When you added the reply to how exactly did you go about this, it seems that you have a php block of code within an existing php block of code so this is likely the cause of the error. I would like to know the steps you took to get this result so that we can check into this further. The code you removed is just looping over the fields to in the form to print out their values. It should not be causing the error.
To update the date go into the Block.php template and look for this code:
<?php echo date("n-j-Y", $now); ?>
You will just need to swap around the month and day values like this:
<?php echo date("j-n-Y", $now); ?>
The color that is set for the background is just done via css, is your Outlook client configured to allow css formatting? Have you tried this with any other mail clients, like hotmail, gmail or Yahoo? This would be a good test to determine if it is something specific to your Outlook settings.