Five (but really only four) on Friday {12.9.16}

Hey there & Happy Friday! I hope all of you are staying nice and warm today- it’s supposed to be quite the cold snap- brrr! I’m WFH today which worked out very nicely 😉 Speaking of work, the other day I was having a conversation with some coworkers in the kitchen and it hit me that Christmas is NEXT WEEKEND- how did that sneak up so fast?! I have a few gifts left to get this weekend for Christmas and for RM’s birthday (next Friday) so I feel mostly prepared on that front, but it’s still feels crazy that it’s so soon. Speaking of Christmas, let’s get into the Five on Friday’s for the week!

  • Christmas spirit- I’ve been having so much fun getting into the Christmas spirit this season. It started off with the Seaport tree lighting and continued on with getting our Christmas tree and decorating the apartment. I LOVEEEE having all of the lights and decorations up, and I must say, our tree is pretty darn perfect this year 🙂

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  • Beating the Holiday Hustle- My friend Athena is leading a really great “challenge” throughout the month of December, all about helping us “Beat the holiday hustle”. There’s no denying that the holidays, while so fun and wonderful, also bring about extra stress, commitments and general “hustle & bustle”, right? What I love about this challenge is how it urging us to look at ways to BEAT the holiday hustle. I was really proud of myself on Wednesday for beating the holiday hustle when I chose to skip out on an event I RSVP’d to, I didn’t do laundry or clean or anything else on my “should do” list, and instead I poured myself some wine, listened to Christmas music, wrapped presents, made a nice dinner and watched a sappy Hallmark Christmas movie. With everything I’ve had on my schedule lately, I feel like it allows very little time for nights like that, so I was especially appreciative of my decision to forgo my “plans” and instead refill my energy cup by slowing down and doing things that make me happy.
  • Warby Parker’s new line- I was recently inspired by Warby Parker to take a look at their new stylish sunglasses line, and in turn, I ended up signing up for their free at-home glasses try on program. I will share more about those later once I’ve had time to check them all out, but in the meantime I wanted to share some details and photos from their new line! I’m always jealous of people who are able to have multiple pairs of sunglesses- as a glasses wearer, that’s just not really a feasible option for me financially since prescription sunglasses can be really expensive. What I love about Warby Parker is that the glasses- both regular and sunglasses- are unique in their design-each pair I’ve seen has some little extra piece of detail that makes it stand out. I especially love the rose color and shape of the ones in the pictures below. If you’re in the need of new glasses or sunglasses and want to try something new, I suggest you check out Warby Parker’s Home Try-On program and pick out 5 styles to try at home for free!

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  • Air BNB It’s so crazy that the first East Boston apartment that I rented- and where I met RM- is officially on Air BNB. RM had an interior decorator/shopper help with getting it ready to be rented- I think it came out amazing! If you know of anyone looking for an affordable, spacious, clean apartment to rent that’s close to the airport and just a short walk to the T (which gets you into downton Boston in just 2 stops!), please let me know or check it out on Air BNB for yourself! We are hoping this becomes a successful adventure, so any support from all you wonderful readers is so greatly appreciated 🙂

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And that does it for me today! I’m hosting my work book club tonight and I can’t wait to have the girls over. I’m making a nice roast chicken meal, which is perfect for a cold day like today! Tomorrow I’m going to the 9:30 bags & strength class at EBF (if anyone wants to join!!) and then finishing up my shopping. I hope whatever you do, you have a wonderful, “beat the holiday hustle” type of weekend!

Questions for you: What’s been up with you?! I feel so disconnected since I haven’t been blogging! What do you have going on this weekend? Have you finished your Christmas shopping yet? Did you decorate? 

 

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Five on Friday {11.30.16}

Good morning and TGIF! This week seemed to go by slow, but I was in a great mood all week so I can’t complain :)I can’t believe that it’s DECEMBER- how did that happen?! But I’m excited about it- I can’t wait to get a tree, decorate the apartment, listen to Christmas music and all the other stuff that comes along with this season.

Which brings me to my first Five on Friday topic….

  • Light Up The Seaport While the commons and Southie did their tree lightings last night, the Seaport opted to wait and do it tonight. I’m so excited to be there and see the tree be lit and then get drinks after.Gather, Aceituna Grill, The Envoy Hotel, Autograph Collection, Shake Shack, Kings America, & MiniLuxe will all be offering up delicious samples while Gather will also open up a remote bar on the side of District Hall! Plus, a pop-up concert by Andrew Smith Music!  If you’re around, grab your FREE ticket and join!
  • Metabolic Meltdown My friend Lauren just launched her Metabolic Meltdown program, which is 49 workouts that can all be completed at home- and none are more than 30 minutes! What I love is that she breaks it down by bodyweight, total body with weights, lower body focused, upper body focused and core focused. The quick, but effective workouts are my jam these days, as I’ve mentioned before, so I’m totally loving it. I’ve only tried a handful, so I’m excited to try the rest of them. If you’re feeling tired with your workouts or feel like you’re not feeling/seeing changes, I’d suggest checking out her program. It’s especially perfect timing as we enter a busy season!

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  • Festive Recipes- I had bought a huge bag of fresh cranberries at Whole Foods before Thanksgiving, even though I absoutely did not need them. Sure, I was asked to make fresh cranberry sauce by my mom, but that didn’t require a 2 pound bag of cranberries 😉 This lead me to scouring the internet looking for other cranberry-based recipes. I decided on this Paleo Cranberry Bread and then this Cranberry Apple Crisp. Both came out so good!

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  • Friendsgiving & Thanksgiving- The weekend before Thanksgiving, my SMC friends hosted our 2nd annual Friendsgiving… this time with 3 little kiddos in the mix! We joked about how much times have changed since we graduated (nearly 10 years ago!!!). Per usual, we had such a great time- the food was awesome, the wine was flowing and nearly all of us were together and able to catch up. This has quickly become one of my favorite holiday events! Thanksgiving with my family was equally as nice, although a little quieter since there were fewer people! I couldn’t help but feel thankful!

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  • Francesca update- Our little girl is growing like a weed! We can’t believe how much she’s grown since we got her. She was 1.9 pounds when we first brought her home, 2.10 pounds when she had her first vet appointment a month later and we will find out how big she is tomorrow when we go for her next checkup. While she can be a bit crazy (and scratch the crap out of anything she gets her paws near), she really is the absolute cutest thing ever!

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I hope you all have a fantastic weekend and do something festive to get you into the holiday spirit if you aren’t there already 🙂

Questions for you: What’s your favorite holiday tradition? Do you have any holiday/festive plans this weekend? How was your Thanksgiving?

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?

Weekending: Getting Into the Christmas Spirit

Good morning- happy Monday! Did you guys have a good weekend? Ours was relatively low-key, but that was perfect since I was pretty dead most of Friday because of getting home at 2:30 in the morning after 11 hours of traveling! Work was luckily quiet so I was able to catch up on some stuff without being interrupted. Let’s recap!

Friday

I was supposed to get together with my friend Liz and then go to a little party with my sister, but I ended up canceling on both because I was just too tired and knew I had to teach on Saturday and wanted to be rested. RM ended up coming home early from work so it was nice getting to hang with him before he went out with some of his friends that night. He offered to pick me up Whole Foods hot bar for me for dinner, which pretty much made my night. That, and being able to watch a sappy Hallmark Christmas movie and finish our latest book club book.

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Have you guys read this? If not, YOU MUST! This was such a fantastic book and I can’t wait to read the sequel. I may or may not have balled my eyes out as I finished the last couple of pages. Ugh. So good!

Saturday

I woke up feeling great thanks to 9+ hours of sleep! I was so excited to teach my cardio kickboxing class for 2 reasons:

  1. It was my last class before Christmas and I couldn’t wait to use my Christmas playlist. It’s always a big hit and I love seeing everyone smiling and singing along.
  2. I had some awesome new lululemon pants to wear- you can never have too much mesh, right?! The best part? They were an outlet deal- $29!

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Class was awesome! Everyone brought their serious A game and it was so fun to get in a good sweat sesh before the day’s activities.

After, I met up with my friend Jessi and her twin sister to talk wedding hair. I’m in the process of selecting someone to do my hair and Jessi’s sister pretty much specializes in wedding hair so hopefully it will work out! I was pumped to get to wear my new Stitch Fix sweater (a full review of my latest fix to come!)- it’s so soft!

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After hanging with the girls, I met RM at the Assembly Row shops and we grabbed a very late lunch/snack at Fuji. While the sushi was good, the rolls were very small and we were shocked that Roberto’s beer was $12 (!!!). Womp.

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Once we finally started to get hungry for dinner, I whipped up some roasted buffalo cauliflower and some baked butternut squash and RM cooked some spicy broccolini. We also shared some leftovers to round out the meal. It totally hit the spot.

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Sunday

Sunday started out the best way: with healthy pancakes! Historically, RM has always made them but lately I’ve taken that role and I have to say, I’ve been doing a pretty good job! I do not measure anything but here’s the ingredients I used yesterday: 2 eggs, 1/2 banana, coconut flour, almond meal, vanilla, flax seed, little bit of honey and some water.

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After breakfast, I headed out to do some errands. I wore my new Athleta sweater that I got for a SUPER deal during a recent Schoola promotion. I am in love with how comfy it is and I can’t believe I got it for $42 when it’s originally a $128 sweater. Yes, please.

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I also treated myself to a chai tea latte at Starbucks thanks to a very sweet member who gave me a gift card before class on Saturday!

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It was a pretty busy shopping experience, but I was totally immersed in the holiday spirit so it was fun! I was able to finish up most of my shopping, which will make this week easier 🙂

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I love the looks of a Christmas tree filled with presents underneath it. My mom always wanted to wait to bring presents down on Christmas morning (or late Christmas Eve), but my dad would always try to sneak the presents down earlier than that. I remember one year the back and forth of my dad bringing them down and my mom bringing them back up . I have to say, I like the presents under the tree before Christmas!

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Late Sunday afternoon we went to RM’s mother’s house to celebrate his birthday, which is on Wednesday. We had a delicious escarole soup, croquettes and a fantastic coffee cake. The rest of the night was spent hanging on the couch, relaxing before a busy week- I love our couch time!

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And that wraps it up! I have to go into the office today, but it’s a fun day because we are having our group Christmas party at Kings in Lynnfield. I also made my favorite Funfetti cookies, which basically make anything better 😉

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Have a great Monday, friends!

Questions for you: How was your weekend? What was the best part of it? Have you finished your Christmas shopping? Are you working this week? What’s your favorite holiday treat?

Wednesday Workout: Christmas Themed Edition

Good morning! Can you believe Christmas is next week?! How the heck did that sneak up so fast? With that in mind, I thought I’d make today’s “Wednesday Workout” a Christmas/holiday theme, similar to what I did for Thanksgiving. A few of you let me know that you tried some of the workouts that I posted, so hopefully some of these will pique your interest, too!

  • First up is the 25 Days of Christmas workout that I posted last year. I decided to teach it last week and was pleasantly surprised by how fun it was! The members said it was hard, too, so there’s your warning 😉

25 Days of Christmas

  • Another fun workout that I put together when I first started teaching is the 12 Days of Fitness workout. It’s Dana’s favorite so I knew I had to share it with you guys!

New 12 days of fitness

Warm Up Your Core

Snowman Building Total Body Workout

Down the Chimney, Up the Chimney Christmas Workout

Thank you to everyone who let me share their holiday/winter themed workouts- I hope you guys find one you like and want to try try:)

Questions for you: Do you like themed workouts? Have your workouts had to suffer at all because of holiday craziness? Do you wish we New Englanders had snow?