Weekend + Our 5th Anniversary

Well hellooooo on this incredibly steamy day!

We've had quite a busy bunch of days, and I had planned to post this yesterday, but didn't really get around to it. Let's ease into Tuesday with a little recap, shall we?

Last Thursday, Shaun and I celebrated our 5th wedding anniversary!

Every year, I demand an anniversary photo and this year's was extra fun since we added a member to the party :)

Shaun and I simply adore the Lighthorse Tavern in Jersey City and have spent many a special occasion there, so when Christine offered to babysit, we knew exactly where we were headed!

I dined on my usual barbecued skirt steak with jalapeno polenta and Shaun enjoyed the fish and chips. Not before a gorgeous cheese plate of Maytag blue cheese, Manchego, goat cheese, lavendar honey, fresh cranberries and house-made red wine and walnut bread. Um...yeah.

Excuse the bad photos but nice ambient lighting doesn't equal good photography!

The 5th anniversary is the 'wood' anniversary and I think we both did a good job of getting creative with a wood theme. I'll do another post on these gifts in case anyone is on the hunt for some 5th anniversary gift ideas!

Over the weekend, we had no plan and so we took the opportunity to head down the shore!

Though I love the Caribbean, there is nothing like the Jersey Shore.

It was Sweet P's first time at the beach and we found that she is quite the water baby.

Once we had her fully geared up in her little coolie suit and UV hat, it was time for the fun to begin. We dipped her tiny toes in the water and though she had NO idea what was going on, she really seemed to enjoy it.

I love this shot so much because she looks like a little 1930s baby...big hat, pinky in the air, thinking 'oh my, isn't this delightful! oh and be a dear and continue to block my sun!'

Toes in the sand...

Tiny footprints...


After we were all tuckered out (and I was severely sunburned...somehow in my fury to ensure that not one little piece of Pen got burned, I neglected myself and got completely scorched!), we headed to our favorite spot on the island for lunch...Pinky Shrimp's!

Shaun and I shared the crabcake dinner, which included 2 uh-mazing broiled crab cakes, 1 sweet potato and French fries. Not too shabby.

By the evening time, we were all exhausted and slept like rocks.

Pen even graced us by sleeping until 8am on Sunday! On the way home on Sunday, we made a pit stop at my parents' house for a quick dip in the pool and P's first official swim!

It was quite the busy weekend and I think by Sunday night we were all equally tuckered out. Monday marked my 31st birthday and we quietly celebrated at home with a bottle of Prosecco, pizza and Downton Abbey. What could be better than that?

Oh, and ice cream. Lots of ice cream :)

How is your summer going so far?

Have you done any weekend getaways lately?

Our 3rd Anniversary: Lobsters, SkinnyGirl & Light Horse Tavern

Yesterday Shaun and I celebrated our 3rd anniversary, after marrying on a beach in Aruba in 2008. Thank you all for your kind words :)

We actually started our anniversary celebration on Saturday evening, since Mondays are not exactly known for being the biggest celebratory night of the week. To make things a bit special, we decided to go a little bit out of the box for our dinner at home. We wanted seafood...so that's what we made. And by we, I mean Shaun prepared everything while I sat on the couch. It was heavenly.

We started the evening with grilled shrimp. Tossed with a bit of olive oil, salt and pepper, these shrimp were tender with a tiny crispiness on the outside. A little homemade cocktail sauce took these to perfection.

For the main attraction, we wanted lobster. We haven't made lobster in a very long time and we were both so excited for this dinner! This is the part that I especially sat on the couch for - I'm not into doing the deed when it comes to lobster, so Shaun dutifully took over. With a little bit of clarified butter on the side, the lobster were sweet and tender and oh-so-delicious.

It's hard to top such a fantastic, cozy dinner at home (my favorite kind), but when Monday rolled around, we realized that we did not want to cook at home. Shaun first greeted me with a SkinnyGirl Margarita as soon as I arrived home from work. I'm pretty sure he's a keeper, that one :) He made them fancy by shaking it over ice first, adding a lime slice and coating the top in salt. Happiness.

We enjoyed these out on our terrace while we exchanged gifts. I gave Shaun a framed vintage map of the world (circa 1922) since he is a history buff and we are both big travelers. I thought it would be a great addition to our gallery wall, or even the beginning of a new wall in our office. Since the 3rd anniversary is leather, Shaun thoughtfully gifted me with a leather journal, complete with handmade pages - the perfect gift for me since I always carry around a notebook for blog ideas, to-do lists and any other ideas that I want to record. Now I can do that in style :)

As for our dinner, we chose Light Horse Tavern in Jersey City, one of our all time favorite restaurants. You may also see our delicious Valentine's brunch at Light Horse Tavern post from a few months ago. Yum.

We started our meal with a glass of wine for me and a beer for Shaun. To kick off the goods, we ordered a raw bar platter, complete with oysters, 2 types of clams and mussels. I've never seen Shaun so happy - he adores seafood!

We also ordered a cheese plate, which I absolutely adore. Manchego, Blue and Talleggio graced the plate, topped with fig chutney (swoon), carmelized nuts and lavendar honey.

For my main course, I chose the barbecued skirt steak with grilled onions and jalapeno polenta. This meal was really so wonderful. The steak was sweet and savory while the polenta added a bit of spice. I want this everyday.

Shaun chose a roasted duck breast. Now, I'm typically not a big fan of duck since I find it a bit greasy. But Oh.My.Word. This duck was amazing! It had a crispy layer of fat over the breast which just melted in the mouth. It was truly fantastic.

If you can believe it, we chose to skip dessert. I was SO stuffed after this dinner! Not to worry. Since my birthday is quickly approaching, I've already informed Shaun that clearly cupcakes will be necessary.

So there you have it. Our multi-day anniversary celebration. So what do you think? Are you a seafood eater? Of the raw variety? What's your favorite special meal?

A Tale of Two Tails: Madame Janette's Aruba

While in Aruba a few weeks ago, Shaun and I celebrated our second wedding anniversary. Though most nights of the trip consisted of indulgent dinners and desserts (and heck, even breakfast wasn't exactly the pinnacle of health), we saved our favorite island restaurant to celebrate our big day. The place? Madame Janette's, an outdoor restaurant that is nothing short of romantic, gorgeous and decadent to boot.

Dotted with twinkle lights and guitar players strumming, Madame Janette's is really all about the atmosphere. Though I will add a note that since it's outdoors and semi-enclosed, I suggest wearing light clothing and a bit of bug spray.

So many restaurants in Aruba can be a bit pricey and Madame Janette's is no exception. But since we typically dine on the cheap, we splurged in celebration our big 2 years and ordered the Surf & Turf. Yep, it was as good as it looks.

The filet was topped with an oversized pat of herb butter (an item that, in my opinion, could make just about anything better). This is probably more butter than I'd need to consume in a month, let alone atop one bitty portion of beef. But oh was it good. Laced with fresh herbs, the silky smooth butter melted right into the hot filet, making this quite possibly the most decadent piece of meat I've ever laid my palette on. Moving on to the real star of the meal, the lobster tail. A giant, tender piece of er...tail...it was served with clarified butter and that was all it needed to rocket to the top of my favorites list. I know, by this point I was well on my way to a premature coronary. With all of that butter, is it a surprise that we had no room left for dessert? Oh and I should also mention that this followed a giant appetizer of tempura rock shrimp doused in sweet & spicy sauce.

So there you have it. A round up of our big anniversary dinner. Though we've adopted the cook-at-home-more-eat-out-less philosophy since moving into our new place, it was fun to splurge on a special dinner for the two of us. And the fact that we get to spend our anniversary in the place we got married is just the cherry on top of a giant, already-iced cake.