Five on Friday {5.6.16}

Good morning and TGIF! I’m trying to fake being peppy because I hate how “blah” this weather is making me feel. It’s giving me absolutely no pep in my step, which is a sad, sad thing, haha I feel like this week went by in a blink of the eye… like, how is it already Friday?! Not that I’m complaining. I’m certainly not complaining. Friday+pay day+half day+mom in town= FriYAY for sure ūüôā Let’s get to some topics of the week!

  • Responses to Tuesday’s Post- Thank you all so much for your kind comments in response to my post this week. Seriously, you have no idea how much it meant to have so many of you comment and tell me what you like and would like to see more of. I have to admit- I was actually surprised by how many of you said you enjoyed my “weekending” roundups. Although I plan to take some of my personal life off of the stage of this blog, there are some things worth recapping and sharing so it certainly won’t be the last of them!
  • BoxFIIT Update– I got an email from George Foreman III the other day saying that I passed all of my boxfiit video submissions, which was the best email ever! I worked so hard on getting everything in and doing the best job I could, so to hear him say he felt confident to have me start teaching whenever was such a great feeling. I’ll let you guys know when I have a class on the schedule (either there or in Watertown at GymIt) and hopefully you can come check it out!

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  • Flourless Peanut Butter Zucchini Brownies Alexis over at Hummusapien posted this recipe recently and I knew I just had to make it. No surprise here that it turned out to be another hit from her blog. Every time I make something new RM is like “is that another Hummusapien recipe” ūüėČ Super easy to make and super moist (sorry) and tasty- perfect healthy treat for our weeknight “treat time”.
  • Embracing my curls- For so many years, I’d straighten or create curls in my hair with my straightener rather than letting my natural curls shine bright, but lately, I’m alllll about the big hair! I don’t know what it is, but my hair has been SO curly lately that I just feel bad altering it! What I do now to give it a different look than my every day “wash, mousse, scrunch & go” look is I put in gel/mousse and scrunch and then I let it air dry for a bit. Then, I use my diffuser (finally bought one and it makes a world of a difference!)¬†and flip my head over and put it to the roots of my hair to start and then scrunch up my hair with it to heat up the curls and liven them up. The end result is a big head of crazy curly hair that totally gives me a sass factor ūüėČ

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  • Cino de Mayo at home- With yesterday’s rainy, nasty weather, I just didn’t feel like going out to get my Cinco de Mayo necessary fix so I stopped at Whole Foods and picked up some of the necessary ingredients to whip up some yummy things: pineapple salsa, guacamole, shrimp tacos & a quesadilla. Everything was SO good and really quite easy to make (and healthier than going out!).

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And that does it! I hope all of you have a wonderful weekend!! I’m working a half day today and my mom is coming down for my dress fitting! And tomorrow I’m teaching at the Y and then we are going shopping for our wedding bands and then Sunday is my BoxFIIT “graduation”. Whatever you do, make it a good one!

 

 

SOWA Open Market & Cinco de Mayo

Hi! How are you doing today? Have you ever been to the SOWA Open Market? I had never been until Sunday, but I can tell you that it won’t be my last time, that’s for darn sure!
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Someone sent me an invite on Facebook earlier in the week and ever since then, I had been looking forward to checking it out.¬† It was a perfect weekend to do it, too, since I stayed in and didn’t have any big plans the whole weekend. Danielle and I got up on Sunday, had breakfast, I blogged while she watched a movie, and then we cleaned the house. By this time, it was 11am and we decided that since it had warmed up, it was a great time to head to the SOWA¬†Open Market. Note to self: next time, do NOT drive. After driving around for a little bit, I did end up finding awesome parking, but it was a bit of a hectic mess prior to that! Well worth it once we arrive in the parking lot full of Food Trucks. Oh my goodness. I was in absolute foodie heaven! So many trucks. So many things to choose from!

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We decided to do a big lap and look at the menu’s at all of the different trucks, cancelling out all Mexican (we had a Mexican meal planned for dinner) and things we could cook or order regularly (burgers, grilled cheese, chicken sandwiches). We wanted a savory crepe, but they were all out of the one we wanted:( Option #2: Greek/Mediterranean food! This whole thing was only $6! What a steal.

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Danielle got us truffle fries to share, too… they were to die for. It was kind of funny eating lunch sitting on the pavement in a big parking lot, but it’s what you do when you’re at the SOWA market, I guess!

After lunch, we walked around the non-food part of the open market, checking out all the different vendors and letting our food digest a bit. All while knowing that we were going BACK to another crepe truck to get a Nutella¬†Crepe. Back when I was studying abroad, I went to Paris and couldn’t get over how amazing Nutella Crepe’s were. Sunday’s crepe was nothing like that, but it was still pretty freaking delicious! Overall, it was such a fun way to spend a beautiful, Sunday afternoon. I foresee many more Sunday afternoons spent in the South End!

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Cinco de Mayo

After walking¬†and eating our way around the SOWA market, we came home and got dinner together. I say “we,” but really it was all Danielle tonight! She found a crock pot Mexican recipe from Iowa Girl Eats that she wanted to make, and she ended up combining it with a recipe from Rachel to create quite the tasty little meal!

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While she got everything together, I made us Skinny Margarita’s.¬† Well, I tried to make us skinny margs. I found a recipe from Cookie and Kate¬†and had all of the ingredients except for Agave Nectar. In baking recipes, I’ve always seen that you can sub Agave for honey or maple syrup, but let me tell you this now: do NOT sub out Agave for honey in this drink recipe. You will regret it. Needless to say, I had to add lots of sugar and other stuff to try to kill the sourness from the limes; it wasn’t pretty. I only got halfway through mine before I had to switch to a Sam Summer. Oh well, better luck next time!

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Dinner, on the other hand, was delicious! I ended up eating mine in a bowl and used some chips to scoop it up. I could’ve put it in a tortilla, but I am a sucker for chips, so I decided to skip out on the tortilla and use chips instead. Plus, Danielle also made guacamole and I was absolutely eating that with chips!

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Mmm… homemade, fresh guac- holy yum!

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In the end, this crock pot dish almost came out like a chili, but that was certainly not a bad thing. This was full of flavor and texture and totally hit the spot for a Mexican, Cinco de Mayo meal.

Questions for you: Have you ever been to the SOWA Open Market? Do you have a favorite food truck? Do you make your own margarita’s or buy the mix? Favorite Mexican dish?

Run Through Cambridge, Lunch w/Mom & Dad, Gardening, Chicken Parm Burgers

Hey everyone! Happy Sunday. I woke up thinking that the weather looked so nice, but when I checked my weather.com app (first thing I do every morning!), I was rudely awakened (haha no pun intended, but I’ll take it!). 40 degrees?! It’s MAY. Our thermostat in the apartment read 61 degrees. I’m sorry, but it’s MAY and I am not turning on the heat anymore! Where is the warm weather?!

Anyway, I posted a lot of photo’s yesterday and wanted to fill you in on them today!

Wednesday

I got to Central Square about an hour earlier than I needed to be there, so I decided to take advantage of the beautiful weather and go for a jog through Cambridge. I say jog, because that’s really all it was for me. I wasn’t in the mood to push myself and track my pace, but rather I was more in the mood to be in the sun and clear my mind. Running with this view certainly helped that!

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001Class was awesome-¬†I incorporated one of the moves that Jen’s posted in her most recent Monday Moves¬†post and everyone loved it! I’ll post the workout later this week- promise!

Friday

My sister had a “live” in Western Mass, so my parents went and stayed with her for the night (yes, this may seem odd, but if you knew my parents you would understand. They love any sort of little adventure, especially when they can be around us.).¬† Since I had to teach my double on Thursday night, I couldn’t make it to join them, but persuaded them to drive out of their way and come visit me for lunch on Friday!

Mom can’t visit us or we can’t go home without her giving us a little present, and today was no different. They went to the Johnny Appleseed Visitor Center in Lancaster on their way to see me (I know, seems silly, but I love how cute they are when they do stuff like that!) and picked up this cute little plate!

lady bug plateDid you know that the Lady Bug is the Massachusetts state insect? I had no idea, but apparently the little lady running the visitors center shared this info with my parents.

We had a great time catching up, laughing and eating lunch- the BEST work lunch ever! (sorry, JP!)

011Friday night, I went to Olives in Charlestown with my friend Jessi. It was a long overdue, greatly needed girl sesh catch up night. I had never been to Olives before, but I totally loved it. The atmosphere was awesome, the people watching was superb and the food/wine was delicious! We shared a bottle of Cono Sur Sauvignon Blanc and the sweet potato appetizer. Hit.The.Spot.

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014Saturday

I woke up and was SO excited that it was my day to teach. I hadn’t been there for 2 weeks and I was really itching to get back.

excited to teachSign of a good class? When a member (yes, you, Macall) asks me what I smoked prior to teaching. haha I love it! Obviously, I didn’t smoke anything, but I love teaching kickboxing and getting super sweaty so when you combine those, it equals a pretty intense class- perfect for a Saturday morning, if you ask me!

After teaching, I picked up my sister and we went to Home Depot to get all of the necessary supplies to get my garden going.

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020All of that shopping really worked up an appetite. Chipotle to the rescue! The burrito bowls there are so big, that it works out great when Danielle and I go together because we can share one (with a side of chips and guac, duhhh).

019For the most part, I think of Chipotle¬†as a relatively healthy “fast food” place to grab lunch. Ok, maybe that was really only backed because I saw so many cross-fitters¬†there and other people who looked like they came straight from the gym. You tell me- healthy or not?

The rest of the day was spent outside in my garden. I am not naturally blessed with a “green thumb,” but I sure do try! My dad, on the other hand, is amazing. He has a super hi-tech green house (temperature sensored so when it gets too hot, the vents open and a fan turns on and if it gets too cold, the vents shut and a space heater turns on. Classical music is played for the plants. yeah, THAT type of green house) and has always started all my veggies and flowers for me, but this year, I decided to do it all on my own. Who knows how it will turn out, but I am hoping for the best!

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026Chicken Parm Burgers

For dinner, we made one of our go-to favorite meals: Healthy Chicken Parmesan Burgers from Sweet Tooth, Sweet Life. Every time we make them, I am reminded of how good they are! here is the recipe from her site:

Chicken Parmesan Burgers

Makes 4 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1lb. ground chicken
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup plain breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup marinara sauce
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoons dried parsley
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • Mozzarella cheese
  • Extra marinara sauce
  • Hamburger buns

Directions:

Combine first nine ingredients (through dried basil) and mix well. Form into four patties, creating a slight dent in the center of the patty; refrigerate about 30 minutes. Grill over medium-high heat, 6-8 minutes on each side. Top cooked chicken burgers with mozzarella cheese.

If desired, coat insides of hamburger buns with a little spray butter and a sprinkle of garlic powder or Italian seasoning and place on the grill 1-2 minutes, until lightly toasted. Spread marinara sauce on toasted buns and top with cooked chicken burgers. Enjoy!

Ours didn’t look as good as hers, but I can bet that they tasted just as good! We tried them 2 different ways: in a wrap and on an english muffin (we didn’t have any buns so we got creative).¬† Both were good, but I liked eating it as a sandwich better.

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Yum. Definitely a fun thing to eat on a Saturday night. I made the roasted broccoli by coating the florets with a little bit of EVOO, Sea Salt and Pepper, Garlic Seasoning and Mrs. Dash- we baked them for about 15-20 minutes. Delish!

As for the rest of my Sunday, who  knows! We might head over to the SOWA Open Market, clean the apartment, cook a fun Mexican meal and make margs for Cinco de Mayo!

Questions for you: Chipotle-¬†do you think this is a healthy “fast food” option? Have you ever been to the¬†SOWA¬†Open Market? What are your Cinco de Mayo plans?