[greenville 360] gringos is more than just a great bar

 My favorite bar in all of Greenville turns four years old this week. I've only been a regular there for about a year, but the most common joke in my life is that it is my home. I've even been asked what my job is there a few times. The back porch is my favorite place to sit in the sun having a life chat with a friend and a pitcher of margs, and music trivia on Thursdays was my spot until the universe decided to schedule my Finance class at the exact same time -- thankfully, that ends this week, too -- another celebration to be had.

I guest-coached a fitness class last weekend, and a squad of 10 or so people rolled onto that back porch with me afterwards to eat burritos and have one of Gringos' famous margaritas, which was on the house when they presented their custom koozie, designed by General Manager Jeremy Krauze, declaring that they had each "survived Amanda's Orangetheory takeover" -- a feat that certainly earned them some tequila. 

The bartenders are my good friends and the bouncers and security team are my big brothers; the people there are a family, and they have welcomed me in. I pop behind the booth to say hi to DJ AVX every Friday night when he gets on the turntables at 10:00. I try not to miss their epic parties and events, even if it means I have to show up late in black-tie attire from the thing I had scheduled before, which I have been known to do a time or two. Turnouts are always amazing, and this is because the Gringos squad knows how to throw a good time, Malibu ice luge included.

What most people don't know, however, is that these events raise funds for extremely worthy local charities. I got Jeremy to leave the bar, meaning I got him one block away to the terrace of Jianna for some spaghetti, and picked his brain about what goes into these events. 


Gringos provided an RTIC cooler full of gift cards to the winning team, European Union; the cooler also included donations from Breakthru Beverage with 17 bottles of booze, gifts from Corona and Modelo, Toss Pizza Pub, Willy Taco, Breakwater, Sharkey's, Connolly's, Biscuit Head, Ink N Ivy, Dapper Ink, Pour Taproom, Liberty Fine Cuts and Shaves, and Hair by Erika Krauze.

"We strive to be so much more than just a restaurant and bar. We want to be a pop cultural movement and hopefully assist in the draw of people moving to Greenville. This city has been far too kind in welcoming and accepting us over the past four years of being open and we love the opportunity to give back,” Jeremy told me the day before he cut a check after totaling donations, giving over $1800 to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

Running of the Bulls, a bi-annual bar crawl, benefits a local charity with each installment. The Fall 2016 event benefitted the Greenville Humane society, and proceeds from the April 2016 event benefitted Project Host, a soup kitchen that also trains patrons in culinary skills. Project Host received a $2900 after the dust settled and the bull costumes were tucked away for another day. 

After our pasta was long gone, I asked Jeremy about the legacy he wants to leave on our city. “If our day were to come and Gringo's was no more years from now...I want people to always think back and remember that spot that threw the most amazing events and parties. That put out engaging, light-hearted content that may have brightened someone's day for even just 5 seconds. We love our community and could not be more appreciative of the level of positive response we get in our events and marketing techniques with our videos and social media accounts. We're super stoked for our almighty throwdown for Cinco De Mayo, which also marks Gringo's 4th birthday!) There are plenty of other great events in the works for the rest of summer as well. We have the greatest friends and fan base. And my sincerest thanks goes out to them for their undying support of our weird, crazy antics, celebrations and events.”

I took over the Greenville 360 Instagram at Willy Taco's Uno de Mayo event and found most of the Gringos there doing what they do best -- enjoying a few bevvies and having fun together. We danced to a Guns 'N Roses cover band and stood right next to the speakers. When I looked back, Jeremy had hoisted himself on bouncer and legend Cody the Caveman's shoulders, living in the moment. 

That's the best way I can describe these guys, and this bar that is more than a bar. They make the community a better place, a more fun place to to throw down, and a place that I love to call home. 



#skirtresearch and such

Okay fam, I did a thing for you. I never ever ever in a trillion years thought that I would ever have a shop tab on my dang website, but it is actually a million times easier then answering all of your DMs, which we all know I am terrible at, despite the part of my life where my phone is glued to my hand. 

Well, we all know that I am a #skirttrendsetter. Rewind to the time I picked up a top at Anthro, and it took a full 24 hours for one of the managers to inform me that it was NOT A TOP -- it was a skirt. I had wondered about the presence of a zipper at the neckline of my new silk poncho, but I persevered. 

I am as God made me. 

You guys are also really dying over these shoes. You either want them, or want to know why I wear them while on crutches. WELL LET ME TELL YA. These things are called Kork-Ease and they are the most dang comfortable shoes you will ever wear, except for Uggs. I love Uggs. I know a lot of you don't; thank you for sharing. Kork-Ease are a thing I heard of from my friend Kaitlin; she said all the mom bloggers wear them and romp around Manhattan in them all day while they run the world and do all their stroller pushing and Prada-buying. 

You probably want to go to the entire Kork-Ease website, because there are about 17 million kinds and how am I supposed to know what kind of shoes you like the best. These are my faves, but I got them at Norstrom Rack for $30 because sometimes accidents happen. I did find that blue pair for $36! The others are...not $36.


I took a poll on my Insta story and y'all pretty much said the same thing -- that you liked this for the drama. You are my people, as if I had any doubts. SO, I found this sucker on Poshmark for $30, which is sort of a crime. I literally cannot find what it is called, or if they still exist anywhere in the world. The lesson here: troll Poshmark constantly. 

But, I did find y'all some more great skirts from Anthro and ASOS that fit the bill. At Anthro, we call them "Amanda P skirts" which basically means that you will like them if you are extra, like me. 

And that's all! I've got more things for you to look at on that dang "SHOP" tab -- you can find sections for things in my house and things in my gym bag, too. Everything on there is something I own in real life. Sometimes I wonder how I got a job at Anthro -- everything I wore to my interview was from Monkee's and also I am the most awkward person I know. 

Okay! Shoes and skirts. What other things are y'all looking for recommendations on?


how to make life easier

If you are my Facebook friend, you probably a) know that I am not good at things that everybody else is good at, and b) saw my desperate plea for help with my thermostat recently. 54 of you chimed in when I begged you to explain to me why my house was 65 degrees when I wanted it to be 73 in this joint. I love each and every one of you. You sent me pictures of your Thermostats to share that you also, felt confused and victimized.

I have had extensive hands-on workshops/discussions/"them-being-frustrated-very-loudly-at-me-and-needing-to-take-a-walk"s with my last two significant others JUST ABOUT THERMOSTATS and I JUST CANNOT. Really this is one of the things on my "ugh I just need to get married" list. Not companionship. Thermostat Inner Workings. I know I am a strong, independent woman, but sometimes I am also a selective feminist. It's really not a sexist thing; it's a lazy thing. I just want it to be someone else's thing to worry about. See also: the lawnmower. I refuse.  

SO I HAVE MADE YOU ALL A LIST of the things that make my life easier to live as a single homeowner who is busy and lazy and however else you wanna describe me. I KNOW that most of this is exorbitant and completely unnecessary. I KNOW that I have many degrees in higher education, and that I should be able to figure out how to do life without my little gadgets, but none of those degrees are in thermostat inner workings. Thank you for sharing.



Nest Learning Thermostat, 3rd Generation



So many of you recommended this! You really just cannot be good at everything, and I believe in conserving my energy in certain areas, and so I am having one of these installed. My friend Kaitlin told me that I'll be able to control it from my Apple Watch, and a lot of other things that it can do, but I sort of stopped listening was sold just on the Apple Watch part. And it's cute. And it saves money I'm pretty sure. 

Schlage Z-Wave Touchscreen Deadbolt


A constant piece of criticism in my life used to be that I wandered around without ever locking my house. The seller only gave me one key at closing, and then Sarah lived here, so we always lost the key or something. Or we'd lock each other out. I made a very angry flowchart about it one day. I could just never get my butt to the Lowe's that is, oh, sixty seconds from my front door to make a copy. Also, my Jeep has a touch-to-start. I am just not used to being held back by keys.

So, to fix the CONSTANT SHARES FROM PEOPLE about how this was unwise, I got a touchpad lock! You can ALSO use a key if that;s your thing, and you can ALSO control it from your phone. So, if I'm all snuggled in bed, and suddenly wonder if I locked the door, I can open the app and CHECK. 

Pro Tip: Don't make the code one number different from your ATM pin. I cannot talk about how much frustration this has caused me when I have been in a hurry and am not using my brain fully. 


Amazon Echo


So I do not, at present, own one of these, BUT I hear that it is a good home kit option if you are not an Apple product addict, like moi. One of my favorite bloggers/humans, Laura Tremaine, featured it in her 2015 holiday gift guide and says that it is a MUST HAVE, and when she says that, it usually means that I own the thing within six months. Here is the full CNET review for you, since I do not own the thing and therefore do not know everything about its power.


HP Envy Wireless Printer with Mobile Printing and Instant Ink


THIS THING. GAME CHANGER. Okay. So my thing with printers is that when I was at Wofford and App State, or had my own office, I was walking distance away from free mass printing, so I printed ALL THE THINGS. Now that I am running my empire from a home office, my biggest annoyance is RUNNING OUT OF INK and having to run to Staples on my way to Clemson or ship an eBay auction late because I am TOO LAZY to EVEN GO to Staples. 

BUT THIS THING. You sign up for a monthly plan based on number of pages you think you'll print ($5/mo for 100 pages) in order to help you budget or whatever, but the PRINTER SENSES WHEN YOU ARE ABOUT TO RUN OUT OF INK and then IT TELLS THE INK PEOPLE and then THEY MAIL INK TO YOU AUTOMATICALLY and IT GETS TO YOUR HOUSE BEFORE YOU RUN OUT. I cannot even. I love this century SO MUCH. I mean, obviously if you go crazy and have to print a lot, you'll wanna have some back-up ink, but for regular life, THIS ROCKS.


Coconut Oil


I don't know why. I don't know how. But, somehow coconut oil just makes everything better. There is a big sign about it at Trader Joe's. If I had to give you two pieces of advice, they would be: 

1. Don't respond to texts that you get after 2am.
2. Coconut oil.

Yunmai Body Composition Smart Scale


So we all know that I have been on a lil fitness binge this calendar year, and prior to that, have flirted on an off with weight loss and weird diets and being a soccer star or Olympian. Also, I am constantly injured. Like, right now. Orangetheory brought in a body compositionist last month, and she had a scale that showed us like...how much weight in muscle we have in our left leg. It was amazing. So, to keep me on track while I am unable to work out, I snagged this little guy.

IT HAS AN APP that tracks progress over time, too! It doesn't just measure your weight -- it tells you your muscle mass, bone mass, hydration, and all kinds of things that are more helpful indicators of progress. Normally I am not even a fan of scales at all, but I want to monitor how much my muscle mass changes while I am Couch Girl instead of Cardio Barbie for the foreseeable future. 

Cuisinart SP-2 Rechargeable Salt and Pepper Mills


So if you are a Wofford grad, you probably know who Byron McCane is. THESE ARE ALL HIS FAULT. When I was a senior, he had some of us over to his house (that he built) for dinner (which he cooked) AND HE HAD THESE. They are so pointless, you guys, and you have to like, buy sea salt and peppercorns separately, but you just push the little button and it grinds you some fresh salt or pepper. There is even a little flashlight in case you are doing it in the dark. I wish I was making that part up; I am not.

I don't really remember paying as much for these as they are listed now, but honestly, LOL. So here is a cheaper version that is all on one little mill thing, which probably makes more sense:
[Cuisinart SG-3 Stainless Steel Rechargeable Salt, Pepper and Spice Mill]




iTouchless Sensor Stainless Steel Trash Can


WHAT?? I KNOW! Can we talk about how much I love that I can just crack an egg, or get a handful of all the food that I've left in the sink drain for a hot minute, and wave my hand over this little sensor, and the thing just OPENS? 

This is probably the one that you could make fun of me for the most, and if you think that, WELL then you haven't seen the three-times-as-expensive-ROSE-GOLD version that I had to REALLY CONVINCE MYSELF to take out of my cart and get this one instead.


So, there you have it. There is my list of creature comforts for you. I will likely make this a quarterly occurrence, as I am always finding things that I am mad have not existed my entire life. 


my table never looks like this, so here are some pics while it does

I had a gorgeous farmhouse dining room table and benches that I commissioned a friend to do -- not David Marshall, I should add. Sorry David Marshall; when I am a millionaire, I will have you re-do my house with things made out of reclaimed barnwood from France. I promised him I'd send some photos, so I thought I'd share, along with links to shop the super fun dining room knickknacks (knick-knacks? who knows..) from my go-to's, Anthropologie and Target.

Target Pro Tip: DON'T EVEN GO IN THERE because honestly, ignorance is bliss. 
Anthro Pro Tip: Come into the store if you ever want to order things! We waive the shipping! And the company's shipping is like...$12, it's p crazy. You don't need that kind of negativity in your life. 

Here she is! I'll pick up some chairs for the empty ends at some point. Hopefully something upholstered and comfortable to make up for the, you know, uncushioned wooden benches. Whoops. Also, benches are like, real uncomfortable to sit on. And very hard to deal with WHEN YOU ARE IN A LEG BRACE. Also, whoops. Please also note the little pieces of paper in my floor. I don't really sweep at all, ever. Also, that is not a real fern, because FAKE PLANTS 4 LYFE. I had to have a flaw. That's not it, though. 

This is the part where I give you a lot of links. If you are lazy (is this the flaw?), like moi, you will like the 'Shop' up top where you can see every Anthro kitchen item that I own in one lil thumbnail gallery. Okay. The links. THIS PART IS THE WORST, no one ever blogs about that part. I have this INSANE word document with ALL THESE LINKS and names of things. *groans for 18 years*

[Floral Table Runner by Threshold] -- so, not from Anthro. SORRY, ANTHRO. Idk why it is named this because it has leaves on it, not flowers...and I got the burlap thing from TJ Maxx about 7 years ago so honestly that's a lost cause.
[Assemblage Candelabra] // [Nantucket Brass Lantern] // [Capri Blue Votives] // [Mini Capri Blue Jar Candle] // [Burnished Candle] // [Bubble Glass Lantern]

Man, for someone who doesn't know what she's doing, I think I did a p good job with that. Okay, now here are some sort-of expensive glasses. It's telling me I spelled the word "doesn't" wrong up there. Did I? Says that second time I did it right. Whatever.

So. I have been using the same Vineyard Vines Tervis tumblers that I've had since junior year of college as dinner glasses since, well, junior year of college. I have summer ones and Christmas ones. The best one is the one with the lobster wearing mittens. But, I am developing into a nice young lady with no chill, so to make up for it, I got real people drinking glasses. They are not even the cheap ones from Walmart in case a guest breaks them. This has been known to happen. Moment of silence for my Cinco de Mayo party of 2013. 

The purpley glasses are on sale. AND there's a sale on sale right now -- extra 25% off. I can't find them online. I didn't really look that hard. I think there are two left in the GVL store. Hurry? Whoops again. 

The white speckle ones are apparently part of a blown glass collection, which I learned at the register today. Snag 'em here: [Lustered Tumbler Set]. The thing says they're a set, but you can buy just one if you want to. I don't really know why you'd want to, but let your freak flag fly.

ALSO THESE JUICE GLASSES ARE MY LIFE. I wasted a lot of juice to get this shot right. I don't even think I even did that good of a job. Moment of silence for the juice. I felt bad, because it was from Whole Foods, BUT THEN I LOOKED and saw that it was expired so really I dodged a bullet. 
There are lots of sassy ones. ONE HAS A NARWHAL. I don't know why I don't own it. YET. I should add that these are HAND WASH ONLY but you if you really love something, and believe in it, you should fight for it.
[Menagerie Juice Glasses]

Here are the bowls I use for some things, like when I should use a plate, but wanna eat laying down, so I use a bowl. They are called [Latte Bowls]. They make a bigger version, called a [Latte Pasta Bowl]. I was v happy with the size, bc ya girl can eat a lot of pasta.

I ordered the [tiny gold spoons] from Amazon. I thought they were regular spoons. The description says 'espresso spoons' now that I read it. I didn't know what that was. Now I do. A rude houseguest saw them once and said "oh, is that what was in your mouth when you were born?" and I clapped right back and said "no, no, that one was silver and I keep it in a shadowbox in the family estate" even though joke's on him because I grew up on a farm and really just wanted gold spoons. The small ones are nice; they make it take longer to eat a pudding cup.

AND THESE ARE FUN! They are teeny lil plate guys. I am learning about all the different kinds of plates. There are dinner plates, salad plates, and then these -- canapé plates. What is a canapé? I use them when I eat things that are small, or when I am doing an Instagram of me having coffee. AND THEY ARE ON SALE FOR $5. Come see us at the GVL store! 
[Calligrapher Monogram Canape Plate]

Also...I'm watching a show on Netflix that has Ariana Grande in the cast, and I could listen to her talk all day, but Y'ALL, she dies in the first episode!!! Sort of the worst idea anyone has ever had. Joke's on me though, because I'm still watching it. Also, if you think this is a spoiler, I didn't say the name of the show. Hah. 

ALRIGHT FAM, that's some of the stuff in my kitchen. That table won't look like that after tonight  because it's where I throw stuff, in case you missed the part about me only eating on my couch because the benches are annoying.

I think I'm supposed to like...ask questions to encourage comments now. 

What are some ways that you keep yourself from eating pudding cups too fast? How do you emotionally cope with having glasses that are hand-wash only? Do you think the little label is serious about that? What even is a canapé? Don't Google it -- I want to know if you know. 

COMING SOON: More lifestyle pieces, like where I ask my dietitian important questions, like, "WHAT IS THIS VEGETABLE I HAVE NEVER HEARD OF?" and "Can I hide this in a smoothie?" and "Okay, if I eat this, what's in it for me?" -- not to be outdone by "what in the world do you want me to do with a gallon of arugula?"