Foodie,  Travel,  Wine

Guess Who’s Back…Back Again…

I’m going to jump right in to say that I didn’t expect to take nearly two months off from the blog.  It just kind of happened.  My work life was way busier than expected at the close of the year.  And since my day-to-day job keeps a roof over my head, clothes on my body, and a steering wheel in my hands…it took the front seat.

And as soon as my nice, holiday vacation started, I got a cold that made me feel like an army of Mucinex cartoon germs had hostilely taken over.  The only interest I had in writing was via text and/or Facebook messages that were heavily reliant upon “kill me now” GIFs.

So…yeah…I lost my (blog) groove.  But dang it…if Stella can get hers back so can I!

Before I get into some of the food and wine happenings over the past TWO MONTHS. Let me just acknowledge that this post might be like the first pancake you take off the griddle.  A little underdone but you still eat it with a bit more syrup than the others.

Man…if you are still reading this…you must know me personally.  (Hi, Mom and Dad!)

Here goes the bloggy pancake…

Folie a Deux…I Love You…

The lovely folks at Folie à Deux sent me a couple bottles of wine to sample over the holidays.  Their Chardonnay didn’t choke my palate with oak (just a touch of oak for me, please.)  What I do like is a Chardonnay that rounds my mouth with fruit, some acidity, and light oak.  And Folie à Deux delivered that for me.

Folie a Deux One
Thank you for sending me the wine to try, Folie à Deux!  I can’t wait to order more.  I might even share it next time…maybe…

Playing Chicken with the Barefoot Contessa

I did manage to pair the Chardonnay mentioned above with a Barefoot Contessa recipe.  Her Crispy Mustard Chicken with Frisée is TO DIE.  If you want to impress yourself or your friends…check out the recipe linked here.  And feel free to invite me over.  I might even help you wash your dishes when we are through.  Please let me digest for at least thirty minutes before passing me the rubber gloves…

Barefoot Contessa
If crispy chicken and creamy potatoes atop lettuce equals a salad, I’ve been doing it wrong.

A Quick Stop in St. Augustine

Our annual road trip to Jim and Momica’s either starts or ends with a couple of days in St. Augustine, FL.  Jared and I discovered the cutest Airbnb in the heart of the historic district.  Three separate apartments are within this Victorian-style home.  Our second level abode featured a kitchenette, spacious living room area, and TWO dedicated outdoor spaces.  The fact that the Airbnb hosts provide a bottle of wine makes me oh so happy and loyal.  You can learn more about their property and its amenities here.

Airbnb (1)
Even a gloomy day can’t detract from the charm of the 78 Spanish Street house!

We had every intention to try a new restaurant for our “main foodie event” while in St. Augustine, but the siren call of Preserved Restaurant was just too strong. It’s “hands down, forks up” my all-time favorite restaurant in all of St. Augustine. It’s nestled in an adorable neighborhood within walking distance from the Airbnb.  You can choose to sit inside where it’s super cozy or outside on the charming porch.

While we basked in the sunshine on the porch, we shared a crisp bottle of Chablis, oysters, escargot, mussels, and a butterscotch sundae that led to the “war of the spoons” at its end.  I guess we had a four-course shell-related dinner?  Bananas kind of come in a shell, right?  Right???!!!

Seriously…go to Preserved.  You won’t regret it.

Vegas, Sister, Vegas!!

Many, many, many months ago my sister, Kelly, asked me if I wanted to see Gwen Stefani in Las Vegas.  Umm…it would have been B-A-N-A-N-A-S to answer in anything but the affirmative!  (Sorry….couldn’t resist!)

Despite being on the planet for a nearly combined century (damn…we are OLD), we had never had the opportunity to go on a girls trip together. Our time in Vegas went by way too quickly.  I can’t wait to share more getaways with her!!

Just a few trip highlights…

Gordon Ramsey Burger
Gordon Ramsay Burger in Planet Hollywood almost always has a super long line.  If you go at nearly midnight, the line isn’t as long, AND the decadently delicious burgers are the perfect antidote to one glass of wine too many.
The Bachelor Slots
Stumbled upon this gem of a slot machine at The Cosmopolitan.  It was the most dramatic slot machine…EVER!
Gwen Stefani performed her a$$ off even though she had a gnarly cold.  I had a cold the week before.  I was a whiny, little weasel that wanted nothing but Netflix and cheap ramen.  Photo credit:  Kelly Berryman

I put down some seriously stellar nibbles and sips over the holidays!  So much so, that my closet is cursing me out and giving not so nice hand gestures  But fear not!  I promise to move my body to the point of exertion in 2019.  That might only take about 4.5 minutes at this juncture, but before I know it…my jeans won’t be straining to keep my thighs covered on a wing and a prayer.

How has everyone been?  Did you have a good holiday?  What type of indulgences did you partake?

Work Hard.  Play Hard  Drink Chard.


P.S.  I missed you, Work Play and Chardonnay.


      • jocelynnielson

        You are so welcome! For me, usually I have to remind myself that it’s okay to take a break. I always feel awkward when I go a long time without posting anything because I want to be consistent but yeah, sometimes our offline lives get in the way. Then once I’ve given myself that reminder, I start moving forward, baby step by baby step until I’m back to the speed and drive that I had before the break.

      • lauriegannon1

        I want to take this comment, laminate it, and put it in my purse. I needed a break. And that is okay. I legit felt like I had forgotten “how to blog!” Thank you, Jocelyn!!!!!!

  • behindeveryday

    Welcome back! I missed you! I didn’t want to ask in case you were gone for a bad reason. But “life happened” is totally a thing. 🙂

    • lauriegannon1

      You just gave me the biggest smile!! Thank you!! 😀 Life definitely happened. My blog mojo kind of disappeared. We played hide and seek for a few weeks. Darn mojo was hiding somewhere on Instagram!! 😉

      • behindeveryday

        I did go find you over on Instagram. So you gained a follower there while you were gone here. lol From Insta I determined that you were in fact still alive and decided to wait a bit longer before messaging you to see if everything was okay.

      • lauriegannon1

        That’s so kind!!! I was and I am alive! I was eating, punning, and filtering like it was my job that paid me in occasional likes. ❤️❤️❤️

  • Laura Beth

    Welcome back! My holidays were great. We added two new fur children! We adopted two bonded brothers, miniature pinschers named Phineas and Ferb. They’re eight-years-old, and just adorable. It’s such a breath of fresh air after the disaster we had with our greyhound in the fall. We got them from a local rescue. We’ve had them for six weeks now. Their first big road trip was to Al’s parents’ farm three hours from us. All things considered, they did really well. We had seven people and four dogs in the house for two full days!

    • lauriegannon1

      Congratulations on the new fur baby additions!!! I love the names! That’s a big road trip for the little guys. I am glad that the trip was a success for all of you!

      Happy New Year to you (even though February is FAST approaching)!!!

    • lauriegannon1

      Thanks!!! We need to start planning another trip!!

      I am back into the writing groove. I wasn’t sure if that was going to happen…

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