Five on Friday {2.5.16}

Good morning! TGIF! What a week it’s been- phew! I am so ready for a relaxing weekend… I feel like I’ve been on the go since last Friday. I ended up teaching 4 classes in 3 days, which is something I haven’t done in MONTHS, so it definitely was a shock to my system! They were all great classes, though, so I can’t really complain :) Last night was my first sweat-KICK class at Foster Fitness and it was a total blast. I think there were about 22 fitties who showed up, which was more than I thought there would be! Everyone was pretty new to my style of cardio kickboxing, but they gave it their all and totally killed it. I was one happy/proud instructor :)


Even though that was my highlight of the week, let’s talk about some other high points!

1 & 2: New Coats & Engagement Photos– I know I talked about both of these things in my weekend recap, but I felt as though they were worthy of a spot in my Five on Friday posts, too. I just can’t get over the fact that the blue jacket is a $450 Calvin Klein jacket that I got for $44!! I’m always slacking in the jacket department, so getting these was a step in the right direction for me. I’m in search of a new long down jacket- anyone have any good recommendations for where I could find one? Also, isn’t Janelle fantastic? We are totally loving the photos she look during our engagement photo session- I’ll have a full recap of that including outfit details next week!

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3. Stripping While Sleeping– Ok, not really stripping per say, but I thought it was hilarious as I reached under the blankets at the foot of our bed and found 3 pairs of socks… my feet and hands are always cold so I go to bed with socks on most night. However, I tend to kick them off at some point throughout the night since I am a HOT BOX when I sleep. I wake up sweating more than I’d like to admit, which you’d think would make me go to bed in less clothes, but I’m always freezing when I go to bed so I bundle up and strip later. Weird, right?


4. Running Outside in 60* February Weather-With today’s weather, it seems like this was years ago! I’m happy I was able to soak up some of the unseasonably warm weather earlier this week during a 4 miler lunch break run.


5. Dressing Like Spring… in February- Ok, I guess there’s a theme for this post: outfits/fashion and unseasonably warm weather ;) When I woke up yesterday and saw that it was 55* at 6:30am I took a double take. I’m totally loving this thin sweater from Loft that I picked up last week- paired with my new Lucky skinny jeans, favorite booties and light jacket made for a comfy outfit!

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I hope all of you have a fantastic weekend! Thankfully ours is much more lowkey than last weekend. I have to basically read a 400 page book for book club on Tuesday so that’s definitely what I’ll be doing ;)

Questions for you: What do you have going on this weekend? Were you able to take advantage of the warmer weather this week? Have you found any good shopping deals this week? Do you have any weird habits or things you do when you sleep?

Wednesday Workout: MyStryde Studio & New Balance Sneaker/Clothes Review

Happy Wednesday, friends! No workout for you again today, but I do have a new workout and studio review for you AND a review of some sweet new sneakers and clothes the nice people at New Balance sent me, so let’s get to it.

Have you guys ever heard of such a thing as a “treadmill gym”? I had only heard a few things around social media regarding this new gym/workout and I have to say I was super intrigued. The gym is called MyStryde and it is located at the end of Hanover street near Atlantic Ave in the North End.


MyStryde was created because the founder/owner, Becca, was tired of running on the treadmill for her winter training runs so she decided to take a spin class. As the class went on, she realized what she needed to help with treadmill run motivation wasn’t a spin class. It was a treadmill class! So ultimately, they are the same types of classes with sprints, hills, push pace, etc., but instead of doing it on a spin bike, you’re on a treadmill!

When you walk in, you’re greeted by a cute, little front desk and “store front” area before you walk into the room where the magic happens. And by magic, I mean ridiculous amounts of sweat and heavy breathing ;) There are 12 WOODWAY treadmills (which, by the way, are WAY BETTER than running on a normal/traditional treadmill. They feel sturdier and more supportive and just generally more like running outside. I’m a huge fan!) around the room set up so that everyone can see the instructors treadmill. Don’t worry- they don’t do the entire class with us… that would be crazy!

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There are various types of classes on the schedule, but the one I was able to try out as part of the event I went to was the Endurance class, which meant that we were focusing on keeping a good pace while tackling some hills  for longer intervals and then just a few sprint intervals. You can learn about their other classes here. I would LOVE to get back there to try a bootcamp class because that sounds like more my style!


They have a “MyStryde Guide” on each treadmill which helps you figure out what pace you should be running at. Based on what my “flat road” or comfortable/easy pace is, I was at the intermediate level so I stayed between 7 & 9 the whole class. I found this VERY helpful!

I will admit that I was nervous going into the class. Most of the time I feel confident in my fitness ability knowing that I can probably handle whatever is thrown at me, but running is a totally different story. I have days where I feel like I could run 6 miles, but I also have lots of days where it’s a struggle to finish 3. I was praying for the former as I went into the studio ;) 45 minutes  and nearly 5 miles later, I’m happy to say that I not only survived, but I kind of enjoyed it! Sure, it was very hard and I pushed myself WAY MORE than I normally push myself on a treadmill, but isn’t that the point of taking a class? To push your limits? To get comfortable being uncomfortable? Becca’s class certainly achieved both of those things and I was so happy to have the {silent} support from Athena and Sherri who were running in the same row of treadmills as me!


Yes, I realize I am a sweaty beast! I sweat A LOT when I run!

Know what else made me happy? Getting to try out some new gear from New Balance! They sent me their newest Fresh Foam 1080’s as well as a ridiculously comfortable outfit from their new Trinamic collection, which is coming out officially in mid-February.


Here are some details about the sneakers & outfit:

Fresh Foam 1080’s
  • First thought? Wow these are SUPER cute! Second thought? AND they’re crazy comfortable! They are supportive and cushiony without feeling bulky or heavy.
  • They’re 8.9 oz. with a 8MM drop and retail for $149.95
  • I learned that every detail of the sneaker has a purpose- from the Fresh Foam midsole to the Ortholite Sockliner to the Bootie Construction to the mesh forefoot, every piece of the shoe was engineered by combining brilliant designers and extensive data collections to make the best shoe possible. NB hand-selected very specific runners to test their biomechanics, force patters and wear tendencies in order to help NB create a shoe that had a cushioned underfoot in a singular platform that didn’t feel big and bulky.

I couldn’t believe so much testing went into creating the shoe, but after running in them, I could tell they were incredibly well-made. Sometimes it takes a bit to “wear in” new sneakers, but I was able to run nearly 5 miles in brand new shoes with zero problems. In fact, my feet felt great after the run!

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Trinamic Performance Compression Collection

  • The Trinamic collection was created to make the base layer more adaptive and comfortable to allow for enhanced performance and movement. Usually your base layer is tight and restrictive, but the Trinamic collection, although tight, was not restrictive in the least bit!
  • Features 3 elements: Superior stretch (utilizes NB Flex X technology, a new fiber featuring 3D stretch innovation that enhances comfort, it supports dynamic movement and provides an adaptive fit), Comfort (smoother fiber provides a softer feel) and Breathability (strategically placed “breath hole patterns” help optimize breathability where it’s needed most). For instance, the women’s tops we wore had extra “breath hole patterns” on the chest whereas the men’s did not. Similar with the sneakers, they tested people’s sweat patterns through various activities and gave the garments extra breath holes where needed the most. I just noticed the ones behind the knees on the pants!
  • The Trinamic fabric is unique because it gives the unique ability to stretch further with less resistance, yet it pulls back to its original fit when back in the relaxed position. Sherri said it best when she said she noticed how the knees didn’t get bunchy on the pants. She’s totally right! I wore them when I taught a class where we did squats and kicks and jumps and all sorts of stuff that required knee-bending and I never once had “saggy knees”.


Overall, it was such a great event and I think that MyStryde is a really neat concept/studio. If you’re a runner (or at least enjoy running) or are training for a race and don’t want to run outside (or just want to be challenged), it’s a great option for you. I am also totally in love with the NB products we all received and have already worn them multiple times. For someone who is in workout clothes a lot doing all sorts of weird movements requiring good stretchability (I made that word up), the Trinamic collection totally fits the bill. And the sneakers- even if they weren’t crazy comfortable I’d still wear them since they’re super cute ;)


Questions for you: Have you been to MyStryde before? Do you like running on the treadmill? What is your favorite shoe to run in?


“Oh, but I’m not even a runner!”

Last week I had the opportunity to check out the new treadmill gym in the North End called MyStryde, as well as some new New Balance gear. Without getting much into the class (I’m posting about it tomorrow!), I will say that it was very challenging. While I run at least once or twice a week (logging 3-4 miles each run normally), I’ve never considered myself a “runner”. Sure, I like to go out and run and don’t even mind running on the treadmill that much, but I’m always so quick to say “I’m not a runner” when I talk about running.


After class, though, a guy tapped me on the shoulder and goes “You’re really fast! I was trying to keep up with you the whole class, but could never quite catch up!” My reaction? “really? That’s funny because I’m not even a runner!”

And it got me to thinking, why are we so quick to dismiss a compliment? Why are we so quick to downplay whatever it is about ourselves that someone is complimenting? Why can’t we just smile and say “thank you” and accept the compliment, rather than make up excuses why it isn’t/we aren’t worth the compliment?Think about these exchanges:

  • “Wow I love that bag!”…  “oh this bag? It’s SO old!”
  • “You’re a fast runner!”… “I’m not really that fast, I was just having a good day!”
  • “Your hair looks great today!”… “ugh no, I don’t like my hair! I wish I had hair like yours”
  • “That email you wrote was really well-written”… “Nah, I thought I jumbled my words and wasn’t as concise as I wanted to be”

… The list could go on and on. My guess is that all of you know exactly what I’m talking about, and the question for me today comes back to,  Why is it so hard for us to just say thank you? Or to own your run or your bag or your hair or your outfit? Personally, I think it has to do with not wanting to seem “better” than others or not wanting to seem satisfied with where you are or what you’ve done. We love to complain about not having our sh*t together, right? We love to talk about how busy we are, how we suck at working out, how we hate our hair or our outfits. But what’s funny is when we say things like this, it usually results in someone continuing their praise or compliment, right? “oh I know! You are SO busy. I don’t know how you do it” or “No way. Your hair really does look great today” or “I always think your emails are really well written”.

Here’s another thought… I talked about this with RM and he had a slightly different take on the “why” behind compliment dismissals. He told me that this same topic was covered in a meditation course that he attended last year and that they  talked about how, as minor as we think it is to shut down a compliment, it’s a negative behavior and that we could breed more general happiness in our lives by approaching these situations with more positivity: “Thank you! I really love this bag”.  I just tried it and genuinely felt happier by accepting a pretend compliment than I did when I downplayed it.

At the end of the day- we are what we create and believe for ourselves. Want to be a runner? Be one! Love your hair? Tell people! Proud of a work accomplishment? Share the news. Accept compliments, love yourself and stop putting yourself down so much- I promise you’ll have a much brighter outlook on everything :)

I’d love to hear from you guys, though! What do you think is the reason why we dismiss compliments and naturally lead to this type of response? Why do you have a hard time accepting a compliment (if you do)?


Weekending: Playing Hookie, Engagement Photos, Birthday Party & Enjoying the Weather!

Good morning! I know everyone is talking about the weather, but I mean, common- is it really this warm in FEBRUARY?! I’ll take it, though. If there isn’t going to be snow I don’t really want frigid cold temps.

Did you guys have a good weekend? Although I was feeling a little anxious going into it because of how many plans we had, it ended up being such a great one! My sister and I decided to “play hookie” on Friday afternoon so we met up at Assembly to go shopping. RM and I were having our engagement photos on Saturday afternoon and I hadn’t been able to go shopping prior to, so it was nice to have some extra time on Friday to shop without being rushed. It was also nice to get to hang out and catch up with my sister- lunch, shopping and drinks on a Friday afternoon- can you get much better than that?

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I was on a mission for just a few necessary things for our photoshoot: white jacket, new jeans and new black booties, all of which were found- and most on crazy sale! My friend suggested going to Wilson’s Leather for jackets and I’m so happy she did because I got both of these for $84! I don’t think I would’ve gone in there on my own… I mean, I didn’t even think this store still existed!

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After our shopping I went to my friend Jessi’s apartment for some vino, apps and girl talk before making my way back to Newton Corner. I didn’t want to leave, but I knew I wanted/needed to be rested for Saturday. I grabbed a pizza from Bertucci’s on the way home, we watched an episode of Breaking Bad and hit the hay by 10:30. It was fantastic.

Saturday started with an incredible cardio kickboxing class- 60 members came and gave it their all. It makes what I do so rewarding!

After class I cleaned up quickly and went to Queen Bee Nails to get a much-needed manicure followed by heading to Waltham to get a hair cut and blow out. I always try to plan my hair cuts around when I have something going on at night because it makes my “getting ready” time much easier and faster!


I ended up wearing this for the photos:


Later that afternoon, we headed over to East Boston to meet up with Janelle at KO Pies since it seemed only fitting to kick off our engagement photos where it all started! Janelle and I worked together a few months back when she did my fitness photos, so I’m so excited to be working with her again! The owner of KO Pies was so happy that we were doing our photos there that he asked if he could take a picture and share it with our story- the photo isn’t great, but it was so cute of him to be so excited for us!


Janelle’s photos, though? She shared a sneak peek and I love it so much. I can’t wait to see the rest!!


After the photos, RM and I headed back home quickly before parting our separate ways for the night. I was going into the city for my friend Sheila’s surprise party at Stoddards and he was going to meet up with some guys on Moody Street in Waltham. Even though I was exhausted and so tempted to stay home, I’m glad I went because nights out in the city with these ladies just don’t happen as much these days!


In typical grandma fashion, I was home by 11:30 ;)

We ran out of eggs on Saturday so we decided to go out to breakfast on Sunday, something we rarely (if ever) do! We went to the Delux Town Diner and it was fantastic. Veggie Hash & eggs for him, breakfast sando for me and their unbelievable sweet potato pancakes to share. I forgot how good diner breakfasts are!!


After breakfast and food shopping, we went into the city so RM could take some photos for his new website. I wanted to go for a walk anyway so this was a great way to do both things. The weather was just too nice to be inside!


We swung by his mother’s for dinner after and then when we got home I did some food prep, including this incredible looking spaghetti squash which has sautéed onions, garlic, red pepper, zucchini, summer squash, spinach and ground pork. Topped with a little cheese and you’ve got your self a super tasty and healthy meal!


I’m gearing up for a busy week between subbing for Lauren’s Build & Burn classes tomorrow night (if you’re a YMCA member, come!), teaching my class on Wednesday and then teaching the kickoff sweat-KICK class at Foster Fitness on Thursday, so I’m happy to have a dish that will be quick and easy to re-heat for dinners!

Questions for you: How was your weekend? Have you ever played hookie? Did you get any good workouts in? Did you try any new recipes or restaurants? What’s going on this week?

Five on Friday {1.29.16}

Good morning! I had some of these drafted to post last week, but I ended up getting home later than expected after the blogger event at Social so I didn’t have it in me to break open my computer and finish the post. I’m sure you didn’t lose sleep over it ;)

Are you guys having a good week? I am! As I mentioned on Wednesday, I’ve been focusing on yoga this week and it’s been really great! I’m a little nervous for next week, though, because I’m teaching 4 classes in 3 days- way more of an intense schedule than I had this week! It’s all good, though- I’m excited for all of the events and classes I have lined up :) here’s some noteworthy Friday things for you today:

1. Chromecast- RM finally took the plunge and got us a Chromecast so that we can start streaming Netflix through out TV. Also worth noting, we finally upgraded his subscription to be from receiving DVD’s in the mail (Yes, he was still requesting DVD’s to be sent to him!) to be a streaming subscription. We had already started recording Breaking Bad episodes on our TV so we’ve been watching them there, but once that is done it will be nice to be able to just stream Netflix. Welcome to 2016, Monique & Roberto.

2. Wedding room block/Registry- We’ve received an update on who has booked their rooms for our wedding and it’s SO exciting!! I seriously can’t wait until the big day is finally here. I am also obsessed with our wedding registry. While it was a little stressful and overwhelming at first (what to register for, what do we want/like/need, where to do it, etc.), I’m kind of loving it now. I check it daily and add new things- the worst that can happen is people don’t buy them for us- big deal! I’ll also admit that at first I didn’t think we needed anything, but then I realized that this may be the only time (for a long time) that we are able to start fresh and having matching everything- the Type A in me LOVES this.

3. Trillfit Event on 1/31– Looking for a workout on Sunday? Consider checking out the Trillfit event at the Hotel Commonwealth from 10am-2pm. From their site: TRILLFIT presents BRUNCH + BURN, Boston’s first wellness day party. Join us at Hotel Commonwealth for two high-energy, sweat-inducing workouts, delectable + healthy brunch bites, on-site beauty treatments and more . Celebrate your 2016 resolutions, grab your squad, and get live to a set by TRILLFIT’s own DJ Nick Bishop. 10AM: TRILLyoga with @LadyDork (60 min – *bring your own yoga mat*), 11AM: TRILLfit* with Melisa Valdez (60 min), 12PM – 2PM: Brunch + Day Party. Sounds like a blast, right?

4. Easiest Buffalo Wings– RM’s brother sent him a recipe from Bon Appetite (I think) and we decided to whip them up for the game the other weekend. We usually do wings in the crockpot using RM’s signature honey-garlic recipe he created on his own, but this recipe is WAY easier and faster. Get this- you just bake the wings in the oven at 450* for 35-45 mins, take them out and toss them in a mixture of 2tbsp butter and 1/4 cup sriracha. Could you get any easier? NOPE!


5. SWEAT-Kick Event 2/4– I’m saving the best for last! If you follow me on social media, I’m sure you’ve seen me advertise the launch event for my first class at Foster Fitness, which is next Thursday at 5:30pm. The gym is in Wakefield and the event is going to be a blast- we will run through some cardio kickboxing combinations, throw in some bootcamp exercises and core work at the end and then refuel with protein shakes and salads from sweetgreen. If you’re interested in coming to the FREE event, please let me know- I would love love love having the support from friendly faces in the crowd!


And that’s that! I hope you all have a fantastic weekend. Tomorrow is a busy one for me/us, so I’m happy to have taken a half day today to hang out with my sister and have some time to amp up for the weekend.

Questions for you: Do you have a Smart TV or Chromecast where you stream Netflix or Hulu? Did you watch Breaking Bad? What was the best part of your week? What are you looking forward to this weekend?