Viva Italiano!

Wow, you guys. Your responses to yesterday’s post really blew me away. You’re awesome, plain & simple, so thank you.

I have to admit, I was kind of a nervous wreck waiting for that post to publish! I wasn’t really expecting hostility or anything like that, but opening myself up like that, being that vulnerable… it made me nervous. I ended up having a rather melancholy weekend because of it (well, partly because of the horrible weather, and partly because I’m just crazypants. Ah well.) Luckily, I had something to look forward to last night! (Sidenote: whoever thought I’d be looking to Monday to make me feel better about the weekend?!)

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Pic by Ben

Dinner with the fam at a local favorite: Argia’s! The ‘rents, the bro, and I were joined by our aunt & uncle who are in town for a couple of days.

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I think my sushi shirt is totes appropriate in an Italian restaurant, don’t you?

I’ve mentioned Argia’s on the blog before, but just to remind you, it’s an Italian restaurant that specializes in family-style eating. We didn’t opt for that this time though, so everyone just ordered what they had a taste for. Argia’s, however, doesn’t seem to make too big of a distinction between their solo and famiglia servings. Portion size, schmortion size, right?

Caesar
Et tu, Brute?

Mussels Man
Happy as a mussel!

I tried to order thoughtfully so that I would neither regret nor resent my meal, so I went with seafood & a caesar. I know that caesars are not exactly the nutritious king of salads, but hey, at least it’s green, right? Of course, I ended up with the biggest caesar salad in creation alongside the amazing (and plentiful!) mussels. Lucky for my waistline weigh-in, Ben was more than happy to help me out with the massive amounts of food!

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Pic by Ben

Dinner last night was actually Part 2 of my not-so-stellar weekend recovery plan. Part 1 was seeing 50/50 Sunday night – absolutely fantastic movie, by the way. I LOVE Joseph Gordon-Levitt. And Part 3?

Harold

Why, just a little puppy love.

Someone needs a haircut
Somebody needs a haircut…

I think I can safely say that I’m on the road to recovery, hehe.

Is it just me, or is Daxter totally up to something in this last pic? Better watch your back, Harry…

Favorite Italian dish: go! Mine is ravioli, hands down. So many possibilities… so much awesomeness. If I had been ordering with reckless, delicious abandon, I’d have gotten the ricotta & goat cheese ravioli in butternut squash sauce that my dad ordered. Mmmm… is there such a thing as not-completely-fakey low-cal ravioli?

PS: In case you hadn’t already been inundated with tweets about it, my story was featured on caloriecount.com yesterday!

PPS: It’s my parents’ 31st anniversary today! Thanks for getting married so you’d eventually (far down the line, after having two kids you had actually planned on) give birth to me, Mom & Dad! <3

Scion DC

I am on a happy hour roll lately. I seriously think that I’ve participated in more happy hours in the two months since starting my new job than I had in the rest of my (still relatively short) working life combined! And last night I got to continue the trend at…

Scion

Scion! I really enjoyed this new-to-me Dupont Circle restaurant, despite being constantly reminded of my brother’s car the entire time I was there (a Scion TC – doesn’t my post title seem clever now? Hahaha.)

Specials!

The happy hour specials aren’t quite as good as they were at Cafe Asia, but the beer selection was good! And the waitstaff was great — I know, because I ended up hanging out with them for the better part of an hour while waiting for the rest of the gang to arrive, haha. At least you can’t say I’m not punctual?

Beer me
Luckily, I had some good company to wait with, hehe.

And before I knew it, Tina, Gina, and Leslie were there!

Tina & Me
GinaAnd her little dog too

The three of them are in town for a ridiculously awesome DC food tour, which included a visit to the What’s Cooking, Uncle Sam? exhibit at the National Archives that I still haven’t made time for. Shame on me! We were also joined by Linsday, Katie, and Katie (heh), who I didn’t want to freak out too much, so I didn’t force them to pose for a picture.

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Fried Pickles

The seven us split ALL of the happy hour special appetizers. Fried food galore! I was in heaven, especially with the fried pickles. These were perfection! Light and crispy, like little amazing pickle chips. Mmmm.

Croquette

The shrimp was my second favorite, followed by these little croquettes. There may or may not have also been fries. So much for that whole back on track stuff, eh? Bahaha.

Despite my less than stellar week weight-wise, I am actually feeling pretty good going into this weekend. I don’t really have anything in particular planned yet, which can be risky since boredom eating is a definite weakness of mine. That being said, I think that a low-key, low-stress weekend is just what I, well, not need, but want. You know, to “reset” my system and cleanse myself of all this bad weigh-in karma. I have several fresh, healthy meals in mind, am planning on another trip to my beloved Farmer’s Market, and I might even attempt going out for my first post-5 miler run! (Say whaaa?)

Are you a stay-busy-weekend or be-lazy-weekend person? I usually like a good mix of both (busy Saturdays, lazy Sunday, natch.) Lately my weekends have been so jam-packed though, that I especially relish the weekend bumming. Whatever your weekend style may be, I hope you have a great one!

PS: If you have a second this weekend, pop on over to What Katie Said to wish her good luck. She’s lost SEVENTY pounds and is running her first half-marathon on Sunday! Rockstar, much?!

Olé!

Okay, first things first: thank you all so much for your waywayway too kind comments on yesterday’s post about the Navy 5 miler. Not only am I proud of myself for finishing, but you guys make me feel like Wonder Woman! Even though we all know it wasn’t the best race ever (um, I think I’ll try actually training next time.) Best. Readers. Ever. 🙂

So unfortunately, last night I had plans to meet up with some old friends for, you guessed it, sushi that didn’t end up happening. My dinner plans may have fallen through, but that didn’t mean I couldn’t do up something grand(é). It wasn’t long before our cucina was hustling and bustling with alimento mexicano!

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Taylor suggested we make homemade Chipotle for dins, and I couldn’t say “sí” fast enough! I looooove me some Chipots, but I certainly don’t love dropping $8 per bowl (when did they make the switch from calling them burrito “bols” to “bowls”, by the way?) We got to save some dinero and ensure some clean, lower-sodium eating in one fell swoop! (How are you liking the remnants of my 8th grade Spanish peeking out here? De nada.)

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More kitchen therapy for me! Mince, chop, slice!

Now, we’re no homemade Chipotle n00bs here, but our recipe is definitely still a work in progress. We get closer and closer every time we make it though! The only thing that I think we’re still unable to get a close match on is the chicken.

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Not that our chicken isn’t mighty tasty, but it’s just not quite the same. We’ve been seasoning it with a chile powder blend + ground chipotle pepper. Anybody know the secret? Maybe a wet marinade?

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I guess for now we’ll just have to keep taste-testing. Hey, it’s a hard job, but somebody’s got to do it!

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One thing I do think we have down pat is the corn salsa. Muy delicioso. Who says salsa needs tomatoes?

Corn Salsa: Step 1Corn Salsa: Step 2Corn Salsa: Step 3
Onion, jalapeño, corn, cilantro, salt, pepper, and just a squeeeeze of lime!

Making this kind of dinner at home can be time consuming, just because it has so many components. But if you have the time to commit, it’s totally worth it!

Fixins

Variety is the spice of life, after all.

Dinnertime

All together now:

Me Gusta

In total, and from the bottom up, we have: cilantro-lime rice, black beans, peppers & onions, chicken, plain nonfat greek yogurt (a healthy, lower-cal sour cream substitution), corn salsa, and a pinch o’ cheese.

Burrito Bol

Salud!

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Gretchen tested…

Thumbs up!

… and brother approved! Te gusta. Er, gusto? Okay, okay, I give up.

Let’s instead focus on the slightly disturbing fact that Ben and I essentially have the same haircut right now. Awk.

What’s your favorite at-home restaurant re-creation? You’d think that homemade sushi would top my list, but unfortunately the level of difficulty (I mean, if you think this was time consuming…) doesn’t exactly make it a feasible go-to. So homemade burrito bowls are definitely my #1, followed closely by home-baked pizza. Trader Joe’s ready-to-go pizza doughs just make it so easy!

Sushi Hour

Since “sushi” is pretty much synonymous with the word “happy” in my eyes, I think this post title totally works. So it’s probably no surprise then that after last night’s third DC blogger monthly meetup I am the sushiest gal around.

Maki
Heaven.

I met up with Jess, Carly, Claire, Catrina, and Amy at Cafe Asia in Rosslyn for happy hour last night!

Cafe Asia

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Claire, Jess, and Carly.

I tried to ration out my eating properly throughout the day since I know I just can’t help myself when it comes to sushi. Turns out that was a very good call…

BurrGyoza
Edamame

I had never been there before, but Cafe Asia’s happy hour is pretty fantastic. $2.50 draft beers and $3 apps! The space was really big too, so it was easy to move from the bar to a table when we realized there would be just six of us.

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Showing off my Whasian pride with Catrina.

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Amy & me

After we were seated, we settled in for the main event. I decided that it would be a good idea to eat an entire avocado for dinner, so I started with the following “salad”:

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There’s some shredded cucumber and wakame buried under there too, I promise.

Before moving onto this deliciousness:

NOM.

Claire had the fancy dragon roll on the right as well as the tuna roll, and I demolished the salmon, eel & avocado, and “Cafe Asia” roll on the left. I wasn’t kidding about the amount of avocado I consumed today. Totally counts as a “green”, right?

And as if my day wasn’t sushi-tastic enough, LivingSocial had a deal today for 50% off of sushi at Maneki Neko in Falls Church! I’ve always considered them to be “the other” when it comes to FC sushi (my loyalty lies with Koi Koi now and forever!) but hey, with a deal this good I’m definitely willing to broaden my horizons!

What’s your sushi stance? I find it’s a very polarizing cuisine: people either love it or hate it. It’s clearly no secret that I’m part of the former category, but some of you might be surprised to hear that Steve really doesn’t like it! I’ve finally gotten him to the point where he’s at least willing to take me to sushi restaurants though (where he’ll order the teriyaki chicken, haha), so I guess I can’t really complain. Doesn’t stop me from trying to force him to eat it anyway though. LIKE IT. LIKE IT, I SAY!

A Beach Wedding

Friday, I went to the beach.

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And although I did stick my toes in the sand (not that there was much of a choice) there was another reason behind the trip.

Pre-Wedding Posing

Steve and I had a wedding to attend! My first beach wedding ever, in fact.

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The festivities couldn’t commence without self-taken pictures in the bathroom mirror of my wedding outfit though, natch.

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Hahahaha, I’m such a dork. I even got my nails “Shellac’d” for this gig. It’s nail polish that’s supposed to last 2+ weeks!

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With my track record with manicures, however, we’ll have to see how things go, haha.

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Steve was a groomsman in this beautiful beach wedding that took place in (or rather, on!) Rehoboth Beach, DE.

Charge
Studly.

I accompanied his parents and played the role of that obnoxious person that nobody knows who is taking too many pictures. Heehee.

Dapper
Groomsmen in Wait

The boyf performed his duties beautifully, of course.

Parents

And I only have one thing to say when it comes to the Whasian (!!!!) ring bearer and flower girl in the ceremony.

Bearer of the RingsPinwheel
O.M.G.

Let’s just get a closer look of that adorbs-ness:

Flower Girl
I die.

But of course, there was really only one star of this show.

Father of the Bride
From daughter…

Rory & Jen!
… to wife!

And with a kiss (that I failed to get a good picture of, haha) Rory and Jen were married. Congratulations, guys!

Take your seat

Time to celebrate!

Cake on the BeachSheashells

First with cocktail hour, of course. Vodka soda for me!

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In lieu of traditional throw-away favors, Rory & Jen made a donation to a no-kill animal shelter, which I loved! They have a dog, so I thought this was a fantastic way to include her in the wedding (of course, I have all sorts of plans to literally include my dogs in my someday wedding, haha. Are you surprised?)

Dedication

There was a great spread, too! The weddings I’ve been to lately have REALLY been on the ball when it comes to the eats! Let’s hope the trend continues for the next three I’ll be attending…

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Cocktail hour included a fruit & cheese platter, plus passed hors d’oeuvre (including the AMAZING bacon-wrapped scallop below!)

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And dinner started off with a spinach salad with dried cranberries, crumbled bacon, blue cheese, and a super garlicky dressing.

Ensalata

Before hitting us with a full-scale buffet of deliciousness!

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Prime rib AND chicken AND crab cakes, OH MY! I couldn’t even make it through my plate, there was so much food. Nommmm.

First danceTwirl
I love weddings.

The sweetest part of the whole thing (other than the cake)? Rory took dance lessons to prepare for the big day! Not to worry, though. He wasn’t the only one showing off on the dance floor:

Dance Party!
Rave on.

I even managed to get Steve to cut a rug with me for a dance or two. 🙂

We stayed late to help with the clean up and whatnot, which led to its own silliness, haha.

Flowers. So hot right now.
Flowers. So hot right now. Flowers.

As you can see, it was a gorgeous wedding. 2011 Weddings: two down, three to go!

So after some deliberation, and the 249,892,348 words that made up this way-too-long post, I have made the executive decision to switch my weigh-in day. I recently received a comment on an older post suggesting I switch days from Monday to later in the week. The reasoning is that it might change my mentality about how I treat the weekends (in which I usually go balls-to-the-wall… oops.) Plus, I have to admit that it does feels weird tacking on my weigh-in to these huge weekend catch-up posts each week. We’ll see how it goes!

Purely for the alliteration, I’ve picked Wednesday as my new weigh-in day. Hopefully by then I’ll have actually kicked this cold (it has been holding on with a DEATH GRIP) and will have some happy news to report. I can’t lie, it’s been kind of nice not worrying about my weight for the past 2 weeks… but hopefully this little weigh-cation won’t end miserably… bum bum bum.

Are you a yay-weddings or nay-weddings kind of person? In case you couldn’t tell, I LOVE WEDDINGS. I fully realize I’m nowhere near getting married anytime soon, but that doesn’t stop me from watching marathons of “Say Yes to the Dress” and keeping a “Someday” board on Pinterest. You know. Just in case. 😉

PS: Thanks so much for the kind words and amazing experiences shared through your comments on Friday’s post. If you’re ever in need of an ally in this weight-loss battle we fight, you’ll find about 25 of them there.