Thursday, July 31, 2008

Never pay retail!

I haven't blogged in awhile...but I had good intentions of course. You know that episode of friends, "the one with...'dear diary, i'm so excited, i'm going to write in you every day.' and the rest of Rachel's diary book after that is blank." Anyhow, here goes...

I'm a thrifty (some might say cheap) shopper. I always search for amazing deals before I buy anything...and thanks to my husband I've become pretty good at negotiating better deals (flea markets, craigslist, ebay purchases). One of my recent favorite sites is and for online shopping I also use Check them out...both fantastic ways to save! The first site even has links to printable coupons for online shopping! I never pay retail. And never pay asking price. There's always a discount to be found SOMEWHERE AND SOMEHOW. And there's always places to find things use it DAILY for amazing bargains on a lot of used things. I've even started a DVD selling business because of the great deals I can find on craigslist and then resell at a local flea market at the Raleigh Fairgrounds.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Toyko...good and bad

Last week we were in the mood for hibachi so decided to try out Benihana of Toyko in Harrisburg, PA since we'd hear good things about it. (I have a house in PA and also an apartment in NC, just to clarify that I did NOT drive 6 hours just for a visit to this Benihana.) We decided to go on a Saturday night so I called on Friday night and made a reservation for the hibachi tables...6 people for 6pm. We got to the restaurant right at 6pm Saturday and I was immediately glad that I had made the reservation since there were close to 40people waiting in the lobby to be seated...I thought we were good cause we had a reservation. Apparently reservations don't mean anything at Benihana. We waited 1.25 hours for a table WITH a reservation! There were people coming in after us who were quoted with 45minute apparently it would have been faster to NOT have a reservation...I asked the manager about it and he said if we didn't have a reservation we probably wouldn't be seated at all that night and an hour plus wait with a reservation is normal. REALLY?!? I hate waiting for food. Especially BAD food. It was the worst hibachi food I've ever had...and it was EXPENSIVE! Not to mention that the service was terrible...they will definitely not be mistaken for being friendly there! The hibachi "show" was subpar, they don't fry the rice unless you ask (which we didn't know) and the steak I ordered "medium" was RARE at best...I took one bite of the bloody meat and nearly vomited...I don't like my steak rare...I couldn't finish the meal. The hibachi chef was not nice and I would barely even describe as "pleasant." We asked for soy sauce and they wouldn't take the time to get a bottle for the table, instead the chef squirted a bit from his bottle on our food. When you pay $30plus for a meal you would expect friendly service, tasty food, and a nice atmosphere. We were packed into the tables like sardines and there was no on the wall, etc. I would NEVER go back to Benihana again...not even if it was a free meal.

Little Toyko on East Maynard Rd in Cary, NC on the other hand, was one of the best dining experiences I've had in quite some time! We stumbled upon this little restaurant while on a search for a mini-golf course that we never found. However, the large SUSHI sign across the top of the mini-mall did attract our attention so we walked in for some and were VERY pleasantly surprised. The sushi was FRESH and FAST! I felt like we were in an episode of Seinfeld...but this time it was the one where Jerry is the only one in the restaurant and the owner pays attention to every detail and fills his water after every sip. Little Toyko was FANTASTIC! They brought out a free appetizer that was a seafood combo served in a beautiful shell with flames around the side. Then we had our meals and they also brought us two free spicy tuna tempura that was delicious! And after dinner brought us black bean ice cream for both of us...which Xan had to eat since I don't do the dairy thing...but I did try a little taste cause it wasn't a heavy ice cream, more icy than cream. We will definitely be going back to Little Toyko...the service and food were top notch!! We even took home some food (I always have leftovers...especially with all the free food they gave us!) and brought two pairs of chopsticks to practice! Xan and I are going to learn Mandarin this year and are hoping to make it to Asia soon after we get the Chinese language down...I'm sure its not an easy one to learn but we are both excited about it!!

Monday, February 18, 2008

WHOLEY cow I love Whole Foods!! hahh

Yummmm-o! Whole Foods is one of the greatest things about living in the south. I'm a health food nut so right away the store is number one in my book...besides that, they have the tastiest foods you will ever find...and some really unique things! For Valentine's Day, my boyfriend and I opted for a quiet evening cooking together at his house so we could avoid the crowded restaurants...we got some fresh salmon, sweet potatoes, squash, zucchini, carrots and a great bottle of white wine...and had a SUPER fantastic dinner at home that was much better than what we would have found at a restaurant (and I'm not even that great of a cook!) Of course its much cheaper to shop at a "regular" grocery store and we still do that some too (except for meat purchases...know where your meat is coming from!!...there was just another recall on beef...sad stuff)...but our weekly visit to Whole Foods is always a special time! Ohhhhh and I forgot to mention the delicious chocolate soy mousse with strawberries we had for dessert! Amazing! Being lactose-intolerant and loving chocolate is sometimes tough...but I also discovered soy ice cream this week and the chocolate is awesome! I'm heading to make a "milkshake" with chocolate soy ice cream and coffee soymilk in just a's gonna be SOY delicious!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Yada, yada, yada

I'm figuring this out...already addicted to and so why not throw in one more site I can go to daily and spend countless hours on. I never had a diary when I was younger and always regretted that so I'm going to do my best to make this my adult diary of sorts and share what's going on in my life and things I'm thinking about. I'm recalling an episode of Friends (the best show ever...I have all 10 seasons and probably watch them way too much)...the one with all the resolutions, I believe...Rachel's New Year's resolution from the previous year is to write in her diary daily...when Monica reads the first entry that says how Rachel is going to write in it every day and then the rest of the book is blank....I hope that's not how this one will go! Besides, I'm more a Phoebe than a Rachel anyhow....which means this page will be filled with a variety of experiences, stories, and questions...but that's what a blog is for afterall, right?