Friday, January 30, 2015

Guest Post: Valentine's Day -- The Look, The Locale

Alison Lucas and Melissa Mitchell of inPSYCHful Living share their Valentine's Day looks and a suggestion for a special night out in the Lehigh Valley.    


I have had the opportunity to meet some amazing bloggers through Taste As You Go, some in real life and some online. In an attempt to introduce my readers to some bloggers they may not know about, I'll be featuring guest posts here from time to time.

Today's Guest Post was written by Alison Lucas and Melissa Mitchell, new blogging friends that I met through the powers of Instagram. Ali and Mel are fellow residents of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, and I love reading their take on what's happening in the Lehigh Valley!

When you're finished reading Ali and Mel's Guest Post, you should check out their blog, inPSYCHful Living. I guarantee you'll enjoy what you see.

Take it away, ladies!

Greetings Taste As You Go readers! We are so excited to have the opportunity to introduce ourselves to all of you, especially on one of our favorite blogs!

We are Mel & Ali, bloggers in chief at inPSYCHful Living. With backgrounds in psychology and interests in all things adventurous and fashionable, our blog emphasizes the importance of mindful beauty, style and living. Our shared passion for writing, positive psychology and overall mental/physical well-being sparked us to share our ideas for living a simpler, happier, healthier lifestyle on our very own blog. That said, we were thrilled to meet Michelle, fellow Lehigh Valley blogger and fine food aficionado! Her recipes are a constant motivator for us to get creative in the kitchen.

As fellow Bethlehem residents, we’re always on the hunt for fine clothing stores and even finer dining in the Lehigh Valley. Therefore, we thought we’d take the opportunity to combine our two favorite things {food and fashion} in today’s guest post! With Valentine’s Day on the horizon, it seemed only fitting that we discuss potential outfits and venues for the big VDay! We donned our favorite blush pink tops and set on out to explore one of Bethlehem’s charming French restaurants - a perfect Valentine’s Day{te} combo!

We had a blast taking these photos before heading out for a double date with our husbands. They kept us laughing while guiding us through poses together! They've become quite the cameramen since the launch of our blog, and we couldn’t be more grateful for their patience during these shoots!

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The Look:

Ali:

Valentine’s Day attire brings lace to mind, but I knew I wanted to stay away from wearing a dress {it’s been so cold!}. Ultimately, I wanted to be comfortable. The solution? This lovely, universally flattering black lace “sweatshirt” from Banana Republic. Paired with black velvet skinnies, a blush pink sleeveless blouse, and wedge booties, and you've got yourself a sultry yet casual look.



Tops (Banana Republic) // Velvet Skinnies (Loft) // Booties (Nine West

Mel:

I was tickled pink {literally} when I stumbled upon this blush pink top from Banana Republic... perfect for a date with your Valentine! I usually picture hues of pink, red and black when thinking of Valentine’s Day attire. The sheer look of this blouse provides a romantic, soft look, and goes perfectly with a white cami underneath.

I paired the top with my favorite ponte pants from J.Crew Factory that are both comfortable and chic. Lastly, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention these perfect-for-VDay pumps in burgundy. They added a nice pop of color to this otherwise muted look - and they’re comfortable too!

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Top (Banana Republic) // Pants (J.Crew Factory) // Shoes (Kelly & Katie) // Necklace (BaubleBar)

The Locale: Setting the Mood with Saranda’s on Broadway

If you’re ready to turn up the romance this Valentine’s Day, allow us to introduce you to Saranda’s on Broadway! This relatively new restaurant in the historic Fountain Hill section of Bethlehem features {fine dining} French cuisine. Saranda’s provides the perfect atmosphere for a romantic dinner date, including impeccable service, live music, glimmering candlelight, delicious food, and decadent desserts.

When we arrived to Saranda’s, we were pleasantly greeted at the door and promptly ushered to our reserved table. Live jazz music was playing lightly in the background, just loud enough to enjoy without interrupting the natural flow of conversation. Our waitress was knowledgeable about the food and we enjoyed delicious cocktails and warm rolls while we waited for our appetizers. {The rolls were out of this world!}

Allow us to give you the inside scoop about what we ordered:

*Our apologies for the photo quality, the lighting was dim and romantic! 

Salad/Appetizers:

  • Maison Salad: Arugula, Poached Pears, Brie, Chambord Vinaigrette
  • Beet Salad: Roasted Rainbow Beets, Praline Cashews, Maytag Bleu Cheese, and Spring Mix Greens with a Red Wine-Beet Emulsion

The salads were bright, flavorful, and had a wonderful balance of texture with the cheese selections against the fruit/beets. The citrus infused cucumbers added the perfect amount of acidity to round out the taste buds.

Main Course:

  • Heirloom Pork Chop: Melissa opted for the Heirloom Pork Chop, a‎ double-cut Duroc chop, with Roasted Brussels Sprouts and a Potato Purée and Cider Reduction. It was the largest chop we've ever laid eyes on and a truly delectable one at that! 
  • Swordfish Special: Ali ordered a special that night which featured Swordfish, Risotto, and Haricot Vert. The fish was perfectly prepared, the risotto rich and creamy, and the beans were crisp and fresh.

Dessert:

We couldn’t let our readers down and wanted to be sure we fully sampled the ultimate dining experience, so we decided to order two desserts to share for the table. The first was a Napoleon, which showcased layers of puff pastry and fluffy cream.

If you are a chocolate lover, then you have to try their homemade “candy bar”, which layers dark chocolate and peanut butter cream. Oh! And if you don’t order dessert, don’t fret - they will bring out some chocolate biscotti to accompany your check just to be sure you tend to that sweet tooth!

inPSYCHfully Yours,
Melissa & Alison

inPSYCHful Living
“mindful Beauty, Style & Living”

@inPSYCHful_living {instagram}
@inPSYCHful {twitter}

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