What’s been up?

Good morning! Happy Tuesday! I don’t do many “Weekend Recaps” anymore, but considering the past weekend was a really good one filled with lots of different things, I thought I’d share with you 🙂

It had been a long week, so I was more than ready for a vino! We went to Buff’s (surprise, surprise) for dinner after and it was a great way to end the week

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Saturday I had the opportunity to sub TWO classes at EBF Seaport so I ended up getting Dana to sub my YMCA Kickboxing class (thank you!) so I could head to the Seaport. I subbed a BAGSXKICKS and BAGXBEATS and they were both SO fun! I was nervous about the Kicks class since I had never taught it, but I think between having enough BAGS experience and enough kickboxing experience I was able to teach a good class. I also finally got my haircut. My normal hairdresser was not working on Saturday so I had to go back to my old salon, but she did a good job so I was happy with it! After teachin and hair I went to lunch and got my nails done in Southie with my sister and a friend from work and then got home with enough time to relax and finished The Wonder, which was SOOO good- you need to read it if you haven’t! Saturday night, Roberto took me to SRV to celebrate my promotion and Valentine’s Day. This restaurant has been on my list for a while so I’m glad we finally got to try it. It’s a Venetian small plates type of restaurant and everything we tried was great, and I especially loved that they served Aperol Spritz- which is my favorite Italian drink!

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After church on Sunday, Roberto and I headed to the Boston Wine Expo since his friend was gracious enough to give us tickets to. He owns Tre Olive, which I’ve talked about a lot on here! We had a blast at the expo and it was so nice to catch up with the Tre Olive guys- if you are in need of a good foodie gift- check out their site. You can adopt an olive tree for them and they’ll receive tins of olive oil from that tree- it’s very cool! When we got home, I went for a quickie run because the weather was too nice to not get outside, and then I spent the rest of the night cleaning, cooking and watching Cinderella Man with RM.

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Yesterday morning, I headed to EBF #FIDI to take a class “Pre-Opening”  with George as a way to break in the new studio before opening day. It officially opens on Thursday and I couldn’t be more excited to be part of the fun! Catch me on Thursdays (starting this week!) at 6:20pm for BAGSXBEATS- sign up here!

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After class, I went up to Maine after the EBF class and had a great time catching up with my parents. My mom and I went snow shoeing/X-Country skiing on the lake and then around the house before settling down in front of the fire to drink bubbly and hang out. Relaxing, again, is so under-rated 😉

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And here we are, another week! As far as teaching, I think I’m just teaching 2 BAGSXBEATS classes this week- tonight at GymIt in Watertown at 6:30pm and Thursday at FIDI at 6:20pm- come join for the fun!

Lastly, I am hosting another MoveWith class, but this time it’s going to be at the New Balance Flagship Store in Brighton, which I’m SO excited about! It’s on March 29th and DJ Sprino will be there and I’ll have after workout treats from Purity Organics and Larabar (and hopefully more) and everyone will get a 20% discount for shopping! You don’t want to miss this, so grab your friends and sign up here!

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Five on Friday {6.24.16}

Good morning and TGIF- big time! This week has just been one hell of a week. Between work, teaching and wedding planning, I could barely form a complete sentence that made any sense last night. When talking to RM on our way to grab pizza and salad from Max & Leo’s (yes, I know we are obsessed with that place- having it walking distance just makes it even better!), I actually said “I’m tremensly tired Roberto. Like, I can’t even explain it”, and he looked at me and goes “tremensly? What is that?”… and not until then did I realize that I had made up a word! Clearly a combination of tremendously and immensely…. Wine and pizza never tasted so good, haha

It’s been a fun week of package receiving here at our house this week, so I have some fun things to share!

  • Luna Bar Delivery Oh my goodness did I get an amazingggg swag bag/care package from Luna Bars this week. I mean, a box of their bars would’ve been enough to make me happy, but when you throw in a few boxes, multiple other bar flavors, a t-shirt, bag and new yoga mat you have a veryyyyy happy Monique! We’ve tried a few flavors so far and they’re SO good. They have more ingredients than I usually want in a bar, but they just taste so good! I can’t wait to try the oatmeal packs because those only have a few ingredients and I think they will make a very easy pre-workout snack or breakfast. Thank you, Luna, for spoiling me with such a wonderful package!

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  • ProYo Frozen Yogurt This is another package I was lucky enough to receive this week!! I’ve mentioned ProYo on the blog before, so I was so excited when they offered to send me some of their product to try out, but little did I know I’d be lucky enough to get a chance to try FOUR flavors. Obviously I haven’t had a chance to try all of them, but last night we did share a Dutch Chocolate one and were both totally fans of the smooth/creamy texture and delicious flavor! They don’t have a lot of ingredients, which is also a big thumbs up (and they have lots of good things in them!). This is going to be the perfect summer treat all summer long! Be on the lookout for ways for YOU to get to try some, too 🙂

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  • Bags & Beats & Big Hair- I laughed as I took this selfie after my Tuesday night Bags & Beats double because I found it so ironic that I had not only taken over Eliza’s class, but was also sporting Eliza’s big, curly hair look 😉 I love my curly hair so much and letting it fly while and free is the best feeling!

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  • Wedding related packages- On top of promotional swag, I also received lots of wedding related packages this week: photo booth props, name changing paperwork and my dress hanger! Such an exciting, exciting time for us- T-minus 10 days!!!

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  • Granite Links Driving Range RM and I went to Granite Links last weekend to hit some balls, drink some cocktails and enjoy the weather. It was exactly what I needed that night!

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And that’s it! I hope you all have a great weekend! Tonight we are planning to go to the driving range again, tomorrow morning I’m teaching and then have some more wedding related errands to run and then will go to a BBQ at my sister’s place. Sunday is open for whatever 🙂 It’s our last weekend at home before the big day!!!

Questions for you: What’s your favorite bar to eat? Have you tried ProYo before? What’s the best part of your week? What’s on the agenda for the weekend?

Five on Friday {6.3.16}

Good morning and happy Friday, friends! Can you believe it’s JUNE already?! Even crazier, is tomorrow will mark the official 30 day count down until the big day. I’m so excited I can hardly contain myself… which is why there are a few wedding-related topics in this post- #sorryimnotsorry 😉

  • Thirst for Wellness: B Strong Bootcamp- Thirst Juice Co. is launching a summer wellness series that I think you’ll all be very interested in. From their Eventbrite page: Our slogan is “Thirst. For Life.” That means many things, including living fully, joyfully, and generously. Wellness is an essential component to living the kind of life we aspire to. You’ve loved our Sip & Learn events, and now we’re rolling them into a broader series of wellness events. For our Thirst for Wellness event series we’re partnering with some of your favorite Boston fitness pros to bring you great workouts with healthful plant-based refreshments.
    What: B Strong Bootcamp is an outdoor HIIT (high intensity interval training) workout led by Trainer Cassie B., that combines intervals of running with bodyweight exercises for a complete total body cardio and strength workout experience. WHEN: Tuesday, June 7, 2016 from 6:00 PM to 7:30 PM (EDT). WHERE: Thirst Juice Co. – 44 School Street, Boston, MA 02108All you have to to do is head on over to this page to sign up ($15 is the cost)! Unfortunately I teach on Tuesdays, so I won’t be able to make it which I’m super bummed around!
  • Bags & Beats– The above bullet was a perfect segway into this topic! So far, I’ve taught 4 classes and it gets more and more fun every class! This past week was especially awesome because I had so many familiar faces in the crowd, including my sister, a coworker and her friend and Athena… oh, and some repeats from last which, which is always the best compliment an instructor can get! GF3 paid me a surprise visit halfway through my second class of the night which was a little nerve-wracking, but he seemed pleased so I’ll take that as a good thing! If you’re interested in checking it out, I’m at GymIt in Watertown on Tuesdays at 5:30 and 6:30pm… with the exception of next Tuesday since I have to travel to CA for work 😦

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  • Summer Eats- With the warmer weather upon us, my appetite has been craving all things summer, including the most amazing lobster roll from the Raw Bar near the Popponesset Inn, grilling and loaded salads.

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  • Wedding Songs- We are in full on wedding mode, including figuring out what songs we want the band to play. RM said he thought we should walk in to the reception to the “Marry Me” song by Bruno Mars so I downloaded it the other day and it’s pretty much been on repeat every since! I cannot wait to marry him! Also, do you have any dancing song suggestions you love hearing at the wedding?! Do share!

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  • Monogrammed Jack Rogers The monogrammed Jack Rogers I ordered for the big day finally came in and I couldn’t be more pleased with how they came out. I got my mom and sister a pair too (they found out about it, so it’s not a surprise) and I think it’s going to be so cute to all have them on when we are getting ready!

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And that does it for me! RM is in Nashville for his bachelor party this weekend- if you’ve ever been and have “must visit” suggestions for me to send to him- let me know! With him gone this weekend it means that I will have time to get {hopefully} some serious wedding stuff done. I have a laundry list of things to do so I hope to be able to really attack that list!

I hope you all have a great weekend!!

Questions for you: What was your best workout this week? What’s a song you love to hear at a wedding? Have your eats changed at all with the nicer weather? What is your go-to summer meal? What’s on the agenda for the weekend?

BoxFIIT Certification {Review}

It still feels so crazy to say that I am completely finished with my Box FIIT Certification!!  While I felt like I worked diligently on the certification, it still took me about 2.5 months to finish, but considering everything else I had going on (teaching, subbing, blogging, working… oh yeah, and planning my wedding!), I don’t think that’s too bad!

Before I get into the details of what the certification was like/what to expect, things I liked, things I would change, etc., I want to say that this is the best certification I have EVER done. George Foreman III (“G3”) clearly put his heart and soul into this certification and every time I felt overwhelmed by how much work it was, I reminded myself that GF3 put a hundred times more time & energy into this certification and that helped power me through 🙂 It’s seriously incredible everything that he put into making this certification and it far surpassed all of the other certifications I’ve done in terms of teaching you the basics, advanced levels and how to teach it. AND, I get 7 AFAA continuing ed. credits as part of the certification- amazing!

Ok, let’s talk about the certification now! I have wanted to teach at The Club for a long time now. I had previously gone through the hiring process but for one reason or another, never ended up teaching there, so when I saw that they had a public certification, I knew I had to do it. Between my love of boxing/cardio kickboxing and my want to start teaching at a new-to-me gym, I knew it was the perfect certification for me. Oh, and they had a crazy deal at the time so I got the whole thing for SO cheap!

Once I signed up, I had a Skype introductory meeting with GF3. He went through all of the various stages of the certification, suggestions on how to complete it, what to expect, what he would like to see, etc. and he answered all of my questions. From there, I jumped right in with watching the videos. I took LOTS of notes, but that’s because that’s how I learn best. If you don’t need to take notes, you can print off notes from the library, which is what I did when it came time to do my videos so I could remember the specific cues that I should use.

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There were 5 Learning Paths: Boxing (this included 5 rounds within the path: Footwork, Defense, Offense, Combinations & Styles), Strength (this included 8 rounds within the path: Core, Squat, Lunge, Clean & Row, Push & Press, Turkish Get Up, Suspension & Safety), Conditioning (Rowing/Cycling/Ropes/Plyos & Running), Teaching Classes (and using the trainer app) and Mittwork (mittwork & sparring). If that sounds like a lot- it was! But I really did find everything in the videos to be extremely helpful and they really inspired me to be a better instructor and boxer. GF3 taught the videos on the boxing learning paths and Anthony Diluglio lead all of the non- boxing learning paths (conditioning, strength, suspension training, Turkish Getup, squats, lunges, etc.). Both of these guys are incredible instructors and I learned SO MUCH by watching the videos and executing the moves.

For each phase you had to watch various videos on content related to the learning path, do your “homework” which was watching short video clips of the exercises and cues he wanted us to focus on, video yourself demoing the focus exercises and then video yourself teaching someone how to safely and accurately execute the exercises. While the video part didn’t bother me (hello, I post videos and selfies all the time!), I did struggle with finding time and people to teach for video purposes. I also found it hard to tape some videos based on the equipment necessary- I tend to go to the gym during busy times which is not conducive for videoing 😉 But it all worked out- I was able to make trips to the gym during off hours and find gracious people to help me! Also, I had invested in a cell phone tripod from Amazon (not sure the link anymore, but it was $7!) that was a LIFESAVER throughout the certification process.

Pro’s

I want to talk now about the things I loved about the certification- there are so many!

  • Attention to detail and thoroughness of the certification- As I mentioned earlier, this certification is the best I’ve ever done. Each part of the boxing and strength experience is completely broken down to make sure that we, as future instructors, know our shit (for a lack of better words 😉 ). There is nothing worse than an instructor who instructs incorrectly, so it was clear that GF3 and Anthony really made it a priority to make sure that wouldn’t happen.
  • Communication- GF3 was very active with communications, whether via email, Skype, Twitter, etc., he was around. Also, he responded to EVERY video that I submitted- either with notes or tips or tweaks to make or just a “nice work!” note (<- those were my favorite 🙂 ). Knowing that he’s actually looking at the videos and taking the time to give us feedback is awesome. Nicole Schultz was also a HUGE help when it came to communication- I emailed her countless times for random questions I had throughout the certification. She is amazing!!
  • Expertise- GF3 is so incredibly knowledgeable about boxing AND teaching- truly a master of his craft. And Anthony was just as knowledgeable about the other exercises we learned as GF3 is about boxing. The tips and cues Anthony gave throughout the videos have helped me SO MUCH in my own teaching.
  • Content- The content was spot on and I truly felt like I finished the certification with such a better understanding of the human body and how it relates to and reacts from exercise and movement so much better. Rather than skimming the surface of boxing and conditioning and strength, they dug really deep to help us drill down the necessary fundamentals to safely and correctly execute and teach the movements.
  • Resources- The “library” which holds all of the individual movement videos was invaluable to me during my certification because it also linked to written notes about each exercise/movement with specific cues/teaching points. Also, the trainer dashboard is awesome and having access to so many other trainers and workouts is going to be so helpful as I get going with my teaching. The BoxFIIT Trainer App is also great- so long paper notebooks with my scribbles on them! The app allows you to create your entire workout right in it AND link to music. It’s awesome!

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Con’s

With every list of pro’s, there’s usually a list of con’s, right? I don’t really have much negative to say about the certification because it was truly an incredible learning experience. However, I will say that this certification is not ideal for someone who isn’t serious about wanting to teach a BoxFIIT/boxing class because it is a lot of work and does take a lot of time. Going into the certification you really need to be prepared to work hard because you can’t slide your way through it like you might for other certifications. I think the hardest part for me was finding people and time to do the video submissions, but I do know they are really important for an online certification. I would’ve loved a 2 day intensive in-person certification, but I think online is much easier for most people because you’re able to go at your own pace. Attending the recent BoxFIIT clinic at The Club a few weekends ago was SUPER helpful in getting the in-person experience that I personally crave.

The only other things that I thought got to be a little redundant were the videos on teaching, but again, I think that’s because I’ve been teaching for 4 years and have a pretty good handle on that. I think those videos were targeted towards people who have never taught before, so when I reminded myself of that, I realized how important they were!

All in all, I couldn’t be more impressed with this certification, nor more grateful that I took a chance and added it to my plate during a very busy time in my life. I can’t wait to continue learning from some incredibly motivating, inspiring, talented and smart people in the field. GF3- thank you for everything- you’re amazing!

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If anyone is interested in learning more about this certification, PLEASE let me know. I believe I can get you a discount code, or at least put you in touch with Nicole and George.

Also! I will be teaching my first classes on TUESDAY (May 24th) at 5:30pm and 6:30pm at GymIt in Watertown. Let me know if you’re interested in coming (would love the support of some familiar faces on my first night!) 🙂

 

 

Weekending: Frank Pepe’s Pizza, Boxing, Brunching & More

And just like that- the weekend is over in the blink of an eye! Don’t get me wrong- we certainly made the most of the weekend, but it doesn’t mean it makes it any easier when it’s over.

Friday

After work on Friday I did some shopping for shoes to wear to various wedding-related events. I ended up finding a few pairs at Off Saks, including these fun pink heels. What do you think?

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They’ve got a snake skin-ish type of material, too. Once we both got home, we headed over to Chestnut Hill to check out Frank Pepe’s Pizzeria. While there was a long line, we ended up getting seated in just about 35 minutes which wasn’t bad. We opted for their famous clam pizza and a traditional cheese pizza. Both of us were “meh” about the clam pizza but totally loved the cheese pizza. It was light and thin so you could eat multiple slices without feeling too weighed down. Definitely worth a trip if you’ve been thinking about checking it out.

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Conveniently next door was a little Gelateria, so obviously we had to stop and get one. I opted for the baby sized Biscoff and Hazelnut and both were amazingly good. I haven’t had gelato that good since Italy!

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Saturday

Saturday morning started with an awesome Bags & Body class at The Club, followed by mitt practice with Nicole. I have never done that so it was really humbling, but it felt good to be out of my comfort zone and learning something new. The best part? Nicole sent me home with some awesome fighters swag so I can be outfitted for my first class (more details soon!).

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After class I met up with a few friends to celebrate Jessi’s engagement. We went to Worden Hall in Southie which was another place on my “want to try” list. We got a bottle of bubbly and I got spinach and goat cheese omelet which was really tasty.

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I love girls luncheon dates! Jess had to leave after lunch but my sister stopped in so she, Jessi and I had another drink at Stephi’s in Southie before heading home. On my way home I offered to pick up food at Whole Foods for dinner so I opted to get food shopping for the week out of the way, too. The rest of the night was spent hanging out, making wings, eating left over pizza and watching House of Cards.

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I love Saturday night’s where I’m in bed by 10:30… yes, I’m 30 going on 75 😉

Sunday

After breakfast, I went to church and then came home and worked on my taxes. While spending 2 hours on that sucked, I’m getting a good chunk of money back which will come in very handy for the wedding! Once I was done, we went for a quick walk and then I finished off with a quickie 5K since it was so gorgeous out. I needed Vitamin D in a bad way!

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We finished off the day with the most delicious eggplant parm and chicken cutlets at RM’s mother’s house. I opted to not do any real meal prep this week since it’s my birthday week which was a nice change.

Although my Sunday was not nearly as productive as I wanted to, it was perfect. I had wanted to get to the gym to film a few BoxFIIT videos and work on that certification, but I decided that I wanted to go for a walk and a run MORE, so that took precedent over that. Sometimes you just have to pick and choose what’s important to you on a particular day… and sometimes that’s not in line with what you “should” do or what’s on your to-do list…. and that is totally fine.

With that, here’s to a good week! It’ll be a busy one for me due to birthday celebrations, but it’s all fun things so I can’t wait!

Questions for you: How was your weekend? Have you ever been to Pepe’s Pizza? Did you get in any good workouts? Did you go out to eat at all? Did you get out to enjoy the sunshine throughout the weekend? What’s going on this week?