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Aug 182017
 

At 3:06 a.m. on Wednesday, August 16, my adorable nephew Michael Leon was born!

Side note: Look at all that hair!!

He weighed a whopping 9.6 pounds, which is crazy considering Fabio’s sister Diane is so tiny.

Mom, dad, and baby are all doing well, and I’m hoping I’ll get to meet this little cutie over the weekend!

Congratulations, Diane and Alex!

(Some photos “with Michael” from the wedding :). )

I’m going to keep the rest of this week’s highlights short since I spent my Thursday night at Sibarita eating delicious Bolivian food with Fabio’s cousin Ligia and her boyfriend Sean instead of taking time to really sit down and blog.

It was a fun night with a much-needed margarita after a tough week at work. Cheers!

Some other quick highlights from the week: We had an amazing salad for dinner on Monday night complete with grilled nectarines, sweet corn, goat cheese, chicken sausage, mixed greens, and arugula.

I am loving summer produce right now!

We also had some chicken burgers with a side salad, which also came out delicious. Yum!

And after visiting Aunt CC and Uncle Steve in Otis last weekend, I enjoyed some of the homemade lemon biscotti they sent me home with in my coffee! It wasn’t an every day treat this week, but it was an almost every day one. 🙂

And I will leave you with this fun sign that I saw in the entrance of Next Phase Studio where I completed a fun bootcamp workout this week:

“Can we be your happy place?” Why yes, yes you can! 🙂

The end. Happy Friday!

Question of the day: For those of you with nieces and nephews, tell me how old they are!

 Posted by on August 18, 2017
Aug 102017
 

Hey friends! I’m dropping by today with six random things that are on my mind. 🙂

1. We are heading out of town again this weekend, this time for another fun weekend getaway up at Aunt CC and Uncle Steve’s place in Otis, MA. It’s a long, 6.5 hour drive, but it’s always so fun once we get up there. We have a couple of friends joining us this time, so I wanted to bring a couple of treats up with us so CC and Steve don’t spend the whole weekend slaving away over food. I wound up making this Mediterranean Farro Salad and this Lemon Blueberry Bread. The lemon blueberry bread in particular looks amazing, and I can’t wait to dig into it! Woohooo!! Otis weekends are the best.

2. Our wedding pictures are ready!!!!! Eeek!! I got the email from our photographer in the middle of the work day, and it was all I could do not to tear through them right away. Luckily I waited until I got home so Fabio and I could enjoy going through them together. They came out so beautifully and now I’m trying to figure out what to do with them all! I’m thinking I’ll wait until Shutterfly or one of those sites has a sale, and then I’ll make some albums for family and order a few prints. Any recommendations? Here’s one sneak peek for you guys…

3. And now that our wedding pictures are ready, I can get working on the wedding blog recaps! I still have one last honeymoon post to write, and then I’ll dive into all things wedding. It was such a fun, magical weekend, and I want to make sure I capture it all perfectly! It’s going to take some time, but I can’t wait to share it with you all.

4. Speaking of blog posts, I’m finding it harder and harder to find the time to sit down and write here on CET. Work and life have both been really busy, and I’ve always wanted writing in this space to be something I look forward to doing, or get to do, and I don’t ever want it to feel like an obligation. Some days I think, “Oh man, I have to get a blog post up today,” and then I think, “Wait, I don’t have to do anything.” I’m not planning on changing my posting schedule drastically or anything like that, but I wanted to let you guys know how I was feeling and just give you a heads up that some days there might be a post, and some days there might not. That’s just sort of how life is working out for me right now.

5. We didn’t make it to the grocery store last weekend, so our dinners have sort of been all over the place. We used up a lot of random produce we had in the fridge from last week, and I’ve made a bunch of weird thrown-together meals that actually came out pretty tasty. Last night, for example, I made us a pasta dish with leftover roasted carrots, corn salad, and Peruvian chicken, and somehow it all tasted great together once I mixed up a random dressing to tie it all together. Hey, whatever works!

6. Workouts have been pretty good so far this week, with a short run on Monday, a spin class at FlyWheel on Tuesday, a sculpt class at CorePower yoga on Wednesday, and a bootcamp class at Urban Athletic Club planned for tomorrow (it’s Wednesday as I write this). Plus I’m sure I’ll probably get in some fun activities this weekend in Otis as well!

Aaaaand there you have it – six random thoughts in my head this morning. I hope you all have a wonderful Thursday!

Question of the day: What’s your dinner go-to when you haven’t been to the grocery store?

 Posted by on August 10, 2017
Aug 042017
 

Hello there! Happy Friday! Did you have a good week? Mine was a busy one and included lots of good workouts and good food! Let’s take a look.

Workouts

On Monday, I took Jack for a very short run (only about a mile). I wound up getting home from Fire Island pretty late and thought sleeping in sounded better than setting an early alarm. I still wanted to get some movement though, so a one-mile run did the trick.

On Tuesday, I joined my favorite workout buddy Anne for a class at Next Phase Studio via ClassPass (<– affiliate link for $40 off!). We wound up being the only two people in the class, so we got a custom workout. Sweet! Our class incorporated a ton of moves on the TRX – I always forget how many things you can do on there – and then we went through two interval circuits and a cooldown/stretch.

It was a good one, and my upper body was pretty sore afterward.

On Wednesday, I went for another one-mile run with Jack and then dropped him off at home before running over to the track at Washington Lee High School. I ran a couple of laps on the track – sprinting the straights and running the curves – and then ran the bleachers. I ran up and down the stairs on both sets of bleachers and then ran home.

This was a great workout because it was free, got me outside in the sunshine, and didn’t take too long!

While running up and down the bleachers was certainly tough, I actually felt way more winded after the sprints on the track. I really pushed myself, and I was definitely feeling it after.

On Thursday, I joined Anne and our other friend Kathleen for a workout at Urban Athletic Club! This week we tried out the Glover Park location to switch things up (and we liked the instructor who was teaching there better than the one at the Georgetown location that day).

The focus of the class was on strength, and we completed a bunch of intervals where we didn’t worry about speed and instead tried to push ourselves with heavier weights. It was a good one!

Tomorrow (it’s Thursday as I type this), I’m not sure what exactly my workout plan is. I’ve looked up a couple of classes but haven’t signed up for any yet, which likely means I will set my alarm early, hit snooze, and then wind up going on a run with Jack instead. Ha! Whatever it is, I’m definitely planning on getting some movement into my morning.

Eats

Fabio and I enjoyed lots of tasty dinners this week thanks to a Sun Basket subscription! Since I knew I would be getting home from the beach late on Sunday, I signed up for Sun Basket in advance and was so happy to get a delivery of ingredients on my door step on Monday afternoon.

If you’ve never tried Sun Basket, it’s the same concept as Blue Apron or Hello Fresh, but with slightly healthier recipes. You can choose from options like paleo, gluten free, vegetarian, or lean and clean, which is the option we chose.

Here are the tasty meals we had this week!

Asian noodle salad with jammy eggs: This one was delicious and had so many fresh veggies! Fabio doused his in sriracha which made it extra tasty. (I wanted to be able to taste the fresh veggies and the dressing, so I skipped the sriracha but had a bite of his which was definitely yummy.)

Spiced lamb patties with warm carrot salad: This dish! Ah! It was so flavorful and delicious, and I can’t wait to recreate it on my own. It was also really comforting with the warm veggies and toasted almonds in the salad. Yummmm. This one might have been my favorite of the three.

Chicken salad lettuce cups: This was another really tasty dish with chicken, green beans, new potatoes, and scallions. The dressing was a really yummy mustard, lemon, tarragon situation, which I loved. Actually, maybe this one was my favorite? Ha.

So good! Overall I really liked Sun Basket and would definitely order it again.

Oh and one last thing I have to mention: I want to give a big thank you to Giant for sending me a box of their new limited edition salted caramel products! I’m so excited to try the salted caramel pancake mix, and I’ve already put quite a big dent in this bag of salted caramel chocolates. #sorrynotsorry

Keep an eye out for these products at your local Giant!

Alright friends, that’s all for today. I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Question of the day: How often do you order meal services like Blue Apron or Sun Basket?

We probably get it just a few times a year!

 Posted by on August 4, 2017
Jul 142017
 

Hey friends! How was your week? I hope it went by quickly for you!

My workouts this week were just kind of meh – I took a bootcamp class, a spin class, and went for a couple of runs with Jack – but it was nothing too exciting and I didn’t feel super energized about them this week so I didn’t feel like dedicating a whole post to recapping them today.

Instead, I thought maybe we could casually catch up over a virtual coffee date! It’s been a while since I just blogged about whatever random thought crossed my mind, and I’ve missed chatting with you all!

1. Although it’s been super hot this week, I’ve still been drinking hot coffee instead of iced. Although I love iced coffee, I don’t love freezing in my office’s air conditioning and drinking iced coffee makes me ten times colder. Every day this week the temperatures have been around 90 degrees or more with humidity, but I’m always SO cold in my office! The other day I put two sweaters on and then put a blanket scarf over my legs. Ugh!! Anyone else freezing to death during the day?

2. I’ve been drinking a bit more wine that I usually do in the evenings, and although a daily glass of wine is not a good habit to slip into, it’s just so refreshing on a hot summer night, especially when we are sitting outside grilling! I don’t think I had a glass every night this week, but it was probably three or four nights. Oh well. Cheers to summer!

3. When meal planning this week, I relied heavily on the recipes I found in Giant’s Savory Magazine, and they were all awesome! I know I’ve mentioned this magazine on the blog a time ro two before, but it really is so great that it’s worth another mention. Giant, our local grocery store chain (I think Stop N Shop is the same company), issues its Savory magazine every month or two, and each issue is filled with seasonal, mostly healthy recipe ideas, and tons of coupons.

So for example, there will be a recipe for something like tacos, and then usually it will include a coupon for the tortillas. Amazing! The magazine is free with a Giant card, but I usually just grab one from the stand on my way out the door and don’t have to show my card or enter my phone number.

Here’s a peek at some of the meals we cooked up from the magazine this week…

Grilled chicken thighs with watermelon salsa (Fabio also grilled us some zucchini wedges on the side)

Seared tuna with cabbage fried rice

Turkey and feta burgers with peach salsa (we had this with grilled corn on the side)

Pssst – I spy Jack’s nose!

All of the recipes were really tasty, and I especially enjoyed the cucumber sauce on the turkey burgers and the spice rub for the chicken thighs. Yum! I can’t wait to see what recipes come in next month’s issue of the magazine. 🙂

4. Now that the wedding is over, I’m feeling like there’s a slight void in my life since I am no longer spending so much time on wedding planning. I’m thinking about trying to earn some money through a new venture – either something like getting a fitness certification and teaching classes or (more likely) doing some freelance writing and editing in my spare time since that’s mostly what I do at work. I’m looking into sites like Fiverr for this, but would love to hear some recommendations from anyone else who dabbles in freelance work!

I also think it would be cool to be a freelance writer for a magazine, but I’m not sure how I would get started with that. Or maybe one day I’ll look into writing a book? That one seems far-fetched for now, but it’s something that’s crossed my mind. (What it would be about, however, I have no idea.)

5. I have a couple of fun weekend trips on the agenda, starting with some time spent at my grandparents’ house on the bay, then a trip to Fire Island with my girlfriends, and then later this summer another weekend trip to Otis with a couple of friends. I’m getting so excited for all of that, and am really trying to soak up these summer days while they last.

Alright friends, that’s all I have for you today. I hope your day passes quickly so you can jump into your weekend! Woohoo!

Question of the day: What’s the best weeknight meal you’ve cooked lately?

 Posted by on July 14, 2017
Jun 072017
 

Hi friends! Sorry for not getting to the weekend recap until now – things have been understandably pretty busy for me this week! At any rate, it was a beautiful couple of days filled with Fabio’s sister, Diane’s, baby shower, and lots of wedding-related crafting with family by the pool at my mom’s house.

The glowing mom to-be!

I haven’t had much time to blog because Fabio’s two cousins and his mom have been staying with us (in our small, two-bedroom house…thank goodness we have two bathrooms!) since Sunday night. It’s been really nice having them, but it does make it a bit difficult to get other stuff done like blogging and last-minute wedding planning!

Luckily we are mostly finished with our wedding stuff, which means I’m able to relax (sorta….) and just enjoy this time!

Today is my last day in the office, and then tomorrow we head out for the venue. Eek! I can’t wait! I probably won’t be able to check back in again until after we get back from our honeymoon on June 26. I’ll see you guys on the other side!

🙂

Question of the day: What do you love most about weddings?

 Posted by on June 7, 2017
May 172017
 

Hi friends! How is your week going? Mine is another busy one, and I don’t see things slowing down until after the wedding. Oh well, I’m just trying to enjoy this “fun” time while it lasts!

I have a bunch of random thoughts floating around in my head today, so I thought I’d share them with you now, as well as talk about some of the food I’ve been eating lately (in sort of a WIAW style). Ready? Here we go!

Breakfasts during the week have been one of two things: cottage cheese with fruit…

…or some type of protein bar. Lately, I’ve really been enjoying RXBars and Think Thin bars. They’re easy to grab on the go and taste good too!

Lunches have mostly been salads made with Dole salad kits! I know I talked about these a little while ago, but what I’ve been doing is buying a Dole salad kit (I like the Asian sesame or the poppyseed ones) and then, since each kit has three servings, I’ve been dividing up the dressing, toppings, and veggies into thirds. I put the salad dressing into little tupperware containers and the crunchy toppings into little Ziploc baggies, which makes everything easy to grab when I’m making my lunch. This salad below (which was huge!) had mixed greens, veggies and toppings from the Dole salad kit, feta cheese, and two hardboiled eggs. It was delicious!

When I’m not packing a salad I’ll usually have leftovers from dinner or a salad from SweetGreen, my favorite!

Speaking of dinners, we’re still using our grill a ton!

We’re using it for everything from burgers to chicken to veggies, and it has been so wonderful. Especially with all the wedding planning that’s been happening in the evenings, it’s been nice to have a quick and easy (and delicious!) way to get dinner on the plate.

While we’re talking about food, I wanted to quickly tell you guys about the snack box I received from SnackNation, a website that allows you to order a box of snacks based on a specific food profile.

So, for example, if I wanted snacks that are high protein and low carb, I could use the search filter and order a box of snacks that fit those exact needs! The company was kind enough to send me a box, and I can’t wait to dig into all the goodies.

Thank you, SnackNation! You can also get your own snack box for 20% off with the code SNACKBOX20 at checkout. Enjoy!

And since we’re talking about random deliveries I’ve received lately, check out this awesome map art of Washington, D.C. I got from the kind people at Modern Map Art!

This beautiful map includes areas of Virginia, D.C., and Maryland, and Fabio and I had fun pointing out all of the places where we’ve lived.

I can’t wait to get this one framed! I definitely recommend Modern Map Art for anyone who’s looking for a custom piece of art to represent your city. They have a ton of other cities too! Thank you, Modern Map Art!

Ok, and now, what I’m sure you’ve all been waiting for – the best trick you could ever teach your dog. 😉 I know I’ve mentioned this on the blog before, but we have an issue in our house with spider crickets. There’s not a lot of them, but every once in a while I will stumble upon one and it totally catches me off guard/grosses me out.

Then a while back, Fabio trained Jack to kill spider crickets, and it has pretty much solved our problem! Yes, some mornings I will come downstairs and see something on the carpet, only to realize it’s a dead one (I guess we need to train him to put them somewhere after he kills them?) but I’d much rather have that than a live one.

Earlier this week I turned on the light in the kitchen to do some dishes, and a spider cricket/spider/some kind of bug crawled quickly across the counter and jumped onto the floor. I screamed (naturally), and Jack came running into the kitchen to see what was wrong. He instantly saw the bug on the floor, killed it for me, and then waited for his treat. YES! This dog is the best. Haha!

Question of the day: If you have a pet, what’s their coolest trick? If you don’t, what would you want to train a pet to do?

 Posted by on May 17, 2017
May 042017
 

Yesterday was the American Diabetes Association’s annual Get Fit Don’t Sit Day, which is an opportunity to encourage Americans to get up and move throughout the day. This year I was actually in charge of planning Get Fit Don’t Sit Day at my office (!!), which means I got to coordinate lots of fun fitness activities for our staff to participate in for free. 🙂

Before I get into a recap of all of that though, let me tell you a little more about the day itself. In addition to getting the recommended amount of structured exercise (30 mins per day, 5 days per week), the American Diabetes Association recommends incorporating light physical activity (like shaking out your legs, stretching your arms, standing up, etc.) every 30 minutes during the day to break up time spent sitting. New research is coming out every day showing how bad sitting is for your health (some say sitting is the new smoking), and this day is our opportunity to encourage people to get moving.

To help spread the word about the day, we developed a downloadable e-toolkit for companies and organizations to use to encourage their employees and members to be more active, complete with activation ideas, customizable posters, animated GIFs, and more. We had a lot of toolkit downloads (though numbers are still rolling in) so overall the day was a success!

And of course, if we’re going to encourage other companies to make healthy options readily available to their employees, we had to do the same! This is where most of my planning came in, which was so much fun. I basically got to set up a day full of free fitness activities for staff, and it turned out great!

First, we were allowed to wear athletic clothing to work.

We usually have to wear business casual, so it was fun walking around in leggings and sneakers all day!

Then at 11:00 a.m., we had our first event of the day: a class taught by an instructor from the Pentagon City location of Pure Barre! We didn’t have any budget for these activities, but through a friend of a coworker, we were able to have the instructor come in for free. Thank you, Pure Barre Pentagon City!

The class took place in one of our conference rooms, which meant that the days leading up to Get Fit Don’t Sit Day I had to test out the sound system, move all the conference tables and chairs out of the way, and figure out all sorts of logistical issues like waivers and insurance policies. Yuck. At least it was a good learning experience for me!

The class itself lasted 45 minutes and took us through a pretty standard Pure Barre routine. It was really hard, and my muscles were definitely burning throughout the class. We even had a few guys take the class with us (two of whom didn’t have gym clothes so they did it in their work outfits – lol) and they were shocked by how hard it was. Barre is not easy!

After barre was over (and after putting all the tables and chairs back into place – oof!) it was time for a staff wellness walk! A big group of us headed outside to walk the streets of Crystal City and explore a couple of nearby parks. It was a beautiful day for a walk!

We wound up walking up to Long Bridge park–which has a really nice view of the Washington Monument– before turning around.

Walking crew!

We wound up covering about two miles, which was so nice during the workday!

Last but not least, we had a free bootcamp class at the Crystal Park Sport & Health for staff! This gym is actually located in our building, so they were willing to partner with us to teach a free class. Thank you, Sport & Health!

Since I coordinated all the events I had to participate in them too, which meant it was a very busy day fitness-wise! Truthfully I was a bit tired at this point, but I powered through. 🙂

The bootcamp lasted 45 minutes and took us through a series of cardio and strength-based exercises.

It was a good one!

By the time I was done with all of that, it was around 3:15 p.m. and I was finally able to sit down at my desk and get some work done. Phew – Get Fit Don’t Sit Day is exhausting! But, I know how lucky I am to have a job that I truly love that also values my health and allows me to be involved with such fun projects that are also so important to me. Thank you, American Diabetes Association!

Question of the day: How often do you get up and move during the day?

 Posted by on May 4, 2017
Apr 262017
 

Hi friends! It’s been ages since I’ve posted  What I Ate Wednesday post – essentially a post where I talk about all the things I ate in a day – and I recently decided I miss posting about the random food I’m eating. So today I’m bringing it back! Here’s a look at everything I ate (and my workout) from Tuesday.

My morning started bright and early (dark and early? It was rainy and gross out) with a 7:00 a.m. class at FlyWheel in Dupont. Fabio joined me, which is always a welcome treat. We had a new-to-us instructor named Laura, and we both agreed we loved her music! It was a great class, as usual. Here’s a post-class, sweaty, car selfie for ya. 🙂

Here’s a post-class, sweaty, car selfie for ya. 🙂

When I made it into work around 9:00 a.m., I dug into breakfast! This consisted of fat-free cottage cheese, strawberries, and blueberries. I’ve been loving this breakfast lately! Question: where do you all land on the fat-free vs. full-fat debate? I go back and forth.

For lunch, I had a salad – which I’m sure surprises no one since I eat one almost every day. Lately though, I’ve been buying the Dole chopped salad kits (I especially like the sunflower seed one and the sesame Asian one) and mixing them in with my regular mixed greens throughout the week. It makes my salads a little more interesting! I’ve also been eating my salads with hardboiled eggs for protein lately instead of chicken. Yum!

At around 4:00 p.m., it was time for a snack: a Chobani flip with banana yogurt, slivered almonds, and chocolate chips. I’ve been eating a ton of yogurt lately (trying to get more protein in my diet), but this was my first time in a while buying the flips. This flavor was pretty good, but not as amazing as some of the peanut butter varieties I’ve tried. Those things are like candy!

Ever since Fabio and I made room for our small grill in our front yard, we’ve been grilling everything. For dinner, we enjoyed grilled flank steak and asparagus plus roasted sweet potatoes with a spicy curry rub.

This meal was a little savory, a little spicy, and a little sweet. Delicious!

Right before sitting down to write this post, I treated myself to a bowl of the low sugar ice cream I mentioned the other day, which again is just meh. I’m obviously still going to eat it though. I mean, there are cookie dough chunks in there! 😉

And that’s a wrap for my Tuesday! Overall, it was quite a delicious day of eating!

Question of the day: How often do you eat dessert?

I always want something sweet after dinner, but lately I have been pretty good about resisting temptation and only eating a dessert when it’s more of a special occasion. Not today though!

 Posted by on April 26, 2017
Apr 192017
 

On Saturday morning, Fabio and I drove over to his sister Diane’s house for her baby gender reveal party! We were told to wear pink or blue based on our guess, and since Fabio and I knew that most of the family was rooting for a boy, we decided to represent team pink. We even brought some pink champagne!

We arrived around 11:00 a.m. and immediately got to work getting ready for the party. While Diane and her husband Alex finished getting ready for the day, Fabio and I joined his dad and other sister, Karen, at the grocery store to get some last minute party decorations.

It was a packed car with the four of us and all the balloons and flowers, but luckily it was a short ride!

When we got back to Diane and Alex’s house, we saw that Alex’s sister Michelle had set up the rest of the party decorations. We were ready to go!

How cute are these mini strollers and baby rattles? Michelle did such a great job with everything!

Team girl!!

Before we got started on the baby gender festivities, we set up a quick Easter egg hunt for Fabio’s niece, Sofia. The Easter bunny (aka, Fabio) hid eggs all around the yard!

Then we unleashed Sofia on the backyard! She was able to find all the eggs fairly quickly, though she needed hints for some of the tougher ones. 😉

Then we switched roles and Sofia hid all the eggs for the adults to find! Diane, Alex, Karen, Karen’s husband Martin, Fabio, and I all ran around the yard like crazy looking for eggs.

So fun!!

Sofia is a good hider. 😉

After the Easter egg hunt, Alex’s parents arrived and it was time to eat! We had a delicious spread of Greek salad, cheese bread, pita, dips, spanakopita, mixed veggies, chicken kabobs, pesto pasta salad, and pirozhkis (Russian pastries filled with ground beef). I wound up trying a bit of everything, and it was all delicious!

We all finished eating quickly because that meant it was time to find out the gender of Diane and Alex’s baby!

Their doctor actually found out the sex of the baby a week before, but Diane and Alex didn’t want to know the results yet so they had their doctor put the results in a sealed envelope, which they gave to a bakery. That way we were all surprised when they cut into the cake! Ready??

It’s a boy!!

Yayyy!!! Everyone was so excited, especially since most of the family was hoping for a boy. 🙂

Congrats, Diane and Alex!

Sadly, team pink was wrong. Boo! Haha!

But of course, we are just so happy for Diane and Alex and wish them a healthy pregnancy and delivery!

The rest of the afternoon was spent in the sunshine! We sat around drinking wine (well, not Diane), dancing with Sofia, and playing games in the yard.

This face!! LOL.

So fun!

Once the sun went down, we headed inside for cheese and fruit. How cute is this little plate Diane assembled?

The boys watched the Capital’s hockey game downstairs, while the girls felt the baby kicking!

This was my first time every feeling a baby move inside the womb and it was incredible! A little strange – like there was a little alien in there – but so wonderfully amazing. 🙂

Sunday

On Sunday morning we were up bright and early to meet my family for church! Fabio’s dad and Diane joined us, so it was nice to have our two families together!

Then we headed to my mom’s house for an amazing Easter feast. My mom really outdid herself with the spread!

My only contribution was this little bunny that garnished the plate of smoked turkey. It’s made with half a canned pear, a maraschino cherry, two raisins, two slivered almonds, and cottage cheese. It’s one of our favorite Easter traditions!

We stayed at my mom’s house for a few hours before eventually returning home in the late afternoon. It was a busy weekend for sure!

Question of the day: Have you ever been to a baby gender reveal party? How did the mom/dad-to-be make the announcement?

 Posted by on April 19, 2017
Apr 172017
 

Well we had quite the busy weekend – so much so that I’m going to break my recap up into two posts! I will start with our Friday, which was Good Friday, when we went out to dinner at Bad Saint. I thought it was kind of a funny play on words, right?

On Friday, our good friends Jess and Erick were in town from the Netherlands! They only come back to the states a few times a year (the next time will be for our wedding!) so we always try to get together with them when they’re in town.

When Jess asked if I had a place in mind for dinner and I said I didn’t, she and Erick suggested we try out Bad Saint. For those who don’t know about Bad Saint, it’s a new(ish) Filipino restaurant in Columbia Heights that was ranked the #2 restaurant in the country for 2016 by Bon Appetit. I really wanted to check out Bad Saint for my birthday back in September, but they don’t take reservations and as soon as Bon Appetit announced that it was the #2 restaurant, lines began wrapping around the block to get in.

Since Jess and Erick didn’t have too many plans for the day, they offered to wait in line for a table while Fabio and I were still at work. Erick wound up getting in line around 3 p.m., and, after sight-seeing with her mom for a bit, Jess joined him around 4:30. The two of them waited in line until about 6:00 (!!) when they finally got our names on the list for a 7:30 p.m. seating. Phew! They are seriously the best for doing this!

Fabio and I arrived just after our names got added to the list (meaning we avoided any line-waiting!), and we all headed to the nearby Wonderland Ballroom for a pre-dinner drink.

Psst – remember the last time I was at Wonderland Ballroom back in 2012??

Anyway, the weather was beautiful and we enjoyed a couple of beers al fresco while we (impatiently) waited for a text from Bad Saint saying our table was ready. Finally we got the much-awaited and text and walked over!

Bad Saint is a tiny little restaurant, which is part of the reason the lines are always so long. And there are only two four-top tables, so we got really lucky to snag one. There were lots of people in line behind Erick who weren’t able to get a seating!

The menu was pretty complicated – none of us knew too much about Filipino food – so we asked our waitress for recommendations. Of course she said everything was good, but she highly recommended the prawns.

We wound up getting a bunch of items to share (including the prawns), and then waited for our food. During this time we noticed that an amazing playlist was bumping through the restaurant – lots of throwbacks from the 90s and early 2000s!

In addition to food, we also had to think about what drinks to get! The menu had four specialty cocktails listed, and since there were four of us we got one of each. We passed them around the table and while I thought all of them were delicious, I settled on a fruity, tropical tasting one (I think it was the Diki-Diki?).

Before long, our food started arriving! We started with some octopus salad that was very light and citrusy, almost like ceviche but with potatoes in it…

…and then we had a delicious cauliflower curry with eggplant and acorn squash. This was one of my favorite dishes! It was also served with some delicious sticky brown rice.

For one of our main entrees, we chose the bone marrow soup! This flavor of this was so unique – it was beefy but also earthy, and so, so, good. We all agreed we loved this one!

And for our other main entree, we got the beef cheeks. Though these were a little fatty, the flavor was phenomenal – they sort of reminded me of sausage or bacon. The sauce on the side was very spicy, but also delicious.

And then we also got the prawns, which I sadly forgot to snap a photo of (I was too busy eating!). They came with the heads on – though the rest of the prawn was peeled – and were covered in a delectable black garlic sauce. Yum!

Once our cocktails were finished the boys also ordered a round of beers, and Fabio was super excited to see that they had beers from RAR, the fun brewery we visited last year in Cambridge! 🙂

Once our main meal was over, we were served dessert – a sauteed banana with the most delicious caramel sauce on top. The sauce was mostly melted but had a few bites that were starting to crisp up, and it was so, so good. I practically licked my banana leaf clean!

All in all we had such a fun night at Bad Saint, and were so thankful to Jess and Erick for both suggesting it and offering to wait in line. They are truly the best!! Plus we had such a fun time catching up with them, and now I can’t wait to see them for our weeding!! Eek!

Oh and one last little tidbit I thought you might enjoy: We wound up bringing home the bone from the bone marrow soup since we thought we knew someone who might enjoy it.

When we were eating the soup earlier in the evening, we tried our best to get all the marrow out of the bone, but one side was completely solid so we weren’t able to scoop out very much. Well, in the morning we saw that Jack had been up all night, hard at work at removing all that marrow. I guess he liked it!! 🙂

Haha!

The end.

Question of the day: Would you wait in line for so long for a restaurant? Have you ever been to Bad Saint or the other famous DC restaurant with a long line, Rose’s Luxury?

While Erick was waiting in line, he talked to some of the people around him and found out that some of them are line-waiters, i.e., people you find on Craigslist and pay to stand in line for you! Crazy!

 Posted by on April 17, 2017