PASSPORT–Yelp’s the Mac Daddy event

November 6, 2013 at 11:33 am

It’s obvious that I love Yelp. I am part of the Yelp Tampa Bay Elite squad, which is pretty much just as fabulous as it sounds. Every month we are invited to special events hosted by local businesses where we are wined and dined and generally given the royal treatment. If you have a Yelp account and write lots of reviews, you could be a Yelp Elite as well (ask me and I’ll nominate you!). But even if you do not want to take the time to become a Yelp Elite, you can still see what all the fuss is about by attending monthly Community Manager Yelp Events, or special events such as Yelp’s Passport to Downtown St. Pete!

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For weeks Yelp Tampa Bay has been posting on their Facebook page about this event. It was open to RSVP’s by anyone with a Yelp account, Elite or not. The Yelp Tampa Bay geographical area is very large, so I get excited whenever there is an event close to home in St. Pete. And now there were going to be eight of them in a row! I wanted to go to all of them and RSVP’d for all of them as soon as I could.

Well, the first event was Monday night at Bella Brava, and I got waitlisted. They only had room for 30 Yelpers, and I didn’t make the cut. Sadness. I need to write more reviews! Yelp uses an algorithm to determine who gets in via the RSVP system. Those with the most recent reviews and photos get priority. Also, if you ever RSVP to an event and get a confirmation but then don’t show up, you get dinged for future events and may not get in. I’ve never not shown up! But I have been slipping on writing reviews. It’s a good reminder to me because I always want to get in if I RSVP.

So I will be attending seven of the eight events that are part of this Yelp PASSPORT extravaganza, and last night was my first at MacDinton’s at Jannus Landing in downtown St. Pete.

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From glancing at the Yelp reviews of MacDinton’s, I was expecting it to be crowded and full of 20-somethings. I brought along my own 20-something (my friend Kate of Craving Change) to help me blend in.

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We checked in at the Yelp table…

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and I got my Yelp PASSPORT with it’s first stamp from MacDinton’s.

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I’m kind of bummed that it will only get seven stamps instead of eight. Oh well. You can’t always do everything.

Apparently 20-somethings don’t flock downtown on a random Tuesday night because it was not crowded at all and the people who were there seemed to be of all ages.

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We passed the live music stage…

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and headed to the area that was designated for us Yelpers…tables laden with food.

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Kate and I are both NSNG’rs (no sugar, no grains), so we strategically scavenged the food tables for things we thought would not have sugar or grains.

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We both ate the sliders without the buns, dug the corn beef and cabbage out of the egg roll, and piled our plates with the greens and goat cheese. I’m pretty sure we were eating the garnish, but we were fine with that. Everything was delicious!

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Yelpers were given options of MillerCoors beers or some wine, but I ordered a NorCal margarita on my own dime (tequila, club soda, lime).

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Delicious.

Kate and I had fun chatting and collecting Yelp swag (always in abundance at Yelp events). I met some new-to-me fellow Yelpers and watched Brett, the Yelp Tampa Bay Community Manager, show off his ping pong skills.

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As always at Yelp events, we had a great time. Thanks MacDinton’s for a fun evening! See you tonight at the next PASSPORT event Brett!

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Cya.

Healthy treats that kids hate and Trick or Treating

November 1, 2013 at 4:34 pm

Yesterday I went to Mack’s school for his class’ Halloween Party. Mack was dressed as a dog because he did a book report on a book about a dog earlier in the day, so I dressed like a cat so we’d have a theme.

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Halloween is one of the two times a year that they are allowed to have sweets for parties at school (I think the other one is Valentine’s Day). I figured that most of the other donated snacks would be sugary or chip/cracker types of things so I was determined to make something healthy.

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I thought of the idea of making individual hummus/veggie cups and tricking them out in a spooky way.

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Actually the whole idea came from trying to figure out something to do with spooky fingers. They just seem snacky to me. I kept the veggies long and fingery.

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I thought about using peanut butter or almond butter instead of hummus, but there is a nut allergy in their class, so that was out.

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Finally I creepified each cup with two spooky fingers, two spooky spiders, and one spooky eyeball.

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Probably 90% of that went into the garbage at school. Some said, “I don’t want one,” and others just sort of sniffed at the hummus and looked at it as if it were ectoplasmic slime. Some nibbled on the un-dipped ends of the veggies. One kid (other than mine) actually tried hummus for the first time and liked it. Win! Most didn’t even try it or eat any of the veggies. Fail!  It’s a little disheartening that I went to the trouble and most of it went into the garbage, but I don’t regret making them. At least somebody gave them a vegetable for once in their life.

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And Mack liked it, so that’s the most important thing. He appreciated not only a snack that he likes but the fact that I cared enough to make something healthy. The kids did seem to like the toys (after wiping the hummus off the eyeball).

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Later we had a bunch of friends over for pizza before heading out to trick or treat.

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Some neighborhood kids joined us also and we all set out in search of candy.

No flash:

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Flash:

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Our own house was hit up first…

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then on to the neighbors.

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It was weird but fun to be trick or treating in a different neighborhood after eleven years of TOT’ing in our old neighborhood.

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There was a busy street involved this year.

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Lots of gorgeous houses to check out on our walk.

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I was quite amused by my shadow.

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My favorite house from last night:

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It was swelteringly hot last night, as it always is here on Halloween. All of the kids were soaked with sweat and thirsty pretty early, so we headed back home. Don’t worry…they all got plenty of candy.

Chad stayed at home and handed out candy, but we got less than a dozen trick-or-treaters at our house (not counting our own entourage).

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Halloween’s over. Time to take down the decorations.

This morning Chewie and I walked Mack to school.

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Mack was super tired this morning. I think he had a sugar hangover.

I spent the day at home mostly doing laundry and removing some of the Halloween decorations. I also prepped dinner. I’m making Chicken Nanking from Melissa Joulwan’s Well Fed 2 cookbook.

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I also need to do something with this assortment of seeds:

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Left to right is delicata squash seeds, spaghetti squash seeds, and then pumpkin seeds.

Now I need to go cook dinner and get ready to go out. My friend Ali and I are going to the Brocante Market preview tonight. The monthly market opens in the morning at 9…see you there! Or just…

Cya.