Be Mindful During the Holiday Season

I don’t know about you, but I got into the Christmas spirit early this year; I started listening to 102.5 a whole MONTH early, and I even made tree-shaped muffins while the leaves were still falling.  We’ve been watching Christmas movies on a nightly basis, including Scrooged, that ‘B-rated’ Bill Murray flick I should not have watched as a child.  Murray plays Mr. Cross, a 1980s version of Scrooge, who is of course visited by three ‘spirits’ (all of whom are frightening) and eventually changes his miserly ways by the end of the movie.  It was both nostalgic and disappointing at the same time.

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EA Pub Crawl

Last night, Andrew and I participated in the second annual ‘East Aurora Pub Crawl.’  We even had t-shirts!

Isn’t this drink adorable??  It’s only 5 oz!  That was my last drink of the night–a teeny, tiny glass of Southern Tier’s Pumking, which is a seasonal (obviously) specialty beer that’s very popular.  This was also my first time in Aurora Brew Works, the newest ‘establishment,’ but I wouldn’t call it a bar.  It’s more of an uber-specialty beer retailer with a few choices on tap for tasting and some tables.  I think they might be trying to incorporate some food items, but for now they just have a ‘snack bar’ where you can buy candy bars and things.

Our night started at the other end of Main Street at the East End Taproom, where I tried Saranac’s Pumpkin Ale.  Because I’m counting my calories again (and because alcohol is expensive, and we’re cheap–sometimes–and because no one really needs THAT much alcohol in so little time), my plan was to only have ‘special’ drinks at a couple of the places we went, and to alternate every-other with water.

My plan worked!  After my workout this morning (it was a little rough getting up this morning after being out so late, but I’m glad I did), I was an ADDITIONAL two pounds down!  (I mean, heck, I would have been happy to break even…)  I get that it was mostly water lost during my workout, but how was I not up after a pub crawl?!  So, basically, I somehow netted a loss despite a little partying, which is probably just a testament to the discipline I’ve had this past week.

ANYWAY…the highlight of my night was actually at REDfish, where I ran into Firefly owner Wendy, who I haven’t seen in forever, and ME!  As in, the painting of me Alix did and subsequently sold within days.  She and I have been working on getting a print made for Andrew and myself, and it looks like it’s going to happen.  So excited!

It didn’t occur to me at the time to have Andrew snap a shot of me next to ME in the painting, but for now all I have is this:

It’s Alix’s business card and it’s just a portion of the painting.

So, getting back to last night, Andrew and I had a great time out with friends, chatting with friends we haven’t seen in awhile (Sharon, Alix and Wendy!), and getting to savor some of the last decent weather before it gets yucky.  The icing on the cake was my responsible partying–oh, and the fact that Wendy told me her chocolate explosion cupcake has only 300-some calories.  I mean, it’s still a dessert, but I’d been thinking it was AT LEAST 500 calories, if not more.  You better believe I feel better going in more often!  I can’t wait!


We were feelin’ a night out yesterday since we’d been in all day.  Well, that’s not true–I did my usual Saturday morning routine of: eating a huge breakfast, hitting up Wegmans around 8 a.m. (before it gets busy), then swimming at the gym and returning home at 11, and Andrew was at the office from 10-3–but when it was pushing 4 p.m. and both of us were still in sweats, we needed a change!

We headed out for a visit at the in-laws’ before stopping at Taste for coffee (decaf for me), then running some errands at the Verizon store (clear display covers for my phone–post coming soon to show you my new case!) and shovels at Lowe’s.  You know, because we live in Buffalo now and it snows here…a lot.  We’ve gotten by so far this year on a metal dirt shovel and we’ve been lucky to have a mild winter.  (I think God is smiling on us transplants since we don’t have a garage for our cars–NOT fun.)

Anyway, we ended up at Zebb’s, a sport-bar-like place I drive by all the time and that Andrew frequented a bit in high school.

It’s a bar and grill and they’re known for their burgers.  They also have entree’s, wings (of course) and sandwiches.

We asked to sit in the bar area and were seating long before some who had arrived before us.  We also had some of the best service I’ve had in awhile, if not ever.  Colin was awesome.

We both ended up with Blue Moons (the pint for me, the tall for Andrew) and a sample of Sam Adam’s Cherry Wheat because, well, I wouldn’t be ‘me’ if I didn’t have a sample of something.  The cherry wheat was good, but not as good as a Blue Moon.

We got wings as an appetizer.  I swear, since moving here, I’ve eaten more wings in these few months than I ever have before in my life.  This is, of course, both good and bad.  Good for my sense of ‘culture’ and assimilation into my new surroundings; bad for my hips.  And thighs.  And arteries.

I saw the “ZebbOriginalWings” and immediately wanted them, but the bleu cheese turned Andrew off, of course.  Awesome Colin said we could split an order and I eagerly anticipated their arrival.

And yes, they were everything I hoped for, and more.  They had enough “buffalo” flavor to fulfill that ubiquitous ‘wing taste,’ but with a kick of something more.  Not spicy, just really flavorful.  The bleu cheese wasn’t a dominant flavor, and Andrew was brave enough to give it a try.  We just might be ordering those next time…we both ended up saving the sauce to dip our fries!

Andrew had ordered a medium on the spicy-scale when we thought we were sharing, but Colin got the impression Andrew wanted a bit more heat than me, so he went ahead and bumped Andrew’s up to HOT…  Talk about great service!  Andrew enjoyed his wings, but they were no Pasquale’s.

Hockey is KING here, in case you didn’t know, and a tournament was on TV.  Really, all sports are pretty big here–the Bills Stadium is just a mile or so from Zebb’s–and watching football and hockey is very much a part of life here in Buffalo.  Guess I’m going to have to get a t-shirt…

Zebb’s is known for their burgers and topping bar (think Fuddrucker’s), and I’m a junkie for anything a restaurant is “known for,” so I went with the smallest burger and added cheese.  I mean, doesn’t cheese just make it?  A burger without cheese, to me, isn’t worth eating.

Speaking of eating…  I was good and only ate two of my wings in order to save room (and calories!) for my burger and fries.  But the angelic behavior ended there; I DEMOLISHED my burger and fries, with mayo, no less!  I must have been hungry.  And honestly, the burger wasn’t THAT good.  Definitely not good enough to eat it all.  Next time, I’ll stick to wings and fries 🙂

Meanwhile, it was snowing outside:

When we entered, there wasn’t really any snow on the ground.  By the time we left, it was blizzarding enough for us to have to drive slowly and there was about an inch or so on the ground.  It may sound odd, but I love that about living here–I love that you can go see a movie and come out to a completely different scene than when you entered.  (This, I’m sure, will get old after awhile.  But for now, it makes me smile.)

We’re going out, again, tonight to meet friends at Pearl Street (yay!), which might just mean more indulgent food for yours truly…  Good thing I did a tempo run this morning before church!