Weekending: Keeping Warm!

Good morning! I had yesterday off which was such a nice treat, especially after drinking vino all afternoon at the Boston Wine Expo on Sunday 😉 Our weekend was filled with lots of good eats, tasty drinks and plenty of love to keep us warm- let’s recap!

  • A free sweetgreen lunch on Friday was a nice treat 🙂 If you come to my 5:30 sweat-KICK class at Foster Fitness, you can also get a voucher for a free meal at sweetgreens;)

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  • After work drinks at Tony C’s at Assembly Square with some college girlfriends was a fun treat, but coming home to surprise early Valentine’s Day flowers and a delicious spaghetti with clams dinner was even better!

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  • I thought my kickboxing class on Saturday would be quiet because of the weather, long weekend and holiday, but there were still about 40 people who showed up to sweat with me- they killed it!
  • I did a huge grocery haul at Whole Foods after class so we didn’t have to leave for the rest of the day… which must’ve been everyone else’s plan because it was SO BUSY!

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  • I started my Box FIIT certification later that afternoon. I can’t believe how much time and energy George Foreman III put into this certification- it’s so impressive and I can’t wait to be part of the team!

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  • Paleo Chocolate Chip Cookies- enough said!

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  • I slow cooked chicken all day to make pulled chicken for taco night… or what was supposed to be taco night! I was prepping the last bits of the meal when we lost power in half of the apartment, including the stove, which meant no tacos for us 😦 While the pizza we ordered was delicious, I was REALLY looking forward to pulled chicken tacos!

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  • Sunday morning we still didn’t have power in half of the apartment so we headed over to RM’s mothers to have our pancakes there. I had all intentions of making cute heart shaped ‘cakes, but these still did the trick!

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  • We bundled up and headed into the city on Sunday afternoon for the Boston Wine Expo. It was such an awesome way to spend a frigidly cold Valentine’s Day!

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  • We also ran into our friends from Tre Olive which was a fun surprise. I’ve posted about them a few times (here and here) so it was great to get to see them. Every time we went to their booth they were slammed, but I did manage to get a photo with them and they were gracious enough to give us quite the goodie bag. Seriously- look at all of the oils they gave us and the fig balsamic which is literally drinkable it’s so tasty. If you’re looking for an interesting gift to give your boss, client, parents, friends who are getting married, etc., Tre Olive has everything you’d need! Their packages make the best gifts.

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  • After the wine expo, we weren’t quite ready to stop having fun so we popped in at Rosa Mexicano for a drink and a snack. So tasty!

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  • For dinner, I was able to make the pulled chicken tacos that I couldn’t make on Saturday. I apparently forgot to take a picture, but they were fantastic!  I sautéed some broccoli slaw and bok choy for the base, topped that with pulled chicken and homemade pineapple salsa and avocado. We had plenty of leftovers so I made us a quesadilla last night- just as good!

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  • I had Monday off so I spent time in the morning filming some cardio kickboxing combinations before heading over to Gymit in Watertown to checkout the new Everybody Fights addition. George has been teaching a bunch of intro classes and luckily I had time in my schedule to take one. It was such a great class- very challenging and let’s face it- you feel like a total badass punching the big bags 😉

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  • And finally, the rest of the day was spent doing more of the certification and doing lots of meal prep! Love starting the week out with lots of healthy food options right at our fingertips.

Did you make it this far? I had more to share than I thought I did! I hope you all have a great week- soak up this warmer weather while you can 🙂

Questions for you: How was your weekend? Did you do any good workouts? Did you do anything for Valentine’s Day? How did you keep warm? Do you prefer quesadilla’s or tacos?

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Weekend Eats & Drinks

Good morning! Our weekend was relatively low-key, but it was filled with some good eats, drinks and restaurant visits so I figured that was worth sharing- enjoy!

Friday

My company always does pizza lunches before big sport games, so last Friday was no exception. I haven’t been in the office to reap the benefits of any of the recent pizza luncheons so it was a nice treat for me this past Friday! I always take a whole plate of salad (if available) and start with that because it ensures I get in some veggies and it helps to subside most of my initial hunger before inhaling 3 pieces of pizza and then feeling sick from stuffing my face with too much pizza!

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I had some gift cards to use at Hopsters so we went there for pizza, salad and drinks for dinner… you know it’s a good day when you have pizza for lunch AND dinner! We got the sausage and arugula pizza and the beet and goat cheese salad- both were fantastic!

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Saturday

After an incredibly hard yoga sculpt class at CorePower (no seriously, it was so hard!!), I met up with my sister and friend Jessi at Loco in Southie for lunch to chat about my bachelorette party. While the margaritas were awesome, I picked the wrong food entrée. The waitress suggested the burrito so I took her suggestion, but it had too many big potatoes and not enough meat… not to mention it was served WITH potatoes. Thankfully my sister shared some of her burger with me which was really good. We ran into one of my friends from work which was such a fun addition to the lunch!

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For dinner, we decided to make some quesadillas. I kept it basic with just peppers and onions and leftover coconut crusted chicken. They were SO good and successfully kicked my Mexican craving that was not satisfied at lunch.

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Oh, and bubbly. Snowy nights most definitely call for bubbly… but then again, I’m not sure what nights DON’T call for bubbly 😉

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Side Note: We finally started to watch Breaking Bad- have any of you watched that show? So far it’s a little intense for my liking, but I’m giving it a shot! We are only 4 episodes in.

Sunday

In traditional Sunday morning fashion, I whipped us up some healthy pancakes first thing. It was another great batch and we think it’s almost time for me to perfect the recipe and share it with all of you! I added raspberries to some of mine and it was a very tasty addition.

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We ended up having RM’s brother and sister-in-law over for the game so I set out some healthy-ish snack food while we waited for the wings to cook. We made two kinds: baked buffalo and then slow cooker honey garlic and I have to say, the buffalo stole the show for most of us! I also made some chocolate chip banana bread bars which were a big hit.

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And that about does it! I hope you all have a great week- and be on the lookout for some exciting news that I’m sharing on Friday!

Questions for you: Where is your favorite pizza place? Did you go out to eat at all this weekend? Where do you go for Mexican food? What did you do for the game?

Weekending: Drinks, Booty By Brabants Class, Christmas Partying & Home to Maine

Good morning! Is it just me or are the weekends/December FLYING by?! This weekend was no different… except for the fact I’m in the office today instead of working from home 😦 Oh well- I’m traveling to South Carolina for a few days this week so it’s not a big deal! Let’s recap the weekend, though 🙂

Friday

After work on Friday, I went to the Legal C Bar at the M Street shops with a work friend. We had a blast chatting and sipping on some vino. Once we parted ways, I headed home and realized that RM would not be around for dinner. I was in no mood to stay in by myself- and we had no food- so I walked over to Social Restaurant for dinner and drinks… by myself! It was actually nice- I ordered a pizza, kale and bubbly. Always bubbly. And, since I posted a photo on Instagram, the manager gave me another free drink. I’ll take it!

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RM and his cousin ended up joining me and then our friends Bob and Kristen randomly popped in, too! Kristen and I have recently connected through blogging and it’s been so fun. She writes an awesome blog highlighting on restaurants and travel and her posts are so beautifully written and have really nice photos. You need to check it out!

Saturday

Rm and I took our time getting up and then puttered around the house and took a walk before I headed into the city for a Booty By Brabants class at the BFX Studio. I had heard so much about Kelly’s class and about the BFX studio so I was pumped to get invited to check both out! BFX is a beautiful studio with nice locker rooms and class space and Kelly’s class was FULL of energy, smiles, sexy dancing and sweat! Remember how I talked about getting out of your comfort zone and getting comfortable being uncomfortable? This class was a great example of doing this! I want to do a full review of the class in a separate post so I’ll leave it at that. Such a fun Saturday!

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After the class we had a chance to try out juices and smoothies from Nourish Your Soul and paleo meals from Paleo Life. The juices & smoothies were fantastic and I was so excited when the founder of Nourish Your Soul gave me a free smoothie to take home. It was the perfect post workout treat. I also really enjoyed the food items that I sampled from Paleo Life. If you’ve never heard of it, Paleo Life is a healthy meal planning & delivery service which is great for those who are “too busy” to eat healthy. They seem pretty affordable and deliver to all around Boston so if it’s something you’d be interested in, check them out!

After the event, I did some Christmas shopping and then baked a batch of the most delicious Hidden Avocado Brownies from Lexi’s Clean Kitchen to take to Jessi and Chuck’s party. It’s the second time I’ve made them and I’m totally obsessed. Not only are they easy, but they taste so rich & moist you’d never know there was an avocado in them!

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The party was a blast! It’s always so fun getting dressed up, laughing and chatting with friends, drinking wine & eating fun party food. Thanks for hosting such a fun party guys!

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Sunday

I woke up on Sunday and packed up to head to Maine for the day. I hadn’t been up there for a long time and was in need of a little quiet time with my parents. I stopped at Kittery for a little shopping before meeting my mom for lunch at the Springvale Publick House. I enjoyed a locally brewed beer and homemade turkey chili. Both were unbelievable!

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Once I got home, I helped my parents bring in and decorate the tree, squeezed in a workout and relaxed with some vino and blogging. It was such a nice Sunday!

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For dinner, we had Pork Tenderloin Medallions, baked sweet potatoes and roasted broccoli and everything was great!

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One last thing before I sign off for the day… my friend Kelly works for a company called Schoola which collects & resells gently used clothes to help provide schools with funds for various things. Right now, they have an incredible sale going on where you can buy BRAND NEW Athleta clothing for super discounted prices and the best part is that a huge portion of the proceeds go to the Mala Fund. I recently requested a bag so that I could send them some clothes I no longer wear. You can use that same link if you’re looking for a good place to donate your gently used clothes! And, if you want to shop some brand new Athleta clothes for a great discount, check out this link. I just bought the black sweater!

Questions for you: What was the best part of your weekend? Did you have any holiday parties? Have you ever grabbed dinner at a local bar by yourself?

San Francisco Recap: Part 2 {Wine Country!}

In case you missed my part 1 recap of my recent girls trip to San Francisco, you can read it here.

I went to bed on Friday night dreaming of our Saturday in wine country. The last time (and only time) I went to wine country I was all hopped up on Vicodin due to a broken elbow just a day before my trip. Let me just put this on record: wine and Vicodin together are not a good idea… just trust me on that!

We woke up early on Saturday since our driver was due to pick us up at 9am. Since the girls had blow out appointments, I headed out on a short 2.5 mile run. The humidity seemed terrible (probably because I’m so used to the super dry weather here in Boston) and the hills were not my friend. But, I did feel so much better after I did it!

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Shortly after 9, we were all settled in with bagels and bubbly and en route to Sonoma. How cute/amazing are these little mini cans of bubbly?! I’m obsessed- thank you for introducing me to them, Kel!!

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The car ride there was so fun- we played trivia with the driver, sang to T.Swift and got to know each other better. Three of Kelly’s friends joined us (Heather, Kim and another Amanda) and they were a super fun addition to the group! Our first stop was Scribe Winery since Kelly is a member and could get free tastings for everyone. Although the morning fog was still present, by the time we left, it was beautiful, warm and sunny. And, let’s face it- the wine still would’ve tasted just as good had the fog not worn off 😉

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I don’t know about you, but starting my day with a wine tasting at 10:30am was pretty fun. The wines here were my favorite and I ended up buying the Rose. I also loved that they put out snacks for us 🙂

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Solid first stop!

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Once we finished, we went to the Sonoma Cheese Factory to pick up sandwich lunches for our next stop at Nicholson Ranch. They let us set up shop at an awesome table in the sun with some pretty gorgeous views.

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We did a 6 flight wine tasting and the wines were really good! Nothing that I wanted to buy and send back, but still very tasty.

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I mean, do you think we could’ve asked for nicer weather? I don’t. Nope, it was pretty perfect.

Kelly’s friend, Kim, is a member at Rutherford Hill Winery, so we headed to Napa for our final tasting (she gets 4 free tastings as part of her membership!). I didn’t take any pictures while we were there, but it was so fun! We ended up getting a couple of bottles of the Pinot Grigio and hanging out at the picnic tables with some mutual friends who live in San Francisco, too (they ended up being in Napa for golf, so we texted the crap out of them to come meet up with us!).

On the way back to San Francisco, we made an obligatory stop at The Fremont Diner to share some of their famous Salted Caramel Milkshakes.

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And yes, they tasted just as good as they sound… if not better!

The rest of the ride can be summed up by this picture… the end of wine country day… enough said:

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Once we got back to the city, we changed quickly and headed back to Fillmore Street to have some much needed dinner (we drank A LOT of wine throughout the day!) at Palmers. Apparently they are known for their burgers, but I opted for meatballs (surprise, surprise) and Brussels Sprouts.

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Our last stop for the night was at Mauna Loa, but none of us lasted long at this point.

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To be honest, I’m not sure how we lasted until 11pm after the day we had!

What an amazingly fun day- thank you so much for organizing, Kelly! And, for sharing your friends, who are now our friends (because they’re super awesome!) 🙂

Questions for you: Have you ever been to wine country? What’s your favorite type of wine? Do you like milkshakes?

Weekending: Taking time to relax

 

As I’ve mentioned a number of times, this holiday season I promised myself that I would slow down, try to stress less and learn how to say “no”. So far, I’ve actually been much better at it than I thought I would be. As I was looking through my calendar earlier this season, I realized that this past weekend was seemingly clear. I had already decided not to run the Somerville Jingle Bell 5K I always run, and no other parties had been planned yet. As I was chatting with Athena, she suggested I mark the weekend as a “no plans weekend”. Sadly, as soon as I did that, two parties came up (sorry Mary and Steph!!)… obviously this would happen!

I have to say, I fully enjoyed this past weekend where I had no real plans. Sure, we had lots of things we ended up doing or wanted to do, but the beauty of it was we were able to do it on our own schedule and if we decided to change plans or stay in or do dinner, it was our choice. I highly suggest taking weekends like this if you’re feeling overwhelmed or just that you don’t have enough time for yourself. I went into this week feeling so refreshed and ready for a much busier week.

Here are some highlights from the weekend- enjoy!

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  • Treating myself to a Chai Tea Latte at Starbucks thanks to a gift card that a sweet member gave me

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  • A pleasant car shopping experience at Acura. My lease is up in February so I’m in the market for something new!
  • A late lunch at Legal C Bar in Lynnfield

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  • Shopping around the M Street shops, getting some gifts and food shopping at Whole Foods.
  • A quiet night in, consisting of Christmas movies, wine & this delicious baked stuffed acorn squash.

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  • A lazy Sunday morning- breakfast, blogging & cleaning
  • More car shopping, another pleasant experience!
  • Sunday dinner at RM’s mother’s house. I was totally craving an authentic Italian meal (aka, I really wanted meatballs), so it worked out perfectly! I’m so lucky that I love his family and enjoy spending time with them.
  • Sunday night at my place. It was nice to meal prep and watch tv and be surrounded by my Christmas decorations!

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Questions for you: When’s the last time you said “no” in favor of relaxing and doing nothing? Do you often over-book yourself? What was the best part of your weekend?