Four on Friday {10.28.16}

Good morning! How has your week been? Unlike last week, I feel like mine has flown by. Today’s post is only four on Friday, but a few are long so that’ll make up for it 😉

  • South Boston Sweat Crawl My sister sent me the link to this event that Social Boston Sports is coordinating and it sounds amazing! There are 3 workouts/studios to try: Handle Bar, Radiant Yoga and Everybody Fights and you do each workout for 30 minutes before going to Barlow’s for the after party. I can’t go because I have a massage appointment, but I wish I could because I think it will be a blast.


  • Extended Seaport Sweat- By popular demand, Seaport Sweat has been extended through the end of December, but with a slightly different schedule. I won’t be teaching my Monday kickboxing, but I will be leading a 5K on Wednesdays at 6pm (which will likely include some bootcamp pieces to break up the run) and I’ll be teaching a boxing bootcamp/fighters conditioning class on Thursdays at 5:30pm. We realize it’s getting chilly, but I promise that once we get moving you’ll warm right up! I’m excited for this next adventure because I’ve never done anything like this… that, and it means I get to buy some new cold weather workout gear. Does anyone have any “must have” cold weather pieces I need to check out?


  • Sweet Potato, Black Bean & Turkey Chili– I dug out this recipe that I found AGES ago over on Fitnessista which was perfect for the cold rainy night we had last night. I prepped it on Wednesday night so it was able to go right in the crockpot all day yesterday. I’ll tell ya, coming home to a hot batch of chili after a longgg day (10 hour work day, teaching and lots of traffic) was the absolute best! I added turkey, but I think it would be fine with just beans and sweet potato- up to you!


  • Brooklyn/NYC weekend- Last weekend, RM and I took the train to NYC for the weekend. His sister was having an engagement party in Brooklyn so we opted to rent an Air BNB in Brooklyn for the weekend, which was amazing! We were right in the heart of Williamsburg in a really funky loft apartment. Although it was raining when we first arrived, it ended up clearing out and being a pretty decent weekend weather-wise which was nice because we were able to walk around.


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I ended up going shopping and scored this awesome romper and a great pair of shoes- everything I brought with me felt so not NYCish so it was fun to shop for something new.


We went into Manhattan for dinner with RM’s sister and fiance at Minetta Tavern, where we had a fantastic (and ridiculously expensive) burger. We loved the restaurant vibe! Before dinner we had a drink at The Quarter since we couldn’t get into Employees Only due to big crowds. Saturday we slept in, I blogged and then went for a quick run while RM made breakfast. Coming home to this after a run was amazing!


The rest of the day was spent walking around, enjoying lunch at The Meatball Shop, getting coffee’s, getting a pedicure (for me) and relaxing before we went to the engagement party at DOC Wine Bar, which was just a few blocks from our Air BNB. The wine was flowing, we were fed course after course of the most delicious food and ended up dancing the night away. It was SO much fun! We finished out the weekend with brunch at Cherche Midi in SOHO, which was wonderful.

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All in all, it was such a great weekend- can’t wait for their wedding!

This weekend we have virtually no plans, which is such a great feeling! I’ll be teaching tomorrow if anyone wants to come 🙂

Questions for you: How has your weekend? What do you wear for cold weather workouts? Have you ever been to Brooklyn? What’s on the agenda for this weekend?


Wednesday Workout: Italy Workout Series {Part 3: 5 Round Bodyweight Tabata}

Good morning! It’s hard to believe there was a period of time where I had no workouts to share with you because these days I feel like I have quite a backlog of saved workouts to share with you. Today’s workout is part 3 of my Italy Workout Series, which includes- you guessed it- another 20 minute bodyweight workout. This time I used the Tabata format, which is 20 seconds “on” (this is when you do the exercise move) and 10 seconds “off” (this is when you rest), repeating 8 times for a total of 4 minutes. In a traditional tabata workout you would do the same exercise for all 8 rounds, but I tend to change it up a bit and do 2 or 4 difference exercises for each round, generally complimenting each other. Today’s workout used 2 different exercises per tabata so you’ll do each four times.

I don’t know about you guys, but for me, in a tabata workout, rounds 1-3 or 4 leave me feeling like “I got this, no problem!”, rounds 5 & 6 tend to be “Alright, this is feeling definitely more challenging… and that 10s seems to be going by awfully quickly” and then by rounds 7 & 8 I’m struggling to keep up with the number of reps I could complete in the earlier rounds and barely feel slightly recovered by the end of the 10s rest period…. which is probably why tabatas are such an effective type of training format to throw into the mix!



Quick note: for the “walk out-> pushup-> walk in-> squat, you’ll walk your hands out into a high plank position, do a pushup, then walk them back in and then you’ll do a squat. If you want to intensity this move, you can do a 1 legged walk out and switch sides after each squat.

I set round 1 up to also be the warm up, so you can choose whatever moves you like to do to warm up for this round. Otherwise the moves are a bit lower intensity than I normally do, but again I was on vacation, which means my workouts are less intense by nature, and I was working out on our terrace and didn’t want to disturb neighbors. Regardless, it was a great way to get in a little sweat sesh and perk me up for the day ahead.

In case you missed the other two workouts in this series, here they are:

Italy Workout Series Part 1: Countdown Bodyweight
Italy Workout Series Part 2: 20 Min. Bodyweight AMRAP

Questions for you: What’s the hardest workout format for you? What’s your favorite workout format?

Honeymoon Recap: Ischia

In the first honeymoon recap, I told you about our time in Napoli, which we loved! Today, I’m talking about the second part of our trip spent on an island off the coast of Napoli called Ischia. Ischia was not a place I had ever heard of, nor had most people when I mentioned it to them, but it came highly recommended to us by RM’s sister and her fiance so I had a feeling it would be great. And within 5 minutes on the island, we realized that great didn’t even begin to describe it.

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We were able to get to Ischia from Napoli by a short hydrofoil (ferry) ride- about an hour-hour and a half, I think (I slept the whole way so I don’t remember ;)). There are many different parts of the island that you an stay on, but we opted for Ischia Ponte, which was a short drive from Ischia Porto where the boats come in, because of the better hotel options (more on that below).

What we loved the most about the island was how un-Americanized it was. There were very few other American tourists on the island, and most of the tourists were Italians themselves, so RM’s ability to speak and communicate in Italian was a huge help! We also loved the vibe of the island- it was small and very friendly and we constantly felt like we were able to immerse ourselves right into their culture and lifestyle. The island also had a lot to offer, so we found ourselves running out of time to do everything we wanted to do, even with spending 4 nights there!

Lastly, before I get into the details, if you’re looking to get TONS of information about all things Ischia, we cannot recommend Dion, the writer behind the website Ischia Review, enough. His website has everything you’d ever need/want to know about Ischia: where to stay, what to do, hundreds of restaurant listings, connections to rent boats or cars, winery information and more. We emailed him a lot and he was always super helpful with his responses and suggestions. Without his help we wouldn’t have had the same experience that we did, so Dion, THANK YOU!!

Where we stayed:

We stayed at the stunningly beautiful Miramare e Castello hotel, which was right on the water so we had a private beach and a private pool- the best of both worlds! Walking into the hotel we were greeted by the warmest front-desk staff, who were always there for whatever we needed. Our room was also wonderful- a nice, big bed, little sitting area and an gorgeous terrace with a day bed overlooking the water, Mount Vesuvius and the castle. They had some bubbly and snacks for us upon arrival as a sweet honeymoon gesture- both things are sure ways into my heart 🙂

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The hotel also had an indoor pool and a spa, both of which we did not get a chance to experience, but we were able to check out their rooftop area with a few jet tubs, day beds, etc. The views were the best part, though!





While we did not eat dinner or lunch there, the breakfast included in our stay was pretty great! They had scrambled eggs/bacon, lots of cured meats and cheeses, yogurts, fruit granola, cereal and a TON of delicious pastries. Complimentary champagne was also provided, but was not something I ended up taking advantage of.


Miramare’s sister hotel, Mareblu Terme, is right behind Miramare and guests have access to their amenities, including their thermal pool, which is a pool containing thermal water that comes naturally from the ground. On the other side of the island (Forio), all of the hotels have their own thermal spa’s.

What we ate

We ate some really amazing food while in Ischia, starting with our first lunch at a little place near the castle (side note: we never actually went in or toured the castle- oops!- but if we go back (which we really want to do!), we definitely will because it looked really cool.

  • Al Pontile– We were pleasantly surprised by the food here. Sometimes restaurants near big attractions don’t have the best food, but this place did not fit that stereotype at all! We got a few different things and everything was unbelievably good. We even said that the eggplant dish might be tied with how good RM’s mother’s eggplant is, which is a pretty big deal!


  • Aglio, Olio e Pomodoro– We stumbled upon this restaurant on a cute little street not far from our hotel (it’s the street that leads to the castle). It was the only rainy night we had but luckily we were able to wait for a table at a nearby shop and had a glass of wine. The food at this restaurant was really good, even though RM meant to order pasta with clams and accidentally ordered pasta with mussels haha good thing we like both of them!
  • Ristorante Zi Nannina– Our hotel recommended this restaurant and while it was a bit hard to find, it was a really great dinner spot. It was right on the water and the food was incredible, as was the service. We shared a bunch of things: salad, pasta with shellfish, a seafood stew type of dish and wine. Plus, it lead us to a great strip of restaurants/nightlife/shops in Ischia Porto so that’s an extra plus.

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  • Ristorante Pizzeria La Terrazza– This was a cute restaurant on the second level of a building, so you had great views of the street below. We didn’t end up getting pizza here, but it did look delicious! We opted for more pasta and clams (obsessed, you could say), broccoli rabbe and homemade sausage- everything was great!

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  • I can’t remember the name of the last place, but it might have been Ristorante La Riva Destra or Ristorante L’Ostricaro, based on the Ischia Review page of Ischia Porto restaurants 😉 Whatever one it was, I had nice bolognese and RM had a steak.


  • Gran Caffe Vittoria– we grabbed after dinner gelato’s and cafe (for RM) here a few nights. It’s hard to miss since it pretty much takes up an entire square!


I know it seems like we at a ton of pasta- which we did- but we always made sure to have at least one salad throughout the day to make sure we were getting veggies in. We also split meals so that we were not eating the full portion because that’s just not necessary to do on a daily basis! Most places would split the dish for us in the kitchen which was a nice gesture.

What to do

As I said, there was so much to do on the island! Here’s a glimpse into our trip.

  • Lounged at the hotel- Most mornings we would have breakfast and then hang out on the chairs at the hotel and maybe go for a swim. It was nice to ease into this day this way.

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  • Go running- there was a big park that I ran through, as well as just running the streets. Italy gets going a lot later than Americans do so it generally wasn’t very busy when I would do this.


  • Rent a car & tour the island- Through Ischia review, we rented the cutest (and smallest) smart car cabriolet. This was such a great idea because it allowed us to easily tour around the island. One day we headed out and made various stops along the way, including lunch in Forio, which is on the opposite side of the island and is better known for its beaches than Ischia Ponte. We didn’t think it would take that long to go all the way around the island but the road was SUPER windy and they climbed all the way up the island, which was pretty intense, so it took over an hour. The views were so beautiful, though, so it was worth it.


  • Rent a boat- we rented a boat through Ischia Review, but ended up canceling it since we wanted to spend the day at Poseidon instead. However, this would’ve been a fun thing to do. They had options to drive the boat yourself or to hire a skipper for the day.
  • Horseback riding- we didn’t do this, but if it’s your thing there are places to do this!
  • Wine tours- There are a bunch of little, family owned & run wineries on the island and while we were there, there was an event called Andar per Cantine, which was an organized winery tour visiting 3-4 different wineries. This ended up being a really fun way to spend the afternoon because we were able to visit some cool little wineries, meet other Americans and taste great wines and locally made foods.

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  • Thermal Spas- Due to the nature of the island, there are lots of thermal Spas to check out. We decided to spend the day at Poseidon, which is the largest thermal spa on Ischia and has over 20 thermal pools to experience. It was 34 euros to get in, but that gives you access to the whole place for the day, including all the pools, locker rooms, restaurants, private beach and more. Because of various properties/minerals in the water (magnesium, calcium, etc.) from the volcanic hot springs, they are supposed to be therapeutic and the pools vary in temperature (from 28* celcius to 40* celcius) and salt concentration so people can pick what pools they want/need based on their bodies. We opted to do a full circuit, starting with the natural sauna, which was really awesome because it was heated naturally from the ground. It was HOT and steamy, unlike anything we’ve ever experienced in a man-made sauna. From there we did a few rotations of the sauna and a cold dip into the 15* celcius pool- which was SO COLD!!! Then, we made our way to dip in all of the other pools, finishing with the hottest and then lounging by the ocean. We had to wear swim caps because they don’t want hair clogging the drains, which was a funny look for sure. They also had natural “jet” type of setups, which were great for tired shoulders. The whole experience was SO NEAT and we would highly recommend it to anyone who goes to the island. We laughed at how organized it was since Italians don’t tend to be organized like that… and then we learned it was run by Germans, and it all made sense! Check out their site for way more information on all they have to offer, as well as more details about where the water comes from as well as it’s healing properties.

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And that about does it for Ischia! As you can see, it was a pretty amazing part of the trip and we would really love to get back there some day. Next up, Sorrento!

 Questions for you: Have you ever been to Ischia? Do you like spas/saunas? Do you prefer a full schedule/itinerary on vacation or do you like to plan as you go?

Five on Friday {10.21.16}

Good morning and TGIF! Was it just me or did this week feel extra long? Between having no motivation to do anything (literally), not sleeping well and managing life with a new kitten who needs LOTS of attention, I feel like this week dragged on. But! RM and I are heading to NYC via train today for the weekend to celebrate his sister’s engagement, which is very exciting. The dinner is actually in Brooklyn so we opted to rent and Air BNB in Brooklyn so I’m looking forward to checking that out! For now, though, let’s talk shop about what’s been going on.

  • RM’s new adventure- Shortly after we got back from Italy, RM gave his notice at work. This was a longgg time coming and I couldn’t be more proud of him for finally taking a chance on himself and choosing happiness over job security. I’ll have more details to share soon, and I hope you’ll check out his website once it’s up and running! If you’re finding yourself in a similar position where you’re unhappy at your job or in your career and you have a passion you want to pursue, there are always ways to make it happen. And, like I said to him, even if it doesn’t work out (which it will!), at least he can say he tried and won’t have a big “what if” hanging over his head!


  • Jessi’s bridal bath- The weekend leading up to our honeymoon was spent up in NH celebrating my best friend Jessi’s bridal bath, which was a joint bachelorette party & shower. Her family has a house on a lake so we had a great time laughing, hanging out, boating, lounging, drinking and eating. I always love events that bring all of my SMC girls together! Can’t wait for their big day in December 🙂


  • Crockpot Pork Tenderloin- I know it hasn’t felt like fall this week, but last week I made a delicious- and SUPER easy- crockpot meal. You know how there are always those little cooking videos flying around Facebook? Normally I just watch or scroll past, but this one caught my eye so I tried it out: Slow Cooker Hasselback Apple Pork Loin. Even though it got a little dry (I made it on a Sunday but we didn’t eat it until Monday), it was really flavorful and I loved that the ingredient list was short. I highly suggest this if you’re looking for a new meal to try!
  • OAKtoberfest 5K- Last weekend I ran the annual OAKtoberfest 5K put on by the Oak Square YMCA that I teach at. I have been running this race for YEARS, and I always enjoy it. It’s a relatively small race so it’s not crowded, plus you get the hills over with right away! Last year I ran a big PR and even placed 3rd for my age group. This year I went into it with zero expectations because I haven’t really been doing a ton of running, but I ended up running a nearly 1 minute PR race! 22:32 was my official time, which is crazy fast for me. I didn’t place, but I didn’t care- it was just fun to run the race with some of my gym friends!


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  • Meet Francesca: I’m sure you’ve all seen by now, but last weekend RM and I brought a new little kitten into our family/home. Francesca is 8 weeks old, under 2 pounds, a total fluff ball and a little firecracker. She was so scared when we first brought her home, but soon enough she opened up and has been a blast ever since. She’s super playful and always wants to be where we/I are/am, which is absolutely adorable. We got her from the Salem Animal shelter and they were wonderful to work with throughout the adoption process. My sister is going to stay with her this weekend so she doesn’t get lonely!

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And that does it for me- hoping to get some blogging done while we are on the train since I have lots of posts I want to write. I hope whatever you have going on this weekend, you have a wonderful time!

Questions for you: Have you ever chosen happiness over security? Do you have any pets? What’s a great fall recipe I should try? Have you run any races lately?

Wednesday Workout: Italy Workout Series {Part 2: 20 Min. Bodyweight AMRAP}

Good morning! If you remember, last week I introduced part 1 of my Italy Workout Series with a quickie countdown style workout. Today, I’m sharing another quickie workout that I did outside at one of the hotels we stayed at. Our hotel room wasn’t big enough to workout in (plus RM was still sleeping!) and we didn’t have a terrace or balcony so I needed to find a new space. Luckily it was early enough that there were not other guests out and about yet!

While broad jumps by nature require a bit of space, if you don’t have space and want to workout in your hotel room or apartment living room, you can replace the broad jumps with just regular squat jumps. Easy enough!


Quite notes: for the broad jumps, do 10 out and 10 back and for the plank with knee to chest, do 10 on each side.

This workout left me SO SORE for a few days. My quads were literally screaming at me- broad jumps are no joke, especially if you land in a low squat and really push yourself in the jump part. Combine that with walking lots of hills and stairs and it’s no wonder why I didn’t recover as quickly as I normally do!

But I still thought that this was a really fun, effective, sweaty 20 minute way to start the day- I hope you try it!

Questions for you: What exercise always leaves you sore?