Five on Friday {8.19.16}

Good morning and TGI{freaking}F. What.A.Week! And on another note, how is it August 19th already?! I feel like this summer has flown by especially fast for us since the first part of it was spent planning for and having our wedding, which I am by no means complaining about! I had wanted to blog last Friday, but I ended up not having time. Womp, womp. I’m here today, though, with some great things to share- enjoy!

  • Pure Barre Platform VIP Class- As I’ve mentioned in a few other posts, I was given 3 months of unlimited classes at Pure Barre, which has been a fun addition to my normal workouts. Last week they hosted a “VIP” class at their Newbury Street location for everyone who is part of the media team to run us through their new Platform class. I had taken one Platform class the week before so I knew what to expect, but the class last week was much better! The Platform class is entirely different (literally, not anything like a normal barre class) from their signature Pure Barre class, mostly in that it involves some cardio but also that the moves are encouraged to be big, not small. Since I’m a recovering cardio queen, this class is definitely more my style because I like big movements and moving a lot. If you stray away from barre because it’s not your style I suggest checking out Pure Barre’s new Platform class- I think you’ll enjoy it!

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  • Beautycounter- I was contacted by an independent consultant for BeautyCounter, which is a personal beauty company with a mission to make safer and more effective skincare and cosmetic products for women and children. I hadn’t heard of it, but when I checked out their site, I was very impressed with their mission and their pledge to clean up the skincare industry. Melissa sent me so many things to try- I can’t wait to share my thoughts on them with you in a few weeks!
  • New Bike- Last weekend, RM and I bit the bullet and bought some bikes. RM has been wanting a new bike for a super long time and since we live in an area where biking is easy (we are super close to the Charles!), I figured I might as well get one, too. Plus, any excuse for us to be active together is good enough reason for me to splurge on a bike. So far, it’s been really fun and I think once I get more comfortable riding it and being on the road, I’ll really enjoy using it to run local errands, go to church or the gym, etc.


  • Wine Drying Rack- My friend from work, Stephanie, bought me the best gift that I finally was able to use over the weekend: a wine drying rack! I absolutely hate putting wine glasses in the drying rack because I’m always afraid of them breaking, so this rack designed specifically to dry glasses is pretty much the best invention ever! I will be buying this for all my friends, haha


  • New Balance swag– Last week, I came home to the best surprise from New Balance- a whole outfit from their new Newbury Collection!! I nearly jumped for joy when I opened the box and saw everything. Not only do I love the color (I don’t have much red or navy), I loved the fit and feel of everything, too. The pants are so funky and soft and react so well to movement, meaning they don’t ride down or up. The sports bra is a little longer so I would feel more comfortable wearing it on its own and the shirt is super lightweight and flowy- perfect for hot, summer workouts. I’m also obsessed with the jacket, although it’s too warm to wear that now😉 and lastly, the Vazee Transform Graphic Trainers are super lightweight and SO comfortable- it’s like not even wearing anything! Thank you, thank you, thank you, New Balance! You outdid yourself🙂

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And that does it for me- I hope all of you have a fantastic weekend!!! Chat with you next week🙂

Questions for you: Have you tried Pure Barre’s Platform class before? What’s your favorite brand of workout apparel? What line of beauty products do you use for your skin? Any cool kitchen “must have” gadgets?

Wednesday Workout: 15 Minute Blast (lower, upper & cardio)

Remember how last week I was talking about how I couldn’t find a workout that I had put on a small piece of paper? Well, as I grabbed and opened a book the other day, guess what fell out? The workout! I started to laugh, explaining to RM what I had explained to you and, as I mentioned, he goes “those papers laying around every where drive me crazy, no wonder why you lost it!” and went on to suggest that I get a notebook to keep everything together (I know him so well!). And while he has a point- I should get more organized with my workout notes- today let’s focus on the workout.

I’ll be honest- what I’m sharing with you today is only one PART of the workout I did, but it just seems as though the shorter workouts with fewer exercises in them tend to be a bigger hit on the blog so that’s the reason for cutting it down. I also changed it to a 15 minute AMRAP (as many rounds as possible) so that you would be encouraged to really push yourself for the 15 minutes. I don’t know about you, but when I know I only have X amount of time to do my workout, I push myself a lot harder!

There’s nothing fancy about this workout, but I love the progression from squat to press to a squat and press because it really gets the heart rate up… oh, and it creates a great muscle burn😉 The cardio ladder at the end is a good way to finish out the circuit. Considering that this is a pretty high cardio circuit, please make sure you listen to your body and rest as necessary.

15 Minute Blast

Let me know if you try this! I’ll warn you- it starts out seemingly innocent, but after a few rounds you might need to take more and more breaks!

Questions for you: What kind of workout have you been loving lately? What is something you do that annoys your significant other or roommate?

Wedding Recap Part 2: Getting Ready & The Ceremony

In case you missed the first recap, you can find it here. Now we are on to the main event🙂

I could barely sleep the night before the wedding so I was up pretty early, although I had to force myself to stay in bed since I didn’t want to see RM in the hotel before he went golfing. Once I knew it was safe to leave the room, I went for a quickie run and then completed a few quickie circuits at the Inn’s little fitness room with my sister. It was the best way to start the day!

Wedding day pump 💪🏼🎉🍾💍 #moberto2016 #buffbride #weddingday

A video posted by Monique Gagnon (@burpeestobubbly) on

Another favorite thing about the venue was that most of the people were staying there so we were constantly bumping into people at breakfast or in the lobby or in the parking lot. It was basically a 2 day sleepover party and I loved every second of it🙂

Around 11 we started the getting ready process. My best friend Jessi’s twin sister, Josie, did our hair. She is amazing and I wish she could do my hair every day! I originally thought that I wouldn’t have wanted a lot of people around on the day of the wedding, but I was surprisingly so calm and was really just SO happy that I didn’t care who was around! It was a small-ish group with me, but it was some of my favorite people so it was perfect.

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Even better? As I was getting my hair done the hotel staff surprised me with a beautiful bottle of bubbly and chardonnay and a cheese plate and chocolate covered strawberries from RM- totally made my morning!

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I’m so thankful for my mom’s friend Jeanne who was there before Janelle (our photographer) got there because she was able to capture some great “getting ready” photos.


Once Janelle showed up we were able to take some additional photos, ones that are so special to me because they remind me of exactly how I was feeling. I loved having my closest friends around and my family and knowing that in just a short amount of time I’d be marrying my love.

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I think the only time of the day where I felt nervous was once I was all ready. I had about 10-15 mins before the ceremony was supposed to start and it was so hard to stay calm and relaxed… I was ready to go! As it was FINALLY time to walk over to the ceremony location, they had to stall me again because the guitarist had been a little late. Ah! Common! I just wanted to see RM.


And then it was time and all of a sudden all of my nerves went away.


I had both of my parents walk me down the aisle, although by the end it looked like I ended up walking myself down because both of them kept stepping on my dress, haha. Oops! And then there was a whole awkward situation when I got to RM because I tried to hug him then remembered my parents were supposed to do that so then I got flustered. It was pretty funny.

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Our ceremony was just how we wanted it- short and sweet. Kim, the officiant and our wedding coordinator, did a great job, but what stole the show for me was RM’s vows. He was bucking the idea of writing our own vows the whole time, but you’d never know because they were so wonderful, heartfelt and loving. He is the absolute best!

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After the ceremony we did a whole slew of photos while our guests enjoyed a 90 minute cocktail reception.

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And then it was time to be announced as Mr. & Mrs. Magno, which will have to wait until another post… I got a little crazy sharing lots of pictures, but this is a great place for me to save the memories, #sorryimnotsorry….😉

Next post will include the reception- if you made it this far, thank you!!! As always, thanks to Jeanne and Janelle for the amazing photos!!

Overcoming “Sunday Scaries”

I don’t know about you, but Sunday’s used to bring me lots of anxiety. I “had” to do laundry, food shop, meal prep, pack lunches, pack my gym bag, clean, blog…. the list went on and on and unless I got all of those things done, I felt so stressed that I wouldn’t be prepared for the week. <– crazy, I know, but can any of you relate? It’s such a shame that I let so many weekends go by where my “Sunday tasks” would take over my entire day, leaving no room for anything fun.

It wasn’t until I started getting serious with RM that things changed. I realized that spending time with him- doing whatever that might be- was more important that making sure I had everything properly prepped and ready for the week. This wasn’t an entirely easy change to make and I can’t say I didn’t spend many Sunday nights stressed because I hadn’t gotten everything done and felt unprepared for the week, but over time those negative feelings went away and I was able to fully enjoy my Sunday’s all while not stressing about the start of the week.

I think part of this is because I realized that whatever I didn’t get done on Sundays could be done during the week or skipped all together. Didn’t have time to food shop or meal prep? That’s ok- I can always get lunch at work and RM and I can tag-team the meal prep later in the week. Wasn’t able to clean the house? The house will not be a horrible place to live if I don’t get the cleaning done. Laundry didn’t get done? There’s always time at night during the week- not ideal, but it can be done. No blog post written? Since this isn’t really a source of income for me, I’ve learned that I need to remove the stress associated with getting posts up- I know you guys will be around for whenever I am able to publish something so it’s not worth stressing about choosing to live my life rather than write about it😉

Life will still go on if I don’t get my Sunday things in line, and realizing and accepting this has made a world of a difference in how I approach my Sunday’s. These days I just go with the flow- if we are on the Cape, I don’t feel the need to rush back because I’d rather spend it at the beach. If it’s a nice weekend here and we want to go into the city and hang out, I do what I can to make the week a little easier and fill in the gaps for the rest during the week so that we can enjoy our day. Realizing that I could “do what I can” was the best feeling in the world because even if I only have time to food shop, that’s enough to help take a little edge off the week’s to-do’s.

As I sat writing this post last night, I reflected on the weekend and felt so blessed. Friday night RM and I stayed in and made burgers, Saturday we bought bikes and then my family came down and we had a delicious dinner at the Social in Newton Corner, Sunday morning I went to church with my parents and after saying goodbye to them, spent the day with RM. We took our bikes for a ride to do some errands, we went to the pool, we went to Chestnut Hill to return some stuff, we went to The Cottage for an afternoon cocktail and snack, we food shopped and then I did a small meal prep. I was able to fit in all of my favorite things: family, sun, exercise, relaxation, etc. into my Sunday and not once did I feel the “omg it’s Sunday and I have so much to get ready for the week”. I don’t have a packed lunch, but that’s ok- I’ll just buy something today! I didn’t cleaning done, but it’s no big deal because soaking up these summer Sunday’s is just more important to me!

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I feel like I’ve rambled on, but I guess the point of this post that I’m trying to make is that life is too short to waste time and energy on “Sunday Scaries”. There will always be things on your to-do list that you will have wished you’d gotten to, but I’m willing to bet that living in the now and soaking up the moments that come about far outweighs your to-do’s that didn’t get done. So, rather than letting Sunday Scaries get the best of you, face them head on and live your day to the fullest! And do what you can throughout the week to chip away at your to-do’s- they’ll all get done eventually, but I promise that spending time with friends and family is going to create far better memories for you than a clean house and a fridge full of prepped food😉

#BuffBride Training Plan {Review}

I was all set to post another workout for you today, but when I went to grab the little piece of paper I had written it down on, of course it was no where to be found. This is my problem: I write my workouts on scraps of paper and leave them around the house everywhere (which absolutely drives RM crazy), so it’s really no wonder that I couldn’t find it.

But, even though I don’t have a workout for you today, I do have a review/recap of the #BuffBride training program/plan that my friend Athena created for me. I reached out to her back in May asking her if she’d be interested in writing something up for me to do for the month leading up to my wedding. I had no intention of going on any strict “bridal plan” or diet (more on that later), but more so I just wanted something to help me keep a bit of consistency in my workouts. I knew working out regularly- even with the added stress and wedding related commitments- was not my issue, but rather it was that I would just do random things pending my mood.

While this is fine, I wasn’t feeling challenged, inspired or any sort of change in my body/strength. Even though I knew I could create a plan for myself, I just didn’t want to. I create so many workouts for my classes that by the time it comes to my own workouts my brain and workout creativity has generally been depleted… #fitnessinstructorproblems. But! The beauty of being in this industry is that I have so many fitness friends at my finger tips to help give me inspiration and something new to try. Sometimes all you need to get your workout mojo back is to have someone plan the workouts for you, incorporating some of your favorite moves but also some new-to-you moves.

Athena did just that! Shortly before June 1st she gave my my 4 week training plan with 3 different workouts per week. While they were all upper-body focused, they did include some lower body and lots of core which was great because it kept me training those parts of my body, too. Workouts for weeks 1 & 2 were the same (again, consistency!), as were weeks 3 & 4.

I think my favorite part about the whole thing was that I didn’t have to plan my own workouts😉 That, and that I was introduced to some new-to-me moves that I’ve consistently added into my training plan. The workouts didn’t leave me ridiculously sore- which is a good thing!- but I was able to really feel the workouts the next day… that sounds weird, but there is a difference between feeling really sore and just feeling like you worked out, haha. I also liked that I did each workout twice because I could try and increase my weights the second time around, which I did on most of the exercises!


(week 1, week 2/3 and week 4- slight visible changes)

Going into this, I knew I wouldn’t necessarily see or feel any drastic changes because, let’s face it, one month isn’t really enough time for those types of changes to really show, but I was ok with that. Even though I wanted to look and feel my best on my wedding day, I knew that getting a little extra muscle or definition really wasn’t going to sway the image of myself very much. I love the way I feel and look and am so proud of all my body can do for me so even if I hadn’t done a #BuffBride training plan before the wedding, I still would’ve been more than happy with how I looked. But, I will say I did love seeing my muscles in the pictures… something definitely worked!



All in all, I was really impressed with Athena’s training plan and could tell she had a method behind her madness, for a lack of better words😉 Every exercise within each workout had a purpose and worked well with the other exercises for that particular day, clearly showing me that Athena really knows what she’s doing (but I knew that anyway, duh!). If you’re looking for a way to spruce up your workouts or want a little help achieving various fitness goals or if you’re just looking for someone to help with consistency, I highly recommend Athena! Thanks girlfriend!


Wedding Photo Credit- the amazing Janelle!