Five on Friday {4.1.16}

Good morning! And happy April and Happy Birthday month to my fellow April birthday friends 🙂 I could’ve gotten you guys so bad with an April Fools joke (quitting the blog, canceling the wedding, being pregnant, etc.), but I’ll spare you that and just get right to the Five on Friday topics for today!

  • Mary’s Gone Crackers– We are always on the hunt for healthier chip/cracker varietals, so when I saw these on sale at Whole Foods, I had to try them out. The verdict? I am a big fan! RM likes them, but still prefers the Almond Thins we usually have on hand. I like the Mary’s crackers because they are full of seeds and the ingredient list is pretty clean.

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  • Signs of Spring- There may be snow in the weekend forecast, but for now I’m focusing on little signs of spring around our apartment, including these pretty flowers!
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  • Wedding Registry Gifts- With the wedding shower in just about a month, the gifts have started coming in and it’s so exciting. I joked that every day is like Christmas these days! I know we technically know and picked out everything we’ve been getting, but it’s still exciting to see and feel the gifts. I was especially excited to get 2 sets of the “fancy” place settings I registered for since I had only seen them on line. I love them even more in person!!

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  • Book Club- Tuesday night was book club night, which is always a fun time. Our friend Lauren hosted it in her absolutely adorable Charlestown apartment and the theme was “all the dips”, meaning everyone brought a different “dip” to enjoy. Since most people brought appetizer dips, I offered to bring a dessert dip, which was a big hit- we joked it was like we were eating grown up Dunkeroo’s (remember those things?!). I found it here, and chose it because it was SO easy… and because it was called “Cinnamon Roll Cheesecake” dip and that sounded heavenly. I highly suggest throwing a dip party at some point in your life!

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  • Dresses for Wedding Festivities- I hit up Assembly for some shopping before book club because between my shower, bachelorette party and rehearsal dinner, I am in need of some dresses. I found one at the Express Outlet that I liked, but then when I went to Off Saks, I ended up finding this baby that I liked even more. Best part? It was priced at $220, but I got it for $48! What do you think?

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And that does it! This weekend should be much more relaxed than the past handful of weekends. I’m teaching tomorrow and then hopefully going to a deadlift/hinge mini group training at Foster Fitness and that’s it for set plans. I hope to knock out a bunch more of the Box FIIT Certification, have a date night, meal prep and go to church- whatever you have on the agenda for the weekend I hope you enjoy yourselves!

Questions for you: What’s your favorite snack chip/cracker? What’s your favorite dip? Do you have any suggestions for where I can find a white romper or two piece outfit for my bachelorette party? What’s on the agenda this weekend? Get any good sweats in this week?

 

 

 

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Weekending: Playing Hookie, Engagement Photos, Birthday Party & Enjoying the Weather!

Good morning! I know everyone is talking about the weather, but I mean, common- is it really this warm in FEBRUARY?! I’ll take it, though. If there isn’t going to be snow I don’t really want frigid cold temps.

Did you guys have a good weekend? Although I was feeling a little anxious going into it because of how many plans we had, it ended up being such a great one! My sister and I decided to “play hookie” on Friday afternoon so we met up at Assembly to go shopping. RM and I were having our engagement photos on Saturday afternoon and I hadn’t been able to go shopping prior to, so it was nice to have some extra time on Friday to shop without being rushed. It was also nice to get to hang out and catch up with my sister- lunch, shopping and drinks on a Friday afternoon- can you get much better than that?

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I was on a mission for just a few necessary things for our photoshoot: white jacket, new jeans and new black booties, all of which were found- and most on crazy sale! My friend suggested going to Wilson’s Leather for jackets and I’m so happy she did because I got both of these for $84! I don’t think I would’ve gone in there on my own… I mean, I didn’t even think this store still existed!

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After our shopping I went to my friend Jessi’s apartment for some vino, apps and girl talk before making my way back to Newton Corner. I didn’t want to leave, but I knew I wanted/needed to be rested for Saturday. I grabbed a pizza from Bertucci’s on the way home, we watched an episode of Breaking Bad and hit the hay by 10:30. It was fantastic.

Saturday started with an incredible cardio kickboxing class- 60 members came and gave it their all. It makes what I do so rewarding!

After class I cleaned up quickly and went to Queen Bee Nails to get a much-needed manicure followed by heading to Waltham to get a hair cut and blow out. I always try to plan my hair cuts around when I have something going on at night because it makes my “getting ready” time much easier and faster!

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I ended up wearing this for the photos:

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Later that afternoon, we headed over to East Boston to meet up with Janelle at KO Pies since it seemed only fitting to kick off our engagement photos where it all started! Janelle and I worked together a few months back when she did my fitness photos, so I’m so excited to be working with her again! The owner of KO Pies was so happy that we were doing our photos there that he asked if he could take a picture and share it with our story- the photo isn’t great, but it was so cute of him to be so excited for us!

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Janelle’s photos, though? She shared a sneak peek and I love it so much. I can’t wait to see the rest!!

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After the photos, RM and I headed back home quickly before parting our separate ways for the night. I was going into the city for my friend Sheila’s surprise party at Stoddards and he was going to meet up with some guys on Moody Street in Waltham. Even though I was exhausted and so tempted to stay home, I’m glad I went because nights out in the city with these ladies just don’t happen as much these days!

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In typical grandma fashion, I was home by 11:30 😉

We ran out of eggs on Saturday so we decided to go out to breakfast on Sunday, something we rarely (if ever) do! We went to the Delux Town Diner and it was fantastic. Veggie Hash & eggs for him, breakfast sando for me and their unbelievable sweet potato pancakes to share. I forgot how good diner breakfasts are!!

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After breakfast and food shopping, we went into the city so RM could take some photos for his new website. I wanted to go for a walk anyway so this was a great way to do both things. The weather was just too nice to be inside!

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We swung by his mother’s for dinner after and then when we got home I did some food prep, including this incredible looking spaghetti squash which has sautéed onions, garlic, red pepper, zucchini, summer squash, spinach and ground pork. Topped with a little cheese and you’ve got your self a super tasty and healthy meal!

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I’m gearing up for a busy week between subbing for Lauren’s Build & Burn classes tomorrow night (if you’re a YMCA member, come!), teaching my class on Wednesday and then teaching the kickoff sweat-KICK class at Foster Fitness on Thursday, so I’m happy to have a dish that will be quick and easy to re-heat for dinners!

Questions for you: How was your weekend? Have you ever played hookie? Did you get any good workouts in? Did you try any new recipes or restaurants? What’s going on this week?

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?

Weekending: Birthday Celebrations & Decorating for Christmas

Good morning! I hope you all had a great weekend. Although we did lots of Christmas-y things, it sure didn’t feel like Christmas with 50-60* weather all weekend. I’m not complaining, though, I’m sure we will have freezing temps and snow soon enough!

Before we recap, I want to wish my sister a very happy birthday!!! I hope you have a great day! xo

Friday

I really wasn’t ready to head right home after work on Friday so I texted my friend Jessi to see if she wanted to meet up for a drink on my way home. Lucky for me, she was around and willing to meet up! We met at Assembly Row and puttered through Home Goods before grabbing seats and some vino at the Legal Seafoods bar.

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I stopped at Whole Foods on the way home to get stuff for dinner: quesadillas! We had chicken we needed to eat and I was in no mood for a boring chicken and veggie meal. I feel like Fridays should be fun meals, not boring standard meals.

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We used Ezekiel wraps, chicken thighs I had baked earlier in the week, freshly shredded Gruyere cheese and veggies. I plan on writing these up in a post of their own because they were that good!

Saturday

It was my Saturday to teach and it was fun because there were lots of friends in class! I can tell winter is coming because each week my numbers continue to increase.

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We had a rare Saturday where both RM and I were around with no real plans. He took advantage of it by starting to study for his broker exam and I started to do some decorating. Since we loved the quesadilla’s so much, I offered to make them again for lunch!

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Later in the afternoon I popped over to Target to stock up on some household items… $85 later and multiple things I didn’t “need”. How does that store always do that to me?!

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We decided to get our Christmas Tree later in the afternoon. RM’s family always gets their tree at Russo’s in Watertown so we went there. I was totally impressed! The tree wasn’t cheap, but it just seemed to much healthier than the ones I’ve previously gotten at Home Depot so I didn’t mind spending the money.

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My sister was celebrating her birthday on Saturday night at The Brahmin so RM and I decided to head in a little early and grab some sushi at Red Lantern since it’s right next to The Brahmin. We got bubbly, spicy edamame, avocado salad, a spicy tuna roll and a salmon avocado roll and everything was fantastic!

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Once we got word that my sister was at The Brahmin we headed over. It was such a fun night- I definitely drank more than usual and more than I probably should have, but I don’t go out like that very often so it’s all good. We laughed, we danced and we took birthday shot shots- so much fun!

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RM and I were both craving pizza when we left, but we couldn’t find an open pizza joint so we ended up at Tasty Burger. I had never been and I have to say, although the burger was good, it wasn’t as good as Shake Shack! RM refused to share with me and made me get my own… two bites in and I decided I didn’t want a burger so we ended up taking it home, haha the fries on the other hand? Those were totally hitting the spot!

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Sunday

We slept in (no surprise there) and had a nice lazy morning. I whipped up some healthy pancakes and then went back to Target to get a new tree stand since the one I’ve had for a few years apparently had a big crack in it and leaked all of the water we added to it… so not fun!

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The rest of the day was spent decorating, food shopping and taking a stab at making Rosa’s sauce. I had a few bites and it definitely isn’t as good as hers, but it’s still pretty good!

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It’s been so fun decorating “our home” and getting our first Christmas tree together! We have so much fun living together that I sometimes still feel like we are playing house 🙂

For dinner, we had some paleo slow cooker wings that RM threw together- they were fantastic!

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And that about wraps it up!

Questions for you: Did you do anything fun this weekend? Have you gotten your tree and/or started decorating for Christmas? What’s the best meal you had this weekend? Any fun drinks or Christmas parties?

Weekending: Massages, Farmer’s Market, Lots of Shopping & Grill 23

Good morning! It’s time to talk about the weekend! I don’t know about you, but I feel like Tuesdays are a lot harder than Mondays. I’m not exactly sure why, but I think it has to do with the fact that I generally just roll into Mondays without much thought and I’m usually pretty busy, so the day goes by fast. Tuesdays, though, are the days where everything from the weekend tends to catch up with me. It’s terrible getting out of bed, I’m yawning all day, and I have to really give myself a pep talk to get a workout in, because I know that’s exactly what I need to get some energy.

Friday

I treated RM and myself to massages at Exhale Spa. Per usual, the experience was perfect: relaxing, calming and just a really nice escape from reality. After our massages, we headed to Whole Foods to get dinner: salmon, spinach and carrots. Paired with a nice Malbec and you have a happy Monique.

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We started Saturday morning by making a trip to the Waltham Farmers Market. Athena and Ashley- thanks for the great recommendation! RM got some meat and I came home with a bunch of veggies, for half the cost of what I’d pay at the store. The only annoying this is that I could be getting these from my dad for free if I was going home anytime soon!

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We also stopped at Whole Foods again for weekly groceries and I splurged on a couple of festive treats. Pumpkin Fig granola and Pumpkin Cranberry “chips”? Yes, please.

After lunch, we headed to Assembly Place to check out the new stores. Although it was beyond crowded (hello, rainy Saturday), we were able to shop around enough to get some great deals. I forgot to take pics of everything, but here’s a pic of one shirt I got, as well as the necklace RM gave me for our anniversary.

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He also got me a gorgeous handmade frame. These are really special things because they are handmade in India. I can’t wait to get a picture of us to put in the frame.

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Although it was really tempting to stay in on Saturday night because of the rain, we made our way to dinner at Grill 23, which is one of the nice steak houses in the city that I had not been to yet. Per usual, we scored seats at the bar and enjoyed drinks, oysters and a delicious meal.

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Not the best pic, but oh well! It was a great dinner and so fun to finally have a weekend date night!

We went for a nice walk on Sunday and then headed into the city for some more shopping. It was too nice to be stuck inside all day!

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Later that evening, we came back to my place so I could do my Sunday meal prep. I had a lot going on: stuffed peppers, meatballs, acorn squash, roasted veggies, sautéed veggies, quinoa and kale. #thankgoodnessforwine

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I also whipped up a batch of these beauties. Grain free pumpkin chocolate chip muffins? Ummm, yes. I added in walnuts, coconut flakes and did half almond meal, half coconut flour and they came out SO good. Such a healthy, tasty treat!

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And, there you have it. Another weekend roundup in the books. Although we were on the go a lot all weekend, we didn’t have a timeframe which was wonderful. We did what we wanted when we wanted- if only all weekends could be like that!

Your turn! What did you do over the weekend? Have you been to Grill 23? Do you go to a farmer’s market? Have you baked any festive treats yet?