A Clean Attempt at WIAW

It’s Wednesday! We are halfway through the week my friends.

Let’s get right to it and talk about some of my amazing eats from this week.

A week ago, I decided to drop refined sugars for a while. I know how much inflammation refined sugar causes to my body, and I wanted to give my body a rest from that madness. Check out this post about how I kick the sugar addiction. I still enjoy sweets but in the form of fruit and natural sugars like organic honey.

Besides the sugar thing, I have really cleaned up my diet again. I’m limiting my processed food intake, going crazy on the fruits and veggies, becoming more aware of my protein intake, and overall just trying to keep my food intake very balanced. It’s amazing what even a week of good clean eating can do for a person! I am feeling great and less bloated.

My EATS:

Those banana almond bars that I made for Valentine’s day are already gone! They were definitely enjoyed if you cannot tell. This is why I can’t keep any type of sweet in the house! At least they were healthier than a pan of Special K bars (oh how I love Special K bars–-Katie).

banana almond bars

This random stir-fry I threw together last night turned out AMAZING! It was sautéed onions, red bell pepper, and mushrooms with a cooked veggie burger and quinoa thrown in the mix. I topped the dish with hummus and was one happy girl.

veggie burger stir fry

Greek yogurt bowl with honey, banana, almonds, cinnamon and raisins; photo taken after half demolished.

yogurt banana

This salad that looked a lot prettier than it tasted. You win some, you lose some. I couldn’t figure out why it didn’t taste good because I’ve made a nearly identical salad before and absolutely loved it. I guess I wasn’t in the right mood.

salad

Thai lettuce cups with peanut sauce and mom’s homemade chicken wings!

lettuce wraps and chicken wings

I went through three napkins and really did a number on this dinner. So good!

lettuce wraps and chicken wings

Homemade almond crackers. I made two different kinds: salt and pepper and rosemary and garlic. They both turned out great!

almond crackers

As always, smoothies are still my go-to breakfast choice. I’ve been going through quite a few brown rice tortilla and peanut (or almond) butter wraps. Organic raw carrots. Cashews. Raisins. Dates.

LOTSA good food!

What have YOU been eating my nutty friends?

Thanks again to Jenn for hosting WIAW!

What I’ve Been Eating Lately: Eggs and Veggies

I realize I use the WIAW as an opportunity to catch you up on my eats from the past couple of weeks, so instead of calling my posts What I Ate Wednesday, I should really call them What I’ve Been Eating Lately’s (WIBEL), but I like to join in on the WIAW action so you’re just going to have to roll with my WIBEL version of the WIAW instead. Got it?

What I’ve Been Eating Lately…

More salads and a homemade honey mustard chicken Dana made which was awesome!

chicken and salad

Leftover veggie beef soup with loads of parmesan cheese…

soup with parmesan cheese

Brown rice pasta with marinara and parmesan…

gluten free pasta

Tilapia, sweet potato, brussels sprouts, and avocado. I want this again. This was insanely delicious and probably tasted better because it was cooked for me by someone else.  tilapia

Loaded salads with whatever I can find in the house: broccoli, mixed greens, sliced almonds, cottage cheese, black beans, etc….

salad

Breakfast out with my dad before some Christmas shopping for my mom! Talk about great shopping fuel.

jensen's cafe pancakes and eggs

Southwest salad with leftover avocado ranch

southwest salad

Eggs and turkey bacon…

eggs and turkey bacon

 

How’s that for a quick little WIAW WIBEL?!

Thanks again to Peas and Crayons for hosting the WIAW party!

WIAWbutton

I hope you all have a nice Wednesday. Catch up with you later.

Acorn Squash with Turkey Bacon + Weekend Happenings

What a weekend! This was a crazy fun weekend and I am exhausted but it was worth it!

Let’s begin with Friday…

I really haven’t been into the salads lately. I’m thinking it’s because it’s cold outside and I’m craving more warm foods. However I made myself a nice little salad on Friday for lunch and I actually enjoyed it! In the mix: dark greens, tomato, peas, avocado, olives, sunflower seeds, cottage cheese, and drizzle of olive oil infused with Italian spices.

salad

Friday afternoon we celebrated Ted and Annie’s wedding!

dana melanie wedding

It was so great to see the beautiful couple enjoy their special day and it was a lot of fun to see so many of my high school friends!

mel and brandon ted's wedding kal melanie liz

On Saturday, I was a lazy bum for the majority of the day. Dana made us a hearty, protein-packed lunch of eggs with chicken-apple-gouda sausage and onions. Seriously delicious and satisfying.

eggs and chicken sausage

I watched New Girl and eventually whipped up a batch of this awesome and super easy bean dip for a Halloween party we would be attending in the evening.

http://www.thecountrycook.net/2011/01/warm-bean-dip-and-party-food-highlights.htmlbean dip recipe

In the evening we headed out to our friends Adam and Stacy’s house for the annual Halloween party. Every year they impress me more and more with their Halloween decorations. You can only see half of my costume but I was a Food Safety Inspector (you can’t see my badge or meat thermometer and I don’t have my clipboard with me) and Dana was an Italian chef. Unfortunately his restaurant broke too many codes so I had to shut’er down. :smile:

melanie dana halloween 2013

Thanks Adam and Stace for an amazing party once again!

On Sunday, Dana and I had a bunch of errands we had to run in the morning. I spent the rest of my day prepping for my big TV debut (more to come on this) and I also squeezed in a 3-mile walk around the neighborhood. The weather was absolutely perfect and the scenery was beautiful.

fall walk

For dinner I baked up one acorn squash and served it with organic butter and Applegate Turkey bacon, salt, and pepper.

acorn squash with turkey bacon

I wasn’t in the mood for anything sweet but I think maple syrup would have been really good on this too!

So there you have it. My weekend was a blast and went WAY too fast as it always does.

How was your weekend?
What’s your favorite squash?
How do you use it?

Photo Leftovers

The 2013 Healthy Living Summit is just one day away. Wanna know more about HLS? You can read up on my recaps from last year in Boston.

Destination Boston HLS12
Shake Out the Nerves HLS Day 1
Cheers to New Friends HLS Day 2
Decisions, Decisions HLS Day 3

I am so excited to be reunited with my girls and to meet so many new blends!

**************

So you’ve seen it before from me, and yet again I have some super delicious food photos and some other random other photos that are piling up and needing to be shared with you all.

It’s an easy one for all of us with virtually no thinking involved—leftover day. Sit back and enjoy.

Strawberry Chicken Poppyseed Salad from Panera. I finally got it even though summer is coming to an end. I was actually nervous when I went there because I was afraid I had missed my opportunity. I LOVE this salad.

panera salad

Dinner made my mamacita: tilapia, roasted veggies, and smoky quinoa. Means always taste better when someone else makes them for you.

tilapia and vegetables

Some new pb spread called Tru-Nut that was sent to me to try on gluten-free brown rice toast.  I’m still deciding how I feel about it.

gluten free toast with tru-nut butter

A delightfully veggie-packed salad: mixed greens, broccoli, tomatoes, peas, turkey, cheese, sunflower seeds, and honey mustard.

salad

My favorite salmon with almond, capers, and sesame oil with grilled veggies.

salmon with veggies

A care package from Wild Harvest—thank you and see you guys soon!

wild harvest package

My new friends I met in New York on the cover of the Variety section this week!

mn girls bethenny in newspaper

IMG_3833

And Moose.

moose

Happy Thursday!

Do you have any leftover goodies hanging out on your phones or camera?!

What are your thoughts on leftover food? Yay or nay?

All About the Food & Yellow Quinoa Recipe

Except for breakfast yesterday, I actually managed to snap photos of a lot of my food so guess what I am going to be sharing with you all today!

My breakfast was my favorite at the moment blueberry smoothie all jam-packed with blueberries, kale, pineapple, and so much more. It tasted awesome per usual.

Lunch was insanely delicious. I pulled together a salad using leftover mixed dark greens with tomatoes and cucumbers from Sunday, leftover yellow quinoa (recipe below!), leftover chicken, zucchini, sunflower seeds, and this homemade Greek dressing. The flavor in this thing was outrageous. I am going to be making this for lunch again today I think.

salad

I spent a little time in the kitchen mixing up some confectionaries (sugar-free). This is a teaser photo. I promise I really am going to share some homemade dark chocolate recipes with you all soon.

chocolate

I also made dried pineapple in the food dehydrator. These make for the perfect sweet dessert. They taste like gummy candy. So good!

pineapple

Dinner

I didn’t really have any plans for dinner, but when the time rolled around, I knew I had a fridge packed full of veggies, and they were screaming to be eaten. So I threw together my old go-to dinner: veggie hash with an over-easy egg.

This time I used onions, garlic, mushrooms, broccoli, zucchini, green beans, salt, pepper, and paprika. I was so excited to be able to eat an egg again. I had eliminated them from my diet when I was following the Clean Program and this was my first time eating one in about a month. I missed my eggs!

hash with egg hash with egg

Mmm seriously such a good dinner. Such a great day of eats in general!

*****************

So remember that yellow quinoa I made for Sunday night’s Mediterranean dinner?

homemade mediterranean dinner

 

My inspiration for this recipe came from multiple dinners to one of my favorite Mediterranean restaurants where they serve yellow rice underneath mounds of veggies and shawarma. Num. Ca you see it hidden under there? This was a photo of my dinner from the restaurant a while back.

med cruise yellow rice

 

The secret ingredient in my quinoa that makes it yellow is a spice called turmeric. Did you know turmeric has been shown to be a natural anti-inflammatory? I can almost guarantee that nearly every one of us could benefit from a little anti-inflammatory assistance within our bodies. I know I can use the extra help!

Anyway, this quinoa is extremely simple and it was the perfect accompaniment to the Mediterranean inspired meal I made for Sunday night’s dinner which included grilled chicken, kabobs, and a veggie salad.

You could add in onions and green peas to this quinoa recipe to amp up the nutritional value even more. You could also add in veggies AND a lean protein like chicken and you would have yourself a one pot meal.

Yellow Quinoa
This makes one BIG batch of quinoa
Ingredients
  • 2 1/2 cups dry quinoa
  • 5 cups chicken bone broth
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 heaping tsp cumin
  • dash of onion powder
  • salt to taste
Instructions
  1. In a large saucepan or pot, combine quinoa, broth, and garlic and bring to a boil.
  2. Cover pot and reduce to simmer. Simmer for 15 minutes.
  3. At the end of the cooking process, add the remaining seasonings. Season to taste if necessary.
  4. Serve with your favorite kabob combination, on a salad or even on its own!

Happy Day my friends.

Have you ever cooked with turmeric? What are your favorite spices to cook with?

Memorial Weekend: Productive Yet Relaxing

 

Long time no see! How was everyone’s Memorial Weekend? Mine was very productive but also relaxing. That seems to be a common theme around our house on the weekends. We got so much done around the house and spent the majority of our weekend working outside in the yard.

I want to give HUGE shout-out thank you to the guys who came over on Sunday to help Dana dig the egress window well. THANK YOU times a million! They plowed through that job so fast I couldn’t believe it.

After the window was dug, I helped Dana lay the bricks in for the walls of the well. I felt pretty tough as I carried those bricks around the yard, and my arms are definitely feeling it today! One more trip to Menards for our last batch of brick and the egress window well will be nearly complete. The next step will be putting the windows in, but we’re going to have that done professionally. Then we can start finishing our basement! I’m just waiting for that money tree to start growing in the yard. It all adds up real fast.

Besides getting muddy in the yard this weekend, I also hung out with family, friends, and ate some delicious food. I was hoping to get a bike ride in with Dana but the weather wasn’t really cooperating. The sun hasn’t shown us its beautiful face around here since Thursday if I’m not mistaken. Our poor plants haven’t seen sun since we planted them in the ground on Thursday! We could all use a little Vitamin D around here. Soon enough though. Think positive thoughts, right? Maybe I’ll do a little sun dance later.

Alright, I’m planning on keeping it short today. I don’t have a ton of photos to share to recap the weekend, but I do have a few. So, I’m going to finish off today’s post with the collection of my photos from the weekend. And here we go…

Chipotle loaded with veggies! Proof that you can chose healthy fast food decisions; just go light on the cheese, sour cream, and guac, ditch the tortilla, and go heavy on the veggies and you have yourself an extremely delicious and healthy veggie-packed Chipotle bowl.

 

chipotle

Almond banana muffin with almond butter and sliced bananas…

almond bread

The Egress window well…

dana

Salad: mixed greens, tomato, carrots, peas, avocado, olives, sunflower seeds, and Newman’s Own honey mustard dressing.

salad

 

One of many trips to Menards…11% off everything right now really adds up when you’re there everyday. Spend money to save money, right?

menards

 

Cherry Berry…with no skimping on frozen yogurt OR toppings. I meant business.

cherry berry

Homemade MAH bites, fauxtmeal raisin cookie style.

mah bites

 

And the Bachelorette…

 

 

 

bachelorette

 

I had to throw that last one in there because I am super excited that the Bachelorette is back on again. I spent a good 5-miles on the treadmill watching the season premiere last night. It should be a good one! No favorites yet, though.

I have a nummy vegetarian meal planned for tonight that I am anxious to share with you all (inspiration from Denise). This is actually the only meal I planned for the week because I’m thinking there will be leftovers. Do you have any meals planned for the week?

I hope you all had a FANTASTIC weekend.

Did you do anything fun this weekend? Were you productive around the house? Did you relax with family and friends?

California Cheeseburger Salad

April Fitness Challenge Recap

Today is the last day of April which means that today is the last day of my April Fitness Challenge. If you will recall, at the beginning of April I challenged myself to work towards the goal of being able to do at least one solid chin-up by April 30th.

chin up pull up bar

 

We bought a pull-up bar, I hit the weights but not nearly as much as I should have, and I began Insanity workouts about two weeks ago.

I have to report today that unless a miracle happens in the next 24 hours, I am still not able to do an unassisted chin-up. However, I refuse to claim this challenge as a fail because I have seen major progress in my attempts and I know it won’t be much longer before I am able to do one.

And yes I use my legs to help shimmy myself up–I don’t care if that’s considered cheating.

chin up

Am I disappointed? Actually I’m not, not at all. I am very happy with my progress and excited to keep reaching toward my goal. It has been very helpful having a pull-up bar in our house so I can give it a go at my leisure.

You WILL be hearing from me as soon as I reach that goal! I think I will be rolling this goal over into May. Yea, I like that idea.

Anyway….changing tracks. I have a super tasty meal to share with you all from last night.

This dinner was extremely easy, it came together in about 15 minutes or less, and it was SO delicious!

I made what I like to call California Cheeseburger Salad!

What usually comes on a California burger? Tomato, lettuce, avocado, and mayo right? Well I excluded the mayo but used the other ingredients. In addition to the California burger, I also incorporated an all-American classic: the cheeseburger. Instead of a bun, I turned this concoction into a salad.

california cheeseburger salad

 

Let’s break it down…

I began by sauteing about 1/4 cup of diced onions on the stove top. I then added 1/4 pound of lean ground turkey, seasoned it with salt and pepper, and let it brown.

Meanwhile, I chopped up the lettuce, tomato, avocado and arranged them on my two plates.

Next, I made a mustard dressing which was simply deli style mustard (about 2 tablespoons), apple cider vinegar (about 1 tablespoon), garlic powder, onion powder, and a little water. I gave it all a good stir and then drizzled it over the salads.

After the turkey was finished browning and fully cooked through, I shredded 1/4 cup of natural cheddar cheese over the hot meat in the pan. I let it melt and then used a spatula to scoop it onto our salads.

california cheeseburger salad

 

You put it all together and what do you get? California Cheeseburger Salad! So very simple and it was the perfect dish for a warm spring evening.

California Cheeseburger Salad
Prep time:
Total time:
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • 1/4 cup onion, diced
  • 1/4 lb lean ground turkey
  • salt and pepper
  • As much mixed spring lettuce as you wish, chopped
  • 1/2 small avocado, diced
  • 1 Roma tomato, diced
  • 2 Tbsp deli mustard
  • 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • a sprinkle of garlic powder
  • a sprinkle of onion powder
  • 1 Tbsp water
  • 1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
Instructions
  1. In a small pan sprayed with olive oil, sauté onions for 2-3 minutes.
  2. Add ground turkey, season with salt and pepper, and let brown.
  3. Meanwhile, arrange lettuce, avocado, and tomatoes onto two separate plates.
  4. Prepare mustard by mixing together mustard, vinegar, garlic powder, onion powder, and water in a small bowl. Drizzle over plated lettuce.
  5. Once meat is finished cooking and lightly browned, sprinkle cheese over the top and let melt. Once melted, use a spatula to transfer the meat on top of the salads.
  6. Enjoy!

 

You could easily make this vegetarian by substituting pinto beans or black beans instead of the ground turkey! Give it a go tonight! You won’t regret it.

Have a fabulous Tuesday my lovely readers!

What are your go-to summer dinners?

I notice that once the warmer weather rolls around, my meat consumption goes way up because we are grilling so much more. In the summer our go-to dinners are probably grilled chicken or turkey burgers and grilled veggies or a huge veggie and bean salad.

Spring Has Finally Sprung

 

It’s finally happening people…spring is arriving in Minnesota! Yesterday the temperature got up to 50°F which being that we had these sights just days ago, gets us Minnesotans super amped up. Today is supposed to reach 69, Saturday: 72, and Sunday:  76. If every Minnesotan who is capable of being outside this weekend isn’t outside I would be truly surprised. We have been caged up for far too long. There will be people in shorts and flip-flops left and right, and possibly even bathing suits. Spring is finally ARRIVING! My heart flutters at the thought.

Tomorrow we run are running in a 10K race. Because of the nasty weather, and since the beginning of Insanity, we haven’t been running…at.all. I am hoping since we are keeping up on our cardio and endurance and building up our strength, that 6.2 miles will be a breeze (*fingers crossed*). The other thing that should help is the gorgeous weather. The adrenaline of warm weather and cheering spectators should be all that we need to make this race a great one. We shall see!

Last night there was no doubt in my mind that we were going to grill. At lunch time I started marinading two skinless chicken breasts in coconut aminos, honey, pineapple, ginger, and garlic powder.

When it was time for dinner we threw those bad boys on the grill and hung outside with the pooch while they cooked away.

outside

outside dana grill

“Look ma, no snow!”

outside moose

To go along with the chicken, I put together a simple romaine salad with red peppers and lima beans. For the dressing I made a simple mix of rice vinegar, sesame oil, ginger, and a touch of honey. We plated the chicken over the salad, and dressed it with the Asian-inspired mixture. That’s what you call a springy-looking plate! So light and refreshing!

chicken salad

I’m officially welcoming salads back in as a dinner option now that the warm weather is rolling around.

chicken salad

 

After dinner we took Mooser for a 2 mile walk around the neighborhood. I underestimated my clothing and lack of layers and wound up being pretty chilly through the walk. It was still so nice to get out and not have to trudge through any snow. LOVE.

I am really hoping to make this a ritual in the evenings. So often I find myself wanting to snuggle into the couch after dinner and then I don’t end up moving from my spot until bedtime. I’m working on breaking that habit and the warmer weather will absolutely help that.

After our walk we came in and enjoyed Glee and I whipped up a batch of banana soft serve. I made it in the NutriBullet for the first time and it came out even smoother than when I make it in the blender. We went the simple au natural route and just used bananas and a little coconut milk.

 

banana softserve

 

Between the grilling, the salad, the evening walk, the banana soft serve, it looks like spring has finally sprung over here! Can I get a whoop whoop?!

What do you enjoy most about spring?

Happy Friday my friends!

Chicken Stir-Fry with Coconut Aminos

It’s Friday! Oh yea, baby! Before we get too excited about this glorious day of the week, let’s take a quick look at Thursday, shall we?

I had a really great day. I actually kept thinking yesterday was Friday. I was super messed up on my days.

I had the day off and I started it off by meeting up my high school friend Ted, for coffee at Caribou. Why on earth have we not gotten together sooner, I don’t know. All I can say is it was so nice to catch up with him. He is such a positive person and I love having positive people in my life! There is no room for negativity in my life.

In the afternoon Dana and I took the pup out for a 3-mile loop around our neighborhood. The weather was absolutely perfect for an outdoor run; about 50°F and sunny. I was even able to wear my capris outside for the first time this year!

Moose is still working on his stamina. He was pretty wiped immediately after the run.

moose

Allergy Update

I seem to have worked whatever food or medication allergy I had out of my system, because I have been feeling back to normal. The only thing I can think of that may have triggered it is the abundant amount of strawberries I had eaten those few days, but I’ve never had a problem with them in the past! Again, another reason I would like to have an intolerance test done.

Lunch

For lunch I threw together a ginormous veggie-packed salad. I loved the volume of this salad. In the mix was mixed spring greens, broccoli, carrots, red pepper, celery, a spritz of olive oil, hummus, and sunflower seeds. Wowza it was GOOD.

veggie salad

There were a few snacks eaten throughout the day to tide me over between meals, all of which went unphotographed.

We made a purchase yesterday to add to our “at-home gym”…..

A PULL-UP BAR!

chin up pull up bar

I wasn’t messing around when I said I am going to conquer at least one unassisted chin-up before May. We put this up in the doorway on our main floor so that I will be more likely to use it often. Like I said previously, I still have a LOOONNNG way to go, but I’ll get there!

Stir-Fry Dinner and Coconut Aminos

Mmm mmm, dinner was tasty last night. Stir-fry has got to be one of the easiest meals to make and it always comes out well.

Last night I pulled out the wok and sautéed up onion, garlic, red bell pepper, broccoli, sugar snap peas and carrots in sesame oil. Once the veggies had cooked through, I added about 1/3 of a cup of bone broth along with 5-6 splashes of coconut aminos (more on that in a sec). I also added a few sprinkles of garlic powder, onion powder, ginger, and salt. I then let the liquids cook out, added some leftover cooked chicken, allowed that to heat through and VOILA!

stir fry

I served the stir-fry over cooked quinoa (I let the quinoa soak for 24 hours before cooking to help with digestibility) and had myself a deliciously gluten-free and soy-free dinner!

stir fry

stif fry

So, about those coconut aminos I mentioned….

Yesterday I stopped in at Whole Foods and oogled over all of the great products. I meandered down the Asian-food aisle and my eyes spied this intriguing sauce:

Coconut Secret’s Raw Coconut Aminos

coconut aminos

I had to give it a go after what I read on the label. Here is what I have learned about Coconut Aminos (information taken from their website):

Their product is:

  • 100% Organic
  • Gluten-free
  • Soy-free
  • Dairy-free
  • Vegan
  • Contains 17 naturally occurring amino acids which are important for muscle tissue repair and rebuilding, enhance nervous system function, and aid in boosting the immune system
  • It is made from certified organic raw coconut sap and naturally aged and blended with sun-dried, mineral-rich sea salt
  • It can be used as a substitute for soy sauce!

Source

The flavor is a bit more bland compared to regular soy sauce, and less salty, but it did add a really nice flavor to this stir-fry dish. For those of you out there who are looking for an alternative to soy-sauce, I would definitely recommend giving this a shot. I will be 100% honest with you though, I still prefer soy sauce.

But it’s still pretty neat, right? What will they think of next?!

I had a fun new treat later in the evening including another Whole Foods find:

Gluten Free Cereal

These are SO good! And the ingredients are so simple: Organic corn meal, organic evaporated cane juice, organic peanut butter, organic soy oil, sea salt, tocopherols (natural vitamin E), organic tapioca starch. I don’t plan on eating these daily, but they are going to be nice to have around if I want a little treat.

Alright, now that we caught up on Thursday we can officially celebrate Friday. I hope you all have a FANTASTIC day! Keep on smilin’ my friends.

Question of the day: Have you ever used liquid aminos before? What are your thoughts?

A Weekend of Cozy Restaurants

Well hello there my friends! I am having quite the fabulous weekend. How about you? This post is a quick little recap from the weekend so far. ENJOY!

Saturday

On Saturday morning Dana and I met up with my parents and my grandpa at the Copper Dome in St. Paul. Copper Dome is one of my favorite places to go to breakfast with my grandpa. Growing up I would always order from their lengthy pancake menu, and enjoy a cozy ambiance with my family.

copper dome

Fun fact: President Obama ate at Copper Dome one time when he was visiting Minnesota! Kind of neat. :smile: Who knows, maybe he sat right where we sat?

family at copper dome

I hadn’t been there in years, and this time around I decided to go a different route for breakfast instead of the usual pancakes. I chose a platter with two eggs cooked however you like, hash browns, and turkey bacon. It was definitely a protein-packed breakfast that held me over for a long time!

copper dome

I had a lot of fun being back there with my family!

Across the street I couldn’t help but notice a second-hand store called Elite Repeat and watched many ladies walking out of there with very cute dresses in their hands. I had to go take a peak for myself. I was looking for a new swimsuit cover up for vacation after all.elite repeat

What do you know?! I just happened to find one that I loved. It had never been worn and was $16. I’d call that a deal. Plus it’s animal print. So cute. Win.

swimsuit cover up elite repeat

Alright, a little less talk and more photos…

Dinner was a veggie-packed salad.

veggie salad

Fast-forward to Sunday Lunch…

We met up with Dana’s parents at a restaurant called Porter Creek Hardwood Grill. They have a huge wood burning stove that they use for flatbread pizzas, and they also specialize in rotisserie chicken. Num.

porter creek

I had a seriously hard time deciding what I wanted. It was between the chicken chowder soup with a side caesar salad, or the Toasted Quinoa Chicken Salad. I went with the quinoa salad.

quinoa salad porter creek

Unfortunately my cold decided to act up right around lunchtime, and I wasn’t able to taste any of my lunch. I’m pretty sure it was amazing though. :wink: I saved half of it to bring home so I could enjoy it once my senses came back around.

quinoa salad porter creek

quinoa salad porter creek

I really enjoyed this place not only for the food but for the ambiance. The snow was flying down outside, and we were inside this warm and toasty restaurant, with a fire going in the fireplace, the smell of the wood burning stove which smelled like a campfire, italian inspired motif, and we were in a super comfortable booth. It really made me feel all warm and fuzzy.

IMG_1669 IMG_1670It was a great weekend full of family and food. Now, that is all for now. I am going to enjoy the rest of the weekend.

Be on the lookout for a super amazing giveaway tomorrow!!!

How was your weekend? Do anything fun? Have a relaxing weekend in?