Weekend Recap–Food and Comedy

MIS will never be a lifecasting blog.  My day-to-day life is way too routine for that.  And to be quite honest, I don’t enjoy writing about my daily happenings.  I tried that for a while when I first started blogging, and it just didn’t stick.  I do, however, enjoy sharing weekend recaps because that’s when the fun/different stuff happens (for the most part). 

So here’s a peek into my weekend…

FRIDAY

Vishnu and I have decided that since we’re only going to be in St. Petersburg for the next year 10 months (time is flying!), we want to try as many new restaurants as possible.  As I’ve mentioned before, there are tons of options in the St. Pete/Tampa area. 

On this particular Friday, we were craving Mexican/Tex Mex food.  Vishnu did a little bit of research, and we ended up at Casita Taqueria for dinner.

Casita Food

We started with an order of the guac and chips.  I loved the seasoning on the chips and the flavor of the guac.  Vishnu…not such a fan.  He did enjoy the tacos he ordered – a grouper taco and a spicy chicken taco.  Since there was only one veggie taco on the menu, I decided to order a rice and bean bowl.  It was good but had nothing on Chipotle! 

Not the best meal we’ve had in St. Pete but glad we gave it a chance!

After dinner, we headed to one of Vishnu’s co-intern’s apartments to hang out.  Once everyone else got there, we went up to the rooftop deck.  Fun times!

Rooftop fun

Par and Vishnu

SATURDAY

A late Friday night made for a late Saturday morning!  Not necessarily a bad thing since the rain still hadn’t let up.  We cleaned and watched a little TV before getting ready to go the Side Splitters, a comedy club in Tampa. 

Side Splitters Comedy Club

Another one of Vishnu’s co-interns invited a few of us to his uncle’s comedy club.  There’s nothing like stand up, so we were totally on board. 

The main comedian ended up being Jaime Kennedy.  For those of you, like me, who find that name vaguely familiar, he’s the guy who played Randy in the Scream movies!

Jaime Kennedy

Fortunately, both Jaime and the guy who went before him were pretty funny.  They definitely got some laughs out of the audience!

SUNDAY

I woke up to the sound of pouring rain on Sunday morning.  By the time I rolled out of bed, brushed my teeth, and figured out what I needed to buy at TJ’s, it stopped, so I quickly got ready and headed to the store. 

Other than grocery shopping, working out, and sorting through my clothes (i.e. purging a whole bunch of stuff), our Sunday was super relaxing.  Just the way I like it!

Well, here’s to another week…make it a good one!

Happy Monday!

Judy Blume’s ‘In the Unlikely Event’

I was a huge Judy Blume fan growing up.  Whenever I saw one of her books at the school library, it was a given that it would end up in my final stack.

When I read that her newest book was released recently, I turned into a 12 year old girl again!  But this time there was no library (and no wait!).  I went on my Kindle and bought a copy of In the Unlikely Event, and within days, I was engrossed!.

In the Unlikely Event

The story is based on actual events from Blume’s childhood.  When she was in the eighth grade, the town of Elizabeth, New Jersey was hit with three tragic plane crashes.  She used those events and everything that happened before and after as the foundation of In the Unlikely Event.   

The book itself follows the point of view of multiple characters as they deal with the aftermath of these crashes.  Miri, the main protagonist, is connected to all the other characters in one way or another.  Miri’s teenage character is beautifully developed, and as you read the story from her perspective, you see Blume’s talent shine through.

Blume also does an amazing job of describing life in the early 50’s – from the way people talked and behaved, to the clothing, to the stress of living in the shadow of a war.  As a reader, you get a real sense of what the characters experienced in a time that is so different from our own.

As my friend Ankita said, the book does a good job of making you realize that everyone has a story to tell and that life is really precious.

While I enjoyed the book overall, there were a two aspects that didn’t jive with me.   One, there were too many characters and POVs.  I see how she used that technique to give readers a holistic perspective, but with all the back and forth, it didn’t leave much room for meaningful character development.  And two, I didn’t like the ending at all.  I must have said “WTF” 15 times while reading the last third of the book.  While you do get closure with all of the characters, I felt like the ending was rushed and off balance.

My expectations for this book were sky high, and while I’m glad I read it, it was an average/very slightly above average read in my opinion.

Are you a Judy Blume fan?
What are you currently reading? 
I finally started The Poisonwood Bible!

Three Things Thursday (20)

I can’t believe this is my 20th Three Things Thursday post.  Time flies when you’re having fun!

Well, aside from this week crawling by at a snail’s pace, I don’t have much else to say.  So, let’s get to this week’s three things…

3 Things Thursday

(1) The Poisonwood Bible

The Poisonwood Bible

I created a summer reading list a few weeks ago.  I even managed to finish one of the books on that list.  Then, right as I was about to start my next book, Vishnu asked me why I haven’t started The Poisonwood Bible when I promised him I would (years ago!). 

You see, this is one of his all time favorite novels.  And once upon a time when we first started dating, he highly recommended that I read it.  I promised I would, but it’s now been almost 10 years and I haven’t made it past page 10.  I just keep getting distracted by other books.  Ah the life of a book worm!

Anyway, I’m starting The Poisonwood Bible this week!  It’s over 500 pages long…wish me luck! 

(2) St. Petersburg, Florida weather

St Pete 10 day weather forecast

I’m going to let this 10 day weather forecast do the talking because no one likes hearing people complain about the weather. 

But seriously, WTF?!

(3) A simple cooking hack

Add 2 tablespoons of your favorite red wine to any bottled pasta sauce and allow to simmer on low heat for 10ish minutes.  What you’re left with is a delicious sauce that tastes anything but store bought!

Cooking hack with wine

That’s all I have for this week.  Thanks for reading!

If you’re a blogger, write a post and link back to one or all of the hostesses: Raj from Pink Chai Living, Nisha from Love Laugh Mirch, or Salma from The Write Balance. Then share a link to your post (not your blog’s home page).

Have you read The Poisonwood Bible?  Thoughts?
What’s the weather like where you live?
What’s are some of your favorite cooking hacks?

5 Ways to De-Stress

Over the last seven weeks or so, I’ve started to change as a person.  How do I know this?  My husband has commented on my “transformation” several times.  He’s amazed by how the little things that used to make me upset or emotional don’t seem to affect me in the same ways.  And you know what…I feel it too!

What brought on this seemingly sudden shift?  To be completely honest, I was fed up with always being stressed about everything.  I hated how I felt after getting super pissed about something trivial.  It was starting to feel like my emotions controlled me, and I wanted to change that!  But the real turning point came when Vishnu pointed out that my average stress level was way too high, and that I needed to do something about it!

And so I did.

Before I share what’s worked for me in turns of de-stressing and bringing more Zen into my life, I have to say that this is one of those endeavors that requires hard work and focus.  And if you really want to change, you have to face the not so positive stuff head on.  You have to be honest with yourself about your thoughts and behaviors and how they are impacting you and those around you.  You have to acknowledge the not so great parts of yourself and commit to being different and actually work on it.

Also, by sharing my thoughts in this post, I am in no way saying that I never get stressed anymore.  Even when we commit to a different way of being, there will be good days and bad days.  And let’s face it – stress is part of being human.  My thoughts are more so around how to manage it in a productive and healthy way.

5 ways to de-stress

With all that being said, here are 5 tried and true ways to de-stress…

1. Don’t go at it alone.  When I committed to dealing with stress differently, I enlisted Vishnu’s help.  I picked him because he’s always honest with me, I trust him, and he’s my husband (duh!) and the person who has to deal with me day in and day out!

Over the past few weeks, he’s been able to give me real-time feedback on what he’s noticed and how it’s affected him (good and bad…but mostly good!).  This in turn motivates me to continue on.

2. Meditate for a few minutes every day.  I’ve talked about this on the blog before, but this is the first time I’ve actually stuck with a mini practice.  And the reason I’ve stuck with it is because it works!

I listen to BK Shivani’s guided meditations on YouTube (this morning mediation is my favorite) because they’re short (just being honest!) and really impactful.  When I sit down and meditate/focus first thing in the morning, I sense a difference in the way I view my day and the things happening around me.  I’m not as frazzled and all over the place.  It’s hard to explain, but all I can say is that it’s made a huge difference for me.

3. Listen to your self-talk very carefully.  Over the years, I’ve learned that when my self-talk turns negative, my stress goes up.  And inevitably it shows up in the way I behave/react which then starts a vicious cycle.

When negative self-talk has been a part of your life for a long time, it’s hard (near impossible) to stop cold turkey.  The key for me has been to nip it in the bud before it takes over and permeates every possible thought.  I know from experience that NOTHING good comes from putting yourself down, and that knowledge is enough to make me change the way I think. Now instead of being mean to myself, I try (still working on this) to take a different approach and talk to myself the way I would to my sister or a good friend.

Being kinder and more forgiving to myself has definitely helped keep the stress at bay.  Who knew!

4. Slow down! I am notorious for doing everything quickly.  And sometimes that’s ok because the situation warrants it, but most of the time, rushing does no good.  Personally, the faster I go the more mistakes I make and the more stress I cause.

My day to day responsibilities and work don’t require speed…quite the opposite in fact, so this has been a bit easier for me to do.  When I feel myself speeding up, I take a deep breath and slow my roll!

5. Pause.  Kind of in line with slowing down, when I feel the stress building up, I take a quick pause.  And when I pause, I breathe and ask myself, “What is the best thing you can do right now?”  The answer is never to stress out.  So I try not to!

Pausing has also helped to keep what’s important front and center.  Most of the things that stress me out will be erased from my memory in five years time (if not less), so why am I letting them consume me right now.

Like I said, you can’t stop stress from trying to creep into your life.  But you can find better ways of dealing with it, and that’s exactly what I’ve set out to do!  It’s not easy, but it’s 110% worth it.  Not only is my husband more appreciative but so is my skin (I’ll leave that for another blog post though!).

What’s one of your tried and true ways to de-stress?

A Slight Deviation

Our original weekend agenda included going to see Trainwreck on Friday and spending a few hours at the beach on Saturday. 

Well, let’s just say there was a slight deviation in plans…

Vishnu was totally game for going to the movie theater, but after hearing about the Lafayette shooting, I just wasn’t up for it.  I told him I’d rather stay at home and watch a movie.  But we didn’t end up doing that either.  After a quick dinner at home, we met up with some of Vishnu’s co-interns at a local bar.

Angry Orchard

It was fun listening to all the crazy stories and hearing everyone’s experiences so far.  I do sometimes feel like the odd man out, but Vishnu does a good job of checking in every now and then.  And it helps that I find medicine an interesting topic overall and have a lot of the lingo down!

We slept in a little on Saturday but had every intention of heading to the beach as soon as possible.  The weather, however, had different plans.  It rained all morning/afternoon, so the beach was a no go. 

One of Vishnu’s friends was planning a trip to Topgolf, so we decided to do that instead. 

After a delicious early dinner…

Veggie Burger_Topgolf Tampa

The Topgolf menu was impressive!  I decided to go with their veggie burger and a side of sweet potato fries.

…we played two games of golf. 

Topgolf Tampa

Check out the MIS Facebook page to see a video of just how good I am! Smile

Topgolf is what you get when you combine a regular driving range and the game of darts.  I am by no means good at golfing, but I had an absolute blast.  The dim lighting and fun music gave the whole experience a very hip club-like vibe!

By the time we got home and went to sleep, it was past 2 am.  Who are we?!

Sunday started off with the usual – cleaning and Trader Joe’s.  But it ended with an at home wine and cheese dinner date, Katie’s black bean brownies, and multiple episodes of Friends.  So pretty much perfection!

wine and cheese

And with that, Monday is here.  Make it a great one!

Thanks for reading!

Have you ever been to Topgolf?