Alexis’ Latest Adventures in Eating

{by alexis} We all get busy, right? Sometimes, when life is especially hectic, I forgot to do things, like the dishes, sort the mail, make dinner, take the dog for forty walks a day. Guess what I don’t forget to do? Eat. I’m pretty much always eating. If I’m not eating, odds are I’m planning my next outing, poring over menus, and sending links to Alicia. What follows is a collection of the things that have been tickling my fancy in the food department these last several weeks. Grab a cup and scroll on down!

A few weekends ago, we tricked some friends of ours into having brunch with us. “Dutch babies!” I insisted. Joe was pretty sure I was suggesting a geographically specific adoption, but no! I had my eye on The Table.

The Table | Wander & Whine

This tasty infant came with warm pears folded into the center. Delish! We had cocktails, coffee, and the most beautiful roast beef sandwich I’ve ever seen.

The Table | Wander & Whine The Table | Wander & Whine The Table | Wander & Whine

You didn’t believe me, did you? That a roast beef sandwich could be so…attractive. Well, The Table just proved you wrong! That bun looks pillowy and soft and I want to make it into a sleeping bag.

On a Friday night a few weeks later, I found myself tucked away in a dim booth at Curio with Alicia and Miche, from Buttons & Birdcages. After a clumsily choreographed pizza order, we sat back with our cocktails. And I have to tell you about this amazing thing I ordered: A BOURBON MILKSHAKE.

curio | Wander & Whine

But please promise me you won’t go in and order the bourbon milkshake — that’s not what it’s called. I gave it this delightful nickname after it’s deliciousness knocked me out of my booth and I sent several frenzied, all caps text messages to folks announcing that such a cocktail exists. I can’t tell you what it’s really called because they keep their menu under wraps. What I CAN tell you is that it contains bourbon (shocker, right?) almond, cream, and soda. It is so, so good.

Late last week, one of my coworkers decided we needed a pick-me-up, and HE DELIVERED. Look at these beauties!

wander & whine

They are chocolates! Each is about the size of an egg, and they have unique flavors. I happened to sample the chocolate AND the strawberry (why stop at one!), and they were delightful! He said he grabbed them at Costco so keep your eyes peeled!

This past weekend found Joe and I both of work and without plans, so after bullying him into buying me a new pair of running shoes (I’d had my old ones since 2008!), we took ourselves out to our perennial favorite 16-Bit Bar + Arcade. I finally gave into the siren song of the Hulk Hogan, with its popsicle stirrer. NO REALLY.wander & whine

It was the bomb. And I loved how the flavored changed as the pop melted. And yes, I ate the leftovers.

We live in a beautiful city with so much crazy food to sample. Get out there and eat!

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Jury Duty

{by alexis} I know a lot of people grumble when they receive their jury summons in the mail. My mother has been on a few juries, and my brother is always going on and on about what a sweet gig it is. So, when I received the missive, I was excited! It’s sort of like getting your admission to Hogwarts! Okay, maybe not, but I was looking forward to it. I served in the jury pool and eventually on a jury the third week of January at the court of Common Pleas, and have only positive things to say about the experience.

First of all, you get out out of work. Don’t get me wrong — I like my job, but who wouldn’t enjoy switching it up a bit! With the summons you’ll receive clear and explicit instructions on how to be excused if you think you’re eligible, in addition to the answers to the questions your mind is already preoccupied with, like parking, payment, whether there will be coffee. So just read your darn summons.

Common Pleas pool service is one week and Municipal Court asks you to hang tight for two. And really, it’s not so bad! They’ve got super comfortable leather chairs, they offer coffee and tea, and even a small kitchen so that you can bring your own food. They play movies during the week while you wait, and there’s a separate quiet room for those who wish to work, or would prefer to stick their nose in a book for four blissful hours on a Tuesday afternoon. Can you guess which group I belong to?

jury duty | wander & whine

I got called for jury selection on Wednesday afternoon. I was finally seated on a jury on Thursday morning, and the case wrapped up by Friday afternoon, including our deliberation.

Once you get up to the courtrooms, you get a lovely view of downtown Columbus.

jury duty | wander & whine

jury duty | wander & whine

jury duty | wander & whine

They’re going to tell you that a real courtroom is not like TV, but I’m here to say they’re wrong! Maybe I got “lucky” on the case, but there was enough drama to keep it interesting. Fortunately, I wasn’t placed on a case that dealt on something like rape or murder, so it wasn’t too disturbing to listen to, even though it was a criminal case. The judge and lawyers were extremely smart, and friendly — even to each other!

Deliberation was an interesting process. It took us about two hours to come to a decision, and everyone took seriously the instructions of the judge. We talked out a million different perspectives on almost every detail of the case. By the time we walked back into the courtroom, I was 100% confident that our verdict was the right one. Before we left, the judge thanked us, and the attorneys allowed us to ask questions about the case. They also asked us a few questions, too.

jury duty | wander & whine

The moral of the story is that your jury summons is not a sentence in itself — take the opportunity to interact with your local government, and learn more about the system we’re all subject to. It’s pretty exciting to see it all in action.

Dinner at Wolf’s Ridge Brewing

{by alexis} I love when my parents come to town. There’s always a lot of toasting, hugs, laughter, and more than anything else, a ridiculous amount of food. Joe and I have enjoyed showing the spectacular Columbus food scene to my folks during each of their visits, and I don’t believe we disappoint too often. For their latest trip, I had booked a table at Wolf’s Ridge Brewing weeks in advance. It’s possible that this was their favorite restaurant to date.

Alicia has paid Wolf’s Ridge a visit for brunch, and had only good things to say — which, in Alicia’s native tongue, is a lot of nodding and emphatic one-word affirmatives. I hoped dinner would hold up.

If you haven’t been yet, you should go. The space has high-ceilings and an minimalist feel. And of course, they offer beer flights. You get five tasters for $8, and we were sold. Everyone picked their own and we went from there. We had an embarrassing amount of glasses on the table, but it was such fun. We had a great time reading the detailed descriptions and seeing if we could pick out the flavors.

 

wolf's ridge brewing | wander & whine

wolf's ridge brewing | wander & whine

wolf's ridge brewing | wander & whine

wolf's ridge brewing | wander & whine

Once we were nice and toasty (or as my mother would say, half in the bag), our food arrived. Joe went with the special of the evening, the lamb. I went with our other farmhouse favorites in the lamb and beef burger. My mother ordered root vegetable risotto, which doesn’t SOUND like the most interesting thing, but it was the BOMB, and my father ordered his beloved grits with shrimp. BEHOLD.

wolf's ridge brewing | wander & whine

wolf's ridge brewing | wander & whine

wolf's ridge brewing | wander & whine

The risotto (not pictured) had SO MUCH flavor. Sometimes, I feel like risotto is a success only because people love the texture, especially in the winter, but this dish outdid itself with each bite. Joe would hardly share his lamb. He said it was cooked to perfection, and the seasoning was stellar. My father’s grits were technically a small plate, but more than enough (especially when paired with a beer flight)! And my burger was beyond. I used to think I didn’t even like burgers, but I know now that I only like fancy ones made with bison or lamb, and this one fit the bill. Smooth, juicy and flavorful, it was a success. And let’s discuss the garlic fries, shall we? GARLIC FRIES. Stop reading. Go here now.

Actually, if you do, you’ll find they’ve recently put out a different menu. So if you go, call me. The new escargot and head cheese on the menu are CALLING MY NAME.

Wolf’s Ridge Brewing is located at 215 N 4th Street. Tu-Thu 10:30am-11pm; F 10:30am-12am; Sat 10am-12am; Sun 10am-10p; Mon closed.

Working Out with ClassPass + A Bite at Alchemy Juice Cafe

{by alexis} We have been so busy over here at Wander & Whine over the past few weeks! In addition to our usual hectic work and social schedules, we’ve been cramming all kinds of exercise classes in whenever we can, thanks to our shiny new ClassPass! After beating ourselves up for an hour on Sunday, we headed to Alchemy Juice Cafe for a pick-me-up.

With locations in over 20 other cities, ClassPass launched in Columbus at the end of December, and we’re putting them to work! With a membership, you can attend as many classes as you desire at various participating fitness studios across the city, and you can visit each studio up to three times a month. For example, that’s three Pure Barre classes in Grandview, three in Dublin, and three in New Albany, if you don’t mind taking a scenic drive on 270.

So far, we’ve been to a few yoga classes (at Nurture Yoga in Dublin), and even our first hot yoga class at Pai Yoga & Fitness in Dublin (verdict: LOVE). We did some plies at Pure Barre in Grandview, and then last Sunday we took a spinning class at the Fitness Loft in German Village. You guys, that was tough. Spinning is SUCH a challenge. What do you MEAN I’m supposed to up my resistance! I think the bike is resisting me pretty successfully as it is!

I’ll say a few words about the Fitness Loft: It is a beautiful facility with wide open spaces (something LA Fitness severely lacks), and the huge windows bathe the tall rooms with light. It’s a lovely place to spend some time. Their fitness weight machines are upgraded and automatic — no pin jamming here. I’m hoping to attend at least one more class here before the month is out.

In any case, after a punishing hour on the bikes, we headed downstairs to Alchemy. We have been looking to try this place forever, and nothing gives you an excuse to eat like a good workout!

alchemy juice bar | wander & whine

alchemy juice bar | wander & whine

Can you blame me? Juice is so satisfying to the eye isn’t it? And it’s a genius route for someone (LIKE ME) who hates fruit in general. I much prefer this pureed and strained version to the off-the-vine option.

We ordered some delicious avocado toast and cashew milk and made ourselves comfortable.

alchemy juice bar | wander & whine

alchemy juice bar | wander & whine

alchemy juice bar | wander & whine

I also ordered a pumpkin pie smoothie, which was a like a tricksy Harry Potter jelly bean, so similar was it to its namesake. HIGHLY RECOMMEND. The toast was also a delight. Alicia wouldn’t stop yapping about the sprouts, while my focus tended toward the red pepper flakes. It was fresh and wholesome tasting, and I have to applaud their salt application — just enough!

I’m not sure we’ll be back for spinning because OW, but we’ll almost certainly be back for more toast and smoothies. In terms of classes, this week we’re taking a cardio dancing class at Brickhouse and I’m attempting yoga at the Art of Yoga. I’m also taking a barre class back at Pai toward the end of the week.

Interested in ClassPass? There may be a waitlist happening at the moment, but since you so smartly read Wander & Whine, you can go ahead to the front of the line with this link! We have been having such fun getting around the city to try new classes, and I have to say, the booking experience has been a total breeze! Four thumbs up!

Clothes to Sweat In

{by alexis} I’m not going to sit here and pretend that I love to work out. The truth is, I don’t. It eats up part of my day and you guys, it’s HARD. But I do love the feeling I get when I finish whatever idiotic workout kick I’m currently on: I have energy, I’m happier, and I feel good about myself. These are the reasons I exercise.

If you follow us on Twitter, you’ve probably noticed that we’ve got a membership with ClassPass, a new way to exercise around the city. We’re having a great time picking classes and trying new things (like HOW IMPOSSIBLE PURE BARRE IS), so I’ve been building up my gym wardrobe considerably in the last few weeks.

Whether you’re getting back into the swing of things after the holiday eating contest (what, just my family?) or whether you’re trying to make good on those new year’s resolutions, you’re going to need something to wear. My stance on fitness fashion is that it should be inexpensive and comfortable. That’s it. You’re not going to find any $100 pair of Lululemon leggings on my list. I’d rather spend money on clothes I’m happy to wear. You know, like blardigans. So check out the places that I bargain shop for gym basics.

fitness fashion | wander & whineNordstrom skews on the more expensive side of my spectrum, but I legitimately cannot live without my Zella leggings. They’re super supportive and hold everything in and smooth it out. They look equally great paired with sneakers and a tee and riding boots and a chunky sweater. These are a must.

Alicia is a fan of the active wear collection at Old Navy. And who can argue with their price point! This funnel neck pullover is a great layering piece for in and out of class, or for a brisk dog walk. The ruching detail on the tee is cute but not too much.

Gap is a no brainer. There stuff is also priced reasonably and you can almost ALWAYS find a coupon code. I own these pants, and they’re a great alternative to the tight or legging. And this tank is cute without being obnoxious.

Amazon is a little trickier. Their stock is so large, you have to use a million filters just to get to a manageable amount of products. They’re good if you know what brand you’re looking for. These Soybu yoga pants are a new addition to my collection, and I’ll tell you the fabric is SO SOFT.

Target is obvious, right? It should be. You can snap up stuff from the clearance section or for full-price and you’ll never pay too much. A perennial favorite of mine is the boyfriend tee, available in a rainbow of colors. I also favor these sports bras for weekend wear. They’re not the most supportive, so I wouldn’t recommend them for running.

Finally, Victoria’s Secret is also a solid choice for active wear. They have plenty of cute pieces like this baseball tee or this scoop top, but they also have inexpensive basics. Wait till they offer a free shipping coupon and stock up.

There you have it! Almost all of my active wear was purchased from the retailers you see above. You don’t need to blow your paycheck on clothes to wear to the gym. Wear what makes you happy and comfortable, and enjoy the burn!

Looking Back on 2014

It’s been quite a year for us! Since meeting you, we’ve learned a lot, grown a lot, and made more than a few changes between the two of us. We’re grateful for all of you, readers, as well as the wonderful people we’ve met in this world of Columbus bloggers. Tonight, we’re going to eat too much, wear a few too many sparkles, and toast with too many glasses of champagne. But, before it’s entirely behind us, here are some highlights from 2014.

{Alicia’s Year at a Glance}

Screen Shot 2014-12-30 at 8.12.48 PM

February: First blog post on Wander & Whine
March: Anniversary trip to New Orleans where I ate and saw all the things
May: Roadtripped to Nashville (Pt. I + II)
July: Spent a day in Savannah | Lounged in Hilton Head | Fell in love with Charleston | Ate everything in sight
August: Started a new job
September: Looked back on an amazing summer
October: Took in the beauty at Hocking Hills
November: Wandered to NYCProceeded to eat everything

*My Most Popular Post: Made LOCAL Market
*My Favorite Post of Alexis’: Helloween at Double Comfort. She was live texting me during the event, and the sheer drama and YELLING made me laugh out loud. Plus, the gif she uses from Clue–“Flames on the side of my face”–was too perfect.
*My Favorite Post to Write: I had a lot of fun compiling my favorite places in Las Vegas #tbt. Rereading it makes me want to plan another visit!


{Alexis’ Year at a Glance}

village lights | wander & whine

February: First blog post on Wander & Whine
March: St. Patrick’s Day in Chicago
May: Had some hits and misses in San Diego | Birthday celebrations left and right
June: Started a new job | Was an audience member at Cash Explosion 36 hours in Vegas
July: Spent a week in the Thumb
September: Cheered on the Columbus Clippers
October: Toured Bourbon Country | Ate well in Louisville | Bachelorette Party in D.C.
November: Further adventures in D.C.

*My Most Popular Post: Fried Chicken Heaven at Double Comfort
*My Favorite Post of Alicia’s: I have to say I love Alicia’s obsession with Tacos Hass. I STILL haven’t made it up there (Dublin, why are you so far!), but when I get there I know exactly what to order!
*My Favorite Post to Write: Has to be my visit to 16-Bit Bar + Arcade and Dirty Frank’s. It’s my favorite bar in Columbus, and, NBA JAM.

Thanks for reading, today, and all the days. We promise to keep it coming in 2015, and we hope you’ll go along for the ride!

Presents to Self

{by alicia + alexis} It’s the time of year for the gift guide, no? We’ve posted one, and some of our favorite bloggers have posted their own versions, too. But what you don’t often see is what the bloggers are buying themselves. In this post, we’ll both list the treasures we picked up for ourselves while shopping for the other folks in our lives.

{Alexis’ List}

things I bought myself | wander & whine

one. This is the season for warm, over-sized sweaters, and, in my opinion, no one does it better than Vince. I picked this up on Gilt during Black Friday sales and paid next to nothing. Pro tip: do NOT size up. Not a member of Gilt Groupe yet? If you’re curious enough to give it a go, consider using my invite link; then I could buy more sweaters!

two. These are the Dannie pants from J.Crew. You hear a lot about the Minnies, and even the Curators, but these are the true unsung heros. In total, I’ve got four pairs of these pants, including a version with leather details. I like a work pant that’s slim, but not tight around the ankle. They come in three flattering dark colors, and the best part? They’re machine washable!

three. Ask Alicia: I’ve been hunting for a planner for MONTHS. After all the searching, I ended up buying the first one I looked at, which is this spiral bound beauty from Paper Source. It’s got enough room to write, and keeps the monthly calendars together and separate from the weeklies.

four. Anthropologie is my kryptonite. I was NOT disappointed by this beautiful blazer, though it needed a good steaming once it arrived.

five. I’ve been trying to hold off on buying any home goods till we buy a house (STILL LOOKING), but I couldn’t resist this gold constellation tray from C. Wonder. It can catch jewelry, nightstand minutiae, or even mail.

six. This is the Kate Spade cupcake skirt I’ve been lusting after forever, and I can’t wait to wear it on Christmas eve! Don’t worry — I did not pay as much as you see on the link. This was another one of my Gilt finds.

seven. Sephora has been running a good amount of deals this month, and I’m always more than happy to pick out a present for myself. I’ve been into masks lately, and here’s a collection of trial sized goodies that won’t break the bank.

eight. Speaking of breaking the bank…I have been coveting this Tory Burch York Buckle tote, but it has been excluded from literally every sale she’s run on her site. Cue dramatic tantrums and epic frustration. But! Shopbop saved the day with their sitewide discount, and I saved myself a cool $50. (Still expensive, I know but it’s something.) This bag is the workday BOMB.

nine. Another Paper Source purchase! This personalized notebook is perfect for throwing in my bag for on-the-spot notes. I chose the “bombshell” font for a more whimsical look. No, I didn’t order one with the name Jeremiah Potter on the cover.

ten. Anthropologie strikes again. This removable fur collar won me over, and it’s coziness earned it some space in my closet. It will be perfect Christmas morning present-opening and pup-snuggling.

{Alicia’s List}

things i buy | wander & whine

one. Since I’m all about comfort these days, I have been living in this furry hooded parka from ASOS. It’s warm without being bulky, and I got it for an absolute steal during the madness of Black Friday.

two. Francesca’s is my go-to shop for statement necklaces, and it didn’t disappoint when I was looking for some sort of bauble to jazz up my holiday frock. I especially like this one because of the multicolor beads–it complements so many outfits! It’s also great for ramping up your everyday look without being too dressy.

three. My skin is hideously dry in the winter, and this light cleansing oil from The Face Shop gives me an extra surge of moisture while melting every inch of makeup off my face. Don’t be afraid of putting oil on your face. This cleanser doesn’t clog your pores in the slightest, especially when you follow up with a gentle foam wash.

four. I work at a startup, so the dress code is pretty lax. Though I try not to be a total slob, I took my footwear a step further and adapted these moccasins into an office slip on. The furry lining keeps my feet extra warm which is great for those of us with poor circulation, and I’m cozy all day long!

five. Do I even need to explain this one? It combines all of my favorite things into one perfect shoe. Cake! Polka dots! Pink! Conversation starter! I can’t wait until spring when it’s warm enough to bust them out every single day.

six. My mother is Korean, therefore my skin regimen is super Korean (she’s in her fifties and her skin is to die for, so my night routine is like 10+ steps). This also applies to my makeup regimen. There is a total difference between real BB cream imported from Korea, and the stuff I find in the states (which is more like tinted moisturizer). So, I tend to sway towards Korean brands like Skin Food and Tony Moly for my fix. Target is now carrying Laniege (another awesome brand), so I had to try their BB Cushion. This handy compact makes it easy to swipe on in the morning and touch up during the day. PLUS, it has SPF 50! Bonus!

seven. I love how this watch from Rakani is reminiscent of Dali’s melting clocks. Plus, I wanted a cheerful color for these gray winter days and this pink and rose gold combo fits the bill nicely!

eight. Philosophy’s  3-in-1 washes are the best. Not only do they smell delicious (I always want to eat the bottle), but they multitask, and take up less space in the shower. When I saw the Pink Frosted Animal Cracker scent (I almost wrote “flavor”), I had to have it!

nine. Blanket scarves are a game changer. Between these and my sweater cape, I am authorized to go into public swathed in a throw. You guys, blankets are parading as clothing and it’s socially acceptable! What’s crazier is that I get daily compliments on my said blanket outfits. Comfort fashion for the win!

ten. Adult onesies are genius. Don’t we all secretly want to revert back to childhood? Sure we do! I unabashedly rock a plush, cat-print version on the weekend (no shame), and it’s like I’m a cozy bear. I hear you laughing. Don’t knock it until you try it!