Category Archives: Booze

My Broke Weekend

If you’re going to be broke (haha! as if you chose this life), Columbia is a great place for it!  There’s all sorts of fun/cheap/free things to do on the weekends.  I’m saving my cash for a new laptop (the screen on mine is about to go buh bye), so I really couldn’t afford to be spendy this weekend.

Luckily…I didn’t have to be!  🙂

I woke up Saturday just in time to head out the door for my favorite afternoon activity…tasting lots of wonderful wine!

But wait...there's MORE!
But wait…there’s MORE!

Where is this magical place, you ask?  Cellar on Greene!  By day, it’s a wine shop;  By night, it’s a restaurant/wine bar.  Any time of day, it’s one of my favorite places to be!  🙂

Every other Saturday afternoon from 12:00-2:00, they host a giant wine tasting. You can try 30 or so different wines from all over the world for $5.  The charge is waived if you buy 2 bottles…and trust me, you’ll want to leave with at least two.  The good news is, a lot of the featured bottles are fairly inexpensive, with some priced at a mere $9.

Meet Kaitlin, the Manager/Wine Snob!  :)
Meet Kaitlin, the lovely Manager/Wine Snob! 🙂

The staff is super-knowledgeable and is more than happy to help you pick out your new fave vino!

...anyone can use a little help with a list this long!  :)
Anyone can use a little help with a list this long! 🙂
Wine Buddies!
Wine Buddies!

After getting my early afternoon drink on, I mosied on over to Drip Coffee to finish my review of Boeing Boeing for Jasper Magazine.   This is one of my favorite places to hang out and blog/write.  🙂

Ahhhh...the life of a theatre critic!
Ahhhh…the life of a theatre critic!

Looooook at the delicious beverage I happily consumed.  LOOK AT IT!  🙂

Nonfat Vanilla Latte of the Gods!
Nonfat Vanilla Latte of the Gods!

With my review written and my editor pleased, I had to hurry up and get ready for my monthly Supper Club.

Here’s the dealio:   Once a month, my closest group of friends gets together at someone’s house (it rotates every month).  The host/s get to choose whatever theme they want, and everyone has to cook a dish that goes with said theme.  The weirdest ones to date are:  Must have the letter Q in the name, Squares, and Fancy Sandwiches.  🙂

This month’s theme was Vegetarian (in honor of our herbivore out-of-town guests!).

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There’s a lot to love about this arrangement.  Once a month, we’re all guaranteed a MASSIVE delicious meal, and all we have to do is make one dish/bring our own booze.  This is waaaay cheaper/more fun than going to a restaurant!  🙂

Sunday was lovely and laid-back with an afternoon visit to USC’s Horseshoe.  A puppy play date with pals was in order!  🙂

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The University of South Carolina campus is really pretty.  Since I’m now majorly in debt from the education I received there, I feel totally free to loiter at will.  🙂  A completely free fun afternoon?  Yes please!  🙂



Better Pay = Better Work?

I recently had a conversation with an interesting group of people about what was making their work lives harder and lamer than they needed to be.  No opportunity for advancement, No staff training, and No recognition for a job well done were mentioned right away.

Oh Yeah!  Immaboutta lay some First World Problems on ya!
Oh Yeah! I”m about to lay some First World Problems all ovah y’all!  🙂

“What about No salary increases?”, I asked.  The room went silent, until a woman who makes more than twice my salary said, “But that doesn’t affect how you do your job!”

"Now go away, you filthy beggar!  Shoo!"
“Now go away, you filthy beggar! Shoo!”

I was flabbergasted.  People who don’t have to worry about money don’t seem to understand what it’s like for those who do.  Now…I’m not saying that just because you’ve been in a job for X years you should automatically get a pay bump.  But…if you’ve been in a job for X years, have done an awesome job of it, are doing the same level of work as your higher-paid counterparts, and your company/organization can afford it, then dammit…you should.  Because being underpaid/undervalued does affect how you do your job.

Here’s how:

Morale:  There are few things more disheartening than finding out you’re the lowest-paid plebe in your department…even though you’re putting in the same amount of work at the same skill level as everyone else.  For a few years you’ll probably try to move up through extra hard work and dedication, but without monetary compensation, you’ll probably start looking for a new job that’s more rewarding.  And if your staff has a bunch of people who are feeling the same way, whether good or bad, that mentality will take over the whole workplace.  Unhappy workers don’t deliver the same quality of work as those who feel satisfied with their work environments.

low morale can lead to terrible reading Dilbert.  :/
low morale can lead to terrible things…like reading Dilbert. :/

Stress:  Once you realize you’re stuck in a dead-end job with no hope of anything better coming your way, you’re gonna get stressed.  Searching for a new job is a pain in the ass and having to come in to your soul-sucking job day after day after day after…(you get the idea) until you can leave will make you pissed and cranky.  Being poor in itself is another stressor.  If you’re constantly worrying about how you’re going to keep the heat on that month (while your coworker brags about her new Manolo Blahniks) your probably going to have a hard time focusing on your work.   Stress can also make you more likely to flip out at your coworkers or nearby inanimate objects.

Office space flip out
Of COURSE there’s gonna be an Office Space reference!

Health and Nutrition:  Your income guides what food/health choices you make, too.  If you can’t afford to go to the doctor, you’ll probably end up staying home for a couple of extra days to use what sick leave you have, rather than get the antibiotics that could make you feel better (and get you back to work) in a much shorter time.  If you can’t afford fresh produce (that will spoil quickly), you might opt instead for frozen TV Dinners and Ramen Noodles…considerably less healthy options that can leave you more susceptible to illness and fatigue.

Hell...Hot Dogs are $2.99 for a 24 pack at Aldi! Veggies are for suckers!
Hell…Hot Dogs are $2.99 for a 24 pack at Aldi! Veggies are for suckers!

Increased Alcohol Consumption:  I mean…well…that’s what works for me.  😉  And fortunately the nice peeps at Za’s offer $1 off wine at Happy Hour…which means I can meet up with a fave gal pal after work for some $3 house Cab.  Not shabby for a young (hopeful) up-and-comer.  Someday.  *Sigh*

Trust me. It helps.
They even have a sweet outdoor fireplace! 🙂 So cozy!


Hermiting in Style

When you’re broke, you don’t always get to go out on the town as much as you’d like (as in every night).  But what can you do to make staying in not suck?

A Google Image Search of the word “Hermit” will give you a page flooded with this:

hermit1 hermit hermit2 hermit3

It doesn’t have to be that way, my friends!

As my friends and followers of my other blog know, I have a very active social life.  I love being out and about!  I dig meeting new people and chatting it up with my pals over (many) cocktails.

See? I heart fancy booze too!

As the weather gets colder, my desire to socialize is frequently overruled by my desire to stay in.  Night.  After Night.  After Night.  At first I was ashamed.  Am I becoming a social leper?  But then I realized:  from a broke standpoint, this is probably the best way to save money.  If you think hermiting is a nasty hang, you’re doing it wrong.

I’m just adding this pic to maintain your interest. Is it working?

How can one stay in and be just as content as you would be going out?


Hermiting in Style!!!!

Here’s how:

1.  Clean up your nasty home, loser.  Seriously.  If you’re going to be stuck at home, why not make it a little less gross?    Wash those moldy dishes!  Toss out that mountain of junk mail!  Sweep up those tumbleweeds of cat hair!

You will never be comfy here.

You might be amazed at how much more welcoming your home will be to you when it’s not disgusting.

2.  Set the mood.  I recently went to a new bar where the owner asked me what I liked the most.  My answer?  “The ambiance.”  He told me this is what most people pointed out first.  You don’t have to go out for ambiance.  Don’t you deserve the same pleasant atmosphere at home that you expect in your fave neighborhood tavern?

When you’re done hermiting, check out The Kraken Gastropub.

The first thing I do when I get home from work is light some candles, burn some incense and pour my hardworking self a glass of wine.   Ahhhhhh….

Come on in.  Just kidding.  I'm hermiting.  Get the hell out of my home.
Come on in. Just kidding. I’m hermiting. Get the hell out of my home.

Ambiance isn’t expensive either.  Go to the Dollar Tree and pick up some scented candles (or you can be like me and use the leftover tealights from your sister’s wedding back in 2010), then head to Aldi and pick up a $3 bottle of Winking Owl.

This owl’s winking at you, kid! 😉

Some may even enjoy the comforting blaze of a warm fire.

Available on Netflix Streaming
Available on Netflix Streaming

Done.   Ambiance achieved.

3.  Don’t look like a bum while hermiting.  This isn’t to say, don’t be comfy, but if you look like a slob while bumming around the house, you’re probably gonna feel like one.

Don’t dress like this. Not even at home.

Turn those bleach-stained & holey sweats into cleaning cloths (see #1), and try wearing some silky pjs instead.  Or, you can look like a lazy soccer mom in my favorite invention of the last decade:

I’ve worn these to work before. No lie.

4.  Keep Busy.  Catch up on your reading.  Watch that series on Netflix you’ve been meaning to catch up on.  Paint that hallway.  Work on that novel.  The more cool, interesting projects you’re working on, the more cool, interesting conversations you’ll be able to have when you can actually afford to go out again.

You could even take up knitting.

Keeping busy will also keep those pangs of loneliness as your friends have fun without you at bay.  Or, if you’re really, emphatically, skull-thumpingly, pathetically bored, you could always write a blog.


Natalie Dee is my spirit animal.