Wednesday Workout: 32 Minute Full Body DB Tabata Workout

Good morning! I know I keep saying this, but how is it Christmas this weekend?! Time is tight this week, but I wanted to pop in and share a quickie workout I did the other morning before work. During busy seasons, it’s not uncommon for workouts to be the first thing to skip, right? But, it doesn’t have to be if you prioritize it as part of your day’s agenda and focus on shorter, more effective “quickie” workouts, as I like to call them.  For me this week, it meant getting up before work to squeeze in my workout. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again- tabata format is generally my workout format of choice when I’m short on time and want an effective workout.

This one only requires a set of dumbbells, so it’s really easy to do right in the comforts of your own home! I kept the exercises simple, too, so it’s less to think about which is nice if you do it first thing when you’re still half asleep 😉

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The way this works is you’ll do each a & b exercise 4 times within each tabata round. If any of these exercises don’t work for you, feel free to change them up! Please let me know if you have any questions 🙂

Questions for you: Have your workouts changed throughout the holiday season? Do you like to workout at home?

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Want to be “Best Dressed” this holiday season? {Dress rental review & discount!}

Is it just me, or does it hurt a little to keep buying dresses for special occasions, only to wear them once and then let them take up valuable closet space since you feel like you can’t wear them again? With a few events coming up in the next month (a wedding and my company holiday party), I was having a hard time justifying a shopping trip to buy two new dresses for those occasions, especially right after having spent a lot of money on Christmas gifts.

Enter: Best Dressed. Haven’t heard of it? Best Dressed is a local (to Bostoners) business allowing you to rent high end designer dresses at a fraction of the cost you’d spend if you were buying the dress. Located in Charlestown and now in Southie, you can pop in, try on as many dresses as you want, pick your winner, select your dates and rent the dress for 5 days. When you’re finished with your rental, you just return it- easy as that! The rental price includes the 5 day rental, cleaning and any minor necessary repairs. In other words, their business is similar to “Rent the Runway”, but the difference is that you don’t shop online- you get to go in and try things on, which is a necessity for me!

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I had visited their flagship Charlestown store a few months ago and over the weekend I had the opportunity to visit their new Southie location. I figured it was a great time to try their services considering I needed a dress for my best friend’s wedding. However, I ended up loving so many dresses I tried on that I ended up renting one for my holiday party, too!

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The store is easy to navigate since they group dresses by size. Within each size category they have a large variety of dress styles: short, long, bedazzled, classy, edgy, flashy, etc. They also change out the dresses based on the season and even carry some dresses from a local designer!

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I wasn’t entirely sure what I wanted to wear for Jessi’s wedding, but I was leaning towards a long dress so I made sure to grab some to try on, as well as some shorter ones. I wish I had gotten more photos of what I tried on because I loved so many of them! Seriously, I had to talk myself out of renting 3 or 4 different dresses.

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I ended up finding this amazing dress (first time rental, too!) that we all fell in love with. It fit like a glove and felt classy, yet a little fancy with the mesh back. Even though the wedding is in Florida, I feel like it’s still appropriate for the wedding since it is in December.

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The dress I got for my company party is completely different: it’s knee length with a v-neck and then a mid-back V as well. It’s a goldish type of color with a little ruching, which is always a flattering option. It’s super comfortable and festive because of the gold. I can’t wait to wear it- and maybe I’ll even buy it since they do have the option to buy after you rent 😉

And, while your shopping for a dress you can also peruse their jewelry, which is to buy. They have so many beautiful statement necklaces and earrings as well as more subtle ones if that’s your preference. The prices for their jewelry are very affordable, too, which makes it all too easy to buy the perfect piece for your rental dress 🙂

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Lastly (I feel like I could go on and on about this store- I’m officially obsessed!), if you can’t get to a store and you live in the Charlestown, Boston, Cambridge, Somerville, Wellesley or Newton areas, you can take advantage of their At-Home Personal Styling service. With this you’ll fill out a questionnaire and your designer will pick 10-15 dresses to bring to you. There is a $100 fee for this, but you get 30% off your rental which is a great perk! Or, if you want to plan a girls night, you can grab your girls and book a party at one of their locations, which is how I first learned about Best Dressed. We drank champagne, laughed and tried on dresses. It was SO fun.

AND! Best news of all, Best Dressed has agreed to give all Burpees to Bubbly followers a 20% discount on your rental! With the holidays and New Year coming up, this couldn’t come at a more perfect time, right?! All you have to do is mention my name (Monique or Burpees to Bubbly) when you go to the store. Easy!

In full disclosure, I was provided with a discount for my rentals, but all opinions are my own and I would’ve rented from them even without the discount! It’s a genius business idea and I’m so happy to hear about their successes. Thanks again, Best Dressed!

Questions for you: Have you ever rented a dress for an event before or do you prefer to shop and buy them? Do you re-wear dresses or do you only wear them once?

Five (but really only four) on Friday {12.9.16}

Hey there & Happy Friday! I hope all of you are staying nice and warm today- it’s supposed to be quite the cold snap- brrr! I’m WFH today which worked out very nicely 😉 Speaking of work, the other day I was having a conversation with some coworkers in the kitchen and it hit me that Christmas is NEXT WEEKEND- how did that sneak up so fast?! I have a few gifts left to get this weekend for Christmas and for RM’s birthday (next Friday) so I feel mostly prepared on that front, but it’s still feels crazy that it’s so soon. Speaking of Christmas, let’s get into the Five on Friday’s for the week!

  • Christmas spirit- I’ve been having so much fun getting into the Christmas spirit this season. It started off with the Seaport tree lighting and continued on with getting our Christmas tree and decorating the apartment. I LOVEEEE having all of the lights and decorations up, and I must say, our tree is pretty darn perfect this year 🙂

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  • Beating the Holiday Hustle- My friend Athena is leading a really great “challenge” throughout the month of December, all about helping us “Beat the holiday hustle”. There’s no denying that the holidays, while so fun and wonderful, also bring about extra stress, commitments and general “hustle & bustle”, right? What I love about this challenge is how it urging us to look at ways to BEAT the holiday hustle. I was really proud of myself on Wednesday for beating the holiday hustle when I chose to skip out on an event I RSVP’d to, I didn’t do laundry or clean or anything else on my “should do” list, and instead I poured myself some wine, listened to Christmas music, wrapped presents, made a nice dinner and watched a sappy Hallmark Christmas movie. With everything I’ve had on my schedule lately, I feel like it allows very little time for nights like that, so I was especially appreciative of my decision to forgo my “plans” and instead refill my energy cup by slowing down and doing things that make me happy.
  • Warby Parker’s new line- I was recently inspired by Warby Parker to take a look at their new stylish sunglasses line, and in turn, I ended up signing up for their free at-home glasses try on program. I will share more about those later once I’ve had time to check them all out, but in the meantime I wanted to share some details and photos from their new line! I’m always jealous of people who are able to have multiple pairs of sunglesses- as a glasses wearer, that’s just not really a feasible option for me financially since prescription sunglasses can be really expensive. What I love about Warby Parker is that the glasses- both regular and sunglasses- are unique in their design-each pair I’ve seen has some little extra piece of detail that makes it stand out. I especially love the rose color and shape of the ones in the pictures below. If you’re in the need of new glasses or sunglasses and want to try something new, I suggest you check out Warby Parker’s Home Try-On program and pick out 5 styles to try at home for free!

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  • Air BNB It’s so crazy that the first East Boston apartment that I rented- and where I met RM- is officially on Air BNB. RM had an interior decorator/shopper help with getting it ready to be rented- I think it came out amazing! If you know of anyone looking for an affordable, spacious, clean apartment to rent that’s close to the airport and just a short walk to the T (which gets you into downton Boston in just 2 stops!), please let me know or check it out on Air BNB for yourself! We are hoping this becomes a successful adventure, so any support from all you wonderful readers is so greatly appreciated 🙂

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And that does it for me today! I’m hosting my work book club tonight and I can’t wait to have the girls over. I’m making a nice roast chicken meal, which is perfect for a cold day like today! Tomorrow I’m going to the 9:30 bags & strength class at EBF (if anyone wants to join!!) and then finishing up my shopping. I hope whatever you do, you have a wonderful, “beat the holiday hustle” type of weekend!

Questions for you: What’s been up with you?! I feel so disconnected since I haven’t been blogging! What do you have going on this weekend? Have you finished your Christmas shopping yet? Did you decorate? 

 

Wednesday Workout: 3 Circuit Full Body Workout

Oh, hello there! Remember me? While I haven’t blogged in what feels like forever, I have to say it’s not because I haven’t wanted to, but it’s more due to the fact that I’ve been limited on free time these days and have opted to spend that small amount of free time on other things- generally snuggling with RM and Francesca on the couch watching a little bit of TV before calling it a night. During busy times in particular, it’s all about choosing what is more important for YOU to do and I know that choosing relaxing on the couch or getting dinner out or making dinner is going to make me feel better than sitting down to blog. #sorrynotsorry 😉

With that said, I do have plenty of workouts in the backlog and figured I’d get one up for you today! This one does require the gym as I used some machines, but if you don’t have access to a gym you could easily swap those exercises out for something else that has a similar effect but can be done with dumbbells instead.

 

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If you’re looking for more, you can finish with this 5 minute finisher: AMRAP 5 Minutes- 10 lateral ball slams (total), 10 toe touches, 10s. plank hold

The way the workout works (that always sounds weird), is you’ll start with the 3 exercises in circuit 1 and do 10 of each and do 3 rounds. Then you’ll move on to circuit 2 and then circuit 3. Depending on how much time you have, feel free to try out the 5 minute finisher at the end! For the exercises requiring 2 sides (right and left), complete the 10 reps on each side (ie: 10 lunges on the right and left, each knee comes in 10 times for the mountain climbers, etc.). The moves are not anything too complicated so I challenge you to choose a heavier weight.

Please let me know if you try this 🙂 Happy Wednesday!!

Questions for you: How do you prioritize your free time when you have a busy schedule? 

Treat Yourself Tuesday: Massage Envy Review & Giveaway

Good morning! I have a special post for you today because it includes a giveaway- that’s a nice way to start your Tuesday, right?!

While the holidays are fun because they’re filled with friends, family, parties & gifts, they can also be stressful when you’re trying to squeeze in a million things, all while trying to stay calm and in the holiday spirit right? Even though I’ve tried to slow down a lot over the years by not going to everything I’m invited to, I still struggle with completely slowing down, which is why massages are so important for me to prioritize. Over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend I had the chance to slow down and do something for myself by visiting Massage Envy’s Newton location,

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For those of you who aren’t familiar with Massage Envy I’ll give you a little background: They are a massage company with locations all over New England. They offer various services such as a standard massage, therapeutic services, facials and more. What I love about Massage Envy is that their prices are very reasonable, especially if you become a member. $65 a month gets you one 60-minute massage or skin service a month and then discounted rates if you want to upgrade to longer massages or other enhanced services. You also get a discount on your second service of the month should you decide to treat yourself extra nice 🙂

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I had heard a lot about Massage Envy so I was really excited to check it out. Upon first walking into the Newton location, I was greeted by a few very pleasant staff members working behind the desk. I had to fill out some paperwork (make sure you arrive early for your first visit!) and loved the fact that they offered me a warm towel for my neck as well as water. Little services like that make me happy!

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The massage itself was also a really great experience. Julian was my masseuse and he was fantastic- he asked if I had any areas of concern/tightness or areas where I wanted him to focus. Life has been stressful lately and I carry my stress in my shoulders/back so I told him those areas would be great. He had a map of the human body in the room and I loved that he used it to show me where he planned on doing work and then at the end again to show me the areas I was especially tight.

As we got going he asked how the bed temperature was as well as the pressure, and then throughout the massage I appreciated how he a. didn’t talk to me (I don’t want to talk while I’m getting a massage!) and b. checked in a few times to make sure I felt ok and that the pressure was good.

And then before I knew it, the 60 minutes was up 😦 I was not ready for it to end, I’ll tell you that! Even though I’m used to the full spa-like experience because we usually go to Exhale Spa where they have robes and showers and steam rooms and things like that,  I really enjoyed my first Massage Envy experience. It is a wonderful place to get a massage if you’re looking for just that: a quality massage to help relax you and work through areas of tightness/tension. The monthly membership is especially enticing since it’s such an affordable price AND would guarantee that I’d make time for myself once a month to relax and unwind.

Lucky for you, Massage Envy has offered to give one lucky reader a free 60-minute massage to the location of their choice in Massachusetts, Maine and New Hampshire! You can find the location that would be nearest to you by going here.

All you have to do to be entered to win is comment on this post telling me your favorite way to relax. Want extra entries? Leave an additional comment if you “liked” the post on Instagram or Facebook! I will randomly pick a winner on Friday, December 9th- good luck!

Thank you to Massage Envy for inviting me in for a glorious hour of relaxation- Can’t wait to go back!