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!

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  • 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 🙂

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  • 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?

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Five on Friday {9.9.16}

Hi, friends! Happy freaking Friday 🙂 I hope you’ve all had a good week- mine started out roughhhh, but turned around a bit by the end of it. We leave for Italy in 9 days and work is absolutely crazy right now so I’m just trying to get through what I can so I can start my vacation without the stress of worrying about what I didn’t finish.

But, let’s talk about more fun things, shall we?

  • Moscow Mules- We received some beautiful monogrammed copper mugs for our wedding (thanks, Jean!), so last weekend we decided to put them to good use by whipping up some Moscow Mules. Neither of us had had one before, but we both enjoyed them! It was a really fun cocktail hour enjoyed on our back patio.

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  • Eating out vs. eating in- Most of the time, RM and I try to eat in the majority of the time. We shop on the weekends for the week, prep a bunch of food to have handy (I bring my lunch every day, too), but last week we kind of went on a eating out bender. Thursday we went to Buff’s (hadn’t been in SO long), Friday we went to Hopsters (again, hadn’t been in SO long) and Saturday we went to The Local in West Newton, because, well #saturdaydatenight. This is very unlike us to go so many days in a row eating out (unless we are on vacation), and while everything was delicious, we decided to eat IN on Saturday night. RM grilled up some veggie and shrimp skewers and I made a nice big salad. There’s something to be said about making your own meals- it felt really good to eat a nice meal like this!

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  • Love Grown Cereal- Confession: I LOVE cereal. I always have, but over the years I’ve tried to clean up my cereal choices (and I’ve gone from eating it daily to just a few times a week- baby steps). Most of the time I have Erewhon & Uncle Sam brands because they have such few ingredients, but they had a sample of Love Grown Power O’s at Whole Foods last weekend and I knew I had to try it out. They’re made out of different legumes, so they are wheat & corn free- something you don’t see often with cereal!

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  • Teaching- I’ve been loading up on classes leading up to our vacation since I know I’ll be going so long without teaching while we are away. While it can be tiresome (yesterday I did 6am and 5:30pm… and 9 hours of work in between), it’s really so rewarding. I love coming up with new workouts and playlists and helping people feel good and feel strong. I’m teaching tomorrow, Monday and Tuesday… and then I’m off for a longggg time, so catch me while you can!

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  • Biking- I can’t thank RM enough for suggesting that we get bikes. We have been having SO MUCH FUN with them. One day last week I rode it all around town to run errands and then Friday night I took it to meet my sister for a drink (RM rode with me which was nice) and then Sunday RM and I covered nearly 25 miles of biking. We rode all the way into the city, brought the bikes on the T to Eastie (RM had to check on one of the units in a building he owns) and then back to Watertown. Midway home, we stopped at Naco Taco in Central Square for a snack and a beer. I used to run by that place weekly and would always be so jealous of everyone there enjoying drinks and food outside so it was nice to get to check it out. We both highly suggest it if you want good tacos and guac- everything was fantastic, and reasonably priced. Oh, and the good part about biking places for drinks is it limits me to just one, since I don’t trust myself operating the bike after any more 😉 #lightweight

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I guess that does it! We have lots to get done this weekend in preparation for our honeymoon, so it’ll be a busy one! There is a Vegetarian Food Truck & Craft Beer Festival at the Arsenal Mall tomorrow which we might try to get to. It starts at 11am and is $10-$45 and guests can enjoy more than 30 craft beers and lots of vegetarian dishes. Sounds pretty cool!

I hope you have a great weekend with whatever you have planned 🙂

Questions for you: What was a good part of your week? What do you have planned this weekend? Do you prefer to bike, walk or drive places? Do you prefer to cook/eat in or eat out? What’s a guilty pleasure of yours?

Just Add Cooking: Fall Celebrity Chef Series

Another week, another Just Add Cooking review to share with you. If you are new to B2B, l’ll fill you in quickly: last spring, I was graciously given 4 months of service through Just Add Cooking, which meant that once a week I was given 3 meals to make and try. This came at the most perfect time because it was during the months leading up to our wedding so knowing that I wouldn’t have to plan out our meals every week was a huge relief. Not only that, but the meals were all SO GOOD and really easy to make so it was a win-win all around.

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Recently, Just Add Cooking reached out to me again to see if I wanted to try out meals again as they kicked off their Fall Celebrity Chef series. What this means, is that Just Add Cooking will be partnering with some local celebrity chefs to bring restaurant-quality dishes to JAC, while also making sure everything is still locally sourced and easy enough to handle in your own kitchen. The chefs in the partnership are: James Beard award-winner Jody Adams of TRADESaloniki, and Porto; James Beard finalist and celebrated chef Andy Husbands of Tremont 647, Sister Sorel and The Smoke Shop BBQ; television personality Diane Kochilas, one of the world’s foremost authorities on Greek cuisine and Consulting Chef at Committee ; and James Beard award-winner Frank McClelland of L’Espalier and Riversbend.

For the week we chose, the signature dish was Chicken with Muhammara from Jody Adams, which also happened to be my favorite meal of the week! The flavor in the “topping” was incredible- both RM and I couldn’t stop raving about it while we ate it. Such an interesting combination of ingredients that made such a delicious end result!

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The next meal I made was the Scandinavian Cod, which was the first fish meal we received…. weird, considering we love fish! This meal was SUPER simple to make, and based on how simple the ingredients were, I wasn’t expecting it to be as full of flavor as it was! I really loved the topping of eggs, horseradish & brown butter for the fish. I ended up sauteing the snow peas, which didn’t go along with the recipe but I wasn’t sure I felt like eating them raw. Lastly, I was totally blown away with how easy it was to cook the fish. The directions told me to boil water and once the water was boiling, remove it from the heat, drop the fish in, cover it and let it cook for 5 minutes. It came out perfect!!  Mind. Blown.

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The last meal of the week was the Hungarian Goulash, which RM and I had a blast saying (you try saying it by accentuating the GOU in the Goulash… it’s funny!). As with the other recipes, this was easy to throw together AND it reheated very well. The flavor combination from the spices and veggies and the meat were wonderful- it felt like a hearty fall meal! We talked about how there are so many variations you could make from the base recipe, too, like subbing out sweet potatoes for white potatoes, adding in other veggies, etc. I see this on repeat for sure.

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The celebrity chef meals will be on rotation until the end of the year so 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}
Just Add Cooking {4th 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!

 

Annapolis Summer Weekend

Good morning! I hope you are all staying as cool as you can- this heat wave is crazy! I wanted to pop in today to share some photos from the past weekend. We flew to Maryland to celebrate my cousin’s wedding in Annapolis. He and his fiance were able to come to our wedding, too, so it was a blast getting to share in each other’s special days! Plus, Keely and I hit it off way before we even met- we both love bubbly AND working out- obvi we were besties right away!

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This was at our wedding

I hadn’t been to Annapolis since I was probably 14 and RM had never been so it was nice to get to explore together. Even though it was blistering hot, we were still able to enjoy how charming the city was and still were able to walk around a bit. Enjoy!

Our first stop was McGarvey’s for a late lunch- oysters & a fish sandwich with a side of bubbly… perfect way to kick off the weekend!

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Similar to what we did the night before the wedding, they had a gathering for a crab feast which was a really awesome experience! I had never eaten crabs like this and while it was a lot of work for a small yield, it was a blast and totally delicious!

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We stumbled upon an amazing little restaurant on Saturday morning when we were searching for food. Metropolitan Kitchen & Bar was the hidden gem we were looking for. I got this amazing avocado toast with feta, tomatoes, a poached egg & a balsamic reduction, RM got a lamb hash and we shared a blueberry pancake and everything was outstanding!

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After breakfast we walked around the city center and did some shopping before we went and toured/walked through the Naval Academy. Although it was SO hot, it was still really cool to walk around the campus and visit the museum. We highly suggest this if you travel to Annapolis!

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The wedding was at the Maritime Museum which was right on the water. The ceremony was similar to ours: short & sweet! She looked absolutely stunning and I loved the simplistic details. They had incredible passed apps, too, and really great options for the food stations. It was fun getting to go to someone else’s wedding now that we know all that goes into planning on!

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The after party was held at Pussers which was a great bar right on the water.

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All in all, while it was a short trip, it was so much fun and I’m so happy we were able to partake in their special day as well as get to spend time with my family. Sean & Keely- we wish you a lifetime of love and happiness!!

Questions for you: How was your weekend? Have you ever been to Annapolis? 

 

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 😦

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  • 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!

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  • 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!

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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?