Five on Friday {10.21.16}

Good morning and TGIF! Was it just me or did this week feel extra long? Between having no motivation to do anything (literally), not sleeping well and managing life with a new kitten who needs LOTS of attention, I feel like this week dragged on. But! RM and I are heading to NYC via train today for the weekend to celebrate his sister’s engagement, which is very exciting. The dinner is actually in Brooklyn so we opted to rent and Air BNB in Brooklyn so I’m looking forward to checking that out! For now, though, let’s talk shop about what’s been going on.

  • RM’s new adventure- Shortly after we got back from Italy, RM gave his notice at work. This was a longgg time coming and I couldn’t be more proud of him for finally taking a chance on himself and choosing happiness over job security. I’ll have more details to share soon, and I hope you’ll check out his website once it’s up and running! If you’re finding yourself in a similar position where you’re unhappy at your job or in your career and you have a passion you want to pursue, there are always ways to make it happen. And, like I said to him, even if it doesn’t work out (which it will!), at least he can say he tried and won’t have a big “what if” hanging over his head!


  • Jessi’s bridal bath- The weekend leading up to our honeymoon was spent up in NH celebrating my best friend Jessi’s bridal bath, which was a joint bachelorette party & shower. Her family has a house on a lake so we had a great time laughing, hanging out, boating, lounging, drinking and eating. I always love events that bring all of my SMC girls together! Can’t wait for their big day in December🙂


  • Crockpot Pork Tenderloin- I know it hasn’t felt like fall this week, but last week I made a delicious- and SUPER easy- crockpot meal. You know how there are always those little cooking videos flying around Facebook? Normally I just watch or scroll past, but this one caught my eye so I tried it out: Slow Cooker Hasselback Apple Pork Loin. Even though it got a little dry (I made it on a Sunday but we didn’t eat it until Monday), it was really flavorful and I loved that the ingredient list was short. I highly suggest this if you’re looking for a new meal to try!
  • OAKtoberfest 5K- Last weekend I ran the annual OAKtoberfest 5K put on by the Oak Square YMCA that I teach at. I have been running this race for YEARS, and I always enjoy it. It’s a relatively small race so it’s not crowded, plus you get the hills over with right away! Last year I ran a big PR and even placed 3rd for my age group. This year I went into it with zero expectations because I haven’t really been doing a ton of running, but I ended up running a nearly 1 minute PR race! 22:32 was my official time, which is crazy fast for me. I didn’t place, but I didn’t care- it was just fun to run the race with some of my gym friends!


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  • Meet Francesca: I’m sure you’ve all seen by now, but last weekend RM and I brought a new little kitten into our family/home. Francesca is 8 weeks old, under 2 pounds, a total fluff ball and a little firecracker. She was so scared when we first brought her home, but soon enough she opened up and has been a blast ever since. She’s super playful and always wants to be where we/I are/am, which is absolutely adorable. We got her from the Salem Animal shelter and they were wonderful to work with throughout the adoption process. My sister is going to stay with her this weekend so she doesn’t get lonely!

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And that does it for me- hoping to get some blogging done while we are on the train since I have lots of posts I want to write. I hope whatever you have going on this weekend, you have a wonderful time!

Questions for you: Have you ever chosen happiness over security? Do you have any pets? What’s a great fall recipe I should try? Have you run any races lately?

Wednesday Workout: Italy Workout Series {Part 2: 20 Min. Bodyweight AMRAP}

Good morning! If you remember, last week I introduced part 1 of my Italy Workout Series with a quickie countdown style workout. Today, I’m sharing another quickie workout that I did outside at one of the hotels we stayed at. Our hotel room wasn’t big enough to workout in (plus RM was still sleeping!) and we didn’t have a terrace or balcony so I needed to find a new space. Luckily it was early enough that there were not other guests out and about yet!

While broad jumps by nature require a bit of space, if you don’t have space and want to workout in your hotel room or apartment living room, you can replace the broad jumps with just regular squat jumps. Easy enough!


Quite notes: for the broad jumps, do 10 out and 10 back and for the plank with knee to chest, do 10 on each side.

This workout left me SO SORE for a few days. My quads were literally screaming at me- broad jumps are no joke, especially if you land in a low squat and really push yourself in the jump part. Combine that with walking lots of hills and stairs and it’s no wonder why I didn’t recover as quickly as I normally do!

But I still thought that this was a really fun, effective, sweaty 20 minute way to start the day- I hope you try it!

Questions for you: What exercise always leaves you sore?

I broke up with my favorite blue pants

I had this awesome pair of blue pants, but they just never fit quite right. I bought them a size too small because that’s all they had- and they were only $20 (don’t tell me you haven’t done the same thing before😉 ) so from the get-go I probably should’ve walked away from them when I was at the sore. Here’s the thing, while I could wear them no problem, they never really made me FEEL good. They were always tight getting on, tighter in the legs than I liked and they made my butt look very bubbly (which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but at work it made me feel a little inappropriate, haha)… all things that would start negative thoughts!


Anyway, the other day I decided to break up with them. I was tired of letting the pants affect my mood and make me have negative thoughts about myself and my body and I was tired of hoping they might be looser each time I wore them, so I decided it was time to get rid of them.

But, the whole thing made me think- how often do we let a piece of clothing or a super fit person on Instagram or something else make us feel not-so-great about ourselves? I’m guilty of this, too, but these days I’m proud of myself for knowing what to do to remove that negativity from my life. In this case, it was by donating the pants. In other cases it’s un-following people on Instagram or Facebook if I constantly notice that their posts make me feel like I’m not in shape or that I need to tighten something up or run faster or blah blah blah… the list could go on!

I’ll tell ya, putting those pants in the donating pile rather than back in my closet was so freeing! I no longer have to amp myself up to put them on, feel bad about the fact that they are still tight, or feel uncomfortable all day when I would wear them. I am more than that, and I owe it to myself to remove things in my life that make me feel that way.  Plus, now I have an excuse to go shopping😉

With that, I urge you to take a look at your closet (or social media accounts or anything else, really) and get rid of something that results in negative thoughts about yourself and/or your body. I promise- you will feel so much better… and then even better than that when you go shopping to replace what you got rid of😉

Happy Monday, friends! I hope you have a wonderful week🙂 If you’re looking to sweat with me, tonight at 6:30 is the free Seaport Sweat kickboxing class in the seaport and tomorrow is Bags & Beats at 6:30 at the Watertown GymIt.

Honeymoon Recap: Napoli

Good morning!n No “Five on Friday” for you today, but I think you’ll like this post! Now that the wedding recaps are complete, I can blog about our honeymoon! To sum it up, it was the most amazingly wonderful two weeks we could’ve ever asked for. It was our third time to Italy (2nd together), and I swear- it gets more and more special every time I visit.  We especially loved this trip because we got to explore the Amalfi Coast, which is even more beautiful in person than it is in pictures. Our itinerary was: Naples for 2 nights, Ischia for 4 nights, Sorrento for 3 nights, Positano for 4 nights and then 1 more night in Naples to be closer to the airport for our flight home. I’ll break the recap posts into each area that we visited, making sure to share what we did, where we stayed, what we ate (and where we ate where I can remember!), suggestions, etc.


Where We Stayed:

For the first Naples stop, we stayed at the Renassaince Naples, which we really loved. It was a nice, clean hotel with decent size rooms, it had a great breakfast with beautiful views and most importantly, it was SUPER close to everything you’d want or need. We could literally walk out and be in various piazza’s in just a short walk. We were also surprised by a Luna di Miele gift (we assume it was organized by our travel agent: Coleen at Simply Honeymoons), which was a great way to be welcomed to the city!


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The hotel also had a small gym, which I used just once.


For our last night in Naples at the end of our trip, our travel agent opted to put us at Grand Hotel Parker’s, and while it was a BEAUTIFUL hotel (very luxurious) with amazing views, we felt as though it was a bit too far out of the way for our liking. When we got there on Sunday afternoon, we were starving so we headed out to find food and had to walk and walk and walk in order to find anything. Granted, it was a Sunday and a lot of things are closed on Sundays, but still. It didn’t seem like it was a highly populated area of nearby piazza’s, cafes, etc., which was not the case with the Renaissance that we first stayed in. So, if your thing is views moreso than proximity to the action, then this is certainly the hotel for you because it was really, really nice and had wonderful views. Plus, our room was so great- it was 2 floors with 2 bathrooms! It was almost like a little apartment🙂

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What We Ate

I sent my parents a copy of the itinerary I created and they were laughing when they saw “eat pizza” on the list of “things to do” in Naples😉 But the pizza in Napoli really is unlike anything we’ve ever had before. It was simply unbelievable. So basic, but so delicious! And cheap! 3 euros for a pizza- can’t get much better than that.

  • Aperol Spritz- These are the best thing ever! Paired with the “snacks” that cafes give you when you order drinks, it made for a perfect afternoon pickmeup.


  • Cafe & Sfogliatelle at Gran Caffe Gambrinus, which is a well-known, very historic cafe in Naples. The sfogliatelle there were amazing!! If you don’t know what they are- google it, find an Italian bakery and get one. You won’t regret it!

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  • Pizza at Di Matteo. Tribunali Street is THE street to get pizza if you’re in Naples. If the line at Di Matteo is too long, there are at least a handful of other well-known, delicious places to choose from. We grabbed beers at the store next door, ordered a pizza and found a stoop to eat it on. It was amazing- and the pizza was only 3 euros- heck of a cheap date😉

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  • Lunch at Attori & Spettatori– We had been walking and walking and walking and finally stumbled upon this restaurant, which had everything we were looking for: drinks, food, outdoor seating, quiet area. We opted to get a piazza fritta, which is a “fried pizza”, a staple Naples is known for. It’s basically a calzone that’s been fried and while it’s good, we preferred the traditional pizza. This restaurant was great, though!

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  • Dinner at II Garum Ristorante– this was suggested by the hotel and it did not disappoint! We didn’t make reservations so we couldn’t eat outside, but the inside was warm and charming so it was great. We shared a few apps, but the star was the special of the night, which was a lobster tail pasta dish. SO good!

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  • Gelato- duh! I don’t remember the exact places, but everywhere we got one was great.


What We Did

  • LOTS of walking around, checking out the various piazzas.
  • Tour “Naples Underground”- this was a really interesting part of our trip because we didn’t know that it even existed! From their siteForty meters below the characteristic and lively streets of the Historic Center of Naples, you find a different world, unexplored, isolated by time, but deeply connected with the world above. It’s the heart of Naples, and the place from which the city was born. To visit it is to travel to the past, a world 2400 years old.Every historic epic, from the foundation of Neopolis, to the bombs of WWII, has left it’s mark on the walls of the yellow tufa stone, the soul of Naples, and the stone with which the city was built. Naples Underground is the most famous and fascinating guided tour underneath the city of Naples. Our guides will take you on a journey through 2,400 years of history, from the ancient Greeks to modern times, unveiling the “womb” of Naples from an archaeological, historical, anthropological and geological point of view.. Head on over to their site to learn more- I know my explanation won’t do it justice!
  • Walk around & explore small streets & churches- Italy is FULL of both of these things and we really enjoyed just wandering and stumbling upon both.

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  • Archaeological Museum- We didn’t get a chance to visit this, but I would’ve liked to have because it sounded amazing. They had lots of original pieces from Pompeii which would’ve been cool to see.
  • Eat pizza😉 And mozzarella… no, seriously. Throughout the whole trip we couldn’t stop raving about how GOOD the mozzarella was. It was so creamy and fresh and flavorful- unlike anything we’ve ever had in the states!

Would we go back?

Absolutely!! While we had received words of caution before going (ie: hold your bag tight, leave your ring in the safe, etc.), we didn’t feel nervous or in danger at any point during our trip. Sure, there were a few homeless people asking for money and the city felt a little dirty, but nothing you wouldn’t get from any other city. Overall, we really loved Napoli and would totally go back!

Questions for you: Have you ever been to Napoli? What’s your favorite “big city”? Do you prefer fancy/loaded pizzas or more basic? What’s your favorite vacation drink?


Wednesday Workout: Italy Workout Series {Part 1- Countdown bodyweight}

Good morning! I haven’t shared a workout with you in forever, so today is your lucky day because not only do I have one workout for you, but I’m also throwing in a bonus one😉

I know some people don’t like to workout on vacation, but personally, I like to try and keep somewhat consistent with my workouts … partly because it’s my “me” time and is something that makes me happy, but also because it’s easier to get back into the full swing of things after vacation if I’ve kept active during the vacation. But, with that said, my workouts while on vacation are no where near what they are when I’m not on vacation. I don’t search out gyms, I don’t workout for a long time, I don’t workout if I don’t feel like it and I don’t let it interfere with the trip. If it fits into a particular day, then great, I’ll squeeze in a 20 minute quickie workout. But if not, then no big deal!

During our 16 day drip, I worked out 9 days. Some days it was a 20-25 minute jog around the new neighborhood/city we were staying in, some days it was stairs, some days it was a workout on our terrace and some days I used the gym (only 2 of the hotels we stayed at had gyms). Some days I skipped workout sin lieu of just taking the stairs- our hotel in Positano was 597 steps up from the beach area!! And get this- one day I got up and got changed and then decided I didn’t feel like working out so I got back in bed to snooze for a bit longer before breakfast- ha! That doesn’t happen very often😉

Today’s workout was one that I did on our terrace in Ischia. I didn’t want something that would require a lot of jumping (because noise), so this worked out great. 5 rounds took me a little less than 20 minutes, I think, so it was easy to squeeze in while RM got a bit more sleep.


Now for the bonus workout! The weekend leading up to our honeymoon was spent at my best friend Jessi’s “Bridal Bath” (Bachelorette party and bridal shower in one), and it didn’t allow for a workout. No big deal, but before our flight I felt like I wanted to get a little something in since I knew we would be sitting for a long time. I was exhausted, though, so I didn’t want anything that would require a lot of energy exertion. This workout was great because it was quick (maybe 15 mins) and gave me energy for the rest of the day.

10 air squats
10 pushups
10 reverse lunges (each leg)
10 V-sits

Nothing crazy, but enough to get the blood pumping!

I hope you consider trying these next time you’re in a crunch for time and find yourself without a gym🙂

Questions for you: Do you like to workout before a flight?