Happy Halloween–farewell Blogtober

October 31, 2013 at 4:42 pm

Happy Halloween! I made it to the end of the month. I challenged myself to blog every day in October and if you have been keeping up you know…I did it! Well, as soon as I hit publish on this one I will have done it. So I better throw something together really quickly…

Last night’s dinner included roasted curry delicata squash.

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Delicata has become my favorite winter squash. It is super easy to prepare because they are not very difficult to cut (unlike spaghetti or butternut squash) and the peel is edible.

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They taste similar to sweet potato and work well with virtually any seasoning. We had grilled Trader Joe’s turkey kielbasa and broccoli as well.

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I carved Mack’s pumpkin yesterday.

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It was based on his design:

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This morning Chewie and I walked Mack to school.

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This little brown dachshund ran up to us on our walk, creating some excitement.

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After I got home from walking with Mack I went on another walk with my friend Amy. We passed this awesome house in Allendale Terrace:

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We walked down to Crescent Lake and did a lap around.

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We saw this sign on the walk back:

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You don’t see a lost hedgehog sign every day! Or an albino hedgehog. I hope he’s okay.

Amy and I had a great chat and I got over 6 miles of walking in today. It was a great way to spend a beautiful morning. Thanks Amy! And congratulations to Michael and Ben (Amy’s husband and son) on their Marine Corp Marathon finishes!

When I got back home I carved Cal’s pumpkin, per his design.

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The afternoon was spent at Mack’s class Halloween party (fill you in on that tomorrow) and then running the boys around to their usual activities. Cal approved of his pumpkin when he got home.

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He was at the SPIFFS festival all day, thus the Peruvian hat. (Click here to read about my previous visit to the St. Petersburg International Folk Fair Society festival.)

Gotta go get ready for trick or treating. I’m going to look heavenly.

Cya.

Yelp Elite BONUS event at Nosh Cafe

October 30, 2013 at 1:20 pm

Yesterday Chad was supposed to have jury duty, but ended up being excused and worked from home the rest of the day. In the late afternoon he scooped out the boys’ pumpkins for me.

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We didn’t have time to carve them yesterday because I was headed out to a Yelp Elite bonus event at Nosh Café in Oldsmar. After a bunch of pathetic begging on Facebook, my friend Mary agreed to be my date.

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I realize that free food and drinks and my company are a hard-sell, so I appreciate Mary for stepping up. We had about a 40 minute drive from St. Pete to Oldsmar, and when we arrived the Yelpers had already filled the café and were happily munching away.

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Nosh is owned by the same folks who own Moxie’s in downtown Tampa. I have heard only good things about Moxie’s and knew that Nosh featured many of the same signature sandwiches, so I was happy to give it a try.

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We checked in with Brett, the Yelp Tampa Bay community manager, old-school style since he forgot his laptop (bad social media manager, bad).

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We were distracted from his paper and pencil guest list by the huge tray of cookies and bowl of Reese’s that were right inside the door.

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I can’t really give Brett a hard time for forgetting his laptop because I forgot my good camera (bad blogger, bad). So please excuse all these terrible phone photos.

I am sticking with NSNG (no sugar, no grains) as much as possible, and since I’ve been NSNG now for two months I really don’t care much about sugary cookies, breads, and cakes. In a past life I would have secretly obsessed about that plate of cookies, but last night I didn’t give them a second thought. I have to admit that I was nostalgic about the Reese’s Halloween candy, though. Reese’s is my favorite. I wasn’t “craving” it and didn’t have to even try to resist it, but it did make me wistful.

The nice folks at Nosh had set up a buffet-style line, starting with the beverage cooler. I believe (but please correct me if I’m wrong) that Nosh does not normally serve alcoholic beverages, but they know how to make Yelpers happy. Alcohol.

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I had a bottle of water.

First up was the salads.

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The garden salad was yummy with apples, walnuts, and some blue cheese chunks. I loaded my plate with it and also tried a bit of the balsamic vinaigrette, which was so good that I’m sure it had sugar in it. I still ate it.

Next up was the sandwiches, which admittedly were a bit picked-over by the time we arrived.

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I got a turkey and a roast beef wedge and just ate the stuff between the bread.

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All was very tasty!

Mary tried a few selections, and I know that she said the potato salad was good and a little sweet, and she loved the Old Broadway sandwich, one of Nosh’s specialties.

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Nosh just opened in Oldsmar, so it was fun to check out a brand new restaurant. You can see the whole Nosh menu here.

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Thanks for a fun evening Yelp Tampa Bay, Nosh! Café, and Mary!

This morning I had to skip breakfast and drive Mack to school so that I could cross the bridge to Tampa once again to visit The Center for Health and Age Management, my new doctor’s office.

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I’m very hopeful about this new doctor/patient relationship because Dr. Heim is a board certified bariatrician and is also a triathlete. From our discussions so far he seems very open to my point of view, non-condescending, and I liked everything he said. Today I just went to have blood drawn for some very in-depth lab-work. I had to give six vials! I’m excited about this.

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He automatically wants to do the types of testing that my previous doctor acted like she had never heard of (actually it was the nurse practitioner, but still, I was OVER that practice). I’m very encouraged. I’m going back next week for another appointment to discuss the lab results.

On my way back into St. Pete I stopped at Target to pick up a refill of my thyroid meds (which Dr. Heim is most likely going to change after my new lab tests, but for now I was out and he wrote me a new prescription yesterday). It’s a strange blend of Halloween and Christmas at Target right now.

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I’m sure by this weekend it will be full-on Christmas at Target.

Now for a little PSA. I was excited to find coconut cream at Whole Foods last weekend since previously I had only been able to find it at Trader Joes, an hour away.

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However, sadly, the Native Forest brand of coconut cream was not the equivalent of the Trader Joe’s brand. As stated on the label, the Trader Joe’s is “extra thick and rich”, and while the Native Forest coconut cream is thicker than normal coconut milk, it is not nearly as thick and rich as the TJ’s. The Trader Joe’s brand solidifies when refrigerated to the consistency of very thick cool-whip, but the Native Forest stays liquid after refrigeration. I will continue to use the Native Forest coconut cream that I bought and may even buy it again as it was not bad at all, but Trader Joe’s is still the gold standard for me as of now. I have heard there is a brand at Rollin’ Oats I need to check out, though.

End of PSA.

Cya.