Bachelorette Party: Recap

Good morning! I hope you all had a nice weekend. Ours was great: Jeveli’s date night on Friday night, Flywheel class on Saturday morning for me and then a weekend on the cape consisting of lots of sun, sand, vino & seafood.

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Back to the grind this week, though, but I figured starting the week with a recap of my amazing bachelorette weekend was a great way to kick it off! Consider this your warning- it’s a long, picture filled post!

When my sister and I were discussing possible bachelorette options, I really only had a few preferences/requests: not too far away because I didn’t want people to have to spend a ton of money for traveling or have to take time off, I wanted to workout and I wanted to drink vino & wear a tutu 🙂 I can easily say that she- and with the help of my friend, Jessi- not only nailed it in the fact all of those things were included, they far surpassed it with everything else they also included.

Midday on Friday, I packed up my car, picked up my sister and we hit the road to go to Portland, Maine. Everyone else was working full days, but we figured it would be smart to take half days to get up there early to get everything ready. Originally I wanted to rent a house, but they had trouble finding one big enough, close enough to town and affordable enough so we opted to just stay at the Residence Inn in downtown Portland. This was the PERFECT place to stay for my (or any) bachelorette party for a number of reasons:

  • Walking distance to all the good bars/restaurants
  • All rooms have mini kitchenettes so we can store stuff in the fridges
  • All rooms have little living rooms, so people don’t have to hang out on the beds
  • They have suite options- we did a 2 bedroom suite which had 2 separate bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, a full kitchen with a table and a full living room, so we had plenty of space to hang out and relax. We also rented another standard room for 1 night since we had more girls staying on the second night.
  • You don’t have to bring your own sheets/towels
  • Housekeeping
  • Free breakfast, which was awesome- they had a waffle maker, eggs, sausage, cereal, bagels, oatmeal, yogurt, etc. This was a huge cost saver because a few of us would go down and stock up and then we could all enjoy it in the room.
  • Cocktail hour

Basically, it worked out way better than renting a house- I highly suggest it!

Anyway, where was I? Oh yeah, back to day 1. We stopped at the Market Basket in Biddeford on the way up to get beer/wine/snacks to stock the rooms and fridges. This was another good way to save money! Once we checked in and unpacked, we walked over to Flatbread Pizza which was right on the water- perfect for a sunny afternoon!

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Not long after lunch, a few more friends arrived and we popped some bubbly and hung out until we got dressed to head to dinner at Vignola Cinque Terre, which was an amazing little Italian restaurant. We ended up having the whole upstairs to ourselves, which was good considering the vino was flowing and friends kept arriving. The best surprise of the night/weekend was when my friend Amy showed up- I thought she wasn’t coming because she was going to be in Nashville, but her plans changed and everyone just kept me thinking she couldn’t come to make it a surprise- it was the best! We shared a bunch of different things and everything that came out was absolutely delicious- I highly recommend this restaurant if you’re in Portland.

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We asked our waitress where we should go after and when she mentioned a country bar called Bonfire, it was an obvious choice to go there. We got a beer tower and had fun dancing and singing before calling it a night around midnight. I didn’t want to stay out too late because I knew we had a spin class followed by a day of drinking the next days.

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Saturday morning we headed to Reve Cycling on Forest Ave. Some of my friends who couldn’t stay for 2 nights met us there so it was fun to have the majority of the crowd together! The best part was that Jessi organized to have matching pants made with out initials (my new ones!!) on the leg and then mine said “bride” on the butt. It was such a fun surprise! The class was awesome & challenging, but it flew by. Everyone was so happy that we did it, too. Nothing like starting the day with a good sweat (even if it probably wreaked of wine, lol).

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After the class, we went back to the hotel and started the shower process, which, considering we had 12 girls showering between 3 showers, didn’t take too long!

My mom and her friend Chris came to spend the afternoon with us, so once everyone was there, we walked to Portland Lobster Company for drinks, eats and live music. It was the perfect place to kickoff the afternoon because the food and drinks were great and affordable, there was plenty of outdoor space and it was right on the water.

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The next stop was The Porthole, which was another great outdoor spot on the water. They also had a live band, but we all joked how terrible they were! It didn’t matter, though, the drinks and company most definitely made up for it 🙂

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After a round we decided to make our way back to the hotel to regroup and get ready for the night. The girls also brought me lingerie which was a fun surprise! For dinner, my mom and dad had prepped all of the fixings to make tacos so we didn’t have to worry about dealing with going out to eat for a big group of girls. This was such a good idea, not to mention the food was delicious.

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BTW, if you’re looking for a tutu, my girl Amy is the best at making them- we said her Etsy line should be called “Babies and Brides” because she makes tutu’s for the brides and babies in her life. It was such a fun addition to my outfit for the day!!

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My other friend, Amy, is doing my makeup for the wedding so we did a trial run before we went out. I don’t wear a lot of makeup and she did a great job of making me not look or feel like I had loads on, but still put enough on to look good in pictures.

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Once we were all dolled up, we headed out to Bull Feeney’s, which is a fun bar for live band dancing. We stayed there for a while before heading BACK to the country bar (Bonfire)… what can I say? We love country music! It was livelier on Saturday night and I was even able to have (and win) a dance off- my idea of a solid night 😉

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Late night shenanigans at the hotel most certainly ensued, which was the perfect ending to a perfect weekend. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, these girls made me feel SO special and loved all weekend. Between friends from home & college (and family), I couldn’t have asked for a better group of girls to hang out with.  I couldn’t believe all that they did for me, especially my sister and Jessi- you girls are the absolute best and I am SO LUCKY to have you in my life! Can we do this again soon?! Love to you all!!!

Questions for you: Did you have a bachelorette party? Where did you have it? What types of bars do you like to go to? Have you been to Portland before? What are your favorite stops when you’re there? What’s a must-have on a girls weekend?
 

Five on Friday {5.27.16}

Good morning and TGIF! I have a few hours of work and then I’m off until Tuesday- amazing! I’m hoping for good weather- I need to work on a tan for the wedding 🙂 Let’s jump right into some highlights going on this week:

  • Yogathon hosted by lululemon- On Saturday, June 5th, lululemon is hosting a 12 Hour “Yogathon” in Honor of Nation Cancer Survivor’s Day at The Street in Chestnut Hill to benefit two organizations devoted to sharing the health benefits of yoga. There are various different classes to choose from, so if this interests you and if you’re around on June 5th, all you need to do to register is make a donation of any amount to bodhi & mind yoga, which offers free one-on-one yoga and meditation practice to women battling breast cancer, and Triyoga Boston, a non-profit organization offering therapeutic yoga classes, using the Yogathon Eventbrite page.
  • Thankful for great friends– If you follow me on social media, I’m sure you know that I had my bachelorette party last weekend. I will do a full recap on it, but for now I’ll just say that I felt SO special, thankful and grateful for having so many wonderful friends in my life. They planned the most amazing weekend, filled with lots of my favorite things and I ended the weekend feeling so humbled by everything everyone did for me.

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  • Bags & Beats @ GymIt- Earlier this week, I taught my first classes at GymIt in Watertown as a result of completing my BoxFIIT certification. I was pretty nervous going into the classes: new gym, new crowd, new class format, new app… after 4 years of mostly teaching at the same gyms to the same crowds, this totally put me out of my comfort zone, but you know what? I think I kinda rocked it! I had big shoes to fill, but I think members were happy with the classes I taught so I’m hoping to grow them over time. If you’re interested in checking it out, I teach on Tuesdays at 5:30 and 6:30pm and the classes are Bags & Beats so we use the heavy bags and do punching combos to the beat of the music mixed with non-boxing exercises. It’s a fun class and Tuesday reminded me that it’s so important to get out of our comfort zone and try new things because sometimes that’s exactly what you need to ignite a new fire within.

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  • Embracing the weather & season- Yesterday I decided to take a rest day. It’s been a long and busy week and I feel like I’m still catching up on sleep/getting back to normal after my bachelorette weekend, so I decided to take a rest day yesterday. I knew I needed this because after my run on Wednesday, I felt abnormally sore and tired. I set my alarm yesterday morning to get up and go for a walk before work, but when my alarm went off I realized I would benefit more from sleep. Listening to our bodies is so important, and somethign I admit I still have to work on, but I was proud of myself yesterday for listening to my body and resting (and enjoying vino after work).

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  • New Workout Plan- With our wedding coming up (38 days from today, to be exact!), I decided that I wanted to spend some time focusing on me when it comes to workouts. Lately I’ve been teaching a lot and have had a lot of other things going on so my own workouts have fallen a bit by the wayside; I still workout 5-6 days a week, but they aren’t as structured or formatted as I’d like them to be in order to see changes I’d like to see. With that said, I reached out to my girl Athena to have her create a month long upper-body focused workout plan for me for the month leading up to my wedding. I am by no means trying to lose weight, but rather I just would like to tone up my upper body and back and see what kinds of changes I can make when I consistently follow a plan. She sent me the workout plan the other day and upon first glance it looks great and I can’t wait to start- sometimes just having a new plan to follow is exactly what you need to get excited about something again!

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And that does it for me! We don’t have a lot planned this weekend which is really nice. I’m hoping to get some sun, sleep and relaxation 🙂

Questions for you: How has your week been? When is the last time you got out of your comfort zone? Do you like to follow structured workout plans? How are you embracing the weather?

Stitch Fix #6 {Review}

Good morning! I hope you’re having a great week. Mine has been a bit stressful and overwhelming, but thankfully the long weekend is almost here! While I was away for my bachelorette weekend (which, I still need to recap for you!), I received a Stitch Fix delivery- such a fun surprise to come home to. For those of you who aren’t familiar with Stitch Fix, it’s an online personal stylist service where you plug in all of your information when it comes to clothes and style (size, likes, dislikes, etc.) and then they put together a “fix” for you. Each “fix” is $20, but if you keep anything from the fix then the $20 gets subtracted from whatever the price of the item is. While the prices can sometimes be higher than I’d normally spend, sometimes the convenience of having things sent right to your house far outweighs the time it takes to go shopping and look for deals. Plus, it’s fun getting a package containing things you might not otherwise find or look for!

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Even better? When you share your referral code (everyone gets one when they sign up), you get a $25 credit to your account for everyone who signs up using your link. Since I started Stitch Fix, I’ve had a good handful of credits come my way, but recently I realized I had racked up quite a few so I figured it was due time to order myself a box 🙂 I usually wait for special occasions where I suggest specific pieces or ask for a certain style, but this time I just let them do their thing and I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised by how great the fix was! I actually liked everything, but sent a few back because they didn’t fit/look right on me.

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Here’s a review of what my fix included! Pardon my hair- this was post bachelorette party weekend 😉

Pixley Eisenhower Strappy Top- $48- KEEPER

This shirt was so comfy and I could see it being a summer staple- either with shorts (loved it with the shorts they sent in this fix!) or with jeans or even leggings. I liked that the back had a little extra funk to it with the strap at the top and I love how bright the colors are! $48 is a little more than I’d normally spend for a thin, summery shirt like this, but again- convenience factor 🙂

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Skies are Blue Kalyle Peplum Knit Top- $48- Sent back

While I love peplum tops, this one just felt cheap and flimsy. Plus, it didn’t fit well and did nothing for my figure, so back it went!

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Dear John Finnegan Cuffed Short- $58- KEEPER

I really went back and forth on these shorts. Part of me liked them when looking back at photos and when trying them on again, but the other part of me looks back and isn’t sure if I should’ve kept them- do they look too loose/baggy? Do they look too long and boring/like I’m going golfing? Too late to look back on them now- they’re in my drawer! I think I will get use out of them, though, because they are SO comfortable.

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Fate Kathina Sheer Cut Out Knit Top- $48- Sent back

This was a shirt that I really liked when I pulled it out of the box, but when I put it on the fit was all wrong. It felt boxy and shapeless- more like some of the workout tanks I’ve been wearing these days!

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Brixon Ivy James Laser Cut Dress- $78- KEEPER

Ah! This dress! I’ve been looking for more work dresses so I was so excited when I pulled this out of the box. The color, the pattern, the fit… everything was perfect and- despite the price- I had to keep it. I wore it to work and it was so comfortable! BIG fan of this dress 🙂

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There you have it! If you like any of these pieces you can simply “pin” the picture and then send the link of the pin/board to your stitch fix stylist. Don’t forget, if you haven’t signed up for Stitch Fix before, just click on this link to get started!

If you’re looking to see some other fixes I’ve received, check out these posts:

Stitch Fix #1
Stitch Fix #2
Stitch Fix #3
Stitch Fix #4
Stitch Fix #5

Questions for you: Do you do Stitch Fix? Do you do any sort of online delivery thing (maybe Birch Box or something else)? Do you have any events coming up that you’re looking for a new outfit for? Do you like to online shop or shop in person?

Just Add Cooking: Focus on Local Sourcing

Good morning! I’m back from the most amazingly perfect bachelorette weekend and while I plan on doing a full recap soon, I’ll just say now that it was literally the best weekend! And we are one step closer to the big day, which is the most exciting thing of all!

Today, though, let’s talk about the recent Just Add Cooking RM and I received. As I’ve mentioned before, as part of their blog ambassadorship I am able to receive one week of meals a month to try out. So far, each delivery seems to be better than the last and considering we were totally wowed after the first delivery, it’s safe to say JAC has a pretty great thing going on.

I’ve talked before about how one of the things I love the most about the company, besides having simple and delicious recipes, is that they try to source locally whenever they can. In the delivery notes overview, they list out where the products came from, which I think is a really nice touch. RM and I try to buy locally and organic, so working with a company who also values that is pretty awesome. In our box this week, we received:

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Pretty cool, right? And, when you’re using ingredients closer to the source, it means they’re getting to you fresher and it’s good for the environment since they don’t have to drive loads of extra miles to get the food items. You can find out more about JAC’shere. It’s really great to see a company support locally!

Let’s talk about the meals, though. We decided to go with the Breaded Pork Chops with a White Bean & Radish Salad, Lamb Skewers and a Quinoa Salad and Shaksuka, which is a Middle-Eastern dish. We cooked the meals last week in the recommended cooking order that JAC provides.

Breaded Pork Chops w/ White Bean & Radish Salad

This meal might have been my favorite meal from the delivery. We don’t get pork very often, which is strange since we both enjoy it, so it was a special treat getting to cook it last week. I’ve never coated meat with mayonnaise before breading it, but I swear it must’ve been what made the meat so -dare I say it- moist (sorry). The flavor was so good! And the white bean and radish salad was also incredible- I told RM that it’s likely going to be a staple salad that I bring to summer parties. It was light and refreshing and just a really interesting combination of flavors.

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Lamb Skewers and Quinoa Salad

Lamb is another meat that we don’t buy or cook- ever, really. We have lamb at RM’s mother’s house on holidays and I always enjoy it, which is why I thought it would be a good choice for the meal delivery. RM fired up the grill to cook the lamb which made it even tastier! The quinoa salad had avocado, cucumber and tomato and reminded me so much of this loaded quinoa salad that I’ve made a few times. Unfortunately the watercress went bad so we were unable to use that ingredient for the sauce, but I use some of the extra chives and it worked out well. I ended up reaching out to my contact to let her know about how the watercress went bad so quickly and she said that when you source local, fresh ingredients there is always a chance that things can go bad quicker than anticipated. She wanted me to share with all of you that if this were to happen to you, just can email them at customersupport@justaddcooking.com or call JAC and the team will provide them with a credit to their account for any inconvenience. These issues happen very rarely and they try to take care of customers quickly when they do.

With that said, we still really enjoyed the meal!

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Shaksuka

This meal was another big hit with us. There’s something about breakfast for dinner that always makes me happy. I don’t tend to eat a lot of eggs for breakfast, but I love them for lunch or dinner so this was a great meal to throw together one night last week. With very minimal ingredients, it took no time at all to make. Unfortunately, I walked away while the eggs were cooking and stayed away a little too long and the yolks ended up cooking all the way through. I was bummed, but it ended up still tasting really good. I never knew that combining diced tomatoes and pearled farro could make such a great base for eggs! And, I’m a big fan of “one pot dishes”, so this was right up my alley. The feta cheese on top was like icing on the cake, too 😉

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All in all, we were so pleased with the meals last week. I was able to make all of them in less than 40 minutes, which is ideal for a weeknight meal. On top of that, I love getting a chance to make new-to-us recipes/dishes and learn how to combine herbs and seasonings since that isn’t something I know a lot about. If you’re looking for a way to spice up your meals, I can’t recommend JAC enough.

If you like the sounds of everything in this post, Just Add Cooking is offering a great deal for those of you who haven’t yet had a chance to try them. With the code BUBBLY, you can get your first Just Add Cooking box for just $39. Which, btw, is 3 meals- one hell of a deal if you ask me! Click here to sign up for a free account and to pick your recipes.

Previous reviews can be found here:

Just Add Cooking {First Review}
Just Add Cooking {2nd Review}

Disclaimer: I was not compensated for this post but I was provided with a free week of meals in response for my review. As always, all thoughts and opinions in this post are my own- I really, truly think this is a wonderful company and I’m so excited that I get to work with them! As an affiliate, I do receive a credit when you sign up for the service using my code. Thanks for your support!

Five on Friday {5.19.16}

Good morning- TGIF 🙂 I am so happy it’s Friday and that there’s good weather in the forecast for the weekend because my bachelorette weekend kicks off today!  Let’s jump right into today’s post, shall we?

  • Secret of Being Happy At Work but actually, I think this can be applied to all areas of your life. RM sent me this and I just think it’s such an important message to get across. If we are always saying we will be happy when we get a new job or a promotion or a boyfriend or after we lose 10lbs., etc. etc., we are continuously spending our time, thoughts and energy NOT focusing on the present and everything good in that moment. It’s so easy to get caught up in wanting more and thinking more will make you happier and feel better, but if you take a step back and appreciate everything you have/do/etc. RIGHT NOW, I think you’ll find a greater sense of satisfaction and self-appreciation. Try it!
  • Clean up your cardio My girl Athena just released her new, FREE Clean Up Your Cardio guide, which will show you all sorts of new ways to get a bigger bang for your buck when it comes to cardio (less time working out and better results? Yes, please!). Athena sent me some of the workouts ahead of time to try out and I loved all of the 6 that I tried! They’re challenging, but doable, which I think is a really important thing when trying new workouts. You want to feel like you’re working hard, but you also want to feel like you can finish the workout, right? Also, they range from body weight to minimal equipment to the use of a treadmill or some other cardio machine to the track, so there’s something for everyone! I’ve been inspired to spice up my cardio just by seeing all the different things she’s included. If you’re interested in checking it out (it’s free, so I don’t know why you wouldn’t be), check out this link!
  • Book Club- As I mentioned on Monday, I hosted book club at my apartment last weekend. I am so thankful that we not only started, but have maintained, book club for nearly 2 years. These days it’s so hard to get together with people because we’ve all got so many different things going on, so having a planned event every 6 weeks or so is awesome. The last book we read was Defending Jacob, which was a great book club book. There was so much to talk about! Our next on is Fates & Furies, which although I’ve heard it’s a little hard to get into, once you get into it you’ll love it. I can’t wait to read it! What are you reading lately?

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  • Bags class at GymIt- On Tuesday (May 24th) I am going to be teaching my first bags classes at GymIt in Watertown!!! I am so excited, but also so nervous. Want to know what would help? Having some familiar faces in the class, so if you are around I’d love for you to come check it out!! I tested out one of the workouts I’ve created the other morning at my apartment and even without a bag, I was a sweaty beast and huffing and puffing. Boxing is no joke!

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Here are some details if you’re interested in coming to a class:

1) There are gloves to use for each class but you’ll need to buy your own wraps ($10.00). If you buy gloves there ($35) the wraps are free.
2) You can try a class for free once you have signed up with Gymit
3) 10 pack for $180.00 no members or $25.00 per drop in (non members of gym)
  • Bachelorette weekend– Today I am heading up to Portland, ME with a bunch of my favorite girls to celebrate my bachelorette party. I cannot believe this weekend is finally here… sh*t is starting to get real! The wedding is in 46 days… how did it sneak up so fast?! Although I’m from Maine, I never spent much time in Portland when I was able to really appreciate the bar scene, so if you have any suggestions for bars to go to, please let me know 🙂 We are staying right down town which is awesome! Had to celebrate last night by getting my nails done and drinking vino… duh 😉

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Your Turn! Tell me something good! What have you been doing for workouts lately? Are you reading any good books? Do you tend to focus on things to come or embrace the present? Where did you go for your bachelorette party?