Tag Archives: Lifestyle

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!

Hoops is no slam dunk

22 Apr

I originally wrote this review on Yelp and gave them one star:

I wanted to like Hoops soooooo bad, but it just didn’t happen!

I went to Hoops for the first time with a few of my coworkers last Thursday to have some food and drinks before the Heat game.  My first impression of this sports bar/restaurant on a decor standpoint was fantastic.  On just this alone the potential was magnificent, but then I ordered a drink.  I asked the Server for a Patron Margarita with sugar on the rim instead of salt, but when my drink came and I placed my poor lips against that glass for a sip, my mouth was invaded by an army of disgusting red salt that almost knocked me off of my chair.

I didn’t get upset because I understand that mistakes can happen, but did inform the Server of the error.  She was very apologetic and told me “Don’t worry, I’ll have them remake it.”  I thought that was nice and eagerly awaited my replacement drink, but little did I know that it was going to come back worse than before.  Not only was there still salt on the rim the second time, but they didn’t remake  my drink!  They just poured it into the new glass, transferring the red salt with the drink mixture, turning my once yellow margarita into a pink salty nightmare.

Again, I kept my cool and smiled as I asked the Server to please have my drink redone and to just forget about the sugar all together.  Again she was very apologetic and actually brought it back right on the THIRD try.

My story doesn’t end here though. I actually ordered food; or at least I attempted to.  I asked the Server for a burger with just cheese, bacon and lettuce.  I specifically told her I didn’t want onion, tomato or pickles on there, but figured if it made it onto my burger I would just pull that stuff off myself; No biggie right?

Well, when my burger came it did not have bacon and the cheese was melted OVER the onions and tomatoes so I could not pull them off without loosing all of my glorious cheese.  Once again I let the server know, and once again she was apologetic and took it back to the kitchen. Ten minutes later she comes back with my burger.  At this point I’m so damn hungry I didn’t really look carefully before I cut it in half and was about to put it in my mouth.  But right before I bit into it, I noticed that it did not have cheese, and that’s when I had finally had it!

How is it possible for an establishment to screw up my order so many times?!  There were errors on the bartender’s side, the kitchen’s side and mostly at fault here was the server for not double checking my stuff before bringing it out to me!

I ended up sending my food back and telling her to take it off of my bill.  My coworker shared her turkey club with me, which thanks to her and her alone is the only reason why I didn’t starve that night.

I really don’t think I will be returning to Hoops, which is a big shame because it had so much potential.  The only reason why I’m OK with giving this place one star is because it really was a beautiful venue.  Like I said before, I really wanted to like this place, but they failed me miserably.

Until we meet again…

1 Apr

On March 10th, my cousin, Carlos Reyes lost his life at the young age of  28 in a tragic motorcycle accident.  People tend to automatically assume when there’s an accident involving a motorcycle that the cyclist is the one at fault, but this was not the case.  Carlos was swindled out of his life by a reckless driver in a car whose poor judgement also claimed the life of the passenger in the car (the driver’s wife) and still has the driver in a coma.

There are no words to properly justify the devastation this tragedy has caused our families.  Though Carlos was not at fault, there was a second innocent life lost in all of this and there is another family that is suffering the same pain we are.

Growing up, though I loved all of my cousins, I was always closest to Carlos and his brother Nick.  The two of them have always been my loves; I adore them and the ground they walk on; I always have.  They were my first friends and to this day, though at times we may be distant, we’d still do anything for each other.

Loosing Carlos has got to be the single most hardest thing I’ve ever had to experience in this life.  I always knew that I loved him, but I never realized just how much.  His departure had completely broken my heart, shattered my hopes and had left me with the deepest emptiness in my soul that I honestly lost all desire to continue.  Billie Holiday said it best in Gloomy Sunday, “Angles have no thoughts of ever returning you. Would they be angry if I thought of joining you?”  It wasn’t just my personal pain that made me feel this way.  It was having to see the pain in Nick, our grandmother and the rest of the cousins that was even more difficult.  And the worst of all, the thought of what was to happen to his son, Carlos Jr.

But after every storm there comes the sun.  I could never in a million years say that I am glad that Carlos lost his life; I would gladly give up my own for his return, but I can honestly say that I am grateful for the gifts he gave me when he left.  I’ve come to realize the things that truly matter in this life.  I had been given tiny glimpses of them before, through the loss of other loved ones, but never like this.  The person who I was up until the 10th, is not the person I am now.  And a family that was once segregated has now been reunited.

Before Carlos’ passing, I had only a handful of cousins and one Uncle left and now I have over 13 cousins, and after 14 years of my Aunt Raisa’s passing (Carlos & Nick’s mother) I have Aunts and I have Uncles; all that I knew when I was a young child, but never as a teenager or adult.  And now that I have them in my life again, you better believe that I’m never letting go.

The love and support that I have been able to give and receive from my immediate family and the newly discovered one is the only thing that has gotten me through this as sanely as I have.  We didn’t even know it, but we needed each other and for this, I thank Carlos from the bottom of my heart.

I’m well aware of the saying, “Time heals all wounds,” and maybe it’s so, but Carlos is not someone I will ever forget.  It’s still almost unreal to believe he’s not here anymore, but like Pink says in Who Knew?, “I’ll keep you locked in my head until we meet again.”

Thank you for everything Carlos. I love you, now and forever.

Carlos Rey Reyes
1.6.84 – 3.10.12

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

South Florida Food Trucks; The Best of the Best

17 Jan

Anyone that knows absolutely anything about me knows that I am a foodie.  I’m not just any foodie though, I am a Food Truck fanatic!  You can often find me in the parking lot of a Church (though I’m not religious), park (though I’m not in any sports team) or auto mall (though I’m not in the market for a new car) all in the name of the mighty food lords.

That being said, I have put together a list of a few of my personal favorite food trucks (judging from the ones I have eaten from so far) and what menu items have justified me driving sometimes over 40 miles just to have them.

B.C. Tacos: The Gatherer

Many-a-nights have I dreamt of a cave man feeding me tacos atop a pile of metal and rubber.  B.C. Tacos is indeed to blame for this horrible yet awkwardly sexy fantasy of mine.  You have your choice of soft or hard shell, stuffed fried avocado, lettuce, mozzarella cheese and topped with chipotle mayo.  Though quite simple, The Gatherer is no such thing to the palate.  Do not attempt tasting such magnificence unless you are 100% ready to commit yourself to a foodlationship.

Slow Food Truck: The Green Burger

Slow food is amazing, but even better when it’s served quickly without sacrificing an ounce of quality and flavor.  The food I’ve had from Slow Food Truck is beyond Nomtastic, but I have to say that I particularly love their Green Burger.  What’s a Green Burger you ask?  Well, it’s nothing more than lean ground beef cooked to your liking, topped with bacon, avocado, grilled queso fresco, mixed greens and a cilantro-lime aioli, all housed in a wheat bun.  To die for?  You better believe it!

The Flying Saucer: El Cubanito Sliders

The Flying Saucer had to have been named in reaction to their El Cubanito Sliders because these babies are out of this world!  The sliders are topped with Swiss cheese, chorizo, potato sticks, and their Guavalicious sauce.  All this glory served on mini potato rolls.  I could be having the worst day, but my mood shifts and my happiness levels instantly shoot through the roof whenever I see this truck in a lineup.

Porkalicious: Loaded Baked Potato Cakes

This truck’s name pretty much says it all and being the bacon lover that I am, my heart skipped a beat the first time I saw it.  Though seemingly harmless, these Loaded Baked Potato Cakes can really pack a punch of incredible flavor.  Potato patties with bacon, cheddar cheese, sour cream and green onions, breaded with Panko and served with a buttermilk ranch dipping sauce.  I don’t quite know what other way to describe it to you than by using another made up adjective like “fantastical.”  Porkalicious rocks my world!

CoolHaus: Dirty Mint Ice Cream

And of course, what better way to end a meal than with dessert?  One of my absolute favorite flavor pairings is mint and chocolate, so of course Coolhaus’ Dirty Mint is what I’ve grown more than fond of.  Now, this mint chocolate ice cream is quite different from all the rest.  It’s gourmet and made with real mint leaves.  It’s like nothing I’ve ever tasted before!  But that’s not all!  It comes sandwiched in your cookie of choice and handed to you in an edible potato paper.  Who needs a man when you’ve got Coolhaus?!  Am I right?!

 

If you’re an owner or employee of a South Florida food truck and do not see yours listed above, it does not mean that I don’t like your food. It simply means that I have either yet to try yours out or you fell victim to me having to cut this list short for the sake of the average person’s attention span.

I’d like to feature South Florida food trucks on a monthly basis. What dish are you most popular for? I’d love to try it and share it with the world!  Send me a message at emilysixxrants@gmail.com if you’d like to be featured in a future entry.

It is my goal to try at least one item off of every South Florida food truck’s menu. This won’t be an easy task, meaning that I will actually have to put my gym membership to use, nor will it be cheap, but I believe each truck deserves a fair chance at impressing these magnificent taste buds!

Thanks for reading!  Make sure to subscribe so you’re always up to date with my foodventures!

-Emily Sixx

And the Twilight fans are barking…

13 Dec

My intern, Marjorie, is the drummer in a band called Brand Name Punk. A little over a week ago she posted up their latest music video on YouTube and started sharing it with the world on Facebook. Of course, like any other unsigned band, their goal was to somehow go viral and get as much attention as possible. Well, let me tell you, I think they nailed it!

The song is titled “Hopes and Dreams” and it’s about a guy who is so obsessed with Kristen Stewart he manages to kidnap her and in his own little fantasy world believe she’s in love with him too. In the video they act this all out with a life size cardboard cutout of said actress. The band member with the obsession ends up spending way too much time with her and his bandmates decide it’s time for the affair to end. They kidnap “Kristen” again and destroy the cutout for the sake of the band’s survival. It’s silly. It’s cute. It’s HARMLESS!!!!

Well, I’ve seen their total view count go from 300 to over 18,000 in three days and let me tell you that it’s causing quite a stir from Kristen Stewart fans! Most seem to be taking this video quite seriously and believe they actually want to kill the girl! The nasty comments are numerous! Here are a few:

“It’s amazing what people do to get views and publicity. This disgusting thing should get banned and censored. Trying to steal fame out of our Kristen, and hurting her image in that form… so shameless, so repulsive.”

“Everyone who is a true fan of Kristen would NOT think this was funny. It doesn’t matter what they were actually trying to say with this video, they fucking BURNED a cardboard cutout of her. This is like porn for her haters. And if you think you’re a Rob fan and like this video, think again, because he’d lose his shit if he ever saw his girlfriend being disrespected this way. Fucking insensitive assholes. I’m flagging the shit out of this until it’s taken down.”

“horrible. way to promote killing an actress who already has too big a share of haters just itching at the bit for some inspiration to take it further than expressing their 1st amendment rights. fuck you!”

Bottom line, it probably IS illegal to use her image in the video without her consent. I honestly can’t say for sure, because I don’t know those laws, but come on! Seriously people?!?! These Twilight fans are way too much. You should see some of the comments that were left in Spanish!

Take a look at the video for yourself and let me know what you think!