The Week In Review: Birthday Celebrations, Christmas, Weekending

 

Good morning! It feels good to be back 🙂 Besides one post last week, I decided to take the week to just detach a bit- I had no desire to blog so I figured it was a sign I should take a little break. I’m back today, though, to recap the week! With RM’s bday on the 23rd, Christmas week is always a little crazy and chock full of celebrating (read: indulgent food, lots of dessert and plenty of drinks). Even though I’m off today, I’m excited about getting back on a little bit of a schedule this week… that is, until New Years Eve 😉

Monday- Last week I organized a little holiday celebration for a few of the teams at my office. We went to Kings in Lynnfield and had a blast drinking, bowling and munching on various passed apps.

Tuesday- After work on Tuesday, I went into the city to meet up with my sister and some other people at Back Deck for a drink before they went to the Nutcracker. I had wanted to go, but with it being the day before RM’s bday, it was just too much.

Wednesday- I used a floating holiday on Wednesday which was a nice way to ease into the holiday. Since it was RM’s bday, I told him I would make him whatever he wanted for breakfast. He decided on banana cinnamon French toast- how delicious does this look?! It was 2 pieces of Ezekiel bread, 2 eggs, dash of milk, plenty of cinnamon and sliced bananas that I sautéed in the pan.

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After breakfast, I left the house to let him study for his big broker exam (who schedules a big exam on their birthday?!) and hit up a class at Orangetheory. The first time I went to that studio was over the summer and the class was good, but not crazy hard. This one? Much harder! It was endurance day so we ended up starting the class on the treadmills for nearly a half hour! My base pace was 7 and my pushes were in the 8’s and then sprints in the 9’s and 10’s… I was dying by the end!! The strength session was also more challenging and I was sore the next day. Can’t wait to go back!

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I finished up with shopping and wrapping while RM headed into the city for his test. A few hours after the test started I hopped on the bus to be in the city when he finished so I could take him out to dinner. Luckily, he passed the exam so not only were we celebrating his bday, but also that! It was a very good day and Davio’s did not disappoint!

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Thursday- We took our time getting up on Thursday and eventually went into the city for birthday massages (well, birthday for him) at Exhale Spa. Per usual, the whole experience was wonderful- it’s really the best place to get massages!

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had to rick my “mistletoe & mimosas” T!

After we were finished, we hit the road to head to Maine. I went to Christmas Eve mass with my family and then we prepped for family friends to come over. It was a another successful Christmas Eve party! Good group of friends, plenty of delicious food, lots of bubbly and laughs. I did not take many pictures as I was just having too much fun being present in the night.

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Friday- We woke up later than normal on Christmas morning and found ourselves nearly rushing through presents- oops. We all got lots of great things, but I have to say that my sister’s gift to me was probably my favorite -it was so incredibly thoughtful and I loved that it was wedding themed since up until now, I hadn’t really received anything wedding-related. The ring holder is absolutely perfect, the shirt is so “me” and the book filled with all of the important things so far (“the ring”, “the Date”, “the location”, “not the dress”, “the band”…) nearly made me cry! I can’t wait to fill it up with things throughout the wedding process and then with photos from the big day.

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After presents, we packed up and headed back to MA to do Christmas with RM’s family. I didn’t take any pictures, but his mother and sister made a delicious meal, we had fantastic wine and opened more presents. I loved the sweater and necklace that his mom and sister got me- now it just needs to get cold enough to wear them 😉

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Saturday- I started out the day working on our wedding website and then hit the pavement for a 3.5 mile run, followed by some upper body strength circuits. After a rest day on Christmas and indulgent food for a few days, it felt very good to move!

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After lunch, the post holiday blues started to hit me and I had to laugh as I realized my outfit was coincidentally mirroring my mood.

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I knew I needed to get out of the house so I returned a few things, went to the library to get another book for book club and then decided to grab a glass of vino at Branch Line while waiting for RM to be done with his things for the day. I brought my book in and totally enjoyed sipping my Chardonnay while I read (even if it did seem weird to people who saw me).

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The rest of the night was spent relaxing- we ordered in, I kept reading and was in bed by 10. It was perfect 🙂

Sunday- I decided to get up and make us healthy pancakes. I changed the recipe by adding in another egg and we both agreed they may be the best batch yet!

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The rest of the day was spent being incredibly productive: 2 loads of laundry, changed the sheets on the bed, put away Christmas gifts, cleaning the entire apartment, grocery shopping, meal prepping and blogging. I did get RM to food shop with me and happened to sneak in a bouquet of flowers 😉

 

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Meal prepping isn’t always something I want to do, but once I get going- and especially once I’m done- I’m always SO happy I did it. I still have to make a meatloaf and cook the kale today (and RM has string beans and broccoli he wants to cook- we go through veggies so fast in this house), but knowing the most time consuming part is done is amazing.

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And that about does it! I know this post was long, but hopefully the pictures kept you reading. I can’t believe Christmas has come and gone, but at least we have our wedding to look forward to in the next 6 months or so!

I hope all of you had a fantastic holiday week!

Questions for you: What did you do to celebrate the holiday this year? Do you have to split holidays? Do you have any traditions? Meal prep- love it or hate it? Did you do any shopping after the holiday? Are you taking any time off this week? Any good workouts to share?

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Weekending Through Pictures

What a weekend we had in Boston, right?! The weather was long awaited and it was so great to feel warmth and sunshine and be able to be outside without a jacket on! On top of that, it was part 1 of my birthday weekends and between massages on Friday and a hair cut and mani/pedi on Sunday, I was fully pampered! Enjoy the highlights:)

  • Friday night we had massages at Exhale Spa and then dinner at Ward 8 with my friend Jessi and her boyfriend.
  • Saturday I wore my new top from Lulu and taught a super sweaty kickboxing class.

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Continue reading

Weekending {Extended Version}: Feeling Thankful

There were a lot of really wonderful things in my life last week and throughout the weekend. I came back to MA on Saturday feeling incredibly thankful for my family, friends, boyfriend and some extra time off.

Wednesday morning I was thankful for being able to head to Maine to work from there for a half day of work and beat the traffic and the snow.

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I was thankful for being able to decline lunch/errand plans with my mom and sister in favor of napping, blogging and getting a start on cocktail hour.

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I was thankful for being able to be surrounded by my family, all 4 of us, for the first time in months! We laughed and ate and drank and it was wonderful.

Thursday morning I felt thankful that my weird headache was gone and had apparently just turned into a little head cold. I was thankful for a relaxing morning in the kitchen with my family & for my sister agreeing to video me for some blog things.

I was thankful for the fact I was able to get my sweat on and feel strong throughout the short, but tough workout.

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I was thankful for snow! And for the fact I was in Maine where 12 inches of snow is much more bearable than it is in Boston.

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I was thankful for bubbly, because it makes everything better 😉

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I was thankful for this beautiful spread of food, none of which I prepared (whoops!).

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I was thankful for being able to sit and watch a movie with my sister.

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I was thankful for being able to go to our friend’s house for games, wine, dessert and laughs. These girls have been in our lives forever and I love them so much! And little Zeke, who is on the MOVE! He even knows how to take a selfie 😉

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Friday morning, I woke up thankful to still be in Maine. I was thankful that my sister wanted to go to the gym with me and I’m thankful that I was able to have a great workout.

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I was thankful for going out to lunch in Kennebunkport with my parents and my sister.

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And on Friday night, I was thankful to be home for another night with my family.

Saturday morning, I was thankful for a quick drive back to Massachusetts and an awesome class at Exhale Spa with my sister and friend Amanda.

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I was thankful for a delicious (and I mean delicious) brunch post-class at Ward 8, consisting of a veggie grilled cheese and lots of bubbly.

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Saturday afternoon/evening, I was thankful for finally getting to see RM! We watched some soccer and decided to stay local for dinner. We saddled up at the bar, enjoyed some drinks, wings & pizza (going out with a bang this week) and were home and in bed nice and early.

Sunday morning, I woke up feeling thankful for not having to rush out of bed, for being able to have a relaxing morning and for having a largely open day ahead. I was thankful for being able to get a Christmas tree with RM- ’tis the season!
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Yes, he is entirely making fun of me.

Sunday night, I was thankful for being able to relax while RM cooked us dinner. On the menu was paleo style sweet and spicey wings, homemade sausage & a fresh salad. I also made some paleo pumpkin banana nut muffins that we’ve been obsessed with lately. It was such a nice, relaxing night- it felt like a Saturday!

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Sunday night was the perfect way to cap off a little extended break. I had been feeling very stressed and overwhelmed prior to the break, but I now feel rest and rejuvenated and ready for the holiday season!

Questions for you: Where did you spend thanksgiving? Did you have a big crowd at dinner? Have you ever been to Kennebunkport? Do you like barre classes? How do you gear up for the week ahead?

This Week: Workouts, Gearing Up for Holiday Season & Things I’m Looking Forward To

Good morning! How was your Thanksgiving? I had such an awesome time being home in Maine for an extended period of time. It’s really the only time I feel completely relaxed and could literally not leave the house for days. Doesn’t sound like me, huh? I’m SO excited that day kicks off the first day of my Happy, Healthy, Fit 24 Day Challenge. Thanks to all of you who have signed up to participate! Today, set your timer for 60 seconds and rock out your push-ups!

Today also marks the first day of December, which means the start of holiday season. I’m sure I’m not alone when I say I’ve got a number of things on my calendar already. I’ve got events Thursday-Sunday this week, and although they are all FUN things, it’s just a lot. This season, I’m going to work on taking more time for myself and politely turning down some engagements. The hardest part with this is that I want to go to everything, but it ends up being too much and I want to avoid the stress/overwhelm this season of having too many plans. That said, I’m not sure how well this will go over because I have severe #FOMO, BUT, I’m going to try 🙂

Last Week’s Workouts

  • Monday- I was supposed to teach a double, one class in the morning and one at night, but no one showed up for my morning class so I ended up doing my own strength session on my own. I knew I’d be teaching cardio kickboxing after work, but I had gotten up and to the gym at 6am so I wasn’t going to leave there without doing something. That little something left me sore for 3 days!
  • Tuesday- I went to the gym during lunch and ran 3.25 miles and did a few planks before calling it a day.
  • Wednesday- Rest day
  • Thursday- I filmed a few videos and then did this 20 minute AMRAP workout. I got through just shy of 8 rounds and boy did it kick my butt! I was surprised at how hard it was by the 5th and 6th round.

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  • Friday- My sister and I got up and went to the gym. I was so excited to be there because we weren’t on a schedule and it was mid-morning. I did 20 minutes on the stair stepper before doing an entirely Kettlebell focused workout. It kinda kicked my butt and I kinda loved it. I ended with some core work using this awesome trampoline- want one of these!

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  • Saturday- I went to a Core Fusion Barre class at Exhale Spa with my sister and my friend Amanda. The class was killer! I’m not always a fan of barre classes (I am generally frustrated because I can’t tell if I’m doing it right!), but I loved this one. Chrissy is awesome and her class was a good mix of weights/upper body strength and then we worked through all parts of the legs and core. I was so sore on Sunday!
  • Sunday- Rest day

This Week’s Workouts

  • Monday- I may try to get in a lunch break workout while I’m working from home. I’ve decided that I really prefer to have my workout done before I start work or during lunch so I can have an evening where I’m done work and done my workout by 4:30. It’s awesome. I’ll also be doing a minute of push-ups. Wonder how many I can do!
  • Tuesday- I may go to the gym during lunch for some weights, no cardio.
  • Wednesday- Back to teaching my UXF Burn!! I also need to do a no-equipment necessary workout as part of the #happyhealthyfit challenge, so I will probably fit one of those in before teaching.
  • Thursday- I have after work plans so I will likely workout during lunch.
  • Friday- Rest day.
  • Saturday- Today’s challenge is a full body workout, so I will probably do one I posted in this Week 1 details post, or maybe another Kettlebell workout?
  • Sunday- Rest day

Things I’m Looking Forward To

I’m so excited for the start of December! Although it is a crazy time of year, I do love the hustle and bustle of the holidays and the Christmas decorations and general cheer. I’m also excited to get together with various groups of friends throughout the week, as well as celebrate my sister’s birthday on Sunday!

Questions for you: What was the best workout you had last week? Do you like Barre classes? What are you looking forward to this week? How you handle the craziness the holiday season can bring?

Weekending: Massages, Farmer’s Market, Lots of Shopping & Grill 23

Good morning! It’s time to talk about the weekend! I don’t know about you, but I feel like Tuesdays are a lot harder than Mondays. I’m not exactly sure why, but I think it has to do with the fact that I generally just roll into Mondays without much thought and I’m usually pretty busy, so the day goes by fast. Tuesdays, though, are the days where everything from the weekend tends to catch up with me. It’s terrible getting out of bed, I’m yawning all day, and I have to really give myself a pep talk to get a workout in, because I know that’s exactly what I need to get some energy.

Friday

I treated RM and myself to massages at Exhale Spa. Per usual, the experience was perfect: relaxing, calming and just a really nice escape from reality. After our massages, we headed to Whole Foods to get dinner: salmon, spinach and carrots. Paired with a nice Malbec and you have a happy Monique.

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We started Saturday morning by making a trip to the Waltham Farmers Market. Athena and Ashley- thanks for the great recommendation! RM got some meat and I came home with a bunch of veggies, for half the cost of what I’d pay at the store. The only annoying this is that I could be getting these from my dad for free if I was going home anytime soon!

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We also stopped at Whole Foods again for weekly groceries and I splurged on a couple of festive treats. Pumpkin Fig granola and Pumpkin Cranberry “chips”? Yes, please.

After lunch, we headed to Assembly Place to check out the new stores. Although it was beyond crowded (hello, rainy Saturday), we were able to shop around enough to get some great deals. I forgot to take pics of everything, but here’s a pic of one shirt I got, as well as the necklace RM gave me for our anniversary.

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He also got me a gorgeous handmade frame. These are really special things because they are handmade in India. I can’t wait to get a picture of us to put in the frame.

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Although it was really tempting to stay in on Saturday night because of the rain, we made our way to dinner at Grill 23, which is one of the nice steak houses in the city that I had not been to yet. Per usual, we scored seats at the bar and enjoyed drinks, oysters and a delicious meal.

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Not the best pic, but oh well! It was a great dinner and so fun to finally have a weekend date night!

We went for a nice walk on Sunday and then headed into the city for some more shopping. It was too nice to be stuck inside all day!

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Later that evening, we came back to my place so I could do my Sunday meal prep. I had a lot going on: stuffed peppers, meatballs, acorn squash, roasted veggies, sautéed veggies, quinoa and kale. #thankgoodnessforwine

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I also whipped up a batch of these beauties. Grain free pumpkin chocolate chip muffins? Ummm, yes. I added in walnuts, coconut flakes and did half almond meal, half coconut flour and they came out SO good. Such a healthy, tasty treat!

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And, there you have it. Another weekend roundup in the books. Although we were on the go a lot all weekend, we didn’t have a timeframe which was wonderful. We did what we wanted when we wanted- if only all weekends could be like that!

Your turn! What did you do over the weekend? Have you been to Grill 23? Do you go to a farmer’s market? Have you baked any festive treats yet?