Honeymoon Recap: Positano

I realized last week that I never shared our final honeymoon recap with you! In case you missed the first 3, you can find them here:

Napoli
Ischia
Sorrento & Pompeii

I have to admit that I was a little nervous about heading to Positano for the fear that it would be too touristy, similar to Sorrento. However, upon our first sights of Positano during our drive in, my fears were quickly washed away. Although it was still touristy, the charm of Positano was still very much in tact and it just felt less touristy than Sorrento.

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On top of that, we stayed in the most luxurious hotel, which just made everything better, especially after the poor hotel experience we had in Sorrento.

Where We Stayed

We ended up staying at Hotel Villa Franca during our time in Positano. While it was a rather expensive hotel, I’m so glad we splurged on it because it was a wonderful way to end the trip. They ended up upgrading us to their biggest/nicest room and “big” and “nice” really don’t do it any justice. It was the size of a small studio apartment, with a large, luxurious bathroom and amazing jacuzzi tub, a whole sitting area and an oversized terrace overlooking all of Positano. It was in a separate building from the main hotel, but it didn’t prove to be an issue at all since it was only a 30 second walk or so.

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The staff was unbelievably warm, hospitable and helpful- we couldn’t rave enough about how welcomed they made us feel, starting with complimentary champagne upon our arrival.

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We spent a lot of time at their roof deck pool- the lounge chairs were so comfy, the Aperol Spritz’s were absolutely delicious and the bar tenders were very attentive.

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We didn’t end up eating up there, but everything we saw people eating looked delicious. We did indulge at their daily breakfast where they had everything you could ever imagine, including eggs made your way, assortments of breads/cheeses/meats, cereal, yogurt, granola, fresh juices and plenty of bubbly 😉

Our only complaint about the hotel was that it was so far up from the main areas of Postiano- 597 steps, to be exact! While I didn’t mind the steps (obviously), it made it difficult to bounce around and you had to plan ahead for how long you wanted to be down by the beach. They do offer a complimentary shuttle service leaving from the hotel every half hour that brings you down to the beach area which we did take advantage of at night when we would head out for dinner. This was a wonderful service!

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That was our hotel… wayyyy up there!

Where We Ate

Prior to our honeymoon, we received lots of recommendations for lunches/dinners during our time in Positano, which was nice to use as a base. We found some places on our own which also did not disappoint.

  • Ristorante da Costantino This came recommended to us by the driver who took us from Sorrento to Positano. It’s set up even higher than Hotel Villa Franca, but don’t worry- they have a car service that will pick you up at your hotel and drop you off after, which is a very nice service. While they don’t have outdoor/waterfront space, the front wall of the restaurant is all windows so there are spectacular views- both during the day and at night. We had our driver take us there to make the reservation and the owner was a sweet old Italian man who made us drink an espresso with him after we chatted- it was awesome. It’s a family owned & run restaurant and serves truly authentic (non-americanized touristy) Italian food. It was such a great way to kick off our last part of the trip.

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  • Chez Black This was a recommended restaurant, I think because of it’s prime location near the beach. We had a really nice meal there, although it did seem to cater more specifically to Americans and other tourists. We would still recommend it!

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  • Ristorante Max This was another highly recommended restaurant to try out (3 separate people told us about it!). We loved our meal here- everything was so flavorful and the wine was ridiculously good! We sat outside and got to play with a neighborhood cat, which I obviously loved!

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  • Ristorante Saraceno d’Oro We had big plans of doing up our last night in Positano big, but it ended up raining, so we opted to keep it closer to our hotel. We ended up at this restaurant which ended up being an awesome find. The food was very good and very authentic- I had the eggplant and it was as good as RM’s mother’s- which is saying a lot!

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  • Sandwiches- One day we were really craving a basic sandwich & chips type of lunch so we asked a jewelry vendor if he knew of any Salumeria’s in the area (deli type stores) and luckily there was one nearby. The sandwich was SO good we ended up there at least one or two more times. There’s something so great about a simple sandwich made with incredibly fresh ingredients.

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  • Caffe Positano Friends also recommended this place, and since it ended up being exactly halfway down the cliffs from our hotel to the beach, we saddled up there for lunch one day. The views were spectacular and the food was also really delicious. We got a platter type of plate with all sorts of amazing options- we definitely recommend checking this place out!

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What To Do

  • Walk around and window-shop/pop into stores. There are so many cute little stores selling beautiful things, especially the linen clothes items! I’ll warn you, though, the shops are expensive! We laughed because RM would see something he thought I’d look good in so I’d check it out and be appalled at the price tags- usually upwards of 200-300 euros! That said, everything was really beautiful!

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  • Have drinks at Hotel Villa Franca- Although these were expensive (25 euros for a glass of bubbly!), the ambiance of the drink area and the views were worth it. Plus, they gave awesome “snacks”- my favorite 😉

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  • Check out the beaches- We were warned in advance that the beaches were not sandy, so we weren’t totally surprised to find a rocky beach. The rocks were surprisingly pretty comfortable to relax on, and the water was so refreshing! What made it even better was that you could get “to go” drinks from nearby bars/restaurants- Spritz’s on the beach are the best!

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  • Get handmade sandals- We’d heard that you could get handmade sandals in Positano, and people were right- there were so many little stores selling homemade sandals. We ended up at Creazioni Nana which was next door to Caffe Positano, and I was so happy with how my sandals turned out!! It was such a special memory to take home with me!
  • Rent a scooter RM finally persuaded me to rent a scooter and drive out to Amalfi and Ravello and although I was scared sh*tless about the whole experience, it ended up being one of the best experiences/memories from the trip. We had an absolute blast!!

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You can also take the ferry to Capri, do cooking classes, etc., but we opted to just soak in the hotel and things around us.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, we absolutely fell in love with Positano! So much so, that RM said for our 3rd wedding anniversary we need to go back- I’m certainly not going to complain (or forget) about that! This was the last of our honeymoon recaps- I hope you’ve enjoyed them, and maybe they’ll be helpful if you decide to visit the Amalfi Coast!

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Five on Friday {7.1.16}

Good morning, friends! Can you believe this is my LAST post as a “single” lady?! So crazy, but so awesome. As I’m sure you can imagine, this past week has been filled with lots of last minute wedding “to-do’s”, which has taken precedent over blogging. I wanted to pop in today, though, to share a few things before we go off to get MARRIED! I won’t be blogging next week, either 😉

  • Spoiled by Pure Barre- I have been getting SO SPOILED by Pure Barre lately! They are introducing a new class format and invited me to check it out by giving me THREE free months of unlimited classes at the Pure Barre location of my choice. Since there’s one right near my office I opted to choose that location. And, while barre isn’t my number one favorite workout, I do like to continuously try new things and their new class format sounds pretty intense since it’s adding a level of cardio to it, so I can’t wait to see what it’s all about! As a welcome gift, they sent me some fun things to get me started, like socks, a towel & a water bottle. Then, just this week they sent me a new Garmin tracker with the sweetest note. Love that!

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  • ProYo Giveaway- Did you guys see the giveaway that I’m hosting on Instagram? ProYo will be giving one lucky follower a free box of their ProYo treats, which I have to say are SO tasty! Tomorrow is the last day to enter, so if you haven’t entered please head on over and comment with what flavor you’d like.

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  • Feeling the love- We have already been feeling so much love from everyone regarding our upcoming wedding. From the calls to the texts to the emails, the support and excitement has been so awesome. And, my team threw me a shower on my last day in the office and gave us a super generous gift card to Crate & Barrel. I can’t wait to go shopping after the wedding! And, last night some of my work friends and I went out for drinks which was so fun!

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  • Family time- My parents came down yesterday to do some last minute wedding stuff. It was so nice having them here and getting to show them everything I’ve been working on. I’m so lucky to have such a wonderful, supportive family! We also went out to lunch at Branchline so my sister was able to join us. Last lunch as just “the Gagnons”!

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  • Quality time with my handsome future hubby– Although there’s always stress when you’re getting this close to the big day, RM and I have still been having so much fun together. I don’t really know how to describe it besides saying it’s just such an exciting time! Last Sunday we were able to spend some time at the beach and then went back to KO Pies one last time before getting married. It was perfect!

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And with that, I’ll talk to you guys in a few weeks! I am really looking forward to some extended, uninterrupted time with RM. It’s been a crazy few months so I can’t wait to be able to sleep in, go to the beach and just relax together.

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?

The Week In Review: Birthday Celebrations, Christmas, Weekending

 

Good morning! It feels good to be back 🙂 Besides one post last week, I decided to take the week to just detach a bit- I had no desire to blog so I figured it was a sign I should take a little break. I’m back today, though, to recap the week! With RM’s bday on the 23rd, Christmas week is always a little crazy and chock full of celebrating (read: indulgent food, lots of dessert and plenty of drinks). Even though I’m off today, I’m excited about getting back on a little bit of a schedule this week… that is, until New Years Eve 😉

Monday- Last week I organized a little holiday celebration for a few of the teams at my office. We went to Kings in Lynnfield and had a blast drinking, bowling and munching on various passed apps.

Tuesday- After work on Tuesday, I went into the city to meet up with my sister and some other people at Back Deck for a drink before they went to the Nutcracker. I had wanted to go, but with it being the day before RM’s bday, it was just too much.

Wednesday- I used a floating holiday on Wednesday which was a nice way to ease into the holiday. Since it was RM’s bday, I told him I would make him whatever he wanted for breakfast. He decided on banana cinnamon French toast- how delicious does this look?! It was 2 pieces of Ezekiel bread, 2 eggs, dash of milk, plenty of cinnamon and sliced bananas that I sautéed in the pan.

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After breakfast, I left the house to let him study for his big broker exam (who schedules a big exam on their birthday?!) and hit up a class at Orangetheory. The first time I went to that studio was over the summer and the class was good, but not crazy hard. This one? Much harder! It was endurance day so we ended up starting the class on the treadmills for nearly a half hour! My base pace was 7 and my pushes were in the 8’s and then sprints in the 9’s and 10’s… I was dying by the end!! The strength session was also more challenging and I was sore the next day. Can’t wait to go back!

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I finished up with shopping and wrapping while RM headed into the city for his test. A few hours after the test started I hopped on the bus to be in the city when he finished so I could take him out to dinner. Luckily, he passed the exam so not only were we celebrating his bday, but also that! It was a very good day and Davio’s did not disappoint!

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Thursday- We took our time getting up on Thursday and eventually went into the city for birthday massages (well, birthday for him) at Exhale Spa. Per usual, the whole experience was wonderful- it’s really the best place to get massages!

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had to rick my “mistletoe & mimosas” T!

After we were finished, we hit the road to head to Maine. I went to Christmas Eve mass with my family and then we prepped for family friends to come over. It was a another successful Christmas Eve party! Good group of friends, plenty of delicious food, lots of bubbly and laughs. I did not take many pictures as I was just having too much fun being present in the night.

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Friday- We woke up later than normal on Christmas morning and found ourselves nearly rushing through presents- oops. We all got lots of great things, but I have to say that my sister’s gift to me was probably my favorite -it was so incredibly thoughtful and I loved that it was wedding themed since up until now, I hadn’t really received anything wedding-related. The ring holder is absolutely perfect, the shirt is so “me” and the book filled with all of the important things so far (“the ring”, “the Date”, “the location”, “not the dress”, “the band”…) nearly made me cry! I can’t wait to fill it up with things throughout the wedding process and then with photos from the big day.

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After presents, we packed up and headed back to MA to do Christmas with RM’s family. I didn’t take any pictures, but his mother and sister made a delicious meal, we had fantastic wine and opened more presents. I loved the sweater and necklace that his mom and sister got me- now it just needs to get cold enough to wear them 😉

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Saturday- I started out the day working on our wedding website and then hit the pavement for a 3.5 mile run, followed by some upper body strength circuits. After a rest day on Christmas and indulgent food for a few days, it felt very good to move!

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After lunch, the post holiday blues started to hit me and I had to laugh as I realized my outfit was coincidentally mirroring my mood.

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I knew I needed to get out of the house so I returned a few things, went to the library to get another book for book club and then decided to grab a glass of vino at Branch Line while waiting for RM to be done with his things for the day. I brought my book in and totally enjoyed sipping my Chardonnay while I read (even if it did seem weird to people who saw me).

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The rest of the night was spent relaxing- we ordered in, I kept reading and was in bed by 10. It was perfect 🙂

Sunday- I decided to get up and make us healthy pancakes. I changed the recipe by adding in another egg and we both agreed they may be the best batch yet!

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The rest of the day was spent being incredibly productive: 2 loads of laundry, changed the sheets on the bed, put away Christmas gifts, cleaning the entire apartment, grocery shopping, meal prepping and blogging. I did get RM to food shop with me and happened to sneak in a bouquet of flowers 😉

 

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Meal prepping isn’t always something I want to do, but once I get going- and especially once I’m done- I’m always SO happy I did it. I still have to make a meatloaf and cook the kale today (and RM has string beans and broccoli he wants to cook- we go through veggies so fast in this house), but knowing the most time consuming part is done is amazing.

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And that about does it! I know this post was long, but hopefully the pictures kept you reading. I can’t believe Christmas has come and gone, but at least we have our wedding to look forward to in the next 6 months or so!

I hope all of you had a fantastic holiday week!

Questions for you: What did you do to celebrate the holiday this year? Do you have to split holidays? Do you have any traditions? Meal prep- love it or hate it? Did you do any shopping after the holiday? Are you taking any time off this week? Any good workouts to share?

Weekending: Getting Into the Christmas Spirit

Good morning- happy Monday! Did you guys have a good weekend? Ours was relatively low-key, but that was perfect since I was pretty dead most of Friday because of getting home at 2:30 in the morning after 11 hours of traveling! Work was luckily quiet so I was able to catch up on some stuff without being interrupted. Let’s recap!

Friday

I was supposed to get together with my friend Liz and then go to a little party with my sister, but I ended up canceling on both because I was just too tired and knew I had to teach on Saturday and wanted to be rested. RM ended up coming home early from work so it was nice getting to hang with him before he went out with some of his friends that night. He offered to pick me up Whole Foods hot bar for me for dinner, which pretty much made my night. That, and being able to watch a sappy Hallmark Christmas movie and finish our latest book club book.

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Have you guys read this? If not, YOU MUST! This was such a fantastic book and I can’t wait to read the sequel. I may or may not have balled my eyes out as I finished the last couple of pages. Ugh. So good!

Saturday

I woke up feeling great thanks to 9+ hours of sleep! I was so excited to teach my cardio kickboxing class for 2 reasons:

  1. It was my last class before Christmas and I couldn’t wait to use my Christmas playlist. It’s always a big hit and I love seeing everyone smiling and singing along.
  2. I had some awesome new lululemon pants to wear- you can never have too much mesh, right?! The best part? They were an outlet deal- $29!

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Class was awesome! Everyone brought their serious A game and it was so fun to get in a good sweat sesh before the day’s activities.

After, I met up with my friend Jessi and her twin sister to talk wedding hair. I’m in the process of selecting someone to do my hair and Jessi’s sister pretty much specializes in wedding hair so hopefully it will work out! I was pumped to get to wear my new Stitch Fix sweater (a full review of my latest fix to come!)- it’s so soft!

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After hanging with the girls, I met RM at the Assembly Row shops and we grabbed a very late lunch/snack at Fuji. While the sushi was good, the rolls were very small and we were shocked that Roberto’s beer was $12 (!!!). Womp.

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Once we finally started to get hungry for dinner, I whipped up some roasted buffalo cauliflower and some baked butternut squash and RM cooked some spicy broccolini. We also shared some leftovers to round out the meal. It totally hit the spot.

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Sunday

Sunday started out the best way: with healthy pancakes! Historically, RM has always made them but lately I’ve taken that role and I have to say, I’ve been doing a pretty good job! I do not measure anything but here’s the ingredients I used yesterday: 2 eggs, 1/2 banana, coconut flour, almond meal, vanilla, flax seed, little bit of honey and some water.

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After breakfast, I headed out to do some errands. I wore my new Athleta sweater that I got for a SUPER deal during a recent Schoola promotion. I am in love with how comfy it is and I can’t believe I got it for $42 when it’s originally a $128 sweater. Yes, please.

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I also treated myself to a chai tea latte at Starbucks thanks to a very sweet member who gave me a gift card before class on Saturday!

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It was a pretty busy shopping experience, but I was totally immersed in the holiday spirit so it was fun! I was able to finish up most of my shopping, which will make this week easier 🙂

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I love the looks of a Christmas tree filled with presents underneath it. My mom always wanted to wait to bring presents down on Christmas morning (or late Christmas Eve), but my dad would always try to sneak the presents down earlier than that. I remember one year the back and forth of my dad bringing them down and my mom bringing them back up . I have to say, I like the presents under the tree before Christmas!

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Late Sunday afternoon we went to RM’s mother’s house to celebrate his birthday, which is on Wednesday. We had a delicious escarole soup, croquettes and a fantastic coffee cake. The rest of the night was spent hanging on the couch, relaxing before a busy week- I love our couch time!

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And that wraps it up! I have to go into the office today, but it’s a fun day because we are having our group Christmas party at Kings in Lynnfield. I also made my favorite Funfetti cookies, which basically make anything better 😉

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Have a great Monday, friends!

Questions for you: How was your weekend? What was the best part of it? Have you finished your Christmas shopping? Are you working this week? What’s your favorite holiday treat?