Monday, May 28, 2012

Life lately :: There's been a lot of drinking going on.

How is it already practically June?  With that said, the days are slowly, steadily going by until school is over.  I've been doing lots of drinking, eating, and trying to fit in spring fun before the heat hits and it's summer.

 [Terrapin pint nights with D]

 [Breaking out the rain boots not often enough]

 [Party outfit for the Bee Ball]

 [Yeah, we won free carrots at the Bee Ball, no big deal]

 [Another try at homemade salsa, and I'm going to say it was a SPICY success!]

 [More poached egg obsession :: Avocado on toast with arugula + egg]

 [A round of tequila shots (my favorite) for the birthday boy!]

 [A glamour shot for the 28 year-old]

[Private brewery tours that I've done one too many times.  But I am excited about a special Terrapin cask coming to Raleigh that was spotted!]

 [A few too many margaritas and a bit too much food...but never enough time with friends at our favorite Mexican restaurant in Athens, GA]

 [Back in Raleigh for crowded pool time...worth it]

[Pooltime essentials]

Now we're busy waiting on sangria to "ripen" (yep, another version with peaches, pears, and kiwi!) and tuna steaks to be thrown on the grill with asparagus and corn.  That's a BBQ for a pescatarian :)

Hope everyone has enjoyed/were lucky enough to have a fabulous three day weekend!  Bring on 8 more days of school!

Super thrilled to link up with Haley AND Alli this week!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Food & Beer Friday :: It's Hop Cubed!

Alright math nerds!  This week's spotlight beer is "hop cubed!"

Heavy Seas Loose Cannon is not necessarily a go-to beer for me.  After some thinking, I figured I needed to switch it up from the "light" beers I've been featuring.  Based on Terrapin's and our relationship with Heavy Seas (see Free Spirit and BFW), we have plenty of their beers around our house.  Perfect selection for my first real hoppy beer!

Loose Cannon is literally nicknamed "Hop Cubed" since it's hoped "three ways."  This American IPA is pretty delicious!  Don't be scared off by the hops though.  I'm not a huge hoppy beer fan; I'll take a malty stout over a hopped-up IPA any day.  Even with 3 pounds of hops per barrel, you'd be surprised at how drinkable this is beer is for the untrained hop tongue!  You'll never believe how well this cut the spice of my homemade salsa though!

As far as food pairings, Heavy Seas has a pretty kick ass recipe selection!

Since I love starches and could eat a pound of mashed potatoes, I'm going with the Loose Cannon Mashed Potatoes, which are complete with roasted garlic.  I promise, I had it the other night with my black bean burgers and super spicy salsa, and it was a perfect pair!  (Also, I think I'm the worst at beer pairing because I drink them all with anything and/or spicy foods.)

What's your favorite hopped-up beer?


Wednesday, May 23, 2012

New blog design = first giveaway!

It's a bit of a hectic week at school: 11 (and a half) student days left and state testing is this week.  State testing and all that follows (um, five hours of "remediation" per test not passed) with my particular population of students is extremely difficult.  Please excuse my absence this week.  While I'm away, enjoy this wonderful news:

If you've clicked out of your Google Reader recently, you may have noticed my amazing new blog redesign.  I have D to thank for making this happen and our friend, Les, to thank for making it work!  I didn't give Les much to work with (because honestly I didn't have a real "vision" in mind), but the redesign is so much better than I could have ever imagined!

In honor of the redesign and my recent over 100 followers on Google Friend Connect, I'm definitely feeling the blog love!  I wanted to give you all something back in the form of a giveaway.  Some of my favorite giveaways are those that involve a blogger's favorite things!  Unfortunately, I can not give away a kick ass trip or delicious craft beer.  Don't worry, I'm making it worth your while!


Pretty nail polish is fitting based how nail polish saved me from nail biting on my love of pretty things.  Honestly, Revlon is my favorite nail polish.  I find it lasts just as long (and usually longer than Essie) and at a better price.  You can pick out the color of your choice or I'll surprise you :)

A book would be fitting since I love to read.  I just read this book last week (and even at 500+ pages, I finished it in about a week) and fell in love.  It is so beautifully written and unique.  It's set during the Holocaust, and I have a strange fascination with that era anyhow.  It's now in my top five.


A mug would be fitting since it wouldn't be a Skinny Jeans & Chai Latte giveaway without a coffee related item.  Remember when I featured this beaut?  I just adore this mug...and may end up ordering one for myself too :)


A gift card would be fitting since I can't buy you beer (without checking ID's) or find you super cool wine glasses and bottle openers, so I'll let you buy them (or some music) for yourself.  I definitely adore Target as a girl on a budget.  I'll be offering a $10 gift card to Target or iTunes if the bullseye just isn't your thing.

And that's that!  I hope you all enjoy the selection...I know I would ;)

Giveaway will be open for two weeks, ending on June 6!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, May 18, 2012

Food & Beer Friday :: She's a fruity one.

I just discovered this beer a few weeks ago, and it's safe to say I'm in love.

She's one pretty lady!  That's right, I'm talking the Hell or High Watermelon from 21st Amendment!

I'm typically not a huge wheat beer fan.  They tend to be a little too sweet for my taste.  Don't be scared of the watermelon!  The beer is not super sweet and has just an end note of watermelon.  I am continually finding myself reaching for a few one of these beers this spring.

21st Amendment describes this beer as crisp, dry, and refreshing.  I could not agree more; it is just that.  Who doesn't love a can beer that can travel with you to the beach as well?  It's labeled a summer seasonal but available from April through September!

21st Amendment is located in San Francisco, and I feel pretty confident D and I will be visiting when we make our Cali trip in June!  The brewery has a restaurant with food and their beers on tap.

Food pairings are tough for me with wheat beers.  I typically don't want them to side with a dish.  This is not because they don't pair well, but they just are not my beer style of choice.  Nonetheless, this is a handy chart to reference when choosing a beer for your food food for your beer.

Hell or High is refreshing and should easily cool your mouth down during a bowl of this:

[Vegetarian Pho]

What would you pair with a slightly fruity wheat beer?  Another fruity dish? Or would you go spicy?


Don't forget to link up!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

The not-so-skinny sangria.

If you follow me on Instagram, you know I made some sangria this weekend (boo ya!  marked another off the 101 in 1001...finally)!  It was pretty delicious, and I thought I'd share the recipe with you!

I combined this recipe with Lauren Conrad's Peach Sangria and made adjustments based on what our grocery store had (no peaches!) and what we already had.

[Kristin's Not-So-Skinny Peachy Sangria]

  • 1-2 bottles of white wine (I used one but felt I could have used two with the amount of fruit)
  • 1 cup peach Schnapps
  • 1/2 pint of raspberries
  • 1 kiwi
  • 1-2 green apples
  • A teaspoon of splenda (although not necessary I feared it wouldn't be sweet enough)
  • Mint for garnish (I forgot to use it)
It's this easy: Chop the fruit, mix all ingredients together, and chill for a couple hours!

In my opinion, the drink was a bit sweet.  It wasn't too sweet though.  In fact if you're an avid cocktail drinker, you'll probably like this.  I would say next time I'll nix the splenda and add another bottle of wine.  There was a ton of fruit for the amount of alcohol we actually had (but don't be fooled, I finished all the fruit in one sitting).  The kiwis and green apples really helped balance the whole drink.  We paired it with our grilled grouper meal.  Perfect for a night outside on the porch!


Monday, May 14, 2012

Life lately :: Bites, chickies, & sadness.

D was out of town a few days this week, so I wasn't super productive this week.  I had another pretty shitty week at work, so I spent quite a bit of time drinking and coping in the best way I can.

 [I had a whole month of noting things I'm grateful for as part of my mini-happiness project]

 [The sadness :: North Carolina passes a constitutional amendment allowing discrimination and hate.  It literally makes me sick to my stomach that my state will allow hate to continue to grow in this country.  Not me.  I voted no.]

 [Stocking up on delicious beer at Tasty Beverage Company]

 [See that bruise?  Yeah...that's a bite mark made by one of my students.  Can't imagine it's look if it wouldn't have been made through my pants...]

 [Our baby chickies graduated to the outside coop this weekend!  They're huddled in a tiny corner of the massive coop/run we have for them.  They're still learning...]

[Grilling out fresh fish, from our local seafood market, asparagus, and pineapple on a beautiful weekend]

When the week days suck, we have to make our weekends worth it.  Trust me, this weekend was worth it.  We spent Sunday with plenty of friends and stuffed full of mexican food and margaritas.  Game of Thrones is the best way to end our Sunday.  I am hoping this week will be full of good things and happy thoughts.  Until the weekend comes again where I don't think twice about returning to the work week #thewayitssupposedtobe

I'm linking up with the adorable Hayley today!


Friday, May 11, 2012

Food & Beer Friday :: Terrapin new release party!

I started Food & Beer Friday last week, but I am quickly realizing it can be very difficult to commit to posting on one specific day per week.  At the same time, it does give me something to think about all week...which beer to spotlight!

This week's spotlight:

Terrapin Easy Rider was released this week.  Since D is affiliated with Terrapin, I figured it would be fitting to spotlight this delicious beer (even though it's not available to you west coasters).  I complain a bit about there only being hoppy and/or "heavy" beers in our beer fridge.  In all honesty, Terrapin has phased out their less-hoppy beers (especially in the year-round variety).  Finally Easy Rider is the perfect solution!

Easy Rider is a seasonal release for Terrapin.  It's technically labeled a "hopped up session" ale.  Beer Advocate describes a session ale as,
"Any beer that contains no higher than 5 percent ABV, featuring a balance between malt and hop characters (ingredients) and, typically, a clean finish - a combination of which creates a beer with high drinkability."
Basically, you should be able to drink a few many a handful of beers without feeling really drunk.  Perfection!  Easy Rider has a perfect amount of hops for me - not too overwhelming.  It's a smooth beer that goes down so easy on a hot day!

I consider session beers to be perfect to cook-outs, spring/summer drinking on the porch, and packed in the cooler for our day-trips to the beach.  They are pretty versatile when you're looking at food pairings.

[My FAVORITE black bean burgers...I just add corn]

Even as a vegetarian, I still eat venison which D grills a bit.  Regardless, I still love a black bean burger over any meat version.  Easy rider is a perfect addition to these black bean burgers!  Next time you're thinking about the white wine for your outdoor cook-out, check out Easy Rider!


Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Gotta get my bike on.

A while back, I talked about my tri necessities for swimming.  Let's pretend that I'm doing awesome with my training and not completely overwhelmed with work.  Learning how to ride a bike again biking is probably my favorite part of tri training.  It sucks that D's been in town, but his new bike has been out of commission.  Nonetheless, there are some really important necessities for biking long distances around town.

Step 1:  Find some sweet wheels.  I didn't have much any money to spend on a bike.  D was such a wonderful husband to help me out, but I couldn't break his bank either.  I found this beauty used on Craigslist for half the price!  She's categorized as a road bike which is perfect for what I'll be doing while training.  We did install a water bottle holder as well.  It's an adjustment getting used to the handle bars, but I love this bike for greenway riding.

Step 2:  Prepare for road collisions.  Yep, no chance I'm having another black-out experience after flying over my handle bars (true story)...not to mention any car that hits me will be a hell of a lot faster than my brother was on his bike.  I was not take the bike for a road spin without a helmet.  Sadly, helmets are expensive (again, thank you D).  You can get a pretty cool Schwinn for $20 on Amazon, but I'd rather be safe than sorry.  The Nishiki runs a bit more expensive.

Step 3:  Find a way to carry your inhaler pepper spray cell phone.  I have yet to get a good bike bag, but it's a necessity for long rides.  D got this one, which is surprisingly a perfect fit for the bike and everything I need.

Less necessities for biking than swimming, but more expensive.  I'm no pro so don't look to me for clip in cycle shoes or padded shorts (although I am totally considering this).

Any other biking accessories I'm missing?

Monday, May 7, 2012

Life lately :: According to my iPhone.

Thanks for all the love in regards to the new blog design (and grabbing my button!  I'll be sharing the love once I set up my blog roll this week) and the new Friday link-up!  You guys are pretty awesome :)

While I've been trying to survive the chaos and remainder of the school year, I've been trying super hard to just enjoy life and the small things.

 [Soaking up the sun for the 30 minutes of recess is the only time I have to myself most school days...necessary for sanity]

 [Discovering the garden sandwich at Capital Club 16...amazing]

 [Wicked on opening night at DPAC...for free!]

[Rocking a favorite new sheer $10 top for a beer festival]

 [First time for an accent nail]

 [Had to celebrate cinco with margaritas and mexican food]

[After a foiled beach trip, I did a bit of drinking and reading in the sun back in Raleigh]

Hoping all my weekend drinking will help me make it through these last 23 days with students...wishful thinking.  Cheers to a good week!

Linking up with:


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