I’m sorry, but did YOU run a 5K as a rainbow this weekend?

This weekend was beyond epic – so many fun things happened! I sweated, I cocktailed, I ran a 5K as a rainbow and I made some pretty bangin’ food – success on all levels. Boom.

Friday

friday

Cheers! It’s the weekend!

When you get up at 5 am all week, Friday nights are reserved for eating leftovers, Netflix-ing and going to bed at 9 pm. This Friday was no different; I had Tahini-Lemon Quinoa with Roasted Broccoli and Cauliflower leftovers for dins, ate part of my super dark Taza chocolate bar and watched season 3 of House of Cards (all the while pausing every few minutes to explain something to my friend who had never seen it – yeah, I tried to tell her just to watch the whole thing from the beginning but she didn’t care. Mmmmkay dude!). I was in bed by 9 pm. It was glorious. For the wiiiiin!

Saturday (Happy Pi Day! Yes, I am a nerd.)

photo 1

Hiiiiiiiiieee.

I was up bright and early, ready for Sweaturday! It had been a few weeks since I had seen my gym ladies (the ones I refer to as the Real Housewives of Medford, in a loving way) and I was amped up. Every class needs to have a Woo Girl to get people GOIN’ on Saturday morning at 8 am – it was me (there were many “Wooooo!”s that happened. Sorry not sorry). Sarah taught an amazing spin class, I felt super strong and ready to GET AT those sprints and hills (even though I had a very sore week), and I felt unstoppable afterwards. Sometimes all you need is a good meal and a dead-to-the-world night of sleep to really crush your workout. Bam!

photo 2

I am the Plank Master.

Next up, I got to meet my BLOG CRUSH (insert emoji with the heart-shaped eyes): Briana at Quitters Never Win (if you have not checked out her blog yet, you better get on over there because you are missing out in a big way). She and I grabbed brunch at Rosebud Diner in Somerville, MA and it was SO fun!! She is just as charming and funny in person, and we had a really wonderful time talking about everything from current life to our AOL screen names circa 1996 over brunch cocktails. Hooray!

photo

Spinach and Kale Omelet at Rosebud – YUM! Obviously not vegan. I’m taking a vegan break on the weekends, I just can’t hack it, mkay?

THEN, I grabbed dinner and drinks with my gym ladies at Legal on the Mystic (the newest iteration of Legal Seafoods at Assembly Square in Somerville) – obviously not a great spot for vegan or even vegetarian-friendly fare; when I told the server I was currently vegan he responded with, “Well, we don’t really have a vegan friendly menu.” So basically – sorry, you’re screwed. When I asked about vegetarian options he responded with, “Oh great! So you can eat all of the seafood…” I had to kindly correct him that vegetarians don’t eat seafood or fish, only pescetarians do (don’t get me started on a rant over here about people bastardizing these terms and using them incorrectly so they lose their meaning – GRRR). Regardless, I was there for the company and the cocktails, so I ended up eating a mediocre salad (surprise!) for dinner. The company more than made up for the “meh” fare, and my cocktail was delicious. It turned into a marathon gab session (we were there for almost four hours! Mainly because our server forgot about us for about an hour at the end) and we really had a truly fabulous time. There were two great “it’s a small world” moments when our group from the gym saw two other women (in separate parties) from the gym that we all know – it was the spot to be on Saturday night! πŸ™‚

photo 1 (2)

The cocktail situation at Legal on the Mystic Saturday night. πŸ˜‰

Sunday

I woke up as a Girl with a Plan on Sunday morning, and headed straight to the grocery store at 7:30 am (It was a ghost town; I felt like I was shopping in my own private Stop N’Shop – so fantastic). Mission: whip together a crock-pot stew to eat for dinner after the race (when I would likely be a few drinks deep and supremely tempted to order take out instead of cook something healthy) and prep all my food for Monday so I could put on PJs and watch Netflix instead of doing meal prep post-race. I successfully started up a delicious vegan Ethiopian Lentil Stew, prepped my overnight oats and salad for Monday’s lunch, picked Monday’s gym outfit and laid it out, and mostly packed my gym bag before the race (score one for Team L). Let me tell you – if you have time to crock-pot something before a race, it is the most GLORIOUS feeling ever to walk in the door and be able to ladle some stew right out and eat immediately when you are starving – but we will get to that in a minute.

HOORAY! It’s finally arrived – theΒ RΓ‘s na hΓ‰ireann 5K in Davis Square, my favorite race of the year! I love St. Patty’s Day, especially because I become L McBooyah and tell everyone I’m Irish (the perks of being a redhead, even though the amount of Irish blood in my body is equivalent to one eyelash) – it is always just such a fun time and everyone in the Boston area is LOVING IT. It seems as if the stars aligned for the race; my gym buddy R was down and out with an awful sinus situation (feel better, my boo!) and my Little Little sister from my sorority was hacking up a lung (my poor lil biddies), and I was running late after all this post-race prep, so I was fulling expecting to run this 5K as a loner and then try and wade through the masses to find other people I knew, but alas – there were other plans for me. R told me to watch out for her friends K and S, who were dressed up as a leprechaun and a pot of gold, respectively and, I quote, “Look out for K and S in the rainbow!” The rainbow? Okay fine. As I raced up to the back of the pack huddled around the start line less than four minutes before gun time, I finally figured out what she meant when she said to look for the rainbow:

photo-1

THIS rainbow.

Yeah. BASICALLY AMAZING. K was the Martha Stewart that crafted this rainbow situation (maj props), and they had been looking for a last minute stand-in for R; S said, “We were trying to find someone to take R’s spot who was running alone and didn’t seem too creepy, since we were concerned the costume would fall apart without a third person” when I just appeared. Aka, the stars aligning. I joined them in the ranks of the rainbow, and that’s just about when the fun started (I hope that laughing while running with your arms pinned to your side burns extra calories because we were cracking up for at least the first 1.5 miles – it was amazing). As we ran, I was fortunate enough to spot and call out to a hungover-looking dude who was running solo to capture the following picture of the rainbow in action:

Picture1

Yes.

YES. YES. So much YES. We finished with interlocked raised hands, and if that is not the cover photo for next year’s race, I am going to be sorely disappointed. The Rainbow had to de-layer and celebrate our victory, so we went to The Painted Burro to a) take a victory shot and b) wait for the long line outside The Burren to die down so we (that would be, The Rainbow as a single unit) could spend the remainder of the afternoon fake Irish jigging. Yup.

Picture3

The Rainbow at The Painted Burro post-race

So, we did. We got cheers when we entered the bar, and I can say with almost 100% certainty that we were responsible for starting the massive, hours-long dance party in the back room of The Burren. If you ever want to make new friends/meet new people, grab two of your besties and dress up as a rainbow, because everyone wanted a) to join our dance party inside The Rainbow and b) buy The Rainbow drinks and c) take pictures of/with The Rainbow (I feel like we may have photo bombed everyone who was at that bar during the hours we were there).

Picture2

Everyone and their mom in The Burren wanted to dance inside the rainbow – it was GLORIOUS.

When I got home, I further celebrated by eating two bowls of Ethiopian stew, an entire frozen vegan pizza (bc obv that stew was not enough), an coconut milk nice cream bar and at least 3 Nalgenes full of water to replenish after the buckets of sweat I lost (98% was lost during the post-race dance party – it was VERY steamy inside The Burren with all the post-race bodies packed in there drinking Guiness).

photo-2

Yup, I ate that.

All-in-all, It was MAJ. I hope that you guys had just as fun of a weekend! What did you guys do this weekend?? Tell me all about it in the comments!!

With warmth and rainbows,

L McBooyah

xoxoxoxox

L in DC: Weekend Recap!

dc

The gorgeousness of DC. I love that you can see the Washington Monument from pretty much everywhere (ok, I mean – at least where I was).

Guys! I think I need the delinquent blogger award, because I didn’t even take any pictures while I was down in DC this past weekend. I was having so much fun I forgot I was supposed to be capturing it! Whoops! PS: I’ve also limited my “Vegan for Lent” situation to while I’m in Boston Metro (oopsie – but dude, it was tricky/I have no regrets). Here are some of the highlights:

Cocktails

Does anyone want to grab a drink? πŸ˜‰

Mission Dupont – Dupont Circle

mission

Exterior of Mission – it looks way cooler lit up at night!

I met up with friends for drinks after eating some incredibly amazing Ethiopian food on U Street (that was probably not vegan, but definitely vegetarian and DELICIOUS). The first stop was Mission Dupont, a restaurant/bar in Dupont Circle that serves house-made cocktail creations with fresh squeezed juices – YUM! Everyone’s favorite drink of the night was their pineapple jalapeno margarita (I am not friends with tequila, so that one was not my favorite but I’m working through it) that was served with a hunk of fresh pineapple and muddled jalapenos at the bottom of the glass. I had an amazing gin cocktail with fresh-squeezed lime juice, soda water and …something else that I forgot (I was having a good time, what can I say?). YUM! All in all, pretty good atmosphere and fun vibes.

Firefly – Dupont Circle (kinda?)

firefly

Inside of Firefly – there was a giant tree!

We eventually migrated down New Hampshire Street to Firefly, for more of a bar/lounge-y vibe just in time for last call (it’s also attached to a hotel, so there’s that). I ordered a Sub Rosa, a cocktail made with Absolute Citron Vodka, St. Germain, Averna Amaro, hibiscus syrup, rose water, Peychaud’s Bitters – which frankly tasted a like cough syrup-y (sad face – it sounded so good when I ordered it!). My friend, however, ordered a Late Harvest cocktail, made with Brokers gin, St. Germain elderflower liqueur, lemon, red grapes. First of all – it was PHENOMENAL. Also, it’s made with muddled grapes – I’ve never thought of using fresh grapes in a drink before, but I am ALL over it! It tasted fresh, light and absolutely divine. If you guys go there – get that. Seriously worth a trip. Our bartender Chris was super fun and sassy and we had a great time chatting with him as well – good times all around. πŸ™‚

Brunch

Brunch is the best meal ever, isn’t it? DC definitely did not disappoint.

La Diplomate – Logan Circle

1200_02

Le Diplomate

I loved this spot! As soon as you walk in, you are greeted with an upscale French cafe vibe, with thoughtfully chic architecture and decor (I immediately regretted that I was wearing head to toe Lulu and not real clothes). If it wasn’t only 30ish degrees out, I would have happily spent the afternoon dining “en plain air” in the seasonally outdoor cafe. The food and service were equally impressive, and seemed to warrant the restaurant’s popularity. My Saturday morning brunch was very un-vegan: I ordered an Egg White Omelet with Ratatouille. The Ratatouille was seriously delicious (YUM) but the most outstanding part of brunch was the basket of fresh, crusty bread made in-house that they brought to your table (Dude, who doesn’t love fresh bread? I would have happily gone for seconds). My friend ordered the Spinach Omelet with goat cheese that was pretty bomb, and I’d definitely recommend it if you’re hitting this spot for brunch (especially since it tasted better than mine)! Sadly, I skipped the mimosas because I probably still had some alcohol in my blood from the night before – but the cocktail menu looked extensive and exciting. πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜›

1200_06

The bread at Le Diplomate – noms!

Tryst – Adams Morgan

tryst

This is the place to plop down on a couch with your laptop and spend the day sipping their amazing lattes and people watching. Tryst has a chill atmosphere and laid-back vibe – as in they provide animal crackers on the saucer with their Direct-Trade coffee drinks, mismatched silverware and a surprisingly extensive menu. Even though it was packed on Sunday morning, the huge windows and high ceilings still gave a feeling of openness, and the foiled ceiling and vintage-y couches made me feel like I was in a prime hipster hot spot (I was). I ordered a soy Chaipuccino (a Chai with a shot of espresso in it) to start, which alone is worth coming back for. Their brunch menu was HUGE and had just about anything you could want – I chose a Spinach Frittata, made with sauteed spinach, shallots, Gruyere and eggs, and served warm with a side of fresh fruit. It was fantastic and the perfect sized pre-flight meal. YUM! My friend ordered the Lemon Poppy Seed waffle, which was perfectly light, fluffy and lemon-y and served with a homemade blueberry sauce that was out of this world. Between the two, I satisfied my savory/sweet tastes that I always crave at brunch, making me feel perfectly content before heading home to Boston. Also, it’s worth noting that they had plenty of vegan options that I ignored, since I already had plenty of eggs, butter and cheese during the weekend – what’s one more meal? πŸ˜‰ Tryst was definitely also a winner. πŸ™‚

All in all, I had a fantastic time and felt like I got a great introduction to the DC nightlife and great brunch spots (I’m hooked!). Also, you guys in DC have like ZERO snow compared to us in Boston, so it was glorifying to walk around with no gloves, or hat, and I could see the sidewalk (and the opposite side of the street, with the absence of the gigantic snow mounds). Such a fun city! Refreshing, and exciting – and I can’t wait to come back!! πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

What did you guys do this weekend?? Tell me all about it in the comments.

With warmth,

L

PS: I’m just going to leave this here for you because it’s Monday (just in case):

Weight-Loss-Quotes4

Friday Faves *Woot woot*

photo 1

Happy Flannel Friday!! Lipgloss goes with flannel, right?

Woooohooooo! We made it to Friday! I am so glad it’s *almost* the weekend! I completely owned it in spin class this morning, and the positives vibes and good energy are overflowin’. This has been my first full week back since vacation, and it’s FLOWN by. I can’t believe it’s already time for Friday Faves (my not-so-secret favorite post of the week)! Here is what I’ve really been feelin’ this week:

1. Flannel

the-original-lumbersexual…Because it’s Flannel Friday. I’ve already expressed my love for the flan and its’ lumbersexual connotations, but seriously people – you should all participate in Flannel Friday. It’s warm, functional, and totally bada**.

2. Sprouting Lid for Mason Jar

DSCN0809I just started sprouting recently, and it’s like having a little science project right in your kitchen. And the best part is, you get to eat the results (unlike most science projs). I purchased these sprouting jar lids (from Amazon! AND they’re Prime!) that attach right onto a wide mouth mason jar (super convenient); they come in three sizes and are stellar. Why are they the dopest? They have three sizes (small, medium, large), so you can progressively change the lids as the seeds grow. The small is great for super small seeds like alfalfa, and the medium is great for larger seeds like mung beans and lentils. The largest is fantastic because it allows you to drain the husks away from the sprouts. Once the seeds have grown to have a 3/4″ ish sprout, I switch to the red jar lid, and gently agitate while rinsing under water. The husks rise, and you can decant them right off away from your sprouts. Curious for more tips? You’ll get to read all about it next week when I post my sprouting “How To”. Stay tuned! πŸ˜€

3. Lavender Bitters

WigglesRosemaryLavenderFront900_grandeI’ve had so many great cocktails recently that have been made with lavender bitters. YUM. I decided to go out and snag some for myself to play around with. Verdict: amazing. Here is one of the concoctions I created while playing around with my shaker last night (and waiting for my stewp to simmer to perfection):

L’s Luscioustini

  • 2 Oz Gin
  • 1/2 Oz Lime Juice
  • 1/2 Oz Simple Syrup
  • Splash of Cranberry Juice
  • 2-3 Dashes Lavender Bitters
Pour ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake well and serve with a lime wedge. Serve in a cocktail glass to really get your Carrie, Samantha, Miranda or Charlotte on. πŸ˜‰
Additionally, you can add a dash or two of lavender bitters and some frozen fruit right into a flute of champagne if you’d like to mix it up. My sister does this for special occasions (and sometimes just for fun) and it’s fabulous! Cheers! It’s Friday. πŸ™‚ *clink*clink*
gordons-gin-cocktail-sloe-royale_bg

4. Lululemon Free To Be *Wild Bra

LW2731S_4278_2This sports bra is SO cute, I almost don’t want to sweat in it. I recently treated myself to a light pink with darker hot pink strap version (boohoo, I can’t find it online to show you the actual pic and forgot to take one), and I’m mildly obsessed with it. It’s great for ladies with small girls (if you know what I mean) and for low impact activity. I will be wearing this to yoga every chance I get, and can’t wait until I can wear it under tanks and flow-y tops in warmer weather. It’s like a tiny bit of spring hiding under your yoga tank. Love. ❀

5. Aveda Hand Relief and Foot Relief

0511_05I don’t know about you, but my skin becomes like the Sahara if I don’t take good care of it in the winter (it’s your biggest organ! You’ve gotta show it some love). The indoor heating and outdoor cold temperatures (along with associated low humidity) here in Boston zap the moisture right out of my skin. I work with my hands, and wash them at least 20+ times a day (no joke) and so moisturizing is a must (I use the hand relief throughout the day and it’s the last thing I put on before bed, after turning on my alarm). As a runner, I am often very mean to my feet and so I like to treat them extra nice when they’ve done some hard work (before bed/after showering on the weekends, I slather the foot relief all over my poor tootsies, give them a good rub and stick them into thick socks to soak up all the goodness). Several years back, my mom found this lotion at her Aveda salon in New York, and since then we have been addicted (there’s a travel version in my purse, and one on my bedside table – I don’t leave home without it!). These are the best hand and foot lotions I’ve found. Not only do they work like a charm, but they smells INCREDIBLE. They’re a bit on the pricey side, but the upside is that you don’t need much to reap the benefits.

6. Hemp MilkΒ 

unnamed
I had hemp milk for the first time in a long time last night when I made an amazing dessert smoothie. Um, I don’t know if it has gotten better with time or what, but that shiz is DELICIOUS AS SIN. I don’t know why I’ve only been sticking true to almond and coconut milk, but I am so glad I saw this in the store and grabbed it. It has a richness to it like coconut milk, but a much milder flavor like almond milk. Hemp seeds are rich in the plant-based omega-3 fatty acid ALA, and some brands add additional hemp oil into their hemp beverages, so you still get the omega-3 benefits. Look for a brand that is fortified with calcium/vitamin D, and make sure you aren’t depending on it for protein because it has very little (2 g of protein per serving versus 7 grams in soy milk). YUM. I definitely recommend giving it a shot if you want to try something a little different. Have you guys ever tried hemp milk? Tell me all about it in the comments.
photo 2

My bomb smoothie from last night.

That smoothie I made last night was so good, the recipe is a must share. Here is what I blended up last night:

L’s Bomb Smoothie

  • 1 banana
  • 1 cup mixed berries
  • 1 scoop Vega chocolate protein powder
  • 1/2 Tbsp almond butter
  • 1/2 Tbsp chocolate hazelnut butter
  • Several shakes each of cinnamon and cloves
  • 1 cup hemp milk

Blend until smooth and enjoy! πŸ˜€

Um, delicious. I hope that you guys have a great weekend! What are you guys up to this weekend? I have a long run on the books for Sunday, an early morning workout tomorrow morning and brunch. It’s supposed to snow here on Saturday and I’m secretly excited. I hope I get to run in the snow on Sunday! Don’t tell anyone, the New Englanders get all mad at my Western New York-iness when I get excited about snow. πŸ˜€
Take care, and happy Friday! ❀
With warmth,
L xo

Girls’ Niiiiiiiight! (woo woo)

PicFrame (2)Last night I hung up my comfy pants and oven mitts and got ready to give my cheers-ing arm a workout. In the words of my girl R, “The only thing better than boozing tonight was removing my nylons when I got home from work.” Amen, sister. πŸ˜‰ (The second best thing was my military-precision execution of breakfast/lunch/gym bag packing last night after gettin’ toasty, so I was organized and ready to rumble when my alarm went off at 5 am, and rolled out of bed like a boss even though it was rainy and cold outside and I was exceptionally warm under the covers: L – 1, Bed – 0: winning!).

Last night, we went to River Bar at Assembly Row in Somerville (a brand spankin’ new dining/retail hot spot along the Mystic River with a newly build T stop, a gigantic movie theater, apartments, etc etc. Three years ago, there were empty lots of gravel and weeds in its place, a really sad looking Kmart and the busiest Home Depot ever – I cannot get over how much is there now!). I had never been before but River Bar’s menu included “elevated street food” (questionable) and an extensive drinks menu. The big draw is their 2,600 square foot outdoor patio with fire pits, couches and heat lamps. Sad for us, it decided to randomly snow (!!) which then turned into pouring rain last night so we were relegated to the much smaller inside dining space.

photo 4 (2)

I’m a chemist not a photographer, and my iPhone camera is limited, but this image captures the pretty stellar patio area of River Bar that is heated (!), has fire pits (marshmallows anyone?) and couches/lounge-y seating areas! Due to the deluge we were experiencing, we didn’t get to partake in any of its merriment.

Obviously to get things started, we ordered some drinks off their cocktail menu to refresh our palates. Round one: cocktails for all! πŸ˜€

photo (5)

River Bar’s cocktail menu

photo 2

Cocktails, round one (from top left): Rose Tyler (R), Prosecco w/Chamboard (A) & Jungle Cat (L)

The first round of cocktails were pretty delicious, but not perfection. I really liked the spiciness of the rum with the tartness of the lime in my “Jungle Cat” – a combo I will definitely be experimenting with in L’s Test Kitchen. πŸ˜‰ R said that her cocktail tasted like a cough drop at first but was good once you got past that (hence why we all ordered something else for round two, except A who was on the right track all along). As per usual, we were all starving so we ordered some food. There were slim pickings for vegetarian options, but I ordered the Grilled and Sauteed Vegetables (baby eggplant, greens, roasted shallot jelly and fried wontons).

photo 3

L’s meal: Grilled and Sauteed Vegetables (baby eggplant, greens, roasted shallot jelly and fried wontons)

photo 4

R & A ordered small plates to share: fried sweet potato (with pomegranate molasses and scallions), corned beef and cabbage dumplings (rye dipping sauce) and chicken and brie terrine (picked apples).

Frankly, the best thing we ate were the fried sweet potatoes – that pomegranate molasses was AMAZING, and I will definitely be making my own version in the near future (it was the perfect balance between tart, sweet and bold). Round two of cocktails we all decided to go with B&B’s namesake cocktail: Bubbles!! The gals ordered Prima Perla Prosecco, Veneto, and I ordered a glass of Louis de Grenelle Cremant de Loire β€˜Platine’, France. The bubbles were AMAZING and made me immediately regret ordering a cocktail off the drink menu. Bubbles all the way!! *ding*

photo 1 (3)

Bubbles: The. Best. Ever. *clink!*

photo 2 (3)

The fairly impressive bar of River Bar. I was such a tourist/creeper taking phots while people were enjoying their frosty bevs – I just wanted to share with you guys! πŸ˜€

All in all, a fabulous time with the girls. Next door to River Bar is amazing ice cream place (that has PHENOMENAL dairy-free ice cream choices!), J.P. Licks – they are a Boston-area staple. A little dessert was calling our name so we headed over there after our cocktails to assess the dessert situation (/we were all still at starvation station).

photo 2 (2)

The menu at JP Licks – look at all those vegan options!! Hoorayyyy!! πŸ˜€

I was really stoked on the dairy free scene at JP Licks, and I literally had a sample of every single one of the DF ice cream flavors (I’m pretty sure the guy behind the counter may have wanted to shank me). I ended up choosing half coconut almond and half maple walnut and was exceptionally pumped about life. They were AMAZING – no regrets there. Not gonna lie, I would have been totes happy with champagne and ice cream only for girls night – those were the highlights of my evening! πŸ˜€

photo 1 (2)

Vegan Ice Cream – YES PLEASE.

All in all, we had a pretty fantastic time out gabbing it up and getting some much needed girl time in. It’s really the company that matters more than anything, and spending time with my girls made up for the sad, miniature dinners we all ate and the “meh” cocktails. We were by far the loudest group in there – sometimes you just need laughter for your ab workout of the day πŸ˜‰

I hope all of your had exceptionally special and fantastic evenings last night, too! Happy Humpday! We made it halfway! Woo woo!!

xo,

L ❀

Churros + Cocktails = Girls Night Out Success

With all of the running around, meal prep-ing and working out, all while having a career (and family), it’s important to take a step back and take a day (or night) off. I am notoriously bad at this, but I’m pretty sure I’m not alone (I’m looking at you). One of the greatest perks of working out consistently (especially, I find, at the crack of dawn) is that your boot camp/spin/circuit training classmates (and trainers, and locker room regulars!) become your workout family. You get to know them, when you see them day in and day out: who’s planning their wedding, who is training for a marathon, who just welcomed a granddaughter, etc. It’s nice to have friendly faces to look forward to seeing in the morning, day after day (dude, it’s hard to get up at 5 am everyday, so anything exciting to get you out of bed helps). If you’re really lucky, they become your friends in “real life.”

I count myself especially lucky because two of my gym buddies and I planned a pretty stellar Girl’s Night Out last night. For me, it’s a little therapeutic to disrupt my military-precision execution of cooking dinner/meal prep for tomorrow/gym bag packing/bedtime routine. Sometimes you just have to go with the flow, man.

We chose Painted Burro (in Somerville, MA) as our destination for the evening: everyone was pumped for margs and tacos, olΓ©! Drinks were in order, I chose one my faves: a mojito (surprise, surprise), R chose a Spiced Pear Collins (Citadelle Gin, pear puree, rosemary & clove simple, lemon, prosecco) and A chose a Passionfruit Mojito (Privateer rum, passionfruit, lime, fresh mint). Needless to say, they were delicious.

photo 1They were perfectly complimented by fresh salsa and guacamole.

photo 2

The pics don’t do it justice, but that guac was BOMB! Compliments to R, and her future in hand modeling: “Wouldn’t it be great to have a job where you didn’t have to wear makeup?” Yes, R, it would. #KillingIt

Next up, tacos! I was the only veg in the group, and I ordered a grilled squash taco (fire roasted tomato salsa, basil purΓ©e, cotija) and “cholo” corn cob (basically street corn with garlic mojo mayo, cotija cheese, cayenne). R and A got meat tacos. R had Chorizo de la Casa (sunny side egg & papas, chipotle mayo) and Crispy Salmon Special (savoy cabbage & jalapeno slaw, lime-cilantro mayo). A had Pork Carnitas (crispy pork, spiced pumpkin mole, honey crisp apple salsa, mexican crema, cotija) and Short Rib Ropa Vieja “Double Stack” (crunchy & soft tortillas, tres quesos, roasted poblano, tomato, red onion). They were all fantastic. πŸ˜‰

photo 3

L’s Squash Taco and “Cholo” Corn Cob

photo 4

A’s tacos: Pork Carnitas & Short Rib Ropa Vieja “Double Stack”

photo 5

R’s tacos: Crispy Salmon Special & Chorizo de la Casa.

Then came the best part. CHURROS! I looooooooooove me some churros (If you’re wondering , “WTF is a churro, L?”, they are Spanish doughnuts, a fried dough pastry, and they are fantΓ‘stico). The love affair started at age 12 when my entire family (parents, sister, aunts, uncles, cousins and grandfather…14 of us all together – that’s a lot of very loud Italian-Americans, we didn’t stick out at all) went to Seville, Spain for Christmas to visit my cousin who was studying abroad there. It was a blast, and it sparked my love of tapas, paella and, obv, churros. In Sevilla, you can buy churros just about anywhere (there are street vendors all over the place) and you get them with con chocolate – a thick, dark and not overly sweet hot chocolate dipping sauce. You dip your churro in there and then (yessss!) drink the rest of it like hot chocolate (um, my mouth is watering while I type this – I have issues). They are damn good. However, I have not yet found a good replicate of that chocolate sauce – until last night. The Painted Burro makes theirs with Taza chocolate (the best chocolate you’ll ever have – it’s local stone ground, organic chocolate. Literally my fave sh*t ever) and it was SMASHING. Oh. Ma. Lord.

photo 1 (2)

Churros con chocolate. Si, por favor!

Combine all of that delicious food with laughter, great stories and sparkling cocktails and you have yourself one winner of an evening. It’s almost like hitting the reset button on your mood, and it’s only Wednesday! Ah, now I’m ready for the rest of my week. πŸ˜€

And, the best part is, we all took a day off from our morning workout. I was a little sore from my runs/circuit training earlier this week, but more importantly, mentally needed a break (my last one was some time two weeks ago – yeahhh…) and now I’m ready to take on Hump Day by storm (woop, woop!). I think the hardest part of taking a day off is relieving yourself from the self-imposed guilt (“ugh, I should just get up and go to spin, blah”) but really – everyone needs a day off, be it physically, mentally or both. Balance, people. It’s the hardest part of an active lifestyle (for me at least). We all should allow ourselves to have a break when we work hard everyday and deserve it. So let’s all do that, shall we?

photo 2 (2)

My sad, lonely abandoned gym bag. I’ll be back tomorrow, pookie! I promise.

I hope you guys allow yourself a refreshing, delightful night/day off when you need it. I feel ready to take the world by storm today!

No regrets, ❀ ❀ ❀

L