Common Ground

Our original plan for Date Night was the OMSI After Dark Halloween edition. It turned out it was about three times the normal cost of OMSI After Dark so we decided to pass. Instead, I whipped out my Groupon coupons and planned an alternative evening.

The first stop was the Siam Society on NE Alberta. It’s a Thai restaurant that I haven’t been to in ages, but remembered liking.

It was a cool, warehouse-type building with exposed cement walls and floors and dim lighting. The music was trendy, quiet trance and mood music. We were seated in a romantic corner of the restaurant and I ordered a glass of Sokol Blosser Pinot Gris wine. Pinot Gris goes well with spicy Thai food.

We had $40 to spend on dinner. Michael wanted the  Pulled Pork Spring Rolls. (I kinda wanted the spicy green beans but we got this instead.) The spring rolls came with braised pork and wrapped with hazelnuts and vegetables. The dipping sauce was very sweet–maybe plum sauce?

We ordered two entrees. The Pad Thai:

Pad Thai is kind of a must-have when I go to a Thai restaurant. I also order the Yellow Curry dish. It came with lots of veggie including green beans, potatoes and squash and flavorful spices (coriander, tumeric, cumin and curry). I put the jasmine rice into the dish to soak up some of the sauce. I loved the yellow curry dish.

I ate way too much, yet we barely made a dent in the amount of food on the plate! The “After” shot looked oddly just like the above shot. I love having leftovers for lunch! We had some time to kill before our next destination so we stopped next door to get a treat.

Michael got a donut and I decided I just wanted two donut holes. I was honestly too stuffed from dinner.

It was the perfect, small treat.

After dinner we drove to the nearby Common Ground Wellness Center. You might remember me writing about it at the beginning of this year. I bought the Groupon last time for Michael’s birthday to help his back injury. Well he recently hurt his back again so I made us reservations for the center again.

There’s no photography or phones allowed in the center, which is fine with me! An hour to completely disconnect sounds good to me.

This time I brought my new bikini! Yep, the one I bought over the summer and only wore in my backyard. I figured this was the perfect time to take it out. It was so liberating being able to wear it.

The night was dark and frigid. The patio was dark and only lit by Christmas lights. The steam rose from the hot tub and made it hard to see. It was romantic and relaxing. I laid back in the hot salt water and chilled. It felt amazing.

QUESTION: How often do you do Date Night with your partner? What do you do?

Groff’s Girl Guest Post From Japan

Hello Everyone!!  My name is Amanda and you can find me on my blog Groff’s Girl.  I am a military wife (currently living in Okinawa Japan), a mother to two boys, and a new runner!  I have always been into all other forms of exercise, but was convinced I could not run!  I began training and set a goal of running a 5K six weeks after I started to run….that 5K was today and I was able to bust it out with a 9:54/mi pace, which is very good for me!



There is a great support system between bloggers- recipes, motivation, food ideas, training plans, etc! It is always great to hear other people’s stories, their experiences, and their successes, so thank you for checking in to read a little bit about me and how I live!  Since I am living in Japan (moving to Germany for 4 years next month), I decided to share some of the great foods there are here!  It is really hard to NOT eat out a lot, because there are so many delicious options available!  If you like entertainment while you eat, this is one of the best places to go:



This is Four Seasons- a Teppanyaki Restaurant where they cook the food on the grill in front of you.  There is a ton of variety, the food is fresh, and each set comes with about 3-4 courses!  There is no way to leave this place without feeling like you have to undo a button or two!  They do some fun tricks and tool flipping while they cook, so it is always a fun place to go!



Next we have Coco’s Curry House!  There is probably not one person on this island (except me) who has NOT eaten here.  I plan on going for the first time this week, just so I can try it and hope my guts don’t rot from the spiciness!  There are 28 kinds of Curry toppings and a Mild Curry Rice and a Regular Spicy Curry Rice without toppings, so there are 30 kinds of Curry Rice.  That must sound like a “Bubba from Forrest Gump shrimp list” when they tell you all of the ways you can eat it!



Other mentions must be made to the NUMEROUS Soba Noodle Houses, the Okinawans love their noodles (and so do I).  You can get lots of stuff mixed into them, and they are also very easy to prepare at home!!  It often feels like the never-ending bowl- but that is when you ask for the rest to be take-out…this means you get your soba in a bag to take home!!


Lastly, let’s take a look at SUSHI…there is no way to talk about Japanese food without mentioning how many varieties are available!!  They have Sushi-Go-Rounds, Raw, Cooked, Kid Sushi, rolled sushi, fried sushi…the list goes on!!  You just grab what you want and go to town!  I don’t do the raw fish thing, it’s not the taste, it’s the texture!  I love some good sushi rolls, I could eat A LOT, especially the ones that are sized for a child…I have a problem not looking like a pig when I try to stuff in a full piece (adult sized)!


You can even get it to go…


On the home front, we like to cook with whatever cool items we find at the markets!  There are: dragon fruit, goya, purple sweet potato, many kinds of roots, and even yellow carrots!!  I have tried a lot of stuff here, that I never would have done if I were in the states!!  The downside to living overseas is that sometimes you really just want some food/ingredients that you just cannot get!  I have become a fan of “on-line pantry shopping).  I get peanut flour, chia seeds, raw coconut, coconut oil, all natural fudge sauces, sweeteners, whole wheat flour, and flax (just to name a few).  Sometimes I get bummed out when I cannot order and get access to certain things, but that is how I learn to invent/modify/explore new tastes and flavors!!  So if you ever come to Japan, make sure to get your fill of these extremely delicious and fun experiences!!  As for me, I will need to start prepping my taste buds from Asian to German fare!!!

Sayonara from Groff's Girl


Thank you all for reading and for being such amazing fans of Lisa- who could NOT be inspired by this amazing chic???  Happy Saturday (Japanese time) 🙂

QUESTIONS: What item would you LOVE to have straight from Japan?  If you have been to Japan, do you think the Japanese restaurants in the States taste as good?  What is your favorite Japanese dish?

Lisa’s Note: Thank you so much for sharing Amanda! Japan is one of the places I would love to go and it’s so cool to read Amanda’s blog and live vicariously through her. Sushi is something that I always crave, and never get sick of. Congratulations on running your first 5k Amanda. Looking forward to reading about your running adventures in Germany! 🙂