Weekending {Extended Version}: Birthday Celebrations & Marathon Monday

Good morning! I opted to not blog yesterday as I had the day off and figured a lot of you may also have it off or may even be running the marathon! Between taking my birthday off last week, working from home on Friday and then having yesterday off, I feel like I’ve been on a little vacation, which is pretty awesome. With everything going on these days between wedding planning, the BoxFIIT certification, teaching, blogging, working, etc. I feel like I was running on empty and really needed some time to re-charge the batteries. Granted, the past week has been filled with lots of things, but most didn’t involve work which helped give me that “recharge” I needed.

I’m going to keep my captions short, so enjoy the pictures!

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Birthday yoga!

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Birthday manis/pedis/lunch with my birthday buddy!

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Strong ladies supporting me in class. Not pictured: after class drinks at Gaslight 🙂

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Julian pizza from Max & Leo’s- the birthday girl doesn’t cook on her bday 😉

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Beautiful flowers and prosecco from coworkers who came to my class

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Extra bday flowers from RM

 

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All dolled up! Love the new bag RM got me

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My sister surprised me with a bottle of bubbly at dinner. We went to Committee in the Seaport and everything was unbelievably good- we couldn’t stop raving about how flavorful everything was AND they sent out a birthday treat- I highly suggest checking it out!

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Post kickboxing sweaty selfie.

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Entertaining my parents- I’m so sad that I didn’t get a single photo with them while they were here 😦

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Food shopping

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Pancake breakfast

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Birthday presents from my dad- picnic table, fire pit and a heck of a lot of wood. It was SO nice of them to come down not only to celebrate, but also to bring all of these things to help us have an awesome back yard/patio!

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4miler in gorgeous weather. I wish I could say it was a great run, but my legs felt like lead the entire time and my miles averaged 15-20 seconds slower than usual… BUT… I finished it and it felt great to be outside. Who cares about the mile times!

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Taking advantage of the sun and doing my thank you cards for the bridal shower gifts we’ve received outside. And then I started reading Defending Jacob, which is our new book club book. So far, I’m enjoying it, although it’s crazy that it takes place in Newton!

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Beer at home by myself: a rarity, but the weather encouraged it 😉

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Meal prep for the week: a cauliflower rice & other veggie “stirfry” with a peanut sauce and then a veggie-filled quiche- both have so much flavor!!

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Loving our outdoor patio space! Took my workout outside yesterday morning and it was amazing.

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We walked from the Intercontinental Hotel (where RM parks his car) to the Back Bay and it was so nice strolling through Boston Common’s in the gorgeous weather.

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We were fortunate enough to hang out at the Solas Pub (part of the Lennox Hotel) pretty much right at the Marathon finish line thanks to New Balance- drinks, food, prime spectator location?! Yes, please. So thankful for this opportunity!

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Watching the marathon is always a super emotional and inspiring thing. I love watching everyone who is finishing strong, but I also love how everyone is looking out for each other. The crowds roared even louder when struggling runners were trying to get to the end. Fellow marathoners helped those who were physically too beat to run on their own. Paramedics and EMT’s and all of the other helpers were there to help get people safely over the finish line. It gave me chills soaking all of that in. Such a wonderful experience.

If you made it this far, THANK YOU! I’ll be back tomorrow with a workout… and maybe even a recipe for you this week!

Questions for you: How was your weekend? Did you get outside to enjoy the weather? Did you go to the marathon or did you run the marathon? What do you have planned this week?

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Weekending: Hopsters Date Night, Handle Bar & Brunching in Harvard Square, Hosting my Parents

Good morning! What a busy, but fun weekend we had- let’s recap 🙂

Friday

After work on Friday I had to go into the city for an appointment. I had some time to kill and decided to pop into City Sports since I knew they were doing “going out of business” sales and I had a gift card I needed to use. I didn’t find much worth looking at (sales weren’t THAT good year), but I did find these awesome Saucony running sneakers I was able to get for 35% off! I’ve never run in Saucony’s, so I hope I like them!

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By the time I finished up at City Sports, it was time to head to my appointment near the North End. As she was finishing up, she asked if I wanted any water, which I declined since I had a water bottle with me. She then asked if I wanted wine and I said “well, yeah! that’s more like it”. I thought she was totally kidding until she came back in the room with a big ol’ cup of wine. Best surprise ever 🙂

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RM got home shortly after me and we decided to walk to Hopsters for a drink and dinner. I was there last Friday night with my sister so it was funny to be back again! We decided to get the sausage and arugula flatbread and harvest salad and both were incredible, the pizza especially. Wow- so so good!

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Saturday

Saturday morning we woke up kind of early and decided it was a good morning for healthy pancakes so RM got busy.

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Usually we do Sunday morning pancakes so this was a fun treat 🙂 It’s rare to have a Saturday at home without having to teach.

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My sister and I had plans to go to The Handle Bar’s new Harvard Square location for an 11:30 class and then brunch after. The class was really good and challenging, the brunch was a big disappointment 😦 We ended up going to Park Restaurant and Bar and everything from the slow service to the really, really sub par food made for a less than stellar brunch.

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I ordered the goat cheese and spinach omelet and it looked like they literally put a scoop of goat cheese in the middle of the omelet and threw in some barely cooked spinach. I could have made something way better than that. My sister’s burger melt looked like it was from McDonald’s- the slice of yellow cheese wasn’t even melted and the burger itself was tiny. And the kicker? it took 40 minutes to get the food and it wasn’t even busy! I would not suggest going there if you’re looking for a bunch spot in Harvard Square- save your money!

After I got home, RM and I booked our wedding photographer (!!!) and went to Chelsea to go to the huge Home Goods to get some house stuff. We ended up getting new pillows, a new throw and laundry baskets- we are getting there!

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The rest of the night was spent food shopping and meal prepping for my parents visit on Sunday. I also made our favorite Shrimp and Veggie Curry Dish for dinner, which is such an easy and delicious meal to throw together.

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Sunday

I woke up early because I knew I had a lot to prep in advance before my parents and my sister came over for a little luncheon. On the menu?

  • Easy Pumpkin Soup from Lexi’s Clean Kitchen
  • Roast Chicken
  • Roasted sweet potatoes, Japanese sweet potatoes, celery, carrots and onions
  • Spicy broccolini
  • Fancy veggie filled stuffing that my sister made and brought- it had grated carrots, onions, celery, mushrooms- it was a really fun change from your traditional stuffing.

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We had such a nice afternoon drinking bubbly/wine, catching up and talking big time wedding talk. My mom got me my first bride magazine, which was fun to look through! I love that my parents are so willing to come down for a few hours and a meal.

After they left, we finished cleaning up and got comfy on the couch- preparing a big meal and hosting a luncheon is tiring!

Questions for you: What did you do this weekend? Did you get any good workouts in? Do you like to entertain? Have you been to Park?

Although I still don’t know how to put into words the sadness and fear I have after hearing about the terrorist attacks in Paris, I’d feel remise if I didn’t take a little bit of blog space to mention it. We have been watching CNN and listening to NPR steadily since Friday night and I woke up Saturday wishing that it was all just a bad dream. What is this world coming to, where people can’t go to a concert, a game or out to dinner without the fear of an attack? My heart goes out to all the people who have been affected by this tragedy. I pray for a world with peace and love, not this crazy world filled with terrorists and fear.

I’ve only been to Paris once, but it has always been a place I’ve wanted to visit again. I loved everything about it and still hope to get back there some day.

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Weekending: Review through pictures

Good morning! Did you guys have a good weekend? We sure did- here’s a glimpse 🙂

  • I had to go to Milwaukee Thursday-Friday, which was a really nice trip. I wasn’t sure Milwaukee would be anything that exciting, but I have to say I really loved the little city! It was a much quieter city than I’m used to, but it was still really cool! I stayed right downtown and was within walking distance to the river walk and lots of cool restaurants and shopping.

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  • I made sure to get in workouts while I was gone, too 🙂 One strength one and then one quickie bodyweight hotel room workout one- I’ll share both with you soon!

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Hotel room bodyweight workout

  • I met my sister at a new restaurant in Watertown called Branch Line. It’s right near her new office and close to me, plus the owners of Eastern Standard (one of my favorite Boston restaurants) started it so I couldn’t wait to try it out. The verdict? LOVED IT! We only got drinks and their fried cheese bites, but the whole experience was very good and RM and I plan on going back for dinner since their menu looked intriguing!

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  • RM and I ended up going to Stellina for dinner which was where we went to dinner the night we got engaged! The food was great, although I didn’t take any pictures 😉
  • Saturday we lounged in the morning. It was weird to be around with no plans AND no teaching. Rather than rushing out for the gym, I decided to hang around and get all my house chores done first. We had people over on Saturday night so I wanted to prep the chili and dessert and clean/pick up. I finally went to SoulCycle for a 1pm class. It was a good class, but not the hardest I’ve been to, or as much of a party as SC usually is. Oh well!
  • I had time to relax when I got back so I caught up on Greys anatomy while sharing a beer with RM.

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  • Our dinner party was a blast! I made a sweet potato turkey chili which was a hit, a cheese and prosciutto board, guacamole and a batch of these delicious Paleo Pumpkin Bars. I added in chocolate chips and pumpkin spice chips and they came out SO GOOD! Along with these treats, RM’s sister-in-law Emily brought a tasty apple crisp and Amanda brought a fantastic brie/pecans/craisin ball. Oh, and lots of wine 😉

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  • Sunday we made our way to NH to go look at another venue and while we liked it, we were kind of turned off by how far lodging was from the venue so I’m not sure we will pursue it further. Oh well.
  • We were staving when we got back so we heated up chili and other treats from Saturday night and had a medley sort of lunch. While RM watch/snoozed through the Patriots game, I whipped up some lemon blueberry muffins from his Practical Paleo cookbook (we are trying to incorporate more paleo-like meals these days). They came out pretty good!

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  • After I finished my book/the Patriots game was over, I coerced RM into going to Marshall’s and Target with me. We are on the hunt for a new dining room table and living room chair and I wanted him to see some of the things I was digging. Love this table from Target:

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  • Although I was really craving pizza or something like that, we opted for a healthier dinner and had chicken thighs, kale, mashed sweet potatoes and butternut squash and for some reason, everything came out SO GOOD. Nothing fancy, but so tasty. (I snapped a pic halfway through).

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All in all, a great weekend filled with friends and family, relaxation and productivity. Oh, and wine. Definitely wine 😉

Questions for you: What was the best part of your weekend? Have you tried out any new restaurants? What’s the coolest city you’ve traveled to? Did you get in any good workouts? Any good meals?

Guest Post: A Healthy Twist On Entertaining

Hi guys! I have a great guest post for you today which combines two things I absolutely love: eating healthy and living a healthy lifestyle AND entertaining. Sherri, over at Fun Fit Flavor seems to have the art of healthy entertaining, so I think you’re in for a real treat. I’m so happy she agreed to help keep B2B active while I’m in Italy because I just love her blog! It’s down to earth and she always shares the most delicious looking recipes… and, I can always relate so much to the things she posts about (going out with friends, entertaining, creating delicious foods, working out and drinking lots of bubbly 😉 )! Enjoy!

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Hi everyone! My name is Sherri and I write the blog, fun fit flavor. When Monique asked me to guest post while she basks in all of the gloriousness of Italy I, of course, said yes! Monique and I met through our friendship with New Balance and quickly realized that we have a lot in common; we both enjoy Prosecco, fitness, healthy food, and going out to eat. We both promote balance which, to me, is the core of wellness. Coinciding with that theme, today I’d like to share with you some tips for healthy entertaining. Entertaining is kind of my jam… I’m a Marketing Director by day and I’m part Italian so I love to feed people. For mother’s day, I set up shop at my mom’s house to create a relaxing, tasty/healthy, fun-filled day for my mom and sister. Here’s how it all went down!

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First and foremost, appetizers! Instead of the typical veggie sticks and dip – I like to make deviled eggs, guacamole, and charcuterie. Now, I know meats & cheeses might not sound like the healthiest option, but, adding in options like olives, cornichons, prosciutto, and nuts really makes a nice assortment full of healthy fats and protein.

Here is my best Deviled Egg Recipe (they are a huuuuge hit with family & friends).

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