Friday, January 17, 2014

Friday Five: New (to me) things I'm loving

TGIFOATDW - Thank goodness it's Friday... of a three day weekend!  I always rant say that I'm not yet ready for a day off when MLK Jr. Day rolls around because it's so soon after the holiday break.  And that I'd much rather have Presidents' Day off in February.  That being said, um, hallelujah for MLK Jr. day off! 

Three cheers for the extra time because there is so much I want to do this weekend, rather than so much I must do, and the list involves a little bit of everything.  In the sports column, there's a Pitt men's basketball game against Syracuse on Saturday and the Quarterback Bowl AFC Championship game on Sunday.  Regarding the latter, I have this feeling the hype is way bigger than it will be for the Super Bowl.  In the food column, Matt and I are dining at a new-to-us restaurant called Matteo's as part of Pittsburgh Restaurant Week.  The menu looks incredible, so here's hoping we leave satisfied!  And the miscellaneous fun column may include a trip to the mall (holiday weekend sales, what what!), a massage (treat yo'self!), and trampolining.  Yep, trampolining.  TBD.  Say a prayer, please ;)

I told you about two new-to-me discoveries that have brought me such joy: the flat whisk and Cooks' Illustrated.  I thought I'd share a few more things I've started enjoying in the new year that you might get a kick out of, too.  Here is today's Friday Five: New (to me) things I'm loving!

1. YurBuds - I do not like change, especially when it comes to my workout essentials.  I've used the same kind of headphones (but multiple pairs) for over 10 years.  When my most recent pair played its final tune (and no longer worked with the power of rubberbands and tape), I discovered that my kind is no longer made.  After some serious research, I chose YurBuds ear buds since they got the best reviews from athletes.  My sister-in-law gifted me this pair at Christmas, and I've been using them nonstop since then.  They are truly no-slip and stay in place like a champ.  I highly recommend these!

2. Fancy Sunday brunch - Matt and I have a thing for making brunch in the comfort of our own home (and pajamas) and rarely go out for it.  For months, we've talked with friends about going out to at any of the more upscale restaurants around the city; this past weekend, we finally made it happen.  Turns out that getting dressed up and having someone else prepare your brunch is totally amazing!  We visited Savoy (in the Strip District, for you locals) and had a fantastic time.  My shrimp & grits was to die for, loaded with spicy andouille sausage, cheddar cheese, and mushrooms.  Yum!  Can't wait to see where we're headed next.

3. Friday Night Lights - A little late to the party on this one, but better late than never, right?  I recently had dinner with a friend over the holidays and, like always, we ended up talking about the latest TV addictions.  We have pretty similar taste in shows, so when Jess recommended/urged that I watch FNL, I took her advice.  One episode and I was immediately hooked.  It reminds me of Gossip Girl in that it's got a soap opera feel to it and revolves mostly around high school, but don't let that deter you.  It's got something for everyone, and I find myself alternately loving/despising so many of the characters.  P.S. Connie Britton's hair is unreal, y'all.  Deserves an Emmy of its own.

4. Canon Powershot ELPH digital camera - Matt surprised me with this for Christmas, and I can't tell you how much I'm loving it!  My previous camera was also a Canon point-and-shoot that I received in 2006 and had only 5 megapixels.  Most phones have better cameras than that little baby!  To be fair, it was good to me, but I was ready for more.  This new Canon is blowing me away, and I've barely scratched the surface of its capabilities.  I need/want to devote an entire day (morning, noon, and night for lighting purposes) to toying with it and seeing what it can do. 

5. Unique burgers - My inspiration for new recipes often begins with a classic and brainstorming ways to switch things up and make it my own.  Last year, I was all about meatballs and putting a spin on them.  So far this year, all I can think about are burgers.  I jotted down a few ideas last night, and that list turned into no less than 15 crazy ideas.  Let's just say these aren't yo' daddy's burgers.  I'm testing the first (of many) recipes this weekend, so if all goes well, look for a sizzling new burger recipe next week!

Wherever you are and whatever you're eating, hope it's fantastic :)  Happy holiday weekend, everybody!

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