On the 4th of July, we went to the Maritime Aquarium in Norwalk, CT. What was different about this aquarium is that it focuses on the animals and fish from the Long Island Sound. I love going to aquariums because I love animals, so this was a perfect activity for me.
My favorite exhibits, of course, are where the turtles are! There was a huge tank with three ginormous sea turtles. One of them was bigger than me! I took way too many selfies with them...
I also enjoyed hanging out with all the different frogs. It was neat to learn a bit about the different types.
Hanging out with the seals.
The seahorses were so cute! As were the meerkats!
These flounder were really good at hiding in the sand.
This is just a really funny looking fish that I liked.
It was a great morning/afternoon at the aquarium. I enjoyed the IMAX movie about Sharks and loved the hands-on exhibits, and looking at the turtles :)
It's always hard to find places to eat when you are both vegan & gluten-free. I recently spent some time in Connecticut and visited some old-favorites and discovered some new places!
Located in Manchester, CT is a chocolate shop that I always have to visit! Every chocolate is both vegan & gluten-free! Divine Treasures is THE place to visit if you need vegan chocolate. For those non-Connecticut people, you can also order online and have the chocolate sent to you!
There are three display cases stocked to the brim with different types and flavors of chocolate. We usually get a variety pack to take with us!
Another thing I love about Divine Treasures is that they have almond milk soft serve ice cream!!! I have yet to find this any where else, and let me tell you ... it is VERY tasty!
Nathan and I both got sundaes: swirl soft serve with Caramel Sauce and Peanut Butter Melts. All topped with a gluten-free cone!!!
Divine Treasures also carries ice cream cake...one day I will need to have one of these!
Another great vegan & gluten-free find in the Central Connecticut area is Dee's One Smart Cookie in Glastonbury, CT. I did not have the chance to visit this bakery during my last trip to Connecticut :( but it is a very worth-while trip, and I visit there as much as I can!
I follow them on their facebook page and their menus are posted everyday. Dee's is a
dedicated gluten, dairy, soy, peanut, tree nut free bakery in Glastonbury CT. They offer a variety of goodies such as cakes, cupcakes, muffins, pizza, breads, cookies. Egg free & yeast free items are also available!
I was lucky to find Swoon Gluten-free Bakery in Ridgefield, CT. Swoon Bakery specializes in gluten-free cakes, cupcakes, cookies, breads and desserts. They offer several dairy-free and vegan options, and we never use any nut products in anything they make.
Swoon had a good variety of vegan offerings. I went on a Saturday morning just after they opened, so I had a lot to choose from. I ended up buying 6 cupcakes (one of each flavor), banana bread, chocolate bundt cake, and 2 chocolate chip cookies.
As you can see, Swoon has a large selection of vegan offerings!
Above I am enjoying the banana bread. It made for a perfect breakfast with some rice milk!
The chocolate bundt cake was rich and yummy! The cookies and cupcakes were also moist and delicious. I ate them before I could take a picture!!!
Not baked-good related, but still a good restaurant that I ate at in East Norwalk, CT: Los Molcajetes was a hole-in-the-wall restaurant near the Maritime Aquarium.
The one thing that I liked about this restaurant was that they attempted to make me a burrito. Usually when I go to a Mexican restaurant they won't make a burrito using corn tortillas because they are so small. Because of this I order a plate of rice and beans, with a side of corn tortillas. At Lost Molcajetes, they at least attempted to make me a burrito!
The restaurant was very authentic, albeit a bit slow with the service. I could not eat the tortilla chips, but they did bring me some corn tortillas so I could have something to snack on while waiting for our food.
I enjoy finding new places to eat! Do you know of any vegan & gluten-free places in Connecticut that I should try out on my next trip? Leave me a comment!
Nestled on South Main Street in Concord, New Hampshire is a great restaurant called Spoon Revolution Vegan Bistro. Spoon Rev is 100% Vegan & Gluten-free, and I was super excited to try it out! It was awesome to find a place where Nathan and I could eat everything on the menu!
Spoon Revolution's mission:
To offer healthful, nutritious, good-tasting meals at an affordable cost. In addition, we aim to offer the community educational and cultural events with fine vegan cuisine to both inform and entertain the public.
The inside of the bistro opens to its kitchen where you can see everything being prepared fresh. We went for lunch and each ordered the lunch special: Appetizer and Entree with Mixed Organic Green Salad. The price was good for the amount of food, and we set out to feast! We each ordered something different so we could taste more of the delicious offerings.
Nathan started out with a glass of kombucha. We had never tried it before. I did not like it, but Nathan ended up having two glasses!
Appetizer #1 was a hummus plat: organic chickpeas, tahini, lemon juice, scallions, parsley or cilantro, and organic spices. Served with fresh organic crudites: carrots, cucumber, celery, pepper, radish, kohlrabi or jicama.
It was a great tasting homemade hummus. It just needed more veggies!
Appetizer #2 was the Vegetable Pate Roll-ups: Steamed green beans pureed with bell pepper, celery, fennel bulb, scallions, sunflower seeds, flax seeds, fresh basil, lemon juice, olive oil and spices. All rolled up in a fresh young collard or Swiss chard green and topped with a dollop of basil cream sauce.
I've never really had anything like this before, and it was quite tasty. I really liked the basil cream sauce.
Entree #1 was the Biryani: Curried vegetables (eggplant, green bean and tomato or cauliflower, summer squash and green pea) and spiced basmati brown rice topped with roasted nut and spice mixture.
This was REALLY good. Not quite the same as the biryani that you get at an Indian restaurant, but in my opinion, more flavorful!
Entree #2 was the Colombian Corn Cakes with Pico de Gallo: Stone ground organic cornmeal batter pan-fried in organic coconut oil, topped with picante salsa of tomato, scallions, jalapeno pepper, basil and spices.
I also really enjoyed these corn cakes. The sauce was delicious and complemented the corn cakes.
Dessert #1: Raw Carob Brownies - An irresistible mixture of dried fruit (dates, figs, prunes, cranberries, raisins) and nuts (almonds, walnuts, cashews, sunflower seeds) mixed with oats and ground rice cakes and sweetened with Panela.
This brownie was very rich and delicious. You really don't need more than what you are given!
Dessert #2: Green Juice. The juice was fresh and refreshing. The only thing that would have made it better is if it was cold. It was room temperature when they served it, which is ok, but I am used to cold juice!
Spoon Rev is a great find in Concord, NH. We will definitely be returning each time we visit New Hampshire. The menu is on the small side, but they change it out for each season, focusing on fresh, healthy food!
**These opinions are my own, and I was in no way financially compensated for this review.**
It's been a busy summer so far! Read on to hear about my exciting adventures for the past TWO WEEKS!!!! :)
Last Wednesday I had the opportunity to visit Sterling Restaurant Supply to pick out some items. If you are a Virginia local, you should check this place out. It has some awesome items with very inexpensive prices. I came home with a bamboo cutting board, ceramic knife, soufflé dishes, and a melamine serving dish. You can see here one way that I used some of these products! And I currently have a giveaway happening!!! Click here to enter!
Kendra and I had a lunch date and visited The Dons' Pizza in Sterling. They had gluten-free vegan pizza that was delicious. The sauce was tasty, and the pizza had a smoky flavor, which I enjoyed very much.
On Wednesday evening, Nathan and I took a trip out to Wolf Trap to see Ben Folds and the National Symphony. I don't really know his music, but it was a well-done concert and it was neat how he was playing with the symphony. It started lightening during the show and we had an awesome view of the electric sky.
On Friday I made a delicious fruit crisp for breakfast. You can read my recipe here :)
On Saturday Nathan and I headed over to Madre's neighborhood for a picnic and firework show. There was a live band; Nathan, Ryan, and the kids played Super Fight; and we ended the evening with fireworks over the Potomac River.
On Sunday evening I attend a Gifford's Ice Cream Tour Kick-off Party at the Dulles Golf & Sport Center. It was a great time, and you can read more about my experience here!
Nathan, Maestro, and I headed up to New Hampshire for a Nathan's Uncle's funeral. It is not the best circumstance, but it was good to spend time with family.
While in New Hampshire, I came across this 100% vegan & gluten-free restaurant in Concord. You can read my full review of Spoon Revolution here! I will also be posting about other awesome gluten-free & vegan offerings I found while up north!
Nathan and I walked around the grounds of the New Hampshire State Capitol and took some pictures for the civics classes at our school for next year.
After New Hampshire, Nathan, Maestro, and I drove down to Connecticut for some more family festivities.
We visited the Maritime Aquarium (post coming later)...
We celebrated the 4th of July...
We went swimming. The dogs were very confused....
We took a group photo...minus Kendra :(
We saw fireworks.... Do you see the hidden Mickey!!??!?!?!?!?!
... And then we drove home. Maestro is still exhausted from his week adventure and has been sleeping constantly since we got home. Too much excitement for him!
It was a VERY busy week, full of family. Now I am back home trying to get re-settled, and preparing for some adventures this week, next week, and then it is time for my DISNEY WORLD VACATION!!!!
It's always fun visiting new places. Nathan's parents live near Concord, NH, so we had a bit of time to explore (aka...find some place to eat!)
Our first stop was Spoon Revolution. You can see my full review of the restaurant here!
It amused me that the capital of New Hampshire has police riding bicycles down Main Street.
We walked by the State Capitol and stopped for some pictures.
Nathan wants you to guess what number president Franklin Pierce was!
Nathan and I had lunch atSiam Orchid, where I had the yellow curry. It was good; I just wish there was more of it. I wanted more veggies and more sauce!
We stopped off for some treats at Granite State Candy Shoppe. There wasn't much we could eat (most of it was chocolate) but we did get some maple syrup candy! YUM!
It was a good quick trip around Main Street in Concord!
The first week of summer is here! And it was a very busy one, which is a good thing because I remember last year's first week and I was so bored and overwhelmed! Not this year. I started the summer off with a lot planned!
Friday was National Flip Flop Day and Nathan and I celebrated with pedicures a free smoothies at Tropical Smoothie!
Saturday morning brought a 4.5 mile run with Marty and Madre, and then grocery shopping at Wegmans for some grocery shopping.
Saturday evening was Nathan's Birthday Party. The party was "cartoon" themed and we invited some friends over for a cookout. We even dressed up for the occasion :)
Everyone had a good time at the party, including Maestro and Alice.
On Sunday morning I went to a Boot Camp style workout that I had won a registration to. You can read about my experience here!
Monday and Tuesday were spent at the pool swimming and relaxing with my mom, sister-in-law, and 2 nieces. I did some water running and lap workouts to help prepare me for my first triathlon in August. I think I will be ok with the swim part!
On Monday evening I headed up to Adams Morgan in Washington, D.C. to check out an soon-to-be opened bakery. What makes this bakery special is that it is gluten-free!!! Yay! Rise Gluten Free Bakery will be opening this summer, and I can't wait. I had the opportunity to taste a few gluten-free/vegan items, and I was very impressed. Keep an eye out for update posts on this awesome, new addition to DC!
It has been a fun summer so far, and I am excited for what else I have planned!!!
It's the last week of school HOORAY!!! I am VERY ready for summer, but it does not feel like it is the end of the school year.
On Friday I took a walk at Raflo Park and then attended an event at the Well & Good Studio in Leesburg, VA. I had a great time exploring products and meeting new people.
Sunday morning brought a Father's Day 5k with Maestro. It was such a beautiful day and a pleasant run!
We celebrated Father's Day with Marty. Here he is with his Disney gear that he got!
On Monday I went to the pool for the first time of the season. I can't wait until next week when I can go all the time!
There are still a few days for my Runningluv giveaway. Check out my review and enter to win!
On Friday I attended an event at the Well & Good Studio in Leesburg, VA. I got to Leesburg super early because I left from work, and was happy to find this lovely park nearby. I had about an hour to spare, so I decided to take a walk down the W&OD path.
It was a pretty tree-lined walk, and I enjoyed being out in the sun after being inside all day.
I'm was pondering who I could convince to go on a bike ride with me on the W&OD path....Any takers????
This is the second to last week of school! Hurray! Hurrah! It's been a pretty low key week....
I mowed the grass so Maestro and Bella would have some place to play and run around...
I had some free time at the gift shop on Saturday, so I did some drawing. Here is Orange Bird. I need to work a bit on circles because his head is a bit awkward, but I think everything else turned out pretty well.
I am watching Bella this week. Her and Maestro have had a fun time playing outside in the nice weather.
Maestro is so good at giving kisses.
Nathan ran his first Half Marathon (and my 7th!) on Sunday. You can read about it here!!!
School is finally winding down. 2 weeks left and then it is SUMMER!!! These strawberries were planted 2 years ago and have taken over one of my flower beds, but they are giving me some good fruit, even though I have ignored the plant.
Maestro was ready to have a strawberry! He was following me around the entire backyard until I finally gave him one.
On Saturday I took 51 of my 8th graders to HersheyPark for a music competition. My two groups won 1st and 2nd place in their categories, as well as the Espirit de Corps award (citizenship)! Some of my kids got this stuffed animal for me for my room. They named her Shay. Nathan and I have an extra ticket, so we will get to go back this summer when we don't have to worry about children!
I am officially done with all concerts for this year, and now we are just trying to keep the kids engaged and still learning until the end of the year!
Here is all of us music teachers riding the log flume ride. I am the one screaming and holding on for dear life at the drop.
Talkee, Lily, and Maestro are enjoying the nice weather. Frequently the cats will accidentally get locked outside because I don't notice they are out there, but they don't seem to mind. They just sunbathe! I can't wait until summer until I can spend more time enjoying my deck.