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Category Archives: Mighty Peach Life List

Come What May

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brene1

To write down your intentions is one thing. To begin to live with intent is quite another.

Starting The Mighty Peach List pushed me to attend Camp Mighty. It was there that I met the most incredible people and told the world my dreams. Suddenly, the dreams-turned-words-on-paper became tangible actions and realities. I had professional portraits taken, traveled to Portland, tasted foie gras for the first time, saw the Christmas tree at Rock Center and had a frozen hot chocolate at Serendipity. I ran a 5K, 10K and a half marathon. I’ve planned to visit London and to hug a gigantic Redwood at Yosemite. I declared my desire to buy a house and start my book.

All this has been heady and empowering. But these are things. Stuff.

The real work appears when you realize that you’ve been living your life and dreams at the will of others, or at least in consideration of their judgment. The real work comes when you finally choose to stop letting THEM decide YOU.

At first, the change happens in small ways. Someone makes an assumption about your feelings, casually dismissing a hurtful remark. Calmly and honestly, you correct them and state your hurt aloud.  And the moment you receive acknowledgement – the moment you’ve shown up to be seen and heard – the moment you get a heartfelt apology and an admission of wrongdoing? That’s when you promptly crumple into an ugly-crying mess.

Because WOW you just put yourself out there, utterly naked emotionally, fully expecting to get your heart stomped on. And instead you were given validation.

The actions snowball. Other difficulties are confronted. Each instance is more awkward and difficult and scary, but you’ve grown to understand that you matter enough to be heard and seen. No more will you sit quietly and let assumptions be made about your heart or your life. Careless people that once would have been silently resented for their thoughtless actions are now admonished aloud for their behavior. Relationships are ended because you realize that if someone cannot make room for you in their lives, then they are not worthy of having your heart.

You learn to stand alone in your skin. To take pride in the person you’ve become and the person you’re still growing to be. You’re able to reflect on the thorny path you took to get here and you’re grateful for each tumble over twisted roots. You start to live with your whole being. You’re able to use this new-found strength to reach out to the one person who never left your heart.

And blessedly, luckily, find love in return.

The possibilities are staggering.

Because in the end, stuff is just stuff. Go seek out the scariest work. Face your biggest fears and don’t be afraid to eat some concrete. Once you set your intention to live for your own happiness and no one else’s, the rewards are significantly greater.  Do the work and be ready for what comes your way. You’ll be amazed.

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This piece is being submitted to the amazing Yeah Write Weekly Challenge grid. If you don’t know Yeah Write, you should. Git you some.

I’m only running for the pancakes.

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Please think of me on Sunday morning, when I’m hauling my sleepy ass from my cozy bed at 4am. Why would I wake up at o-dark-GIVEMECOFFEE-thirty? Oh, just to go run a half marathon. Voluntarily, mind you.

Damn, I’ve come a long way in a year.  This used to be my attitude towards running:

phoebe

And then, I had to go and get all motivated to get healthy. Silly me.

This whole running thing started when my big brother convinced me to run a 5K in April of last year. That was my first 5K since ohhhhh, 1997. I’d just started working with a trainer and was maybe 3 weeks smoke-free. Yay me, but my lungs and my body were still utterly shit a far cry from healthy.

I was SO SLOW. Hated every second of it. I was exhausted after 2 miles. At 2.5 I remember that my face was on fire and just wanted it to be OVER already. I mean, my linebacker-sized brother and my 8 year old nephew were both WAY far ahead of me if not already done. And it was starting to rain, and WHAT THE FUCK is this hill doing right before the finish line? It sucked. My time was something embarrassing… my brother finished in 32, my nephew in 34 and me? 38 something. Or more. I don’t know, I blocked it out.

But since then, I ditched the trainer and the globo-gym, started and stuck with CrossFit, kept my diet clean and healthy and Paleo-ish. I’ve put on muscle, remained a non-smoker, and have tackled a few other runs since then. They got better. I got better. So I did a few more 5Ks, a 10K in July,  a relay in a tutu!, a 15K in January, and now… a half marathon.

Yep, this weekend I’ll be tromping through Atlanta for 13.1 miles until I either a) reach the finish line or b) have to be scraped off the pavement with a pooper-scooper. Hopefully not c) both.

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My only goal. Finish.

Is this ambitious progress in under a year? Uhhhhh… I’m either the most motivated amateur runner ever or I’m just flat-out DUMB. But I really think I can do it. My body is in the best shape of my life, thanks to CrossFit, yoga and running. But my concern with the half is my endurance. I’ve never run that far or that long at once and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t scared. I thought about joining one of the free pacing groups they offer, but I think I’ll do better going at my own speed with my running playlist blasting in my ears.

I have my trusty Brooks Ghosts that I wore for the 15K, so they’re broken in. I’ll be hydrated and fueled beforehand. I’ll get enough sleep the night before. It will be warm but not hot: high 50s are the low that morning, creeping up to 70 by mid-day, so extra layers won’t be needed.

As for the run, all I can think to do is adopt my approach to the 15K – running an easy pace for 2 miles, have a few sips of water and 1-2 energy beans, then repeat until done. That plan kept my pace steady and the 9.something miles were very doable. I didn’t feel like I ran out of gas anywhere along the route. I was a little stiff for a day afterward, but it really wasn’t awful. Why wouldn’t 13.1 be as doable? At least… that’s the theory.

Hopefully I’ll run with grace and elegance, and not like this:

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But even if I finish dead last, there will be none of this.


Jlaw

Because you best believe that afterward there will be piles upon piles of pancakes and pints and pints of BEER for St.Patty’s!  Pancakes make me sooooo happy.

Finally, I’m way grateful that I’ll have excellent company for the race in the lovely Bertie: a gorgeous Crossfit badass,  running inspiration, yoga buddy, brunch/coffee partner and fashion advisor.  That last one? Seriously, she should have a fashion blog. Like, yesterday. 🙂 But on race days, her self-proclaimed propensity to run like her favorite hashtag cracks me up: #wilddogontheloose.

As if keeping me motivated to run and preventing me from dressing like a homeless person wasn’t enough, Bertie gave me the coolest good luck gift for the half. My very own Lululemon Bang Buster in a gorgeous reversible minty-polka-dot/kelly green!  Check out the awesome card she gave me, too… snifffff…. she is the most thoughtful, sweetest friend ever.

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no pinching allowed!

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polka dots and shamrocks

That minty fresh baby will be worn on race day as my good luck charm, my green for St. Patty’s, and to keep my *#)&%#@*ing bangs off my face while I run. Not that I’m salty about the bangs… Wait. I am. Don’t get bangs, people. Not if you work out all the time. Better choices have been made, Peach.

But can y’all help a girl out?!

What say you,  fellow runners and athletes? Do you have any advice for me, the half-newbie? (Newbie-halfer? Newfer? Halfbie? What do you call me?)  Am I crazy? 

…don’t answer that last one.

Flexible only applies to me in yoga.

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At Camp Mighty, Maggie told the story of her Life List item to see the sun rise over the Aegean. Once there in Greece, fearlessly about to reach success, she realized that the sun only SET over the Aegean. Her attitude could have been Shitty McGrumpypants, but she chose instead to go with it. It may not have been *exactly* what she wanted, but a slight discrepancy in semantics wasn’t going to derail her enthusiasm. To her, this choice of perspective stood out in her mind as a huge life lesson.

Be rigid only if you want to break.

I am a planner by nature. I have lists for my lists. So when we were told to narrow down our Life List to just five items for 2013, I was all over that shit. I carry them with me everywhere.

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Yet only a mere 49 days into 2013, and I’m already finding that my top five goals for 2013 may need some tweaking. Not for any huge, earth-shattering reasons… simply for the reason that situations change. Circumstances shift.

One of the main goals I’m speaking of is the purchase of my first house. Some outside influences have swept into my life and are postponing the house hunt until my footing is steady again. This doesn’t mean it won’t happen for me this year. It just means my projected timeline of early Spring is pretty much out the window unless some miracles of miracles happen.

I can choose to kick and scream about it or I can go with it.

Duh. I know what I have to do, because you know what? The curveballs? They’re good for me. They’re making me grow.

The same way all the curveballs of 2011 brought me to Atlanta and into beginning this journey in the first place, these new plot twists are getting me out of my own comfort zone and testing the mindset of the “new me”.

A shift of plans does not equal failure. It doesn’t mean that I won’t reach my goals. It only means that I’ll get them completed a little differently than anticipated.  I know everything will work out for the best, however curvy my path may become.  And I also feel in my heart that these changes are what is best for me in the long run.

Good things are ahead. 🙂

New York – A Love Letter in Photos.

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New York, I love so much about you.  But it’s not just your big-ticket attractions. What I love most is what’s in the details of you.

It’s standing practically underneath the most famous Christmas tree, and delighting at the little fearless finch on the angel branches.

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hello, friend.

It’s finding someone’s wish to become a broadway singer written on a piece of confetti that landed in a planter.

I found in a plant, a wish written on confetti: Diventare una cantane di Musical a Broadway (become a singer in a Broadway musical).

It’s realizing that angels do exist.

Angels exist.

It’s snickering like a 12 year old about Big Balls.

Balls. Big Balls.

1251 6th Ave, Radio City Music Hall

It’s standing high above so much, and feeling so small.

Meet me downtown for a few. Brooklyn.

Brooklyn.

It’s turning around and going, “Whoa. What bridge is that?!”

Queensboro Bridge view from the Serendipity front door.

Queensboro Bridge view from the Serendipity front door.  East 60th St

It’s falling in love with a perfect reflection in a restaurant door.

Iris Cafe, Brooklyn. Stumptown coffee, in NYC? Yes, please.

Stumptown coffee, in NYC? Yes, please. Iris Cafe, Brooklyn

It is perfection in a slice.

real. New. York. pizza.

REAL. NEW. YORK. PIZZA.

It is the timeless and detailed wrought iron entryways…next door to a tourist hot-spot.

wrought iron meets Serendipity

It’s lifting your head into the cold wind and seeing the Empire State Building for the first time.

first sighting of the Empire State Building

It’s not wanting to stop and be THAT tourist, so you wind up with a wonderfully dizzying shot.

as dizzying a picture as the NY experience

It’s spotting the morning-after evidence.

Jan 1, 2013. Morning-after confetti.

Jan 1, 2013.

It’s being determined to eat REAL ramen, the REAL way.

I ate my ramen like a big girl - with chopsticks.

I ate my ramen like a big girl – with chopsticks.

It’s not being above taking a classic NYC shot.

Classic shot with the cabs.

It’s accepting that sometimes your best pictures might be taken with your iPhone.

Best shot I took of Rockefeller Plaza, and it was with my iPhone.

It’s shopping decadence, mixed with vendors, mixed with traffic, mixed with architecture and light.

Shopping. Traffic. Vendors. J.Crew, Soho.

J.Crew, Soho.

It’s about indulgence amidst frenzy.

Bliss, Soho. Best massage I've had in years.

Best massage I’ve had in years. Bliss, Soho.

It’s about wondering why the hell they have these steam stacks in the middle of a street lane and then spotting your favorite building between them.

Steam stacks and Chrysler Building

Chrysler Building.

It’s being alone in a subway car late at night, smiling, knowing that right at this moment you are happy.

Reminiscing on a late-night subway ride

It’s hearing the languages of dozens of countries within one square block.

tourists crowd the mezzanine over the Rock Center ice skating rink

tourists crowd the mezzanine over the Rock Center ice skating rink

It’s knowing that you made the right choice in your New Year’s Eve plans.

Straight ahead? That's where the ball dropped.

Straight ahead? That’s where the ball dropped. I was running a 5K instead.

It’s being more entranced by architecture and scope and design than the blue LED-lit Christmas tree.

never forget to look up.

never forget to look up.

It’s greeting a new day from a new place.

Sunrise view, from a couch in Brooklyn

Sunrise view in Brooklyn

It’s the biting wind coming off the water, making your eyes tear and your nose run, yet you take the shot because there is just so much right in it.

Brooklyn Bridge Park, Pier 6

Brooklyn Bridge Park, Pier 6

It’s the City of Lights, making bright even the most harsh of barricades.

leftover New Year's Eve barriers

leftover New Year’s Eve barriers

It’s seeing a movie reproduction of a Broadway show in a theater where Broadway shows were once performed.

Ziegfeld Theater

Ziegfeld Theater

It’s respect for putting a modern spin on an old favorite.

Seen from High Line, Brooklyn

High Line, Chelsea

It’s appreciation of scale and balance and whimsy.

High Line, Brooklyn

High Line, Chelsea

New York is just so much to take in. It is too much, yet it is everything. I long for better photographic equipment, so that I could have captured everything even more perfectly. But even then, I’m not sure capturing the verve of this great city is an attainable achievement. New York is felt as much as it is seen.

New York? I love you. Don’t ever change.

Until next time,
Peach

Mighty Peach Life List #58, #10 – Twinkly Lights and Serendipity…DONE!

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Back story to these life list items can be found here.

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On January 1, 2013, I awoke in darkness and stretched until my feet hit the end of my friend’s couch. Shoving the sleep mask up my forehead to push the bangs off my face, I squinted at the blinding winter sun and smiled simultaneously. I was looking over the rooftops of downtown Brooklyn prominently displayed through the windowed walls of the apartment. And then it hit me…Today was the day!

My lovely hostess and dear friend Might-E emerged from her room, came over to the couch and sat down next to me. She handed me a gift-wrapped package and said that she knew this would be perfect. For today.  For this year.  You see, Might-E has been one of my biggest sources of support since we met, but especially this year. She’s been there for me as I’ve tackled many tough changes in my life and cheered for me as I’ve gone after my dreams. I count myself lucky to have her as a friend. But hugged her HARD after I opened this.

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perfect, right?

After I’d pulled my sentimental/sniffly self together, we hit the ground running for our Big Day. During the subway jaunt over to Manhattan, we fretted over whether or not we’d be waiting for hours to get into Serendipity. The New Years Day crowd could go either way.

door1

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Boy, did we get lucky! We only waited 20 minutes for a cute little two-top on the main floor.

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Loving the Tiffany lamps. Not so sure about Banana Hammock Guy back there.

Might-E and I delighted over the quirky, larger-than-life menu (seriously, they were bigger than the surface of our table).

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But of course, we already knew what we’d come for. We put in the order for my long-awaited Frozen Hot Chocolate immediately. Life is short, dammit. Everyone should eat dessert first.

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And then it arrived.

isn't it lovely?

isn’t it lovely?

gimme.

gimme.

oh, this will be finished.

oh, this *will* be finished.

Yes, I gave myself brain-freeze on this baby, which means that I did it right. The word on the street is that the FHC recipe consists of: Seventeen different types of chocolate, blended with milk and ice. So sayeth the server. All I know is that each sip through the straw tasted like a mouthparty of chocolate sin. May everything in this life be that delectably painful to finish. It was worth the wait and worth every calorie.

And then, with seventeen-types-of-chocolate-sugar coursing through our veins, it was time to journey to Rockefeller Plaza.

From the moment we left the subway stairs, we could feel the buzz on the street. There’s just something about that area of NYC, around 5th Ave with all the stores and TV studios and street vendors… it’s a living, breathing creature filled with bodies and shopping bags and picture-taking. Dozens of different languages are audible no matter where you stand, but the joy on people’s faces matched my own.

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first sighting

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Swarovski replica of the tree topper.

Swarovski replica of the tree topper.

I doubt any pictures could ever do this memory justice, but I know I’ll never forget what it felt like to lean on that railing and gaze over the ice skating rink filled with wobbly tourists. Even on that overcast day, the tree sparkled and shone proudly, despite the few limbs that were a bit droopy.  Hey, I can’t blame the tree. It’s New York. Living here can be exhausting.

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I’m sure I didn’t stand there longer than a few minutes, but it was long enough to realize that I was grinning like an idiot. Putting these emotions into words is difficult, but I can only compare it to the moment when the holidays start to really feel like the holidays. It’s that moment of recognition in your heart. That deep down, ahh. There it is. I was finally here.

We walked even closer and realized the full expanse of the tree’s formidable height when we were directly underneath its branches.

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Peach-approved.

And with one last upward glance, I said a silent goodbye and we took our leave.

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Thank you to Bing and Go Mighty for giving me the opportunity to check off these life wishes!!

I’m still smiling.

Mighty Peach Life List #62 – Try Foie Gras…DONE!

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The intro to this Life List item is here.

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Russell’s research led us to The Iberian Pig in Decatur, GA. If you’re worth your weight in the Atlanta foodie scene, you’ll know that Decatur is actually challenging Atlanta “proper” in regard to the food & bev industry. The Iberian Pig not only stood up against but surpassed the few restaurants I’ve tried in Downtown or Midtown. Our outrageously knowledgeable and charming server aced our barrage of menu questions and threw in fun facts about our selections as the night progressed. I dig a server who guides your choices instead of tapping their foot impatiently waiting for you to decide. Whether it involved our wine selection or inquiry on salad portion size or which cheese HE preferred – ours rocked.  He handled our raucous table of nine as efficiently as a timid two-top. We were never without drinks and each round of plates came out as if they’d been choreographed. We always had just enough time to enjoy the afterglow, but never so much time that we were missing our next course. Have you ever booked a reservation at a pricey lovely restaurant and then felt hurried along to free your table for the next seating? Nope, didn’t happen here. We felt relaxed and were able to enjoy the meal along with each other’s company.

Another bonus: unlike most upscale restaurants that require one check and auto-add the gratuity, we were appreciative that we were allowed to split our check 5 ways… and I’d bet you anything that our server came out with way better than 18%! The restaurant itself played a big role for us, too.  Russell, awesome organizer that he is, called ahead and gave a fellow named Ian a heads up about our special evening’s focus. You see, their menu’s foie dish was a play on french toast (“Foienche”)  but my friend wanted my first tasting of foie gras to be more traditional.  After inquiring with Ian, Russell was assured they could accommodate us!

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And that was just the service and experience. Let’s move on to the food.

The Iberian Pig boasts a menu that can seem overwhelming at first. How can one possibly choose a *reasonable* amount of food from the vast array of charcuteria and cheese plates, salads, flatbreads, tapas, entrees, desserts and cocktails?!? Ummm, can I have one of each, please? There were so many unbelievable flavor combinations we all wanted to taste, so we decided to stick with the tapas menu as the bulk of our meal.  This way, we could share and taste more than if we’d all gotten a single entree.

Hold on for the culinary ride, folks.

First we needed booze. Because, duh. Terrazas de los Andes, Reserve Malbec Mendoza, Argentina 2009

First we needed booze. Because, duh. Terrazas de los Andes, Reserve Malbec Mendoza, Argentina 2009

Traditionally prepared foie gras, served on a crostada with slivered pears and honeyed nut medley. I didn't catch what the sauces were.

Traditionally prepared foie gras, served on a brioche crostada with slivered pears and honeyed nut medley. I didn’t catch what the sauces were.

My first taste of Foie Gras. LifeList #62? Check! It was... interesting. Crisp outside, creamy inside, slightly fatty-bacon tasting but not as pork-y. The texture and flavor were not what I expected! It wasn't grainy or liver-esque at all. Kinda made me tilt my head to the side and go, "... Hm. It's weird, but it doesn't suck". Do I crave more? Not really. Would I eat it again? Certainly.

My first taste of Foie Gras. LifeList #62? Check! It was… interesting. Crisp outside, creamy inside, slightly fatty-bacon tasting but not as pork-y. The texture and flavor were not what I expected! It wasn’t grainy or liver-esque at all. Kinda made me tilt my head to the side and go, “… Hm. It’s weird, but it doesn’t suck”. Do I crave more? Not really. Would I eat it again? Certainly.

    Didn't last long at a table of nine...

Didn’t last long at a table of nine…

#2 Cheese plate - Manchego, Mahon, and Canja de Oveja with blackberry, apricot and fig? fruit compotes. Served with artisan bread with the most amazing olive oil.

#2 Cheese plate – Manchego, Mahon, and Canja de Oveja with blackberry, apricot and fig? fruit compotes. Served with artisan bread drizzled with the most amazing olive oil.

On to the other tapas! #3 Crispy pork belly with candied fruits over goat cheese creme fraiche. #mouthgasm

#3 Crispy pork belly with candied fruits over goat cheese creme fraiche. #mouthgasm

#4 Pulpo a la Parilla - Grilled Mediterranean octopus, roasted fingerling potatoes, garlic, watercress pistou, Benton’s bacon salbitxada

#4 Pulpo a la Parilla – Grilled Mediterranean octopus, roasted fingerling potatoes, garlic, watercress pistou, Benton’s bacon salbitxada. This wasn’t my first rodeo with grilled pulpo. I found this one very well executed and it avoided being rubbery. The little suckers made me laugh. 🙂 The seasoning and sauces were a great addition, but potatoes were a bit underdone.

#5 Vieras - Pan seared scallops, butternut squash-morcilla puree, saffron roasted cauliflower, tempura artichoke. I'm a new lover of scallops after this one. They were sweet and buttery with a caramelized sear on one side and sitting in a delectable puree. #wantedmore

#5 Vieras – Pan seared scallops, butternut squash-morcilla puree, saffron roasted cauliflower, tempura artichoke. I’m a new lover of scallops after this one. They were sweet and buttery with a caramelized sear on one side and sitting in a delectable puree. #wantedmore

#6 Manchego Mac 'n' Cheese - Garganelli pasta, Manchego-pork belly cream, butter toasted panko, thyme. After I tasted this, I wanted to run to the kitchen and grab the nearest chef and hug him/her. This was a table favorite, but was so rich we couldn't finish it. #incredible

#6 Manchego Mac ‘n’ Cheese – Garganelli pasta, Manchego-pork belly cream, butter toasted panko, thyme. After I tasted this, I wanted to run to the kitchen and grab the nearest chef and hug him/her. This was a table favorite, but was so rich we couldn’t finish it. #incredible

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Copa Catalan – Bruleed Espresso custard served with fresh berries

Closer. #8 Cappuccino. When brought to me, the server mentioned that it may not be up to par because he had a colleague make it and to let him know if it was not good.  It was milkier than I prefer, but I didn't mind enough to send it back.  It was a comforting end of the meal nightcap instead of a smack-your-mama jolt of caffeine.

Closer. #8 Cappuccino. It was a bit milkier than I prefer, but a comforting end of the meal nightcap instead of a smack-your-mama jolt of caffeine.

And there you have it. You can’t say I didn’t go big for this experience!

We left The Iberian Pig happily stuffed and all smiles. I’d finally gotten to try foie gras for the first time and having my friends with me for the experience made it so much more fun! I feel so grateful that I have adventurous-eater-foodie-people who are willing to help me tackle my dreams. Love you guys! And just to make him blush again – thank you again, Russell!

If any of you are in the Atlanta area and want an amazing food experience (and not just another expensive meal) – try this place. And take me with you. 😉

Later, y’all.  I’m off to New York to take on Life List items #58 and #10. Happy New Year, everyone.

Mighty Peach Life List – #62 Try Fois Gras…happening tonight!

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GoMighty.com link here.

Thanks to my Southern upbringing, I’m no stranger to deep fried, covered in Hidden Valley Ranch-style comfort foods. As a half-Cajun I learned young how to de-head and peel a crawfish, but never came around to liking their fishy taste. I didn’t mind gumbo as long as the okra didn’t get slimy, but loved the hell out of some Low Country Boil. My mom is a Texan so there were many a chicken-fried steak and mashed potato dinner. The worst I remember was the corned beef and cabbage. She and Dad loved it. Big bro and I thought it smelled like feet, tasted worse, and we staunchly refused to eat the boiled, salty pink meat. “Fancy” veggies like brussel sprouts rarely made an appearance in our house and my first encounter with asparagus was as a mushy, broccoli-turned-bad tasting thing from a can. I didn’t consider myself a picky eater, as long as it involved normal things. Like mac and cheese, fish sticks, shake ‘n baked pork chops, chicken nuggets, tacos, or chicken pot pie.

There’s nothing wrong with these humble foods, but I’ve come a long way since then.

Moving to the Midwest for grad school helped – it was a very large and very diverse college town with a plethora of international cuisines my palette had never tasted. Indian, Vietnamese, Thai, Japanese, and Mongolian were a few. Who knew I’d love Butter Chicken or sushi so much? But I also came to know and love better quality ingredients. I fell in lust with fine cheeses. I worked at a winery and educated my palette on wines from sweet to dry, white, red, port, late harvest and ice wine. My favorite spot’s filet with port reduction and desserts so good I wanted to hump the chef paralleled my awakening to the understanding: with better ingredients came better tastes. Brussel sprouts and asparagus when fresh and cooked to perfection? Now a whole different story. This was around 2005, the front end of the farm-to-table movement. If it meant food tasted this good, I was fully supportive.

Then I moved to the NY area and my food world exploded. I wanted to try it all, from the salty boiled bagels with lox to matza ball soup to real New York pizza. From Little Italy’s gelato and gnocchi to Morimoto’s steamed pork buns to Mario Batali’s Lupa, Bobby Flay’s Mesa Grill, wild boar pasta from some place in the Village and 2am Korean barbecue-it-at-the tables with steaming cauldrons of bibimbap.  My ex was half Ecuadorian and introduced me to maduros, chicharones, papa rellena, chuletas, adobo, yuca fries, ropa vieja, pan con bistec, churrasco, ceviche and the list goes on.

Good grief, I’m a grown-ass foodie but it’s amazing to me that there are still so many types of food I haven’t tried.

Next up on my life list is a controversial one.

Here’s where I say that I’m just a girl… standing in front of a boy… telling you that I want to try foie gras. Be nice.

A lovely friend with many Atlanta chef contacts decided he wanted to tackle this item with me. He not only tracked down the best foie gras place for me, but handled inviting all our friends and booking the reservations. Thank you, Russell!  (ps – Russ is awesome. And blushes easily, which is why I’m doing this. He’s probably red to the tips of his ears by now.)  I decided my Paleo diet is being put into time-out for the evening, too. Gimme the bread, bitches.

Excited doesn’t cover it and we plan to make an evening of it! My friends don’t know this yet, but I want everyone to try a food they’ve never tasted tonight.  Because it’s not just about the foie gras, it’s also about the whole experience. Being brave. Trying. Living.

Now excuse me, I have to go figure out what I’m wearing since the temperatures decided to drop from humid-rainy to BALLS-IT’S-COLD. I’ll report back soon on how it went!

What foods have you never tried, and are a little scared to try!, but are going on your Life List anyway?