Friday Food : Lighten Up Guide to SONIC

I don’t always talk about the brands and stores I adore, but when I do you know it’s the real deal. SONIC is a drive-in I fell in love with long before I ever tried their food. Living near the Cleveland area, commercials from areas where they were located would occasionally pop up on TV. Each and every time I was devastated I couldn’t eat the latest and greatest trend! As I grew older friends who went away to college were able to eat there, but I was left to suffer.

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One fateful day I was down near Southern Ohio with Tom and Pete and we saw a SONIC! I could have cried tears of joy. We pulled into it and I readied myself for the adventure…guess what…they were CLOSED. Can you even believe it? Ugg. Needless to say I cried a little.

Eventually the restaurants moved to my area and now I have one not too far away from where I live. I also had one on the way to Mr B’s and would quite often partake of their breakfast menu.

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I guess you could conclude when I received an email asking if I would work with them on their Lighten Up Guide to SONIC summer promotion, it was one of my blogger dream come true moments. It also helped to receive the email on my actual birthday! Happy Birthday to me!

Here’s the back-story from SONIC aka The Ultimate Drink Stop on this promotion:

At SONIC Drive-In, we know summer is best spent in the sun and enjoying the outdoors. Many of our fans work to stay healthy all year, but especially for their summer vacations and trips. With over 20,000 zero- and reduced-calorie drink combinations, staying fit while enjoying your favorite SONIC summertime treats is totally doable! You shouldn’t have to give up flavor for fitness, and with so many low-cal drink flavor options at SONIC, it’s no sacrifice at all.

YAY! Thanks SONIC, right? And now I find myself taking another vacation with Tom and Pete (We’re headed to Virginia Beach TODAY) and with the Labor Day weekend right around the corner, what better time to stop in at your local SONIC and create a drink of your own, or try one of combinations my sister and I created? Summer may be ending, but that doesn’t mean it has to leave without a toast. Grab your favorite combination and let’s say “Cheers!”

Lighten Up Guide to SONIC

1. Orange Creamsicle

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Many people would think to use the orange Fanta available to make this combination, but I found a way to make it and reduce your calorie count! A small Fanta has 150 calories! Instead buy yourself a cup of Sprite Zero (which has zero calories) and add vanilla and orange flavorings (25 calories total). Yum yum yum it’s like a melted popsicle without the mess or guilt!

2. Picnic in a Cup

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I went simple with this mix and again bought a small Sprite Zero and added watermelon flavoring. At only 10 calories this was a lovely summer refresher. To me watermelon screams summer and screams picnic, which is why I gave the simple mix its name.

3. Here Comes Halloween

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Entering Fall there’s talk of leaves and pumpkins and bumps in the night. My immediate thought when I saw green apple on the menu was to make something with apple and caramel! However, unlike the chocolate and vanilla options, caramel seemed to be strictly a sundae topping at my local SONIC, so I had to revise my plan. Another Sprite Zero mix, this time with the green apple and again although simple it evoked memories of falls past and helped me get excited for what’s to come. At only 5 calories in a small, I’ll be able to splurge on a candy apple too!

4. Neapolitan 

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My sister was the brains behind this combination. I love how you can see the actual bits of strawberry! Inspired by my earlier ice cream treat I’m sure, she went full force on her own! Finally moving away from keeping Sprite Zero in business (ha) she opted to use Coke Zero and add strawberry, chocolate and vanilla. At 60 calories for the small, it may be one of the higher calorie items we created, but it was also one of the best. She shared it with her boyfriend and our mom too, and everyone approved!

5. Twisted Watermelon

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Another sister creation. She liked my Picnic in a Cup approach and went a step further and added fresh lime to hers. While she liked what she made, she said she thought the lime overpowered the drink. Our mom also agreed. Having had the watermelon by itself about a week before I could distinctly notice both flavors and really enjoyed her version. Total calories for a small? An easy to digest 10.

6. Chocolate Cherry Cordial  

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I honestly saved the best for last. For my final drink I opted for Diet Dr Pepper (zero calories) and added chocolate and cherry flavors. My drink even came with a cute little cherry on top! From start to finish this was easily one of the best drinks I have ever tasted in my entire life. We’re talking eyes rolled into the back of the head, pause and savor before taking another sip. Everyone I shared it with that day had the same reaction, it truly tasted like a chocolate covered cherry! Now here is the bad news. All these drinks should be 60 calories or fewer per serving. My CCC has 80 total calories for a small. Bummer. I personally think it is worth the other 20 calories, but I’ll let you be the judge. Also, IMHO it is so yummy, you won’t drink the whole thing in one sitting. Which means it may be more like 40 calories a serving if you split it in two!

It was a lot of fun to scan the menu and come up with new flavors and fun names. I’m hoping to make a few more drinks with the boys this weekend. The sis and I also had a blast as we always do when we go to SONIC. Great times sitting in the car, eating the food and chatting. And maybe posing for a few photo ops too!

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Thanks SONIC for asking me to help with your Ultimate Drink Stop creations! I can’t wait to hear what other people create during their visits.

Why I Support Robin Thicke

First and foremost I support Thicke because I am a blurred line. I live in a society of blurred lines, and I don’t appreciate it anymore. I never did.

In the last few days I’ve read several posts on how Thicke’s song “Blurred Lines” is part of rape culture and is degrading to women. Any post where someone wrote about how they were personally offended, I say “Thanks for sharing and I am sorry for your experience”. Any post where somewhere generically wrote about how it is harming all women in our society I politely ask, “Speak for yourself”.

When I first heard this song, I fell in love. After a weird break-up I was searching for answers. It wasn’t the first time I had a falling out over a certain topic and I was starting to think something was wrong with me. Thicke’s song played and I had some answers. I read the lyrics, everything clicked and wanted to sing it out to the world. No where in the song did I read anything about “You said “no” and I did it anyway” “You were passed out when it happened” or “I never asked”. Those are rape actions. Sure the man “assumes” by saying “I know you want it”. Maybe the guy isn’t assuming though and actually knows she wants it because the girl SAID something? As in the part where she’s talking about getting blasted? Somewhere along the way females learned they can’t ask for sex and they can’t want sex, but if they’re drunk and it just happens, “Ooopsies!”. No. No more. For me “Blurred Lines” is saying “Stop with the act and OWN your sexuality”. You don’t need to be drunk to hit on a man, you don’t need to be drunk to have sex in nontraditional ways. You don’t need an excuse or a loophole.

I’m no longer a young adult, but I have suffered and dealt with these double standards my entire 20’s. I have stayed in relationships because it was the “right” way to have sex. AKA I let them try to domesticate me. But am I an animal? IS it in my nature? I’ve had at least 3 break-ups I can recall where the guy ended it because he didn’t see a future with me. I knew it was coming though, because the sex was off. Why does it matter? Why didn’t I speak up sooner or simply end things for myself? Well, somehow I learned a girl can’t want sex, a girl can’t have sexual expectations and to end if for that reason would be very inappropriate, perhaps even slutty of me? Yikes!

Seriously. I was recently told by an ex-boyfriend, someday I will “calm down” and want something “more” from a partner, maybe I need to grow up? Excuse me? What did I want exactly? I wanted more than gentle love making. I wanted to know there would be nights where drunk or not we could go crazy and have sex any which way. I wanted to know there was the emotional and physical desire. If “growing up” means I can’t joke around about threesomes or ask to be spanked, then maybe I don’t want to grow up and maybe I’m pissed I even have to make a distinction or choice?

The ONLY part of Thick’s song I don’t like is the lyric about a girl being a “bitch”, everything else is fair game in my book. A guy wants to talk about how big his “D” is and how it could tear the girl in two? It isn’t rape, it’s a guy bragging. He never said he’d force it on her, for crying out loud. I know girls who have said their breasts could suffocate a man. It isn’t rape, it’s their version of self-promotion. And the other rap portion about smacking asses and pulling hair? Sorry people, also not rape. Were you not around for the 50 Shades of Grey obsession?

I’ll be honest. I’ve had my hair pulled during sex and I’ve been spanked. I have never been raped. Sometimes I liked it and sometimes I didn’t. When I didn’t the guy didn’t do it anymore. What a novel idea! Consenting sex between two legal aged adults where the before, during and after were mutually satisfying? How could it be? And how could it exist outside of a domesticated relationship? I just don’t know!

Here’s the deal. I’m tired of being told “good girls” don’t dress a certain way, they don’t talk a certain way and they certainly don’t act a certain why. “Blurred Lines” is tired of it too. Why is it women can be shown in a bikini to sell stuff, but when a woman uses her same sexuality on her own terms there’s something wrong with her? Why? Why do I live in a society where as I approach 30 it’s weird I’m not married? Or it’s OK I’m not married, but I should keep it under-wraps when I’m wanting sexual contact? Or I should hope for a drunken “accident”.

Again NO NO NO.

For years art and entertainment have pushed the limits of what is acceptable in society or reflected trends. Music does the same thing. If van Gogh was married and painted a picture of a naked woman would there be backlash? Would we say it was completely inappropriate for a married man to see a naked woman other than his own wife? Would we complain about how his art promoted nudity and sexual promiscuity? Would we say the woman had low morals and standards for posing for such an image?

Music walks a fine line in our society because people can and do repeat the words. We ask “How does that sound?” coming from a 5 year old and then we feel shame because we wonder what we are doing to our children. I say 5 year olds have been repeating things they don’t understand for years. I say we should teach our children from a young age to own their bodies and not be afraid of their impulses, but teach them how to be safe. Safe with their bodies and their hearts.

I know it doesn’t say much to plan for what I’ll teach my children when I don’t any, but I will anyway. I will teach my sons AND daughters the same thing! Some girls will be sexually expressive, others won’t. Some guys will be and others won’t. Do what is most satisfying for you and always respect where others are on the spectrum. Use respectful language in public and always set proper expectations and boundaries in the bedroom. ALWAYS be safe in the bedroom, physically, emotionally and sexually.

As I approach 30 and worry about the future, I can’t help but to reflect on the past. When something sexual was OK with one boyfriend, but not then other I defaulted to thinking something about me was wrong or broken. I wish I could go back in time and convince myself it only meant this wasn’t the right relationship for me. I never want another girl to feel or think those things when she finds herself in a relationship that isn’t sexually compatible. I never want myself to experience it again. Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” may sound dirty to some or rude to others, but for me, it was the sound of years of self-doubt and second guessing falling to the floor. For me it was the sound of liberation and pride.

Go on and say I’m ignorant, say I’m stupid, say I’m ruining futures everywhere. I’m sure some of you will honestly believe it. All I know is, I’ll be living my own life and being happy. Blurred lines or not.

Pretty Close!

The time has come. The Columbus Pretty Muddy event is looming around the corner. Are all your plans finalized?

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When I was accepted as a race ambassador so many months ago, it was hard to fathom September would ever arrive in this calender year. Now that I can see the race penciled in on my planner I am getting very excited and a little nervous. Originally I was going to use my free entry and then have friends or family pay to join me. Sadly in the last several months all friends and family have opted to spend their money in other ways. Boo. So I am flying solo at this year’s event, but I know that’ll be fine because there is a huge group of fun and happy ladies waiting to be my friends. If you’re hoping to join me, the current registration is $69.50 and I’m in the 1100 AM wave.

A few important reminders from their site:

Pretty Muddy is a 5k adventurous obstacle course mud run for any woman
who wants to get outside, spend time with friends and have fun.

– 5k Course (3.1 miles, run or walk)
– Women Only (sorry, guys)
– Mud (lots of it!)
– Architectural Obstacles (much better than shabby hay bales and shaky plywood)
– Pretty Epic Finish Line Party (Entertainment, music, drinks & celebration galore)

WHAT TO WEAR

Wear whatever you feel comfortable exercising in, as long as you don’t mind it getting dirty.

WHAT TO BRING

A valid ID and a signed copy of your waiver for check in.

Change of clothes. Bring a fresh set of comfortable clothes (including shoes) to change into after your wave. Don’t forget to include a plastic bag (to stash your muddy gear), waterproof sunscreen (sunburn and mud are not a good look) and a towel to dry off. There will be plenty of bathrooms on site, showers to rinse off and private changing areas so you can get clean and enjoy the day.

A camera. These are pretty awesome memories you’ll want to remember and share!

Cash and credit cards. We’ll have a variety of food and beverages available for purchase throughout the day, along with some pretty awesome gear.

Friends and family! We’ll have lots of places for them to cheer you on, take photos and add to the day’s excitement.

And here’s what to leave at home

Jewelry. We’d hate for your priceless family tiara to get lost in the mud!

Pets. Really, who wants to drive home with a wet, muddy dog?

Got more questions? Check out the FAQs page for answers!

But wait there’s morrrrrrre

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Pretty Muddy has introduced a FAMILY EDITION of their event. What’s that? You ask? Well, this is a shortened version of the course designed to highlight the best portions and safe and fun for everyone. Women can bring their children, younger family members, even their significant others!

  • Family Edition is 1 hour of “Family Waves” every 10 minutes, taking place after the “Female-only Waves” have commenced for the day.
  • This wave is for women, their kids, and even their hubbies!
  • Children must be 6 years old, and at least 48 inches tall in order to participate.
  • Children 13 and under MUST be accompanied by an adult (18+) throughout the entire course.
  • Those women that choose to participate in one of the “Female-only Waves” can run again with their families for free in the “Family Waves”.
  • All finishers will receive a medal!

So, what do you say? Will you be there this year? Perhaps at another location closer to your home? Maybe marking it as a “must-do” for 2014?