Quick Charleston Weekend

Hey guys! How’s everyone doing? Did you have a nice 4th? My blog had a ton of hits earlier this week, mostly relating to 4th of July workouts so I hope you guys found something fun to do! We had a great 1 year anniversary trip back in Jackson, NH. I’ll share more on that later, but today I wanted to share my recap of a recent trip to Charleston, SC  enjoy!

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A few weeks ago, I went to Charleston, SC for a bachelorette party. Charleston is a city that’s been on my “want to visit” list for a long time, so I was thrilled when the bride-to-be picked it as the destination. Not only was I excited to finally get to experience the charm that is always depicted in the pictures I see people share, but I was also excited at the potential possibility of running into someone from Southern Charm 😉 This is my not-so-guilty pleasure show that I absolutely love! Lucky for me, we did get to see Chelsea driving down the street with her mom in a little golf cart. And yes, I did run out of the bar (The Gentry, owned by another cast member on the show, JD) to say hello… I was totally that girl!

Let’s back up, though. Due to my work/teaching schedule, I decided to fly out on a Saturday morning and home on  Monday morning. I scheduled a 6am flight so that I could get there early enough to basically have the whole day.

Unfortunately, as I mentioned in this post, that did not happen as there was a snafu with my luggage (spoiler alert & update: my luggage was found AND returned to me with NOTHING missing. My faith in humanity has been restored!) so by the time I got there, it was nearly 5pm so I had just enough time to chug a vino at the apartment before literally running down King street trying to shop for necessities before the stores closed at 6pm. Woof.

 

That said, my Charleston experience barely brushed the surface of what I was hoping for, but it just means we will need to go back again!

Where We Stayed

The bride-to-be’s cousin and my sister coordinated most of the weekend’s details and found the most amazing AirBnB rental for us to stay at for Saturday & Sunday night. It was on Society Street, which is right off of King street, one of the most popular streets in Charleston, lined with shops & restaurants. I would highly suggest this place if you’re going with a group and need lots of space. It has two big bedrooms and plenty of the space in the living room for an air mattress, 2.5 bathrooms, private garage parking included, a gym in the facility and a HUGE outdoor patio/deck space.

What We Did & Where We Ate

Although I was not there on Friday night, the girls who were there had dinner at 5Church, which they all raved about! They said the decor, atmosphere, food & drinks were all amazing, so it’s definitely a place I would like to check out.

On Saturday, my sister had made lunch reservations at HUSK, which is a very well-known, highly visited restaurant in Charleston. Unfortunately, due to my baggage fiasco, I did not get to Charleston in time for this, which I was REALLY bummed about. The girls said that it was one of the best lunches they’ve ever had!

Once I did get to Charleston, we shopped quickly and then saddled up in a corner window area of The Gentry, which is a bar owned by JD on the show Southern Charm. This place had a cool vibe and the Rose was delicious! We share a few starter plates which were also great.

Since we had plans of going out on Saturday night, we opted to hang out at the apartment and order pizza, which was a great idea as it gave us 7 girls plenty of time to get ready, catch up and have fun.

We ultimately ended up at Republic, which was more of a club atmosphere than I was anticipating. However, we made our way outside to the bar area and it was much quieter and a better scene for chatting and hanging out (although I would’ve loved to have danced all night inside the club!).

Sunday we went out to Folly Beach and had lunch right outside, basically on the water, at Blu, which was awesome! They have a huge deck, great drinks and food and live music! I could’ve spent hours just hanging out and drinking on that deck, but the beach was ultimately calling our name so after lunch we set up shop in the sand.

While walking to dinner on Sunday night, we decided to pop into a restaurant with a cool looking roofdeck, but unfortunately I can’t remember the name of it 😦 From there, we walked to Craftsmen Kitchen and Tap House for dinner and we were able to sit outside in their little patio area. The weather was perfect for outdoor dining! The food was SO good- we shared some apps and then got a various array of different dinner items and shared those as well. We finished out the night at Vendue for a little more roof deck action. Since it was a Sunday, things were pretty quiet so we went back to the Airbnb after 1 drink.

My flight was at 9am on Monday so I was up and out pretty early. The flight Gods were on my side and our first flight left early and I was able to get on an earlier connection flight back to Boston which was really great, especially after my less than stellar airport/flying experience on the way to Charleston.

Overall, even thought the weekend started our rough and I thought that I was never getting my bag back, it was such a FUN weekend spent with a really great group of girls. Can’t wait for the big day in August!

Questions for you: Have you ever been to Charleston, SC? What was your favorite part? What’s a city on your “want to visit” list?

 

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Bachelorette Party: Recap

Good morning! I hope you all had a nice weekend. Ours was great: Jeveli’s date night on Friday night, Flywheel class on Saturday morning for me and then a weekend on the cape consisting of lots of sun, sand, vino & seafood.

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Back to the grind this week, though, but I figured starting the week with a recap of my amazing bachelorette weekend was a great way to kick it off! Consider this your warning- it’s a long, picture filled post!

When my sister and I were discussing possible bachelorette options, I really only had a few preferences/requests: not too far away because I didn’t want people to have to spend a ton of money for traveling or have to take time off, I wanted to workout and I wanted to drink vino & wear a tutu 🙂 I can easily say that she- and with the help of my friend, Jessi- not only nailed it in the fact all of those things were included, they far surpassed it with everything else they also included.

Midday on Friday, I packed up my car, picked up my sister and we hit the road to go to Portland, Maine. Everyone else was working full days, but we figured it would be smart to take half days to get up there early to get everything ready. Originally I wanted to rent a house, but they had trouble finding one big enough, close enough to town and affordable enough so we opted to just stay at the Residence Inn in downtown Portland. This was the PERFECT place to stay for my (or any) bachelorette party for a number of reasons:

  • Walking distance to all the good bars/restaurants
  • All rooms have mini kitchenettes so we can store stuff in the fridges
  • All rooms have little living rooms, so people don’t have to hang out on the beds
  • They have suite options- we did a 2 bedroom suite which had 2 separate bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, a full kitchen with a table and a full living room, so we had plenty of space to hang out and relax. We also rented another standard room for 1 night since we had more girls staying on the second night.
  • You don’t have to bring your own sheets/towels
  • Housekeeping
  • Free breakfast, which was awesome- they had a waffle maker, eggs, sausage, cereal, bagels, oatmeal, yogurt, etc. This was a huge cost saver because a few of us would go down and stock up and then we could all enjoy it in the room.
  • Cocktail hour

Basically, it worked out way better than renting a house- I highly suggest it!

Anyway, where was I? Oh yeah, back to day 1. We stopped at the Market Basket in Biddeford on the way up to get beer/wine/snacks to stock the rooms and fridges. This was another good way to save money! Once we checked in and unpacked, we walked over to Flatbread Pizza which was right on the water- perfect for a sunny afternoon!

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Not long after lunch, a few more friends arrived and we popped some bubbly and hung out until we got dressed to head to dinner at Vignola Cinque Terre, which was an amazing little Italian restaurant. We ended up having the whole upstairs to ourselves, which was good considering the vino was flowing and friends kept arriving. The best surprise of the night/weekend was when my friend Amy showed up- I thought she wasn’t coming because she was going to be in Nashville, but her plans changed and everyone just kept me thinking she couldn’t come to make it a surprise- it was the best! We shared a bunch of different things and everything that came out was absolutely delicious- I highly recommend this restaurant if you’re in Portland.

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We asked our waitress where we should go after and when she mentioned a country bar called Bonfire, it was an obvious choice to go there. We got a beer tower and had fun dancing and singing before calling it a night around midnight. I didn’t want to stay out too late because I knew we had a spin class followed by a day of drinking the next days.

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Saturday morning we headed to Reve Cycling on Forest Ave. Some of my friends who couldn’t stay for 2 nights met us there so it was fun to have the majority of the crowd together! The best part was that Jessi organized to have matching pants made with out initials (my new ones!!) on the leg and then mine said “bride” on the butt. It was such a fun surprise! The class was awesome & challenging, but it flew by. Everyone was so happy that we did it, too. Nothing like starting the day with a good sweat (even if it probably wreaked of wine, lol).

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After the class, we went back to the hotel and started the shower process, which, considering we had 12 girls showering between 3 showers, didn’t take too long!

My mom and her friend Chris came to spend the afternoon with us, so once everyone was there, we walked to Portland Lobster Company for drinks, eats and live music. It was the perfect place to kickoff the afternoon because the food and drinks were great and affordable, there was plenty of outdoor space and it was right on the water.

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The next stop was The Porthole, which was another great outdoor spot on the water. They also had a live band, but we all joked how terrible they were! It didn’t matter, though, the drinks and company most definitely made up for it 🙂

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After a round we decided to make our way back to the hotel to regroup and get ready for the night. The girls also brought me lingerie which was a fun surprise! For dinner, my mom and dad had prepped all of the fixings to make tacos so we didn’t have to worry about dealing with going out to eat for a big group of girls. This was such a good idea, not to mention the food was delicious.

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BTW, if you’re looking for a tutu, my girl Amy is the best at making them- we said her Etsy line should be called “Babies and Brides” because she makes tutu’s for the brides and babies in her life. It was such a fun addition to my outfit for the day!!

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My other friend, Amy, is doing my makeup for the wedding so we did a trial run before we went out. I don’t wear a lot of makeup and she did a great job of making me not look or feel like I had loads on, but still put enough on to look good in pictures.

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Once we were all dolled up, we headed out to Bull Feeney’s, which is a fun bar for live band dancing. We stayed there for a while before heading BACK to the country bar (Bonfire)… what can I say? We love country music! It was livelier on Saturday night and I was even able to have (and win) a dance off- my idea of a solid night 😉

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Late night shenanigans at the hotel most certainly ensued, which was the perfect ending to a perfect weekend. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, these girls made me feel SO special and loved all weekend. Between friends from home & college (and family), I couldn’t have asked for a better group of girls to hang out with.  I couldn’t believe all that they did for me, especially my sister and Jessi- you girls are the absolute best and I am SO LUCKY to have you in my life! Can we do this again soon?! Love to you all!!!

Questions for you: Did you have a bachelorette party? Where did you have it? What types of bars do you like to go to? Have you been to Portland before? What are your favorite stops when you’re there? What’s a must-have on a girls weekend?
 

Five on Friday {5.27.16}

Good morning and TGIF! I have a few hours of work and then I’m off until Tuesday- amazing! I’m hoping for good weather- I need to work on a tan for the wedding 🙂 Let’s jump right into some highlights going on this week:

  • Yogathon hosted by lululemon- On Saturday, June 5th, lululemon is hosting a 12 Hour “Yogathon” in Honor of Nation Cancer Survivor’s Day at The Street in Chestnut Hill to benefit two organizations devoted to sharing the health benefits of yoga. There are various different classes to choose from, so if this interests you and if you’re around on June 5th, all you need to do to register is make a donation of any amount to bodhi & mind yoga, which offers free one-on-one yoga and meditation practice to women battling breast cancer, and Triyoga Boston, a non-profit organization offering therapeutic yoga classes, using the Yogathon Eventbrite page.
  • Thankful for great friends– If you follow me on social media, I’m sure you know that I had my bachelorette party last weekend. I will do a full recap on it, but for now I’ll just say that I felt SO special, thankful and grateful for having so many wonderful friends in my life. They planned the most amazing weekend, filled with lots of my favorite things and I ended the weekend feeling so humbled by everything everyone did for me.

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  • Bags & Beats @ GymIt- Earlier this week, I taught my first classes at GymIt in Watertown as a result of completing my BoxFIIT certification. I was pretty nervous going into the classes: new gym, new crowd, new class format, new app… after 4 years of mostly teaching at the same gyms to the same crowds, this totally put me out of my comfort zone, but you know what? I think I kinda rocked it! I had big shoes to fill, but I think members were happy with the classes I taught so I’m hoping to grow them over time. If you’re interested in checking it out, I teach on Tuesdays at 5:30 and 6:30pm and the classes are Bags & Beats so we use the heavy bags and do punching combos to the beat of the music mixed with non-boxing exercises. It’s a fun class and Tuesday reminded me that it’s so important to get out of our comfort zone and try new things because sometimes that’s exactly what you need to ignite a new fire within.

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  • Embracing the weather & season- Yesterday I decided to take a rest day. It’s been a long and busy week and I feel like I’m still catching up on sleep/getting back to normal after my bachelorette weekend, so I decided to take a rest day yesterday. I knew I needed this because after my run on Wednesday, I felt abnormally sore and tired. I set my alarm yesterday morning to get up and go for a walk before work, but when my alarm went off I realized I would benefit more from sleep. Listening to our bodies is so important, and somethign I admit I still have to work on, but I was proud of myself yesterday for listening to my body and resting (and enjoying vino after work).

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  • New Workout Plan- With our wedding coming up (38 days from today, to be exact!), I decided that I wanted to spend some time focusing on me when it comes to workouts. Lately I’ve been teaching a lot and have had a lot of other things going on so my own workouts have fallen a bit by the wayside; I still workout 5-6 days a week, but they aren’t as structured or formatted as I’d like them to be in order to see changes I’d like to see. With that said, I reached out to my girl Athena to have her create a month long upper-body focused workout plan for me for the month leading up to my wedding. I am by no means trying to lose weight, but rather I just would like to tone up my upper body and back and see what kinds of changes I can make when I consistently follow a plan. She sent me the workout plan the other day and upon first glance it looks great and I can’t wait to start- sometimes just having a new plan to follow is exactly what you need to get excited about something again!

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And that does it for me! We don’t have a lot planned this weekend which is really nice. I’m hoping to get some sun, sleep and relaxation 🙂

Questions for you: How has your week been? When is the last time you got out of your comfort zone? Do you like to follow structured workout plans? How are you embracing the weather?

Weekending: Through Pictures

Good morning! Anyone else grumpy from this crazy “April” weather?! My birthday is in t-minus 10 days and I really hope it’s seasonably warm by that point. Also, today we are exactly 3 months out from our wedding- EEEKK! With that said, the weekend was filled with a lot of wedding talk and shopping- trying to get things checked off the list as much as possible!

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Opted for the burrito bowl at Buff’s Pub on Friday night instead of wings- so tasty!

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Bachelorette Party shopping at Bebe

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Date night stop 1: drinks and the most amazing hummus & fresh, warm pita combo at Tavern Road. HOLY YUM

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Date night stop 2: Stumbled upon Pastoral and were blown away by how good the pizza (and Brussels Sprouts) were. Two new-to-us spots in one night?! Awesome!

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A post semi-workout selfie… I went to the gym to film some Box FIIT video submissions and did a tiny workout after- realized I was more sore and tired than I thought so I called it quits quickly.

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Another Just Add Cooking delivery- can’t wait to make these Asian-inspired dishes this week!

Not picture from the weekend: After work drinks at the Gaslight at the M Street shops with some girls from the office on Friday, teaching on Saturday, MOH dress shopping with my sister and her friends and then post shopping drinks at Stoddards, shopping for wedding shoes, Sunday morning pancakes, food shopping and visiting RM’s brother and SIL at their new house in Concord.

Questions for you: How was your weekend? Did you do something fun? Visit any new restaurants? Shop at all? How are you feeling about this crap weather? What’s going on this week?

Kia’s North Conway Bachelorette Weekend

I love celebrating my friends, and this past weekend was such a wonderful way to do so. My college friend, Nikia, is getting married this weekend so we all headed up to North Conway last weekend to celebrate her last weekend as a “single” lady. It was a mix of college girlfriends and some of her other girlfriends from different parts of her life. We all got along so well and by the end, it felt like we had all been friends for so long!

We arrived at various times on Friday night and took that time to drink wine, hang out and relax. The house that we rented was amazing!!! It was perfect for us because there were so many bedrooms and bathrooms- a must for a group of girls! It slept 14, had 6 bedrooms and 5 bathrooms, huge kitchen, 2 gas fireplaces, a game room and a hot tub with views of the nearby mountain. The Maid of Honor found the house on VRBO if you’re interested in checking it out!

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On Saturday, we got up and I led a 45 minute bootcamp. I did this at Sheila’s bachelorette weekend and was pumped when Kia asked if I would do it for hers. I’m all about drinking and partying and straying off of my normal healthy eats for a weekend, but I really like when I can still get in a workout and some movement because it’s something that makes me feel so much better! So, when you have a group of girls willing to do it with you, it makes for a fun event. I’ll post the workout on Wednesday, but it was a good one and it was so funny to listen to everyone grunting and groaning!
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