Lake Street Dive! And Valentine’s Day recap!

So I gave you guys the little teaser yesterday.  In case you like, forgot or didn’t read it or something I provided that awesome linky for you to review.

But we swapped everything all around Valentine’s Day weekend.  Since Lake Street Dive was recently on Colbert Report, and had blown up, the tickets were super sold out, so a lot of my snowy week was spent begging for tickets on the internet, which I found, 4:00 pm the day of the show.  So hubby and I headed down to Carrboro, the land of the super-cool and laid back hippies, parked, and headed in for the show.

First, we passed by the Fleet Feet Sports there, and I chatted for a little while with the guy who was closing up the store.

P1160173Very pretty store!  And we headed in for a sold out show.

P1160175We were right up at the front, and it was a super, super sold-out show.  Also, side note.  It is a CARDINAL SIN to try and push your way to the front of a general admission show when you came in late.  Don’t do it or I will say something to you.  So serious.  

The opening act was awesome, and they were super sweet.  Here’s Miss Tess…

photo 3-1Who looked like they stepped right out of the ’50s.  Here’s me and the drummer after.

P1160178Sweet guy, and we gave him some suggestions on where he could eat in Asheville, where he was headed the next day.

photo 3 (1) photo 3

The show was awesome.  Rachael Price, lead singer, has a voice that’s like butter, and really really refreshing to hear.

And the best moment of the night?  

P1160177When me and my Elon University Jazz professor got to meet Lake Street Dive!  Can you tell from the photo how excited I am?!


Ugh.  I cannot tell you how freaking excited I was.

But the show was awesome, I wish I could have taken you guys out there with me 🙂

photo 4-2And finally, we headed to the Irregardless Café in Raleigh on Saturday for our Valentine’s Day date.  I forgot to take a pic for you guys until I’d eaten all the veggies, but this is the vegan shepards pie.  Super tasty, and Austin bought us a lot of Prosecco to split.  It was really romantic because we got to dance with all the old people to real music.  Two nights in a row of good music!  How did I get so so lucky?

So I really hope your V-Day weekend was great, and single or taken, I’d love to hear about what you did!  How was your Valentine’s Day Weekend?  

My Day At Epcot

So you guys know I’ve been traveling.  I went to visit my youngest sister, who works for Disney, and she’s been begging me for months to come out to visit.  I finally did it, and I’m so glad.

I got a full night of sleep, napped with the dog, and finally made it out for a run.


First things – Florida was supposed to be really warm. And it was last night when it came in. But when I exited the apartment to walk the dog, it was like 40 degrees. Also, my bra was out. Lovely. I am really classing Florida up. Also the fashions here are SO questionable.


The favorite purple jacket came with me to Florida, and thank goodness, because it came in handy on the run.


Toward the end of the run, I found a “jogging” trail (I hate the word jogging, ps), and tried it out, and it was lined with that weird bouncy stuff they started to put on playgrounds in the 90s.


Instead of it being a great place to run, I actually was having trouble keeping my footing, and it sort of felt like sand to run in. I’ll stick to Florida roads.


Next, since it was freezing, I dug out this slouchy sweater to embark on my journey to Walgreens, as my sister had no food suitable for vegetarian grown-ups, and I’d forgotten my toothbrush. As cute as I look, I had not brushed my teeth at this point.


The family dog was in tow, and just as sweet as I remembered her. Gah, I truly love animals more than human beings sometimes.


Next, my sister took me to Epcot, which I haven’t been to since I was 16, and on a choir trip.


I insisted she take me to the nearest Starbucks, and it was literally the most insane Starbucks I have ever been in. People from every country, speaking in every language, and I can honestly say I have never been in a Starbucks so crowded in my life.


Kimmy knew I would love anything having to do with Michael Jackson, so we waited to see this Captain E.O. show which featured Michael Jackson in 3-D. The movie finished up with “Another Part of Me” from ‘Bad,’ and we were probably the only two to clap at the end.


We rode the “Finding Nemo” ride, and I got to see some dolphins, that I was so content to sit and watch for a long time.


And then the big ‘ol Manatees, who just ate lettuce all day long.


The Manatees were rescues, one was an orphan, the other was injured and his poor tail was chopped by a boat. They both were so sweet to watch.


Can you tell I stood here for a long time?


Next up was some vegan beef for dinner, which cost me $20. Yikes! I paid $6.50 for a beer. Help!


The beer in question.


And finally, after I’d chattered with a French man who sang Stromae in the World Showcase in French and tried all the wines, we came home to find that the dog had ripped apart a candy wrapper that smelled like food.

Today was a good day.

I hope your day was good!  Happy Saturday you guys!  I’m feeling mushy and gushy from all this family and Disney time!


I’m desperately trying to figure this out.

So we all know by now, unfortunately, that I’ve been having some GI issues, issues that culminated in me vomiting mid 26.2 last weekend.  Hey, it happens.  But it makes working out difficult.

So I’ve since scheduled a gastroenterology appointment, and in the meantime, I’ve been slamming Tums and Prilosec like my life depends on it.  An ulcer is the suspected culprit of my troubles, though.

I’ve been doing a little research, and I’m trying to eat foods that are gentle on my belly – so less booze, NO caffeine, and limited amounts of dairy.  I’ve made the switch from more pescatarian, to a full-on vegetarian diet, and the combination of all those things has proven only mildly helpful.  But as I do more research, signs are pointing to a gentle, possibly vegan diet, even temporarily, until we can get this all healed up.

So I’m thinking of trying it out, at least for a month, with extra emphasis on the dairy elimination part, as the dairy is the party that really makes things unbearable.

What do you guys think? Can any vegans out there help a brotha out?

(This means no eggnog lattes 😦 )

Seriously, this horse meat thing is starting to freak me out. Do I take the plunge and go vegan? (Make me a compelling argument either way)

If you’ve been watching the news, I’m sure you’ve heard by now about the gross admission Burger Kings in France made after traces of horse DNA were found in meat across Europe.  Um. What?! How does that happen?  What I’m most bothered about at this point is the fact that experts are stressing that there are “no health risks associated with the consumption of horse meat”.  I don’t give a flying stink if there are no health risks associated with eating horse meat.  That is not what everyone is freaked out about, and I don’t appreciate the experts trying to deflect attention from the real issue.  But this horse meat debacle has certainly raised some questions for me in my own life.

I am a pescatarian, and I’ve been one for about 5 or 6 years.  I lean more toward the vegetarian side of things because fish is just so…fishy.  And it looks like a fish.  Which is beginning to freak me out too.  And I don’t ever see myself going back to chicken, beef, or pork.  I don’t judge other folks for eating it, but beef especially gives me the willies and the way it’s prepared just seems brutal.  My first job out of graduate school, I witnessed firsthand kitchen staff breaking down a cow.  Like it looked alive.  Except it wasn’t.  And that’s how this all sort of started.

So here’s my question as I start to get more and more freaked out by the concept of eating animal flesh.  Do I take the leap and go vegan?  What are the pros/cons of going vegan?  What do vegans eat? 

Cons. The first thing people seem to be concerned about when you tell them you’re veg is protein + nutrients.  As in, “that’s not natural, how do you get enough protein/nutrients?” And that could be a valid concern, if you don’t know how to feed yourself.  It’s very tempting, the first month of any new veg diet to default to eating chips and salsa and french fries with an occasional salad with balsamic.  But that won’t work for me.  If I’m hungry, I’m hangry, and I’m not prepared for the undergraduate belly I had to make a return.  Sorry belly.  We had some good times, but you made bikini shopping hell.  I’m all about the balance now.  I suppose the key is making a better plan so I actually have choices other than fries to eat.  Also, my parents might roll their eyes at me when I go home on breaks.  But they kind of started doing that when I sprouted locs at the end of high school.

Pros. It’s friggin tasty! I started going on dates with my Whole Foods girlfriend, Tessa to this place in Raleigh called the Remedy Diner?  And I’ll be darned it that stuff doesn’t taste better than meaty options.  When done right, veg options are tasty.  Also, it forces you to plan meals a little better.  And provided you’re eating a balanced meal, it’s super healthy and plant-based.  Now there are a ton of animal welfare, compassion, and eco-footprint reasons that are beyond obvious, right, so I don’t want to list them here.  One, because they’re obvious, and two, because that’s the point at which people feel like you’re lecturing them.  Again, I’m not lecturing, you carry on, I’m just trying to make a decision for me, not for you.  So chill.

So there’s a myriad of things to consider if I’m going to do this.  This is certainly not a decision I’m going to be making tomorrow, because I’m focused on the marathon right now, but it’s definitely something that’s in mind, and as I consider making this change, I will be a little more conscious of what I’m eating, and what I can swap out to make my transition a little easier.  Put your compelling arguments either way in the comments, and provided they’re not idiotic (kidding!) I will definitely log that away for consideration.

Went to Food Lion today…

And you know, no story that begins this way ends well.  (And let’s keep in mind that Food Lion has launched a new brand strategy.  Lower prices, better shopping experience,  and revamped produce are supposed to be a part of this. Well…)

Let me back up.  I skipped my grocery shopping on my usual Sunday because Deb was over, and I waited til today, when I really had no food left, to do it.  I’m not a poor person, it would be a lie to say I was.  But I’m a recent graduate who’s on a fairly tight budget.  I usually do my grocery shopping at Super Target, and I save the special stuff for Harris Teeter and Whole Foods.   I say “special stuff” to mean my vegetarian supplies.  I’ve been a vegetarian for like 5 or 6 years, after I went to Elon and was not at all impressed by the quality of the meat they served in the dining halls.  No shade, Elon was totally great otherwise, but I saw some questionable meat items come through those dining halls.  Anyhoo, I drink a lot of smoothies and eat some tofu-type things that require those special trips.  At any rate, I thought I’d head down to Food Lion to save a few bucks on groceries.  Part of my thing with being a grown-up is actually packing my lunch to save some money.  (Plus it makes lunchtime at work so exciting when you know you cooked something delish that all your coworkers can be jealous of.) I went, armed with a list, and a resolve to get all the stuff I needed for another of my famous crock pot creation of the week.

First mistake?  I didn’t know where the closest Food Lion was, so I GPSed it.  The GPS took me to an unsavory part of town.  No problem, I can blend!

Food Lion

I went straight for the dairy to find my favorite brand of Greek yogurt, Fage (with the total split cup girl!). No Fage. Okay.  My eager attitude is beginning to dwindle.  But my resolve would not be tarnished!

I headed over to the soup aisle to grab some things for my crockpot.  Some coconut gel stuff in particular.  Couldn’t find it, and asked a gentleman in a uniform where to find it.

Me: Excuse me, where could I find the coconut cream canned stuff?

Food Lion Guy: ::finishes his text conversation:: Uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

Finally, I headed over to produce.  Saw some tumbleweeds blowing through, some floppy looking potatoes, and some sad-looking apples.  I poked down the snack aisle to see what the Oreo aisle is looking like, however?  And there were so many varieties of Oreo, one called a “mega-stuf”, that I was stunned that I’d never heard of!  But to find 5 non-rotting Russet Potatoes was a task?! Wth?!

Okay. ::deep breath:: Just because someone is poor, doesn’t mean they need to be relegated to stores that aren’t clean, with poor lighting, poor customer service, and with a wider variety of Pop-Tart and Oreo, than of apple.  The disparity between the poor and the wealthy as far as obesity, high blood pressure, hypertension, Type II Diabetes, and heart disease is concerned is staggering.  And part of the issue is that it seems like folks with a lower socio-economic status aren’t afforded choices.  Check out the produce section of a Harris Teeter, a Whole Foods, or a Trader Joes. There are choices!  And the choices are between fresh, fresher, and maybe, once in a blue moon, a little too ripe.  My point is, folks like me, folks who want to save a few bucks, still deserve a choice when it comes to what we put in our mouths.  I don’t think I will be returning to that Food Lion, however, in the next few days, I will be drafting some constructive comments to the manager, and I hope that my obnoxious letter will even raise some awareness about the fact that people in my tax bracket deserve better as it pertains to our sustenance.