Weekending: Decking it, #StreetSweat workout, Date night & SoulCycle

Good morning! Lots of fun things to recap from the weekend, so let’s get right to it, shall we?

On Thursday night, RM and I met up to go for a walk after work. We hadn’t seen much of each other over the week so we figured that catching up and getting in some movement was a way to kill two birds with one stone! We love going for walks together and it was such a nice night! Piers Park is so pretty.

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After work on Friday, I treated myself to a pedicure. I got a funky mint-green color (forget the name!) and wasn’t sure how I was going to like it but I actually love it!

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Once I got home, I poured myself a glass of vino (rose- my fav these days!) and headed out to the back deck to enjoy my little urban oasis. My friend Jess got me this cookbook/entertainment book for my birthday and I’m loving it so far!

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Have any of you read it? Not long after I settled in, RM stopped by and joined me for a drink before heading to his place to make fish tacos. We thought we had frozen some corn tortillas, but we were wrong so we enjoyed them sans tortilla. Still delicious!

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Saturday I headed over to Chestnut Hill for the #streetsweat workout event lead by MOVE Fitness. In case you missed my initial blog post, check it out here. And don’t forget to enter the giveaway! I’ll pick the winner on Thursday morning. Back to the workout- it was really fun! At first I didn’t think it was going to be my type of challenging, but Ron and Sabrina did such a great job showing more advanced options as well as less advanced options so that everyone felt good during the workout. I ended up working really hard and felt it the next day. We did all sorts of fun things with the heavy sand balls, bands and our own bodyweight.

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It was also great to workout with- and meet!- Lexi (Lexi’s Clean Kitchen), Rachel (Healthy-Chicks) and Michelle (Sunshine & Superfoods). Lexi had to leave the workout early to get set up for her table inside Lululemon, but here’s a post-workout pic of Rachel, Michelle and me!

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We all headed into Lulu to try out some f the goodies that Lexi brought- 2 words: Holy.Yum! I can’t wait to check out her cookbook when it comes out next year!

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(We were also given free samples of Juice Press juice and this one tasted just like a watermelon!)

After the event, I met my friend Jessi in the city for lunch at Granary Tavern and then we swung by our friend Amanda’s apartment in the North End. No pics, but it was such a fun little afternoon! Finally, my Saturday ended with a date night with RM- something we hadn’t done in Boston in forever!

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We went to Island Creek Oyster Bar first and enjoyed some drinks and oysters, but ultimately decided we were in the mood for Eastern Standard. It was incredible- even at the prime time in Boston on a Saturday night we found seats at the bar right away at both places. It’s like they were waiting for us 😉 At ES we shared a salad, fried calamari and a lamb sausage pasta bake.

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Sunday morning started with a fantastic bunch of healthy pancakes.

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After, I met my sister at SoulCycle for the 11:45am class. It was a FULL room and the energy was amazing. It was our first time having a male instructor and I have to say that James L. was amazing!! He was so energetic and motivating and he had some really good dance moves at the front of the room- I would catch myself just watching him a few times!

To end out the weekend, I went to RM’s mom’s house for Sunday dinner and, per usual, it was delicious. I walked in and said it smelled delicious and asked what she cooked and she laughed saying it was sauce, duh. How silly of me!

All in all, despite the weather being less than perfect (ok New England, what’s with these rainy/cloudy weekends and perfect weather during the week?!), it was a really great weekend! Can’t wait to head up to Maine for the 4th this weekend!

Questions for you: What was the best part of your weekend? Do you have outdoor space to enjoy in the summer? What’s your ideal “date night”? Do you like male or female instructors better?

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Weekending: The Gagnons Do Boston

Good morning! How was your weekend? Mine, per usual, went way too quickly. I still have San Francisco to recap for you, but for now, let’s do a little weekend recap!

Friday night, RM and I headed into the city to have a sushi dinner at Douzo. It feels like it’s been ages since we had a Friday night date night, and since we aren’t eating meat on Fridays (Lent), it was a great excuse to get out and do a sushi date night. Per usual, the food was fantastic. We shared a few rolls and sashimi pieces and had their spicy garlic coated edamame which is absolutely delicious! Paired with a few glasses of rose and good conversation, it made for a great night!

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Oh, and tempura bananas and ice cream to finish the night? Perfection.

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Saturday morning started with my cardio kickboxing class which is always my favorite way to start the day! But what I was really excited about on Saturday was the fact that my parents were coming down for the night. My sister used her points and got them a night at the Renaissance, so she, her boyfriend, RM and I headed in around 6 to meet for a pre-dinner drink and then dinner at 75 on Liberty Wharf. Have you ever been there? It’s right on the water next to Jerry Remy’s and it’s a cute, tiny little restaurant with delicious food! We all loved our meals- everything from the steak tip salad to salmon to seafood stew to a burger and my Jambalaya, was just awesome.

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Post dinner, we headed over to Whiskey Priest because mom wanted to go dancing. I hadn’t been there in years, and it didn’t take long for me to realize why: it’s such a young crowd!! But, they had a great live band and we had so much fun dancing and meeting people. Guess that’s what happens when you bring your cute little mom to the bar 😉

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“I’m a guy magnet!”- Sue Gags herself. We did not know these guys, but she had guys and girls dancing with her all night!

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Even though I stayed out way later than I anticipated and drank more than I would’ve liked, it was seriously such a fun night. I’m so lucky to have parents who love coming to the city and going out and having fun.

Sunday morning had a very lazy start, which was perfect. And these healthy pancakes? The best RM has ever made!

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All in all, such a fun weekend! I was so sad last night when I knew it was coming to an end.

Questions for you: How was your weekend? Did you do anything fun? Where do you go dancing? Have you ever been to 75 on Liberty Wharf?

 

Weekending: Local Date Night, Wicked Wine Fest, Homemade Fish Tacos & Sunday Funday

I loved every part of this past weekend! I took Friday off from work so I could attend MANIA. The day, although long, was amazing! I was able to take so many awesome classes and meet some really great fitness professionals. I’ll do a full recap on that soon.

By the time I got home and showered, I was starvingggg, so RM and I headed to Jeveli’s, which is a local favorite of ours. The prices are cheap, service is good (and funny) and the food is absolutely delicious. It’s a no-frills type of place, but we love sitting at the bar and chatting with the locals. I always get the meatballs because they are so good, and after 4 hours of physical activity, a big bowl of carb-y, meat-y deliciousness was just what I needed!

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After class on Saturday, my sister, Kate and I headed to the South End for a wine tasting at Cyclorama. I went in March and loved it, so jumped on the chance to go to the one this past weekend. Some of my SMC friends were also there and we had a blast walking around, trying various wines… and taking silly pics 😉

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Post wine fest, we made the short walk over to Stephi’s on Tremont for lunch. We were lucky and had a whole room just to ourselves… but, the more I think about it, maybe the rest of the restaurant was lucky we had a whole room to ourselves. You try being reasonably quiet with 8 girls after a 2 hour wine tasting…

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I ended up getting a burger because I was still craving red meat- must have been all the working out!

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Once we finished up, I headed back to East Boston to hang out with RM. We had plans to make fish tacos and they did NOT disappoint! The best part was they were super easy- I’m going to share our “recipe” later the week. They were unbelievable, though!

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My movie snack was a half of a paleo pumpkin banana bread muffin that I made last week. Topped with crunchy almond butter and cinnamon, courtesy of RM, it hit the spot!

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Sunday morning started with some cleaning, some breakfast and then some serious shopping. RM made some zucchini fritters… topped with an over easy egg and it made for a delicious breakfast.

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He’s also taking a stab at making his own yogurt, so we worked on that a little.

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To shop, we headed to Assembly Row since we wanted to go to Bed, Bath and Beyond and figured we could have lunch at Legal on the Mystic. I was getting hangry, so a beer and fish sandwich did the trick to fill me up! I regretted the fried food later that day, though, as it gave me a bad stomach ache 😦 Could’ve also been due to the fact I ate a lot more junk this past weekend than I normally do, including greasy, fried food.

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After we finished up, we shopped around a few more stores before calling it a day. I food shopped then had fun being in the kitchen with my sister. She made a pasta bake and I made an amped up Shepherd’s pie. Both were delicious!

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And that’s about it… before I knew it, I was hopping into bed, utterly exhausted! I love weekends like this, I just wish they could last longer 😦

Questions for you: What was the best part of your weekend? Have you been to a wine tasting before?

Weekending: Massages, Farmer’s Market, Lots of Shopping & Grill 23

Good morning! It’s time to talk about the weekend! I don’t know about you, but I feel like Tuesdays are a lot harder than Mondays. I’m not exactly sure why, but I think it has to do with the fact that I generally just roll into Mondays without much thought and I’m usually pretty busy, so the day goes by fast. Tuesdays, though, are the days where everything from the weekend tends to catch up with me. It’s terrible getting out of bed, I’m yawning all day, and I have to really give myself a pep talk to get a workout in, because I know that’s exactly what I need to get some energy.

Friday

I treated RM and myself to massages at Exhale Spa. Per usual, the experience was perfect: relaxing, calming and just a really nice escape from reality. After our massages, we headed to Whole Foods to get dinner: salmon, spinach and carrots. Paired with a nice Malbec and you have a happy Monique.

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We started Saturday morning by making a trip to the Waltham Farmers Market. Athena and Ashley- thanks for the great recommendation! RM got some meat and I came home with a bunch of veggies, for half the cost of what I’d pay at the store. The only annoying this is that I could be getting these from my dad for free if I was going home anytime soon!

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We also stopped at Whole Foods again for weekly groceries and I splurged on a couple of festive treats. Pumpkin Fig granola and Pumpkin Cranberry “chips”? Yes, please.

After lunch, we headed to Assembly Place to check out the new stores. Although it was beyond crowded (hello, rainy Saturday), we were able to shop around enough to get some great deals. I forgot to take pics of everything, but here’s a pic of one shirt I got, as well as the necklace RM gave me for our anniversary.

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He also got me a gorgeous handmade frame. These are really special things because they are handmade in India. I can’t wait to get a picture of us to put in the frame.

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Although it was really tempting to stay in on Saturday night because of the rain, we made our way to dinner at Grill 23, which is one of the nice steak houses in the city that I had not been to yet. Per usual, we scored seats at the bar and enjoyed drinks, oysters and a delicious meal.

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Not the best pic, but oh well! It was a great dinner and so fun to finally have a weekend date night!

We went for a nice walk on Sunday and then headed into the city for some more shopping. It was too nice to be stuck inside all day!

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Later that evening, we came back to my place so I could do my Sunday meal prep. I had a lot going on: stuffed peppers, meatballs, acorn squash, roasted veggies, sautéed veggies, quinoa and kale. #thankgoodnessforwine

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I also whipped up a batch of these beauties. Grain free pumpkin chocolate chip muffins? Ummm, yes. I added in walnuts, coconut flakes and did half almond meal, half coconut flour and they came out SO good. Such a healthy, tasty treat!

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And, there you have it. Another weekend roundup in the books. Although we were on the go a lot all weekend, we didn’t have a timeframe which was wonderful. We did what we wanted when we wanted- if only all weekends could be like that!

Your turn! What did you do over the weekend? Have you been to Grill 23? Do you go to a farmer’s market? Have you baked any festive treats yet?

Weekending: Barry’s Bootcamp Roof Deck Workout & A Maine Visit

Good morning! I hope today’s off to a great start for all of you. The weather is supposed to be perfect all week, so for all of you who may be vacationing, I’m jealous! I was also very jealous listening to my mom and her friends plan out their week: beach day, pool day, lake day, baseball game. Retirement/summer vacation seems pretty awesome!

Last weekend was a blast! It was nice to have a night in Boston, but even nicer to escape the city for a night and head up to Maine.

Friday

My gym friend, Jen, somehow found out about a bootcamp that Barry’s Bootcamp was offering on the roof deck of the Revere Hotel and when I found out it was on a night I could go, I jumped at the chance! It was $20 which included the 60 minute workout and a cocktail… can’t really go wrong with that 😉

photo 3I wasn’t sure what to expect for the workout, but I was expecting hard since the last time I went to Barry’s I died a little. Mostly because of the treadmill runs, but still, it was tough! I knew there wouldn’t be treadmills for this workout, but I was expecting a lot of burpees and other cardio exercises, which sadly, we didn’t do!

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All in all, though, the workout was pretty tough! We just used resistant bands and our body weight and worked all the big muscles. The arm sections were by far the hardest part for me- SO. MANY. PUSH-UPS!!! It was good to feel challenged with that! The leg exercises were all things I’ve done before- actually, things I’ve posted videos of here, here, and here! That’s ok, though- still had my legs screaming because we did all of those exercises with booty bands around our ankles. Yikes!

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Once the workout was done, we enjoyed our free cocktail- love gym friends and workout get togethers!

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After, I met RM at City Landing for dinner and drinks. I thought I’d be able to find a shower, but no such luck. Nothing like a little baby-wipe “shower” and running water through the hair to try and look somewhat decent… and clean!

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City Landing has a whole gluten free menu- check out this pizza and Ahi Tuna! Delish!

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Saturday

We got up relatively early for a Saturday and hit the road to head north around 9am. I was afraid of traffic, but the roads were clear the entire time! Sadly, it wasn’t beach weather when we got to Ogunquit, so we grabbed a gluten free breakfast sandwich at Cafe Amore and then walked part of the Marginal Way, which is a gorgeous path along the “cliffs” in Ogunquit.

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So pretty! Once it reached a reasonable time to have our first cocktail, we headed to a favorite: Barnacle Billy’s. RM hadn’t ever been to Ogunquit or Perkins Cove so it was fun to show him around… and introduce him to his first Rum Punch, Billy’s signature cocktail. If you go to Ogunquit, you need to go to Barnacle Billy’s and have one!

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(yes, I realize I’m wearing the same thing as I did Friday night- I promise it was clean!)

The weather finally started to clear and our seats on their upper deck couldn’t have been more perfect! After a few cocktails, we ordered a lobster roll and steamers- holy.yum. Such a delicious lunch!

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On our way home, we stopped in at Shaw’s Ridge for an ice cream and to catch up with Mr. Shaw and Meredith (who, btw, just got engaged!!! So, so, so happy for you and Brandon, Mere!!) and grab an ice cream cone. Mr. Shaw wasn’t there, but it was good to see Mere!

We finally made it to my parents around 4:30… just in time to pick veggies from the garden for dinner (<— love doing that. nothing better!) and start on cocktail hour. We all were responsible for different things and the kitchen was quite busy!

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Dad wanted a lamb, so he did it on the rotisserie- I wasn’t sure I liked lamb but it was delicious! Even cooler? All of the veggies we ate were from our garden or a nearby farm (the corn). There’s just something to be said for the whole “farm to table” way of eating. So fresh and flavorful!

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We finished dad’s 65th bday celebration with a bond fire. It was the most perfect night for one! I think it’s safe to say he had a really great day!

Sunday

After breakfast and some reading, RM and I went on a nice 2 mile stroll. It helped clear my wine headache 😉 By the time we got back, it was getting late to make it to the beach, so we opted for going to our family friend’s pool instead. Poolside, wine in hand, family and friends- can’t get much better than that!

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All in all, it was a really awesome weekend… we were both so sad it had to end! Trips back to MA from ME are always the worst 😦 Luckily I’ll be home for a few nights this weekend!

Questions for you: What did you do this weekend? Have you been to Ogunquit and/or Barnacle Billy’s? Where is your favorite place to get drinks?