Hub on Wheels Citywide Bike Ride

If you follow me on Social Media, then you know RM and I got bikes last year and have really enjoyed our bike rides all over Newton, Watertown, Waltham, Cambridge and Boston. That said, when I was contacted to see if I wanted to be part of the press team in the Hub on Wheels citywide bike ride to support pediatric cancer research at Boston Children’s Hospital, we were both all for it.

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Going into the event, neither one of us really knew what to expect, but I’ll tell you this – I was not expecting the event to be of the magnitude it was! There were over six thousand riders, either doing 10 (but really 12) miles or 40 miles in and around Boston – I couldn’t believe it! Due to the types of bikes we have, we opted for the shorter ride, but some day I would like to have a bike that would allow me to do longer rides more comfortably.

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Shortly after 8am, we were off and riding. The weather was pretty gloomy & cool, but it made for good riding weather. One of the coolest parts about the experience was getting to ride down a car-free Storrow Drive… something I’ve never experienced! We rode down towards Brighton and then turned around at the Harvard field. We got off at Fenway and rode down a car-free Comm. Ave, around the Commons and ended back at City Hall Plaza. It was a great route and I loved being up and about in Boston while most people were still sleeping. A quiet Boston is a nice change!

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There were lots of my favorite vendors set up in City Hall Plaza, including Purity Organics, Hint water, Food Should Taste Good, Larabar and more!

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After the ride, we got breakfast at Metropolis Cafe in the South End and we both talked about how happy we were that we were able to participate in such a cool event that was raising money for such a wonderful cause. I hope to be invited to ride again next year!

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Questions for you: Do you enjoy bike riding or would you rather do a run instead? Have you ever rode in this fundraiser?

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Weekending: It was all about the food

Hi there! It’s nice to see that the “big” snow storm has already come and gone- don’t get me wrong, I love snow, but at this point I am ready for sunny, warm, spring days!

Did you guys have a good weekend? Ours was great… and included ALL THE FOOD. No, seriously- it was filled with the most delicious eats. Let’s recap- I hope you’re not hungry 😉

Friday night, Liz had some of the gym girls over for a “bar” party. Now, I know what you’re thinking (or at least what I was thinking), it wasn’t an alcohol party, it was a food bar party! There was a taco bar, pizza bar, grilled cheese bar, fruit bar and an ice cream bar. And yes, everything was as amazing as it sounds! It was so great getting to catch up with the girls, especially since a few are also engaged so we did lots of wedding talk. Wedding talk and working out talk pretty much equals my life these days.

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On Saturday, it was an extra early weekend wakeup call so that I could get to the gym before we hit the road to go to NH. I was telling Athena that I was really craving a heavy lift sesh. I hadn’t been able to get under the bar all week, so you can imagine my surprise when my Saturday lift felt- dare I say- easy? I felt so strong with my back squats and pushups- it was awesome! And, I didn’t feel the tiniest bit sore the day after so I think I could’ve gone heavier- looking forward to the next time.

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After showers and breakfast (RM had pancakes made and waiting for me when I got back from the gym- he’s a keeper!), we swung through Starbucks and hit the road. Since I never finish my drink (Chai Tea Latte with 1/2 the syrup pump), I ordered a kiddie size. it was perfect!

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The trip north went smooth and we arrived at the Wentworth before we knew it.

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Weekending: Making Sausage & Pasta

Good morning! Another weekend, come and gone- how come they go by so quickly?! This past weekend was a real treat on the food front- too good not to share!

Weekending….

I had an apt in the city after work and after that I met RM for a drink and some snacks, but not before enjoying my “to go” wine from my waxer:

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When I met up with RM, we ended up going to Nix’s Mate- I enjoyed a rose bubbly, he had a delicious beer and we ended up getting some oysters and shrimp since they were only $1 each!

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To help with my Box FIIT certification, I’m trying to get to more Box FIIT classes so I hit one up on Saturday morning. It wasn’t as hard as George’s, but it was still a great workout and I seriously cannot wait until I can start teaching my own classes!!

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I hadn’t seen my sister in almost 3 weeks so after class I met up with her and our other friend Amy for manicures in Southie. Amy and I ended up getting the same color and I love it!!

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The rest of the Saturday was spent at our friends Jessi and Chuck’s apartment doing all sorts of cooking. RM and I went to the north end and picked up the sausage and then headed over to their place to get cooking.

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We opted for 8 pounds of meat which ended up yielding about 35 decent sized sausages. RM also had the butcher grind it and season it (2 ounces of salt per 10 pounds of meat) to help save time. We decided to do 2 different kinds: regular and garlic/parsley/parmesan and I don’t know which one I liked more! The whole event was so smooth and seamless- we were all pleasantly surprised by how easy it was! In just a few hours we had loads of sausages to enjoy.

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And, if that wasn’t enough, Jessi and Chuck broke out their recipe for homemade pasta and sauce- umm hello deliciousness! Making pasta with the Kitchen Aid attachment was SO easy- RM was ready to go out and buy the adapter yesterday!

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Between the homemade sausage, which cooked in the homemade sauce and the homemade pasta, the meal was pretty freaking amazing!!

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We also played games and drank lots of vino while we waited for everything to cook. It was seriously one of the best Saturday afternoons we’ve had in a while… even though we were so exhausted by the end that we went to bed at 9:45 haha

Sunday started out with being up nice and early thanks to our early bed time so we ended up going back to the Deluxe Town Diner in Watertown for breakfast. Our breakfast looked very similar to how it did the last time we went there, only difference was that RM got an omelet this time.

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I love being up and out early- getting to Whole Foods at 9:15am on a Sunday was such a nice treat! Besides Whole Foods, I went to Target, cleaned the house and then RM and I went to LensCrafters to get new glasses. Since I still love my current glasses, I opted to go for an entirely different style so I can rotate between the two. I’ll show you a picture once we go pick them up. Later that day we went to visit his mom since she just got home from vacation. We had pizza and salad and it was perfect!

And that about does it! How was your weekend? Did you do anything fun or different? Did you get in any good workouts? Do you like boxing workouts? What’s your favorite breakfast item to order? Have you ever made sausage or pasta? What do you have going on this week?

Weekending: Playing Hookie, Engagement Photos, Birthday Party & Enjoying the Weather!

Good morning! I know everyone is talking about the weather, but I mean, common- is it really this warm in FEBRUARY?! I’ll take it, though. If there isn’t going to be snow I don’t really want frigid cold temps.

Did you guys have a good weekend? Although I was feeling a little anxious going into it because of how many plans we had, it ended up being such a great one! My sister and I decided to “play hookie” on Friday afternoon so we met up at Assembly to go shopping. RM and I were having our engagement photos on Saturday afternoon and I hadn’t been able to go shopping prior to, so it was nice to have some extra time on Friday to shop without being rushed. It was also nice to get to hang out and catch up with my sister- lunch, shopping and drinks on a Friday afternoon- can you get much better than that?

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I was on a mission for just a few necessary things for our photoshoot: white jacket, new jeans and new black booties, all of which were found- and most on crazy sale! My friend suggested going to Wilson’s Leather for jackets and I’m so happy she did because I got both of these for $84! I don’t think I would’ve gone in there on my own… I mean, I didn’t even think this store still existed!

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After our shopping I went to my friend Jessi’s apartment for some vino, apps and girl talk before making my way back to Newton Corner. I didn’t want to leave, but I knew I wanted/needed to be rested for Saturday. I grabbed a pizza from Bertucci’s on the way home, we watched an episode of Breaking Bad and hit the hay by 10:30. It was fantastic.

Saturday started with an incredible cardio kickboxing class- 60 members came and gave it their all. It makes what I do so rewarding!

After class I cleaned up quickly and went to Queen Bee Nails to get a much-needed manicure followed by heading to Waltham to get a hair cut and blow out. I always try to plan my hair cuts around when I have something going on at night because it makes my “getting ready” time much easier and faster!

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I ended up wearing this for the photos:

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Later that afternoon, we headed over to East Boston to meet up with Janelle at KO Pies since it seemed only fitting to kick off our engagement photos where it all started! Janelle and I worked together a few months back when she did my fitness photos, so I’m so excited to be working with her again! The owner of KO Pies was so happy that we were doing our photos there that he asked if he could take a picture and share it with our story- the photo isn’t great, but it was so cute of him to be so excited for us!

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Janelle’s photos, though? She shared a sneak peek and I love it so much. I can’t wait to see the rest!!

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After the photos, RM and I headed back home quickly before parting our separate ways for the night. I was going into the city for my friend Sheila’s surprise party at Stoddards and he was going to meet up with some guys on Moody Street in Waltham. Even though I was exhausted and so tempted to stay home, I’m glad I went because nights out in the city with these ladies just don’t happen as much these days!

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In typical grandma fashion, I was home by 11:30 😉

We ran out of eggs on Saturday so we decided to go out to breakfast on Sunday, something we rarely (if ever) do! We went to the Delux Town Diner and it was fantastic. Veggie Hash & eggs for him, breakfast sando for me and their unbelievable sweet potato pancakes to share. I forgot how good diner breakfasts are!!

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After breakfast and food shopping, we went into the city so RM could take some photos for his new website. I wanted to go for a walk anyway so this was a great way to do both things. The weather was just too nice to be inside!

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We swung by his mother’s for dinner after and then when we got home I did some food prep, including this incredible looking spaghetti squash which has sautéed onions, garlic, red pepper, zucchini, summer squash, spinach and ground pork. Topped with a little cheese and you’ve got your self a super tasty and healthy meal!

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I’m gearing up for a busy week between subbing for Lauren’s Build & Burn classes tomorrow night (if you’re a YMCA member, come!), teaching my class on Wednesday and then teaching the kickoff sweat-KICK class at Foster Fitness on Thursday, so I’m happy to have a dish that will be quick and easy to re-heat for dinners!

Questions for you: How was your weekend? Have you ever played hookie? Did you get any good workouts in? Did you try any new recipes or restaurants? What’s going on this week?

Caramelized Banana French Toast

Hello there! We are nearly through the week- thank God! Going into the office on a Monday always throws me off.

I’ve teased you with pictures of the end result of this recipe on Instagram, so I figured it was time for me to share it with you. I feel a little bad, though, because it’s so easy it’s barely worth calling a “recipe” 😉

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While you could make this with whatever bread you have on hand or prefer, we opted to use Ezekiel bread for its health and digestion benefits. The first time I made this I used regular milk, but I used hemp milk next time because that’s what we had on hand so I think you could probably use whatever you prefer. There are optional add-ins, too!

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Ingredients (serves 2)

  • 4 pieces of bread of choice(Ezekiel, whole wheat, sour dough, homemade, etc.)
  • 3 eggs, whisked
  • 1/4 cup milk of choice (cow’s milk, almond, hemp, etc.)
  • few dashes of cinnamon
  • 1/2- whole banana, sliced
  • 1 tbsp. coconut flakes (optional- we did use this)
  • 1 tbsp. ground flax seed (optional- we did use this)

Directions,

  1. Whisk the eggs and then add in your milk and whisk some more. Finally add in the cinnamon and ground flaxseed and coconut flakes (if you’re using those).

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2. Place the bread in the egg mixture and let the bread soak it up really well before flipping it over and then eventually placing it in the pan. Continue this with all of the pieces of bread.

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3. Slice your banana and add it to a greased section of the pan cooking your bread. Let it brown up/caramelize on both sides before removing and placing atop the cooked French toast.

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4 Top with maple syrup and serve!

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I’m not a huge French toast person (much prefer pancakes), but I have to say that these were good enough to potentially make me into a French toast lover! The Ezekiel bread is pretty dense to start with so it ended up having a nice, hearty texture after it was cooked.

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The caramelized bananas added an incredible flavor to the whole dish- it’s so interesting how the flavor of a banana can change so much from eating it right out of the peel and then after it’s been cooked.

I definitely suggest whipping these up the next time you’re looking for a weekend breakfast changeup!

Questions for you: What’s your favorite weekend breakfast? Do you prefer sweet or savory?