Staying on Plan with Happy Hour and a Deal

So, I LOVE happy hour, almost as much as I love brunch, for different reasons of course. Happy Hour is my jam because I know I’ll get some quality time with folks but also get home at a decent hour. Oh, yeah, and the food and drinks at a deal price. Quesadillas, mozzarella sticks, wings, old fashioned, margaritas, daquiris, all at discount …YES YES YES YES and YAAAASSSSSSSSS!!!  Having said that, even though happy our is kind to my wallet it’s not always kind to my waist, or these thighs. So, let me introduce you to my favorite light happy hour combo: Bubbles and Oysters!!!! No, not everywhere serves them but when I can I try to steer my groups to a place that does. $1 oysters are pretty popular around NYC and most places that have wine on the happy hour list, include some type of bubbles.

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This photo is from a happy hour at Pinkerton Bar in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. $1 oysters and $9 glass of bubbly rose, made for delicious and economical (for my waist and wallet) start to that evening. And let’s be honest, this combo is absolutely  fabulous #decadence

Skinny Margarita?

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I really like margaritas, but I don’t love the calories that come with them. So I’m forever in search of a “skinny” version I actually enjoy. While killing time, waiting for a friend I wondered into Williams Sonoma and saw this “Skinny Cocktail” mix. The combo sounded right and they were having a 20% off sale, so 15 minutes and $13 later I wondered back out with the bottle in hand. I gave it a whirl that night and I’ll say that for 15 calories and the cost, it was a good buy. The mixer made the tequila more interesting and didn’t taste like chemicals.  Is it a delicious margarita? No. Does it make a good substitute when you are trying to save some calories but still want a mixed drink? Yes. I’m actually looking forward to trying it with bourbon.

Trying Something New: Brunch and Basketball and Football

In an attempt to get out more, my girls and I decided to combine things we love brunch and football! Ok so, I love football and they’re good sports, but mashing up our interests led to a fun afternoon, and we discovered a great brunch deal at Mullanes in Brooklyn. The food was good (like yeah this ok not mad I ate it) but the service was amazing and the drinks kept coming.  This year we are going to get adventurous and actively seek out new spots to add to our rotation. img_1714

Brunch during play-offs at Mullanes in Brooklyn with $10 bottomless mimosas

Sometimes You Gotta Treat Yo’ Self

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Strawberry Margarita By Light of the Christmas Tree

Sometime you gotta treat yourself, and by sometimes I mean every damn day.

I used to struggle with doing something good for myself. I really enjoyed being a martyr of sorts. If I had “extra” time or money I gave it to someone else:  a friend, a family member, a boyfriend (the boyfriends got a lot of my “extra” ). Then I realized that I don’t have “extra” anything until I start taking care of myself first. I learned by burning out and being unable to save money, that I needed to add me to my list of people I’d go the extra mile for.  And you know what, it’s working out for me just fine. Quite well in fact. I can actually give more deeply to those I love because it’s not coming from  a place of emptiness any more. And…I’m happier! Amazing right.

So how do I take care of myself first? Let me count the ways, I make time to work out and get my nails done, I eat foo that makes me feel good (like healthy and energized but ya know also like YASSS can I have s’more please, currently I’m working on that balance) and I try to do something nice for myself everyday. I struggle with not making that “nice” thing a consumable (aka food or booze) but hey, I’m a work in progress.

Right now, I’m having a bit of a staycation during the week between Christmas and New Years.  Being nice to myself this week doesn’t mean continuing to stuff my gullet with Christmas leftovers. I put that on ice (literally I froze most of the deliciousness that was left) and even worked out today (go me!!!). BUT while staycation can be relaxing, I’d rather be in the Caribbean somewhere sipping on a frosty adult beverage under a palm tree as I watch the cabana boys go by. So, tonight I made myself a frosty cold Margarita in my Nutribullet.  Tomorrow, we’ll see what I do for me…I’m thinking a walk through Grand Central sounds good (I seriously LOVE that building and have the time to make time to explore).

Strawberry Margarita

1 ounce tequila ( I like Espolon)

1 ounce Cointreau (seriously DO NOT USE triple sec, the difference is real, Grand Marnier ain’t too shabby as a substitute and neither is Gran Gala* which is like two thirds the price of the aforementioned two )

1 ounce fresh lime juice (it’ll take between 2 and 3 limes)

4-6 frozen strawberries (you can use fresh it just wont taste so icy, and so if you do I recommend shaking with ice before serving)

Directions:

Dump everything in a Nutribullet or blender and blend.

Instructions:

Sip, savor and imagine yourself in the warm sunshine

Also, let’s be real I NEVER make just one (I think my husband would take that as a personal assault) Feel free to triple or quintuple or whatever you like, just make sure to use equals parts of everything every time.

*Grand Gala has a strong flavor, when I sub with that I cut back to 3/4 of an ounce, so actually it’s cheaper AND you use less. Grand Gala for the win.