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?

2 “Must Try” Healthy, Fall Dishes

Good morning! Thank you so much for all your sweet words on my post yesterday. I totally had one of those “omg we are getting married in 8 months” feelings yesterday. It’s so surreal, really. In an unbelievably, awesome way!

But, today isn’t about wedding talk. It’s about food talk. Because food talk is right up there behind health and fitness talk for me, which means I love talking about it  🙂 I have 2 recipes, both coincidentally from Alexis, over at Hummusapien.com, that have been huge hits. One of them I’ve actually made FOUR times at this point- crazy, right?!

The first one, though, is her Vegan Butternut Squash Pasta dish. I made a lot of variations to the recipe, making it not vegan in any way, shape or form, but I can only assume that if it tasted good with variations, it must taste equally as good if following the recipe to a T.

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Here are the variations I made if you’re not looking to follow a vegan diet:

  • I tried a new-to-me gluten free “pasta” made with just brown rice flower and water and you literally couldn’t taste a difference.
  • 3-4 chicken thighs, chopped into small cubes and sautéed with garlic, salt, pepper and EVOO
  • spinach, broccoli & onions- chopped small and sautéed in a pan with plenty of EVOO, salt, pepper and garlic
  • 1/8-1/4 cup shredded gruyere cheese (separated)- I added half into the amazingly delicious butternut squash/cashew/vegetable broth/maple syrup “sauce” (side note: I literally could’ve just drank that mixture- it was that good!) and then topped the casserole with the other half before I baked it.

My friends were skeptical at first because it didn’t look terribly appetizing, but everyone raved about it and went back for more- I call that a success!

The other recipe that has been a huge hit with friends and RM, specifically, are her Paleo Pumpkin Bars. As I said earlier, I’ve literally made these 4 times- sometimes with pumpkin spice chips, sometimes with chocolate chips and most recently just with pecan pieces to make them a super healthy sweet treat. I mean, can you ever have too much pumpkin?!

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These are moist, chewy and ridiculously flavorful- you really have to make these. It’s an order and you will thank me later 😉

I want to hear from you though! What’s a recipe you’re loving these days and have made more than once? Is there any that I just HAVE to try? I’d love to have some new recipes to add to our rotation!

Weekending: Review through pictures

Good morning! Did you guys have a good weekend? We sure did- here’s a glimpse 🙂

  • I had to go to Milwaukee Thursday-Friday, which was a really nice trip. I wasn’t sure Milwaukee would be anything that exciting, but I have to say I really loved the little city! It was a much quieter city than I’m used to, but it was still really cool! I stayed right downtown and was within walking distance to the river walk and lots of cool restaurants and shopping.

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  • I made sure to get in workouts while I was gone, too 🙂 One strength one and then one quickie bodyweight hotel room workout one- I’ll share both with you soon!

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Hotel room bodyweight workout

  • I met my sister at a new restaurant in Watertown called Branch Line. It’s right near her new office and close to me, plus the owners of Eastern Standard (one of my favorite Boston restaurants) started it so I couldn’t wait to try it out. The verdict? LOVED IT! We only got drinks and their fried cheese bites, but the whole experience was very good and RM and I plan on going back for dinner since their menu looked intriguing!

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  • RM and I ended up going to Stellina for dinner which was where we went to dinner the night we got engaged! The food was great, although I didn’t take any pictures 😉
  • Saturday we lounged in the morning. It was weird to be around with no plans AND no teaching. Rather than rushing out for the gym, I decided to hang around and get all my house chores done first. We had people over on Saturday night so I wanted to prep the chili and dessert and clean/pick up. I finally went to SoulCycle for a 1pm class. It was a good class, but not the hardest I’ve been to, or as much of a party as SC usually is. Oh well!
  • I had time to relax when I got back so I caught up on Greys anatomy while sharing a beer with RM.

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  • Our dinner party was a blast! I made a sweet potato turkey chili which was a hit, a cheese and prosciutto board, guacamole and a batch of these delicious Paleo Pumpkin Bars. I added in chocolate chips and pumpkin spice chips and they came out SO GOOD! Along with these treats, RM’s sister-in-law Emily brought a tasty apple crisp and Amanda brought a fantastic brie/pecans/craisin ball. Oh, and lots of wine 😉

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  • Sunday we made our way to NH to go look at another venue and while we liked it, we were kind of turned off by how far lodging was from the venue so I’m not sure we will pursue it further. Oh well.
  • We were staving when we got back so we heated up chili and other treats from Saturday night and had a medley sort of lunch. While RM watch/snoozed through the Patriots game, I whipped up some lemon blueberry muffins from his Practical Paleo cookbook (we are trying to incorporate more paleo-like meals these days). They came out pretty good!

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  • After I finished my book/the Patriots game was over, I coerced RM into going to Marshall’s and Target with me. We are on the hunt for a new dining room table and living room chair and I wanted him to see some of the things I was digging. Love this table from Target:

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  • Although I was really craving pizza or something like that, we opted for a healthier dinner and had chicken thighs, kale, mashed sweet potatoes and butternut squash and for some reason, everything came out SO GOOD. Nothing fancy, but so tasty. (I snapped a pic halfway through).

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All in all, a great weekend filled with friends and family, relaxation and productivity. Oh, and wine. Definitely wine 😉

Questions for you: What was the best part of your weekend? Have you tried out any new restaurants? What’s the coolest city you’ve traveled to? Did you get in any good workouts? Any good meals?

Eats as of late (Part III)

Good morning! I was scrolling through the pictures on my phone trying to delete some and realized it’s been a hot minute since I’ve shared my recent eats with you- April, to be exact! While we haven’t been cooking very much lately, we did have some great home cooked meals throughout the summer, as well as meals out at restaurants, and thought it would be fun to share them. If you missed parts I & II, you can find them here:

Eats as of Late
Eats as of Late (Part II)

  • Summer fruits- I always love fruit, but it tastes so much better in the summer when it’s in season. Making up a fruit salad at the beginning of the week made for a great snack!

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  • Sunday morning pancakes- Always healthy, always delicious. I can’t wait until we are settled in our new kitchen so this tradition can return.

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  • Pizza, pizza and more pizza. My girlfriends got together at Brewers Fork and then I made pizza for book club and when I was home in Maine one weekend.

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  • Seafood was another thing I couldn’t get enough of this summer. We at oysters often (below are from Island Creek Oyster Bar) and at least a few lobster rolls (from the Popponesset Inn)!

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  • Stuffed peppers made a few appearances. Standard and deconstructed

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  • Eggs were always a regular on the menu for us! Over easy or sunny side up are my favorites, but this quiche was also really good

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  • Summer grilling! We made lots of burgers and other grill-able items like these skewers

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  • Sometimes I just cooked up chicken, veggies & quinoa as they were easy to eat throughout the week

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Loaded quinoa salad

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  • Lots of these types of snacks for Cape weekends

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chicken & veggie zoodle scampi bowl

  • Ice cream- lots and lots of ice cream (black raspberry with rainbow jimmies every.single.time)

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Phew! How about that! What was your favorite thing to eat this summer? Do you eat fruit seasonally? Did you eat out a lot this summer?

 

Weekending: 4th of July

Good morning! I am so excited to get back on track with normal eating, drinking and working out this week. Don’t get me wrong, I like to indulge and enjoy extra vinos, BBQ food and dessert, but it really doesn’t make me feel as good as I do when I eat my usual healthy way. With that said, this past weekend was filled with lots of good food, wine and company- hope you enjoy my recap!

Thursday-

I ended up not having to work on Thursday so I made good use of the day by cooking, blogging, working out and going to the beach. It was quite relaxing!

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Thursday night some of my girlfriends were getting together to celebrate Jessi’s birthday, which was yesterday. We met up at Ducali’s and enjoyed vino, salad and pizza- oh, and a big ol’ side of girl talk 😉 RM made fun of me for my festive outfit, but I liked it!

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We weren’t quite ready to end the night so we headed to Tavern in the Square across from the garden for one more drink.

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(photo credit: Lauren)

On Friday, RM and I headed up to Maine… along with the rest of the friggen state of Massachusetts it seemed! It literally took us 2 hours to get to Portsmouth from Boston, which is more than the time it normally takes to get all the way to my parents house! Of course, it was the most beautiful day, too. We decided to pull off in Portsmouth for lunch on the deck at the Oar House to wait out some of the traffic and get some sun and drinks.

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We ended up being there for almost 3 hours- oops!

Once we made it to Maine, we sat outside and chatted with my parents before having a dinner full of all sorts of random things including my dad’s fish chowder and pork pie, fresh trout from Lake Champlain, pizza on the grill using dad’s dough and sauce and my mom’s tomato and zucchini casserole. Although it was everything I wanted to eat, it may have been a little too many different things in one meal 😉

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Saturday morning, I got up and went for a 3 mile run before heading into town for the parade.

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Rm had never been to a parade, and was quite amused by the one we went to 😉

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Our family friends had a BBQ later in the day, but unfortunately the weather did not cooperate and it ended up sprinkling for the majority of the party 😦  While annoying, it didn’t ruin the fun, though! All the food was fantastic.

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We ended the night making s’mores back at my parents house- perfect ending to a great day!

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On Sunday, we helped my dad in the garden. I’ll tell ya- manual labor is no joke! After, we headed up to the lake to go out on Sara and Tim’s boat… all of which I did not think to take a single picture of- #bloggerfail. But, it was a perfect afternoon- we’re so lucky to have friends who have boats and live on the lake!

All in all, it was a great couple of days and mini “vacation”. Just what I needed!

Questions for you: How was your 4th of July? Do you have any traditions for the 4th? Did you indulge on holiday eats and drinks?