Valentine’s Day Weekend 2014 {Body Worlds Vital}

Morning! Lots of recapping to do today!

Since Valentine’s Day fell on a Friday this year, our plan was to make a home cooked meal together and lounge with a bottle of wine on Friday night, and then have a day of fun out of the house on Saturday. Nothing wrong with turning Valentine’s DAY into Valentine’s WEEKEND, right?

Tim and I make home cooked meals together all the time, but on Friday we ventured to Whole Foods without a plan (gasp). We plan and prep all our meals on the weekend to help us stay on track during busy weeks, but for Valentine’s Day we just ventured in and made up a menu on the spot. How adventurous of us!

Here’s the menu we decided on:

  • Appetizer: Homemade pita chips with smoked Gouda cheese
  • Salad: Roasted beets and goat cheese over spinach
  • Main dish: Rack of lamb
  • Side dish #1: Roasted red and purple potatoes
  • Side dish #2: Roasted balsamic asparagus with garlic
  • Dessert: Chocolate thumbprint cookies with a cherry filling

Valentine's Day 2014: Love CheeseVday Dinner 2014

By the time we finished our meal, we were too full for dessert. I ended up saving my thumbprint cookies for later in the weekend.

On Saturday, we slept in and went to the gym in the morning. Our intent for the rest of the day was to go to the Body Worlds Vital show downtown, get a couples massage, and then try a new restaurant in Needham for dinner. Only two out of the three ended up actually happening. Womp womp. We waited WAY too long to try to schedule the massage (everything was booked solid), and the snow got in the way of driving 30 minutes to the restaurant in Needham. Despite the weather, we were still able to venture into Faneuil Hall for the Body Worlds Vital exhibit.

Body Worlds Vital

Body Worlds Vital

I was offered two complimentary passes through F&F, and even though I had gone to a Body Worlds show at the Museum of Science years ago, I wanted to check out what this one was about since I’m definitely more interested in the human body now than I was back in college. Here’s a description of it if you aren’t familiar:

“Body Worlds Vital provides a unique and educational experience that gives health nuts and novices alike a detailed look into how the body functions. Featuring authentic human bodies, the exhibition shows the body through cautionary displays about distress and disease, and inspirational insights about the resilience of the human body.”

Seeing all the different bodies was so cool. The exhibit featured different “characters” such as the runner, the dancers, the hockey players, etc. Each body focused on a different anatomical system and provided different cross views. My favorite “body” was the runner with all of its muscles stretched back. It was so interesting to see how all of the muscles actually connect and function.

Body Worlds Vital: Runner

Body Worlds Vital

Aside from the bodies, the show also displayed the different organs of the human body throughout the room. There were examples of healthy organs versus those affected by disease. The difference in look between the two was so interesting, but also so scary!

Body Worlds Vital

Of course, I loved that every single exhibit said that the best ways to prevent disease is with exercise, a healthy diet, and not smoking. 🙂

Body Worlds Vital

It took us about two hours to walk through, but that’s because we took the time to read through every display. Also, more information than what we could read was available to listen to through a little hand-held audio headset.

This was a fun little date to go on for something different in the city! If you want to check it out, Body Worlds Vital will only be in Boston until April 3rd.

After Body Worlds, we realized the snow was coming down pretty hard and that our dinner plans in Needham weren’t going to happen. We decided to just make the most of our time in the city while we were there. We started by going on a little winter walk toward the seaport area. Check out some of the pretty snowy pics I took:

Valentine's Day 2014: Snowy Seaport

Valentine's Day 2014: Snowy Seaport

Valentine's Day 2014: Snowy Seaport

Valentine's Day 2014 - Snowy Seaport

The rest of our night was spent eating, what else? We ate a LOT of food, but over the course of six hours so I think it’s okay. First we got beers and clam chowder at The Sail Loft.

The Sail Loft

Then we headed back toward Faneuil and got more beers and food (Mediterranean flatbread and shrimp tacos) at Anthem Kitchen and Bar. This place did not disappoint! I loved the vibe, and it definitely was not like your “typical” Faneuil Hall establishment.

Anthem Kitchen & Bar

Even though our original plans were different from what ended up happening, we had a good time. And now we’re psyched to get a couples massage and try The Farmhouse another time.

Sunday was definitely a clean the entire apartment kind of morning, followed by another gym sesh. At night, my uncles came over to catch up, and more eating was involved. On this menu: spinach, feta, and roasted red pepper stuffed chicken breasts, salad, Greek green beans, leftover roasted potatoes from Friday, and my thumbprint cookies (for reals). Thank you, Gina, for the recipe inspiration!

Hosting Dinner

Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies with Cherry Filling

Phew! After all this, I was thankful to have Monday off to catch up on blogging and exciting things like paying bills, homework, etc.

–Let’s chat–
How was your Valentine’s Day weekend? Did you stay in or go out? Did the snow/weather affect your plans at all? Have you ever seen a Body Worlds exhibit? Would you want to?

Disclaimer: I was not paid to write this post, but I was provided free passes to the Body Worlds Vital exhibit by The Gold Group As always, all opinions are my own. Body Worlds Vital is located on the 2nd floor of the Quincy Market Building in historic Faneuil Hall Marketplace.

Birthday Week Eats

Birthday week last week was full with lots of yummy things!

We started off the week on Sunday at SOWA Open Market.  You can read about our full experience in this post.

SOWA Open Market

We decided to put some of our SOWA farmer’s market goods to good use on Sunday night when we got home.  We made farro and veggie stuffed pattypan squash for dinner!  This recipe was our own creation, and I’ll be sharing it with you guys later this week.

Farro & Veggie Stuffed Pattypan Squash

For lunch on Monday & Tuesday, I threw together a bunch of random things using the leftover farro mixture from the pattypans.  I forgot how much I *love* edamame.

Farro Salad

For dinner on Monday and Tuesday, we whipped up a batch of grilled nicoise shrimp salad.  We liked it so much the week before that we just had to make it again.

Grilled Shrimp Nicoise Salad

An extra treat on Tuesday included this giant soft pretzel at the Red Sox game!  It’s pretty much impossible to eat healthy at Fenway, but when I’m there and hungry my go to choice is a pretzel.  I just really like them.  They also remind me of the times Katrina and I would go shopping at the Natick Mall and have zero luck.  A huge pretzel from Auntie Anne’s would always cheer us up!

Red Sox Pretzel

Lunch on Wednesday and Thursday was another repeat – southwestern sweet potato salad.  Obsessed.  As much as I hate summer winding down, I am beyond psyched for the amount of meals I can make with pumpkin and sweet potato again.  Woot!

Southwestern Sweet Potato Salad

Wednesday night dinner was pasta style!  Eggplant over wheat noodles with tomato sauce.  I inhaled this after my last CrossFit class!

Eggplant & Pasta

Thursday night dinner was out with Slesh at Playmakers on Moody Street.  We got $3 quesadillas and our first Shipyard Pumpkin Ales of the season.  Normally I like to wait until after Labor Day, but Thursday was chilly and the Shipyard tap was just speaking to us. 😉

Playmakers Quesadilla

Tim and I had the day off on Friday, so we decided to grab sandwiches from Whole Foods and have a little picnic at the Fresh Pond Reservoir before walking the three mile loop.  I got an apricot glazed turkey with arugula and goat cheese on an onion focaccia bread.

Whole Foods Turkey

Friday night before my birthday celebration with friends, Tim and I met Slesh at Four Burger to grab some food.  I got the turkey burger with caramelized onions and mushrooms and gouda, on no bun, with a side salad.  In retrospect, I should have ordered the bun.  Maybe even some fries.  That probably would have helped my severe hangover ailments on Saturday morning!

Four Burger Turkey Burger

My drink of choice on Friday night were Julius Echters.  Don’t mind the recycled picture from another post, but I didn’t snap any brew pics on Friday.

Julius Echter

Because of said beers, on Saturday I couldn’t stop eating junk all day long.  It happens, you guys!  I don’t know how I used to go out ALL the time <— spoken like a true 28 year old.  Anyways, I managed to feel better by dinnertime, thank God!  Tim planned a special dinner for me at Towne Stove and Spirits on Boylston Street.  I’ll recap in my birthday post later on, but my meal was DELICIOUS.  We ordered the ricotta and lemon ravioli for an appetizer, and I ordered the swordfish steak for my meal.  And we split sides of asparagus and roasted mushrooms.  It was to die for!

Towne Stove & Spirits

This week’s meal plan looks like this:

  • Sunday:  Homemade pizza night
  • Monday:  Steak with leftover sides from Towne
  • Tuesday: Salad with barley and fruit
  • Wednesday:  Peach and basil ravioli with seafood
  • Thursday:  Birthday dinner out with my family
  • Friday:  TBD before Ashley & Bret’s wedding eve beach bonfire
  • Saturday:  Wedding dinner!

And for lunches, quinoas and salad with barley and fruit.  Pretty typical.

Questions for you!  Do you usually order food at baseball games?  What’s the best dinner out you’ve had lately?  Anything yummy on the meal plan for this week?

Catch you later, friends!

Needham Health & Wellness Show

This past Sunday I met up with my co-worker Dawn at a health and wellness show at the Needham Sheraton.  There were over 45 local health and wellness professionals set up in the event room talking about their latest health and wellness products and services.

Needham Health & Wellness Show

We browsed through all the different tables, chatted with the different vendors, sampled some food, and snagged some free stuff.

Needham Health & Wellness Show

Some of my favorites included:

— Chatting with a representative from the new LA Sports Club in Chestnut Hill.  I told her I had read a bunch of blog posts about the blogger tour held at the new facility recently, and she got excited because she was involved with the event.  I got a couple free passes, so I might go check it out sometime.

— The Whole Foods table.  They had tons of recipes, coupons, cereal bars, and bananas!  Love me some bananas.

Needham Health & Wellness Show

Taza Chocolate!  Remember when I toured the Taza chocolate factory?  I just love their chocolate so much.

Taza at Needham Health Show

— I also had a free antioxidant level reading done.  All I had to do was place the side of my thumb on a blue light, and after a minute of screening, voila!  The Pharmanex bio scan could provide my levels.  While I was waiting, they had me look over what the different scores mean.

Antioxidant Reading

Apparently, I am in the 1% of having high antioxidant protection!  Woohoo!

Antioxident Screening

This means I’m never going to get an age-related disease, right!?  Ha.  I just thought this part was cool.

Anyways, this was a nice little event to spend an hour at on my Sunday afternoon, and I’m glad I got to meet up with Dawn even if it was only for a little bit!  However, I do wish there had been more fitness related tables since that’s what I’m more into than geriatric wellness care and beauty products, but I suppose those things are important too.  Also, I can’t even get over how many tables had candy bowls.  Candy bowls at a wellness fair is a little much, if you ask me, but I will stop my rant about that now before I’m too high up on my soapbox to stop and I really offend somebody.

The best part, obviously, was the free stuff.  When I got home, I went through my bag of goodies and narrowed it down to my favorites.

Goodies from Needham Health & Wellness Show

Yes, that was the narrowed down version.  A bunch of new recipes and coupons, some free passes to a couple classes/gyms, and some free samples as well.  Oh, and a race calendar that I brought to Jen!  I was psyched for the two Kind bars, and I’m not gonna lie, those sweet potato chips were gone by the end of the night!  Yum.

Have you ever attended a health & wellness show, fair, or event?  I’d love to hear about it!