WIAW: A Birthday Dinner!

Don’t forget to check out the healthy recipes I wrote up yesterday before you delve into the indulgences I had for my birthday!

Saturday was spent celebrating my birthday with my friends and family! Nick made reservations at a great restaurant, Max Fish in Glastonbury, CT.

Caitlin joined us for a drink and texted me on her way, she said she already picked out my first drink.

On the left (or front) Cait’s Drink – Coup d’etat {Diplomatico rum, Amaro Ramazotti, mole bitters, citrus, mint and notes of vanilla, with crushed ice}.

My drink is on the right, and the drink I was eyeing before Cait surprise ordered for me. The Silver Lining {Avion Silver tequila, St Germain, cinnamon syrup, grapefruit and lime juices, smoked cinnamon stick}. It came fancy, the glass was upside down getting the smoke from the cinnamon stick, and the waiter poured it table side.I though it would be to spicy with all the cinnamon, but it was perfect and went down easy, too easy. I was feeling it before our appetizers even arrived.

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Appetizer. My sister (also Cait) and I shared the Ahi Tuna Tartare with capers, two hour egg, grilled baguette, American sturgeon caviar.

The tartar was creamy and melted in my mouth, the grilled baguette contrasted wonderfully in texture. The perfect bite.

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Double the tuna, double the fun. Right?

For my entree I went with the Grilled Yellowfin Tuna with black forbidden rice, sesame carrots and Vietnamese caramel. I ordered my tuna rare, and it was grilled to perfection. I had never had black rice before and I thought it was great, I would order it again! The caramel however made it a bit too sweet for me, but overall this dish was one of the best seafood dishes I have ever had.

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A lot of the table ordered the special, Lobster Cobb salad. This is my kind of Cobb salad, and check out those chunks of lobster meat!

I also snagged a bit of my sister’s Blackened Mahi Mahi with Guava-papaya coulis, coconut rice, plantain chips. For me personally, it was too spicy, but I have a really low tolerance for spice. (My sister looked at me like I had 5 heads when I said it was spicy)

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You have to end your birthday dinner with a decadent dessert right? I chose the Warm Chocolate S’Mores – Flourless chocolate cake, toasted homemade marshmallow, graham cracker, caramel sauce they added a birthday candle and embarrassing singing.

This dessert was phenomenal, flourless chocolate cake is one of my favorite desserts and this did not disappoint, it was a bit dense, so I could only have a small portion, but I wish I could’ve had the whole thing!

After dinner we moved to Plan B Burger Bar in Glastonbury to have drinks and watch the bruins game.

If you follow me on Instagram you probably have already seen the photos from Saturday night…my brother-in-law started with buying a few of us shots.

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Cafe Patron. Delicious

I then decided to keep up with my “little” brother (aka Nick’s younger brother) and we did some shots together, and I did some shots with Nick’s cousin. I also had a few beers. Yikes.

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Not the prettiest collage, oh well.

Soon after that shot the DJ started blasting some tunes from, uh 1995? We had to go. We headed upstairs to Rooftop 120, and I will be honest, I was disappointed.

The bartender was awesome, but our friends drink still had stickers on the fruit, when you are charging $12 for a drink, I expect you to clean the fruit.

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The drink.

We sat on the patio which was gorgeous, but the waitress was incredibly rude. I ordered one drink and she brought a different one, and gave us attitude when we asked for a bunch of waters. At that point I really didn’t need to be drinking, so I just left it, but I was pissed. Can’t win em all I guess!

After Rooftop we headed home and I went to sleep at the very late hour of 1 am. I had an amazing birthday and I am so grateful for the wonderful family and friends, my life and heart are incredibly full.

Check out more meals and recipes at Jenn’s blog for the WIAW link-up!


Birthday Recipes!

Disclosure: Visalus compensated me for this recipe, but all opinions and ideas are my own

This weekend was a blast, so much so that I couldn’t pull myself off the couch to write a blog post, I am definitely closer to 30 than 20, dang. I am going to recap our drinks and eats tomorrow.

I have also been making myself some healthy birthday treats!

Visalus sent me their Balance Kit, which included the Sweet Cream flavored nutritional shake mix, and 5 flavor mix-ins (Chocolate, Banana, Peach, Mango & Strawberry).

I decided to start with a Birthday smoothie!. I wanted to see how the flavor “sweet cream” tasted before I made anything more extravagant.

smoothies

1 scoop Visalus shake mix
1 handful spinach
1 frozen banana
1 scoop natural peanut butter
1 cup of almond milk
A handful crushed ice
A handful of frozen peach slices

Toss in your blender or sweet Vitamix and blend until smooth. Garnish with a few sprinkles (but only on birthdays ;))

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The sweet cream flavor really made the smoothie taste like cake. Honestly, it tasted like melted birthday cake ice cream.

For my second recipe, I went with something that I would eat regularly but also something that was easy for those with little ones running around. These literally took me 15 minutes to put together and then I had a ton of protein bites ready for whenever I needed one.

Birthday Bites

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1 1/4 cup Visalus shake mix
Optional flavor packet (I used chocolate)
1 cup oats
1/2 cup peanut butter
2/3 cup coconut
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/3 cup almond milk

Gently mix all the dry ingredients (shake mix, packet, oats and coconut)

IMG_6101(I left a well for the wet ingredients)
Mix in the almond milk
Add the peanut butter
Lastly, mix in the chocolate chips
Line a tray with parchment paper or silpat, whatever you have on hand
Roll the mix into small bites, or balls if you are mature enough for that
Line them up on the tray and place in the fridge for at least an hour

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Once they are cold move to an airtight container and they will keep for up to a week.

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YUM!

This recipe makes 16 bites
154 calories per bite with 5g of protein and only 4g of sugar!

Which recipe would you prefer for your birthday?

29.

Start your twenties with a lot of friends and leave with a few good ones. What happened? People faded away into their careers and relationships. Fights were had and never resolved. Shit happens. Ryan O’Connell via Thought Catalog

Holy Balls, I am 29.

I always thought that 30 was SO FAR AWAY and also so OLD, and here I am the last year of my 20’s. My 20’s weren’t perfect, but I had laughs, tears, and I have had some great moments.

I have my beautiful family.

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I have run TWO half marathons.

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I’ve found a family in blogging.

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I am still struggling with other areas, but it is always nice to have something to work towards.

I really want to have a 30-by-30 list, so if you have any links to yours or others – leave them in the comments.

I am spending my birthday with my husband, son and sister. I have a team run with Team In Training on Saturday morning, and then I am having a great dinner with some of my favorite people. (possibly a few drinks as well!)

What do you like to do for your birthday?

Playlist Thursday: Summer Songs

It’s that time of the week again. Time to link up with Pavement Runner. This is an awesome link up I always try to partake in because I get to see songs that I might not have otherwise heard of and I always end up adding at least one song to my running playlist. Make sure you head over to Pavement Runner to check out everyone else who contributed this week.

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Today’s theme is: Summer Songs. My hands down favorite summer song is Summertime by Kenny, but since I used it recently, I decided to use country as a them and go with my other favorite summer country songs.

SOMETHING OLD


Artist: Rascal Flatts

Title: Summer Nights

Side Note: Seems appropriate, no? This song immediately reminds of summer and especially summer tailgating. Pace: 14:48

Quotable:
Summer nights
Everybody are you with me
Let that igloo cooler
Mark your piece of paradise
Summer nights
Everybody’s feeling sexy
Holler if you’re ready
For some summer nights

SOMETHING CURRENT


Artist: Brad Paisley

Title: Beat this Summer

Side Note: Love Brad. He has so many great summer songs, and this is no different.

Quotable:
Like the Ferris wheel goes around and around
Well the trouble with up is there’s always a down
First I’m holding your hand and we’re on the boardwalk
There’s heaven right here on these streets and these dock

SOMETHING TO CONSIDER


Artist: Jake Owen

Title: Barefoot Blue Jean Night

Side Note: We saw heard him from our tailgating spot last summer when we saw Kenny. He’s a pretty great performer and this song reminds me of last summer. Pace 7:48

Quotable:
Never gonna grow up
(Whoa-oh)
Never gonna slow down
(Whoa-oh)
We were shinin’ like lighters in the dark
In the middle of a rock show
(Whoa-oh)
We were doin’ it right
(Whoa-oh)
We were comin’ alive
(Whoa-oh)
Yeah, caught up in a Southern summer, a barefoot, blue jean night

Healthy Living Blogger…Musts?

This is another post, all in good fun, not meant to offend anyone :)

I got this great idea from my girl, Cait, to write a post on all the ways I am not a traditional healthy living blogger.

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Photo via Cait

I don’t recap everything I do, sometimes I don’t even take out my camera, mostly on vacations and family time.

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I eat real dessert. A brownie made completely of black beans is not dessert. While I love me some beans, they are still beans, just in a different form.

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I don’t take pictures of every. single. workout and then post it on facebook, instagram, and twitter.

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I am a slow runner and I am okay with that.

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guess I am falling into that stereotype above, huh?

I enjoy eating bread from restaurants.

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I like to have a few many drinks with my friends and not worry about a damn thing.

stolen from Cait!

stolen from Cait!

I love to bake and cook, but I sometimes take the easy way out, pre made burgers and cut veggies from Whole Foods. Time saver!!

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I know that I fall into some healthy living blogger stereotypes as well, but that’s another post for another fun day.

What stereotypes do you break and what ones do you fall in to?

Marvelous in my Monday: Grateful Edition

I am linking up with the lovely Katie for another edition of Marvelous Monday!

I’ll be honest, this weekend had serious potential to be horrendous. It never fails that any weekend we have something big going on, another something big is happening. This weekend was no different, except the “something bigs” were on opposite sides of New England (or at least it felt that way).

Friday, Nick left work early so we could head to my home state of Vermont and see my nephew graduate high school. This event (more so than my 10 year high school reunion) made me feel old. I was 11 years old when he was born and here I was sitting at his High School graduation ceremony with my almost 2 year old on my lap. Weird.

The weather had the potential to be terrible, but it was a gorgeous day and the outdoor ceremony was beautiful, and B was on his very best behavior.

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B, Nick and I with the graduate! Congrats bud! {photo courtesy of my sister}

Saturday, bright and early, we met my dad and his girlfriend for a Father’s Day breakfast and some more personal family time. It was nice to get an hour to chat and catch up!

After breakfast we hit the road, 3 hours to Nick’s parents house, stopped for a bathroom break, and another 45 minutes to a birthday party. Nick’s cousin has twin boys and we haven’t been able to make it to any of their parties (since their first) because I was in the hospital (having B) or out celebrating my SIL’s bachelorette.

It was a lot of fun and B had a great time playing with the birthday boys and other kids. I didn’t get any pictures but it was another gorgeous day, perfect for a party!

We headed back to Nick’s parents to catch the Bruins game (a win for the B’s yes!) and then yesterday we had a surf-n-turf dinner with the family for Father’s Day.

Finally we headed back to our house and relaxed for a bit. We are so lucky that B is such a laid back kid, he barely fussed with all that car time and was so good at all the events, we are very blessed.

If you follow me on Instagram you already know the big gift I got this year. About a month ago my blender broke, and I was super bummed, I make a ton of smoothies, especially in the hot months, and we really couldn’t afford a good new one (I hate buying cheap stuff that I know will break!). Nick and I wanted a Vitamix but we thought we wouldn’t have to buy one for a few years, so this blender breaking was a shock.

My birthday is on Friday and Nick’s mom said I could open my gift early. She brought me this giant box.

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I was shocked. It’s expensive, I didn’t ask for one. But I am blessed, I know a lot of people don’t have great relationships with their in-laws, but my MIL is really a mother to me. I’m not just grateful because of this wonderful gift, but because of EVERYTHING she does for Nick and I (and B obviously). She puts everyone before herself and is one of the most selfless people I know. I hope one day I can be have the MIL she is!

Now with that said, link to your favorite Vitamix creations, I want to try em out!

Playlist Thursday: I’ve got a need for speed

It’s that time of the week again. Time to link up with Pavement Runner. This is an awesome link up I always try to partake in because I get to see songs that I might not have otherwise heard of and I always end up adding at least one song to my running playlist. Make sure you head over to Pavement Runner to check out everyone else who contributed this week.

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Today’s theme is: Speed Work. Bonus points if you get the movie reference. I am picking songs that I have on deck when I am running speed drills or songs that I turn on when I need to kick it up in a race.

SOMETHING OLD


Artist: DJ Khaled featuring Ludacris, Rick Ross, T-Pain, and Snoop Dog

Title: All I Do Is Win

Side Note: I know this isn’t quite old enough, but I keep putting it on lately, and I wanted to include it this week.

Quotable:
All I do is win, win, win no matter what
Got money on mind, I can never get enough
And every time I step up in the building
Everybody hands go up

And they stay there, and they say “yeah,” and they stay there
Up, down, up, down, up, down
‘Cause all I do is win, win, win
And if you goin’ in, put your hands in the air, make ‘em stay there

SOMETHING CURRENT


Artist: Fall Out Boy

Title: Young Volcanoes

Side Note: Their new album is amazing BTW, go out and et it now. This song isn’t a single (yet?) but there is a vide on YouTube and it is my favorite song on the album!

Quotable:

We are wild, we are like young volcanoes
We are wild, Americana, exotica
Do you wanna feel a little beautiful baby?
Yeah!

Come on make it easy, say I never mattered
Run it up the flagpole
We will teach you how to make boys next door
Out of assholes

SOMETHING TO CONSIDER


Artist: Macklemore and Ryan Lewis featuring Ray Dalton

Title: Can’t Hold Us Down

Side Note: This song has been a part of every playlist since the bombings, this song really gets at the mental part of running for me, and always brings me back to a better place.

Quotable:
We came here to live life like nobody was watching
I got my city right behind me
If I fall, they got me.
Learn from that failure gain humility and then we keep marching ourselves

Here we go back, this is the moment
Tonight is the night, we’ll fight ’til it’s over
So we put our hands up like the ceiling can’t hold us

Finding the Confidence and Inspiration

Thank you for all your comments on yesterday’s post. You know how to make a girl feel great, even when she is sick.

I have some really great news, I am going to be a mentor for Team In Training this season. I am a mentor for the Massachusetts/New England Chapter. Not only that, I am the mentor for all those who are running the Nike Women’s Marathon (Half and Full).

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{before NWM 2012}

A huge part of me is super excited about this. I can’t wait to meet and help my mentees with their fundraising, running, pretty much anything they need. I know that I had a great experience with TNT all the mentors and my coach were amazing sources of inspiration and information. I had some really low runs and some really great runs, and through all of that I had the support of my mentors and coach. However, I have talked to some friends who had a not-so-great experiences. I know how much it helped to have these people supporting me and I want to be that person for the women who I am mentoring.

There is this 10% of me that feels like I do not have 100% of the qualities it takes to be a mentor. I am not ashamed that I am a back-of-the-pack runner. I am not fast, but that doesn’t bother me, as a mentor though, I feel like I should be faster. I know that I am qualified to be a mentor, but sometimes the insecurities get the best of me.

As a mentor I am raising money for LLS, I am working on a few giveaways with some of my favorite companies and any donation gets you a virtual raffle ticket. You can donate here or click on the image on the sidebar.

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{Coming through the finishers chute, NWM 2012}

The great thing about mentoring is that the NWM 2013 race is about a month after Zooma 2013 and 2 weeks before my next half marathon, so the training lines up pretty close to my training and will help keep me accountable.

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If you want to register of Zooma Cape Cod, you still can, and get 10% of your race cost, this works for the 10K or Half, with the code CCAMB09!

Have you ever mentored for an event?

The Sickies

I had been feeling sorta out of it the past few weeks, my eating hasn’t been where I’d like, which was a culmination of things, but not an excuse. My gym routine was pretty awesome until we were away and then this Thursday I got sick. I always get caught up in the comparison trap and even when I am sick I feel like I am not doing enough. Even though I knew there was no way my body could workout I felt like poo since I wasn’t eating right. I know this is something I need to nip in the bud.

To backtrack: About a half hour before Nick came home from work on Thursday I started to get a really gross feeling in my stomach, almost like when I eat terrible food and it just sits there. Even though the last thing I ate was a turkey burger plain with a salad.

Nick came home and immediately took care of B, I ended up passing out on the couch for an hour or two and when I woke immediately ran to the bathroom, false alarm. I decided to try and eat, but the only thing that sounded remotely good was watermelon. I had a few bites and I just wasn’t feeling it so I headed to bed. I got nice and comfy and then came the sweats. Instantly I knew I was going to be sick. I ran to the bathroom, and well lets just say watermelon was a bad idea. I woke up multiple times in the night to be sick. Friday I asked Nick to stay home because I was so out of it, also I didn’t want B to get this.

Friday night/Saturday morning B woke up covered in puke. I know plenty of parents whose toddlers have already thrown up before but this was a first for us, and it was scary. He woke up, sat up and threw up and then cried for us. We stripped him down and his bed and he was running around his room, and then he sat down and threw up on the floor. We were a bit nervous so we stayed up with him and he didn’t end up falling asleep until 5 am. Long night, and I wasn’t feeling 100% still.

Luckily, both our moms were visiting this weekend so I was able to rest and Nick was able to get some house work done. We thought we were all better but last night after dinner, B got sick again :(. I am hoping its just the sickness working itself out and not allergies.

I felt like all I ate this weekend was carbs (toast, so much toast) since it was all I could keep down, but since I was feeling about 90% this morning, I got right back into my good habits. Working out and eating clean and lots of water. I felt a little off and my muscles felt a bit weak but I know that’ll work itself out.

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How do you get back on track after getting sick?