Category: Just My Life

On Doing

I’m lifting this doing meme from How Sweet It Is as a quick catch up session. I feel like I’ve just been dropping by and chunking up a food post and disappearing for a while. I don’t want to be like that to my little blog. Wishing: That it would warm up so I can get Radar shaved. Her fur is out of control shedding right now and it’s everywhere. EVERYWHERE. Reading: Bad Feminist Essays by Roxane Gay Deciding: To focus my time and energy on activities that are worthwhile and fulfilling to me and for a bigger purpose. Not everything that is done is fulfilling a need, sometimes its just fluff to pad one’s resume or emotions. Seeing: My kitchen coming together bit by bit. Things have slowed down since my last post as we await the finishing touches, like the granite windowsill that was just recently installed, some drywall finishing, a pendant light, and shelves – the last two of which are being custom made for me by local folks. Tasting: Reese’s loaded peanut butter cup cookies because Patrick bought this enormous two pack of Reese Cups from an after Valentine’s Day sale. Each cup is bigger than my palm and about an inch thick! So I chopped them up and put them in cookies to bring to work. To catch some of my less Instagram worthy...

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What You’ll Eat During A Kitchen Renovation

Like most people in these times, I turn to Google with questions. Medical ones, common sense but I forgot the answer ones, and ones I shouldn’t call people about at that time of day questions. So it only made sense that I asked Google what to eat during a kitchen renovation. What I found is that Google is an optimist. It didn’t tell me “LOL takeout, canned soup and microwaveables, sucker” but that turned out to be the case for most of the first two weeks of not having a complete kitchen, and also having everything that was once in said kitchen scattered throughout our house, stuffed in boxes in various nooks in every other room. Our home turned into a funhouse, where getting from the bedroom to the front door involved squeezing through narrow passageways and twisting to avoid knocking over a precarious stack of cabinetry. Before everything was ripped out of the kitchen and the stove shoved into the hallway, I did try to plan ahead and bought several frozen microwaveable and toaster oven meals from Trader Joe’s. But did you know those things leave you feeling hungry when you’ve been flexing your muscles destroying your home? True story. There goes convenience dishwashing… Another inconvenience of not having a kitchen is not having a sink or dishwasher. So we stacked coffee cups, spoons, and knives in the...

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Looking Back at 2015

I love looking back at these reflective surveys each each and seeing what I was thinking, feeling, and experiencing at the time. Some things never change, and some things do, radically. Here are ones from New Year’s Eve 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011. 1. What did you do in 2015 that you’d never done before? Went on our honeymoon (6 years later), turned 30, got some minor surgery, started our kitchen remodel on the determination that I’ll further my financial means in the upcoming year. 2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
 I was better with money. I saved an extra $200 or more from most paychecks and I saved about 3/4s of my freelance checks, in addition to picking up some more writing. I think my three biggest goals for the next year are to make more income, enjoy my close friends’ weddings, and do a little more traveling with Patrick. 3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
 Yes, several friends had kids, and second ones. 4. Did anyone close to you die? Luckily no. 5. What countries did you visit? Puerto Rico! Finally. I left the main land, even if it was to go to a US territory. 6. What would you like to have in 2015 that you lacked in 2014? More money (still). As someone who graduated into the...

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Tasting Beer, Getting Certified

For those who don’t know, I am involved in the operations of two craft beer appreciation non-profits in Columbia, South Carolina. You wouldn’t think a smaller city could support two, or would even have two, but here’s the sekrit: I also was involved in the creation of both, which proves that if you want to shape your city, just start doing it. But that’s not the point (now). The point is that despite being so involved in both of these craft beer organizations, I still feel like my knowledge of many of the specifics is lacking. Sure, I know some things about most of the styles, but what I don’t know is the best glass shape for each style, as an example. The glass shape doesn’t matter to most people, but I want to deepen my knowledge and fine tune my senses to be able to appreciate the beers I drink at their best. I want to possess that knowledge to make me a better board member, beer event planner, and connoisseur. Conveniently, there’s a tiered program in place for people who want to advance their craft beer smarts. The Cicerone program is often called “the sommelier of the craft beer world” and that’s about as good as a description as there is. There are a few levels to it, starting with the one I am going for, the Certified...

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Asheville & Bryson City Eats & Drinks

Tupelo Honey Cafe Some restaurants get over hyped. Maybe that super blond guy on the Food Network has been there, or a reporter is BFF with the owner and they get a ton of coverage, or it is on a Sex and the City episode and they have three hour lines for the next decade. So when we decided to stop at Tupelo Honey Cafe on the way to Bryson City, I was thinking that it would probably fall into the same category. Arriving for a very late lunch at 2-ish p.m. on the Friday before Labor Day weekend, I was thinking we’d miss the lunch rush but it was still packed. Faced with a 25 minute wait, I was ravenous and instead stalked the bar and was rewarded with seats within five minutes for Kara and myself. There are a ton of choices on the menu with some familiar names on there too, like Columbia’s own Adluh grits making an appearance. I started out with a housemade lavender limeade which was exquisite. They have several really intriguing flavors on the menu that sound like they’d make a great base for cocktails. Which they also have a lot of great cocktails as well. Kara got the honeysuckle lavender flip which was light on the honeysuckle but still a solid drink. We thankfully ordered an appetizer because the place never really...

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About April Blake

April Blake does media relations by day and writes by night, usually about local food, unusual flavors, and craft beer. Please follow me on Twitter, but not in real life.

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