Friday, December 25, 2009

Greeings from the Sunshine State!

Ho! Ho! Ho! from the sandy beaches of Clearwater Beach, Florida!  It's great to be here with our family and friends and eat and drink and be merry!  Hope you are all having a wonderful holiday.  I'm just happy to be out of NY State for a few days and not stuck in snow and ice!

Merry Christmas!

-Dining Diva

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Santa Delivered

Hi everyone!

Remember when holiday time was relaxing and all you had to do was wake up early Christmas morning and see what Santa brought you?!  Don't get me wrong; I love shopping for Christmas gifts and wrapping them and making Christmas cookies (and eating them), but for some reason, I haven't had a chance to stop and enjoy a warm crackling fire place and/or bake any cookies.  And I'm leaving in the morning for Florida.  I still need to clean and pack, but once I get there, I am looking forward to just relaxing and running on the beach and listening to the waves crash.  But everything just feels so rushed.

We did Christmas with my grandparents this weekend.  It was nice.  I really have the greatest grandparents.  They are so gracious and loving.  I can't imagine my life without them.  Actually, it was a little sad because for the first time EVER, my grampy wrote out our Christmas cards.  My grandma ALWAYS has done that and had her cards done months in advance.  That was just a tell-tale sign that she is getting older and suffering from a few things including slight forgetfulness.  I'm glad she was there to celebrate with us and I'll keep this Christmas card forever because it was so special to get it with my grandpas's handwriting; but still sad that my grandma wasn't up to it.  But I think it's so sweet that my grandpas stepped up and helped my grandpa and ensured that the cards were ready to go.  They have been married for 65+ years and you can tell.  I just love them.

So then I exhanged gifts with the BF last night.  That was fun.  I have been working endlessly on a scrapbook for him and I finished it yesterday afteroon.  I think he really liked it.  We have had such an amazing year together and been able to travel quite a bit; I couldn't let this year go by without giving it a scrapbook.  It was my first one and I had a lot of fun making it.  (The BF gave me a digital camera for Christmas so from now on I will be able to take pictures of things.  He also gave me a really nice pair of Uggs! )

I gave him the Keurig coffee maker and accesssories.  A coffee maker for Christmas?  Yes.  That's what he wanted.

My best friend came over too and we exchanged gifts as well.  I gave her a unique bracelet that I found in a super cute boutique in Boston.  She gave me a fabulous gift, too. . . Sex and the City DVD and cute JCREW pjs.  I'll be packing those for Florida!

I hope everyone has a very Merry Christmas and wonderful New Year celebration!  I'll be back home to celebrate New Years Eve with my love muffin and friends, so that is great. 

Life is good.

Happy Holidays!
-Dining Diva

Here's a picture of the BF and me in Boston a few weekends ago . . .

And when I get back from Florida, I get to doggy-sit my adorable little friend, Bella.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Traveling Suitecase

Greetings from Ottawa, ON!  I'm laying on my hotel bed and happy to be warm because it's cold outside!  Let's just hope the weather stays under control for my roadtrip back home tomorrow.  Ottawa, ay?  Yes.  I found out yesterday that I would need to drive up here, by myself, in mid-December for work.  Bascially, what I have to do will take 4-8 minutes and then I'll be done.  So I have to do that tomorrow morning and then drive back south to the States.  It's also my work Christmas party tomorrow during the day and I'm going to miss that.  Kind of stinks, but that's life.  I do enjoy Ottawa and I just picked up some beautiful hand-woven wool gloves for someone on my Christmas list, so that's cool. 

So my suitcase has been packed and unpacked quite a bit lately.  My trip with the BF to New Hampshire and Boston was super fun.  His interview actually went really well and he'll find out if he is offered the job in the next few weeks.  Either way, it's a win-win situation.  The experience really opened his eyes and let him see the kind of work experience he deserves to have and will have one day.  If he does get it, then he has to figure out if moving to NH is in the life plan.  We'll see what happens.  The town we stayed at was very cute and a perfect winter holiday town.  The trees along main street sparkled with white lights and the shops and restaurants were all really cute.  We hit up a very fun mexican restaurant and enjoyed some delicious margaritas and other yummies.  Saturday we drove in to Boston and stayed at a great hotel in Copley Square.  We did the bus tour around the city and got on and off at quite a few stops.  Enjoyed some munchies and beer at the orginial Cheers bar and shopped some more.  Our dinner was at Atlantic Fish and it was AMAZING! We had their sangria, which was much different than any version we've had before.  It was strong and delicious!  We also had an amazing meal complete with freshly baked and warm bread, lobster, filet, blackened sea bass, asparagus, green beans, mashed potatoes and more.  Oh! We also had to wait until 9 p.m. for our dinner reservation, but we were hungry at 7 p.m.  So what did we do?  Only the best thing ever - peanut butter cheesecake from the Cheesecake Factory for our appetizer! Delicious.  So it's to the hotel gym for me right now...because next week I leave for Florida with  my parents.  My sister is actually coming now too.  I never would have thought that would be happening.

Well have a good night and wish me luck for tomorrow morning!

-Dining Diva

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Off We Go

I took tomorrow off and the BF and I are heading to New Hampshire for an interview he has.  Then we are going to Boston for the rest of the weekend!  I'm looking forward to no work tomorrow and enjoying the holiday season in a big city with my love.  I'm hoping to get some more Christmas shopping done.

I did get my mom a really cool wine holder and some wine glasses at Pier 1 yesterday.  It looks like a giant tree and I think she'll really like it!  I love finding coupons through Google for all the stores I'm shopping at for presents!  Every $10 off of $50 goes a long way!  I know this weekend is Friends and Family at Lord & Taylor and I'm thinking I might swing by the mall tonight in between excerise and packing! :o)

I'm also in the middle of a giant scrapbooking project and this is my first time.  Anyone with any advice on how to add some pizzaz to the book would be welcome!

Have a great weekend!

-Dining Diva

Did I make that?!

After I did a few kartwheels and high kicks of excitement in the kitchen, I let myself get back to eating.  I was thrilled that the dinner I made for the BF and I was a hit!  I owe it all to Mrs. Bear for sending me the recipe for Goat Cheese Chicken Roll-Ups as part of the giveway I recently won on her blog.   In fact, one of my co-workers made the meal for her man last night and she said it led to an amazing night.  So there you have it.

Here's the recipe:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Coat a glass baking dish with non-stick cooking spray
3. Take one peice of chicken and season both sides with salt and pepper.  Lay flat and spread a thin layer of herbed goat cheese on the chicken.
4. Spread a thin layer of spinach on top of the goat cheese.  Drizzle a small amount of olive oil on top of the spinach and season with salt and pepper. Start at one side of the chicken filet and roll it up.  Secure with tooth pick and place in baking dish.
5. Repeat for rest of chicken filets.  Drizzle the rolled up chicken with olive oil. and sprinkle with dried rosemary and garlic salt.
6. Bake for 25-30 minutes.

You'll enjoy it! 

-Dining Diva

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Wine + Dinner + Conversation = Relief

So it's over.   Our big meeting.  I'm really happy it happened and that it went well. 

She said she was sorry and never wants to let something like this happen again.  She said she is going to try to give up being stubborn for her New Year's Resolution.  I am so happy that she said she is very sorry that she has been acting like this and that she hurt me.  I can't tell you what a relief this is for me and how happy I will be to have my sister back.

We had some wine and I relaxed and told her how I felt.  She listened and agreed with me.  Said she was sorry. I told her I accept her apology and just want to move forward.  So does she.  I feel better.

Then we changed the subject and enjoyed a nice dinner together.  We talked about my grandpa's birthday this weekend and what we could do to celebrate.

I'm happy.

Then the BF came over to get the blow by blow report of my dinner.  He's such a good listener.  I love him.

I'm happy tomorrow is Friday!  We have my grandpa's birthday party at my apartment on Saturday and then his work Christmas party Saturday night.  We have lots of fun stuff going on this month!  I'm feeling very blessed today.

Have a great day!

-Dining Diva

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

The Meeting

I've mentioned before that I have a poor relationship with my older sister.  I put the blame on her for this because it's a result of her actions and choices.  We really haven't spoken since Father's Day in June.  Yesterday she called me and asked if I would be able to meet for dinner or coffee tonight; just the two of us.  I said yes.  She has to drive about an hour to get to where I live, so we are going to be for dinner around 7 tonight.  I am actually looking forward to our meeting, but am also nervous.

I am not one to look for confrontation and I do not enjoy being upset with others.  I try to forgive and move on because when it comes down to it, life is just too short.  Plus, the fact that she is my sister makes me want to fix our troubled relationship.

She's never been the nicest sister.  In fact, we've never had a great relationship.  She is just selfish and fights dirty and had never been the older sister role model I would have liked to have.  In any case, we had been getting along the best we ever have the past year or so.  Then in May, she stopped communicating with my parents because of her boyfriend.  Then she said mean things to be about my family and I chose to stop talking to her.  I was disgusted that she could treat my family so poorly, especially because we have been blessed to have an amazingly wonderful family.

{Back story:  My sister dates an older man, as in the same age as my mother.  He was a family friend.  He was a husband and a father.  It was not the best situation and not one that anyone would have chosen for my sister.  She is educated, independent, beautiful . . . In our eyes, she didn't need to settle down in a relationship weighed down with so much drama, with a man who could be her father!  He's now divorced and they are planning on getting married, but still.  Step back from the situation and it's her life.  She can do what she wants.  So be it.  My parent's said they would no longer support her relationship with the BF because it was very unhealthy.  My sister broke off communication with them.  I told her she was wrong for treating my parents like that.  She then broke off communication with me AND said mean and hurtful things about my family.  That was in June.}

So just recently, my sister has started talking with my parents again.  (My parents continued to try to fix their relationship with her since the whole situation started.  She ignored them.) 

Do you see why I'm anxiously awaiting tonight's meeting?

I'd rather just kiss and make up and move on.  But she needs to apologize.  I don't know if she's capable of that.

I'll let you know.

Thanks for listening.

-Dining Diva

My sister and the BF in Florida in April, right before the drama began.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Holiday Update

Greetings!  It's so hard to come back from a few days off from work and actually feel motivated to sit here and be productive.  I have lots to do and I've spent too much time looking up online sales that are part of "Cyber Shopping Monday" and looking up other random Web sites.  I'm super thankful for vacation though  - and these past few days that I had off were great.

I need to get a camera very badly so I can take pictures of everything and then post them on here for you to enjoy.  I'm pretty sure that you would all enjoy my cut-out Thanksgiving cookies that I made.  I was really happy with how they turned out and the icing I made was delicious, too!  Actually, the BF's family all seemed to enjoy them, as well.  I personalized a few of them with some of his family members' initials.  (Basically, I was having too much fun with the little frosting tips.)  I found the recipe from another blog and if I find it, I'll share it with you all.  I think I'll be making some more for future holidays.  .  . and letting the frosting sit in the fridge overnight really added to the cookies!  It was really easy to roll out the dough and use the cookie cutters.

The trip to the BF's aunt and uncle's house went smoothly.  We drove to his parent's house and loaded into their minivan for a four hour road trip.  I'm glad his sister came because I really enjoying talking with her.  Her mom brought some materials to make pot holders and that added to our road trip. 

His family is really nice.   The food was delicious.  They live on quite a bit of farmland and actually raised and killed the 30-pound turkey that we enjoyed.  It was probably the freshest turkey I've ever had.  His cousin also came and brought his girlfriend.  They've actually only been dating for under one month, but seem madly in love.  They met on and she was pretty embarrassed to say that. It was funny because I also met my BF via online dating (, so I totally understood her apprehension to mention how they met.  And to top it off, his other cousin who lives in VA met her current boyfriend through online dating.  So I'm not the only one!  I just thought that was kind of funny.
Not too much more to report on Thanksgiving.  I went to my parent's house yesterday and took their Christmas tree and put it up in my apartment.  It looks so pretty and big with sparkling white lights.  My parent's didn't really mind and since we're leaving for Florida in three weeks, they probably wouldn't have put the tree up anyway.

Yesterday was my best friend's birthday so we went out Friday night to celebrate.  It was fun and actually like the first time I've went out to the bars in our city for quite awhile.  It really seems to bother her and my roommate that I am not a huge party animal anymore, but I'm fine with that.  But it's slightly annoying that they give me indirect attitude about it.  I've just been traveling and doing other things the past year versus spending lots of money and calories on alcohol.  I am sick of defending myself, actually. 

Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving and are ready for Christmas.  I need to start shopping!

-Dining Diva

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Road Trip for Thanksgiving

Hello Party People!

Just a few more hours in the work day and then it's two days off and lots of food, family, and friends!  (I probably shouldn't be listing food first, how should I.  .  .). 

This Thanksgiving will be a little different than in other years.  I'm actually going with TK's family (mom, dad, sister) to his mom's sister's house in PA.  I think it will be about a 4.5 hour drive and we're leaving around 9 tomorrow morning.  This will be my first time meeting some of his extended family.  I hope they like me and the desserts I'm bringing.  And hopefully, my experience is nothing like "Poor Rob's."  Read this to know what I'm talking about. Thanksgiving at my house usually involves me in expandable pants. . . I probably shouldn't unbotton my pants and serve myself thirds at the BF's family, should I? 

Typically I like going back home to my little town and going out with all the people back in town for the Holiday at our local bar.  THAT won't be happening because I'll be in the kitchen tonight.  I had planned to bake my contributions last night, but that didn't happen because out of all the very important ingredients I had to pick up at the grocerey story last night at 8 p.m., I forgot a few of the BIGGIES.  1. Electric mixer, 2. rolling pin, 3. wax paper.

So instead of hitting the gym tonight after work, I'll be be burning things in my kitchen.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

-Dining Diva

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Lights on the Lake

That's one of the largest and most popular holiday events/attractions we have in our area during the holiday season.  Last night Lights on the Lake opened to the public and no cars were allowed; walkers only.  It was my first time walking thru it and it was WONDERFUL!  There were thousands of people there, bundled up in winter gear, drinking free hot cocoa and gazing at the jumbo holiday light extravaganza.  It was so nice.
It's a four-mile walk to see all of the light displays. 

Good thing for the distance because afterwards, we went to a local restaurant for dinner.  The bf wanted Snickers cheesecake for dessert, but the waitress broke the news that the restaurant was sold out of the tasty treat.  (God's first attempt to let us know we did not need dessert).  So we leave and make our way to Friendly's for a sundae.  After standing in line by the door for a good ten minutes and not being greeted or acknowledged by the staff, we left.  (God's second attempt to let us know it's just a Monday night on Thanksgiving week; a time to be working out at the gym in preparation for the upcoming all-you-can-eat turkey buffet).  So it's around 10 p.m. on a Monday night by now.  I mentioned the brilliant fact that just across the street at McDonald's we can get ourselves a hot fudge sundae for just $1!  What a steal, right?! So that's what we did.   .   .

This morning I woke up with a food hangover.  (God's little way of letting me know I should have listened to him last night). 

Minus the unneccessary hunt for dessert, it was a very fun night! 

On tonight's agenda: exercise and baking.  I'm going to try and make sugar cookies tonight with my Thanksgiving cut-outs and then frost them tomorrow.

Have a great night!

-Dining Diva

Monday, November 23, 2009

Wonderful Weekend; Short Week Ahead

I love weekends.  I feel so powerful every Friday at 5 p.m. because I have my entire weekend ahead of me and can do whatever I want, whenever I want, with anyone I want to.  Saturdays are great, too.  By Sunday night, I'm a little bummed.  This is a weekly occurrence.  Does this happen to you, too?  I mentioned this to the BF's sister last night when I went over for dinner and she agreed with me.  So after dinner, she and I went to a local park to walk through a major holiday light display.  (Mind you, the light display does not officially begin until tonight, so there were not that many turned on last night; but it was still refreshing to get some exercise and fresh air.) 

Overall, it was a nice weekend. I got to spend quite a bit of time with my best friend and her boyfriend and my BF so that was nice.  (She's a nurse and works every other weekend, so that makes doing things together kind of a pain in the butt.)

Friday:  Came home from work and exercised at my gym for a good amount of time.  Quickly showered and dressed.  Went to the BF's place and met up with my best friend and her bf and we all went and saw New Moon!  That was an experience.  I should have brought a camera so I could take a picture of the hundreds of girls wrapping around and around the mall movie complex in a giant line.  It was craziness.  They had the movie playing every half hour and the tickets were sold out.  Luckily, my friend ordered tickets in advance.  I must say, our men were good sports because they had to miss the end of a very good college basketball game on TV to make it to the movie in time.  Also, it's not like they really wanted to be standing in an overwhelming amount of teenage girls freaking out over this movie.  :o)  But it all worked out and I think they liked it.  I thought it was good; the books are so much better though. 

Saturday:  Slept in!  It was nice.  Went to the gym and then went grocery shopping.  My friend and I made dinner for our boyfriends and we drank beer/wine and watched football with all intention of going "out."  Our journey downtown to the bars never happened, but I was fine with that; I think we all were full and lazy.  What was for dinner you ask: 
-Beef roll-ups (Take thickly sliced roast beef deli meat, stuff with stuffing and pour gravy over the roll-ups in a baking dish. tooth pick hold the beef roll-up together.  Bake for 30 minutes.)
-Green bean casserole
-Garlic mashed potatoes
-Rye bread and dill dip boat
**We had so much food; I wish I would have been thinking and called Miss. Sass to come over for dinner, too!**

Sunday: Went for a walk at a local park with the bf, ate at Quaker Steak & Lube with his friends, met my parents at some local shops, bought icing tips and frosting for my Thanksgiving Sugar Cookies that I'm bringing for Thanksgiving, Went to BF's parent's house for dinner, walked at park, organized bills!

Nothing too exciting, but it was a good weekend!

Just three days of work and then I'm going to PA with the BF and his family for Thanksgiving.  I'm excited!

Have a great Monday!

-Dining Diva

Thanks, Mrs. Bear!

When I hopped on my blog this weekend, to my surprise, I had a message from Mrs. Bear over at "Think Happy Thoughts" (one of my new favorite blogs!).  I was one of the two winners who won her recent giveaway! I was so excited - I never win anything.  And the prize is fabulous and very timely, I might add. (I've recently been attempting to cook much more than usual). Mrs. Bear is working with "A Paper Lane" on Etsy and is sending me personalized recipe cards! The best part is that Mrs. Bear is including some of her own recipes on the cards, too.  I'm looking forward to getting them and cooking some more.  Thanks again, Mrs. Bear!  And I have a few engaged friends that are "followers" of mine, and I highly suggest you check out Think Happy Thoughts; it's totally the wedding I would like to have!  (On the white sandy beach of Florida!)

-Dining Diva

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Shake n Bake

Whoever invented that is fabulous.  I actually made myself a tasty dinner last night and I enjoyed eating a real meal versus cereal for once.

After the gym I got back to my apartment and wrote on Thanksgiving cards.  In the meantime, I got out some frozen chicken and put it in a pan with some olive oil.  I covered the pan and put it on low heat and just let it slowly cook.  After awhile I put some light mayo on the chicken and then poured on some shake n bake.  I poured in a good portion of frozen broccoli and kept it slowly cooking.  In another pot, I boiled some water and threw in some Uncle Ben's rice in a bag.  Nothing too complicated, but in the end I had a healthy and delicious dinner.  I was happy.  I had a sugar free chocolate pudding for dessert and then flopped on my bed and got reading.  I already love New Moon.  I didn't get that far though - just like 80 pages.  Right now, Edward left and Bella was found in the woods.  I can't wait to get back to reading.

Have a great day party people!

-Dining Diva

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Better Get Reading!

Isn't that the truth.  I have to read New Moon before Friday night and I haven't started it yet.  I actually think it might be possible to read it in two days because if it's anything like Twilight, then as Pringles says, "once you pop, you just can't stop!" - or something like that.

So it's a little gym time for me and the food and book.  That sounds pretty good.

It's been a BUSY day at work and I'm ready to say see ya!  I did get to do a nice power walk during my lunch break today with a friendly co-worker.  It was sunny and beautiful outside.  I love nice weather.

Have a great night!

-Dining Diva

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Clean Teeth

Not much to report on this Tuesday, other than it's almost 5 p.m. and I can't wait to get out of work!  I need to go to the gym tonight.  I tried an old Pilates DVD last night and realized I am OUT OF SHAPE!  Running is much different than getting "long and lean."  How about my healthy lunch today:  A $1 box of Sour Patch Kids.  Oops!  Thank goodness for my fabulous new SONICCARE TOOTHBRUSH!  Thanks to the bf, I have the greatest electric toothbrush ever!  I highly suggest you add it to your holiday wish list.  It feels like you just had your teeth professionally cleaned - every time! And I also really love the toothbrush because it has an attached UV sanitizer.  It's quite nice.  Thanks babe!

Have a happy Tuesday evening.

-Dining Diva

Friday, November 13, 2009

A Lunch Full of Friendship

So today is just draggging on!  It would have been such a great day to take the afternoon off.  It was quite sunny.   But now the sun is setting (it's only 4:30 p.m.!) so by the time I hit the road, I'll need my headlights on.  Enough complaining.

So for lunch one of my bestest friends from elementary school thru now met me at work and we walked to a cute sandwich shop for lunch and gossip.  She had much to fill me in on.  (She is a ab-fab source of local news.)  So we chatted and talked about her wedding plans and how she is dealing with being away from her fiancee (he is in the Air Force and just left for his station in Texas).    But it was so nice to see her and I just love her dearly.

Have a good weekend.

Dining diva!

Note to self: Add Flavor

So you all know how excited I was about making some fabulous meal for the BF last night. For the past three nights I have been reading recipe after recipe to find the perfect dish to impress the BF. (Well, not really impress, but to show off what he's been missing for the past year since we go out to eat so much or he typically cooks dinner - I know, I'm a slacker girlfriend in the domestic department.) So I choose this chicken and rice casserole that sounded tasty. I was so bummed when we went to eat it and it had NO flavor! I'm hoping that after sitting in the refrigerator today that flavors will magically appear in it and they'll be tasty leftovers. Looking back, I should have not went exactly by the recipe and instead went with my instincts.

I cooked the chicken and rice and set aside. In a large sauce pan I melted butter (I used "I Can't Believe it's Not Butter") and then added diced mushrooms and some rosemary seasoning. Then I added .5 cup of flour and stirred. Then I had to stir in chicken broth (I used the less sodium kind) and half n half. (Right there was the problem. That made it a very fattening dish and I didn't realize I would be adding that much. I wish that I would have added a can of cream of mushroom soup, instead.) So then you let it thicken up and add the chicken and rice. Pour in a 9x13 baking pan. On top add a mixture of bread crumbs and shredded parmigiana cheese and butter. Bake for 30 minutes. (Sounds pretty good, right?) Well, it had NO flavor. I was sad. I also didn't make the garlic mashed because the dish already had rice in it. I did make squash. ( I wish I would have known the BF doesn't like squash!) And a fresh tossed salad and fresh and hot Italian bread.
It sounded good but was heavy and not very flavorful. Also, I didn't have time to go to the gym. How do people who have to put a meal on the table for their families after work get to exercise?! (Probably wake up extra early in the morning.) I would rather exercise and have bowl of cereal with bananas.
I will not be defeated in the kitchen, however! I think I might try to make some chili in the slow cooker this weekend.
On to tonight - I have two tickets to a Gala event that features local foods, wines, and beers from across New York State. The tickets allow access to all you can eat and drink. It should be a good time.

-Dining Diva

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Super Sun

It's amazing what a little sunshine can do for my mood.  It's almost mid-November and that means we could be dealing with a few feet of snow and blistering cold temperatures or a 55 degree day with sunshine.  Thankfully, today looks much more like that ladder.  I like to look out my window at work and see the sun shining.  I feel so motivated.  I really don't like that it gets dark by 5 p.m. which makes it impossible to get some fresh air and outdoor exercise after work.  At least we're getting closer to December 21 which means soon our days will get brighter.  In the meantime, I'll just be thankful the sun is shining right now.

So I went grocery shopping last night to pick up the items I need for tonights dinner and wouldn't you know I left the recipe on my desk at work!  What an idiot!  I did remember most of the ingredients, but did forget a few so I'll have to pick those up tonight.

I'm making Chicken Rice Casserole.  It actually sounds pretty tasty.  I plan on making garlic mashed potatoes and squash as my sides.  Wine with the meal AND for dessert.  :o)

Have a great day!
-Dining Diva

P.S.  Can anyone tell me where the spellcheck went on the edit options?!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Dinner Date - What to make?

So I need to go food shopping tonight to pick up the essentials for my date night tomorrow.  (I'll be cooking the BF dinner - which doesn't ever happen).  I'm still not sure what I will be making, even though I have spent the last two nights checking out recipe after recipe in cookbooks!  The choices are overwhelming. Any suggestions are welcome!

-Dining Diva

Monday, November 9, 2009

My Love Muffin

"Time flys when you're having fun."
That's so true, isn't it?  It's been a year since my first date with my lovely BF and it has really happened fast.  We were able to do so many fun things together this year and travel to quite a few new places together.  Here is a list of my top moments with my muffin this year.

1.  Our summer vacation to Cape May, NJ
2.  Trip out west to Lake Tahoe and the train ride to San Francisco
3.  Our family Florida trips
4.  Spending winter weekends snuggled on the coach watching movies
5.  Boating this summer
6.  Memorial Day Weekend with my best-friend blones and their boyfriends at my parent's house
7.  Bike Rides
8.  Making dinner together, especially the lasagna night with lots of drinks and dancing
9.  Dinner at the Braeloch with a crackling fire and acousitc live music
10. When he told me he loved me.  Aww. . .   (p.s. please excuse this lovey dovey, mushy posting.  It's really not like me at all.  But I think it's safe to say that you say and do crazy things when you're in love.)

So this past weekend we both took a half-day on Friday and drove around one of the local Finger Lakes and did some wine tastings.  Then we continued on to meet some of his friends from dental school for dinner and drinks.  We stayed at their house and played Cranium and just had fun.  It was great to meet some of his friends and also a really good time.

We went to my parent's house yesterday to show off my new car to my dad and grandparents.  (My mom had already seen it). I did some laundry, had some home-cooked food, played with Bella (my sister's adorable little puppy), and enjoyed a beautifully warm and sunny day on the lake.  The sunset was breath taking. I should have taken a picture.

Tonight I need to exercise and pick out a recipe to make for the bf some night this week.  Any tasty meal ideas to suggest for a novice in the kitchen?

-Dining Diva

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Thankful Thursday

I like how other bloggers' post a list of things they are thankful for on Thursdays.  'Tis the season to think about what I'm thankful for, so here is a short list in no particular order:

1. Loving family nearby
2. TK - Tomorrow marks the one year anniversary of our first date and the first time we officially met.  I don't think I've mentioned before that we met on I know, you're probably thinking we're both pathetic losers.  I use to think that way to.  But it was the best thing I did last year (join  I was in a funk and he was back in the area after being away for five years.  Maybe we'll be the cool people on a commercial one day!  :)
3. 1/2 day of work tomorrow and it's Friday
4. Going out to eat with my parents and TK last night at the restaurant I spent close to 10 years waitressing at to pay the bills through high school and college.  I ate WAY TOO MANY crispy french fries dipped in ranch dressing.  But it was soo good! And it's a seasonal restaurant and closing this weekend.  So I got my fill for the next few months.
5. My fabulous girlfriends (all four are followers of my blog! Thanks ladies! (Sass, Ka., Ke., JT) So that means only six people have actually joined my blog because they wanted to. . .I need to sass this blog of mine up for your reading pleasure!)
6. Holiday music and decorations at the mall already
7. My new car and its XM radio
8. Losing a few pounds (I'll need to get back on the scale after my meal last night!)
9. Home cooked meals
10. All of my travels this year.  Lake Tahoe, NV is by far my favorite spot I went to with Cape May, NJ right behind. 
-Have a great night!

~Dining Diva

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


Are you already dancing in your seat.  Feel like doing a little salsa?  :)  That is the feeling I get when I even say Zumba.  Actually, I think I kind of sing it with a sassy latin beat.  It's fun to say and even more fun to do.  However, talk to me like 35 minutes into it and I'm not having that much fun.  It's an hour long and I am having a hard time breathing by the time it's over!  I seem to be able to run better on a tredmill than do Zumba. It's crazy.  I know.

But I went to a new dance studio Monday night with my BFF Jess and we tried out a Zumba class.  It was pretty packed with other females (not one guy was there) and was a fun thing to do together.  I just don't know if I'm going to be losing weight with that class.  I think a weight lifting class or pilates class would serve me better, physically speaking, for an hour, than Zumba will/does.  That may not be a fair assesment however, because I've never done it consistently.  Anyway, if you haven't taken a Zumba class, I suggest that you do.  It's a fun thing to do and it gives you good practice in the hip shaking area.

The music is fabulous, too. 

-Dining Diva

Friday, October 30, 2009

Wizard of Oz @ Work

In true Halloween fashion, our staff at work is dressed in the theme of the musical, "Wicked," because it's coming to town in 2010.  It's pretty funny.  My roommate/co-worker is Glenda the Good Witch.  We have the Wicked Witch, Dorothy, the field of poppies, a Munchkin, the lion, and scarecrow. 

I didn't dress up but I have black outfit on and orange headband.  I didn't really have anything to contribute today.  Plus, I'm totally not feeling like a team player at work because our budget has been slashed and I'm sure there are going to be layoffs, and it's just a blah kind of mood at work right now.  Our management team is sucking it up with their ability to communicate with the staff and it's just bad. 

Last night the BF and I actually bumped into "That's Sassy!" at UNO's during dinner.  It was nice to see her and be able to say goodbye to her lover before he leaves for Texas.  (After they get married in June, she will also be going to Texas with him.  He's in the Airforce.)

We basically drank our dinner because they have this awesome raspberry lemonade alcoholic beverage that is delicious.  The BF is kind of annoyed about his current job situation, as am I.  So we drank and chatted.  Our food wasn't that good. I think you should just go with pizza when eating there.  Not steak or chicken.  Duh! I should have known that.  But the job stuff is difficult because neither of us really love where we live, however, our family is here.  Moving is not out of the question. 

Thank God it's Friday!

I want to go horseback riding this weekend! This was last year.
-Dining Diva

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Date Night

Tonight is our date night that was supposed to happen two Thursdays ago, but thanks to the nice little airplane sickness I was greeted with upon my return home from Florida, that never happened.

We are going to go grab some dinner somewhere and then go to the movies. What movie you ask? I don’t know. I actually never go to the movies and don’t really have the attention span or interest to sit through an entire movie for that matter. But that’s what the BF wants to do. I’ll let you know what movie we see and how it is.

This week has draggggged by. Thank God it’s Friday tomorrow. Then I can rock out in my sexy Bat Girl costume. The BF is going to be Batman. I actually am not a huge fan of Halloween (hence my decision not to dress up at work tomorrow while everyone else does) but it’s just not my thing. But I will be going out Saturday night to have some much needed fun.

I’m really trying to step it up on my Blog. I’ve been doing it since March and only have nine friends! :( That’s pretty pathetic. Hopefully I’ll get some more soon! But I do appreciate all nine of my friends. Thanks for reading and your comments!

Have a good night!

-Dining Diva

My New Ride!

Today is day two of driving around in my sassed out new SUV!!!  I traded in my Jeep that I bought two years ago when I was living in Orlando, FL.  It was a rear-wheel drive Jeep.  People up north where I now live didn't even know a rear-wheel drive SUV existed.  Oh how it does.  And I had to drive it here in the snowbelt of New York State for the past two winters.  It was really fun getting stuck in my apartment parking lot and work parking lot and needing to be push out of the snow.  So I'm thrilled to report that those days should be gone because I am now the proud owner of a black 2010 Sport Toyota Rav4!  It is so nice and it even came with XM radio for three months!  It drives like a car instead of a bulky truck.

I think it looks better in person.  But I am so excited. so bring on the snow, I'm ready to take it on.

Also, I don't think I've really touched on the drama that my family has been going through since around Mother's Day.  Basically my older sister is a crazy biotch and hasn't talked to my family since then because of her 50 year old boyfriend (she's 27) and the fact that he's "God's chosen leader" and because we don't enjoy their relationship together, she has disowned us.  There is much more to the story, such as: 1. The 50 year old bf graduated with my MOM, he built our house, he was married with two kids, a family friend. . .etc... You get the picture.  So in any case, my mom has been so heartbroken.  (side note: my parents are the greatest parents possible.) So last night my mom calls me and asks me if I want to meet her and my SISTER and aunt for coffee at a local Panera.  I was shocked.  I went.  I didn't really acknowledge my sister.  She pretended everything was fine.  She needs to say she is sorry before I will just move forward.  But that's what I did last night.  My mom was happy and said this is a small baby step towards a positive recovery of our relationship with my sister.  I don't know about her.  But I'm happy if that made my mom happy.

-Dining Diva

Monday, October 26, 2009

I'm Alive!

The Dining Diva is back to life and feeling healthy! Thank goodness!  So this weekend was pretty fun.  Friday night, my best friend from high school (who also lives in the apartment complex that my BF lives in), invited me over for dinner with her BF.  She made chicken parm. and I brought some Pillsbury chocolate chip cookies (the kind that you take out of package and bake in oven).  We haven't hung out in so long, so two bottles of wine and many cookies later, we have a great night.  And then the BF came over too.  He didn't stay for dinner because he was doing something with his guy friend.  It was nice to just hang with Jess (the best friend) and her BF.  They have been dating for over five years and living together for over two years and I think everyone is wondering where the diamond is.  :)  I know I am.  I think they'll be getting engaged soon because her birthday is in November and then all of the holidays.  So that just leads to believe it may be on its way.  All of my friends are getting engaged! It's crazy.  Actually, my mom just informed me that she is taking some of the money from a recent house sale and starting a wedding fund for me.  Isn't that exciting?!  I think she is just excited to think that one of her daughters might actually get married one day.  (My older sister is a different story.)  Really, I think my mom wants grandkids.  She is going to be waiting awhile for that, that's for sure.  For now, they have my sister's teacup Chihuahua, Bella.  She is the best dog, ever! My mom and I took about a three-mile walk yesterday and I wore this baby strap thing for dogs (snaps in the back and there is a pouch on the front of you) and Bella sat right inside of it in her winter vest and I snuggled her up in blankies and she just relaxed as we walked.  I love her.  So do my parents and grandparents.

So then Saturday the BF and I went to a SU football game at the Carrier Dome.  It was pretty fun.  Our seats were awesome, right on the 50-yard line, three rows up from the bottom.  Besides the guy behind me spilling beer down my back, it was a great time!  Then we went to the Outback for some food.  I try not to eat at chain restaurants, just because there are so many great local choices to choose from, but I do love the Outback.  For just $9.95 you can have a 6 oz steak and two sides!  I had a a sweet potato and a house salad.  Mmm! It was good. Also, margaritas are just $3.50!  Hello!  I had a frozen pomegranite one and it was delicious.

Sunday I went to my parents to do laundry and say hello.  (I still bring my laundry to my parent's house, even though I have a laundry facility at my apartment.  It's pathetic, I know.)  That's when I went for the walk with Bella and mom.  Afterwards, I drove back to the city and met the BF at his parents house for dinner.  I hadn't seen his family in over a month, so it was nice to catch up.  His mom is like Susie Homemaker and made a Thanksgiving meal, pretty much, and a delicous apple pie.  I have no chance in the kitchen.  I would like to bring something to dinner some time, but I am so handicapped in the kitchen and don't know what to bring.  And his mom and sister are both talented cooks/bakers and then there's me.

So that was my weekend and tonight I am going to pick up my new Toyota Rav4! I am so excited.  I have been waiting for it to come in, as I wanted a black one and they had to locate it for me.  So I will be saying, "goodbye!" to my Florida Jeep and hello to my AWD SUV.  I'm sick of getting stuck in the snow.  It's hard to believe I lived in Florida and was so unhappy in my apartment with my crazy x-bf.  I'm so much happier now, but I never knew that I could be.  It's funny how life works out.  And it's just getting started, I'm sure.

Happy Monday!
-Dining Diva

Friday, October 23, 2009

Well, Hello, Weekend!

I'm so thankful that today is Friday and that it wasn't that busy of a week, making it a great one to be sick during. Tomorrow a bunch of the girls from work are doing a wine tour through the Finger Lakes Region and I am supposed to go. I just don't think that's a good idea. . . which stinks. But I probably shouldn't be boozing it up on my antibiotics and I could use a restful weekend to get my healthy face back on. Plus, for some reason I am still tired. All I have been doing is sleeping. I need to do some exercise eventually!

Last night the BF came over and brought me some homemade soup from his parent's house and also brought me a surprise. I love surprises. It was the giant Jelly Belly gummy alligator! I was eyeing that thing in the Tampa Airport and he found it in our local Wegmans! Very exciting. I know you are probably thinking that it is not that exciting, but oh-it-is!

Not sure what I'll be doing this weekend. Probably some lame laundry and disinfecting of my apartment and watching movies. I still haven't gone horseback riding or on a haunted hayride. . . time is running out. Next weekend is Halloween and I don't even have my costume put together yet.

Anyone doing any fun Halloween parties this year? Or fun costumes? Last year I was a lovely french maid and my sister had a really fun party.
Here is a flashback from the par-tay! My cousin Natalie; my sister (although we haven't spoken in four months and she is a bad sister, Tara; and me. That was out-of-control. I wish it was happening again this year.

Thursday, October 22, 2009


Any advice or good blogs to check out that talk about scrapbooking. I want to get one started and don't know where to start.

Seasonal Sickness

. . .go away! I haven't even had a chance to tell you all what a fabulous long weekend I had with the BF and my parents in Clearwater Beach, FL. It was so hot and the ocean was just as warm and it was like playing in a giant hot tub for four days straight. I need to post pictures but they are all on my mom's camera. Once I get them up, I'll post. So I must have caught some serious airplane sickness because I got home, went to work and the next day...BAM! It hit me like a ton of bricks! So that was a week ago and I am still feeling exhausted. I hope I am not having a flashback to my freshman year of college sickness: MONO! But that's how I feel right about now. So I hope I feel better soon because I have missed two date nights now. Last Thursday and today. The BF has been helpful though. He's visited me daily to bring me things to drink and eat. Right now I wish I was typing from my bed. Actually, I wish I was sleeping in my bed. And my back is throbbing. I need a serious back massage. Hopefully I can talk the BF into doing that for me tonight. . . if he's touch me. He obviously doesn't want to get sick and I am probably contagious. Or at least I was before the medicine kicked in. But he doesn't even get sick days at his job and he's a dentist! You would think someone working in the health field would get sick days. Doesn't make any sense to me...but that is just another reason why he needs to look for a different job. Hopefully he'll find a spot he would like to work at.
It stinks not to like your job because it is a place where you spend A LOT OF TIME. Which brings me to my next point. I don't really want to work at 8-5 job for the rest of my life. I'll miss out on so much if I'm always at work. Too bad I need the money. But one day I would like to have a family and then I really don't want to work 8-5. My mom always worked part-time and I thought that was normal. I'm so sad to find out it's not. I see many more work days in my future. :o( If only I could be an independent entrepreneur!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Hello Heat, Sand, Ocean, Palm Trees, Bike Riding. . .

mmm...Yes, I am going to Clearwater Beach, Florida tomorrow for a long weekend. I'm glad my parent's talked me into buy a plane ticket. And I'm happy the BF is coming with me, too. We really only see each other on the weekend, and I am getting sick of that. That's another blog.

But the season of fall in CNY is typically a wonderful time of the year - however, it has been so rainy the past few weeks that I can't wait to escape to the beach! {oops! I just ate a doughnut, compliments of a staff meeting. the dining diva needs to go on the biggest loser!} I want to make a scrapbook of my traveling adventures this year. I need to get working on that.

Work has been crazy busy and I can't wait to take a few days off! I don't have much more to report. But I do want to welcome my dear friend, Kara, to the world of blogging!

-Dining Diva

Friday, October 2, 2009

Bad Blogger

That's what I am. I haven't written anything in so long. I'm happy to be back. First off, I was just reading some blogs and I FELL IN LOVE with the entire wedding theme and photography of Vineyard Vogue. The pictures are so beautiful and I love it all. Speaking of weddings, my friend That's Sassy! picked out her bridesmaid dresses and they look very pretty. I'm so excited for her wedding - even though it's still a ways away. In other wedding news, my other lovely friend Kara send me the Web site link to her wedding venue for next fall, and that looks breathtaking, as well. Check it out:

Here's a snapshot into my current life:

1. I'm car shopping. What a pain! I am totally car-stupid and don't like feeling that way. I believe that I have narrowed down my search to a Nissan Rogue, Toyota Rav4 or a Honda CRV. I have not decided upon new/used, buy/lease. So many decisions to be made. And I'm poor. Well, I will be once I make this purchase. I do have someone looking at my rear-wheel drive (NOT GOOD IN CNY WINTERS) Jeep this weekend. So I hope he wants it!

2. I'm going home to my hometown for homecoming this weekend. My parents and I are running in a 5K road race in the morning. Mind you, I haven't been running at all lately. It should be fun.

3. My pants seem to be fitting a little loosely lately, which is actually quite exciting! I am not sure what the reasoning is behind this, but I hope it keeps happening. All I can think of is that it has something to do with this new medicine I have to take because now I have been diagnosed with ULCERATIVE COLITIS. How fortunate, I know.

4. I bought this gorgeous bracelet and necklace in California on my recent vacation and it broke. I had to send it back and I just got a new one and I am even more in love with it than I was before. Actually, a lady at work fell in love with it today and I gave her the stores name and she called and just bought one for herself. I think I should get some free jewelery for that.

5. I'm going to my parent's house in Clearwater Beach, Florida next Friday - Monday with my BF and parents. I'm looking forward to that because the weather right now is already kicking in my annual seasonal depression.

Have a great weekend!
-Dining Diva

Friday, September 18, 2009

Happy Birthday, Mom!

Today is my mom's birthday - and I'm excited that she'll be going with my dad to the beautifully quaint village of Skaneateles (one of the Finger Lakes and also on the NY Post's "100 places to go - Summer 2009). I hope they have a great time. They should because in the meantime, my sister is being a complete biotch and has not talked to my mom since MOTHER'S DAY due to her crazy boyfriend. Life is just way too short that that crap! So I want my mom to enjoy her day today!

And TGIF! Seriously. This has been an insanely busy week at work and my eyes are tired of typing away at my computer. I have written SO much this week and put together everything for a few upcoming press conferences and stuff like that. I enjoy it, but it's kind of stressful! Oh and in the middle of all of the craziness, the assistant of the president of our company came to me to ask if I would write the "President's Perspective" this week, because she (the prez) wasn't happy with what her communications people came up with. HELLO PRESSURE. I really didn't want to do it - but I did. And actually the prez herself ( I didn't even know she knew my name...) came over to my office to say thank you and that she didn't change anything and that I'm a great writer! Wow. That was pretty exciting, I'm not going to lie. So that was a good way to end my week! But I'm still sick of typing on my computer - hence my lack of blogging.

My dad's taking the docks out this weekend. :o( That means the boating season has ended. And the dreaded anticipation of shitty weather is nearing. Fortunately, I love fall and that will come before the freezing temps and snow.

Also - I want to go to the outlet mall this weekend to shop for some new fall clothing and bring my mom for a girls' day! And I need to buy a new car!

I test drove a Jetta and Nissan Rogue this week and went to get my Jeep checked out today to find out the trade-in value. But the sales guy kind of pissed me off. I felt like a.)he didn't really respect me, b.)didn't call me by name OR shake my hand c.)wouldn't tell me the trade-in value because he is a jerk car salesman So I don't know what to do. Car shopping is a royal pain.

Have a good weekend! I'm so glad it is almost here!!!

-Dining Diva

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Travels with TK

So, we haven't even been dating for a year, but we've already been fortunate enough to do quite a bit of traveling! We realized that's we've hit quite a bit of water in the U.S. including the Gulf of Mexico, Atlantic & Pacific Oceans, Lake Tahoe, St. Lawrence River...and a few more! We're pretty lucky. Our latest travel adventures took us to the West Coast and we had a great time!
We were gone for a week and spend half of the time at a gorgeous property on Lake Tahoe and then afterwards, we took a train to San Francisco! The train ride was one of my favorite parts of the trip! I felt like I was going "cross-country" and oh-so-cool. Ha! But it was really fun!

San Francisco was a blast and we also really like Salsalito! We went there by ferry and it was quite the town. I'd like to live there and roll around in all of my millions of dollars and then drive my luxury car down to the marina to have my personal assistant open my car door and then walk to my giant boat and ...'s nice to dream. But Salsaltio was awesome and I picked up an amazing bracelet and necklace set and found the BF's birthday present - a Tissot Watch which is pretty sassy and he seems to like it.

Here are some pictures!
-Dining Diva

Our fabulous open top tour bus that took us all around SF.

Who else loved Full House! I was super excited for these.

At the bottom of the most crooked street in USA.

Golden Gate Bridge.

Sailing on Lake Tahoe.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Packing and Prep: Excited!

I am so excited to go out West tomorrow! It's going to be a great time. I am finishing up projects at work today and luckily will be bringing a laptop so I can check emails, etc. . . I need a Blackberry! Hopefully my phone will be getting upgraded later this month!

Today I have a major FOOD HANGOVER. I had to work at the State Fair yesterday and then afterwards, I went with my roomie all around the fairgrounds to consume everything that was delicious and drink wine slush's. Mmmm! We had giant steak sandwiches smothered in fried onions and mushrooms, along with french fries covered in cheddar cheese. Holy heart attack! But it was amazing. I never let myself eat THAT bad...and boy was it amazing! Then we had a foot-long fried dough each. My personal favorite food at the fair. Then we had the legendary $.25 chocolate milk. Then a sangria wine slushy. Later on, (I know, I know...why didn't I just stop!) we each had an amazing chicken gyro. She also had Greek fries which I had a few. Those were awesome! I have never had Greek fries before, have you? Then we kept walking around and were able to totally enjoy the FREE Sara Evans concert! So good. She is beautiful. And her two sisters are backup singers and her brother plays the bass guitar. How cool is that?! Then after all of our singing and dancing, we thought, why not end the day with a hot fudge sundae, complete with vanilla custard ice cream?! Oh yea. I like to tell myself that the calories don't count at the fair; hence, my food hangover. I would like to add that I was at the fair from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. So it's not like I shoved my face in just a few hours, I did it all within 12 hours. Hello exercise, I will see you tonight.

Also tonight, I need to PACK! It's hard to know what to bring because it sounds like the temperatures will really fluctuate in both Tahoe and SF. I hope my suitcase can handle the pressure!

Ok, back to work.

-Dining Diva

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Travel - How I Love You. . .

So life and work (work, especially) has been SUPER busy lately! I thought summer was supposed to be relaxing. Not the case! So glad we took a little trip to Cape May, NJ - or I would feel like I never had a vacation. However, I am about to do some more travelling.

Just two more days of work (and I'm out of the office all day tomorrow) and then I leave bright and early (with BF) for Lake Tahoe and San Francisco!

I'll be in LT for a conference and my boss will be coming too. So the BF will do his own thing and then I'll be ready to hit the road to CA once the conference is over with. We decided on Amtrak for transportation to SF and I'm kind of excited about that. So that will def. be less expensive than our $600 rental car. There was no way around the one-way rental fee and I didn't want to give in. But no car will actually work well, then we can do all of the day trips and not feel bad that we aren't using our car. So. . .I have to get our tickets, but I did Priceline our hotel (Thanks for teaching me about that Ka.) and we have a fabulous hotel for just $85/night! That is amazing.

So then we'll fly back home and have Labor Day to relax and then it's back to work to face my giant to-do list.

Also, upon our return, it will soon be BF's 30th birthday!!! So that is something to celebrate and I need to get on top of that, too.

In preparation of my trip, I got a pedi and mani on lunch today. But the shoes I had on totally messed up my pedi (because I didn't wait long enough for them to dry) and I messed up my mani, slightly. So that was dumb, but hopefully no one will be able to tell.

So tonight our office is having happy hour for our departing intern, but I am not going to go. Too much to do and not enough time. I hope to exercise and start packing. The attire for our conference is "resort casual" what the heck is that?

OK, have a great day!

-Dining Diva

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Rolling with Royalty

...well, not really. But I loved that title. I have been MIA in the blogging world - but still reading every one's blog. Just haven't written in long time! But I just got into work this afternoon from another media trip to Ottawa! But this trip was by far the most relaxed. I drove up to Ottawa with a few co-workers for a media meet & greet cocktail reception at the U.S. Ambassador's house. Wow! What a breathtakingly beautiful home and view of Ottawa. I love that city. Pictures are below.

Also, I have been having a bad ear ache for a week now and am taking ear drops and they are just not doing the trick. So I am sitting here in pain and can't hear out of my one ear. It's driving me crazy.

In other news, the weather here has finally been great and last week I took a few days off and just spend the entire time at my parent's lake house. The BF came over, too. It was hot and relaxing!

Not too much else is going on. Just busy at work and looking forward to a trip to Lake Tahoe and San Francisco in about a week. The BF is coming with me. I'm excited! I have a lot of planning to do though, such as travel routes, hotels, places to see, etc... I'll be at a conference for work for a few days and then we are going to drive west to Napa Valley and then end at San Francisco. I'm trying to get a rental car from Lake Tahoe airport to SF airport and for one week it's about $600!!! That's more than my flight! So I am still looking for a better deal. Apparently, one-way tickets are much more expensive. What a pain. But I'm still going out and excited to have BF come with me!

Bye bye!

-Dining Diva

Here are a few pictures: I was going to take a picture of the gorgeous bathroom, but I figured there must have been video cameras in there. But the interior was so beautiful. When you walk in, the entrance was hot pink. Love it!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Two Engagements in One Week!

Now to another Happy Engagement post! Congratulations to my wonderful friend from my hometown - That's Sassy! Sara and her BF are going to have a fabulous life together and get to go on many adventures...and I think she will be moving to Texas next year. Her ring is beautiful. Be sure to check out her post here! I can't wait to hear about all of your planning! Love you!

...on to more boring things...

This week at work has be super stressful. I found out on Monday that I would have to host a travel writer and her crazy six-year-old son...the whole thing was a pain and a lot of planning and requests...and it worked out, but not without being a total pain in the butt.

Then last night I relaxed at our company clam bake. It was quite the party and I think I consumed too much alcohol. But it was so much fun. Actually, I am car-less at work today because I had to leave my car there. But my co-workers and I danced up a storm. It was probably slightly unprofessional, but the boss was dancing with us. So then, that made this morning extra lovely. But no time to complain because we held a taxicab car wash today to thank our drivers for their hospitality. I also had to hold a press conference during the event, which turned out great. We had awesome media coverage and I can't wait to watch the news and read the newspaper tonight!

So I need to exercise badly and I just want to relax. Thank goodness the weekend is here!

Congratulations, Grace, again on the big proposal. I'm so happy it happened and there is nothing else to worry about.

Have a great weekend!

-Dining Diva

Monday, August 3, 2009


I know I am slightly a loser, but I just got the DVD's from my Canadian media interviews for work and I thought I'd share a screen shot. It's the closest I'll get to using my broadcast journalism degree! Too bad they didn't show my shoes, because I must admit, they were very fabulous. It's almost 5 o'clock! Thank the Lord!

Congrats, Kara!

One of my dearest friends from college called me this morning to tell me her big news from the weekend! She's engaged! Very exciting and I'm so happy for her! She came to visit with her boyfriend (now fiance) over Memorial Day weekend - and the BF and I visited her in Pittsburgh in June. They are such a great couple and I am really very excited for her. She sent me a photo of her new addition to her ring finger and it looks breathtakingly beautiful! I can't wait to see an actual photo of it... I'll have to post a picture on here for you all because it is amazing! So, congratulations, Lovie, I am so happy for you and Mickey!!! Woo Woo!!

"I love you, I love you, I love YOU!" :O)
-Dining Diva

Friday, July 31, 2009

Hola Weekend!

So happy the weekend is just about here! I had a slightly stressful week filled with doctor appointments, diagnosis of chronic ailments, painful procedures, etc. . .So glad it's all behind me to say the least. It's been a rainy day, but the sun is coming out and I think the BF and I are going to meet my BF and her BF for dinner. Should be fun to relax and have some drinks! Then it's back to my hometown tomorrow morning for a friend's baby shower. This will be my first baby shower for a friend. Crazy! Then it's back to my parent's lake house to spend some time on the boat and soak up some rays...which reminds me...I'm taking some new meds that warn you to be careful in the sun. I better not burn easily! I love me my sunshine. Then possibly Darien Lake Amusement Park on Sunday. or who knows. But the roomie and I also picked up quite a selection of apartment items at the Christmas Tree Shops on our lunch break today - so we have to decorate, too!

Ok, well have a great weekend!

-Dining Diva

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Love these Lyrics

Do you ever use If not, you're missing out and need to log on right now. It's amazing and free and fantastic. You bascially create your own radio station based on your favorite artists, songs, and musical preferences. It gets me through the day at my computer. Right now, I'm listening to "Come on Get Higher" by Matt Nathanson because I created a Jack Johnson station. I always love this song - actually Sugarland sings it too. But here are the lyrics, I've bolded my favorite part of the song. I love the description...

I miss the sound of your voice
And I miss the rush of your skin
And I miss the still of the silence
As you breathe out and I breathe in

If I could walk on water, If could tell you what’s next
Make you believe, make you forget
So come on, get higher, loosen my lips
Faith and desire in the swing of your hips
Just pull me down hard
And drown me in love

So come on, get higher, loosen my lips
Faith and desire in the swing of your hips
Just pull me down hard
And drown me in love
& I miss the sound of your voice
The loudest thing in my head
And I ache to remember
All the violent, sweet,perfect words that you said

If I could walk on water, if i could tell you what’s next,make you believe, make you forget
So come on, get higher, loosen my lips
Faith and desire in the swing of your hips
Just to pull me down hard
And drown me in love
So come on, get higher, loosen my lips
Faith and desire in the swing of your hips

Just to pull me down hard
And drown me in love
I miss the pull of your heart
I can taste the sparks on your tongue
I see angels and devils

Come on, get higher'
Cause everything works love
Everything works in your arms

Oh baby - I'm out of shape!

I'm sitting here typing and thinking about how much my back and butt are aching! ha Last night I showed up at an indoor center (so hot inside with no air conditioning and 90 degrees outside, but that is beside the point!) for some adult field hockey. HOLY HELL. I did not realize what I was getting myself into. I found my field hockey sticks from high school (about seven years ago!) at my parent's house over the weekend and got the desire to play. So I show up to see all of these girls that play or played DI hockey in college. That means they are kick-butt hockey players. I was no superstar player in high school - and it's not like I've improved over the past few years. Well, it was an intense workout for sure -in fact, I haven't sweat that much in long time. We play three 20 minute periods and I wanted to croak. haha I am just out of shape to be playing intense field hockey. And the sad part is I do exercise pretty regularly. But I am not doing sprints and diving for balls on a daily basis. So it's just every Tuesday, so I wonder if I'll go next week. I think I pretty much sucked, so I don't know if they would even want me to. But I'm glad I did go and I forgot how much I love the sport. But I can't believe I use to play all the time and be in such good shape. I'm only 24 - this is pathetic. Time to kick it into gear.

-Dining Diva

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

She's Engaged!!!

...Jillian, that is. From ABC's, The Bachelorette.

What a fantastic season finale. The roomie and I drank a bottle of sangria and ate tostitos with a hint of lime and half-moon cookies to get us through all of the anticipation. When Reid got down on his knee to propose we both freaked out and screamed (our cranky downstairs neighbor probably heard us!) and we were gripping each other's hands and covering our mouths. It was quite dramatic. THEN - she turned him down. Poor guy! And then when Ed proposed, we screamed again! It was so exciting! I love that show. We liked Kiptyn's ring better, but Ed's looked pretty much gorgeous, as well. How exciting! I can't wait to watch tonight's After the Rose episode. Poor Kiptyn, though. I thought for sure she was going to pick him. That's who I would have picked. I loved his zest for life and he lives in San Diego and surfs and loves the ocean! HELLO! Have fun in Chicago with Ed, Jillian. Isn't that where he is from?! But in any case, how freaking exciting. I would love to get a behind-the-scenes look at how the show is created. I know they say there is so much scripting and stage events, but is the love real? I'll just go with yes. But Ed and Jillian must be so excited because now they can be in the public eye together. That must have been so hard to have to kept their love and relationship quiet during the show. What do you all think? How about Ed had those same SHORT GREEN SHORTS on again! EUGH. Again, I would have gone with Kiptyn. I think he is a much better dresser and did you see his BODY?! Oh baby! What do you think Jillian does to get in such good shape for the show? She must have a personal trainer. Why don't they ever have any girls that are like size 8-10 on the show? It would make me feel a little bit better about myself. Ok - what do you all think?!!

Here's a little recap: (

"Jillian, you may not know how much you have impacted me, how much you have changed me as a man and helped me reprioritize my life," Ed told her. "You are everything I could ask for in a woman."
"There is no doubt in my mind that I am madly in love with you," she replied. "I love you so much."
And so down on one knee he went.
"I want to be with you forever," Ed said, offering up his ring. "I want a family with you. I want you to give me a hard time when we're 80 years old. Jillian, will you marry me?"
To make a long story short, she said yes.

-Dining Diva

Monday, July 27, 2009


Have you ever heard of Iron Girl? Well we had our first of three Iron Girl Triathlons in Syracuse this weekend and it was AMAZING. I cried throughout the event because it was just beautiful to see all of these women, of all ages (14-70), sizes, abilities; unite and take on a triathlon. I wish I did it, but I was so glad that I was there to just support my co-workers/friends who did it and help with the media. It was a 800 meter swim in open water, 18 miles bike ride, and a 5 k run. So it was a triathlon sprint. There were cancer survivors, sisters, friends, daughters - you name it. It was just awesome. There are Iron Girl events around the country - so if you can do one - do it. has all the info. So it will be coming back to our city for the next two years and I plan on doing it next time! Here are some pictures from the event.

The swim.

Running with her kids to the finish line. So touching. Again, I cried. :o)

My co-workers! Woo Woo! That's my roomie on far left.
So Iron Girl started at 7 a.m. yesterday morning so I was up early yesterday and afterwards was my annual family reunion. That was a good time, too. The BF came with me and got to meet ever more of my family.
So, back to work, but I wanted to share what an Inspiration Iron Girl was this weekend!
-Dining Diva

Friday, July 24, 2009

Fantastic Friday

What the heck am I doing going on here and reading your blogs and blogging myself?! Work has and is crazy busy and to escape and hope to hurdle my brain fart, here I am. I'm looking for distraction from writing copy and more copy. I'm actually working on the Fall Visitor Guide and it kind of stinks that it's July and I'm thinking about cool crisp air and apple picking.

Don't get me wrong; I love all fall activities, but I would like to enjoy some summer lovin' first. And this summer is the worst weather, ever! It doesn't even feel like summer. Ugh! I wonder where I will be next year? If still here, or in another city. I know that I really don't want to go through another winter here in Central New York, but I will be. But maybe it will be my last.

I don't really know what will happen with the BF but I really love him so I hope that our relationship just moves along and everything stays as fabulous as it has been. But he is pretty much planning on leaving the area eventually, or at least his current place of work. He is also interested in moving down south and being near the ocean and palm trees and all of those good things, too. So that is a plus. But I don't know. . .just thinking about the future makes me nervous. I am not usually one to think too much about the future and I'm not a great planner. I like to live my life day by day, but I kind of am curious to know what's going to happen. But all of this thinking came about because my current roomie (whom I love!) mentioned to me that she plans on moving out at the end of the year to move to a big city and be young and get a cool job. I was like, ahhh. I don't ever want to move out of our apartment because I love it so much. But she is like, "oh well I just assumed you'd be living with the BF" and I was like, huh? I wasn't thinking that. I really wasn't even thinking about it. But then I was thinking, "oh crap. where will the bf even be living?"
So I asked him and he told me not to worry about it and he's not going to just move and leave me.

Ugh. I feel like a needy girl, which by the way, I am not. But I guess I must really love him if I'm concerned about this already. Well, he better get applying for jobs in fun locations and figure it out so I can figure it out. I think he wants to work in a practice at a VA hospital or on a military base at first to confirm that he likes the area, before he thinking about buying his own practice or whatever. That would be quite the investment to change your mind about. . .But then again, I don't want to plan my life around his life. That isn't really fair either. Hmm. . .so I don't really know what I'm saying. I think I'll just keeping it a day at a time and see what happens. I think I need a drink. Thank goodness it's the weekend!

-Dining Diva