Vino in the Valley, Maiden Rock, WI

Well hello there friends! Is everyone having a good weekend? The weather has been unbelievably gorgeous here in MN this weekend and I am loving every second of it. I took a day off from the blog yesterday so I have some catching up to do these next couple of days.

Let’s rewind to Friday afternoon.

Dana and I had a date night planned. We had received a gift certificate for our wedding from our friend’s Tim and Heidi to a unique little Vineyard called Vino in the Valley. This destination is located in Maiden Rock, Wisconsin in the Rush River Valley and it is going to receive rave reviews from me.

But first…we begin with our journey to Wisconsin at 4:30 pm because it was about an hour and 15 minute drive and we wanted to be able to enjoy some “light” time in the Valley before the sun went down.

On our drive we saw a whole lot of farmland…

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Crossed over the Mississippi and St. Croix Rivers…

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And were welcomed to Wisconsin…

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From then on the views just got better and better. The bluffs were beautiful. The leaves are beginning to change colors and the way the sun was beating on them they just looked gorgeous.

This photo below is the driveway leading into Vino in the Valley and you can see what I mean by the picturesque bluffs.

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We pulled into the gravel driveway and upon arrival were greeted by a sweet man sampling different local cheeses (we are in Wisconsin after all), next to that was a honey stand, as well as a mini market with pumpkins and watermelon. We sampled some cheese and made our way to make reservations for dinner.

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At 5:45 when we made our dinner reservations, we were told it would be a 45-60 minute wait. This was completely fine since neither of us were very hungry yet and we had plenty of wine and views to take in while we waited.

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Not to mention there was live music! They had a quaint little gazebo nestled in the middle of the action where three men were singing and playing live. That night Vino in the Valley was hosting the Riddle Brothers and they were definitely fun to watch. I really enjoy live music!

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The whole set-up is open air from the dining area to the bar to the music, etc. Dana and I made our way to the bar and ordered a bottle of their house red wine called Rush River Red .

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We learned that they although they have a vineyard, they don’t actually produce their own grapes. The original plan was to grow their own grapes and use them to make their own wine. This process usually takes 3-5 years, because you have to wait for the grapes to reach a perfect mature stage. However, the bartender was telling us that there was a terrible flood last year (or the year before?) that completely washed away all that had been developed. They had to start over basically and now it sounds like they may never harvest their own grapes. I am not sure if the soil was denatured or what. I have absolutely no idea. I hope their grapes will still flourish, but either way I know this place will do well.

So although they can’t produce their own grapes at this time, they still continue to make their own wine, they just import grapes from local growers. I’m all about keeping it local and cutting down on fuel emissions and air pollutants!

The vineyards are very pretty and reminded me a lot of our honeymoon in Italy. Open-mouthed smile

Wisconsin Vineyard:

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Tuscany Vineyard:

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Dana and I walked along the vineyards (mind you we were battling many-a-gnats), and I discovered that I can’t walk and carry a glass of wine without spilling. Remember my little episode at the Healthy Living Summit in Boston? Well, I couldn’t help but realize that I don’t walk very gracefully because my wine always seems to spill over the sides. Luckily I wasn’t wearing a khaki skirt this time. We decided to end our walk and just enjoy the live music while we waited for dinner.

It was a good thing I wasn’t wearing a skirt because man, once that sun went down it dropped about 20 degrees.

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The atmosphere really changed once the sun began to set. They have two bonfire pits on site so they got those roaring, they eventually brought in space heaters into the restaurant, of course they turned some more lights on, and the atmosphere became very warm and cozy (albeit it wasn’t very warm temperature wise). I learned real quickly that I wasn’t dressed appropriately. I should have known better.

***Note: bring an extra sweater or jacket when you go!

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Once we were seated inside the restaurant, we got to browsing the menu.

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We decided on two side salads and to split a 10-inch gluten-free pizza. We built our own and went with chicken, spinach, black olives, and tomato with a red sauce. I was very impressed they had gluten-free crust available.

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While we waited for our dinner to arrive we took in the views, sipped our wine, and sang “That’s Amore” led by a MC type of guy working for Vino in the Valley. He went around the restaurant announcing any birthdays or anniversaries that were being celebrated. It made for a very fun and friendly atmosphere. He would only talk for about 5 minutes every hour or so, so you didn’t feel like your dinner was being interrupted or anything. It was just friendly.

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They brought us out a bread basket with olive oil, parmesan cheese, and pepper. I passed on the bread but Dana enjoyed a couple of slices and said it was good!

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At this point in the game I was still feeling chilled but not too terribly yet.

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Then came the salads. A simple salad with mixed greens, tomato, cucumber, onions, and carrot served with a side of raspberry vinaigrette. I really liked the dressing. I cleaned my plate.

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To the left of where I was sitting was the wood fire oven where the pizzas were being made. Pretty neat looking!

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While we waited for our pizza, the sun went down completely. This is when the heat lamps were brought out. Unfortunately for us, they weren’t brought over by our table and I got very cold. Again, my fault for not dressing appropriately but it’s hard knowing exactly how cold it will get when you leave your house and its 75°!

Anyway, our pizza came out of the oven and was so tasty. I could really taste the difference from the wood fire stove. It tasted slightly smoky. The sauce was great too.

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Before we left we made our way into the gift shop and bought ourselves a bottle of the house red wine to take home with us.

I cannot say enough good things about this place. If you are looking for a unique dining experience full of cozy and romantic ambiance (yet kid-friendly too), great entertainment (they even have bean bag toss set up and some other yard games), gorgeous views, friendly staff, nummy wine, and wonderful food, this is the place for you.

Dana and I had such a great date night and obviously HIGHLY recommend this destination to any of my local readers. It’s worth the hour and 15 minute jaunt.

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I am not going to go into a Saturday recap today but definitely had a very productive day yesterday. I spent a good portion of the day in the kitchen, and will be sharing some recipes with you soon. For now though, I am heading to the gym and plan to bombard my house with Fall decorations this afternoon.

Excited to catch up with you all again! Much love….

Cheers to New Friends: HLS Day 2

I won’t waste any time. Jumping into day 2 of the Healthy Living Summit.

I woke up Saturday morning feeling ready to take on the day. I was happy I had called it an early night on Friday. The morning began with a delicious breakfast full of fresh fruit, an egg scramble creation created by a fellow blogger, and other tasty Wild Harvest recipes.

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I dished up loads of fruit, egg scramble, maple turkey patties (my favorite), veggie potato hash, fruit and yogurt parfait, and a super strong cup of coffee.

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The coffee actually tasted too strong to drink probably because I am used to weaker brews these days. They seem to sit better in my belly.

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I mingled with the ladies at my table and had a chance to chit-chat for a minute with Courtney. I love her blog, and was thrilled I was able to meet her! She is even prettier in person if you can believe it.

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(Photo courtesy of Courtney)

After breakfast we were coached through a mini CrossFit session presented by Reebok. They provided us with these snazzy headbands and challenged us to a introductory intense workout: complete as many sets of 7 squats and 15 jumps as you can in 5 minutes. Although it was only a short workout, I was really feeling the burn afterwards and continue to feel it a couple of days later!

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The rest of the day was spent sitting in on the sessions. I attended:

(The ladies of Wild Harvest which is based out of Eden Prairie, MN btw…woop woop!)

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I wish I had a clone so I could have been in two places at once because I wanted to go to ALL of the sessions. I learned so much valuable information on ways to improve my blog, and continued to meet many wonderful people throughout the day.

My brain was officially mush at the end of the day. Information overload. I knew it would take me a few days to digest it all and actually put it to use in improving my own blog. I can’t believe how fast the day went.

Next on the agenda was dinner at Russell House in Harvard Square with the beautiful Shannon, Jamie, and Caroline.

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We cheers’ed to new friends (make fun of the cheesiness I don’t care!). Open-mouthed smile

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(Image courtesy of Jamie at studioeats.com) 

We had amazing conversations, ate delicious food, sipped our wine, and laughed until our cheeks hurt.

Dinner: A bed of mixed greens with figs, walnuts, grilled chicken, and honey dijon dressing. YUM.

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We hit up J.P. Licks for dessert which deserved all of the hype it had been getting. So stinkin’ good. I ordered chocolate and vanilla fro yo with Oreo topping.

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We hailed a cab home around 10:30 and called it a night.

I was on cloud 9 at the end of this jam-packed day. It is so unbelievable to meet such genuine people who have common interests and who you get along with so well. Although these girls on live on the east coast, I still plan to keep in touch and visit them again in the future. I fell in love with each and every one of them and am so grateful to have met them. They took me under their wing and made me feel comfortable throughout the weekend. I miss them already.

I just have one more day to Healthy Living Summit recap for you and then I will be back to normal posts again full or recipes and tangents. I just don’t want to short-change you on any of the details of my fantastic weekend. I hope you are all having a great week so far. Catch up with you soon!

Destination Boston HLS12

I made it to Boston, but I was one tired girl when I arrived.

(Back track to Thursday)

I rolled out of bed at 4:00 am to get to the airport by 5:40 or so. My flight wasn’t until 7:35 but I need to be extra early to keep my anxiety level at ease.

As I’m waiting to board my 7:35 flight, they make an announcement that due to weather in Chicago (which is where I had a layover), that there would be a half hour delay. Okay, no big deal. I go make an extra lap around the airport and come back. Another announcement…Captain wants to wait for the storm to pass. Take-off has been delayed until 9:35. Now I’m ticked.

I understand this happens and it’s for the safety of everyone involved, but I was just disappointed because Dana was waiting for me out in Boston, so that we could spend part of the day together. He was out there for business this week so the plan was when I got in at 1:30, we would go hit up the town and explore Boston together, and then he would be taking off Friday morning.

This is getting long, so long story short, I switched flights and airlines and flew standby on a direct flight from Minneapolis to Boston that took off at 10:30. I arrived in Boston around 2:30 (??) and Dana picked me up at the airport. I ran into a friend from college at the airport btw! Such a small world!

By the time we checked into our hotel, got situated, changed, and went outside to wait for the free hotel shuttle, it was 4:00 already.

(Check out the view from my room. Wowzas I love it! I love this hotel…more to come on that!)

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Even with limited time, we still made a pretty good dent in the city. We took the hotel shuttle to the T, and took the T to The Freedom Trail which is a 2.5 mile walk around part of the city, and it passes many historical landmarks. Dana and I followed along with an app on his phone and were able to catch up on some of our history that way.

Did I mention I hadn’t eaten lunch yet? Okay, I don’t function very well when I’m hungry. So, as we made our way through the walk, we were also scoping out places to eat. I had a hankering for seafood especially after Dana texted me a photo of his lobster roll from the day before.

After walking past handfuls of gelato stands, I was tempted to eat gelato for dinner, but decided something more substantial was probably a better idea. We decided on Salty Dog which is located in the Faneuil Marketplace.

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This photo below if the only proof I have that Dana was with me yesterday. I didn’t get one photo of the two of us! Bummer. We have the memories though. Winking smile  

We started with a shrimp cocktail appetizer that we split between the two of us. Such fresh perfect shrimp. I could get used to this.

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For dinner, we split the lobster sandwich that came with a side of coleslaw and fries, but we swapped the fries for a side of sautéed veggies. After seeing Dana’s lobster roll photo from the day before, I was expecting a lot more food than this. I guess that’s the difference between a lobster roll and a lobster sandwich? Oh well. The food was delicious, with a ginormous chunk of fresh lobster in the sandwich, a light spread of mayo, lettuce, and a buttery bun. I just left feeling kind of  hungry still.

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After dinner we continued our Freedom Trail journey and did our tourist thing. I am embarrassed to post this photo as I am sweaty/tired/dirty/hungry, but I do it for you.

Paul Revere’s house:

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The USS Constitution:

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I have to admit, I am a little ashamed at my lack of historical knowledge. History was my least favorite subject in school so I didn’t really pay very good attention. It isn’t too late to start learning now though! I enjoyed learning about some of the history of Boston. What a beautiful area.

We got back to the hotel around 8:00 pm and we were both famished again. We hopped in the rental car (way too exhausted to walk any more) and made our way to Trader Jo’s and to Whole Foods. We made ourselves a Mediterranean inspired bowl of goodness at Whole Foods and ate that as our second dinner. I also bought a bag of Cinnamon Almonds from Trader Jo’s which are HIGHLY addicting.

Friday

Now it’s Friday morning and I am being a lazy bum in my room until some of the festivities of the Healthy Living Summit begin! I was in dire need of sleep yesterday and slept for 10 hours last night. The hubby is back home now. I loved every second of having him here.

Now that HLS12 is finally here, I feel like it’s the first day of school. I am full of anticipation, anxiousness, nervousness, and excitement! Now that I am fully rested, I am pumped to get this party started! Cannot wait to meet all of the other attendees, and can’t wait to fill all of you in on the events of the weekend.

I hope you are all having a great Friday. Catch up with you soon!

Date at Pittsburgh Blue

Happy Friday to you all!

Last night, Dana and I had a date night. We still had a gift card from our wedding to a chain of restaurants in the area, and it was burning a whole in my pocket.

The chain of restaurants is called Parasole and among their restaurants, we chose Pittsburgh Blue Steakhouse which specializes in duh, steak, but also has a great variety of seafood.

We got all dolled up, had our own happy hour at home with a glass of wine, before heading out the door to the restaurant.

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Moose wanted in on the photo shoot. I want to frame this one below. How stinking beautiful is he??

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He made sure to smile for this one…

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We told him that if dogs were allowed at the restaurant we would so let him come with, but no can do. Rules are rules. Sorry, Moose. Winking smile

While we contemplated our dinner orders, we both ordered a glass of Zinfandel which was perfectly smooth and slightly sweet. By far my favorite wine.

They also brought out a bread basket which I had originally said I was going to pass on, but changed my mind about 7 minutes later. Boy am I glad I did. The bread loaf was made up of 4 large rolls that were incredibly soft on the inside, and the outside had a light crust brushed with garlic butter and sea salt. OH MY. I thought I had died and gone to heaven.

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For dinner I ordered the seafood cobb salad. The salad started with a bed of romaine lettuce drizzled with lemon vinaigrette, and then was piled high with these toppings:

Left to right: fresh lobster, tomatoes, chives, hard-boiled egg, citrus shrimp, cheese, bacon, avocado, and fresh crab.

What an awesome salad. I ate 80% of it and was pretty proud of my accomplishment.

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Dana ordered the prime rib which to me is the most unappetizing thing ever. I’m just not much of a meat person as you may well know by now. He really enjoyed it!

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We also ordered a side of asparagus which were the bomb.

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Although I was feeling pleasantly full after dinner, I really wanted to finish date night with something sweet. I had the bright idea to stop at Whole Foods on the way home and get some gelato.

2 scoops: 1 scoop chocolate brownie and 1 scoop salted caramel.

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Are you kidding me? My second glimpse of heaven that night. I especially loved the salted caramel.

It had been way too long since we have had a date night like this. It was perfect. I loved spending such a nice evening with my hubby. Thanks Brett and Krystle for the great wedding gift!

I hope everyone has a great Friday! My favorite day of the week. Catch up with you all later!

Dinner Date with My Girls

This is going to be a short but very sweet post. Last night I met up with two of my great girlie friends, Kate and Heidi (also two of my bridesmaids) for dinner at Emma Krumbees in Belle Plaine.

Emma Krumbees is an old bakery and restaurant that offers everything from burgers, to salads, sandwiches, flatbreads, and has an extensive breakfast menu too.

I decided on the Citrus Chicken Salad and I ordered the half portion because whole salads at restaurants tend to be absolutely ridiculous. In the salad was iceberg lettuce, red onion, avocado, tomato, grilled chicken, and a lemon citrus vinaigrette on the side. It was a very simple salad, and it was pretty tasty. The amount of food was perfect.

After dinner we walked on over to the gift shop and chit chatted along the way. Emma Krumbees also has an apple orchard and in the fall you can come and pick your own apples. I did that a long time ago with my mom and dad, and would love to do it again this fall!

After a couple of hours we were forced to say our good-bye’s and go our separate ways. It has been so bittersweet getting together with Kate lately because she is moving away to Georgia in less than a week. I am attempting to soak up every last bit of her before she leaves. I definitely will be making plans to go visit her out there.

As always, it was so good to be with my girls, and although Kate will be in Georgia soon, we are still going to Skype, and have a glass of wine together that way, and before we know it I will be heading out there to visit, or she will be coming home to visit.

I stopped by my mom and dad’s on the way home and hung out with them for about an hour before heading “home, home”. Mom and dad’s is my second home, and my house is my first home. I love the comfort of each place.

The rest of the night was spent hanging out with my men.

Today has been an absolutely AMAZING Saturday. I have lots to share with you tomorrow, but it’s going to have to wait. I hope you are all having a great day as well. :smile:

Saturday with the Family

Wow, Saturday was a great day. It started off with a pretty amazing 3-mile run. It felt SO good to be running again. When I got home I made myself another green smoothie. This one was similar to yesterday’s but I also added in frozen peaches, a tiny splash of vanilla, and omitted the lime juice and splash of V8 fusion. I was happy to get some greens in first off in the morning. :smile:

In the morning we hung out with my brother and Nicole before we headed out to meet Dana’s parents for a belated Father’s Day celebration. We decided to go to lunch at  Captain Jack’s in Prior Lake. We’ve all been wanting to check this place out for a while and thought this would be the perfect opportunity. It is a casual restaurant with indoor seating, outdoor patio seating right on the lake and fun swings at the bar.

Dana’s mom, Sue, and I split the Hawaiian Chicken Sandwich: teriyaki grilled chicken breast, pineapple, provolone cheese, lettuce, and tomato with a side of sweet potato fries.

We all split a brownie sundae for a sweet bite to end lunch.

The food was pretty good but the best part was definitely being able to sit outside right by the lake and of course catch up with my in-law’s. The weather held up just long enough while we were there because as we were leaving it began to sprinkle. Talk about good timing!

After lunch Dana and I tag-teamed the garden and weeded the heck out of it. The weeds had invaded our vegetable garden and I was not having it, so we slipped on our gardening gloves and got rid of those buggers. My biggest challenge was deciphering weed versus actual plant with the plants that hadn’t gotten too big yet like the peppers.

For dinner we headed over to mom and dad’s for a BBQ. We hung out on the deck and enjoyed the perfect summer weather. Eventually we fired up the grill and got to cooking up some mean burgers. We wanted to keep the meal very simple and planned on a “picnic” type of dinner. I plated myself up an awesome super lean hamburger, some chili cheese dip with pretzels (plus probably five more servings  of pretzels), mushrooms, and watermelon.

I had made a big batch of guacamole but completely forgot to put it out for dinner. Whoops! I realize my plate looks a little lame-o but I did my best to stay low-fiber and this is what I came up with. It sure was tasty.

Plus, I had to save room for dessert…

Rainbow sherbet with whipped cream and a lemon butter cookie. Num. When we got home we hung out with this booger and then called it an early night.

 

I had such a great Saturday with both sides of the family yesterday. I hope you did too. Now on to another day of fun. I’ll fill you in later!

Going Away Party and Welcome Home Party

Last night we attended a going away party for our good friend, Luke. He will be moving out of state to begin a new job and although the feelings are bittersweet, as we are sad that he is leaving MN, we are also VERY excited for him in his new endeavor and are so happy for him.

We celebrated at Bar Lurcat in Minneapolis. Our friend, Krystle did an amazing job of putting this party together. The atmosphere was very relaxed as we sipped on our wine, snacked on mini sliders and other appetizers that were served, and all mingled and chatted the night away.

Here is the man who were celebrating on behalf of, pictured with his beautiful girlfriend (and one of my best friends), Kate.

Cafe & Bar Lurcat is located in the Loring Park area in Minneapolis. I don’t go to this area often, but really should. It is beautiful and has an almost Tuscan-like feel to the side streets. There is also a nice park located right behind where we parked our car (pictured below). There are other restaurants I wouldn’t mind exploring, or it would be fun to bring a picnic. I want to go back!

It was a really great night. We haven’t been out in a while due to traveling and me not feeling the best, so it was definitely a lot of fun. Luke, can’t wait to come visit you! Congratulations again!

Although, we enjoyed going out, Moose on the other hand wasn’t the most impressed. We gave him his alone time for a few hours, and by the time we returned, he had gotten over the fact that we left him in the dust, and welcomed us the best way he knows how: smothering and kisses.

So much love from our big man, who btw is shedding like CRAZY right now.

Now, it is Saturday morning, there is a steady rain falling outside, and I just baked up a lemon blueberry treat to bring to mom and dad’s tonight in celebration of Father’s Day. Sounds cozy right? I’ll share the recipe with you later gators.

Off to take on the day…have an awesome Saturday!

A Lucky Friday the 13th

I had a really great Friday the 13th. It all started off with an out of the ordinary breakfast for me which was scrambled egg whites with a little salt and pepper, topped with mild salsa. I found it impossible to take a good photo of this breakfast so don’t judge what you see below.

Work was work, but lunch break was great. I headed to Patrick’s Bakery and Cafe (I had eaten there once before) for lunch with my coworkers. I ordered the same thing as last time….french onion soup served with a piece of a baguette. I neglected to take a photo of my soup because it would have looked exactly the same as the last time , same tablecloth and all, therefore I just decided to use the old photo.

It was a very dreary day here in MN, and a bowl of soup was just what I needed, and I LOVE french onion soup. It warmed my soul.

After work, I had plans to go for a run, but since it was really nasty cold, misty, and windy outside, I decided to take it downstairs to our treadmill to run in the comfort and warmth of my own home. BTW our electrical was installed downstairs today and it looks great! We had temporary lights up down there before but now we have actually have light switches with dimmers to go along with the lights. Woo! It’s still coming a long!

Anyway, I hit the treadmill for 45 minutes doing a bit of a run/walk combo. I flipped channels between Ellen and Paula Deen and was thoroughly entertained.

Part of the reason my Friday the 13th turned out to be so great is because of this….

It’s kind of hard to read but it says:

“Happy News! You were selected as a winner in the LARABAR Very Large Sweepstakes. Your prize includes a tote bag filled with a water bottle, a 16-ct of Larabars, and 5 full-sized mixed flavors. From everyone at LARABAR, I’d like to extend a great big THANK YOU for your support and participation in our sweepstakes. Kindly, The LARABAR Team.”

I WON! I don’t win anything. Ever. I entered into the sweepstakes a while back thinking I had about a 0.05% chance of actually winning. Holy cow. I feel like the dad in a Christmas Story when he won the Leg Lamp. I was jumping up and down after I read the letter like I just found out I got into college or won a ton of money. I really truly love and enjoy LARABARs so this was a big one for me.

Maybe my luck is changing. One can only hope. I want to win more stuff, this is fun!

I can’t wait to try some of these flavors I have never tried before such as Blueberry Muffin and Chocolate Coconut Chew. Um, yum. Thank YOU LARABAR!

To make my day even brighter, this came in the mail today.

My beautifully bright swimsuit from Victoria’s Secret I ordered. Even better news is it fits. It is countdown time until our vacation now…TWO WEEKS from yesterday!

After all the excitement in the house, Dana and I ran a couple of errands including Home Depot and Target because I needed to get a couple of ingredients for our dinner.

Dinner

I sautéed 1 cup of diced onion on the stove top, then added in 1/4 cup of pre-cooked ground beef (I had cooked it a while back and froze it), 3/4 of a can of black beans, 1/2 cup corn, 1/4 cup water, and 1 Tablespoon of low sodium taco seasoning. I mixed all of the ingredients and let simmer for 2-3 minutes.

Meanwhile, I prepared lettuce cups using a head of boston lettuce. I rinsed the head of lettuce then carefully peeled off layers into cups. I also chopped a Roma tomato, and a half of an avocado (no cuts this time).

Once the filling was done simmering, I spooned 1/4 cup of it into the lettuce cups, topped them with tomato and avocado, and enjoyed a very healthy, easy and flavor-filled dinner.

Looking back on yesterday, I had a day of multiple “wins”:

  • An awesome breakfast that held me over until lunch
  • Electric work done in the basement
  • Great soup with friends for lunch
  • A run while watching fun shows
  • A giant WIN in the LARABAR sweepstakes
  • Swimsuit in the mail, AND it fits
  • Great dinner
  • And lastly, a night to relax with my boys (awwwwwww)

It was a very lucky Friday the 13th for me!

How was yours? Anything lucky or unlucky happen to you?

Bright Lights, Lots of Sights, Tasty Delights

Andddd we’re back! New York was such a good time. I want to fill you in on the trip but don’t want to bore with all of the details, so I will do my best to condense without missing anything important! Less talkie, more photos.

Starting with the food.

Arctic Char over artichoke hearts, potatoes, carrots, and peas at Kellari Taverna. This was my first time eating Arctic Char and I enjoyed it. It was a more mild version of salmon.

Cinnamon Honey Oatmeal with bananas from our hotel, The Hilton in the Fashion District. We were pretty happy with our hotel. We liked staying in the fashion district because it was far enough away from the hustle and bustle where we felt like we could get away and relax, yet close enough that we could walk to our destinations and be in the middle of it all when we wanted to be.

Salad Bar from a whole foods deli down the street from our hotel. I loved the asparagus! They had some sort of Asian-inspired peanut sesame and I’m hoping to try and recreate these at home.

Caramel Macchiato from Roastown Coffee (with skim milk). Sinfully delicious.

Lazzara’s Hawaiian Pizza–which is said to have the best thin crust pizza in the fashion district. It was truly delicious.

Food not pictured: 1 lb bag of Rold Gold pretzels, numerous free apples, Peanut Butter Cookie LARABAR, and breakfast and lunch on the plane. On the flight home I had a pretty good grilled chicken salad with raspberry vinaigrette dressing. Not bad for airplane food!

And the great company and some of the sights….

My cousin Steph and her boyfriend, Jeff at Kellari’s for dinner. Thank you for meeting us for dinner, we had a great time!

In the middle of Times Square.

 I caught myself singing many New York inspired songs throughout the weekend. “These streets will make you feel brand new, big lights will inspire you, now you’re in New York,” “It’s up to you New York, NEWWWWw YOOOrrrk,” “I’m in the city, trick,” and many more. Dana did his fair share of it too, you couldn’t really help it. It definitely is a whole different world out there.

The 9/11 Memorial Site. It is still a work in progress but is very beautiful so far.

Central Park.

 Rockefeller Center Skating Rink.

At the top of Rockefeller center at night. Beautiful views!

Check out that moon. Dana and I were the only ones who seemed to be in awe over it which was strange because it was spectacular.

We thought it was neat knowing that while we were on top of the Rockefeller Center building, the SNL cast was getting ready to tape in the NBC studio which is inside the Rockefeller. Jonah Hill was going to be hosting! We asked the concierge man if there were by ANY chance last-minute tickets but of course, no such luck. Maybe next time.

And of course, we had to end with our usual “airport” shot. I was extremely tired and combatting a bit of stomach issues, but other than that I was okay!

Now that’s what I call short and sweet. I spared showing you all ninety some photos from the weekend. You’re welcome. :smile: I had an amazing weekend and it was so great to spend quality time with the hubby.

We are very glad to be home and were greeted with a happy doggie and gorgeous weather here in MN. As soon as we got home we opened up the house to start letting out some of the stuffy winter air. We ran some errands, stocked our fridge full of fruits and veggies, and I headed out for a walk around the neighborhood.

Now I should go tend to the inevitable unpacking. I don’t know which I dislike more, packing or unpacking. Also, I have some chicken breasts working in the crock pot so that we will have it to add to meals this week.

I hope you all had a great weekend! Happy daylight savings time!

A Peek At Our First Night

Hello from New York!

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It was so great meeting up with Steph and Jeff last night. Here is a sneak peek of our night!

We went to a nice greek restaurant called Kellari. I got the Arctic Char and it was awesome.

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I actually utilized the hotel gym this morning and got a three mile run in. “Bikini bikini bikini” was the thought what got me out of the comfy bed this morning. I’m glad I went as I always am. Never do I regret a workout.

We are off to go explore more of the Big Apple! Catch you later!