Weekending: Playing Hookie, Engagement Photos, Birthday Party & Enjoying the Weather!

Good morning! I know everyone is talking about the weather, but I mean, common- is it really this warm in FEBRUARY?! I’ll take it, though. If there isn’t going to be snow I don’t really want frigid cold temps.

Did you guys have a good weekend? Although I was feeling a little anxious going into it because of how many plans we had, it ended up being such a great one! My sister and I decided to “play hookie” on Friday afternoon so we met up at Assembly to go shopping. RM and I were having our engagement photos on Saturday afternoon and I hadn’t been able to go shopping prior to, so it was nice to have some extra time on Friday to shop without being rushed. It was also nice to get to hang out and catch up with my sister- lunch, shopping and drinks on a Friday afternoon- can you get much better than that?

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I was on a mission for just a few necessary things for our photoshoot: white jacket, new jeans and new black booties, all of which were found- and most on crazy sale! My friend suggested going to Wilson’s Leather for jackets and I’m so happy she did because I got both of these for $84! I don’t think I would’ve gone in there on my own… I mean, I didn’t even think this store still existed!

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After our shopping I went to my friend Jessi’s apartment for some vino, apps and girl talk before making my way back to Newton Corner. I didn’t want to leave, but I knew I wanted/needed to be rested for Saturday. I grabbed a pizza from Bertucci’s on the way home, we watched an episode of Breaking Bad and hit the hay by 10:30. It was fantastic.

Saturday started with an incredible cardio kickboxing class- 60 members came and gave it their all. It makes what I do so rewarding!

After class I cleaned up quickly and went to Queen Bee Nails to get a much-needed manicure followed by heading to Waltham to get a hair cut and blow out. I always try to plan my hair cuts around when I have something going on at night because it makes my “getting ready” time much easier and faster!

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I ended up wearing this for the photos:

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Later that afternoon, we headed over to East Boston to meet up with Janelle at KO Pies since it seemed only fitting to kick off our engagement photos where it all started! Janelle and I worked together a few months back when she did my fitness photos, so I’m so excited to be working with her again! The owner of KO Pies was so happy that we were doing our photos there that he asked if he could take a picture and share it with our story- the photo isn’t great, but it was so cute of him to be so excited for us!

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Janelle’s photos, though? She shared a sneak peek and I love it so much. I can’t wait to see the rest!!

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After the photos, RM and I headed back home quickly before parting our separate ways for the night. I was going into the city for my friend Sheila’s surprise party at Stoddards and he was going to meet up with some guys on Moody Street in Waltham. Even though I was exhausted and so tempted to stay home, I’m glad I went because nights out in the city with these ladies just don’t happen as much these days!

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In typical grandma fashion, I was home by 11:30 😉

We ran out of eggs on Saturday so we decided to go out to breakfast on Sunday, something we rarely (if ever) do! We went to the Delux Town Diner and it was fantastic. Veggie Hash & eggs for him, breakfast sando for me and their unbelievable sweet potato pancakes to share. I forgot how good diner breakfasts are!!

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After breakfast and food shopping, we went into the city so RM could take some photos for his new website. I wanted to go for a walk anyway so this was a great way to do both things. The weather was just too nice to be inside!

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We swung by his mother’s for dinner after and then when we got home I did some food prep, including this incredible looking spaghetti squash which has sautéed onions, garlic, red pepper, zucchini, summer squash, spinach and ground pork. Topped with a little cheese and you’ve got your self a super tasty and healthy meal!

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I’m gearing up for a busy week between subbing for Lauren’s Build & Burn classes tomorrow night (if you’re a YMCA member, come!), teaching my class on Wednesday and then teaching the kickoff sweat-KICK class at Foster Fitness on Thursday, so I’m happy to have a dish that will be quick and easy to re-heat for dinners!

Questions for you: How was your weekend? Have you ever played hookie? Did you get any good workouts in? Did you try any new recipes or restaurants? What’s going on this week?

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Weekending: A Valentine’s Day Blizzard

Good morning, friends! I am so happy that I have today off, and I hope all of you do, too! My plan today is a workout and then going up to Kittery to meet my parents for lunch since I won’t be around this weekend when they come to help my sister move. I wanted to go spend a few nights up there, but with the snow and parking, I just couldn’t make it work 😦

I’m sure you’re probably so sick of me (and a lot of other Boston bloggers) venting/complaining about the snow- I get it. It’s totally annoying, but somehow talking about it makes me feel a little better. Misery loves company, right? Anyway, with the way this winter has been over the past 3 weeks, it’s really no surprise that another blizzard would hit the city over Valentine’s Day weekend. I honestly felt so bad for all the restaurants because it’s no doubt they all suffered from people cancelling their reservations. I’d love to say we were different, but once we heard about the storm, we opted to stay local and just bar hop by foot (in boots!) rather than get dolled up for a fancy dinner. It ended up being perfect.

Friday night, I had plans on heading to the gym after work, but I did something I rarely do: skipped it. My bag was packed and it was in my plans, but as the day wore on, I realized I was really sore from Thursday and just wasn’t feeling it. I’m so happy I skipped it because traffic was insane and it took me over an hour to get home from work as it was. I was picturing a hungry, tired, post workout Monique in that situation and it just wasn’t pretty 😉

Roberto picked me up and we ended up throwing together a really great, simple dinner: gluten free panko coated fish, sautéed veggies and millet . Everything about it, especially paired with a few glasses of wine and some good catch-up convos with RM, was perfect!

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And, just when we thought it couldn’t get better, it did! I came across this post from Athena’s Friday Favorites and knew I needed to make it for RM. As you know, we try to eat *mostly* paleo, so this seemed like a great addition to our Valentine’s Day weekend. While they were good on their own, I decided they needed (yes, needed) frosting, so I made a simple one of unsweetened bakers chocolate, water, peanut butter, vanilla and confectionary sugar that made the dessert!

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Weekending: A busy, but relaxing weekend {Tia’s, visitors, beach day, Bostonia, soaking up the sun}

Hi there! How are you today? Anyone have this week off? I’m hoping to take Thursday off, which would be a nice addition to the long weekend!

If you’ve been reading B2B for a while, you’ve probably noticed how busy I’ve been- both during the week and on the weekends. This past weekend, although I had a lot of plans and did a lot, was relaxing on it’s own because I didn’t have multiple back to back plans that required me to hop around a lot. Besides Friday night, the rest of my weekend was totally mine for the taking, and it was the best feeling!!

Friday Night

My friend, Tim, was in town for a conference so we were able to align our schedules for Friday night. We tried to get a few more co-workers (former co-workers for me) to join us, but it didn’t work out. My sister ended up being around, so it was fun to have her join us! We started out at Tia’s because it’s the best place for after work drinks in the summer.

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I had zero intentions of going “out-out”, but between the weather, it being a Friday and being out with my sister and Tim, it ended up being a bit of an “out-out” night. Whoops! 😉 After Tia’s, we headed to Granary Tavern for a drink then to Warehouse for the last drinks. Although I woke up on Saturday feeling like I had had one too many wines, it was totally worth it!

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Saturday

After kickboxing on Saturday morning, I treated myself to a much-needed pedicure.

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Once I got home, I packed up and headed to meet my sister and her friends at a beach in Southie. I was expecting a bit of a sh*t-show beach scene with lots of loud, drunken people, but I was pleasantly surprised by how quiet and calm it was!

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After a brief nap, I agreed to a Bud Light Lime- I’m not a big beer drinker, and definitely not a Bud Light person, but there’s something about BLL’s that I just love so much! Perfect beach drink if you ask me 😉

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Saturday night was date night for RM and me. He had a gift card to Bostonia Public House, so we figured it was a perfect night to try it out. He parks at the Intercontinental Hotel and when we realized how nice it was outside, we decided to swing by their outdoor bar for a cocktail before dinner.

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We joked that it felt like we were back in Miami- I had been at the beach all day and he had been golfing and we were catching up over cocktails at a hotel bar. It was a fun “staycation” night!

Dinner at Bostonia was amazing!! We, of course, shared a few different things: Organic Baby Spinach Salad, Berber Spiced Pork Ribs, French Fries (I was craving them!) and the Scallops. They’ve got a whole Gluten Free menu which was a nice surprise!

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Everything was absolutely delicious! We both found ourselves continuously raving about the food with each bite! I don’t usually eat to being really full, but that night I left there with a very full, and very happy belly!

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Such a fun date-night! I loved being able to be out and about in the city!

Sunday

I ended up sleeping until 9, which is unheard of for me! It felt amazing 🙂 Once up, I did some yoga and core work before having a protein pancake breakfast with RM (gluten and dairy free).

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After breakfast, we went for a nice, 45 minute walk throughout Eastie. It’s a nice little thing we’ve been doing- we don’t need to be sitting on the couch all the time- a little extra is always a good thing 🙂

Later in the day we went to his brother and sister in law’s new condo to use the community pool and then had a delicious BBQ at his mom’s house. It was a perfect Sunday… and weekend, for that matter!

Questions for you: What did you do this weekend? Where’s your favorite summer bar in Boston? Have you been to Bostonia Public House?

Ps! My gym friend/in real life friend/blog friend, Athena got engaged over the weekend and I couldn’t be more happy for her and Tim! They are such a great couple:) congrats again, lady!!!

This Week: Workouts, Weekend Recap, Things I’m Looking Forward To

Hi there! I hope you all had a great weekend. Mine was really fun, but also really busy. I was supposed to go to my gym friend, Jen’s, “Porch Friday” summer kickoff gathering, but after the week I had, I was beat and decided to lay low. I hate missing things, but knew I needed to take it easy since Saturday and Sunday were going to be nonstop. Instead, some wine and snacks at Piers Park helped me relax from the week.

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Saturday started with a super sweaty UXF Burn/SHRED class that I subbed at the Central Square BSC (my usual gym). It was awesome to see so many of my Wednesday and Thursday regulars in class! Here’s some of my new lulu that I bought 😉

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Paycheck + Lulu near my work= a little splurge 😉

From there, RM and I headed north for a BBQ at Christy and Jaime’s. Sadly, I didn’t take ANY pictures- whoops! But everything was amazing- the food, drinks, company, weather- all in all it was a great afternoon! From there, I headed to Liz’s house for a gym friends party. I always look forward to these nights because it’s so fun to chat with other instructors and share our crazy interesting teaching stories.

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(thanks for the photo, Liz! And hosting us 🙂 )

Sunday started with a UXF Burn class and then RM and I went for a nice, long 3 or 4 mile walk along the beach before going to Jess and Brian’s baby shower. They had it at Shake Shack in Harvard Square. I’ve never been there before, but I am sold- their burgers and fries were amazingggg. It was such a fun baby shower- they didn’t open gifts or play any games, which is more my style. We were able to chat and mingle- perfect!

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Phew! What a weekend- I love when I get to spend time with my college friends and it was fun having RM meet everyone! But, let me tell you- 3 parties and party food in 2 days makes me really ready for some clean eats. Indulgences are totally worth it (and sometimes why I workout 😉 ), though.

Last Week’s Workouts

  • Monday- I taught my 6am muscle class and did 15 minutes on the elliptical.
  • Tuesday- I ran 5 miles after work and it felt great! I had fast splits (for me!) and was able to clear my head.

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  • Wednesday- My new company had their summer outing after work so I got up to workout before I headed into the office. I was going to do a 2 mile jog and then body weight strength training but ended up running 3 miles and just some push-ups, squats, planks, etc.
  • Thursday- I taught SHRED and then Cardio Kickboxing. I did a 25-15-4 rep format for SHRED and liked it!
  • Friday- Rest day since I was teaching on Saturday and Sunday.
  • Saturday- I ran 2 miles on the treadmill before subbing UXF Burn/SHRED. We worked so hard and I loved every second of it!

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  • Sunday- I didn’t want to get out of bed, but I was happy I did. There were only 2 people in the UXF Burn class I subbed, but it was fun because I was able to do stuff I don’t usually get to do! Also, there was another instructor in the class who teaches Barre so I let her lead the last 5 minutes of core work and it was killer!

This Week’s Workouts

  • Monday- By the time this post goes up I will have taught my 6am Muscle Class and done a little cardio after.
  • Tuesday- I’m running the JP Morgan Corporate Challenge after work. It’s a 3.5 mile race, so nothing too crazy.
  • Wednesday- I’ll either run or do some other cardio before teaching UXF Burn. I missed them last week!
  • Thursday- Teaching SHRED and Cardio Kickboxing.
  • Friday- Probably a rest day besides a walk at lunch.
  • Saturday- Back at the Oak Square YMCA for my Cardio Kickboxing class… I hope my front row is back 🙂
  • Sunday- I would LOVE to get some yoga in. I need to make that happen.

Things I’m Looking Forward To

I’m looking forward to running the JP Morgan Corporate Challenge as part of the team at my new company. Our shirts are so dorky, but it’s kind of funny! I’m also excited to go out with some former coworkers, including my friend Tim, later in the week. Other than that, I’m excited for a weekend where I really have nothing planned. I may head to the Cape with RM on Saturday, but if I ended up sticking around here I wouldn’t be mad at all. I want to get my hair highlighted, so that would be great if I could fit that in on Saturday.

Questions for you: What was the best part of your weekend? Have you been to Shake Shack? What are you looking forward to this week? Are you running the JP Morgan Corporate Challenge?

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

Did you miss my first “Boston Restaurant Roundup” post? If so, check it out here. In that post you can find lots of restaurants in the downtown Boston area, including Faneuil Hall, Financial District and Downtown Crossing.

As far as this post goes, we are moving out of downtown Boston to some of the more “up and coming” areas in Boston: Seaport District/Southie and East Boston. While these are a little more on the outskirts of the city, they are super trendy right now and draw masses of people. Here are some of my favorite restaurants in these areas- enjoy!

Seaport District

  • Row 34 is not only my favorite restaurant in the area, but probably my favorite restaurant in Boston right now. I was taken there for my birthday and have wanted to go back ever since! The décor is amazing, they’ve got a great beer (with gluten free options!) and wine list and are known for their Oyster selection. The rest of the options on the menu were just as good as the shellfish appetizers we tried. The only downside is that it is always really busy, so getting a reservation can be tough.

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  • Trade– I haven’t eaten there, but the drinks are really, really good! It’s also in a great location and has a funky style to it. The downside is that the drinks are pricey, but if you’re going for just one before dinner plans, it’s perfect!

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  • Miel– This is a French restaurant located in the Intercontinental and it’s my favorite French restaurant in Boston. I’ve only been for lunch, but every time I’ve been it’s been awesome! From their fancy salads to sliders to French sandwiches and French Onion Soup, the taste and presentation is terrific. They’ve got a really nice patio area on the water, too, which is always a plus!

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Southie

  • Lincoln– I have had dinner and brunch at Lincoln and both times I was pleasantly surprised by the food. It’s known as a “hot spot” for late-night drinking, but it’s worth a visit during meal time, too. They have a “bucket of bubbly” that is a really popular item for brunch, and they were very accommodating to gluten/dairy intolerances when I went there for dinner. If you plan on going there for your night out, I suggest getting there early (like 9pm early) or going for dinner beforehand, otherwise you’ll be in line for a long time.

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  • Stephi’s in Southie– My sister and I went there for brunch on New Year’s Day and were really pleased with the decision. They’ve got a huge bar area, as well as an open dining area, too. The wine was very affordable and the dishes had interesting and really delicious ingredients in them. I still want to go back for dinner!

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  • Moko– My sister just moved to Southie and this restaurant is right down the street from her apartment. We finally decided to go earlier this week and I was really satisfied with the menu options and the quality of the fish! I don’t often have a hard time deciding what roll I want to order, but at Moko there were so many delicious options that I really struggled! I settled on a crazy spicy roll and when I asked to have them do it without tempura, it was no problem at all. I love when restaurants are accommodating to food requests. Though the rolls were not cheap, the wine was! I got a glass of Kendall Jackson Chardonnay for $9, which I think is a great deal. I definitely suggest visiting this little hole in the wall sushi restaurant if you’re in Southie.

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East Boston (aka, Eastie)

  • Santarpio’s– I’m sure this comes as no surprise, right?! Whenever I tell people I live in Southie, the two things they most commonly ask is if I’ve been to Santarpio’s and/or Rino’s. While I haven’t been to Rino’s (yet!), I have been to Santarpio’s a number of times and each time it has lived up to the hype everyone gives it. The pizza is absolutely delicious (the pepperoni, garlic and hot peppers is my favorite), the meat skewers are always worth getting (sausage is my favorite) and the waiters/service is worth a trip on its own! It’s certainly a “no frills” type of place, but the drinks are cheap and the food is great.

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  • Ecco– Ecco is located across the street from Santarpio’s and is actually owned by the same owners. I’ve been there for drinks a few times and dinner once and each experience was really good. The drink menu has some fun options and their taco trio plate is delicious! I’ve heard that they have a back patio, too, so it’s a great place to go when the weather is nice.

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  • KO Catering and Pies– My Eastie friends Pat and Colleen told me about this place and then the boy and I went there on our first date! What I love about it is that it’s almost on the water (it’s in the seaport district) and has outside picnic tables, pitchers of beer, live music and drinking games (corn toss, etc.). The food isn’t to be overlooked, though, as it seemingly reflects authentic Australian meat pies. I got a “floater” which means it’s a meat pie topped with mashed potatoes and gravy and it was to die for! I’m big on messy foods and this fit the bill perfectly. I can’t wait to go back this summer!

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  • Prima e Dopo– This is owned by the people who own Rino’s and was opened to accommodate the masses of people waiting hours for a table at Rino’s. It’s a small place, but they have wine (on tap!), beer and spirits, as well as a small menu. I went with my upstairs neighbor, Lisa, and my sister on Valentine’s day and we had the meatballs, pizza and something else that was a cheesy/saucy dish. I’ve also had the shrimp scampi bruschetta and everything was SO GOOD! The prices are also great.

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  • Angela’s Café– My friends Pat and Colleen also introduced me to this place- a little hidden gem Mexican restaurant. We went for brunch and I got the Mexican Breakfast Burrito and it was so good! I’ve heard that their margarita’s are also super tasty… I still haven’t had a chance to get back there to try them, though. Since they have outside seating, I’m sure I’ll make my way there some night after work for one this summer.

I think that does it for places I’ve gone to and enjoyed in the Seaport/Southie/Eastie areas of the city. Did I miss any/do you have any suggestions for places I should try? Have you been to any of these places? Wine on tap- love it or think it’s gross? Where’s your favorite pizza place?