Favorites from the Week: Spin, Florida, Food

Happy Friday! I’m linkin’ up with Katie’s Friday Favorites today. Thanks, Katie!

Many of my Friday favorites involve events that you have already heard about this week. Although, there is one amazing day that I still have to share about (I won’t forget I promise!).

Some of my Friday Favorites…

1. Spin class with Dana and Dara Torres. A great workout instructed by an olympian with my honey by my side. Sounds nice, right? dara

2. Snacking on Driscoll’s blueberries! So crunchy and sweet and fiberlicious. blueberries

3. Homemade California Rolls with quinoa instead of white rice. This was my first ever attempt at using quinoa instead of white rice in these rolls. I let the quinoa cook for an extended period of time before stirring in a vinegar, honey, salt, and water mixture. The combination of overcooking the quinoa and adding the vinegar mixture made the quinoa perfectly sticky and so easy to use in the rolls. I don’t think I’ll ever go back to white rice! sushi 4. Mini getaway to Orlando with Dana. Sunshine, relaxation, and Disney. 🙂 orlando 5. Salt ‘n Vinegar Blue Diamond Almonds. I mentioned these a couple of days ago I realize, but they make an appearance again because they are SO good. blue diamond almonds

6. The kettle chips from M. Tavern in Orlando. The chips were super crunchy just how I like them. kettle chips 7. Egg salad with avocado. One hard-boiled egg, 1/4 of an avocado, mustard, green onions, and pepper. A perfect snack or addition to your lunch! egg avocado salad 8. Wild Harvest’s Organic Green Chai Tea. (I originally typed green thai chee. A little dyslexic today I guess). 🙂 I’ve been limiting my coffee intake and replacing with tea instead and this has been a morning staple for me. I add a splash of coconut milk creamer too. green chai tea   Friday Favorites

There you have it!

What are some of your Friday favs?

Current breakfast beverage?

Current favorite snack?

An Impromptu Getaway: Orlando

After leaving you with a whole bunch of teasers on Monday, I was having a hard time deciding where to begin the recapping but have decided to start on the most recent and then work my way backwards in events. The most recent is the most fresh in my memory afterall.

Remember this “Where am I?” photo I posted in Monday’s post?

orlando universal studios

Although a couple of you guessed I was at the Mall of America (really good guess), I was actually in sunny ORLANDO!

It has been a really rough couple of months and Dana and I were both in need of a getaway to lift our spirits. He had to go to Orlando to work, and so last minute I decided to go too. It was a short trip, Sunday-Tuesday, but it was honestly just what I needed.

Sunday: Universal Studios

By the time we got to Orlando and to our hotel, it was about 3:30 pm. We quickly changed into shorts and tennis shoes and hit the pavement for a walk. It was sunny and WARM and I was not going to miss a second of it. Given that I was sleep deprived and hungry, the walk didn’t last too long, but it still felt good to stretch my legs after our day of flying.

In the evening we went to Universal Studios for dinner. There is an area where anyone can go to for free without paying to get into the actual park and there are a bunch of restaurants in the area. orlando universal studios

Considering we just saw Jimmy Buffett in concert last August, we just had to go to the tourist gimmicky route and hit up Margaritaville for dinner.

What did I order? Cheeseburger in paradise of course! I hadn’t had much for lunch that day and pretty much slammed that burger. It tasted so good. It reminded me of summer. Ahhhhh….

margaritaville orlando

We walked around the park just long enough to get our free parking validated (the guy screwed us over by an hour accidentally or on purpose I am not sure). It got pretty chilly that evening and we were tired, so an early evening was just what the doctor had ordered anyway.

Monday: Poolside and Downtown Disney

On Monday, Dana had some work to do in the morning, so I headed down to the hotel gym for elliptical, running, and core work, followed by sitting by the pool.

orlando

The temperatures on Monday were glorious; 80’s with a breeze. It wasn’t so hot that I felt I needed to get in the pool, because the breeze kept me cool. It was just perfect. By the poolside is where you could find me most of the day.

At lunch time we headed to the local Publix grocery store for lunch. I grabbed a veggie-loaded salad, fresh fruit, and guess what I found…

Salt ‘n Vinegar Blue Diamond Almonds!! I have been on the search for these ever since my taste buds were tantalized by these babies back at the Healthy Living Summit in September. They are just as good as I remembered.

blue diamond salt n vinegar almonds

Dana and I got our share of sun by the pool before walking over to Downtown Disney; about a 15 minute walk from our hotel.

downtown disney

This is when I completely forgot I was a blogger and stopped snapping photos for the most part.

Downtown Disney has a large path to walk on surrounded by restaurants, shops, entertainment, and benches for people-watching. What a GREAT place to people watch!

We walked around for a while as we pondered our dinner options and took in the sights. There are an incredible amount of places to eat in Orlando, holy moly. Seriously anything you want you can find. We had our hearts set on Cuban and although there was a Cuban restaurant in Downtown Disney, I kind of wanted to get away from the gimmicky stuff for one night. There was another Cuban restaurant just a seven minute drive from us so we got back to our hotel, grabbed the car, and headed there.

We got to the restaurant and two ladies at the front told us that the entire restaurant was closed due to a private party. What?! We were definitely bummed because there were no other Cuban restaurants around the area.

We walked around scanning menus of other restaurants in this strip mall area and found Marlow’s Tavern. They had outdoor seating which was a plus and their menu looked great!

Marlow's Tavern Orlando

Dana and I started with some kettle chips topped with a gorgonzola cheese sauce, tomatoes, chives, and bacon. Definitely a calorie splurge and SO worth it! These things were insanely delicious.

kettle chips

For dinner, Dana and I both shared the filet mignon and the trout. The filet was so tender it melted in your mouth. The trout was good too but I was mostly impressed by the chips and they made up for most of my dinner that evening. Sometimes you just want chips! 😉

Marlow's Tavern Orlando

Again, my photo snapping finger was put on a hiatus for a lot of the day as I enjoyed it so thoroughly I guess I just forgot. After dinner we walked around the outdoor mall and then headed home to sleep.

Tuesday morning is when I had to head out. It was rainy on Tuesday morning. Someone was looking out for us while we were there to give us good weather I tell ya. The sunshine and Vitamin D were very much-needed. They gave me a boost of energy that I was so seriously missing.

This getaway was exactly what I needed. I feel so lucky I got to go and soak up the sun and enjoy some time away with my hubby for a day or two. It’s amazing what a quick little getaway can do for the spirit.

I hope you are all having a fantastic week and I hope to get the rest of my weekend recaps to you soon!

xoxo