Archive | December, 2014

Marvelous Monday: Heavenly Holiday Recap

29 Dec

Hi guys! I know I’ve been absent this past week or so but as I’m sure you guys understand, the holidays have been crazy! There has been zero time to do anything (you know, clean, cook, etc) especially for sitting down to write. Since there is so much to recap, I’m going to do this as a semi-wordless post with a few details thrown in so you guys can kind of visually experience my hectic holidays because pictures speak much louder than words.

Link it up!

Link it up!

Our Christmas party was so much fun and I feel like these pictures definitely tell that story pretty well.

I'm so glad we took pics like this because we usually forget

I’m so glad we took pics like this because we usually forget

This picture captures us perfectly. This is everything.

This picture captures us perfectly. This is everything.

We obviously moved the party over to the Diamond later in the evening.

We obviously moved the party over to the Diamond later in the evening.

These things happen sometimes ;)

These things happen sometimes 😉

The very next day, we traveled to Rhode Island to celebrate Hanukkah and it was so great to visit with Dan’s family and eat some of my favorite foods, including brisket and ALL the cheese.

That brie was amazing and the other cheese was a cranberry cheese from Trader Joes which was terrific.

That brie was amazing and the other cheese was a cranberry cheese from Trader Joes which was terrific.

Dan's mom's crab dip is always a favorite. It disappears so quickly!

Dan’s mom’s crab dip is always a favorite. It disappears so quickly!

Dan's cousin Ashley's guac was AMAZING. I think I ate half of that bowl ;)

Dan’s cousin Ashley’s guac was AMAZING. I think I ate half of that bowl 😉

Brisket and latkes.. Hanukkah is the best!

Brisket and latkes.. Hanukkah is the best!

I finally got the chance to meet Dan's cousin Jill's adorable cat Franklin :)

I finally got the chance to meet Dan’s cousin Jill’s adorable cat Franklin 🙂

Christmas Eve and Christmas Day were quite hectic but we were able to spend time with so many wonderful people that it was all worth it.

Obligatory Christmas Eve selfie. Ps. That is a Lia Sophia necklace and one of my favorites!

Obligatory Christmas Eve selfie. Ps. That is a Lia Sophia necklace and one of my favorites!

My mom makes the best bloody marys ever!

My mom makes the best bloody marys ever!

A fabulous Christmas lunch of beef tenderloin, mashed potatoes, carrots, green bean casserole, and the ever present potato roll at Grandma's

A fabulous Christmas lunch of beef tenderloin, mashed potatoes, carrots, green bean casserole, and the ever present potato roll at Grandma’s

Dan and his adorable niece. She was so smiley!

Dan and his adorable niece. She was so smiley!

To end Christmas weekend, we took my Dad to the UConn vs. Central basketball game as his Christmas present. We also had lunch at Bear’s before and to say that was amazing kind of goes without saying at this point 😉

More brisket (duh), mac and cheese, and mashed sweet potato... the best ever

More brisket (duh), mac and cheese, and mashed sweet potato… the best ever

I'm so glad they won and we had so much fun!

I’m so glad they won and we had so much fun!

All in all it was a holiday season to remember and I am lucky that I get to share these memories with you guys. I hope you all enjoyed just as much as I did!

Advertisements

WIAW: Bertucci’s

17 Dec

Happy hump day all! Today I’m sharing with you guys a fabulous meal that Dan and I had this past Saturday night at our local Bertucci’s. I do want to preface this by saying that unlike a lot of people, I have only been to Bertucci’s a handful of times but it is quickly becoming one of my favorite chain restaurants. I usually like to stick to local restaurants but their food has been outstanding in the few times that I have eaten there.

I had just gotten out of work and I was absolutely starving. I had literally been dreaming about their warm, fresh rolls all day long. It was pretty busy so we decided to sit at a table in the bar and the service was impeccable. I quickly ordered a glass of the house red which was a Placido Primavera Sangiovese and it was very smooth and not too heavy. We were promptly served a basket of rolls with olive oil for dipping. I was basically in carb heaven at this point and there was no stopping me.

A very nice pour, much appreciated

A very nice pour, much appreciated

These are very likely my favorite rolls ever

These are very likely my favorite rolls ever

Due to my insane hunger, I decided that we would start with the Margherita flatbread which was so yummy and Dan noted that the basil on top was very fresh and had great flavor.

ALL the carbs

ALL the carbs

For my meal, I had decided hours before that I would get the unlimited soup and salad because I had been dying to try minestrone soup. I know, you guys are thinking, how has she not had minestrone soup before? I’m not really a soup person but lately I felt like someone was ordering it every time we have been out to dinner so I had to try it. The verdict? I’m still not a huge fan of soup but it was very tasty and filling. I finished my whole bowl of soup and I had two servings of the salad which had the most amazing house dressing that I wish I could replicate at home.

Not very pretty but very yummy

Not very pretty but very yummy

Looks like your basic salad but that dressing was everything

Looks like your basic salad but that dressing was everything

Dan chose the spinach, goat cheese, and candied walnut salad with salmon as his protein instead of shrimp. I knew he would absolutely love this salad because I had ordered it during a previous visit and I was SO impressed. He gave me a few amazing bites and I do have to say that the salmon gave my usual favorite of shrimp a run for it’s money as a salad protein. He loved the salad just as much as I did and I know he will be ordering it again.

Looooook at all that goat cheese. YUM

Looooook at all that goat cheese. YUM

We had a wonderful experience at Bertucci’s and I know we will be back again soon. We noticed that they offer an amazing happy hour with $3 drinks and half price appetizers which we can’t wait to try!

Weekend Recap: Getting It All Done

16 Dec

Happy Tuesday guys! I can’t believe that Christmas is only 9 short days away! The title of this post is in direct relation to that and to the fact that there is SO much that I need/want to get done and very little time to do it. Although I worked this weekend I was able to fit in quite a bit of fun.

Friday night:

We still had some Christmas shopping to complete so we headed up to the mall to get most of that done. It was a mob scene and I couldn’t get out of there fast enough. We ended our evening by driving over to Felt Road in South Windsor to view an amazing light display that we have been going to for years now. It is one of my very favorite holiday traditions.

Friday Night Lights!

Friday Night Lights!

Saturday evening:

As soon as I had gotten out of work on Saturday, I planned on getting a yummy dinner at Bertucci’s since I have been craving their wonderful bread and salad for a long time. I will leave you guys in suspense about that trip since I will be doing a full post on it tomorrow but I will say it was so nice to have dinner with Dan and just relax before we dove right back into the craziness that is Christmas shopping. After dinner, we did some more shopping and ended the night with some wine and TV on the couch.

I will definitely say that a glass of wine was much needed

I will definitely say that a glass of wine was much needed

Sunday:

This was one of the busiest days that I can ever remember but I’m glad we accomplished everything that we did. We went with my Dad to get my parents Christmas tree which didn’t take as long as it usually does because we spotted the perfect tree right away (YAY). We dropped the tree off and headed home to get some cleaning done before Dan’s parents arrived. Once they arrived, we headed over to Arrigoni winery in Portland which is a spot that I have definitely mentioned a few times before. We enjoyed some snacks and wine and did the last of our Christmas shopping too! We ended our Sunday Funday with a trip to Vito’s in Wethersfield which is where our friend Natasha works for a delicious dinner. I did not take any pictures of the lasagna that we had because I was still feeling the effects of the wine 😉 But it was a perfect end to a hectic but fun day.

Some much needed fuel to start off our Sunday!

Some much needed fuel to start off our Sunday!

I wish every Sunday could be like this!

I wish every Sunday could be like this!

I hope everyone is having a fabulous week and enjoying this festive time of year!

Five Things Friday: Christmas Crazy!

12 Dec

Happy Friday everyone! I can’t believe this will be my only post for this week but things have been so busy with Christmas shopping and ALL of the holiday plans. Hopefully next week will allow for more time for blogging.

1. We got our Christmas tree on Sunday afternoon from Cavanna’s farm in Glastonbury. I’m so glad we were able to cut down our own tree so that it will hopefully stay fresh for much longer than usual. We decorated it that evening just in time for Dan’s parents to come over for dinner 🙂

I think it looks perfect :)

I think it looks perfect 🙂

The crockpot beef stew that I made... it was amazing

The crockpot beef stew that I made… it was amazing

2. I am just a couple of small gifts away from being done with my Christmas shopping! Although it feels like I keep adding things to my list, I think I will finally be done by early next week. I made a fabulous trip to Hobby Lobby and Christmas Tree Shop on Tuesday with Jenna followed by a yummy dinner at Plaza Azteca in Manchester. I enjoyed a chicken quesadilla with the works and a margarita that absolutely hit the spot.

Blue drinks are my fave

Blue drinks are my fave

Filled with beans and chicken and so much deliciousness

Filled with beans and chicken and so much deliciousness

3. I wasn’t able to work out as much as I would have liked to this week. With the holiday craziness going on, I was only able to work out Monday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings. I still feel like I’m making good progress and I’m seeing the changes in my body little by little (baby steps and all that jazz).

4. I FINALLY found my ugly Christmas sweater. I really find it more adorable than ugly but I think it fits the criteria. I bought it at Windsor in Buckland Mall while out shopping with Jenna. I cannot wait to wear it to my work Christmas gathering and our annual Christmas party with our friends.

I won't be wearing it with a skirt but it has cute red stripes in the back too

I won’t be wearing it with a skirt but it has cute red stripes in the back too

5. I’m pretty sure that Bears Smokehouse Barbeque owns my soul. We went there last Saturday for dinner and then again last night for dinner with Kevin. I can’t get enough and I never even used to like barbeque. My usual meal of choice has been the Super Spud which is a baked potato topped with mac and cheese, pulled pork (or any other meat of choice), bacon, green onion, red onion, and sour cream. It is most definitely a cheat meal but it’s SO worth it. Needless to say, I am VERY excited to have my leftovers for lunch today.

LOVE OF MY LIFE (sorry Dan) ;)

LOVE OF MY LIFE (sorry Dan) 😉

I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend filled with all kinds of holiday goodness!

Walking in a Winter Wonderland!

4 Dec

As you guys may or may not know, I am THAT person who is completely and utterly obsessed with Christmas. I mean I’m probably worse than a child. I hate Halloween because it gets in the way of Christmas and as soon as November 1st hits, I am listening to Christmas music on Pandora and secretly yearning to decorate for the season. This year I was able to wait until last Tuesday to put up most of our decorations (before Thanksgiving but not completely out of control). I’m very excited to share some pictures with you guys as my decoration inspiration has come from other bloggers as well as Pinterest (duh).

I thank my friends every day

I thank my friends every day

I don’t really have a theme as far as my decorations go, I just buy what I like and it seems to all go well together.

Our coffee table, clearly I don't have an obsession with candles ;)

Our coffee table, clearly I don’t have an obsession with candles 😉

My goal this year was to find an inexpensive advent/Christmas countdown calendar and we found one on sale at Target for $14!

Our makeshift mantle on our TV stand

Our makeshift mantle on our TV stand

I also have an obsession with Christmas lights and I have incorporated them as much as possible.

These little vases cost about $4 at TJ Maxx!

These little vases cost about $4 at TJ Maxx!

That tablecloth is new also, from TJ Maxx!

That tablecloth is also new, from TJ Maxx!

I bought most of these decorations at Christmas Tree Shop on a trip during our first Christmas living together and I believe that I purchased everything for only about $30.

I think that sparkly tree looks so cute next to the gingerbread Kleenex box

I think that sparkly tree looks so cute next to the gingerbread Kleenex box

These stockings came from Target and I think they match each of us so well!

These stockings came from Target and I think they match each of us so well!

I wish I could have a career of just decorating peoples houses at Christmas, that would be my dream job!

I couldn't let one room get away undecorated ;)

I couldn’t let one room get away undecorated 😉

I hope you guys have enjoyed my little (ok, maybe kind of big) obsession and I’m glad I could share it with you! I will be sure to post a picture of our tree on Monday too!

Marvelous Monday: Turkey Day Weekend!

1 Dec

Happy Monday everyone! I am SO excited to share this past loooong Thanksgiving weekend with you guys. There was SO much marvelous and I feel so lucky to have experienced it all. Although I was only able to fit in one productive workout this weekend, I can definitely look past that since I had a ridiculous amount of fun and I will definitely make up for it this week 🙂

Link it up!

Link it up!

Marvelous is… a night before Thanksgiving filled with SO many fabulous friends. Since it had snowed pretty much all day long and Dan was out plowing, Alex and I started our night by heading over to Rooftop 120 to meet up with Caitlin for a drink. I was very happy to finally meet up with this lovely lady and talk about all of thing wonderful things that we have in common. It is so wonderful to have a “Gbury blend” to connect with! We honestly could have chatted all night long but Alex and I also had to meet up with a group of our friends at the Diamond. We spent the rest of the evening there having way too much fun and making wonderful memories.

Loving the Glastonbury background of this gorgeous pic!

Loving the Glastonbury background of this gorgeous pic!

Sooooo many of my favorite people

Sooooo many of my favorite people

Marvelous is… having so much food and great times with family on Thanksgiving! We had three dinners to attend (my Grandma’s, Dan’s parents, and my parent’s) so we made a plan to pace ourselves and only sample everything at each place and it was a total success. The cool thing about this particular Thanksgiving was that we were able to try three different ways of cooking a turkey: oven-roasted, deep-fried, and smoked. My personal favorite was the smoked version which was so moist and different from anything that I have ever tried. Our contribution to Thanksgiving dinner included the wonderful roasted Brussels and butternut squash with a Dijon vinaigrette from Blogging Over Thyme for my Grandma’s house and my famous crock pot mashed potatoes at Dan’s parents. We had so many laughs with family and of course the usual Davis family photo was taken as well. We ended the night with a few hours of Black Friday shopping with Alex, her sister Abi, and my cousin Maggie.

This dish was so good and so easy to make!

This dish was so good and so easy to make!

A lot of Brussels and a little bit of everything else ;)

A lot of Brussels and a little bit of everything else 😉

This was obviously not the Christmas card choice

This was obviously not the Christmas card choice

Dan's Mom printed the most adorable little menus!

Dan’s Mom printed the most adorable little menus!

So festive :)

So festive 🙂

Marvelous is… a fiesta and Small Business Saturday. We were so lucky to be able to attend our friends Glen and Isabel’s son’s first birthday fiesta. It was held at a local church and the decorations were amazing and the food was delicious. All of the fixings for tacos were provided so I made myself a fabulous taco salad. After the party we headed over to a package store near our apartment which was having a wine tasting for Small Business Saturday and we ended up purchasing a wonderful red blend that they were tasting as well as a bottle of 90+ Cellars Sauvignon Blanc which we haven’t opened just yet but I know it will be amazing. We ended the evening by splitting a burger at Birch Hill Tavern, which is close to where Dan’s parents live. We chose the Rex burger which had bacon, avocado, and an egg on it, and it was perfect.

A fiesta on a plate

A fiesta on a plate

He certainly partied hard and enjoyed that cake

He certainly partied hard and enjoyed that cake

Quite an impressive 90+ Cellars display

Quite an impressive 90+ Cellars display

Feeling festive

Feeling festive

I LOVED that they put water on the table

I LOVED that they put water on the table

Those sweet potato fries were everything

Those sweet potato fries were everything

Marvelous is… a Sunday Funday trip to Haight Brown vineyard and Krust Pizza Bar. We had made plans with Robbie and Jenna to visit Haight Brown to pick up some wine for Christmas gifts. We did a tasting and we were starving once we made our way back towards home so we decided to have dinner at Krust in Middletown which is one of my favorites as you guys know. Dan and I had our usual Sunnyside Up pizza with added Brussels and it was amazing. It was the perfect end to a wonderful weekend!

ALL the wine

ALL the wine

My favorite pizza ever

My favorite pizza ever

I hope you have a great start to your week!