Skinny Patio Season

31 May

I just can’t stand to be inside when the weather is gorgeous, so you can probably imagine the bummed out look on my face right now. The weather we’re having is perfection, and being trapped inside an office is just cruel. Fortunately, my lunch breaks give me a little time to escape, relax on a patio & soak up the sunshine.

The other day, my husband took off of work and joined me for lunch. Well, his was the liquid version…’tis the season!

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Since I work in Clarendon, the hubs suggested American Tap Room. I’ve only been there for happy hour(s) so I was excited to try their grub and get out of the office for a bit with my cute lunch date. Plus, their patio is great for people watching. My fave!

ATR offers skinny cocktails, so it was no surprise to me that I would be able to find a low calorie lunch that would satisfy my appetite.

I ordered the lunch special which comes with a half sandwich and a side of your choice for $10. To keep it on the light side, I chose the Greek Turkey Burger with asparagus. And I’m glad I did.

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Taproom’s Greek Turkey Burger is made with hummus, tzatziki, and all sorts of mouth-watering, flavorful ingredients. If only all restaurants could make turkey burgers taste this good.

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And since it’s packed with protein, a half is all you need.

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It was the perfect portion size so I didn’t slug around the rest of the day, and the asparagus was light and refreshing. Perfect for the warm weather :) And since summer is almost here and hemlines are getting shorter, you won’t feel guilty with this low calorie, delicious lunch.

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I honestly can’t wait to go back again and order this dish. With 4 locations in the DC area, you might want to get on it too.

Surf N’ Turfin’ in Newport, RI

29 May

Happy Humpday, folks! Sorry I’ve been a little MIA the past week, but this just means I have a lot of stuff to share with you today.

The hubby and I were in Newport, RI over Memorial Day weekend for a friends wedding AND our one-year anniversary. This was my first time to Newport and let me just say, this was the most perfect location to celebrate and kick off year two of marriage. Obviously, being on vacation, I splurged a little when it came to food, but I was able to find light bites as well.

We arrived on Saturday morning and went straight to Diego’s. My husband raves about this place since he has traveled to Newport before. They serve gourmet Mexican dishes, and since I’m a fan of anything involving cilantro and guacamole, I couldn’t wait to try it.

Speaking of guac…

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Umm, this stuff was ridiculous, and certainly not your average guac…

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Spicy, creamy perfection. They mix it with a pepper relish that gives it an awesome kick. I came very close to licking the bowl. Wish I was kidding. The best part is, since the guacamole is so good, you won’t go overboard on the chips.

Since I am a huge Mexican food lover, I frequently make skinny quesadillas at home since it’s impossible to find a restaurant that serves a skinny-friendly dilla. When I first started on my quest to find skinny restaurant option, I started wondering why more Mexican spots don’t offer whole wheat tortillas. Welp, Diego’s knows what’s up. They give you the option to have your quesadilla made with either a flour or wheat tortilla.

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Why this is so hard for other restaurants to get, I’ll never understand. So thank you, Diego’s, for making it possible for me to enjoy a favorite meal of mine on the lighter side.

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I ordered mine with shrimp and it was perfect. Which makes sense since it’s called “The Perfect Quesadilla”.

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It’s stuffed with black beans, baja cheese and tomatoes. The sautéed snow peas on the side were amazingly good as well. I couldn’t even finish half of my meal, it was so filling. Unfortunately, I left the leftovers in the fridge at our hotel room. I just hope whoever cleaned it out got to enjoy the goodness. If not, their loss.

Now, we all know you can’t go to New England without ordering a lobster roll. Luckily, my hubby knew where to get the best ones.

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Easton’s Beach Snack Shack is lobster roll heaven. Located right on the beach, their lobster is lightly blended with mayo so you can really taste the freshness of the lobster, and you get 2 rolls for just $11.57. Say whaaaaat?! Oh, and the view ain’t too shabby either.

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Now, of course this is not a skinny meal, but it was the perfect time to splurge since the cliff walk was right nearby. So, we finished (more like devoured) our food and headed to the cliff to walk it off. And what an amazing walk it was…

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It was the most gorgeous day.

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Now, I can’t end this blog post without giving a shout out to my wonderful husband. He was full of surprises all weekend and planned the most incredible anniversary dinner for us at The Safari Room at Ocean Cliff.

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Not only do they have a gorgeous view of the water, but they gave us a private room for our dinner.

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It could not have been more perfect. #PinchMe

Not only that, but they have by far the best steak I have EVER had. Now, again, this is not a skinny meal, but as I’ve said before, life isn’t about counting calories every single day. And what better time to have a cheat day than on your anniversary and when there’s truffle butter on the menu. Am I right?!

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I mean, just look at that thing. Drool-fest.

Newport, RI blew me away and I cannot wait to go back. The food, the scenery, the shopping…it was just all too perfect.

Sweet Potato Of Mine

22 May

I love me some sweet potatoes, but unfortunately I typically only eat them over Thanksgiving when they’re covered in marshmallows and brown sugar. Sweet potatoes aren’t often found in our household, but I’m trying bring them in since they’re packed with nutrients and they’re, duh, delicious.

I thought it would be a good idea to come up with a dish that wasn’t fried or smothered in sugar, but healthy and packed with flavor. So I got experimenting and decided to bring in rosemary (because I’m obsessed), and a new favorite recipe was born.

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As you can see, you don’t need much for my Sweet Rosemary Potatoes dish, and it’s super easy to throw together.

Here’s what you’ll need:

2 sweet potatoes (washed and cut into 1 inch chunks)

2 cloves of garlic (chopped)

2 tbsp of olive oil

1 tbsp of freshly chopped rosemary (about 2 stems)

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper (season to taste)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Once the sweet potatoes are washed and chopped, throw them in a large bowl and add the rosemary, olive oil, and garlic.

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Sprinkle some sea salt and black pepper, then toss it all together with a large spoon until all the ingredients are blended.

Pour the contents from the bowl onto a baking sheet and place in the oven.

Bake until tender, which takes about 45 minutes to an hour. They’ll look perfectly roasted, like this:

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Then, the obvious part…get nomming.

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PS…your house will smell amaaaaaazing.

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And the best part is you’ll feel great about devouring this delicious dish because it’s packed with vitamins and minerals that your body needs. So go get whippin up some goodness :)

Chicks Be Shoppin

17 May

I think I get my love of shopping from my Mother. Or maybe it’s because I’m a female. Either way, when I’m shopping, I’m in the best mood ever. It truly is my therapy. So, at last night’s South Moon Under event in the Mosaic District, I was like a kid in a candy store.

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The event was hosted by Real Housewives of Northern Virginia with 20% off everything, swag bags, AND yummy bites & sips.

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As well as a Rebecca Minkoff trunk show.

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I may have drooled a bit when I saw these bags.

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Speaking of drool…

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I saw the shirt on the right and grabbed it immediately. I fell in love the colors and the prints, as well as the necklace paired with it, so it didn’t take me long at all to know what I was leaving with. Oh, and did I mention yesterday was my half birthday? #TREATYOSELF

Then when I went to check out, I sprayed some “Love Diane” perfume on my wrists and had a moment. I am SUPER picky when it comes to perfume, but as soon as I sprayed this on, I had to have it. I saw online that is is described as a “sexy and seductive” fragrance, so I have a feeling the hubby will be just as pleased. Bow chicka bow wowwww.

Naturally, when I got home, I laid out my purchases and looked on with adoration.

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If you missed out last night, make sure to follow South Moon Under and Real Housewives of Northern Virginia on Twitter so you can stay on top of awesome events like this.

So, now that I know what I’m wearing this weekend, I’m going to need the weekend to start. And on that note, happy Friday, y’all!

The Skinny Picnic Basket

15 May

The best thing about spring & summer in DC is it’s impossible to NOT find something to do. Between outdoor movies, concerts, and festivals, the events are nonstop.

The Rosslyn Outdoor Film Festival kicks off this Friday with The Breakfast Club, Crystal Screen starts on June 3rd with E.T., and Screen on the Green begins in July (schedule coming soon). Also, outdoor concerts are kicking off and I recently purchased my ticket for 311 at Jiffy Lube Live on July 19th, as well as a ticket to see SOJA at Wolf Trap on July 31st. I. AM. STOKED.

With all of these outdoor events coming up, I thought this would be the perfect time to put together my skinny picnic basket.

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One of the best things about outdoor activities is it makes it easy to stick to healthier foods, and I’m here to help you prep and make your picnic basket a portable, skinny-friendly party. Woop!

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Step 1: Pick an outdoor movie or concert, send an email out to your friends, and get everyone pumped up for whatever it is that tickles your fancy.

Step 2: Get an awesome picnic basket. We received the Highlander Picnic Basket as a wedding gift and have gotten SO much use out of it. It comes with a cutting board, blanket, wine glasses, corkscrew, utensils, food containers and more. This makes it easy to just throw in the food and get movin’.

Step 3: Head to the store with the list below. As you know, I am a Trader Joe’s groupie, and everything on my list can be purchased there. Also, TJ’s price is always right, so your skinny outdoor activity is also budget-friendly.

Skinny Picnic Basket Shopping List

  • Healthy Dip: Trader Joe’s Spinach & Kale Greek Yogurt Dip is my personal fave.
  • Light Cheese: Mini Babybel Light Cheese Wheels are ideal.
  • Hummus: Trader Joe’s Cilantro Jalapeno Hummus is always a crowd-pleaser.
  • Mini Whole Wheat Pitas: These are great for dipping.
  • Multigrain Crackers: Trader Joe’s Multigrain Pita Bite Crackers are the bestest.
  • Fruit: In my opinion, strawberries are the best for sharing. Plus, who doesn’t like strawberries?!
  • Veggies: Sugar snap peas, carrots or celery are perfect for dipping.
  • Lean Deli Meat: To add some protein, top off a multigrain cracker with cheese and turkey.
  • San Pelligrinio: For the wine spritzer…we’re getting there…
  • White Wine: Pinot Grigio is perfect for the wine spritzer cocktail.
  • Lime: Gotta have a garnish to get your skinny sip on.

Once you get your picnic basket filled up, it’s time to get to the good part. The skinny picnic cocktail!

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(Photo courtesy of http://www.justloseit.com)

It’s going to be hot out there, and while it’s important to stay hydrated, I’m sure you’ll also want to enjoy an adult beverage. Since these events can go for hours, and those humid DC nights are on the way, you may find yourself chugging your drink. That’s why wine spritzer’s have become my drink of choice for events like this. It is the perfect beverage because it’s half refreshing, half party-time. Like a mullet, in a way.

To make your wine spritzer, grab your glass, fill it up with ice, pour in your favorite white wine so it’s a little more than halfway full, top it off with San Pellegrino, and a slice of lime. Oh, did I mention it cuts calories big time as well? Schwing!

So, whether you’re going to Gravelly Point to relax or getting your groove on at Wolf Trap, your skinny picnic basket will be sure to please. Cheers to summer!

Here’s The Skinny: South Moon Under Event

13 May

Drinks, food, shopping, and discounts. These are a few of my favorite things. Which explains why I am SO excited for Thursday’s event at South Moon Under.

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I have been a huge fan of South Moon Under ever since I discovered their store back in high school during a summer vacation in Rehoboth Beach. I was instantly obsessed and couldn’t wait to get back to the beach for more SMU shopping excursions. Much to my excitement, they eventually opened up a store in Clarendon and they continue to pop up all over the place! Their location in the Mosaic District opened last year, and as if you need a reason to shop at South Moon Under, they are hosting an awesome event on Thursday.

Hosted by Real Housewives of Northern Virginia, there will be bites, sips, discounts, AND free gift bags for the first 50 guests. So get there early, bring your friends, and get your shop on. Here are the deets:

Who: YOU!

When: Thursday, May 16th from 6-9pm

Where: 2910 District Avenue Fairfax, VA 22031

See you there! Cheers :)

Treat-Yo-Mom!

10 May

Am I the only one that can’t believe mothers day is already here?! This year is FLYING! And if you’re like me, youre planning at the last minute, so I wanted to share my suggestions for how to make your Mom’s day extra special.

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Seriously, how cute is my Mom?

Ok, back to it…The best thing about living in the DC area is there are SO many options. Unfortunately, it can be tough to choose, so I’ve narrowed it down to my Mom’s all time favorite Mother’s Day spots.

Carlyle: Honestly, I can’t even find the words to describe the deliciousness that is brunch at Carlyle. I’ve been going there for brunch with my Mother since I can remember. While there may not be a ton of skinny-friendly options, you can make this a treat-yo-self brunch. I highly recommend the Brioche French Toast. It’s the largest and fluffiest French toast you’ll ever experience. Their salmon and trout dishes will blow your mind as well. My personal favorite is the Squibnocket Scrambled Eggs made with 
bacon, mushrooms, potatoes & cheddar. In my opinion, Carlyle has by far the best brunch in the area. Plus, it’s right in Shirlington so you can do some shopping at Periwinkle afterward! Carlyle doesn’t take reservations, but they do offer call ahead seating. So give them a ring and treat your Momma right.

Ritz Carlton: Afternoon Tea at the Ritz is one of the most fabulous gifts you can give your Mom. The event takes place at different times depending on which location you choose, but with several locations in this area, you’re sure to find a time slot that works for you and the guest of honor. We recently took my Grandma to the Ritz for her birthday and had the most amazing time. They truly treat you like a queen. Champagne, mini sandwiches, delicious desserts, and fancy tea. Need I say more?

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Nationals Game: Hot dogs, beer and family time. It doesn’t get more American than that, folks. I took my Mom to a Nats game for Mother’s Day a couple years back and she says it was her favorite MD so far. The Nats play the Cubs at 1:35pm on Sunday, so make it a fun filled day with the family. And who knows? Maybe you’ll get your flirt on with George Washington, too!

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Peacock Café: This charming restaurant recently became one of my favorite brunch spots. Located right in the middle of Georgetown’s signature row houses, Peacock Café has everything you need for Mother’s Day. The drinks are delish, the service is great, and the menu has something for everyone. There’s gluten-free options, healthy dishes and decadent meals to satisfy any taste bud. By the way, their french fries were recently named DC’s favorite fries, just in case you want to make this a cheat day :)

Lauriol Plaza: Mom and I celebrated Mother’s Day here a few years back and had a great brunch. We got there early to be sure we could score rooftop seating, and it was worth it. The fajitas are a personal favorite of mine. Just ask for corn tortillas to cut major calories, pair it with a bloody mary, and you’ve got yourself a fabulous skinny meal. Cheers to Momma!

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Coco Sala: I’m pretty sure every woman is a fan of chocolate, so why not indulge Mom on her special day with a chocolate lover’s paradise. Coco Sala is featuring a Chocolate, Champagne, & Flowers Brunch for $60 a person. The menu looks to die for and the Caprese Fritatta sounds like skinny brunch perfection. And if you’re taking a break from calorie counting for the day, be sure to order the cocojito. It’s refreshing and decadent at the same time. Cheers!

Elevation Burger: Looking for a super chill, quick bite on Mother’s Day? Hit up Elevation Burger where Mom’s get a free burger, fries AND a drink, just for being awesome. Grab a skinny-friendly burger and spend the rest of the day doing whatever Mom wants to do. In case you forgot, it’s all about her on Sunday.

Host A Brunch: Can’t find a reservation for Mother’s Day? Don’t feel like walking around a restaurant waiting anxiously for your coaster to light up like a disco ball? In that case, why not host brunch? I hosted Easter brunch this year for my family and the menu was a hit. You can find the recipes here! Prepare to wow them with a skinny quiche, rosemary parmesan potatoes and guacamole deviled eggs. Your Momma will be SO proud.

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No matter what you do this Mother’s Day, I hope it’s filled with lots of laughter and hugs. Cheers to all the amazing Mother’s out there! Especially mine :)

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