30 Favorites from my 30th Year

Good morning! And happy birthday to my fellow April 14th birthday girls, Jess and Ashley! In honor of my birthday, I thought it would be fun to look back at 30 of my most memorable/favorite moments from my 30th year. While 30 was certainly the best year yet, I feel like 31 will be off to quite the start, too! BTW these are in no particular order- they are just in order of how they came up in my mind.

  1. Engagement (DUH!)- best day in my life thus far
  2. Picking the location & date– felt so good to get this done because we couldn’t do much planning until we did this
  3. RM passing his broker exam- SO proud of my handsome fiance
  4. Finding my wedding dress– I thought this was going to be a stressful day, but it was the best part of my whole wedding planning experience thus far.
  5. Yoga– I did a few weeks of yoga at CorePower and a few one-off classes. Hoping to do more this year
  6. Hosting my family for a Sunday Dinner- It was so fun having my parents and sister over for me to cook for them!
  7. Moving to Watertown with RM– Although a little scary, this was the best move for our relationship. Living together is so awesome
  8. Renovating- OK, this wasn’t really my favorite thing at the time, but shopping for things and picking things out together to create our home was awesome.
  9. Traveling to Dallas and then Minneapolis- I did a few out of state work trips, which is always a nice getaway
  10. Huge 5K PR and coming in 3rd place for my age group- OAKtoberfest 5K was great!
  11. Watching various TV series with RM (Ray Donovan, Breaking Bad, House of Cards, Mad Men)- I’ve never been big into TV, but RM is so he got me hooked on some shows.
  12. Weekends at home (4th of July, after I got engaged, Dad’s bday, Christmas Eve and recently for wedding related things)- I always love escaping the city and spending QT with my parents
  13. Girls lunches- so many of these!! I joke now that I have to designate a whole Saturday afternoon to them because it’s always a 3-4 hour thing.
  14. Friendsgiving/Thanksgiving at my sister’s & RM’s mothers- Friendsgiving at Amy’s brother’s apartment with the girls and their sig. others was a first for us, but something I hope we continue. Getting to spend time with my parents and RM’s family in the same day on Thanksgiving was also great.
  15. Organizing my first blogger event– Together with the owner of Social Restaurant & Bar I organized my first blogger event, which was a huge success!
  16. Book club- Although I may scramble to get the books finished, this is such a fun thing to be a part of.
  17. Engagement Photos– Janelle is the cutest photographer and person ever so it was a blast working with her. Originally I didn’t want these, but I’m so happy we did them because hopefully it got the awkwardness out before the wedding!
  18. Fitness Photos– My first shoot with Janelle- loved the turnout.
  19. Lululemon window performance– Getting the chance to workout in the Lululemon storefront window was pretty freaking awesome.
  20. Wedding planning with mom- To everyone else except my mom (and my sister), I feel so annoying talking about my wedding, so it’s nice to have her/them
  21. Amazing 30th birthday celebrations– My birthday last year was so special thanks to RM, my family and my friends!
  22. Italy Trip- This could’ve filled multiple spots in my favorite highlights- such an amazing trip. I want to go back! {recaps: here, here and here}
  23. Date nights in Italy with RM
  24. Multiple ice creams- I’m so thankful to be marrying a guy who loves sweets as much as I do. On our way home from every Cape weekend we would stop at Sweet Caroline’s and get ice creams. It was my favorite!
  25. Boothbay Harbor– Meredith’s wedding was a great excuse for us to do a getaway weekend. We had a blast!
  26. Cape Weekends with RM- Some of my favorite summer memories are of the two of us at the Craigsville Beach, sipping drinks, listening to music, people watching and chatting.
  27. Foster Fitness– So happy to be a part of this gym- both teaching and getting to classes when I can.
  28. Lifting heavy weight- Long gone are my days of just crazy amounts of cardio. While I still love cardio, I’ve learned to really love getting under the bar to lift heavy shit. I love muscles and I love feeling strong.
  29. BoxFIIT certification- While doing this certification just months before the wedding probably wasn’t the best idea, I’m so happy I’m doing it because I’m learning SO MUCH and can’t wait to start teaching my own classes.
  30. Bikini Rebellion– I’ll let the recap of this post do the talking, but this was one of the best challenges I have ever done. Here’s to loving ourselves- for who we are, rather than hating ourselves for who we are not.

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I had a hard time stopping at just 30 becauseย there were so many wonderful events, celebrations, weekends, etc. over the past year. Thank you to everyone who was a part of them and thank you to everyone who consistently stops by B2B to see what I’ve been up to- this hobby wouldn’t be worth it without all of you.

With that, I’m off to celebrate my birthday: workout, mani/pedi/lunch with Jess and then heading to Wakefield to teach my sweat-KICK class… because even though it’s far away, teaching makes me HAPPY, and that’s what birthdays are all about, right?!

Celebrating my 30th with my first SoulCycle experience

You guys. To say I was spoiled for my 30th is an understatement. I’ll do a full recap later, but today I want to share my first SoulCyle experience with you. I have been invited to a few blogger events there, but for one reason or another was never able to make it. For my birthday, my sister suggested taking 1/2 days and going to a class somewhere of my choice followed by lunch (our favorite sister date activities!). I looked around at some of my favorite indoor cycling studios (for more reviews of studios I’ve been to, check here: Reviews: Boston Fitness Studios) but none seemed to have classes around lunch time. Then it hit me: I hadn’t tried SoulCycle yet! And when I looked at their class times, they had a 12:30 which was perfect!

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While they offer a discounted first class (and free shoe rental for your first time), when I spoke with them and they learned it was my birthday and that I was a fitness blogger, they provided the class free of charge for my sister and me. How sweet was that?! I was so thankful for that gesture. I think it says a lot about a company when they do things like this! Anyway…. we went to Charolette’s 12:30pm class and it was amazing. Her energy, the vibe she created in the room, the music, her words of motivation. If it sounds like a I have a girl crush on her, I think it’s because I kinda do ๐Ÿ˜‰ As an instructor, I can be overly critical of other instructors, but I literally only have good things to say about Charolette’s class.

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On top of that, the welcome desk staff were so good at bike set-ups for my sister and me. Not only did they spend more than 30 seconds making sure all of the adjustments were correct, they explained WHY they were putting the handlebars/seat at certain numbers. It was very helpful!

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So… the ride! It was a 45 minute class which felt like 20 minutes, and also like a party. I couldn’t believe how fast it went by! We did a lot of songs in 3rd position which I enjoy since the seat hurts my butt (and, I sit all day anyway I don’t like to sit more in class!). We varied from slower paced with more resistance to lighter resistance and faster pace. Charolette didn’t instruct us on changing our intensity very often, but my sister and I think it’s because she was encouraging us to find our own ride- whether that was to be challenging or more laid back. I kind of liked that approach, which is surprising for a Type A, play by the rules, want to know everything type of person. I don’t often go by “feel”, so it was a nice change of pace. It wasn’t the hardest class I’ve ever taken, but it was perfect for what I wanted that day, especially because spinning is not my forte and I prefer classes where I can keep up ๐Ÿ˜‰

We did do 1 arm song,which I didn’t think was terribly challenging, I think because it was a lot of bicep/tricep work which isn’t as hard as shoulder work (for me, anyway). Other than that, we did the usual booty taps and pushups and crunches on the bike- all things I love! And, the icing on the cake (literally)? A surprise from the team with a cupcake from Sweet Cupcake!

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I mean, how sweet (pun intended) was that?! I nearly cried! They made me feel so special ๐Ÿ™‚

And riding next to my sister and birthday buddy, Jess, was the absolute best!

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On top of offering a fantastic class, SoulCycle has two fully stocked shower rooms- including towels, shampoo/conditioner/shower gel, razors and all the post shower hair products you could need.

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I love when studios offer this little bit of luxury. Since the classes are often pricy, it’s nice to make a full experience out of it- workout, shower, post workout meal/drinks… or, at least that’s what my sister and I do!

Thank you so much to SoulCycle for making my birthday SO special- I can’t wait to come back, and luckily for me, our friends Brad and Amanda gave me a gift card for my birthday so I’ll be back sooner than later ๐Ÿ™‚

Questions for you: Have you been to SoulCycle? Where’s your favorite indoor cycling studio? What’s your ideal day?

 

Onto the Next Decade

And just like that, my 20’s are officially behind me. I still don’t think I’ve quite grasped the whole concept of being- gasp– 30, but I’m sure soon enough it will sink in. A lot of people have asked me how I feel about turning the “dirty 30”, and to be honest, I think I’m OK with it. Sure, it’s a crazy thought to think about the fact that I’m no longer in my 20’s, but when I think about where I am in my life right now, I think it’s exactly where I should be and I’m really excited about this next chapter. I’ve got a good job, I get to teach fitness, I’ve got this little blog, great friends and family and a wonderful boyfriend, so when I look at it that way, I’ve kinda got a pretty great thing going right now!

As I looked back through my 20’s, I couldn’t help but think about how far I’ve come. From work to friends to relationships to my outlook on health and fitness, quite a bit has changed. I feel like the start of my 20’s and moving to Boston was a time in my life when I was really trying to find my own groove. There’s that weird transition from being a college student to being a “grown up” with a 9-5 job, living on your own, paying your own bills and figuring out what the heck you want to do with your life. Fortunately, as I look back at all my trials and errors, successes and failures, relationships and breakups, new jobs and old jobs, I think every step in the process over the past 10 years has really shaped me into who I am today. Even though there are some things that I would rather not re-live, without those experiences I don’t think I’d have the same outlook on things as I do today. I honestly feel like I don’t have any significant regrets, but rather have been able to learn from everything which has helped me over the years.

Here are some highlights from my 20’s (it’s much harder to think back over the past 10 years than you’d think!)-

  • Studying abroad in Bath, England the first semester of my Junior year
  • Turning 21 and sharing celebrations with my birthday buddy, Jess
  • Graduation
  • Moving to Boston and exploring the city
  • 25th birthday party with Rachel
  • Visiting San Francisco twice
  • Visiting my sister in Athens, Greece
  • Family Cruise to Bermuda
  • Jess and Brian’s wedding in Ireland
  • Friends getting engaged and married and having babies
  • Changing jobs a few times
  • Lots of dating
  • Getting into fitness and teaching classes
  • Moving to my own apartment
  • Starting my blog & getting lots of blog opportunities
  • Dating my landlord ๐Ÿ˜‰

And since photos make posts more interesting, maybe you’ll enjoy a look over the past 10 years (well, 9, since I didn’t have photos for my 20th bday!) of birthdays. I got totally sucked into reminiscing over old photos on facebook as I looked for all of these! Where would we be without technology and social media to capture and store all these memories ?!

21st bday with my birthday buddy, Jess!

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I’m Back!

Well hello, there! Remember me? I used to write a blog fairly consistently…. ๐Ÿ˜‰ I have to say, not blogging at all last week was exactly what I needed. It was so nice to detach myself a bit from social media and taking pictures and things like that. And, now I have so many posts I want to write- luckily I’m off from work this week and will hopefully have time to get them drafted.

How were your holidays? Anything fun planned for New Years Eve? Anyone else off all week? I’ve never had a “staycation”, but so far, I’m totally digging it! Let’s recap over the past week- lots of celebrations between RM’s birthday and Christmas!

To celebrate RM’s actual birthday (I threw him his surprise party a few days earlier), I took him to Eastern Standard, which is one of our favorite places. We snagged two seats at the bar and ordered up some drinks. Not only was it his birthday, but it was also the start of my very long “staycation”.

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We had a delicious meal of a pork dish, steak frites, bone marrow and oysters. Finished off with some birthday bread pudding and we pretty much rolled ourselves out of the restaurant ๐Ÿ˜‰

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We woke up on Christmas Eve and both had a bunch of things to do- he was picking up his new car (so funny we both got new cars right around the same time!) and I had to get my new watch fixed and pack for Maine. I listened to Christmas music the whole way and totally gotย  in the mood- match that with some bubbly and a Christmas apron and I was full on festive!

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Every Christmas Eve we throw a little party- we make homemade pizza’s, dad makes his tourtiere, people bring lots of food and we drink plenty of bubbly. I didn’t take any photos except for food and one of me- classic- but we had a good crowd!

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Christmas morning we awoke to crappy, rainy weather, but we made the best of it.

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My parents got me some fun things like new rain boots, sweaters, hair products, a Veggetti and some other random things. My sister got me a sick Reebok jump rope, Kate Spade earrings and a 3 month Birch Box subscription- have any of you done that? Roberto totally spoiled me and got me a Michael Kors watch, a Fitbit, perfume and slippers- incredibly thoughtful!

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On Friday, I hit up the gym and did Athena’s Chimney Workout followed by some supersets (will post them for you later!) before calling it a day. Athena- LOVED the workout! Post gym, I picked up RM at the train station and we did a few things before heading to my parents. We exchanged gifts (he got an LL Bean flannel! and he got my parents an Olive Tree adoption- more on that later) and had a delicious Cornish hen dinner.

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We headed back to MA on Saturday and RM and I did some returns in the city, lunch at Granary Tavern and a quiet night in with reading and a movie. Our book club book this month is Unbroken- have you heard of it or read it? I’m not a fan of anything army or military related (I know- sounds crazy, but it scares me), but so far, I’m totally hooked on the book!

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I was able to spend all Sunday at my apartment puttering, putting things away, cleaning and relaxing- it was wonderful! After an unseasonably warm run, RM and I went to Santarpios for dinner. He’s starting the Whole 30 diet/detox on January 1, so we are really living it up until then. I’m planning on doing that diet about 80% of the time.. we’ll see how it goes!

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Andddd phew! If you made it, thank you. I had so many pictures to share! I will be announcing the Happy, Healthy, Fit challenge winners tomorrow- thanks to all of you who participated!! Also on the dock this week is a recap of 2014, looking forward to 2015 and maybe even a workout? I’ve got about 3 or 4 workouts lined up for you ๐Ÿ™‚

Questions for you: How were your holidays? What was the best part? Have you read Unbroken? Are you on vacation this week? What are your New Years Eve plans?

 

This Week {A day late… again…}: Workouts, back to a normal schedule and things I’m looking forward to

Hey everyone! I feel like I haven’t popped in to say hi in a while- life has been a bit crazy lately, but it’s all good, fun and exciting stuff so I can’t really complain! Did you catch the awesome guest post from Tony that I posted on Friday? Here it is if you did- it’s worth a read: Guest Post: How To Prepare For A Triathlon. ย I just got home from the most wonderful little weekend getaway with RM, so I can’t wait to catch you up on that. But first- the workouts. I ended up getting in 2 workouts while away, which I wasn’t planning on or expecting, but since RM wanted to sleep in and I was up, bright eyed and bushy tailed ready to go, getting in a quick workout was a great way to give me something to do while I let him sleep.

Last Week’s Workouts

  • Monday- Since it was my first day of work at my new job, I got up and did my workout in the morning. I was really sore from my 6 mile run the day before, so I just did this HIIT scorcher from the Fitnessista before doing some strength circuits.
  • Tuesday- I got up to workout before work again so that I could get a pedicure after work. I ran a tough, sucky 3 miles (how is it that I had just ran SIX miles that felt great, yet last week my 3 mile run was like the death of me?!?!) and called it a day. I ended up walking for about 30 minutes during lunch which was a nice break!

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  • Wednesday- I ended up running 4 miles on the treadmill for National Running Day before I taught my UXF Burn class. Was a great day of workouts!

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  • Thursday- I taught SHRED and Cardio Kickboxing. I used a new format in SHRED that, in my head, was perfectly easy to understand, but when I went to teach it, the members were so confused and couldn’t remember what to do. I hate that! I set up 8 stations with various things at them: medicine balls, BOSU balls, stability balls, weights, towels, steps, etc. and then at each station I wrote down 3 exercises for the small groups to do. They did each for 60 seconds and then again for 30 seconds before moving on to the next station. I loved the workout, but unfortunately wasn’t able to do it all with them because it was a bigger group and they needed lots of assistance. That left me plenty of energy for my kickboxing class, though!
  • Friday- Rest day. We had a 9am flight and I had been up early every day so I decided to sleep instead of workout. Good decision on my part. We ended up doing a decent amount of walking between the airport and walking around Miami.
  • Saturday- I got up and ran a SWEATY 3 miles on the treadmill (and walked a half a mile) before completing a small circuit and some extra core work. Great way to start the day… and earn my poolside cocktails ๐Ÿ˜‰ RM and I also went for a nice walk!

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  • Sunday- I woke up feeling surprisingly good after having drank a lot the day/night before, so I went to the gym for a quick workout. I did 10 minutes on the treadmill and then some supersets- I felt it yesterday!

This Week’s Workouts

  • Monday- I didn’t do anything yesterday. We wanted to get to the pool early and I was tired so I decided to sleep.
  • Tuesday- My plan today is to get a 3-4 mile run in after work and then some core exercises.
  • Wednesday- The usual: probably a run and then teaching UXF Burn.
  • Thursday- Teaching SHRED and then Kickboxing.
  • Friday- I might rest on Friday pending on how I feel. My new work schedule is working from home on Mondays instead of Fridays so I’ll be at the office. I may try to get in a walk during lunch.
  • Saturday- I’ll be at the YMCA teaching my cardio kickboxing class!
  • Sunday- I’ll be up in Maine (again…) for Father’s Day so I’m sure I’ll get something in!

Getting Back on Schedule

Over the past 3+ weeks, my schedule has been, well, non-existent. Between ending my old job, taking a week+ for myself, starting a new job and then going to Miami, I’ve been all over the place and any sort of routine or schedule has been completely thrown to the wayside. I have to say, though, it’s been really nice! My weeks were so regimented: breakfast was the same, lunch and snacks were the same, I had the same stuff after work, etc. It’s been a good change to not be on a schedule and it’s given my body time to get off of all the normal things it eats and does. With that said, though, I’m ready to be back on some type of schedule- I’m ready to tone it down on the eating out and can’t wait to be making my lunches again and cooking up nice, healthy dinners!

Things I’m Looking Forward To

I’m actually excited to be back in the office this week. I’m really enjoying my new job thus far and can’t wait to be in the full swing of it. I’m also looking forward to Friday night because the Shapleigh girls are having a night out! I bought a Groupon for the Brahmin a while ago so we are going to go for dinner and a few drinks. Lastly, even though I’ve been home to Maine so much lately, I am looking forward to spending Father’s Day with my dad and going to Tucker’s 1st birthday party! And, let’s face it- I love going to Maine!

Questions for you: What was the best workout you had last week? Did you participate in National Running Day? What are you looking forward to this week? Do you find yourself eating the same thing day after day during the week?