Five on Friday {8.19.16}

Good morning and TGI{freaking}F. What.A.Week! And on another note, how is it August 19th already?! I feel like this summer has flown by especially fast for us since the first part of it was spent planning for and having our wedding, which I am by no means complaining about! I had wanted to blog last Friday, but I ended up not having time. Womp, womp. I’m here today, though, with some great things to share- enjoy!

  • Pure Barre Platform VIP Class- As I’ve mentioned in a few other posts, I was given 3 months of unlimited classes at Pure Barre, which has been a fun addition to my normal workouts. Last week they hosted a “VIP” class at their Newbury Street location for everyone who is part of the media team to run us through their new Platform class. I had taken one Platform class the week before so I knew what to expect, but the class last week was much better! The Platform class is entirely different (literally, not anything like a normal barre class) from their signature Pure Barre class, mostly in that it involves some cardio but also that the moves are encouraged to be big, not small. Since I’m a recovering cardio queen, this class is definitely more my style because I like big movements and moving a lot. If you stray away from barre because it’s not your style I suggest checking out Pure Barre’s new Platform class- I think you’ll enjoy it!

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  • Beautycounter- I was contacted by an independent consultant for BeautyCounter, which is a personal beauty company with a mission to make safer and more effective skincare and cosmetic products for women and children. I hadn’t heard of it, but when I checked out their site, I was very impressed with their mission and their pledge to clean up the skincare industry. Melissa sent me so many things to try- I can’t wait to share my thoughts on them with you in a few weeks!
  • New Bike- Last weekend, RM and I bit the bullet and bought some bikes. RM has been wanting a new bike for a super long time and since we live in an area where biking is easy (we are super close to the Charles!), I figured I might as well get one, too. Plus, any excuse for us to be active together is good enough reason for me to splurge on a bike. So far, it’s been really fun and I think once I get more comfortable riding it and being on the road, I’ll really enjoy using it to run local errands, go to church or the gym, etc.

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  • Wine Drying Rack- My friend from work, Stephanie, bought me the best gift that I finally was able to use over the weekend: a wine drying rack! I absolutely hate putting wine glasses in the drying rack because I’m always afraid of them breaking, so this rack designed specifically to dry glasses is pretty much the best invention ever! I will be buying this for all my friends, haha

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  • New Balance swag– Last week, I came home to the best surprise from New Balance- a whole outfit from their new Newbury Collection!! I nearly jumped for joy when I opened the box and saw everything. Not only do I love the color (I don’t have much red or navy), I loved the fit and feel of everything, too. The pants are so funky and soft and react so well to movement, meaning they don’t ride down or up. The sports bra is a little longer so I would feel more comfortable wearing it on its own and the shirt is super lightweight and flowy- perfect for hot, summer workouts. I’m also obsessed with the jacket, although it’s too warm to wear that now 😉 and lastly, the Vazee Transform Graphic Trainers are super lightweight and SO comfortable- it’s like not even wearing anything! Thank you, thank you, thank you, New Balance! You outdid yourself 🙂

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And that does it for me- I hope all of you have a fantastic weekend!!! Chat with you next week 🙂

Questions for you: Have you tried Pure Barre’s Platform class before? What’s your favorite brand of workout apparel? What line of beauty products do you use for your skin? Any cool kitchen “must have” gadgets?

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Five on Friday {7.22.16}

Good morning and happy Friday! Two posts in one week for me- it’s been a while since that has happened 🙂 As we are finishing up packing for our weekend getaway to Annapolis, MD for my cousin’s wedding, I wanted to share some things that may be of interest- enjoy!

    • Summer workouts– There are SO MANY free workouts around the area this summer, some of which I’m even teaching!

*Pure Barre Christmas in July– Next week Pure Barre in Lynnfield (maybe in other locations, too) is doing a “Christmas in July” where all of their classes are free. If this is something you enjoy or would like to try, I suggest signing up for a class!
*Brighton Commons Outdoor Workouts– for the next few Wednesdays the YMCA is sponsoring free fitness classes in the Brighton Commons. I’ll be teaching cardio kickboxing on August 17th!
*Legacy Place- There are weekly free fitness classes at Legacy place throughout the summer with lots of local Boston fitness instructors. I’ll be there on August 25th for cardio kickboxing and my friend Athena will be there on August 4th and a Kick It By Eliza will on August 18th.
*FIT on the Garden More to come on this later, but every Wednesday at 6pm from July-August there will be free yoga classes on the South Garden near the Pru. I’ll be there on August 3rd (again, more to come!)
*Seaport District Free Fitness- More on this (I know, I know!), but just to give you a heads up, every Monday night starting on August 1st I will be teaching a 45 minute cardio kickboxing class from 6-6:45pm outside at the green area next to District Hall/Gather. Make sure to follow SeaportBos on Instagram to stay in the know!
*Cape House (B/Spoke) While this isn’t free, it’s worth mentioning because I had a blast during the class I took . B/Spoke has again opened up a “Cape House”, but this year it’s in Mashpee (better location for me!) and they have more classes. If you’re on the Cape and looking for a great workout- check them out!

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  • Book Club- Last month we read Fates & Furies, which I absolutely loved! It kept me fully entertained and constantly surprised by various things. It was a great discussion book! This month we are reading The Light Between Oceans, which I’ve also heard is great.

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  • I’m an aunt!- Over the weekend, my sister-in-law (still so weird to say that!) welcomed a new baby girl into the world. Although I may have lost my “newest Magno” status rather quickly, she is well worth having that status. She’s absolutely perfect and I can’t wait to see her grow up!
  • Target Shopping- Leading up to the wedding I did way too much damage at Target, but to be fair, everything I bought I’ve worn and loved… including these shoes! I got them to go with my dress for our pig roast and am obsessed with them!

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  • Summer eats- We have had some really awesome meals this summer- from the pig roast at our wedding reception to a HUGE lobster roll at the Cape to ice creams to grilling, we’ve been soaking up summer to the fullest!

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With that, I hope you have a fantastic weekend! Stay cool- it’s going to be a hot one 🙂

Questions for you: Any good book suggestions for summer reading? What free  workouts are you looking forward to this summer? Any good summer eats?

Weekending: Keeping Warm!

Good morning! I had yesterday off which was such a nice treat, especially after drinking vino all afternoon at the Boston Wine Expo on Sunday 😉 Our weekend was filled with lots of good eats, tasty drinks and plenty of love to keep us warm- let’s recap!

  • A free sweetgreen lunch on Friday was a nice treat 🙂 If you come to my 5:30 sweat-KICK class at Foster Fitness, you can also get a voucher for a free meal at sweetgreens;)

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  • After work drinks at Tony C’s at Assembly Square with some college girlfriends was a fun treat, but coming home to surprise early Valentine’s Day flowers and a delicious spaghetti with clams dinner was even better!

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  • I thought my kickboxing class on Saturday would be quiet because of the weather, long weekend and holiday, but there were still about 40 people who showed up to sweat with me- they killed it!
  • I did a huge grocery haul at Whole Foods after class so we didn’t have to leave for the rest of the day… which must’ve been everyone else’s plan because it was SO BUSY!

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  • I started my Box FIIT certification later that afternoon. I can’t believe how much time and energy George Foreman III put into this certification- it’s so impressive and I can’t wait to be part of the team!

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  • Paleo Chocolate Chip Cookies- enough said!

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  • I slow cooked chicken all day to make pulled chicken for taco night… or what was supposed to be taco night! I was prepping the last bits of the meal when we lost power in half of the apartment, including the stove, which meant no tacos for us 😦 While the pizza we ordered was delicious, I was REALLY looking forward to pulled chicken tacos!

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  • Sunday morning we still didn’t have power in half of the apartment so we headed over to RM’s mothers to have our pancakes there. I had all intentions of making cute heart shaped ‘cakes, but these still did the trick!

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  • We bundled up and headed into the city on Sunday afternoon for the Boston Wine Expo. It was such an awesome way to spend a frigidly cold Valentine’s Day!

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  • We also ran into our friends from Tre Olive which was a fun surprise. I’ve posted about them a few times (here and here) so it was great to get to see them. Every time we went to their booth they were slammed, but I did manage to get a photo with them and they were gracious enough to give us quite the goodie bag. Seriously- look at all of the oils they gave us and the fig balsamic which is literally drinkable it’s so tasty. If you’re looking for an interesting gift to give your boss, client, parents, friends who are getting married, etc., Tre Olive has everything you’d need! Their packages make the best gifts.

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  • After the wine expo, we weren’t quite ready to stop having fun so we popped in at Rosa Mexicano for a drink and a snack. So tasty!

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  • For dinner, I was able to make the pulled chicken tacos that I couldn’t make on Saturday. I apparently forgot to take a picture, but they were fantastic!  I sautéed some broccoli slaw and bok choy for the base, topped that with pulled chicken and homemade pineapple salsa and avocado. We had plenty of leftovers so I made us a quesadilla last night- just as good!

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  • I had Monday off so I spent time in the morning filming some cardio kickboxing combinations before heading over to Gymit in Watertown to checkout the new Everybody Fights addition. George has been teaching a bunch of intro classes and luckily I had time in my schedule to take one. It was such a great class- very challenging and let’s face it- you feel like a total badass punching the big bags 😉

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  • And finally, the rest of the day was spent doing more of the certification and doing lots of meal prep! Love starting the week out with lots of healthy food options right at our fingertips.

Did you make it this far? I had more to share than I thought I did! I hope you all have a great week- soak up this warmer weather while you can 🙂

Questions for you: How was your weekend? Did you do any good workouts? Did you do anything for Valentine’s Day? How did you keep warm? Do you prefer quesadilla’s or tacos?

Wednesday Workout: MyStryde Studio & New Balance Sneaker/Clothes Review

Happy Wednesday, friends! No workout for you again today, but I do have a new workout and studio review for you AND a review of some sweet new sneakers and clothes the nice people at New Balance sent me, so let’s get to it.

Have you guys ever heard of such a thing as a “treadmill gym”? I had only heard a few things around social media regarding this new gym/workout and I have to say I was super intrigued. The gym is called MyStryde and it is located at the end of Hanover street near Atlantic Ave in the North End.

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MyStryde was created because the founder/owner, Becca, was tired of running on the treadmill for her winter training runs so she decided to take a spin class. As the class went on, she realized what she needed to help with treadmill run motivation wasn’t a spin class. It was a treadmill class! So ultimately, they are the same types of classes with sprints, hills, push pace, etc., but instead of doing it on a spin bike, you’re on a treadmill!

When you walk in, you’re greeted by a cute, little front desk and “store front” area before you walk into the room where the magic happens. And by magic, I mean ridiculous amounts of sweat and heavy breathing 😉 There are 12 WOODWAY treadmills (which, by the way, are WAY BETTER than running on a normal/traditional treadmill. They feel sturdier and more supportive and just generally more like running outside. I’m a huge fan!) around the room set up so that everyone can see the instructors treadmill. Don’t worry- they don’t do the entire class with us… that would be crazy!

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There are various types of classes on the schedule, but the one I was able to try out as part of the event I went to was the Endurance class, which meant that we were focusing on keeping a good pace while tackling some hills  for longer intervals and then just a few sprint intervals. You can learn about their other classes here. I would LOVE to get back there to try a bootcamp class because that sounds like more my style!

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They have a “MyStryde Guide” on each treadmill which helps you figure out what pace you should be running at. Based on what my “flat road” or comfortable/easy pace is, I was at the intermediate level so I stayed between 7 & 9 the whole class. I found this VERY helpful!

I will admit that I was nervous going into the class. Most of the time I feel confident in my fitness ability knowing that I can probably handle whatever is thrown at me, but running is a totally different story. I have days where I feel like I could run 6 miles, but I also have lots of days where it’s a struggle to finish 3. I was praying for the former as I went into the studio 😉 45 minutes  and nearly 5 miles later, I’m happy to say that I not only survived, but I kind of enjoyed it! Sure, it was very hard and I pushed myself WAY MORE than I normally push myself on a treadmill, but isn’t that the point of taking a class? To push your limits? To get comfortable being uncomfortable? Becca’s class certainly achieved both of those things and I was so happy to have the {silent} support from Athena and Sherri who were running in the same row of treadmills as me!

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Yes, I realize I am a sweaty beast! I sweat A LOT when I run!

Know what else made me happy? Getting to try out some new gear from New Balance! They sent me their newest Fresh Foam 1080’s as well as a ridiculously comfortable outfit from their new Trinamic collection, which is coming out officially in mid-February.

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Here are some details about the sneakers & outfit:

Fresh Foam 1080’s
  • First thought? Wow these are SUPER cute! Second thought? AND they’re crazy comfortable! They are supportive and cushiony without feeling bulky or heavy.
  • They’re 8.9 oz. with a 8MM drop and retail for $149.95
  • I learned that every detail of the sneaker has a purpose- from the Fresh Foam midsole to the Ortholite Sockliner to the Bootie Construction to the mesh forefoot, every piece of the shoe was engineered by combining brilliant designers and extensive data collections to make the best shoe possible. NB hand-selected very specific runners to test their biomechanics, force patters and wear tendencies in order to help NB create a shoe that had a cushioned underfoot in a singular platform that didn’t feel big and bulky.

I couldn’t believe so much testing went into creating the shoe, but after running in them, I could tell they were incredibly well-made. Sometimes it takes a bit to “wear in” new sneakers, but I was able to run nearly 5 miles in brand new shoes with zero problems. In fact, my feet felt great after the run!

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Trinamic Performance Compression Collection

  • The Trinamic collection was created to make the base layer more adaptive and comfortable to allow for enhanced performance and movement. Usually your base layer is tight and restrictive, but the Trinamic collection, although tight, was not restrictive in the least bit!
  • Features 3 elements: Superior stretch (utilizes NB Flex X technology, a new fiber featuring 3D stretch innovation that enhances comfort, it supports dynamic movement and provides an adaptive fit), Comfort (smoother fiber provides a softer feel) and Breathability (strategically placed “breath hole patterns” help optimize breathability where it’s needed most). For instance, the women’s tops we wore had extra “breath hole patterns” on the chest whereas the men’s did not. Similar with the sneakers, they tested people’s sweat patterns through various activities and gave the garments extra breath holes where needed the most. I just noticed the ones behind the knees on the pants!
  • The Trinamic fabric is unique because it gives the unique ability to stretch further with less resistance, yet it pulls back to its original fit when back in the relaxed position. Sherri said it best when she said she noticed how the knees didn’t get bunchy on the pants. She’s totally right! I wore them when I taught a class where we did squats and kicks and jumps and all sorts of stuff that required knee-bending and I never once had “saggy knees”.

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Overall, it was such a great event and I think that MyStryde is a really neat concept/studio. If you’re a runner (or at least enjoy running) or are training for a race and don’t want to run outside (or just want to be challenged), it’s a great option for you. I am also totally in love with the NB products we all received and have already worn them multiple times. For someone who is in workout clothes a lot doing all sorts of weird movements requiring good stretchability (I made that word up), the Trinamic collection totally fits the bill. And the sneakers- even if they weren’t crazy comfortable I’d still wear them since they’re super cute 😉

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Questions for you: Have you been to MyStryde before? Do you like running on the treadmill? What is your favorite shoe to run in?

 

Weekending: Drinks, Booty By Brabants Class, Christmas Partying & Home to Maine

Good morning! Is it just me or are the weekends/December FLYING by?! This weekend was no different… except for the fact I’m in the office today instead of working from home 😦 Oh well- I’m traveling to South Carolina for a few days this week so it’s not a big deal! Let’s recap the weekend, though 🙂

Friday

After work on Friday, I went to the Legal C Bar at the M Street shops with a work friend. We had a blast chatting and sipping on some vino. Once we parted ways, I headed home and realized that RM would not be around for dinner. I was in no mood to stay in by myself- and we had no food- so I walked over to Social Restaurant for dinner and drinks… by myself! It was actually nice- I ordered a pizza, kale and bubbly. Always bubbly. And, since I posted a photo on Instagram, the manager gave me another free drink. I’ll take it!

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RM and his cousin ended up joining me and then our friends Bob and Kristen randomly popped in, too! Kristen and I have recently connected through blogging and it’s been so fun. She writes an awesome blog highlighting on restaurants and travel and her posts are so beautifully written and have really nice photos. You need to check it out!

Saturday

Rm and I took our time getting up and then puttered around the house and took a walk before I headed into the city for a Booty By Brabants class at the BFX Studio. I had heard so much about Kelly’s class and about the BFX studio so I was pumped to get invited to check both out! BFX is a beautiful studio with nice locker rooms and class space and Kelly’s class was FULL of energy, smiles, sexy dancing and sweat! Remember how I talked about getting out of your comfort zone and getting comfortable being uncomfortable? This class was a great example of doing this! I want to do a full review of the class in a separate post so I’ll leave it at that. Such a fun Saturday!

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After the class we had a chance to try out juices and smoothies from Nourish Your Soul and paleo meals from Paleo Life. The juices & smoothies were fantastic and I was so excited when the founder of Nourish Your Soul gave me a free smoothie to take home. It was the perfect post workout treat. I also really enjoyed the food items that I sampled from Paleo Life. If you’ve never heard of it, Paleo Life is a healthy meal planning & delivery service which is great for those who are “too busy” to eat healthy. They seem pretty affordable and deliver to all around Boston so if it’s something you’d be interested in, check them out!

After the event, I did some Christmas shopping and then baked a batch of the most delicious Hidden Avocado Brownies from Lexi’s Clean Kitchen to take to Jessi and Chuck’s party. It’s the second time I’ve made them and I’m totally obsessed. Not only are they easy, but they taste so rich & moist you’d never know there was an avocado in them!

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The party was a blast! It’s always so fun getting dressed up, laughing and chatting with friends, drinking wine & eating fun party food. Thanks for hosting such a fun party guys!

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Sunday

I woke up on Sunday and packed up to head to Maine for the day. I hadn’t been up there for a long time and was in need of a little quiet time with my parents. I stopped at Kittery for a little shopping before meeting my mom for lunch at the Springvale Publick House. I enjoyed a locally brewed beer and homemade turkey chili. Both were unbelievable!

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Once I got home, I helped my parents bring in and decorate the tree, squeezed in a workout and relaxed with some vino and blogging. It was such a nice Sunday!

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For dinner, we had Pork Tenderloin Medallions, baked sweet potatoes and roasted broccoli and everything was great!

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One last thing before I sign off for the day… my friend Kelly works for a company called Schoola which collects & resells gently used clothes to help provide schools with funds for various things. Right now, they have an incredible sale going on where you can buy BRAND NEW Athleta clothing for super discounted prices and the best part is that a huge portion of the proceeds go to the Mala Fund. I recently requested a bag so that I could send them some clothes I no longer wear. You can use that same link if you’re looking for a good place to donate your gently used clothes! And, if you want to shop some brand new Athleta clothes for a great discount, check out this link. I just bought the black sweater!

Questions for you: What was the best part of your weekend? Did you have any holiday parties? Have you ever grabbed dinner at a local bar by yourself?