Jul 30, 2014

What I Ate Wednesday: Wild Roots Cafe & Beach Pops

I am always curious what other people eat so I love checking out Peas and Crayons What I Ate Wednesday linkup.  Here is a peek into what we are eating!
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I am not a morning person at all.  Rob knows not to talk to me until I start the conversation.  I am also not a big eater first thing when I wake up.  My morning routine is grabbing a greek yogurt from the fridge and bringing it back to bed to eat while I catch up on my instagram and bloglovin feeds.
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Rob and I did a quick workout.  We are currently hooked on PiYo, which is a fast paced mix of yoga and pilates.  Any other PiYo fans?  Then I had chocolate Shakeology with almond milk and peanut butter.  Shakes always taste better in Hokie tumblers ;)
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Rob wasn't scheduled to fly so we headed to the beach to relax.  I was excited to try Wild Roots Cafe for lunch as I heard great things about their healthy, fresh food options.  It did not disappoint! I got the Monte Carlo pizzetta with bacon, roast beef, blue cheese, caramelized onions, greens and drizzled with vinaigrette on a gluten free tortilla.
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Wild Roots' sister store, Beach Pops is connected next door and features smoothies, soft serve, and delicious fresh fruit popsicles.  I was almost set on a popsicle when I realized that they have soft serve made out of frozen bananas!!! We make banana ice cream at home all the time and I had to try their version.  We split the tropical berry (banana base with pineapple and mixed berries) and it was fabulous!!
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For dinner we made our favorite lazy meal--taco salads.  This is a staple at our house because it is easy, healthy, and tasty.  I topped mine with onion, peach mango salsa, cheese, and greek yogurt.
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As a late night snack, I ate a bowl of cherries (I can't get enough of these!) and some dark chocolate chips (eaten too fast to be photographed!).



Jul 28, 2014

Home from the detachment to Michigan + Touring Ft. Pickens

My weekend recap comes a bit late because I am busy squeezing this cutie who is finally home!!
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Rob has been gone for the last two weeks on a training detachment to a small base in northern Michigan.  Since summer storms in Florida are inevitable, flights are often cancelled in July due to inclement weather.  VT-3, Rob's training squadron, decided to get around this by taking the planes, a group of instructors and around 50 students to Michigan, where the weather is much milder in the summer.   Rob's schedule on the det was completely packed - flying twice a day every day except for the two days of mandatory rest.  He completed all of aerobatics, all of forms, did two solo flights, and a cross country flight home -- all in two weeks!!  This is almost more than he has flown in the whole seven months he has been in Primary!  While the detachment was extremely beneficial in terms of training, I hated to let him go for two weeks.  We have been so spoiled by his schedule for the last year during flight school, I forgot what it was like to have him to leave for training!  Plus I am a huge baby about sleeping at home alone!  I kept busy and the time went by quickly but I am SO happy to have him home!
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Luckily, Rob was not scheduled to fly today so we were able to sleep in and spend the whole day catching up.  We went to check out Ft. Pickens,which somehow we haven't done yet, then spent the rest of the day lounging on Pensacola Beach.
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Hope your weekend was equally as wonderful!

Jul 22, 2014

Celebrate :: Blind Beer Tasting Birthday Party!

Last fall I threw Rob had beer tasting party for his 25th birthday and never ended up posting about it here.  It turned out to be so fun, I think it's worth sharing a few months late ;)
Beer Tasting Party Score Cards
Pitchers for blind beer tasting
Pitchers for blind beer tasting
Beer pitchers spread out all over the house
I researched a lot of different ideas on Pinterest about how to do the actual beer tasting.  I knew that I wanted everyone to be able to taste the beers and score them without knowing which beer they were drinking.  I ended up modifying a bunch of different ideas but the end result worked out great.  I ordered 25 plastic pitchers, one for each guest, (from The Dollar Store!) and made labels to number each pitcher.  On the invitation, we asked guests to bring a chilled six-pack of their favorite beer.  When guests arrived, I took their beers into our office and poured that beer into a pitcher.  I made a spreadsheet in advance with the pitchers numbered and added the person's name who brought it and the type of beer.  I made sure to use the numbers at random so it wasn't as obvious who brought what.  Three beers ended up being the perfect amount in each pitcher, which let people drink their favorites of the remaining beers after the tasting part was over.  
Beer Tasting Birthday Party
I had tasting glasses set up with tasting score cards and mini golf pencils.  I also made a big batch of Skip-And-Go beer punch, which brought back many college memories!  As for food, I tried to keep the menu simple, bar food.  I wanted everyone to be free to walk around and taste instead of tied to sitting down with a plate of food so I made a walking chili bar.  I had bags of fritos that guests filled with one of four different types of chili (regular chili, white chicken chili, taco chili, and a spicy chili) and topped with their choice of toppings.  It worked out perfect because I was able to make the chili earlier in the day, leave them in crockpots during the party and socialize!  I also had giant soft pretzels with various mustards and cheese sauces, popcorn, pub mix, and a salted caramel birthday cake.  Having a good amount of food was key to balancing out the amount of beer!
Walking Chili Bar
food for a beer tasting party
I let the party run pretty freely, letting people eat and taste however and whenever they wanted.  Towards the end of the evening, I collected the score cards and counted up the votes.  I loved reading everyone's comments....especially the funny ones from later in the night! I bought $10 giftcards to Hopjacks (a local restaurant/bar) for the two winners: the overall favorite and the birthday boy's favorite.  (Surprisingly enough, they ended up being the exact same beer so we had to go with the second place overall winner!) I also slipped in a pitcher of Bud Light just to see if people would be able to recognize the taste.  I was totally impressed by how many people knew immediately and wrote that it was Bud Light in their comments! 
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The boys drinking straight from the pitchers at the end of the night.  One of the few pictures I took the entire night! 
We had so much fun and I definitely want to have another tasting party!  Have you ever been to a beer tasting party?

Jul 17, 2014

Getaway :: To 30A!

It's no secret that we love living in Pensacola.  One of the things we love the most is the ability to drive only a few hours and experience somewhere completely new!  Our favorite weekend or day getaway is to 30A.  30A is a stretch of uniquely planned beach communities located on the Florida panhandle along the Gulf of Mexico.  Each community has it's own distinct style and personality.  All of the communities are located along the same road, 30A, and easily accessed by bicycle.  One of the communities, Seaside, is the idyllic setting of the movie The Truman Show and it is easy to see why. The water is bluer and clearer, the sand is whiter, and the pace is slower on 30A.  It is only a two hour drive from Pensacola but feels like a vacation in paradise.
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The first time we ventured to this area, we stayed at the Watercolor Inn in Watercolor for Valentine's Day.  Watercolor was the first place we visited along 30A and to this day is still one of our favorites!  If we were to ever own a home here, it would definitely be in Watercolor.  The people at the Watercolor Inn were wonderful and extremely friendly.  Our room walked directly out to the beach and to a heated adults only pool.  We spent our days riding bikes, laying by the pool, and drinking mimosas.  At night, we headed to Rosemary Beach for dinner (Restaurant Paradis) followed by wine and chocolate fondue at La Crema.  I highly recommend La Crema!!
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Since our first trip, we have been back several times! When Rob's parents came into town, we knew we had to take them and when I finally got a beach cruiser of my own, I couldn't wait to ride it in Seaside!  There is so much to do in this area but here are some of our favorites:
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Eat:
Almost every single trip, we have arrived hungry and eaten brunch at Great Southern Cafe.  The bacon and pecan waffles are out of this world good!  This last trip we tried The Donut Hole which was also fantastic!  Bud and Alley's Taco Bar, The Shrimp Shack, Pickles and the food trucks in Seaside are our usual stops for lunch.  As discussed above, fondue at La Crema is fabulous.  They have an entire menu dedicated to chocolate!  A cold treat from Poshsicles in Rosemary Beach is always welcome.
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Drink: 
A 32 oz mimosa from Modica Market is a necessity. No questions asked.  I highly recommend doing happy hour at Caliza in Aly's Beach.  I'm in love with the architecture in Aly's Beach and the ambiance at Caliza is so cool and modern.  The pool is closed at night so you are able to take your drinks and relax on a hammock or in a cabana.  Finally, you can't beat the view from happy hour at Bud and Alley's, especially during sunset!
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Do:
Bicycle is definitely the preferred mode of transportation--rent a couple of beach cruisers or bring your own.  We love to ride bikes through the neighborhoods and check out all of the gorgeous homes.  The beach is obviously another must do but there are also tons of cute boutiques and shops to check out, in addition to farmers markets and festivals.
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I am already day dreaming about my next trip back!

Jul 14, 2014

Blues Are Back In Town + Quick Getaway!

Our weekend was jam-packed with fun, trying to fit in as much as we could before Rob's schedule changes this week.  First order of business was watching the Blue Angels!  Last year, the Blue Angels were grounded due to government stuff so their flying in the air show this year was a huge deal!  The Blue Angels never disappoint and it was crazy to imagine that they all started out at one point in flight school in Pensacola, just like Rob!  They are just incredible!  We switched up our normal brunch routine and tried out Jaco's this weekend.  The bayfront view is gorgeous!
Blue Angels Pensacola, FL
Brunch at Jaco's Pensacola
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We also squeezed in a quick trip to our favorite nearby getaway, Seaside.  We love this cute area and make the trip whenever we can.  Although it is just a two hour drive, it feels like a whole different world!  More about our favorites on 30A later this week.  The weather wasn't great, but it was nice to get out of town and spend time together.
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Our first stop when we got into town was grabbing donuts from the donut shop, The Donut Hole.  Oh my goodness, they were completely worth the wait!  I had to try the red velvet and the key lime pie filled donut and could not pick a favorite.  (Rob's favorite was the cinnamon apple crumb!)
The Donut Hole 30A
We spent the rest of the day riding bikes, shopping and relaxing on the beach.  The sun even came out for a few hours which was a nice treat.  We grabbed small plates and cocktails at Bud and Alley's before heading home. You can't beat the view from the rooftop of Bud and Alley's.
Day trip to Seaside, FL
Drinks at Bud and Alley's
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Happy Hour at Bud and Alley's
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Linking up here , here , here , here, and here 
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