Friday, September 30, 2011

3 Hot Drinks

First off, The Help was the best movie I have seen in a really long time. I laughed, I cried, I was angry, and I was sad. It speaks to you! You have to love a good movie like that. I usually love movies based on books because they have that literary quality—they have a purpose and you are meant to get something out of it. Loved it. Now I want to read the book and do some research on it!

For breakfast this morning, I had oatmeal with strawberries and a glass of milk for 7 points.

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Instead of my usual coffee, I drank Trader Joe’s Duchess Grey tea for 0 points.

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My weight has been EXACTLY the same for days. This happened last week too, although I was exactly a pound lighter. It’s the strangest thing. My weight isn’t moving. Not even an ounce!

On my first break, I ate an apple and peanut butter for 3 points.

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For lunch, I had a BBQ chicken salad with flax seeds, chickpeas and feta for 7 points. I missed my tomatoes! We are getting really low on groceries right now…It’s kind of an ugly salad without them!

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I finished it up with a 100 calorie pack of cookies for 3 points.

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In the afternoon, I sipped on a diet hot cocoa for 1 point.

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On my last break, I ate a plum for 0 points.

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I REALLY needed my caffeine fix at this point. I was having a hard time thinking and talking straight. So I heated up some coffee with a little creamer for 1 point.

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Yes. Count it. That’s my third hot drink of the day. SmileTea, hot cocoa, and coffee. It was COLD in the house today!

I was jealous because hubby got home 2 hours before I got off work. No fun! But I got off of work 30 minutes early—so that helped!

For supper, I made cheese ravioli with vodka sauce, garlic bread and green beans for 12 points.

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I had a half serving of the sauce and the ravioli because I needed to keep my points down. It was a struggle because I really wanted to eat more, but honestly—didn’t need it. I filled up on green beans and I am full. It was SOOO delicious though!

I finished it up with FF/SF vanilla pudding and topped it with sprinkles for aesthetics. Winking smile 2 points.

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Since hubby and I had our date night last night we are going to stay home tonight and I am so looking forward to that! A quiet night at home sounds just perfect. I plan on finishing the assembly of my table that I started yesterday. I am proud of myself for doing this because usually hubby does it. But I’m all about girls being capable and not playing that dumb “I’m too girly for that” game. Girl power!! lol. I’m all about being girly, but I’m all about being smart, capable and able to do just about anything a man can do too! I even had hubby teach me how to change a tire…lol I’ve never had to do it, but I want to know how in case I have to!! How about you?

We also plan on going for a walk tonight. Looking forward to that too!

Tomorrow, my assignment is to sit down and write about my struggles. Honestly and openly. I think it will help me to confront the issue head on. Be honest with myself. I’m hoping I can get something out of this. So stay tuned for that tomorrow!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Hungry Day

Thank you to those of you who gave such great advice to my cholesterol question. I appreciate it!

Yesterday was a super busy day. It was also weigh in day. I gained 1 lb. Sad smile That’s no fun at all. I’m starting to get frustrated with myself—but that’s a post all of it’s own, which I think I should probably explore sometime soon to try to get to the bottom of this. I have established that I am VERY GOOD at maintaining… but that’s not the goal right now!

For breakfast this morning, I had cheerios with a banana and milk for 4 points.

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I decided to do my homework in my warm bed. The house is so cold but we have a heater in the bedroom. I read about 10 pages and fell asleep—but only for about 15 minutes. But I made myself an iced coffee for 1 point and that helped a lot. My birthday roses are still pretty! For some reason, that light pink color reminds me of my Grandma and it makes me a little sad.

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I also ate a Fiber One bar that my sister sent me for 4 points.

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Doing homework in a warm bed probably isn’t the best idea. I could barely stay awake—but I got a lot done!

I ate a super early lunch of a sandwich made with light bread, swiss and turkey—heated up in the microwave—for 5 points.

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I got ready to leave and just as I was heading out the door I got an email saying my first class was canceled. SAVED! We had a quiz scheduled for today that I wasn’t in the least bit prepared for and it’s postponed until Tuesday. Yay! So I stayed home a little while longer and worked on more homework.

And since I had already made a smoothie for the road, I drank that while doing my homework. It was a triple berry smoothie: strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries. I also added 1/2 scoop of Jillian Michaels’ vanilla protein powder for a total of 2 points.

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It’s been a long time since I made a smoothie! I need to get some spinach and start making green smoothies again. Yummy!

I don’t know what was with me today. I woke up not feeling hungry at all, so I ate a light breakfast. And then a couple of hours after breakfast I just got SOOO hungry! Which explains why I ate so much in the morning! I also ate a piece of light toast with peanut butter and a sliced banana for 4 points.

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All of this before 11:00! My day starts at 5 A.M…but still! I was way more hungry than usual for some reason!

My two classes went fine today. They were over in no time!

After class, I went to Target to look for a new small table for my office. I found the perfect one.

On my way home, I ate animal crackers for 3 points.

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And carrot sticks for 0 points.

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It was SOOO windy today! I felt like I was going to blow away walking to and from class. When I got home, I arrived to my flower pots strewn all over the lawn. These pots didn’t even move an inch when we had 150 mph winds this past summer! Kind of funny how that works! haha

I was pretty excited to get our my new pink tool set from hubby and put together my new table. hehe

This is as far as I got before hubby called to say he was on his way home:

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But I’m getting there and am off to go finish putting it together right now! Smile

Tonight, Hubby and I are going out for dinner and to see The Help which I’ve been wanting to see!

Have a good one!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Advice Needed- The Cholesterol Question

One of my family members recently found out that they have high cholesterol. Instead of going on meds, they are trying to make lifestyle changes first. I am looking for any information you can give me on how to prevent and or lower high cholesterol. I know that many of you deal with high cholesterol and would love to hear what you have to say. Any good recipes you would suggest? What foods do you avoid? What foods should you eat more of?

Any advice would be much appreciated!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

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This morning was one of those mornings I wished I had gotten all of my homework done over the weekend so I could just stay in bed today…but no such luck!

For breakfast, I had light toast with PB and a sliced banana along with a glass of milk for 5 points.

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And then it was time to work on homework. I sipped on a Pumpkin Spice latte for 1 point.

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This is actually just Godiva Pumpkin Spice coffee with a little Pumpkin Spice creamer—so maybe not an official “latte” but it’s delicious!

I worked on homework for a couple of hours and then took a quick break to do a 10 Minute Solution Six Pack Ab Attack workout. I burned 41 calories. I figure if I try to fit in a little activity when I can, it will all add up. I should have been doing homework…but I needed a break!

I ate my super early lunch before leaving for school. I had a chicken wrap with laughing cow, ranch and lettuce for 5 points.

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I also had a serving of FF/SF chocolate pudding with Cool Whip Free for 2 points.

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And then it was off to school. I dread school every.single.day and then when I am done with class, I am glad I went! So far this semester I have gotten all A’s on every test, quiz, and paper. So far so good! At this point, I feel like my education has all started to come together. I am seriously considering graduate school but will have to take a semester off because we booked a cruise at the beginning of next semester! That will give me some time to think about it.

In one of my classes, we learned how to make animated videos—which was so fun and cool. I’m liking that class a lot. It’s right up my alley. Electronic literature. Combining writing and technology—two things I love!!

Before my second class, I ate a Fiber Chewy Bar for 2 points.

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After school, I headed over to the cute little market that I discovered makes and sells natural peanut butter. I bought another package of it. This time they were selling Honey Roasted Peanut Butter and I tasted a little and it’s DELISH!

And it happens to be right around the corner from the Cupcakery…so I had to stop there of course. I’ve been wanting to try their cake balls, so I bought a package. I ate the chocolate one only (it was quite a struggle not to eat them both, but if I am going to indulge, I have to do so and stay in control) for an estimate for 4 points.

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Not worth 4 points! I wasn’t all that impressed, actually. Their cupcakes are much more worth it! Although the white one is Strawberry Shortcake and I bet that tastes pretty good!

And then I headed home! I was actually very hungry. I ate carrots for 0 points.

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I also ate an apple for 0 points.

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And a light cheese stick for 1 point.

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I sat down at my computer for a couple of minutes and received an email alerting me Penny from Daily Mile had sent me motivation. It was just what I needed to get me outside to get some activity in. I walked 1.87 miles in 33 minutes, which is actually a much faster pace than usual for me! I burned 224 calories. I really want to get back in to running but I find that when I can’t talk myself in to a run, I can always talk myself into going for a walk. I enjoy walking. It’s a de-stressor for me.

But mostly I didn’t run today because I’ve been having this dull pain in my lower right abdomen and I’m really not sure what it is so I’m trying to be somewhat careful until I go to the doctor next week for an appointment and I’ll mention it to her and see what she thinks. It has been going on for quite a while, I remember noticing it first back when I had the heartburn issue. Hopefully it’s nothing, which I’m sure it isn’t!

For supper, I had eggs, a waffle with SF syrup, turkey sausage and a bowl of fruit for 10 points.

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Delish!

After relaxing a bit, hubby and I cleaned the house. It took 1 hour and 20 minutes and I burned 400 calories—that’s a good workout! That’s a total of 665 calories burned today—nice!

Tomorrow is weigh in day. Fingers crossed.

Monday, September 26, 2011

It’s Definitely Fall

Why do the weekends have to go so quickly? I had an awesome birthday weekend! Be sure to check out my birthday recap if you haven’t already. I also posted a recipe for a Godiva Coffee Salted Caramel Pecan Bark Mocha Latte Recipe for only 5 Points Plus—this is so good too! A Journey to Thin was also chosen as one of the top 50 health blogs by dietspotlight.com.

I am going to be honest and say that I didn’t track my points from Thursday through Sunday. It was liberating not to be obsessing about food! I ate when I was hungry and stopped when I was full. I barely snacked. I wasn’t perfect—but I was satisfied. And you know what? I usually gain a few pounds over the weekend, and I am only up 1 lb. this morning which means I probably did better than normal! I tend to lose most of my weight at the beginning of the week. Maybe I should try this intuitive eating thing, although I’d be a little scared!

For breakfast this morning, I had oatmeal with fresh strawberries and a glass of milk for 7 points.

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I wasn’t very thrilled about working today—but so is life. While working, I sipped on coffee with french vanilla creamer for 1 point.

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For my first break, I ate a light cheese stick for 1 point.

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For lunch, I made a chicken taco salad for 6 points. I added Garbanzo beans to this salad—they are so good!

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I also had a Yoplait Crème Carmel parfait for 3 points.

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This had a nice texture and was very thick and creamy, but probably not worth 3 points.

On my break, I ate an apple and peanut butter for 3 points.

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I was having a tough day at work and I let it get the best of me. On my last break I ate a turtle for 2 points.

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And some Dove chocolate for 2 points.

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I brought coffee back to my desk for 1 point.

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For supper, I made butternut squash soup, broccoli and grilled cheese for 7 points.

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I finished it up with FF/SF chocolate pudding for 2 points.

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After supper, hubby and I headed out for a walk. It rained all day. It looked so cold and gloomy outside. But the rain stopped long enough for a nice 34 minute walk. It was a breezy, chilly, gloomy, yet beautiful fall walk! Loved it! Smile We walked 1.77 miles and I burned 220 calories.

With the weather, the butternut squash soup and my cravings for warm coffee—it’s definitely fall!

Overall, it was a pretty good day!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Top 50 Health Blogs

A Journey to Thin has been chosen by dietspotlight.com to be one of the top 50 health blogs. It’s an honor to be on a list of so many great bloggers—many of which I read! So, if anything else—take a look at the list of great blogs by clicking here.

And thank you to dietspotlight.com for noticing my blog!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Godiva Coffee Salted Caramel Pecan Bark Mocha Latte Recipe- 5 Points Plus

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This is a very simple way to make a latte without a fancy machine. It’s very easy and can be done at home!

Ingredients:

  • 12 oz. hot brewed Godiva Caramel Pecan Bark Coffee
  • 1/2 cup hot 1% milk—microwave for 30 seconds
  • 1/2 package diet hot cocoa mix
  • 2 Tbs. Fat Free Caramel Sauce
  • 1 Tbs. Splenda
  • Sea Salt in a grinder
  • 2 Tbs. Cool Whip Free

Directions:

  1. Blend coffee, milk, hot cocoa mix, 1 Tbs. Caramel Sauce, Splenda, and as much sea salt as about 10 turns of the grinder in a blender until well blended. Once blended, froth should appear on top.
  2. Pour into your favorite mug and top with 2 Tbs. Cool Whip and drizzle with 1 Tbs. Caramel Sauce. You can also sprinkle a little sea salt on top if you wish. Enjoy!

According to the WW recipe builder, this equals out to 5 Points Plus.

And for all of you who don’t follow WW—I used Spark People to calculate the nutrition information and it came up with: 186 calories, 1.2 g. Fat, 38 Carbs, .5 Fiber, 6.6 g. Protein.

This is the perfect fall inspired drink. Cuddle up around a bonfire and sip on one of these! Make one ahead and take it with you to a football game—save some money and calories!

Go to Godivacoffee.com to print out a $2 OFF coupon—fabulous savings! You must try Godiva Coffee—it is simply FABULOUS!

This post is a part of a Foodbuzz Tastemaker program with Godiva Coffee. I was sent coffee to review. This recipe is my own creation—attempting to make a coffee shop style drink without the calories and hefty price! Thanks for the Coffee Godiva and Foodbuzz!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Happy 26th Birthday to Me! (A Long Post with Pictures!)

Today is my birthday. Happy birthday to me! I am 26 years old today. It’s hard to believe—I remember when I turned 13!! This is going to be a long post—so be prepared! Winking smileIt’s always fun to look back at previous years and see the pictures, etc.! I can’t believe how different I looked only a year ago!! I guess I AM making progress!

The birthday celebrations actually started last night. Hubby suggested we go see Luke Bryan as an early birthday present. I LOOOOVE me some Luke Bryan! We saw him before at a Dierks Bentley concert—actually where we heard of him for the first time, he was the opening act. But for this concert he was the main act! There were four performers—all were fantastic: Matt Mason, Lee Brice, Josh Thompson and Luke Bryan. Here are a few pics.

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Matt Mason:

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Lee Brice:

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Josh Thompson:

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And then Luke Bryan—he’s a fantastic performer! The ladies love his dance moves…myself included! lol He came out into the crowd at one point and had to stop the concert because he said it was “crazy” and he didn’t want anyone getting hurt. I saw girls pushing each other down trying to get to him! It was pretty nuts.

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I’m disappointed that my pictures didn’t turn out from when he came into the crowd—we were so close to him!

But if you don’t know who he is—this is his newest release! And you can see his dance moves, ladies! Winking smile

Luke Bryan

When we got home, hubby surprised me with my first birthday gift.

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awww Love it! Smile

We got home late last night, but hubby and I both took today off of work so we got to sleep in. Although I didn’t make it past 6:30! Hubby had these on the table when I went downstairs:

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Beautiful pink roses! I am so spoiled!

And then he brought in a bunch more gifts which he had gone outside to the garage to wrap—probably in the bed of his truck. I love my husband. lol

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The man knows me well. Winking smileNot to mention he emailed me a Starbucks gift card too!

But the cutest gift of all was this girl tool set! My husband is a carpenter so I thought this was absolutely adorable!! And this will come in so handy!! It has a tape measure, a hammer, wrench, pliers, a level, etc—and they’re all pink!

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And since this is a Friday—I decided to do my regular food post throughout the day. I am not going to post points values today because I just wanted to enjoy the day. But I did watch what I was eating to some extent. SmileI stayed mindful.

For  breakfast, I topped 1/2 a sandwich thin with pb and a sliced banana and also had a glass of milk.

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And then I made a pot of Godiva Pecan Caramel Bark coffee and had a cup along with creamer.

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My in-law's gave me this candle for my birthday and it smells so good! It’s Hot chocolate scented.

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We made a trip to a nearby town to pick up hubby’s new license plates. He joined the Hawkeye club—he was very excited to get these. Smile

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And then we headed to another town for the day. The plan for today was to go for a long bike ride, but on Thursday, hubby shot a nail through his hand at work, so the pressure on his hands when riding a bike wasn’t the best idea! So we just spent the day doing whatever instead! I’m just glad he was ok!!

We started off at a restaurant we had never been to before. And we will DEFINITELY be going back! We started off with a Crab Rangoon type appetizer, although it was called something else. These were baked—so I really loved that.

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And then we had sushi as our main course.

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A fabulous and light lunch!

And then for my favorite part. There is the ADORABLE and increasingly popular cupcake bakery that we like to go to. We rarely go and it’s always a treat. Today, I had the Red Velvet cupcake.

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Hubby had the butterscotch:

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These cupcakes are absolutely phenomenal. The frosting makes them!

And for once we were in town when this cool store was open! I’ve been wanting to check this place out forever.

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We got some fun things! They make natural peanut butter right there in the store! They make it right when you order it in this machine and they have different kinds throughout the week—I will definitely be going back here!

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Hubby loves white chocolate, so he got this Pomengranate truffle. I had a bite of it—very delicious!

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We did a little shopping and I used some birthday money, from my parents and in-law’s, to buy a couple of things—although I didn’t find much! I can definitely tell I’m getting older because things like cupcake tiers and icing spatulas on clearance got me excited! Winking smile But what a great deal!!

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Originally $14.99 and on clearance for $3.74! And these spatulas were originally $9.99 and on clearance for $2.48. And they go with my kitchen so well. I was checking out the Nordic Ware brand at Target and I am in love with their products!

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I was really excited to learn that I can now fit into clothes at Aeropostale! XL—but I can finally shop there! I got this really cute sweater for $12.99.

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After shopping, we went to Starbucks so I could get my free drink for my birthday for being a part of their green club! I got a Salted Caramel Mocha—it was DELISH! Not something I would normally order due to the calories—but I decided today would be the day to try it. It was really good—but a little rich to be something I would want to order on a regular basis.

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My sister in law (and family) sent me an Old Navy gift card which I didn’t get a chance to use today but plan on using tomorrow! Thanks!! Can’t wait to get some new fall clothes because I REALLY need them!

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And then we went home to change clothes and go out for supper! We decided to dress up a little to go out for supper—and seriously I don’t think we have ever done that before! It made it feel like a date! Smile

I purchased a Living Social deal a long time ago and it was about to expire. It was PERFECT for tonight! We got to sit in this big round booth and the place had dark lighting and this romantic feel. We had an appetizer of stuffed shrimp which was SOOO good. It also came with a salad, bread, and a relish tray. I had a few bites of all of that but didn’t finish any of it completely—lots to eat!

For my main entrée, I ordered grilled shrimp, scallops, lobster and crab. I have never eaten anything that you have to use tools to eat lol. It was fun and delicious! It felt fancy. Winking smile I was really impressed because none of it was buttery or anything—very healthy!

Hubby asked if they did anything for birthdays so they brought me out a chocolate sundae with a candle (a pink one!). It was the perfect ending. I didn’t feel comfortable taking pictures in this place, but the food was fantastic and we got by on next to nothing with the Living Social deal! We did snap a picture of ourselves though:

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I had a fantastic birthday and I have hubby to thank for that. I am blessed with such an amazing, thoughtful, and loving husband. Thank you for EVERYTHING!!!