Weekending: Babysitting, Spartan Training, Lunching, Lounging

Happy Birthday Month to all my April birthday buddies! I can’t believe I am going to be 29 in just 2 weeks. Holy crap. Where the heck does time go?!

I had a relatively quiet weekend last weekend, which was a welcomed change! It was nice to not be under stress to get from one thing to the next, and to have time to relax and get stuff done around my apartment.

Friday night I got to babysit my 2 favorite kiddos. They love making pizza with me, so their mom whipped up some homemade dough and we made the most delicious pizza. It ended up working out well since I can’t eat meat on Fridays anyway!

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Saturday started off the best way: with a workout! As I’ve mentioned, I went to a Spartan training workout with a group of gym friends. I’d love to say that I LOVED the workout, but I didn’t. I thought it was really good and left me physically beat, it was too long. I was ready to be done about an hour into it, which I think was because it was fairly repetitive. Read: we did A LOT of burpees, squats, lunges, jumping jacks, running in place and push ups. Like, a lot (I think we did at least 200 burpees- no joke). While those are great exercises, I would’ve liked to have seen a better variety to keep us engaged for the whole time. We did run outside for a bit, which was greatly welcomed since the BC High School gymnasium was SO HOT. Overall, it was a good workout, but I don’t think I’d do one again. It was definitely fun to work out WITH my gym friends, rather than just teaching them 😉

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I definitely earned my lunch and bubbly at Lincoln Tavern with my sister! As I mentioned on Instagram, Lincoln has a “Bucket of Bubbly” deal where you get a bottle of Prosecco and 3 mixers (OJ, grapefruit juice and peach puree) for.. wait for it… $24! Even if you don’t finish the bottle (I’m embarrassed to admit we didn’t finish it…), it’s still a better deal than ordering glasses separately. I also enjoyed an asparagus, caramelized onions and cheese omelet.

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After lunch, I headed to my date’s apartment (I’m going to call him that rather than “the guy I am dating”… much easier 😉 ) to hang out. We had a nice, quiet night in which included drinking really great wine, cooking/making dinner and watching a movie.

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Have you seen the Dallas Buyers Club? We both really enjoyed it. While it was a bit more serious and intense than I usually watch, it was a very interesting story with great acting!

I wanted to share the recipe that we used for our appetizer. My date is gluten and dairy free right now, so he got this really great Paleo recipe book and we made the Tahini sauce.

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(he set this up for me to take a photo to put on here- super cute!)

It was a fun treat! He had made homemade sausages a few weeks ago, so we also had some of those with peppers, onions and a side of kale. Delish!

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Sunday started out with a workout and then grocery shopping, meal prep, laundry, cleaning and blogging. The gross, rainy weather was perfect for all of these activities! I made a crock pot soup, which was just a bunch of veggies, sweet potatoes and broth/Stubbs’ marinade. I added chicken at the end. Perfect meal for a rainy Sunday!

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I also made these amazing bars that Athena posted a while ago. I added in unsweetened coconut flakes and used gluten/dairy free chocolate chips. These things continue to amaze me!

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And that’s about it! All around really great weekend.

Questions for you: Do you make your own pizza dough or buy it? Have you done a Spartan race? Have you seen Dallas Buyers Club? If so, what did you think?

 

Weekending: Pure Barre, Crock Pot Meal, Boston Visiters

This past weekend was relatively quiet, which was good since I was still feeling pretty crappy unless I was drugged up on Sudafed. By Friday afternoon, though, I was itching to get out of my apartment (2 days in a row of working from home will do that to you!), so I decided to get my grocery shopping done. Woohoo, wild and crazy Friday night, huh? To spice things up, I stopped in at TJ Maxx first and scored this awesome Essie nail polish. Did you guys know they sell it there for $4.99?? I’ve been really into paining my nails recently, so I was stoked!

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My Friday night wasn’t entirely boring, though, as I did get together with someone for a class of wine, which ended up making me so stuffy I had to stop after one. The horrors!

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That was a bottle included in an awesome “box” of wine that I got as a Christmas present. I’m going to do a whole recap on that in another post because good wine deserves its own post, right?!

I had been looking forward to Saturday all week because I was finally cashing in my Christmas present from my sister, which was a class at Pure Barre on Newbury Street. I’ve been to a few barre classes, but I still went in without knowing what to expect. Well, 5 minutes in when I was dripping sweat holding all sorts of leg lifts and inner thigh squeezes and 90 second planks, I realized I was in for a real treat!

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I loved the class and could see myself going more often if it wasn’t so expensive, but I have to say that my first reaction of my first class wasn’t what I expected it to be. I think the reason I felt this way was only because the class moved SO fast and I had no idea what I was doing, which left me a little frustrated (it’s the Type A “I want to know exactly what to do, how to do it, what it should look like and how long we’ll be doing it for” in me.). I kept trying to look around for someone who looked like they knew what they were doing, but it was a class primarily full of “newbies” like Danielle and me, so I was out of luck. Even though I spent a lot of time fumbling around trying to figure out what to squeeze and tuck, I was able to “get” the move before it was time to move on, which was good. The instructor was also really attentive and walked around and corrected form (I kind of wanted her to just stand by me and fix me the whole class…) which was great.

I talked to the instructor after class to thank her for a great workout and to ask if it’s normal to be confused with the moves/terminology and she said that everyone feels that way after their first class and that after a few classes you learn the lingo and the moves and it becomes easier in that respect (not in terms of the workout). This made me feel better! And just because I was frustrated didn’t mean I didn’t like it, because I loved it. We worked muscles I didn’t know I had and when I woke up on Sunday morning, I could feel EVERYTHING. Holy moly. My hamstrings, abductors, triceps (I didn’t even think we did anything to work our triceps) and back were screaming as soon as I woke up. It was great. Thanks for a great Christmas present, Danielle! It was so fun trying something totally new and having it literally kick my butt. I want to go back!

After class, we headed to Douzo Sushi for a healthy and light lunch. We shared a Bento Box, Tempura Broccoli and Edamame. We didn’t share our wine, though 😉

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I love going out to lunch and having wine SO much. It’s probably one of my favorite things to do on a Saturday! I had to babysit on Saturday night, so I had to stop after 1 glass. Womp, womp.

Sunday morning I got up, did laundry, made granola (I’ll post it soon- SO good), went for a run and then got my crock pot meal ready since Danielle and I were getting drinks with our cousin on Sunday evening. I got the crock pot recipe from Eat, Live, Run and was happy with how easy it was to prepare. Are all crock pot meals as easy as cutting things up and putting them in the crock pot? I should do more of these…

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I followed Jenna’s recipe exactly except I used sweet potatoes instead of white potatoes. I tried to halve the recipe, but I ended up doing probably 3/4 of the recipe. Soup freezes well, so I’m sure I’ll be doing that!

On Sunday evening, my sister and I met up with our cousin who was in town for various camp fairs (He’s the director at Hosmer Point in Craftsbury Commons, VT.) at Otto Pizza in Coolidge Corner. We got to meet some of his former campers/counselors which was really fun. We talked about Burpees to Bubbly (Hi everyone if you’ve ventured over here!) and I loved it 🙂

And that about sums it up! All in all, it was a good weekend… a little quiet/laid back, but with this stupid cold thing that’s probably just what I needed.

Questions for you: What was the best part of your weekend? Have you been to Pure Barre or another Barre studio in Boston? Do you have tips for a newbie?? What’s your favorite crock pot recipe?

Weekending: Kickboxing, Babysitting, Breakfasting, Beaching

Good morning! I had a busy, but fun weekend this past weekend, anyone else? I feel like I’ve been in constant “go-go-go” mode for a few weeks now and I’ll be honest, I am ready for a little down time! This weekend, besides the Color Me Rad race on Saturday is pretty much wide open. It’s going to feel great to have TIME to get things done, or, to do absolutely nothing but hang out and relax! As I will be moving in a few weeks, I am sure there are lots of things for me to do around here!

On Friday, I dropped Tim off at the airport around 2:45. From there, since it was so hot, I headed to Starbucks to get some work done. It wasn’t at all what I wanted to do, but I didn’t have a choice:( Once I got to my apartment, I pretty much stayed in my air-conditioned bedroom since our apartment thermostat read 93 degrees. Yikes!

Saturday morning, I woke up mostly rested and mentally prepared myself to tackle the day! On the agenda, going to the bank, teaching kickboxing, grabbing lunch, babysitting and then stopping by Rachel and Dans’s for a BBQ. As I said yesterday, kickboxing was SWEATY! I think it’s because our body temps are abnormally high because of the crazy heat wave- does this make any sense? I got a kick out of the twitter messages post class:

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At least I wasn’t the only one:)

Babysitting was hot, but fun. Watching the kids play in the sprinkler was so fun- ah, to be a carefree kid again, just for a day, would be so great. I brought pizza dough and toppings since I thought it would be fun for us to make pizza together, instead of ordering out. The kids LOVED it. Trying to explain the concept of what we were doing and what it would “turn into” after we baked it was hilarious. Lila said it was the “best pizza she has ever eaten”… job well done 🙂

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Unfortunately, Rachel and Dan’s BBQ had ended, but it was nice to chat with them for a little while. I was ok with going home early as I knew I needed to get up and leave the house by 8:30am on Sunday to meet Meredith for breakfast in Portsmouth. Meredith moved to Australia about 8 months ago, so it was SO GOOD to finally see her and catch up. We joked, though, that there’s no way to catch up on that many months in an hour and a half breakfast. We did our very best! Meredith is literally the sweetest person I know and I am so happy that we are such good friends. She’s the best listener and just “gets” it (whatever “it” may be). Thanks for meeting up, Mere!! Miss you already!

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Since I was already north of Boston and the weather was nice (the heat wave seemed to have finally broke!!), I decided to hit up a beach that I might not normally go to. I had a million things on my “to-do” list, but when I looked at it, I realized that I really needed some quiet “me” time, so I decided to go to Plum Island in Newbury. The beach was really nice and luckily, it wasn’t too hot. I stayed for about 2 hours until I realized I was a. starving and b. nearly out of water. If hangry Monique is awful, hangry and thirsty Monique is a monster!

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On my way home, I stopped in Danvers at the Stop n Shop to grab a few groceries and lunch and made it back to my apartment early enough to have time to water my garden, blog, do laundry and get ready for dinner.

I went to dinner in Dorchester and was very surprised with how nice the restaurant was! When we walked in, the place looked dead, which generally makes me nervous, but as soon as we walked outside to the patio, we realized why the inside was empty: the back patio was awesome!! I was bummed when the server said they were out of the Miso Glazed Salmon, but when I took a bite of the Ahi Tuna Taco’s, I pretty much forgot about the salmon! I am so happy that the weather has cooled down a bit because outdoor dining in the summer is my favorite!

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(Pretty rainbow I saw when I was driving!)

All in all, it was a great, but busy weekend!

Questions for you: Do you like to make your own pizza? Favorite restaurant in Portsmouth? Do you feel like you sweat more in classes when it’s hot out even though they are indoors?

I want to wish my very dear friend, Sara, a very happy birthday!!!

Weekend Catch-Up: Babysitting, Lunch at Cafeteria, Lulu Shopping, Sushi, Beach

All last week I kept looking ahead to my weekend and felt great that it was literally wide open! However, by the time Friday rolled around, pretty much my entire weekend was booked; does this happen to anyone else? Since I am a planner, this isn’t uncommon for me, but it still made me laugh to see how quickly I turned an open, no plan weekend into a relatively busy weekend!

After I taught on Friday, I headed to Newton to babysit Trent and Lila. I met their mom, Renee, back when we used to take yoga every Monday together. I have been babysitting for them for over 3 years at this point; crazy to think it’s been that long! I always have a blast babysitting because the kids are great, it’s fun to catch up with Renee, and because they always have the best snacks and trashy mags for me to read after the kids go to bed 😉

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Not a bad way to spend the night! Plus, babysitting money is my Lulu money, so you wanna know shopping was on the agenda for Saturday.

I let myself stay in bed until 9am on Saturday since I didn’t get home until 1am. I originally had plans to go to BodyPump, but realized that my body was exhausted and could use the rest. After I got up, I went to the Christmas Tree Shop and then Target to stock up on things for my trip this week. While I was at Target, I ended up getting a bathing suit for $22!! Love a good deal!

After errands, I showered and then my sister and my friend Lauren and I went into the city and had lunch at Cafeteria. Weekend lunches out require cocktails, right? And, it’s only fitting for me to have a glass of bubbly 😉

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To eat, we ordered 3 sandwiches and shared amongst ourselves.

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I got the black bean burger, but I’ll spare you the picture since it wasn’t very pretty. Everything tasted great, though!

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After lunch, we walked over to the Lululemon. I went with the mission to get a colored pair of spandex shorts, but they only had black ones in my size. Boring 😦 I ended up finding a pair of HOT PINK capris (on sale!) and a bright lime green top instead. I can’t say I was disappointed about my purchases.

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Don’t worry, I won’t wear them together 😉

In addition to my new outfit (I am SO excited to workout and wear them now- such a great motivator!), I finally got a new gym bag. I have been on a hunt for a new gym bag for MONTHS, so I’m stoked that I finally found one that I like. It’s really big so it’s perfect for my “work to gym” days (aka, every day).

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I love it so much already!!

After shopping, Lauren and I got much-needed pedicures. It’s the little things!

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Once we got home, I was absolutely beat and did something I NEVER do: napped! I had dinner plans at 7, but knew I had about an hour that I could allot to napping, or at the very least, resting. It felt great!!

Dinner was at Yoki, which I’ve blogged about on here once or twice before! The sushi is amazing and the Celtics roll is literally the best roll I have ever had!!

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Mmmm 🙂

We were finally graced with a really sunny day on Sunday, so Lauren and Danielle and I decided to go to the beach! We went to Nahant, and it was already jam packed at 10am. Even though it was a beautiful sunny beach day, it was almost TOO hot.

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Nonetheless, we lasted about 3 hours and then grabbed lunch at Tides, which is right at the start of the beach.

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I got a Teriyaki Grilled Chicken Wrap on a whole wheat tortilla with a side of steamed broccoli. I loved that they had healthy, yet yummy, food options!

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To counteract my healthy meal, I enjoyed a Blueberry beer!

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There’s just something about an ice cold beer that quenches thirst unlike no other. Please tell me I’m not the only one who feels this way!

Once we got home from the beach, I did some pre-blogging for the week (have a few guest blogs for you- get excited!), cleaned up the apartment, did laundry and went to the grocery store. Since I will be away most of the week, I just grabbed some fruit and a salad to eat with the other half of my wrap that I got at Tides. Danielle and I did walk to get an ice cream. I was craving one bad! We ended up sharing one since they didn’t have kiddie sizes.

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Phew! That was a long weekend recap; if you made it this far, thank you!

Questions for you: What’s your favorite hot weather treat? What’s your favorite flavor of ice cream? Ever been to Nahant beach? What is a MA beach that I have to try?

PS!! Check out the size of this summer squash that I picked from my garden!!!

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what do you think I should make with it?!

What a weekend!

Hi everyone! Happy Sunday!

Today has been a wonderful day, but before I get to that, let’s catch up on yesterday.  Last night, I was finally able to babysit my favorite kiddos! I met their mom when we used to take yoga together every week (miss that!!) and for the past 3 or so years (might even be more), I have been able to babysit her kids every couple of months. Well, between work and teaching classes, my schedule hasn’t really allowed for much free “babysitting” time, so I am happy that we were able to coordinate last night. I got this from Lila and it totally melted my heart

004So sweet.

Long overdue…

I have been in dire need of a massage for SO long. Between teaching 5+ classes a week, commuting to work (carrying too many heavy bags), and an overall busy lifestyle, my body was screaming for some relaxation. I put a poll out on Facebook to get recommendations for good spas in the Boston area and my cousin and his wife both suggested the Intercontinental Hotel. I couldn’t be more thankful for that request!

Since I knew I had access to the hotel’s facilities all day, I headed over around 9:30 this morning so I could get in a workout prior to my 11am appointment.

008I started off with 32 minutes on the elliptical (my legs were TIGHT from my run yesterday) and then set up a circuit to run through. I swear, new gyms with fun “toys” make me way too happy.

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015If you have access to a box (or step with lots of risers), BOSU & Kettle’s (or a weight), you can totally do this!

For Time- Complete 4 rounds of the following circuit in as short amount of time as possible (while maintaining good form)

  • 10 Box Jumps
  • 10 Weighted Squats on the BOSU
  • 10 KB Swings (go heavy!)
  • 10 BOSU Burpees
  • 10 Russian Twists (use weight or a Dynamax ball)
  • 10 Plank Rotations

Let me know if you try it! I didn’t have time to finish 4 rounds, but if you push yourself and give this your all, you’ll definitely be huffing and puffing!

After my workout, I rinsed quickly and then slipped into the softest, most comfortable robe ever!

009My masseuse was wonderful. As soon as I walked in, she asked if I had any injuries or any areas of tension. My right shoulder has been bothering me lately; I think it’s overuse, which is so frustrating. I told her about this and she said she could see how my left shoulder was scrunched up and my right shoulder was looking more limp… I didn’t even notice this, but as soon as she brought it up, it totally made sense. Iris did a phenomenal job paying special attention to that shoulder and did lots of different things to increase the range of motion and rotation. She said that my left shoulder was actually more tight than my right because it was overcompensating for the right. I think it is SO interesting to learn about how muscles work and how one little thing can affect many other things.

Anyway! Iris gave me lots of tips and stretches to perform on my own with the hopes of nursing my shoulder back to normal in no time. When I go back (yes, WHEN… I definitely plan on going back in the next couple of months), I am going to ask for Iris again. She was wonderful!

IrisOh, there’s more! Not only was the workout & massage amazing, but the showers and products were to die for! I was a happy, happy girl… I smell so good now!

006My life is so hectic these days (brought on by myself, but still…), that I cannot tell you how nice it was to be in a serene “locker room” setting with nice products, soothing music… and no sweaty gym people:)

……..

To continue on with my “Mental & Physical Health Day,” I decided to splurge and grab lunch, too! Look at me… Really living on the edge now! My sister got me a gift certificate to Life Alive for Christmas and I have been dying to use it ever since.

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My friend Jess introduced me to this place after one of my classes in Central Square and I have been hooked ever since! I got the demi portion of The Adventurer and it was ahhh-mazing!!

018I mean, look at that thing! Corn, broccoli, beets, tofu, almonds, kale, quinoa & a dressing so good I think I could drink it (ok, maybe not DRINK it, but it was so good!). To finish it off, I grabbed a Paleo dessert.

016I have to say, I was pretty skeptical of these, but after one bite I was sold. These were delicious!

Phew! If you made it this far, THANK YOU! That was quite the wordy and picture heavy recap of the past 24 hours.

As for the rest of the day, I may take a walk while I think about what I want to use as my benchmark Dynamax workout since it’s beautiful out. Today has been such a great day… no rushing on my end, no stressing, good food & workout… and, best of all, total relaxation. Why don’t I do this more often?

Questions for you: When is the last time you had a “me” day where you pampered yourself? Favorite healthy food place? Let me know if you try the workout!