Santa’s Swag Swap with the Tampa Bay Bloggers at Datz

December 6, 2012 at 7:46 am

I’m getting ready to head to Orlando with my lover, but I wanted to blog last night’s activities so that I can enjoy the next two days without a blog “to do” hanging over my head.

Last night the Tampa Bay Bloggers met up at Datz in south Tampa for a little holiday meet-up.

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I was recently at Datz for the Yelp Livin’ La Vida Local party and it was fabulous so I was really happy to be returning.

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Datz was nice enough to treat our little blogger group to dinner and upon my arrival I was greeted by my friends and a Wreck the Halls martini.

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My Fascinating Life Caroline Calcote-3(Left to Right: me, Raffi from Running Betty, Brian from A Runner’s Blog, Jina from Behold the Turtle, Asha from The Dansha Diaries, Denise from RunDMT, Kristen from Gone Bananas. Not pictured is Marisa who joined us later…she’s below)

Here are the ingredients for the Wreck the Halls martini, plus vodka:

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I was saving my alcohol rations for our trip to Orlando, so I only had a couple of sips, but it was delicious. I love martinis and this drink was right up my alley. It was perfect for the holidays.

I arrived a little late, and almost as soon as I sat down the appetizers arrived.

Poutine which is crispy fries, cheese curd demi-glace, fried egg:

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Holy cow. I’d never had poutine before, and I was kind of blown away. Amazing.

Corn Fritters with powdered sugar and jalapeno-maple syrup:

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These may have been the best fritters I’ve ever had and the jalapeno-maple syrup was divine.

Figtastic Flatbread: sliced fig, Asian pear, roasted red onion, blue cheese, baby arugula:

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Bruschetta Flatbread: pesto, parmesan, mozzarella, roasted red onion, plum tomato, basil, balsamic glaze:

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Both of the flatbreads were delicious. I’d have to say the fig and blue cheese was my favorite, but both were amazing.

Be envious of my appetizer plate:

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Before the main course we did our white elephant swag gift shop. We were supposed to bring something we had received as swag, or any white elephant gift.

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We had lots of laughs over the gifts. Then the main course arrived.

Chicken Little: black tea-spiced, baby, free-range chicken, tri-colored quinoa, honey-fig sautéed spinach, Asian pear chutney:

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Curried Vegan Winter Stew: carrots and butternut squash braised in a tomato curry broth, tri-colored quinoa, cilantro, mint and pumpkin seeds:

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The curry was really spicy! I loved the honey-fig spinach and the tea-spiced chicken was unique and yummy. Many of the dishes above are new, seasonal menu items at Datz. Definitely worth a trip! Chef Jason came out with every course to describe the dishes and socialize with us. He was great.

My Fascinating Life Caroline Calcote-22(That’s Marisa from Fit Kids Playground on the left laughing. Love her.)

Dessert was beyond the beyond.

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Oreo beignets!!!!

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It was a melty, soft, warm Oreo surrounded by a sweet, crispy doughnut. Heavenly.

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Thank you Denise for organizing our holiday party, and thank you Datz for hosting us. I love Datz and can’t wait to go back! I also love the Tampa Bay Bloggers group. We really have a great blogging community here in Tampa Bay. Everyone is so friendly, welcoming, and supportive of each other. I am so lucky to be a part of it!

It’s a whole new world! Or maybe just a new Sam’s club.

October 29, 2012 at 7:39 pm

Let’s wrap this past weekend up so that I can get on to the fabulousness that is this week.

Yesterday morning we just hung out at home and I made my famous Whole Wheat Oatmeal Waffles. I didn’t take a picture, but they looked the same as always…like this:

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Then while Chad slept in I let the boys open the Halloween box from their Great Aunt Kathie. Chewie gets very excited whenever a box is about to be opened.

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He must inspect it before he will allow the boys to dive in.

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He does not like to be excluded.

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Eventually he realizes that it is not a box full of Milkbones and gives up.

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Chad’s Aunt Kathie is awesome and always sends the boys a box of fun stuff for the major holidays. They are very spoiled. Thank you Aunt Kathie!

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I was not up for working out Sunday morning as I was totally still recovering from my epic 55+ mile bike ride on Saturday, so after they opened their box we headed out to the mall.

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I had ordered a denim jacket from Macys.com, but had to return it because it was not as depicted on the website. It was supposed to be 3/4 length sleeves and in reality it was short sleeves. Who wants a short sleeved denim jacket?

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Luckily the sales associate was really nice and got a manager who was also really nice and they refunded my entire purchase price including shipping. I was an extremely satisfied customer and would have bought a different denim jacket at Macy’s, but I couldn’t find one in the entire store that I liked.

Next we went to Loft where they were having an additional 40% off of sales and clearance items. I ended up buying two skirts and four tops for about $82! I love Loft.

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As we were walking down to Hot Topic per Cal’s request, I stopped into American Eagle and found a denim jacket I liked and it was about half of the price of the one I returned to Macy’s. Score!

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This is for a family photo shoot that we are doing in November which is going to be urban themed. We’re all wearing blues and blacks and grays.

The boys were very well behaved in the mall so I let them each buy a t-shirt at Hot Topic where the t-shirts were buy one, get one half off on Sunday only. Cal got an Assassin’s Creed III shirt and Mack got a Disney Gargoyles shirt.

Next we went to Tropical Smoothie for lunch.

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They have great kids meals there! I had a turkey avocado sandwich which was really good.

After we left Tropical Smoothie we met Chad at the new Sam’s Club that just opened at 22nd Avenue and 34th Street.

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There is another Sam’s Club in St. Pete but it is not very conveniently located for us. This one is much closer to our side of town.

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Exciting!

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Okay, maybe all Sam’s Clubs are alike, but it was still exciting for us.

These motorized skateboards were pretty exciting.

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And expensive.

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Sam’s has something for everyone.

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Of course there were tons of samples.

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We bought a bunch of stuff including items for dinners for most of this week.

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When we got home Chad let the boys open the Halloween box from his parents.

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I’m not sure if this one was Chewie-inspected first or not. I was in the other room doing something else…probably writing a blog post or reading a blog post or Tweeting or something.

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Money! Thank you Gramma and Paw and Nana!

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Apparently Chad thought this magnifying thing was cool.

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Thanks for the Ruth Hunt candies and the Trader Joe’s goodies Karen!

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Chad made some delicious grilled skirt steak and an Asian slaw from Sam’s for dinner and after the boys went to bed we watched The Walking Dead. So so so good.

Not from Sunday, but this morning was the first day that Mack has worn long pants to school this year! It was chilly, in the low 60’s.

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He was also sporting his new Gargoyles t-shirt.

Okay, done with the weekend. Fun stuff happened today. Gotta get on it!

Cya.

p.s. I’m feeling bad for all of the people who are getting hit by Sandy. We know what it’s like to have a hurricane bearing down on you. Florida has you guys in our thoughts!