Monday 22 January 2024

New chairs...I sure will miss my vintage lovelies though :(

End of an era :(
I used to have 6 of these beauties but over the last few years 2 of them died, and these remaining ones were dying.  

I saw these advertised on facebook locals that a now closed restaurant in Key West was getting rid of them. Can you identify the restaurant? Answer at the end of this post.
They originally had 100 or so I guess and I think were selling them for $10/20 apiece - and I certainly was tempted.  But when I saw the last 10 or so offered for free I texted Patrick straight away.

He was interested! But our jeep was in for repairs. What to do??
He jumped on his bike and moved them 2 at a time over to my work until we had a vehicle back.

I liked them immediately when we got them home! They are fun!
But not so much with our yellow table.

Doesn't it all look more cohesive now that I painted the table legs green??
I have ordered some chair cushions too.

My vintage chairs went out on the curb for free and were picked up quickly by some lucky person, sniffle.

As for the restaurant? 
A burger place
A chain
A famous pop singer turned famous actor

Answer: Wahlburgers.

See photos below!

After a few fits and starts, I think I eventually got there on colour!

- The table legs were originally yellow. I painted them green (why???). And then a pale colour matching the top.
- I have the chair pads on order, arriving from Ikea on Friday.
Pretty happy now, I have to say 😀

The chair pads arrived.

Final pic:


Tomahawk steak!

Last week we arranged to call to our friend's Bill and Feliz's house.  We had been trying to arrange a get together for a while - specifically one where we would barbeque at the beach beside their house.

We suggested we would bring the food for grilling (we had always talked in the realm of hamburgers and hot dogs etc) but said no, he had it all taken care of. 

Imagine my surprise when I saw these bad boys!!! This picture does not show scale at all - I think the next pic does if you look for the meat thermometer in the top right hand corner of the photo.
Tomahawk steaks!

Look at the size!

Incredibly delicious.  Moist, tender, juicy.  With red wine, oh my gosh, to die for!  What an amazing evening with amazing friends.

Sunday 14 January 2024

Work out wear

The peloton journey continues! We have it about two weeks or so and every day either one or both of us have used it for a class.  I searched "Elvis" yesterday and had a great class to the music of the King.  Patrick did a U2 one.  Dare I say it, this is kind of fun exercise??

I decided to take myself off to TJ Maxx to buy some new workout wear.  This was not on a whim, I literally need new stuff.  Have I mentioned before that "everything breaks in Key West", well the elastic in my gym gear (admittedly 5 year old stuff brought over from Ireland) is all completely gone. Gone, along with my modesty while spinning with my leggings falling down off of me.

I bought three sets all the same brand - New Balance.  $60 in total.  Pretty good I think you will agree.


Key West Seafood Festival

Surely, one of the best little festivals of Key West - The Seafood Festival!

$10 entry gets you a wristband good for Saturday and Sunday.  Here is what we ate.  (Sharing plates throughout the weekend).

Saturday afternoon:

Split a lobster bisque (no photo, sadly)

Half a lobster and fish combo dinner.  Served with warm butter, coleslaw, yellow rice and beans.

Sunday (Lunch):

Split another lobster bisque (still no photo, sadly)

Key West Pinks - Peel and Eat shrimp

Sunday afternoon:

Fried Fish

Conch Fritters

Monday 8 January 2024

My tips for getting over the "January Blues"

 1. Take down your Christmas decorations in phases i.e. not one big bang.  I started the day after Stephen's day (Dec 26th) and first put all my Christmas crockery away.  Then, day by day, little by little just started packing stuff away as it caught my eye (little stuff on shelves etc).  

2. Going along with the above, take your tree ornaments down and leave a bare tree, just lights for a couple of days

3. Finally, your bare tree is the last thing to come down on Jan 2nd.  

By doing the above you will avoid that Nought to One Hundred feel, of one day your house being lovely and Christmas decorated and the next, nothing but plain old ordinariness.

4. Little treats:  Keep doing nice things/eating nice food for as long as you can:  Eats

This year I kind of viewed the week of Jan 2-8 as "still Christmas" and while I did watch what I was eating during that week, my new year diet has just started in earnest today.

5. Start planning or thinking about nice things you have coming up in the next few months to create a little smile on your face/nice thoughts in your head.

6. Exercise! Good for the mind, soul and body. Just get out for a walk every day at least.

7. Meet a friend for coffee!

8. Avoid alcohol/drinking too much: hangovers are doubly bad in January in my experience

Anyone else got some other suggestions to keep those blues at bay?!

Edith's Clam Bake in Half Shell Raw Bar

Sunday night before the working week (well, I don't work Mondays lol!)  we treated ourselves to a little outing to Half Shell Raw Bar.  We got a nice table with a nice view of the water and the boats so it couldn't have been any better.

Edith's Clam Bake arrives in a silver tin with aluminium foil on it, topped with garlic bread and coleslaw

Clams, mussels, shrimp, potato, andouille sausage and corn in a lovely buttery garlic and chili oil.

It was a small bit "cold" (by Key West standards!) yesterday so it was the perfect sociable sharing dish for the day that was in it.

Peleton update!

Our peleton arrived and so far, we are killing it! Arrived last Wednesday and by Sunday both of us had done 3 classes/sessions each.  I did my 4th session this morning and Patrick will do one after work today.  I plan on doing one before work tomorrow (around 7.45am).  I think I will do best doing it in the morning, rather than leaving it until the evening, then making an excuse not to do it, and then feeling guilty all evening.  Very, very excited by this big change for going forward and really looking forward (and feeling strong) about being consistent with it going forward.


Finally caught some stone crab!

We finally made the big decision (and effort and time) to move our crab traps last week. When we went out to check them this Saturday morning we were delighted to see some action in the traps.  5 in total - and big ones at that.

I thought you might like to see some before cooking pics and some after.  These look a little darker than in real life - they are cream on the underside fyi.

When you bring them home you need to get your water up to a "rolling boil" and then cook for exactly 10 minutes.  This is to ensure cooked perfectly, plus kill off any bacteria.

This is the colour it goes after being cooked.  Actually, this is the colour it goes within 5 seconds of feeling the hot water.  Practically instantaneous. How pretty!

Tuesday 2 January 2024


After Patrick's family left we decided to have our own little Holiday Season and treat ourselves to some little date nights out.  Another little treat is that for the week, we cranked up the pool temperature and turned it in to a big old hot tub.  It is relatively "cold" here right now so the pool feels just divine.

First up: El Siboney (Cuban food) - Garlic Chicken, Yellow Rice & Plantains
Next evening we had Indian! Tikka House, Key West:  Chicken Tika Masala, Basmati Rice & Naan Bread
Saturday 12/30/23: we smoked a big lump of brisket at home and were delighted with that!
New Years Eve 2023: Oysters and more oysters in Alonzos.  Patrick chose Blue Point's on the half shell which we shared, and I ordered baked oysters which we shared too.  All fabulous.  We then came home and drank some wine and brie cheese.
New Years Day: Half Shell Raw Bar - we shared a "Clambake" dish - shrimp, clams, mussels, andouille sausages, potatoes and corn.  And then I got the craziest shot ever: Read about it here!

Tikka House


Holy Mackerel!

December 31st we went out trolling. It was coldddd. And it was a slog.  But eventually we got a hit, and boy was it a big one! 30 inch King Mackerel at 95 feet.

What a way to end 2023!
Happy New Year, readers!


A new start

A couple of weeks ago I saw THIS on the Half Shell Raw Bar menu.  I pronounced to Patrick that we were going to be coming to Half Shell on New Year's Day and I was having one of them! He laughed, but agreed - only, he said, if I let him buy it for me.  Cute :)

Here it is! The oyster is at the bottom, the red cocktail sauce and then the jalapeno vodka.  I stirred it up and then knocked it back!

Ahahahahahahahahaha.  I laughed so much at the time and am laughing now looking at these photographs.  It was HOT!  Hot and peppery.  You don't get a chance to chew the oyster, down it goes. Next time I get one (next year), I think I will swizzle the oyster around, eat the vodka infused oyster, and then knock back the liquid.

What did you do to mark the New Year?!

Monday 1 January 2024

New Year's Resolutions 2024

Following the traditions of previous years: 2018 20192021 20222023, I am pleased to present to you my New Years Resolutions of 2024

1. Continue my 2023 resolution of buying secondhand or on sale items only (yes same as last year, looking at you Lilly Pulitzer)

2. Exercise more.  Guess what I did? I have rented a peloton bike (with option to buy) and it is due to arrive on the third of January.  Patrick and I are both going to use it and I hope we can get real consistency and see real results.  And enjoy it! Watch this space.

3. Listen to jazz. Because I watched La La Land over the holidays, and it reminded me that I love jazz 

4. Listen to more Elvis Presley.  Because Elvis.

5. Drink less alcohol.  I drink very little as it is, now, but am happy to aim to keep reducing it more.

6. Use my phone and social media less. I deleted twitter about one month ago and even though I miss it (shame) I am battling through.  Not sure why I miss it, I was being far too involved in arguing with people who's minds can never be changed and it caused me stress every time I engaged - I need to remind myself of this!  Tik Tok is the next on my target list: a complete and utter time sink. 

7. Election Year.  Protect my headspace. Any of my "friends" on facebook I see posting right wing awfulness I am going to remove from my "friend" list.  I have friends in inverted commas because they are really just distant contacts/acquaintances to me. None of my real friends lack in empathy, understanding and intelligence. Yesterday one of these "soi disant friends" posted some rubbish about men using lady's bathrooms blah blah so he is gone from my facebook and out of my life now.  No loss.