Weekending: Holiday Party, Registry Fun & Visits with Friends/Family

Good morning! Did you guys have a good weekend? We did! Even with weird, unseasonable weather and the constant feeling of fighting off a cold, we had a pretty great one.

Friday

My company’s party was on Friday night, which was actually a nice change from squeezing it in during the typical holiday season. It was at the Hyatt in Cambridge- a great location for us now living in Newton Corner! We were able to leave work early so I took advantage of some extra “free” hours and ran errands. I skipped the gym because my back was bothering me and I felt the onset of a cold, so I opted to walk my errands which was a nice way to still get some movement in. Nails were a must!

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I didn’t take many photos at the event, but I’ll say the cocktails were flowing, the food was good and dancing definitely happened 😉 It’s so fun getting to hang out with coworkers/friends outside of the office! these girls! ❤

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Saturday

We didn’t get home and in bed until nearly 2am, so needless to say, we definitely took our time getting up on Sunday morning! Lucky for me, RM opted to make us his “specialty” breakfast: all the veggies, his special beans, homemade turkey sausage & an egg. It was so delicious!

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After breakfast, I cleaned the house and then we headed into the city. We had late lunch plans with another couple but decided to head in early to start on our wedding registry. We went to Crate & Barrel and had a blast scanning all sorts of things that we wanted! We have a long way to go to complete our registry, but it felt good to start on it!

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It was my first time meeting Roberto’s friends, so I opted to not take photos but we had sushi at Douzo which was good- we love that sushi restaurant.

The rest of the night was very quiet and I was in bed by 9:30 🙂

Sunday

We got up early and I made some French toast- I took pictures so I’ll post the recipe this week!

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I still wasn’t feeling 100%, but after 2 consecutive rest days, I was REALLY itching to move so I headed to the gym for a workout. I’d love to say that it felt so good to workout, but I’d be lying if I said that. The whole thing was just a mental battle, but I made it through the workout and did feel better after I was done so it wasn’t a totally wasted trip.

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I whipped up a quesadilla for lunch since I had leftover ‘dilla veggies & chicken already cut up from making them on Thursday night. It hit the spot!

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Later in the afternoon, we headed over to Brookline to visit with my cousin who was in town for work. It’s always nice to see family when they come to Boston!

I dropped RM off at home and then went to Whole Foods, even though between not feeling great and the ridiculous rain it was the LAST thing I wanted to do. I always feel better once I just do it and I bought myself flowers and a cookie to reward myself for getting it done 😉

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For dinner, I decided that it was the perfect weather for a roast chicken meal. Is this anyone else’s favorite winter meal?! I can’t get enough of it. I chopped up sweet potatoes, Japanese sweet potatoes, onions & carrots and then also cooked some kale. I’m going to make a great wife 😉

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And that about does it! This is a pretty quiet week which is nice- I am ready for a week with no after-work plans (and yes, I know I sound like i’m 60 when I say that!).

Questions for you: Did your company have a holiday party this year? Married friends- what’s the one think you would suggest we register for (maybe that you didn’t originally think you needed) and what’s the one thing you would suggest NOT registering for? What’s your favorite winter meal? Do you have a busy week?

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Weekending: Gillette Stadium, Sushi & the Cape

Good morning! I’ve been enjoying the posts where I share a glimpse into my weekend, or even week, in some cases- hope you find them interesting, too! My weekend felt like it started on Thursday since my company had it’s summer outing at Gillette Stadium that day, which meant I had loads of extra time in the morning to sleep in a bit and get to the gym- I could get used to mornings like that!

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I may not be a big sports fan (or even a little sports fan), but I have to say it was still pretty cool to spend the day there, having drinks, getting a private tour of the stadium and getting to go on the field.

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After finally getting home (took 2 hours because of ridiculous traffic), RM came over and we grilled up some burgers and enjoyed a nice dinner on the deck. This is a reason why I will never be able to live somewhere without access to the outside- it’s just such a nice reprieve from crazy city life.

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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?

 

Boston Restaurant Roundup: Part 3 {Back Bay/South End/Fenway}

It’s been quite some time since I’ve posted a restaurant roundup for you. I meant to do it as a 3 or 4 week installment, but clearly the weeks got away from me and I never finished this series! I’m here today with a bunch of restaurants in the Back Bay, South End and Fenway area. I grouped these together since they are all in ‘that part’ of the city, as I usually say. Although they each have their own distinctive name and area, you get to all of them by going in the same direction, so that counts for some type of similarity, right?

Before we get to these restaurants, make sure you check out my other Boston Restaurant roundups pertaining to different areas of the city:

Boston Restaurant Roundup: Part 1 {Downtown Boston}

Boston Restaurant Roundup: Part 2 {Seaport District/Southie & East Boston}

Back Bay

    • Douzo Sushi– Here’s another great sushi restaurant. The sushi is a little pricey, but it is worth it! I’ve been for lunch and dinner and enjoyed both so much. They have a really good wine selection and they validate parking in the garage nearby- $5 for 3 hours, which means you can park, eat, shop and only pay $5!

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    • Cafeteria– My sister and I have gone here a few times for lunch and always love it. The menu is small, but there’s always something that catches our eye. They’ve got a great outdoor dining space and the whole “school” theme is really fun. The prices are reasonable for this part of the city.

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    • Back Bay Social Club– I’ve always loved this restaurant- both for brunch, dinner and just drinks. Again, they have outdoor seating, which is always on my list of “must haves” for summer dining. Brunch cocktails are tasty and the bar tenders are always really nice. I had dinner there and loved the salad and scallops. They’ve got wine on tap, too 😉
    • Sonsie– I’ve eaten at Sonsie a few times and have always enjoyed it. My sister and I went there recently and had an awesome lunch some great drinks. I love that it’s right in the heart of the Back Bay and has great windows that open up onto Newbury Street.

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South End

    • Gaslight– The first time I went to Gaslight, I hated it, however, when I went back some time after, my thoughts were completely changed. I recently went back for lunch and was again, happy with the experience. I love French cuisine, and this place does not disappoint! The Croque Madame was top-notch.

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    • The Gallows– My friend Jess and I went here and I was so thankful that she introduced me to it. It’s a dim-lit, crunchy type of restaurant with a good list of “small plates” for sharing. We ordered some tacos and a butternut squash dish and a few other things and I loved everything.

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    • Stella– I’ve only been here once, but have been dying to get back. The food is fantastic and they have 2 bar areas so you’re two times more likely to get a seat at the bar 😉 They also have a gluten free menu and everything we had from it was fantastic! This is one of RM’s favorite restaurants in the city.

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Fenway

  • Eastern Standard– This restaurant is also a favorite in Boston. The last time I went, we sat at the bar and had a great time trying new drinks, watching the bar tenders do their magic and ordering different things from the menu to try. Another thing I love about ES is the fact you can tell the bar tender that you’re waiting for a spot at the bar to eat dinner and will reserve a place for you when spaces open up. This eliminates the need to always be hovering and watching for people who look like they might get up, which makes for a much more enjoyable experience!

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  • Yard House– If you’re looking for a good bar with lots of beers on tab, Yard House is the way to go. There are always games on TV and always a good bar scene. And, out of all the sports bar restaurants in Boston, Yard House has the best food (in my opinion). There’s also a Yard House near my office in Lynnfield that’s huge and conveniently located amongst lots of shops.

By the looks of this list, I think I need to start going out to eat in the Back Bay/South End/Fenway area. My girlfriends and I are going to Stephi’s on Tremont tomorrow, so I’m sure I’ll be adding that to the list after.

Questions for you: Have you been to any of these restaurants? Do you have a favorite restaurant in this part of the city that I didn’t mention?

Also, I want to wish my parents a very happy anniversary!! I love you both so much!

Weekending: Pure Barre, Crock Pot Meal, Boston Visiters

This past weekend was relatively quiet, which was good since I was still feeling pretty crappy unless I was drugged up on Sudafed. By Friday afternoon, though, I was itching to get out of my apartment (2 days in a row of working from home will do that to you!), so I decided to get my grocery shopping done. Woohoo, wild and crazy Friday night, huh? To spice things up, I stopped in at TJ Maxx first and scored this awesome Essie nail polish. Did you guys know they sell it there for $4.99?? I’ve been really into paining my nails recently, so I was stoked!

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My Friday night wasn’t entirely boring, though, as I did get together with someone for a class of wine, which ended up making me so stuffy I had to stop after one. The horrors!

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That was a bottle included in an awesome “box” of wine that I got as a Christmas present. I’m going to do a whole recap on that in another post because good wine deserves its own post, right?!

I had been looking forward to Saturday all week because I was finally cashing in my Christmas present from my sister, which was a class at Pure Barre on Newbury Street. I’ve been to a few barre classes, but I still went in without knowing what to expect. Well, 5 minutes in when I was dripping sweat holding all sorts of leg lifts and inner thigh squeezes and 90 second planks, I realized I was in for a real treat!

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I loved the class and could see myself going more often if it wasn’t so expensive, but I have to say that my first reaction of my first class wasn’t what I expected it to be. I think the reason I felt this way was only because the class moved SO fast and I had no idea what I was doing, which left me a little frustrated (it’s the Type A “I want to know exactly what to do, how to do it, what it should look like and how long we’ll be doing it for” in me.). I kept trying to look around for someone who looked like they knew what they were doing, but it was a class primarily full of “newbies” like Danielle and me, so I was out of luck. Even though I spent a lot of time fumbling around trying to figure out what to squeeze and tuck, I was able to “get” the move before it was time to move on, which was good. The instructor was also really attentive and walked around and corrected form (I kind of wanted her to just stand by me and fix me the whole class…) which was great.

I talked to the instructor after class to thank her for a great workout and to ask if it’s normal to be confused with the moves/terminology and she said that everyone feels that way after their first class and that after a few classes you learn the lingo and the moves and it becomes easier in that respect (not in terms of the workout). This made me feel better! And just because I was frustrated didn’t mean I didn’t like it, because I loved it. We worked muscles I didn’t know I had and when I woke up on Sunday morning, I could feel EVERYTHING. Holy moly. My hamstrings, abductors, triceps (I didn’t even think we did anything to work our triceps) and back were screaming as soon as I woke up. It was great. Thanks for a great Christmas present, Danielle! It was so fun trying something totally new and having it literally kick my butt. I want to go back!

After class, we headed to Douzo Sushi for a healthy and light lunch. We shared a Bento Box, Tempura Broccoli and Edamame. We didn’t share our wine, though 😉

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I love going out to lunch and having wine SO much. It’s probably one of my favorite things to do on a Saturday! I had to babysit on Saturday night, so I had to stop after 1 glass. Womp, womp.

Sunday morning I got up, did laundry, made granola (I’ll post it soon- SO good), went for a run and then got my crock pot meal ready since Danielle and I were getting drinks with our cousin on Sunday evening. I got the crock pot recipe from Eat, Live, Run and was happy with how easy it was to prepare. Are all crock pot meals as easy as cutting things up and putting them in the crock pot? I should do more of these…

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I followed Jenna’s recipe exactly except I used sweet potatoes instead of white potatoes. I tried to halve the recipe, but I ended up doing probably 3/4 of the recipe. Soup freezes well, so I’m sure I’ll be doing that!

On Sunday evening, my sister and I met up with our cousin who was in town for various camp fairs (He’s the director at Hosmer Point in Craftsbury Commons, VT.) at Otto Pizza in Coolidge Corner. We got to meet some of his former campers/counselors which was really fun. We talked about Burpees to Bubbly (Hi everyone if you’ve ventured over here!) and I loved it 🙂

And that about sums it up! All in all, it was a good weekend… a little quiet/laid back, but with this stupid cold thing that’s probably just what I needed.

Questions for you: What was the best part of your weekend? Have you been to Pure Barre or another Barre studio in Boston? Do you have tips for a newbie?? What’s your favorite crock pot recipe?