Archive | June, 2014
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Marvelous Monday: Time flies!

30 Jun

I seriously can’t even believe that it is already Monday. This weekend flew by so fast and it’s making me realize that the time between now and the wedding is going to go even faster (AHH!). I have already been engaged for almost a year and that day seems like it was just yesterday. Anyways, as it usually is with most weekends when I work on Saturday, I tried to squeeze in as much fun as possible into the remaining bit of time that was left.

so much marvelous!

so much marvelous!

Marvelous is… a spontaneous Friday night! Dan had a stag to go to so I kind of played Friday night by ear and obviously ended up at the Diamond later in the night. After work, I decided to stop into Sonoma Wines & Spirits which has been recommended many times by Caitlin and they happened to be doing a beer tasting and I was looking for new beers to try so I was in luck! I tried two very hoppy beers (not for me) and a Harpoon Maple porter which I thoroughly enjoyed. I ended up purchasing the maple porter as well as a few interesting looking fruity beers. I enjoyed one of those when I got home and eventually went over to the Diamond where I met up with Kevin and Katie whom I haven’t had the chance to hang out with in forever so I was super excited to be reunited with them! Dan met up with us later and it ended up being a great night.

Founders Rubaeus Raspberry Ale = amazing

Founders Rubaeus Raspberry Ale = amazing

Marvelous is… a fabulous Sunday Funday! I woke up with a huge urge to get in some kind of exercise and I had been bugging Dan to go on a long walk for days so we finally decided to do that. It was pretty steamy outside but it was a beautiful day for a walk and we ended up doing over 3.5 miles in a little over an hour. After that we did our Sunday errands and headed over to Sam’s house for her graduation party that I told you guys about in Friday’s post. It was so wonderful to spend time with her family and to be able to celebrate her amazing accomplishment of graduating from Harvard Law School (no I will NEVER stop bragging about it). Her mom gave the most adorable speech which nearly made me cry and she was so happy to be able to express how proud she is of all three of her daughters. We ended the evening with some catch-up time with Alex which was definitely much needed.

Walk selfies are a must

Walk selfies are a must

We also spent some time by the river :)

We also spent some time by the river 🙂

This cake was from the UConn Dairy Bar and it was to die for!

This cake was from the UConn Dairy Bar and it was to die for!

Marvelous is…  it’s my birthday week! I’m not really one of those people who celebrates their “birthday week” but I have many reasons to be very excited this year so I’m definitely milking it (HA). My birthday is on Thursday (the 3rd) and since pretty much everyone has the 4th of July off, we are having a bonfire/cookout at Dan’s parents house with a bunch of our friends which is something I have never done for my birthday. I am SO excited to be able to celebrate with everyone and also for the long weekend! It’s also my 25th birthday and the last one which is really worth celebrating big time so I want to go all out.

I hope everyone has a wonderful Monday! 

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Five Things Friday: Happy

27 Jun

Happy Friday! Although it’s really my Thursday I am very excited for the weekend. This past week has been really great which is why the theme of this week’s post is “happy”.

1. I have been really pleased with my workouts and my healthy eating this week. I was able to squeeze in workouts on Tuesday, Wednesday, and this morning as well. I was also happy with my energy level during each of the workouts even though I did not properly fuel for two of those three workouts (oops!). I’m just not hungry right when I wake up and sometimes its hard to force myself to eat something. Speaking of eating, I have been doing really well with eating clean this week and I feel great overall. I haven’t really had any alcohol this week and I plan on continuing that trend tonight since I have to work tomorrow.

2. Although I have been maintaining my healthy eating habits, I have had some great meals this week. The best day for meals was Tuesday which happened to be my day off. I went to lunch at Plan B with Jenna and Natasha and enjoyed an organic grilled portabella mushroom salad which really hit the spot after my workout. That evening, Dan and I did not feel like cooking so we ended up ordering two small pizzas from Giovanni’s and those leftovers were a great dinner for the next night as well.

Yes, those are goat cheese medallions. And yes, I was in heaven.

Yes, those are goat cheese medallions. And yes, I was in heaven.

Caribbean chicken: BBQ sauce, chicken, caramelized onions, and pineapple

3. Tuesday’s lunch with Jenna was my last time seeing her for a while since she left for Europe yesterday for FOUR WEEKS! Although I am going to miss her so much, I am so happy and excited for her to be able to backpack around Europe with her brother. I can’t wait to hear all about her trip and I’m sure we will Skype while she is gone.

Love this lady!

Love this lady!

4. I am also excited for another one of my bridesmaids, Sam, because we will be celebrating her graduation from Harvard Law School on Sunday. She is so incredibly intelligent and such a hard worker and I am so happy to be able to celebrate this great achievement with her. Sam is moving to Miami in September and already has an awesome job there. I am so proud of her!

Just chillin in Spain, naturally :)

Just chillin in Spain, naturally 🙂

5. I am hoping to get in at least one workout this weekend. Although I am very pleased with my progress with my current workout plan, I would like to work out at least once during the weekend to keep up the momentum. I always seem to plan to exercise in the mornings but I am usually too tired from staying up late or I have too many errands to run. I know I won’t work out tomorrow but hopefully I can get up on Sunday and get to the gym for a quick work out.

I hope everyone has a safe and happy weekend!

Marvelous Monday!

23 Jun

I can’t believe it’s already Monday! This past weekend flew by which usually means that it was a great one (and it definitely was). I’m excited to fill you guys in on all of the marvelous that happened this weekend.

Marvelous is… an unexpected best friend date with Alex on Friday night!

I always see Alex on Friday nights when a bunch of us go to the Diamond for our usual shenanigans but it ended up being just the two of us since there was a structure fire in town right around the time we were about to leave to go out. The majority of our friends are in the fire department (including Dan) so this meant it was a best friend date night and we were totally fine with that. We were STARVING by the time we went out so I ordered a chicken wrap and she ordered a burger and we split them (because that’s what you do on date night, right?). We had a great night filled with laughter, people-watching, delicious drinks, and fun.

All the cool girls take selfies and wear Lia Sophia

All the cool girls take selfies and wear Lia Sophia

Marvelous is… a Saturday filled to the brim with fun activities!

I was able to get some errands done while Dan worked for a couple of hours in the morning so that worked out perfectly. We had lunch at the Diamond (I’m seeing a pattern here ha) with Melissa and it was so great to spend some quality time with her. After lunch we visited Cassidy Hill vineyard in Coventry, CT, which we had visited the previous weekend with my father for Father’s Day (and loved it) and we knew we had to come back ASAP with Alex because they had ALL the sweet wine and she loves her sweet wine. We didn’t stay too long at the vineyard because I hosted my Tastefully Simple party in the evening. It was a delicious and fabulous time and I’m so grateful to have great girls in my life who will always support me, especially when it involves sampling yummy food 🙂 After the party, a few of us decided to walk to the Strawberry Moon festival (basically a big block party) to meet the boys and from there we went to Hanafins pub and ended the night at the Diamond (duh).

One of the wines we purchased, tastes like liquid strawberries aka heaven

One of the wines we purchased, tastes like liquid strawberries aka heaven

Marvelous is… a true Sunday Funday!

We had plans to go to the Travelers Championship golf tournament with Dan’s dad and brother as a Father’s Day present and I was super excited for it! I have been to the tournament a few times before and its always a good time, especially with weather as great as it was yesterday. We met up with our friends Robbie and Jenna and it was all around a great, relaxing day. We got great tent passes for the 19th Hole Sponsor Club from our amazing friend Katie who works for the tournament (Thank you Katie!) so we were able to go into the air conditioning and there was a full service bar as well as food in there too. We stayed until about 4:00 and then headed home to finish up our Sunday errands. Since it was so beautiful out we decided to grill for dinner and picked up a couple of kabobs as well as some baby cabbages too because I currently can’t live without them. It was SO yummy and healthy too! It was a wonderful ending to a great weekend.

Thank you random dude for ruining my photo

Thank you random dude for ruining my photo

But really this is a true story

But really this is a true story

I ate 2/3rds of those baby cabbages, obviously

I ate 2/3rds of those baby cabbages, obviously

WIAW: Republic

11 Jun

I wouldn’t necessarily call this a “What I Ate Wednesday” post but its more like a “What I Ate Last Friday” at Republic in Bloomfield, CT post. This place was so delicious and unique that I had to give it it’s own post. It was really unlike anywhere that I have ever been before, mainly due to the fact that I wanted to try EVERYTHING on the menu. Okay so enough of my babbling and let’s get on to the food itself.

Be sure to link up your posts to the #WIAW party too!

We arrived and were promptly seated outside (our choice) to enjoy the beautiful evening, although I would definitely like to go back and sit inside since the vibe seemed very cool. I had done quite a bit of menu-stalking prior to our visit so I knew that I wanted to start with the Strawberry Basil martini as my cocktail of choice. This drink included hammer & sickle vodka, muddled strawberries, basil infused simple syrup, lime juice, and balsamic vinegar. I could not believe how tasty and refreshing this martini was and I will definitely be ordering more “basil” drinks in the future.

Mmm I want one now!

Mmm I want one now!

I knew that deciding on only a couple of apps would be tough since everything looked great but I decided on the Sriracha Devilled Eggs (my fave- hello the name of this blog!) and the cheese plate. The devilled eggs were perfect and not too spicy so Alex enjoyed them as well.

They came in a cute little basket with real hay!

They came in a cute little basket with real hay!

The three cheeses that I tried were all equally delicious but the one I LOVED was the Truffle Burratta which was probably my favorite cheese that I have ever had the pleasure of tasting. Dan chose the Roasted Elephant Garlic which was accompanied by crostini for spreading and he loves ALL things garlic so this was pure bliss for him. Alex had the House Made Guacamole which was SO fresh and tasty.

I am obsessed with cheese.

I am obsessed with cheese.

Although I had menu-stalked Republic, I had not decided on what I would get as my entrée. My decision was made for me when our hostess (who also happens to be Dan’s boss’s daughter) recommended the Gorgonzola, Fontina, Brie, and Pear flatbread and basically said it was a must-have so I was sold. It also had an onion spread, balsamic reduction, and some arugula on top. This was such an unreal combination of sweet and savory and I definitely experienced a food-gasm upon my first bite. I was so full from everything else that I was only able to eat one piece but you better believe that I took the rest home and those leftovers made for an amazing breakfast on both Saturday and Sunday.

So much amazing in this picture

So much amazing in this picture

The flatbread was very tasty but the hands-down highlight of the meal had to be the Bacon Roasted Brussels Sprouts. Can I just tell you that this was the single most amazing dish that I have ever eaten in my entire life. They were absolutely mind-blowing and not only were they roasted to perfection but they included chunks of bacon and were topped with a sweet yogurt sauce and apple slices. Next time I visit Republic I would literally just get two orders of these and have them as my dinner. They really were that amazing.

This picture doesn't even begin to capture the heaven that these baby cabbages were.

This picture doesn’t even begin to capture the heaven that these baby cabbages were.

Dan had the Philly Cheese Steak sandwich and said it was the best one he has ever had. That seemed to be the theme of the evening 🙂 Alex also enjoyed her Grilled Veggie Panini and especially loved the flavor of the pesto.

He said the fries were perfect as well.

He said the fries were perfect as well.

I cannot wait to visit Republic again and try more menu items (specifically those with the word “truffle” in them). I highly recommend this restaurant to anyone who is looking for a unique food experience in an equally unique and enjoyable environment.

Marvelous Monday: ALL the fun!

9 Jun

Normally I am in the worst mood on a Monday but there is no possible way for me to be grumpy at all after the amazing weekend I had. There was SO much marvelous in fact that I can’t wait to tell you about it so I’m just going to dive right in.

Marvelous is… the most delicious dinner at the Republic Friday night with Dan and Alex.

We had been meaning to try out this place for a long time and I am happy to tell you that everything was above and beyond what we could have possibly expected. It was one of those places where everything on the menu appealed to me and I had a hard time deciding what to choose. I’m going to do a full post on the restaurant on Wednesday because we enjoyed so much delicious food that it definitely deserves its own post. I highly recommend that everyone go to this place ASAP because you will not be disappointed with the food, service, or atmosphere.

This is just a little teaser but look at that bread!

This is just a little teaser but look at that bread!

Marvelous is… Natasha’s surprise bridal shower on Saturday at Tastebuds in East Hartford, CT. It was so special to be able to take part in this wonderful day with one of my favorite people. She was completely surprised and there were a lot of people involved in making sure that she didn’t find out. Her fiancée even went as far as to have a fake invitation to a relative’s 60th birthday sent to their house just so she would never have a chance of knowing what was really going on. I even won a bottle of Cupcake Pinot Grigio in one of the raffles so it was an entirely perfect day.

Look at the surprise on her face!

Look at the surprise on her face!

Marvelous is… FINALLY attending the Coventry Farmer’s Market on Sunday. I have recently developed an obsession with farmer’s markets and everyone kept telling me that I had to go to the one in Coventry because there was truly nothing like it. It was so beautiful outside and Dan, Alex, and I had so much fun walking around and sampling all of the local foods that were there. We ended up purchasing some lettuce, dill chevre, pork steak, blueberry pecan granola, and farm fresh eggs. We were starving too so I had a Frito pie from Yellow Rose BBQ’s truck and Dan had a BBQ brisket sandwich which he said was amazing. I know Frito’s pie is not the healthiest of foods but it was something I had always wanted to try so I had to do it and it was delicious. I washed it down with an acai-blueberry lemonade from a vegan food truck called The G Stream. I can’t wait to go back again soon and buy more local veggies to enjoy during the week in my salads.

This place had super yummy BBQ

This place had super yummy BBQ

Frito's pie = amazing

Frito’s pie = amazing

I have been meaning to buy this stuff forever!

I have been meaning to buy this stuff forever!

I hope you guys enjoyed my recap of my fun-filled weekend!

Five Things Friday: Busy Busy Busy

6 Jun

Happy Friday! I am super excited that my new routine has allowed me time to actually post twice this week. I am aiming for three posts next week so keep an eye out! I figured I would share five random Friday thoughts with you guys 🙂

1. I am loving the morning workouts way more than I thought I would.

I know I talked about this on Wednesday but with two more days of morning workouts under my belt, I’m convinced that this is the perfect workout plan for me. I am not as tired as I thought I would be and it actually gives me more energy throughout the day. It also helps to ensure that I’m at least somewhat tired when Dan wants to go to bed since our schedules are SO different. My workouts have included some form of cardio, either the elliptical, treadmill, or Stairmaster and then some weightlifting. It feels so good to be done with my workout first thing and I’m very proud of myself for finally starting to do this.

Proud of myself for this!

Proud of myself for this!

2. The wedding planning has officially begun!

This past weekend Dan and I “proposed” to our groomsmen and bridesmaids. I took my girls to Priam Vineyard in Colchester, CT and used custom wine labels to ask them (which you will see in the picture below). Dan had his guys over for beer and pizza and he asked them by “icing” them which involves being presented with a Smirnoff Ice and having to get down on one knee and chug it. You will see how that worked below also. My ladies day was so much fun and they were all SO surprised with how I asked. Only two of them had no idea I was asking at all so it was definitely worth seeing the pure surprise and excitement on their faces. We could not ask for better people to stand by us on our special day and I am SO excited for it to finally be here!  The next step is to get our engagement photos done and I will definitely keep you guys posted on how that goes.

Found these on Etsy! Super cute!

Found these on Etsy! Super cute!

This was so perfect for Dan and his guys :)

This was so perfect for Dan and his guys 🙂

Melissa, Jenna, Sam, Me, Alex, Natasha, Carlee

Melissa, Jenna, Sam, Me, Alex, Natasha, Carlee

3. I have all kinds of fabulous plans coming up for this weekend!

Tonight will be fun because Dan and I have a date night planned at a new-to-us restaurant and after we will head to the Diamond (as usual) to spend time with our friends. Tomorrow is going to be awesome because I have a bridal shower and then Dan’s cousin’s graduation party is after that at his Aunt’s new lake house which I’m sure is fabulous. I love going to ALL the summer parties. We are not sure of our plans for tomorrow night which is just fine with me since I like having some spontaneity in my weekends. Sunday is also pretty much completely open but I’m hoping to get in an outdoor workout with Dan like a hike or a long walk so we can take advantage of the nice weather. Sunday night we have dinner plans with our friends Jon and Erica who we haven’t even seen since our Super Bowl party so it’s going to be great to see them!

4. I am super excited to try out a new-to-us restaurant tonight.

It has been a long while since Dan and I were able to try a new restaurant and tonight we are going to The Republic in Bloomfield, CT. I have heard great things about this place and after perusing their menu online, I discovered that not only do they have a cheese plate but they also have the option to add a soft boiled egg to their salads. I love ALL the cheese and runny eggs so this completely sold me on The Republic. We also haven’t had a date night in a while since we have been so busy so I’m really happy to get some quality time with my man J. I will definitely have a post for you guys next week about my experience there.

Maybe something like this amazing salad from Bricco will happen tonight!

Maybe something like this amazing salad from Bricco will happen tonight!

5. I really really need to get my highlights done and a salon pedicure.

It has been forever since I’ve had my highlights done and almost as long since I have had a salon pedicure. I have all of the stuff at home for pedicures and I do them myself all the time but there is something about sitting in that comfy massage chair and soaking my feet in the warm water that I can’t replicate at home. I am going to try my very best to treat myself to one this weekend. I always have trouble justifying spending the money on myself but after a kickass sales month at work in May, I think this will be my reward to myself. As far as the highlights go, I will probably have Alex do them since she has a few times in the past and they always look great (plus spending only $10 for them doesn’t hurt either).  I think it’s extremely important to always remember to take time out to take care of yourself, especially when life gets as crazy busy as mine has been lately.

Have an amazing weekend!!!!

WIAW: Back Again!

4 Jun

Happy hump day! I’m so sorry it has been so long since I’ve posted but life has kind of grabbed a hold of us and I have had zero time to blog. Vacation was awesome and I intend to do a wordless photo dump of (mostly) food pictures from the cruise. I figured that today I would fill you guys in on a couple of meals I have had recently as well as a workout I literally just completed.

Since we have come back from vaca, I have been really making a conscious effort to eat healthier. I feel like I say this all the time but the wedding is almost a year away and I am FULLY aware that results don’t come overnight. I figured that since we are SO busy, lunch is the easiest meal of the day to shape my healthy eating habits. I have been bringing a salad beast every day for lunch and let me tell you, they have been delish. The main staples in these salads always include romaine lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, green olives, capers, pickles, turkey, and shredded cheddar cheese. Sometimes I just add in random little bits from dinner the night before such as corn right off the cob and water chestnuts. The only problem has been the dressing since I tend to get bored of the same one every single day. This week I have discovered Newman’s Own Light Honey Mustard which is amazing and I highly recommend it.

Salad beast with ALL the things

Salad beast with ALL the things

Yesterday I started my first of hopefully many days of working out in the morning before work so my workout is done and I have the evening free. My body was definitely not used to this burst of energy in the morning and therefore I was STARVING all day long. I literally spent the entire day thinking about what I would have for dinner and I decided on a classic tuna salad sandwich. I wanted to hold back on the carb front a little bit so I went to Whole Foods and picked up some of their sandwich thins along with a tomato, avocado, and some muenster cheese. I had Dan order me some sweet potato fries from the Diamond because I am always craving them. This dinner was SO amazing and probably one of my favorites ever. If you can’t make up your mind on dinner, always go back to the classics and you will not be sorry.

Classic.. and obvs enjoyed with a Landshark :)

Classic.. and obvs enjoyed with a Landshark 🙂

As I mentioned I just started working out in the morning and so far I am very pleased. It isn’t as hard as I thought to get up early and I enjoy the extra energy I have had the last two days. Yesterday I did the elliptical for 20 minutes and then lifted some weights. Today I found a walking workout on Pinterest with INSANE inclines and I did that for 30 mins. I definitely need to adjust my morning calorie intake to adjust for the calories burned in the morning instead of in the evening but overall, I’m happy so far.

This one was a killer!

This one was a killer!

Have a great Wednesday!