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.

TL;DR Tuesday

October 29, 2013 at 3:26 pm

Random stuff I took photos of since last weekend…

The guest room bed has been sitting in our pool table room curing since Saturday.

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I think it looks really good.

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Time to buy some mattresses and finish organizing the guest room.

On Sunday morning I made some paleo pumpkin pancakes, based on this recipe. I tweaked it a little, and I think they came out okay. Everybody ate them. I put some honey in the batter for the boys’ pancakes, but mine contained no sugar or sweetener of any kind.

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Later on Sunday morning the boys and I went to Whole Foods in Tampa (we don’t have one in St. Pete).

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They had a bunch of well-priced pumpkins ($6.99 for good sized carving pumpkins), but the “Big Mac” pumpkins (as big as Mack) were ridiculous…$150!

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All of the departments had decorated pumpkins on display. They were pretty good.

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We hit up the hot food bars first to get lunch for the boys (they ate while I shopped) and I found a couple of NSNG (no sugar no grains) items to take home for me to try.

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I didn’t get a photo of the Mojo Pork, but it was great.

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The Lemon Herb Chicken will appear in a dinner later in this post.

A couple of other things I was happy to find at Whole Foods:

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I had previously only been able to find coconut cream at Trader Joe’s (in a can with a brown label). This is my favorite thing to have in my coffee so I was happy to find it a little closer to home. I had it this morning in my coffee and it seemed pretty good.

I also found bacon without any sugar!

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This is exciting. I think it is new to our Whole Foods. There was no price in the cooler and it would not ring up at the register. The cashier called for a price check, but then I don’t think she even charged me for the three packs of this that I got! I can’t find it on my receipt so I have no idea how much this actually costs. But free bacon is good, and it has to be less expensive than what I had been ordering from U.S. Wellness Meats. I also buy Gwaltney brand bacon at Publix sometimes and they have a couple of varieties without sugar, but it is more conventionally farmed pork and I don’t feel as good about it. I won’t cook with the grease from the Gwaltney bacon. From what I can tell from the Pederson’s Natural Farms website, their methods seem better than conventional, while still not totally free range. Real free range pork doesn’t seem to really exist.

My main reason for going to Whole Foods was to restock on meat. My freezer is mostly depleted. I need to make some more homemade breakfast sausage, so I was hoping for some quality ground pork. Unfortunately the only ground pork they had only had a 1+ rating, so I ended up just getting one pound of ground pork and two pounds of ground turkey and I’m going to make sausage out of that. Honestly the turkey did not have a great rating either (2+), but you just have to do the best you can.

They did have some 5+ rated pork steaks at a decent price.

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Also, the cashier invited me to take some free chicken broth on my way out!

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Good trip to Whole Foods…free bacon and free chicken stock!

After we finished shopping I met my friend Steph in the parking lot to make a veggie/money exchange.

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This was the last weekend of her Co-op for a Cure fundraiser. Glad I could participate Steph!

Another thing that I got at Whole Foods were some pretty mums. They were two for $15.

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I can’t stop adding things to the porch.

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It makes me happy whenever we pull up to the house (ten times a day).

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I really need to paint that patio set so that it doesn’t disappear on the porch. What color should I paint it? I was thinking maybe terra cotta or coral. Something darkish.

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Sunday afternoon Cal and I went to see a production of The Birds at American Stage downtown with our friends Ali and Molly.

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These kids of ours are so great.

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The play is kind of a typical post-apocalyptic tale, psychological and depressing.

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We all agreed that it was morose and disturbing and that we enjoyed it.

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Sunday dinner was some excellent grouper from Sam’s Club that Chad grilled. He also grilled some eggplant for me (so delicious), and prepared the asparagus on the grill.

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On Monday morning Chewie and I walked Mack to school. First day for Mack wearing long pants to school and first day for me wearing long pants on the morning walk (but no jacket for me).

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My breakfast Monday morning was awesome.

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That’s leftover grilled eggplant, hard boiled eggs, tomatoes, and leftover deviled egg filling (mostly avocado and egg yolk), all sprinkled with Frank’s Red Hot Original.

After breakfast yesterday (Monday), I went back to Mack’s school to volunteer. OOTVD (outfit of the volunteering day):

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I made that t-shirt in college when I used to work at a screen-printing shop, so it is about 25 years old. I wore my candy corn earrings and the Halloween bracelet given to me by my friend Cindy many years ago.

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I guess I am “that mom”, but the kids do like when I dress this way.

Mrs. C had a list for me yesterday.

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I graded spelling pre-tests…

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and put together homework packets. Then I took down the old vocabulary words and put up the new ones.

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Then I hung out with Mack while he had his lunch in the classroom.

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I have an idea for a healthy snack to take to Mack’s class Halloween party on Thursday, so after volunteering at school I went by Party City and Publix to get the things I need. More about that on Thursday.

Last night’s dinner was the Whole Foods hot bar lemon herb chicken for me and some hamburgers from the freezer for the boys.

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The hamburgers were leftover from one of our cookouts last summer. The boys had white potatoes and I had sweet potatoes.

Random photos…

The first holiday sale flyer from Target arrived.

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I don’t love our green shades in the den (they are the same color as the walls), but I do like the leaf shadows that appear on them in the mornings.

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It looks like art to me. Please ignore the messy coffee table and sofa.

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This morning I had an appointment with a new doctor!

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So far, so good. I liked him. He didn’t condescend to me. He seemed open to my opinions. I’m having blood drawn tomorrow and going back to see him again next week. Fingers crossed that it will be a good relationship. My friend, The Fat Slow Triathlete, recommended this doctor to me. Thanks John!

Okay, caught up. Cya.