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 🙂

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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 😉 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. 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 😉

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 🙂

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The Week In Review: Birthday Celebrations, Christmas, Weekending

 

Good morning! It feels good to be back 🙂 Besides one post last week, I decided to take the week to just detach a bit- I had no desire to blog so I figured it was a sign I should take a little break. I’m back today, though, to recap the week! With RM’s bday on the 23rd, Christmas week is always a little crazy and chock full of celebrating (read: indulgent food, lots of dessert and plenty of drinks). Even though I’m off today, I’m excited about getting back on a little bit of a schedule this week… that is, until New Years Eve 😉

Monday- Last week I organized a little holiday celebration for a few of the teams at my office. We went to Kings in Lynnfield and had a blast drinking, bowling and munching on various passed apps.

Tuesday- After work on Tuesday, I went into the city to meet up with my sister and some other people at Back Deck for a drink before they went to the Nutcracker. I had wanted to go, but with it being the day before RM’s bday, it was just too much.

Wednesday- I used a floating holiday on Wednesday which was a nice way to ease into the holiday. Since it was RM’s bday, I told him I would make him whatever he wanted for breakfast. He decided on banana cinnamon French toast- how delicious does this look?! It was 2 pieces of Ezekiel bread, 2 eggs, dash of milk, plenty of cinnamon and sliced bananas that I sautéed in the pan.

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After breakfast, I left the house to let him study for his big broker exam (who schedules a big exam on their birthday?!) and hit up a class at Orangetheory. The first time I went to that studio was over the summer and the class was good, but not crazy hard. This one? Much harder! It was endurance day so we ended up starting the class on the treadmills for nearly a half hour! My base pace was 7 and my pushes were in the 8’s and then sprints in the 9’s and 10’s… I was dying by the end!! The strength session was also more challenging and I was sore the next day. Can’t wait to go back!

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I finished up with shopping and wrapping while RM headed into the city for his test. A few hours after the test started I hopped on the bus to be in the city when he finished so I could take him out to dinner. Luckily, he passed the exam so not only were we celebrating his bday, but also that! It was a very good day and Davio’s did not disappoint!

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Thursday- We took our time getting up on Thursday and eventually went into the city for birthday massages (well, birthday for him) at Exhale Spa. Per usual, the whole experience was wonderful- it’s really the best place to get massages!

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had to rick my “mistletoe & mimosas” T!

After we were finished, we hit the road to head to Maine. I went to Christmas Eve mass with my family and then we prepped for family friends to come over. It was a another successful Christmas Eve party! Good group of friends, plenty of delicious food, lots of bubbly and laughs. I did not take many pictures as I was just having too much fun being present in the night.

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Friday- We woke up later than normal on Christmas morning and found ourselves nearly rushing through presents- oops. We all got lots of great things, but I have to say that my sister’s gift to me was probably my favorite -it was so incredibly thoughtful and I loved that it was wedding themed since up until now, I hadn’t really received anything wedding-related. The ring holder is absolutely perfect, the shirt is so “me” and the book filled with all of the important things so far (“the ring”, “the Date”, “the location”, “not the dress”, “the band”…) nearly made me cry! I can’t wait to fill it up with things throughout the wedding process and then with photos from the big day.

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After presents, we packed up and headed back to MA to do Christmas with RM’s family. I didn’t take any pictures, but his mother and sister made a delicious meal, we had fantastic wine and opened more presents. I loved the sweater and necklace that his mom and sister got me- now it just needs to get cold enough to wear them 😉

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Saturday- I started out the day working on our wedding website and then hit the pavement for a 3.5 mile run, followed by some upper body strength circuits. After a rest day on Christmas and indulgent food for a few days, it felt very good to move!

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After lunch, the post holiday blues started to hit me and I had to laugh as I realized my outfit was coincidentally mirroring my mood.

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I knew I needed to get out of the house so I returned a few things, went to the library to get another book for book club and then decided to grab a glass of vino at Branch Line while waiting for RM to be done with his things for the day. I brought my book in and totally enjoyed sipping my Chardonnay while I read (even if it did seem weird to people who saw me).

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The rest of the night was spent relaxing- we ordered in, I kept reading and was in bed by 10. It was perfect 🙂

Sunday- I decided to get up and make us healthy pancakes. I changed the recipe by adding in another egg and we both agreed they may be the best batch yet!

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The rest of the day was spent being incredibly productive: 2 loads of laundry, changed the sheets on the bed, put away Christmas gifts, cleaning the entire apartment, grocery shopping, meal prepping and blogging. I did get RM to food shop with me and happened to sneak in a bouquet of flowers 😉

 

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Meal prepping isn’t always something I want to do, but once I get going- and especially once I’m done- I’m always SO happy I did it. I still have to make a meatloaf and cook the kale today (and RM has string beans and broccoli he wants to cook- we go through veggies so fast in this house), but knowing the most time consuming part is done is amazing.

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And that about does it! I know this post was long, but hopefully the pictures kept you reading. I can’t believe Christmas has come and gone, but at least we have our wedding to look forward to in the next 6 months or so!

I hope all of you had a fantastic holiday week!

Questions for you: What did you do to celebrate the holiday this year? Do you have to split holidays? Do you have any traditions? Meal prep- love it or hate it? Did you do any shopping after the holiday? Are you taking any time off this week? Any good workouts to share?

I’m Back!

Well hello, there! Remember me? I used to write a blog fairly consistently…. 😉 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 😉

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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 got  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 🙂

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?

 

Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with the Gagnon’s

Hi there! Anyone else enjoying an extra day off today? I wasn’t planning on taking today off, but I am so happy I did since I’m home in Maine with my family who is also not working.

As I’ve mentioned before, I took the train home on Tuesday, which is always fun. I don’t mind the drive, but since my sister was driving home later on Tuesday due to a work party and will drive me back to Boston tomorrow, it made sense for me to just take the train. I thought about reading, but ended up blogging and napping which is totally ok.

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When I arrive at the train stop, mom and dad were waiting for me. Mom was looking quite festive in her {ugly} Christmas sweater.

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We ran a couple of errands before coming home for lunch and baking/cooking. I snuck in a quick workout (6 rounds of this workout and 2 rounds of this workout which ended up being awesome… and taking less than 25 minutes including a quick warm up!) before making a delicious dessert and going to church.

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Not long after we got back from church, we popped open bubbly and waited for our friends to arrive. Per usual the night was a blast! Good food, great friends, cute babies and solid Christmas carols… can’t get much better than that;)

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Before bed, we made mom read ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas, as it’s a tradition for us. Anyone else love this story?

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Christmas morning we woke up and opened stockings and our gifts. I was shocked to see that my parents got me the little moveable kitchen island that I had been wanting!! It’s going to be so perfect for my apartment as I am in DIRE need of more counter space and under the counter space. Thanks so much mom and dad!

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My sister got me the sweetest sister bracelets AND she got each of us a pass to take a barre class at Pure Barre in the Back Bay, which I’m so excited about!! Such a thoughtful gift for a fitness lover like me!

After we finished presents, we headed to the Mahoney’s for our annual Christmas brunch, accompanied by mimosa’s, of course 😉 I mixed cranberry juice with mine instead of orange juice and it may be my new favorite!

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We all came home for nap time (except for mom) before heading to Sara and Amy’s mom’s house for games and catching up. It’s always fun to get together with the girls and guys on Christmas night, but by 8ish I was ready to go home and go to bed! It had been a tiring couple of days and I couldn’t wait for bed 🙂

All in all, it was another fun-filled Christmas for the Gagnon’s and I am so blessed to have such fun family and friends to celebrate the holidays with! I’ll catch you up on the rest of my week in a bit, and I still owe you a workout (that I’ve created, I just haven’t written the post yet!).

Questions for you: How was your Christmas? What’s your favorite tradition? What was your favorite gift?

This Week: Workouts, Schedule & What I’m Looking Forward To

Hi there! Can you believe it’s Christmas week?! Shockingly enough, I feel like I have been able to enjoy the season this year. I decorated my apartment, I’ve attended Christmas parties and I’ve spent Sunday afternoons totally enjoying ABC Family Christmas movies (please tell me I’m not the only one who has a guilty pleasure watching those cheesy movies!). But, with that said, I still can’t believe that Christmas is in 3 days. I can’t wait!

Since it’s a holiday week and I’ll be home in Maine for most of it, my workouts will be a little different than usual, but that’s good sometimes!

Last Week’s Workouts

  • Monday- I subbed a kickboxing class at the Watertown BSC. As I’ve been subbing more lately, I’ve realized how “trained” my members are who come to my permanent classes. Those members come week after week and are always ready for the crazy things I throw at them, however, when I sub, I am reminded that those members are not used to me and I need to tone it down a little so that people don’t feel overwhelmed. It’s weird!
  • Tuesday- I had all intentions of going to the gym after work to run on the treadmill, but when I got to the gym, they told me they were closing in 20 minutes. I had plans that night and was getting picked up at a certain time so by the time I trucked my way home through the snow, I had 10 minutes to do something. I could’ve skipped it all together, but I really needed to get some energy out so I did 10 minutes of random cardio moves. Wasn’t a lot, but it was better than nothing!

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  • Wednesday- I got up and worked out before work. I did a full body tabata workout and it was awesome!

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25 Days of Christmas

  • Friday- Rest day!
  • Saturday- I did 20 minutes on the elliptical, 10 minutes of abs and then BodyPump. It was awesome.
  • Sunday- I ran the Jingle Bell 5K with my sister! This was my 6th year running the race and I still have to say it is one of my most favorite races. What made it even more special was the fact that my sister ran it with me… as her first race! so proud!

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This Week’s Workouts

  • Monday- I have dinner plans after work so by the time this is published, I will have finished an at-home workout. Maybe this workout or maybe all 3 of my holiday series workouts (this, this, and this).
  • Tuesday- I am heading home to Maine on the 9am train so my plan is to try and get my workout done before that, but we will see.
  • Wednesday- It’s Christmas, so I am not sure if I’ll get a workout in or not. If there’s snow, I would love to go snow shoeing or cross country skiing with my mom!
  • Thursday- If the YMCA near my parent’s house is open, I may try to get to a class or do my own workout there. Otherwise, an at home workout.
  • Friday- Definitely trying to get to a class!
  • Saturday- There’s a great 1.5 hour cardio cross training class at the YMCA that I would love to get to before heading back to MA
  • Sunday- Pending on my workouts earlier in the week will determine whether or not I’ll workout on Sunday.

Schedule

This is a fun week because A.- there’s only 1 real day of work for me and B.- it’s Christmas so that means I get to go home to Maine for longer than usual! I am heading home on Tuesday morning and will be there until Saturday. It will be so nice to get out of the city for some extended R&R.

Things I’m Looking Forward To

Gosh. So much! Dinner at the Palm on Monday will be fun and I can’t wait to take the train home. We host a party on Christmas Eve with a bunch of family friends and it’s pretty much my favorite night of the year. We drink lots of bubbly, enjoy lots of homemade pizzas and laugh so much. I can’t wait!

Questions for you: Do you plan to workout over the holidays? What’s your favorite Christmas tradition? What are you looking forward to the most this week?