Food Blog · Weekend Workings

Weekend Workings: Birthday Shenanigans

Today, February 4th, is my favorite person’s birthday! I’m so happy that I get to spend today with him, since the last two he’s been deployed, so my Birthday Celebrations have been limited to what I could fit into a flat rate box. I love celebrating other people’s birthdays, so I was happy that I could have the chance to celebrate him.

Mandatory picture of birthday boy with cat, with their best “Nothing to see here” faces on

Before the birthday shenanigans though, we had his Command Party this past week.  It was another valid excuse to get dolled up with my best date, and go to a fancy hotel, have fancy food, and dance with friends. I didn’t get many pictures of us, but we cleaned up pretty nice! There was a professional photographer there, so I’m hoping we’ll get some good pictures of the two of us together!


Friday was a normal day (other than the slight old lady tiredness I felt after being out past my bedtime and maybe a little too much of the adult beverages) and Austin had duty, so I made sure to get a head start on our “chores” like laundry, dishes, cleaning and such.  Saturday we did our Costco run and grocery shopping for the week, which was sadly light due to the fact that it will be just me in the house for a while due to that whole Navy-owns-my-boyfriend bit.  We swung by to see my dad at his office and give him my nephew’s birthday present, and Austin made friends with the boss’ dog, Dandy.

This morning we woke up, and all of the noble “I’ll cook him a birthday breakfast!” intentions that I had kind of… disappeared.  So after giving him the physical component of his birthday present first thing, I decide we were going out to breakfast. Metro Diner is a staple in our weekend breakfast habits, and their specials are always really, really fantastic.  In the birthday celebration spirit, I decided the strawberry cheesecake stuff waffles were what needed to be had, and I wasn’t disappointed. I also was overwhelmed and couldn’t finish them!

We’re antique and thrift store nerds, but we don’t usually take the time to go to many places lately. So I decided a birthday was a good day to drive out to Eco Relics in north Jacksonville and check them out. We’re keeping half of an eyeball out for a desk or table for me to have as my work space, since Austin’s gaming has taken over the desk that I brought into the apartment.  Which is fine! Just… you know, eventually we need the dining table for things like eating, and my back can only take so much sitting on the couch. We also decided to wander Cummer Art Museum and Gardens, but were mostly just sad at how damaged the gardens still are from Hurricane Irma. We’ll have to go back after they’ve been able to reconstruct them some more!  Obviously I was too busy wandering to take any pictures of these parts of the adventures.

After changing at home, we were off to the second part of Austin’s birthday gift from me: Dinner at Fogo de Chao, a Brazilian Steakhouse that just opened up in Jacksonville.

Oh man.

Oh, oh man.

It’s so good.  Since this was our first time, and birthdays are special, we got the Full Churasco Experience, which is $48.95 a person. Steep, but then you have to factor in you get unlimited access to the sides bars, which are a cold and hot collection of salads, fruits, vegetables, meats, cheese, beans, rice, soup of the day, a full wheel of parmesan, etc., etc.  It’s incredible just for that. Then the servers come around and you can have unlimited meat selections! So long as the little circle on your table that indicates whether you want more or not is green, they keep bringing you more.  They also bring table sides of garlic butter mashed potatoes, caramelized bananas (ohsogood), and fried polenta with parmesan.

Of course I took pictures of my food, who you do you think I am?

I didn’t get any pictures of the meats, but my favorites were the lamb chops, leg of lamb, and the bacon wrapped filet.  We also tried the garlic steak, bacon wrapped chicken, sirloin and rib eye.

When we couldn’t fit anything else in, the server asked what we would like for dessert, complimentary since I had indicated it was Austin’s birthday on our reservation.  So of course the chocolate mousse cake had to be had. They even decorated it for him!

Then we rolled ourselves home, and Austin is sitting in a corner groaning about How Much Good Food that was, how He’s Going To Die, But At Least He Died Happy.

I’d say that means we can call this birthday weekend a success!

Have you ever been to a Brazilian steakhouse? Did you like it? Do you have a favorite birthday tradition?

Activity · Weekend Workings

Weekend Workings: The Fancy Dinner Kind

This weekend was one of those weekends that fell where Austin had duty one day, so I ended up being woken up at 5 AM when he rolled out of bed to go to work on Saturday.  I fell back asleep, but the cats had heard the siren call of Morning Feeding and didn’t let that last too long.  It was a good thing, though, because I got up and made it to my first ReFit class in a long time!

Tracy was teaching alone, which was part of why I decided that I would stay awake after feeding the cats, and make it to the 8:30 class. That and I just miss the class! My butt muscles are still super sore, and I’m planning on going to the class tomorrow, so we’ll see how I feel on Wednesday…

If you don’t take a sweatie selfie with the instructor after a workout, did you even actually go to the workout?

I ended up bonking after coming home and taking a shower, and napping with the cats. I think it’s time to get my bloodwork drawn to check my thyroid levels, because I’m running out of steam a lot faster that I used to. It’s check up time anyways, so might as well!  I eventually got up again, visited my grandma, and hung out doing laundry.  Because I napped, the universe decided to laugh at me and make it so that I couldn’t fall back asleep, and ended up being up until close to 2 AM Saturday night. Sigh.

Austin came home from work on Sunday morning, and we ventured out to go find breakfast at one of our favorite places, Metro Diner.  The line is always crazy on the weekends, but we usually sneak in and sit at the first-come-first-serve bar stools and watch the line cooks prep food.  It’s like breakfast and a show! We didn’t luck out on bar stools this time, but ended up getting seated pretty quickly anyway.

This is food photography at it’s finest, people. Nothing but the best.

Austin had the Fried Chicken Benedict Special, which was poached eggs on fried chicken tenders on half a belgian waffle with hollendaise sauce. It was seriously delicious, and the pile of hashbrowns weren’t bad either. My standard is the Bissell Breakfast with eggs, bacon, a biscuit, two pancakes and cheese grits. Despite my best intentions, I have never managed to finish one of these meals, so Austin helped by eating some of my pancakes.

Sunday night was a fancy dinner occasion with the volunteer banquet for my park. I used this as an excuse to put on a nice dress, which made my boyfriend feel that he should up the ante and put on his nice suit. We clean up pretty nice, yeah?

The dress I’m wearing is one of the ones that has been sitting in the back of my closet, waiting for me to get back down to a size when I could fit in it respectably. I tried it on last night on a whim, and it fit like a dream! I was exceedingly happy and felt like a million bucks in it.  I also played with using hot rollers to set my hair, and I’m hoping I can wrangle it into even better shape for the party we’re going to on Thursday for Austin’s ship.

Tonight I made a roast in the crock pot, with veggies and reduced the drippings into gravy… and forgot to take a picture. I plan on turning the leftovers into a beef stew of sorts tomorrow for dinner, because yum.

How was your weekend? Did you do anything exciting? Do you have an item of clothing that is hiding in the back of your closet waiting for its moment to shine?

Activity · Rambles · Weekend Workings

Weekend Workings

This past weekend wasn’t a particularly exciting one, but a busy one all the same.  On Friday, after work Austin and I ventured out for sushi, which was exceedingly tasty and indulgent. I didn’t make my step goal on Friday, but considering I had made it the previous four days, I wasn’t about to beat myself up for it.


Saturday I was determined to make up the difference between Friday and my step goal, on top of that day’s goal.  Austin and I made it a point to go to the gym on both Saturday and Sunday, so I had a pretty good base of steps going from the morning session on Saturday.  After going through Costco and Publix for grocery shopping, it was a small walk to the post office boxes and then I had hit 10,000 steps.

Sunday was a day of visiting friends, my grandma, and doing laundry and prepping food for the week. None of that really led to much as far as steps… so it was time for the second gym session of the weekend.

I love podcasts, and have a list that I use as my commute every day, so many that some weeks I just don’t have enough time in the car to listen to them all.  I didn’t want to add another one to the cycle, or to take away from my weekly supply… but the Atlanta Monster  podcast was calling my name. True crime? Podcast? Research? Oh man. I was doomed. So I told myself that I would subscribe, and only listen to it when I’m walking on the treadmill or for my step goal. It worked! The first episode was long enough to throw me over my goal for Sunday.

Today was a cold one, and a busy holiday at work. I was able to wander and keep busy talking to visitors and helping out colleagues, so my step goal was all but made by the time I got home.  I decided to go for a stretch goal and listen to some of Episode Two of Atlanta Monster and get some extra steps in. Real life, my face was COLD.                                                                              

Tonight Austin is on duty, so it’s me and the cats. I had chips and salsa, and a small bowl of ice cream for dinner… the bachelorette life is a glamorous one, guys!

Do you listen to any podcasts? Have any recommendations for ones to listen to while working out? Any favorite activities? 

I’m building myself back up by walking, but I want to get back to going to ReFit soon.  My butt needs to dance and the cardio is cathartic. Tomorrow night I have an appointment to get my hair done thanks to a gift certificate gift from my dad, so I’m excited!

Now I’m tempted to buy this mug…








oday, so it’s me and the cats