Weekly Workouts: Outdoor Boot Camp

Hey there! Phew! What a weekend 🙂 I had my “housewarming” party on Saturday and it was an absolute blast! I’m very thankful for all of my friends and family who came.

Let’s talk workouts, though. Last week was an awesome week of workouts! I had my full teaching schedule (UXF Burn, SHRED and 2 Kickboxing classes) and got in some good workouts on my own, too.

Last Week’s Workouts

  • Monday- I worked from home on Monday so I was able to start my workout earlier than normal (always a nice treat!). I went for a 3.5 mile run and then went to the East Boston YMCA and did an upper body superset workout. I picked two variations of exercises for the following muscle groups: biceps, triceps, back, shoulders and chest. I did 15 reps and 3 rounds of each superset before moving on to the next. It was a great workout!

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  • Tuesday- I had errands to run after work so I got up early and did an at-home, no equipment cardio and core workout that I shared with you here. It wasn’t anything crazy hard, but it was perfect for what I wanted.

No weights, no problem workout

  • Wednesday- I did 22 minutes on the elliptical before teaching UXF Burn (22 because I didn’t have time to do any more!). The UXF Burn workout was hard, but I loved all the moves I chose!
  • Thursday- I taught the same Tabata workout in my SHRED class as I did the week before when I subbed Kate’s class. And again, it left me incredibly sore! Love that. It’s funny, though, because when I teach Tabata I think everyone hates it and is bored (it’s a lot of repetition), but after class I had multiple people tell me how much they enjoyed it. Weird. After SHRED I amped up my cardio and taught Cardio Kickboxing.
  • Friday- I rested 🙂 Well, I rested in terms of not working out, but I was very busy party-prepping!
  • Saturday- I taught kickboxing at the Oak Square YMCA. Athena came, which is always a fun treat!
  • Sunday- Athena sent out an invite to some gym friends seeing if anyone wanted to go to a free, outdoor boot camp sponsored by City Sports. Obviously, I was all about that, as were a few other gym friends, so we did that yesterday morning. There was a great crowd and the instructor was hilarious. We ran about 3/4-1 mile to a park and from there, we did a circuit style workout consisting of a minute at each station with a cardio burst between stations. We did lunges with a bicep curl using bands, push ups, squats and “anything abs” (a core station where we could pick whatever core exercise we wanted). It wasn’t as hard as I was expecting, but it was still really fun to try something new and workout with friends (and not be the instructor). I contemplated buying new sneakers at City Sports after, but I was good and restrained.

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This Week’s Workouts

  • Monday- My plan is to rest today besides my normal walking commute. Since last week was heavy on the workout front, and I am a little sore, I feel like I should take it easy. I may try to video some workouts for a fun post I have planned 🙂
  • Tuesday- I’ll probably run after work and do another strength workout at the EB YMCA.
  • Wednesday- Cardio and then teaching UXF Burn.
  • Thursday- SHRED and Kickboxing
  • Friday- I’m not sure. Since I rested today, I may be up for a workout. We’ll see how it goes.
  • Saturday- I’m not teaching, so my thought is I’ll get up and go to BodyPump at the Wellington BSC.
  • Sunday- Not sure! If I rest again on Friday, I’ll probably be antsy for something on Sunday. My weekend is pretty open so I’ve got loads of time to workout!

Make this week awesome, friends!

Questions for you: Do you like outdoor boot camps? What was your favorite workout last week?

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What’s In My Grocery Chart…

My family loves grocery shopping. We’re a grocery store family. My dad was a meat cutter at Shaw’s for years and then worked as a maintenance technician at the Shaw’s Warehouse, so it’s just normal to be aware of grocery stores.

As a kid, I remember Saturday’s consisting of dance lessons/class in the morning and then grocery shopping in the afternoon. Grocery shopping wasn’t a quick, in and out type of thing; it was a 1-2 hour ordeal. We walked up and down every aisle and filled the cart to the brim. I’ll admit: we were always the house with the good “snack closet”. Mom always had plenty of fruit snacks, crackers, granola bars and whatever else might be a “new” type of snack at the time.

The love of grocery stores and grocery shopping has stuck with both my sister and me throughout the years and we, to this day, still get excited about trying out new-to-us grocery stores (when I first moved to Eastie and realized I was close to the Chelsea Market Basket I was pumped! And then I found a Shaw’s a half a mile from my apartment and was so excited I had to find an excuse to go and I called my dad to rave about it). These days, I tend to do my shopping at Market Basket because the prices are so much better than anywhere else.

When I got home from Michigan, I got right in the car to do my grocery shopping for the week and when I got home, I thought it might be fun to share my goodies with you! I’ll admit, I don’t buy organic. Heck, I don’t even wash my fruit before I eat it (I know, I know.). But other than that, I do eat pretty healthy!

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Let’s start with the produce:

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Since I try to get most of my veggies for the day at lunch, I make sure to get lots of salad stuff:

  • Bibb lettuce (my favorite)
  • Green pepper
  • Carrots
  • Cucumber
  • Broccoli
  • Tomatoes
  • Avocado
  • Goat Cheese
  • Chicken

My salads aren’t creative, but I try to load them up with veggies, protein (chicken or hard boiled eggs), cheese, avocado. It helps make them more interesting 🙂

Next up: Fruit, yogurt, pantry items

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To accompany my salads, I always bring a Greek yogurt and berries. Chobani is usually my yogurt of choice, but I do buy other brands, too. I was SO excited to find these “value pack” Chobani yogurts. Even though I like a variety of flavors, it was a great deal to buy the value pack.

I buy whatever fruit is on sale for the week: strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries… I don’t discriminate against my berries 😉 I have a banana every morning so I always get a big bunch of them!

A treat for me this week was the Vermont Bread Cinnamon Raisin bread. The hotels we stayed at in Michigan had free continental breakfasts and they all had cinnamon raisin bread and it reminded me how much I love it! When I saw this bread (a much better brand of bread than others), I had to grab a loaf. Pair that with a small bowl of cereal and it kept me very satisfied!

As for the Stacey’s pita chips, those, paired with hummus, are a staple in my apartment 😉

Also, one tip I have for my fellow friends who live alone: cut your pizza dough in half or in thirds before you freeze it. Since it’s just me eating, it takes days and days for me to finish a whole pizza, and by that point I am so sick of it I end up throwing the remaining slices away. I decided to cut the dough into smaller pieces and freeze them in little baggies so I could pull one out and have it be “personal pan” size. I’m going to make one tonight and I’m pumped!

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Now, I know this doesn’t look like a lot of groceries, but for 1 person, it is plenty. I take inventory of what I have and what I need before I go grocery shopping, as well as figure out what I am going to make for my “Sunday dinner”, so my grocery list varies by week.

Questions for you: Do you like to grocery shop? What’s your favorite grocery store? What’s a staple item in your grocery cart every week?

I hope you all have a great weekend! I have work today and then lots of errands to run this evening for my housewarming party tomorrow!

ps- I’m not sure what’s going on, but my pictures won’t get big anymore! It’s very annoying. If anyone has any idea how to fix this, let me know 🙂

Family Road Trip: Recap {Day 2 & the Wedding}

In case you missed the first recap of the road trip, check it out here.

Day 2 started out pretty early for me, considering I was on vacation! Since I had rested on Thursday, and knew I would be in the car for another long period of time on Friday, I wanted to get up and sweat a little (ok, a lot. The gym was horribly small and hot!). A 5K was just what the doctor ordered!

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We had a  quick breakfast then got on the road. We ended up driving through Canada for most of the trip on Friday, which was kind of nice because I was not able to go on my phone to text, Facebook, Instagram or Tweet. I’m guilty of being on my phone wayyyy too much (something I am trying to change), so being forced to not be on my phone for a number of hours was great!

We picked my sister up at the Detroit airport in the afternoon as she was flying in from a client site. The conversations during the car ride from the airport to the hotel were so funny. Sometimes it seems as though we are all 4 having completely different conversations, always talking louder and louder to try and be the loudest. It’s quite comical.

My aunt and uncle (mom and dad of the bride) had a wonderful cocktail hour set up in their hotel room for everyone. Between my dad’s snacks/food for me and this cocktail hour, I couldn’t have been more spoiled with “Monique-like” treats. Seriously… look at this spread!

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Since this part of my mom’s side of the family lives in Michigan, we don’t get to see them as often as we would like, so it’s always nice when we have an event or celebration that brings us all together!

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I was so happy that I could snuggle the newest baby, my cousin Emily’s 3 week old little girl, Grace. Gosh she was SO CUTE!!!

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We all hung out and chatted, laughed, drank wine and ate food and by 10pm, I was ready to hit the sack, so Danielle and I headed to our room.

We both woke up totally refreshed on Saturday morning. After breakfast and blogging, I hit the gym for a little cardio and strength training workout. Most of the family did their own variation of a workout (walking, swimming, etc.). Before we knew it, it was time to start getting ready!
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My face is smirking because Danielle was snipping at me to not take a picture! ha!

As this was Mary’s second wedding, it was very non-traditional in a lot of ways, which I thought was really nice. Everything about the wedding ceremony was absolutely touching and emotional. There was so much love between Mary and Dave and I doubt there was a dry eye in the church when they exchanged their vows. It’s hard to explain, but I haven’t seen that kind of love between two people in a long time- it’s very rare and they are so lucky they found each other. What made the ceremony even more special was how much they involved their children (who seem to get along great and are absolutely adorable!). Mary and Dave had little locket necklaces for all of the kids, which was a great way to make them all feel special on their parents big day. Here are some photos that I took during the ceremony. Pardon the lighting; iPhone’s don’t take the best pictures inside.

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After the ceremony, we had a few hours to kill before the reception, so naturally we had cocktail hour 😉 Mom got me this super cool “wine to go” thing. We thought you could refill and reseal the cup to use again, but unfortunately that wasn’t the case. Regardless, it was a fun idea!
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Not long after our cocktail hour started, it was time to grab the shuttle to the reception.

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I was absolutely in love with the décor and theme that Mary chose (and, put together in just 3 short months, mind you. Quite impressive if you ask me!). It was almost like a modern country look and feel… right down to the sparkly cowgirl boots she wore under here dress 😉 She explained that she gathered all of the wheat from a local field and had a friend cut down the wood for the centerpieces. Gosh, I wish I was creative enough for DIY projects!

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The food was delicious, but I have to say that the chocolate fondue station stole my heart. Holy.Yum. Amazing idea!

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Once dinner was over, the dancing began. My family loves to dance, so it makes for a fun reception!

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Few! How’s that for a long recap? I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: I am so blessed to have such a wonderful family and to have the opportunity to get to visit and spend time with those who don’t live so close. Thank you to my parents for letting me tag along on their road trip, thank you to Aunt Sue and Uncle Gerald for hosting us and making us feel at home and thank you to Mary and Dave for including us on your special day!

And, one last thing before I end this incredibly long post… Mary made her little veil/hat thingy (ok, I don’t know what it’s called) and after I raved about how much I loved it, she gave it to me! Heads up to my friends: I’m going to have a hat party soon 🙂

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Questions for you: How many weddings did you attend this year? Did you have to travel? If you had to pick a non-traditional thing to wear to your wedding, what would it be?

Wednesday Workout: No weights? No problem! {Cardio & Core workout}

Well hello there! As I still haven’t gotten weights for my new apartment, I had to get creative yesterday morning with my workout. I don’t know what it is, but I cannot bring myself to spend the money on weights! Why are they so expensive?! I know, I know. I can go out and spend $72 on a pair of Lulu Wunder Unders, but I can’t spend $30 on a set of weights? I have issues. Clearly.

But anyway! Until I get weights, I will need to get creative with my workouts. On Monday, I ran and did a tough upper body superset workout with the thought that on Tuesday, I’d focus on non-running cardio and core. This workout was successful for both of those things… and I didn’t even have to leave my apartment 😉 So, next time you are somewhere without weights and/or just want to workout in your home, here’s your workout! There are no excuses 🙂

No weights, no problem workout

I think all of these moves are fairly self-explanatory, but if you have questions, please let me know!

Questions for you: Would you like to see more “no equipment/at home” workouts on the blog? Do you like theme workouts that target specific body parts (upper body, lower body, core, cardio)?

Family Road Trip: Recap {Day 1- Boston to Buffalo}

Hi, friends! Phew, does anyone else feel like after a long, indulgent weekend, it’s harder to get up and get going on Tuesday than it is on Monday? My 1/2 mile walk to the T in crisp, morning air definitely helps to wake me up, though 🙂

As most of you know, last week/weekend I went on a mini road trip with my parents to Michigan for my cousin, Mary’s, wedding. I took Thursday and Friday off from work since we planned to do the trip in 2 days (so happy we did- 16 hours in the car in one day would have literally caused me to go even more crazy than I already am!).  Mom and dad picked me up around 8:30 on Thursday and we wasted no time hitting the road!

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I drove the first and last legs of the trip, dad drove in the middle and mom didn’t drive. No shocker there! The trip actually went incredibly smooth, except I quickly realized that I forgot my freshly charged iPad at my apartment. I was so mad because I had just downloaded Gone Girl the night before. Womp, womp.

Traveling with my parents is great because we take lots of bathroom stops and there is never a shortage of treats 😉

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Day 1 went incredibly well and fast! We stopped for a picnic lunch around 1 and made it to the hotel around 4:30. I had been waiting for lunch ever since my dad told me all the things he bought. I was absolutely blown away with how thoughtful his food shopping was! Seriously, when he saw the snacks that I packed for myself, he said I didn’t need any of them because he had already gotten them all… and more! Trail mix, granola bars (4 different boxes), crackers, deli meat, chopped veggies, dips, sandwich thins and every type of fruit you could imagine. What an amazing dad, right?!

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In typical Monique fashion, I think I had a bit of everything 😉 The weather was gorgeous, wine tasted delicious and it was a great little break from driving!

The second big leg of the trip wasn’t bad at all, and before we knew it, we were at the hotel! Since my sister travels so much, she has lots of points at various hotel chains. She set us up at an awesome Residence Inn in Buffalo, NY. I asked if there were any upgrades available and lucky for us, they did! This place was seriously like an apartment (what I would do to live in an apartment like this hotel suite!).

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Downstairs there was a mini kitchen, living room (with a real fire place), dining room area, bathroom and a Murphy Bed (which was surprisingly SO comfortable). Upstairs was a loft-ish bedroom and another bathroom, so this was a perfect suite to share with my parents since we had entirely separate sleeping areas.

Not long after we arrived, mom gave me my “special” bottle of wine (Estancia Chardonnay- right up there with J. Lohr for me!) and we headed out to the pool to relax and soak up the last of the sun for the day.

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As I mentioned yesterday, I instructed my mom through a water aerobics workout which was a blast!

Once the sun went down, it started to get a little chilly so we meandered over to the hotel’s complimentary cocktail hour.

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Boy do we have fun together! After the happy hour ended, we decided to order in since no one felt like getting back in the car. We went with Greek, but unfortunately, it took forever for the food to get there and by the time it eventually got to us, it wasn’t very warm or fresh. Womp, womp. Overall, though, it was a solid first day and we had lots of laughs and good conversations.

Since this post is already quite lengthy, I’ll share the rest of the trip in another post.

Questions for you: What’s the longest road trip you’ve ever been on? Nicest hotel you’ve ever stayed at? For us, it is Le Chateau Frontenac in Quebec City- Ahhhh mazing hotel!