Wednesday Workout: Hotel Room Workout #2

Sometimes (ok, often times), when I am traveling, I’d much rather workout in the comforts of my hotel room versus getting up and changing and heading to the gym. There are so many bodyweight exercises that can be done ANYWHERE and when you take those, and mix in some HIIT/Plyo cardio moves and core strengthening/ab moves, you have yourself a full body workout.

The only difficulty I have with hotel room workouts, is that it’s a little harder to keep motivated to really push myself like I do when I’m in the gym or the public eye. With this workout, for instance, I took more breaks than I probably needed to and skimped out on the burpees during the 3rd and 4th rounds. Just being honest with you!

Hotel Room Workout #2

So, with that said, I only got through 4 full rounds in 25 minutes, but had I been fully awake, not hungry and at the gym, I likely could have completed 5 full rounds.

Let me know if you try this! It really is a great “on the road” workout 🙂

Questions for you: Do you like timed intervals or a set number of reps to complete? Do you push yourself harder when you’re at the gym versus working out in the comforts of your own home?

Gym Friends, Russell Tavern, Poolside, Tia’s

I feel like the month of July has been so incredibly busy for me between work, travel, teaching, babysitting, etc. that this past weekend felt almost weird because of my lack of plans and the fact that I had, gasp!, free time! What a concept, right? On Saturday, I even felt, dare I say, bored. I know, I know. I should relish in the times where I don’t have much going on, but when I go from being SO busy to being SO NOT busy, it’s hard to know how to flip the switch and be ok with having free time.

Let’s back up, though, shall we? My gym friends, Athena and Ashley and I have been trying to get together for months and this past Friday we were finally able to align our schedules and make plans. I love hanging out with these girls because they “get” me and my love of the gym and teaching and blog blogging so we always have loads to talk about and I always leave feeling like I have more clarity about whatever little issue I might have.

We decided to go to Russell House Tavern in Harvard Square. I’ve eaten there before, but this time was more fun because it turns out I know the manager! He is my old boss, Mr. Shaw’s (I talk about summers at Shaw’s Ridge Farm with Meredith and the rest of the crew) nephew and he used to manage Red Line, which was another favorite of mine in Harvard Square.  Anyway! The 3 of us girls grabbed drinks at the bar while we waited for our table to be ready. We all got cocktails instead of wine, what a shocker!


Delish! Friday had been a stressful day at work so this was juuuust what I needed to relax! Tyler came to grab us shortly after we finished our cocktails and brought us to our table. He walked us through the menu and said that sharing small plates was the best option. Um, sharing plates? Duh, that’s my favorite thing to do! Lucky for us, he sent out 3 absolutely delicious appetizers for us to try before we placed any of our own orders.


We tried the Smoked Pigs Tail Pierogi, Crispy Poached Farm Eggs and Fiore Di Nonno Burrata. Holy.Yum. The pierogi was my favorite, but the fried poached egg was a close second. Many thanks to Tyler for sending these out to us!!


Food blogger in action! Loved that I wasn’t the only weird  one taking pictures of my food 😉

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After we finished those, we decided to order a couple more things: Braised Beef Tongue Meatballs and the crab cakes. Again, both of these were outstanding! I never thought I would eat a beef tongue meatball and enjoy it, but I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed it!


I could have finished there, but since we still had wine and more conversation topics to cover, we placed an order for a flatbread pizza. I forget what we ordered, but it was awesome!


All in all, it was a really great night! Good drinks, great food and even better company! Can we get the next girls night on the calendar soon, please?!


On Saturday, I got up early (like 6:45am early, which is really early for a Saturday!) and headed to Brockton for the Color Me Rad run. I’ll do a full recap on that later- it was a blast!

Shortly after I got back, though, I found myself feeling bored! I had showered and cleaned and it was only 11am. I decided to go to the Somerville Pool, and while it’s not necessarily the nicest place to be, it beat packing up and heading to the beach.


Laying by the pool for the afternoon helped to not only pass some time, but helped to force me to relax! But, just as I was starting to get antsy, I texted my friend, Jessi, she said she was around and would love to get drinks. Perfect! While I waited for Jessi and her friend, Kathleen, to pick me up, I poured myself a glass of wine that my friend, JP had sent me! Last week, he sent me the sweetest “Moe Care Package”, equipped with some of my favorite things!


J.Lohr is one of my favorite Chardonnays so I couldn’t wait to open it!

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Shortly after I poured this glass, the girls arrived. We headed to Jessi’s apartment in Charlestown and had another glass of wine while we figured out where we should go. She got these adorable Kate Spade wine glasses for her birthday and all I have to say, is I am very glad I didn’t break it!


We decided to go to Tia’s since they have the best outdoor bar area. The food isn’t great and I think it’s overpriced, but if you’re looking to just get drinks outside on a nice evening, it’s definitely the place to be! I ended up running into an old friend, so I caught up with him for a while- I love how Boston is small enough where you can run into people you know in random places! All in all, it was a really great “spur of the moment” night out!



Questions for you: Have you ever been to Russell House Tavern or Tia’s? What’s your favorite outdoor bar in Boston? Do you tend to order drinks/cocktails or wine/beer when you go out?

Weekly Workouts: On the road & back at the gym

Good morning! How’s everyone doing today? Even though I was on the road for part of the week last week, I still had a really great week of workouts AND I was able to teach all my classes- win, win! I’m traveling to Atlanta today and tomorrow and am hoping that after that, my work travel will slow down a bit. Don’t worry, I won’t try to run outside like I did the last time I was in Atlanta! I will go to the gym and that’s about it!

Last Week’s Workouts

  • Monday- I ran 3.25 miles before work and travel. I was having technical difficulties which frustrates me more than it should. My watch battery light was flashing so I used that and then also used Map My Run as backup in case my watch died before my run was over. I accidentally ended my Map My Run workout .25 miles into my run and had to restart it, so that distance was always behind my watch, but then my watch died 2.75 miles into my run so that didn’t matter anyway. Clearly, these are not life altering issues, but they annoy me!
  • Tuesday- I did a 30 minute hotel room workout that I will post on Wednesday! I know I usually post my class workouts in my Wednesday Workout posts, but I feel like people might like to see more workouts that can be done anywhere, and without any equipment- am I right?
  • Wednesday- All went well with my flight and I got to the gym super early so I ran 3.5 miles through Cambridge (along the Charles- the view just doesn’t get old) and then taught a new type of format in my UXF Burn class, which I think everyone liked! My hamstrings were REALLY tight the next day!



  • Thursday- I taught the same format in my SHRED class that I had taught in my UXF Burn class on Wednesday, just with different moves and then I taught kickboxing. It was the same routine I did last week when I nearly drowned in my own sweat, only this time I didn’t sweat so much!
  • Friday- REST DAY 🙂 Besides lifting my wine glass when I went to dinner with Athena and Ashley 😉
  • Saturday- I ran the Color Me Rad run with my friend, Lauren, and her friend, Amy. I’ll recap that race later this week!


  • Sunday- I went to the Wellington BSC and did 30 minutes of cardio on a machine (sometimes doing mindless cardio is exactly what I need/want) and then went to BodyPump. I wish I could have that workout in my schedule once a week- such a good way for me to take time to solely focus on strength training!!


This Week’s Workouts

  • Monday- I hope to have completed a nice 3-4 mile run by the time this post goes up! I will also do some abs to complete the workout.
  • Tuesday- I’ll be in Atlanta and will stick to just going to the gym or doing a hotel room workout this week! No running outside for me; I learned my lesson!
  • Wednesday- Probably some cardio before teaching UXF Burn. Any suggestions from anyone on what type of format you’d like to see or specific exercises/burpees??
  • Thursday- Teaching SHRED and kickboxing. I want to make a new kickboxing routine and download new music; I’m sick of all my current mixes!
  • Friday- This might be a rest day again. I have been enjoying Friday’s as rest days!
  • Saturday- Teaching kickboxing at the YMCA and then heading up to Maine for little Emma’s first birthday!!
  • Sunday- If I rest on Friday, I’ll probably do something when I’m home in Maine, but I may end up taking another rest day.

Questions for you: What type of workouts would you like to see more/less of? Ones I’ve taught? Hotel room workouts? No weights required? What’s your favorite burpee? Has anyone done the newest BodyPump release? I LOVED it.

Stowe, VT- A mini “vacation”

As I’ve mentioned, last week I spent the week in Stowe, Vermont for a work conference. Since the conference was in the summer, I really couldn’t have thought of a better place for it to have been held (well, unless it was in Maine- that’s another terrific summer location, maybe even better since it has the ocean!). My coworkers, Tim and Jim, were also attending the conference, which was awesome since we all get along really well. Jim was bringing his wife, so they drove up in one car and I took Tim in my car. Obviously, I made sure to stock us up with delicious (and mostly healthy) snacks for the ride because no one wants a hangry Monique 😉


The ride up 89 was just as I remembered it: long, empty, but absolutely beautiful.  Tim lives in Florida, so he was really amazed by the views. I told him that my favorite time to travel up and down 89 was in October, over Columbus Day weekend when foliage was always at its peak. The good thing about this trip, was that we were getting off at exit 10, for Stowe, versus exit 15, for Saint Michael’s College.


(This was in Vermont at a family wedding last fall. The mountains are gorgeous!)

As we got off the exit, we drove past 3 of my favorite Stowe, VT locations and memories from college: Ben and Jerry’s, Cabot Cheese Factory and Pie in the Sky. I remember my college girlfriends and I making day trips to basically eat our way through Stowe!


A little ways further, we showed up at the Stowe Mountain Lodge. The property was breathtaking: it was like a castle surrounded entirely by mountains.



Shortly after arriving, we were checked in and parted ways. My room, although it was literally a 5-10 minute trek from the lobby, was WELL WORTH the distance because it was absolutely beautiful. Somehow I got upgraded to a junior suite and I made sure to gloat when Tim said he had 2 double beds with very little extra space in the room. Check this thing out!





Seriously, the bathroom was bigger than my bedroom here, and the views from the balcony literally made me want to sit out there and just relax and take it all in; that never happens! I was tempted to crank the AC so I could have an excuse to use the fireplace 😉



I’ll spare you the conference details, but I will say it was a really worthwhile conference and I made lots of valuable connections!

The nice thing about traveling with Tim, was I knew we would be working out most, if not all, of the days. Tim has been to a few of my classes, but this time I asked HIM to run me through a workout. I’ve mentioned before how I am trying to gain strength, so I was looking forward to workouts that were focused on just a few muscle groups vs a workout with multiple combination moves. On Wednesday, we skipped out on the ice cream social in favor of the gym- talk about serious self control! Anyway, we worked back and biceps first, followed by abs (which Tim let me lead) and then a really awesome trail run around the property. It was one of the better workouts I’ve had in a while- thanks, Tim! 🙂


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Thanks for taking all these pics, Tim! Some without me even asking! 🙂
Post workout, we met up with other conference goers at the pool, which served as a way to cool off, rinse off, and refuel, right?


Thursday was a bit more wide open, and when I got a text in the middle of the day from Tim that read “any way you can clear your afternoon schedule? Ziplining?”, I got so excited. Ziplining?! How cool! Unfortunately, I had a call smack in the middle of the afternoon that I couldn’t miss and the latest appointment was full. Whomp, whomp. We then talked about doing the obstacle course at the same location where ziplining was held. We ended up nixing that idea since we feared it would be more of a “kids” thing than a “grown up” thing. Next idea? Alpine sledding down the mountain. Sold!… Until they heard thunder as we walked up to buy our tickets and told us we’d have to wait 20 minutes to make sure the storm passed. Whomp, whomp, again. What do you do when all else fails? Go to Ben and Jerry’s, duh!




It ended up raining during our drive over, which was basically a sign telling me that an ice cream tour was juuuust the perfect way to fill an afternoon 😉

We ended up doing the “special tour” which meant we paid $20 for a t-shirt AND tour. Loved it! Look how cute my t-shirt is!


There was a bit of a line, so we grabbed kiddie sized ice creams while we waited… and then we had another during the tour… Hey, we were making up for skipping the ice cream social the day before 😉 The salted caramel sampled was absolutely delicious!!! And the tour was more informative than I had remembered. Ben and Jerry seem like pretty cool dudes and I am forever grateful for the “free cone day” they established!

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After our ice cream cravings were overly satisfied, we headed back to the lodge. There were a couple of hours to kill before we met up with Jim and his wife for dinner, and I thought I was going to die of boredom (ok, I’m being totally dramatic here, but I hope you get the point!). At first, I thought it was great to have time to hang out on my balcony, read magazines and soak up the view, but about 20 minutes later I found myself pacing around, looking for something to do. I seriously need lessons on how to relax! Even though I struggled with having “nothing” to do, I definitely needed that down time. There’s something about being away from my apartment and being forced to relax that’s actually kind of nice!


I’ve heard that wine helps with relaxing…

Friday morning, Tim and I went to the gym before packing up and hitting the road to head south. I was very, very impressed with the gym at the Stowe Mountain Lodge. Not only was it big, but it was equipped with new cardio and weight equipment, as well as lots of stability balls, BOSU balls, steps, etc. They also offered fitness classes throughout the day. How fun would that be?! I need to find a job like that 😉 We did our own respective workouts; treadmill and this workout for me, and I think Tim did chest and triceps? We joined together at the end for another round of abs. This time, I had him do a full Dynamax Wheel (the only complaint I had about the gym was that they didn’t have Dynamax balls 😦 ) with medicine balls instead of Dynamax balls.


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Andddd, that about sums up my Stowe trip! I didn’t take pictures of my meals because I didn’t want to look like that weirdo, well, taking pictures of my meals, haha. It would have been very easy for me to have been persuaded to spend the day by the pool instead of heading back to Boston on Friday, but Tim had a flight to catch and I had lots of work to catch up on, so that wasn’t really an option. All in all, though, the trip was wonderful. I felt very fortunate to have had the opportunity to meet so many people within my industry, as well as have some time to be on “vacation”. If you’re ever in the Stowe area, I HIGHLY suggest checking out the Stowe Mountain Lodge. I cannot say enough good things about it! The staff was incredibly friendly and helpful, and you could tell they weren’t acting that way just because they were getting paid; it was a genuine friendliness, which is so not something you tend to see in Boston!

I hope you enjoyed my recap 🙂

Questions for you: Have you ever been to Stowe? Do you utilize hotel gyms? What’s your favorite ice cream flavor?

Wednesday Workout: Hotel Gym Circuit

Hi B2B readers! The gym at the Stowe Mountain Lodge was unbelievable! Not even just for a hotel, either! It was spacious and fully equipped with up-to-date machines and all sorts of “Monique-type toys” to incorporate into my workouts. I wanted to share with you what I did on Friday morning as it left me tired and sweaty! You’ll notice that the equipment I used can be found at most gyms and if you have the opportunity to go to the gym at an off-peak hour, you can totally set yourself up with a similar station somewhere!

Hotel Circuit Workout

Most of these moves are moves you’ve either done in my classes or seen on the blog, but if you have questions, just let me know! I did learn a new type of burpee that I can’t WAIT to scare show my UXF Burn members 😉

I hope you all have a wonderful Wednesday and hopefully I’ll see some of you tonight in class! I’ll keep you updated on Facebook to let you know whether or not I’ll be there!

Questions for you: Do you like to print out workouts you find on blogs and health/fitness sites and bring them to the gym with you for your own workouts? Or, are you more likely to stick to machine cardio and normal lifting if you’re on your own?