Five on Friday {1.29.16}

Good morning! I had some of these drafted to post last week, but I ended up getting home later than expected after the blogger event at Social so I didn’t have it in me to break open my computer and finish the post. I’m sure you didn’t lose sleep over it ūüėČ

Are you guys having a good week? I am! As I mentioned on Wednesday, I’ve been focusing on yoga this week and it’s been really great! I’m a little nervous for next week, though, because I’m teaching 4 classes in 3 days- way more of an intense schedule than I had this week! It’s all good, though- I’m excited for all of the events and classes I have lined up ūüôā here’s some noteworthy Friday things for you today:

1. Chromecast- RM finally took the plunge and got us a Chromecast so that we can start streaming Netflix through out TV. Also worth noting, we finally upgraded his subscription to be from receiving DVD’s in the mail (Yes, he was still requesting DVD’s to be sent to him!) to be a streaming subscription. We had already started recording Breaking Bad episodes on our TV so we’ve been watching them there, but once that is done it will be nice to be able to just stream Netflix. Welcome to 2016, Monique & Roberto.

2. Wedding room block/Registry- We’ve received an update on who has booked their rooms for our wedding and it’s SO exciting!! I seriously can’t wait until the big day is finally here. I am also obsessed with our wedding registry. While it was a little stressful and overwhelming at first (what to register for, what do we want/like/need, where to do it, etc.), I’m kind of loving it now. I check it daily and add new things- the worst that can happen is people don’t buy them for us- big deal! I’ll also admit that at first I didn’t think we needed anything, but then I realized that this may be the only time (for a long time) that we are able to start fresh and having matching everything- the Type A in me LOVES this.

3. Trillfit Event on 1/31– Looking for a workout on Sunday? Consider checking out the Trillfit event at the Hotel Commonwealth from 10am-2pm. From their site: TRILLFIT presents BRUNCH + BURN, Boston’s first wellness day party. Join us at Hotel Commonwealth for two high-energy, sweat-inducing workouts, delectable + healthy brunch bites, on-site beauty treatments and more . Celebrate your 2016 resolutions, grab your squad, and get live to a set by TRILLFIT’s own DJ Nick Bishop. 10AM: TRILLyoga with @LadyDork (60 min – *bring your own yoga mat*), 11AM: TRILLfit* with Melisa Valdez (60 min), 12PM – 2PM: Brunch + Day Party. Sounds like a blast, right?

4. Easiest Buffalo Wings– RM’s brother sent him a recipe from Bon Appetite (I think) and we decided to whip them up for the game the other weekend. We usually do wings in the crockpot using RM’s signature honey-garlic recipe he created on his own, but this recipe is WAY easier and faster. Get this- you just bake the wings in the oven at 450* for 35-45 mins, take them out and toss them in a mixture of 2tbsp butter and 1/4 cup sriracha. Could you get any easier? NOPE!

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5. SWEAT-Kick Event 2/4– I’m saving the best for last! If you follow me on social media, I’m sure you’ve seen me advertise the launch event for my first class at Foster Fitness, which is next Thursday at 5:30pm. The gym is in Wakefield and the event is going to be a blast- we will run through some cardio kickboxing combinations, throw in some bootcamp exercises and core work at the end and then refuel with protein shakes and salads from sweetgreen. If you’re interested in coming to the FREE event, please let me know- I would love love love having the support from friendly faces in the crowd!

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And that’s that! I hope you all have a fantastic weekend. Tomorrow is a busy one for me/us, so I’m happy to have taken a half day today to hang out with my sister and have some time to amp up for the weekend.

Questions for you: Do you have a Smart TV or Chromecast where you stream Netflix or Hulu? Did you watch Breaking Bad? What was the best part of your week? What are you looking forward to this weekend?

 

Embracing another week of yoga

 

Good morning! If you’re here for my weekly “Wednesday Workout” post- sorry! Changing things up a bit this week. With good reason, though: I’m embracing another week of yoga at Corepower yoga. I’ve had another free week to use before the end of January and seeing how the next couple of weeks are really busy with lots of teaching, I figured this was the perfect week to take a step back and focus on a gentler way to workout.

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While yoga can be a challenging workout, it can also be taken down a notch and made into more of a restorative flow so it’s a great recovery type of activity… one I’m actively trying to do more of this year.¬† With all the stress of wedding planning, teaching, etc., it’s so important for me to take time to take a step back and give my mind and body a little TLC, which is where yoga comes in.

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So I guess that’s a long way of telling you that I don’t have a workout for you today because I haven’t done any sort of workout besides yoga since last Thursday, if you can believe it! I have to admit, so far I have totally enjoyed this break from my traditional workout schedule. I’ve always been a big fan of group exercise and class environments so the fact that all I have to do for yoga is change into my workout clothes and show up is awesome. No planning out a workout. No planning out a playlist. Just showing up. Which is sometimes the hardest part about working out, right?

The last time I did a week of yoga I shared some things that I learned throughout the classes I took. While some of those still reign true this time, one thing I noticed was that it was much easier to get back in the yoga groove since it hadn’t been as long between classes. Muscle memory continues to amaze me- we can go days, weeks or months without doing something and then when we get back into that thing, although it may not feel as good or easy as it did while you were frequently doing it, our bodies remember what to do. It’s pretty freaking awesome, if you ask me!

Even though I am ready to get back to lifting heavy weights and sweating not just because it’s 100+ degrees in the room, it’s been a welcomed week of lower intensity movement that both my mind and body really needed. It was also a nice reminder that it’s good to give ourselves a break every so often- whether it’s¬†a break from working out or going out or working extra or whatever else you may have on your schedule that might be hard on your mind or body- sometimes we just need to slow the effff down and breathe. To shut down our thoughts or our to-do lists or work related tasks. To just be still and let our minds focus on breathing in and breathing out. It’s amazing how rejuvenating a simple act of breathing and slowing down can be for me!

Questions for you- When’s the last time you took a break from a normal activity in your life? Does the break happen easily or do you struggle with straying from your norm at the beginning? Have you done any workouts worth sharing with me for when I head back to the gym?

A Neighborhood Gem {Social Restaurant & Bar Review}

If you’ve been reading B2B for a while, then I’m sure you’ve heard me talk about Social Restaurant & Bar at least a few times by now. I hosted RM’s surprise birthday party there last year, I saddled up to the bar a little while ago for pizza and bubbly and then we also went there for New Years Eve– clearly I’m a big fan of the restaurant so when I connected with the owner about hosting a blogger dinner there was I was super excited.¬† I haven’t ever planned a blogger event like this and while it was a little stressful trying to coordinate between various people and schedules and things like that, it was a really fun experience. Plus, when you get to spend an evening chatting, eating and drinking with these lovely ladies, how could you not enjoy yourself?!

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Going around the table you’ve got Lauren, Becki, Cara, Jenna, Caroline, Stephanie and Athena

Let’s talk about the food, though, because it was incredible! I’ve eaten there enough to know that they serve delicious food, but last week was a whole other experience.

When we got there, we were able to mingle over cocktails and my favorite chicken “lollipops” (buffalo and BBQ) and spicy pork tacos. What I love about the lollipops is that there is way more meat on them than your standard wing. And the tacos? I mean, I loveeee tacos so it’s no surprise that I loved them, but even if I didn’t love tacos I would still think they were great. I loved the spicy kick and the pork was really flavorful.

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Once we had enough time to get to know everyone and catch up with those we did know, we headed to our table. I liked that it was a small enough group where we could sit and still be able to talk with everyone. They sent out some cocktails for us to taste and even though I’m not a big mixed drink person, I was a big fan of the ELDER STATESMAN¬†(ketel one, st. germain liquer, lemon juice, splash of soda- $10). I didn’t get to try the RED MOJITO¬†(bacardi silver, fresh limes, mint, drunken cherries-$10), but the others said it was delicious.

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For starters, they sent out the Fall Kale Salad (honey crisp apple, red radish, scallion, almond cider green goddess dressing¬†) and the Heirloom Beet Salad (golden & candy stripe beets, goat cheese, panna cotta, toasted hazelnuts half), both of which I went back for seconds on. Next, they sent out a super neat dish called Hot Rocks, which was thinly sliced brandt beef drizzled with white truffle oil which we were able to cook at the table!¬†Our last starter was¬†another favorite of the night: Yellowfin Tuna, which was rare seared and served with¬† sticky rice, spicy green beans, pickled daikon, avocado and¬†sweet soy ginger sauce. It was absolutely incredible and would be something I’d easily order again.

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We thought we were done here, but boy were we wrong!¬†We were pleasantly surprised when they brought over an entire roast chicken¬†that was cooked to¬†perfection. The flavor¬†was on point-¬†maybe even the best I’ve ever had? Which is a big statement since¬†I have roast chicken frequently. Alongside that was a serving of their Maple Roasted Squash Farro, which perfectly complimented the chicken. I could’ve just eaten a bowl for that and have been happy! It was a flavor party in my mouth ūüôā

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And finally, when we thought we couldn’t eat anymore, they brought out their Chocolate Lava Cake and Nutella Bread Pudding (which we had on NYE!). Even though I was so full, I am a firm believer that dessert holds its own separate space in our stomachs so of course I ate my share of both ūüėČ

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I can’t say it enough- if you haven’t checked out the Social Restaurant and Bar, I highly suggest getting yourself there! It’s literally right off of Exit 17 off the Pike and they validate parking on the weekends.

And lastly, a huge thank you to Bill over at the Social and for all of these amazing bloggers who took time out of their busy life to meet up and check out the Social!

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After such great conversations with everyone about life, work, blogging and working out, I left there feeling so blessed to be able to have connected with such strong, empowering women. Thank you, ladies!

 

Weekend Eats & Drinks

Good morning! Our weekend was relatively low-key, but it was filled with some good eats, drinks and restaurant visits so I figured that was worth sharing- enjoy!

Friday

My company always does pizza lunches before big sport games, so last Friday was no exception. I haven’t been in the office to reap the benefits of any of the recent pizza luncheons so it was a nice treat for me this past Friday! I always take a whole plate of salad (if available) and start with that because¬†it ensures I get in some veggies and it helps to subside most of my initial hunger before inhaling 3 pieces of pizza and then feeling sick from stuffing my face with too much pizza!

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I had some gift cards to use at Hopsters so we went there for pizza, salad and drinks for dinner… you know it’s a good day when you have pizza for lunch AND dinner! We got the sausage and arugula pizza and the beet and goat cheese salad- both were fantastic!

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Saturday

After an incredibly hard yoga sculpt class at CorePower (no seriously, it was so hard!!), I met up with my sister and friend Jessi at Loco in Southie for lunch to chat about my bachelorette party. While the margaritas were awesome, I picked the wrong food entr√©e. The waitress suggested the burrito so I took her suggestion, but it had too many big potatoes and not enough meat… not to mention it was served WITH potatoes. Thankfully my sister shared some of her burger with me which was really good. We ran into one of my friends from work which was such a fun addition to the lunch!

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For dinner, we decided to make some quesadillas. I kept it basic with just peppers and onions and leftover coconut crusted chicken. They were SO good and successfully kicked my Mexican craving that was not satisfied at lunch.

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Oh, and bubbly. Snowy nights most definitely call for bubbly… but then again, I’m not sure what nights DON’T call for bubbly ūüėČ

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Side Note: We finally started to watch Breaking Bad- have any of you watched that show? So far it’s a little intense for my liking, but I’m giving it a shot! We are only 4 episodes in.

Sunday

In traditional Sunday morning fashion, I whipped us up some healthy pancakes first thing. It was another great batch and we think it’s almost time for me to perfect the recipe and share it with all of you! I added raspberries to some of mine and it was a very tasty addition.

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We ended up having RM’s brother and sister-in-law over for the game so I set out some healthy-ish snack food while we waited for the wings to cook. We made two kinds: baked buffalo and then slow cooker honey garlic and I have to say, the buffalo stole the show for most of us! I also made some chocolate chip banana bread bars which were a big hit.

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And that about does it! I hope you all have a great week- and be on the lookout for some exciting news that I’m sharing on Friday!

Questions for you: Where is your favorite pizza place? Did you go out to eat at all this weekend? Where do you go for Mexican food? What did you do for the game?

Wednesday Workout: Bodyweight Workout Finisher

Hello! Hope you guys are all hanging in there with these super cold temps this week! I’m popping in quickly today to share a little bodyweight workout finisher that I did the other day after I finished my treadmill run. On days I run, I typically just do some stretching and light bodyweight/core exercises. I save my weight lifting for the other days where I am not spending 30+ minutes doing cardio. If I combined running and weights I would be at the gym for an hour+, and as they say: ain’t nobody got time for that!

Last week I shared this quickie finisher and today I have another one for you. What I love about “finisher” circuits/workouts is that they are great as just that- a finisher, but they are also great if you make them as your whole workout by adding in more rounds. I did 3 rounds of this after a 4-miler on Monday, but if I was looking for a quickie workout while I was traveling or short on time, I could totally just add a few more rounds or make it an AMRAP style workout.

Bodyweight Workout Finisher

  • Squat & Knee lift X10 (5 each leg)-¬† With your hands behind your head and your elbows wide,¬† perform a squat. When you come back up to standing, engage your core and lift your right knee and cross it over your body to meet your left elbow. Perform another squat and then¬†lift your left knee over to your right elbow. Each knee should come up 5 times (you’re doing a total of 10 squats).
  • Hand release push-ups- Start in a high plank position, either¬†your knees or on your toes. Slowly lower yourself to the ground, keeping your body flat like a board and making sure to not drop your knees or hips before your chest. In the same plane/board-like motion, press into your hands and push yourself up in one motion, again making sure your chest isn’t coming up before your hips- everything should go up and come down together.
  • Hip¬†lifts/bridge- On your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the ground, engage your core and press your heels into the ground as you lift your hips, making sure to squeeze your glutes! Lower back down and repeat.
  • Full sit-ups- Staying in that same supine position, place your arms along your side and exhale as you perform a full sit-up, reaching your hands to your feet.
  • Plank hold- Flip back over and hold a plank for 15 seconds the first round, 30 seconds the second round, 45 seconds the third round, etc… adding 15 second to the plank hold each round. You can either do the plank with straight arms or on your forearms and you can do them on your knees or toes.

As always, let me know if you try adding this to the end of your workout!

Questions for you: Do you keep your cardio and weights on separate days if you aren’t doing a metabolic combination workout?