Weekending: Soaking Up Family Time

Good morning! Did you guys have a good weekend? Did you do anything to soak up the spring-like weather? On my end, weekends surrounded by family are always worth recapping, so let’s get to it!  🙂

Friday

My mom took the train into the city to do my bridal shower invitations with my sister so after they were done, I left work early and met them for lunch at Sterling’s. Sauvignon Blanc, kale salad, shopping and lots of mom and girl time was a perfect way to spend a Friday afternoon!

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After mom left, my sister, her bf and RM and I got one more drink before heading home. We had big intentions of getting sushi for dinner, but neither of us ended up wanting to leave the house so we made due with what we had in the fridge and snuggled up for a few episodes of Breaking Bad.

Saturday

I hit the gym for a lifting session before heading to Maine. I hadn’t lifted heavy all week and even though I felt weak, it felt good to get under the bar again for a squat and push focused workout.

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Mid-morning we hit the road to head up to Maine for the night. We met up with everyone (my parents and sister and her bf) at Mill 67 in Sanford for lunch. I didn’t take a single picture (oops!), but the food and beer was great!

The whole reason for our trip to Maine was because my dad wanted to make a Bouillabaisse with/for us. He bought an incredible amount of fish for it including a 13 pound lobster (yes, THIRTEEN POUNDS!), mussels, clams, oysters, scallops, cod, swordfish and salmon. He even made the fish broth himself- it was an incredible.

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In addition to the stew, my dad also made Lamb Wellington which was also delicious.

Sunday

I didn’t take any pictures on Sunday, but it looked something like this: pancake breakfast, driving back to MA, went food shopping, worked on my Box FIIT certification, went for a 5K run and relaxing on the couch. For some reason, I had no desire to do any sort of meal prep so rather than forcing myself to do it, I just let myself relax, watch Grey’s Anatomy and blog. It felt really nice to give myself a break!

I hope you all have a great start to your week!

Questions for you: What was a highlight of your weekend? Did you do anything outside? Did you get any good workouts in? Have any big plans this week? 

 

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Weekending: Holiday Party, Registry Fun & Visits with Friends/Family

Good morning! Did you guys have a good weekend? We did! Even with weird, unseasonable weather and the constant feeling of fighting off a cold, we had a pretty great one.

Friday

My company’s party was on Friday night, which was actually a nice change from squeezing it in during the typical holiday season. It was at the Hyatt in Cambridge- a great location for us now living in Newton Corner! We were able to leave work early so I took advantage of some extra “free” hours and ran errands. I skipped the gym because my back was bothering me and I felt the onset of a cold, so I opted to walk my errands which was a nice way to still get some movement in. Nails were a must!

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I didn’t take many photos at the event, but I’ll say the cocktails were flowing, the food was good and dancing definitely happened 😉 It’s so fun getting to hang out with coworkers/friends outside of the office! these girls! ❤

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Saturday

We didn’t get home and in bed until nearly 2am, so needless to say, we definitely took our time getting up on Sunday morning! Lucky for me, RM opted to make us his “specialty” breakfast: all the veggies, his special beans, homemade turkey sausage & an egg. It was so delicious!

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After breakfast, I cleaned the house and then we headed into the city. We had late lunch plans with another couple but decided to head in early to start on our wedding registry. We went to Crate & Barrel and had a blast scanning all sorts of things that we wanted! We have a long way to go to complete our registry, but it felt good to start on it!

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It was my first time meeting Roberto’s friends, so I opted to not take photos but we had sushi at Douzo which was good- we love that sushi restaurant.

The rest of the night was very quiet and I was in bed by 9:30 🙂

Sunday

We got up early and I made some French toast- I took pictures so I’ll post the recipe this week!

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I still wasn’t feeling 100%, but after 2 consecutive rest days, I was REALLY itching to move so I headed to the gym for a workout. I’d love to say that it felt so good to workout, but I’d be lying if I said that. The whole thing was just a mental battle, but I made it through the workout and did feel better after I was done so it wasn’t a totally wasted trip.

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I whipped up a quesadilla for lunch since I had leftover ‘dilla veggies & chicken already cut up from making them on Thursday night. It hit the spot!

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Later in the afternoon, we headed over to Brookline to visit with my cousin who was in town for work. It’s always nice to see family when they come to Boston!

I dropped RM off at home and then went to Whole Foods, even though between not feeling great and the ridiculous rain it was the LAST thing I wanted to do. I always feel better once I just do it and I bought myself flowers and a cookie to reward myself for getting it done 😉

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For dinner, I decided that it was the perfect weather for a roast chicken meal. Is this anyone else’s favorite winter meal?! I can’t get enough of it. I chopped up sweet potatoes, Japanese sweet potatoes, onions & carrots and then also cooked some kale. I’m going to make a great wife 😉

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And that about does it! This is a pretty quiet week which is nice- I am ready for a week with no after-work plans (and yes, I know I sound like i’m 60 when I say that!).

Questions for you: Did your company have a holiday party this year? Married friends- what’s the one think you would suggest we register for (maybe that you didn’t originally think you needed) and what’s the one thing you would suggest NOT registering for? What’s your favorite winter meal? Do you have a busy week?

Wednesday Workout: Dynamax 25 Minute AMRAP Workout

Hello! Happy Wednesday! I skipped out on posting a workout for you last Wednesday, but I’m so happy to be posting for you today because I think you’re really going to love this workout. When I saw Lauren post a workout focusing on Dynamax balls, it reignited my love for that piece of fitness equipment. Back in the day I taught a Dynamax Bootcamp at the Oak Square YMCA and it was one of my favorite classes!

The great thing about Dynamax balls is that they are super versatile- you can use them for cardio, strength, core, upper body, lower body… which is exactly what I did in the workout I’m sharing with you today. I used a 16lb ball for most of the workout but had to drop down to a 14lb one for a few exercises. By the time I finished the 25 minutes I felt like I had successfully worked my entire body- perfect for a quickie lunch break workout.

Dynamax Ball 25 Minute AMRAP Workout

It’s worth noting that I forgot to include an exercise when I was creating this graphic! 😦 After the slams I did reverse lunges while holding a ball overhead. Killer for the shoulders!

Descriptions/Videos

  • Squat & toss- Hold the ball at chest height and drop into a deep squat. As you’re coming back up to standing, toss the ball overhead. As you catch the ball, sink back into your deep squat.
  • Slams- In this video I’m not using a Dynamax ball, but you get the idea 😉 https://www.instagram.com/p/5H8B9HPWya/?taken-by=burpeestobubbly
  • Toe taps- place the ball on the ground and tap alternate tapping your right and left foot to the ball, trying to lift your knees as high as you can.
  • Plank w/side taps right & left- Come into a plank position with your hands on the Dynamax ball instead of the ground to help challenge your core a bit more.  From this plank position, step your right foot out to the side, left foot out to the side and then bring your right foot in and your left foot in so that you end up where you started. That’s one rep. Keep going for 15 more. Want to intensify it? Try doing it with a band around your ankles!
  • Chest press & lat pull in bridge position- check this video out for a demo of this: https://www.instagram.com/p/-CVEluvW7V/?taken-by=burpeestobubbly
  • Russian twists- coming to a seated position & leaning back enough to force your core to be engaged you’re going to hold the ball and twist from side to side with it. Your feet can be lifted for a more advanced version.

I think that should do it! I hope you try this- it’s a great quickie total body workout, which is perfect for this time of year since things tend to get busier and busier!

Questions for you: What’s your favorite Dynamax exercise? How are you going to fit your workouts in during this busy time of year?

Weekending: Thanksgiving & Long Weekend Edition

Good morning! I feel like I haven’t “talked” to you guys in a while… I guess an extra long weekend will do that 😉 I ended up taking Wednesday off since my company gave us a half day, so not working Wed-Sunday was a nice little treat! Although the time off was very relaxing, we did do a lot of fun things, so let’s recap! Warning- this is a long post, but there are lots of pictures so you can just skim and check those out if you want 😉

Wednesday

After sleeping in a bit, RM and I got up and had breakfast and then I hit the gym for a run and lifting session. It’s always a nice treat to be able to workout mid-morning without being on a time crunch.

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Since a few of my girlfriends also had Wednesday off, we decided to meet up at my friend Jess’s apartment in the North End since she needed to stay close to home for her daughters nap time. It worked out well because we were able to chat and hang out without feeling rushed like we might at a restaurant.

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For dinner, RM and I met up with his brother and sister in law at Charcoal Guido’s on Moody Street. One of RM’s childhood friends opened the restaurant a few years ago and since we live closer to the area now, we decided to finally check it out. The pizza and atmosphere were both great! I had never been to Moody Street but I think we will be going back soon because it’s such a fun street!

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Thursday

We woke up on Thanksgiving and lounged around while watching the parade. I wasn’t sure if I was going to workout, but ultimately decided it was something I wanted to do. I wasn’t doing it to “earn my meal” or because I wanted to feel better about possibly indulging, I did it because I felt rested and I felt thankful for the fact my body can move and that it’s strong.

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My parents ended up going to my sister’s for Thanksgiving so RM and I decided to go there for apps and a drink before doing the whole dinner thing at his mother’s house. I decided to bring a variation of the Apple Brie Appetizer Bites Athena posted last week. To change it up, I ended up using sharper, hard cheeses instead of the mild, soft Brie. They came out great and everyone loved them!

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We had a blast at my sister’s and even though it was hard leaving them, it was nice to be able to see both families. Dinner at RM’s mother’s house was- no surprise- delicious, but sadly I didn’t take a single photo! I always feel awkward taking food pictures when I’m around his family, but I think I need to suck it up and take them because everything is always very picture worthy.

Friday

Friday was a super fun day because not only did I shop for wedding dresses, I ended up buying one!!! More on that later- I have a whole post to describe that experience 😉

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I loved that my whole family- including my dad- were there for the experience. It was so special and so fun! And, might I add, there was no “Say Yes to the Dress” drama! To celebrate, we went to Buff’s Pub for lunch. My parents hadn’t been before and my sister and I thought it was a great place to take them. The verdict? They loved it!

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After my parents left, RM and I went to Lookout Farm to visit his cousin and check out their new taproom. I fell in love with everything about this place! It was originally just a farm where you could go apple, pear, peach and strawberry picking, but recently they decided to make good use of the excess apples and they started making their own hard cider. I’ve never been a huge cider person (except for when I studied abroad in England and we drank cider all the time!), but the ciders at Lookout Farm are absolutely delicious! They aren’t too fruity sweet and they’ve got great fizz to them. We started with a sampler flight of the 4 flavors they had on tap: Farmhouse Blend, Super Berry, Green with Envy (has green tea in it) and Barn Burner (which is spicy, I think with habanero peppers in it).

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Mark, RM’s cousin, brought us for a tour of the property and it was incredible to see how big it was and to see where they brew the cider.

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Once we got back to the taproom, we each ordered our own cider (Super Berry for me) and shared a charcuterie plate (3 meats, 3 cheeses & olives for $12.75 I think). They also have big, soft pretzels and various flatbreads and everything looked delicious.

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Such a fun time! If you’re ever in the South Natick/Wellesley area, this is definitely a place you need to check out!

Saturday

We got up early on Saturday and I fit in a workout before hitting the road to Ikea.

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I’ll say that I love a good dorky matchy-matchy sesh, but RM and I were even a bit much for me on Saturday. In my defense, I got dressed first! Luckily he ended up taking off the vest once we got to Ikea 😉

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We grabbed some Starbuck’s and then attacked Ikea. I was so impressed with how well the experience went. We were there early enough to avoid the crazy masses of people and we found everything we were looking for.

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To celebrate, we went to La Casa De Pedro for lunch and cocktails. Everything was fantastic!

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The rest of the night was spent putting stuff together and being totally lazy. We logged some serious couch time!

Sunday

I woke up craving pancakes so I decided to whip some healthy ones up.

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And yes, I love topping mine with syrup, homemade jam and almond butter. Don’t judge 😉

After breakfast we did a good cleaning of the apartment and then I went and got a new phone. My old one had something stuck in the headphone hole so I couldn’t really use it when I was at the gym or teaching which was annoying.

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We decided to get a new, smaller table and I love how it looks now! and the yellow chairs RM picked out are amazing!

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Later in the afternoon, RM had to cash in a bunch of quarters so I went along for the ride… mostly because he also suggested getting a drink at a local bar after 🙂

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Wine and an onion soup for me- perfect mid afternoon snack!

The rest of the night was spent doing some meal prep and lots of blogging. This is a busy week and I have lots to share with you guys so I tried to get ahead of the game by logging in some serious blogging hours. It’s actually a perfect sunday night activity since RM is usually watching football!

Questions for you: Did you take extra time off around the holiday? Where did you celebrate Thanksgiving? Did you do any good workouts over the weekend? Have you been to Ikea before? Ever been to any of the restaurants linked in this post?

Wednesday Workout: 8 Minute AMRAP Circuits

Hello! I’m so happy to have more time to blog this week because I’ve been doing some good workouts that are totally share-worthy. Although it can be hard to fit everything in during busy/stressful times (hello, moving!), doing my best to stay consistent with my workouts is something that’s really important to me. They may not be the longest or most intense, but even 15-20 minutes of just bodyweight exercises is better than nothing, and sometimes exactly what I need. I have to be careful of not over-doing it with workouts during stressful times because working out is a stress on the body, but less-intense, bodyweight workouts are generally doing me more good than harm. My fellow Boston blogger friend, Stephanie, wrote a really great blog post talking about this exact thing: The Stress-Fitness Balance. All too often workouts are the first thing that gets pushed aside in stressful, busy times, but her post is a good reminder on how to gauge your stress levels and figure out if maybe a quickie workout might be exactly what you need to relieve some stress and get a clear head.

Which is a perfect segway into this workout! For those of you who are feeling short on time these days, this workout has the option of being as short as 8 minutes or as long as 24-32 minutes. Each circuit is an 8 minute AMRAP (As many rounds as possible- while keeping good form, of course!) consisting of a lower body move, cardio, upper body move and core move. Choose a challenging weight so that you’re not whipping through the reps- I promise you’ll feel it 😉 I think I ended up getting through 3-3.5 rounds in the 8 minutes.

8 minute AMRAP circuits
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