MIMM: Summer’s Wine-ding Down
Remember to enter my Marshall’s Bishop’s Corner giveaway – you have until tomorrow night to do so!
Another Monday, another marvelous weekend behind me, and a low-key one at that! Well, low-key in the sense that no drives longer than 40 minutes occurred. That’s really all I can ask for, especially since this coming weekend I’ll be off to Boston (and will see this marvelous lady). I over-use this word but it’s all about balance…balancing my weekends away with weekends at home has been key to making it through this marvelous summer (I can literally feel in the air that it’s ending, ugh!) and focusing on how grateful I should be to have so much marvelous to even FEEL stressed over.
Marvelous is…my beloved StepMill #39 getting fixed at my gym. Long story, but that machine is the only one of my gym’s four StepMills that I like to/can use. My solo cardio sessions have been nothing without it (running and elliptical are not for me). Friday night I REALLY needed kickass cardio before a dinner out and StepMill #39 was good as new and definitely kicked my ass.
Marvelous is…a Friday night dinner date with my mom. My brother’s started his freshman year of college, my sister’s off at UT, and my dad was away. So Mom let me pick out a dining destination (I selected Max’s Oyster Bar, so now I’ve had a meal at all the CT Max restaurants!), I threw on a dress, and we hit West Hartford Center.
The food and drinks were wonderful. My hazelnut-crusted rainbow trout portion was so big though, it overwhelmed me. I’ve never seen that much seafood in an entrée! It looked like two huge pieces of fish, and just having all that in front of me made me anxious, so I asked the waiter immediately to box up half of the seafood. I’d already had a black kale salad to start (amazing) and some bread, and felt worried I’d eat all the entrée just because it was in front of me. I know, irrational, but it was ED rearing its head and to be blunt, I just wanted all that fish out of my face. I actually cleaned the rest of my plate (the lentils and carrots underneath the fish were MIND BLOWING; always so impressive when someone can make carrots taste so sweet and caramel-y) and felt the perfect amount of satisfied. Plus, now I have lots of gourmet trout in my freezer for another night!
Marvelous is…divine froyo intervention (Rachel came up with that one, obviously). On the way back to the parking garage, I ran into this fine character and decided he was sent to give me a sign (and a coupon).
So on the way home my mom and I did something we don’t usually do – stop for after-dinner froyo, at Sweet Frog! I actually can’t recall the last time I had froyo so this was much needed. I took it home and ate it in bed while finishing up The Cuckoo’s Calling (click for my review).
Marvelous is…two more killer StepMill cardio sessions. I love my group fitness classes, but just didn’t wake up on Saturday OR Sunday at a time convenient to attend one. Hello StepMill #39! My lower body is totally shot (and it feels good) after doing my go-to level 17 speed intervals for 30 minutes both Saturday and Sunday morning. I did some weights and abs after on each day too!
Marvelous is…Saturday afternoon pool time. Just me, iced coffee, a salad, and my magazines. Bliss.
Marvelous is…a blend date with Kaitlin in Wallingford! The town is 40-50 minutes from each of us so we met at one of its two vineyards, Gouveia (WARNING: web site with music, ugh), for a wine tasting.
This winery was as gorgeous as I’d heard, and absolutely packed! We had such snack envy of all the folks there who had brought apps and dinner, and decided next time we’d definitely be doing that. After the tasting we decided to each get a glass of Cabernet Franc, one of the more expensive reds, because wine by the glass is $7 no matter the price of the bottle. I also purchased a bottle of the cheapest wine ($16!) we tasted, the Whirlwind Rose. Obviously my favorite of the tasting was also the most expensive…the $27 Dessert Wine.
We met some fabulous fun women at the picnic table next to us; they were having their own mini 35-year high school reunion. They couldn’t get over how we met “on the Internet” and had the same first name; of course we got the standard, “Are you sisters?” question that we get from at least one person each time we hang out. Can’t blame them – I even happened to wear shoes that matched Kaitlin’s dress!
We were getting hungry (I wasn’t even able to finish my generously poured vino) and went to J. Christian’s, a restaurant we’d both wanted to try – and for which I had a $40 SaveNowCT voucher! The service was a little slow but we sat at a bar with just one bartender, and he was doing his best. He even brought us bread when they don’t usually do so, and it came with an awesome bean salad and olive oil!
With my dinner I sipped on a wonderful basil pear martini (Smirnoff Pear, St. Germaine, agave, basil, citrus) and Kaitlin opted for a Sauvignon Blanc (another generous $7 pour) from the wine-by-the-glass menu, which offered a nice variety of quite affordable sparking, white, and red wines (plus one rose). We were bummed to find that the online food menu was not at all accurate and some of the dishes we’d had our eyes on were not on the menus in front of us, but that’s what I get for menu-stalking, something I’m trying to do less of!
However I’m super thankful that my dish did end up on the menu in front of me, even if not online, because the second I saw it I knew that I wanted it! I usually have such menu decision anxiety so it was nice to just know immediately which choice I wanted. Though not crispy like I love, the baby cabbages were awesome with the curry aioli. The coconut crust on the mahi was seriously fabulous and I only wish there’d been more mango relish to pair with it! I love that J. Christian’s has black beans too. I could eat beans every day and never get tired of them.
Marvelous is…my own mini high school reunion! My friend Hong picked me up once I returned from Wallingford and we met another high school pal Andrea at Rooftop120. I ended up being overzealous about not having to drive for once, and drank more than I should’ve. But I had a great time and woke up to some fun pictures on my phone that I didn’t remember taking until I stumbled across them. Oops.
Marvelous is…my amazing support system. The first thing I did when I woke up at 7am yesterday morning feeling blah physically and completely shitty mentally was a) “body check” my stomach and hate myself and b) pop three ibuprofen and try to go back to sleep. It was hard, but I did and slept until a little after 9am, which is when I sent some “mayday” texts to my mom and some friends. I know I had a good time at Rooftop, but I also would have had just as much fun without my last drink or two, and THAT’S why those calories seem in my mind to be such a waste. I’m so lucky to have such understanding friends who get where I’m coming from and know just what to say to help me feel better and less regretful.
Marvelous is…getting fitted for a fashion show. You heard me! West Hartford Center is having Fashion Night Out this coming Thursday 9/12, and I have been asked to model clothing, sneakers, and eyewear in a sports luxe fashion show at Fleet Feet! The store is partnering with Sight and Barcelona will be on the premises with a free signature cocktail and some tapas. The show starts at 8PM and all the stores in the center will be having similar fun fashion events, so I encourage everyone to come out and pretend you’re in NYC for Fashion Week! Barcelona is also having an after-party complete with drink specials! I can’t wait to tell you guys how it goes.
Marvelous is…a spontaneous shopping trip with Kat! I found some gems at H&M, as well as a super-on-sale bikini at Victoria’s Secret (I walked in to redeem free panties and ended up buying something…marketing at its finest).
With the fashion show and other commitments, this week is very busy and I’ll probably continue to need my support system. My workout schedule will be far from routine and I’m feeling overwhelmed just typing about it now, but am also trying to just take each day as it comes and tell myself that I should be proud to even be planning to fit in movement. Who knows, maybe a rest day will come of this. We’ll see!
Do you “menu-stalk”?
When was your last fro-yo fix?
Have you ever asked a restaurant up-front to box up part of your food?