Friday, January 3, 2014

Friday Favorites

Time for an installment of "Friday Favorites"!  Here are just a few things that I've been loving lately.

Favorite #1: Bottomless Steak Fries from Red Robin

Red Robin is a new addition to our local mall.  The service is really hit or miss as we've had one server who was rarely around and another who was attentive and definitely earned herself a good tip.  The food is also not consistent, but the one thing that has been good each time is the bottomless steak fries!  I'm ADDICTED to fries; I used to purposely order meals if they came with a side of fries when I was a teenager before I realized you can just do a substitution.  Silly me.  Red Robin works out well because I sometimes prefer steak fries, and we all know that steak fries have delicious potato-y goodness inside.  It's not uncommon for me to focus on the fries instead of my meal since I tend to bring half my entree home anyway for the next day!

Our previous experience was a GREAT one as our server brought a basket of extra fries for each of us and included some Campfire Sauce.

If you read any of the books by Laura Ingalls Wilder, you know that rather than writing "The family sat down and ate dinner," she would go into such detail about what was eaten and how.  I've never seen such descriptive food writing ever!  Can you imagine what she would have written if she were still alive and had a food blog?!  I'd be checking for updates every 15 minutes!

In Farmer Boy, there's one particular scene where Almanzo and one of his sisters Alice were doing some chores outside when Manzo figures it must be dinner because he's famished.  Unfortunately for him, it's only mid-morning, so his father tells him to put a potato in the ashes to bake.  He makes two of them so that his sister can have one as well.  As he stands there waiting for it to cook, he suddenly hears a loud sound as one of the potatoes bursts and hits him in the face!  It's extremely painful for him, of course.  After his father makes sure that his eye is okay even though his eyelid and cheek are burned, he says that Alice should eat her potato since it was his that had burst.  Alice replies that Manzo should eat it instead because he's injured.  In the end, they decide to split the potato in half.  They stand there in the cold gnawing on half a potato, and Laura Ingalls Wilder wrote one of my favorite parts of ALL the books that I've ever read in my ENTIRE LIFE.
The potato was burned black outside, but the inside was white and mealy and a most delicious baked-potato smell steamed out of it. They let it cool a little, and then they gnawed the inside out of the black crust, and it was the best potato they had ever eaten.
Isn't that just the most beautiful excerpt of literature ever written?  That part has stuck with me since I first read this book in 3rd grade at school, and a good potato always makes me think of the word "mealy" even though it can sometimes be used with a negative connotation when describing food items.  However, when it's paired up with the word "potato," I see it as the highest compliment one could give ... to a potato.

Well, Red Robin's bottomless steak fries are definitely "white and mealy" in the same way that it was for Almanzo and Alice.   

Favorite #2: Sally Hansen Hard as Nails Xtreme Wear in Red Carpet

It's been months since I took the time to paint my nails.  I actually took the time to do my nails more often when I was busy with work during the last school year, so I thought that trend would continue.  Alas, I got a bit lazy with it.  In the past, I'd paint them at the end of the day before bed so that they'd have time to harden overnight, but because it's been so cold out, I've had to take the time to dry my hair completely instead.  I decided that it's about time I got back into doing my nails especially since I have quite a lot of polish from all the CVS sales and deals!

One of the more recent shades that I purchased was this Sally Hansen one in Red Carpet.  I have a bunch of this kind, and it works really well on me.  It lasts a good amount of time without chipping and maybe just minimal tip wear as with all polishes, but what I love about them is that I typically don't have an issue taking the color off whereas I might have to use a second piece of a remover-soaked cottonball to get other brands off my nails.

I decided to use this for my toenails because the purple I had on beforehand was almost completely gone!  I'm surprised that it did last for as long as it did.  Since I didn't do my nails for Christmas, I didn't get a chance to use this red.  It is SO pretty!  It has red sparkle in it so it reminds me of Dorothy's ruby red slippers in The Wizard of Oz.  I'd post a picture of it, but it's on my toes!  I don't think it's right to have a photo of bottomless fries above and then my feet below.  Besides, this is one of those polish colors that doesn't seem to be captured very well in swatches.  I just did a quick Google image search, and none of them look as nice as what it really looks like in real life.  This was the perfect color to use to get me back into loving all the different shades and choices!  Now it's time to find an opportunity to do a manicure and let it dry!

Favorite #3: Christmas Blanket

Howard and I got our new blanket this past Christmas Eve when we celebrated with my mom's side of the family.  My Aunt Daisy and Uncle Larry bought these super warm blankets for each of the married couples in my generation, so we got one as did my brother and his wife and my cousin and his wife.  It was really funny because my cousin Tyler wrapped them up and said we had to be together to open it, and we had to go in order.

We understood why after we started!  My cousin and his wife did theirs first, and then we saw that underneath, Tyler had run out of wrapping papers, so he stacked them up!  Ours was in the middle, so the top portion didn't have wrapping paper on it.  It was definitely a clever way to get three massive items wrapped up for Christmas, and we had such a laugh when we saw it!

The blanket was such an appropriate gift during this FREEZING COLD season especially since we don't seem to get much heat in our apartment this year as opposed to last year.  We actually have our duvet from IKEA on our bed (the green circles), our extra duvet cover (the black and gray), and now our new blanket all on our bed.  It is SO much warmer now because it has some weight to it so it traps the heat in without having to wrap ourselves in the blanket as if we were in a cocoon.

Ever since we started using it, we've been much happier at night, and it doesn't take me as long to fall asleep since I get warmer much faster.  Speaking of falling asleep, it's about time I do that now!  Hope you all had a happy Friday!

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