Cinco de Mayo libations & celebrations

This weekend was celebratory! College graduates around the country finally celebrated their years of hard work paying off, followed by plentiful Cinco de Mayo Festivities! You couldn’t ask for a more celebratory weekend! ;) My sweet and beautiful cousin Sarah graduated this weekend. So proud of her!

After catching up on numerous chores and work, I headed to Tampa for the weekend to celebrate Cinco de Mayo (and our semester being over!) with my sweetie. We hit up Ceviche restaurant in south Tampa for some delicious Sangria and tapas.

I was really excited to see the addition of no-sugar added “skinny” sangria on the menu (at first!), but after enjoying at least two glasses worth, my dining companions politely informed me (to my dismay) that they probably used splenda, equal or some other chemical sugar substitute instead. UGH! I hate fake sugar. I haven’t had it in years and I was kind of horrified that I was drinking it all night long. I hate the idea of putting chemicals in my body. Blah! But oh well, life goes on. Now I know for next time!

When we got home I made some vegetarian chili in my boyfriend’s teeny tiny crockpot, in his teeny tiny kitchen. hehe. So cute. It turned out really yum, except for the fact that I misjudged and filled the pot a bit too high. Needless to say, there was a counter full of chili run-off when we got home.

My go-to chili recipe is pretty simple. I chop up any veggies I have in fridge like carrots, zucchini, squash, celery, peppers, onion and tomatoes. I chop everything really fine, and sometimes even grate the carrots and zucchini. I top off the pot with a  can of tomato sauce, 1-2 cans of chopped fire-roasted tomatoes and 2 cans of beans (I did one can of kidney and 1 can of black beans this time around). I add a little S&P, chili powder, cumin and paprika and stir everything together. Chili is pretty much an “anything goes” type of dish so I’m not too picky. The best part is that you can let it cook in the crock pot all day long and not have to worry about it until you get home. Spoon it over brown rice and you are good to go.

Since the boyfriend and I were celebrating this weekend, we decided to go to downtown Ybor on Sunday afternoon. We started with some delicious brunch, and then took things to an outdoor venue for drinks and live music.

Ybor can be pretty wild and crazy at night, especially on the weekends. Lots of clubs and drinking holes! But it’s pretty relaxing and low-key on a lazy Sunday afternoon, and we had a really good time just strolling the streets and soaking up some sun.

We found an outdoor restaurant with some live acoustic guitar, and a make-it-yourself bloody mary and mimosa bar. Suhweet! Mimosas with guava and mango juice = to die for!

I definitely drank more than usual this weekend but sometimes a girl has to celebrate, right!? ;) There is nothing better than a mimosa and a lil guitar music on a beautiful Sunday afternoon…

Okay maybe there is something a lil better…

… like my sweeti sitting next to me!!

Congratulations to the 2012 graduates, and Happy Cinco de Mayo to all!
~ Peace, Love & Veggies xo

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