New York City Weekend Getaway

Hi there! As I look back on my most recent posts, I feel as though I should change the name of my blog to “Eat, Drink & Travel”, lol. Honestly, though, I have realized that Instagram is a much better platform for sharing my fitness “things”; whether it be new workout/fitness gear, clothes, classes or workouts, I get much better hits and responses to what I share when I share it on Instagram.

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However, you can only share so much in a single Instagram post or story, and I’m not one to post multiple photos in one day or even share photos multiple days in a row, which is why having this little blog comes in handy!

I love sharing our trips and experiences on B2B because not only do I enjoy going back and reading/reliving our experiences on a later date, but I have been able to share our trips/experiences with others as they plan similar ones!

Now that we’ve cleared that up, here’s to the recap πŸ˜‰ RM and I have talked about going to NYC together for so long, but for some reason or another, it never happened. Since RM’s birthday falls so close to Christmas, it often gets overshadowed by the upcoming Christmas Eve and Christmas Day festivities. Last year, I decided to change that – I surprised him with a trip to NYC to celebrate his birthday! I had always wanted to visit NYC for the holidays, so it all worked out so well!

Where We Stayed

Per usual, we opted for an AirBnB. We chose the West Village as it’s a super quaint part of the city, away from the hustle and bustle of the tourists and attractions in midtown. Although it was small, the one I booked was so perfect for us! The location couldn’t be beat, it was super clean, had all the amenities we would want or need and the bed was comfy. If you’re looking for a great AirBnB for your NYC weekend, I couldn’t recommend this place enough! The host was also very responsive and accommodating.

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Where We Ate

Before going to NYC, I reached out to RM’s sister and BIL for recommendations as they both lived in NYC for a while and are in the food/wine industry and know good food. RM also had some places that he wanted to go to, so it worked out well.

  • Blind Tiger – by the time we got to NYC and checked into our AirBNB, we were starving! It had mostly stopped raining, so we decided to pop out for a walk to see if we could find someplace to get a drink and snack at. Enter: Blind Tiger. This was in the West Village and looked cool from the outside and somewhat busy on the inside, so we figured it had to be pretty good. We were pumped to see what a great beer list they had – so many fun IPA’s to try! We snacked on empenadas and curried cauliflower while sipping our way through a few beers. The vibe was great, the food was great and the beers were great. All in all, we would definitely recommend this place!

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  • Patsy’s Pizzeria RM had been raving about Patsy’s pizza for so long! Unfortunately, it did not live up to what he remembered it being, so it was a bit of a disappointing meal 😦 However, if you are looking for good pizza, RM’s sister recommends: Lombardis (in Soho), Motorino and Luzzo’s.
  • Waverly Diner – Originally, RM wanted to go to a big diner in Union Square, but when we walked there, we realized it had recently been closed. Enter his second restaurant fail of the weekend, lol. However, after a quick google search, we found Waverly Diner, just a few blocks from our AirBnB, which was exactly what we were looking for: casual diner serving good breakfast food. The banana walnut pancakes were SO good – it was a great start to the day!

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  • Corner Bistro – While at the Observatory, we realized we were getting rather hungry and thought a burger sounded good. We were going to go to Minetta Tavern (the best burgers), but RM remembered another place he used to go to a lot called the Corner Bistro. After some googling, he found that it still existed. We joked as we made our way there that this place better be good, otherwise he was going to be 0 for 3. Luckily, it was perfect! It was small and quaint, but two seats opened up at the bar right as we walked in. The staff was super pleasant and I loved that the menu was less than 10 items. We ordered two cheeseburgers and a side of fries and within a few minutes, they were serve to us; on paper plates, nonetheless! But, that’s part of the charm and experience at Corner Bistro – just as RM remembered it. The burger was SO SO good – we would definitely recommend going there! It’s cash only, but everything was pretty cheap so it wasn’t an issue.
  • Murray’s Bagels I texted my friend Kelly (who lives in NYC and who my girlfriends and I visited back in April) for bagel recommendations since it’s just not right to go to New York and not have New York Bagel, #amiright?! I’m not even really a bagel person, but it’s a fun treat when they’re really good. Murray’s was a short walk from our apartment and we really enjoyed our bagels and coffee while watching the hustle and bustle of people doing the same.

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  • Palma RM’s BIL was the manager at this small, beautiful Italian restaurant in the West Village before they moved to Atlanta and now back in Boston, so I knew I wanted to take RM there for his birthday dinner. I fell in love with the restaurant before we walked in, as it was this picturesque restaurant front amidst apartments on a quiet West Village street. The inside was equally as beautiful – tasteful Christmas decorations, lots of candles and flowers everywhere! We sat at the bar for a few drinks before our table was ready – I loved my rose flower drink! We were seated in the back garden room, which had a wall of flowers. It was like a city oasis! The food was incredible – we started with the fried artichoke hearts and burrata and shared a pasta dish for the main course. We finished with mini canolis for dessert. All in all, this was such a wonderful meal and experience without all the hustle and bustle of big restaurants with big crowds.

 

 

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What We Did

With a short weekend in NYC, there’s really only so much you can do! While we didn’t get to everything on out list of “want to do” things, I think what we ended up doing made for a great weekend. Obviously, it’s likely no shock that by the length of our “Where We Ate” restaurants, a lot of our weekend revolved around food and drinks, but these are two of our favorite ways to explore cities and new areas!

Below are some things we did that were not just eating or drinking πŸ˜‰ These were focused around Christmas in NYC because I had never experienced it before!

  • Walk around the West Village/Bleeker Street – we had a great time walking around, popping into little shops and envisioning what life would be like if we lived there!

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  • Visit the tree at Rockerfeller Plaza – this has always been on my list, so I’m really happy we were able to check it out! It was busy, so we didn’t stay long, but it was beautiful!

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  • Check out the storefronts – We only made it to Macy’s, but it was pretty cool to see how festive they get!

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  • Visit Ground Zero – Albeit very emotional, it was also a very powerful experience. We tried to go to the Museum/Memorial, but the lines were SO long and it was freezing, so we decided next time we are in NYC we will book in advance.
  • One World Observatory – there was no line here, so we decided to check it out. We weren’t sure what to expect, but the whole experience far exceeded any ideas of what it would be like! It was extremely organized and we loved how they made each part and event. Even as you rode up in the elevator they had videos showing how NYC has evolved over the years. And once you get to the top – holy sh*t the views were insane!!! Not to mention the sheer fact of how high you are. It was pretty insane. We spent a while up there, sipping cocktails and checking out the views. We were so happy we did this, and would recommend it to anyone looking to do something cool in NYC.

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And just like that, a whirlwind of a trip to NYC was over! Cannot wait to get back there in the warmer weather!

Questions for you – where’s your favorite weekend getaway? Are you a city person or a small town person?

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Kicking It At Fenway {& Other Birthday/Long Weekend Celebrations}

When I told people that I got up to go to a 6am workout at Fenway on my birthday, most thought I was a little crazy. Who wakes up extra early on their birthday, and day off, for that matter?! Me, haha But for me, starting out the day/year with one of my favorite things (working out) is exactly what I love doing. And, when you combine that with getting to workout AT Fenway and WITH Eliza & a huge Kick It Crew, it makes for a pretty awesome start to the day and year.

Big thanks to New Balance for inviting me to take part in the workout & DayBreaker event. and providing me with this awesome outfit to wear! I’m totally obsessed with everything!

Unfamiliar with DayBreaker? In short, it’s a really incredible way to start the day- first you workout (yoga or some other fitness class) and then you dance… all before work. Yes, it is as amazing as it sounds! Founders of the idea came up with it as a way to show that you can dance and have fun while being sober, and that doing that before work is a great way to get the brain’s “happy chemicals” going (dopamine, oxytocin, serotonin & endorphins). Another cool part about the event is that you wear headphones to hear the music and instructor, so to onlookers it looks like a silent workout since you can’t hear what’s going on. As I looked back through my Instagram Story, I was laughing at how funny it looked because there was no sound!

I had a blast hanging out with fellow instructors and bloggers!

From there, I came home to the most beautiful, springy bouquet from RM and then went to get my nails done.

For Christmas, my sister had gotten us a night at a hotel, so we opted to cash that in on my birthday up in Portsmouth, NH. Being from Maine, Portsmouth has always been that perfect halfway meeting spot for family and friends, but other than lunches or dinners up there, I haven’t really spent any extended time getting to know the city. That said, RM and I totally fell in love with the city- so many great restaurants, bars, shops, etc.

We stayed at the Hilton Garden Inn, which was a perfect location for everything downtown. The room was big and clean- we would definitely recommend it! Here’s a quick recap:

  • Lunch at Gaslight- food was good, but the service was terrible and so slow!
  • Post lunch drink on the awesome (but small) deck at Old Ferry Landing– we has so much fun there!

  • Birthday dinner atΒ Black Trumpet– This came highly recommended by Athena and some others so we decided to check it out for dinner. They did not steer us wrong- we had the most unbelievable meal there! It’s a small spot with 2 levels and we grabbed seats at the bar upstairs. We had drinks (the wine on tap was SO good) and then shared the following: Chickpea Socca, Goat Doner Kebab, Warm Octopus Salad, Β Archer Angus Chuck Steak and cookies & milk for dessert.

  • My parents met us for lunch the next day and we went to Rudi’s, which was also fantastic! We had a drink at the bar and then enjoyed a great lunch. My parents had just gotten back from a 3 week road trip/vacation so it was fun to catch up with them!

We squeezed in a quickie workout when we got back before having a quite night in.

Easter Sunday started with breakfast and Church followed by a small Easter dinner at RM’s mother’s house and a long walk when we got back.

Before we knew it, Marathon Monday was upon us and we were heading to Solas to hang with the NB crew. This is such a fun day and event- so thankful to get to be a part of it!

All I could think about when I saw this photo was “I’m on a boat!” haha

Overall, it was such a wonderful birthday/holiday/long weekend filled with pretty much all of my favorite things.

Reflecting on 31 & Looking Forward to 32

April 14th. My Birthday. It’s crazy how quickly this day seemed to sneak up on me this year. When I was younger (and by younger, Β I mean like up until just a few years ago), I would be so obnoxious about my birthday- err- birthmonth, birthweek, etc. However, as I get older, I’m starting to lose that a bit. To be honest, I feel like this year my birthday totally snuck up on me- I feel like I was just planning our wedding! While I don’t think I’ll ever think of my birthday as “just another day”, I have taken a lot of the hype and expectation out of it, which helps me enjoy and soak in the day more.

As I started to write up a list of my favorite memories of the past year, I realized that I already hit on most of them in my 2016 reflections post that I shared at the beginning of the year. I guess that means they were really my favorite things, huh? πŸ˜‰

As I look back over the year, I can’t help but feel so thankful and so blessed to have so many wonderful people in my life, as well as hobbies that I am so passionate about. And even though blogging has its frustrating moments, being able to go back through the year by reading through the blog posts I’ve written is pretty wonderful, and makes me so happy that I’ve continued to write, not to mention it’s helped me connect with so many of you!

As for 32, I have no idea where this year will bring me, and that’s totally OK. These days, I’m trying to focus on living more in the moment and worrying less about the “what ifs” of the future. I continue to try and do things that make me happy and that I truly want to do, rather than because I feel like I should. After reading The Subtle Art of Not Giving A F*ck, I’m also trying to better balance what I give a F*ck about, and letting go of the little things that, in the bigger picture, mean absolutely nothing and just take up unnecessary mental space. Life is just too damn short for that!

Thanks to all of you for sticking with me throughout it all! xoxo

2016 Holiday Season Recap

Last night I went home directly after work so that I could try and get some of the blog posts in my head into my computer. Although I’ve tried to keep my weekend/holiday/life recaps to a minimum, I’ve realized that it makes me happy to share them because along with B2B {hopefully} being a resource for you when it comes to workouts and things like that, it’s also a bit of a diary for me. I love looking back on old blog posts to see what I was up to- the ultimate trip down memory lane!

With that said, we had such a great holiday season that I wanted to share a bit about it!

The celebrations started on the 23rd as that’s RM’s birthday. This year we went to Hopsters and made beer! I’ll share a full recap on that soon, but for now just know it was such a fun experience!

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Next up was Christmas Eve. I had to teach in the morning and it was an absolute blast!! It was a decent crowd considering the holiday, and lots of people sported the red, white and green color scheme which made for one happy instructor πŸ™‚

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Later that day I got a massage and then RM and I hit up Buff’s for a little quiet time before the craziness of Christmas Eve/Christmas started.

This year we went to RM’s mother’s house for Christmas Eve, which was a wonderful experience! As his family is from Italy, we had quite the feast consisting of fried calamari & smelts, Ahi tuna, stuffed quahogs, pasta with lobster, breaded shrimp, seafood salad with octopus, calamari, shrimp, etc. and baccala. Oh, and chocolate molten cake for dessert πŸ˜‰ It was all as incredible as it sounds!

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It was so fun waking up at home on Christmas morning, especially as our first Christmas as a married couple! We went to Church and then hit the road to Maine to spend Christmas night with my family.Β We opened presents and drank wine and had a really nice roast chicken meal- it was a fun new-to-us tradition!

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Once we got back to MA, we had a few days of “normalcy” before heading to Florida to celebrate Jessi and Chuck’s wedding. Overall, it was such an awesome trip! The wedding was at The VInoy in St. Petersburg and we opted to rent an Air BNB instead, which worked out perfectly as it was only 2 blocks from the hotel. I was asked to do a reading at the wedding, which was such an honor! I’ll let the pictures tell the story.

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Dress courtesy of Best Dressed!

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Some of us opted to stay through NYE so after brunch RM and I went for a walk then laid poolside with my friends for most of the day. NYE was relatively lowkey as we just hung out at the hotel bar. New Years Day was the most perfect weather and luckily we had a later flight so we got to catch some more sun. And then before we knew it, it was time to go home 😦 I can’t wait until Jessi is back from her honeymoon so we can recap the wedding because it was so wonderful- everything about it couldn’t have been more perfect!

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Phew! What a great holiday season, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t ready to get back to a more normal (to me) lifestyle which includes less drinking and eating out and more making food at home and going to bed at 10pm πŸ˜‰

I hope all of you had a great end to 2016 and are kicking off 2017 feeling good! I can’t wait to recap 2016- it was quite an amazing year for us πŸ™‚

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 πŸ™‚

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

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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 πŸ˜‰

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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?