Thursday, October 23, 2014

Thirsty Thursdays- Halloween Drinks Part 1

Hello and welcome to a #Halloween inspired edition of Thirsty Thursdays! This week I have THREE Halloween drinks for you to trick and treat your taste buds. Come back next week for part 2 when I'll make three more Halloween drinks!!! YUM :)

First up, Pumpkin-Spiced Pudding Shots:
Okay, so these have been floating around on facebook and Pinterest for the past couple of weeks and I wanted to try them! Two problems though- I could only find Pumpkin Pudding that was already made and two, I'm an idiot and didn't see that I bought pumpkin CHEESECAKE pudding, not frikkin Pumpkin Pudding. Never fear though- I still made a tasty shot. Here's what I did:

I scooped the Pumpkin Cheesecake Pudding into a bowl and then added four shots of fireball. Yes- four because I like that stuff. So, then I blended the bejesus out of it with a hand mixer and once it was a gooey hot mess I poured the concoction into 2oz jello shot cups. After pouring I placed them into the fridge to get them cold and two hours later I had my first one.

Verdict: TRICK
I have to say- I added too much fireball, but it was still really yummy (although it burned like hell going down!)

Have a drink you want me to try or a product you want me to review? 

Contact me HERE! I'm PR friendly ;)


Next up, the Zombie Killer:

Zombie Killer
I tried this drink at James Joyce Irish pub in Ybor City and it's delicious! You have to try this drink! Now, if you are lazy like I am, go to the bar and order it because right now this huge shot (more like two shots in one seriously!) is just $4!!!!

What's in the drink? Blue Curacao, Gin, sour mix, OJ and Grenadine.  I just assumed equal parts of this stuff and put it in a cocktail shaker, shook it and poured it into a big shot glass. Still tasted pretty good, but to get it in the correct proportion just go to the damn bar already! They will even layer it all sexy like as shown in the picture above.

Verdict: TREAT!


Lastly, the Dracula's Kiss:
This cocktail has been popping up in my pinterest feed like CRAZY! I found the recipe on the website A Healthy Life for Me. Here's how to make it:


Ingredients
- 1 oz black cherry vodka (I used Florida Cane cherry vodka instead because it's a local vodka and I support small businesses as often as I can!)
- ½ oz grenadine
- cola
- maraschino cherries for garnish

Instructions- I totally didn't follow the instructions it came with, because I'm a rebel like that. So, how I did it:
1. Pour the vodka and grenadine in a cocktail shaker over ice.
2. Shake and strain into a martini glass (<-keepin it classy!. Only fill the glass about half way.
3. Fill the rest of the glass with cola. I used Pepsi

Verdict- TREAT


More on the Florida Cane Vodka- this stuff comes in 11 different flavors. You can get all 11 from the awesome Gaspar's liquor store located on 56th street at Gaspar's Patio. It's cheap and delicious and you will be glad you tried it. So, support your local biznezz  and go get this vodka! Please drink responsibly! 

Have a drink you want me to try or a product you want me to review? 

Contact me HERE! I'm PR friendly ;)
This post may contain a link to an affiliate. See my disclosure policy for more information.
 

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Thirsty Thursday: Twisted Shotz!


Today's Thirsty Thursday posts is about ! Now, although the company did send me the amazing goodies you see above for free for the purposes of review this DID NOT influence my review and all opinions are my own!
 
Have a drink you want me to try or a product you want me to review? 
Contact me HERE! I'm PR friendly ;)
 
Alright, now that all of that FCC disclosure crap is out of the way- let's talk about the shots! So, the concept behind Twisted Shotz is brilliant! Basically each shot consists of two liquors/mixes that when "shot" combine in your mouth to form the flavor you were going for. I was first introduced to Twisted Shotz a couple of years ago at a liquor store and purchased the Buttery Nipple pack because at the time I was obsessed with that shot and hey, this Twisted Shotz pack was pre-mixed! 
 
I quickly forgot about the company because I got over the Buttery Nipple obsession but didn't want to spend a lot of money to try the other flavors. 
 
Then, Twisted Shotz was a sponsor at the 2014 BlogHer conference so I got to try a bunch of the flavors! My favorites of the weekend were the Porn Star (raspberry vodka and Blue Curacao) and the Miami Vice (strawberry daiquiri and pina colada in a shot). However I also indulged in my old friend the Buttery Nipple (Butterscotch and Vanilla vodkas - although traditional ones are Baileys and Butterscotch Scnhapps), the Rattlesnake (the most potent tasting with Tequila and Lime Liqueur) and the Whipped Orange (tasted like a creamsicle with its whipped cream vodka and orange cream liqueur. Yum!) 
 
I seriously love these shots ya'll! Here are my pros and cons though:

The pros:
- The drinks are pre-mixed so you don't have to buy a bunch of liquor and attempt to follow a bunch of recipes. The guess work is handled for you
- You don't even need shot glasses or mixing equipment. All you do is chill em and shoot em!
- They are great for parties because they have so many options you can please any set of taste buds
-  They are delicious! Duh!
 
Cons:
- The packs are a little on the pricier side. The smaller packs come with four shots and are about $6-$8 at most liquor stores meaning you will pay up to $2 a shot. Still cheaper than a club, but for the truly thrifty I recommend the party packs that have 15 in them. They come out to around $15-$20 a pack so at most you will be spending about $1.34 a shot!
- The alcohol content is not as strong as you think. A single shot is 20% alcohol and comes in at about an oz and a half of liquor. You'd have to drink quite a few of them to get messed up or even buzzed. 

The party pack that Twisted Shotz sent me also included some shots I had not yet tried including the Strawberry Sundae (vanilla and strawberry vodkas with cream), the Blazin Apple (apple and cinnamon- tasted like apple pie ya'll!), the Killer Bee (bourbon and honey- this one burned a little LOL) and the Root Beer Flirt (tasted just like root beer with its root beer liqueur and vanilla vodka). The Polar Bear it came with I'm saving for Christmas because it has mint in it! 

I can honestly say that out of all the Twisted Shotz  I have had I can't think of one I didn't like! Even the Killer Bee that burned a little I would do again. Therefore, my overall assessment is that I WOULD recommend these drinks and I will be drinking them again!

Have a drink you want me to try or a product you want me to review? 

Contact me HERE! I'm PR friendly ;)
This post may contain a link to an affiliate. See my disclosure policy for more information.
 

Monday, October 13, 2014

I Guess I'm a Decent Cook! Who Knew?!? LOL


The best compliment my husband has ever given me on my cooking he gave me tonight, "Holy crap hon I feel like I'm eating at a restaurant." Followed by, "I'm so full but it's so good I just can't stop eating it." Then, when I tried to take his plate because I thought he was done I thought he was going to attack me, "Don't take that! When I digest a little I'm going to munch on the rest." Wow! Guess I did good! LOL!

For the curious- I made thick cut pork chops that I let sit with a dry rub of Montreal Steak Seasoning for two days then baked them in an oven bag that I placed in a Pyrex baking dish. All I did to bake the pork was added a heaping tablespoon of all-purpose flour to the oven bag and then poured one can of sliced potatoes. I left the liquid in the can to give the pork some more moisture. Then, I added the pork, closed the bag and cut 6 half-inch slits into the bag so the bag wouldn't explode whilst cooking... I put it into a preheated 350 degree oven for 35 minutes. After the timer went off I pulled it out to make sure the pork was done and then covered it with foil, placed it back in the oven, knocked them temp down to 150 degrees to keep it warm and made some mac and cheese.

I know - two starches with dinner- leave me alone! We didn't eat the potatoes tonight so there! I'm saving those babies for tomorrow's dinner!

Oh, and I made a sauce to dip the chops in. My husband LOVES sauces and I started making one a while back that he loves on steak so I thought we would try it on the pork chops and it was a hit. It's just two ingredients- Sour cream and creamed horseradish. So easy it felt like cheating but we gobble that stuff up!


Anyway- the mac and cheese and the pork chops tickled my hubby's fancy apparently! I'll definitely be making this again because he told me it would be wrong of me to introduce him to pork chops that yummy only to take them away forever. He's so dramatic sometimes. hahaha!

This post may contain a link to an affiliate. See my disclosure policy for more information. 

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Thirsty Thursdays - Bubblegum Vodka!


 

#ThirstyThursday #TipsyBartender #BubblegumVodka

Today's Thirsty Thursday post was inspired by the amazing Youtube Channel: Tipsy Bartender. If you have not checked out that channel, read this post first (duh!) and then go check it out. Guys who like hot chicks mixin dranks while shaking their booties will probably like this channel and girls will enjoy making fun of said hot chicks because we are mean jealous beaches. hahaha

Have a drink you want me to try or a product you want me to review? 
Contact me HERE! I'm PR friendly ;)

Anywho- the drank!
So, I wanted to try: 

Tipsy Bartender's Bubblegum Vodka
watch his original video HERE!

To make the vodka you will need:
- 10 pieces of Bubblegum. I used Super Bubble because that stuff is delicious
-  6 oz (180 ml) Vodka
- Mason Jar or some other jar (I used a cleaned out spaghetti jar because recycling is how I roll)

How to:
1. Cut 10 pieces of gum and add them to a jar.
2. Pour in 6 oz. of plain vodka
3. Seal and let it sit for a couple of days
4. Strain the gum out and THERE YOU HAVE IT- Bubblegum Vodka :)

Now to make the cocktail that Tipsy Bartender made in the video you will need:
- The bubblegum Vodka
- Charms Blowpops (But I'm lame and totally forgot to buy these)
- Lemon Lime Soda such as 7-Up.


How to:
1. Fill glass with ice. I used an 8 oz. wine glass because I'm classy like that...
2. Pour in about 1.5 oz of the bubblegum vodka
3. Pour in about 2.5 oz 7-Up- to fill the glass my drink ended up being a little closer to 2 oz of vodka and 4 oz of 7-Up
4. Garnish with an unwrapped Charms Blowpops- But, again I'm lame and totally forgot to buy these so to improvised I took 3 pieces of bubble gum and put them on a skewer on top of the glass for the photo
5. Stir with the garnish and DRINK!


So, what did I think of the Bubblegum Vodka? It was REALLY Bubblegummy just like the chick in the video says. Then, when adding it to the 7-Up soda it still tasted just like drinking bubblegum!


 
I would drink it again, but I would have to be in the mood for something that sweet to really enjoy it. It would be interesting to see what other drinks could be made with this vodka.

Okay- so...now for a little bit more about the man behind the brand! Skyy John, the internationally famous host of the Internet's top bartending show “Tipsy Bartender,” has spent the last ten years bartending at one of the hottest and trendiest spots in Los Angeles, as well as hopping around the globe mixing incredible cocktails....aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand he wrote a kick ass book! Check out "I'm having a girl over" by Skyy John today!

Have a drink you want me to try or a product you want me to review? 

Contact me HERE! I'm PR friendly ;)
This post may contain a link to an affiliate. See my disclosure policy for more information. 

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

HOLY COW- Today marks SEVEN YEARS!


Today marks seven years since I officially started my freelancing business (i.e. got a business license and a website). Holy cow! I have been a PAID writer and photographer since October, 7, 2007! My first article was published in the USF Oracle the week of Valentine's Day in 2007 and about eight months later I decided I wanted this to be my business. I have been on a crazy roller coaster ever since! In the photo above are the logos of just a few of the publications my work has been featured in. I can't wait to see where the next seven years (and beyond) takes me!

It's crazy to think that I was on the track to becoming a school teacher at the beginning of 2006. My art professor told me she had a dream I was a writer and suggested I take a journalism course as my other elective- the course lit a fire in me I didn't even know I was lacking. That was the year I got married and changed my major to journalism. My first story got published in 2007 and the my career path was completely altered. They say everything happens for a reason and that in the blink of an eye your life can change if you have the courage to let it. It would have been safe to stay in education. It would have been easier to finish one more year of school and graduate in 2007. It would have been safe to get a steady job as a teacher, but I don't think I would have been happy.

As a self-employed writer and photographer things aren't always safe but they are a hell of a lot of fun. I've had wild ups and downs but I wouldn't trade a minute of it. I can feel that I am on a path now to big things, exciting things and I truly believe that financial success bigger than I ever could have dreamed was possible is so close I can taste it. Here's to seven years as a writer and here's to the goal of writing I'm 100% debt free and financially independent by the time my eight year anniversary rolls around!

Monday, October 6, 2014

How Should I Sell Everything I Own?


I've made comments about it for months, but since my goal is to have a 100% mobile business that I can do from anywhere in the world I feel like it is seriously time for me to downsize and get rid of junk. I'm going to sell everything I have that is not nailed down and/or can't come on the road with me. I need opinions- what is the best way to start selling everything? Of course- my sentimental possessions that I don't want to part with will end up in storage, but I'm trying to figure out the absolute best way to sell everything I have for as much money as possible so that my husband and I will have a good financial base to start out on the road with...

I know many folks are all about eBay, some have told me craigslist, but what other methods will get this stuff out of my apartment and get me on the road quickly? Leave a comment below! Would love to know your thoughts :)

What I Learned from Almost Six Months of Temping


#IQuit #ScrewtheNinetoFive

Friday, September, 26, 2014, was my last day working at my 9 to 5 temp job. I worked there just under six months (179 days if you care to count). In a way- temping brought me back to life. I don't talk about it much but in 2013 I was slumping into a bit of a depression. In 2014 I was starting to come out of that depression because I started a fun new gig and was forming plans for more new gigs, but my lack of income was still plaguing me.

In February I signed up with a local temp agency and in March I got a call that I would be a receptionist for a furniture dealer in Tampa. Interestingly enough as soon as I started working there I began getting call backs for my true passion- writing and photography. Then, about 3 months into working there I got lucky enough to fly to California for a blogging conference and make even more connections for more possible gigs. Before I knew it I was getting so many calls to write and take pictures that I found myself struggling to get up in the mornings because I was staying up late working on my real job. The final clue that it was time to leave my temp job came when I got offered a writing gig that would basically replace my temp job income...so of course- I took it! Now, I'm a little scared because I was starting to get used to a steady check but I'm hopeful that more good things are coming and that I won't ever have to go back to a nine to five style job ever again.

Okay- so that is the back story and now, here are a few things I learned from almost six months of temping:

1. Change can be a good thing. Just the act of forcing myself out of the house brought so much more pep to my step. I may be able to work from home again- but I'm trying not to. Instead I'm working in coffee houses, the library, my husband's office, anywhere with Wi-Fi honestly. I've learned that I just get too lazy and unproductive when I'm at home.

2. Sleep is crucial for me. My husband can sleep two to four hours and then work an eight hour day, but I NEED a full eight hours or things get weird. I get overly emotional, spacey, extra A.D.D., it's just no beuno!

3. I need to be around people. I think one of the best things about the temp job was being around people. As cheesy as this is going to sound, it took me being around people for six months to realize just how lonely I've let myself get. I've only been out of the job for over a week and I've already had a lunch with a fellow writer, scheduled a dinner with another and reached out to a blogging group to see if we can organize a get together. I think my need for being around people is part of why I haven't let myself stay home to work even though I can...

4. I do best with a schedule and a to-do list. I never realized just how A.D.D. I am until I was forced to set priorities and schedule my assignments. It's amazing how much work I can get done in limited increments and now that I have nothing but time I'm trying to force myself to continue sticking to a schedule. Somehow making up fake deadlines and appointments is helping me complete stuff that I need to get done.

5. I can't stand a nine to five job. LOL! Okay, this one probably came off meaner than I meant for it to, but I'm a soooooooooooooo not a nine to five chick. Yes, I learned I need structure and scheduling, but I also realized just how much I need the flexibility to move appointments and assignments around for whatever reason. I love the freedom of being able to set my own hours and do what I want when I want as long as deadlines are met.

Photo courtesy of Hubspot
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