Wednesday, February 26, 2014

  J'Adore VoxBox - Influenster

I've got to say that social media kicks some major butt and by butt I mean ass. It seriously kicks ass. I have been on social media for as long as I can remember and I even do it as part of my job. Basically I'm on the computer a lot and its great to be rewarded for spending your time online. One of my friends, (Dana had posted a picture of a "VoxBox" and I was like... "What the heck is that? People just send you stuff?" And she told me "Well, yeah." Then I thought about it. It made sense. Because of my Klout I'd been able to test drive a high end luxury car, test different body washes, get insoles for my shoes, and countless other things. Why wouldn't companies put their stuff together in one package. I immediately went to Influenster to sign up. At first I was sad that my score was so suckage, like 20.... and then it shot up and I started getting emails with a questionnaire in order to see if I could qualify for a VoxBox! I finally qualified for the Valentine's VoxBox!
What did I get in my box? Red Roses Tea - Creme Caramel x 3 and Lemon Chiffon x 1 John Frieda - 3 day straightening serum (by far my favorite thing in the box!!) Hershey's Kisses - A huge bag of chocolates that my daughter is going to systematically going to devour! (Hello dentist bill!) Boots Botanic Clay Mask - A face mask! A clay face mask! I'm in love. KissLashes - This one I'm terrified of. I've never used fake lashes before. Vaseline Spray Lotion for men! So here is a quick run down on these products!

Red Roses Tea I have to admit, I was really hesitant to try this tea. Why? I'm a huge fan of David's Tea and I can't stand caramel. I was originally going to force my co-worker to try it and tell me his opinion since we always carve a bit of our day out to have a tea. He told me that it wouldn't be nice of me to NOT review something I was sent and I agreed. I boiled two cups of water and poured them for the both of us. I was actually shocked that I liked it. I didn't need to add any sweetener or milk to the tea. The tea tasted like a cup of chocolate with a hint of caramel. I loved it. I also liked that Red Roses included a coupon for $1 with every sample. That is great marketing and a nice way to get more people to try the product. I'm going to try the Lemon Chiffon tomorrow after my morning coffee.

John Frieda Hair Serum I love John Frieda. No seriously, his products are a God send for hair like mine. I am one of those people who over process my hair. I change colors every few weeks and have lately been rocking the blue hair which needs touch up every 2 weeks. I blow dry my hair ALL the time because curly hair and I are enemies. This product feels my hair silky, smooth, straight, and free of fly aways. I would recommend this product to anyone who blow dries their hair. I will be adding this to my pharmacy shopping list. I wrote on their Facebook wall praising how awesome they were and they replied back. That is great customer service!

Hershey's Kisses - Do you seriously want to hear my opinion on chocolate? I love chocolate. Chocolate and I get along like a fat kid with cake. I see it, I eat it and then I tell my daughter that eating too much chocolate is bad for her (as I'm writing this I'm slowly unwrapping my chocolates and eating them!) I think I am going to try the reciepe that is on the bag for the peanut butter blossoms and give them to my sister since she's a peanut butter lover. When my husband and I first started dating he bought me this huge silver Hershey's Kiss which was loaded with Kisses and every time you pressed the button to get a chocolate it would sing the chorus of a popular song with the word Kiss in it. I don't remember all 3 songs but I remember Faith Hill's "Just A Kiss" was one of them. I still have that huge Kiss. I might refill it and give it to my kiddo to have fun with.

Botanics Clay Mask - I'm a mom, a busy mom and I hardly have time to pamper myself. Finding a few minutes a day to wash my face is a challenge in itself. I decided to buckle down and spend a few extra minutes on my face (while watching trashy reality tv) and gave this product a whirl. First of all, it says its recommended for normal skin and my skin is fairly sensitive and I had no problems with this. I have combination skin, oily T zone and dry cheeks. I'm always afraid that masks and washes will over dry my skin and then it feels like sandpaper. That wasn't the case at all with the Boots Clay Mask. I love how you can feel the skin tightening and then visibly see the blackheads disappear. That is my big problem and I love this product for helping me kick them to the curb. How do you know this product is working?! You can see dark spots on the mask where the product is pulling out all the crap from your skin...and by crap I mean black heads and dirt/oils. This is my new go-to mask!

Kiss Lashes - I've honestly only used fake eye lashes at big events like my wedding or when I became a God mother. I don't normally use anything near my eyes because they are so sensitive. I will wait to try this until my current eye condition goes away (right now its super sensitive to the light and it burns!) I don't want to risk putting anything near my eye that will make it more uncomfortable than it currently is!

Vaseline Spray Lotion for Men - We did a little test here at the office. I had my coworker put Vaseline Spray lotion on his right arm and then Aveeno Active Naturals on his left arm. At the end of the day I took my nails and clawed his arms to see which would leave the "dry" mark stratch. Guess which arm didn't leave a mark? The Vaseline arm! It's goes on so easy and your skin absorbs it right away so you aren't left feeling greasy which is a common misconception about Vaseline products. I also love the scent. It smells so manly I just want to cuddle up to my co-worker. I'm sure my co-worker's girlfriend and my husband wouldn't mind...too much! LOL This is also being added to my next pharmacy shopping list!

Overall, I was so pleased with my J'Adore VoxBox! I can't wait to get my next one! Who doesn't like free full sized samples that you get to give an honest opinion on?

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

  So my dad died....and I haven't really cried yet...

Friday, August 23, 2013 at 4:17pm my life changed forever. My life changed in a way that I just couldn't ever imagine, in a way that I didn't want to imagine. Let me paint a picture for you.

It's Friday afternoon and I'm at work (if we are being honest, I'm likely NOT working and was catching up on Breaking Bad). My phone rings and I see Lavonia Georgia on my caller ID and I laugh as I pick up my phone. It has to be my dad calling me to complain that something is wrong with his cell phone. Afterall, I don't know anyone from Lavonia. I press pause on whatever I'm watching and answer my phone with the chipper "Hello" that I reserve for telephone use only.

"Is this Jenny Georgiopoulos," the voice who isn't my father asks me.
"Yes it is, can I help you," I ask thinking that its probably a distributor or sales rep that messed up the extensions again and called my cell phone instead of my desk. I'm annoyed now because who the heck calls you for work related stuff at 4:17pm on a Friday?
"This is Lt. Henderson out in Lavonia Georgia," at this point my mind races. OMG. My dad did something stupid and got arrested. Who could piss off my dad. He's such a laid back character. "There has been a medical emergency with your father and he's been transported to a hospital in South Carolina."
"Are you fucking kidding me," were the first words to tumble out of my mouth in typical Jenny style. "What kind of medical emergency? Is he okay?"
"Your father had a medical emergency and lost consciousness. His heart had stopped but we performed CPR and your dad is on the way to AnMed in South Carolina. Would you like the telephone number there?"
I nodded my head not realizing that Lt. Henderson couldn't see me. I said yes and took down all the information.
At this point my mind is racing. I don't have a passport, well, I do but its expired. It's Friday and now 4:30pm how the hell am I going to get a passport to get to South Carolina to be with my dad? My sister can't go because she just had a baby a few days ago...and her passport is expired...and my mom can't go by herself. Oh my god, my mom. I can't tell my mom. She's a poster child for a stroke. She'll stroke out on me.
"Thanks for the information Lt. Henderson, please, don't call my mom. I'll handle it," I said to him as I had already opened Google on my computer and was looking up how to get a passport issued.
"Jenny, your mom is the one who gave me your telephone number."
"C'mon?! Seriously? You called her first?"  Now I wasn't just worried about my father but about my mother because, well you know, she over reacts to everything.

I hang up with him and call AnMed right away. I managed to call them before my father even got there. I spoke to 4 nurses before I finally get ahold of one who would be taking care of my father. I demand to know if he's conscious or not. He's not. I feel my heart drop instantly. I've been down this road before with my mother in law. Heart stopped and unconsciousness means coma. My father was going to be in a coma no matter what anyone told me. I'm not a medical novice. I've watched enough Grey's and ER to know what happens next and I lived through this entire experience 5 years prior.

I hang up the phone with the nurse and yell out to my co-worker who at this point has no idea what has happened because I've managed to remain calm. I haven't cried, screamed, yelled, or thrown anything. I'm just numb and going through the motions.

"Ernesto, you need to find out how I can get to South Carolina tonight or tomorrow morning with no passport. My dad had a heart attack and I don't have a fucking valid passport." This is the moment I broke. This is the moment I started to cry and my co-worker had to hug me and calm me down. He went to his office to find out what can be done. He would call US border patrol and Passport Canada. I had to call my mom, but first my husband.

"George... you need to go get Demi from my mom right now. It's not a good place for Demi to be right now.  My dad had a heart attack and isn't conscious right now. I need to get a passport and get to South Carolina. I need you to go get Demi do you understand?"

He threw a barrage of questions my way and I fielded them the best way I knew how. I hung up the phone with him and called my sister. I told her she had to go to my mom's house right away. Mom needed support and I couldn't give it to her because I was just about to become the bitch of the family to get everything done.

I finally called my mom. As soon as she answered the phone I heard her crying and my daughter screaming in the background. I tried to reassure my mom that everything was okay and everything would be okay. I asked her if she had a passport and she said yes. I told her I was working on getting mine and we'd go to South Carolina and take care of dad together. Together we'd bring him home. I explained everything that Lt. Henderson told me as well as what the nurse in the ER told me. I said that everything was "normal" given the situation. I knew that my dad passed out, someone saw him and started CPR while someone else called 9-1-1. I knew that they put the machine on him and the machine told them to shock my dad once. They did. I knew that while in the ambulance they administered a shot of adrenaline directly to his heart. That was when he regained consciousness. That was when they made the decision of taking him to the bigger hospital in South Carolina than the smaller one in Lavonia. A cold feeling washed over me. Things weren't going to be okay. I just know it. I trust my gut, it's never led me astray.

Between Ernesto and myself we managed to find an emergency passport number. They were going to open the passport office just for me for the low low price of $500.00, but I had to go to Ottawa. It's 2 hours away. I still needed to get my expired passport, new passport pictures, and a completed passport application. Oddly enough, I had it all on me minus the passport pictures (I was waiting to get my hair blown out and THEN go take the passport pictures). I show up at my mom's house. I hug her and tell her everything will be okay. I call the doctor numerous times letting him know that we would be there tomorrow morning. I gave my cell number, my sister's cell number, my parents home number but insisted that I be their first line of defense. Call me. Don't call them. Call me. I'm the level headed one.

My best friend shows up at my mom's house. She drives me to Ottawa. I must have called the hospital numerous times that night. My dad had the sweetest nurse in the Coronary Care Unit. Her name was Janet and Janet was soothing. I asked her how my dad looked, how things were going, how many days should I pack for? Were we looking at a few days or a few weeks? She told me to pack for a couple of weeks.

I finish with my passport. Come home and pack, and go to my mom's house. While driving to Ottawa Nicole's husband booked the plane tickets for my mother and myself. I ended up scheduling play dates for my daughter and making sure she was well taken care of as well as informing my boss that I was leaving and had no idea when I'd be back. Lucky for me, I won the boss lottery of the life time. He was okay with me leaving and told me to call him if I needed anything.

I go to sleep at 3am and am up at 5am for a 7am flight. We check in. We board. We talk. I finally tell my mom that we might be there for a couple of weeks. Dad would probably need some sort of rehabilitation and that could take a while. Once he's okay to leave the hospital Canada would be better for the rehab part. We need to get special permission to transport him. I don't want him flying. I will drive across the wouldn't be the first time.

As the plane is landing my mom tells me she heard that the Carolina's have nice beaches and she'd like to go to one once my dad is okay. I tell her its not a problem. My brain tells me that my dad isn't coming home with us. I want to cry because I'm thinking negatively. I need to think good thoughts. I need to send my dad the most positive thoughts and strength. I need to make this okay.

We exit the terminal and find the nearest Avis counter. I get a car and put the hospital address in the GPS. We get to the hospital and march straight to the front desk asking how to get to the CCU. She tells us. We get up there and walk into my dad's room. That wasn't my dad. I've never seen my dad with tubes in him. I've never seen my dad peaceful? I instantly tear up. I start to cry. I don't want to see my dad like this. My dad is the strongest person I know. My mom breaks down. The day nurse comes to see us and explains everything that has happened and what procedures the hospital has taken. We are told that my dad is under heavy sedation because they have lowered his body temperature a lot in order to preserve brain function. They would start warming him up after being at their desired temperature for 24 hours. We understand and we just sit in the room and watch.

I have no idea how many phone calls we made to Montreal and Ottawa to keep our family in the loop. I must have gotten 100 Facebook messages from friends from Texas as well as the people I've met across the global. Funny but when you aren't in a situation like this the words "We'll be praying for you" or "He's in our thoughts" don't mean much to you. It actually sounds funny. When you are in this type of situation those words are like a warm blanket comforting you.

My mom went outside to smoke and I got up and sat next to my dad. I started talking to him and I told him I was sorry for what he was going through. I was sorry that this happened while he was alone in South Carolina. I was sorry it took me so long to get here. At that exact moment I knew that my dad wasn't coming home with us. I had felt it from the night before but at that exact moment it was a matter of fact. Looking at my dad in a hospital bed hooked up to monitors, with a feed tube, and oxygen I knew that my dad wasn't leaving South Carolina the way my mom and I imagined he'd be leaving.

My mom kept talking to my dad and I told her that was a good thing. He could hear us and to make sure that any words she said aloud were positive and uplifting. My dad didn't need to hear bad things. She kept telling me, "I'm not afraid that he's going to die here. I know he isn't going to die. I'm afraid of the condition he'll leave here. Will he have brain damage and how much?" My heart broke for my mom. I felt like a double agent, a traitor if you will. One one hand I'm telling my mom to only think good things but then I'd convinced myself my dad was dying.

The 24 hours passed and they started to warm up my dad. His body temperature was rising on its own and that was a good thing. They made us go home. The next day we came to the hospital and my dad was at a toast 98.7 degrees and his color was back. They had even shaved him and brushed his hair. He looked good and he started opening his eyes. The nurses and doctors told us this was normal. They had started to decrease the sedation medications. It could take 48-72 hours to see real results but in the mean time they would do another CT scan of his head as well as an EEG.

My  noticed that my father would open his eyes and always look up and down. I went up to him and told him, "Hey daddy, podiko (his nickname for me) is here. Mommy and I are here for you so take your time...we'll wait." My dad opened his eyes and looked left to right as if he was looking for me and my mom. I smiled and started to tear because in my head my dad knew we were there. He knew he wasn't alone in a strange place.  Later on the same day I went to talk to my dad and the strangest thing happened. He lifted his shoulder off the bed as if he was trying to get up or lean forward. It was the weirdest thing and I'm happy my mom and nurse were there to see it otherwise they'd think it was wishful thinking.

Visiting hours were over for a bit while the nurses changed shifts and updated the next nurse as to what had happened and what was happening. Not only that but they were taking my dad for his CT scan. When we returned to the hospital my dad's eyes were wide open but just staring up at the ceiling. That was exactly what had happened with my mother in law before we got the news we had to pull the plug. All the progress I was convinced we had made was just ripped from me.

The head neurologist came to speak with my mom and me about the situation. He told us that we did have some time to wait but that we should consider our options regarding my dad. My mom broke. I asked questions about how much neurological function my dad had, what physical tests had they done on him. Had they run a pencil hard down his foot to see if his toes curl upwards or downwards? How was his pupil dilation? What made the doctor think we had to consider our options NOW when they told us we had 48-72 hours?

At this point I had to leave the hospital to take a driver to my father's 18 wheeler to have it driven back to Montreal. While I was gone a nurse spoke out of place, in my opinion, to my mother. My mom had asked the nurse what she thought. In my opinion the nurse should have just stated the facts and told my mom to direct her questions to the resident. Not this nurse. She told my mother that things don't look good and that she needs to make a decision about taking off the life support. When I got back to the hospital my mom was ballistic. I was furious. I wanted to rip the head off of the nurse and feed it to her grandchildren. I just took my mom and left the hospital. I told my mom to go into the hotel room and I was going to call George to talk to both him and Demi.

As soon as George answered the phone I broke down. I told him that my dad was dying. I told him my dad was leaving South Carolina in a box instead of in a seat on a plane or a car. I lost my mind and started hyperventilating. I composed myself and went into the hotel room and told my mom that the nurse had no right to give a diagnosis and that the doctors specifically asked us to  give them time. Don't take that time away from dad and don't give up hope. We then spent some time thinking about IF we had to take off life support would we? My mom called some of my dad's family and we all made a joint decision. My mom felt a lot of guilt and I reminded her of a conversation we had as a family when I lost my mother in law. My husband and his brother were fighting regarding pulling their mother off of life support. I never wanted to have that fight with my sister.

I'll never forget that day. We were on a 3 way telephone call with my parents in Texas, my sister in St. Dorthee, and me in Laval. I asked my parents what they wanted and I wanted my sister to hear. My dad said that he'd never want to be kept alive by machines and if he ever got to that point we needed to let him go. My mom agreed. We all remember that conversation. However, my mom wasn't thinking logically. I told her over and over again, we have time. The doctors said 72 hours, this is all hypothetical but to think LOGICALLY and not emotionally. I knew what my father wanted and I was lucky enough that when we came into the hospital the first day they asked who had medical power of attorney and my mom said me. I would never want to over ride my mom but I would never disrespect my father's wishes.

My mom closed her eyes for a few minutes and woke up screaming. "Jenny, Jenny, daddy just said bye to me. I just saw him waving at me....he's gone!" I blasted my mom. I told her that shes thinking negatively and that the stupid nurse put ideas into her head and her mind is seeing things. I told my mom to go to sleep and tomorrow was a new day. What I said and what I thought were two completely different things. My mind thought, "Of course he'd tell her bye. He lived for this lady."

My mom woke up before me and went to get a coffee and smoke. I used that time to call a couple of my cousins. My cousin George was debating coming to South Carolina. I told him if he wanted to see his uncle alive he'd have to come today because my dad wasn't leaving. My heart was heavy and broken.

We went to the hospital and they were starting the EEG. They asked us to leave the room while they did this. My mom went out to smoke. I went to the cafeteria. I got a call from my sister telling me that the neurologist wanted to see us. I went upstairs alone since my mom was outside. The neurologist said he wanted us both. I asked him to tell me what was up. Did they have results from the EEG. He insisted on speaking to me with my mom present. I called my mom. She came upstairs.

The doctor showed us my father's CT scan from when he was brought in on Friday and the one they had done on Sunday. The CT scan was just a big gray blob. My father was brain damaged, in fact, he was brain dead. He had no way of coming out of this and they wanted us to take our time but we had to make a decision. Although my mom understood everything I had to translate it to Greek for her. She broke down. We went downstairs solemnly since they were still doing a needless EEG. You know what killed me? The sound of my sister's scream when I told her that our beloved daddy was brain dead. I was cold and empty. My mom couldn't believe it. She called her family in Greece. I called our family in Montreal.

I had to find a Greek priest in South Carolina to read my father his last rites. I had to leave to go to the airport to pick up my cousin. I would not allow the life support to be pulled without having his rites read. I asked questions regarding how long it would take for my father to pass away without life support. The nurse told me that since my father was barely breathing on his own that it would be a short few hours. I liked that. I like the fact that it would be quick and painless versus long and drawn out. I never want my dad to suffer.

I took my mom to the hotel to make her calls while I went to get my cousin. My cousin and I talked a lot and he said he wanted to see my dad before he gave his opinion on life support or not. When he saw my dad he said he couldn't believe that was my father. We decided to call the priest again and again. We went back to the hotel at 11pm and my mom just couldn't keep it together.

The next morning I felt like I was on death row walking to the death chamber. The walk down the hallway...the nurses sad smiles... the priest showed up. He read the prayers in both Greek and English and offered a lot of comfort to my mom. We told the nurses we were ready. They started to disconnect the machines.

They took the machines off of my dad at 11:35am. We stayed with dad the whole time. I couldn't take my eyes off of my father. With each deep breath he took I watched him to see if it would be his last. My heart would stop with each of his breaths. He'd hold them for so long that I thought each breath was his last but he'd exhale. I then yelled out to the nurse, "Why does it look like he's about to cry?" and then my dad took his last breath. 12:40pm on August 27th. But he cried. When he let out his last breath a single tear from each eye fell down his cheek. I freaked out asking  the nurse and chaplain what just happened. The nurse grabbed my hand and told me, "We believe that when you see the face of Christ you cry...."

I cried a little. I had tears down my face but I was numb. Oddly, I was comforted in knowing that my dad was in a better place but I was so worried about my mom that I couldn't cry too much.

It's been over 2 months and I still haven't cried the way I feel I should cry. I cry in the shower, I cry while driving, and of course I cried while writing this....but I haven't had a good cry. The type of cry my mom and sister have had, the type of cry my dad's siblings have had. I wonder if I am wired wrong and why I can't cry for my dad and it drives me crazy. It makes me question if that is why my dad hasn't come to me yet.

Since he's passed away my mom and sister have seen him. My daughter has complete conversations with him but my dad eludes me. He doesn't come to me in my sleep, he doesn't come to me in daydreams, I don't feel a sudden warmth and know my dad is hugging me. My dad died two months ago and I haven't really cried yet...and i wonder if he's mad at me and that is why he isn't visiting me.
Well Daddy, I love you and I miss you. Thank you for being the perfect example of what a father, husband, and man should be. I've compared every man in the world to you and will continue to do so. Love, Podikaki.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

  La Belle et La Boeuf: A Review

I want to preface my food blog posts by saying this: I am an extremely picky eater. I hate a lot of things that most people LOVE. I can't stand ketchup, mayo, mustard, pickles, onions, you get the picture. I'm the girl who orders a plain cheeseburger... So no, my reviews aren't HARSH or CRITICAL of a venue its just that I am PICKY. It's MY opinion.

So tonight my husband decided he wanted to go try a place called La Belle et La Boeuf (which is a "cute" play on words and meant to sound like The Beauty and The Beast). In English their name literally means "the Pretty and the Beef"....or Burger Bar.

Appearance: I have to say that I'm really torn about the look of the venue. I love the graffiti on the walls, it gives the restaurant a really urban feel...and then I get confused by the tables randomly in the middle...that gives it a real barn yard feel. I am so happy that there was one super spacious and comfortable booth available for us because I didn't feel like sitting smack dab in the middle of the place and would freeze my butt off with the door opening. Those tables are just really weirdly placed. I blame the actual SPACE of the restaurant  It has a lot of angles that make no sense and the owners obviously did what they could to maximize the amount of people/tables they could have in one given space. It's normal. But the look itself is really confusing to me. Super high ceilings (LOVE!), graffiti on the walls (love), oak looking tables in the middle of the dining area (not a fan of). They have the most amazing bar I've ever seen with shelves and shelves of "the good stuff" that they even have a ladder to get things down. It's fun and playful. I like it.  I give the appearance 4 out of 5.

Menu: Sorry owners of La Belle et La Boeuf you lost some MAJOR points here. Your menu is ONLY in French. Most places in Montreal/Laval have English menu's for their English speaking clients. If NOT the descriptions of the food are in both languages. If I don't know what the hell is on the menu how can I decide what I want? I only pretend to not be able to read/understand French but it doesn't mean that I don't want to feel COMFORTABLE when making a decision regarding my food. Anyway they have flimsy paper menu's that make you feel like you are in your pre-teens and teens again (depending on your current age I guess). They have snap shots of celebrities on the front and back cover and its really eye catching and fun to try to guess who everyone is while waiting to be served.  I give menu design a 2 out of 5. I'm telling you, NOT having an English option is a huge point deduction.

Now let's get to what is ON the menu: BURGERS or POUTINE. Seriously, that is 95% of the menu. They have 3 types of Mac and Cheese if you are interested, a few salads, but the majority of the menu is based around burgers and poutine. Now its hard for me to pick a meal mainly because I'm not  huge fan of burgers and I hate poutine.

I started off ordering a drink the size of my head. We were lucky enough to arrive during their happy hour
which meant that we could get 1 litre mason jar drinks for half price. I went with a "Dead Kennedy" which was really tasty but I have no idea what the hell was in it. I remember something about rum and I was like "sold!" Can I make a suggestion? When serving drinks in huge ass mason jars you might want to consider getting mason jars with handles. I had to drink with two hands!   (Please ignore my no makeup self. I wasn't expecting to go out to eat the minute I got home from work!)

So now our waiter comes over to ask what we'd like to eat and I casually ask "Do you have an English menu" (I read a few reviews online and knew the answer to that question would be no) and he apologized and said they didn't. I asked him how I was supposed to know what to eat if I didn't have a menu and he said he could guide me through it. I told him it wasn't really necessary as I could read the basics. He convinced us to try an appetizer while we decided on what to read and told us about the deep fried pickles. I can't stand pickles but then he said they are marinated in cherry Kool-Aid and that took me back to being 10 and going to my best friend's house and drinking the sugary goodness! I said I'd try it. I'm glad I did!!

They were just crunchy enough, just sour enough, just sweet enough. They were in other words, perfect. What wasn't so perfect was the sauce. You could still taste that mayo was the main ingredient (did you see I mentioned I hated it above?) and it was just HOT. No real flavor to the mayo other than hot. I like heat but I like sweet heat, or smoky heat... I like the heat to taste like something not just burn my mouth. The dipping sauce lacked flavor. But the pickles...oh my yummy.

Now I wasn't really in the mood for a burger but I decided on the "Avocado Burger". It was a burger with avocado, tomato/onion salsa, and ranch dressing (I asked for it on the side). Before trying the burger as a whole I took a taste test of just the burger. It was boring. There was ZERO flavor. No smoke, no grill, no just tasted like cooked, unseasoned beef. So take it as a warning, if you are going here do not order a plain burger, order something that will give the meat flavor. I bit into my burger and my mouth was so happy. I hate onions but I love salsa and this one had great flavor. The avocado was neither over ripe or underripe. It was excellent. My only suggestion would be to cut the tomato chunks smaller. They were too large and kept jumping out of my burger.  I got a side of fries and cole slaw (and a pickle again..that i didn't eat...because it wasn't fried). The fries were shoestring fries and needed salt...and the coleslaw was bland. The sides didn't do it for me but the burger was great.

The husband went with something a lot more adventurous than I'd ever try. He went with a peanut butter burger with bananas. For those of you who know me in real life will know that a group of my friends and I took a road trip to Boston to have a Peanut Butter Burger. You have some mighty high expectations to live up to La Belle et La Boeuf! The verdict? My husband loved it. He ate every last bite of that wouldn't touch it with a 10 foot pole because it looked messy. (Again, I'm not a huge fan of peanut butter, in fact my daughter is nearly 3 and I've never given her a PB&J sandwich because I don't like peanut butter...unless its covered in chocolate!) Oh did I mention it had bananas and BACON? His sides were onion rings and coleslaw too.

I'm PMSing and wanted to have some comfort food too so we decided to try some mac and cheese. They have 3 types on their menu: plain, with hot dogs, with smoked meat. Me, being boring, chose plain. It was okay but a bit too runny for me. I don't like soupy mac and cheese. I like it to be more together...more congealed? (no picture because I don't like slop!)

By now I'm completely full (did I tell you that at 3pm I had a slice of red velvet cheesecake that I made? Hey, I'm PMSing...) but husband wanted to try dessert. Our waiter suggested to us the deep fried toast...which is basically a fried PB&J sandwich with bananas and drizzled (drenched) in maple syrup. I'm not a fan of any of those ingredients so I wasn't thrilled with the suggestion but my husband went with it. 

I took a bite of it and wanted to die. It was gross. I think I've come to a conclusion that peanut butter should NEVER EVER be served warm and toast like bread should never be deep fried then soaked in maple syrup. The fact that my husband was able to eat more than one or two bites kind of disgust me. Do his taste buds not work?!  So food wise I give them a 3 on 5

Service: Our waiter was Antonie and he was amazing. Super attentive, very helpful, and polite  He didn't just serve our food and leave. He asked our feed back, he told us his personal favorites. He was great and I wish that there were more waiters like him in the world! Service 5 on 5

Overall: I would probably go back to La Belle et La Boeuf but it would have to be on one of those nights when I'm really craving a hamburger. This isn't a place you can go to when you don't know what you want or if you aren't in a hamburger mood. I need more variety on my menu but if you are a burger lover this is the place to go!

La Belle et la Boeuf Burger Bar on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

  Never Sleep Again

Today's Prompt is:

If you could be given the option to never sleep and also never be tired, would you take it if it meant you'd also never dream again?

This has got to be one of the hardest questions for a person who suffers from insomnia. I rarely sleep as it is and I am lucky enough to still be able to function perfectly well with only 2 to 4 hours of sleep a night. Sure there are days I feel I need to take speed in order to keep my eyes open or my eyes sting from the lack of sleep but those days are few and far between.  Due to insomnia  (at least I think that's it) I don't dream often. I guess if you don't sleep you can't dream...

So would I take this option? Considering I already don't sleep much and rarely dream...and oddly enough the dreams I do have always end up coming true (sort of like a premonition) I guess I'm leaning towards taking  someone up on this offer. Imagine how much more things I could get done in a day? If I wasn't sleeping, I couldn't over sleep and start my day off on the wrong foot because I am now running late and still trying to get D ready for school! 

I'd be all caught up on my tv shows and reading in short amount of time. I'd have more time (and energy) to cook, clean, read, blog, exercise, bake, etc.

I'm only seeing positive aspects to this, nothing bad so far. Would the lack of sleep interfere with my creativity? I know that the prompt says we wouldn't be tired but whatever creative? What about alert? Quick? Witty? How is my mood? If I don't get at least 3 hours of sleep you can just call me Mega Bitch...

I think there are a lot of factor to consider and although I want to wave a magic wand and make this happen I can't even begin to tell you how great I feel at the end of the day (early morning) when I go to my room, take off my clothes and get in my pjs, hop onto my cool side of the bed and pull up the cool covers and slowly let my brain go.  I don't think I could give up that luxury for anything.... when you have a high stress day, a busy day, a day of running like a chicken with your head cut off.....those few minutes are the best!

Monday, January 7, 2013

  Song That Gives You Energy

Hello there! Seems as if its been a while since I've actually posted a REAL blog. I just checked, my last post was Feb 19, 2012. That is insane. Anyway, to get back into the swing of things I thought that I would participate in BlogHer's NaBloPoMo. The theme this month is "Energy". I need some of that for here goes nothing.

Oh...before I begin...if you are still following this blog...THANKS :) Love ya!

What is your favourite song that gives you energy? 

I think it's mentioned somewhere on my about me page or in one of my posts, MUSIC IS MY LIFE. I seriously turn to music for everything. Lyrics tend to speak to me. My favorite song sort of tends to change depending on a situation that is happening in my life. I find myself liking certain songs and playing them over and over again and not even realizing why. A while later I'll be like, "Oh my gosh..isn't that weird that I liked the song and this happened?"

One of the songs that instantly lifts my spirits is actually new to my playlist. It's Hedley's 9 Shades of Red. The beat is great, the lyrics rock, and the tempo is so upbeat. It makes me happy and has me jumping around doing a happy dance.

Another song that gives me a bunch of energy, especially when getting ready to go out, is by someone most of y'all probably haven't heard of. Fashion by Rogue Traders. This song was introduced to me by a few Aussie friends years and years ago and its remained on my playlist forever. It's such a great song!

One of my favorite songs to boost me up is by Natasha Bedingfield called I'm A Bomb (and also Single, and We're All Mad, and basically anything from her CD "Unwritten".

Here is a little known fact about me, I wish I could sing. Seriously. I wish I could bust out in song like the cast of Glee at any given moment. I might sort of be guilty of walking through my house when I was younger busting out into random songs that I'd make up about whatever I was doing. I might sort of be guilty of still doing the same thing...just now the lyrics stay in my head. 

I hope y'all check out some of the songs I posted and let me know if you like them. I personally LOVE them!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

  Le Fumoir Rubs - A Review

Le Fumoir has the perfect combination of sweet and heat. Their sauces are to die for and the meats are perfectly smoked.  If you are looking for super tender fall off the bone ribs then don't come to Le Fumoir. The way we Southerns like our meat is with a little BITE to it. Sure, the meat at Le Fumoir is tender but BBQ is about being messy and their ribs require you to bite into them to get that full satisfaction of eating a rib.

The meat is tender, sweet, juicy, and the sauce adds a bit of heat. If you are looking for extra heat try another one of their sauces that they bring to the tables.

What else is amazing about Le Fumoir? Oh let's see: Great prices, HUGE portions, GREAT flavor. It really is all you can ask for.

So far I've tried the following dishes:

Pulled Pork Sandwich:  I really wish I would have read the entire description because I'm not a fan of the slaw in my sandwich but I can't complain, it was great. And its a really nice way of making me NOT have to order slaw as a side.

Smoked Mac & Cheese:  To quote Haley from One Tree Hill "Mac and Cheese is the food of Gods". Well Haley, if you've ever had Fe Fumoir's Mac and Cheese I can definitely agree with you on that! Rich, creamy, just enough smoke flavor, gooey melted cheese...where exactly can you go wrong with this dish? I think I could actually eat this as an entire meal. 

Slaw: Have you ever had slaw with apples and poppy seeds? I hadn't until I went to Le Fumoir and I don't think I can ever go back to another slaw again. Do you think the owner would give me the recipe? 

Beef Ribs: Y'all can talk about pork baby back ribs all you want but those are a dime a dozen in Montreal. Rich SMOKED beef ribs with that smoke ring and pink center. OHMYGOD! Just enough pull to make me feel like I'm eating real ribs and that excellent flavorful dry rub. Do they deliver?

Beef Brisket: This is a Southern Staple. If you can get this meat right then you've made it. Le Fumoir, I'm happy to announce that you've made it. Officially the BEST brisket I've had outside of Texas! 

Fries/ Sweet Potato Fries: Excellent flavor. Excellent seasoning. So tasty. NOT Frozen fries. Believe me, I'd know!!

Beef Ribs: Holy smokes! These ribs are HUGE! Bigger than my head. I do not understand how anyone in their right mind can actually eat 3 of these! Tender, meaty, smokey, juicy, literally melts the second this touches your mouth. Everyone I've been with has tried this and fallen in love!

Pulled Pork Poutine: These Quebecers are all about their cheese curd and covering fries with gravy. At first I was hesitant, I was a little afraid...and then I fell in love. The pulled pork is just a miracle meat that makes everything amazing.

Smoked Veggies: Excellent side dish. Smoked veggies later mixed with balasamic vinegar and oil. My gosh, a party in my mouth. 

Chocolate Covered Bacon: I didn't think there was a way to incorporate meat into a dessert but RUBS managed to do it. Chocolate covered bacon covered with nuts and served with ice cream. Oh la la!

Reading this review you'll probably think I'm 500 pounds but in the sake of disclosure, I've been numerous times and have tried food off of my friends plates.

Want my personal suggestion: KEEP GOING BACK! The food is amazing and you slowly have to work your way down the menu!

Le Fumoir Rubs Smokehouse on Urbanspoon

Saturday, November 3, 2012

  Words Fail Me

So I've spent that last hour and a half staring at this blank page trying to think of how to put everything "on paper" but its just not coming. For the first time in my life words have failed me.

I will try to organize my thoughts and write something. It's about time I blog or something right?

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