Previous post:

Next post:

Monday Date Nights Are Awesome

by Courtney on March 27, 2012

Soooo, I was hoping to get this post up about two hours ago, but I ran out of time before having to bring my grandma to the doctor. Then I attempted to blog from my phone and, well, that is totally way more of a hassle than it’s worth. So we’re a little delayed, but here ya go!


Hoorayyyy for Date Night!

Last night, Jay and I enjoyed a really nice evening out, and I must say…date nights on a Monday night are awesome. There’s nobody around!

Our evening started out with dinner at the Olive Garden. It had actually been over a year since we were last there, and we had a couple of gift cards from Christmas so we figured, why not?

I started things out with a glass of pinot grigio which was pretty decent. Our waiter was actually quite generous with his pour, which I was certainly not about to complain about.


While at dinner, Jay and I had to laugh at the fact that Olive Garden actually used to be one of our “big night out” spots when we were growing up. During high school especially, whenever we wanted a nice Italian dinner, this was always our spot. It’s funny how things change, isn’t it?

One thing that I’m glad hasn’t changed though? Unlimited salad and breadsticks!


For us, there’s no getting breadsticks without some marinara dipping sauce on the side. I swear, I could eat the whole thing by itself with a spoon.


For my dinner entree, I decided to order a new menu off the item: Grilled Chicken Parmesan.


By the way, I love the fact that they are offering somewhat of a “healthier” option (even though it did appear pan-fried?); I don’t love the fact that they put the calorie counts on the menu. Do restaurants do that at all where you live? I mean, I appreciate knowing, but then again…don’t they know that I don’t want to be thinking about that stuff while I’m out on Date Night. ;)


I ended up eating half of this for dinner and told Jay that he could have the rest of the leftovers for lunch today. It was a great idea in theory, but you sort of need to remember to take the leftover box from the table before you leave. Woops.


I probably could have had more of me entree, but because we were celebrating Date Night, there was most definitely some dessert in order. Especially when there was an item like this on the menu…


Ohhhh, that chocolate cake was delicious. However, I can’t tell you how badly I miss the Chocolate Lasagna that they used to serve there. Does anyone else remember that? My god, that dessert was unbelievable!

With full bellies, we packed it up at OG and headed out for the next part of date night…shopping + a movie.


Side note: Wow, my hair is really getting long. What shall I do with it next??


We only had time for one quick pit stop, which was fine by me.


I had to stock up on some new soaps, and I also wound up getting a couple fresh new candles and a new scented body cream, Pink Chiffon. That one was a total impulse buy, but I fell in love with the scent as soon as I tried it.


Thanks to another Christmas gift card and a coupon, all of this only cost me about $16.00. Can’t beat that, right?

After shopping it was time to go catch our movie…

*Edited to add a new photo – hopefully this one works!

I had heard mixed reviews on it, but Jay and I both really enjoyed it. There were definitely some funny parts, and one quite shocking one at the end…anyone else know what I’m talking about?!? HA!

Overall, it was a fantastic Date Night – even if it did get me into bed way later than I was hoping for. But it was so totally worth it. :)



It is CHILLY once again over here this morning, so a warm, comforting breakfast was totally in the cards for today.


I put together a quick batch of Pumpkin Oats with blueberries mixed in and Honey Cinnamon PB on top.


Delicious, as always.


I have a few errands to run this morning already got my errands done for this morning, then so now it’s time to complete my workout for the day and get ready for a busy night at work. Catch ya later!

No extra question for this morning…I feel like I already asked about 20 of ‘em throughout this post, so feel free to pick one. ;)

Previous post:

Next post:

{ 64 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Karen March 27, 2012 at 11:09 am

Oh no! Can’t see the image of the film ha .. what movie was it.


2 Ashley @ My Food 'N' Fitness Diaries March 27, 2012 at 11:10 am

glad you two had a great night! i love olive garden. it’s one of my top favorite chain restaurants next to cheesecake factory & texas roadhouse. :) i love their soup, salad, & breadstick combo… i get that almost every time. their chicken alfredo pizza is delicious too!
Ashley @ My Food ‘N’ Fitness Diaries recently posted..Trainer Tuesday: Walk It Off Treadmill Workout(s)


3 Angie @ Big Bear's Wife March 27, 2012 at 11:16 am

I remember when hubby and I were so excited that an olive garden was coming to town when we lived in NC, we loved it, and then got tired of it haha. So when we moved back to VA and an olive garden came here, everyone was rushing to wait in hour long lines and we were like “nah, it’s not that good” lol but I go agree what their desserts are amazing!
Angie @ Big Bear’s Wife recently posted..Cutey Eros Charm Bracelet Giveaway


4 Andrea @ Andrea Out Loud! March 27, 2012 at 11:18 am

gosh i havent been to olive garden in YEARS! this makes me want to go asap! :)
Andrea @ Andrea Out Loud! recently posted..A Date With 2 Bottles & Strawberry Cupcake Recipe


5 Cait @ Cait Hates Cake March 27, 2012 at 11:18 am

I love when restaurants put the calorie counts on the menu, but I totally hear ya, it kinda puts a damper on things, haha!
Cait @ Cait Hates Cake recently posted..NYC: Day One


6 Claire @ Live and Love to Eat March 27, 2012 at 11:19 am

I switched back to warm oats this morning too – it was 28 degrees after being in the 80’s last week!
Claire @ Live and Love to Eat recently posted..Lightening Up – Creamy Lemon Pasta


7 Caroline @ After Dinner Dance March 27, 2012 at 11:21 am

Gotta love Olive Garden Breadsticks! And I definitely remember the lasagna! I haven’t been there in forever, but I used to go with my friends in high school.
Caroline @ After Dinner Dance recently posted..Carrot Curls


8 Lauren B. March 27, 2012 at 11:24 am

I just recently told my husband that I have been craving the unlimited salad and breadsticks at OG (I am pregnant!), which is totally random b/c we’ve never been there together as a couple and I don’t think I’ve been there in over 5 years! You totally re-sparked my craving… gonna have to track an OG down….


9 Elizabeth @ Chocolate Drops and Pearls March 27, 2012 at 11:33 am

MMM I loveee Olive Garden! I also really like how a bunch of restaurants are doing mini desserts. You get to satisfy the sweet tooth without ordering a mega dessert. It also works really nicely if the person you are going with doesn’t like dessert.
Elizabeth @ Chocolate Drops and Pearls recently posted..If I Owned a Restaurant…


10 Courtney March 27, 2012 at 11:57 am

Yes…well, our dessert was not mini at ALL. ;)
Haha, but I know what you mean! Their mini ones are great, too!


11 Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers March 27, 2012 at 11:33 am

What a wonderfule veening out! I haven’t had Olive Garden in forever, and I mean forever!! I’m to afraid of eatting to much!! Terrible reason for not going to a restaurant!
Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers recently posted..Blueberry Lemon Mini Bundt Cakes


12 Whitney March 27, 2012 at 11:34 am

I must say that I like when restaurants put the calorie count on the menu because it takes all the guessing out of whether it’s healthy or not. I also think that since there is an obesity problem in this country it is a good thing. Another thing Olive Garden could do to help is to REDUCE portion sizes. There is no way one should have four pieces of chicken as an entree. It’s absurd! Okay, I will step off of my soapbox now! ha glad you had a good date night. The hubs have ours on Thursdays and it’s always a good time :)


13 Shelly March 27, 2012 at 11:51 am

I agree Whitney, I especially love the calorie count addition to the menu these days & yes, portion sizes have become OOC (out of control) in restaurants! Sheesh that’s a lot of chicken for one person!


14 Courtney March 27, 2012 at 12:00 pm

Whitney, I really do agree with you – even though it probably didn’t sound like it, haha. It is nice to take the guesswork out of it, and is definitely helpful for many. And the portion sizes? Absolutely, 100% agree. Granted, the pieces of chicken on my plate were closer to tenderloin size and look much bigger than they really were, but overall yes – the portions are WAY bigger than they need to be!


15 Bethany March 27, 2012 at 11:35 am

chocolate lasagna was THE BEST!! i miss it :(


16 Carolyn March 27, 2012 at 11:36 am

Ah… calorie counts on menus. I read that the healthcare reform law will require all restaurants with more than 20 locations to make calorie information visible. So, get ready for more of that…
Carolyn recently posted..Getting Back on Track


17 Heather March 27, 2012 at 12:20 pm

Yep! Certain cities/counties/states have local laws, too – which require calorie counts on menus. It makes a lot of sense [especially cost wise] for a chain establishment, with locations all over the country, to make their menu changes & updates with calorie counts all at once rather than pick and choose over time based on lawes passing.
Heather recently posted..In the Midst of All the Emotions, Chaos and Commotions


18 Megan March 27, 2012 at 11:38 am

I can’t see the movie picture but I’m hoping it was the Hunger Games haha :]


19 Courtney March 27, 2012 at 12:01 pm

Nope – I just switched the picture so hopefully you can see it now. I still REALLY want to see that, but Jay isn’t on board :(


20 Megan March 27, 2012 at 12:30 pm

Oh 21 jump street, I thought that was an excellent movie as well, I’m glad you guys enjoyed it.

As for persuading Jay to go see the hunger games, I definitely think there is enough action to keep men entertained, I mean the sword Cato uses is about as tall as I am. Keep working at him, and if I lived closer to you I’d so go with to see it :]


21 Yellow Haired Girl March 27, 2012 at 11:40 am

What a fun night! That chicken dish looks unbelievable :)
Yellow Haired Girl recently posted..You Know…


22 Marie March 27, 2012 at 11:48 am

Wahh, I can’t see the image of the movie :(!! But your date night sounded like a blasttt =)


23 Courtney March 27, 2012 at 12:02 pm

I just changed it! ;)


24 Marie March 27, 2012 at 12:24 pm

thank you (:


25 Parita @ myinnershakti March 27, 2012 at 11:58 am

Olive Garden was THE restaurant back in high school, and we NEVER left without some Chocolate Lasagna! YUM. :) Glad y’all had fun!
Parita @ myinnershakti recently posted..One Word: Thankful


26 Faith @ For the Health of It March 27, 2012 at 11:59 am

Sorry, but I wish more restaurants did the nutrition count *coughMaggianoscough*. I don’t count calories, but I do like knowing which choices are more reasonable and which ones will be around 2000 calories. I like to splurge a little when I go out to eat, but since I’m usually enjoying drinks/dessert as well, I like to be as smart as I can with the allocation of my calories.


27 Whitney March 27, 2012 at 12:04 pm

Let’s add Cheesecake Factory to that list too!


28 Courtney March 27, 2012 at 12:07 pm

Our Cheesecake Factory actually includes them here in Albany on their menu…for EVERYTHING. It’s SCARY.


29 Courtney March 27, 2012 at 12:04 pm

That’s a really great point, Faith, and I really do agree with you (I should have elaborated a bit more on that in the post…) Sometimes it is nice to think “out of site, out of mind,” but overall, they are absolutely helpful. It’s often surprising to see it…and sometimes it’s a total bummer when you see how many are in your favorite dish *coughTourOfItalycough* :)


30 Carrie @ Lift Eat Repeat March 27, 2012 at 12:05 pm

I think you would look great with some blonde highlights and side bangs!
Carrie @ Lift Eat Repeat recently posted..Spaghetti Squash Bake


31 Taylor March 27, 2012 at 12:08 pm

Here is the receipe online so you can make it yourself! I have not made it, so I cannot personally vouche for it but at least now maybe you can TRY to recreate it?


32 Taylor March 27, 2012 at 12:19 pm
33 Khushboo March 27, 2012 at 12:09 pm

I’m with you Courtney about calorie counts on restaurant menus- when I’m eating out, I do try to choose the healthier option but at the same time I prefer the whole “ignorance is bliss” aspect! I think restaurants are better off publishing the stats online so those who are interested can still have a means to find out.
Khushboo recently posted..The Hunger Games hype


34 jasper naomi @ crunchylittlebites March 27, 2012 at 12:20 pm

your posts always get me excited to go out and live life! inspiring :) thanks Courtney!
jasper naomi @ crunchylittlebites recently posted..and then I said


35 Lindsay @ In Sweetness and In Health March 27, 2012 at 12:21 pm

Oh my goodness, that cake!!! I want it asap :). Chris and I saw that movie last week and thought it was hilarious. And that scene at the end bahahaha…I love his high pitched scream when he sees it on the ground hehe. So glad you guys had a great night out!
Lindsay @ In Sweetness and In Health recently posted..Can I Go Back Yet?


36 Nicole March 27, 2012 at 12:25 pm

Oh I remember the days when my family used to make the trek down to Olive Garden! It was around 30 min to get to the one on Wolf Road, but it was the *best* Italian restaurant around! I haven’t been there in SO long, maybe I should give it a try one of these nights…too funny!


37 Kate @ ibrokemyumbrella March 27, 2012 at 12:27 pm

The calories get me every time! They’re posted everywhere here. The worst is Starbucks though. I’ll be standing in line thinking about a scone and nope that’s 1000 calories. I guess it’s good though.


38 Amanda March 27, 2012 at 12:30 pm

Re: calorie counts

As far as I know, it’s NYS law, which is why you wouldn’t see those numbers on menus here in MA (though I don’t know for sure since I don’t really go to chain restaurants anymore!). Which is a double-edged sword when I go home to the Capitol Region to visit! On one hand, I don’t wanna know, but on the other- I am tracking my calories in an effort to lose weight and it’s SUPER helpful to know. It’s also a great motivator to order something more healthy. I remember being at Dunkin last year while home visiting my mom and ordering an egg & cheese sandwich. I was thinking I’d get a donut too, but when I saw how many calories they were, I couldn’t do it!!
Amanda recently posted..This gun’s for hire…


39 Hope @ With A Side Of Hope March 27, 2012 at 12:38 pm

I love the Olive Garden! I love their salad dressing the most! It’s so good. :)

They don’t put the calorie counts on the menus where I live. I think that is a good thing because most of the time I don’t want to see it especially if I am going out for something special.
Hope @ With A Side Of Hope recently posted..A Fast Food Kind Of Night…


40 Donner Training March 27, 2012 at 12:41 pm

Your breakfasts always look so good. I wish mine looked that good. And, I love your hair by the way. It looks so healthy!
Donner Training recently posted..Holy Toe


41 Cat @ Breakfast to Bed March 27, 2012 at 12:52 pm

you two are so pretty your babies are going to be ridiculous.
Cat @ Breakfast to Bed recently posted..Look Into My Eyes…You Want to Read This Post


42 Courtney March 27, 2012 at 2:27 pm

Hahahaha, thanks Cat! ;)


43 Holly March 27, 2012 at 1:02 pm

LOVE your hair- you have the best hair…seriously. I’m a bit jealous ;)
I think that movie looks funny- definitely not too bad with Channing Tatum in it…little bit of eye candy never hurt ;)
Holly recently posted..Uncle Bob


44 Courtney March 27, 2012 at 2:27 pm

Aww, thanks Holly!
And umm, yeah…Channing is some pretty sweet eye candy ;)


45 Kristen @ notsodomesticated March 27, 2012 at 1:27 pm

Have you heard about that older woman (I think she’s in her 80s) who posted the review about Olive Garden recently? She’s been getting a ton of attention, because she wrote this amazing review with such flowery language … you’d think she was reviewing a fancy restaurant in Italy! ;) But I love Olive Garden … I don’t care if it’s a fancy restaurant or not!
Kristen @ notsodomesticated recently posted..Whose grocery cart is this?!


46 Courtney March 27, 2012 at 2:28 pm

No, I haven’t heard about it! Haha, I’ll have to check it out though


47 michelle kim March 27, 2012 at 1:46 pm

Aww what a perfect date night! :D
I think it’s funny, too, when you go to a place that used to be considered “fancy” back in the day… but now it’s just normal (basically any sit-down restaurant with a server was considered fancy/super special).
michelle kim recently posted..“Kobe Workout” Recap


48 Julie @ Orcas Health Journey March 27, 2012 at 2:11 pm

Omg the ending to 21 jump street was a delight, esp i have a big fat crush on him. <3
(hopefully we're talking about the same ending).

I loved this movie so so much! I think it'll be my top go to comedy movie.. although it is Inappropriately hilarious. :)
Julie @ Orcas Health Journey recently posted..In dire need of planning a blogging schedule


49 Lindsay March 27, 2012 at 2:21 pm

My FAVORITE dessert ever from Olive Garden was the chocolate lasagna. We must petition to get it back. Do you think if we got enough support from the blogging world, do you think that they might bring it back.
I remember when I was younger, I would ALWAYS get so excited to go to Olive Garden.


50 Katie @ Peace Love & Oats March 27, 2012 at 2:33 pm

Sounds like a great date night! I’ve actually only ever been to Olive Garden once! My parents had some favorite local restaurants we always went to, so we rarely went to chains, plus they tended to be further out from where we lived and who needs a car full of hungry kids for 20 minutes?
Katie @ Peace Love & Oats recently posted..It’s Getting Dystopic Over Here…


51 Shari March 27, 2012 at 2:36 pm

Olive Garden breadsticks = best thing ever!!
Shari recently posted..May the odds be ever in your favor.


52 Laura @ Unchartered 20s March 27, 2012 at 2:44 pm

For the longest time, my hubby’s days off were Tues & Wed, so we’d always have our dates then. Now we both have weekends off and still wind up going out during the week instead of a Saturday night. I hate crowds!! I love an empty movie theater :)
Laura @ Unchartered 20s recently posted..Three Things


53 Jenn March 27, 2012 at 2:56 pm

I thought 21 jump street was funny during parts! I love date nights few and far between though oh college how we have no time to ourselves!!
Jenn recently posted..A Bunch In One!


54 Alexis March 27, 2012 at 3:41 pm

I think that the calorie count on menus is a NY state law. I live in northeastern PA and the only time I have seen that is while dining in New York City. And there is no shame in having Date Night at the ole O.G! Own it!
Alexis recently posted..Events


55 Sylvia @ Frolic Through Life March 27, 2012 at 5:01 pm

In NYC, every restaurant that has more than a few locations has to post the calories in all the items on their menu since about last year. Sometimes it’s really surprising to see that something you thought wasn’t so bad for you is actually a calorie bomb. I don’t mind the listings, but it does stop me from getting the thing I really want sometimes.
Sylvia @ Frolic Through Life recently posted..Exciting News Deux


56 erica March 27, 2012 at 5:08 pm

ooh, i’ve been wondering about 21 jumpstreet. i looooved the original tv show (i’m showing my age here) but i can tell it’s nothing like the series.

i haven’t had a “date night” in awhile…it seems all we do is “run errands night” lol.
maybe i can get the husband to take me to see hunger games. even his parents saw it!
erica recently posted..reality check


57 Ange @ Everyday Desserts March 27, 2012 at 5:41 pm

I love your hair long! You look beautiful!! :)
And Olive Garden is the best! I went there last year for my birthday.


58 CJ @ March 27, 2012 at 7:00 pm

i used to love olive garden! my mom and i would always go to the one at the mall when we did our big back to school shopping trip! my favorite dish was unfortunately discontinued but the chicken giradino was AMAZING! i still really like the venetian apricot chicken but dont often venture to the restaurant since the wait is a million years long and more authentic italian is always my husbands first choice! glad you had a nice date night :-)
CJ @ recently posted..What did I expect?


59 Lisa March 27, 2012 at 8:46 pm

Chocolate lasagna was my favorite! I was so disappointed when they got rid of it. You can still order it as a whole cake only with large birthday reservations


60 Courtney March 27, 2012 at 9:22 pm

WOAH, seriously?!? If that’s the case, I’m finding someone who has a birthday STAT ;)


61 Laura March 27, 2012 at 9:02 pm

Chocolate Lasagna was my favorite dessert as well!! I tried to order it once after they first continued and was slightly annoyed that it was not an option – the waiter said that customers complained that it was too sweet…. Can you imagine such a thing???

Could you do an workout guide for the back of your arms? … Triceps I think they are called – right?


62 Courtney March 27, 2012 at 9:21 pm

I’ll put it on my list!
(and yes, it’s the triceps!) ;)


63 Sara March 28, 2012 at 2:46 am

triceps are sexy!! :) and i totally agree with you on the shoulders
Sara recently posted..3.5 week update


64 Lauren March 29, 2012 at 7:22 am

I love chocolate lasagna! No one ever knows what I’m talking about when I get to raving about it! We actually have a friend that’s a GM with Olive Garden and I have him on alert to let me know if they bring it back…
Lauren recently posted..Miscellaneous


Leave a Comment

CommentLuv badge

{ 1 trackback }