Weekending {Extended Version}: Birthday Celebrations & Marathon Monday

Good morning! I opted to not blog yesterday as I had the day off and figured a lot of you may also have it off or may even be running the marathon! Between taking my birthday off last week, working from home on Friday and then having yesterday off, I feel like I’ve been on a little vacation, which is pretty awesome. With everything going on these days between wedding planning, the BoxFIIT certification, teaching, blogging, working, etc. I feel like I was running on empty and really needed some time to re-charge the batteries. Granted, the past week has been filled with lots of things, but most didn’t involve work which helped give me that “recharge” I needed.

I’m going to keep my captions short, so enjoy the pictures!

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Birthday yoga!

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Birthday manis/pedis/lunch with my birthday buddy!

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Strong ladies supporting me in class. Not pictured: after class drinks at Gaslight 🙂

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Julian pizza from Max & Leo’s- the birthday girl doesn’t cook on her bday 😉

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Beautiful flowers and prosecco from coworkers who came to my class

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Extra bday flowers from RM

 

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All dolled up! Love the new bag RM got me

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My sister surprised me with a bottle of bubbly at dinner. We went to Committee in the Seaport and everything was unbelievably good- we couldn’t stop raving about how flavorful everything was AND they sent out a birthday treat- I highly suggest checking it out!

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Post kickboxing sweaty selfie.

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Entertaining my parents- I’m so sad that I didn’t get a single photo with them while they were here 😦

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Food shopping

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Pancake breakfast

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Birthday presents from my dad- picnic table, fire pit and a heck of a lot of wood. It was SO nice of them to come down not only to celebrate, but also to bring all of these things to help us have an awesome back yard/patio!

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4miler in gorgeous weather. I wish I could say it was a great run, but my legs felt like lead the entire time and my miles averaged 15-20 seconds slower than usual… BUT… I finished it and it felt great to be outside. Who cares about the mile times!

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Taking advantage of the sun and doing my thank you cards for the bridal shower gifts we’ve received outside. And then I started reading Defending Jacob, which is our new book club book. So far, I’m enjoying it, although it’s crazy that it takes place in Newton!

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Beer at home by myself: a rarity, but the weather encouraged it 😉

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Meal prep for the week: a cauliflower rice & other veggie “stirfry” with a peanut sauce and then a veggie-filled quiche- both have so much flavor!!

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Loving our outdoor patio space! Took my workout outside yesterday morning and it was amazing.

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We walked from the Intercontinental Hotel (where RM parks his car) to the Back Bay and it was so nice strolling through Boston Common’s in the gorgeous weather.

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We were fortunate enough to hang out at the Solas Pub (part of the Lennox Hotel) pretty much right at the Marathon finish line thanks to New Balance- drinks, food, prime spectator location?! Yes, please. So thankful for this opportunity!

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Watching the marathon is always a super emotional and inspiring thing. I love watching everyone who is finishing strong, but I also love how everyone is looking out for each other. The crowds roared even louder when struggling runners were trying to get to the end. Fellow marathoners helped those who were physically too beat to run on their own. Paramedics and EMT’s and all of the other helpers were there to help get people safely over the finish line. It gave me chills soaking all of that in. Such a wonderful experience.

If you made it this far, THANK YOU! I’ll be back tomorrow with a workout… and maybe even a recipe for you this week!

Questions for you: How was your weekend? Did you get outside to enjoy the weather? Did you go to the marathon or did you run the marathon? What do you have planned this week?

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Weekending: Girls Night, Day Dates & Home To Maine

Good morning! Blogging here from Maine, which is a nice treat- and a lovely perk of getting to work from home 😉 The weather over the past weekend was so perfect- I couldn’t help but be in a great mood the whole time!

After work on Friday, my friend Stephanie (from work) and I grabbed a quickie drink at the new Gaslight in Lynnfield at the M Street Shops. It was such a great way to end the work week!

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From there, I made my way to Somerville for a girls night with my SMC girls. Per usual, we had a great time laughing, snacking on delicious food and drinking my new favorite rose bubbly.

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I started Saturday off by teaching another super sweaty cardio kickboxing class- the best way to start my day! IMG_4317

After class, RM and I went into the city for some shopping and lunching- two of my favorite SaturDAY activities. We shared a burger and salad at Abe & Louie’s and everything was fantastic!

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From the Back Bay, we headed to Faneuil Hall to hit up a few stores and finished with ice creams… the weather was too good NOT to have an ice cream 😉 (ok, I’m kidding. I never need an excuse to get an ice cream- duh.)

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Once we got home, we lounged and binge-watched Breaking Bad until bedtime.

After breakfast on Sunday, I packed up and headed up to Maine. Mom and I met at the Publick House in Springvale for lunch which is always delicious (again, no picture of the food- just the booze. oops).

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Since it was so gorgeous, I laced up and went for a 3 miler. Thank God it was beautiful out because the run was hard- so.many.hills!!

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After my run, we got to work on centerpieces with a few of my mom’s friends. I wanted a simple look and I think we achieved that! The gold charger is going to be replaced with birch wood for the actual wedding.

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I keep looking at it and just love the white flowers! And, my dad had loads of mason jars for me to use so that was easy.

Dinner was a delicious pork chop, sweet potato, broccoli, carrots and green beans. I love being home and having my parents cook for me 🙂

And that about wraps it up! I hope all of you had a great weekend and are kicking off this week with a positive mindset.

Questions for you: What did you do this weekend? Did you get outside to soak up the warm weather? Did you have any good meals? What’s on the agenda for this week? Any workouts you’re looking forward to?

Holiday Gift Guide for the Foodie, Wine-o, Fashionista & Fitness Lover in Your Life

Good morning! This is the first time I’ve ever done a “holiday gift guide” type of post, but as I was in the shower the other day (TMI?!), I started thinking of all the various products I love- not just fitness related, either. Things the foodie in me loves, things the wine-o in me loves, things the {wannabe} fashionista in me loves… so I think when you combine all of those things you’re bound to find something in this list for someone in your life, right?! Right.  I’ll preface this post by saying this certainly does not cover ALL of the things I love in these categories, I just picked the top 2-5 things I love and use/buy in each category. If I included all of my favorites this post would be veryyyy long 😉 With that said, let’s get to it!

Foodie

  • Tre Olive I wrote all about our experience with Tre Olive in this post, so check that out for the details! High level? By visiting Treolive.com you can purchase lots of various olive oil based products from olive groves in Italy (soaps, olive oil, gift packages, etc.). If you’re looking for more, you can even adopt an olive tree for a season and get multiple tins of olive oil made from the olives your tree grew. Pretty cool, right? If you are interested, you can use the code B2BHoliday to get $10 off and olive tree adoption!

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  • Vitamix RM got a Vitamix a few years ago and it’s one of the best kitchen appliances we have! That thing can literally puree anything- it’s perfect for smoothies, soups, and any other kind of “sauce” that requires blending things together.
  • Cooking class– I always thing this is such a fun gift to give someone, even though I’ve never done it. I have hear great things from classes at Sur La Table, Boston Center for the Arts, Cambridge School of Culinary Arts, etc.

Wine-O/Beer Lover

  • Club W Wines I posted about this a while back, but basically it’s a monthly wine subscription allowing you to pick 3 wines a month based on your preferences. We usually choose all whites, but you can choose all reds or a mix of the two. What we love about this is how easy it is- who doesn’t like having wine delivered to their door?! And, it’s pretty affordable since the wines are only $13 each and if you get people to sign up with your link, you get a free bottle and they get TWO free bottles. Awesome, right?
  • Boston Wine Expo & Seminars For a few years in a row I would get my family tickets to a wine seminar hosted during the Boston Wine Expo in the Seaport District. What I love about doing a seminar vs. the full tasting is that you have a chance to taste a bunch of wines AND learn about them in a fun way. Plus tickets tend to be much less expensive than the full blown event so it’s a great gift! We would always plan a fun lunch after the tasting, too.
  • Brewing beer at HopstersI’ve been to Hopsters a few times recently, not only because it’s so close, but also because it’s so good! I haven’t done a brew there- yet- but I definitely want to check it out! They have various packages ranging in price and end result so they have something to fit everyone’s want/need, plus you can also get a small group of people together and that brings the cost down even more.
  • Tours/Tastings at Lookout Farm Originally just a farm and a place for you to pick apples, pears, peaches, strawberries, etc., Lookout Farm now has a line of their very own hard ciders. What RM and I love about the ciders is they aren’t overly fruity or sweet. They’re very refreshing and super flavorful. My favorite was the Super Berry. Along with being able to taste various ones by getting a flight, you can also take a tour of the brewery and munch on their delicious flatbreads, pretzels and charcuterie boards. If you go, ask for Mark Magno and tell him Monique from B2B sent you- he’s RM’s cousin and an awesome guy!

Fashionistas

  • StitchFix I’ve posted about Stitch Fix a number of times. What I love about it is that you set up an online profile and then a stylist reviews and picks out 5 items to send to you. You get charged $20 for the “fix”, but if you purchase anything from your fix that $20 gets applied to that which is nice. And, if you purchase your whole “fix”, you get 25% off everything. This is a fun gift because there’s nothing better than getting a package full of fun clothes and accessories to try on! You can read my reviews here, here, here, and here.
  • Birchbox My sister gifted me a Birchbox subscription last year and it was so fun to get a new box every month that was filled with all sorts of beauty products I may not otherwise have tried out. It’s a very affordable gift for those who like to try out new hair, makeup and skin products!

Fitness

    • New Balance – New Balance always has super cute active wear that I drool over during the New Balance Girls Night Out events. Sadly, I don’t own much NB gear, but what I do own I love. They sent me some holiday gift guide ideas and since I loved the Women’s 88v1 Trainer ($85) sneakers and these amazing NBWomen Printed Performance Tight ($85)– I totally need these in my life! I loveeee flashy/funky workout pants and these totally fit the bill!
    • Lulu hoodies– It’s no secret that I love Lululemon. Although I’ve been branching out and trying other brands, I’ve still got a major soft spot for Lulu. Lately I’ve been living in my scuba hoodie ($108). It’s just so comfy and great to throw on for your trips to and from the gym and when you’re lounging around the house. Also, fitness instructors get 15% off.
    • Athleta capris- I recently bought my first pair of Athleta “Chaturanga” Capris ($64) and I totally love them. I have to say, they feel like they’re made better than Lulu capris. They’re tight and thick and soft and they keep everything nice and tight when you’re jumping around- always a good thing as an instructor, especially when they give you 30% off!!
    • Fitbit/REM-fit- I try not to obsess too much over tracking everything, but I do love wearing my Fitbit ($60-$250, depending on version) or my Rem-fit activity tracker ($60-$100, depending on the version) just to see how active or inactive I am on any particular day. I find that on days I don’t workout, it’s very hard to meet the 10K steps unless I go for a walk or am not working and running errands or cleaning or something like that. It’s a great way to encourage me to move more and hit my step goal for the day. They both allow you to track all your daily activity, good intake, sleep, etc.
    • Garmin Running Watch-  I’ve had my Garmin for years and it still works great! I love wearing it for runs because it seems to track more accurately than the apps I use on my phone, not to mention it doesn’t use data 😉 They have so many new models ranging from $79-$450, so you’re sure to find the perfect one for whoever you’re buying it for!
    • Studio gift certificates- There are SO MANY amazing fitness studios these days, and not just in and around the Boston area! It seems as though boutique studios focusing on spinning or barre or yoga or bootcamp are popping up everywhere, so a great idea for the fitness lover in your life would be to get them a couple of gift certificates to various studios around where they live. If you’re in the Boston area, you can find a bunch of various studio reviews here. I’ve got reviews for all sorts of fitness classes so there’s sure to be one that fits the bill for the person you’re buying it for!
    • ClassPass Gift Certificate– Expanding upon the Studio Gift cards, if you’re not sure what someone likes, you could always get them a ClassPass gift card ($119) which would allow them to try out classes as LOADS of different studios near them for an entire month! I’ve been thinking about renewing my membership, but since I’m trying to save for our wedding it probably won’t happen until after that.

And now I want everything on this list, not to mention I’ve thought of a million different categories I could’ve included 😉 I hope you are able to find something useful from this list!

Questions for you- Do you tend to get people gift cards or do you like to do real presents? What are you looking for this year?

Disclaimer: I was not compensated for any links or gift guide ideas located in this post, however I was given a Rem-Fit activity tracker which I will be reviewing in a future post. All thoughts and opinions are my own and I’m only sharing products I use and love. Some links are referral links, but if you sign up you will also get a referral link, so it’s a win-win 😉

Weekending: A Boston Summer Weekend

It’s crazy to think that we spent all of last weekend in Boston. I can’t remember the last time we did that during the summer months and even though I had wished we were at the Cape since the weather was so gorgeous, it was so nice just being close to home and not having to deal with summer traffic! Here’s a picture-focused post with the weekend highlights- enjoy!

  • Making good use of time by going for a walk while waiting for my oil to get changed

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  • Beautiful sky on my way to dinner with some friends in the North End

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  • Saturday afternoon at the beach

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  • Dinner and margs at Tico in the Back Bay- absolutely delicious!

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  • To get some movement in on my rest day, I walked to church and then walked to Shaws and the liquor store- it was a heavy walk home!

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  • Delicious fruit salad that I whipped together before going to a pool party

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  • I could get used to this- absolutely gorgeous!

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  • Hazy, hot and humid during my morning 4 miler- so happy to have done it first thing!

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Questions for you: What did you do this weekend? Did you go anywhere or stay local? How did you survive the heat? Do you prefer the beach or pool? 

Weekending: Cape Edition

And we are already amidst another week…. can time please slow down?! RM and I escaped to the Cape last weekend and it really was the most perfect weekend from start to finish. The only bad thing was it ending! I was saying to RM on our way back to Boston yesterday that normally I’m OK with weekends and parties and vacations ending because I love my normal day to day life, but for some reason I really didn’t want last weekend to end.

Friday night, we packed up and headed south around 6:45, but not before I packed up some “healthier” weekend treats. I don’t like to travel without some staple food items because they help me stay more on track with the way I like to eat- here are some staples and some splurges, all picked up at the Whole Foods in Lynnfield.

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We hit ZERO traffic heading to the cape which was awesome! Before we knew it, we were saddled up at The Kettle Ho which is just down the road from RM’s family’s house. We had a few drinks and some dinner and called it an early night since RM had a 7:40 tee time on Saturday.

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While RM was golfing, I took advantage of being down on the Cape and took Aly’s class at the B/Spoke Cape House “pop up studio”.

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The class was AWESOME and judging by the crowds and waitlists, this was a great business venture for them. Aly’s class was crazy high energy, the tracks were challenging and I left there literally dripping with sweat.

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Continuing on with my “morning of me”, I treated myself to a post class smoothie and pedicure at the Mashpee Commons.
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