Tuesday, November 11, 2014

New Mall, Old Tricks

Meant to get this post up on Monday but life sometimes gets in the way, work gets busy, and shit happens. Ehhh. So I write and post when I can. It may not be every week, but I'll try and post when interesting things happen. My husband and I have joined a Meetup group and we've been playing Trivia at Buffalo Wild Wings on Wednesday nights and a new place right around the corner from our house last night. Tomorrow I'm going to a wine tasting with this group. It's also the group my husband plays poker with. For the most part, they are good people who just want to get out and do things. Same with us. It's kind of nice getting comfortable with new friends.

I had another busy weekend. On Saturday, I met my friend Christy for lunch and a day of shopping. We met up at Seasons 52, which was really delicious. Can't believe it's the same owners of Olive Garden and Red Lobster. And don't get me wrong, I love me a little American Italian and some endless shrimp. Our main goal was to check out a new mall almost halfway between our two homes (she lives in Ft. Myers). We've been waiting a year for this mall to open and I think if Tampa didn't have International Plaza, this mall would have really rocked my world. But most of the stores could be found in Tampa. There were a couple of new stores I've never seen before, such as a soap shop and olive oil shop. And I totally didn't realize I captured Christy in this pic until I went to edit it.


At Seasons 52, we started off with a special of "flights and flats" - a pretty good deal of a wine flight, a full pour, and a flatbread for $15. I had the garlic chicken and Christy had the artichoke and goat cheese.

We then moved on to scallops over lemon and butternut squash risotto and braised beef tacos (Christy said they tasted like ones she had in Mexico). We even threw in a little red mole tater tots. It all was so delicious.

We ended our fun, drunken, I'm-prepared-to-shop-now lunch with mini dessert of caramel and chocolate and a little birthday wish.

And a few more pics of the new UTC mall.

I will say it was nice to have Williams Sonoma, Crate and Barrel, and Pottery Barn all next to each other. And I found the most amazing kitchen island in Crate and Barrel. But with a price tag of $1300, it's just out of my price range.

So I found one online that's pretty similar that will probably be mine after the holidays. Our Ikea Stenstorp got pretty beat up between the two moves and I'm not really wanting to sand it down and repaint it. How's this for a close second? And $400! Ahh, marble. My master kitchen plan - marble, marble, marble.

Christy and I didn't get through all of the new mall before we realized how much we wanted to go outlet shopping (I blame our thrift store days from when we were kids - we loved going "thrifting"). So we headed about 10 minutes north to Ellenton Outlet Mall where I purchased my very first Le Creuset 4.5 quart round French oven. These things are super expensive and quite the investment with a lifetime warranty. Luckily there was a 50% off table of clearance/discontinued items. I bought my new favorite piece for a third of the original cost. I'm in love! I've already made a mustard chicken thigh dish that I found on Pinterest. Husband loved the dish. And the cleanup - just soak for 10 mins and all food comes off. Amazing! Next up, Pinterest easy bread recipe. I did have to buy a new knob because the one it came with could only go into a 375 degree oven. I needed a knob that could handle 500 degrees.

And then this little baby came home with me, too. Ooooppsie. And I noticed something walking into Kate Spade vs. Michael Kors. The Kate Spade store seems very classy and put together. The prices were amazing (40% off + another 25%), whereas the Michael Kors store seemed cluttered and cheap. And their prices weren't much different than retail. I just don't understand how this brand got so big and overrated. Some of their stuff is nice, but I'll take a Kate Spade bag any day over Michael Kors.


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