Saturday, May 16, 2015

For the Foodies

Hedary's Mediterranean Restaurant
We went to this wonderful restaurant a few weeks back on the recommendation of a coworker. It's an eclectic little family owned restaurant that is located in a converted house. I could tell it was a house because the ladies restroom had a bathtub in it. It felt cozy and the staff was so nice and welcoming, we were off to an excellent experience before the food ever arrived. We started with the Hummus and fresh Naan and we could have made a meal off of just that. It was incredible. So smooth and delicious with a twist we had never tried. I'm pretty sure they added some sort of pickled juice to the hummus. It made it beyond incredible.

For entree's, Duane had Grilled Kibbi and I had Chicken Kabob's. The Kibbi was like a super flavorful meatball/burger served with rice. The Kabob's were pretty traditional with veggies and chicken but it was cooked to perfection and seasoned perfectly. We left stuffed and happy, but now we have to go back because we didn't have space to fit in any Baklava. It was amazing and I would recommend it to anyone and everyone :)

Twisted Root

If you like a really excellent hamburger (with some interesting meat choices) and a fun atmosphere, I would definitely recommend Twisted Root. Their specialty is having different game meats as options for the burgers. The day we went, they had the option of buffalo or duck meat as a special choice, along with the traditional beef and turkey choices. I had a good ol' fashioned beef hamburger topped with the chipotle sauce, goat cheese, and bacon. It was divine. The messiest, most delicious burger I have had in a very long time. Duane was adventurous and got buffalo meat topped with onion rings, jalapeƱos, bacon and cheese. The buffalo meat was really good, kinda smoky flavored and leaner than the beef. I thoroughly enjoyed the burger and the sweet potato chips that came along with it.

To top it off, they brew their own root beer including special flavors. The flavor of the day was cream cheese root beer and it was delicious. I love root beer, especially the local brew variety. They also make their own pickles in various flavors like ranch, kool-aid, and the tradition and bread and butter chips. It was a super fun restaurant with great quality food and a fun vibe, including the fact that when we got our food, we also go a celebrity name to go by, we were Sean Connery.

Duane and I have had a lot of fun trying out new restaurants and asking locals what they prefer. It's such a fun way to get the feel for a city.

What are your favorite local eats?
-Cas

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Boulder Bands - A review

I have a tendency to constantly change my hair. Short then long, then chop it off again, dye it, grow it out, perm it, I've tried a lot of things. Whether my hair is short or long, I am usually on the look out for a good headband. One that doesn't hold moisture, can manage my thick, full hair, and that doesn't slide off my super slick head. I had heard about Boulder Bands and they have some pretty great reviews and testomonials on their website but I didn't want to put that much cash (about $14) into a headband for working out when I already had some that did a marginally ok job. Lo and behold, I got an email from Boulder Bands one day, a try it before you buy it deal. They sent me a free band, all I had to do was pay the shipping. I said why not right?

First off, the fit is excellent. It's nice and snug on my head, but not too tight where it would give me a headache. From the moment I first put it on, it felt very secure and didn't seem like it was going anywhere. The fabric is really smooth and also good for wicking moisture. So I tried it out a few different ways.

My first outing was a 2+ hour, about 4.5 miles, hike in Tennessee at Percy Warner Park. (Which by-the-way, was awesome). The Boulder Band performed admirably. I did have to adjust it one time when it had slid back, but in two plus hours that isn't bad performance at all in my book. Since then I have used it multiple times for jogging and have had great success! It stays in place without any issues. I would definitely recommend them if you are looking for a good headband for workout use.

I had planned on taking pictures with my band on...but it kept me delaying the blog so I decided to go ahead and post it. Also, I usually look far from "cute" before, during and after workouts. Love you guys, thanks for hanging with me.
-Cas

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Plano, TX

As always, I am a little bit behind on my blogging because we have been in Plano, TX for over 2 weeks now!?! It's crazy how fast time goes by. Some upcoming stuff to look forward to are restaurant reviews, my first time at an Indian Christian Church service, and a few non-Plano things like my review for Boulder Bands, "It Works" review, and another book review (the books being one of the reasons I'm so far behind with blogging, I've been sucked in).

It's a little nerve-racking having no control over where you are going to live and moving in site unseen. Duane and I were both pleasantly suprised at our accomadations. Our one bedroom is about the size of our first rental home as a married couple back when we lived in Statesboro, GA (for those of you who knew us back then). It feels pretty spacious even with the 3 of us stretched out. Meah is a happy pup to get to sit on our teeny-tiny veranda/porch.
Usually she isn't this awkward, I just couldn't help myself!
She's about the only thing that fits but it seems to suit her just fine. She's also happy to have made so many new doggy friends at the dog park which is right across the street! We couldn't have asked for much better placement than that. We also have a gym so Duane and I have enjoy that perk and feel a little less guilty about indugling when we try new restaurants.

The location is really great. Everything we could ever imagine in the way of stores/food is either 5minutes walking or 5minutes of driving from where we are. There's so many choices, it's hard to know what to try when. I am still enamored by the Super Target and all of the goodness it contains, it's just so big! It is really great to just be able to walk out the door and take a very pleasant stroll to Chipotle, Coldstone Creamery, or any number of other restaurants or shops that we've never heard of. Duane and I are overwhelmed with our choices of places that we can eat out and trying to find delicious choices that cater to our taste buds.

Not everything is peachy. We have the typical apartment issues, with it being smaller than what we are used to and having a dog that is playing hard with other dogs multiple times a week, the canine smells are a little overwhelming (gross). I'm constantly spraying febreeze, lighting candles and sprinkling baking soda to deal with it. Meah even got a shower the other day! Also, there is the noise of having neighbors that share walls and floor/ceilings and the fact that we live right over the parking garage and all of its noises. Just a little hiccup though, nothing that we can't handle.

-Cas

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Road Trippin' it

So this time last week we were still reeling, trying to recover from our trek across Tennessee and Arkansas to come along to Texas. All in all, we spent about 11 hours getting to Plano with the stops and fuel-ups and stretch/potty breaks. Duane and I were up at 4am to load up the last bits of the car and head out. The night before, there were still items to weed out because there was no more room in the cars (said buh-bye to the vacuum). We happened to live close to a 24hr Dunkin Donuts so we got our coffee and donuts around 4:45, Meah got her benadryl and we hit the road.

Meah's ready to go!
The thing I was most worried about was how Meah would do in the car for such a long time, and I was so pleasantly surprised. Of course I'm sure the benadryl helped, although it didn't make her sleep like I was hoping, it helped her to stay calm. After about an hour of being restless and occasionally whining, she settled down and enjoyed the scenery (it helped that the sun was coming up by then). Somehow we made it with two gas stops and a lunch break and that was it! I was impressed by the patience of Duane, Myself and Meah to make it through the long hours in the car.


As much as I wanted to take it slow and have more stops along the way, the office at our apartment complex had decided to close early because of Good Friday. I cannot blame them, but we didn't find out until we were crossing into Arkansas.

It was good that we left extra early, because we rolled into our complex at 4pm and they were about to lock the doors (we had called ahead to let them know we were coming). It was awesome that when we did arrive after our long day, the furniture, linens, dishes etc were already set up for us. We just brought up our basics and Duane's percussion equipment.

And who knew that there was a pyramid in Memphis?
-Cas

Monday, April 6, 2015

Birthday Dinner

I had the most wonderful birthday dinner this year and it was made special by the amazing people I was able to spend it with. In fact, even if it had not been my birthday, or anyone's birthday for that matter, it still would have been fabulous. It just happened that my cousins were coming within a 45 minute drive of where we live and we took the opportunity to drive to meet them for dinner the night before they were going on a college tour. The reason this is so big is that it has become very hard to get to see them throughout the year. It had definitely been a year or two since we had seen them and gotten to chat and catch up. It was such an incredible blessing to see them.

Augusta Visit

So we have successfully arrived in Texas and things are progressing along without many problems, but I plan to make good on my promised blogs so here goes nothing. Stop #1 -Greenwood, SC and Augusta, GA.

Way back in mid-March, Duane and I made the trek across Tennessee and had a little mini-vacay visiting friends, family and our birthdays. We started our journey in Greenwood, SC where we visited some precious friends and Duane was part of the worship team for the D-Now at South Main Baptist Church in Greenwood. One of our really good, long-time friends, (all the way back from middle school) Brandon Henson, is the youth pastor at South Main. He's always inviting Duane to play whenever the opportunity comes around and we always try to take him up on it even if we have to drive 6hrs.  This means I get to visit with his lovely wife Tabor, play with their adorable little boy Asher, and visit with the other band members, Tory and Carrel. This was the most relaxed year yet as far as scheduling went so there was a lot more down time to actually catch up with our friends. It's always great to see them and to be able to participate in worship with the high school kids in the area.

From Greenwood, we left and went to Augusta to visit our families. We stayed at the Borba house (Duane's family) and I totally schooled them in a game of Phase 10. Mom #2 (aka Jackie) was kind enough to make us some crab legs, knowing it is one of my favorite things that she cooks. Duane also did a little cooking for his parents as well. Basically, our life revolved around meal time with family throughout the week. We did venture out of the house when we went to test out Duane's rifle at the outdoor shooting range with Walter and Anie. 

We did a lot of eating out with other family members as well including, my Mom and Dad and Diane. We also set aside time to talk and visit with my Nana and Papa and see Jenn, Tim, Mary E and Christopher and aunt Keeley and Jesse. It was one of the most relaxed visits I've had in a long time because we had a little more time to try and get all the visits in. I was so glad to be able to see so many family members and friends. It was an awesome trip before taking off on our new adventure. I love my family.
-Cas

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Crazy Times and Upcoming Posts

So sorry I've been MIA, life is getting a little hectic because we are leaving for Texas tomorrow!! AHH. Between packing, address changes, selling furniture, multiple goodwill trips and trying to visit with friends before we head out, we have been packed to the max. So that's my excuse from being absent from the blog-o-sphere. But I have lots of fun posts coming up.

-Augusta Visit
-Birthday Dinner
-Bolder Bands - A review
-The MOVE
-"It Works" - A review

and then of course there will be plenty more to come once we are in Texas and settled. All the amazing foods and places to go and see, a new job and new opportunities for Duane. All is coming soon. Thanks for hanging in there during our transition.

-Cas