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A Year Later & I Still Love It

8 Jun

May 4th marked my one year anniversary with Georgia. A lot has happened in that year, but I can safely say that this is exactly where I’m supposed to be.

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The Big Bang!

5 Jul

If you follow me on any other social network, you probably already know that I suffered a nasty concussion on Sunday.  However, I’ve yet to go into true detail about what happened and all of the confusion around it.

My boyfriend, Rene, lives in NY, but when he was last in town I was able to meet his family who I now love as if they were my own.  So even though he’s far away, last Sunday I went out to Elliot Key with his family on their boat.  We had a really great time and even made plans to return on the 4th of July since everyone was going to be off of work, but everything changed on the way back to the Marina.

I was standing up on thElliot Key with Rocioe way back, holding on to a metal pole, chatting with Aunt Betty.  The ocean was very calm and flat that day so the ride wasn’t rough at all, but thanks to a fellow boater, we got hit with a wake and then suddenly, BANG!  I don’t recall the actual impact or the pain right after, but I do remember Betty holding up one of the legs to my sunglasses, which had shattered right off of my face and everyone telling me I had to go sit down while I kept saying that I was fine.

The next thing I remember is Lauren, Rene’s sister, pulling up to my driveway in my car, dropping me off at home.  I remember getting out of the car and waving bye to her and the family in their truck.  Then the next thing I recall is giving my uncle the keys to my car so he could repark it, him asking me if I was “Drunkiepooh” and me saying yes.

Next thing you know it’s Midnight and I wake up in my bed with a massive migraine, wrapped in a towel, with another towel on my head, thinking “WTF??”

I woke up the next morning, after 15 hours of sleep, thinking I had blacked out from alcohol, even though I only remembered drinking 3 beers, which is child’s play to me.  I got ready and went to work, driving really afraid and with a hazy mind and vision that was a bit off.  I felt like crap and I didn’t know why.  I called my mom and had difficulty expressing myself, like I had a delay in my speech. I wrote an email to Rene’s mom apologizing for having been trashed and if I misbehaved in any way, but she responded almost confused with why I had sent that.  She said I had barely drank at all and that I was far from drunk.  That I was totally ok, but she had Lauren drive my car for me because of my hit to the head;  And that’s when it all made sense.Ice pack at hospital

I called my doctor’s office and they had told me to get there as fast as I could so my mom left work at took me there.  I had no idea how bad this all was until I was at the doctor’s office and the Nurse ran out to get the Doc mid-story in a bit of a panic.  He explained to us how my “drunken” behavior was a neurological reaction to the impact and suggested I go to the ER to get a CT Scan due to fear that I could have some swelling or bleeding in the brain.

Thank goodness there was none of that and I was able to go home, but not without being prescribed some major pain killers and with orders to rest and not even attempt driving until Saturday.  I just feel extremely lucky that I made it through everything without any major damage.  Many people have died from these kinds of incidents so for that I’m grateful.  Now I just need to make sure to be extra careful whenever I go on the boat again and stay far away from metal poles!  No more concussions for me!

Recipe: Bacon, Mushroom and Chicken Pasta Alfredo with Garlic Bread Crumbs & Italian Margaritas

23 Jan

Today I was eager to cook something simple yet full of flavor.  I decided to go the Italian route by choosing pasta Alfredo and garlic bread. I honestly could have made it easy on myself by tackling the Alfredo Sandra Lee-style (Semi Home Made) with a pre-made sauce, but wanted to challenge myself by making it from scratch for the first time.  I’ve also been watching a lot of Chopped and was inspired to use some left over hot dog buns I had in my fridge for the garlic bread instead of using more obvious choices.  I had to take the garlic bread idea one step further though.  I wanted to process the bread into crispy and flavorful crumbs.  And of course, as a Bartender, I wanted to marry this meal with the perfect cocktail.

Now, after having made dinner, sitting down and reflecting on it, I really wish there was hidden cameras in my kitchen.  I was running around like a chicken with it’s head cut off.  I burned my garlic bread crumbs so I had to create a new batch of garlic spread and start all over again in a mad dash.

Well, I’ll stop babbling now and get to the good stuff.  Below you will find photos of the finished products and the recipes (all modified by me to my liking).  The photo of the meal was indeed taken by me, but the Italian Margarita photo is not mine.  I was not able to rim the glass with sugar due to lack of counter space and the bread emergency and I forgot to buy an orange to garnish it, but the Margarita photo below is what it would have looked like had I done it right.

BACON & MUSHROOM ALFREDO SAUCE

1 Pint Half & Half
3 Tablespoons Butter
2 Tablespoons Flour
3 Garlic Cloves, Minced
1 Shallot, Minced
1/3 Cup Parmesan Cheese, Grated
1/4 Cup Parsley Chopped
1/2 Pound Bacon, Cooked and Chopped
1/3 Cup Baby Bella Mushrooms, Chopped
2 Tablespoons olive oil (maybe a little more)
Salt and Pepper to taste

In a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium-low heat.  Add 2 minced garlic cloves and stir-fry for 2 to 3 minutes.  Stir in flour until well-blended.  Add half and half.

Stir sauce over medium-low heat.  Do not allow sauce to boil or stick to bottom of pan.  Reduce heat if necessary.  Allow sauce to thicken (about 20 minutes), stirring frequently.

In a separate saucepan, heat olive oil over medium heat.  Sautee mushrooms, shallot and remaining garlic until translucent and tender.  Do not brown.

When sauce is near desired consistency, add Parmesan cheese.  Stir to melt cheese for 2 minutes.  Toss in most of the bacon and parsley (leave some to top your dish), salt and pepper to taste and mushrooms.  Stir for another 1-2 minutes.  Remove sauce from heat.

GARLIC BREAD CRUMBS

1/2 Cup (1 stick) Unsalted Butter, Softened
2 Large Cloves of Garlic, Smashed and Minced
1 Heaping Tablespoon of Freshly Chopped Parsley
Salt and Pepper to taste
Splash of Olive Oil
Bread of Choice

Simply mix all ingredients together.  Ideally make this early on and refrigerate so that the flavors develop and really penetrate the butter.  Soften again before applying to bread.

To create the bread crumbs, use any bread of your choice, and make sure it’s sliced fairly thin.  Cover bread in garlic spread place on baking pan and broil.  All breads will vary in time so just keep your eye on it.  As soon as it looks toasted, pull out of the oven.  Chop the bread into smaller pieces and grind up in a food processor until chunks have become crumbs.

Place crumbs back on baking pan and put back into the oven.  This shouldn’t take more than 3 minutes.  Be careful not to burn.


FINISHING TOUCHES

The chicken was seasoned with salt and pepper and sauteed over medium heat in olive oil with fresh garlic and shallots.

I chose to marry the chicken, sauce and pasta together before plating.  Once plated I topped it with the bread crumbs, remaining bacon and a little bit more of chopped parsley for an extra burst of color.

ITALIAN MARGARITA

1 oz Amaretto (Almond Lequeur)
2 oz Sweet and Sour Mix
1/2 oz Tequila of choice
1/2 oz Tripel Sec
Sugar for Glass
Garnish with an Orange Slice

Top glass with ice, poor in ingredients, shake and serve. If you want to get fancy, rim the glass with sugar and garnish with an orange slice.

If you’ve never rimmed a glass before, the easiest way is to get a slice or lemon or lime and squeeze it around the rim of the glass. Then tip glass into a small plate with sugar. Pat the rim around on the side to make sure the sugar sticks all around the border..

So now that we’re all done, I just have to say that dinner came out sooooo incredibly delicious and I’m quite proud of myself.   And though I think these recipes are perfect as is, I’d like to know if any of you would do this a little differently?  Are any of you inspired to give this a shot for yourself??  Comment to let me know and come back and comment again with pictures if you do!

-Emily Sixx

Realize what you have before it’s gone…

6 Nov

Last night I was requested to Bartend at a private party.  This particular event was a very elaborate Housewarming party for a really nice family that was very excited to be settled into their new home (which was HUGE), and of course, share it with their friends and family.  They invited loads of guests, had tons of food and alcohol, a DJ, servers, valet,  you name it.

The party started fairly early and by midnight it was still going hard.  Belly dancers were about to come out and put on a show when the unfortunate happened; The host’s mother passes out and experiences a stroke.  Immediately they got on the phone with 911/Rescue and did all they could to keep her alive until the medics arrived, and even then they had to pump her chest and do God knows what to try to make sure she was getting enough oxygen.

Long story short; Grandma is gone.

I was the last of the help to leave.  I had to wait for the host and the rest of the guests to leave so that I could go back into the yard to gather up my equipment.  There I had a talk with the host’s daughter, who is my age.  She is a sweet woman, and was mourning, of course.  And as she vented she said a lot of things that I too felt when my grandfather had passed away: “All the times she called me and I didn’t pick up because I was too busy.  All the times she invited me over and I didn’t go.  And now she’s gone and there’s nothing I can do to fix that.”

My grandfather, Abuelo Rey, passed away about four years ago.  I still cannot see a picture of him or even talk about him without tearing up or just all-out balling.  Even now, writing this, I can’t help but cry.  His death is one that I accepted when it happened.  He was sick and regressed fairly quickly in last two years of his life, so I knew that when it was his time it was his time.  It was for the better and I accepted that.  But what I did not accept or forgive myself for was the fact that I had barely been around for those last two years of his life.

I honestly used to blame it on the boyfriend that I had at the time.  Though I loved him very much, he was a very selfish person so we only ever did what he wanted to do, when he wanted to and how.  We spent a lot of time with his family, but barely any with mine.  I made countless plans to go see my Abuelo and Abuela, but at the last minute he never wanted to go so I’d give them another excuse as to why I wasn’t going over to see them.

I do realize now that my partner was in no way the blame of my absence.  Though these actions did contribute to his selfishness, the ultimate decision to go or not go was mine.  I didn’t have to rely on anyone but myself to go spend time with my family.  If he didn’t want to come with me, well that should have been his loss and his loss alone.  Instead, I allowed it to be mine as well.

And though I feel in my heart that this doesn’t matter, because while he was in his coma in the hospital, not responding to ANYONE, he responded to ME.  Once his eyes closed, he never opened them again, but when I went to see him, I sat down on the bed next to him and I held his hand.  I held his big, almost lifeless hands and I leaned over and softly spoke into his ear.  I told him that it was me, and that I was sorry for not having come over all the times I said I would and that I knew I was a horrible granddaughter, but I loved him very very much.  And as I spoke I felt his hand starting to tighten up, tighter and tighter.  Once I gave him a kiss on his cheek he gave me one last tight squeeze and then that was it.  He passed away a few day later without having responded to anyone else.

Because of that, part of me feels forgiven, but it still weighs heavy in my heart no matter what.  I still remember everything about my last visit to his house and I remember his voice as clear as day.  I miss him so much, and I really wish he were still around.  But alas, thinking like that will never make a difference so what’s the point?

I guess what I’m just trying to get at here is that you should never take anyone for granted.  Age doesn’t matter; I’m not only talking about the elderly.  You never know if today could be yours or anyone else’  last day, no mater what age.  I’ve also lost young friends to very unfortunate circumstances, but their stories would require a whole entry of their own.

Just, don’t ever put off for tomorrow what you could do today.  Always follow through when you tell someone you’re going to see them or spend time with them.  And never be afraid to tell someone you love them when you know you do.  You never know when it will be your last chance to do so, and once that chance is gone, there is no getting it back.  In life and death there are no do-overs.

I’m no one’s second choice!

3 Nov

**All names have been changed to protect identity**

Quite some time ago while I was actively searching for love on Match.com, I received a really amazing email from an Indian man named Sayeed.  It was a little longer than I like my icebreakers to be, but he was so well written, talked about a lot of the things I had mentioned on my profile and said just enough about himself to really intrigue me.  I checked out his profile and he seemed pretty interesting, but when it came down to his photos, I just couldn’t tell if I’d be physically attracted to him or not.

After a bit of thought, I decided I’d wait a few days to respond because I already had a date planned for the following evening with a Bavarian man, named Aldric.  I wanted to see what would come of our first date before initiating anything with Sayeed.

The day of,  Aldric suggested that we meet at a place called Green Street Cafe in Coconut Grove, and even though I didn’t really like the venue due to it’s pretentiousness and yuppie customer-base I agreed.  You can’t say I’m not a good sport!

Being the only Cuban in Miami not running on Cuban Time, I arrived early and sat at a table on the outside and ordered a drink while I waited for Aldric to arrive.  As I sat there I couldn’t help but notice a man standing at the bar in front of me.  He had a deep tan, gorgeous long wavy hair and was dressed up in a sexy suite.  For a while I could only see part of his face, but when he turned around I nearly choked on my drink !  It was Sayeed, and he was beautiful!!!

Now, the longer I waited the more I worried about Sayeed recognizing me and totally ruining my date with Aldric, but after a little while I realized what was really going on here.  He wasn’t going to notice me at all!   He was acting very nervous and kept looking around.  He brushed his hair with his hands repeatedly and kept looking at his phone….Yup!  He was there waiting for a date as well!

Sayeed’s date arrived a little before Aldric did so of course I had to scope her out.  She too was from India and was incredibly beautiful. I couldn’t hate!  They actually made a really cute couple.

Aldric eventually arrived and we had our date.  He was really sweet and it went well enough for me to agree to a second date, but now my eyes were setting on Sayeed as well.  I had to meet him!  I had to see what he was all about!

The next day I decided to respond to Sayeed’s email without making any mention of Green Street .  We went back and forth for a while and eventually moved on to the phone. We hit it off and in time, decided to meet each other in person.  On this date, however, I called the shots on the location and decided we’d meet at Transit Lounge.  For those of you not familiar with Transit (which is now closed) it was the coolest dive bar/live music venue in Miami.

Once again, I was the first one there, but this time I did not run into any other Match.com-ers.  At one point in the night, I did bring up the Green Street story and we had a great laugh.  Turns out that was his first date through Match.com and he was beyond nervous.   In the end, Sayeed and I  hit it off quite well and before getting into my car, I agreed to see him again.

A few days passed and we continued to chat, but no solid plans were made for the second date.  , Sayeed finally sent me a message saying that he had decided to take the other girl seriously and could no longer see me, but wanted to remain friends.  Of course, that was fine by me.  If it’s not meant to be, I am not one to force it!

However, two weeks later, Sayeed reached out to me again.  Turns out that after he decided to get serious about the other girl, she decided to get serious with someone she had met before him!  He now wanted to see if I’d like to go on our second date!  Hahahhaa!  As if I’d totally allow myself to be someone’s second choice!  My response was “Thanks, but no thanks. ”

And then I called up Aldric.

It’s a Shore thing…

30 Oct

I know Halloween is not actually until Monday, but I decided celebrating it a little early, along with the rest of the world lol

This year I decided to be Snooki from MTV’s Jersey Shore.  But I wasn’t just ANY Snooki, I was Daytime Snooki!  The one that wears furry boots, big hats and sunglasses.  I got a little creative and altered the glasses myself as well as the the shirt.  I clipped on some fake red hair, glued on some fabulously tacky nails and of course, coated myself in about six layers of spray tan.

Now, being that I’m only 5 feet tall and was in character a lot of the night, my costume was a smash!  People would flip out when they saw me and kept stopping me to take pictures with them.  I felt like a celebrity!  I totally loved it!

Here are some photos from last night’s adventure 🙂

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How I Became an Online Dating Addict

20 Oct

This week, instead of giving you the 101′s and ABC’s of online dating, I’d like to take a different approach and share my story with you; The reason behind why I became so enthralled with it all and why it works for me.  And in order to do so, I must start from the beginning:

As a senior in high school I was quite the character, to say the least.  I was an Honor Roll student, 1st Lieutenant in the JROTC, crazy about live Punk and Ska shows and addicted to the internet.  I don’t quite recall how I came across my first online dating site, but I do remember what it was called; “Face The Jury.”

On this site you would post photos of yourself with a short bio and other members would judge you on a scale of 1-10.  Personally, my score always ranged between an 8 and 8.4 (pats self on back).  I don’t believe that FTJ was ever a traditional online dating site, but it is indeed how I met my first internet crush.  Obviously, I don’t really need to go into much detail to say that we did not quite work out, but we are still very close friends to this day and I do not regret one second of it.

Shortly after that experience I was introduced to Myspace (another non-traditional online dating site) and little by little I started making new virtual friends and meeting them in person.  I dated a few of them, again nothing really worked out in the long run, but my experience there was just a warm up for what was in store for me in the future.

It wasn’t until a few years later that I really started to get hooked.  Up until then, I saw online dating as a reliable source, but by no means was it my priority since I would go out several times a week and party like a mad woman.  I would meet men in person everywhere I’d go thanks to my “life of the party” attitude and being an extreme extrovert.  But this all would soon change.

I’ve always been the type of person who’d jump around from industry to industry, earning me a very diverse resume, but in 2009 my career change went from one extreme to another.  I went from being a Trusted Agent with Homeland Security to becoming a Bartender.

Bartending was something I had always been interested in and as soon as I became certified I landed an excellent job at an Irish Pub.  I worked Thursday – Monday nights and only had Tuesdays and Wednesdays off.  Of course all of my friends had normal jobs and stayed in on my nights off and I refused to date any customers, so my chances of meeting men in person went down-hill.

What was a girl to do??  Well, this girl jumped back onto the Online Dating Wagon and joined Match.com (for the third time, but this time I went in for the kill)!  As soon as I joined my inbox was full of emails from men complimenting me, asking me out on dates and some even borderline professing their love for me.  Of course, I milked this to the extreme.  I was getting to know men from all walks of life and from all over the world; Cuba, Venezuela, Italy, Bavaria,  Austria, India, and much, much more.

I immediately started going on dates on my days off or before my shifts started on the weekends.  On a slow week I’d go on two dates, but my average was four to five dates a week, all with different men.

Now, I know some of you must be thinking “What a little slut.”  Well, sorry to burst your bubble, but that would be far from the case.  Sure I was talking to and dating multiple men at once, but most of them did not make it past that first date, and even less made it past a second.

So, with such little success, why did I continue to date this way?  Well, I saw it as a game of numbers.  If you go on enough dates, you’re bound to meet at least one man that could shine and stand out amongst the others; Aside from the fact that it was just all around fun and exciting.

Mass online dating also helped me figure out exactly what kind of man/qualities I’m looking for.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not one of those girls who walks around with an unrealistic checklist entitled, “The Perfect Man”.  There is no such thing as perfect, but dating at high volumes did help me narrow it down to the most important traits in a short amount of time and help me realize that I should never settle for anything less than what I know I deserve.  And I’d much rather be single and happy than to be in a relationship with someone I know is not 100% meant for me.

Once again I find myself single and with a complicated schedule.  This time I am able to meet men on the random if I wanted to since I have weekends off.  However, I have now become really stand-offish when it comes to meeting men at bars and other public places. I honestly do prefer the method of reading a profile and getting an insight on them before engaging in conversation.

It’s like skipping through the B.S. of first impressions.  Your first impression for me is what you have to say for yourself to the world; a general insight on you.  Not what you think I might want to hear according to where you meet me, what I’m wearing and/or what I’m drinking.

online dating is what I’m most comfortable with, and has yielded the best results for me.  It’s something I enjoy and don’t plan on quitting any time soon…Unless I meet my Prince Charming, of course!  Until then, I’m hooked and it can only be to your benefit!

This entry was originally posted by me at Singles Warehouse