Wednesday Workout: 20 Minute Bodyweight AMRAP {Cardio/Full Body}

Good morning! It’s been ages since I’ve posted a workout for you, right?! I’m changing that today, though! I love the holidays for an excuse to get off of my regular schedule (eating, drinking, working out, working, etc.), but I have to say that getting back ON schedule is a pretty awesome feeling, too. So, if you’re feeling anything like me and craving a bit of normalcy, then I hope you give this workout a shot- it’s so very normal and classic Monique-like 😉

I did this when I was at home at my parents house a few weeks ago. I wasn’t sure I wanted to workout, so I came up with something that included some of my favorite exercises and told myself that if I didn’t get into it after the first round, I could call it quits. Well, 20 minutes later, I was sweaty and so happy I got in a quickie workout. I’m sure you’ll feel the same way!

20 minute bodyweight AMRAP workout

A few explanations/videos in case you need a little clarification on anything…

  • Narrow & wide squat jumps– you’re taking a standard squat jump, but adding a little intensity. Check out this video for a demo.
  • Inch worm push-up w/knee tuck– I posted this on Instagram a few weeks ago- check it out here
  • Cursty lunges- alternate right to left, making sure you keep your hips facing the front direction and that your knees don’t go over your toes.
  • T-raise side planks- I posted this on Instagram a few weeks ago, too! I used a band, but you could easily do it without.  Check it out here
  • Burpee Jacks- Perform a standard burpee (with or without the push-up) and then when you come back up instead of jumping, do a full jumping jack.
  • Supine Extension- Lying on your back with your core engaged, lift your legs and shoulder blades off the ground and then crunch up and then extend back out.

If you have any other questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to me. I hope you give this a shot- it’s perfect for those days/weeks where you don’t have a lot of time to workout.

Questions for you: Did your schedule change at all throughout the holidays? How do you deal with schedule changes?

 

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My 5th Stitch Fix Review

Good morning! It had been months since my last Stitch Fix (<– referral link! You get one when you sign up, too!) and since I had some referral credits and since they gave a code that waived the styling fee, I figured I might as well sign up for another fix. I usually do a “fix” in the spring/summer and then in the winter; it’s always fun to do it as the seasons change since they usually have some cute options.

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This fix was another great one- had everything fit me great, I might have kept it all (the 25% discount for keeping all of the pieces is also very enticing!).

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Here’s a recap of what I got in case you do fixes and want to pin any of these to your boards on Pinterest.

  • Kathy Striped Fit & Flare Dress by Pixley- $68– As soon as I saw this dress I just knew I needed to get it (as long as it fit, of course). I loved everything about it- the stripes, the 3/4 length sleeves, the flowy skirt. I knew I could wear it to a party or gathering AND to work, and doubly whammy outfits are always a good thing 😉 Luckily, it fit great and I’ve already worn it 2 times!

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I paired it with a red belt and loved how it brought a festive flare to the dress!

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  • Paula Cable Knit Cowl Neck Sweater by Mak- $68– This was another piece that I loved as soon as I opened the box. I’m not usually a big sweater person, but I think it’s because I haven’t had the right ones. I love the detail on this one and how it’s fitting, but because of the cowl neck it still has that warm, comfy feel. I’ve worn this a few times as well and love how soft it is!

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  • Denna Skinny Jean by Kut from the Kloth- $78– I really wanted to keep these, but unfortunately they were a bit too big around the waist and knees so I decided to send them back which is a shame because they were so incredibly soft and comfortable. I have another pair of Kut from the Kloth jeans that are my absolute favorite so I knew I would’ve loved these, but I wasn’t sure if they would shrink enough so I decided I shouldn’t keep them.

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  • Myler Keyhole Back Blouse by Le Lis- $48– I’ll be honest, I wasn’t a big fan of the pattern of this shirt when I pulled it out of the box. When I saw it accessorized on one of the fashion sheets they provide, it grew on me, but I just knew that I wouldn’t wear it as much as other similar shirts that I own so I sent it back. I did like that the material had a little stretch to it, which isn’t common for silky type shirts.

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  • Tannika Ruffle Detail Zip-Up Cardigan by Monoreno- $58– This was another piece that I wasn’t crazy about when I opened the box. It just reminded me of something I owned when I was in college and not something I tend to wear these days. It also didn’t fit well as it was one of those “short and wide” situations- and not in the “crop top” sort of way that I really like. Needless to say, it was a no-go.

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And that does it! I’m so happy I told them not to send any jewelry or accessories because I’d much rather have another piece of clothing!  Overall, I think it was a pretty good fix and even though I always want to love everything, it’s nice when things don’t work out because with my “planning a wedding” budget, I shouldn’t really be dropping lots of extra money on clothes 😉

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If you’re interested in checking it out, here are some details:

  1. Use this link to head on over to the site
  2. Create your online styling profile by answering their questions and filling in your sizes, likes, dislikes, etc.
  3. Schedule your “fix” to arrive whenever you want it
  4. Once your fix comes in, open it up and try everything on. You just have to return the pieces you don’t want within 2 or 3 days, but they make that so easy for you since they give you a pre-paid bag to use and all you have to do is drop it off in a mailbox or at the post office.
  5. Share your referral code with friends and family because every time someone signs up and orders a fix, you get a $25 credit!

If you’re interested in checking out how fixes can differ from one to the next, check out these posts:

My First Stitch Fix
My 2nd Stitch Fix
My 3rd Stitch Fix
My 4th Stitch Fix

Questions for you: Have you ever done Stitch Fix? Do you like to online shop or shop in person at stores? Do you do any other monthly subscriptions?

The Week In Review: Birthday Celebrations, Christmas, Weekending

 

Good morning! It feels good to be back 🙂 Besides one post last week, I decided to take the week to just detach a bit- I had no desire to blog so I figured it was a sign I should take a little break. I’m back today, though, to recap the week! With RM’s bday on the 23rd, Christmas week is always a little crazy and chock full of celebrating (read: indulgent food, lots of dessert and plenty of drinks). Even though I’m off today, I’m excited about getting back on a little bit of a schedule this week… that is, until New Years Eve 😉

Monday- Last week I organized a little holiday celebration for a few of the teams at my office. We went to Kings in Lynnfield and had a blast drinking, bowling and munching on various passed apps.

Tuesday- After work on Tuesday, I went into the city to meet up with my sister and some other people at Back Deck for a drink before they went to the Nutcracker. I had wanted to go, but with it being the day before RM’s bday, it was just too much.

Wednesday- I used a floating holiday on Wednesday which was a nice way to ease into the holiday. Since it was RM’s bday, I told him I would make him whatever he wanted for breakfast. He decided on banana cinnamon French toast- how delicious does this look?! It was 2 pieces of Ezekiel bread, 2 eggs, dash of milk, plenty of cinnamon and sliced bananas that I sautéed in the pan.

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After breakfast, I left the house to let him study for his big broker exam (who schedules a big exam on their birthday?!) and hit up a class at Orangetheory. The first time I went to that studio was over the summer and the class was good, but not crazy hard. This one? Much harder! It was endurance day so we ended up starting the class on the treadmills for nearly a half hour! My base pace was 7 and my pushes were in the 8’s and then sprints in the 9’s and 10’s… I was dying by the end!! The strength session was also more challenging and I was sore the next day. Can’t wait to go back!

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I finished up with shopping and wrapping while RM headed into the city for his test. A few hours after the test started I hopped on the bus to be in the city when he finished so I could take him out to dinner. Luckily, he passed the exam so not only were we celebrating his bday, but also that! It was a very good day and Davio’s did not disappoint!

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Thursday- We took our time getting up on Thursday and eventually went into the city for birthday massages (well, birthday for him) at Exhale Spa. Per usual, the whole experience was wonderful- it’s really the best place to get massages!

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had to rick my “mistletoe & mimosas” T!

After we were finished, we hit the road to head to Maine. I went to Christmas Eve mass with my family and then we prepped for family friends to come over. It was a another successful Christmas Eve party! Good group of friends, plenty of delicious food, lots of bubbly and laughs. I did not take many pictures as I was just having too much fun being present in the night.

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Friday- We woke up later than normal on Christmas morning and found ourselves nearly rushing through presents- oops. We all got lots of great things, but I have to say that my sister’s gift to me was probably my favorite -it was so incredibly thoughtful and I loved that it was wedding themed since up until now, I hadn’t really received anything wedding-related. The ring holder is absolutely perfect, the shirt is so “me” and the book filled with all of the important things so far (“the ring”, “the Date”, “the location”, “not the dress”, “the band”…) nearly made me cry! I can’t wait to fill it up with things throughout the wedding process and then with photos from the big day.

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After presents, we packed up and headed back to MA to do Christmas with RM’s family. I didn’t take any pictures, but his mother and sister made a delicious meal, we had fantastic wine and opened more presents. I loved the sweater and necklace that his mom and sister got me- now it just needs to get cold enough to wear them 😉

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Saturday- I started out the day working on our wedding website and then hit the pavement for a 3.5 mile run, followed by some upper body strength circuits. After a rest day on Christmas and indulgent food for a few days, it felt very good to move!

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After lunch, the post holiday blues started to hit me and I had to laugh as I realized my outfit was coincidentally mirroring my mood.

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I knew I needed to get out of the house so I returned a few things, went to the library to get another book for book club and then decided to grab a glass of vino at Branch Line while waiting for RM to be done with his things for the day. I brought my book in and totally enjoyed sipping my Chardonnay while I read (even if it did seem weird to people who saw me).

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The rest of the night was spent relaxing- we ordered in, I kept reading and was in bed by 10. It was perfect 🙂

Sunday- I decided to get up and make us healthy pancakes. I changed the recipe by adding in another egg and we both agreed they may be the best batch yet!

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The rest of the day was spent being incredibly productive: 2 loads of laundry, changed the sheets on the bed, put away Christmas gifts, cleaning the entire apartment, grocery shopping, meal prepping and blogging. I did get RM to food shop with me and happened to sneak in a bouquet of flowers 😉

 

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Meal prepping isn’t always something I want to do, but once I get going- and especially once I’m done- I’m always SO happy I did it. I still have to make a meatloaf and cook the kale today (and RM has string beans and broccoli he wants to cook- we go through veggies so fast in this house), but knowing the most time consuming part is done is amazing.

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And that about does it! I know this post was long, but hopefully the pictures kept you reading. I can’t believe Christmas has come and gone, but at least we have our wedding to look forward to in the next 6 months or so!

I hope all of you had a fantastic holiday week!

Questions for you: What did you do to celebrate the holiday this year? Do you have to split holidays? Do you have any traditions? Meal prep- love it or hate it? Did you do any shopping after the holiday? Are you taking any time off this week? Any good workouts to share?

Weekending: Getting Into the Christmas Spirit

Good morning- happy Monday! Did you guys have a good weekend? Ours was relatively low-key, but that was perfect since I was pretty dead most of Friday because of getting home at 2:30 in the morning after 11 hours of traveling! Work was luckily quiet so I was able to catch up on some stuff without being interrupted. Let’s recap!

Friday

I was supposed to get together with my friend Liz and then go to a little party with my sister, but I ended up canceling on both because I was just too tired and knew I had to teach on Saturday and wanted to be rested. RM ended up coming home early from work so it was nice getting to hang with him before he went out with some of his friends that night. He offered to pick me up Whole Foods hot bar for me for dinner, which pretty much made my night. That, and being able to watch a sappy Hallmark Christmas movie and finish our latest book club book.

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Have you guys read this? If not, YOU MUST! This was such a fantastic book and I can’t wait to read the sequel. I may or may not have balled my eyes out as I finished the last couple of pages. Ugh. So good!

Saturday

I woke up feeling great thanks to 9+ hours of sleep! I was so excited to teach my cardio kickboxing class for 2 reasons:

  1. It was my last class before Christmas and I couldn’t wait to use my Christmas playlist. It’s always a big hit and I love seeing everyone smiling and singing along.
  2. I had some awesome new lululemon pants to wear- you can never have too much mesh, right?! The best part? They were an outlet deal- $29!

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Class was awesome! Everyone brought their serious A game and it was so fun to get in a good sweat sesh before the day’s activities.

After, I met up with my friend Jessi and her twin sister to talk wedding hair. I’m in the process of selecting someone to do my hair and Jessi’s sister pretty much specializes in wedding hair so hopefully it will work out! I was pumped to get to wear my new Stitch Fix sweater (a full review of my latest fix to come!)- it’s so soft!

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After hanging with the girls, I met RM at the Assembly Row shops and we grabbed a very late lunch/snack at Fuji. While the sushi was good, the rolls were very small and we were shocked that Roberto’s beer was $12 (!!!). Womp.

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Once we finally started to get hungry for dinner, I whipped up some roasted buffalo cauliflower and some baked butternut squash and RM cooked some spicy broccolini. We also shared some leftovers to round out the meal. It totally hit the spot.

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Sunday

Sunday started out the best way: with healthy pancakes! Historically, RM has always made them but lately I’ve taken that role and I have to say, I’ve been doing a pretty good job! I do not measure anything but here’s the ingredients I used yesterday: 2 eggs, 1/2 banana, coconut flour, almond meal, vanilla, flax seed, little bit of honey and some water.

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After breakfast, I headed out to do some errands. I wore my new Athleta sweater that I got for a SUPER deal during a recent Schoola promotion. I am in love with how comfy it is and I can’t believe I got it for $42 when it’s originally a $128 sweater. Yes, please.

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I also treated myself to a chai tea latte at Starbucks thanks to a very sweet member who gave me a gift card before class on Saturday!

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It was a pretty busy shopping experience, but I was totally immersed in the holiday spirit so it was fun! I was able to finish up most of my shopping, which will make this week easier 🙂

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I love the looks of a Christmas tree filled with presents underneath it. My mom always wanted to wait to bring presents down on Christmas morning (or late Christmas Eve), but my dad would always try to sneak the presents down earlier than that. I remember one year the back and forth of my dad bringing them down and my mom bringing them back up . I have to say, I like the presents under the tree before Christmas!

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Late Sunday afternoon we went to RM’s mother’s house to celebrate his birthday, which is on Wednesday. We had a delicious escarole soup, croquettes and a fantastic coffee cake. The rest of the night was spent hanging on the couch, relaxing before a busy week- I love our couch time!

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And that wraps it up! I have to go into the office today, but it’s a fun day because we are having our group Christmas party at Kings in Lynnfield. I also made my favorite Funfetti cookies, which basically make anything better 😉

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Have a great Monday, friends!

Questions for you: How was your weekend? What was the best part of it? Have you finished your Christmas shopping? Are you working this week? What’s your favorite holiday treat?

Five on Friday {12.18.15}

Good morning! This has been a bit of a crazy week because I was in the office on Monday and then in South Carolina Wednesday and Thursday and I’m home today. Needless to say, I had a hard time keeping my days straight, but what I DO know is that today is FRIDAY, and that’s pretty awesome, especially after a ridiculously long travel day home yesterday due to flight delays.

Seeing that it’s Friday, let’s get to “Five on Friday”!

  • I’m having fun wedding planning!… Finally! I really did not enjoy it at first, but, like so many of you told me, it did get better once we booked the venue and date. So far, we have the venue, date, photographer, dress and band- I’d say we are doing pretty well! I also have some ideas for our centerpieces- thank goodness for Pinterest 🙂 The only sucky thing about this whole process is that we have to wait until July for the actual event!
  • Farm Fresh Eggs- enough said. My parents always get farm fresh eggs from their neighbor and they give us a dozen every time they see us and I have to say- they are just the best! We buy the organic, free range eggs normally but those still don’t hold a flame to the real deal.

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  • Vega One Coconut Almond Nutritional Shake– I tried a sample of this at Whole Foods the other day and was totally sold so I bought a few sample packets and even with just water it tasted delicious!

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  • Lift class at Foster Fitness– If you’ve been reading B2B for a while, you’ve probably noticed that I’ve started frequenting a new gym (getting my butt kicked, get comfortable being uncomfortable). I had been going to the Fast & Furious class which is a mix of cardio and light/medium weights, but this week I finally made it to a Lift class and loved it! I am having so much fun getting into heavier lifting and the feeling of getting my name up on the board was unbelievable!

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  • REM-Fit Tracker– The company sent me a few different products to try and although I didn’t like one enough to review, I did enjoy checking out their REM-Fit tracker! Even though I already have a FitBit, I was interested in checking out the REM-Fit to see how it compared to the FitBit, what I liked better, what I liked less, what it could do or not do compared to the FitBit.

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Overall, I liked the design of the REM-Fit a lot. I liked that you could see the date and time on the front and you could see the various tracking details as you scrolled through by tapping on the left end of the device.

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My only complaint is that I found it difficult sometimes to hit the right spot to be able to scroll through my tracking details. Otherwise I liked how light the tracker was and that not only did it come with 2 different colored bands, but also a holder that you can clip onto your waistband or somewhere else a little less discrete than your wrist.

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One thing I thought it had over the Fitbit was the ability to get you points for things other than just steps- it warranted you points for all sorts of daily exercises which is great for the days when I may not have walked a lot of steps but I did get in a kick ass weight lifting workout! The tracker also gives you points for sleep, but it’s not automatic so you have to click on “log sleep”, which isn’t a huge deal, you just have to remember to do it 😉 Thanks to REM-Fit for providing me with this new-to-me activity tracker! (Disclaimer, I was provided with the product but was not paid to write this recommendation. The thoughts are my own!)

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And that does it for me today. I was supposed to go into the city to meet a friend for drinks but after getting home at 2:30am after 11 hours of travel, I’ve decided to lay low tonight and catch up on my DVR. Whatever you do this weekend, I hope you have a blast!

Questions for you: What’s on tap for the weekend? Have you finished all your Christmas shopping? What’s your favorite protein powder? Do you buy farm fresh eggs ever?