Five on Friday {12.11.15}

Good morning! How has your week been? Mine has felt long… I am so ready for the weekend to be here! In case you missed anything from B2B this week, you can catch up here, here and here. For now, though, let’s talk Friday Favorites!

1. Wellcoin I’m excited to announce that I recently became a Wellcoin Ambassador! New to Wellcoin? Basically, it’s an app that pays you to live a healthy life! No joke- you get points for all sorts of “healthy living” things from working out to buying healthy groceries to choosing a healthy drink to doing something fun, and then you can “shop” in their marketplace for lots of different things like Whole Foods gift cards, free class at a participating studio, items at Thirst Juice Co. and more. I plan to do a whole post on it, so I won’t share all the details here, but if you’re interested, head on over to Wellcoin.com and check it out. Also, if you sign up, be sure to use the code “burpeestobubbly” which will get you 250 points right off the bat! I’ve only been using it for a few weeks and I already have about 6000 points. When you join- give me a follow so we can cheer each other on because that gives you more points, too 😉

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2. Christmas Decorations/Movies/Music/AlltheChristmas- I love, love, love this time of year and it’s been so fun decorating OUR home- getting our first tree, hanging up lights, watching Christmas movies, etc. RM laughed at me the other morning when I was WFH and had the tree lit at 7am… hey- it’s the little things 😉

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3. Free sweetgreen lunchsweetgreen recently opened up a new store location in the M Street shops near my office and the lovely Rachel of Healthy Chicks has been spoiling my group with free lunches. She brought us some delicious salads yesterday for lunch which was perfect timing since I had gotten home late on Wednesday and was in no mood to pack a lunch. Thanks girl! (ps they also opened up a new location in the Prudential Center- it’s amazing to see them growing so much!)

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4. Dealing with no internet- This was a busy week and I had a hours of blogging planned for Tuesday night, so imagine my frustration when I realized we did not have internet. My initial reaction was “ugh omg how am I going to get my Wednesday Workout post up? I can’t post my recipe on Thursday because I won’t even have time on Wednesday night to blog”, etc. etc. I’m happy to say that I took a few deep breaths and just let it be. It’s sad to realize how much I depend upon and use the Internet- for trivial things like checking facebook and Instagram. I mean, common Monique. It shouldn’t be that hard to just sit and watch TV! But this day in age, with technology and social media as such a huge part of our lives, it’s just second nature to be on our phones… and I’ll be the first to admit that I’m on mine way too much. Tuesday night was a good reminder to just leave the phone be for a while.

5. Little words that mean so much– While I love blogging SO much, I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t a lot of work… and sometimes frustrating. Sometimes I wonder if anyone is even reading this silly thing and whether or not I’m actually inspiring and motivating people, so when my friend Meg sent me these texts today, it made me feel SO GOOD. Knowing that I can provide tips, share my experience and motivate/inspire even just one person makes my hard work on B2B so worth it. Thank you, friend. You made my day!

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And that does it for me today! I’m excited for this weekend- I think I’m going to a fitness event on SaturDAY and then Saturday night my friend Jessi is having her Christmas party and then Sunday I’m going to head up to Maine to spend some time at my parents house…. but not without a stop at the Kittery outlets first 😉 What about you guys? Do you have anything fun planned? What are you loving right now? Anything from the week you want to share?

Weekending: Birthday Celebrations & Decorating for Christmas

Good morning! I hope you all had a great weekend. Although we did lots of Christmas-y things, it sure didn’t feel like Christmas with 50-60* weather all weekend. I’m not complaining, though, I’m sure we will have freezing temps and snow soon enough!

Before we recap, I want to wish my sister a very happy birthday!!! I hope you have a great day! xo

Friday

I really wasn’t ready to head right home after work on Friday so I texted my friend Jessi to see if she wanted to meet up for a drink on my way home. Lucky for me, she was around and willing to meet up! We met at Assembly Row and puttered through Home Goods before grabbing seats and some vino at the Legal Seafoods bar.

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I stopped at Whole Foods on the way home to get stuff for dinner: quesadillas! We had chicken we needed to eat and I was in no mood for a boring chicken and veggie meal. I feel like Fridays should be fun meals, not boring standard meals.

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We used Ezekiel wraps, chicken thighs I had baked earlier in the week, freshly shredded Gruyere cheese and veggies. I plan on writing these up in a post of their own because they were that good!

Saturday

It was my Saturday to teach and it was fun because there were lots of friends in class! I can tell winter is coming because each week my numbers continue to increase.

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We had a rare Saturday where both RM and I were around with no real plans. He took advantage of it by starting to study for his broker exam and I started to do some decorating. Since we loved the quesadilla’s so much, I offered to make them again for lunch!

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Later in the afternoon I popped over to Target to stock up on some household items… $85 later and multiple things I didn’t “need”. How does that store always do that to me?!

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We decided to get our Christmas Tree later in the afternoon. RM’s family always gets their tree at Russo’s in Watertown so we went there. I was totally impressed! The tree wasn’t cheap, but it just seemed to much healthier than the ones I’ve previously gotten at Home Depot so I didn’t mind spending the money.

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My sister was celebrating her birthday on Saturday night at The Brahmin so RM and I decided to head in a little early and grab some sushi at Red Lantern since it’s right next to The Brahmin. We got bubbly, spicy edamame, avocado salad, a spicy tuna roll and a salmon avocado roll and everything was fantastic!

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Once we got word that my sister was at The Brahmin we headed over. It was such a fun night- I definitely drank more than usual and more than I probably should have, but I don’t go out like that very often so it’s all good. We laughed, we danced and we took birthday shot shots- so much fun!

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RM and I were both craving pizza when we left, but we couldn’t find an open pizza joint so we ended up at Tasty Burger. I had never been and I have to say, although the burger was good, it wasn’t as good as Shake Shack! RM refused to share with me and made me get my own… two bites in and I decided I didn’t want a burger so we ended up taking it home, haha the fries on the other hand? Those were totally hitting the spot!

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Sunday

We slept in (no surprise there) and had a nice lazy morning. I whipped up some healthy pancakes and then went back to Target to get a new tree stand since the one I’ve had for a few years apparently had a big crack in it and leaked all of the water we added to it… so not fun!

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The rest of the day was spent decorating, food shopping and taking a stab at making Rosa’s sauce. I had a few bites and it definitely isn’t as good as hers, but it’s still pretty good!

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It’s been so fun decorating “our home” and getting our first Christmas tree together! We have so much fun living together that I sometimes still feel like we are playing house 🙂

For dinner, we had some paleo slow cooker wings that RM threw together- they were fantastic!

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And that about wraps it up!

Questions for you: Did you do anything fun this weekend? Have you gotten your tree and/or started decorating for Christmas? What’s the best meal you had this weekend? Any fun drinks or Christmas parties?

Five on Friday {12.3.15}

Good morning! I opted to not post last Friday because I figured everyone would be out shopping and not sitting at home reading blogs 😉 I’m happy to be back today sharing five more random thoughts/things with you, though!

1. How the heck is it December already?! I feel like it was just October the other day. November completely FLEW by. Have you started Christmas shopping yet? Do you have lots of holiday parties lined up?

2. Athleta pants– I’ve been in the market for a pair of full length leggings and ended up finding these amazing Chaturanga tights at Athleta the other day so I decided to just go for it. I’m so happy I did because I’ve worn them twice so far and absolutely love them! I was originally nervous about the light gray color, but so far they haven’t been overly offensive in terms of, well, crotch sweat… sorry, likely TMI but it’s something I think about because as an instructor I’m doing everything in front of the class and hate when you can see my sweat everywhere!

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3. 1806 Candles: Home by the Fire soy melters My mom always shares her latest wax smells with me and this one is absolutely fantastic! It literally smells like freshly cut Christmas trees!

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4. Stop Trying to Be Happy this is a little bit of a long read but it’s absolutely fantastic and I really encourage all of you to read it! RM sent it to me and I loved everything about it.

5. Surprise engagement gifts- Coming home to this awesome package from RM’s college roommate (who is part of the Tre Olive family) was such a fun surprise on a cold, gloomy night earlier this week! It’s literally some of the best olive oil we’ve tasted, so we will surely be putting it to good use. I also can’t wait to try the Red Pepper Spread he sent, too. I was looking through all the other gift ideas in one of the flyers attached to the package and there are some great, affordable gift ideas if you’re looking for something for the foodie in your life.

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There you have it! I hope you all have a great weekend. I can’t wait to get our tree and decorate for Christmas- it’s my favorite time of year because it makes the house feel so cozy when it’s all decorated with lights and the tree!

Questions for you: Have you started shopping for the holidays yet? Do you have anything fun going on this weekend? What is your favorite athletic wear company? Did you relate to the article at all?

Tre Olive: Italian Olive Tree {with a discount code!}

For Christmas, RM and I got my parents a really neat gift. My parents are people who love being in the kitchen, and my dad is known as the “olive oil” king, so when RM asked if I wanted to adopt an olive tree in Italy for them, I was totally game. One of his friends from college started a company called Tre Olive, which is a company selling “100% Italian Extra Virgin Olive Oil from olives grown in Italy, picked in Italy, pressed in Italy, and poured in Italy.” Their extra virgin olive oil comes directly from their groves in Calabria and “from tree to table, all TRE olive products are hand crafted in small batches to ensure the highest quality.”

The way Tre Olive works, is that you can adopt an olive tree from the Tre Olive grove for one year and receive a whole bundle of goodies at the time of adoption and lots of wonderful olive oil- from your tree (!!)- once the olives have ripened and are ready for picking, pressing and pouring. The standard adoption comes with the following:

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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?