My Awesomely Random Life (and Everything in Between)

Posts tagged ‘Party’

Why it’s OKAY to be single during the holidays

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Imagine this.

You’re at a family member’s house. They’re throwing a grand Chrismakwanukkah/New Year’s shindig, and because you don’t want to look completely anti-social, sitting alone in a corner talking to yourself about bills that are due and clothes that need to be washed, you attempt to make small talk. You approach your aunt or second cousin once removed, and after brief introductory conversation, the first thing that comes out of one of their mouth is,

“So…are you seeing anyone?”

There it is.

You knew it was inevitable.

It’s that one question that everyone may not want to ask per say, but it’s the one question that they seem to always want the answer to.

I hate this question. Like, enough-to-spit-out-a-quick-answer-or-circle-around-it-altogether-moving-onto-the-next-forced-question-which-is-most-likely-something-like- “Hasn’t this weather been crazy?”-or-“How about that Aaron Rodgers?”-hate.

Here’s what I’d like to say:

Actually, I’m very happy being single at the moment. I recently started a new job and am living in a new city; it’s been a blast just being able to meet people and make new friends. I’m not on the hunt for a boyfriend right now, but if a guy with the personality of Jimmy Fallon and the looks of Chris Hemsworth walks into my life (or bookstore—there’s nothing more sexy than a guy who reads, am I right, ladies?), I am totally open to seeing where things go.

Here’s what I actually end up saying:

Um…uh..well…the thing is…

Smooth, Wendi. Real smooth.

I hate this question because one, I don’t really have a one-word answer. And two, since when has my singledom, or anyone else’s for that matter, defined who I am? Who anyone is?

I’m turning the big 2-8 in a few months and realize that I am at the age now where a lot most of my friends from grade school, high school and college are getting married or popping out little kiddos. And honestly, I couldn’t be happier for them. I actually cannot wait till I get to that point in my life when I find the man of my dreams, settle down, and start a family.

It’s also a time of year where everywhere you look, couples are sharing cups of hot chocolate, cozzying up by the fireplace, and kissing under the mistletoe. The holidays do bring about an air of romance and love, if not for the super sexy onesie pajamas that are a must-wear, then it’s the beautiful snow landscapes that are reminiscent of any Fabio book cover.

Plus, the with the holidays comes many a party and get-together. And with these parties and get-togethers comes the opportunity to reconnect with old friends and meet some really great new people. You never know what could happen (especially if you happen to be wearing one of those super cute onesies). I think you should always be open to meeting someone special, to forming a relationship and maybe even falling in the “L” word.

But I also think it’s okay to be a bit selfish.

You need and deserve time to focus on yourself.

To discover your passions and talents and goals and dreams outside of anybody else.

After all, you want to make sure that when you do enter a relationship, you’re the best possible version of yourself that you can be.

Right?

Right.

So ladies–and gents–this year, I give you full permission to be single and ready to mingle (and jingle all the way)!

But if you happen to run into a Jimmy Fallon/Chris Hemsworth mashup in your local bookstore…give me directions to that bookstore STAT!

Soup-er Bowl Sunday

Hey guys!

Happy Super Bowl Sunday!

Although my Packers are not in the running this year, a fact that I am still a bit ill towards, I am looking forward to a good match up between the Patriots and the Giants. And yes, even though Eli and the rest of the Giants were the ones to defeat the Pack in the playoffs, I have to say I would like to see them take it all this year. They were number four going into the playoffs and ended up earning their way to the championships, the game of all games, the Super Bowl. I have always been a fan of the underdog and really think they deserve it. And let’s face it, Mr. Eli Manning is a total cutie-pa-tutie (Tom Brady, who?).

Whether you are planning on watching the big game for the actual game, the amazeballs commercials, or the half-time show (Madonna is said to perform this year. Umm…yeah. My thoughts exactly.), food is most likely going to be a key ingredient in your night’s festivities.

Now THAT is super!

Just a few fun Super Bowl food facts for you:

  • Did you know that Super Bowl Sunday is the second largest day of food consumption behind Thanksgiving?
  • The most popular delivery or take-out items on Super Bowl Sunday are pizza, chicken wings, and sub sandwiches.
  • Speaking of pizza, Dominos delivery men will log about 4 million miles delivering pies today.
  • An astounding 14,500 tons of chips and 4,000 tons of popcorn are pummeled while watching the big game. In fact, football fans prefer to eat dips and spreads at football-watching parties more than any other food. That must explain why 69.6 million pounds of avocados are expected to be eaten during tonight’s Super Bowl. Holy guacamole, Batman!
  • According to 7-eleven, antacid sales increase as much as 20% the day after the Super Bowl. Hmm…I wonder why?

If you’re like me, one of the best parts of any Super Bowl party is the food. To be honest, I haven’t always felt this way. Can you believe that my ever nasty ‘roommate’ ED made me turn down invitations to parties because I was nervous about all of the yummy food that would be there? She would suggest that I simply say I was sick or had other plans. Can you believe her? How could she even suggest such a thing? I mean, I wanted to be with my family. I wanted to hang out with my friends. Why would a silly thing like food stop me from doing that? From living my life? And the lies? Really? Hadn’t she had enough of those? If she continued to stay on the path she was, ED was going to have a nose so long, she would put Pinocchio to shame. Oh who am I kidding; that is just what ED does. She has her Ph.D in control and manipulation, after all. ED turned every social event and made it all about the food. If there was any way a chance of there being something on that darn “No-No” list of hers, she sent me in a frenzy of panic and worry.

A lot of times, she kept me at home, sad and alone, away from the fun or being with my friends and family. “You may think you are sad and alone,” she would say, “but you have me. And, you are better than them anyway. You don’t need to stuff your face with junk food at parties. Perfect people don’t do that and you, my dear, are on the quest for perfection.” Ugh. How and why did I listen to that? If I did decide to grow a pair and refuse to listen to ED and go to that party or get-together, she would rebel and not allow me to have any fun. She would whip out her evil-queen magic, putting a spell on me of sorts, putting me in a trance. I was there, and yes I may have been smiling and seeming to have fun and enjoying the experience, but I wasn’t really all there. ED made food the focus once again. She made me think about what others were thinking of me the focus. She did everything she could to convince me not to ever put myself in a situation like that again.

Well I am happy to say that I have finally ‘grown a pair’. I am not going to let ED control me anymore and this year, I AM going to a Super Bowl party and I AM going to pig out on chipssalsachilicookiescandypizzaandallthingsdelicious and I AM going to have fun gosh darn it! Take that, miss ED!

One of my all-time favorite Super Bowl treats, as well as just a regular Wednesday night treat, is chili. Now when it comes to chili, my Grandpa Hansen is King. Growing up, trips to grandma and grandpa’s house usually always involved big pots of the infamous soup. You could smell the tomatoes and spices as you walked in the front door, a delicious precursor of what was to come. The thing about my grandpa’s chili was that it was different every time he made it; he didn’t have a specific recipe that he followed but you could always count on it being a bowl (or in my case, three) that instantly warmed your belly and your heart.

I can never trump my grandpa’s chili, and I would never try to, but I have a recipe that I want to share with you all that is almost just as good. Not only is it easy and inexpensive to make, but you can change it up and add/take out your favorite ingredients to make it your own. Plus, what goes better with Super Bowl Sunday than a little soup?

So…here we go.
First, chop a gigantic onion (have the tissues ready) as well as a big red bell pepper, eight cloves of garlic (you heard me…eight!) and a jalapeno pepper.
Saute everything in two tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil over medium/low heat.
After about five minutes, add a pound of lean ground turkey to the mix. You could also use sirloin/beef, or even chicken works great! Feel free to mix it up a bit.
Cook until the meat has browned, about eight minutes. Stir baby stir! Then, add 2 tbsp chili powder, more if you like it HOT HOT HOT.
One tbsp ground cumin.
Two tbsp brown sugar.
One tsp oregano.
And three tbsp tomato paste. No need for anything fancy here. Good ‘ol Hunts is fine and dandy.
Cook for one minute, stirring constantly.
Then, here’s a secret ingredient that really makes it special (my grandpa didn’t have this in his chili, not that I know of anyway) add 1 1/4 cup red wine (I used my mom’s leftover Zinfandel, but Merlot or Cabernet or…whatever you got is fine) or your favorite beer. Don’t worry, most of it cooks off and you can’t even taste the alcoholiness of the beverage–which if you’re like me who hates the taste of anything alcohol, you will love. I turned my nose up at the idea at first but trust me, it adds just a little extra somethin-somethin to the chili. Of course you don’t have to add any if you don’t want to and it will still taste amazeballs!
Two large cans crushed tomatoes.
Two normal sized cans of kidney beans, drained and rinsed.
It should smell deeeeelicious. Give the pot one final stir, bring to a simmer and then cover and cook for one hour, stirring occasionally. After the hour is up, remove cover and continue to simmer for another 30 minutes before serving. I like to serve my chili with noodles….that’s how my grandpa always made it for us when we were kids! Also, this chili gets a lot better the longer it sits. Even though I love it on day one, it tastes even better the third time around…you know?
Grab a spoon, some saltine crackers and have a greeeaatttt Soup-er Bowl Sunday!

Party Like it’s 1999

Happy New Years everybody! Can you believe it is already 2012?! Seriously, where did this past year go? And just when I was just getting used to writing 2011 on all my checks, too.

Did you do anything fun to celebrate last night? I rang in 2012 with one of the bestest people I know…my little sister. A group of us all headed to downtown Atlanta for some pre-party dinner. We stopped at this really eclectic and funky joint called Yeah! Burger and it was sooooo D-lish! They specialize in, well, burgers (who’d a thunk by the name of the place, right?) but what makes it unique is that everything is all organic and eco-friendly. Even the straws were made from plant material. Pretty cool, huh? I had the chicken sandwich with extra pickles (which were homemade and the size of my head–pretty awesome if you ask me) and tomatoes and oh my stars, was is amazeballs! I am definitely making a repeat trip there very soonly.

Yummy in my tummy!

Afterwards, we all went back to my sister’s boyfriend’s house and partied it up (and when I say partied it up, I mean rocked out to some Billy Joel, Prince and The Beatles, played crazy amounts of card games and ate and drank ourselves silly). Not a bad way to end the year, if I do say so myself.

Question of the day:

How did you all spend your New Year’s Eve? And more importantly, are you still feeling the effects of all your late-night festivities? 😉

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