Happy New Year, everyone!

And, more importantly, Happy Birthday to my awesome husband Greg!

Let’s be honest. Being born on New Year’s day is pretty much the worst. Most people are hungover and/or too tired to celebrate, and my humble husband seems okay with that. I always make sure to give try to make his birthday extra special each year, because it’s so easily overshadowed by the other holidays that occurred within the last week.

This will not be a “New Years post” and I won’t talk about any resolutions of “best-of’s” or anything like that. Maybe I’ll do that tomorrow. Maybe.

Let me rewind to how we spent New Year’s eve. Originally, I had planned to have a small party (just us and 4 other couples) at my house for food and games. Things came up, and people started backing out (for very legitimate reasons) so I just decided to cancel it altogether. Our friends Sara and Will had already gotten a sitter lined up for the night, so they were still up for some fun.

I decided that rather than cooking and cleaning and all that jazz that you need to do when company comes over, that it would be more fun to go out and try a new restaurant. I made us reservations at Market Table Bistro, which is just over the Potomac river in Lovetsville, VA (a pretty short drive from our house). I didn’t know anything about the restaurant, but discovered it on Yelp from typing in “Farm to Table” under the search terms (that’s pretty much what I always type in). The reviews looked good, and the menu looked great- sold!

We went to pick up Will and Sara for dinner and took some photos in their kitchen. This is one of the rare times that you will see me in a dress (and even much more rare- wearing something that low-cut!) except for my PrAna sundresses in the summertime. 🙂

Self-timer group shot!

When we got to the restaurant, there was a little surprise written on Greg’s menu! (I told them it was his birthday when making the reservation.)

The food and beverage menus looked fantastic, and I was so happy to see beer from Avery Brewing Company (my favorite Colorado beer!)- I had to order it. If you are ever in Boulder, visit this brewery!! You won’t be sorry!

We started with a few appetizers, including Liver and Onions (which was chicken liver pate topped with caramelized onions) and White Bean Hummus.

Followed by soup for the boys and salads for the girls (with goat cheese and sugary pecans- who could resist?!).

There was rockfish on the menu- but I actually resisted the urge to order it and got chicken! I never order chicken out at restaurants, but it sounded too good to pass up.

It was served on a bed of spinach and rice… so delicious!

I got a picture of Sara’s pork chop, which was a bit dry, but very flavorful.

The guys continued to focus on the beer list, while Sara and I focused on dessert.There were way too many choices on this menu!!

Neither of our husbands really care for dessert (!!!), but we are both definitely fans of that course. We split the pumpkin creme brulee and a dish of Moorenko’s Creme Fraiche flavored ice cream. The ice cream is made locally and has some of the most amazing flavors I’ve ever had (including Guiness!) I’m not sure if you can get it outside of MD or VA, but if you see it – BUY IT.

When our check came, our server (who was wonderful!) brought us complimentary glasses of champagne. Cheers!

And of course, we took a few more photos, including a group shot by the server, which was way too blurry to try to mess with. 😦

We dropped Will and Sara off back at their house after dinner, so that they could head off to a party downtown. We made a stop at another friends house for a little bit before heading home, and were back to our house by 10:30. And asleep by 11. And I have to say- this is probably the first time I haven’t stayed up until midnight, and I’m not the least bit sad about it! I had a total of 1.5 drinks, so I’m not feeling any lingering effects from alcohol today, either. Hooray for that!


I woke up bright and early to hit the gym for some lifting, followed by spin class that I taught at 8:30. The gym was DEAD. Like, you could hear crickets chirping. There were only a handful of people in my spin class- and that even surprised me! I was halfway thinking that no one would show up. But, I made it a point to praise those that did- good for them! Starting the year off right!

When I came home, I opted for a big gigantic smoothie instead of my usual oatmeal. Or, maybe it was just another excuse to use my beloved Vitamix!

I know it doesn’t look appetizing at all, but it was wonderful.

In the mix was ice, frozen fruit (banana, peach slices, strawberries and blueberries), a handful of kale and spinach, almond milk, silken tofu and a dash of Stevia.

Surprisingly, this was actually pretty filling. I have to pour my smoothie in a bowl and eat it with a spoon (and no, I didn’t learn this from Kath– but was surprised that I’m not the only one who does this!)- maybe that psyched me out to think I was eating more.

I did have room for one more drink though:

My version of a frappe: almond milk, ice + 1 Starbucks via packet. Much cheaper than buying the same drink at Starbucks! And the Vitamix gets it to the perfect consistency.


Greg spent the morning mountain biking, which is exactly how he wanted to spend his birthday morning. We’re hoping to take the dogs on a long walk later, as it’s supposed to be mild weather again (though it just started raining!?) and I’m making him dinner tonight. Grass-fed filet mignon is what he wanted, so we’ll see what I can do!

Hope you all have a wonderful New Year and aren’t too hungover tired today.

How did you ring in the new year? Did you work out today?


13 Comments on “01.01.12”

  1. Maren says:

    What a fun way to spend New Years Eve. My boyfriend’s birthday is January 26th and he comments sometimes that it’s right after Christmas and New Years so I can’t imagine your husband’s January 1 birthday. Good job getting one more celebration in.

  2. Happy Birthday Greg!! I’m so glad y’all had a wonderful New Year’s Eve, dinner looks awesome! I hope you have a wonderful year! In about 6 months I’ll live closer to y’all, YAY!

  3. Your dinner looked delicious. And you didn’t miss much by going to bed at 11:) I just bought some Starbucks Via for baking… and I am so excited to try your frappe.

  4. That black dress is all sorts of sexy on you, very hot. So funny that girls always have room for dessert, I am right there with you. I also was asleep before midnight and I don’t work out on Sunday’s so I got to sleep in and it was wonderful. My kids were all so excited to ring in the new year that they stayed up and slept in the next day until 9:30, every mothers dream.

    Glad you’re enjoying the vitamix. Something about eating with a spoon makes you feel like you’re eating a meal rather than drinking a smoothie.

    • Lauren says:

      Thank you- you are too kind! That is my go-to dress. Best thing is, I got it on clearance at the Gap years ago. And, it’s made out of cotton, so it’s super comfy and can be washed at home. It’s also the only dress that I feel comfortable in whether I’m a size 4 or a size 8.

      So glad you got to sleep in on New Year’s day!

  5. Tiffany says:

    Looks like a great NYE! I think servers should have to take some kind of photography class b/c our server botched our photo the other night (this may or may not have affected her tip).

    And can I say I am loving your frappe idea?? I have tons of those VIA packs sitting around and m Magic Bullet feels neglected as of late. I see this in my future!

    • Lauren says:

      Seriously- I’ve never had a server take a focused picture! LOL on the comment about her tip!

      The frappe is so good and so easy. I feel a new addiction coming on.

  6. Looks like an awesome birthday– I’m sure he didn’t feel short-changed by being around the holiday season! That restaurant looks great…if I ever make it over to that part of VA, I want to check it out.

    • Lauren says:

      There are SO many good restaurants in Loudoun County- it’s hard to pick one! I forced myself to try a place that I hadn’t been, and am glad I did!

  7. You look awesome in that dress!! Happy Birthday to Greg! My daugher’s b-day is January 4th, and I feel horrible, because we are always exhausted and the last thing I want to do is plan another get together, but I make it special for her 🙂

    • Lauren says:

      Aw, thank you!
      Having a winter birthday is hard- especially in January. I told Greg that we should start celebrating it in the late summer or fall when we have no other big holidays to celebrate.

  8. Erika says:

    I would have gotten the pumpkin creme brulee too!! Yum!

    I never even thought to use the Via in a smoothie – I have a bunch that I got for free before Christmas and didn’t know when to use them since I only drink one cup a day and won’t waste it on instant coffee.

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