A LOVEly Weekend

I’ll admit it – I like Valentine’s Day. I like any holiday that celebrates love – how can you not? I consider it a day to celebrate ALL love – love of your family, friends, significant others, etc. That’s how I was brought up (yes, my parents still send me a Valentine’s Day card and I send my brother one!) and I LOVE it.

That being said, I’m not one of those people who expects to celebrate myself all weekend long – with Christmas in late December and my birthday being in late January, there’s hardly a reason for me to expect any gifts, a big celebration, etc. BUT I do enjoy celebrating in other ways … like good food, good company, good drinks and well – goodness all around! Luckily, that’s how the weekend turned out.

Friday night was cold and snowy, so B and I decided to stay in, watch the Interview, and get takeout Vietnamese to eat with our new chopsticks we’d bought in Vietnam.

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Saturday morning I woke up somewhat early to get in a little treadmill and elliptical action at the gym. I had thought about doing the Chili Bowl 5k (last year, B and I ran it after doing a 9 mile training run) but the weather was cold, super windy (20+mph winds), and snowy so I was happy to stay inside and run while B slept. And of course the elliptical and treadmill helped me work up a hunger for brunch! That’s right, B and I went to Phuel for brunch – I got my favorite (granola, fruit, yogurt and honey) and B got his standard order – banana chocolate chip pancakes.

B and his pancakes. He's probably thinking "Please take the picture so I can eat these soon"

B and his pancakes. He’s probably thinking “Please take the picture so I can eat these soon”

Glorious homemade granola. Not quite as good as my mom's recipe - but the closest thing here :)

Glorious homemade granola. Not quite as good as my mom’s recipe – but the closest thing here ๐Ÿ™‚

After brunch it was time to get in some of our weekly shopping at the West Side Market. We picked up some treats too – a cannoli for the night’s dessert. We had plans to cook a homemade Italian dinner and I of course wanted my favorite Italian dessert.

So many types of cannoli!

So many types of cannoli!

After the Market, B stopped in Hingetown for a coffee/tea stop. I decided to try a new tea at Cleveland Tea Revival – not my standard Ginger or Ginger Turmeric – and I wasn’t disappointed. Their Shark Week Tea may be a new favorite of mine.

Shark Week tea. I just googled what that meant and whoops! I'll still drink it.

Shark Week tea. I just googled what that meant and whoops! I’ll still drink it.

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We also were able to stop off at Gallucci’s to pick up some supplies for dinner. I wish I had taken a photo of my cart – Gallucci’s is like Target to me. I go there with the full intent to buy 3-4 things and come out with 10+ items.

I <3 Gallucci's - and not just for their wine.

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For dinner, B and I prepared an Italian feast together. My favorite way to spend the night! We prepared homemade pasta, sauce and chicken cutlets. With some bubbly and cheese and meat as an appetizer and I was in heaven.

love me some cheese!!!

love me some cheese!!!

Pasta making experts.

Pasta making experts.

Prosecco and crystal. Because why not?

Prosecco and crystal. Because why not?

I love going out to dinner – don’t get me wrong, but there’s just something about spending the time making a meal together – B and I made the pasta and chicken together, so instead of having a 1-2 hour meal at a restaurant, it turned into a whole evening activity. And it was delicious!

Dinner.

Dinner.

The pistachio cannoli from the West Side Market

The pistachio cannoli from the West Side Market – and homemade limoncello

Sunday was another COLD day. And I’m talking super cold – I woke up to -1 degree temps with 15mph winds meaning it “felt like -25”. So of course B and I decided it would be a great day for a “Lazy Sunday.” Which for me meant doing as very little as possible – but enough so that I wouldn’t get bored. I decided to play it safe and run inside again, bringing this week’s mileage to 36!

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After the workout, I wanted to do some meal prep for the week. I roasted a chicken (usually B’s job), sweet potato, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower and acorn squash.

A bit of meal prep

A bit of meal prep

Then it was time for dinner with B’s family. We were celebrating my niece’s birthday (can’t believe she’s SIX!).

my contribution to the dinner - salad!

my contribution to the dinner – salad!

The gorgeous red velvet birthday cake B's mom made

The gorgeous red velvet birthday cake B’s mom made

blowing out the candles!

blowing out the candles!

We go over there almost every week, but this week was special not only for the birthday but it was also a goodbye dinner for B’s brother. He’sย is traveling abroad to Germany so we had a big family meal before he leaves this week. I’m so jealous – I loved studying abroad and hope he has as much fun as I did!

A throwback to my days in Ecuador - at a futbol game!

A throwback to my days in Ecuador – at a futbol game!

Some questions for you:

  • Love or hate Valentine’s Day?
  • Did you study abroad? ย If not, where do you wish you would have visited?
  • What’s your favorite type of meal to prepare?

 

Scenes from A “Do Nothing” Weekend

We all have those weekends. Those weekends when someone asks you what you’re doing and you’re SO happy to say, “Nothing!” Or maybe you’re not happy. But I was happy to be able to say that about last weekend. After a few weeks of traveling, and looking at my calendar and realizing that I’m traveling likely every weekend through April 19th, I was looking forward to a weekend of doing nothing. And boy, was it a GREAT do nothing weekend.

Here are some of the highlights:

Friday night included dinner at one of my favorite places, the Flaming Ice Cube. I love their vegan, carbolicious food before a long run! B and I split the Buffalo “chicken” dip, and I got the kalebouli wrap. I could eat kalebouli every single day and be happy.

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Saturday started early with a 12 mile run with B and his sister. Despite not getting the pace we wanted (B was shooting for 9 min/miles for the whole time) I felt pretty good the entire time. Perhaps the key to feeling good is running slower? Mary kept on going for 15 total miles – I was very happy to be done with 12. And I think my body was too – after our run for a few hours I had some shooting pain down my back right side – from my glutes to just above my calf. Thank goodness it went away!

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Post-run, B and I picked up some supplies at the West Side Market for meals for this week. I won’t be able to shop there until the end of April, so I took advantage of the opportunity to get tons of food – probably too much. I’ll be eating spaghetti squash, eggplant and butternut squash for a few days ๐Ÿ™‚

Love the fresh produce!

Love the fresh produce!

Did I mention we also got lunch at the Souper Market (LOVE their bread and Mulligatawny) and shared a giant Apple Fritter from the West Side Market?

seriously, these are the BEST apple fritters

seriously, these are the BEST apple fritters

After the market, B and I decided to get coffee and tea. Well, coffee for him (Rising Star) and tea (from the new Hingetown Tea Revival shop) for me. I LOVED my ginger turmuric infused tea. And how cute is the shop?

After our Ohio City escapades, B and I decided to do some outlet shopping. I actually didn’t end up with anything (surprise! I’m saving money for our upcoming vacation) but B left with 2 new suits that actually fit him. I didn’t realize how big the suits he’d been wearing were on him until he tried on the new suits. WOW – what a difference! I can’t wait until he wears them ๐Ÿ™‚ If he lets me I’ll post a photo because they looked really good.

And the night included a few drinks out and then a lazy evening of watching Game of Thrones (and I didn’t fall asleep during the episode!), homemade pizza, and wine.

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Sunday I ended up having to work most of the day so I spent the day at a coffee shop before meeting B’s family for dinner. Today is B’s mom’s birthday (Happy birthday!) so we celebrated Sunday evening with more pizza, more wine and other Italian food.

Food, family and a good run. That’s what I call a pretty good “do nothing” weekend – don’t you?

I know it’s already Wednesday. But how was your weekend? Do you enjoy “do nothing” weekends? Do you already have plans for this weekend?