Kicking It At Fenway {& Other Birthday/Long Weekend Celebrations}

When I told people that I got up to go to a 6am workout at Fenway on my birthday, most thought I was a little crazy. Who wakes up extra early on their birthday, and day off, for that matter?! Me, haha But for me, starting out the day/year with one of my favorite things (working out) is exactly what I love doing. And, when you combine that with getting to workout AT Fenway and WITH Eliza & a huge Kick It Crew, it makes for a pretty awesome start to the day and year.

Big thanks to New Balance for inviting me to take part in the workout & DayBreaker event. and providing me with this awesome outfit to wear! I’m totally obsessed with everything!

Unfamiliar with DayBreaker? In short, it’s a really incredible way to start the day- first you workout (yoga or some other fitness class) and then you dance… all before work. Yes, it is as amazing as it sounds! Founders of the idea came up with it as a way to show that you can dance and have fun while being sober, and that doing that before work is a great way to get the brain’s “happy chemicals” going (dopamine, oxytocin, serotonin & endorphins). Another cool part about the event is that you wear headphones to hear the music and instructor, so to onlookers it looks like a silent workout since you can’t hear what’s going on. As I looked back through my Instagram Story, I was laughing at how funny it looked because there was no sound!

I had a blast hanging out with fellow instructors and bloggers!

From there, I came home to the most beautiful, springy bouquet from RM and then went to get my nails done.

For Christmas, my sister had gotten us a night at a hotel, so we opted to cash that in on my birthday up in Portsmouth, NH. Being from Maine, Portsmouth has always been that perfect halfway meeting spot for family and friends, but other than lunches or dinners up there, I haven’t really spent any extended time getting to know the city. That said, RM and I totally fell in love with the city- so many great restaurants, bars, shops, etc.

We stayed at the Hilton Garden Inn, which was a perfect location for everything downtown. The room was big and clean- we would definitely recommend it! Here’s a quick recap:

  • Lunch at Gaslight- food was good, but the service was terrible and so slow!
  • Post lunch drink on the awesome (but small) deck at Old Ferry Landing– we has so much fun there!

  • Birthday dinner at Black Trumpet– This came highly recommended by Athena and some others so we decided to check it out for dinner. They did not steer us wrong- we had the most unbelievable meal there! It’s a small spot with 2 levels and we grabbed seats at the bar upstairs. We had drinks (the wine on tap was SO good) and then shared the following: Chickpea Socca, Goat Doner Kebab, Warm Octopus Salad,  Archer Angus Chuck Steak and cookies & milk for dessert.

  • My parents met us for lunch the next day and we went to Rudi’s, which was also fantastic! We had a drink at the bar and then enjoyed a great lunch. My parents had just gotten back from a 3 week road trip/vacation so it was fun to catch up with them!

We squeezed in a quickie workout when we got back before having a quite night in.

Easter Sunday started with breakfast and Church followed by a small Easter dinner at RM’s mother’s house and a long walk when we got back.

Before we knew it, Marathon Monday was upon us and we were heading to Solas to hang with the NB crew. This is such a fun day and event- so thankful to get to be a part of it!

All I could think about when I saw this photo was “I’m on a boat!” haha

Overall, it was such a wonderful birthday/holiday/long weekend filled with pretty much all of my favorite things.

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Boston Restaurant Roundup: Part 3 {Back Bay/South End/Fenway}

It’s been quite some time since I’ve posted a restaurant roundup for you. I meant to do it as a 3 or 4 week installment, but clearly the weeks got away from me and I never finished this series! I’m here today with a bunch of restaurants in the Back Bay, South End and Fenway area. I grouped these together since they are all in ‘that part’ of the city, as I usually say. Although they each have their own distinctive name and area, you get to all of them by going in the same direction, so that counts for some type of similarity, right?

Before we get to these restaurants, make sure you check out my other Boston Restaurant roundups pertaining to different areas of the city:

Boston Restaurant Roundup: Part 1 {Downtown Boston}

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

Back Bay

    • Douzo Sushi– Here’s another great sushi restaurant. The sushi is a little pricey, but it is worth it! I’ve been for lunch and dinner and enjoyed both so much. They have a really good wine selection and they validate parking in the garage nearby- $5 for 3 hours, which means you can park, eat, shop and only pay $5!

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    • Cafeteria– My sister and I have gone here a few times for lunch and always love it. The menu is small, but there’s always something that catches our eye. They’ve got a great outdoor dining space and the whole “school” theme is really fun. The prices are reasonable for this part of the city.

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    • Back Bay Social Club– I’ve always loved this restaurant- both for brunch, dinner and just drinks. Again, they have outdoor seating, which is always on my list of “must haves” for summer dining. Brunch cocktails are tasty and the bar tenders are always really nice. I had dinner there and loved the salad and scallops. They’ve got wine on tap, too 😉
    • Sonsie– I’ve eaten at Sonsie a few times and have always enjoyed it. My sister and I went there recently and had an awesome lunch some great drinks. I love that it’s right in the heart of the Back Bay and has great windows that open up onto Newbury Street.

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South End

    • Gaslight– The first time I went to Gaslight, I hated it, however, when I went back some time after, my thoughts were completely changed. I recently went back for lunch and was again, happy with the experience. I love French cuisine, and this place does not disappoint! The Croque Madame was top-notch.

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    • The Gallows– My friend Jess and I went here and I was so thankful that she introduced me to it. It’s a dim-lit, crunchy type of restaurant with a good list of “small plates” for sharing. We ordered some tacos and a butternut squash dish and a few other things and I loved everything.

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    • Stella– I’ve only been here once, but have been dying to get back. The food is fantastic and they have 2 bar areas so you’re two times more likely to get a seat at the bar 😉 They also have a gluten free menu and everything we had from it was fantastic! This is one of RM’s favorite restaurants in the city.

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Fenway

  • Eastern Standard– This restaurant is also a favorite in Boston. The last time I went, we sat at the bar and had a great time trying new drinks, watching the bar tenders do their magic and ordering different things from the menu to try. Another thing I love about ES is the fact you can tell the bar tender that you’re waiting for a spot at the bar to eat dinner and will reserve a place for you when spaces open up. This eliminates the need to always be hovering and watching for people who look like they might get up, which makes for a much more enjoyable experience!

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  • Yard House– If you’re looking for a good bar with lots of beers on tab, Yard House is the way to go. There are always games on TV and always a good bar scene. And, out of all the sports bar restaurants in Boston, Yard House has the best food (in my opinion). There’s also a Yard House near my office in Lynnfield that’s huge and conveniently located amongst lots of shops.

By the looks of this list, I think I need to start going out to eat in the Back Bay/South End/Fenway area. My girlfriends and I are going to Stephi’s on Tremont tomorrow, so I’m sure I’ll be adding that to the list after.

Questions for you: Have you been to any of these restaurants? Do you have a favorite restaurant in this part of the city that I didn’t mention?

Also, I want to wish my parents a very happy anniversary!! I love you both so much!

My First Class At The Handle Bar’s New Fenway Location

A few weeks ago, I was contact by someone through The Handle Bar asking if I’d like to try a class at their new Fenway studio. Umm , duh! I’m always up for trying out new studios, especially ones that I’ve heard a lot about.

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They were gracious enough to offer a free class to myself and a friend, so I asked my upstairs neighbor, Lisa, if she wanted to join since she always says how she wants to go to a spin class with me.

The whole experience was really enjoyable! They gave me shoes and water when I walked in, which was a nice surprise. I also loved that they had complimentary ear plugs, gum and hair elastics- all really helpful things when you’re going to an indoor cycling studio.

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While there are no changing rooms or showers, there are cubbies and big bathrooms that can be used for changing. The studio itself was awesome! They had a ton of bikes and all different colored lights, which they would change throughout the class.

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Per the norm for most indoor cycling studios, they choreograph the moves to the beat of the music, which I love! It makes the ride much more fun and much less boring than just going for an endurance ride to stimulate an outdoor ride. I have to say that the choreography for this particular class wasn’t as good as some others that I have been to, but it was still a good workout! It just seemed like she repeated choreography on a couple of different songs. I’m sure most people didn’t notice or care, but the instructor in me notices that stuff (and I have a really good memory when it comes to choreography and catch on quickly).

The class we went to was only about half full, which is always a bummer since I thrive off of the energy in those classes! There’s nothing like the feeling of being in a packed class, riding to loud music and feeling like you’re in it together with everyone else in the room. I’d love to go back to a class on a day/time that might draw a full studio- those are the best!

Overall, though, I loved the studio and would definitely go back again. They don’t offer a free first class, but they do give a discounted ride of $10 to new riders. Shoe rental is $2, which you do need for these particular bikes (plus, now that I’ve used the shoes, I don’t think I could go back to riding without them!). If you’re interested in trying out a class, head on over here.

Questions for you: Have you been to The Handle Bar? What’s your favorite part about indoor cycling studios?

Take Me Out To The Ball Game!

A few months ago, my friend Lauren had a great idea for all of us to get tickets to go to a Red Sox game during their home opener weekend. I think we all know I’m not a huge sports fan (or fan at all), but I never turn down a chance to do something fun with my friends, so I was all in! I can’t say I wasn’t a little nervous about going to an outdoor sporting even in early April, especially with the crappy weather we’ve been having in New England, but lucky for us, Sunday ended up being an absolutely gorgeous day! IMG_7099 Lauren ended up getting us amazing seats in the bleacher section, just a few rows from the field- well done, my friend. IMG_7101 Although my college friends and I are in communication via text or email fairly often, it’s not always easy to get us all together in person these days. While not all of us were able to make the game, a good amount of us and our significant others were! It was so nice to be able to catch up with everyone; I can’t say I watched any much of the game, but my socializing skills were top notch 😉 IMG_7105 Post game, we headed to Landsdowne Pub for another drink. Icing definitely happened, which was amazing. IMG_7108 IMG_7111 IMG_7112 Spending a sunny, relatively warm Sunday afternoon at the Red Sox game with some of my favorite people was the perfect way to end the weekend! Thanks for setting it up, Lauren! IMG_7113 Questions for you: What’s your favorite sport? Do you like going to games? Do you get together with your friends a lot?

Wednesday Workout: Fenway Park Spartan Sprint- feeling nervous!

It seems as though obstacle course races are all the rage these days. Whether it be Tough Mudder, Warrior Dash, Savage, Spartan Races, or something else, it seems as though everyone’s doing some type of race that involves mud, electricity, climbing or something else that isn’t something you would generally choose to do unless it was part of a race. My friend Tim has been encouraging me to do these races ever since he started doing them a year ago. One would think that I, as a fitness nut, would have one of these races on the books for a while now, but for some reason, I have yet to do one!

Well, my friends, that’s about to change. I signed up for the Fenway Park Spartan Sprint, held IN Fenway Park next weekend, and I couldn’t be more excited. But… also a little nervous! While I workout A LOT (no surprise there), I have no idea how I will perform in an obstacle race. And, although I like to think I am in pretty decent shape, I don’t do CrossFit, so I have no idea how well I can row and how well I can climb.

My goal for the race is not to finish in a certain time. It is not to beat anyone on my team (Yes, Dave, that means you). It is not to do every obstacle without needing to do a penalty round of burpees. I mean, don’t get me wrong, if those things happened, I’d be ecstatic, but my goal for this race is really quite simple (and quite the opposite of how I usually approach things like this): to have fun, to push myself and to finish the race HAPPY and wanting to do more. If I go in there with an open mind and no expectations, I’ll end the race far better than I will if I go in with expectations that go unmet. Anyone else out there like this?

With that said, I want help from you guys! Have you ever done an obstacle course race? Do you have any “tips” to share? What’s the one thing you suggest preparing for?

I just watched this video and it is awesome. It definitely made me more pumped!

http://youtu.be/hVh79ytSLbo

Thanks, in advance, for your feedback and tips! I have to say, it’s going to be pretty surreal doing this race in Fenway so soon after the Red Sox won the world series there. How cool, right?!