Weekending: Thanksgiving & Long Weekend Edition

Good morning! I feel like I haven’t “talked” to you guys in a while… I guess an extra long weekend will do that ;) I ended up taking Wednesday off since my company gave us a half day, so not working Wed-Sunday was a nice little treat! Although the time off was very relaxing, we did do a lot of fun things, so let’s recap! Warning- this is a long post, but there are lots of pictures so you can just skim and check those out if you want ;)


After sleeping in a bit, RM and I got up and had breakfast and then I hit the gym for a run and lifting session. It’s always a nice treat to be able to workout mid-morning without being on a time crunch.


Since a few of my girlfriends also had Wednesday off, we decided to meet up at my friend Jess’s apartment in the North End since she needed to stay close to home for her daughters nap time. It worked out well because we were able to chat and hang out without feeling rushed like we might at a restaurant.


For dinner, RM and I met up with his brother and sister in law at Charcoal Guido’s on Moody Street. One of RM’s childhood friends opened the restaurant a few years ago and since we live closer to the area now, we decided to finally check it out. The pizza and atmosphere were both great! I had never been to Moody Street but I think we will be going back soon because it’s such a fun street!



We woke up on Thanksgiving and lounged around while watching the parade. I wasn’t sure if I was going to workout, but ultimately decided it was something I wanted to do. I wasn’t doing it to “earn my meal” or because I wanted to feel better about possibly indulging, I did it because I felt rested and I felt thankful for the fact my body can move and that it’s strong.


My parents ended up going to my sister’s for Thanksgiving so RM and I decided to go there for apps and a drink before doing the whole dinner thing at his mother’s house. I decided to bring a variation of the Apple Brie Appetizer Bites Athena posted last week. To change it up, I ended up using sharper, hard cheeses instead of the mild, soft Brie. They came out great and everyone loved them!

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We had a blast at my sister’s and even though it was hard leaving them, it was nice to be able to see both families. Dinner at RM’s mother’s house was- no surprise- delicious, but sadly I didn’t take a single photo! I always feel awkward taking food pictures when I’m around his family, but I think I need to suck it up and take them because everything is always very picture worthy.


Friday was a super fun day because not only did I shop for wedding dresses, I ended up buying one!!! More on that later- I have a whole post to describe that experience ;)


I loved that my whole family- including my dad- were there for the experience. It was so special and so fun! And, might I add, there was no “Say Yes to the Dress” drama! To celebrate, we went to Buff’s Pub for lunch. My parents hadn’t been before and my sister and I thought it was a great place to take them. The verdict? They loved it!


After my parents left, RM and I went to Lookout Farm to visit his cousin and check out their new taproom. I fell in love with everything about this place! It was originally just a farm where you could go apple, pear, peach and strawberry picking, but recently they decided to make good use of the excess apples and they started making their own hard cider. I’ve never been a huge cider person (except for when I studied abroad in England and we drank cider all the time!), but the ciders at Lookout Farm are absolutely delicious! They aren’t too fruity sweet and they’ve got great fizz to them. We started with a sampler flight of the 4 flavors they had on tap: Farmhouse Blend, Super Berry, Green with Envy (has green tea in it) and Barn Burner (which is spicy, I think with habanero peppers in it).


Mark, RM’s cousin, brought us for a tour of the property and it was incredible to see how big it was and to see where they brew the cider.



Once we got back to the taproom, we each ordered our own cider (Super Berry for me) and shared a charcuterie plate (3 meats, 3 cheeses & olives for $12.75 I think). They also have big, soft pretzels and various flatbreads and everything looked delicious.


Such a fun time! If you’re ever in the South Natick/Wellesley area, this is definitely a place you need to check out!


We got up early on Saturday and I fit in a workout before hitting the road to Ikea.


I’ll say that I love a good dorky matchy-matchy sesh, but RM and I were even a bit much for me on Saturday. In my defense, I got dressed first! Luckily he ended up taking off the vest once we got to Ikea ;)


We grabbed some Starbuck’s and then attacked Ikea. I was so impressed with how well the experience went. We were there early enough to avoid the crazy masses of people and we found everything we were looking for.

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To celebrate, we went to La Casa De Pedro for lunch and cocktails. Everything was fantastic!

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The rest of the night was spent putting stuff together and being totally lazy. We logged some serious couch time!


I woke up craving pancakes so I decided to whip some healthy ones up.


And yes, I love topping mine with syrup, homemade jam and almond butter. Don’t judge ;)

After breakfast we did a good cleaning of the apartment and then I went and got a new phone. My old one had something stuck in the headphone hole so I couldn’t really use it when I was at the gym or teaching which was annoying.


We decided to get a new, smaller table and I love how it looks now! and the yellow chairs RM picked out are amazing!


Later in the afternoon, RM had to cash in a bunch of quarters so I went along for the ride… mostly because he also suggested getting a drink at a local bar after :)

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Wine and an onion soup for me- perfect mid afternoon snack!

The rest of the night was spent doing some meal prep and lots of blogging. This is a busy week and I have lots to share with you guys so I tried to get ahead of the game by logging in some serious blogging hours. It’s actually a perfect sunday night activity since RM is usually watching football!

Questions for you: Did you take extra time off around the holiday? Where did you celebrate Thanksgiving? Did you do any good workouts over the weekend? Have you been to Ikea before? Ever been to any of the restaurants linked in this post?

Happy Thanksgiving!

I wanted to pop in quickly to wish you and your families a very Happy Thanksgiving! I cannot even begin to express how so very thankful I am for each and every one of you who stops by this little ol’ blog day in and day out. You have no idea how happy and blessed it makes me to have your support, interactions and connections. I’ve “met” so many incredible people- both fellow bloggers and readers- who have taught me things, introduced me to new products or helped me find the latest and greatest “must try” restaurants. It’s truly crazy to me how much blogging has become such a happy and fun part of my life. Sure, it’s hard work and time consuming, but at the end of the day I absolutely love doing it. So, thank you for reading and giving me motivation to keep going.

I hope you have a happy and safe holiday- I’ll be back next week :) xo


Guest Post: Dieting Failure to Success

Good morning! I have a really awesome guest post for you today. My friend Lauren (and who is also my “boss” at the YMCA…), just recently started a blog called The Fueled Physique and I’ve totally been loving it so I knew she HAD to guest post for me :) What I love about her posts is that she’s honest and real and she doesn’t try to sell you any bullshit on diets or training or anything like that. She shares experiences she’s had or that she’s been exposed to and I think it’s everything that people can relate to! Dieting is a perfect example of that…. there are so many out there and the thing no one tells you is that not every diet works for everyone. Plus, most are not sustainable for the long haul, so you work your butt off dieting and then once you stop that particular diet you tend to gain the weight back, right? What’s the point in that? Not a whole lot, in my opinion.

Anyway, take it away, Lauren!



Diets. Do they work?  Sure! They work if we follow the rules, but what happens when we stop? Diets have a way of making us feel like a failure if we don’t stick to them 100% or if we don’t have a plan for what to do when the diet is over.  Failing at diets keep us in a restrict/binge cycle.  Forget for a second what this does to your body and think about what does to your mind.  You probably start beating yourself up because you’ve failed at yet another diet. Wouldn’t you rather think of yourself as a success? Can’t you find something good out of a diet mishap? Yes (I hope) and yes!  All you have to do is think about what you learned.  What can you take from each dieting experience?  Here’s my personal thought process with some of the diets I’ve tried.

  • Low Carb Diet:  Nope, need much more food because I nearly passed out from a low carb diet plus they make me seriously moody.
  • Special K:  A bowl of cereal is NOT a meal…let alone two meals!
  • Figure Competition Diet:  Too restrictive
  • IIFYM: Math?!  No thanks.
  • Paleo:  I miss bread.

This is just a small snapshot of the things I’ve tried, but here’s what I found out: My body needs carbs, cereal isn’t enough of a meal for me, I need to have some way to incorporate treats into my diet, I don’t want to do math to figure out what I can eat and I need bread (pizza is part bread after all!).  So now if I were to go look for a new diet (which I wouldn’t because I’ve figured out what works for me) and any of these things aren’t included, that’s a red flag for me.

Here’s the thing, if you keep failing on diets over and over again…maybe you shouldn’t be on one.  If you’re someone who is a diet hopper, here’s some homework.

  • Take a piece of paper and split it into three columns.
  • Think of all the diets you’ve been on and write them down in the first column.
  • Now think about why that diet didn’t work and write that in the second column.
  • Lastly, think about what lesson you can take from each diet and write that in the third column.

At the end you’ll have a whole list of your own “diet must haves” so you can begin formulating your own way of eating.

Going back to my personal examples,  I never eat a bowl of cereal for breakfast.  Not because I think it’s “bad” but because I know it won’t hold me over as long as I need it to.  So instead I have a greek yogurt and some trail mix or a couple hard boiled eggs and a piece of fruit.  The mix of carbs, fat and protein keep me much fuller.  I also have some kind of treat almost every day.  I have either a glass of wine, some chocolate or some of my favorite candy.  This helps me stay away from feeling restricted and deprived.  I also don’t count or track anything I eat.  This is because I have enough experience with dieting to know what to eat for the body I want.

Give the homework a shot and let me know how it turns out.  What have you learned from your experiences with different diets?  Put a positive spin on it and see how you can use that to help you move forward into your own unique eating lifestyle.  If you need help with it reach out to me and I can help!  Email me at fueledphysiquelb@gmail.com or visit my blog at www.fueledphysiqueblog.com ☺.


Thanks for the post, Lauren! I hope you all go check out her blog- it’s definitely worth a read!

Questions for you: Have you tried any fad diets? Do you find dieting works for you or do you prefer to just eat mostly vegetables and protein and fruits and stay away from processed food?

Weekending: Friendsgiving, SoulCycle, sweetgreens & Taco Night

Good morning! Well, here we are- Thanksgiving is on THURSDAY. Can you believe it?! I have Wednesday-Friday off so last night barely felt like a Sunday night knowing I only had 2 days of work before an extra long weekend :) We had a really great weekend, so let’s get to recapping it!


I went food shopping on my way home after work on Friday- how exciting, right?! Once I got home and unpacked, RM and I enjoyed a glass of wine while catching up and throwing around options for dinner. We ended up walking to Bertucci’s, but sadly our meal was just OK- the pizza was just not nearly as good as I remembered it being. I hate that!


We had a lazy start to our Saturday until it was time for me to go teach at the Y. It was a really fun class and for some reason my energy was off the charts so I hope I didn’t scare any new members away ;)


After teaching, I showered and headed to Queen Bee Nails to get my nails done. I had a free manicure coupon and decided to upgrade and get a shellac since I wanted nice nails for Friendsgiving, Thanksgiving and dress shopping. I thought this color was very festive for this time of year.


Once I got home, I got busy in the kitchen. I agreed to bring Brussels sprouts, sweet potatoes and homemade cranberry sauce so I had lots of things to make! For the Brussels sprouts I just sautéed them in EVOO and added salt, pepper and 1 clove of chopped garlic. I also added pancetta which adds a great salty & crunchy combination to the dish. Athena left a suggestion on my Five on Friday post for a homemade cranberry sauce, so I checked it out and decided to make it. I loved that it was so easy to throw together! The only things I changed were adding more water, I put all of the orange peels in it and added a little bit of regular and coconut sugar because it was still a bit too tart for my liking (I think I had more cranberries than her recipe called for). It was super tasty!

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In the early afternoon, RM and I got gussied up and headed into the South End to meet up with all of my friends.


Saturday night out is always more fun with leather pants on ;)

My friend Amy’s brother has an incredible pent house apartment above Boston Chops and graciously let us host our gathering there (he plays hockey in Canada so he wasn’t there anyway).


We had a blast chatting and drinking wine and eating. The food was incredible- everyone did a really great job with the dishes they were assigned!

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I feel so blessed to have so many wonderful friends in my life- these ladies are the best of the best!


Needless to say, I woke up with a bit of a wine headache on Sunday so I had breakfast and then snuggled up on the couch with our new book club book for a while before I went to spin.


Has anyone read this? I’m only about 100 pages in, but I’m enjoying it so far!

SoulCycle often sends out emails to take complimentary classes, I assume to help boost numbers for some of their lower attendance classes, but generally I can’t take part in them because they’re usually on really off times. This time, though, they had a Sunday 4pm class on the list, but when I called it was already full so they let me take the 11:45am class instead, which actually worked out better. I felt bad for the people next to me as I likely sweat out pure wine ;) The class was really fun and the instructor, Jeff, had lots of energy! Per usual, I didn’t think the class itself was that hard- I don’t know what it is about the classes there, but I never think they are as hard as they are at other studios. Where I think they do step it up is the party atmosphere, which is what makes the classes so fun!


After class I went next door to have lunch at sweet green- a little Sunday treat :)


I did a make your own salad with kale, cucumber, broccoli, carrots and spicy quinoa and a side of their butternut squash which was not great- it was so thin and watery! The salad was fantastic, though.

When I got home, RM was snuggled up watching American Sniper so I decided to join him. It was a cold, rainy afternoon so it was a perfect thing to do! After the movie we went to Whole Foods to pick up a few additional staples for the week and for our taco dinner. We had a piece of steak in the freezer so RM took it out and suggested we slice it and put it in tacos. He’s full of good ideas sometimes ;) To go along with it, I made a super easy salsa (red pepper, tomato, red onion, pineapple, lime juice- everything chopped really small and then throw half of it into a food processor to give it more of a salsa consistency.


I also made a avocado “sauce” made up of all sorts of random things we had lying around (I didn’t have sour cream or greek yogurt so I had to get creative): 1/2 avocado, 1 scoop of hummus, 1 scoop of goat cheese, salt, pepper, garlic powder, red pepper flakes, ~2 tbsp. EVOO and 1/8-1/4 cup of vegetable broth. Surprisingly, it came out great and was perfect to top the steak with.


RM cooked the steak in butter and with salt and pepper- so delicious!


It was a such a yummy Sunday night dinner! We both were pleasantly surprised by how well everything came together- even with using Ezekiel wraps instead of corn tortillas.



And that does it for us- All in all it was a great weekend filled with good food, great friends, fun exercise and lots of relaxation!

Questions for you: What was the best part of your weekend? What did you do? Did you get in any good workouts? Hang out with friends? What are you making for Thanksgiving?

Five on Friday {11.20.15}

Good morning- Happy Friday :) I know I’ve said it before, but I’m having so much fun writing these “Five on Friday” posts because I can pull any weird tidbit of information I want and one of you can usually relate to at least something in the post so I’ll chalk that up to a win ;) Also, I’m not sure if this means I have a problem or not, but when I originally typed “win”, I typed “wine”… hmm…

Anyway- on to this week’s Five on Friday!

1. Roasting a chicken- Two weeks ago, I roasted my very first chicken. It came out so good, I decided I needed to make it again for when my parents came down this past Sunday. RM and I agreed that my second one came out even better than the first! The best part? It’s such an easy meal to prepare! All you have to do is pick what veggies you want (we are veggie happy so we did Japanese sweet potatoes, regular sweet potatoes, carrots, celery and onion), chop them up, season your chicken with salt & pepper (I also used Herbs de Provance because that stuff is amazinggg), place some lemon slivers under the skin and then top with a few thin slivers of butter, which creates a nice crispy outer layer.


2. Friendsgiving- I haven’t ever been a part of a “friendsgiving” so I am SO excited for the one we are doing with my college girlfriends tomorrow. We are all responsible for bringing various things, like Brussels sprouts and sweet potatoes for me, and of course lots of vino ;) I might also try to make some homemade cranberry sauce- anyone have any good recipes for this?


3. Yoga strength- As I mentioned on Tuesday I had the opportunity to take a bunch of yoga classes last week. I shared some things I learned throughout the various classes I attended and today I’m totally loving Yoga strength. While it may not feel like the same type of strength as weight lifting, to hold poses, go from high to low plank and do arm balances it requires an incredible amount of strength, especially core strength.

4. New sneakers- There’s nothing better than getting new shoes, amiright?! And, for someone who loves all things fitness apparel related, I especially love getting new sneakers. I’ve tried out my new Saucony running sneakers a few times this week and I have to say, I’m diggin’ them. I like the way my Mizuno’s hug my feet better than the Saucony’s, but the Saucony’s feel more stable when I’ve used them to train in which is great for Wednesdays when I usually run and then teach my class.


5. Target holiday things– Umm, how amazing is this shirt?! When I saw it, I knew I just HAD to get it. I see myself most definitely over-wearing it ;)


And that does it! I hope you’ve all had a great week and have a great weekend planned out. Chat with you next week :)

Questions for you: Have you done a friendsgiving before? What’s your favorite Thanksgiving dish? What brand of sneakers do you run in? Have you bought any Christmas things yet?