Food, Family & FUN!

Hey Guys! Sorry for the no posting last night- I was enjoying my time catching up with Mike & Steph.
I got home from work & the three of got to work planning Craig’s 30th birthday party. I have a few ideas of what I want to do- he already knows that we are going up to Maryland this year, but he doesn’t know what we are doing. Last year I planned a HUGE surprise 29th birthday party for him- he had NO idea I was planning it- I started in January of last year (his birthday is August 14th) & then booked everything- (with help from Mike & Steph) the plane tickets, the Orioles game tickets, the actual party (@ Mike & Steph’s house) & then Raven’s training camp on that Sunday- they day we flew back. He was in TOTAL shock when I told him. I made a scrapbook to tell him- I started out the book with “Babe, please don’t be upset when I tell you this, but there is something I need to tell you…” Guess what he thought I was going to tell him!? That I was pregnant- HAHAHAHA! I was like, “ummm no way silly boy.” But then as he flipped thru it, he realized what it was- I put lots of pictures in it, of the events planned, the people involved, etc. It turned out so well & everyone kept the secret!! He said it was the only time someone had surprised him because he normally figures it out. YES! Got him 😀

So this year it’s going to be a bit different- can’t really pull of the plane ticket surprise- since he already know…but I do have lots in store to surprise him with. I would share, but he MIGHT just read this. I doubt it…but just in case. Gotta be prepared 🙂

I think we figured out what we are doing- I made Craig go to the gym for like 2 hours yesterday so that we could all talk without him there. And then since I get off work at noon today, we’re all going to talk about it more. I’m excited though!! Can’t wait. We leave August 11th (that Wednesday before his birthday) & then we are up there until Sunday night. Should be fun fun fun!

Anyways, dinner last night was really good. Tried  a new recipe from Picky Palate

Garlic Toasted Balsamic Chicken Bruschetta Sandwich 

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts

Pinch of salt
¼ Cup balsamic vinegar
¼ Cup extra virgin olive oil

4 Roma Tomatoes, seeded and diced
8 fresh basil leaves, stacked, rolled and thinly sliced into chiffonade
3 cloves fresh garlic, minced
Pinch of salt
1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar

8 thin slices fresh mozzarella
4 ciabatta rolls, or other rolls of choice (I used ciabatta loaves that I got at Macaroni Grille when we went there with my parents last Sunday- I asked for 2 to go so that I could use them for this recipe…thinkin’ ahead 😉 )

1. Preheat a grill pan over medium heat on the stovetop. Spray with cooking spray. Combine balsamic and olive oil in a bowl.

 Season both sides of chicken with pinches of salt and place on grill. Brush top sides of chicken with balsamic mixture. Cook for 4-5 minutes and flip chicken. Brush with additional balsamic and cook for an additional 4-5 minutes or until cooked through.

got to use my new panini press

2. In a large bowl combine the tomatoes, basil garlic, salt and balsamic. Toss gently to combine. Set aside.

3. Preheat same grill pan over medium heat and spray with additional cooking spray. Place 2 slices of cheese on bottom rolls then layer with chicken breasts, spoonfuls of tomato mixture and 2 more slices of cheese. Place top rolls to close sandwich and grill both sides on hot grill pan until toasty and warm. Serve warm.

On the side: some roasted veggies- zucchini & yellow squash.

And some Alexia Sweet Potato Fries- the Chipotle ones.

These were really good & it was the first time that I got to use my new Panini press that my Mom gave me. I LOVE it!! It’s REALLY nice! I was sooooo excited when she gave it to me. It’s an All Clad one!!  It retails for $120, but she gave it to me for FREE! Free to me is the right price 😉 She’s the BEST- no doubt!

During my lunch break yesterday, I ran to Total Wine to grab some wines for tonight’s dinner, as well as just some random ones that I saw that I wanted to try. I got some stuff to make Bonzai’s.

 Have you ever had one???? WARNING: They are SO good- you might become addicted 🙂 All it is, is Sake & Plum Wine mixed together- you kind of can do a taste test as for the amount that you want to use. I prefer it not AS I add more Sake. I really don’t like Plum Wine by itself because it is so sweet, but mixed with Sake it’s perrrrrfect. Usually you can get these at Japanese restaurants- that’s how I was introduced to them.  (or you can make them @ home for a cheaper price 🙂 )

I also grabbed a bottle of Pinot Noir, some Riesling, & Pinot Grigio. We opened up the bottle of Pinot Noir- it was really good too. I’m not really good at picking wines, usually I just pick them if they have a cute label- haha! But, I grabbed this Pinot Noir because it was the top pick @ Total Wine, so I, why not?! Craig said, “oh, H, you fell for their trick, huh?!” lol! But in fact, it WAS really good!

pinot noir

For the rest of the night we just hung out, watched some TV & chatted about life. It was really fun- as it always is with them 😀

This morning I woke up & hit the gym. I decided to do a full arm workout + plyometrics & some interval runs too.

Exercise Weight Reps
Flat Bench Dumbbell Chest Press 15lb. Each hand 3x 12
 Bench Tuck Crunches BW 25
 Lateral Raises 7.5lb. Each hand 3x 12
 Decline situps 10lb. Weight 3x 10
Two Arm Bent Over DB Row  15lb. Each hand 3x 12
Jumping Lunges BW 12
Dumbbell Flyes  7.5lb. Each hand 3x 12
 Jump Squats BW 15
Arnold Shoulder Presses  10lb. Each hand 3x 12
Decline Side to side crunches 10lb weight 15 (each side)
21s  20lb. Barbell 3 sets
Rock Star Jumps  BW 15
Barbell Curls  20lb. Barbell 3x 12
Bench Tuck Crunches  BW 3 sets of 25
Front Raises  7.5lb. Each hand 3x 12
Jumping Lunges  BW 12
Skull Crushers  10lb. Each hand 3x 12
 Bosu ball crunches w/ wt. behind head 30lb. Weight 2x 25
Tricep Kick Backs  7.5lb. Eachhand 3x 12
Rock Star Jumps  BW 2x 15

 V-ups with Medicine Ball                                    6lb. ball                     3x 10

V-up crunches                                                         BW                             3×10

Then I did some running intervals-

Minutes Speed
0:00-1:00 6
1:00-1:30 9
1:30-2:30 6
2:30-3:00 9
3:00-4:00 6
4:00-4:30 9
4:30-5:30 6
5:30-6:00 9
6:00-7:00 6
7:00-7:30 9
7:30-8:30 6
8:30-9:00 9
9:00-10:00 6
10:00-15:00                           6.5

Followed by a one minute cool down walk @ 3.5

Total time at gym: 1 hour, 4 minutes: Max HR: ,Avg HR:, Calories burned:

Once again I forgot my camera this morning before I left for work- but I’m predictable 😉 Breakfast was a breakfast cookie with iced coffee. Oh, and I had one boiled egg white when I got home from the gym to hold me over until breakfast- I’m trying to eat something a bit sooner after a workout…just a little something is good. I like the egg white- it’s quick & easy.

This afternoon I got off @ noon- we went to Bojangles– Mike & Craig have an obsession with it…and they don’t have any in Maryland, so we had to go there. It was good- I got a grilled chicken sandwich. No mayo- blah.

 For dinner we are going to  SEASON’s 52!!! YAY! It will be Mike & Steph’s first time there. It is part of their Christmas present (from last year). You see they took us out when we were up there for Christmas to a really nice we are doing the same. Craig & Mike agreed that this would be best-for presents..instead of getting gifts..we just take each other to a nice dinner. I love the idea- because it’s time with them & great food! 🙂

Have you ever heard of getting iced?? You take Smirnoff Ice & then you hide them- and whoever finds them has to chug it- cold OR warm. So if it’s been in the sun…you still gotta chug it. Oh & you have to chug it on one knee. So, since I came home early…we decided to do this to Craig. He is TOTALLY getting iced later. Here’s some of them:

6 pack

...when he walks in the door - see on it on the table

Sticky notes courtesy of Mike:

as he walks the room


Can’t wait to tell you how it goes- should be pretty funny 😀

I’ll be back later- not sure when. We are heading up to Jacksonville tomorrow for the 4th– we’ll return Sunday…so I might not be on til then. I hope you enjoy your weekend!! Can’t wait to hear/ see what everyone did for the 4th!

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  1. OHHHH I CANT WAIT TO HEAR HOW IT GOES GIRL!! I LOVE scrapbooking… that is sooo sweet!!! Have so much fun in flordia!! We will DEF miss you 🙂 Hope you get lots of beach time 🙂 LOVE the chicken on here!! that sounds DELISH!!

    and yes ostrich like the bird! hahaha! its a red meat- it is SUPER LEAN and really good!

  2. Will be looking forward to a follow-up!

  3. Hahah I love the idea of the game ICED and the post it notes, LOL!!!
    Happy 4th!

  4. Your paninis are pretty much my favorite thing EVER and that game looks TOO FUNNY!!

  5. Ewww that’s the grossest game! Those things aren’t even very good cold! Hahahaha


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