Thursday, March 1, 2018

South Dakota Chronicles: Day 3 and 4

Saturday was our third day in South Dakota.  We woke up with slight hangovers and to snow serenely falling from the sky.  As with any trip, late nights call for late to mid afternoon mornings, which meant we didn't even leave our hotel room until close to 11 a.m..  We moseyed down Main Street looking for a place for brunch.  The best thing about this town is that you do not need a car to get anywhere, everything is in walking distance.

We weren't sure what we would find, but down at the end of Main Street lies The Nugget Saloon with a sign that read, ""best Bloody Marys in town" so naturally we had to go in.  The Nugget Saloon is a quaint bar with s tore and a dinner attached through side walls.  We grabbed a table and Liam served us the BEST Bloody Marys along with a pizza, a few appetizers and a few too many beers.  Our entertainment came in the form of the digital juke box and the bachelorette party that was wasted by 2:00 p.m..  Sitting in the bar, watching the snow fall outside was the perfect way to spend the day.

After losing all day to The Nugget, we headed back to the Deadwood Distillery where we picked up our moonshine and souvenirs and listened to a few more of Paul's stories.  That man in and of himself is reason enough to go to Deadwood.  You will not hear more colorful and intriguing stories than those of Paul's life.  I told him he needs a blog or better yet, a book!

We dropped our loot at the hotel and headed down to the winery/brewery in the middle of town.  We tried a local selection of brews and were fascinated to hear how beer and wine are sold in South Dakota.  It is an interesting process and a bit pricey for the small guys to compete with the big guys.

Next we found ourselves at the Deadwood Social Club for dinner.  It was AMAZING!  We ordered the bruschetta and scallop appetizers, ribeye special and the seafood pasta.  Everything was delicious and the pasta was an absolute work of art.

 After dinner we found ourselves back at The Bloody Nose Saloon since it was our favorite.  The bachelor party from the night before and the tree of us were the only patrons and it turned into quite the hilarious evening.  Somehow the three of us decided a 4-legged race was in order.  I can tell you, all those boys from the bachelor party got pretty excited when we pulled out the tape... Pervs.  From the pictures it looks like I could barely walk, haha.

We headed back to our room as the bars were closing, made snow angles in the streets and were surprised by how much pizza Deadwood sells as soon as the bars close.  I am not even kidding, every singel place sells pizzas by the slice or whole.  For me, I was a bit behooved as I personally would take some 7-11 nachos at 3 a.m. after drinking all day long.  Thank goodness for our Walmart outing where we supplied ourselves with plenty of snacks.

Sunday morning we hit the road and ended up at Mount Rushmore.  It is still as breathtaking as it was the first time I saw it.  A person can't help but stand in wonder at how one man with a vision created one of our nation's greatest masterpieces.  I truly prefer ending my trips to South Dakota with a visit to Rushmore, because it feels like a great place to give thanks to America.

Not long after we were on a plane bound for home. 

South Dakota feels like home and I miss it immensely and I truly cannot wait to get back to that gem of a mountain town tucked away int he Black Hills.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

South Dakota Chronicles: Day 2

Day 2 was rough, but not as rough as it could have been.  We all were up and out the door and on our way to the local WalMart to pick up snacks and beer for the rest of our journey.  Typically there aren't many differences in shopping out of state, yet we all had mild panic attacks because we didn't bring reusable bags with us.  Please insert your laughter here.

Another thing we learned on this trip is that hard alcohol has to be sold at a separate counter.  You can purchase beer and wine all day long, but not the hard stuff.  It is like that in Canada and most red states and for whatever reason, it makes me laugh.  One great thing was the assortment of local breweries and Leinenkugels.  It was like I hit the lotto and now I need to plan a trip to Chippewa Falls, WI.

Before we knew it, we were on our way to the Badlands.  If you haven't heard of the Badlands, it is part of the National Parks where rugged mountains, spires and prairie grass meet and the bison, long horn sheep and prairie dogs roam.  It is absolutely breath taking and a moment of pure "aw" at how beautiful our Earth really is.  We trekked through a few places of wilderness, passed bison, and drove curvy mountain roads... Well not overly curvy since it is a Plains state.

After the Badlands, we headed to Deadwood, the town of my heart.  I don't know what it is about this little town, but I love it and each time I go I can envision myself becoming a local and walking down the street greeting the business owners like old friends... (I must have watched too many Hallmark movies at Christmas).

We stayed at the Historic Franklin Hotel.  This is where I am an awful blogger, I have zero photos of the gorgeous hotel.  Built in the early 1900's, the hotel has kept its luxurious charm.  The rooms have been updated, but are still small.

After checking in, we headed out on the small town.  We found The Deadwood Distillery had opened and was connected with The Bloody Nose Saloon.  Jeanine, Sam and Paul were amazing to us.  Paul handles the moonshine tastings at the Distillery and has a boat load of stories to share.  I highly recommend the Distillery and the Bloody Nose.

We even made friends with a family from Montana while we tasted the variety of moonshines.

We finished the night at The Bloody Nose playing pool, the punching bag game, eating popcorn and making new friends.  One thing I learned, Deadwood is the Vegas of the Midwest.  We met a bachelor party of 35 guys from Minnesota.  They were absolutely hilarious and became our buddies.

I absolutely love the friendliness of the Midwest and can't wait to tell y'all about Day 3!

Friday, February 2, 2018

February- Goal Catch Up and Review

As you all know I REALLY failed in January at the recipe part of my New Year's goals (you can read that post here for a quick refresher).

Getting back to basics- I did go on vacation last month, but I did REALLY good.  I didn't buy an entirely new wardrobe, nor did I come home with a bag full of souvenirs.  Moonshine and a shot glass did make their way into my luggage, but I was okay with that.  I have also budgeted and for all things in February helping me out with a no spend February.

Recipe- Yeah, I only made one new thing... It was that wonderfully delicious pork tenderloin that I will make again, because holy oh my goodness was it good.  Perhaps I should knock my goal from one new recipe a week to one in a month?  That is hardly a challenge though....

Healthy Wage-... Yeah I still haven't signed up.  I am thinking tax return time and I will, seeing as I am on a spending freeze and all.

Cleaner eating- Y'all I have been so good at this and I can teel it has been good for me.  Obviously vacation Kristie wasn't so good, but c'est la vie.

Blogging- I have been getting better and better.  Plus I still have a few posts regarding my amazing time in South Dakota.

I am really looking forward to February.  It is a new month which is a new beginning.

How do you plan to use this month?

Friday, January 26, 2018

South Dakota Chronicles, Day 1

My recent trip to South Dakota was more than amazing.  Here is part one of South Dakota Chronicles-

Day 1 was filled with travel.  In order to fly to Rapid City, we had to drive out to Vegas in the early morning.  We had enough time to visit the Healing Garden in honor of the 58 people who lost their lives at Route 91.  I cannot begin to describe the emotions that went through me.  I was thankful it was empty and I could stop and read each note, look at each picture and just feel the gratefulness I have to still be here.  Things could have been so different that night....

After the Healing Garden, we made our way to the South Point where we parked and took a Lyft to the airport, got checked in, ate and gambled.  Soon enough we were on the tarmac headed to our winter wonderland destination.  South Dakota is about a 2 hour flight.

Somehow the flight attendant thought it would be a marvelous idea to offer us doubles when we each ordered our vodkas.  Obviously we partook.  Have any of you ever been drunk at 38,000 feet?  It is weirdly fun.  Clearly I knew there would be a headache later, but at the moment I had the giggles and I am pretty sure every single person on that plane hated our group. #zerfucksgiven.

Once we landed, we grabbed our rental car and headed off to the Grand Rapid Hotel.  We love this hotel because of two things- there is a Perkins (Coco's of the Midwest) and a  karaoke bar named Cheers, where the people are friendly and the drinks are cheap.  We ate, drank and had a generally good time here.  It isn't a downtown bar, but it is friendly.

The only bad thing about Cheers is the fact that karaoke doesn't require the singer to sing happy songs.  Instead people chose the most depressing songs ever released to sing at the top of their lungs.  It was kind of a buzzkill.

At Cheers we met a bouncer.  I would share his name but there was a discrepancy in whether his name was Justin, Dustin or something entirely different.  Blame it on the booze.  He had been a Marine based out of  Camp Pendleton and was actually familiar with our mountains.  This is a strange occurrence if you are anywhere outside of the Inland Empire/ LA area of California.  

Bars in South Dakota close at 2 a.m., which was totally ok with us.  The Perkins is open 24 hours a day so we did what any group of drunks would do.... We went back to the Perkins for round two to try to sober up.  This was after we were pretty sure security was going to be called on us for being loud at 3 a.m..  Our impromptu jaunt to the Perks saved us the next morning, but more about that later...

Day 2 coming soon....

Monday, January 15, 2018

Pork Tenderloin from Pretend It's A Donut

Last week I found a recipe from Jenn over at Pretend It's A Donut for a delicious, and may I add easy pork tenderloin with a pomegranate and balsamic glaze.  Plus it is Whole 30 and Paleo friendly!  Luckily my sister still had two pieces of tenderloin frozen, all we really had to pick up was the pomegranate juice, Dijon mustard and Brussels's sprouts.  We got everything together and waited patiently for the pork to defrost.

I am going to start by saying this was one of the easiest dishes I have ever made and it is fool proof.  Jenn laid out the instructions in simple terms and every single thing about these ingredients meld together to create a delicious and healthy meal in about an hour and a half.  Yes it does take time, but seriously, an hour and twenty minutes of it is spent with the pork roasting in the oven so you can go about your laundry/dishwasher, side dish duties or whatever else you have to complete by dinner time.  To be completely honest, I didn't make this as a dinner, but rather a meal for lunches for a couple days of the week.

I seasoned the pork with salt, pepper and a bit of balsamic vinegar and popped it in the oven as Jenn said to do.  At the 50 minutes left to roast mark, I quartered my Brussels's sprouts, drizzled olive oil along with salt and pepper, covered them with foil and popped them in the over to roast for 40 minutes along with the pork.  The rest was easy roastin'.  Once the pork is out, you make the sauce.....  Oh man, that sauce superb and the stuff dreams are made of.   After the sauce is complete, slice the pork up and serve with the side of Brussels's sprouts. 

This receipe was easy and tasted divine.  I only regret not photographing it before putting it into meal prep containers, but you can find a photo over at Pretend It's A Donut.  Recipe below.

If you make this, let me know how it goes.


Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes
  • 2-4 lbs pork tenderloin
  • 1/2 cup pomegranate juice
  • 1 tbs dijon mustard
  • 1 pomegranate, seeded
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • fresh parsley for garnish
  1. Preheat oven to 450 F.
  2. While oven is getting hot, take your pork and place it in a seasoned cast iron skillet. (If you don't have cast iron a baking dish works fine)
  3. Season pork with salt and pepper and drizzle some balsamic vinegar over it.
  4. Once oven reaches 450 F, turn it down to 325 F and stick the skillet into the oven.
  5. Let cook for 1 hr 20 minutes.
  6. Remove skillet from the oven and place your pork onto a cutting board. Let pork rest for 10 min covered loosely with a piece of foil.
  7. Turn your stove on to medium and put the pomegranate juice, balsamic vinegar, and dijon mustard. Stir around making sure you really incorporate all the juices that the pork left.
  8. Let simmer until the sauce thickens up.
  9. Turn stove off and place pork back into the skillet. Drizzle the sauce all over the pork and garnish with a bunch of pomegranate seeds and fresh parsley

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Southern California's Endless Summer

Here we are, January 4, 2018, and the temperature outside is 58 degrees... Yes 58 degrees with the sun shining.  It may seem cold to some, but with Florida and South Carolina getting snow, it has me saying, "Go home winter weather, you are drunk."

Last weekend I spent some time out in Laughlin/ Bullhead City area (that is the Mohave desert for those who are geographically challenged, like myself) where the day time temperature was 87 degrees, which meant pool time (it was heated of course).

While I love any chance to work on my tan ( I know it is bad), I also love having a real fucking winter.  You know where there is snow, ice, and temps in the teens.  Where I have to wear Sorels, scarves, and it is the kind of winter that makes dip-shit people move back to the city because they literally can't even "deal" with winter.

Save Our Water posted a photo of last year's snow pack compared to this years and it makes the outlook on 2018 and water dismal.  It's not just about me over here, it is about our water too.  Whatever weird global warming shit we have going on we need to fix it, because Florida is getting snow and California (yet again) is projected to run dry. 

That's my bitch post for the week.  Hope you enjoyed it.


Friday, December 29, 2017

2018's Goals

2017 has been a wild ride for me.  I have found peace in certain things that happened, still ask questions about other things which leaves me happy to say "Peace out fucker!" to 2017.

Each new day brings a fresh start and New Year's Day is day 1 of making my life so fresh and so clean.

I tend to stay away from the word "resolutions" instead I set "goals" for myself in the coming year and, obviously, I had to share them with y'all.

- Get back to basics- Lower materialistic wants and needs and invest in travel, time with friends and family, and maybe the pricey bottle of red wine.

- One new recipe a week- I love cooking, but finding the time for cooking has always been an issue for me as is finding people willing to eat what I make.  (Attention non picky eaters, this is your formal invitation to come try my dishes out.)  This coming year I am challenging myself to make one new recipe a week and as any good blogger would do, I plan on sharing my experience with these recipes here.  This is a win/win for me... I just came up with 52 blog posts for 2018.

- Try out Healthy Wage- Have you heard of "Healthy Wage"?  If not, I think this is a really cool way to commit to fitness and losing the extra weight you may have.  I have researched it and I like the idea a bit more than Diet Bet.  You enter your weight, goal weight, the time frame for the loss and how much money you want to pay monthly.  Once you set that up, you finalize by entering payment information and taking a video of you stepping on your scale for approval.  I haven't tried it yet, but I plan to commit to this challenge.,  I could lose weight AND make money!

- Cleaner eating-  As you all know, I have been a ginormous proponent of the Whole 30 way of eating.  The thing is... I like love wine... A LOT!  On Whole 30 there is absolutely no alcohol, which isn't bad most of the time.  I know a shit ton of wine isn't good for you, but sometimes you just need a glass after a long day or while catching up with girlfriends.  Anyways, I plan to eat much cleaner in 2018 than I did in 2017.

- Blogging- I am really planning on be being around these parts and catching up with the bloggers I love as well.  It is so weird how life has you deviated momentarily, but blogging is always something we can come back too.

What are a few of your goals?