Archive | February, 2015

Five Things Friday: Crazed

27 Feb

Happy FriYAY guys! I was pretty crazed this week due to the fact that it was my first full week out of training at my new job and although it went VERY well, I was pretty stressed so when I got home most evenings, I just really didn’t feel like writing. I spent most evenings working out and then vegging out on the couch with my DVR and a glass of wine. That being said, I have a few random things to share with you guys.

1. We have enjoyed some fabulous meals this past week. I have to say that my new hours really make it a lot easier to make dinner together and eat at a normal time. Sunday night, we made a quick trip to Whole Foods and picked up some yummy shrimp cocktail and cheese and crackers to enjoy while watching the Oscars. Tuesday evening I was way too tired to even think about dinner so we enjoyed an impromptu date night at Aroy Aroy which is a new-to-us Japanese/Thai restaurant in South Glastonbury. The food was a little pricey but it definitely hit the spot. Last night we had one of my favorites, BLTs with added avocado and an absurd amount of sweet potato fries on the side. I swear I could eat that meal every single night, it was so yummy!

I swear I will never give up wine and cheese

I swear I will never give up wine and cheese

Crab Rangoons, amaaaazing

Crab Rangoons, amaaaazing

Salmon avocado roll

Salmon avocado roll

I can't remember the name of this roll but it was crazy and I loved it

I can’t remember the name of this roll but it was crazy and I loved it

Bad lighting but great sandwich

Bad lighting but great sandwich

We didn't even finish all of these!

We didn’t even finish all of these!

2. I have finally decided to try out Stitchfix and I am very excited. I have been reading so many other blogs and have seen so many success stories with it that I decided that I had to try it for myself. Plus, I’m in need of some new spring clothes and haven’t really been in the mood to shop lately so this seems like the perfect solution! For those who are wondering exactly what Stitchfix is; it’s a styling service in which you fill out a style profile on their website, pay a $20 styling fee and then your styling profile is assigned to a personal stylist who creates a fashion “fix” of five items that are sent to you in the mail based on what you have indicated in your profile. Mine is scheduled to arrive on March 5th so I will definitely be posting about my first experience!

3. We are starting (and hopefully finishing) our save-the-dates this weekend. Finding all of the addresses has been my biggest source of anxiety in the wedding planning process thus far and I will be breathing a huge sigh of relief once we get these things out in the mail. We are also hopefully going to add more items to our registry this weekend too which would be another check off the list. Shout out to my maid of honor Alex and bridesmaid Natasha for picking their gorgeous dresses this past weekend so that is another important thing that is all done which is great.

:)

🙂

4. Jillian Michaels is becoming my new best friend. Although I don’t necessarily agree with her methods on The Biggest Loser, I am absolutely without a doubt loving her workout videos. There are so many to choose from which makes it impossible for me to be bored and I feel like I’m working so many different muscles each day. My favorites right now are the 30 Day Shred, Kickboxing Fastfix, and the newer-to-me Trouble Zones. Basically this means that I love all of the ones which incorporate weights into the workout because I feel that those are what is changing my body the fastest. I am honestly loving the strength I have been feeling within my core and just throughout my body as a whole. I still feel like I have a lot of work to do but these videos are definitely helping me to get where I want to be.

5. My goal of trying out one new recipe each week has been quite successful. This past Sunday I had Pinch of Yum’s Crockpot Queso Chicken Chili cooking all day long and let me tell you, it was amazing. The leftovers the next night were perfect to scoop up with some wheat thins and tortilla chips would have been even better. I’m not sure I’m making anything new this coming week but every single evening is pretty busy so I don’t think I will have much time to cook.

The crockpot is an amazing invention you guys

The crockpot is an amazing invention you guys

I definitely had seconds (or thirds) of this stuff

I definitely had seconds (or thirds) of this stuff

That’s all I have for you guys today but I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!

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Marvelous Monday: Valentine’s Day Weekend

16 Feb

Happy Monday! Wow, that weekend felt like it went by in quite a blur! It was wonderful and marvelous and ALL of the good things so I’m very excited to share it with you.

Link it up!

Link it up!

Marvelous is… waking up on Friday morning to snuggles from our new kitty Bella. We rescued her from a friend of a friend of a friend (super confusing) and her owner had passed away so Jenna asked if we wanted to take her and of course we couldn’t say no! She is such a sweetheart and is already starting to fit right in.

Marvelous is… a delicious dinner on Friday night at Bonefish Grill. I’ve had a coupon for free Bang Bang Shrimp for quite a while as well as a gift card so I figured we would take advantage of that and have a fancy but frugal Friday night dinner. We both had their Valentine’s weekend fixed price meal and enjoyed salads, filet mignon & lobster tail as well as a chocolate crème brulee for dessert. It was all SO yummy and we have honestly never had a bad meal there.

There is literally nothing like this in the world. I swear.

There is literally nothing like this in the world. I swear.

A dirty martini with blue cheese stuffed olives AND a cherry pepper!

A dirty martini with blue cheese stuffed olives AND a cherry pepper!

I was craving steak like no other so this was an obvious choice. Oh and there was truffle butter on the side so... insane.

I was craving steak like no other so this was an obvious choice. Oh and there was truffle butter on the side so… insane.

My first crème brulee and certainly not my last.

My first crème brulee and certainly not my last.

Marvelous is… a Valentine’s Day filled with wine, cheese, and more wine. In discussing what we wanted to do for our Valentine’s day, Dan really had no preference and left it up to me so I decided that we would head out to the Litchfield area to our favorite vineyards and spend the day there not worrying about anything. We went to Haight Brown, Sunset Meadows, and Connecticut Valley Winery. It was so relaxing and absolutely perfect to spend an uninterrupted day together.

Can every Saturday involve my favorite Honey Nut Apple wine?

Can every Saturday involve my favorite Honey Nut Apple wine?

I am not ashamed to admit that I ate probably 75% of this. No shame whatsoever.

I am not ashamed to admit that I ate probably 75% of this. No shame whatsoever.

There is no prettier place in the snow than a vineyard.

There is no prettier place in the snow than a vineyard.

They gave me a pretty flower at Sunset Meadows. I love them :)

They gave me a pretty flower at Sunset Meadows. I love them 🙂

A little bit of Sangria with a side of snow. Perfect combo.

A little bit of Sangria with a side of snow. Perfect combo.

I really love this guy.

I really love this guy.

This is what we came home with. What can I say, I like souvenirs ;)

This is what we came home with. What can I say, I like souvenirs 😉

Marvelous is… basically beating the worst of the snow on our way home. We headed home just as the snow was really picking up so the drive wasn’t too bad at all. We picked up Five Guys burgers and fries on the way home (my dinner of choice) and spent the evening in front of the TV catching up on our shows. It was the perfect end to my dream Saturday 🙂

This burger hit the spot after ALL the wine.

This burger hit the spot after ALL the wine.

This made me laugh so hard!

This made me laugh so hard!

I hope you all had an equally amazing Valentine’s day weekend! Here is to hoping this week goes by fast so another wonderful weekend can happen 🙂

Rooftop 120: Happy Hour

12 Feb

Happy Thursday guys! I don’t have too much time to write today but I wanted to share a phenomenal dinner that we enjoyed this past Friday evening at Rooftop 120. I have reviewed this restaurant in the past and I have never had a bad experience there. With my new job (which is going very well) comes much better hours that allow me to FINALLY be able to enjoy happy hour like most of the rest of the world. Those who know me well, know how excited I am to be able to partake in happy hour at different restaurants. This past Friday was my first chance to enjoy it and I chose Rooftop 120.

WHY would anyone skip happy hour?

WHY would anyone skip happy hour?

Dan and I arrived and it wasn’t too crowded which was great because I like to be able to have a good conversation while sitting at the bar. We were promptly greeted by the wonderful Tyler, who is one of the kindest bartenders I have ever met (besides our good friends at the Diamond of course). He remembered us from our last visit and that made us feel very welcome.  I knew already that I was going to get my new favorite drink, a dirty martini made with pickle juice instead of olive juice. I know that some of you may find this to be a bit strange but I am all about the salt and I’m completely obsessed with this martini. Dan decided to go with something that isn’t always served at every bar, Woodford Reserve, on the rocks.

This picture just screams "Friday night", doesn't it?

This picture just screams “Friday night”, doesn’t it?

Once we were settled in with our yummy drinks, we attacked that happy hour menu in search of several different dishes. Tyler immediately recommended the bacon wrapped crab cakes and the general tso’s ribs so we definitely went with those along with the short rib sliders and chicken wings. Clearly, I did not have any kind of healthy eating on my mind. I was so hungry I could have eaten the menu itself.

The bacon wrapped crab cakes were absolute perfection. I’m a firm believer that everything should be wrapped in bacon and kudos to Rooftop 120 for being creative enough to wrap a crab cake in it. There were two of them which was perfect because they were so rich and flavorful that it only took one each to satisfy us.

YUM

YUM

The general tso’s ribs were fall-off-the-bone amazing. I am not usually a rib person but the additional of the general tso’s sauce gave them SO much flavor and they were different than a traditional BBQ rib.

The presentation was also done very well

The presentation was also done very well

I will fully admit that I chose the short rib sliders solely based on the fact that they were topped with truffle aioli (I mean, are you surprised?). These were so wonderful and again, a perfect size for something filled with so much flavor.

I don't think I have ever had a bad slider.

I don’t think I have ever had a bad slider.

Dan chose the buffalo chicken wings and surprisingly I enjoyed them quite a bit. I’m extremely picky about buffalo sauce and this sauce was very unique which immediately made me love it. It had a little kick but it wasn’t so spicy that I couldn’t appreciate the overall flavor of the sauce.

You can never go wrong with the classic buffalo wing.

You can never go wrong with the classic buffalo wing.

We pretty much inhaled this food and spent a while after just chatting and finishing our drinks. It was a fantastic start to what ended up being a great Friday night. All I can say is, happy hour is the best concept ever and I can’t wait to take full advantage of it.

That Wild and Wonderful Weekend

3 Feb

This past weekend was completely crazy and awesome and I loved every second of it. Considering the fact that I woke up Friday morning with the beginnings of what is turning out to be the worst cold I have had in a while, I definitely rallied and had a great time.

Friday night started out with a quiet dinner for just myself and Dan at Barcelona in West Hartford. I anticipated the rest of the night was going to be crazy so it was nice to have a little piece of time to ourselves. Dinner was amazing as it always is at Barcelona and I’m pretty sure I ate almost an entire loaf of bread myself.

Whipped sheep's cheese (aka everything)

Whipped sheep’s cheese (aka everything)

Eggplant Pappardelle in manchego broth with spinach (Dan's favorite)

Eggplant Pappardelle in manchego broth with spinach (Dan’s favorite)

Fingerling potatoes topped with black garlic aioli

Fingerling potatoes topped with black garlic aioli

After dinner, we headed next door to Bartaco for a night out with my coworkers to celebrate myself and two other coworkers moving on to our new positions within the company. There were several margaritas consumed as well as some Jameson (ugh) and more tequila. It was SO wonderful to be able to celebrate with my coworkers and for Dan to meet them as well. We ended the night at the Diamond (obviously) and I didn’t wake up with too much of a headache on Saturday (although this was when the cold reared its ugly head) so it was definitely a win.

Bartaco's margarita.. way too good and way too strong ;)

Bartaco’s margarita.. way too good and way too strong 😉

My coworker Willca.. she's such a sweetheart!

My coworker Willca.. she’s such a sweetheart!

Saturday morning and afternoon was spent doing all kinds of errands in preparation for Super Bowl Sunday. We had to get them all done since we were spending Saturday night down in Mystic/Groton for Dan’s uncle Jimmy’s surprise 50th birthday party. It was held at the Mystic Marriott which was absolutely beautiful. Dan, his parents, his brother, and myself all stayed overnight so we would be able to enjoy ourselves and not have to drive almost an hour home. Dan and I arrived a couple of hours before the party and we were starving so we went down to the restaurant, Octagon, for some happy hour snacks. They were delicious and we are already planning a return trip for dinner.

The award winning Dragon chowder.. which had skate, lobster, and alligator in it.. AMAZING

The award winning Dragon chowder.. which had skate, lobster, and alligator in it.. AMAZING

Dan's grilled cheese sliders with tomato fondue.. I can't even begin to tell you how brilliant these were

Dan’s grilled cheese sliders with tomato fondue.. I can’t even begin to tell you how brilliant these were

The party itself was perfect and it was so great to be able to get to know Dan’s family even better. There were some delicious apps and desserts served, along with a chocolate fountain which was totally dangerous.

Fancy crudité display.. with brie.. I obviously destroyed that cheese platter

Fancy crudité display.. with brie.. I obviously destroyed that cheese platter

I want one of these in my home at all times

I want one of these in my home at all times

I also had the pleasure of finally meeting Colleen, who is Dan’s cousin’s girlfriend and she also grew up with Dan as well. I feel like we already knew each other so well since we had been “socially stalking” each other for a while. She was so sweet and fun and I’m looking forward to the next time we will get to hang out.

Classic pose :)

Classic pose 🙂

We woke up the next morning and had a delicious (albeit a little expensive) buffet breakfast at Octagon with Dan’s parents before heading to the Clinton Crossing Outlets where we picked up some Yankee Candles (4 for $44!) and my first watch ever from Fossil which wasn’t a planned purchase but I was obsessed with it and it was 50% off so I had no choice 😉

I'm completely in love with it

I’m completely in love with it

We headed home after that to clean and prepare for the Super Bowl. It was a nice, little gathering with a few people stopping by, exactly what we wanted. There was SO much food which meant lots of leftovers for me during yesterday’s snow day. Also, my Patriots won!!! It was a great end to a fantastic weekend and I wish I could do it all over again.

Buffalo chicken dip, stromboli, wings, garlic garlic dip, hummus, salsa, cheese and crackers... SO much yum

Buffalo chicken dip, stromboli, wings, garlic garlic dip, hummus, salsa, cheese and crackers… SO much yum