the juice you chew

okay, before you go running for the hills about a post called “the juice you chew”, i implore you hear me out on this one.  this past saturday i was at orangetheory with our coach alana, and after a sweaty 55-minute endurance class, we were stretching when she said she had a treat for us.  ooh, there’s nothing better than a hard-earned treat!  well, i couldn’t quite hear everything she was saying about this chuice stuff, but the bit i did hear was something along the lines of “you take a sip, you chew, take a sip, chew, so on and so forth.  it’s only 150 calories per bottle and it is healthy!  the chewing process helps you digest your food, and having something in a bottle for on-the-go lifestyles is perfect.”  out of respect and intrigue i figured i had nothing to lose, so i made my way to the front of the class to grab a bottle for myself.

now, i’d be lying if i said i wanted to chug it down right away.  the thick texture and very green color had me a little worried that i might not even be able to choke down a swallow of the stuff.  however, i’m usually down for trying something new at least once, so i went for it.

i cannot even begin to tell you how pleasantly surprised i was, but i shall try!  first, i enjoy kale, so getting to chomp on it along with some crunchy pine nuts didn’t phase me at all.  and, along with all the other fresh fruit and vegetables, it was quite a flavor explosion.  also, i don’t usually have a texture aversion when it comes to what i eat, so that was something i didn’t really have to get past.

i will say that drinking (or maybe eating?) chuice isn’t the most graceful of acts, in that sometimes you’re slurping up a piece of vegetable while also trying to sip.  just imagine that while trying to drive home.  oh, and here’s a pro-tip when enjoying chuice:  be sure to shake after each sip to make sure the thinner liquid actually mixes in with all the more solid ingredients.  the reason i say this is because if you do not you’ll end up with a big clump of vegetables and fruits at the bottom of the bottle that you cannot get out, which is a shame because all those vegetables and fruits are so tasty!

now, you might be thinking “eh, that evergreen flavor doesn’t look like my cup of tea.”  well, have i got news for you!  they also have one called heart-beet!  seriously!  i cannot make up this stuff, and you all know how much i love beets, so i am convinced it is fate.  you can purchase chuice online or, if you got to their locator page, you can find a store near you where you can indulge.  lucky for me there are plenty of nearby whole foods that carry them, so i just cannot wait to stop by.  do your body something new and good and give chuice a try!

fabulous fabletics!

okay, loyal readers.  today i am finally going to bring you my uncensored, unbiased, and absolutely honest review of kate hudson’s fabletics.  it all started, actually, a long while back when kate began advertising on tv her activewear, fitness, & workout clothing line.  the commercials were and still are completely adorable and fully focused on the product.  and, something that’s even cooler now is that her commercials and website are promoting the clothes for larger ladies, aka real-sized ladies.  can i get an amen?!

so, after watching cute little kate run around with her besties commercial after commercial, i couldn’t resist.  the kicker that really convinced me to give in was their latest promotion, which is two pairs of leggings for only $24.  yes, you read that correctly.  usually one pair at a local athletic store costs at least thirty bucks.  so, two for even less than that seemed like quite a bargain.  plus, i’ve been wearing the same three workout outfits for longer than i’d care to admit, so the timing seemed perfect.

with that i signed up for my vip membership last week and had a fun time picking out which prints, lengths, and cuts i liked most.  and, of course, after you pick out your leggings you get special pricing on all sorts of other items.  so, it was easy for me to throw a tank top into my cart as well.  i mean, when the deal is too good to pass up, you must act on it!

i placed my order, shut my laptop lid, and waited with high anticipation for my package to arrive.  it took about a week to be delivered to my condo stoop, just in time for my 10:00 a.m. class at buckhead orangetheory.  for this morning’s workout i decided to pair my new aventura tank with the polly capri (i also can’t wait to try out the cherise legging, which was my second legging choice).  i loved the polly print on the website and, will confess now, that i also love it in person.  perfect for summer workouts!

polly print up close.

before i hustled out the door, i made the saddest attempt at a mirror selfie.  i mean, look at that awkward smile.  i honestly don’t know how people do this…

and then i asked phillip to take a more flattering photo that, with an undesirable upward angle, ended up being a little bit of a mess, too.

don’t fear, though!  my post workout pics are gnarly!

but, before we get to those, let’s talk about fit and performance of these two pieces.  first, the tank.  i ordered the aventura tank in an extra large (i usually wear xl tops and am bra size 36/38) and was quite thankful it fit just fine.  when i had taken it out of the packaging i was worried it was going to suction itself to every nook and cranny of my torso, but it actually fell on my body in a very comfortable way.

next, i also ordered the polly capri in an extra large.  after i snipped the tag off and began wiggling myself into them, i was quite worried they were going to be too small.  however, once i got them up and on, they felt secure and snug and in control.  the only concern i had was that as i sat to slip on my socks and shoes i heard the tiniest little tears, and my guess is some of the seam stitches were popping.  well, isn’t that nice.  let’s just blame this on the fact that they’re brand new and need to be worn a little bit?  sure, let’s go with that…

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the humble beet

folks, this post is dedicated to the humble, the delicious, the underrated and widely unknown beet.  i’m not sure i could pinpoint in time for you when and where my beet obsession began, but it feels like such a natural pairing to me and it’s almost as if i can never get enough!  i think if you were to ask my friends about my love for beets, they’d probably say the same thing.  i mean, it’s so known among my personal circle that whenever beets are on the menu at a restaurant, everyone immediately hollers, “kelsey!  there’s beets on the menu!  are you going to get them?”  and, i always and happily reply, “of course!”

i love my beets cold, cooked, or now, as i recently discovered, in cracker form!  that’s right, it’s the cracker i’ve been waiting for my entire life.  i was just doing my weekly shopping at the local disco kroger when i moseyed into the cracker aisle, trying to make a snack selection.  i could always go with the traditional cheez-its or ritz crackers but then a beacon of light shone directly in the right spot and called me to the good thins beet crackers.

i squeaked in excitement, left my buggie in the middle of the aisle, and rushed over to the shelf.  i could hardly believe what my eyes were seeing!  i immediately threw them into the cart and rushed home so that i could give them a taste.  now, as a beet-lover, i had high expectations for these crackers.  as i began to munch away, i was waiting for the classic beet flavor to hit me like a ton of bricks but it didn’t quite happen.  it really is more of a hint of beet after you take a few bites and, if you didn’t know they were beet crackers, you probably wouldn’t be able to identify them as such.  however, i am still ecstatic that the cracker industry is trying to raise awareness about this incredible root vegetable that really has so many health benefits and is quite versatile in the kitchen.  from gold beets to red beets, just cook ’em up, pour on some balsamic vinaigrette and sprinkle on some goat cheese and you’re good to go!  #beetsforlife!

the wedding chronicles | decision #2

THE BUDGET

one evening last week i was going through my wedding bag, getting things sorted and paperclipped, when i started to wonder what my next entry for the wedding chronicles would be.  with such a plethora of things i could start planning and describing, i thought it might be hard to choose where to go next, but as i looked through the many piles of carefully categorized ideas, it dawned on me that i had perhaps completely (albeit unknowingly) mistaken the venue as decision #1.  decision #1 truly, i think, should be…that’s right…the budget.  cue the dramatic music!

it’s my general opinion that no one really likes to talk about money, unless they have a lot of it.  i mean, i’m talking millions on millions, and since i’m not in that position, i don’t often bring it up in conversation.  am i the only one?  probably not, so maybe because we don’t usually talk about money i seem to have forgotten to mention it as one of the largest factors when planning your big day.

there are oodles of articles and books written about how to portion the money you have in the most sensible way.  for example, everyone these days says to not skimp on the photographer.  eh, that’s pretty understandable.  i’ll give them that.  however, the different percentage breakdowns you see online or in magazines should, i think, really just be a guide for how you and your fiance/fiancee decide to spend the money.  people also say that you should identify those aspects of your wedding that are most important to you and make those purchases worth your while.  for example, if you want live music over a dj on your big day, be prepared to spend a little more and cut back elsewhere.  or, if a five-course plated dinner is your style, understand it likely won’t come cheap.  i think that if you go into things understanding that wedding services are in high demand and, because of this fact, can charge a premium, you may not be as sticker-shocked as you would be otherwise.

and that brings me to a very honest realization i had early on in this planning:  the typical american wedding is expensive.  let’s say you’re feeding around 100 guests at your reception.  if you go on the more conservative end of the menu, you’re probably spending about $50 per person.  that meal, that one meal right there, is $5,000 of your budget.  yeah, it goes that quickly.  and that might not even include booze!  assuming that’s your thing.

regardless of what your budget is or is not, we must all keep in mind (brides, grooms, and guests, too) that even though the wedding is a large celebration of the vows you exchange with your husband or wife, it truly is a single day in the beginning of a long journey together.  yes, getting married at a castle might be your dream, but it might not be reality.  you might even glow the tiniest bit green with envy as you flip through magazines and shows, seeing couples with unlimited budgets.  however, try not to fret, because at the end of the day your satisfaction with what you can/cannot do will be largely influenced by your perspective on it all.  for phillip and me, we understand that we are spending a lot of money for this event.  we also know we could go over budget and spend more.  and, if we do go a little above, we’ll practice forgiveness because it really is the most special day in our lives so far.  however, i think the way a couple handles their money during wedding planning is a large indicator of how it will be handled in the marriage, and getting off on the right foot, happy with and thankful for what you could afford, seems like a pretty good way to start the rest of your life.

the wedding chronicles | decision #1

THE VENUE

although other couples may take a different approach, i suspect most wedding planning begins with either a date or a venue or perhaps both.  some people want to get married during a specific time of the year; others have had a vision of the ceremony and reception occurring at a certain venue for quite some time.  if either of those factors is at play, you and your betrothed might easily be directed to a specific set of choices to fit into that picture.  however, phillip and i didn’t fall into either of those categories, and here is what our experience was.

first, phillip and i live in atlanta, ga.  known as “the hollywood of the south,” atlanta has grown into quite a diverse and large city.  as one can imagine, atlanta really became an oyster in that we had nearly endless options to meet whatever style and feel we want for our wedding day.  we could easily go urban and modern and luxurious in a high-rise hotel with a view, we could have something more casual at the local brewery, or we could even have a shabby chic celebration in a restored barn just outside the city limits.  do you see where i’m going with this?  in a city like atlanta, having so many options can be inspiring but can also lead to indecisiveness.  so!  my first piece of advise is this:  do your research and decide on your top ten venues to tour.  you might be thinking that ten sounds like a lot, but something to keep in mind is that the pictures you look at online don’t always actually represent the space.  you might come upon a venue that looked like a ten on their website but turned out to be a dud.  or, the flip side, the pictures you saw were only somewhat interesting but then the venue was even better in person.  the takeaway is that giving yourself enough variety but not too many options will hopefully lead to a venue that is a good representation of what you all want.

second, you actually may not know what you want or don’t want until you see it.  unless experienced, this is probably the first wedding you are planning, and as such you likely have no idea how you are going to feel as you go throughout the process.  for example, phillip and i had narrowed down our top option to have the ceremony and reception at the same location but then realized that having the ceremony at a church instead was paramount to us.  we reevaluated our options and ultimately changed our plans.  however, when we signed those contracts and wrote the check, we and our families were elated that we were picking places that would make us both happy.  my advice here is to be flexible, patient, and respectful of one another as you explore your wants together.  you don’t want to rush a decision as important as this one, and choosing a venue is one of the many things that brings you closer as a couple.

something else i have learned, even this early on in the process, is that nearly every decision you make during wedding planning is going to be emotional.  sure, from the outside looking in some choices might seem logical (either option a or option b), but in the couples’ minds, hardly anything is that simple.  considering the fact that your wedding day is probably the most important day of your lives thus far, it’s understandable that you want everything to be perfect.  although i encourage you to fight for what you want, i do see the sense in also not overthinking things, especially the “smaller” things.  maybe i need to write this down and keep it in my wedding binder as a reminder for future decisions…!

finally, as far as choosing where and when to plan your nuptials, i say this:  the space you choose may require you to compromise on other aspects of plans you have for your big day.  for example, the reception site we chose isn’t conducive to serving dinner family-style, something that was originally extremely high on my priority list.  however, as you come across this kind of situation, ask yourself what will be worth it at the end of the day.  did i want us to keep looking for a venue just as close to the church that would also do family-style?  or was i willing to “give that up” for a gorgeous building inspired by the town of glendalough, ireland?  well, the latter ended up being the case, and when this happens, it’s okay.  remember, as they all say, sometimes compromise is part of being married.  what better practice to get than when planning your wedding?  😉

the wedding chronicles

as many of you know, phillip and i have been engaged for about four months now.  not wanting to rush the engagement excitement, we didn’t seriously begin forming wedding ideas or plans until about february.  now, i am not the typical bride in that i wouldn’t say i’ve had a dream wedding in mind since my childhood.  however, i would say i have a pretty strong sense of design and personal style that i would ideally incorporate into our big day.  among all the things every couple wants for their wedding day, in the end a celebration that equally represents phillip and me is certainly the goal.

now, in an effort to begin sourcing ideas that might fit well with our style, i must admit that i have already done my fair share of magazine perusing.  i think my mother, kari, and i went through about ten over the Christmas break just ourselves, and i know for certain that i have two editions of the knot:  georgia sitting in my shoulder bag at the moment.  as i looked (and continue to look) through these glossy pages full of tips and tricks and diy secrets, one thing became glaringly clear to me:  planning a wedding involves nearly a countless number of decisions.  from the venue to the caterer to the photographer and hotel, just thinking about all the things to be done can cause a couple to feel overwhelmed.

beyond the pressure that the modern wedding industry has forced on us (particularly the brides), there is the added sense of anticipation from those who will attend the big day.  we’re all guilty of gossiping about a wedding afterwards (or even during it).  for example, “the colors she picked are so out of season.”  or, “this fish is dry, and the green beans are rubbery.”  or, perhaps, the worst of them all, “this dj is trash!”  yes, we all do it and will continue to do so because, like many other things in life, we often think we can do better on something we have no involvement with whatsoever.

now, i’m not staying i’m excluding myself from the wedding gossip cycle.  we’re all human and it’s something that comes with the territory.  however, this desire to please a large crowd of people whose opinions you value greatly only adds more stress to something that is already so stressful in nature.  although i’d like to put myself above the fray on this one (because i tend to be pretty organized and confident), i know there will be moments when i am subject to it all just like every other person in this position.

so!  where am i going with all of this, you ask?  i’ll tell you exactly where all of this is going.  i am going to document (and count) each decision phillip and i have to make to plan this wedding.  this adventure is two-fold:  first, we’ll be able to quantify, in some way, just how much work is required in planning a wedding these days.  second, i’ll get to celebrate a small victory with each choice we make throughout this process.

i think it will be a joyous, exciting, and unpredictable journey.  so, strap yourself in and let’s see where this road takes us!

r+f for everyone!

as many of you know, i am always on the hunt for a good skin care regimen.  i wouldn’t say i have the worst skin i possibly could, but i never turn down the chance to try something new to improve my face.  as such, i was approached by a rodan + fields skincare consultant (someone very close to me and whom i trust) to talk about my options with this revolutionary skincare line.

first, if you were not already aware, the r+f skincare line is developed by the same doctors who brought you the proactiv line of products.  proactiv has proven to be a trustworthy and reliable product over the years, so when r+f was introduced, it’s no surprise that people were ready to give it a try.

second, you can kind of mix and match what you want to use.  they offer several package treatments, but if you want to start out with just a facewash and lotion, for example, you have the flexibility to do so.

third, you don’t have to go into a store to purchase.  some folks might be uncomfortable pursuing and ordering skincare treatment in person, so r+f is solely offered through online ordering.  the product ships directly to your home/office/wherever, a convenient perk.  even more so, they make the replenishment ordering process easy by automating it every 60 days.  if you don’t need more of the product, though, simply adjust your ordering/shipping for that time.

so, now that i’ve totally convinced you to get in a touch with an r+f consultant (and if you don’t have one, i have someone who would be perfect for you!), let’s talk about my experience so far.  after doing a little homework, i decided to purchase the unblemish series.  i thought about just doing the facewash and toner, but it made more sense financially to order the entire bundle and go from there.  the package provides instructions on how best to use the products you’ve purchased.  for example, besides just how to use each of the four steps in the unblemish regimen, i was given a schedule of how to integrate these products into my daily routine.  so, for the first week, i only use the products every other day in the morning.  then, i increase to every morning, so on and so forth.  this approach gives your face the opportunity to adjust to the new products you are using.  if your skin doesn’t respond well to using the products twice a day, for example, then you can reduce to using them just once a day.

before day 1 arrived, i decided to do what all good skincare companies do:  take some before pictures!  i switched to selfie mode and snapped these few pictures.

after taking a look, i realized they were pretty standard, in that i looked so sad!  i decided to retake with a bit cheerier attitude.  🙂

so!  next is to get started, yes?  yes!  first up is the facewash.  this purple creme facewash is very gentle, and that comes from someone who has very sensitive skin.

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next is the toner.  this is probably going to sound weird, but i always love when a toner is part of a skincare process.  it makes my skin feel so fresh and clean!

once the toner dries, i put on the acne treatment.  a little of this stuff goes a long way, so i’d recommend one pump from each side.  remember, you can always add more later.

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finally, apply the lotion.  with this dry winter upon us, it’s even more important than ever to hydrate your skin properly.  a light lotion before you go out the door is the perfect ticket!

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i’ve only been using this line for a couple weeks now, and although there isn’t a noticeable difference at the moment, i’m hoping that after about two months total my skin will be a bit more consistent and smooth.  you always need to give your face time to acclimate to a new set of products, so let’s see what kind of magic r+f can do!

dear mom

it was nearly three years ago when i was on the hunt for a gym to join.  i searched high and low and finally settled on orangetheory fitness.  there were a couple main motivators to this decision.  first, they had early classes.  early classes, kelsey?  everyone has early classes.  no, folks, i’m talking five a.m. early.  i’m a busy lady with lots to do and no time to waste, so the earlier the better in this case.  second, the classes are no larger than 24 people and are led by a trainer.  i’ve never been one to lace up my sneakers and make up my own workout, so having someone telling me what to do tends to work pretty well.

so, it’s hundreds of classes later (okay, maybe not hundreds but certainly lots!) and i’m still going strong.  you might be wondering what motivates me to peel myself out of bed a few times a week so early to exercise.  well, part of it, in all honesty, is the fact that orangetheory fitness members pay a bit of a premium.  another factor is that i do truly want to do right by my body.  i mean, i’m not signing up for any bodybuilding competitions anytime soon, but i’m doing my part.  finally, i have someone to keep me accountable:  my mother.

my mom tori asked me about orangetheory last spring, curious to know more since they were building one just down the road from my parents’ neighborhood in birmingham.  i remember very exactly the scene:  i was sitting in the courtyard of my building, drinking starbucks while reading or napping or doing something else relaxing.  my mom called to catch up on anything and everything and then eventually brought up orangetheory.

“i’m not so sure about it, kelsey.  i mean, is it for young people?  i’m not very flexible.”

“oh, mom.  it’s for everyone!  you go at your own pace, whatever it is.  and if something is too difficult, they always have a modified version of the exercise.  all the trainers have been really nice and encouraging.  you should try it!”

“ah, maybe.”

“well, you can at least go for the free class and see what you think.  who knows, maybe you’ll love it.”

and that, folks, was how it went.  the next thing i knew my mom was addicted.  she was practically going more often than me!  she’d call in the evening and ask if i’d gone to class that day and then politely brag about how many reps she did in the weight room.  😉  it has been perfectly sweet to see her start out and now watch as she has become a regular at her local studio.

the orangetheory fun was elevated this past week as hell week was upon us.  for eight days straight, the workouts were going to be more difficult than they normally are, and the challenge was to go at least five out of the eight days.  i’d known about hell week for a while but hadn’t given it a second thought.  it was at that moment that my mom called to ask if i’d signed up.

“hah, i hadn’t really considered it!  are you going to do it?”

“of course i am!” she replied without missing a beat.

“oh, well!  i guess i need to get myself on the list!  how many classes are you going to do?”

“all eight, young lady!”

“oh my!  well, if you say so!”

so, hell week came bright and early last monday at five a.m. for me.  each day i mentally counted down from eight to seven to six to five and then all the way down to one.  every day of hell week my mom texted and called me to see what i thought of the workout.  we laughed about the 90 squats we had to do one day and i moaned and groaned about the burpee challenge we had on another.  it was after day seven, this past sunday, that i called my mom in a bit of a grumpy mood.

“ugh, i just did not have fun today in class.  my legs were tired and i didn’t really know anyone and all i wanted to do was sleep.”

“well, then don’t go tomorrow.  listen to your body and take the day off.” she consoled.

“i can’t do that.  i’ve already done seven of the eight days.  plus, i don’t want to disappoint you.”

“oh, kelsey, you can’t do this for me.  you have to do it for yourself.  that’s why i’m doing it.  i wanted to challenge myself and see if i could do it.”

“i know, but i committed to doing it and doing it together with you.  my little engine is just running low, that’s all.”

so, if you’ve read this far, you’re probably wondering, “what is the deal with this post?  what is this about?”  folks, it is about my remarkable mother.  this post is fully dedicated to the woman i look up to most.  these dialogues are a brief glimpse into who she is and what she has taught me.  this post is a thank-you, a thank-you that will never capture it all but will certainly try.

“dear mom,

there are many things this letter needs to say, and i think a good place to start is for all the things that make me grateful for you.  first, i am grateful for my relationship with you.  so many people do not have relationships with their mothers, either by choice or circumstance, and as i have grown up, i have learned and continue to be aware of how lucky i am to have the friendship i have with you.  our relationship has changed and evolved not only as i have moved from home to school to career to adulthood but as you have also moved through phases of life.  you regularly tell me that you loved kyle, clark, and i as kids but so much enjoy the adult friendships we have today.  i think part of the reason i can agree with that is because as i continue to grow into the woman i will become, i realize how much like you i am.

this is something else i am grateful for:  the fact that i am very much my mother’s daughter.  you might not know this, but kyle and clark have commented that when the day comes (a very, very long time from now) when you are no longer with us that you really won’t be gone because i embody so much of who you are.  i take this as a compliment of the highest degree and think this is something you should know.  thank you for passing onto me things like compassion, creativity, and love.  thank you (and dad, of course) for instilling virtues in me like patience, honesty, and loyalty.  so much of what i do, even in my day-to-day, is done with those still voices of you and dad, encouraging me to do the right thing, even when the right thing isn’t always easy.

thank you for teaching me to respect others and to respect myself.  i learned a long time ago that you don’t always know someone’s situations or circumstances, and these unknowns in life help me practice grace.  i know that you and i both believe we’ve been given grace from above, time and time again, and the least we can do is practice grace for others.

thank you for showing me that although family and friends bring me joy, i’m ultimately the only one responsible for my happiness.  happiness isn’t always going to fall in my lap, and i deserve more than to sit around and wait for it.  your adventurous spirit inspires me to seek out new places and experiences that only make me more of a citizen of the world.  i couldn’t be more thankful that i inherited your natural curiosity about people and places; i promise to never stop venturing.

the list of thanks could go on and on; however, i want to spend the rest of this letter saying how amazing i think you are.  you have such personal will.  you are someone who sets her mind to a task or challenge and rises to the occasion.  even if a limit does exist, you are glad to push yourself, often revealing strength in the end.  i have always taken special pride in your work ethic, and i hope that the life i am leading and will continue to discover makes you proud of me in this same way.

i think you are beautiful.  i love the laugh lines on your face and the tinsel in your hair.  i’m happy to say that i am infatuated with the greys i’m already donning myself.  whether playing in your garden or dressed up for a special occasion, you are always glowing.  i hope i have that when i grow as wise as you.

i think you are deserving of every good thing that can come to you.  i think you have worked so hard for yourself and your family that there are never enough words to express our gratitude.  i think you are a very special person who has inspired much of who i am.  all the good in me comes from you and dad, and i hope that all the years that have passed have been worth the while.

even though it’s not enough, i hope that everything i’ve written here is something you already know.  i hope you already know how much i look up to you for advice and guidance and comfort.  i hope you are already aware of how happy i am that i am very much like you.  i hope you know that i will always need you and that i know you will always be here for me.

with all the love a girl can have for her mother,

babycakes.”

the final word!

ladies and gentlemen, i am reporting to you live as the final presidential debate takes place between mr. donald trump and mrs. hillary clinton.  i have once again found myself out of town for this entertaining and informative viewing, this time coming to you direct from west palm beach!  i will admit that splitting my attention between blogging and listening is a bit of a task, but i will do my best.

in response to my previous post about the second presidential debate, my lovely friend courtney replied that i should enjoy the final presidential debate by enjoying chips and guacamole while listening to some billy joel.  well, ask and you shall receive!  as things at my client site wound down, i asked them for a good mexican restaurant recommendation nearby.  after a little mumbling and collaborating, torero’s authentic mexican cuisine was suggested.  only about ten minutes from the office, it was rightly a no-brainer for me.  with google map’s turn-by-turn directions in the background, i let billy joel serenade me along the way.  give me more of that “uptown girl”, i beg you!

anyway!  the breezy atlantic winds were blowing strongly this evening, so i requested a seat outside on the patio.  although the food was delicious (and i’ll get to all of it shortly), the service left much to be desired.  after seating me at my table, i wasn’t waited on for about 15 minutes.  eh, not the best way to start the dinner.  however, i caught up on all my social media feeds and e-mail inboxes so i wasn’t too ruffled about the delay.

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it had been quite a day at the office, and with two more days on-site, i knew it was going to be a busy end of the week.  chips, salsa, and the large house margarita sounded like a bet i couldn’t lose, so that’s just what i started out with for my meal.

i took my time sipping on my beverage and snacking on some chips and eventually ordered, per courtney’s request, some guacamole.  i’ll be honest, the guacamole was less impressive than the salsa.  it’s not that it was bad; i ate the entire plate.  however, it wasn’t anything particularly special.  now, i don’t like to discriminate when it comes to guacamole because, let’s all be real, there’s not much better than avocados really any day of the week so i ate my dip contently.

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as i finished up my appetizers, i asked for an order of the fish tacos because, you know, i was in florida and fish tacos sounded like a good idea.  unfortunately, after taking my order the waitress returned to tell me, much to my dismay, that they did not have fish that night.  well, alrighty then…since i was still in the mood for tacos, i ordered a chorizo taco and, per the waitress’ recommendation, a steak taco.  well, i’ll say that these tacos were the highlight of the meal.  the chorizo wasn’t too spicy but was quite flavorful and the steak taco wasn’t overly filling.  i’d absolutely order these two tacos again, but with so much else on the menu, i’m sure i’d try something else if i were to return here to dine.

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so, with the end of this meal and this campaign on the horizon (and i know many of you are awaiting its close), i want to kindly thank everyone for participating in my campaign and debate journey in good fun.  i also want to say how impressed i am with the attention my peers are giving to this election, knowing that the outcome will affect our very near future very soon.  if you’re registered to vote, i encourage you to exercise your american right to make your voice heard.  let’s start the show!