Thursday, December 10, 2009

Bento Sushi Cafe - New Restaurant in Jacksonville

There is a new Pan Asian restaurant in Jacksonville that is getting a thumbs up from me. My husband and I are always in the St John's Town Center area (as there are such few nice shopping malls in Jacksonville) and when we were there last night we thought we would check out the Bento Sushi Cafe as he was craving sushi and I was just hoping to find some noodles. Well we found so much more! The atmosphere is great with a very urban decor. The food is well priced.. we both ate meal plates and 1 appetizer for around $20 + tip. You order before you sit and they bring the food to your table so service was speedy but good. It is located right next to mochi if you want to get some healthy frozen yogurt late :)

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

CNN Heroes 2009

Watched CNN Heroes 2009 this thanksgiving with my family and I was just amazed at the people who were nominated. It is really amazing to see people rise from tragedy to do good for themselves and others without wanting anything in return. I know when I finished watching it I was googling the names of the nominees that touched me the most to see how I could contribute and help out. Contribution for most of these organizations can come in various forms including monetary donations, time contribution or just providing a skill/asset that they could beneift from.

Here are the CNN Hero Organizations I am presently researching:

1. Doc Hendley - Wine to Water Campaign
Providing clean water to communities worldwide. Attempting to setup sustainable water systems in less fortunate countries. Has already been involved in proving water to more than 25,000 people in five countries.
To Help:

To order wine for yourself you can call 1.888.446.3569. They are hoping to be selling wine online

2. Jorge Munoz - An Angel in Queens

This school bus driver and his family provide food to hungry New Yorkers
helping them make it through tough times. Since 2004, he has handed out more than 70,000 free meals from his mobile soup kitchen.

Here is their website if you would like to send items or donate money.

3. Andrea Ivory - Florida Breast Health Initiative

This is an outreach program dedicated to educating women about the importance of
breast health and providing them with the resources to beat the disease.
They provide free breast health awareness, education and screening through mobile mammography vans that go door to door targeting under served women.
This group has provided more than 500 free screenings in Miami, Florida.

To Help:

4. Betty Makoni - Girl Child Network
Provides a safe place for young victims of sexual abuse from the 'virgin myth'.
These girls are victims of a widely held belief that if a man with HIV or AIDS rapes a virgin he will be cured of his disease. This so-called virgin myth, perpetuated by Zimbabwe's traditional healers, has led to the rape of hundreds of girls, according to UNICEF. The girl child network is attempting to educate people about the myth and has rescued more than 35,000 girls since 2001

To Help:

Monday, November 30, 2009

Cyber Monday Shopping? Is anybody actually doing this?

I came back to my computer today after a whole weekend of blogging withdrawal! It is amazing how much you can miss in a couple of days especially with thanksgiving, black friday and now Cyber Monday all over the internet. I have spent the morning looking around for some great 'Cyber Monday' deals and so far have been very disappointed. It seems that Cyber Monday was created by retail marketers as another day to bring in the money that they did not squeeze out of people by the end of black friday! I have been trying to find a good deal for a laptop for my husband and so far nothing has been out of the ordinary. Sites like Dell, Walmart and HP had all advertised great laptops on sale however when further researched they are either rejected computers that will never sell or limited quantity product so only the first 2 people who went to the website got that deal yet! What about everybody else? Seen any real deals out there?

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

I am thankful for

Everyone thinks about this as we get closer to thanksgiving..and this year due to the economy and tough times we are thankful for the simple things in life. I know I am thankful for my husband, sister, family & friends, our home, my job, my husband's job, dinner on the table every night and every moment of my life this year :)

Happy Thanksgiving Everybody!!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Barefoot Contessa's Thanksgiving Turkey

I love watching the food network channel!! I am amazed at how creative people can get with meals. My husband and I are foodies so we have recently started watching those shows together and then experimenting with our meals. Since neither one of us is working on Thursday we have decided to have a small thanksgiving dinner at our house with some friends. In my attempt to be very adventurous we will be making Barefoot Contessa Thanksgiving Turkey!! I have the episode saved on my DVR and plan to follow it step by step. If any of you would like to check out the recipe or try it out yourself here you go: Barefoot Contessa Turkey . Please let me know if you tried and how your experience was?

Monday, November 23, 2009

Free Samples/Freebies that take less than 30 seconds to sign up for sample

Once in a while I like searching through all the mess of samples sites out there and finding the best ones that I will regularly check for the next couple of weeks to come. I find they tend to contain a lot of garbage and samples that require a 5 min registration process just to receive a free newsletter! So I am wondering if it would be useful to others if we could collect just samples that require less than a 1 min sample request process with none to very simple registration? Here are some that I was able to find today that were quick to receive samples from:

Please let me know if you find any I missed or if you found this blog entry helpful and would like more of these :)

Friday, November 20, 2009

Top 2 For the Weekend - St. Johns Town Center Holiday Festival and India Fest going on this weekend

Deciding what you want to do this weekend should hopefully be the toughest choice you make. There are various events going on throughout Jacksonville so after some thumbing around I think I have chosen my Top 2 for the weekend of Nov 20th.

I love Christmas .. the happy people, the music, the food, the presents, the consumer behavior, the joy and sharing. So of course how could I even think of missing the St John's Town Center Holiday Festival with Lighting of the Great Tree Event going on all day on Nov 21,2009. From what I have heard and read it should be a great time for adults, kids and adults like me who are kids at heart. The are boasting a family kids zone, Beer Gardens and “American Idol” Winner
Taylor Hicks!! Here is the Full Schedule and List of Special offers that I printed out for coupons including my favorite free chicken lettuce wraps by PF Changs! YUM!

Food is a big decision maker when it comes to picking what I do on my weekends. I tend to consider what I feel like eating, what we haven't eaten in a while and of course the new food trend I am following that month. So since I have been on a recent kick to try out Exotic Asian Foods (stemming from my current obsession with the Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern TV Show on the travel channel) I thought I would give my taste buds an adventure by going to India Fest this weekend. India Fest is being held on Nov 21,2009 from 1:00PM to 9:00PM at the Metropolitan Park. The Festival has been advertising authentic Indian delicacies from all over India as well live entertainment including traditional folk dances. From my research on the Indian culture I have found that various regions in India add completely different spices and ingredients to their meals so I am hoping our pallets get to travel all over India at this festival.

If you decide to go to one of my Top 2's or pick something else.. have a great weekend!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Top 10 things to do in Jacksonville While On Vacation

I have been reading various questions online about what people should do when they visit Jacksonville, Florida for vacation. Whenever my husband and I have guest visits, I go online and try to see what others recommend. I found TripAdvisor to be helpful but lacked the local touch. So here is my insider tips based on my family/friends opinions that have visited Jacksonville:

1. St. Augustine - I know what you are thinking, why is the top item on what to do in Jacksonville not really in Jacksonville :) Well Jacksonville is the largest city in size in Florida. This means that to go from one point of interest to another it can take you up to 30/45 minutes. Which is how long it will take you to get from Duval County Jacksonville to St Augustine (the oldest continuously occupied European established city, and the oldest port, in the continental United States) so I consider it part of the Jacksonville package. You can spend an entire 3/4 day vacation just in St Augustine if you do all the tours and points of interest. But even if you decide to go cheap and just walk around this place is great. You should park near the main gates of St. George Street and leads you through the historical area. There are signs everywhere so you should not miss any of the main highlights. Great place for little shops, restaurants as well as historic sites. The fort is pretty cool too. More Info
2.Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens - if you have kids, are just a kid at heart or just love animals this is not a zoo you want to miss. I have been to zoos all over the country including the very large and famous San Diego zoo but I think this one is the best in human/animal interaction. You get to see large animals up close including my favorites the giraffes, elephants and monkeys. They generally have discounts too so check out their website before you go. Jacksonville Zoo
3. St. Johns Town Center - Great place for shopping. You can spend a whole day going from the big box stores like DSW (great shoes) to expensive brand names like Louis Vuitton (great bags) while snacking at their large array of restaurants and ice cream shops. For ice cream I recommend Kilwins near Pf Changs. For frozen yogurt there is a new place just opened called Mochi Frozen Yogurt(they let you try out their favored yogurts.. yum). They are located near Toys R Us and Best Buy. Here are some reviews from it on yelp Insider tip: they charge by weight so be careful what you put in that bowl :)
4. Little Talbot Island State Park - There is a great trail on here that winds four miles through five distinct natural communities, including maritime hammock, beach dune, and depression marsh and finishes its last mile and a quarter with a breathtaking stroll on the sandy beach. My husband and I have done it several and always seen some wildlife. A leisurely stroll will take you about 2.5 hours and we recommend it anytime between August and March. I find it gets pretty hot in the summer. Bring water bottles :)
5. Atlantic Beach/Jacksonville Beach- Both of these beaches have a great area to walk around, relax on the beach, eat at the near by restaurants and always have something going on.
6. MOSH - This is a great spot if you have kids. I find the exhibit fun and more geared towards kids then adults. For Hours and Pricing
7. The Landing - it is located right next to the river and the outside river area is pretty fun to walk around and get good views of downtown Jacksonville waterfront. I would recommend to do this in the day time if you have kids because the area turns into more of a party zone at night.
8. Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens - I have never been here myself but some of my friends were visiting me and went down here and had a good time. It is free on Tuesdays.
9. Amelia Island/FERNANDINA - This is about 1 hour away from Jacksonville and is only recommended for people who like antiquing and little shops. My husband and I went there one day, it is not something we would do again, but we took one of my aunts up there when she was visiting and she had a blast. So depends on the person here.
10. Mellow Mushroom - This is more than a restaurant and I think it deserves a placement in the top 10 things to do in Jacksonville. This is great for people of all ages that love pizza. They have great quality pizza with a fun atmosphere for kids in the daytime and live music, addictive beer samplers in the night time :) I have gone here with my girlfriends, family and on a date with my husband and it has always been memorable. Great Food makes a Great Vacation!!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

My favorite romantic quotes

My husband and I are celebrating our one year anniversary in a couple of days so I thought I would make him a calendar of our pictures to have at work. I was trying to come up with ideas of what to do to decorate the calendar and decided to go with quotes and drawings. After some lessons on the slow drying capabilities of glitter glue I have the whole thing completed!! Pretty proud of the thing :) here are some of my favorite quotes (mostly from movies) that I used:

If I tell you I love you, can I keep you forever?
-- Casper

What do you want to be married to me for, anyhow? So I can kiss you anytime I want.
-- sweet home alabama

It doesn't matter if the guy is perfect or the girl is perfect, as long as they are perfect for each other.
-- Good Will Hunting

When you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.
-- When Harry Met Sally

You are 90% of the reason I get out of bed in the morning. The other 10% is because I have to pee.

You make me happier than I ever thought I could be and if you let me I will spend the rest of my life trying to make you feel the same way.

I love being married. It's so great to find one special person you want to annoy for the rest of your life.

“I love you. You… complete me.” - Jerry Maguire

A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, and always with the same person.

"Life is not the amount of breaths you make, it's the moments that take your breath away."

"Take love, multiply it by infinity and take it to the depths of forever.. and you still have only a glimpse of how I feel for you."

I’m scared of walking out of this room and never feeling the rest of my whole life the way I feel when I’m with you

I guarantee there'll be tough times. I guarantee that at some point, one or both of us is gonna want to get out of this thing. But I also guarantee that if I don't ask you to be mine, I'll regret it for the rest of my life, because I know, in my heart, you're the only one for me.

When they ask me what I liked best, I'll tell them it was you." - City Of Angels

Dont say we aren't right for each other, the way i see it is.. we aren't right for anyone else

--the cutting edge

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Kohls Sale Coupon Code

There is a 50% sale going on at Kohls. I am a big fan of this store. I tend to only shop there when there is a sale and end up buying work outfits (especially shirts and dresses) that range between $7 to $15. I have one near my work so it tends to be a great lunch break de-stresser for me. I feel guilty about buying expensive clothes when money is tight so I just head to kohls.. spend 45 mins looking through the 70/80% off racks and always leave satisfied with my deal of the day :) Anyways, I get there coupon code emails so thought I would share with my readers. Coupon Code: HOLIDAYHOME

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Dinner at Cinqo De Mayo Restaurant

My husband and I like to pick a weekday each week and go out on a date night. We find things are cheaper on the weekdays with fewer lines and you end up getting better service. So this week we decided to be a bit adventurous and head into downtown Jacksonville in the search for a special meal. We ended up in jacksonville landing known for its great views and average restaurants. The landing I hear used to be a great place to visit but now due to the economy is going through tough times. The sky was beautiful with thin clouds and we chose to walk on the 'blue' bridge to get a closer feel of the water. This led to a need to fulfill the hollow feeling my belly with some delicious foodies. After much menu scoping we settled for the mexican restaurant with water front dinning Cinqo De Mayo. The experience started off well with scrumptious (and free) chips and salsa. They have $1.99 draft beers which would have been a good choice but we settled for margaritas which although on the menu were $3.99 we were charged $5.50. No biggie.. we are pretty understanding about inflation ;) The food however was quite disappointing. Very bland and simple with no distinctive flavors which they seem to accommodate by low prices and unlimited nachos. 2 pulgares derriban cinqo de mayo :(

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

First Blog From Jacksonville Flordia

Blogging? That’s a new concept. I keep hearing about all these great bloggers writing about things they love. Got me thinkin. What should I contribute to this world? What knowledge do I have that is unique and actually worth reading about.. or maybe not some days. My life? Sure, lets start there. Just moved to Jacksonville Florida and have spent the last couple of months trying to discover what people here do, live, eat, etc. So I will start by writing about what I do and hopefully others will provide in with suggestions.