Posts Tagged ‘drinks’

Sweet Peach Tea

Summer is approaching, and nothing is more refreshing on a hot day than a glass of iced tea. The polyphenols in tea may lower your risk for cancer, so use this as an excuse to down a tasty peach treat.


  • 1 oz tea leaves (Earl Grey or Darjeeling, about 1/3 cup loose tea or 7 bags)
  • 1 sliced lemon
  • 1 piece ginger (about 2 inches), peeled and smashed
  • 1 quart water
  • 8 cups ice cubes
  • 2 peaches
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 8 sprigs mint
  • 1 sliced peach

Boil one quart of water, then add tea, lemon, and ginger to it and steep for 7.5 minutes. Then peel, dice, and place the sugar and peaches into a blender until smooth. Add this to the tea mixture and serve it over ice. Garnish with mint springs and slices of peaches.

-Whitney Manson


My Cheater’s Handbook to Wine

I’ll be very honest with you- when it comes to wine, I honestly have very little knowledge about wine brands. I like red (woo antioxidants= great excuse for drinking it), Pinot Grigio, and I like it cheap. I wish there was a mathematic proof to show me how to pick wine, but alas it does not exist. However, here is my foolproof guide to the cheater’s way I pick out wine… I have yet to pick a bad bottle!

  1. Determine your price range. Do you feel like splurging today? Is it a party? Is this a gift for someone? Asking yourself some simple questions before you walk in and get overwhelmed is always a good choice. Set some boundaries for yourself. Like really, you don’t need a $40.00 on a random Tuesday. Trust me, you don’t.
  2. Determine what color and type you want- white or red? Dry or sweet? What are you pairing it with? Reds go with red meat, whites go with fish and chicken, and if you’re like me you often ignore this factor because reds are just better.
  3. Find Your Red Wine Type: a light red wine is Beaujolais Nouveau, a popular French wine, that will go with any kind of meal. A medium body red wine has more tannins- Merlot, Shiraz, and Chianti all fall into this category. A full-bodied red wine is a Bordeaux or a Cabernet Sauvignon. The more tannins, the fuller the body, and the stronger in alcohol content.
  4. Or Your White Wine Type: Rieslings tend to be sweet and refreshing, Moscato is a dessert wine, Chardonnay is dry, and Sauvignon Blanc goes with all vegetables, Thai and Italian food, and is light to medium. My personal favorite, Pinot Grigio, is light, crisp, and has smooth overtones. Delicious.
  5. After these questions, research wine sales online. This tactic is a fabulous way to find wine without crashing your budget. Often liquor stores do 2-4-1 specials and even my local grocery store too. Once you find a deal that sounds good, head out and test it out! I often find myself browsing staff picks and points at grocery stores to help as well. If you download  the application for your iPhone, you can SCAN barcodes to determine more information about the wine bottle! This is really fun to play with, and I highly recommend it for someone like me who does not know much about brands.

Tour De Vegas

Las Vegas, Nevada, is a place that people from all over the world dream about visiting. Everything there is gaudy, outlandish, and… fun. There is no time to be bored. Once you step off the plane, it’s time to start exploring.

Start your trip off by checking into the hotel Planet Hollywood, which offers reasonable rooms (that you can share when you’re on a budget) and a fifth of alcohol per night you stay with them. Their slogan is “Drinks are on Us”, and well, they are, so take advantage of it. Before leaving the hotel, put on some comfortable shoes- a MUST if you want to walk around The Strip. If you’re hungry, grab a sandwich at Earl of Sandwich and head out of the hotel. It is bound to be hot, so head to Caesar’s Palace and get a cold mojito at the Bacardi walk-up bar. While wandering The Strip, go in and out of hotels to take advantage of their ridiculous, extravagant decorations, shops, and restaurants… and their air conditioning. Some favorites are Caesar’s Palace, The Venetian, and Paris. While you’re out, watch the Bellagio fountain show, a pirate show at Treasure Island, and allow club promoters to talk to you so you can arrange to go to your club of choice in the evening. The club experience is a must-do for fabulous people watching and dancing. Rain, Tao, and Jet are my personal favorites for their atmospheres.

Las Vegas is home to some famous restaurants too. For French food, experience the James Beard Award winners Picasso or Joël Robochon. For more traditional yet elite American fare, try Sage at Aria in the new CityCenter or Nobhill Tavern in MGM Grand. If you’re there on a budget, there are plenty of Subways and cheaper options for quick grabs.

Enjoy the pools, especially the one at MGM Grand with a lazy river, wave pool, and room to lay out. If you enjoy shows, there are music artists, magicians, comedians, Cirque de Soleil shows, and musicals. Ask your concierge about what’s playing to find something that fits your interests. Gamble to start out (or end) your night! Hopefully you will win big, eat well, shop too much, and party hard!

What They Say is True- America Really Runs On Dunkin’

So I always try not to succumb to a caffeine addiction, but I think I have finally lost my willpower on this subject. I am starting to notice a really, really bad trend in my lifestyle… I cannot think straight without my first cup of coffee! I used to drink whatever people gave me and not really analyze it, but the deeper my addiction becomes, the more I find myself taste testing…

A good coffee is really like a fine wine, except that if I’m drinking it everyday I don’t want to spend $5 on it. So basically I want the best bang (of caffeine) for my buck!

I have been testing out some new brands lately, and here are my opinions on the my favorite kinds!

  • Illy– I adore this brand so much. It is very delicious, and they have it in my office, so I drink it all the time. This is probably the only coffee that I don’t force sugar in to be quite honest.
  • Dunkin’ Donuts- The commercials do not lie. I have become the mayor of my local Dunkin’ Donuts on Foursquare and had no idea what I was missing out on in Los Angeles! I stop here at least once a week, and they let me bring my own mug and listen to my every “Splenda” and “some skim milk, please” and have never messed it up! Their coffee tastes amazing and is totally affordable. I stop in for my bagel, light cream cheese, and coffee with Splenda and Skim and it runs at merely $3.31. Take that, Starbucks!
  • The Fresh Market- I fell in love with their coffee the second I taste tested their “Peppermint Crème” flavor inside the store. The grocery store makes their own coffee, and they vary it up with each season. The seasonal flavors along with the hazelnut are among their most popular, and it’s only about $7.99 a pound or so.

Test out my favorite coffees and let me know what you think below!

Foursquare Day- 4/16/10

Foursquare Day South Florida is an event tomorrow that features deal for the people who use the Foursqaure social media application. #4sqday feels a little silly to me, but I take pride in being the mayor of my gym, grocery store, office (aka “Your Mom’s), and Dunkin Donuts (okay, not too proud of that one… the coffee addiction is really getting disastrous). The whole idea is that four squared= 16, so 4/16 is Foursqaure Day, just like 3/14 is “Pi Day”. Though Foursqaure is not quite as mathematically impressive, the concept is interesting especially because people are offering up discounts for patrons who use the app.

Specials like 20% off the bill at One Burger, 20% off at The Globe, free dessert at miniBar Miami, and happy hour from 4-8 at Brickell Irish Pub are just a smattering of the options offered. I think I might make an evening of it with a stop at The Globe and One Burger, where I have wanted to go for ages!

Check the Foursquare Day Miami website for more details and specials for tomorrow!

30 days until Glee returns! I keep reading more and more about who is going to guest star on the show, and I am beyond excited to see Idina Menzel, Kristen Chenowith (again), Molly Shannon, and NPH, etc. I just read that there will be a Lady Gaga song (and that Coldplay denied the request for them to use a song, wth) and that Kurt is going to get a boyfriend!! I cannot wait for it to come back!

I took Jules to work Friday, and she was a total hit. Everyone wanted to see her, and she actually behaved herself for the most part. This weekend was a heck of a lot of fun. We ate at a Greek restaurant, Maria’s, on Friday night. They delivered the food to our table in five minutes, and we devoured it in ten. We got the mousaka and gyro platter, and both were fantastic. They served the dishes with a Greek salad, fries, pita bread, green beans, and rice. We came home and tried to watch Couples Retreat, but I fell asleep. Oops.

Saturday we woke up to some incredible weather. We strolled to the gym, exercised, headed back home, and showered. We did a little bit of cleaning, and then I grabbed mimosa supplies. Our friends Jenn and Will came over for brunch at The Ivy. They have two adorable black Chihuahuas named Andy and Luke, and they brought them to hang out with Jules. We took all three dogs with us to eat outside and enjoy eggs Benedict and free Bloody Marys! The waiters were attentive and gave our dogs lots of water.

Sunday was another gorgeous day spent with Will and Jenn, and we went out to South Beach to see them and their condo. Jenn and I took the Chihuahuas to the dog park for a chihuahua meet up. I have never seen so many Chihuahuas in one place at a time. They all played together without any big dogs around, and they had a great time. While we were at the park, the boys played tennis, something Jenn and I have no interest in at all. We came back and drank daiquiries on their balcony staring at the ocean. We got a grand tour of the building/hotel while carrying our drinks around, and they have amazing pools, STK, clubs, and a gym/club. There is a DJ inside the gym! We ordered in Chinese food from Yeung’s and watched Year One and had a wonderful time!

Great weekend, great friends, great weather!

Yes, There is a McDonald’s on McDonald Street.

I’m still interviewing for jobs. I tried some rice macaroni and cheese for lunch, but I’m not that impressed with it. It doesn’t really compare well to the classic Kraft kind.

We went out yesterday to a dive bar called The Sandbar just down the street from us for penny beers. On Wednesdays, they do penny beers at 10 pm until they run out of the kegs they use for it (no idea how many). Whatever it is, it is a bargain and they also have 1/2 off Hurricanes (categories 1-5 are all drink options, I went for a 3). Can’t help but wonder how Cameron is feeling today after that adventure with his classmate and his girlfriend.

I just returned from Merrick Village where I did not find the Joe’s Jeans “The Legging” I wanted. I got a pair in charcoal two weeks ago, which sent me on a mission for the second pair in a different color. Neiman Marcus also had them, but they were about $20 more expensive there and also not in the color I wanted. If you like style and comfort, I recommend trying on “The Legging”. They go with everything and flatter most body types. Just be careful, they’re tight and you have to watch what you wear underneath!

I’m previewing the new Lady Antebellum album, which comes out this Tuesday. It is not a sophomore slouch, so I am looking forward to purchasing it next week. Comcast came out again today and found that our connections rusted outdoors. How interesting, seeing as it was recently installed… thanks for not noticing. The menu for the evening is Quinoa rotini with plum tomatoes, feta, olive oil, minced garlic, zucchini, and bell pepper. The TV schedule is such: Vampire Diaries, Grey’s Anatomy, and then Project Runway. It’s been a while since I got to stare at the hot vampires on the show in HD. Since Thursday is most of the TV I watch, I had to select 3 options that Cameron wouldn’t want to watch since he’s going to sleep. We will watch 30 Rock and The Office online and surely there will be 40 Jersey Shore reruns by Sunday.

I need to find a sushi restaurant soon or I am going to have to purchase raw salmon at Publix and make rice and pretend I’m eating sushi back in Hermosa Beach.

The First Real Weekend in Coconut Grove!

This weekend felt more like a weekend. Friday we decided to stay in for the night, eat tamales, and play Super Mario. Nothing too fancy, but another enjoyable date night! We finally beat the first level, and hopefully I get better at the game overall because I am horrible! My nephew, who is 6, beat the first four levels alone and right away. One day, maybe I will be as good as him at Super Mario.

Saturday, it was raining and cold again. We even used the heat! We hung out, organized more, and enjoyed our time in together. We drove to the gym that day because there was no way we were walking in the cold rain! That night, we had plans to meet up with my awesome old roommate, Krista, and her boyfriend, Bryan, and go to dinner at Chicago’s Steakhouse in the Grove. For the night, they were offering $20 for unlimited deep dish pizza, house wine, and beer.  The pizza wasn’t fabulous, but the wine was coming, the Cowboys game was on, and the company was fun! We really enjoyed our night with them and it didn’t hurt that the Cowboys won.

Sunday, it was off to Dadeland Mall, Dadeland Station, and The Container Store. We found our necessary Container Store purchases, then went to the mall to wander around and explore it. It was huge and crowded, probably due to the unfortunate weather. After that, it was another return to Target (twice in 8 days, eek!) to check off another list we made on items we need. Afterwards, we tried to go to sushi in the Grove, but things were dead! Tons of restaurants were closed and people weren’t really walking around much at all, I think due to the fact that it was just way too cold for people to walk around in our area.

Back to the job hunt…