Treat Yourself Tuesday: Birthday Edition

This weekend was so wonderfully relaxing and family-filled; the perfect birthday weekend. There was a whole lot of tasty food, cozy time watching Breaking Bad, sweet treats, and more. Wanna hear about it?

I thought this would be the perfect time to take part in my blend Becky’s Treat Yourself Tuesday link up.  It only took me a good 11 weeks to get in on the fun, but better late than never, right?


Becky’s Treat Yourself Tuesday…

“Between now and Tuesday, do something nice for yourself. Wake up a few minutes early and enjoy a nice, hot cup of coffee before your hectic day begins. Take a bubble bath when you get home from work Monday evening. Spend some extra time stretching after your workout this weekend. Treat yourself to a cookie or some froyo this afternoon. Or maybe head out on a girls’ night this weekend.

Do whatever feels best for you. Do something that will make you feel relaxed and loved and happy. Remember this is about treating YOURSELF – not your friends, not your family, not your spouse, not your dog – so make sure you really focus on you. Treat yourself well and treat yourself often so that you will become the best you possible and in turn be your best for others in your life!”   source

So here is my treat myself Tuesday, birthday edition.

Starting on Friday night….

I haven’t been feeling too well so Dana and I had a quiet night in complete with a snack platter—Havarti cheese (my fav), salami (not a fan), shrimp, hummus, olives, and some Byerly’s chicken pasta salad. We enjoyed these little nibbles while watching at least two more episodes of Breaking Bad.

cheese and snack tray

Dana made homemade chocolate chip cookies that evening as well. 🙂 K, really he made the dough. The cookies weren’t made until the next day. The dough is my favorite part!

Saturday was my actual birthday and it began with a free cup of Caribou Coffee—Lite Caramel Mocha. Yes.

caribou birthday coffee

The day was full of lots of sweet surprises…


XoXo to my blends Becky, Katie, and Caroline

care package

A bunch of birthday cards!

Lunch at Muffuletta Cafe in St. Paul. I got the mini muffuletta which is  New Orleans style sandwich of ham, spicy capicolla, pistacio mortadella, and genoa salami piled high with provolone, smothered in our olive relish and served warm on fresh focaccia. Sweet potato fries on the side. Holy moly this was delicious! I was a little too excited to sink my teeth into this bad boy–sorry for the blurry photo.


Lunch was finished off with a free bowl of Sebastian Joe’s salted caramel ice cream with two spoons. I shared. 🙂

After lunch we headed over to the Como conservatory which features amazing plants and flowers. It was the perfect thing to do on a rainy cool November day.

dana melanie como conservatory

After the conservatory we walked over to the Como Zoo and checked out the animals! I loved this part! I could watch the primates for hours.

como zoo

Later in the evening we went to my brother’s for my birthday dinner with the family. I requested mom’s baked ziti with spinach and meat sauce. She even used gluten-free brown rice noodles!

Dessert was per my request as well—-homemade banana cake with chocolate frosting. There were lots of sweet treats happening this weekend!

We spent the rest of the evening at Comedy Sportz, which is an improv comedy club in Minneapolis. It felt GREAT to laugh and to be with my amazing family.

dad and melanie

Of course I was spoiled with lots of presents too.

On Sunday Dana and I did our usual Sunday morning gig: newspaper, coupon cutting, and coffee.

For lunch we headed over to my in-law’s for a Greek dinner from Mediterranean Cruise Cafe.

greek food

And DQ ice cream cake!

birthday cake

And more presents. Seriously I am so spoiled!

I felt so much love this weekend and I thank you all for making my birthday so special. I don’t know what I would do without you all. You are my world.

Continue Reading Treat Yourself Tuesday: Birthday Edition

5 Slow Sweaty Miles With No Boredom!

Thank you all for the sweet and supportive comments yesterday! It’s definitely an exciting milestone!

It’s time to catch you up on the rest of the weekend.


We were out of bananas so I couldn’t have my typical pb and b breakfast, but settled for a piece of almond bread with peanut butter instead.

Eventually I made my way downstairs to the treadmill where I got warped into Dance Moms and ran a slow pace for 5 miles. It felt great to get sweaty and was one of those runs where I felt like I could just keep going, going, going. I didn’t experience the treadmill boredom one bit that day. I can’t believe I just admitted I was watched Dance Moms. 

Lunch was completely random—it started with a fail of a smoothie. I tried adding broccoli and I just couldn’t get past the flavor and texture it added, so I had to dump it. I hate wasting food so you know it had to be pretty bad. Next I made a simple protein drink with almond milk and Jay Robb’s chocolate egg white protein powder. I gave it a mix and drank it up. It was okay but nothing was tasting great.

So I made lunch a snacky deal. It involved an apple, some veggies, almonds, peanut butter, dates…you name it and I probably snacked on it. 😉

Moose got a belated Christmas gift from us (clearance right now at Petco) which he absolutely adores.


For dinner we had plans with Dana’s family. For Christmas we told them we wanted to buy them dinner from one of our favorite restaurants (and also the restaurant we had our groom’s dinner), Mediterranean Cruise Cafe, and bring it over to their house and watch our wedding video with them.

It was a feast and it was so incredibly delicious and veggie-packed. We had tabouli, hummus, baba ghanoush, kabobs, gyros, greek salad, falafel, and more! med cruise cafe

After dinner we cozied up by the fire and watched our wedding video. It is SO fun to relive the wedding.


moose and sue


Sunday was pretty lazy but we did manage to get to the grocery shopping and totally stock up on produce. It’s hard to see in the photo but we now have: baby cucumbers, carrots, celery, broccoli, mini bell peppers, lettuce, blackberries, apples, avocados, oranges, lemons, limes…


…mushrooms, black beans, onions, bananas, and that’s not to mention what’s in the freezer! I think we are set for a while.



Dinner was BBQ crock pot chicken. I placed two large chicken breasts into the small crock pot, slathered in BBQ sauce, a sprinkle of garlic powder and ground mustard, set it on low and covered for about 4 hours and voila. Dinner was ready!

This is one of my favorite homemade salads and I am always reminded of Famous Dave’s  pulled pork salad when I try to make this: mixed greens, corn, avocado, pickles, cheddar cheese, and pulled BBQ chicken. Seriously num.




I’m making this post nice and short and sweet for ya’ll today. I have a few things to do this morning and I gotta get ready. Have a great Monday friends!

Continue Reading 5 Slow Sweaty Miles With No Boredom!

Mediterranean Dinner Table for Two

Happy Friday to you all!

Last night, I was not in any type of cooking mood believe it or not, and neither was Dana. We made the decision to go out and spent the next 20 minutes trying to decide where to go. I was beyond hungry so couldn’t really pinpoint what sounded good.

We ended up at an old favorite, The Mediterranean (<—-another word I need to learn how to spell) Cruise Café, aka Med Cruise. We still had a gift card from our wedding there and decided this would be the perfect opportunity to use it up.

The restaurant offers original creations from Jerusalem, Palestine, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, Morocco, Italy, Turkey and Greece [according to their website]. Besides having AWESOME food, their restaurant is beautiful and has an open spacious floor plan, full of red, gold, and neutral colors and chandelier fixtures, they offer hookahs out on their back patio, and to top it off, they have belly dancers Thursday-Sunday!




Photos courtesy of Mediterranean Cruise Cafe

We like the place so much that we actually held our groom’s dinner there the night before our wedding. I thought it was kind of neat we decided on the Med Cruise last night since we just celebrated our one year anniversary at the Holiday Inn and relived dinner at Rudy’s Redeye there, now we can relive our groom’s dinner here.

Groom’s Dinner: September 30th, 2011



Dinner Last Night

Once we were seated both of us were ravenous. We each ordered a Greek side salad to start with tomatoes, onion, cucumbers, olives, feta cheese with a herb dressing. We split a small order of hummus which was the equivalent to an entire package you would buy at the store! Hey, I’m not complaining.


For dinner we split an entrée whose name I cannot remember, but it had seasoned chicken and sautéed vegetables and was served over yellow rice. It sounds so simple but the flavors were just outstanding. I have never ordered anything from their menu that I haven’t liked.


We made it through about 2/3 of the plate and both were comfortable after we were done. I usually leave this place feeling stuffed because everything is SO good, but I controlled myself and stopped when appropriate last night. Open-mouthed smile If you’re in the area, I highly recommend the Mediterranean Cruise Cafe if you like Mediterranean food. Delicious.

Obviously, my belly is back to normal. The stomach flu is out of my system (nearly a week later). Blech, so not fun. I can feel that strength-wise, I am not 100%, but I will get there soon. Now that I am feeling better I am anxious to start up the workouts again. Today I’m planning on going for a walk with one of my best girlfriends who is in town for the weekend!! of my bridesmaids.

I don’t have too many plans this weekend which is something I am actually really happy about. Since I was out of commission last week I feel like I have some catching up to do around the house, and I am hoping to tackle some organization projects. Also, I am anxious to get cooking again. I have squash and brussels sprouts calling my name from the kitchen. We’ll see what I come up with.

I’m off for now! Happy glorious Friday friends.

Continue Reading Mediterranean Dinner Table for Two