and I ate two entire blocks of cheese. And those weren't for meals, those were after dinner snacks. It was Sunday night and I had a glass of red wine in my hand and when I said that statement out loud, I realized my passion for cheese has gotten out of control. I'm obsessed. I could eat cheese and red wine for days. It's the ideal combination of food I dream of more so than anything else. Oh, and my favorite food in the entire world is Mac 'N Cheese. It's my comfort food and deserves to be capitalized when spoken of.

I've recently learned how sensitive I am to dairy - doesn't sit well with me and not to mention it's not helping my naturally high cholesterol. They say that to get rid of a habit it takes 30 days. So I'm up to the challenge and have decided to cut cheese out of my diet for 30 days. It's been one week so far and let me tell you that there were some days that drove me crazy. Like last Tuesday, right next to where I sit at work sat free pizza for an entire afternoon. The combination of my hunger, the fact that it was free, and that I could actually look at the boxes of exotic pizza from my work chair, were enough to make me want to run over to the pizza and start devouring it.

You would think that it would be easy to cut out cheese, but let me tell you that cheese sneaks into so many meals at a restaurants: sandwiches, soups, salads, side dishes. Restaurants even love to add it to the top of dishes. Cheese is everywhere. I ordered breakfast tacos on Friday for an early meeting and every single one of them came with cheese. I asked for one without and that taco received its very own "Special" sticker.

Will I forever give up wine and cheese after these four weeks? No. But I'm hoping that after another 3 weeks of this, I start to ask for some things without cheese, which will ultimately help my little arteries and heart and keep my obsession under control. Until then, I will dream of cheese and it's ultimate bliss. The prize for myself and Brandon enduring this for 3 weeks? A progressive Mac 'N Cheese date. 4 different places in Dallas that have made our list of top Mac 'N Cheese contendors and ending with a bottle of wine. Whoever gives in first, pays. Can't wait until October 15.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

God's Gift to Breakfast: Honey Buttered Chicken Biscuit Sandwich

I was walking down a side stair case on a Friday afternoon at work with a huge grin on my face as I clutched my lap top on one side of me as I held nothing other than a Chick-fil-A sandwich in the other hand. As I walked down that stair case, I realized that the fact that this sandwich had literally made my day, showed how much of a foodie I am.

But let me tell you that Chick-fil-A is not like any other fast food chain out there. For those of you that have not had the priviledge to eat at this fine establishment, which may be due to the fact of your location, Northerners – you are just getting your first glimpse of Chick-fil-A, so for now, I will cut you some slack. But the next chance you see one, immediately turn your car into that parking lot, walk into the store (don't mess around with the drive thru, you won't get the full experience), and order this: #1 Original Chicken Sandwich and add honey to it. Trust me. And don't skip on the waffle fries – they cook their food in peanut oil, so you can feel at ease knowing that this food is marginally better for you than any other fried food. And don't resort to a Diet Coke, go for the lemonade and your taste buds will adore you and your choice. If you are there at the lucky hours before 10:30am, get nothing other than the honey butter chicken sandwich. This is the exact sandwich I was clutching at 2:30pm on Friday afternoon and I was the happiest girl in the world. Which is saying something that this sandwich was from that morning's breakfast, so at least about 6 hours old, and I was happy to take that sandwich back to my desk, heat it up in our kitchen's microwave and happily eat this amazing treat.

I hugged my friend who handed me the sandwich who said, "We had an extra and I thought immediately of you." She knows me too well and my obsession with this wonderful place. My taste buds are salivating just writing this and I'm cursing the fact that they are closed today on a Sunday, ironic that I'm cursing since they observe the Sabbath. It was while I was in that staircase that I realized that it is the little things in life, like a honey buttered chicken sandwich, that make up the good things in life.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Tales from Bunko!

This week I embarked on a game I had never heard of until I moved to Texas. It's a game that takes zero skill, requires multiple glasses of cheap wine, and lots of laughter. It's a game I instantly loved: Bunko. Although, I feel as if the word "Bunko" needs to have an explanation mark after it, which would make it Bunko! Whenever you get three dice of the same three numbers when it's that number's round, you shout Bunko! Exactly why the explanation mark is needed. I learned recently that some people spell it Bunco and others call it Bunko. The real spelling of this? Who will ever know and what different does it make since this game requires wine?

What I do know is that I walked into a room of people and only knew the hostess and I walked out with a smile on my face and a belly full of wine after hours of good conversation. It wasn't my typical Wednesday night. I chipped in my $5 to play, and ended up being the worst player there after 3 rounds of 6 games each round. I won't bore you with the details regarding the rules of Bunko!, but if for some reason you do want to learn (which I highly suggest), and start playing with friends, start with the infamous overview and directions from Wikipedia. I'm hooked. I'm hooked with the fact that each round the only thing of your side is luck. At times I would find myself rolling the dice with two hands versus one – hoping it truly would make a difference when I am rolling three dice. It did not.

I instantly was a hit in this room as I repeatedly kept finding myself at the "losers" table. My justification for drinking more wine in between each turn was the fact that I was losing. After 6 rounds of 3 games, I lost by a landslide. My reward was $15 and a candle. I could get used to winning if it continues to look like this. I sat there after some trickled out from the room and talked with the people around me about traveling, life, work, love, and realized that Bunko! is meant for everyone. Next month we will be at a new house with someone hosting an October themed Bunko!, which I was warned involved a theme of "Boo"nko, which only made me laugh at how incredibly uncreative I am when it comes to party themes. I walked into work the next day with a hangover from wine on an empty stomach but was a happy girl from just three dice and refilling my glass with wine with good company.

Monday, September 3, 2012

The Adventures of Extraordinary

I originally dedicated this blog to my traveling adventures, and sadly that chapter of my life has slowed, only for now... only for now. I look back on the entry titles from this blog and realize that the last few years of my life have been absolutely wonderful, and mostly because of the places I have traveled to. For now, I have put that on hold as I venture into the adult world and work on my responsibilities of paying off student loans and paying my bills on time every month. Hopefully, my near future will bring traveling back into my life. It's the reason why I put a portion of every pay check into a small savings account labeled, "Traveling Dreams." The desire is there and will never fade away.

So what do I write about when the stars of places I have traveled to on my world map have not increased since I ventured to India last year? What do I have to offer the world when my day largely revolves around my job, which I do love. I'm stuck inside freezing air conditioned walls when it's 100 degrees outside here in Dallas, and at night my thoughts drift back to South Africa, London, Rome, and mostly Barcelona, and the carelessness I had during those few months. I had no bills to pay, students loans to fret over. My only stresses were finding the right bottle of cava and sipping it on the perfect beach that day. We aren't meant to live like that forever, this I know. But I wish more than anything that the typing of my keyboard was in a real coffee shop in Europe while listening to a live band instead of the headphones on my ears listening to the lovely Frank Sinatra. Or that I could sit overlooking the Mediterranean ocean letting the warm atmosphere take over my mood as I write inspiring words. That dream is on the horizon. For now, I'm going to start writing about something so simple: the ordinary life. I think for the dozen or so years of my life, I have lead a completely unordinary life: synchronized ice skating, traveling to exotic locations around the world, graduating undergraduate a year early and starting graduate school, dating a boy long distance for 3 years.

And now? Now I work 10-12 hours a day and work desperately to have a social life, dating life, to attend church each Sunday, and to continue having adventure in my life. It's a constant struggle and fight. And trying to workout everyday? I have resorted to taking the stairs in my office. So for now, I'm dedicating this blog to finding the extraordinary in the ordinary. It's a title so dear to my heart. The first book I wrote is titled, "Red Story: Turning Ordinary into Extraordinary." Right now, I want to find the ordinary in this Texas city. I have no idea what my next blog posts will look like or if they will be any good. But my promise to you is to blog once a week and to continue my passion of writing. Writing about all of the little things in my life that make life so interesting. Something I have learned in these last few years is that life is about the details. It's the details that I love and that I tend to overlook so often. So cheers to the details I am going to uncover in my life and cheers to the extraordinary I long to find. Because I know it's there.