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Surprise Date Night !

March 14, 2010

Good Evening All ๐Ÿ™‚

I hope everyone is enjoying the last of their weekends! I am just finishing up some laundry and packing – off to Orlando again tomorrow ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

Yesterday, after I got home from Miracle Mile, Blake surprised me that we were going out for a dinner date to one of my favorite restaurants! He was taking me to The Melting Pot!! I was so excited, I almost tripped over my own feet running to get ready.

Once we were seated, I asked the manager if he could take a picture of us:

I know, I know.. he must have been blinded by our beauty…Or the flash… but I would like to think its the former ๐Ÿ˜‰

First things first, my wonderful fiance said we would be ordering a bottle of wine (!).ย  We were perusing the wine list, and our server suggested a white blend called ‘Evolution’.ย  We decided to try it after she and another server raved about it for a good few minutes.

The blend was so good! It was really soft and had a great taste – awesome recommendation!

Next up, was the cheese…mmmmm. I think we got the Wisconsin blend, and it was fantastic.ย  White wine and sherry mix in the beginning, then the cheese is added, followed by some scallions to top.ย  With lots of delicious things to dip in.

Even though I was not done with the cheese, I mean, I probably would have licked the pot clean if I could have, our salads came out and I thought maaaaybe I should pace myself ๐Ÿ˜‰

I got the California Salad, (on the right) which was baby greens, with tomatoes, Gorgonzola, walnuts and a raspberry vinaigrette. SO good!ย  Blake got the spinach and mushroom salad, which had spinach, baby portabellos, bacon, onions, and I’m not sure what kind of dressing. He said it was great, though!

Next up: the mealsssss! I got chicken and shrimp, and Blake got a mix of filet mignon, chicken, shrimp and salmon.

Everything was so good, even though I was getting full, I wanted to keep eating, haha.ย  I love fondue, I think it is so fun, and you can still enjoy great conversation while you wait for your food to cook.

Although it didn’t take much, Blake talked me into dessert.ย  We normally just get the plain milk chocolate, but being the adventurous couple that we are, decided on the Flaming Turtle ! ๐Ÿ˜‰

It was milk chocolate, caramel, and nuts all swirled into one delicious bowl of melty wonderfulness. I may have gone into a food coma at this point, but I could not have been happier ๐Ÿ˜€

So many awesome things to dip in there:

Bananas, strawberries, brownies, cheesecake, marshmallows, and a rice crispy treat.ย  I was the happiest person in the world.

Alright, loves – I am off to finish packing and cuddle in with the pup and the fiance! Have a great night!

What is your favorite restaurant?ย  What is favorite date night or ladies night activity?

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Annnd we’re off!

March 13, 2010

Good Morning loves!

Have to make this one quick, my MOH and I are headed to Miracle Mile to shop around and look at bridesmaid dresses and all sorts of fun wedding things! I have never been, but it is supposed to be a mile (duh) long street full of shops.. uhh… yes, please? ๐Ÿ˜€

Last night, I joined a friend and we went to the Bodyworks class our gym… it kicked my butt! So sore today, but it was a great class! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Thursdays workout was a 1.25 mile run, followed by my new DVD, Core Fusion Body Sculpt.

I found this through some blogger reviews, you can read Meghann’s here.ย  Also, Rachel reviewed her results and thoughts after completing 16 sessions, in 4 weeks, of the Core Fusion DVD, here.ย  After reading their reviews, I thought this would be something I would enjoy and definitely wanted to try it out!

I really liked the DVD! The abs section was so tough!

I will go more into depth about the sections I did in a separate post – but for now, I’ve gotta run!

Enjoy your Saturday!

Do you like to shop? What’s your favorite thing to shop for?

Blueberry Muffins and The Queen

March 10, 2010

Hi everyone!

I hope you’re all having a wonderful week so far!ย  But, before we go any further, I have a recipe that I have to share with you!

Double Blueberry Muffins

(adapted from this recipe)

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 stick unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup turbinado sugar
  • 1/2 banana, mashed
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 1/2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries (I used fresh)
  • 1 cup white flour
  • 1 cup wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • cinnamon

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 375 F. Grease a muffin tin or line with paper liners.

Using a small whisk, cream the butter until smooth (You can definitely use your mixer, I just did not feel like pulling mine out, or cleaning it up after ๐Ÿ˜‰ ).ย  Add the cup of of white sugar, along with the eggs, vanilla, baking powder and salt – mix.ย  Add canola oil, 1/2 banana (mashed), and turbinado sugar, mix well.

Next, add your 1 cup of white flour, with 1/2 of the milk and mix.ย  Repeat with wheat flour, cinnamon, and remaining milk.ย  Mix until flour is incorporated and then gently fold in blueberries.ย  (If you were using your mixer, I would do this step at low speed).

Fill muffin cups about 3/4 full.ย  I sprinkled a little cinnamon and sugar over the tops of the muffins, and baked mine for about 20 minutes.

P.S. Let cool before removing and gobbling down, or you will burn your poor little fingers as I did to mine.

The verdict?ย  These muffins were delicious!

My fiance is not aware of the substitutions I made, but he said they were one of the best batches I had made.ย  He even commented that he liked them so much because they did not taste as ‘healthy’ as my last batch.ย  ๐Ÿ˜‰

This past weekend, the Renaissance Festival was in town.ย  I used to go all the time when I was younger, with my family, but Blake had never been, so we thought it would be a fun way to spend our Saturday!

Entering into the village:

Parade:

The King and Queen:

There were a bunch of games to play, like Bump A Monk:

Or Knacker Ball:

Have you ever seen pretzels being served like this??

Mmm… pretzels..

Even though I did not get a pretzel, it is possible we may have purchased a 1/2 lb cookie…

And a bag of kettle corn..

Before we knew it, it was time to go ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

We had a blast!! A lot of people dress up and really get into it.ย  I am already excited to go again next year ๐Ÿ˜€

Man, looking at all the pictures of last weekend, is really making me anxious for Friday!

Hope everyone is havingย  a great week – Happy Hump Day!

Staying Healthy On The Road

March 4, 2010

Hey Guys!

As you know, I was in Orlando for work last week.ย  Normally, this means late night meetings, numerous lunches/dinners out with my boss (perhaps with a few too many cocktails) and little time to get in a good workout.ย  But this time, I was determined to find a better approach.ย  That’s right my friends, not only would I find the time to workout, but I would say ‘NO’ to the free meals… well, some of them, I mean, I do have to eat ๐Ÿ˜‰

Day one, I ran to Publix on my lunch break to stock up on a few items I would need to be able to deter myself from unhealthy snacks and meals.ย  Oh, I forgot to mention, my boss loves chocolate, so we have a nice, big candy dish always very well stocked with an assortment of goodies which means that my hand is usually digging in there, oh, about 14 times a day. ๐Ÿ˜‰

On my Publix trip I snagged:

For about $15.00 I was able to get:

  • Milk
  • 2 containers of cereal
  • Fruit
  • 2 yogurts
  • 2 Progresso Soups
  • Small salad
  • Cheese crisps

This way, I could still get a healthy breakfast in, cereal with banana, soup for lunch, salad on the side, yogurt, fruit and cheese crisps for snacking.. mmmm.ย  I figured this would work out best, since I knew I would have leftover from dinners out and could only decline on lunch so many times.

Turns out, this worked great!ย  I was able to still get in my fruits and veggies without feeling like I just went off the deep end for a week, foodwise.ย  Overall I felt much better than previous weeks and knew I had more energy.ย  I will definitely be doing this, or bringing some things from home, on my future trips!

How do you stay healthy while you travel??

Have a great one!

Dani

P.S. I was also able to make it to a spinning class.. BAM! ๐Ÿ˜€

Big Salads and Homemade Granola

February 19, 2010

Happy Friday Blog Friends!

Is it just me, or did Friday take for-ev-errrr to get here?!

Since we are going to Tampa for the weekend, for my niece’s birthday (she is turning 4!), I was trying to use up everything we had so it wouldn’t go bad when we were gone.ย  For lunch, I threw a bunch of ingreds into one big container and called it a salad.

I actually just used the container the spinach came in, since I was using the rest of it, and that meant I wouldn’t have to wash any dishes ๐Ÿ˜‰

In the mix:

  • Spinach
  • Cukes
  • Stawberries
  • Avocado
  • Morningstar Chick’n Patty
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Squirt of lemon juice
  • Balsamic Vinegar

This combo was awesome!!! The strawberries and balsamic went really well together! Mmmm…

For a long time now I have been saying how much I wanted to try to make my own granola, so, last night I thought I would give it a try!

Basically I looked at a bunch of recipes and just kindof threw one together:

Ingreds:

  • 2 cups oats
  • 1/2 cup nuts (your choice – i used walnuts, it was all we had)
  • 1/4 brown sugar
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup oil, scant
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla

Preheat your oven to 300.

Mix oats, nuts, brown sugar, salt and cinnamon.

Combine oil, honey, and sugar over medium heat.ย  Remove and add vanilla, pour over oats mixture and stir well until evenly coated.

Spread on baking sheet.

Bake 20 – 30 minutes, let cool completely.

The verdict? Pretty good!

I think I may have baked it a teeeensy bit too long… and I think next time I would add a little less brown sugar sugar.ย  It was a bit too sweet for me, but that did not stop me from eating it ๐Ÿ˜€

I am in Orlando for work next week, but will definitely be trying my hand at this again!

Hope everyone has a fantastic weekend!

Dani

Welcome!

February 14, 2010

Welcome to The Balanced Bride!ย  Here, I will be documenting my wedding planning process while trying to lead a healthy, balanced lifestyle. (Read: I will be documenting the good, the bad, and the ugly while trying not to stuff five different kinds of wedding cake into my mouth.)

I am really excited about the upcoming months.ย  I hope you’ll have as much fun as I will ๐Ÿ™‚

Oh, and Happy Valentine’s Day! I hope you are having a wonderful day, whatever you’re doing!

Just remember, someone, somewhere, is probably:

Love is composed of a single soul inhabiting two bodies. –ย  Aristotle