A Marvelous Countdown + a Giveaway!

Monday again, huh? Well, the countdown is on; I officially have 15 days of work left. I’m taking the week of Thanksgiving off completely to finish packing, get my life in order, and spend time with my family. I can’t believe we’re moving this month! In the meantime, I’ve been taking time to relax and get some quality time in with some of my favorite people.

Friday night, Nathan had plans after work so I took some much needed me-time. And I also spent it with my friend Jim..

Jim Beam Bourbon Orange Juice Seltzer

Jim Beam with a little OJ and seltzer water. Making Caitlin proud 😉

I also whipped up a little roasted goodness topped with a fried egg. Because what goes better with OJ than eggs?!

Brussels Sprouts Sweet Potato Egg Yolk

Spinach, roasted brussels, sweet potato, and an egg. Nothing better.

Saturday we had lunch at Duclaw, a local brew pub. They recently revamped their menu and I couldn’t pass up their new Wilted Kale Quinoa Salad with grilled chicken.. even after asking the waitress’s opinion of it. She feels strongly that kale is best used as a garnish and not to be eaten.. cracked me up!

Duclaw Quinoa Kale Salad

I like to eat garnishes.

Saturday night we went out to World of Beer with my cousin, Nicole, and her boyfriend, Kirk. They recently moved here from Pittsburgh and I’m so sad we haven’t had more time together before Nathan and I head out!

World of Beer

Just the beginning of the shenanigans that night!

This location just opened up a few weeks ago so we had to give it a shot. Word to the wise – stick to the beer and appetizers. The rest of the food is a BIG miss! Not to worry though, the party continued back at our place and we had so much fun [read: the boys went to Royal Farms for fried chicken and western fries at midnight.]

Sunday was for lunch, a little cousin’s birthday party, and baking prep. We went to Seasons 52 for lunch as a treat on our way to the birthday party. Nathan and I had only been there once before and really enjoyed it. Their presentations are beautiful, but I have to admit, I left a little hungry. I am known for making ridiculously huge salads though..

Seasons 52 Ahi Tuna Salad

Maui Tuna Crunch Salad – sushi-grade seared tuna, organic greens, pineapple,
toasted almonds, miso vinaigrette

Onto the birthday party.. Nathan really knows how to get down to a 6-year-old’s gymnastics party! 😉

Gymnastics Balance Beam

I’m so proud!

After we got home, I had to do some prep work which involved chocolate chip cookies. I referred back to my throwdown experience and made a batch of the New York Times Chocolate Chip Cookies. I rolled them into mini cookie balls and popped them into the freezer to save for my future baking. However, I should have made a half batch because this ended up making over 100 mini cookie balls!

New York Times Chocolate Chip Cookies

CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES FOR DAYS!!

Good thing chocolate chip cookies are easy to get rid of. I think I might have some lucky coworkers next week! 🙂

And now what you’ve been waiting for.. the giveaway! I was contacted by thinkThin [one of my most favorite protein bar companies] about doing a giveaway and since I love these bars so much, I had to share them with all of you! Pretty marvelous, huh? 😉

Click here to enter the giveaway and win some tasty treats!

Food for Thought

Did you do anything fun over the weekend?

What I Ate Wednesday #9 – Wedding Crashers

Remember when I said I found the best part of wedding planning? Well I think in the last 2 weeks I’ve found 2 more things that rival for the best part—dress shopping and band shopping!

First and foremost, I got a dress! And I love it and I want to wear it all the time and I can’t wait to put it on again! Wanna see pictures?! You got it! On May 12, 2013  😉

After it took 5 months to find the right venue, I was worried that dress shopping was going to be a complete nightmare, but it was so much fun and it only took me 2 trips to say YES to the dress! (I had to.. really, I did.)

Secondly, band shopping has been a bit frustrating to start off. We’ve just been listening to tons of cliche demos all the while, trying not to laugh. Once we picked out a few bands we liked, we were told to go check them out. Sooooo we crashed a wedding! Yes, we were invited by the band management company, but not by the bride and groom. We got dressed up, turned it into a full on date night and had a great time!

Barr & Table Wedding Crashers Kaleidoscope Band

Now onto the eats..

Breakfast
Lately, I’ve been in love with protein pancakes. I was on quite a roll for awhile with the Tone It Up pineapple protein pancakes, but decided to switch it up. Julie from Peanut Butter Fingers has a recipe for banana bread protein pancakes that I tried awhile back and absolutely fell in love with! So now, I’m on a banana bread protein pancake kick that I just can’t seem to shake. And I’m totally ok with it! Top it off with my favorite Tone It Up bombshell spell and I’m in heaven!

Barr & Table What I Ate Wednesday WIAW Peanut Butter Fingers PBFingers Banana Bread Protein Pancakes Peanut Butter PB Tone It Up TIU Bombshell Spell

Lunch
A delicious spicy Asian chicken and vegetable dish with whole wheat couscous. So delicious, that I didn’t get a picture!

Snack
Strawberry yogurt bites. A little something sweet that I whipped up in no time!

Barr & Table Strawberry Yogurt Bites Chobani Dannon Oikos Vanilla Greek Yogurt Banana Almonds Cinnamon

Dinner
Since we had to get all dressed up anyway, we figured we might as well head to a new restaurant for an impromptu date night!

Seasons 52 was the restaurant of choice. This restaurant uses seasonally inspired ingredients with a menu that is updated weekly. (Get it? Seasonally updated.. 52 weeks in a year..)

Nathan chose it because he loves me.. aka everything on the menu is 475 calories or less. And it doesn’t hurt that the menu sounded awesome!

Barr & Table Seasons 52 Restaurant Salmon Salad Jicama Watermelon Refresher Flatbread Pizza Chocolate Peanut Butter Mousse Mocha Macchiato

I ordered the organic arugula salad with watermelon, grilled golden beets, jicama, toasted pistachios, and a side of lemongrass salmon. The salad was amazingly delicious and the salmon tasted like it was totally indulgent, but it wasn’t! On the side, I enjoyed a wonderful watermelon refresher. I’m a sucker for any kind of watermelon cocktail!

Nathan got the ripe plum tomato flatbread with fresh basil, roasted garlic, and parmesan cheese, and a mixed green salad on the side. The flatbread was everything a flatbread should be. Super thin, crispy crust, not a ton of cheese, and nice and light.

And because our meals were so light and wonderful, we topped it off with their mini indulgences. I had the chocolate peanut butter mousse and Nathan ordered the mocha macchiato. Both fantastic, but I think I won the dessert round! He kept trying to sneak little bites!

My one complaint about Seasons 52 is that the closest one is an hour away. That said, we might have to visit friends in the area more so we can go back 🙂

Fitness

Jess Blonde Ponytail GNC Lean Legs Circuit Tabata Workout Barr & Table

I’m not gonna lie, I totally killed it at the gym the other night. But my favorite part of my workout was the GNC lean leg circuit from Jess at Blonde Ponytail. If you watch the video, she tells you to do 3 rounds of this circuit, but if you’re up for the challenge, you can do it tabata style, or 8 times through.

As I got through the first 3 sets, I thought “alright, this isn’t so bad.. let’s take it to 5!” Got to 5 sets and thought “I’m doing it.. I’m going for all 8 sets!” I finished all 8 sets in 20 minutes and felt awesome! And 2 days later, I’m remembering each and every one of those moves every time I stand up. Hurts so good!

Speak Up!

Have you tried a new restaurant recently? What was the best part of your meal?