Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Absense and my goal of Reading in 3's.....

Let me first start by stating that I have been noticeable absent from the blog for a little over 5 months now. Please excuse the interruption, let me explain- Life Happened.. and simply put I was too busy "doing life" to sit down and blog! But the good news is I'm back, and refreshed and ready to write.

So what have I been up to...
work, travel, volunteer, decorating our home, and working to better myself & the world around me..
More on all of the above in future posts..

On the eve of my 33rd birthday I made a personal commitment to better my mind and body. Two of my biggest goals were cutting Diet Coke out of my life and reading more.

I just simply stopped drinking them. Yes I had headaches, and yearnings for the soda but I held strong. I have to say that I had a sip of a friends the other day, and didn't miss it a bit, I actually thought it tasted off.

As far as the reading, I have been averaging a book every two weeksish.. But early on I found that I was getting stuck on an author or genre, thus I implemented a rule of reading in 3's. What does this mean? Simple.
1. A Better Me book- Mostly these are leadership books, but they have also been health books, travel books, etc. Some of my favorites include
The Gifts of Imperfection, By Brene Brown
2. Books that relate to something I am working on. This could be work, or volunteer. With October being Domestic Violence Awareness month nationwide... I have focused on books pertaining to the subject. I was blessed to be able to participate in a virtual book club, and webinar with the author of Crazy Love. thanks to being a member of Xi Omega Xi FSU Alpha Chi Omega Virtual Alumnae Chapter. I also read Crash Into Me -written by victim, Liz Seccuro's world turned upside down when she received an apology letter from the man who had raped her twenty-two years earlier. The rape, occurred when she was  at the University of Virginia. Both are great reads and offer readers a glimpse into what a victim faces.

Both of these DVA books were  great & I would love to send them to a reader to enjoy! Only catch is once you are done, you will pass onto someone else to enjoy. If you are interested in either of these books- just message me your address on the SimplySouthernGirlFacbeook page and I will pop them in the mail.

Next up, I try to read a book that is "just for fun" something I can escape into, something that truly is just fluff.

This month I reread Gone Girl, and two Shopaholic books...

So what is next on my list? I am open to suggestions... 






Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Local restaurant - Nefetari's

Nefetari's Restaurant was the location for my friends Birthday dinner. Her husband called ahead and reserved the Queens table (more on that below). Per Nefetari's website:
 "Nefetari’s Fine Cuisine & Spirits is the fulfillment of a lifelong dream to provide Tallahassee with an extraordinary dining and entertainment experience. We are committed to improving the health of our guests and the planet by serving fresh, organic, farm-to-table culinary creations. Our international dishes, stellar service and live entertainment ensure that every guest receives a royal experience, every visit.Just as Queen Nefetari and King Ramesses enjoyed many royal experiences during their reign, it is our desire to ensure that you always have a royal experience at Nefetari’s Fine Cuisine & Spirits."

When you enter the website, it has unique and interesting decor.... They were quick to take our coat, confirm our reservation and show us to our table. 
As I mentioned above, the Queens table had been reserved for us. It is complete with two thrones at each in. Both are intricate in detail, and the table is set for a feast. Also at the table were welcoming drinks, candles, flowers, etc. It was truly an experience.

We started out with appetizers. Seen below are Samosas - Two Indian pastries filled with potatoes and peas, served with chutneys.We also had Chef Steven’s zesty Mediterranean hummus served with crisp, organic vegan tortilla chips or naan chips. which was also delightful.
For dinner we had
Athena's Nachos - Our specialty nachos made with seasoned ground lamb or jerk chicken, tomatoes, scallions, crumbled feta cheese, Kalamata olives, Greek yogurt and our secret blend of spices, served on naan chips.
The Ethiopian Stew  was a favorite with 3 at our table ordering. (1 with Lamb, 1 with tofu and  another with Chicken) Traditional stew with finely chopped vegetables and organic lentils, seasoned with berbere spice, served on injera with your choice of two sides. This dish was also an experience, as they provided wet cloths to cleanse your hands prior to eating.
  
After dinner we had an amazing lemon coconut cake created by the pastry chef.
The cake was a hit at the table.Being that I am not a big fan of coconut, I opt'd for the vanilla ice cream. It was the perfect way to end the amazing dinner.

Not pictured C tried their homemade cheesecake, and it was truly amazing
And the best part the chef and owner came out to introduce herself, and wish JSBH a Happy bday!

Friday, January 31, 2014

Local restaurant - Mayuri

My good friend Amy Z opt'd to go to Mayuri Indian Restaurant for her Birthday. 
I must admit I was a bid skeptical at first, but let me say it is important not to judge a book by its cover. 
The restaurant itself is very quaint, and no frills in its appearance, but the service and food were amazing
The staff was also very attentive, and did not seem put off by the zillions of questions from the rookies at our table. In fact they offered suggestions, and brought out a few things for us to try.

    
As a table we tried a variety of things from various naan breads to imported beers
 Spicy dishes, to non spicy dishes. The table of 8 was all very happy with their choices.
The dishes were well seasoned, and came out in a timely manner.
I would 100% go back to this restaurant.
               






Simply Southern Girl Tallahassee restaurants

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Yorkshire Pie..

I've blogged about this before, but am re-posting, as several friends have asked for the recipe in recent days.. Truly it is a very simple recipe and one that always receives rave reviews for both presentation, and taste.

 
Ingredients
1 pound hamburger 
Half to three quarter of cup of cooked vegetables 
1cup gravy (I made my own, but you can use store bought) 
1 Tablespoon of worcheshire sauce
1 Tablespoon of butter
1 cup milk
1 cup flour
2 eggs
Pepper &/ or seasoning of your choice
Preheat over to 425, brown meat and onions. Drain, add veggies, quarter cup of gravy and Worcestershire sauce.
Put butter in 10 in quiche or pie pan and put into over for butter to melt and cover pan 
In bowl mix- eggs, milk, flour and seasonings. Beat until smooth. Take pan out of oven and pour mixture into pan. Ensuring it is well covered. Then spoon meat mixture over keeping it about a half in to inch from the side. 
Place back in over to bake for 30 min. Serve with remaining gravy if gravy is your thing....
      

Monday, January 6, 2014

Italy dreaming....

No matter what form of social media I log onto I see Seminole friends/sisters traveling to Pasadena for the big game tonight. I must admit at first thought, I am a bit envious, and for a split second , I second guess our decision.

Why are the mister and I not traveling to the big game? Well becuase, we made a commitment to put family first in 2014, and for us this means choosing to attend a family wedding in Italy...

One day we will win the lottery & be able to travel as much as we'd like, but until then we will make choices. Choices that will be made together, and made based on our shared set up principals, goals, dreams and commitments..
photo from here
And in all honestly, after that split second of envy, I am refocused. Focused on what lies ahead.  I look forward to the adventure.. a new country, a new sister-in-law, time with family, and maybe even time to catch up with a friend who is currently living in Naples. I look forward to the planning, the research, and constant weighing of options as we work to plan our trip.

I look forward to visiting a new country, and destinations that will expand my knowledge of different cultures & ways of life. 
I look forward to a vacation that will allow up to fill our hearts with love, celebrating family and future.
I look forward to visiting the Vatican, the Sistine Chapel, and maybe if we are lucky catching the Pope.
I look forward to a vacation that will leave us rested, and ready to return to work for the holiday season.
I look forward to Chianti, fresh fruit, Italian food, and for the Mister Gelato (not my favorite)

Have you visited Italy?
Do you have any suggestions on things we have to be sure to see/do?
As of now we are looking into Rome, Pisa, Almafi Coast, Naples, and Pompeii

We know we will have to make it back to visit Cirque de Terre, Venice, and Florence..

Friday, January 3, 2014

FSU football fan.... a look back at 1999 vs 2013

2013 was an exceptional year for Florida State Athletics.

Monday, the Football will play for the  National Championship, the first time since 1999.
& since everyone is comparing the two seasons, I began thinking while the Football seasons are so similar, life in 1999 seems like worlds away...

1999......



1999 was my freshman year of college, and truly an amazing one to be a 'Nole!
I lived in Broward Hall.  I was a new member in Alpha Chi Omega.
In '99, tickets were included in our tuition, we picked up the seasons tickets at the beginning of the year, and we turned in tickets a week ahead of time, for fraternities to camp out for the best "block."
I attended fraternity tailgates prior to the game, sat in the student section in the "block"
I was a Lady Spirithunter, and worked to "paint faces" of fans prior to the game.
We celebrated wins, with trips to Tennessee strip, and the Sweetshop.
My weekdays were consumed with class, evenings with socials, pomping parties, & mystagouge reveals.
My non-football weekends, were filled with new member retreat, initiation, & trips home.. 

The Seminoles went wire to wire.. and went to the national championship held in my home state of Louisiana at the Sugar Bowl. I traveled with sorority sisters to the game, we crammed 8 people in a hotel room , spent nights on Burbon street, days on Magazine/Jackson Square, and celebrated a 46-29 win over Virginia Tech, and headed back to attend spring classes






 Fast forward to 2013.... the Noles did it again! They went wire to wire, and are headed to the BCS Championship in Pasadena..


Chris and I opt'd not to purchase season tickets this year as we would be unable to attend all games.
We spent much of our PTO in the spring with our wedding and honeymoon..
Come fall, we spent our weekdays, and some weekends at work... we did make it to two home games!
I spent some days/evenings at the Alpha Chi house, but this time as an advisor, attending chapter, standards, or executive board meetings.
Ee spent free time wedding planning, making improvements on the house, or attending baby/wedding showers of friends and family....
We traveled to Clemson, and make a vacation out of it, staying in Cashiers for some R&R.
I was able to attend the spear lighting ceremony, which close friends Aggie and Don were asked to light the spear prior to the FSU vs UF game.. 

Yes life has changed since 1999, but I am still cheering on my Noles!!
This year, I will be cheering the Noles on from Tallahassee, as the Mister and I are saving to attend his brothers wedding later this year in Italy (any suggestions for Naples, Almafi coast, Rome, etc welcome) ..

I am proud to have attended and graduated from The Florida State University. And win or loose I will continue to support my Noles.

Looking for inspiration for what to serve during the game watching party be sure to check out my Pinterest, and my favorite appetizers!

2013 Reflections

2013 was a big year!!! I have so much to be thankful for.

If you received our Christmas card, you received our annual newsletter!

Overall, 2013 was a memorable year. Chris and I celebrated our first full year in our home, and worked to make improvements and updates to make the house, our home. We spend a lot of time planning, our wonderful March wedding, and feel blessed to have celebrated surrounded by so many friends and close family! We were intentional with our travels.. .and traveled both domestically and abroad.

We celebrated new jobs, & promotions, celebrated weddings of close friends, and deaths of loved ones. We attempted to train our puppy Georgia. I tried new recipes, planned parties and hosted giveaways.

We look forward to all that 2013 holds, but also want to take the time to reflect upon an TRULY AMAZING 2013!!!!! 

It was our first full year in our  new home!

It was the year I became a Mrs. 

 
It was a year of travel!
We traveled both domestically & internationally

I became a Godparent...
I celebrated FSU football wins!
Traveled to the Clemson game, 
and celebrated the first Undefeated season since my freshman year of college.
1999 & 2013 - both great seasons!