Weekending {Extended Version}: Birthday Celebrations & Marathon Monday

Good morning! I opted to not blog yesterday as I had the day off and figured a lot of you may also have it off or may even be running the marathon! Between taking my birthday off last week, working from home on Friday and then having yesterday off, I feel like I’ve been on a little vacation, which is pretty awesome. With everything going on these days between wedding planning, the BoxFIIT certification, teaching, blogging, working, etc. I feel like I was running on empty and really needed some time to re-charge the batteries. Granted, the past week has been filled with lots of things, but most didn’t involve work which helped give me that “recharge” I needed.

I’m going to keep my captions short, so enjoy the pictures!

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Birthday yoga!

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Birthday manis/pedis/lunch with my birthday buddy!

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Strong ladies supporting me in class. Not pictured: after class drinks at Gaslight 🙂

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Julian pizza from Max & Leo’s- the birthday girl doesn’t cook on her bday 😉

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Beautiful flowers and prosecco from coworkers who came to my class

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Extra bday flowers from RM

 

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All dolled up! Love the new bag RM got me

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My sister surprised me with a bottle of bubbly at dinner. We went to Committee in the Seaport and everything was unbelievably good- we couldn’t stop raving about how flavorful everything was AND they sent out a birthday treat- I highly suggest checking it out!

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Post kickboxing sweaty selfie.

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Entertaining my parents- I’m so sad that I didn’t get a single photo with them while they were here 😦

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Food shopping

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Pancake breakfast

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Birthday presents from my dad- picnic table, fire pit and a heck of a lot of wood. It was SO nice of them to come down not only to celebrate, but also to bring all of these things to help us have an awesome back yard/patio!

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4miler in gorgeous weather. I wish I could say it was a great run, but my legs felt like lead the entire time and my miles averaged 15-20 seconds slower than usual… BUT… I finished it and it felt great to be outside. Who cares about the mile times!

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Taking advantage of the sun and doing my thank you cards for the bridal shower gifts we’ve received outside. And then I started reading Defending Jacob, which is our new book club book. So far, I’m enjoying it, although it’s crazy that it takes place in Newton!

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Beer at home by myself: a rarity, but the weather encouraged it 😉

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Meal prep for the week: a cauliflower rice & other veggie “stirfry” with a peanut sauce and then a veggie-filled quiche- both have so much flavor!!

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Loving our outdoor patio space! Took my workout outside yesterday morning and it was amazing.

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We walked from the Intercontinental Hotel (where RM parks his car) to the Back Bay and it was so nice strolling through Boston Common’s in the gorgeous weather.

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We were fortunate enough to hang out at the Solas Pub (part of the Lennox Hotel) pretty much right at the Marathon finish line thanks to New Balance- drinks, food, prime spectator location?! Yes, please. So thankful for this opportunity!

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Watching the marathon is always a super emotional and inspiring thing. I love watching everyone who is finishing strong, but I also love how everyone is looking out for each other. The crowds roared even louder when struggling runners were trying to get to the end. Fellow marathoners helped those who were physically too beat to run on their own. Paramedics and EMT’s and all of the other helpers were there to help get people safely over the finish line. It gave me chills soaking all of that in. Such a wonderful experience.

If you made it this far, THANK YOU! I’ll be back tomorrow with a workout… and maybe even a recipe for you this week!

Questions for you: How was your weekend? Did you get outside to enjoy the weather? Did you go to the marathon or did you run the marathon? What do you have planned this week?

Weekending: Frank Pepe’s Pizza, Boxing, Brunching & More

And just like that- the weekend is over in the blink of an eye! Don’t get me wrong- we certainly made the most of the weekend, but it doesn’t mean it makes it any easier when it’s over.

Friday

After work on Friday I did some shopping for shoes to wear to various wedding-related events. I ended up finding a few pairs at Off Saks, including these fun pink heels. What do you think?

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They’ve got a snake skin-ish type of material, too. Once we both got home, we headed over to Chestnut Hill to check out Frank Pepe’s Pizzeria. While there was a long line, we ended up getting seated in just about 35 minutes which wasn’t bad. We opted for their famous clam pizza and a traditional cheese pizza. Both of us were “meh” about the clam pizza but totally loved the cheese pizza. It was light and thin so you could eat multiple slices without feeling too weighed down. Definitely worth a trip if you’ve been thinking about checking it out.

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Conveniently next door was a little Gelateria, so obviously we had to stop and get one. I opted for the baby sized Biscoff and Hazelnut and both were amazingly good. I haven’t had gelato that good since Italy!

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Saturday

Saturday morning started with an awesome Bags & Body class at The Club, followed by mitt practice with Nicole. I have never done that so it was really humbling, but it felt good to be out of my comfort zone and learning something new. The best part? Nicole sent me home with some awesome fighters swag so I can be outfitted for my first class (more details soon!).

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After class I met up with a few friends to celebrate Jessi’s engagement. We went to Worden Hall in Southie which was another place on my “want to try” list. We got a bottle of bubbly and I got spinach and goat cheese omelet which was really tasty.

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I love girls luncheon dates! Jess had to leave after lunch but my sister stopped in so she, Jessi and I had another drink at Stephi’s in Southie before heading home. On my way home I offered to pick up food at Whole Foods for dinner so I opted to get food shopping for the week out of the way, too. The rest of the night was spent hanging out, making wings, eating left over pizza and watching House of Cards.

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I love Saturday night’s where I’m in bed by 10:30… yes, I’m 30 going on 75 😉

Sunday

After breakfast, I went to church and then came home and worked on my taxes. While spending 2 hours on that sucked, I’m getting a good chunk of money back which will come in very handy for the wedding! Once I was done, we went for a quick walk and then I finished off with a quickie 5K since it was so gorgeous out. I needed Vitamin D in a bad way!

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We finished off the day with the most delicious eggplant parm and chicken cutlets at RM’s mother’s house. I opted to not do any real meal prep this week since it’s my birthday week which was a nice change.

Although my Sunday was not nearly as productive as I wanted to, it was perfect. I had wanted to get to the gym to film a few BoxFIIT videos and work on that certification, but I decided that I wanted to go for a walk and a run MORE, so that took precedent over that. Sometimes you just have to pick and choose what’s important to you on a particular day… and sometimes that’s not in line with what you “should” do or what’s on your to-do list…. and that is totally fine.

With that, here’s to a good week! It’ll be a busy one for me due to birthday celebrations, but it’s all fun things so I can’t wait!

Questions for you: How was your weekend? Have you ever been to Pepe’s Pizza? Did you get in any good workouts? Did you go out to eat at all? Did you get out to enjoy the sunshine throughout the weekend? What’s going on this week?

Boston Day of Fun, Pat Green Concert & Easter Weekend in Maine {Recap}

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, there’s nothing like the feeling of spending a weekend home in Maine. I come back to the city feeling totally re-charged. I love the fast-paced, city life style 95% of the time, but after weeks and weeks of that, it feels really great to come home to Maine for a slower-paced, less busy weekend.

I cannot tell you how amazing it was to have Friday off. I don’t know what my problem was last week, but I had ZERO desire to work. I managed to get through it, but it wasn’t fun! Friday started off with a much-needed hair cut, followed by a sushi lunch with the guy. We had planned to have a “day of fun” in the city since I had the day off and he had a half day.

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After lunch, we headed to Copley and did some shopping. I got my watch fixed and he scored big time at J. Crew. We finished the day at The Salty Pig, which would have been better if it wasn’t Good Friday (meaning we could eat meat). But! They had Gluten Free beers and a great music selection, so it was the perfect way to end our day.

That night, I had plans to go to the Pat Green concert at the House of Blues with my sister and some friends. Danielle surprised me with tickets for my birthday and even though I had never heard of him, I was excited to go to a country concert with a fun group of people!

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After a very sweaty (per usual) and still fairly packed kickboxing class on Saturday morning, Danielle and I headed north for the rest of the weekend. We met our mom in Kennebunkport for lunch at Federal Jacks, which was delicious! I got the beef and barley soup (so random, but it sounded so good) and the strawberry and goat cheese salad. I knew I had to go try on clothes after lunch so I wanted to keep it on the lighter side.

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After shopping around at PJ’s Unique Peek for an outfit to wear in the fashion show next weekend, we headed home to finally see dad! He and I prepped veggies and meat for the BBQ- I cannot tell you how excited I was to have a BBQ!

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Danielle and I were in bed and asleep before 10pm… and didn’t wake up until 8:45 on Sunday morning. I haven’t slept that long in who knows when and it was amazing!!! We did Easter baskets, church, brunch and then helped dad clean up the wood on the lawn (for the winter months) Mom and I went for a nice 40 minute walk and then we all had a bonfire until it was time to cook dinner.

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We had an absolutely wonderful meal… so good that I think I need to share it with you soon 😉

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All in all, it was such a good weekend! From the time I woke up on Friday, to the time I went to bed on Sunday (ahhh, the joys of having a flexible job that allows me to work from home in Maine!), I pretty much had a non-stop smile on. I am so blessed to have such wonderful people in my life- both family and friends, and getting some solid, uninterrupted family time over the weekend was exactly what I needed after a very hectic March and April.

I hope all of you had a nice Easter celebration (if you celebrate it)!

Questions for you: Have you heard of Pat Green? Do you like going to concerts? What did you do for Easter- was it a small celebration or a big family thing? Were you able to enjoy the nice weather?

Weekending: Recharging the Batteries

Ahh, it really is amazing how much better I feel after a weekend in Maine. I think it’s a mix of the slower-paced lifestyle and lots of family/friend time that is exactly what I need to recharge my batteries. Here’s a recap!

Friday

After working from home on Friday, my sister and I headed into town to meet up with some friends for cocktail hour at The BackStreet, which is a Friday tradition for my mom and her friends. You really can’t beat the $3 wines during happy hour (unreal)! And I can never get enough Emma snuggles.

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I also got to meet up with Meredith (and later, Tiffany!), which was long over-due and such a nice treat!

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We got home and made pizza with dad- my favorite Friday night activity! Mom poured me wine in a “surprise” glass… really couldn’t have been more fitting for me on Friday!

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Saturday

After a morning workout, my sister and I got our hair cut, ran errands and then met up with the rest of the Shapleigh girls (and Zeke) for lunch at the Springvale Publick House. Their food is amazing, but the company was even better. Zeke is getting so big and his personality is hilarious. It’s so fun to watch little babies grow.

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Saturday night, I volunteered at a fundraising event with my mom. I’ll post more on it later, because I think it’s a great cause, but here’s a sneak peak of what I did… felt so weird to be scooping Shaw’s Ridge Farm ice cream again. That was the best summer job!

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Sunday

We all got up and went to church then grocery shopping, then mom and I headed outside for some winter exercise fun. It felt so nice to be in the sun!

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I left relatively early because I knew I wanted to stop at the Lulu outlet in Kittery. I had no idea there was one until my friend, Meaghan, told me. It.was.amazing!!! The deals were seriously crazy good and it was well worth the trip if you’re looking to replenish your lulu wardrobe. Here’s my loot:

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Super soft fleece hoodie ($54!), new, fun, bright pants ($29), black top ($19) and slim-fitting pullover (this wasn’t crazy cheap, but I loved it and had a gift card!). What do you think?

Unfortunately, my Sunday went downhill once I got home and realized that my apartment was in shambles (had a leak and the plumber was coming back on Monday to finish fixing it) and I was without heat (Nstar had to replace the meters and therefore cut power to my apartment, which somehow killed the thermostat… ). Then I broke my favorite wine glass from a winery in Napa. Womp, womp. Luckly, my new Jack Rogers came in and I had chilled white wine (not because it was in the fridge… because it was refrigerator temp in my apartment)… that made my night better!

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Lastly, this meal really made me feel better.

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I took my dad’s homemade sauce, added a bunch of chopped veggies and ground chicken and topped that over baked kale and veggie pasta. So healthy, so tasty, so comforting. I could eat the sauce as a soup, I think. There’s really nothing better than homemade sauce!

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And, that about sums it up! All in all, it was a great weekend and I am starting this week off much better than I ended it. My mom and I talked about how we are trying to focus on how blessed we are compared to others and how we are both trying to focus on that this year. The fact that we were able to go out the back door and snow shoe/cross country ski was amazing… many people can’t do that because of physical limitations, location limitations, or health issues. It’s so easy to focus and dwell on the negative, but it’s so important to try and turn that around and focus on the positives.

Questions for you: When’s the last time you needed to “recharge” your batteries? What was the best part of your weekend? Have you been to the Lulu outlet? What do you do to cheer yourself up?

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?