matt’s birthday celebrations

Birthday’s are fun.

Dare I say even marvelous?

When it comes to my own I basically just look at it as another day. Not because I dread getting older, I just don’t think mine is a big deal it just seems like just another day. But when it comes to celebrating others birthdays? Well I just love them!

Especially Matt’s, because let’s be real, I get to benefit from it as well!

We didn’t do a big ole celebration this year. Since last year was his 30th and we went all out with a bar crawl/scavenger hunt, we took it easy this year.

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But as fun as crazy nights are, quiet quality time nights are just as good.

The birthday boy got to choose where we went for dinner and I’d be lying if I said I was disappointed with he chose True Food as his birthday dinner choice.

It had been awhile since we had been there and we have never been disappointed with a dining experience there.

This night was no different.

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We of course started with birthday cocktails.

I ordered the cucumber-citrus margarita which is a favorite of mine.

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For dinner I wanted to try something new, but to be honest, when I know I like something I always have a debate if I should stray from it in fears of not enjoying the new dish I ordered. I usually order the brown rice teriyaki bowl, but the shiitake and  tofu lettuce cups always sounded so good. I actually gushed about my indecision to our server and she offered to order me a half order of the brown rice bowl and then add one lettuce cup on the side. What an amazing solution! I got the best of both worlds.

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I will say the lettuce cup was very good, reminded me a lot of PF Changs lettuce wraps, which I love. But I am also so glad that I also got to enjoy the brown rice bowl which I added chicken to instead of my normal tofu (I am trying to cut as much soy out of my diet as I can).

Both dishes were great and again I was so glad I got to try them both.

Matt ordered the grilled steal-head salmon which was very good as well.

We both have been obsessed with salmon lately and this salmon was cooked and seasoned amazingly.

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 After our entrees when asked if we wanted dessert we quickly said yes! I exclaimed the birthday boy has to have dessert!

Matt also insisted I order my own dessert instead of sharing his.

Who am I to say no to that?

Matt ordered the lemon tart with strawberry and coconut whipped cream.

As dessert was brought out he got another surprise!

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Seriously, how cute is that? A birthday candle and all!

For my dessert I ordered the flourless chocolate cake with vanilla ice cream.

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Oh my goodness. That cake. It was so delicious and as much as I appreciated the individual size, I did not want it to end!

Overall, it was a very nice intimate birthday and as mentioned before as fun as a crazy night would have been, I think Matt really enjoyed his relaxing dinner out.

So happy 31st birthday  my love! To many more.

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Do you prefer big birthday celebrations or small quiet ones?

not so typical

Ugh. I feel like I am so far behind.

I really want to give you an update on Matt’s birthday celebrations, but I still have yet to share my Fourth of July celebrations.

Whoa is the life of I have way too much going on.

So we will save the recap of Matt’s birthday celebrations till a later date and I will share my deliciousness that happened on our Independence Day.

As if we could ever have a standard American celebration.
We started off okay with of course enjoying a few cold ones.

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We decided to venture out this year and go downtown to watch the fireworks, but knew it would be crazy so we headed down early to avoid the traffic. Which left us time for a few brewskies and dinner.

So we of course had the typical American dinner.

Sushi.

I can’t help it, I crave it all the time.

There was only one sushi restaurant in walking distance and we had been to it once before and weren’t impressed, so we really didn’t have high expectations, but that tells you how bad I wanted sushi.

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I’m glad we decided to give it another chance, because everything we ordered this time was great.

Matt was in the go all out mood, so that is what we did.

Yellowtail sashimi and edamame to start.

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Tuna tataki and a spicy tuna roll for Matt.

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Salmon asparagus roll for me.

It may not be your typical burgers and hotdogs (however I would not have been opposed to that!) but it was delicious none the less.

After dinner we still had some time to kill before the fireworks, so we headed to a favorite Irish pub and had another drink.

- insert un-pictured Guinness (I know, again – soooo American) -

Then finally time for fireworks!

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We had quite the adventure getting home after the fireworks.  Let’s just say it took about 2 hours and walking about 3 miles before we finally got a ride home, but we made it!

So your typical Fourth of July? Nope. But would you expect any less from me?

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Did you have a typical Fourth of July?


quick catch up

Hey friends! I know. Long time no talk.

Ironically a lot has been going on, but I have just been so busy that I haven’t had time to actually sit and write a post.

So let’s do a quick catch up on what’s been going on.

First I had a very exciting weekend, which now was a week ago.

Matt’s parents came into town as they both had eye appointments and decided to stay in town over night, so we were actually able to spend more time with them.  We met them for dinner after their appointments and decided to have an early birthday celebration for Matt.

And what’s a birthday dinner without cake?

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We all split a chocolate lava cake with vanilla ice cream.

Yes this was as good as it looks.

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Yummm. Up close of the warm chocolate deliciousness.

It’s a good thing we were sharing, I could have easily demolished this whole thing myself.

The next day we took Matt’s parents to one of our favorite local breakfast joints The Breakfast Club.

I ordered a 3 egg white omelet with red bell peppers and onions with broccoli, tomatoes, fresh fruit and cottage cheese on the side.

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This was the perfect light breakfast to start the exciting day I had ahead of me.

However, I wasn’t prepared for how exciting it was going to be.

Since Matt’s mom was in town and we actually had more time, we decided to take advantage of it and go wedding dress shopping. Now, I really had no intentions of purchasing a wedding dress in the near future as our wedding is not until April 2015, but I thought it would be a nice opportunity to get an idea of what I liked and was looking for.

Let me tell you, the second dress I tried on.. I fell in love with.

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It fit perfectly, I felt beautiful and I thought it would be perfect for the outdoor ceremony we are having. I thought I found my dress.

But I wanted to try a few others on just to see my options.

Well guess what guys. The fourth dress I tried on. It truly was the one.

I went back and forth between the two just to make sure, and yup. The fourth dress won every time. I knew it was my wedding dress.

So loves. I said yes to a dress and purchased it!!

(I however can not post the real dress as I am traditional in the sense I do not want Matt to see it!)

I can not describe how excited I was! I had texted Matt almost immedietly, but when I got home all I wanted to do was go celebrate.
So that’s what we did.

With fancy drinks!

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We went to a restarant called Pig and Pickle that is known for their unique drinks and meat dishes. Now, since I don’t eat a lot of meat, eating there was never too appealing to me, but the drinks sounded good and I love that they try and source everything local when they can. To drink I ordered the Stonie Bah-Lonie which was made with Hophead vodka, fresh lime, grapefruit juice, hop-grapefruit bitters, with an IPA float.  It was interesting but probably not something I would order again.

Matt got two drinks. His first was called The Landing Strip which was made with Breckenridge bourbon & Breckendridge bitters with cinzano & black cherry. I of course stole the cherry.  As we were drinking out first drinks we saw the bartender prepare this ridiculous looking drink. In asking what it was, it was their house Bloody Mary, but goodness did they know how to garnish!

Loads of pickled veggies and the kicker was a piece of their pork belly. Matt was in heaven.

To continue the celebrations we decided to go out to dinner later that evening.

We decided on a favorite of ours Blanco Tacos and Tequila.

In ordering though I was conflicted. I haven’t talked about it much on here, but I have been doing a mini elimination diet and trying to cut gluten and dairy out of my diet as I have a suspicion I may have an intolerance to one of them.

That makes going out for Mexican a bit challenging.

I did it though.

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We still ordered guacamole, but I resisted on the chips. You better believe I ate the guacamole out of the bowl with the spoon. With no shame.

For dinner instead of my regular chicken burrito (which I missed dearly) I opted for a salmon salad. Ok. Now I will say it was hard going to a Mexican restaurant and not getting my burrito, but this salmon was amazing.  Matt also got salmon, but on top of a potato hash and we both agreed it was some of the best salmon we have had.

So basically that weekend was a really good one and buying my dress really makes the wedding a lot more real. It also made me realize I have a lot more to plan! But it really got Matt and I excited and motivated. And I have my wedding dress! ahh!

Well loves I hope you are all having a wonderful weekend! I will be back soon to fill you in on the Fourth of July fun that was had!

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If you’re married did you immediately know your wedding dress was the dress?

 

i’m alive…barely

I’m alive. I promise. But barely.

Work has been insane. Usually during the summer time we slow down, but we have been going strong so far.

Good for business, but it makes tired doctors and techs.

Thankfully I have these cuties to keep a smile on my face.

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Puppies really do make everything better.

So I think it can be assumed my eats and activities has been a bit boring lately.

Dinners have been take out and eaten on the floor.

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More Whole Foods sushi eaten on the comfort of my floor. You know it’s good when you have a kitty stalking your food.

I love how I can just run into Whole Foods, grab some tasty food and be able to enjoy it in the comfort of my home.

They were out of my usual tuna roll, but I got the salmon instead which was just as good. And extra good with the addition of my Little Soya soy sauce. I love it so much better than the little soy sauce packets they give you.

Friday was my day off, however I feel like most of my days off turn into get every single errand done days.  In between trips however I met Matt for lunch and to watch the World Cup. I’m not huge into soccer, but he is and it was a nice chance to see him.

We met at a bar close to Matt’s work that was playing the games and while we were watching we were offered a sample of their salmon and chive cream cheese crosanti’s.

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There is something about smoked salmon, cream cheese and a toasted baguette that is just always good.

And these were good.

I wish I was able to have more.

I had eaten a late breakfast, so I wasn’t all that hungry, but it was Matt’s lunch break so he ordered some food.

Let’s just say I had a little food envy.

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He ordered a steak sandwich with caramelized onions and fries.

Don’t worry, I quality controlled those fries. They were up to par.

As we were just about to leave we were treated with another freebie.

Cake pops!

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Who doesn’t love free cake pops?

Crazy people.

And I’m not crazy.

However, I do think that cake pop set off my sweet tooth.  Because after dinner I was craving more sweet.

Thankfully I have an amazing fiance who caters for my sweet tooth and took me out for some gelato!

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Chocolate Banana for me!

I just love all things ice cream.

Well loves I’m off to melt into my couch and wish I never had to get up.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

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Are you watching the World Cup?

 

 

no one is perfect

I want to acknowledge something, that even though may be obvious, still needs to be said.

I always try to keep things light on my blog, I love to focus on the positive, the marvelous moments, and happy times.

Truth is. My life is not perfect.

I feel like blogs sometimes always portray life as being all rainbows and butterflies, but we all have our struggles, frustrations and challenges in our lives.  Again, I’m sure this is all common knowledge, but for this Marvelous In My Monday, I really did want to focus on the positives of my weekend, because there were a few rough spots.

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Even though I love Matt with all my heart and I know he feels the same, we still have issues and tiffs here and there. But rarely do we ever really fight. However, we had a very rough weekend, and I can’t even say why, we just were not communicating and were not on the same page like we normally are.  However, one thing I love about us, is we try to figure things out, communicate and solve the issue at hand. We will never give up on each other and that is how I know it is real, true love.

I even got him flowers to show him how much I love him.

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We had a busy day planned that I don’t think helped our situation. A pool party at a friends house and dinner plans that almost didn’t happen, but I am so glad they did.

I think we both really wanted to be stubborn and just go home (the biggest part of the fight happened while driving to dinner), but I kind of knew if we stuck to our plans of going out to eat, it would almost force us to be civil, talk about things and hopefully solve a few issues.

It did.

And on top of that we had an amazing delicious meal.

We ended up going to a new to us restaurant called Tottie’s Asian Fusion.

It has a mix of Thai, Chinese and Vietnamese foods on the menu.

To start we shared a Dragon Roll.

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I really loved that the menu offered such a wide variety of items. We all know I love my sushi and it sounded really good,  however I really wanted to take advantage of the Thai dishes. So I am glad I was able to do both.

For dinner Matt got the Tangerine Beef.

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I of course had to sample his dish and it was amazing. The sauce had a really nice fresh tangerine/orange flavor to it.

For my entree I chose the Ginger Thai Grilled Salmon with steamed vegetables.

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I was surprised to see the dish come out with this thick purple sauce (I swear there is salmon under there), but I was pleasantly surprised at the taste. It was delicious. The salmon was cooked perfectly and the sauce was so flavorful. I ended up covering the veggies in it as well.

 I am happy to report that the mood got much better between Matt and I. We talked a lot of things out, and even got classy dessert after dinner. In the form of McDonald’s hot fudge sundaes. Don’t judge. I really wanted a hot fudge sundae and it was the closest place that had them. Fun fact, I didn’t even know McDonald’s had hot fudge sundaes until Matt said something and I cut across 3 lanes of traffic to pull in.

So loves, I guess my main point of this is remember we are all human, we are not perfect and life is not always rainbows and butterflies, but there really is always a positive and that is what we need to focus on.

Until next time. Stay Marvelous.

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weekend regulars

Weekends are just too short, are they not?

Since I work Saturday’s, I really feel like I can never get anything done on my weekends. Because I am not going to lie, I am selfish and really just want to be lazy because I have such little time to actually be lazy. If that even makes sense.

However, by mid-day I am always itching to do something, it’s just not cleaning the house or being productive like I should be.

So instead non-productive things are done.

Like dinner and drinks at Whole Foods.

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I am obsessed with Whole Foods roasted brussel sprouts.

Like, it may be a problem…

A problem I’m ok with having.

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I also really like beer. We have visited our Whole Foods bar so often, we are now “regulars”. So much that I added one of our favorite servers on Instagram. Because I was a creeper and made sure she was in my beer shot photos.

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I will say I was a bit productive on Sunday.  While Matt was still sleeping away I took the opportunity to experiment a bit in the kitchen with a new product I had received.

Have you guy’s heard of banana flour? Yea, I didn’t even know it existed. And with my obsession with banana’s, in finding out about this glorious product, I just had to try it.

Guys, be sure to check back because I made an ah-mazing pancake recipe with it.

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And even though I am the queen of adding protein powder to everything, these are protein powder free!

But speaking of that… I did however make a pretty good chocolate pumpkin pancake with protein powder.

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I will be sharing both recipes very soon. So whatever your preference is, I have an option for both.

The textures of these are total opposites, but both tasted great in their own ways.

More random weekend happenings?

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Surprise! More beer!

Matt’s dodgeball league had their team draft, so of course I had to go and support him.

My beer may or may not have been overflowing.

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Surprise! More sushi!

We met a friend out for dinner and we almost always get sushi.

I’m not complaining.

Seriously, never get tired of this stuff.

Well loves, it’s late and I’m tired so I leave you with sushi porn and pancake teasers.

I hope everyone has a wonderful week.

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Do you take time to relax on the weekends?

Are you a regular anywhere?

 

sometimes i complain

Hello luvs.

I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend and I hope you all got the extra day off.

I thoroughly enjoyed being able to sleep in (and by sleep in I mean an extra hour if that, the kitties don’t allow sleeping in, in this house) and enjoy an extra day to clean the house lay on the couch. I’m usually so worn out from my week that I take Sunday’s to relax and really not do much. I of course have some errands to run, but for the most part, I don’t get much accomplished. And I’m totally ok with that.

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Sunday however since I knew I had Monday off Matt and I decided to venture out a bit into the world.

There was a new brewery that he has really been wanting to go to, so after lunch we decided to head up there for a beer.

The brewery was called Arizona Wilderness Brewing Co. and they basically had a state park theme to it.

Hence the flight in a log.

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We intentionally went after lunch to avoid the temptations of getting food.

Well. That didn’t really work.

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I guess it was just a side of fries. And it was totally worth it, because not only were they fresh cut fries, but they also had a sriracha ketchup and habanero honey mustard. Ah-mazing.

We ended up getting a growler of the IPA, because I just love IPA’s.

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On Monday I again just wanted to be lazy. But alas, I ran a few errands, cleaned a bit, and tried to be a little bit productive.  Matt and I have a tradition for Memorial day. Fox Restaurant Concepts always sends out coupons for smaller holidays like Memorial Day, Fourth of July, and Labor Day and Matt and I always make point to go. He wanted to branch out and try a new to us restaurant that we haven’t been to yet, Culinary Dropout.

Things started out seemingly good. They had Rogue beer, pretzel and cheese fondue…and even though our waitress was a little spacey, things seemed fine.

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 But the waitress got even more spacey, not taking our order, forgetting our beers, and then our entrees came out literally five minutes after our appetizer. I don’t like to complain, but I asked for the manager.

And I will say the manager saved the day. She not only comped our appetizer and a round of drinks, but also gave us a free dessert.

And then right when we were leaving she also gave us a coupon for a free appetizer for our next visit. We actually ended up not using the coupon we had initially brought since so much had been comped off our bill, we just didn’t feel right about it.

So even though not the best first experience, it wasn’t completely horrible. The food was great (I got the Seared Tuna Salad, Matt got the Rainbow Trout) and the dessert we took to-go… Bourbon Black Bottom Pie (oh my)  was a chocolate ganache made with bourbon, graham crackers, and whipped cream was pretty much the best thing ever. So I suppose things could have been worse right?

So now it’s back to the grind, I know getting up tomorrow morning will be rough, but such is life right?

Have a great week loves.

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What’s your breaking point in bad service before you complain?

all things mini

Happy Wednesday my loves!

And by happy Wednesday I really mean is it Friday yet? That’s basically how I feel every Wednesday.

But since it’s only Wednesday I guess it’s only right to share some eats I’ve been enjoying lately for What I Ate Wednesday. It’s been awhile since I’ve participated as we all know how unmotivated and unproductive I have been lately. And the fact that 1/2 of my meals have been eaten out, there really hasn’t been much to share.

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As I was looking through pictures for my past eats I kind of noticed a funny trend. I actually usually have the problem of not knowing what I have a taste for because I usually have a taste for everything. Something sweet, savory, salty, spicy… you name it. Sometimes I’ll go as far as to put it all on one plate.

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Peanut butter chicken, coconut cinnamon roasted kabocha topped with a maple whipped cottage cheese, and brussel sprouts with mustard. Really, those three things should not be on the same plate.

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Raw carrots, oven roasted broccoli and cauliflower (with ketchup for dipping) and an english muffin with chocolate coconut butter on one half and chocolate peanut butter and blueberry jam on the other… again another pretty questionable combination. But such is the life of one indecisive eater.

With all that being said, I have found a lot of my meals tend to be a bunch of mini portions. Whenever I find recipes I am always looking for ways to scale it down. My past eats have been no different.

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It started with my wanting to switch up my breakfast and finding a fun recipe for apple protein mini cakes.

I topped mine with my favorite protein frosting ever using Growing Naturals vanilla pea protein.

Dinners have been very mini as well.

We had some left over grass fed beef so I made good use of it. Mini style.

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A mini burger with home made fries.

(don’t worry way more fries were consumed then what is pictured)

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With a mini pita pizza.

Made with Trader Joes whole wheat mini pita’s, Trader Joes organic pizza sauce, nutritional yeast and left over grass fed hamburger crumbles.

And then on the side…

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 BBQ parsnip chips topped with guacamole.

I’m pretty much convinced that guacamole makes everything better.

So maybe not a complete dinner theme, but it works in satisfying all my cravings…all at once.

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Do you mix and match your cravings during meals?

What’s the oddest combination you’ve had at a meal?