Five on Friday {11.6.15}

TGIF! Seemed like you guys enjoyed last week’s “Five on Friday”, so I’m back again today with another round of it.

1. Over the past year or so, I’ve really started to enjoy painting my nails (except I’m way to impatient to sit still and wait for them to dry most of the time so I either end up with smudges immediately OR I put one coat on, let it dry, and then put the next coat on the next day.). I love shopping for new nail polish’s and it’s even more fun when my nails are all nice and long like they are now. Marshall’s and TJ Maxx are my favorite places to pick up Essie nail polishes because they are half the price they are at Walgreens! Also, my freshly shined bling just makes the whole thing even better 😉

photo 1 (1)

2. We are going to Jackson, NH tomorrow to look at a venue that we are HOPING and PRAYING will be “the one”. Fingers crossed- think positive thoughts for us!

3. Is it me or do fresh flowers in the house just make everything better? We have two bouquets right now and I smile every time I look at them!

photo 5 (1)

4. I did something last night I haven’t done in far too long: I went to a yoga class! I have been oddly sore this week and just had zero interest in going to the gym. Rather than push/force myself into going, I opted to take a more restorative approach to my workout by taking a class at CorePower Yoga in Newton Corner, which is conveniently a short walk from my apartment. I could tell it had been too long since my last practice because my head was allll over the place. So many thoughts running through my mind the whole class, which was really frustrating 😦 New students get a free first week so I hope to get back at least 2 or 3 more times- I could really use it!

photo 2 (1)

5. I recently signed up to participate in The Resolution by PMC ride at The Club by George Foreman III on January 3rd. I joined the Just Keep Spinning team in connection with the team leader who reached out to me to promote the event. Brought to you by the Pan-Mass Challenge (PMC), the event will offer over 2,000 people the opportunity to participate in a two-day indoor bike-a-thon with the goal of raising $1 million for Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. You can participate in the event either by yourself or by joining a team- all you have to do is raise $250 and the cool thing is that 100% of every raised dollar will go directly to Dana-Farber to support adult and pediatric patient care and cancer research. If you’re interested in joining the event, you can register here and you can either create a team, ride as an individual or join Just Keep Spinning and ride with me 🙂 I”ll be riding from 12-1pm on Sunday, January 3rd and I am SO excited about it! If you aren’t interested in riding, but want to donate to the cause, feel free to check out my donation page (that I’ve yet to update and personalize yet!).

Questions for you: Tell me something about you or your week! Do anything fun? Have any good workouts? Do you practice yoga? What’s going on this weekend?

Happy Friday!! Have a great weekend- chat with you next week 😉

Babies & Bling: A Weekend in Maine

Good morning! I had planned a trip to Maine prior to our engagement, so it worked out perfectly that we ended up getting engaged right before that. Friday morning, RM and I went down to RI to get my ring sized- he had no idea what size to get so the jeweler told him a 6 is average… I’ve got long, skinny fingers so he had to cut it to a 4.75! Luckily, it fits perfectly now and feels so much better!


After a quick afternoon in the office, I headed up to Maine and met my mom and a few of her friends at the Back Street Grill- their local Friday night hang out. After a drink, we headed home to see my dad, who was very excited to see me and my new ring! He had made a fish dinner which was delicious.

Saturday I woke up and had breakfast and went to the library to get our new book club book- has anyone read this?


I busted out a great workout, which I will probably share with you tomorrow, and then helped my dad start building his raised bed gardens for his veggies next year.


On Saturday afternoon I met up with some of my high school friends, which we don’t do nearly enough these days. All 3 of them have kids and live in Maine/NH so between that and my busy schedule here, it’s hard to align our schedules. We had a delicious lunch at Mill 67 and I was able to have some serious baby snuggle time!

IMG_2644 IMG_2652

Eloise is Caitlin’s baby girl and Sam is Rachel’s baby boy. Sara left Zeke at home, but he did come to my parents with her later that day when we had people over to celebrate the engagement. We had champagne and snacks and I got to snuggle another baby- sweet little Paige who is just 2 months old!


We had such a great time!

IMG_2661 IMG_2662

After everyone left, we made a delicious dinner of pork, tomatoes, zucchini and Kale and mashed sweet potatoes. So healthy!

IMG_2663 IMG_2664

On Sunday, mom and I got up and went to church and then came home and I continued helping my dad with the raised beds. It was a big job so I was happy I was able to help- plus I love manual labor! I offered to fill the pails with rocks and carry them (farmer’s carry!) and omg it was so heavy. Solid upper body workout 😉

IMG_2671 IMG_2674

After lunch we headed out to the “pumpkin patch” that randomly started growing from a loam pile in the back yard. My mom had thrown old pumpkins there last year and this year they were pleasantly surprised with a large pumpkin harvest- 27, to be exact!

IMG_2678 IMG_2680

It was really very cool- and saved me a bunch of money 😉 Our front steps are looking festive!


The rest of my Sunday night was filled with lots of cleaning and blogging before calling it a night. Although it was a busy weekend, it was really fun celebrating with so many great people! Oh, and did you know ice cream helps with stress?! 😉


Questions for you: What did you do over the weekend? Have you decorated for the fall? Did you go apple picking? Do you get together with your friends from home often?

The Journey Continues… {Spoiler: We are engaged!}

In case you don’t follow me on Instagram or Facebook, I wanted to share some good news with you:


That’s right! On Saturday, RM made me the happiest girl alive when he asked me to marry him!


What started off as a normal Saturday consisting of teaching and getting my hair done, ended as one of the best days of my entire life! Let’s start from the beginning, though. All week we had made plans to go to KO Pies to celebrate our 2 year first date anniversary. The anniversary is actually this weekend, but RM will be away at a golf tournament so we decided to push it up to this past weekend. RM was actually the one to suggest the lunch time outing, which should’ve been the first hint that he had something other planned than just lunch 😉 Nonetheless, even with him continuously bringing up going to KO Pies on the weekend (which, he normally would have forgotten about after the first time it was mentioned since he doesn’t have a strong memory for plans like that 😉 ), I really never thought anything more than just an afternoon hanging out together. I actually joked as we were leaving the house that I couldn’t believe we were actually “on time” and that I got him away from renovations and other work around the house!

We laughed as we thought about how funny/awesome it is to have gone from a landlord/tenant relationship to a boyfriend/girlfriend relationship… little did I know we’d be changing our title soon enough 😉


After a beer, we decided to order some food: Arugula salad & the Braised Lamb Shank Australian Meat Pie- as a floater (with mashed potatoes, mushy peas and gravy). Everything tasted so good and it was an all around great afternoon.


We continued to hang out and have drinks- it was too beautiful not to, but after a while I started to get antsy and suggested we start making our next move. I really wanted 2 things: a cookie and to go to Assembly so we could do some shopping for the apartment. He had his typical “but Monique we are having such a good time here- good weather, conversations and drinks!”, but I had my head set and was ready to go so he helped me finish my drink and offered to get settle the tab. As he walked away, I reminded him about the cookie I wanted…

As he came back to the table, he had a funny smile on his face and was holding the cookie in one hand at his chest, almost like you’d hold open a book you were reading. I thought he was just making a joke and “presenting” the cookie to me… that is, until I looked down and saw the most beautiful, shiny ring on top of it. I think the first thing out of my mouth was “omg is this a joke?!”, because it was just so big and beautiful and I really thought he found a fake ring and wanted to play a joke on me. He continued smiling and laughed a little as he told me it was not a joke. I wish I could explain the type of smile and look on his face because as I think back to that moment, it just seemed like the happiest smile ever.

He then continued to say that he has absolutely loved the transitions we’ve made from landlord/tenant to boyfriend/girlfriend and that he wanted to make that next transition and asked what I thought about that and if I would like to marry him (and some other mushy stuff I’ll spare you with!). I didn’t respond for a little bit- not out of hesitation but because I was in such shock that I couldn’t speak! He asked again and I stupidly said “I do!” and realized that wasn’t the right thing to say and corrected myself by saying “yes, I will!”. And then we hugged and kissed and hugged some more until I finally put the ring ON. Oh, my, goodness. It is seriously the most beautiful ring and the exact one I’ve always dreamed of.


Even though KO Pies was extremely busy, the way the whole thing was executed was very private which I appreciated. I may love being in front of classes and teaching, but when it comes to engagements I like privacy. RM said he was getting nervous about how he was going to do the proposal since it was so busy and I kept letting people share our table, haha. Luckily, my need for a cookie worked in his favor 🙂

From there, we went into the city to get some bubbly for more celebrations! We went to the rooftop bar at the Envoy hotel. On the way, we made all of the obligatory “we are engaged” phone calls- to my parents and my sister first and then his family. My sister won for the most amazing reaction. We facetimed and she was crying and just SO excited. Omg I loved it!


I literally couldn’t stop smiling!


After a drink, we decided to go back to our place and pop a bottle of Veuve that we had had in the fridge for a longgg time.



We grabbed a late dinner at Stellina which is right in Watertown Square. Everything was amazing!

IMG_2602 IMG_2603

I literally couldn’t sleep that night because I was so excited and couldn’t stop replaying the whole previous day in my head. I loved when RM finally woke up because he rolled over and asked how his fiancé was doing, which solidified the whole thing! We spent the morning having pancakes and hanging out before I went to get my nails done- totally necessary!


The weather was gorgeous so we went for a nice long walk along the water. We talked a little about the wedding and both decided we don’t want a long engagement or anything crazy fancy. We just want a simple wedding with our friends and family because that’s what matters the most (oh, and the bubbly and dancing!).

IMG_2613My sister and her boyfriend stopped by later that afternoon before we went to RM’s mom’s house and they brought us champagne and a balloon and a super nice card. They were the first ones we saw and talked about the engagement in person and it was so fun to reminisce and go through the details with them!


All in all, it was the most perfect day and proposal and I’m going to marry the perfect guy for me. I really feel so lucky and it has been such a fun couple of days. It’s so cute because RM is just as excited about it as I am- he is always asking to show me the ring and calling me his fiancé. Totally adorable. Thank you to everyone for all of your calls, texts and comments over the past couple of days. We feel so blessed to have the love and support of so many wonderful people in our lives.


Friday Catch-Up: Lots of different pictures!

TGIF! This week flew by for me, but I think that is because I had Monday off. Whatever the case, I’ll take it! While I was looking through my pictures on the train ride home from the gym (no service=try to do whatever I can to keep myself busy, aka looking through my pictures), I realized that I took pictures of all sorts of things this week! So, grab a cup of coffee (or glass of wine), relax and bear with me as this post is long could go all sorts of different ways!


I planned ahead on Tuesday night and packed myself a nice, little, deconstructed taco lunch for Wednesday. I was able to eat outside, which made lunch even more enjoyable!

042Spanish rice, beans, corn, chicken, yellow peppers, onions, salsa and cheese. Perfection.

I put this together while I was making a Spaghetti Squash Casserole (recipe to come- SO good). It’s always the best time for me to get a healthy lunch together when I am already cooking in the kitchen. Since it was really cold on Tuesday, I was happy to have these babies to keep my toes warm:

039I got these for my birthday and totally made fun of them, but I’ll be honest, I kinda love them now!

Here’s a little teaser for the recipe I will post soon



I caught up on my April Arms Challenge workouts that I missed from Tuesday and needed to do on Wednesday.

005Wednesday’s workout was preacher curls and plank holds and I decided to do the plank holds on the stability ball. Wow! It’s amazing what a simple change up to an ordinary “staple” move can do… my core has been SO tight ever since. Love that:)

Taught a great double on Thursday, even though it was quite the whirlwind in trying to get there.

010I look somewhat put together here, but let me tell you, I was the definition of a hott mess when I first entered the gym. Let me break it down for you…

  1. I left work at my normal time on Thursdays (4:30) to have enough time to walk to the T (about 5 minutes), get on a T, go the 5 stops to Central Square and get there by 5ish (usually).
  2. I was all excited when I walked down the stairs and saw a T waiting for me- awesome! It’s the best when that happens.
  3. My first thoughts: Why the heck is it so freaking hot on this train? Don’t they have air conditioning? Why aren’t we moving yet?
  4. Turns out, there was a medical emergency and we had to stand by. I thought of walking to another T stop, but I realized that if my train wasn’t moving, no other ones were moving. Great. It’s was now 5pm.
  5. I decided to try and get a cab. The traffic in the city was miserably bad and there were no cabs. Even better.
  6. I finally got a cab and said “please take me to central square as FAST as you can”. Luckily, I had an awesome cab driver who drove so crazy, but there was still the problem of incredible masses of traffic.
  7. I realized that if I made it on time, I wouldn’t have enough time to change AND be on time… that left me with no other choice but to change into my gym clothes IN the cab. Let me tell you, putting on tight Lulu in a small space and sweating while you’re doing it is not easy. Just sayin’.
  8. I called the gym and said I was going to be late, but it didn’t look like I’d be that late- awesome!
  9. We got onto Mass. Ave and the traffic was back and there were flashing lights ahead. I realized that I was close enough where I could run and still make it on time. Mind you, I had 3 bags on me- they call me the Bag Lady at work.
  10. I paid the $24 for the cab, got out and SPRINTED (well, as fast as I could with multiple, heavy bags on me) to the gym and made it only 1 minute late. How’s THAT for a crazy race to the gym?!

012I can’t tell you how happy I was when I walked through the door of my apartment tonight. I have a serious love/hate relationship with PT, that’s for darn sure.

Other random pictures from my phone

Snuggles with Charlie


Coffee in my favorite mug


Spring is definitely in the air

008 009

I won a giveaway!

My good friend, Rachel, hosted a giveaway last week and I was so, SO hoping I’d win since I LOVE jojo jewelry. Check out Rachel’s blog post for all the details, but let me show you what I picked!


015Rachel got us beautiful diamond blings for her wedding and I wear them ALL the time. All of the Shapleigh girls were also in Sara’s wedding, and she got us a pair of bling earrings from jojo, too. I chose to get gold metal since the other 2 pair I have are silver. I’m absolutely in love with the pair that I chose! Definitely go on over to her site and check out all the bling she has to offer. You won’t regret it:)

Oh, and when I was perusing the Bling, I stumbled upon the jojo Kitsch hair ties and decided to get a package, too. Whoops!

016Well, I think that about sums it up! Thanks for sticking with me if you made it this far:)

Your turn: What’s the best part of your week so far? Any crazy things happen to you? Do you have any jojo earrings or jewelry?