Weekend Recap: That time our car was almost stolen

Monday, April 27, 2015

Apologies for the delay in posting today. I'm running on a real lack of sleep, for reasons I'll explain at the end of this post (and in the title) -- don't skip ahead!

Friday night we kicked off the weekend with a goodbye celebration at Party at the Point. Party at the Point is a seasonal summer series at one of the local hotels on the harbor. It's a great place for live music, libations, and fun. Our reason for attending was to hang out with our friends, Amber and Russ before they move to Oklahoma next week. 

It rained most of the day Saturday, so it was the perfect - lay on the couch, watch The Wire, drink extra coffee kind of day. After feeling like a slug for too long, we eventually made way to the gym. 

We somehow hadn't had soft-shelled crabs this season, so we were on the hunt to find some softies before the water warmed up. After checking several restaurant's menus, we called Leon's to confirm that they still had softies on the menu. We were in luck and made way to Leon's to get a tasty dinner.

Hope was immediately lost when we placed our order. The server went to enter the order into the system and found out they had just sold out of the crabs. We went on a recon mission to find another restaurant that 1) didn't have a crazy wait and 2) still had plenty of crabs.

We called a few places, but it was near impossible to get a restaurant to answer their phone at 8PM on a Saturday night. Our server recommended 167 Raw. Adam called and found out they had plenty of crabs and a short wait. We were actually sitting at a community table at Leon's and let our fellow eaters know that we were leaving to find some crabs. The guy sitting next to me recommended Raw because he worked there. It was just a funny coincidence that's where we were headed. 

I think we made the right choice switching restaurants because the softie sandwiches we had at Raw were a-ma-zing. They were deep-fried (always delicious) and put on the same bread at the lobster roll. We were both happy campers.

The weather really turned around on Sunday and we had our first beach day of the year. The weather was great, warm, but not too humid. It was a little windy on the beach, but when the sun was out of the clouds, it felt great. My only complaint was that we were probably stuck in traffic going and leaving the beach for more time than we were actually on the sand. My next trip out to the islands will definitely not be during beach rush hour.

After the beach, we went grocery shopping and picked up dinner for the night. After having several friends recommend Locals, we finally tried it out. We had the spicy salmon, spicy tuna, and Pacific roll. It was good, but Shi-Ki is still my favorite sushi spot in Charleston.

I followed my usual TV routine the rest of the Sunday evening. Before watching Game of Thrones and Mad Men, I caught up on the Diane Sawyer and Bruce Jenner interview. I have all the snaps in the world for Bruce; he's an incredibly courageous person, and this display of bravery will literally save lives. Also, props to ABC for presenting the interview in an informative format instead of being exploitative. 

So you might be wondering why I'm running on a lack of sleep. Well, at about 4AM last night I woke up to a car alarm going off. I laid in bed for about a minute before I couldn't stand listening to the noise anymore. I started to peek out of our windows to see if I could spot the car that was making the noise. Well, low and behold it was our car. I was lucky that I was able to spot it - based on our apartment location, there are only a few street spots where I would have been able to see the parked car. 

I woke Adam up and he immediately ran downstairs to check out the car. I could see him from the window and it looked like he started to walk up to the car and check all around for any damage. He then suddenly started to back up with his hands in the air and his cell phone lit up in his hand. There was a person in the car trying to steal it. From Adam's story, the guy got out of the car and said he "just needed a ride" before running away.

Adam was already on the phone with 911 and the first cop was at our corner within 30 seconds. The cop took off to chase after the thief and a second cop immediately arrived to get Adam's story. I came downstairs for a few minutes to talk to the police but was honestly really creeped out by standing around outside. It was dark, no one was outside, and I was afraid the guy might come back with a weapon.

Adam was downstairs with the police for about an hour longer to file a report and wait for the investigator. Within this time, the police caught the thief. Adam eventually ID'd him and was able to come back upstairs. 

Classy cover

The guy had tried to steal the car by busting out the back window with a rock. He unfortunately also busted up the frame. This guy might have been the dumbest thief ever. There was glass and blood all over the scene. He also used the flashlight that was in the glovebox to be able to see. And there was a set of keys (not ours) that he tried to use in the ignition. I guess he thought one set of keys works for all cars. 

Luckily the guy was apprehended pretty quickly and Adam's going to court today to testify. The police believe the thief has been involved in at least 10 recent car robberies in the area. 

I'm eternally grateful that Adam was safe. Had we known someone was in the car, we would have immediately called 911 and he would not have walked up on it. We just figured it was another hit and run, someone stole something, or maybe a branch fell on the car. We never considered someone was trying to steal the car. It was also 4AM, so our brains weren't super sharp.

This poor car has been so beat up over the last month. A hit and run and now this. Poor Civic. Poor insurance deductible. I know things could always be worse, but it's still frustrating to have to deal with this all over again.

Friday Roundup

Friday, April 24, 2015

+ Kayla Itsines Bikini Body Guide

I started a new workout program this week, meaning I've also been barely able to walk up or down stairs. Recently, my workouts have been exclusively strength training with a little bit of yoga. I haven't really done any form of cardio or high-intensity training. I'm giving the Kayla Itsines Bikini Body Guide a try. I found Kayla's info through Instagram and immediately wanted her abs. The program is a combo of high-intensity plyometric type exercises mixed with a little bit of cardio. I'm going to write soon in more detail about the program, but suffice to say - my legs hurt after day one and living on the fourth floor of an apartment has been a challenge this week.

+ Gay of Thrones Nicknames

Daenerys Targaryen // "Christina Aguliera"

Gay of Thrones coming back to grace my computer screen might be as good as Game of Thrones being back. If you haven't started watching Gay of Thrones, you better start now - it's awesome. Jonathan, my favorite stylist, recaps each week's episode in the most fierce way possible. One of my favorite parts of his recap is the great nicknames he gives to each of the characters. I just updated the list I made last year with a running tally of Gay of Thrones nicknames.

+ Emojis by Country

Have you guys seen this article from Washington Post about emoji use by country? Apparently Americans are big fans of random emoji. This might explain why my last 4 emojis used were a horse, eggplant, praise up sign and Freddy Mercury. �� �� �� ��

+ Flower Arrangement

In this week's floral design class, we created pave arrangements. Pave is when the flowers fit so tightly, at the same level and close that no gaps show. Pave arrangements can be great for centerpieces or a bridal bouquet. I loved all of the flowers and colors we used in our pave arrangement. The blue hydrangeas are a personal favorite of mine.

Happy Friday!

Work & Life Balance

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Today I'm linking up with The B Bar to share how I find balance between work and the rest of my life.

I need to preface this post with saying that I'm lucky. My job really doesn't interfere too much with my social life. I have a normal 9-5 type of office job. I do work in consulting, so I often receive emails after hours, but unless there's a huge issue, there isn't the expectation that I'll be working throughout the night.

These are some simple tips that work for me to create that balance and distinction between my work life and day life. I am not perfect and don't follow these rules all of the time, but they help me keep some semblance of normalcy.

1 // Turn off automatic email notifications

The first thing I do in my iPhone settings is to change the email notifications to manual, not fetch or push. Outside of office hours, I check my work emails when I want to - not at all hours of the day and night. The last thing I need is the stress of an urgent 11PM email, when I can't even give a good response to it until the morning when I'm back at the office.

2 // Set up your out of office reply

This is something I actually need to get better about. I'll often not set my out-of-office reply email when I'm on vacation and instead just try and answer the important emails as they come in. Bad idea. I'm working on always setting my reply to better manage my clients' and co-workers' expectations. If I don't give myself that break and let others know that I'm taking the break then I'm not fully enjoying my time off and my balance is missing.

3 // Take a coffee break

Even while I'm at the office I try and find moments to take a "brain break". One of my favorite ways to avoid too much screen time is to take a short walk to go get a coffee. These walks give me the opportunity to call family or friends to catch up and get some fresh air. By the time I get back to the office I'm reinvigorated and ready to tackle my next project. The coffee also helps, of course.

4 // Exercise or Meditate

When things get a little too stressful at the office, and a coffee break just won't do, I like to either stretch, have a quick work out, or meditate. Refocusing my energy helps calm me down if I'm stressed and often helps me look at my problem from a new perspective.

Need more tips? Can't relate to my work environment? Well, check out all of the great blogs below for more practical tips on how to create a working balance between the office and home.

The B Bar // 26 and Not Counting //  Rae Loves // Sarah Hartley // Carrie Loves // The Not Quite Adult // White Cabana // PreppyPanache // LiskaMonet // Alyssa J Freitas // Rossetto // With Love From Ellie // Cake & Lilies // Feathers and Stripes // Leigh Clair // White Oak Creative // Life Modifier // Perfect Enough for Us // Random Little Faves // Jacque Of All Trades // Business Betties // Girl for Granted // Alicia Tenise // The Yuppie Flies // It's Droolworthy // Something Good Blog // Elana Lyn // Forth Chicago // Emilie Lima Burke // Manifest Yourself // Fit for a Bride Blog // A Little Leopard // Coral and Cognacs // Little Wild Heart // It's Julien // Boys and Bombshell // Meg Biram // Victoria McGinley

How to Make Sunchoke Chips

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

On our last grocery shopping trip I was feeling a little adventurous. I've felt like we've been eating the same vegetables every week and I wanted to try something new. This boredness led me to a little bag of sunchokes. Sunchokes, a.k.a. Jerusalem artichokes are a starchy root vegetable. Sunchokes have rough skin that looks similar to unpeeled ginger.

My original plan was to roast the sunchokes. I've had roasted sunchokes once before at a restaurant and they were delicious. The texture is similar to a chestnut; it's definitely a unique type of root vegetable.

I started to look up different recipes and recommendations for roasting sunchokes when I ran across the sunchoke nickname, the fartichoke. Apparently, inulin - the carbohydrate found in sunchokes, can cause serious gas and bloating. Most chefs believe the issue comes with the skin - and when the sunchokes are peeled or thinly fried they don't do much damage. 

So it was an easy answer and easy task to fry the sunchokes into chips. This isn't a formal recipe, but here's a quick and easy way to fry up some sunchoke chips:
  • Thinly slice the sunchokes and immediately place in a bowl of cold water. I used my mandolin to help expedite the slicing process and get even slices. Placing the sliced sunchokes in cold water will help slow down the browning process.

  • Once sliced, drain and re-rinse the sunchokes a few times. Pat completely dry with paper towels.

  • Heat up about 1/4 inch of vegetable oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the sunchokes one batch at a time. Fry each batch of sunchokes for approximately 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove each batch with a skimmer and place on paper towels to drain the excess oil.

  • Season with your favorite flavors. I added Old Bay and a little extra salt. 

  • Serve and enjoy! If you're throwing a party, you can make the sunchokes up to a couple hours in advance.
Check out Bon Appetit if you're interested in learning more about how the sunchokes came to be known as the fartichoke.