Big Baja Salad

September 12, 2010

So this morning I got thinkin’…Gossip Girl..Glee…Movies. The laptop screens are just not cutting it. We definitely don’t need a TV but I do kind of want one.

The reason we don’t have one is because we gave away our jumbo tube TV (which we got for free from friends 3 years ago) upon moving.

Plus, our living room just isn’t styled for a TV:

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So my brain started cranking and soon the living room looked like this:

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I think I like it better anyways!

So I’m thinking the TV could go on this wall (possibly moving that taller shelf to another space)

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Space check.

So Karen is moving in 10 days and has a really nice 6′ long TV stand that she doesn’t have space for in her new place, so she offered to give it to us.

Furniture check.

Now bout that TV. Within 5 minutes of saying I wanted one on Twitter, two of my friends offered to give us their hand-me-down TVs! It seems we are inheriting Emily + Casey’s 37″ flatscreen!!

TV check!!

The cable issue is still debatable. I priced it at $75/month. I actually think we’re NOT going to get cable and just use the TV for movies and connect a laptop for online watching of only the best shows. We really just wanted the big screen – not all the TV.

But we’ll see!


This morning we said goodbye to Karen and Matt, Andrew and I headed out for a bike ride. It was refreshing and tiring on the legs. If biking in Charlotte was a leisurely event, biking in Charlottesville is an interval workout!! Up a hill, out of breath, back down, back up!

We biked for about an hour and headed back home for showers.

And decided going out to lunch would be fun.

I had my heart set on Butternut Squash Bisque and a Spinach + Goat Cheese salad from Revolutionary Soup. And I was STARVING.

By the time we biked BACK to Rev Soup we discovered it was CLOSED!!

Instead of looking for another healthy salad opportunity, our hunger demanded we settle for Baja Bean next door

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The setting was very nice, and we had a huge menu to peruse.

I knew I wanted a salad with as many veggies as possible.

Matt knew he wanted nachos ASAP!

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These were actually awesome. I put a pile on my plate as an appetizer

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Little did we know that chips and salsa were also served! I skipped those guys sans one chip to try out the salsa

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My big salad!!

This was a huge bowl of lettuce and tomato topped with a fajita. Pepper, cheese, rice, beans, quac, sour cream and shrimp. Guess how much it cost?

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Only $6.25. INCLUDING the shrimp! It was fabbbbulous. Very fresh tasting.

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I tried to push away some of the heavier ingredients and focused on the veggies and shrimps – I was not in the mood for feeling stuffed. I made a good sized dent in it though, and ate almost everything but the refried beans and sour cream and none of the shell. I will definitely back for another one of these!

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Matt had a veggie quesadilla that he shared and it was out of this world good – filled with squash and corn and peppers!

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We were very impressed with the service, prices, and flavors of Baja Bean! And all draft beers are $2 for happy hour – everyday. They have several we’re interested in going back to try. Just not until the 100 beers I tried yesterday are out of my system!!

I am so looking forward to a week or normal eating. I just want to FEEL back in my jive again.

Now for some reading on the couch!

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{ 87 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Faith @ lovelyascharged September 12, 2010 at 2:10 pm

That’s an awesome price on the taco bowl – Mexican food is usually well priced but that’s just above and beyond! PS – LOVE the new layout of the living room – much more spacious!


2 Gabriela @ Une Vie Saine September 12, 2010 at 2:11 pm

I love how proactive you are- just decided to rearrange the living room, and that’s that!! I pretty much only use my TV for watching movies, but I feel like if I didn’t have one, I’d want to watch TV all the time. If you can get it for free, why not?

Hope you have a great afternoon!


3 emily September 12, 2010 at 2:11 pm

We don’t have cable, but we bought a hdmi cord that allows us to watch shows online on my laptop on the tv. It works out pretty great – cheaper, less distractions, and no commercials!


4 Jazz September 12, 2010 at 5:23 pm



5 Jillian Bean September 12, 2010 at 5:33 pm

We don’t have cable either-but bought an antenna that hooks up to our flat screen and gets us the basic big network channels for FREE. $29 at Best Buy:)


6 Laura September 12, 2010 at 8:51 pm

Yes! My boyfriend got an HD antenna (from Amazon) and installed it in our attic…we get a crystal clear HD picture and all of the main channels for free! We have a TIVO and between that, the internet, and netflix we have all the TV we could ever want without high monthly bills!


7 Christine September 12, 2010 at 2:12 pm

I’m known for constantly rearranging furniture in my room! It’s so satisfying for me to push things around and accomplish a new “goal” — along with refreshing the feel of a room!

Glad you enjoyed your salad….though I think I would have opted for Matt’s dish!


8 Jessica @ How Sweet It Is September 12, 2010 at 2:13 pm

That taco salad bowl looks incredible!


9 barefootgirl September 12, 2010 at 2:14 pm

I heart your living room! Perhaps you could come to Mass & rearrange mine?

I was wondering why you said goodbye to Karen & Matt and that you and Andrew went on a bike ride… but the pics explained it all 😉


10 Lauren at KeepItSweet September 12, 2010 at 2:14 pm

i love big mexican salads- mainly because they involve beans and guac


11 Nicole @ yuppie yogini September 12, 2010 at 2:16 pm

My boyfriend is a computer whiz and has hooked his TV up to a computer. We either watch Hulu or he is able to download series like Dexter, True Blood, Glee. Of course we aren’t watching it live, but it’s free.


12 Lin September 12, 2010 at 2:17 pm

Gossip girl is certainly a noble cause for getting a t.v. as is Jersey Shore and any of the Real Housewives shows :-P. And I love your rearranged living room!


13 Laura September 12, 2010 at 2:18 pm

Wow…that living room is gorgeous……a tv would make it even better though;-) xx


14 Tina September 12, 2010 at 2:19 pm

Our TV is hooked up through a computer. We don’t have cable and just catch shows we love online. It works!


15 Estela @ Weekly Bite September 12, 2010 at 2:21 pm

Our living room is set up very similar. At first we didn’t have a TV due to styling… but we missed it, so now we have a lovely antique stand that holds a flat screen… its not gaudy… its just blends in. :)


16 Freya (Brit Chick Runs) September 12, 2010 at 2:21 pm

What a bargain salad!
I don’t have cable or sky either – I can watch everything I need on the laptop, the tv is just there for dvd use too :) it works well!


17 stacey-healthylife September 12, 2010 at 2:22 pm

The salad looks so good. Enjoy your tv. I know your someone who wont get sucked in to spending too much time watching it.


18 Stacey September 12, 2010 at 2:28 pm

YUM! Who doesn’t love a great priced meal that’s actually GREAT? 😀 And $2 beers? I’d say: Yes please.


19 Emmalinda September 12, 2010 at 2:28 pm

We didn’t get a TV (haven’t had one for 6 years) until the Olympics this year. We have an old, heavy TV from a co-worker. We just bought a converter box and rabbit ears: we get all the “big” stations so we can watch Glee, 30 Rock, etc. I really don’t miss cable.


20 Kristin September 12, 2010 at 2:28 pm

With the newest version of iTunes you can rent tv shows for 99 cents an episode. That might work too. And they sell the nifty Apple TV now for only $99. You can rent movies, TV shows and store music and everything on there. May be a good alternative.


21 Sammy September 12, 2010 at 2:32 pm

Kath–I have two tvs, but no cable. I have Netflix (the cheapest plan at $8.99/month) which has unlimited streaming of movies online and to your television! It’s so cool! I bought a Roku Player specifically for netflix (it also streams Pandora, bonus!) and it has paid for itself ten times over (it’s only $100)…

Also, I bought an antenna (rabbit ears, I guess??) and a digital converter box–local channels come in crystal clear with this new digital conversion thing that happened last year. And that’s free! Plus, you might not even need a digital converter box since most of the tvs today have one built in… and an antenna is cheapo.


22 Kierstan September 12, 2010 at 2:36 pm

My husband and I cut the cable cord over a year ago and LOVE our decision! Too many hours were wasted watching shows we really didn’t care about. We did however, purchase a nice new flatscreen. Now we just hook up the laptop and watch our favorite shows when we want. It is really quite nice being able to watch what you want, when you want (as long it is on hulu or netflix!).


23 Christina @ Food.Fun.Fabulous September 12, 2010 at 2:38 pm

Your living room is so cute! My boyfriend hooks his computer up to the TV a lot because we just get the basic channels anyway


24 Catherine September 12, 2010 at 2:40 pm

Ok, I never noticed your chairs before but they are gorgeous! I love that pattern on them :)
Also, that salad is making me hungry! :)


25 Morgan @ Healthy Happy Place September 12, 2010 at 2:44 pm

why don’t you mount the flat screen above the fireplace? Then you could keep your furniture arrangement the same.


26 heather j. September 12, 2010 at 2:48 pm

I definitely like the new LR layout better! The first was nice & crisp looking, but this one is a bit more cozy. Very pretty!


27 Maria @ Oh Healthy Day September 12, 2010 at 2:51 pm

Your living room has so much character! I love it. We also use our TV to hook up to our computers. We use Netflix, which is way cheaper than cable and there a lots of options for free downloads (that’s how we caught Food Inc. for the first time).


28 Heather (Heather's Dish) September 12, 2010 at 2:51 pm

that’s an incredible price! i would totally hit that up…maybe even split with my hubby :)


29 Kelley September 12, 2010 at 2:51 pm

Baja Bean!! I met my future husband there back when I was a UVa student! Ever since you moved to Cville, reading all your posts/seeing Cville pics is so nostalgic.


30 Camille September 12, 2010 at 2:52 pm

Honestly, cable isn’t worth it. My boyfriend and I just got cable for the first time in 2 years because it is really cheap for the first 6 months. Our most frequent comment is that TV sucks and there is nothing on. I think that after our 6 months we will probably get rid of it. TVs are for movies anyway! :)


31 Evan Thomas September 12, 2010 at 2:53 pm

For the past 2 weeks I was watching TV on my computer in my dorm because I needed to get a cable box. It just didn’t cut it. I hate to admit it, but I’m definitely one of those kids whose parents used the TV as a babysitter, and I feel so lost without it just playing in the background.


32 Alaina @ The Jogging Concierge September 12, 2010 at 2:54 pm

Love the new living room layout! Ah, the wonders of Twitter. With so many followers, who needs craigslist anymore? :-) haha


33 Hillary [Nutrition Nut on the Run] September 12, 2010 at 2:55 pm

Your house is b-e-a-u-tiful, Kath!! For a young couple, it seems as though you have a bounty of very nice things. Would you be interested in writing a post about how you’ve been able to live so comfortably/stylish at such a young age? : )


34 Kath September 12, 2010 at 3:57 pm

Thank you! I really can’t take credit because the whole living room is Karen’s hand-me-down from when she moved out of her house about 5 years ago. All of our furniture has come from Crate + Barrel, Pier 1 and World Market!


35 christina cadden September 12, 2010 at 2:58 pm

Salad is so refreshing sometimes. Yours looks good!


36 Jess September 12, 2010 at 2:59 pm

have you thought about mounting the tv above the fireplace? we did that in my house and it’s a surprisingly great arrangement. that being said though, your living room looks SO much more inviting this new way! i am also really jealous of how cute that striped couch is.


37 Heather September 12, 2010 at 3:13 pm

I like the new living room layout more as well – it has a great conversation pit as my dad used to say.

We have cable but as soon as our contract runs out, we are getting rid of it. We can hook our laptop up and watch most shows…I would rather just pay for internet!

That taco salad looks amazing – and for that price – what a steal!


38 Erin @ The Making of a Teacher September 12, 2010 at 3:22 pm

Get a digital antenna! You can get all the broadcast channels (even in HD) for free! or a digital converter box, like some commenters suggested (but it sounds like that TV won’t need one). I’m getting ready to switch us from cable to digital broadcast and keep my Netflix. It’ll be nice to just pay for internet!


39 lisasfoods September 12, 2010 at 3:27 pm

I’m happy to see so many people here who go without cable. We don’t have it either, but we have a television that we use to watch movies and TV shows from Netflix (three at a time works well for us). We’ve gotten through the whole series of The Sopranos, and are currently working through the X-Files. I’m not into cutting out television altogether, but I’d rather eliminate blank staring at the screen just because it’s there, when there are lots of films and programs I want to watch.

Will be curious to see what you and Matt decide on.


40 Errign September 12, 2010 at 3:37 pm

I had NO idea you could hook a computer up to a tv for show-watching…must google this!


41 Mary @ Bites and Bliss September 12, 2010 at 3:38 pm

I love the new living room!! It actually makes it look much roomier. And score on the hand-me-down TV!! Yay for free electronics!! Especially flat screen TVs :)


42 [email protected] September 12, 2010 at 3:40 pm

Haha, I love how you drew in the space for your TV. Hope you get it soon! Watching anything on a bigger screen makes such a huge difference.


43 Stacey (The Habit of Healthy) September 12, 2010 at 3:46 pm

Love your living room, and the sketch of where you want the TV to go is so cute. It sounds like you had a nice lunch and the salad does look good.


44 Lindsey @ Gingerbread Bagels September 12, 2010 at 3:52 pm

The new layout of the living room looks fantastic. I LOVE your furniture, you have such great taste when it comes to decorating. :)


45 Judy September 12, 2010 at 3:57 pm

LOL, ok so it was not Matt and Karen she was saying goodbye to, and going to lunch with Andrew…..I was wondering where Matt was going too…
Anyway I have tv, and cable it is on right now but I don’t have a clue whats going on… I think I keep it on more for the noise


46 Marisa @ Loser for Life September 12, 2010 at 4:07 pm

Love your living area the new way! Congrats on scoring the TV and stand, too!
Totally drooling over that salad. I want that for dinner!


47 Hillary Hansen September 12, 2010 at 4:19 pm

You left out Vampire Diaries.


48 Samantha September 12, 2010 at 4:20 pm

All I could think about when you said 75$ for cable is the yoga place and how you were trying not to spend the extra 75$ there. That’s 900 bucks a yr! I bet you guys could get set up for cheaper with some of the above suggestions.


49 Emily September 12, 2010 at 4:22 pm

The TV is a great idea if you make a promise to keep it to your fav shows/movies/the news. Sometimes I hate ours because I can sit and watch the food network mindlessly forever (esp if I have my laptop and blogs to read). Your decorating style is fabulous by the way, love your house!


50 Lisa @bakebikeblog September 12, 2010 at 4:32 pm

Wow that salad looks fantastic!!!!


51 Katie September 12, 2010 at 4:34 pm

OK, now I am totally craving mexican for dinner. I had this great meal planned too. but that taco salad is calling to me.

I like the rearranged living room much better than the first photo.


52 Halley (Blunder Construction) September 12, 2010 at 4:50 pm

I love your decorating sense, Kath! Your living room set is so chic, it looks great no matter which way you arrange it. Also, I thought the stack of nachos was your ‘Baja Salad’ at first. I thought, ‘Now that’s my kind of salad’ a bit too prematurely :)


53 lauri ( September 12, 2010 at 4:57 pm

Hiya! I don’t think Ben could survive without a HUGE TV, especially on Saturdays during Fall (football). If you are getting a flat screen, did y’all think about mounting it over the fireplace?


54 J3nn (Jenn's Menu and Lifestyle Blog) September 12, 2010 at 5:00 pm

I think not getting cable is a great idea! Watching shows on Netflix is economical and prevents you from wasting too much time. It doesn’t make sense to pay for 60+ channels you’ll never watch! :)

That fajita salad looks PERFECT! OMG, that’s EXACTLY what I would have ordered. I’m not a chicken or beef gal that much when I eat out, but shrimp? OH YES! Especially in Mexican food, it’s my favorite. Yum!



55 Eating Bird Food September 12, 2010 at 5:32 pm

I like the new living room set up!

We have a Baja Bean here too – I’m thinking it’s the same because the dishes look similar!!


56 Bee Goes Bananas September 12, 2010 at 5:42 pm

I abolutely LOVE your couch! It’s so quirky and cute, yet sophisticated. And the chairs match so well with it even though they don’t “match”.


57 Krystina September 12, 2010 at 5:49 pm

I love the new living room set up!


58 holly @ couchpotatoathlete September 12, 2010 at 5:50 pm

That salad looks so unbelievably good. There is no way I could say no that shell though :)

We have cable and Netflix and I love having them both — I’m sure I’d be much more productive without them though!

I think your living room looks mch more comfortable that way — I don’t like walking into a room and seeing the back of someone’s head – the new way seems much more inviting.


59 Sarena (The Non-Dairy Queen) September 12, 2010 at 5:52 pm

I hear ya on the tv. We don’t watch a lot of tv, but it is nice to unwind sometimes and just not think. Sometimes ya just need mindless entertainment. I love little places like that Mexican place. That salad looks so good! Have a great night, Kath!


60 Sabina September 12, 2010 at 5:59 pm

We have a TV, but no cable! We have an HDMI cable that runs from our computer to the TV – no commercials = bonus!! We have an HD receiver box, which gets us 10 local channels (feeds my need for the 6:00 PM news). When we dropped our cable (about a year ago), we upped our internet (still loads cheaper than slower internet + cable). We haven’t looked back!


61 Liz September 12, 2010 at 6:12 pm

It’s encouraging to see so many people who have taken the plunge to quit cable! My husband and I just decided to get rid of our cable to save money and to encourage more creative uses of our time in the evenings. We are still keeping our TV for movie watching and hooking up our laptop to watch shows online, but it’s so freeing to not have endless hours of crap piled up on the DVR. It’s so silly, but I always would feel like I NEEDED to stay caught up on whatever was in our DVR. I’d much rather be playing outside!


62 Jessica @ The Process of Healing September 12, 2010 at 6:17 pm

Maybe it’s pathetic but I can’t imagine NOT having a TV!! Gotta have my fix! And I cannot WAIT for GG!


63 Laura September 12, 2010 at 6:23 pm

When we moved four months ago we said we wouldn’t get cable either. But it was May and all of our favorite shows were finishing up, and I really wanted to see them on TV. I called the cable company which priced me at $29 for 17 channels (basic cable plus CNN, weather, etc.) then I happened to get a flier for DISH network and called them and we’re now paying $31for 120 channels + free HD. They also gave us 3 months of free HBO and Showtime.

The only thing with DISH is you have to stay on top of them to take off the free HBO (they’re hoping you forget and continue to be charged) plus go over your bill because they said I requested to be “upgraded” to Platinum HD when I did no such thing since regular HD is free. Besides the sketchiness of those things, it’s great.


64 Kati September 12, 2010 at 6:36 pm

Your food looks soooo good! Now I want mexican instead of our frozen Digiorno pizza :> Congrats on the TV! That’s awesome!


65 Cara Craves... September 12, 2010 at 6:39 pm

Mmmm to that salad!
It’s probably good that you save the money and not get the cable…
The allure of the cable will probably suck you in and you will end up watching
more TV than you want.


66 Lindsay September 12, 2010 at 7:17 pm

Kath, I have long been a fan of your blog, but ever since you moved to Charlottesville your posts have been especially fun to read! A recent UVA graduate, I get excited every time you visit one of my old hangouts. I celebrated the first hour of my twenty-first birthday on the Baja Bean patio- gotta love the Tequila Club card! Have you been to Take-It-Away yet? I know you have a very talented baker in the family, but their $0.50 bag of bread ends is PERFECT for nut butter sampling :)


67 Kath September 12, 2010 at 7:18 pm


I haven’t been to Take-It-Away. Where is it?


68 angie September 12, 2010 at 7:26 pm

I’d love to ditch the cable, but my husband is such a sports fan that I doubt we’ll ever be without a TV!


69 Eileen September 12, 2010 at 7:58 pm

I’m very impressed by how many readers don’t have cable! We don’t either … I guess it’s been about six years. I do binge on it when we’re at a vacation site that has it, but I quickly realize that there’s really not much worth watching.


70 lynn (The Actors Diet) September 12, 2010 at 8:01 pm

sometimes i fantasize about a life without tv. but i know it’s not possible – being an actor it’s my homework!


71 Lauren @ vegology September 12, 2010 at 8:10 pm

There is a Baja Bean Co in Richmond too – same owners. If you’re ever in town, keep it in mind as a satisfying and inexpensive dining option. Eating on the patio and watching the pedestrian traffic on Main St is very relaxing.


72 Kristina September 12, 2010 at 8:42 pm

So, we finally broke down at the beginning of this year and bought a TV after living 3 years without one. I totally blame friends who moved to France and left their junky old TV us. Although we didn’t have cable, we found that we enjoyed watching movies and Netflix on the TV. Now, we’ve almost fully embraced having an “entertainment-system”. I do love watching movies (both DVDs and Instant) on the big screen. On several occasions, I’ve really wished for cable – like during the World Cup and the Olympics – but I try to remind myself that the hours and hours and hours of “Law and Order” would suck me in and numb my brain!


73 Kristen @ Kristen, Sweetly September 12, 2010 at 9:01 pm

Hehehe, I don’t know if there was an Elaine reference in there, but there absolutely was in my head. :-) So glad to see you’re getting in leisure time after all your crazy packed, long hours.


74 Chelsey September 12, 2010 at 9:12 pm

I love how you just went to town on the living room! It’s funny because we pay an arm and a leg for cable + internet each month, but we rarely watch tv!!!


75 Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin September 12, 2010 at 9:14 pm

I love it when cheap food actually turns out to be a decent meal! That salad looks good. 😀

I don’t have cable at my apartment at school and I really miss it, but I’ve been able to get by for a year without it. It’s not too bad just watching all my shows online.


76 notyet100 September 12, 2010 at 9:43 pm

new for me looks interesting,..


77 Alyssa September 12, 2010 at 9:52 pm

Your eats look fantastic! As always :-)


78 Hannah September 12, 2010 at 11:09 pm

A tv is also really nice to have if you want to have friends over for a movie night, but maybe you never do that? Good luck making a decision about it!


79 Rachael @ Mrs. Adventure September 13, 2010 at 9:02 am

Congrats on the TV, hubs and I haven’t had cable in years… we have netflix so I can watch any TV shows I want as well as movies and its only $12 bucks a month!


80 Amanda @ Cakes and Ale September 13, 2010 at 9:16 am

I love the new arrangement! It looks bigger and more open than before too.


81 anne September 13, 2010 at 10:23 am

Your living room looks great! Very open but still cozy.


82 faith @ gracefulfitness September 13, 2010 at 2:52 pm

I tried Baja Bean Co. while passing through Staunton a few weeks ago and was excited that there is one here in C’ville, the prices can’t be beat. I have the bowl as well, sans the shrimp but next time I am looking forward to the fajitas.


83 Jimmy @ Run, Jimmy, Run September 13, 2010 at 8:43 pm

The Baja Bean Co in Richmond literally has the best salsa I’ve ever had in my entire life – it’s simply incredible. Actually, I’m not even sure if it classifies as salsa since it’s really nothing more than giant chunks of tomato, onions, peppers, and cilantro, but call it whatever you want – it’s mind-blowing.


84 aubrey (italktofood) March 21, 2011 at 7:10 pm

taco salad with shrimp…..YUUUUUM. Oh man.


85 Natalie Rae March 21, 2011 at 8:12 pm

I am a fan of the chairs and couch- where were they purchased (and when)? Style name? Fabric? We are currently trying to get our starter furniture :)


86 KathEats March 21, 2011 at 8:22 pm

They were once Karen’s and she had them custom made :(


87 Natalie Rae March 21, 2011 at 8:28 pm

Of course! :) I was hoping there were previously Karen’s BUT from somewhere like C & B


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