Carly’s Last Night

Last night marked Carly’s final evening as our roommate 🙁 While I will miss seeing her face on a regular basis, she is in love with her new apartment and I’m incredibly happy for her. I’m looking forward to many happy hours and wine nights on Carly’s patio in the near future.

In true cheetah fashion, our last night together consisted of wine and appetizers.

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We were less than impressed with this wine. It didn’t have the normal fruitiness of a sauvignon blanc, and tasted more like an extremely mild chardonnay.

For appetizers we went with a flatbread, a Kashi thin crust pizza, and spanakopita:

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As well as a trio of cheeses with crackers

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And a tomato & mozz salad with pesto

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Before we parted ways, I gifted her with a bottle of Nobilo Sauvignon Blanc, a set of stemless wine glasses, and some decorative (wine-related, of course – are you seeing a trend?) wall hangings for her new place.

I have plans for a housewarming gift in the near future, but these gifts served a different purpose…

TODAY IS CARLY’S BIRTHDAY!!

 

Happy birthday to my little wine-loving

cheetah, love you girl!

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See Jane Run 1/2 Marathon Expo

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Yesterday morning Carly and I headed downtown to See Jane Run’s 1/2 marathon packet pickup at the Courtyard by Marriott.

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The hallway leading to the entrance was filled with inspirational quotes:

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The signage directed us to look up our bib numbers and then head inside to pick up our bib and packet.

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Not before posing for a quick photo with Jeanette though!

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After we picked up all of the things we needed, we worked the room to decide on the things we wanted. As usual, a familiar gravitational force pulled Carly and I to one particular section of the room

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Yep. Once again we were able to sniff out the wine at a race expo.

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Carly filled out cards for a giveaway for us. One of the questions was “How often do you consume wine?”

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Do we recommend wine? Why yes, yes we do.

The expo was fairly small and only featured a few vendors: SPIbelt, iFitness, Luna Bars, Barefoot Wine, Glam Headbands, Arbonne, and a couple shoe booths.

We then tore into our race bags and launched into photo-shoot mode:

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We were on our way out when a familiar face flagged us down – Tricia!

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We were on a mission post-expo to find Carly a new pair of shoes, as one of hers decided to kick the bucket today:

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RIP left flip-flop, Carly will miss you. We made a quick stop at the Round Rock Outlets, Target, and then headed home. It was time to see what was in our swag bags!

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Not bad See Jane Run, not bad at all! Love the race shirt – I don’t think I’ve ever seen a purple one before.

The course, however, is less than desirable. It’s not in one of the nicest areas of Austin, and according to Tricia, it’s a pretty hilly course with plenty of speed bumps. Yes, speed bumps.

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Oh, and the weather. Let’s talk about the freakin’ weather. Don’t get me wrong, Austin NEEDS the rain in the worst possible way. We haven’t had a good rain storm since back in May. But … it would be nice if it could hold off until at least noon. Or if the rain won’t go away, can we at least see a drop in humidity?

Pretty please?

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One thing is for sure – it is going to be an interesting race!

What’s in your wallet?

When I lived in New Jersey (cue Jersey Shore smartass remarks), I banked with Ocean First, a local institution. I moved to Florida after high school, and switched to Bank Atlantic, yet another local bank. While Brad and I dated long distance, I switched to Bank of America in an effort to consolidate our finances.

Big mistake. HUGE. Bonus points if you can name that movie.

My relationship with BoA lasted until shortly after my arrival in Texas. I was unemployed for quite a bit of time after I moved, so my bank account balance was grim. Couple that with BoA’s infamous “reorder-your-transactions-so-you-have-to-pay-the-maximum-amount-of-overdraft-fees” tactic, and I was more than ready to cut all ties with them.

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After a bit of research, I decided on Capital One. My experience with them has been nothing less than pleasant. I signed up for their Rewards card and have been racking up points ever since.

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Today I received the first item I redeemed with said points:

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Well how am I supposed to assemble this thing if the corks aren’t included?!

Luckily, I was prepared for such a situation:

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Yeah. People in this house like their wine. A lot.

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Okay, so I wasn’t completely prepared. I don’t have anything to glue the corks down with. I did, however, figure out the pattern I want to do. Now all I have to do is secure them in place.

The finished product:

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I never realized how different each wine cork was until I started fitting them together. The different sizes definitely made arranging them a challenge!

Do you hate Bank of America as much as I do? Does your bank have a rewards program?

House Wine–Happy Hour

Sundays are usually a pretty unimpressive day due to the sadness of the weekend being almost over. The best way to combat these negative feelings is to schedule a blogger/Twitter meetup mid-afternoon. So that is what we did!

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Carly & I met up with Brittany and Jeanette at House Wine, a small wine bar in downtown Austin off of Lamar. It boasts a fairly extensive wine list and various cheese options as well as hummus, olive spread, and a small dessert menu.

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On Sundays, all wine bottles opened on Saturday night are served by the glass at half price. Brilliant idea. Just brilliant.

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It wasn’t long before we were empty, and it was time for round 2.

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Waiting patiently for the next glass…

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The cheetahs were in their element; House Wine felt like home.

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Hunger set in, and we did what any normal person would do: order a giant plate of brie, with brown sugar and almonds.

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And then proceed to inhale it.

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Absolutely delicious. I’ve never met a plate of brie that I didn’t like.

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Lindsay met up with us as well, and after a bit of time passed by, everyone was ready to head home. We were excited to meet up with some fabulous ladies and enjoy affordable, delicious wine while having great conversation. All in all, it was an awesome afternoon.

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Carly and I decided we still had another glass of wine to conquer, and another cheese plate (with gouda & manchego) to devour.

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And then (because this seemed like another genius idea) we split one final glass of wine and ordered dessert.

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A brownie sundae, drizzled with port wine. Fantastic!

Before our departure, we lounged on the patio a bit, savoring the last few moments of our weekend.

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Carly posed with a cute little bird:

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And we listened to this gentleman jam out on his keyboard:

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We sadly left House Wine to head home. We couldn’t make it back to the house without stopping to pick up a bottle of wine to cap the night off with.

The party continued at the house:

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And Bo showed his true colors

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He won’t look at the camera because he doesn’t want to acknowledge that he has a drinking problem.

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Got him. BO – WE’RE ON TO YOU! We know you love a crisp sauvignon blanc on a hot summer afternoon…

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In true cheetah fashion, we’re now unwinding in front of the television. Watching the Real Housewives of New Jersey.

Personally, I can’t decide which show makes me more ashamed to be a Jersey girl: Jersey Shore or RHONJ. Either way, it’s pretty embarrassing.

How do you survive the Sunday blues?

Carly Saves the Day

I had a pretty rough day at work yesterday, and Carly was determined to turn that frown upside down. Mid-afternoon she texted me this picture:

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This chick knows the way to my heart. We skipped our workout last night for the first time in four weeks, and it was totally worth it.

Not even 5 minutes after I walked through the front door Carly was handing me a glass of chardonnay. Pure happiness.

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Next up: cheese & crackers and spanakopita

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Obviously this wasn’t the most filling meal, albeit delicious, so we had room left over for dessert. Carly suggested froyo, and I jumped at the chance.

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I like to fill the bottom of my cup with Cap’n Crunch and waffle cone pieces. This strategy ensures that when you’re done with the froyo on top, you have a surprise at the bottom. Win!

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Crappy day has officially been transformed into happy day.

And then (shockingly) we indulged in trashy mindless reality TV. Our specialty.

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Huge thanks to Carly for saving the day and ending it on a high note!

Cheetah Friday: Sponsored by Vendange

Carly and I hit our second home, Target, for frozen pizza and a bottle of wine. After much deliberation we each chose our own pie – yes, we bought two.

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Off to the aisle of happiness: the wine aisle. We chose a larger, less reputable bottle (don’t judge) to save some cash and also so it would last through the weekend.

The night started innocently enough

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We were deep in conversation and the wine continued to flow. Brad came home from work and we moved the party onto the patio. We then decided it would be fun to play with Bo and chase him around the yard

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After playtime with Bo, it was yoga time! There were sun salutations, downward dogs, eagle pose, and the favorite of the night: bird pose.

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We were on a mission to nail this damn pose.

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And that, my friends, is yoga success. All it takes is a little (ahem, gallon) of chardonnay and determination.

Speaking of that gallon of wine…

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Yeah. The bottle that was supposed to last us all weekend? GONE.

Best laid plans…

Workout Goal Success

Our first week back at the gym went incredibly well. We nailed each and every workout we had planned. Tonight after our run and an hour of yoga, we headed to our second home: Target.

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Healthy Choice Café Steamers because they were quick and cheap, wine because hello, that’s why we run, and chocolate for dessert.

This wine will of course get a proper review, but for now – if you see it, BUY IT! You will not be disappointed.

Running this town

It’s hard to believe with all the races we’ve completed, Carly and I have ran only two of them together. And we’ve never ran together purely for fun or during training season.

Until this morning.

4am came early, but we sucked it up and were on our way downtown by 5. On the schedule was 7 miles and we were determined to make it happen.

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Runtex has a couple water stops set up on the Town Lake Trail, and we were more than appreciative.

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Those dark circles are mucho attractive. So are my geriatric shoes.

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7 miles = done! I’m not even going to tell you how long it took us, but I will say we took walk breaks often. No need to go hardcore on our first “longer” run. (Paula, I know your “short” run was twice the distance of our “long” run haha) We pushed it pretty hard while we ran, and recovered with short spurts of walking.

Of course afterwards, we were dying to have caffeine pump through our veins. The plan was to hit up Whole Foods, but they weren’t open yet when we got there. We headed across the street to Starbucks.

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And then back across the street to Whole Foods.

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We were all set on coffee; now it was time for FOOD!

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Eggs benedict, four cheese quiche, and hash browns.

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The heat wasn’t too unbearable yet so we snagged a table in the shade outside on the patio.

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Heavenly!

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We were on a mission: purchase two bottles of Argentinian wine, two delicious cheeses to enjoy later this afternoon, and boniato for our international cuisine night tomorrow.

Cheetahs rejoiced and danced through the aisles of the wine section.

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Can we move in here?

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We quickly decided on two bottles of wine … and then grabbed an extra for tonight, of course.

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For cheese, we went with a Cranberry Chipotle Cheddar, and Capricho de Cabra with Fine Herbs.

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Unfortunately, Whole Foods didn’t carry boniato so we had to venture to somewhere less exciting: Fiesta.

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An employee found it pretty amusing that we were snapping photos in the parking lot.

Guy: Are you taking pictures of Fiesta?

Me: Um, yes, it’s our first time here!

Guy: Oh, well it’s not that exciting…

Once inside we made a beeline to the produce, and look what Mr. Produce man was restocking: boniato! They must have known we were coming…

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Carly’s getting ready to jump in there

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And I present to you, boniato!

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After all of this, we were home by 9:30. Talk about a productive morning! Now we’re foam rolling, icing, hydrating, and lounging comfortably on the couch. Well deserved relaxation after killing our 7 mile goal this morning!

Did you run/race today? How did it go?

Cheetah Fuel

A road trip is not easy. Great conversation and a rockin’ playlist can make all the difference, but another key component is food and beverages. We would not have made it through those 22 hours without our Cheetah Fuel.

Day 1

Early morning necessity:

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Hangover necessity:

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Eating on a road trip can be tricky. I can’t even tell you how many billboards I saw Wendy’s, Waffle House, and Taco Bell on. We avoided the fast food and chose a healthier, quicker option:

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And mid-afternoon, when your hangover is subsiding and exhaustion is setting in (and you haven’t seen a Dunkin Donuts or Starbucks in several hundred miles), you swing through a McD’s drive thru for a pick me up.

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Neither of us were convinced there was actually coffee in there, but it gave us the energy to carry on until dinner.

Desperately trying to avoid a drive-thru dinner, we were pleasantly surprised when we came across a Ruby Tuesdays.

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They like to keep the mozzarella sticks classy by sprinkling them with a little parm.

After a long day of 12+ hours of driving combined with two hours of hitting every rest stop possible desperately searching for an available hotel room, it’s wine time. It’s only right to reward yourself for not having an emotional breakdown on the side of I-10 in the middle of Mississippi.

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And because that bottle of wine had been buried in a suitcase all day, we needed a little love from the ice machine

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Day 2

The Hampton Inn in Hammond, LA was kind enough to offer a complimentary breakfast. We accepted with open arms.

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Of course, those mini cups of coffee just weren’t going to cut it for us caffeine junkies. A trip to Starbucks was more than necessary.

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One grande iced coffee and one Dirty Chai (chai tea + shot of espresso) for the ladies.

After this visit to Starbucks, we decided not to break for lunch and made a beeline to Austin. We kept busy by chugging Smartwater and eating Jolly Ranchers

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And that is how the Cheetahs survive a road trip!

What’s your go-to snack or beverage of choice when you’re on the road?

I fought the law…

and the law did NOT win!

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Honestly I didn’t expect the ticket to be dismissed since a few people I know tried to fight the same offense and failed miserably. This made my day – $260 I do NOT have to shell out to the State of Texas!

Naturally I celebrated by grabbing a bottle of wine:

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I first discovered this wine while working at Seasons 52 (seriously that place was like HEAVEN for me). It’s nothing fancy, just your run of the mill white table wine. It’s light and refreshing, and best of all – cheap! It used to run me about $4 at Total Wine when I lived in South Florida. Sadly enough, there aren’t any Total Wine stores in Austin. DEPRESSING. I’m like a kid in a candy store there.

Since I had already passed Target on my way home, my next best option for wine purchasing was the nearby Chevron. DO NOT JUDGE. They have a pretty solid selection for a food mart, promise!

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They also have a whole other rack behind where I was standing, and also a cooler full of chilled bottles. Not bad for a Chevron, right?

I was about to settle for a riesling, when I saw the Aveleda on the end of the aisle. I got all nostalgic thinking about drinking it on my patio in Florida, grabbed the bottle, and headed to the register. It was about $7, as expected since gas stations tend to jack up the prices where they can.

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Overall, I’m thoroughly enjoying my selection and would definitely recommend it as a wine to sip during those hot summer months.