Saturday, 25 April 2015

Weekly Wrap Up

A blog friend of mine, years ago, had a Saturday link up called 'Weekly What'. She eventually cut back on her blogging and the link up came to an end, but I kept doing it...I liked the concept; basically you put all of your Monday-Friday posts in one post on Saturday. It's essentially a summary of the past week on your blog. 

I thought for 2015, I would bring the concept back...

TUESDAY: I took a post.

FRIDAY: I finished the week by updating how I'm doing with New Year's Resolution.

Friday, 24 April 2015

Friendly Resolution- April

I'm not big on New Year Resolution, because let's be honest, most of us rarely stick to them. This year, I decided that every month, I would make the point to connect with two friends that I haven't seen recently (at least 3 months).

Earlier this month, I found myself transitioning into a new career and had some down time between jobs. When you're not working during the day, it's so much easier to meet up with people, as the past month has shown:

C- A childhood friend that I haven't seen since November, even though we live less than two hours away from each other and both spend time in our hometown. She and I met for breakfast in the city that was half way between us. We found a fantastic little diner and had a great visit!

N- One of my summer students from last year! I was so busy with work and she was so busy with school that I haven't seen her since her last day of work at the end of August. We were able to meet for lunch. It was so, so, so great to see her and catch up. She has the most amazing personality, so much energy and so positive.

K- One of my sorority sisters. I do see her once or twice a month, but it's always sorority related. She and I (and her daughter) went out for lunch. It was nice to talk to her about things and get her input. I appreciate her words of wisdom. And she said something that was so nice to hear; she's admires how if I want something, I just do it...I put together a plan and make it happen. I had never thought that about myself.

Sorority Sisters- I had cancelled a lot of my plans with them recently, so I hadn't seen them in awhile. We had plans to go play Bingo and I kept going back and forth as to whether or not I was going to go, right up until 5 minutes before I had to leave. It was so nice to see them, spend time with them and laugh. Not win at Bingo was ok. 

R- A friend since high school, who I have seen while out doing errands, but we haven't been able to get our schedules to match up until this week. We went out for lunch at this great Hawaiian place. She is super interesting and I always learn something new from her!

E- I know her through Brock Alumni, and while I have spoken to her on the phone and via email and text on a very regular basis, I haven't seen her since Homecoming in September! We met for coffee and chatted about a few things, including her house hunting!! 

My mom and sister- while they are not technically had been about a year since the 3 of us had gone out for lunch. Always nice to spend time with them. Plus, my sister and I also spent some time together shopping.

I connected with a ton of people! But that's what happens when you're not working and have all the time in the world. I am back to work, but this job will allow me to have more free hopefully I can continue to with my goal is two friends a month- which I think is realistic.

I'm four months in, which is not a lot, but I've been really great at sticking to this resolution. I have high hopes for the rest of the year!

January // February // March

Thursday, 23 April 2015

Kentucky Derby- Food & Drink

I LOVE the Kentucky Derby...not as much as I love hockey (GO RANGERS!!)...but it's a close second. You don't actually have to be at Churchill Downs to enjoy the can host your own Kentucky Derby Viewing Party!!
Every great party has great food and drink. When it comes to the Kentucky Derby, Mint Juleps are the drink of choice. You can find various recipes for this drink, but I had a wonderful woman (Pat, who stays in the same Florida condo complex as my grandmother) from Kentucky share her recipe with me. The key is that she makes her own syrup.
You will need:
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups water
  • Fresh mint leaves
  • Ice
  • Bourbon
To make:
  • Boil sugar and water for five minutes
  • Cool and add mint leaves
  • Cover and refrigerate overnight
  • Pour 2oz of Bourbon over ice 
  • Add 1oz of mint syrup to glass
  • Stir
  • Garnish with mint, if desired
  • I usually add 6 or 7 mint leaves to my syrup mix
  • While you can use any kind of Bourbon, it's best to use Kentucky Bourbon
  • If you don't have time to make your own syrup, you can buy simple syrup or mint julep flavouring
An alternative drink would be sweetened ice tea- made from real tea. I like to add some of the mint syrup to ice tea.
Image 1 //  Image 2 // Image 3
What about food?
Stick to the basics and think finger foods; cold seafood, tea sandwiches, salads and dips. Or you can do a southern BBQ; ribs, corn on the cob, biscuits. Whether you go for something a bit fancier or more casual, chocolate bourbon pecan pie makes a great dessert option.
In my family, we always serve Lobster Coquille at our Derby Party. Baked brie (or cheese platter), fruit salad and shrimp anything are also popular options.

There are so many options when it comes to Derby food and even drinks- if Mint Juleps are not your thing. I'm sure by searching Google or Pinterest, you'll find tons of ideas. 
Next week I'll be sharing decor and entertainment ideas!

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Talk Derby To Me

One of my favourite days of the year is Kentucky Derby!! Now, I have never actually been to the Kentucky Derby, I have always watched it on tv and I come from a horse racing family; family members have owned race horses, worked for tracks and spent many days watching races. 

Back to the Kentucky Derby...considered to be the most exciting two minutes in sports, 2015 will mark the 141st year that this event has taken place. The Derby always takes place on the first Saturday of May, this year's race will be on May 2- which is 10 days away!!

Today, I thought I would share some Kentucky Derby basics.
  • Taking place at Churchill Downs, one of the most famous racetracks, the race is 1 1/4 mile long and takes roughly two minutes to complete.
  • Also known as 'The Run for the Roses' because the winner is draped in hundreds of roses that are sewn together to create a blanket. 
  • The Governor of Kentucky awards both the roses and the trophy to the winner.
  • This  race is the first 'jewel' in the 'triple crown' of horse racing (followed by the Preakness Stakes and the Belmont Stakes).
  • Being well over 100 years old, there are a number of traditions associated with this event; mint juleps (the official drink) and the playing of 'My Old Kentucky Home' as the horses go to post are crowd (and personal) favourites.
  • 'Millionaire's Row' is a term you will hear repeatedly on Derby day. This would be the incredibly expensive box seats.
  • General admission is available for the infield, which ends up being a huge party, since it's difficult to see the actual race from this area. 
  • 2015 horses (and information about them) can be found here- whether you pick your winner based on stats, name or post, there is some useful information there.

Tomorrow and next week, I will be sharing some ideas for hosting your own Kentucky Derby Party.. If you can't make it to Kentucky for the Derby, the next best thing is to host a Derby Party!!