Friday, January 29, 2016

Friday Five | Vol. 13

Happy Friday, everyone! Sorry I missed last week -- we were snowed in! Well, not really but you know how Charlotte does #snOMG.  I am really excited for this weekend because it kind of felt like we didn't really have one last weekend, since we were stuck in the house working and watching a whole lot of Master of None -- which is really funny, BTW.  Can you believe we were "snowed in" for 3 whole days and I didn't drink any wine the entire time? Me neither. 

Has anyone started doing their taxes yet? ((crickets)) Just me? 

This week, I tried the $10 all-you-can-eat Sushi from Pieces and let's just say it was totally worth it. I have really been on a sushi kick this year and I kinda like it! 

I have been stalking this lamp from west elm for months. It went on sale yesterday and is will be finally mine in 4-6 business days. 

In other news, I am starting the 21-day fix on Monday. #heregoesnothin

What will my "last meal" be before I embark on said journey? I am thinking it might involve a donut (or two). 

Have a great weekend. 

Monday, January 25, 2016

Starbucks Roastery & Tasting Room

Until I moved to Seattle after college, I had never been a huge coffee person. In fact, there were days that I didn't have a sip of the stuff. Other days, I would have 3-4 cups, but mostly I drank it sporadically. I certainly didn't rely on it daily.  But living in Seattle does something to the occasional coffee drinker.  Whether it's the coffee stands in parking lots (yes, it's a Seattle thing) or what feels like the Starbucks-on-every-corner-effect, Seattle makes you want to love coffee. So, basically Seattle turned me into a coffee lover. 

Fun fact: Seattle has 23 coffee shops for every 100,000 residents which is the most per-capita in the U.S. But there is only one Starbucks Roastery & Tasting Room in the world... While we were in Seattle for Christmas break visiting Jake's family, we snuck away for an afternoon and visited the Starbucks Reserve Roastery & Tasting Room. I had been wanting to visit this place ever since it opened in late 2014. My co-worker visited in mid-2015 and after hearing about her experience, it made me even more excited to try this place! I heard that this location has seasonal specialty food and drinks that are not served at any other Starbucks location.  So fun!

I was most curious about the location. As you probably know, there is not a lot of prime real estate available in Capitol Hill to build a gigantic place like this. So, before we visited Jake and I were trying to figure out where this was located. For some reason, I thought it was in South Seattle near the  Company HQ --  but once we started googling, it all made sense. In 2013, my old Volvo dealership closed and it had been announced that the space would be redeveloped. Lo and behold -- a year and half later, the Roastery and Tasting Room was born. I do have a lot of memories taking my first Volvo (we are now on our second and third) to the dealership for repairs, oil changes, etc. So now I can make new memories, drinking one of a kind coffee and tasting delectable new pastries. I'm in! 

This board is my favorite -- it kept clicking and clacking for when they were roasting a new flavor.

The beans came down those tubes and kept refilling the containers when they got too low.

I tried the Cranberry Almond Danish pictured below. It was to die for. I am only hoping that my local Starbucks will start carrying it. or maybe I don't hope that since I would want one every time I set foot in there. 

What did we drink, you ask? Jake tried the Cameroon Mt. Oka reserve coffee (he drinks black coffee now -- yes I am married to an old man). I tried the Matcha Basil-Mint Latte.  We were both very impressed. 

One of the coolest parts was this big machine that roasts all of the reserve coffee beans that Starbucks sells worldwide. If you see a package of Starbucks reserve coffee beans, it came through this facility. How cool is that?!?! It was fun to watch the process for a bit. 

 Have you been to the Starbucks Roastery & Tasting Room in Seattle? What did you think?


Wednesday, January 20, 2016

1-Day Juice Cleanse with JuiceBar

A few weeks ago, I was invited to an event at the new JuiceBar on Park Road in Charlotte so I thought I would check it out. I have been drinking smoothies from Carolina Smoothie pretty religiously so I wanted to see what all the juice bar hype was about. During the event, I learned about the company (all of their fruits and veggies are local and organic) and got to taste some free samples.  The owners shared about a 1-day juice cleanse and I thought, maybe I could try that. I mean, I could never do a 3 or 5 or 7 day cleanse just because I love food so much but maybe, just maybe I could do a 1-day cleanse. 

And guess what folks?! 

Drumroll please... I DID IT! 

I am someone who loves food. One of the first things I start thinking about when I get to the office is, what am I going to have for lunch? I plan trips to different cities around restaurants. It can get pretty crazy. I decided to do my 1-day cleanse on a Friday because I thought it would be easier while at work as opposed to sitting at home, going shopping, running errands, etc on the weekend because I thought that just be torture for me. 

Here is what comes with the 1-day cleanse:

As a tip: you can drink the juices in any order you'd like but avoid Sweet Greens before bed as you will have a harder time sleeping. For your reference, I drank them in the following order: (Breakfast) Orange You Glad, (10 am Snack) Sweet Greens, (Lunch) We Got the Beet, (3 pm Snack) Sweet Greens, (Dinner) Ginger Greens and (Dessert?!) Fresh Greens.  I really liked all of the juices and they all were very fresh and easy to drink. I think the hardest one to drink was the Fresh Greens because it has celery as a base so it's on the bitter side. 

My favorite juice was probably We Got The Beet or Orange You Glad. Surprisingly, both of those were a little spicy -- I'm not sure what exactly makes them taste that way but they definitely kept me energized throughout the day. Now, I did have slumps and a few periods of time that I just wanted to eat something -- even a slice of ham or a cheese stick. But, from the time I went to bed the night before until the time I woke up on the following morning, I didn't eat anything.  Part of the reason I wanted to do this was just to prove to myself that I could. 

I definitely plan on incorporating more juices into my life -- whether that means juicing once a month or doing a 1-day juice cleanse quarterly, I really feel like it's something small, easy and doable that I can do and it will make a difference in my life.   Have you tried juicing? Please share in the comments section below. 

During the month of January, Juice Bar on Park Road in Charlotte is graciously offering my readers (that's you!) 10% off if you mention the code 'Vintage10'. So the real question is... what are you waiting for? 


Note: All opinions and photos are my own. I received a complimentary 1-day juice cleanse from Juice Bar to review.  

Friday, January 15, 2016

Friday Five | Vol. 12

How was your week? Mine was busy, busy! Work is getting crazy with audit and tax season starting. which explains why I haven't been blogging as much as I would like to.  Sometimes I wish I was a barista and then I think my life would be so less stressful. Although then I would have to deal with mean customers requesting that their coffee be exactly 150 degrees with 1" of foam.  To each their own...

Today I am attempting a one-day Juice Cleanse.  Wish me luck, I think I'll need it. I'll be blogging about it next week.

So... my jawbone fitness tracker died yesterday. I am so reliant on it that I purchased a Fitbit Flex last night and it should arrive on Saturday (thankyouverymuch Amazon Prime). Now, I just need this cute bracelet to pair with it.

Cheers to the first 3-day weekend of 2016.  That is one of my favorite things about being out of Public Accounting -- a holiday in January?!?!? That, and not having to record my time (in six-minute increments).

We finished Making a Murderer last weekend and OMG. Just watch it if you haven't seen it. Crazy stuff.

This Oh Joy for Target collection might just be my favorite Target collab yet (and no, I'm not pregnant).

Have an amazing 3-day weekend... and good luck Seahawks. I hear those Panthers are ruthless.


Monday, January 11, 2016

Weekending Wisdom

How was your weekend?  Mine was really good, and it was for a few unexpected, surprising reasons.

I woke up Saturday and decided I wanted to go to the gym -- before we even ate breakfast. Sometimes you just have to do it. After that we made a yummy breakfast egg scramble including mushrooms, arugula and feta cheese along with a hash brown patty on the side. So simple, but so good! Jake and I also did a little shopping, I got my nails done (OPI Put it in Neutral, if you must know) and checked out a cute new store called Gratefully, Danielle.  If you are in the Charlotte area, you must check it out. They carry a ton of local and fair trade items and the store is arranged by color. I love when stores do that! 

Sunday was filled with intention. Even though it was a lazy Sunday, I still went to the gym AGAIN, did a little bit of work, watched 2 football games, made a delicious Blue Apron meal and even took a bath. I know, it's getting crazy up in here! oh, I left the part out about taking a nap.  I actually felt like the weekend went by at a good pace and it didn't feel rushed.  Maybe the key to having long, fun weekends is to do a bunch of stuff.  For some reason, I feel very fulfilled and excited about going back to work tomorrow.

In case you are wondering, usually every weekend is the same. I was taking to my bother on the phone the other day and I was like, well, it literally takes me 4 hours to get ready... and that is not a joke. That sounds like crazy talk, but I guess I usually get distracted with other projects like watching Keeping up with the Kardashians or checking the mail. #sorrynotsorry 

A typical weekend goes a little something like this: Jake has to work on his dissertation. I decide I'm going to go to the mall. After doing laundry, taking a shower, washing my hair, blow drying my hair, straightening my hair, putting my makeup on, it's usually around 1 or 2 pm and I decide I don't really feel like going to the mall anymore and I go to starbucks or grab a smoothie or Old Navy and then come home after a bit. The end. 

Oh -- and I started doing this diary type thing called 52 Lists where you answer a new prompt each week. So far so good. If you like list making and journaling, then you will probably LOVE this. 

How was your weekend? I hope it was as good as mine and that your week is even better.


Friday, January 8, 2016

Friday Five | Vol. 11

This week has seriously flown by for me! I thought it would go by slow since it's the first week back after the Holiday vacation but -- I must've been really busy at work (or watching Making a Murderer every single night after work). GUILTY (no pun intended).

Happy New Year! Can you believe it's 2016? 

This week I went to an event at the new Juice Bar in the Park Road Shopping Center. The fresh juice I tried was amazing -- more to come on this front.

I am now addicted to Netflix again.  First up: Finishing up Making a Murderer, Next up: Master of None.

We haven't taken down our Christmas wreath yet. It still smells amazing.

I picked up this perfume from anthro a few weeks ago and I cannot stop wearing it. I love it!

In case you were wondering, here are The Best Exercises To Do If You're out of Shape. Not saying you're out of shape, but...


Sunday, January 3, 2016

TSA Pre-check: Is it worth it?

I finally signed up for TSA Pre-check in early December, just in time for our last trip of the year to Seattle.  What is Pre-check, you ask? This service lets you get through airport security quicker via a separate line from the general population. Scroll down to read my tips, thoughts on the experience and if I would recommend it.

TSA Pre-check

If you regularly travel with a companion, make sure you both sign up for Pre-check since you both have to have it in order for it to work, i.e. someone cannot just tag along with you since you have it unless they are a child.  This means I made Jake sign up for it too. 

The sign-up process is slightly inconvenient, in that you have to get fingerprinted, but you don't have to do it at the airport. I made an appointment during my lunch break and went to an H&R Block to get my fingerprinting done. I was in and out within twenty minutes.

It usually takes less than a week to get your KTN (Known Traveler Number). They give you a website with a link to check your status. It takes a little longer to get the physical letter in the mail, but if you check the website you should find your KTN in less than a week after your appointment. I was pretty impressed with how quickly it was issued, considering it was close to the holidays. 

It's $85 for 5 years. That breaks down to $17 per year and if you travel six times at year, its $2.83 per trip. That is less than a latte at Starbucks. After just one trip, Jake and I both agreed that it was worth that amount of money, even if it was just for one year -- even if it was just for one trip. We traveled on Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve and honestly, both times, the airports were not that crazy. But it was so nice to just breeze through security though - you don't have to take your shoes off, your laptop out of it's case or your liquids baggie out of the rest of your carry-on. In Seattle we had to take our coat off, but not in Charlotte. So I assume it's up to the discretion of the TSA workers to decide. 

Now, I have heard that you don't get selected for Pre-check each time you travel, so that will probably affect how much I like the program overall, but as long as I get selected more often than not, I will be happy with it.  I'll provide an update on this piece later in the year.

Have you signed up for Pre-check? What has been your experience with it? Please share in the comments section below. 

Travel Fully,

Friday, January 1, 2016

My 2015 Travels | A Year In Review

ICYMI (In case you missed it), I wanted to count down my favorite trips of 2015.  Click on each location below to read the related post. Enjoy! ...and Happy New Year!!

(10) Chimney Rock, NC 

(9) Chicago, IL 

(8) New York, NY 

(7) Blue Ridge Parkway, NC 

(6) Miami, FL 

(4) Charleston, SC

(2) Kauai, HI 

(1) Providenciales, Turks and Caicos

Here's to an amazing 2015 and an even better 2016.