Five on Friday {6.24.16}

Good morning and TGIF- big time! This week has just been one hell of a week. Between work, teaching and wedding planning, I could barely form a complete sentence that made any sense last night. When talking to RM on our way to grab pizza and salad from Max & Leo’s (yes, I know we are obsessed with that place- having it walking distance just makes it even better!), I actually said “I’m tremensly tired Roberto. Like, I can’t even explain it”, and he looked at me and goes “tremensly? What is that?”… and not until then did I realize that I had made up a word! Clearly a combination of tremendously and immensely…. Wine and pizza never tasted so good, haha

It’s been a fun week of package receiving here at our house this week, so I have some fun things to share!

  • Luna Bar Delivery Oh my goodness did I get an amazingggg swag bag/care package from Luna Bars this week. I mean, a box of their bars would’ve been enough to make me happy, but when you throw in a few boxes, multiple other bar flavors, a t-shirt, bag and new yoga mat you have a veryyyyy happy Monique! We’ve tried a few flavors so far and they’re SO good. They have more ingredients than I usually want in a bar, but they just taste so good! I can’t wait to try the oatmeal packs because those only have a few ingredients and I think they will make a very easy pre-workout snack or breakfast. Thank you, Luna, for spoiling me with such a wonderful package!

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  • ProYo Frozen Yogurt This is another package I was lucky enough to receive this week!! I’ve mentioned ProYo on the blog before, so I was so excited when they offered to send me some of their product to try out, but little did I know I’d be lucky enough to get a chance to try FOUR flavors. Obviously I haven’t had a chance to try all of them, but last night we did share a Dutch Chocolate one and were both totally fans of the smooth/creamy texture and delicious flavor! They don’t have a lot of ingredients, which is also a big thumbs up (and they have lots of good things in them!). This is going to be the perfect summer treat all summer long! Be on the lookout for ways for YOU to get to try some, too 🙂

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  • Bags & Beats & Big Hair- I laughed as I took this selfie after my Tuesday night Bags & Beats double because I found it so ironic that I had not only taken over Eliza’s class, but was also sporting Eliza’s big, curly hair look 😉 I love my curly hair so much and letting it fly while and free is the best feeling!

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  • Wedding related packages- On top of promotional swag, I also received lots of wedding related packages this week: photo booth props, name changing paperwork and my dress hanger! Such an exciting, exciting time for us- T-minus 10 days!!!

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  • Granite Links Driving Range RM and I went to Granite Links last weekend to hit some balls, drink some cocktails and enjoy the weather. It was exactly what I needed that night!

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And that’s it! I hope you all have a great weekend! Tonight we are planning to go to the driving range again, tomorrow morning I’m teaching and then have some more wedding related errands to run and then will go to a BBQ at my sister’s place. Sunday is open for whatever 🙂 It’s our last weekend at home before the big day!!!

Questions for you: What’s your favorite bar to eat? Have you tried ProYo before? What’s the best part of your week? What’s on the agenda for the weekend?

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Wedding Updates: T-Minus 2 Weeks!

Wow. I cannot believe that we are less than 2 weeks from the big day. It literally feels like just yesterday that we were getting engaged

picking a venue

finding my dress

having my shower …

and partying it up in Portland for my bachelorette party.

Time flies when you’re having fun, I guess, right?! And, while I’ve had a few “bridal breakdowns” (I think all were money related, too!), overall I feel as though I’ve been very calm and easy going about a lot of the wedding plans.

At this point, the RSVP’s have come in, the food & drinks have been decided upon, songs have been picked and the outline of the day/night has been pretty much finalized, which means I’m mostly working on the little details: selfie station props, table number, name cards, gifts for people who have been helping out, signs for welcoming people, signs for the ceremony, signs for Instagram, signs for the selfie station …. you get it! Lots of different little things that I’ve been thinking of. and adding to my list.

Regarding decorations, I’ve always said I wasn’t a big “DIY’er” (Do It Yourself-er), but I’m finding myself doing a lot of it these days- go figure! What I do is look on Etsy, get ideas and then realize that I could do the same thing for a lot cheaper. So far, I’ve been very pleased with what I’ve done… well, except the corn hole boards. I ordered the boards from Etsy and then painted/designed them myself and am not totally in love with how they came out, but I’m hoping people will be more interested in the actual game and not the board designs 😉 If you have any suggestions for ways to spruce them up a bit, let me know! Happy to add more details, but was afraid of adding too much and then not liking it.

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Regarding the signs, I have done a couple by hand, but ended up purchasing a design from Etsy, too, because it looked so good!

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#moberto2016 for print

The dancing sign is to put near the bucket of flip flops that my mom is getting and the selfie one is for the selfie station… duh 😉 I’m so happy with how the Instagram sign came out, as well as the selfie station props that I ordered and am waiting to come in. I plan on getting frames for everything, too.

Instead of doing programs for the ceremony, I decided to do a poster with all of the necessary details:

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As you can see, I’m keeping with the gold theme 😉 Plus, the top part mimics our invitations.

And, since people tend to end up using the programs as fans during the ceremony, I ended up purchasing some little accordion fans to give out to people for the ceremony. I think it’ll be a nice touch!

Elegant White Paper Folding Fans image

While we still have to finalize the seating plan, figure out the readings and write our vows (and I have to get some jewelry, have a final dress fitting, pick up few makeup pieces and other odds and ends like that), I feel like we’ve been making good, consistent progress and at this point I just can’t wait until the day is finally here! We are praying for weather like we had over the past weekend- I would be the happiest person alive if we were graced with that type of weather!

But, in all honesty, even though all of these things are nice additions to the day, I’m trying to not get too hung up on them because at the end of the day, those things don’t matter. What matters is the fact that I’m marrying my most favorite person and as long as he and I are there (ok, and all of our friends and families), that’s all that really matters. I’m not trying to get our wedding on the front page of The Knot or any other bridal site, I just want to have simple, yet classy party 🙂

If you guys have any tips, suggestions, things to remember, ways to simplify something, things you wished you had done or things you wish you wouldn’t have wasted time on doing, please let me know- I’m all ears!!

 

 

Just Add Cooking: Month 4 Review {Final One!}

Good morning! Did you guys have a good weekend? We did! Lots of wedding things checked off the list, which I plan on updating you on soon! But today, let’s talk about Just Add Cooking. I can’t believe that our 4 month JAC ambassadorship has come to a close. While we both enjoy cooking- both the basics and trying new things- it can be a lot of extra time, energy and money planning out the menu for the week and then shopping for all of the necessary ingredients. Just Add Cooking has solved all of those problems because not only do they help with the meal planning, they provide you with all of the necessary ingredients AND the meals have all been relatively quick and easy to put together. Not to mention everything is always so tasty and delivered the same day it’s packed (which isn’t the case for most of these food service companies)!

When I received this month’s delivery, I was surprised to see new packaging. Normally the ingredients would all come mixed together in the box and you’d have to figure out what went with what meal, but this month they nicely grouped the meal ingredients together in their own bag, which made it SO easy to literally just grab the bag and get cooking. And, even though it seems like a lot of extra packaging, most of it is recyclable and still far less than what other food delivery companies are using so it’s really not bad.

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The only thing that I missed with this new packaging were the labels on each of the little ingredient baggies. I guess it’s not a huge deal because they packaged everything according to what recipe they were to be used for, but as a Type A/Control person I would’ve liked to have seen the labels… you know, just to make sure there weren’t any packaging mistakes 😉 I know… I have issues! 🙂 Overall, though, I was a BIG fan of their recent packaging change- it made the whole process even easier, which says a lot considering how easy the whole process is in general!

For our meals last week, we chose the Jambalaya, Philadelphia Cheesesteak Sandwich and the Carrot Patties and Mashed Vegetables. I always love seeing where the food is sourced from (since they source locally as much as possible). This week the Bacon was from North Country Smokehouse in Claremont, NH, the all natural, GMO & antibiotic free chicken thighs were from Allen Farms, the Hoagie rolls were from Pain D’Avignon in Hyannis, MA, asparagus from Warner Farm in Sunderland, MA, etc. Here’s a glimpse into the meals!

Jambalaya

I’m always a big fan of these “one dish” type of meals where everything is all mixed together. I love how the flavors combine and it’s easy to reheat throughout the week. My only complaint with this meal was the clove flavor. It only called for a 1/2 tsp. of cloves, but for some reason the flavor was pretty strong, which was too much for my taste buds. Mixing in the sour cream they provided did help to lighten that flavor a bit and RM didn’t seem phased by it at all (he ate it all week!), so maybe it was just me. I definitely want to make this meal again, but I would probably drop the cloves down to 1/4 tsp. We ended up serving the meal over kale and with broccoli and the whole combination was really great!

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Philly Cheesesteak Sandwiches

This may have been my favorite meal, but then again, with a cheesy sandwich, how can you really go wrong?! This meal was especially good because it was really quick and easy to throw together when I got home from teaching my Tuesday night double. We were both really impressed with the quality of the meat and I loved the idea of the asparagus “fries”. Thank goodness RM was helping me because I wouldn’t have thought to have added the cheese TO the pan with the steak, peppers and onions, but it was brilliant because everything got coated with the cheesy goodness. So tasty!

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Carrot Patties & Mashed Veggies

This was the first vegetarian meal that I ordered from Just Add Cooking and the only reason why I ordered it was because I loved the idea of the carrot patties and wanted to try them out because I could see them being a staple at our house. This was a close second for me behind the Philly Cheesesteak sando’s! I thought the mashed veggies (potatoes, leek, shallot, parmesan cheese, etc.) had so much flavor and the carrot patties were way more interesting then they sound, haha We ended up adding a second egg to the patties and formed them in the pan, almost like pancakes, because they were quite liquid-y. I loved the crunch that the sesame seeds and sunflower seeds added and topped with Franks Red Hot, I was in flavor/texture heaven!

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All in all, we were very pleased with our 4th- and last 😦 – Just Add Cooking meal delivery. Everything about our experience over these past 4 months has been nothing but wonderful and I definitely foresee us using their services again even after the ambassadorship is over. I highly suggest checking this company out if you’re in the market for a meal spruce up!

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}
Just Add Cooking {3rd 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!

Wednesday Workout: 20 Minute Hotel Room AMRAP Workout

Wait, what?! Is this really a true “Wednesday Workout” post? I just scrolled through my posts and realized that I haven’t posted a workout for you in over a MONTH, so for those of you who come here only for those- I’m sorry! I hope you read this post which explained why I haven’t been sharing workouts on here as frequently as I used to.

I wanted to share this workout with you today because with summer basically here, it likely means lots of travel/vacations are popping up, which could result in having less time to get to your normal gym time. This workout is perfect for those times where you’re traveling and/or just away from your normal gym because it can be done anywhere: in a hotel room, in a house, on the beach, at a park- you get the idea! Quickie body weight workouts are a great way to get in a sweat without hindering your plans or taking away time from something more fun.

I don’t know if it was because I was tired from traveling, stressed from work or just because this was a tough workout, but I was really huffing and puffing throughout the whole thing. I was originally on a pace to finish 8 rounds but only finished 6 rounds and then the squats on the 7th round. By the end I was drenched and felt sufficiently worked!

20 Minute AMRAP Hotel Room Workout

A hyperlapse snapshot of the workout can be found here:

View this post on Instagram

Early morning flight back to the east coast meant an early hotel room quickie 20 min workout. Don't be fooled, though, 20 mins was all I needed to be a sweaty, tired mess by the end! This is an abbreviated clip, but the whole thing is as follows: # 20 min AMRAP: ▶️10 squats ▶️10 push-ups ▶️10 knee to chest in plank ▶️10 mtn climbers ▶️10 reverse lunges ▶️10 burpees ▶️10 standing oblique dips # Great way to start my day, especially before a long flight home!! Also, BSC friends- @dana_leigh_9 is subbing for me tonight- I decided getting home to relax and spend time with RM was more in line with what I need these days (read my post from Monday!)- I'm sure you understand 😀 #inspiringfitness #morningworkout #riseandgrind #hotelroomworkout #amrap #fightersconditioning #everybodyfights #buffbride

A post shared by Monique Gagnon- Magno (@burpeestobubbly) on

Let me know if you try this!

Questions for you: Do you have a lot of travel plans this summer?

I stayed out way past my bedtime

A few weeks ago, RM asked if I wanted to go to a Copa America soccer game at Gillette Stadium. On a Sunday night. Starting at 8:30pm…. Me, being the sports enthusiast that I am (I hope you can sense my sarcasm), wasn’t entirely thrilled about this, but since I know how much he loves soccer, I figured it wouldn’t hurt to join him. Lucky for me, our friends Jessi and Chuck could come so I knew I’d at least have someone around to drink vino with and chat about non-sport things (aka, our weddings- priorities, people.). Leading up to the game, the two of us got way more excited about planning out our tailgating feast than we did about watching the game 😉 Who would bring what: wine, beer, meat, snacks, grill, paper goods etc. It was pretty much a constant stream of texts between the two of us hammering out all of the necessary details.

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However, as much as I was excited to see a professional soccer match, hang out with RM at his favorite sporting event and hanging out with our friends, in the back of my mind I kept thinking about how late the game was- WAY past my bedtime on a Sunday night. I don’t deal well without sufficient amounts of sleep (I like to be in bed for 8 hours… minimum!), so at times (mostly when we were trying to get out of the gridlocked parking lot!) I found myself stressing a bit over that instead of just soaking in the experience, enjoying my time with RM and our friends and drinking plenty of vino 😉  And, although it was a Sunday night that was totally out of the ordinary for me because of the drinking and being out late (#SundayFunday), it was such a FUN experience! We ate, we drank, we laughed, we did lots of wedding talk, we watched some great soccer from some awesome seats… all in all, even after sitting in traffic for 1.5 hours trying to get out of the lot and onto 95 (ugh!) and not getting into bed until 1:15am, I went to bed feeling so blessed to have had such a fun night.

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All my life I’ve been guilty of over-analyzing, over-thinking, over-stressing, etc. when things don’t go according to my normal plan/way I like things to go, but you know what? Having one day of being a little tired (and I got to work from home, so I really shouldn’t even be complaining!) was totally worth the memories we all created. Sometimes we all just need a little reminder that things don’t have to go how we plan. In fact, those are often the times that create the best memories, right?!

So thank you, RM, for getting me out of my comfort zone and helping me experience something new- and really fun! Can’t wait for a lifetime of more memories!

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Questions for you: Do you tend to follow a rigid schedule/plan or do you prefer spontaneity? Do you get stressed when things don’t go according to plan?  

PS I realized this post is a great follow up to what I wrote last week about going with the flow and embracing the now. Give it a read if you missed it!