Only Two and a Half Months Late {Anniversary Celebration}

You want to know what’s really awkward? Walking in to an appliance store, having about 20 people staring at you, and finding out that they’re having some sort of “designers meeting.”

But you want to know what makes it equally as fun? Having one of the reps at the store understand the awkwardness and take you back to where they’re serving food and drinks for the party and offer you each a free beverage.

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Shopping for washers and dryers with a free drink in hand? Don’t mind if we doooo!

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The two of us went out last night to look at washers and dryers because we may end up getting new ones some time soon. We went more to check out pricing rather than purchase just yet, but it turned out to definitely be worth the trip.

That wasn’t our main reason for getting out last night though…we had some weeknight dinner reservations!

the century house

Those of you who have been long time readers may remember that we got married at The Century House and, most years since, we’ve gone back for an anniversary dinner there. Hey, we were only celebrating about two and a half months late… Winking smile

And about a month ago, there was a Living Social deal for a three course, Pre-Fixe menu, and it was too good of a deal to pass up…except we almost missed out on it and wound up waiting until the day before it expired, hence the random Wednesday date night.

We started out with bread and dipping oil, which we devoured in no time because we were starving.

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For our appetizer, we ordered the calamari since we already knew it was delicious.

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For me entrée, I ordered the same thing I get every time – the filet mignon – but this time, it was served with a roasted garlic butter that was out of this world.

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I loved the fact that our deal also included a dessert, because we quickly remembered their delicious Grande Finale offering. It looked a little different from the last time we ordered it, but it was still just as tasty.

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The two of us, undoubtedly, left there stuffed, but we both had such a great night and agreed that it was awesome to have a little time alone. We’ve been so busy with this or that, and just have a lot of things happening, so it was nice to spend some time just the two of us for a few hours.

the century house restaurant

So hey, I guess for “wingin’ it” this week with meals, this one didn’t turn out half bad? Winking smile

Do any of you guys have any anniversary “traditions?”

Double Date Night and Lucas Gets His First Haircut

Happy Monday to you all! And happy last week of February at that – crazy! But hey, that just means we’re one day/week closer to spring, and I’m a-okay with that.

So how was the weekend? Do anything awesome? We had some great highlights, one of them being a double date night out on Saturday with our best buds, Joe and Kate!

City Beer Hall

Oh, how we miss seeing them more often!

City Beer Hall

We started out night out at The City Beer Hall, which you guys have seen on here a couple of times.

City Beer Hall

Their draft menu is always changing and I wasn’t sure what to try, but I wound up going with the Maredsous Abbey Brune and it was incredible. Somewhat of a darker ale, but with fruity notes as well.

Maredsous Abbey Brune

I’ll definitely be on the lookout for this again!

As per the usual drill, with our pints of beer, we got our free tickets for pizza, so we snagged a couple of them to share with the table.

City Beer Hall Pizza

For my dinner, I ended up ordering their Quinoa and Lentil Burger which was out. of. this. world. That’s not typically something I’d order while out, but I seriously need to figure out how to recreate it now.

quinoa and lentil burger

Yay for parents’ night out!

city beer hall

After dinner, we walked the short trip over to the Times Union Center to watch the Siena basketball game.

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Jay and I got a 4-pack of tickets for Christmas from my in-laws, so we invited Joe and Kate along as our guests. We have a history of attending their games from way back in the day, so we figured it’d be a fun way to “rekindle” old memories.

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We did a pretty good job. Winking smile

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During half time, I absolutely had to go back out to one of the booths that we had passed on our way in because, seriously, they were selling cookie dough.

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And they were the size of golf balls (or bigger) and they were insaaaaaaane. I got two because my eyes were definitely way bigger than my belly and I couldn’t finish them…that should tell you something.

cookie dough balls

After the game, we hit up another bar next door for some fun and then we called it a night. So. Much. Fun!

Sunday consisted of some of the usual stuff around the house…hanging with the kiddo, grocery shopping, food prepping, a great workout, some blog stuff…and then once Lucas woke up from his nap, we headed over to my parents’ house.

My brother brought his puppy Binx (who is getting SO big!), but Lucas wasn’t a huge fan.

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Soon enough, I’m sure he’ll come around.

Yesterday was also a big day because the little man got his first haircut.

lucas first haircut

We attempted standing up and then kind of shimmied him around a bunch in my mom’s chair with me (she’s a hairdresser and has a setup in their basement) and let him watch some Big Block Singsong on the phone.

lucas first haircut

He actually did pretty well, and we were able to finish in no time! Granted, we really weren’t cutting much…the child is just starting to really grow some hair…but we cleaned up the back and around the ears a bit and it’s much better.

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So fresh and handsome!

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After haircuts for the boys (I’m heading back hopefully this week to get mine done) we were treated to a delicious turkey dinner, courtesy of my mama.

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And even got dessert, too. Marble cake with chocolate filling and my all-time favorite almond buttercream frosting.

marble cake

And now, I’m finishing up this post as I watch the Oscars…love me some Neil Patrick Harris! Who else was watching last night? Did anyone else watch the interview with Dakota Johnson and Melanie Griffith on the red carpet?

Talk about awkwaaaarrrrd!

Anniversary Celebrations and Lucas Starts Soccer

Happy Monday to you all! I feel like today is officially the “back to normal” day for most of us; schools are back in session, most holiday gatherings are over, and reality is just…back. Ah well, we knew it was gonna happen soon enough!

So our weekend was fantastic. Lots of fun happenings and celebrating to share, starting with our anniversary date night on Friday night.

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Since we’ve been venturing to many of the same places on our date nights lately, we decided to take a special trip up to Saratoga. It’s one of our favorite areas, and since there was no inclement weather in the forecast, we said it was worth the drive (about 40 minutes away for us). Our first stop of the night brought us to Druthers, a restaurant and brewery in downtown Saratoga that I’ve been dying to go to for ages now.

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I have no idea how because the place was packed, but we somehow managed to find two seats right in the middle of the bar. Score! Our plan was just to sit for a drink and an app, and after checking out their beer menu, we decided to go with a sampler flight (it was too hard to decide!).

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We had six beers to try and, out of all of them, my favorite by far was their Sour Brown. It was such a unique brew, somewhat fruity and tart, and I’m so glad that the bartender recommended it!

druthers beer

As for an app, we ordered the Beer Cheese Dip and, OH. MY. GOD…

beer and cheese dipCheddar, gouda, gorgonzola dolce, cascade hop butter, Golden Rule Blonde, spicy cherry peppers, Bavarian-style pretzels

I could eat that stuff every single freakin day. Had we not had plans to continue the evening for an actual dinner, we absolutely would have polished that plate off. But I will say we came pretty darn close. So if you ever go to Druthers, please, get that stuff!

But like I said, since we didn’t want to stay in just one place, we decided to head over to one of our favorite restaurants for dinner, Olde Bryan Inn. It had been ages since we’d last been there (you can see some older visits from way back in 2010 and 2011 here and here), so since we’re not up in Saratoga too often these days, we knew we had to make a stop.

There was a short wait for a table, so we grabbed a couple of seats at the bar and had a round of drinks.

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Jay and I seriously love sitting at a bar. We have some of our best conversations there!

Eventually, we got our table and ordered some dinner, including a steak for Jay and the Chicken Florentine dish for me.

dinnerChicken strips sautéed in garlic butter and white wine with fresh spinach & mushrooms, with a pinch of oregano & basil; finished in a Parmesan & Romano cheese cream sauce & served over our spinach & ricotta cheese filled ravioli, served with garlic toast points.

Ummm, talk about delicious?! I can’t believe I hadn’t gotten that before…it was SO good!

Since it was a celebratory evening, we couldn’t leave without dessert, so we ordered a slice of their chocolate chip pie a la mode.

chocolate chip pie

It was pretty good, but it had walnuts in it which was super lame…nuts do not belong in (most) cookies or brownies!

Date night was certainly an amazing, much-needed night out, but Saturday morning was equally as fun and exciting. I don’t think I told you guys this before, but we signed Lucas up for soccer camp.

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Talk about hilarious and adorable! Lucas started his “Teddies” class at Afrims and while the class is supposed to start at 18 months, I called to see if we could squeeze him in a few weeks early (he’ll be 18 months on the 27th of this month) and they said it wasn’t a problem.

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The class is about 50 minutes long and it will last for 8 weeks. It’s really just a bunch of kiddos running around throwing and kicking things, but they do attempt to show them some “skills,” and it was just so darn funny to watch.

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By the end of class, Jay and I both decided that this class would not only be a great way for Lucas to run off some energy, but it also proved to be a pretty decent workout for the two of us as well. Lots of running around!

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I’m pretty sure Jay took a video at some point during the class…I’ll have to see if I can get my hands on that!

Once soccer was over, we came home, Lucas crashed for his nap (just as we had hoped, woop woop!), I squeezed in a workout, we did a few things around the house, and then we were off to a birthday party.

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Our pals Joey and Kate’s daughter, Samantha, turned one (man, time flies!), so we were excited to go and celebrate with them.

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We snacked on some food…

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We took silly selfies…

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And we attempted (and failed) at taking a group photo of the six of us. Ahh well…you can’t win ‘em all, right?

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Way to go, Lucas. Winking smile I kid, I kid.

On Sunday, I had plans to meet up with some of my girlfriends for brunch but, due to the crappy weather we were getting, we decided to reschedule. So since those plans were nixed, I took advantage of the extra time to be a bit lazy, got in a good lower body workout, and took my time doing some grocery shopping.

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I also did a little food prep for the week, including some salad bases for me and a few lunches and breakfasts prepped for Lucas.

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I made a fresh batch of Chicken Parm meatballs the other day for him to have during the week. So easy and convenient (I just use my recipe for Chicken Parmesan burgers and roll them into meatballs – bake in a 9×13 dish at 350 degrees for about 18-20 mins!).

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We finished off Sunday evening with another episode of Orange is the New Black (after watching 3 more on Saturday evening) and some cookies. Not a bad ending to a fabulous weekend at all!

So how about you guys? Did you have anything fun happening? Anyone else feeling like it’s finally “back to reality” today?

Weekend Highlights {11/24}

Ahhhh, guys, I’m so pumped. I have a nice, short, 2-day work week ahead of me this week, before I’m off for a lovely five days. Can you guys sense the excitement through this post? If you can’t, I promise…it’s there. Woop!

So how was the weekend, friends? Do anything fun or exciting? Our was fairly busy and definitely filled with lots of fun stuff. After a quiet Friday in (and me falling asleep on the couch about 10 minutes into the Redbox movie that Jay rented for us…whoops), we were up ‘n’ at em nice and early Saturday morning. After putting Lucas down for his morning nap, I left my boys at home and headed out to meet up with my bestie, Heather, for a coffee date.

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It had been way too long since we last got together, so we had quite a bit to chat about. And, FYI? The caramel brulee latte is ahh-mazing. I ordered a grande, non-fat, with 2 pumps of syrup (instead of the usual four) and it was perfection. I am in love.

While I was out, I also got a little update that Mr. Lucas had just woken up from his nap and was being a super smiley guy.

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I much prefer those updates, as opposed to the, “omg he’s crying and I can’t get him to stop” ones. Winking smile

Late Saturday afternoon, my in-laws came over to hang out with us all for a few hours (Lucas did great, wahoo!), then after we put Lucas to bed, Jay and I headed out for DATE NIGHT. Gahh, I was so excited to be out for a few hours!

We went to Sake for some sushi, and since we had a few minutes to wait for our table, we decided to grab a spot at the bar and order a couple of drinks.

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That wine was tastin’ goooooood.

Not long after, our table was ready so me and my handsome date grabbed a seat.

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We started off with some edamame, which was super salty and super delicious.

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And then we ordered ourselves a few rolls. I got a California roll and a Salmon and Avocado roll.

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But the most amazing star of the meal was the signature “Siena Roll” we decided to share. It was spicy tuna, topped with a lobster salad, avocado, mango, and then finished off with a spicy mango sauce. Umm…incredible.

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Jay and I loved just hanging out and being able to enjoy each others’ company without any other distractions. It was a much-needed night and we both had such a great time.

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Of course, we couldn’t end the night there…

On our way home, we squeezed in a quick stop at our favorite fro yo place, and as you can see, I went a little crazy with my cup ‘o’ good stuff.

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Truth be told, the almost two glasses of wine I had with dinner were doing a pretty good job of giving me beer wine goggles, so at that point, I really just wanted all. the. things. It was a massive serving, but I polished it all off like a champ. Hey…it was date night. Winking smile

And as a side note, we also got our first snow Saturday night.

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Yikes…I don’t think I’m quite ready for that super cold yet.

*****

On Sunday, the three of us headed over to my parents’ house to watch the Jets game (even though we were over an hour late thanks to a certain someone not wanting to nap and getting his schedule all thrown off…).

As always, there was plenty of snacks to be had.

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And everyone had a good time just hanging out…even if the Jets totally stunk up the place. Ooof.

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Lucas was a bit hit or miss while we were out, since naps weren’t really his thing all morning/afternoon, so that tiredness translated into crankiness quite often (since he’s in the midst of a few Wonder Weeks, I’m actually curious if that little brain of his was working in overdrive on some new stuff yesterday?).

Luckily, he wasn’t cranky the whole time we were out, and he managed to give grandma, grandpa, Uncle Dan, and Aunt Meg a few good giggles and smiles.

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We left my parents’ house once Lucas basically told us he was done for the evening, and then once we put him to bed, Jay and I spent some time prepping things for work (bottles for the babe, food for us) and then vegged out on the couch watching a couple hours of the AMA’s.

And now, here we are again at Monday. But hey, that’s cool. Only two days to get through this week. Winking smile

Happy Monday, friends! Make it a great one today!

Our First Post-Baby Date Night

Such a great, great weekend. Seriously…probably one of the best we’ve had in a long time! After spending Friday evening in (which is basically the norm, duh), we awoke Saturday morning feeling refreshed and excited for the day (it was date night day!).

Lucas allowed me to sleep in an extra two hours after his 6am feeding, and I awoke to Jay telling me he was heading out to get my oil changed in my car. Before leaving, he also asked if I wanted him to pick me up a coffee on his way back and that he’d make me some Kodiak Cakes for breakfast once he returned.

Ummm, best way to wake up EVER?

Sure enough, he lived up to his word and returned with my pumpkin coffee in hand, and shortly after, delivered me my plate of pancakes.

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Deeeeeelicious.

A couple hours later, once Lucas was down for a nap, I decided to squeeze in a workout. I had taken Thursday and Friday off our of sheer laziness, so I decided to set out with a goal of a 5K on the treadmill. I knew it was a lofty goal, but surprisingly enough, I succeeded!

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It was hot, sweaty, and super awesome (I alternated 3 minutes at 6.0, 1 minute at 7.0, then walked 1 minute at 4.0).

Fast-forward to early Saturday evening and it was time for date night! We left Lucas at home with my MIL for a few hours while we went out on the town. Winking smile

Our first stop? Brown’s Brewing Co. for my first cherry raspberry ale post-pregnancy. Ohh, how I’d been waiting for that.

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Seeing as though it was only about 5pm by the time we got there, we had no problem finding a couple seats at the bar. We hung out for about a drink and a half, had a blast, and then continued on to our next stop of the evening…Bacchus.

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Jay and I were last there about a year ago and we were excited to return. We grabbed a spot at the bar again…we seriously LOVE sitting at the bar and usually wind up having some of our best conversations there.

They had some interesting sounding beers on tap and I ultimately decided on a Uinta Punk’n Ale, which came with a glorious cinnamon sugar rim.

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I only wound up having about 2/3 of that one though because I started getting sick of it towards the end. I don’t know what my deal is lately, but I’m just not diggin’ the pumpkin beers like I usually do. It’s very strange.

By this time, we were ready for some food so both ordered a couple side salads and a couple pizzas.

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A simple margherita pizza was my choice, while Jay chose a buffalo chicken. We each polished off three slices and boxed up the rest. It was sooooo good.

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Our last stop of the evening was one that I’d been waiting to go to for a long time now, Lucas Confectionery.

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It opened up while I was pregnant, and while I had heard they had delicious desserts, I figured I should hold off on heading to the wine bar until, you know, I could actually drink the wine. Winking smile

We were going to grab a table, but there was about a 25 minute wait, so we got lucky and snagged a couple seats at where else but…the bar.

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We ordered a couple glasses of white wine and then went ahead and chose a few different items to share from the dessert selections: a pumpkin cupcake, a pumpkin maple whoopie pie, and a few truffles (2 dark chocolate, 1 honey lavender).

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My favorite was, by far, the whoopie pie. Ohmygod it was so good. And the honey lavender truffle? I felt like I was chewing on a bar of soap from a spa. Just sayin’.

Around 8:30pm, we finished up at the wine bar and then figured we should head out so we could get home in time to put Lucas to bed. We laughed at the fact that we were ending our night out before 9pm (and were also exhausted by that point too), but it was an absolutely fantastic night and the two of us had such a great time.

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Date nights are definitely a wonderful thing, but we were certainly excited to come home to our little man.

That was him yesterday morning…don’t you just love his homemade onesie? We have an adorable little selection from Brian and Mal, who made them all themselves. They’re so darn talented.

The rest of Sunday consisted of lounging in cozies, getting in a workout (I decided on Jillian Michaels’ 30 Day Shred video), watching football, chillin’ with Lucas, and eating leftovers for dinner.

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It looks disgusting, I know, but the leftover beef and sweet potato stew was so, so tasty. On the side, I had some cut up tomatoes and cucumber, and also whipped up a small batch of garlic cheddar biscuits using some Bisquick. WOW, they were good…and so easy! (I used this recipe, in case you’re interested)

Now, we’re back to Monday once again…man, weekends just go by way too fast, don’t they? Hope everyone had just as great of a weekend and wishing you all a fabulous week ahead! Smile

Date Night and Weekend Happenings

Hey hey! Happy Monday to all of my favorite readers. How was the weekend? Do anything fun and exciting?

Our weekend was a good mix of everything – busy around the house, but still able to find some time to get out and have some fun too. On Saturday, Jay and I both got up and got to work on our to-do’s fairly quickly. The first stop on my agenda was to Babies ‘R’ Us to pick up a few more remaining things from our registry (can’t really blame people for not wanting to buy breastfeeding supplies!).

After that and a quick trip to the grocery store, I was back home and worked on a few things around the house while Jay worked outside. Since we had both worked so hard all day, we decided to reward ourselves with a little date night that evening, starting at Bombers Burrito Bar.

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I have loooong been a fan of Bombers. You’ve most likely read about me there on my birthday, drinking a ginormous margaritahelping friends drink their own birthday margaritas…or just hanging with my pal Sarah.

They recently opened up a new location in downtown Troy, which is much closer to us than the other two, so we decided to go check it out. Better yet, we even got a spot out on the patio. Unfortunately, there was no margaritas this time around. Winking smile

But our waitress did offer to make me a fun little drink which was quite tasty.

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For dinner, I basically got what I always do – their bbq pulled pork (OMG so good) but instead of getting a massive burrito, I decided to stick with a couple of tacos. Definitely just as delicious but not nearly as filling.

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I think I may have found a new favorite.

After dinner, we stopped by a friend’s house for a birthday party, then on our way home we finished up “date night” with a quick trip to The Snowman.

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Yessssss….it’s been a couple weeks in the making, but I finally got my orange and vanilla twist with rainbow sprinkles. I was one happy camper.

*****

Sunday morning, I woke up in a semi-crappy mood. I slept awful the night before and was just feeling a little cranky. I figured, what better way to perk up my mood than with some delicious pancakes for breakfast?

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I whipped up a batch of Kodiak Cakes and added in about half a mashed banana and some mini chocolate chips…because sometimes, chocolate at breakfast is necessary, mmmkay?

Topped ‘em off with a little PB, more banana, and a drizzle of maple syrup and I was good. to. go.

They were seriously incredible. And filling! Those babies stuck with me for a good 5-6 hours before I even thought about eating anything else. Crazy.

After breakfast and doing a few things inside the house, I decided to suit up and take the party outside the house…because the pool is finally OPEN for the season!

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We were a little delayed, thanks to some busy weekends, crappy weather, and needing to buy a new motor, but we are finally ready for the season. I helped out by giving it its first vacuuming which had me working up such a sweat that I wound up being the first one in it for the season. Oh mannnnn, was it refreshing. And can I just say how AWESOME it feels being in a pool when you’re pregnant?!? It’s almost like you kinda forget about the whole massive belly thing. I want to live in that pool right now.

I wound up doing a few exercises, a few laps, and a good round of HORSE with hubby and the basketball hoop (which we later dubbed HORAN instead) before the inevitable storms rolled through and we were forced back inside. Luckily we still got a good couple of hours in, but man, the rain this past month has been somethin’ else!

A little while after getting back inside, you’ll never believe what happened…I actually cooked dinner. And it wasn’t a sandwich. ;)

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Oven baked pork chops, roasted sweet potatoes and onions, and some quick-steam veggies. I don’t know who was more shocked that we had a real dinner…me or Jay. But either way, it was deeee-licious, and I didn’t have to do the clean up. Woot!

So that’s pretty much our weekend, in a nutshell. Lots of good food and some great, QT spent with the hubby. Doesn’t get much better than that. :)

*FYI: The Baby Tooth page got an update this morning!

Have a great day, everyone. :)

Work Surprise, Date Night, Freezer Meals, & Pool Problems

How’s that for a loaded post title?

Mornin’ friends! How was the weekend? Awesome, I hope?

Well since I last chatted with you all Friday morning, I have a few things to catch you all up to speed on, starting with Friday afternoon. I’ll tell ya…I have some amazing co-workers.

I was completely thrown off guard with a surprise baby shower at work on Friday! Complete with adorable decorations, the most amazing cupcakes I think I’ve ever had (no joke) and some incredibly generous gifts. It was such a sweet, unexpected gesture and was so much fun. I think the next thing on the agenda at work is to start up a pool for when I’m going to deliver. Hey, if someone can make money off of when I deliver Baby Tooth, more power to ‘em! ;)

Friday night, Jay and I did make it out for our date night (despite the fact that I may or may not have been falling asleep on the couch a bit beforehand). We didn’t want anything fancy and really just wanted to be able to sit outside, so we decided to try out a new-to-us spot called Uncle Marty’s Adirondack Grill.

After a quick wait at the bar (and me being offered a drink because the bump was in hiding, ha!) we got our table out on the covered patio…and almost immediately ordered the pulled pork nachos.

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I had already been told great things about these nachos and ohmygod they were incredible. Jay and I said we would go back just for the nachos and drinks. They were SO good.

Even though we basically housed the nachos, we still had ordered dinners – a southwest chicken wrap for me.

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It was good, but for whatever reason, that thing had my mouth on FIRE (the homemade salsa). This is actually amusing because I ate my other leftover half and fries for dinner on Saturday and it wasn’t nearly as spicy as it tasted on Friday. Who knows…

On Saturday, I kind of fell off the radar. I spent the morning out running a few errands (grocery shopping and buying maternity bras – WOO!) but didn’t feel too hot for the rest of the day (I think the heat had something to do with it). Jay was out golfing in a tournament for a majority of the day, so once he got home, we really just laid low and didn’t do a whole lot. He also put the other AC unit in, which seemed to help my nausea and overall BLAH feeling, which was good.

Sunday, I woke up feeling muuuuch better. We enjoyed a simple, lazy breakfast and then I got to work in the kitchen and got not one, but TWO freezer meals complete.

On the left is Roasted Veggie Mac & Cheese and on the right is Chicken and Black Bean Enchiladas. I’m thinking both of these are going to be mighty tasty once Baby Tooth is here, and I’m so glad that I’ve been able to get a few of these together so far. We’ll see how many more I can bust out in the next couple of weeks. ;)

Sunday afternoon was spent working outside, mostly with getting our pool open…FINALLY. The good news is that we got the pool open, it wasn’t super green, and we had no dead animals floating around (minus some nasty worms).

The bad news is that the motor to our pool pump is shot, so we can’t technically get the pool running yet. Luckily Jay found the motor on Amazon for a somewhat cheaper price (sheesh!) so hopefully we’ll have things up and running by the end of the week.

After spending the majority of our afternoon working up a sweat outside, we came in, showered up, and got to work on dinner. Yep…I got my pizza on the grill! And check out how odd and random that thing is…

They didn’t have the dough balls that I typically buy at the store, so I wound up buying a can of the Pillsbury whole grain pizza dough. It tasted good, so that was no problem, but it gave us a little bit of trouble with the initial transfer to the grill grates. No worries though…that bad boy still tasted deeeee-lish.

We went bbq chicken style, topped with bbq sauce, mozz, chicken, and grilled onions. I had two pieces for dinner along with an ear of corn on the cob which, if you haven’t already noticed, has been a huge favorite of ours lately. YUM.

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And that, my friends, pretty much sums up my weekend! It went by way too fast, as always, but it was a good one at that.

Now it’s back to the grind today…hope everyone’s week is already off to a great start!

Question for the Morning:

Any awesome highlights from your weekend? Do anything fun or exciting?

Funny and Entertaining

Such a fun night with this guy last night!

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And I really need to start using the flash on my iPhone. Whoops.

As I mentioned yesterday, last night was Jay’s company party which was an awesome time. I got to spend some time catching up with the guys and girls that he works with, and we definitely all had a few good laughs throughout the evening.

Originally, I wasn’t really planning on taking too many photos, but then one of Jay’s co-workers who reads the blog (hi, Tracey!) said I should totally got a pic of the food. Allllright, twist my arm!

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The dinner was a buffet, and I loaded up with just about everything they had…salad, green beans, vegetarian lasagna, bacon horseradish scalloped potatoes(!) and chicken. It was all totally delicious and I finished just about all of it, except for some of the salad. Go figure. Winking smile

Shortly after dinner, they also had a dessert buffet which we all totally dominated. Okay, maybe I dominated it, but still. There were a few different kinds of cheesecakes, a variety of sauces, and fresh berries…but then a little while later, we found out there was tiramisu.

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So naturally, I made Jay go get me a piece to try. I had a few bites and left it at that, but it was goooood.

Once the food portion of the night was over, the entertainment started. The first entertainer was a magician, who had some pretty crazy tricks up his sleeve. I’m always amazed by magicians, if we’re going to be honest. I mean, really, how DO they do some of what they do? Boggles my mind.

The second entertainer was an escape artist called “Jason Escape,” who claimed he would be able to escape from a straight jacket WITH 75 feet of rope wrapped around him. As he was going through his spiel, he wound up looking around the room for volunteers. Sure enough…

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Jay got picked. Winking smile

He was most likely mortified, but he did a great job playing along, which made the whole skit even more funny and entertaining.

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Of course, the escape artist did manage to get himself untied and out of the straight jacket, but I swear his limbs are just not normal. Ca-raaaaazy.

After the entertainment, there were some awards, and Jay’s team wound up winning the big award for the night, “Team of the Year,” which was really exciting, and totally well deserved.

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The party died down fairly quickly after that, so we wound up heading out shortly after. No late night pizza this year, but it was definitely still a great night out!

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This morning, we allowed ourselves to sleep in (almost 10 hours, baby!), then I did a little cleaning while Jay ran out to the store. While he was out, he ended up picking me up a decaf coffee from DD’s (swoon),

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and now he has offered to make me oatmeal red raspberry pancakes for breakfast, just like my favorite ones from Café Madison. Talk about a great start to the day, right? Smile

A New Take On Date Night

Ohhh, last night was so much fun! And it’s all (well, partially) thanks to these…

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Once I decided to take control yesterday on date night, I thought it might be fun to do a little something different. If you guys are anything like Jay and I, you may tend to have a hard time deciding on places to go…that’s an understatement for us.

So rather than sit and waste time deciding where to go, I wrote down a bunch of choices for three different categories, and then left it up to fate…well, sorta. Winking smile 

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(Pictured on the left were after-dinner activities, in the center were dinner choices, and on the right was dessert.)

Once Jay got home from work, still sulking over the fact that he didn’t know where we were going, I let him make his first choice from category number one. He ended up grabbing Ruby Tuesday which, of course, was a last minute add-in that I really didn’t even want…I just felt compelled because we had a coupon.

Sooo, I made a last minute change to the “rules” and told him he was allowed one more pick if he put that one back. This time he chose Jose Malone’s – a great choice!

We got in the car and headed down into downtown Troy. Once I parked, I let him know that he was allowed to pick one more place along the strip of restaurants to go for a pre-dinner drink. By this point, I think he was finally having fun with my game, and he opted to head to one of our favorite spots…Brown’s.

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We grabbed a table in the bar area and started checking out the beer menu. Much to my dismay, they were out of my beloved Cherry Raspberry Ale. Hmmph. The waitress we had was super nice and offered to let me try a couple of other ones instead, so she brought over samples of the Porter and the American Wheat Ale.

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The Porter was good, but would have been a bit too strong for a full pint, so I went with the American Wheat. Perfectly light and summery.

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About a half hour into our arrival, we watched them post their sign for the Cherry Raspberry!

(old photo from this post – although I’ll be psyched to see the pumpkin ale and oktoberfest back!)

So we just had to get one to share. Winking smile

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And my lovely date even let me have the cherry from the bottom of the glass. He’s such a keeper.

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Once we finished our beers, we left Brown’s and walked about three doors down to our dinner spot, Jose Malone’s.

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You may remember that I was here just last month and had quite a good time. Perhaps a little too much. So this time, I made sure to steer clear of the margaritas. They. Are. Dangerous.

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Jose Malone’s is such a fun place, it a wonder why Jay and I haven’t come more often…especially considering its so close to us. I hadn’t eaten here in years, and Jay never had, but after our meals last night, there’s no doubt that we’ll definitely be back.

We started out with some fresh chips and salsa.

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Their salsa is amazing. I seriously want to buy a bucket of it off of them. I’m so not kidding.

While we were there, I let Jay choose our next “activity” for the evening. At this point, we were a bit later than I had expected, but I figured we’d see what happened.

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He wound up picking a movie (ParaNorman – looks so funny) so we decided we’d check out movie times as we got closer to being finished.

For dinner, Jay opted for chicken fajitas, which he raaaaved about, while I decided to go with something a bit different…a BLT Quesadilla.

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The quesadilla came with applewood smoked bacon, pico de gallo, fresh spinach, chipotle aioli, scallion avocado relish, and cheese.

I don’t even know where to begin with these. They were SO GOOD. I loved how they were filled with lots of spinach and not tons and tons of cheese (my main reason for not usually ordering quesadillas – extra cheese just isn’t my thang).

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I thoroughly enjoyed two out of my four wedges and decided it’d be in my best interest to box the rest. Any more, and that probably would have put me into the uncomfortable zone…and I still had dessert left!

By this point, we realized that the “activity” portion of our evening was probably a bust. We didn’t end up leaving Jose Malone’s until about 8:30 and the movie times really just weren’t working in our favor. We agreed to skip past the activity and move on to category three: DESSERT.

Funny enough, the place we ended up going to wasn’t even a choice I had written down. We figured since we were still in downtown Troy, we should just stay local, so we headed out for a short walk to our next destination of choice.

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With a few humorous stops along the way. Winking smile

So I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this yet, but we have a new fro yo place in town!

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Dante’s Frozen Yogurt opened up a few weeks ago, and I’d been dying to get down there ever since. Last night was the perfect opportunity, so we went to check it out. It’s set up very similar to all the rest of them, with about 10 different fro yo flavors and lots of toppings.

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I opted for a swirl of Cookies & Cream + White Chocolate Mousse and a swirl of Strawberry + Cheesecake, topped with lots of goodies.

The fro yo and toppings were delicious, but I did have two problems with Dante’s…they only carry large cups, and their fro yo machines come out fast. Very fast.

Before I knew it, my cup was ginormous. Like, embarrassingly large.

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And for the first time in my fro yo history, I was unable to finish my cup. Sad, but true.

By the time we finished up at Dante’s, we were both pretty stuffed and decided to call it an evening. So although my “pick a choice” plan didn’t work out as well as I had hoped, we still had an absolute blast.

Much better than mowing the lawn. Winking smile

June Yoga Challenge, Week 1 Recap (+ Date Night)

All that hard work with mowing the lawn paid off…I got my date night!

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Yesterday, shortly after Jay got home from work, we headed out to enjoy our “gift card date night.” I can’t tell you just how excited I was to realize that we still had about five different gift cards left over from Christmas…here I was thinking we’d already used them all.

Can you guess which one out of the four listed was our spot of choice last night?

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Well, considering we don’t even have an On the Border or a Maggiano’s near us, and neither of us felt like having Italian, that just leaves one spot left…

Aaaand that would be the one that offers 2 for 1 draft beers. Winking smile

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Chili’s was our spot of choice last night, and we both started off with some 2 for 1 beers – there wasn’t a huge selection so I went with some Blue Moon.

For it being a chain restaurant, which Jay and I typically tend to avoid (we definitely had our fair share while dating throughout high school), we both enjoy Chili’s. The beer is always cold, the food is good, and the prices aren’t too bad either. Neither of us had been back since visiting with Joe & Kate last October, so it was a welcomed choice.

We started off with some chips and salsa.

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I was pretty impressed with my ability to take it easy on these, but it wasn’t easy.

For dinner, I ordered the “Lighter Choice Chicken Santa Fe Wrap” which came with a side of roasted broccoli.

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I wasn’t really sure what to expect, but this wrap was pleasantly delicious. I especially loved the roasted corn and avocado chunks, and I loved how it wasn’t drenched in dressing. Definitely a good choice.

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After dinner, we concluded date night the best way we know how…

With an orange and vanilla twist with rainbow sprinkles from The Snowman. Gosh, I do love me some rainbow sprinkles. Smile

*****

June Yoga Challenge – Week 1 Recap

We’ve already made it through our first week of the June Yoga Challenge. Can you even believe it? I’m so excited to hear how you’ve all been doing on your own challenges, but first, here’s how things have been going so far over here.

My Challenge: Do 3 yoga sessions for the week

Actual: 4 yoga sessions done since June 1st

So far, things are going great with the challenge. I’m loving all this new yoga in my life, and I’m already finding myself looking forward to each session. I didn’t totally love the class that I took at my gym during the week, but I did enjoy actually doing it in a class setting, rather than at home with a video.

I ended up talking a bit with Jen, who I’ve gone to yoga with before, and she was telling me about a local place named Good Karma Studio. Apparently they’re offering a few free classes for the month of June, so I’m really hoping to be able to go and try some of them out.

Overall, I’m still loving the challenge. Physically, I haven’t felt or seen too much of a difference, although my hips were pretty sore after doing Jillian’s video on Wednesday. Mentally, I’m totally on board. I don’t mind that I’m not sweating buckets like I would if I were running on the treadmill. I love how I’m still feeling strong and lengthened after a session.

I think this challenge is exactly what I needed right now in my life!

But alright, enough about me…let’s hear about how all of YOU are doing on your challenges. I had one reader without a blog send me her update…

Kattreena“My main goal for this challenge is to listen to my body more. In the past, I would often skip yoga because I felt like I needed to strength train more or do more cardio. Recently, I’ve been doing yoga at least once a week, and I have found that my body loves it! I absolutely love how I feel after the class! I just want to get back into loving what I’m doing for fitness rather than feeling that I have to do something or skip something because other exercises are more important. Today I did an online Power Yoga video for 30 minutes.”

Now, for those of you who wrote about your Week 1 recap on your blogs, let’s see how it’s going!


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