Thursday, February 04, 2016

9 sweet treats to eat in NYC (instead of waiting in line for the recently famous mighty of all milkshakes at Black Tap)

9 sweet treats to eat in NYC (instead of waiting in line for the recently famous mighty of all milkshakes at Black Tap)

I was recently in New York for a day trip and had heard about these glorious milk shakes at Blacktap.  If you know me you know I love ice cream.  I mean LOVE.  Would rather eat some form of ice cream for lunch or dinner instead of food.  Shame shame I know.  

Anyways, after waiting in line for over 1.5 hours and two failed attempts at bribing the waiter and patrons waiting with us we finally made it inside!  The Black Tap Craft Burgers & Beer Broome St location is standing room only for milk shakes and a bar of about 10 seats to eat and have a shake.  We ordered, prepaid, and waited....and waited... and waited... and still nothing.  So unfortunately after 30 min (over 2 hours total) we had to go back to work and actually had to leave Black Tap without even tasting the $40 burger and shake!  Can you believe it?  I know.  We're crazy.  The girls (our new line friends) were thankful for the free food we so graciously left in exchange for a photo you can see here on our instagram.  I had to get something out of it right? 

On the way out we asked a few of the customers how amazing the food was and said how jealous we were.  They all kind of shook it off like meh no big deal.  I don't know if it's the New York personality, the 2,000 calorie food coma, or that they were genuinely disappointed.  We'll never know.  Because my disappointment turned blog post is providing everyone else another alternative so you'll never have a failed food day in NYC again!

You're welcome.

Here's my top 9 sweet treats to eat in NYC instead of waiting in line for that recently famous mighty of all milkshakes at Black Tap.  Feel free to pin this caloric infographic.  After all it's my first one and we love it when you share!

9 sweet treats to eat in NYC (instead of waiting in line for the recently famous mighty of all milkshakes at Black Tap)
Photo Cred: Instagram: @mikejchau, @dylanmonfried, @munchiezmelissa, @foodb4dude, @michonce, @gabscelz, @staceyskullll

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Wednesday, February 03, 2016

Football Vibes: 5 Tips for a Stress-Free Game Day

Football Vibes: 5 Tips for a Stress-Free Game Day

Football! We all know it - some of us love it and some of us love the get together aspect more! Either way, it's hard to not love tailgating and game days with great friends and hearty football food! 

But, to have a memorable game day, it takes the host a bit of work. Some weeks I am fully prepared to make all of the dishes and apps, but some weekends there is just too much going on. Here are some tips for planning a stress-free game day to host at your home! 

1. Get a head count 

Make sure you get a count of how many people are coming. This way you can make sure you have enough space, seats, food, and drinks. It can really damper a party if there isn't enough room for everyone, or even worse if you run out of food or beer! 

2. Clean the day before

Football Vibes: 5 Tips for a Stress-Free Game Day

Last thing you want is to be finishing cleaning while people are showing up, or be trying to finish cleaning while you're making sure the food is all ready and set up for when people arrive. Clean the Saturday before so when you wake up on Sunday morning,  you can focus on yourself, go grab any last minute food or drinks you need, make sure you look and feel good so you can enjoy the day. You deserve to enjoy it even more as you put all the hard work into hosting!

3. Prep ahead of time

Football Vibes: 5 Tips for a Stress-Free Game Day 

Nothing is worse than running around morning of to make sure you have everything, then you aren't ready when people start showing up or are running around like a chicken with your head cut off. Make sure you have enough plates, cups, the dishwasher is run, if you have to order the game - set that up. You want to be able to enjoy the game day as well, so make sure everything is ready ahead of time so you can chill and relax. 

4. Make your food prep easy

Football Vibes: 5 Tips for a Stress-Free Game Day

Try making dips early in the morning or the day before and placing in the fridge so you can just take out or pop in the oven. On top of any dips or apps, try convenient tasty entrees like pizza for the whole crew. Grab some DIGIORNO® ahead of time so you can just pop it in during the game. Not only will it save you time, stress, and money, but your guests will think you made it with how hot and fresh this pizza is. 

Football Vibes: 5 Tips for a Stress-Free Game Day

The rising crust is amazingly thick and crispy! With dough that rises to crust perfection, toppings you can’t get enough of and a mouthwatering aroma you’ll crave, DIGIORNO pizza comes out of your oven ready to serve in about 20 minutes. Spending less time on cooking while still having the quality food for your guests allows you to enjoy the moments that matter with the people that matter, without the stress of the little things. 

Remember to make stuff that YOU like!  If you are hosting a bunch of guys that want beer, but you want a cocktail, don't deprive yourself! One of the best parts about being the host is you get to choose the menu. If they want wings, but you want that delicious pizza I mentioned earlier, get yourself the pizza! This is the part where you can also delegate having your guests bring items so you can have both! Even better. 

Football Vibes: 5 Tips for a Stress-Free Game Day

5. Relax!

Last but definitely not least, make sure you relax. These tips are here to help you relax, but even while you are going through them, remember - you are having people over to have fun! Don't let yourself get stressed by the prep of having everyone over that you forget to enjoy it yourself. 

Football Vibes: 5 Tips for a Stress-Free Game Day

There are lots of wrong calls made during the football season, but something you can always count on as the right call to make on game day: DIGIORNO® pizza :) I seriously could eat this pizza every night it's so good!

Football Vibes: 5 Tips for a Stress-Free Game Day

Do you have any great tips for hosting game day from experience? Share your experiences with us below or on twitter @VerbalGoldBlog!

*Game Day Bonus!
Ahead of the Big Game, Clay Matthews will star in a new video series, "Typical Game Day Party Guests," to help coach you through scoring your game day experience by serving DIGIORNO at your get-together! 

In the series, Clay Matthews joins social media stars DeStorm Power, Colleen Evans, and Ray William Johnson in a SUPER funny video looking at how to #maketherightcall at game day gatherings. Make sure you tune in!! Video here!

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I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Monday, February 01, 2016

How To Drink Alone in Atlanta

I thought this might be appropriate for today.... and because it's called a "lost art" makes me feel a lot better! hah

Enjoying a libation and a little solitude: it's a lost art that, when done correctly, can be a rather pleasant way to spend an hour or two—and doesn't always have to end in tears, shame and telltale smears of buffalo wing sauce. But one doesn't merely join the leagues of moody novelists and George Thorogood without some planning. In honor of Valentine's Day, we give you a few suggestions on where and how to sip solo in the city without looking like a lost little lamb:

Literary libating. 

Curling up to a good book in a cozy chair is a pleasure revered by many—but a book in one hand and a glass of red in the other? Might be just the thing to make all that curling even more enjoyable. Thanks to a few cafes who add wine and beer to their rotation, this doesn't have to mean smuggling your Franzia into the library. Pulling up a chair at the bohemian Carroll Street Cafe bar (and the tapas menu) with a worn paperback in tow and a good glass of vino at the ready can be one of ATL's most pleasant ways to kill a couple hours. The couches and the beer list at Park Grounds make a dangerously comfortable combination (just be sure to bring headphones to drown out potential dog-barking). And while some coffee shops around town might feel a little too chaotic, Java Vino's living room atmosphere (and handy roster of organic wines) makes for a perfect spot to catch up with your buddy Hemingway.

Finishing your novel (or browsing Reddit, but we won't tell). 

Rare is the establishment where one can enjoy a grown-up beverage and crack open their laptop without wary glances and bad Wi-Fi. But more and more coffee shops are catching on to the beauty of the alcohol license (hey, that Great American Novel ain't going to write itself sober). Bustling cafes like Octane Westside and Inman Perk are just as picky about their beer list as they are their coffee, which means you can alternate between the two while doing... whatever it is that you're doing on there. And if you need a little extra shot of inspiration, head to Condesa, where boozy cocktails like Sazeracs and Corpse Revivers are poured right alongside the espressos. For best results: drink both.

Chatting up the bartender. 

When it comes to drinking solo, the person behind the bar can make or break the whole experience. Snooty mixologists might give you the stink eye if you ask for the wrong drink (don't even think about whipping out that book) and generally elicit a fight or flight response from your frightened temporal lobe. But killing time chatting up a friendly bartender? Might be one of the best arguments against stranger danger we know. We always like talking with the folks pouring our Spiritual Sangria at Sister Louisa's Church (after all, they are Sister Louisa's acolytes), and the guys at Cypress Street have the uncanny ability to make you laugh and stuff your face full of beer-knowledge all at once.

Having a beer with your BFF, dawg. 

No, not the human kind. Sure, you can't really chat him up about what happened on Walking Dead last weekend or why you can't seem to get a date, but kicking it with your dog and a cold beer is one of life's great pleasures. Our top pick for said activity has to be Park Grounds, where you can grab a beer and toss a tennis ball for your pup in the cafe's dog park. Then there's The Midway, where a dog-friendly patio makes for an excellent setting to enjoy one of the best beer lists in Atlanta.

People-watching (and possibly feeling better about yourself in the process). 

Forget the book, the dog, the laptop. Forget even talking to anyone. There are a couple spots in Atlanta that are front-row seats to some seriously top-notch, Oscar-worthy people-watching. Saddle up to the bar at Trader Vic's, poke your straw in a hideous mug of rum, and bask in the floral-printed fanny-packed goodness of tourists getting sloshed off of the alcoholic equivalent of liquid pixie sticks. (Bonus points if you show up during DragonCon or Furry Weekend.) Better yet, find a good vantage point at Johnny's Hideaway and settle in to watch the cougar carnage (just don't you dare take that drink out on the dance floor). Warning: you may or may not wake up smelling like White Diamonds.

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Saturday, January 30, 2016

You're saying it's safe for me to do microdermabrasion on myself? + GIVEAWAY

pmd microdermabrasion at home personal microderm

Some nights you just need a "me" night and tonight is that night. I can't wait to try out my new PMD Personal Microderm. I'm a little nervous to try it on myself without having a "professional" do it but I'm ready to give it a try. Usually I like to just jump in and not read directions but since it's my face, I felt like this is an important step to NOT leave out. So I followed instructions and read the card that was included in the package and ALSO watched this super informative video.  It's a must!

Now, I will say I have been blessed with good skin and have tried to keep a good routine every night by washing my face, using toner and moisturizing with lotion (my mom and mamaw like to pass down their good quality products). But I have noticed over the past few years (well really when I hit 30) some hyperpigmentation from all my summer sun bathing days that it was time to take better care of my skin. Plus wrinkles are no doubt starting to develop, let's say no to Botox for now. 

I'm new to PMD Personal Microderm but just after one treatment, I can tell that it's going to help make my skin and pores smoother and hoping it will help with my hyper-pigmentation (it's too early to tell but I'll report back and update this post.) So what I'm saying here is that you don't have to have a "certain" skin type to use PMD Personal Microderm, it's good for all skin types - good and not so good. I'm hoping if I start taking better care of my skin now, when I'm 90, I'll look 21 (ha) but you get the point. 

Here's my condensed version of the steps and what I experienced:
  1. Read instructions and watch video. 
  2. Wash face and pat dry with a towel, face must be completely dry.
  3. The PMD Personal Microderm is already set up for the beginner level, test out on your arm and this will give you a sense of how the vacuum works and how much pressure to apply. You don't have to push down hard.  There are different disks that you can build your skin up to depending on your skin sensitivity. 
    You can barely see the test strip. 
  4. Pull your skin taut and move UPWARD with the PMD Personal Microderm (gravity brings your skin down so when you cleanse and moisturize your skin always work in an upward motion). DO NOT go over the same area twice. I did see streaks from where the vacuum was on my skin and you're tempted to go back over the area but I refrained.
  5. Rinse cap and O disk and let dry.
  6. Apply toner.
  7. Apply lotion. 
My face is a little tingly but it already looks smoother. I know, I know...hard to believe but it really does. I can't wait to add this in my routine every 5-7 days and see how it improves my face. I mean, I'm 31 and need my face looking good for years to come! Plus I love how you can re-use the disks a few times so you don't have to throw each one out after each use.

Also, check out the media buzz and the reviews, people already swear by it. I'm a believer on day 1!

If you want more information on PMD and what it does, read below...if you're ready to give it a try, I'm THRILLED to give you a promo code to get a 15% discount on your very own personal PMD. Just use code gold15.

Enter for your chance to win here!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Let me know what you think about PDM and how it's improved your skin!

*Sponsored post but all opinions are my own. 

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

{free} Valentines Printable Quotes


I love Valentines Day SO SO SO much I've rounded up my favorite printables just for you!

Love this one from Lil' Mrs.Tori.  Click HERE to download!

Thanks to Simple As That you can get this fairytale quote in so many different colors HERE!

and FALALA Designs is my new favorite! I absolutely LOVE this Love printable and all the different color choices! And if you go HERE there are a TON more free printables!

I hope everyone has a Happy Valentines Day!

Monday, January 25, 2016

The Easiest Butternut Squash Soup Recipe

Cuddle up with this warm, healthy butternut squash soup recipe. Not only is it warm and comforting, but it's a super healthy soup version! Low-sodium, gluten-free, no-dairy.

The Easiest Butternut Squash Soup Recipe

  • 1 medium butternut squash
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 cup chicken or vegetable broth/stock
  • 1 sweet onion or shallot
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp garlic
  • sprinkle of thyme (optional)

1. Cut skin off butternut squash and cut in half - scoop seeds out.

2. Chop squash into cubes, dice onion.

3. In a large pot, melt coconut oil and add onion.

4. Saute 3 minutes then add squash.

5. Saute an additional 5 minutes until squash starts to brown.

6.  Add coconut milk, broth, and spices - bring to a simmer.

The Easiest Butternut Squash Soup Recipe

7. Simmer about 20 minutes until soft.

8. Put all ingredients into a blender or food processor, blend until smooth. 

The Easiest Butternut Squash Soup Recipe

9. Sprinkle with thyme to serve.

Hungry for more recipes?  Check out more recipes here!

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Sunday, January 24, 2016

If you were buying a house...

Which kitchen would you prefer?  


I'd like to remodel my kitchen and bathroom right now from cherry oak cabinets and warm granite countertops to white cabinets and marble or white countertops.  I'd  go darker on the island but still keep the light countertops.  Similar to this.

My kitchen is very nice currently but I feel like it's dark and out of date plus "white kitchens" are more popular now so most home buyers would prefer that style.  Maybe I'm wrong though so I need your help!  Which do you prefer if you were buying a home?  Which do you think offers the most value to a homeowner?  

Which kitchen do you prefer free polls
Thanks so much for your help!

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Friday, January 22, 2016

Bridesmaids, Bourbon Street, and a Beauty Secret

If you saw the blog post yesterday about being WellKept or any form of our social media recently you know I got engaged. Yay!

engaged diamond ringengaged diamond ring

Being in a sorority, two high schools, an out of state college and moving across the country, I've ended me up being in quite a few weddings reporting for bridesmaid duty.  I was recently was in New Orleans for a close sorority sisters wedding and it was magical.  One of the best weddings ever.  First of all, New Orleans is an amazing city, the people, the atmosphere, the culture, it's almost impossible not to have a great time! More on NOLA here

new orleans

I especially love New Orleans during the Holidays when the streets and hotels are all lit up and decorated.  The Roosevelt, where she got married, crushed it.  The decor was absolutely spectacular.  I'm not sure I've ever used that word spectacular before but theres no other way to describe it.  Just gorgeous!  

the roosevelt new orleans

There were a few firsts for me but by far the most amazing and memorable time was getting to be in a Second Line parading through the streets of NOLA.  The band plays while you celebrate through the streets and the locals and tourist are filming you, taking pictures, joining in, dancing along... I mean you just can't describe that feeling.  It's too good!  I could do that every day of my life.  I've never seen so many people so happy and just in love with the city and culture.

second line parade

I was in the wedding party and as you know there are several bridesmaid duties.  There are always so many things to do leading up to that special day.  Besides helping the bride and being on time, there's hair, makeup, trying to stay healthy and eat right (avoiding the ever so dreadful hangover), having a white smile, being well rested and photo ready! I'd say that is my wedding party checklist that's gotten me through the last few years. Especially after those red wine stains from the bachelorette party, teeth whitening is a must for the photo opps on the big day! 

3D Crest Whitestrips.

Whether you’re the bride, the groom or in the wedding party, having a bright, white smile is a must-have! So now that it's my turn I'm relying on what got me through prom, rush, bridesmaid duties and now my own engagement and wedding photos... 3D Crest Whitestrips.  

3D Crest Whitestrips.

And it's not just about me.  The boy needed some help in the whitening department as well.  It's not always easy to say that to someone or have it said to you but we're a team.  My approach was, hey I'm whitening my teeth, want to do it with me?  Easy peasy!  Done and done!  And I am so thankful because it's seriously made the world of difference. Can you believe this is just after 1 use!  

3D Crest Whitestrips.

Here are my before and afters which I would never show you (since I'm not a very good selfie taker) except it really does work! And for staying on for an hour long I had no problems.  No sensitivity or burning of the gums during whitening.  It's over before you know it.  I don't think my teeth were yellow or stained or anything but they definitely weren't white.  They were more so stained red (#winoproblems) and just dull looking.  They never stood out in photos and kind of looked dirty for lack of a better description. 

3D Crest Whitestrips.
before sporting my new do


3D Crest Whitestrips.

Crest Whitestrips have come a long way and these flexfit ones grasp onto your teeth without sliding around and making it uncomfortable to talk. You leave them on for an hour and in just one use you can tell a difference! Whitestrips use the same enamel-safe, teeth-whitening ingredients dentists use and provide a comfortable at home teeth whitening experience. In only 2 weeks, Crest 3D White Supreme Flexfit Whitestrips can whiten teeth as well as a $500 laser treatment. Available at drugstores, mass-retailers and online nationwide ($64.99 per kit USD).

Snapchat preview. You can follow us @VerbalGoldBlog on snap!

3D Crest Whitestrips.    3D Crest Whitestrips.

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I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.