Five on Friday {6.10.16}

Good morning and TGIF! What a week it has been- traveling to the west coast for just a few days takes a toll on you for sure. But, it’s FRIDAY and that’s a good thing, so let’s get to it!

  • Healthy Eats While Traveling– If you’ve been following B2B for a while, then you know that while I prefer to eat healthy foods as my main source of fuel, I am also all about indulgences. I love pizza, I love ice cream, I love french fries. But I choose the right times/places to indulge on those things. Pizza at the airport? No, thanks. Pizza at Max & Leo’s? You bet! With that said, before my flight to LA on Monday I stopped at Cosi and tried their new bowls and was so pleased with the chicken, veggie & avocado rice bowl that I got! It also set really well in my stomach for the long flight 🙂


  • #BuffBride Workout Update- I’ve just about completed my second week of the #BuffBride workout that Athena created for me and it’s amazing that I’m already noticing a difference in my strength and in how my arms look and feel. I was lucky that the hotel we stayed at in Burbank had an awesome, fully equipped gym because I was able to get up and bang out a great workout before heading out for a big meeting. I love to workout when I travel and was happy that it fit in so well with my schedule!


  • Manhattan Beach- Umm, so beautiful!!! We had a late lunch there after our meetings on Tuesday and I was just soaking in all the amazingness. I had wanted to do some walking around on the beach and into the shops, but the others I was with wanted to head back so if I ever make it back there, I definitely plan on hanging out for a longer time.


  • The Life-Changing Power of Small Things RM sent this article to me earlier this week and it was a really good read. I’ve talked about this before, but I’ll say it again- too often we are so concerned with the big things: changes, money, career, etc. rather than taking a step back and focusing on the smaller every day things. This article has some great tips on how to shift your focus to what really matters- it’s a long read, but I promise it’s worth it!
  • JP Morgan Corporate Challenge- Last night’s race was so fun! While it was chilly waiting for the race to start, the weather was perfect for running. I ended up running pretty fast for me so that was just icing on the cake! No, wait… the icing on the cake was a celebratory glass of vino and food at Pier 6 after the race 😉


That does it for me this week! I am so excited for the weekend- we have lots of wedding related tasks to work on, but they’re fun things so I’m looking forward to doing them! I hope you all have a great weekend with whatever you have planned- chat with you next week!

Questions for you: Do you try to eat healthy while on the road? Do you like to workout while on the road? Have you ever been to Manhattan Beach? Do you have any races on your calendar?

A Letter To The Locker Room Ladies

I don’t know if I’m more sensitive to it these days or if it’s just happening more often, but it seems as though I cannot enter the ladies locker room without hearing constant negative self-talk from the other ladies in the room. The other day I was SO tempted to say something to one of them, but wasn’t sure how that would be taken, or even if it was my place to do it, so instead I decided to write this letter.


Dear Locker Room Ladies,

You may not know who I am, or even notice me when I’m in the locker room, but I’m the curly haired, glasses wearing girl who comes during my lunch break to get my workout done. I don’t hang out for long in the locker room since I’m always on a time crunch, but lately I’ve been there just long enough to hear you talking so negatively about yourself to your fellow locker room friends. I wasn’t sure if it was my place to say something to you while we were all half-dressed, either getting ready for a workout or finishing up after a workout, but I’m hoping this letter will help make you think twice before you continue to put yourself down so much.

“You DON’T want to see me in a bathing suit.”

“I’m afraid to step on the scale after last weekend!”

“I used to be SO much thinner.”

“What can I do to get rid of this?”

“I need to be EXTRA good this week and workout longer than usual.”

Any of that sound familiar? It’s not your fault that you ladies put yourself down like this- unfortunately, it’s such a commonality in our society to talk to ourselves and about ourselves in a negative way. It’s become so second nature for so many of us that it might even seem like MORE work to speak kindly to yourself. 

How do I know? I’ve been there before. There was a time in my life where no matter what I weighed, no matter how much I worked out and no matter what I ate, I always had negative things to say about myself when I looked in the mirror and when I talked to friends. But you know what? Over the past couple of years I’ve worked really hard at training my mind to pick out the positives, rather than the negatives, when looking in the mirror. To go to the gym because I enjoy it and appreciate all my body can do. To eat well- most of the time- so that I properly fuel my body for my lifestyle. To enjoy indulgences- without regret. To love my body- “flaws” and all.

By making this change, I have learned that workouts shouldn’t be made as punishment, that I won’t gain 10 lbs over night if I have an indulgent day, that negative self-talk brings an unnecessary amount of negativity to my life.

So, locker room ladies, I urge you to think about how you talk to your bodies. It’s the only one we have, so why should we put it down so often? Why can’t we love it and embrace it and be proud of it? I want to remind you, though, that this change will not happen overnight. It may take a long time to fully embrace and love yourself and your body, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t start working on that now. I want you to do me a favor: I want you to look in the mirror right now and name five things you love about your body. They can be things you’ve been working on, things you’re proud of, things that you feel lucky to have- anything, really. And I want you to do this every day. I want you to go to the gym and workout because it feels good and because you’re proud of all you can do. I want you to eat good foods to fuel your body well, but I also want you to feel OK with indulging in the things that are really worth it to you. And I don’t want you to regret it, ok? Life is too short to put ourselves down for enjoying a glass of wine, piece of cake, slice of pizza, etc. 

And lastly, I want to assure you that you look great in a bathing suit and that you are worth more than just what the scale says and that some indulgences here and there are not worth beating yourself up over or feeling guilty about. They won’t ruin all of your hard work. You are enough just as you are and you deserve to understand and believe that.

Your locker room neighbor,

Monique (remember, the curly-haired, glasses wearing girl)


Questions for you: What type of locker room chatter do you hear? Does it tend to be more on the negative or positive side of things? What’s something you love about your body, or something you’re proud of? 


Learning to go with the flow & embrace the now

Good morning and Happy Monday! Did you guys have a good weekend? Mine was good- a mix of relaxation and fun, but I was so excited for RM to get back yesterday! Today’s post was sparked by the holiday a few weeks ago and the idea for putting it into a blog post was sparked by an email exchange with my friend Lauren. If you don’t subscribe to her emails, I highly suggest doing so because they’re always so thoughtful and so easy to relate to, which means they often spark probably longer than necessary email responses from me 😉


Sundays are usually my days for prep & organization to make my upcoming week less hectic. What this means is I usually clean, do laundry, food shop, meal prep & blog- and while this is a great way to help start my week on the right foot and make my week easier, it doesn’t always leave a lot of room for going with the flow and embracing the “now”. This was fine before I met RM because I didn’t have anyone else to think about besides myself, but as RM and I continue to build on our relationship, I’ve realized that things like cleaning, food shopping, laundry, etc. are just not as important as spending quality time with him and doing things together that are not on my “to-do” list.

Does that mean I’m always good at forgetting about my “to-do” list and just going with the flow with him? No, definitely not. But, as the wedding gets closer, I’m really learning that in order to keep my sanity, I need to be OK with ditching my non-necessary to-do’s (non wedding related, of course) and do things that make me happy and make me smile… and maybe even forget about all the things that might be currently stressing me out at any given time.

So, when RM suggested last Monday afternoon (the holiday) that we go walk and grab a drink somewhere, I stopped blogging mid blog post draft & joined him. Sure, I could’ve started meal prepping, cleaning or gotten ahead of my blogging for the week (and I’d be lying if I didn’t contemplate doing this instead…), but the few hours we took to grab a drink (and wings… hey, when you’re at Buff’s Pub, it’s so hard to NOT get wings 😉 ) was one of the highlights of my day and you know what? We still got everything done. When we got home, he attacked the start of meal prep while I finished a blog post and created a new workout for my Bags & Beats class. By the time 8pm rolled around, we had a batch of kale cooked, sweet potato roasted, spicy green beans made, broccoli sauteed, 2 loads of laundry done, 1 blog post written, 2 workouts created AND we were able to watch an episode of House of Cards before calling it a night.

What I learned from that day is that no task on my to-do list should ever be made out to be more important than spending time with him, or really, anyone else who is important to me. When I’m in the heat of an “omg I have so much to do and not enough time to do it” freak-out episode, it may not always be so easy to see that life will go on if I don’t food shop, meal prep, clean, etc., BUT I have hope that each time I do realize this I’m just one step closer to it becoming instinctual. Practice makes progress, right?!

I’d love to hear from you guys, though. What do you do to help yourself relax? Do you tend to stick to your “to-do’s” over the “go with the flow’s”? Do you like to prepare for your week by doing meal prep, food shopping, cleaning, etc. on Sunday’s or do you do it throughout the week? 


Five on Friday {6.3.16}

Good morning and happy Friday, friends! Can you believe it’s JUNE already?! Even crazier, is tomorrow will mark the official 30 day count down until the big day. I’m so excited I can hardly contain myself… which is why there are a few wedding-related topics in this post- #sorryimnotsorry 😉

  • Thirst for Wellness: B Strong Bootcamp- Thirst Juice Co. is launching a summer wellness series that I think you’ll all be very interested in. From their Eventbrite page: Our slogan is “Thirst. For Life.” That means many things, including living fully, joyfully, and generously. Wellness is an essential component to living the kind of life we aspire to. You’ve loved our Sip & Learn events, and now we’re rolling them into a broader series of wellness events. For our Thirst for Wellness event series we’re partnering with some of your favorite Boston fitness pros to bring you great workouts with healthful plant-based refreshments.
    What: B Strong Bootcamp is an outdoor HIIT (high intensity interval training) workout led by Trainer Cassie B., that combines intervals of running with bodyweight exercises for a complete total body cardio and strength workout experience. WHEN: Tuesday, June 7, 2016 from 6:00 PM to 7:30 PM (EDT). WHERE: Thirst Juice Co. – 44 School Street, Boston, MA 02108All you have to to do is head on over to this page to sign up ($15 is the cost)! Unfortunately I teach on Tuesdays, so I won’t be able to make it which I’m super bummed around!
  • Bags & Beats– The above bullet was a perfect segway into this topic! So far, I’ve taught 4 classes and it gets more and more fun every class! This past week was especially awesome because I had so many familiar faces in the crowd, including my sister, a coworker and her friend and Athena… oh, and some repeats from last which, which is always the best compliment an instructor can get! GF3 paid me a surprise visit halfway through my second class of the night which was a little nerve-wracking, but he seemed pleased so I’ll take that as a good thing! If you’re interested in checking it out, I’m at GymIt in Watertown on Tuesdays at 5:30 and 6:30pm… with the exception of next Tuesday since I have to travel to CA for work 😦


  • Summer Eats- With the warmer weather upon us, my appetite has been craving all things summer, including the most amazing lobster roll from the Raw Bar near the Popponesset Inn, grilling and loaded salads.

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  • Wedding Songs- We are in full on wedding mode, including figuring out what songs we want the band to play. RM said he thought we should walk in to the reception to the “Marry Me” song by Bruno Mars so I downloaded it the other day and it’s pretty much been on repeat every since! I cannot wait to marry him! Also, do you have any dancing song suggestions you love hearing at the wedding?! Do share!


  • Monogrammed Jack Rogers The monogrammed Jack Rogers I ordered for the big day finally came in and I couldn’t be more pleased with how they came out. I got my mom and sister a pair too (they found out about it, so it’s not a surprise) and I think it’s going to be so cute to all have them on when we are getting ready!


And that does it for me! RM is in Nashville for his bachelor party this weekend- if you’ve ever been and have “must visit” suggestions for me to send to him- let me know! With him gone this weekend it means that I will have time to get {hopefully} some serious wedding stuff done. I have a laundry list of things to do so I hope to be able to really attack that list!

I hope you all have a great weekend!!

Questions for you: What was your best workout this week? What’s a song you love to hear at a wedding? Have your eats changed at all with the nicer weather? What is your go-to summer meal? What’s on the agenda for the weekend?

Wednesday Workout: {or lack thereof}

If you’ve been following B2B for a while, you’re probably pretttttty familiar with my “Wednesday Workout” posts, huh? Nearly every week for the past 3+ years I’ve brought a new workout to you on Wednesdays; sometimes they’re long, sometimes they’re quickies, sometimes they’re bodyweight, sometimes they require a gym, but regardless, I do my very best to share workouts I’ve done and enjoyed with the hopes that you’ll give them a try.

However, it’s been at least a few weeks since I’ve shared any sort of workouts with you, and I’ll be honest with you: it’s felt kinda nice to not have the pressure of creating workouts, doing the workouts, creating a picmonkey graphic and explaining various moves. It’s not that I don’t enjoy doing that, but I just feel like I’ve needed a break from that pressure. As I mentioned on Instagram over the weekend, I’ve been feeling really “blah” about my workouts. I recently started teaching a new-to-me class at GymIt (Bags & Beats) so when I’m not teaching other classes, I’ve been practicing the workouts/combos/using the app/etc. so that I feel comfortable when I’m actually teaching the class.


And, with the nice weather we’ve been having, I’ve been doing a lot more running and things outside of the gym, meaning I’m not really creating workouts that I could potentially share. Work has been so busy, also meaning I can’t sneak away for a lunch break lifting session… another reason why I haven’t got anything to share with you.

Long story short: my workouts have been kind of boring, inconsistent in terms of having a plan and sometimes non-existent. But you know what? It’s totally ok. Sure, I could come up with some type of workout to share with you, but if I have no passion behind it, I’d just be creating a workout only to have content, not because I wanted to try new things or a new format or anything like that and if that’s the case, I’d rather not share anything with you. Remember my resolution from a few weeks ago? Quality over quantity? I’d rather come to you with a brand spankin new workout that I was really excited about because in turn that would get YOU excited, too, and hopefully enough for you to try it out 😉

So, I guess what I’m trying to say is bear with me. If you come here solely for the workouts, I encourage you to go back to my workouts page page and maybe try some that you haven’t tried before. Or, go back and do one of your favorites from the archives. I promise I’ll get my workout-sharing mojo back, but right now I’ve just got a lot of other things consuming brain space, time and energy so the Wednesday Workout posts might be sparse over the next month or so.

But! The good news is that today I’m starting day 1, week 1 of the “wedding workout plan” that my girl Athena created for me and I think it’s going to be juuuust what I need to get some excitement, consistency and structure back into my workouts. I’m so excited to let someone else be the teacher and me be the student- without having to think about and create my own workout, it makes the whole process so much less work!

Thank you for your patience over the next month leading up to the wedding- you guys are the absolute best and your support really does mean so much to me! Happy hump day, friends! xo


Photo Credit: Janelle Carmela