Bliss List

Sometimes I come across things that I become completely obsessed with. It can be foods, books, locations, sights, sounds, gadgets, thoughts…you name it.

younameit

If it brings me joy, I become slightly obsessed and attached to it.  I remember the year I discovered Pinterest. I spent hours upon hours on that site!(still do) And this past Summer, I bet I ate a Strawberry poppyseed chicken salad from Panera at least twice per week. And there was the month I discovered their cinamon crunch bagels and was in that drive-thru three mornings per week. “Yes, slice and toasted and with honey walnut cream cheses please!” I can remember the time, my co-worker found this junk store back in my hometown that I had to visit every week just in case they got some new stuff in I didn’t know I needed.  When I first moved to Columbus, I would go down to the RiverWalk just to hang out under this beautiful tree  that was down there.  Not only do I fall in love with my bliss list as I decided to call it, I want to share it. I’m sure my friends get tired of me loading the group chat with the new stuff I discover, they give me that thumbs up emoji though. LOL

thumbsup

I decided to devote a blog post to my obsessions.

Here is my Bliss List for October….a few of my favorite things

Podcasts

I think I just came across the podcasts that got me addicted by accident on Twitter. It’s called The Friend Zone and it’s a podcast devoted to all things mental health and mental wellness. It comes on once per week and I’m addicted. It’s funny and informative and the hosts are amazing. I started listening on mornings while getting ready and found it a welcome addition to my morning routine. But since it only came on once per week, I needed more to fill in my other mornings. I now subscribe to about 6 different podcasts throughout the week. My top three are The Friend Zone, Black Girl in Ohm, and the Vibrant Happy Woman podcast. But I just read that Oprah does one that is similar to her Super Soul Sunday show. I will be downloading those soon.

Essential Oils

I fell in love with lavender when I had my last baby in 1999. Johnson and Johnson came out with a lavender scented baby bath and lotion and that stuff used to smell amazing. After a good bath and bottle he slept like a baby. I started noticing that just smelling it relaxed me. From then on I loved how lavender calmed me. Fast forward to 2017… I go to my favorite juice bar and I’m offered an energy shot and decided to try it. It’s coconut water mixed with essential oils. I instantly felt energized. I began to research them and now I’m obsessed with all of their vibrational and health benefits. Bliss Apothecary? Maybe? We’ll see! 🙂

Kombucha

I don’t know what this is. I just know it starts with a Scoby.

scooby

I said SCOBY not Scooby!! Symbiotic Colony of Bacteria and Yeast…Chill Mr. Doo!

That Scoby is added to green or black tea, flavorings and other goodies and becomes just the thing my gut needs to stay healthy. It’s full of probiotics, which is great for your gut! And who doesn’t want a healthy gut?? The taste is interesting and I’m trying a lot of different flavors but these are my favorites.

kombucha.jpg

You will be happy to know my gut is happy!

 

You-Badass-9You are a badass. Yes. You. Are.  And yes, it’s a compliment!  I’m reading this amazing book by Jen Sincero and I’m obsessed. I want everyone that I love and know to read this book. It’s a funny, inspirational kick in the pants that makes you want to live your best life and be your best self. I love it. I’m forcing myself to just read a chapter per day so I can absorb each chapter but I could read it in one night it’s so well written.  I am also fighting the urge to Snapchat and IG all the excepts from the book because I’m obsessed and I like to share, remember.

So that is what I’m obsessing about this month. What’s on your Bliss list?

Enjoy! Comment! Share!

~AB

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44 Adventures with wine…W:9-22

So, yeah, as you can see from the title, I have been basically just been chilling and drinking wine…

#dontjudgme.

I haven’t made a lot of time for new adventures. Football season came back around real quick and it’s hard to not be in front of the tv on Saturday and Sundays.

 

Adventures in couch sitting…day 2

 

I do have an excuse for not writing though. I was diagnosed with a severe case of  didnotwanttoitis. I think WebMD says it’s commonly referred to as lazy. Pray Saints!

Through the power of modern medicine I have gone into remission and I am able to grind out this post. Don’t worry I’m not going to bore you with descriptions of all 14 new bottles of wines I tried over the past couple of months. Mainly because I honestly don’t remember them all. #YoureWelcome

Here they is….

W9:

It was National Pinot Noir day and a Friday. That’s basically how I got hooked on one of my new favorites.  I had an Z Alexander a few years ago during a Valentines’ day dinner and it was really good. It was their blend, so I figured his Pinot would be good too. I was right! Grab a bottle of this and enjoy! Trust me! It doesn’t even need to be a holiday or a Friday.

W10-15: My baby sister was in town for work and she made time for a quick outing with me. It was a Wednesday so I suggested a wine tasting at a local restaurant here. It’s only $20 per person and you get six wines to taste and two small appetizer bites. We had a blast! And to be honest, I don’t remember much about the wines. I did take notes but my notes are over by the bar rack, I’m on the couch and remember I just recovered from didnotwanttoitis so the symptoms still appear from time to time. Keep praying! So here are the pictures(bad pics I might add…except for the one of me and my sis)

 

Baby Sis after I got her tipsy 🙂

 

W16:
After the third or fourth ‘tasting’ my sister started asking for Tawny port. She said that was one wine she enjoyed. I knew I had never had it so I thought I would give it a try. I remember an episode of Big Tessa(Barefoot Contessa…but she’s my Big Tessa 😍) and she served her guests  port, stilton cheese and pears for desert. If it’s good enough for Big Tessa…..

The stilton I chose was great, the pears were sweet and juicy, the Tawny Port….NOPE. NOT. NEVER AGAIN.  Sorry sis! I couldn’t drink it! It was so strong!! I knew I couldn’t drink that again!

But I  knew what I COULD do with it…

#Fatgullswag

I added a splash or five to the blueberry sauce I made for some French toast. YUM!

I used it to deglaze the pan I seared my oxtails  in and they were perfect! YUM!

And I’m going to use the rest on some mushrooms soon….and in my pasta sauce and in…well you get it. You belong in the kitchen, Tawny port!

 
W17-22: Not only am I late with these wine posts, but I was also SUPER late celebrating my friend’s birthday this year. WE were finally able to coordinate a date and it was a Wednesday, So yeah, I took her to the wine tasting!

She and I had been many times before and we always have a good time. This time was more of the same.

These labels are awesome. Rabble has been the featured wine for the past few tastings.

 

Birthday girl wasn’t feeling the foam on her oyster but took it down like a champ!

Loved this Rabble Cabernet Sauvignon…and whatever food was on my plate too!

Lamb chop all in the pic…

I enjoyed most of the wines except the last one. I think the only thing that turns me off more than moscato at a wine tasting is  STELLA ROSE at a wine tasting.

I’m not a snob. I’m not a snob.

Ok I’m a snob.

But my reason for going to a wine tasting is to try some expensive wines that I normally won’t buy. I only YOLO on a bottle a wine a few times per year. So to end the tasting with Stella Rose was disappointing!  But in the spirit of WE DONT WASTE WINE, B,  I finished my tasting of Stella Rose Black and my friend’s glass because she….

 

I’m over 6 months into my 44 adventures and I’m right on track with my wines. No surprise there, right?

Time to get chugging on my adventures! I have a few completed and a few more planned. Stay tuned!

Enjoy! Comment! Share!

~AB

44 adventures with wine….A8:W8

Loving that my wine and adventures are both on #8. Eight is a special number because if you turn it on it’s side, it’s the infinity symbol.

just tilt your head to the left and an 8 and smile will appear 🙂 #WahlahMagic

Whenever I see it repeat I feel like it’s a sign that the universe wants me to take a moment to appreciate the infinite harmony, balance and abundance it always provides. Thank you Universe!

W8: Marietta Cellars Arme’ Lot Number 3

If you know me, you know that Marietta Cellars makes my MOST FAVORITE WINE IN THE WHOLE WIDE WORLD.

Old Vine is a red blend that I was introduced to many, many years ago. At that time you couldn’t find it in Georgia. My family member would order it by the case from California and have it shipped to his local liquor store. It wasn’t until about four years ago, that I found it in a liquor store here in my city. I love it. If you want me to love you, bring me a bottle!

Ok, back to W8. While browsing in a new liquor store, as I love to do, I spotted a Marietta label. But this time it wasn’t the blue like I normally see on the Old Vine, it was tan and white. I wasn’t sure what it was I just knew I had to try it! I didn’t care what kind of grape it was, I just knew it was coming home with me.

I opened it, knowing it was going to be amazing. It. Was. Not. I took a sip. And then another. And about two more. This is horrible!!!! How can that be? I looked at the label. All my faves were there…Cab Sav, Merlot, & Malbec. But there was a newbie…Petit Verdot. I don’t know who Petit Verdot is but his lil butt was on my never again list. I kept drinking, because wine, and waste not want and stuff. It felt heavy on my tongue. I don’t know how else to describe it. I was done! But then I remembered hearing the words of a family friend the first time I tried wine, ‘Honey this is an experience. Try it again like this. And if you don’t like it give it to me because Bihh we don’t waste wine!’

…and see how that queen got my wine drinking life together that night!!

So I tried it again, like I was taught. I took a long sniff into my glass, held it in and took a sip. I held the sip in my mouth just a few seconds and then swallowed. Wow. What a difference! It was so much better. I finished that glass and poured another(don’t judge me) As I enjoyed the next glass I reminded myself why I loved wine so much. It’s so much deeper than just taste. It’s so much more of an experience than just quenching your thirst. I finished that bottle….’we don’t waste wine, bihhhhhh!’ LOL

A few days later I went into my favorite restaurant(It’s called Mabella’s if you want to take me) to order a piece of their cheesecake(it’s the best in the world) and what did I see behind the bar? Old Arme’. I asked the bartender when they started carrying it. And he said they had just gotten it in a few days ago. I told him my story of my recent tasting and how I hated it and then learned to love it. He called over all the wait staff, made me repeat my story so they could describe it, while he and I enjoyed a glass together. So if you go in Mabella’s, 1) take me 2) order the Arme’ 3) and the cheesecake 4) And the linguini…

I guess A8 could be finessing a glass of wine at Mabella’s….but here is the real adventure 8!

A8: Falcons training camp

It’s officially football season. And my NFC Champion Falcons started training camp a few weeks ago and I was able to attend a session. I’ve wanted to go to training camp for about 3 or 5 years now. But I never made it. The excuses range from being too far of a drive to it being too hot to watch a team with a losing record practice. But the Falcons training camp schedule fit my schedule this year(Thank you Universe) and I was able to check things out.

The Falcons facility is in Flowery Branch, Ga which is a lot farther north of Atlanta than I realized. After a construction traffic battle we made it with just enough time to park and get to the practice field before everything began. I was shocked by the number of people that we past as we were driving in. Like, yo, this is practice! Like, practice and it’s packed with dirty bird fans!

Cooler in tow because you know it was toasty wearing a jersey in JULY!

FANS OUTCHEA FOR PRACTICE! PRACTICE!

As we made our way inside, we navigated through all of the tents that had activities, food, merchandise and found a great spot in the shade to watch the practice.

FUTURE FACEBOOK COVER PHOTO!

I REALLY WANTED TO BRING THAT WHITE FLAG HOME.

I didn’t know what to expect out of training camp. I had seen some videos and pics that fans took in the past and just always wanted to go to say I went. One of my friends said I wouldn’t like it since I’m not into position battles and stuff like that. Well, he was right. LOL The first hour or so was not fun. It wasn’t horrible, but it wasn’t fun for me. It was really just practice. They warmed up, they stretched, they did drills, and etc. Thankfully I was with good company and we chatted to pass the time.


JULIOOOO…They call him Jet Jones for a reason …

#42. DUKE RILEY. ROOKIE. PULLED AN SUV AS WORKOUT. BE AFRAID.

Just practice!!

As the players are practicing and stuff, I noticed that people were still coming into the facility. An hour passes and people were still walking in. I’m like, it’s Atlanta, folks here are always late. After another thirty minutes or so, and yes, folks are still walking in, I notice the scoreboard light up. The Cheerleaders came out. Ok, what’s about to happen? And then I saw the players lining up. Oh snap, they about to play! LOL I got excited. Finally, something I can get into. It was great! I was cheering like it was a real game! My team looked like they hadn’t missed a beat. The offense was clicking AND that defense WAS READY! They were hype and Beasley must have forgotten it was practice because he almost took Devonte out! Maybe it was a ‘you better sign that contract, kid’ hit! LOL It now made sense why folks were coming in late, they only wanted to see the scrimmage. Duh!?

ACTUAL FOOTBALL! THANK YOU UNIVERSE!

After the scrimmage we headed back to our rides and enjoyed lunch at a local Chilli’s. I loved that all the buildings and restaurants here represented the Falcons. I’m so ready for football Sunday with my team! #RiseUP

Enjoy! Comment! Share!

~AB

Teach me

Yesterday was a pretty exciting and emotional day. It was my son’s last first day of school. And It was the last first day of school that I had to prepare for as a parent. I’m a little emotional knowing the baby boy is almost done with high school. But more than anything…

imthankful

Yes I am Marshawn

I love new beginnings and the start of new things. So I thrive when it’s the beginning of the month, a new moon, a new season and a new school year. It’s a time to learn from my mistakes of the past and make the new-new  better. And even though I’ve had first day of schools since 2000, when my daughter started, there is always something to learn. You can search Pinterest or get your Google on with back to school tips that will be full of advice from organized parents and experts telling you to check book bags, pack lunches at night, lay out clothes at night, and put up a family calendar, blah, blah, perfect life, blah. I know all of that. Most of those are ways to save time and be organized. What I wanted to know was what I can do as a parent to make sure my child has a great year and succeeds. Who would know better than the educators that work with them day in and day out. I am old enough to be able to have friends that are teachers and principals and a few of them shared their top tips to have a great school year. Here is what they had to say….

1. The beginning of a new school year is very hectic on teachers and staff, so try to be patient and understanding as things get settled early on in the school year.

2.  Always make sure your child’s teachers and school have the most current contact information in case they need to get in touch with you.

3. Be supportive of your child’s teacher and the work they are doing for your child. This includes, but is not limited to, showing up to parent teacher conferences and making sure your child completes homework and projects.

4. Let the school know if your child is in need of anything.  You have to let the teacher know if your child’s needs are not being met. Always be your child’s biggest and best advocate. If your child isn’t able to  tell you what they did in class it should be a concern and you may need to call the teacher to see what is going on in the classroom and try to find the reason your child is not aware.

5. Establish a time and space for your child to do homework and/or read. This sends the message that education is important and should be a priority.

6. Encourage your child to set high expectations and goals for themselves.  ‘I want to have at least 100 AR points for reading 10 books by the end of the first semester.’ ‘By the end of the year, I want to score higher in science class than I did last year.’  ‘I want to maintain an A average for the remainder of the year so I can quality for the Beta club.’ Make sure to show your child how to monitor their progress.

7. Encourage your child to keep pounding towards excellence and don’t be afraid to be great in the classroom

As parents and teachers we are a team that has a goal to make sure we help our child become productive members of our society.  Thank you to my friends for the tips and advice. I hope it helps you to help your child have a successful year!
Enjoy! Comment! Share!
~AB

 

 

School Daze Sunday

I just spent a couple days in my hometown for Grand Homecoming. Grand homecoming is an event held every three years in my hometown.  Every three years, people that have moved away come back home for a week of family, friendship and fun. The biggest day of the week is Saturday, when all the high school classes get together for a parade, friendly competition and food! The week ends with people attending church services and saying their goodbyes.

I will spend this Sunday in fellowship with my high school classmates, spending a little more time with my family before heading back home. My son starts his final high school year on tomorrow so once we get home, we will prepare for his final, first day of school.

A Sunday Well Spent Brings A Week of Content! 

What are your Sunday plans?

Enjoy! Comment! Share!

~AB

 

44 adventures…A7 Hiked to a waterfall

I’m officially intrigued with waterfalls. A few months ago I saw a picture of one on one of my social media sites and started looking up waterfalls close to me. The closest one was right across the state lines in Auburn Alabama. I immediately made a mental note to visit.

The waterfall was located in Chewcala State Park in Auburn, Alabama. It’s less than an hour away from me, which is the perfect day trip distance. After a quick stop for gas and lunch and we arrived at the entrance to the park.

The park ranger or whatever he was called was not very friendly at all. He took the $4 entrance fee and didn’t offer a map, instructions or anything. Perhaps it was the Florida flags on the vehicle I was in. Here I was, a Georgia bulldog, with a Florida fan, in Auburn country. I should have yelled Go Dawgs out of the window at him, but he had a gun.

But anyway, back to the adventure.

Driving through the park was creepy to me. It was short winding roads surrounded by woods. We drove for several minutes and finally saw a pavillion and a map but no waterfall. We decided to park and check it out. We finally found a sign that told us where the waterfall was. There were several ways to get to the waterfall. How many of you know I chose the shortest hike? *counts everyone’s hands*

As we made our way toward the sound of water, it was a fairly easy hike. The trail was rough as it was uneven with a lot of rocks and tree roots but it was all down hill. As we got closer, we could hear the water and I was pretty excited.

Yes, there was a photo shoot….

The planned ‘off guard’

‘get the words on my t-shirt’

‘hold on let me fix my hair’

After hanging out at the falls, and a pretty TOUGH climb back up to the top, we decided to check out some more of the park. We found where the waterfall flowed from and spent some time hanging out at that part of the park.

that’s the top of the waterfall in the back of the picture

swimming hole with diving board….NOPE FROM ME, DAWG

Since we were so close to Auburn, we decided to head into town and check things out. I love Auburn(bump the football team though). I really love the downtown area of most cities, but it’s something really special about a college football town. I think it’s the energy there. I also love all of the local restaurants and spots right around the campus and surrounding the famous Toomer’s corner.

I love brick streets too

As we were looking for a place to park, I spied with my #fatgullswag eye, a donut shop. If I had been driving you would have heard tires screaching as I slammed on brakes in front of it. But since I wasn’t, we found a place to park and walked around the corner to it. It was called University Donut Company and it was EVERYTHING!

hole lotta lovin’ indeed! 

Aint God good?

I wanted them all….

Cakes too….BAEBEH!

Ms Blueberry hill was amazing! 

Lemon Lavender Cake

The owner was so sweet. She told us the story of the College Game day crew stopping in and later coming back and buying her out of her version of the maple bacon donut she calls, Sticky Pig. She was sold out of that flavor but she did have a similar one. AND I HAD TO TRY IT! BRUHHHH, IT WAS A DONUT WITH A SAUSAGE INSIDE OF IT! #LORDT!

My new best friend…Sweet Souie

She warmed it up for me and well….

Poor little Souie….

After murdering donuts, we made our way down to the famous Toomer’s drug store.

I was just going to peak inside to say I had been and keep it moving. But I could smell fresh lemons as I got closer to the door! I love lemonade and apparently this was the place in Auburn to get it. The line extended from the front of the store to the rear and you know I got in it that line! (I’m very impatient unless i’m waiting for food) The lemonade is made fresh right behind the counter and it was delicious. Swear if I had some pineapple Ciroc…nevermind. They also have hand dipped ice cream and a bunch of Auburn crap. (Go Dawgs).

This was an amazing Saturday. A little hike for the body, seeing God’s work for the spirit, a little history of Toomer’s drugs for the mind, and donuts for the #fatgullswag created a truly harmonious day! Shoot, the following Sunday wasn’t too bad either because I had the goat cheeese, fig, elderflower cheesecake from UDC for breakfast! LOL

Enjoy! Comment! Share!

~AB

44 adventures with wine A6:W7 Ochos Rios, Jamaica

A6: Ochos Rios, Jamaica

When we planned the excursion to Negril we also planned one other excursion. We began discussing climbing Dunn’s River falls as soon as we planned the trip. After another great breakfast, we loaded up on a party bus that took us on a tour from Montego Bay to Ochos Rios. The bus was fun and full of people looking to have a great time. On the way we saw a creepy house that was famous because some lady killed all of her slave owners, one by one, until she eventually become the owner of the house. And in a shocking twist, she was killed by her servants. The place is now considered one of the most haunted properties in Jamaica. Rose Hall was probably my least favorite story on the tour, because #ScaryCat. We also rode by the high school, where Jamaica’s own living legend, Usain Bolt, began his quest to be the fastest man in the world. I didn’t get a picture of his high school but I did spend a grip on a couple of his t-shirts for my son and nephew.

Signature collection they said….chile that ain’t nothing but overpriced Nike

After a slightly less scary ride than the Negril trip, we arrived in Ochos Rios, where we boarded the boat. The crew was so cool and fun. They played music and encouraged us to dance and have fun as we cruised the beautiful waters. The unofficial term for the excursion was ‘booze cruise’ but since we were going to snorkel and then climb a waterfall, there was no booze initially. #SafetyFirst I declined to snorkel because I was feeling a little queezy.(it wasn’t the Overproof I’m sure). I sat on the side of the boat and entertained some of the crew with my lack of knowledge of geography as they side eyed my fake name for the day. They laughed a little too hard when Ms. Kiwi didn’t know Jamaica was on the Caribbean Sea. LOL

Chukka tours

#LOVE

After the snorkeling, the boat took off for Dunn’s Falls. I think this was my favorite part of the trip. The waterfall was beautiful and serene and climbing it was fun and challenging.

The guides were so helpful as we navigated the slippery rocks. They pushed us past our fears and we had THE best time. We don’t have many pictures from the climb from our phones, just some once we reached the top. There was a videographer that scaled the waterfall, camera in hand, and captured some really cool and funny moments for us. I hate I can’t share those with you, but I don’t have any idea how to save them to my laptop from that video. But feel free to come by with coffee and Jamaican rum cream and I will be happy to play it for you! 🙂

After we reached the top, Lord, we had to walk back down the steps to the bus. We made our way to the bus, dried off, and were handed the first of many cups of rum punch! The booze cruise started! As we made our way back to the dock, we ran into some really rough water as a storm was brewing, but it didn’t stop the party. We danced and sang, and drank rum punch until we reached the docks. It was so much fun. All excursions need to be by booze cruise. #majorkey

rum punch and sea legs

After we docked, we had lunch at Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville, then headed back to the bus, where we danced and sang all the way back to the resort!

We took a quick shower, grabbed some dinner, and chilled at the bar with the bartenders and had a few more drinks for the night.

My fave bartender, Abraham. He worked hard to get the mojitos perfect!

I thought our final day would be spent lounging, drinking and eating. While we did that, we also ended up in a water aerobics class. It was fun but difficult since the instructor tried to murder our rotator cuffs with all the shoulder exercises. I gave him all the side eyes!

Side eye under the shades and curse words under my breath…because I should have been at the jerk hut behind us.

After the workout, we went for a quick soak in the cold whirlpool, and then spent a few minutes in the steam shower, just because we could!

chillin….LITERALLY

Then it was back poolside to drink, people watch and try to memorize the view of our last day in paradise. When we left the pool, on our way to our room, we ran into our friend ‘Drake’ and his fiance. We called him Drake because he’s from Toronto. (I don’t know his real name and he didn’t know mine. I was Lisa the day he met me, and he called me Lisa the entire trip!)He told us that if we needed a boost, to try some espresso martini’s or espresso martini shots. I wanted to take a nap before dinner but who says no to Drake? I went for the shots. Whew boy! They woke us right up! And when we decided they needed a little something extra, we asked Ms. Petrina to add a shot of rum cream on top! Perfection! Where can I get those in the States? If you know, let me know!

The resort had a buffet but also three other restaurants. Since it was our last night we decided to try one of the other restaurants. I wanted an excuse to dress up a little. Shoot, I packed a pair of heels and I wanted to wear them.

#Trap LOL

After a little wait, we enjoyed a decent dinner. I was also able to finally try a new bottle of wine.

W7: Cabernet Sauvingnon, Finca Las Virtudes.

It was my first Spanish wine. It tasted like most other cab sauvs I have had. It is what I like to call a keep on. Keep on drinking until it gets really good. I mean by glass three aren’t all wines good? NO! Just to me? Ok!

‘Just leave the bottle, it will save you some steps’ ~Me

After dinner, we made our way out to the beach, where there was a beach party and ‘bon fire’. We danced and laughed and took pictures. The heels came off and we ended our vacation with our toes in the sand!

Bon fires are small in Jamaica and no, I don’t know the white couple

Petrina ‘espresso shot slayer’ and some photo bombers from South Carolina…at the bar. Again

The next morning, we had one last breakfast, tried to fit some of the employees in our suitcase to bring back(it didn’t work) and headed back to the good ole USA.

Sunrise at the resort. Shout out to Elisha for getting up for this pic!

I’m so blessed to have been able to make this trip. I’m thankful for my friends that I traveled with and i’m looking for our trip next year!

Enjoy! Comment! Share!

~AB