Happy Labor Day friends! I hope you all had a chance to relax and have some fun this weekend 🙂
After falling asleep around 9pm on Friday night, I was up early on Saturday and decided to put my new sneakers to the test, in the form of a 12-mile run (my half marathon is less than 2 weeks away!)
Getting up and out before 8am felt great. The morning was still cool(ish), and much of the city was still asleep, just how I like it! I always look forward to my Saturday morning runs because it’s my alone time. I get to sort through my thoughts and decompress from the past week.
I had some extra motivation to quickly finish up this training run because I was meeting one of my favorite people for brunch in Jersey City! My friend Nikki and I met over 4 years ago at work and quickly bonded over mutual love of wine, cheese, and Mary-Kate & Ashley Olsen movies (you know, Passport to Paris, Our Lips are Sealed, Billboard Dad…the classics).
Nikki suggested Raval, which is is a tapas bar and lounge in Jersey City that boasts an All-You-Can-Eat Brunch! I was obviously starving at this point so I couldn’t wait to roll up my sleeves and get eating.
We sampled bacon and cheese croquetas, patatas bravas, shishito peppers, a jamon and a cheese platter, and a large chorizo, pork belly confit and friend egg paella. The paella was amazing! Nikki graciously gave me the leftovers to take home so I’ll be digging into the rest of that asap.
After sufficiently stuffing our bellies, we weren’t ready to part ways yet, so we headed across the street to Porta for a few rooftop beverages.
Sunday morning came and we were headed back to New Jersey! This was a big day for AJ, his annual football draft with a bunch of his high school buddies. I know very little about football and drafts, so I’m all like…
I actually bought this shirt from Look Human because being that football season is now upon us, it was too perfect to pass up!
My friend Carlyn (another one of the wives) and I decided to make a #TreatYoSelf kinda day out of it. After dropping off our husbands at their friend’s house for the draft (or day camp as I liked to call it), we headed into Morristown for brunch at Urban Table. I decided to be a little healthier after Saturday’s food binge, and opted for the Brown Rice & Quinoa Breakfast Bowl. I was hardly disappointed and ate my plate clean!
Following brunch we went for mani-pedis and then our final indulgence of the day…massages!
So funny story, prior to this weekend I’ve only had one other massage in my life. AJ and I went for a couples massage in Chinatown. And I kind of hated it. The place was a little….kitschy, I liked the hot stone portion, but didn’t love any other part of it. Throughout I didn’t know whether I wanted to cry because it was too hard or laugh because I found it so awkward.
When Carlyn suggested massages for this weekend, I had flashbacks to my previous experience, but decided to keep an open mind. We headed to Massage Envy and I told my therapist how I liked very light pressure and just wanted a massage for relaxation. The next hour flew by, it was amazing! I think I’ve converted to the (expensive) side of liking massages!
After our day o’pampering, we met back up with all the guys for a bbq and socializing for the rest of the night.
We got home from NJ around noon today and couldn’t wait to just have the afternoon to relax and get prepped for the week ahead! I immediately ran to the grocery store before I could talk myself out of it, and decided to make a big batch of Chicken Salad to have on hand for lunches.
Chicken Salad with Grapes
- ½ cup mayonnaise
- ½ cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt
- 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp pepper
- 2 lb. whole rotisserie chicken, shredded
- 2 cups seedless grapes, halved*
- 1 cup chopped nuts, toasted*
In a large bowl, stir together mayonnaise, yogurt, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Add shredded chicken and grapes, tossing gently to coat. Cover and chill at least 1 hour.
While the chicken salad is chilling, toast chopped nuts in the oven (350 degrees for 10-15 minutes).
Sprinkle nuts on salad immediately before serving. You can serve on toast, in lettuce wraps, or how I usually eat it – straight out of the bowl! 🙂
*Note: I prefer to use red grapes in this recipe, but the store only had green today, just as tasty! I also like to use chopped, toasted walnuts to sprinkle on top, but only had almonds on-hand this time.
Tonight, AJ is making his homemade Mozzarella, Prosciutto, and Caramelized Onion Pizza – more on that later this week! He also brought home some fresh sunflowers (my favorite!) to spruce up our entryway.
The good news? Tomorrow is already Tuesday – go get ’em!