Weekending: Red Lantern, BBQ, Grocery Shopping Fail and Festa Italiana

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Good morning! How are you doing today? I slept terribly on Sunday night because of a weird stomach ache, so I feel like I’m still catching up on sleep. This past weekend was perfect in so many ways. Even though the weather was not great and ended up causing us to cancel a Cape trip, we still found lots of fun things to do. I have to admit, after having been on the road for the past number of weekends, it was nice to stick around Boston for a bit!

Friday Night

After work on Friday, I ran some errands (including trip to Lens Crafters where they replaced my glasses for $25!! So happy I bought the protection plan. Best thing ever!) and then came home and sat on my back patio for a while. It was nice- I haven’t had a chance to do that enough this summer. And, my dad told me to “watch my garden” for 10 minutes a day… does watching it for a half hour count for 3 days worth of watching? It is coming along quite well!.

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Later, RM and I went to Red Lantern for dinner. I had bought a Living Social deal a while back that was due to expire soon, so it was the perfect time to use it! Although the prices are rather high for both drinks and food, everything we had was delicious and I would definitely go back. Even better? They have a whole Gluten Free sushi menu which is awesome.

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Saturday

After teaching a very sweaty kickboxing class, I went to get a pedicure at Queen Bee Nails- my favorite place to get them! Between my nails and new toe color, I’m going a little bright with my colors this summer. It’s a fun change!

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In the afternoon, RM and I headed to my friend Amy’s apartment for a drink with a few other friends before going to a summer BBQ at Rachel and Dan’s apartment. We had lots of good food and about a million good laughs while playing Cards Against Humanity. That game gets funnier every time I play it!

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The best part about Saturday afternoon parties? You still get home early… I am so old!

Sunday

I woke up and did some yoga and core work while RM made us some delicious Pumpkin Walnut Banana Protein Paleo pancakes. I’m not a big pancake person but these are amazing because they actually keep me full for a long time!

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Once we were digested, we headed out for a long power walk. I think we covered about 3.5 miles before calling it quits to *attempt* grocery shopping. Have you heard about all the Market Basket drama?? We hadn’t, so you can imagine our faces when we walked in and were faced with this scene:

IMG_8135 IMG_8136It was the craziest thing ever- we literally couldn’t even shop because there was NOTHING to choose from. So frustrating. I hope everything gets settled and back to normal asap!

We headed to RM’s mom’s house for a late afternoon lunch/early dinner. She is from Italy and makes the most amazing food, which yesterday included Eggplant parmesan with home grown eggplants. Wow. It was SO good and I’m so happy she gave me leftovers to eat this week!

Later in the evening, we met up with some of his friends/family at the Festa Italiana, which is an Italian Festival/Fair in Newton. There was live music, beer/wine, lots of fair food and rides. I love stuff like this so I was in my element!

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In addition to some delicious Carlo Rossi (I can’t say that with a straight face…), we had some oysters and an ice cream cone. No wonder why I was up all Sunday night with a stomach ache- those are dumb things to mix in one night!

All in all, though, it was a really great weekend… the only thing missing was hanging out with my family :( I miss them!

Questions for you: Have you been to Red Lantern? What’s your favorite Sushi roll? Where do you get your pedicures? Have you been to any BBQ’s this summer?

This Week: Workouts, Announcements & Things I’m Looking Forward To (CHICAGO!)

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Good morning and happy Monday, friends! It feels weird not having started my day teaching my 6am Muscle Work class. I have to say, although it’s not necessarily fun getting up and to the gym that early, especially on a Monday morning, it sure makes for a much better day knowing my workout is done and over with and I can spend my evening relaxing, blog writing and cooking!

I’ve got lots going on this week, but think the most important thing to talk about first is a BIG (at least for me) change I made recently. It wasn’t an easy decision and although I wanted some consistency in my day to day, especially after my other big change, I felt like it was the right thing for me to do right now. It was something I needed to do, even though it was a really hard decision to make. You ask what that is?

I have decided to give up my teaching my Thursday night double.

I know- it kind of came out of nowhere after my one (err 5) too many little mental breakdowns I’ve had over the past couple of months. I just realized that something had to give, and although I didn’t want it to be my classes and teaching schedule, I realized that, ultimately, that was giving me the most stress and wearing me down the most. By the time Thursday afternoons came around and I realized I was going to have to gear up to teach my double after work, sheer dread came over me. And, it’s not like this happened once and a while. It started to be a weekly thing. I didn’t feel this way before any other class, so I can only attribute it to how much energy it takes for me to teach and DO a double, generally after an intense workout on Wednesday night, too.

Granted, by the time I finished my second cool down of the night and I knew it was time to go home I was fine, but I realized that I shouldn’t go into a workout or teaching a class dreading it. I- and my members- deserve more than that, so I decided that I needed to give up those classes to help free some time up in my schedule and hopefully allow some extra room for me to, dare I say it? RELAX. I can’t be entirely sure that will happen, but I will say it will be nice to be able to do things on Thursday nights, especially during the summer.

I’ve got some other things brewing on the back burner with regards to some new teaching opportunities, but for now, I’m just going to enjoy having 2+ hours back to my Thursdays. My last class is THIS week and I’m dreading it already. I’m going to miss my members so much! I’ve grown the 5:30 SHRED class from 3 or 4 people to generally 16-20 people and I’ve grown my kickboxing class to an average of 16 people (and before me there was no kickboxing class, so I had to build that all on my own). These members come to my classes week after week, ready for any of the crazy (and, I mean that- I throw some weird stuff at them) things I think up and throw into the mix. We’ve grown to know each other as more than just the person standing next to you in class, so it’s going to be weird to not see them as much anymore. One of the members said he felt like I was dumping them, and it broke my heart a little! Luckily, I’ve decided to keep my Wednesday night UXF Burn class at that gym so at least I’ll still see most of them… they’re just going to have to get used to only 1 dose of me, not 3.

So, with that said. I’m hoping this change will help bring a better balance to my life. I’ve been juggling teaching an average of 5 classes a week, working 40 hours, commuting, writing this little blog, spending a lot of time with RM and friends and going away on the weekends that if I didn’t cut back somewhere, I was going to break. I’m sad to end this chapter but excited to have more time for my own workouts (maybe even start to consistently lift heavier) and try out other classes in the area.

OK, enough heavy talk… let’s get to the workouts!

Last Week’s Workouts

  • Monday- I taught my 6am Muscle Work class, which did include cardio, and then did 15 minutes on the stair stepper again.
  • Tuesday- The heat and humidity were killer on Tuesday night so I ended up cutting my run at 3 miles and then doing a butt kicking bootcamp-style workout finisher. I’ll post it on Wednesday for you!
  • Wednesday- I ran 3.5 miles on the treadmill before teaching (and doing most of) my SHRED class. It was a big class, likely because of the rainy weather, but I’ll take it! I even had a coworker come and there were 4 guys in the class!
  • Thursday- I taught SHRED and then Kickboxing… lots of members in both- we had fun!
  • Friday- Nothing. I went for a 15 minute walk during lunch but otherwise rested.
  • Saturday- After 2 weeks away from my Saturday kickboxing class at the Oak Square YMCA, I was back! I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: that class is the best start of my weekend! We worked so hard and I love seeing the members push themselves each time I’m there.
  • Sunday- I got up and did 20 minutes of yoga and then 15 minutes of core and glute work at RM’s apartment before we went for a 45 min power walk. We went for another stroll after our afternoon meal at his moms, too.

This Week’s Workouts

  • Monday- Not sure! I’d love to get in a workout during the day, but it may be an after work thing.
  • Tuesday- I have a hair appointment after work so I’ll either try to get to a muscle class during the day or do something before work.
  • Wednesday- Teaching UXF Burn and probably running beforehand.
  • Thursday- Teaching my LAST Thursday double *tears*. Dana requested stations during SHRED, so I may do that and some partner work at the end. Kickboxing requests? Maybe the booty burner?
  • Friday- I am going to Chicago for a long weekend and we have an early flight so my guess is that I won’t get up for a workout, especially after a Thursday night double!
  • Saturday-Monday- I’m not sure. Like I said, I’ll be in Chicago so I’m sure I’ll be doing lots of walking, but knowing me I’ll be getting some other workouts in as well :)

Things I’m Looking Forward To

So many things this week! My 2nd Stitch Fix is coming in today, so hopefully they gave me good stuff for Chicago. I’m also getting my hair cut, which is long overdue. Lastly, I’m going to Chicago for the weekend. A longggg time ago my friend Jessi asked if anyone wanted to go (she was going with her boyfriend and his friends) so my friend Lauren and I jumped at it and booked our stuff. Sadly, Lauren ended up not being able to go so I asked RM and he was game since it’s a city he’s never been to. I can’t wait to go back and do more exploring and hang out with my friend JP again! We are also having dinner at the top of the Sears tower and going to a Cubs game- I am SO excited!!

Questions for you: What was the best workout you had last week? Boston friends- do you have suggestions for any new workouts in the city to try since I’m going to have more free time? Any suggestions on what to do while in Chicago during the summer? I was there in November (Boston>Dallas>Chicago, Chicago: Part1 {Shopping and Bar Hopping}, Chicago: Part 2 {The Bean, Navy Pier, Boat Tour, Brewery}, Chicago: Part 3 {Brunching, Architecture Tour, Homemade Dinner}), but I feel like there’s still a lot of stuff that I didn’t get to do!

Sheila’s Nantucket Bachelorette Weekend

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Wow. What a fun weekend we had on Nantucket to celebrate Sheila! I had never been to Nantucket, so that made me even more excited for the weekend. We had originally gone back and forth on a few different ideas for the weekend, but I think everyone was very happy with ultimate outcome. Sheila found a great little house/cottage through Air B&B (I think? maybe it was Home Away?) which ended up being a super affordable option since a hotel and eating out at restaurants for every meal would’ve been really expensive! Big thanks to Amy and Jessi for all the planning and getting the food/booze/decorations.

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Friday morning, I got up and actually did my hair and put on my new dress- you know it’s a special occasion when I put time into how I look ;)

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I met up with Jessi and Lauren at the ferry terminal and we decided to kill some time by having cocktails- it’s never too early for a mimosa ;) or wine on the ferry, for that matter!

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Once we docked in Nantucket, we headed to The Gazebo to meet up with a few friends who were already on the island. Apparently The Gazebo is famous for their mudslides so although I’m not generally a fan of those types of drinks, I had to try it. The verdict? I felt like I was drinking a grown up milk shake!

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After our drink, we headed back to the house where Amy, Nikia and Amanda had decorated it for Sheila’s arrival- it looked so good!

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They also stocked up the fridge and freezer with lots and LOTS of food and drinks. We laughed all weekend that we are clearly getting old if we only went through a quarter of a handle of vodka all weekend… we are definitely getting old.

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Once everyone was at the house, we popped some bubbly (obvi!), made a quick stop at the beach, had some snacks outside and grilled up a delicious dinner of chicken, steak, corn on the cob and rice. When we finished dinner, we played some games (Heads up! Have you played it? SO FUN!) and walked to the Chicken Box for some live band and dancing action.

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Since we all took it easy and got home around midnight, we all felt pretty good on Saturday… good enough for a bootcamp workout- my favorite!

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The rest of the day on Saturday was spent at the beach (with packed lunches and drinks!)- I can’t remember the last time I PLAYED in the water like we did that day- so so fun!

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We cleaned up in the afternoon and made our way to Cisco Brewers, which was probably one of my most favorite parts of the weekend. We were all decked out in our bachelorette getup and enjoy the delicious beers, interesting vodka drinks and even some wine! I loved that they had an outdoor band and so much area to hang around outside- it was the perfect way to spend the afternoon!

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Once the brewery started to slow down, we headed back to the house and Kia, Jessi and I got busy in the kitchen making homemade chicken parmesan… #butfirstletmetakeaselfie ;)

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We decided that Saturday night would be a real “night out”… and, we meant it! We even stayed until closing- something I haven’t done in a REALLY long time. We went to Nixs since we met the band at the brewery and they told us we “had to come”. I have to say, I’m pretty excited we met them because they were really good and we all had such a blast. Obviously my friend Kia and I were the first to start the dance party… some things never change ;)

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Sunday morning was a little bit of a slower start than Saturday, but after a big breakfast of bacon, eggs, fruit, yogurt and English muffins, we all perked up and got ready for the beach. I had to head back on Sunday because I couldn’t take more time off at work… whomp whomp. The rest of the girls stayed until Monday or Tuesday and based on the pics I saw, it looks like they kept going strong throughout the remainder of the weekend- I was impressed!

Phew! If you made it this far- thank you!! All in all, it was just an absolutely awesome weekend- everyone was in good spirits and we all just had a blast being together. I am so blessed to have such wonderful friends!!

Questions for you: Have you been to Nantucket? Have you been to any of the places we went to? Are you a dancer or an observer? Do you have any bachelorette parties to go to this summer?

Wednesday Workout: Sheila’s Bachelorette Bootcamp

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As I mentioned on Monday, while I was on Nantucket over the weekend for Sheila’s bachelorette party, I lead a little bootcamp for the girls and myself. I’m not sure they entirely knew what they were getting themselves into before agreeing to and starting the workout, but I can assure you it was a good one that left us all winded, sweaty and sore the next day!

The girls were such good sports, though! Even Jessi, who doesn’t workout or enjoy it and didn’t even have sneakers stuck through it! We had a blast and it was such a good way for us to start the day… I don’t think we earned all our drinks that day, but we certainly earned a few ;)

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I didn’t have anything specifically in mind going into the workout, but I did have a few key bootcamp exercises in mind: squats, jump squats, lunges, jumping lunges, mountain climbers, push-ups, burpees, etc.

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I was totally in my element when leading the workout with these girls, but it did make it hard to stay serious because we always laugh and have fun when we are together! All in all, it was a solid workout that can be done anywhere since you don’t need any equipment!

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Everything is likely self-explanatory, but if you have questions, let me know. One that might need an explanation is the partner lat pull/upright row. I learned this at the Wellness By The Water Retreat last year and loved using it over the weekend. What you do is have one person sit and another person stand behind them. The sitting person reaches their arms up and grabs the standing persons hands. As the seated person pulls their arms down, the standing person adds resistance to make it like a lat pull down. Then, the standing person pulls and the seated person resists, making it like an upright row. After 10, switch!

We finished with this standing ab workout before stretching and calling it a day. All in all, the workout took about 30 minutes to complete… and I was able to cross something off of my My Summer of 2014 “Bucket List”!

Thanks for such a fun way to start the day, girls! Can’t wait to do it before Nikia’s wedding :)

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Questions for you: What’s your favorite bootcamp exercise? Have you ever done a bootcamp while on a weekend getaway with your girlfriends?

This Week: Workouts, Detoxing & Things I’m Looking Forward To

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Hi! Good morning! How are you today? I’m still feeling the effects of the weekend- what a blast we had on Nantucket, but I’ll admit- we can’t hang the way we used to… it takes a whole heck of a lot longer to recover from late nights and lots of drinking ;) More on that later, though!

Although last week was a good week of workouts, my eats were really notsogood. I know it happens, and I am totally OK with it, but my body is definitely ready for much cleaner eats this week. My goal is to fill my diet with lots of veggies, fruits and protein rather than chips, crackers, pizza and general beast snacking mode! Indulgent weekends are fun, but they do make me feel ready to jump back on the healthy food wagon once they’re over!

Last Week’s Workouts

  • Monday- I taught my 6am Muscle Work class and then did 15 minutes on the stair stepper. I haven’t used that machine in forever! After work, my sister came over and we walked for almost an hour- great way to catch up and exercise!
  • Tuesday- I went to a strength class at a gym near my new office. The instructor was amazing and I left there feeling totally beat!
  • Wednesday- I cheated on my UXF Burn class and went to a spin class and pilates class at the same gym I went to on Tuesday with the same instructor. So fun!
  • Thursday- I taught my SHRED and Cardio Kickboxing double. My SHRED class was killer- lots of compound moves! The annoying part? My stupid Polar heart rate monitor wasn’t working and I went through all my batteries!

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  • Friday- Rest! I hadn’t rested in over a week… whoops!
  • Saturday- I got up and went for a 3 mile walk with Sheila and Serena and then lead a “Bachelorette Bootcamp” with almost all of the girls- it was SO fun!!

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  • Sunday- Besides some walking, it was another rest day. I got home early enough to go for a run but I was so exhausted I decided to unpack and clean instead.

This Week’s Workouts

  • Monday- Today I taught my 6am Muscle Work class and will have done some cardio.
  • Tuesday- I am not sure what I’ll do… I think I’m going to go running after work?
  • Wednesday- I’m going to do some cardio before I teach UXF Burn.
  • Thursday- Teaching SHRED and then Cardio Kickboxing.
  • Friday- Probably a rest day.
  • Saturday- Finally teaching my Saturday Cardio Kickboxing!
  • Sunday- Not sure- maybe a longer run? Yoga?

Things I’m Looking Forward To

I’m looking forward a relatively quiet week. It’ll be the first full week in the office in a long time! On top of that, I’m going to be in Boston this weekend and I can’t wait! Don’t get me wrong, I love having fun weekend plans, but it’s always a nice feeling to have a weekend with no plans that involve travel. My friends Rachel and Dan are having a BBQ on Saturday, which will be fun! I haven’t seen them in a while.

Questions for you: What was the best part of your week last week? Best workout? Try anything new?

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